self love gifts for the 12 days of Christmas – day 10

In case you are just joining me, I am giving myself 12 free gifts of self love this Holiday season! You should too! We can all benefit from more love this Holiday season! Day 12 was writing a letter to yourself! Day 11 was dreams!

On the 10th day of Christmas, my true self gave to me:

Encouragement! It is ok to be proud of yourself and encourage yourself. Write down at least 4 positive affirmations that encourage you to be the best version of yourself! Being the “best version of you” doesn’t mean you have to do and be the best at everything; that will just lead to more stress. Instead, think about what the “best version of you” really means to you and who you want to be down to your core. This is about the best “you” not what you think others want you to be. Be authentic. Be genuine. Be real. Be YOU!

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self love gifts for the 12 days of Christmas – day 11

In case you missed yesterday’s post, I am giving myself 12 free gifts of self love this Holiday season! You should too! We can all benefit from more love this Holiday season! Day 12 was writing a letter to yourself!

On the 11th day of Christmas, my true self gave to me:

Dreams! We all have dreams! If you want to be happy right down to the core of your being, you should dream! Dream BIG! Chase your dreams! Sit down and take some time today to dream. Dream BIG! Maybe even design a plan to start working to achieve those dreams. As you chase your dreams, you will often accomplish more than you ever thought possible! It’s time to turn the impossible into possible! Dreams can come true!

self love gifts for the 12 days of Christmas – day 12

There is so much joy during the Holiday season, but for some, there is also a lot of stress and depression. We can ALL benefit from more joy + less stress and depression this Holiday season, so I thought it would be good for each of us to give ourselves love over the next 12 days. These self love ideas are free, so let’s share some love with ourselves over the next 12 days.

On the 12th day of Christmas, my true self gave to me:

Write a letter to yourself. Think about those things that you are critical of yourself for and twist them into a positive. Thank yourself for all of the amazing things your body and mind do for you on a daily basis. Give yourself LOTS of self love! Lift yourself up! If you were writing this to your best friend, a person who inspires you, or a family member in need of self love, what are some of the things you would say to them? Now, say them to yourself. You deserve the self love, so don’t hold back! Lift yourself up!

What’s Up?! – November 2017

November was full of ups and downs, but I’m choosing to remember the positives, so here they are!

Training:

I finally had a successful month of training…I met my November challenge! 10 minutes of core strength every day for the entire month + an entire month of seeing green in Training Peaks! Bonus…NO eating out + NO alcohol for the month of November = Boo-yay!

Getting stronger as I #findfaster in the water!
So much #bikelove on my longest ride since #IMMT
So grateful for these amazing people in my life + morning miles! #friendsgiving

Swim: 31,400 yards (17.84 miles)
Bike: 188 miles
Run: 75.9 miles

“Racing”:

The Hillbilly 1/2 Marathon…I ran with Tim and Robin. So much fun to run strong and with friends on a course that could definitely result in a PR some day when I’m not coming off of Ironman season!

Running the Hillbilly 1/2 Marathon with these two crazy kids was so much fun!

Listening to:

Life’s Too Short to Go So F*cking Slow is an interview with Susan Lacke about her book, which is a tribute to the friendship she had with Carlos. He was not only her mentor, but also her colleague, role model, friend, and a continuous fighter. “Even when you’re scared, you do the thing. You show up, face your fears, and you keep going.”

Dr. Grace Liu: How to Build a Warrior Gut, Common and Solvable Gut Issues in Athletes, and More is an interview full of loads of valuable information! I’m so happy to hear amazing things about Sound Probiotics from Dr. Grace Liu in this interview! I am a HUGE proponent of Sound Probiotics! As a middle school teacher + endurance athlete, I am constantly exposed to germs and my body is under varying forms of stress. Taking Sound Probiotics daily for over 2 years now has drastically decreased the illnesses I’ve had! I feel better + stronger + more energetic with Sound Probiotics in my corner! #soundathlete

Time to Start Planning Your 2018 Season with Lost in Transition is a great podcast reminding you to reflect on 2017 to better plan for 2018! It is important to have a healthy mix of outcome + process goals when planning for future seasons. When planning your season, you should consider the course terrain, travel, cost, community, time of year, etc.

Dog walks:

We are so lucky to have a golf course nearby that closes for the winter. Basil thinks it is her own personal playground!

Basil having fun on our evening dog walk!

Looking forward to:

Winter break! The countdown is on! We are inside 20 days until we get a much needed break + time with family! I will also be completing an BSC swim challenge the last week in December, which I am super excited + nervous about! If nerves weren’t involved, it wouldn’t be a challenge right?!

Excited for:

Racing with #heartandcourage + these empowering and inspirational Coeur Sports sisters again in 2018!

So humble + honored to have this AMAZING company and these empowering women by my side in 2018!

How was your month of November?! What are you excited for?!

Boo-Yay!

Near the end of October I talked with Coach Kelly about where I was and where I wanted to be. We decided that setting a challenge for the month of November would be a great way to get back on the right track. So an entire month of:

  • 10 minutes of core daily
  • seeing green in Training Peaks for the entire month
  • no eating out
  • no alcohol consumption

It was beyond time to get back into my 10 minutes of daily core strength routine…plus I knew seeing green for a full month in Training Peaks would be just the kick in the shorts I needed to relieve stress, regain my confidence, and get that positivity train moving forward again! This was something that hadn’t happened since before Ironman Mont Tremblant…4 months to be exact! No eating out and no alcohol consumption would not only be better for us, but it would also save us money! Challenges make us stronger, so I’ve decided to set a challenge for myself each month for the rest of the school year to keep me motivated and on track.

I started out November with a bit of a head cold, so I was forced by Coach Kelly to skip the “optional” workouts to give myself a little extra rest. Thankfully my body responded beautifully to the extra sleep + TLC!

November 1-5, 2017
November 6-12, 2017
November 13-19, 2017
November 20-26, 2017
November 27-30, 2017

Monthly Totals: 51 hours & 7 minutes

  • Swim: 31,400 yards (17.84 miles)
  • Bike: 188 miles
  • Run: 75.9 miles
  • Strength Training: 13 hours & 5 minutes (this included my 10 minutes of core strength every day of the month)

Monthly accomplishments:

  • Finding faster in the pool! I have dropped my CSS by 3 seconds (on the 100 yard distance)!
  • Getting stronger on the bike! Hello bike intervals…I’ve missed you! You make me work, but you also make me stronger!
  • Running at varying paces…a mix of track work + hilly runs for speed development and sloooow runs have been a theme this month!
  • Rebuilding my strength…full body and core has been amazing for my swimming, cycling, and running!
  • Eating home cooked meals has been better for me nutritionally and saved us money! 🙂
  • No alcohol has been better for my mental state, better for me nutritionally, and has saved us money! 🙂
  • I’ve overcome a lot of adversity this month in many areas of my life.
  • I’m focusing on the positives!
  • I am healthier and happier…I’m finding myself again! Healthy + Happy is key! 🙂

Successfully completing the November challenge will set me up perfectly for my December swim challenge at the end of the month…30K yards in 7 days?! Yep, I’m going for the BSC swim cap!! 🙂

#yogalove at home

As a triathlete, I’ve learned the importance of recovery…active recovery, massages, compression, yoga…it is all so important in keeping me healthy + active! I LOVE going to Ignite Yoga for hot yoga classes…the community, the practice, the instructors, the heat. Sometimes after 2-4 hours of swim/bike/run before yoga, my body needs a good stretch without the added heat. After sweating so much during swim/bike/run workouts, sweating buckets during yoga isn’t always the best idea.

I’m grateful to a blog friend, Amy, for turning me onto www.yogadownload.com so I can get a good stretch post workout at home without the additional heat to further dehydrate me.

Here are a few of my favorite yoga videos:

Yoga for Triathletes: Post-Training Practice is a 30 minute session that is perfect for after a swim, bike, or run. You get a great stretch in multiple ranges of motion to work on imbalances we develop while always moving forward.

Yoga for Athletes: Enhance your Performance is an hour long session that helps open tight areas that hinder performance, improve range of motion, and helps you recover faster. This is more of a workout than simply stretching, but is definitely doable after an hour swim, bike, or run workout.

#yogadownload was the perfect way to stretch out my muscles post #bikelove + #runlove!

Yoga for Athletes: IT Band and Hips is just over 50 minutes. Since IT band syndrome is a common injury for runners and cyclists, this session provides a lot of great stretches to open up the tight IT bands, hips, glutes, and hamstrings.

Daily Decompression is just over 20 minutes. It helps you decompress your spine, increase mobility, and relax your mind. This is a great, short session that can be done any time of day.

Grounding and Centering Yoga Flow is a 40 minute session that focuses on the present. This is a great session to bring you back to your home base.

A little #yogalove post running to release the tight spots! Thanks Yoga Download!

Currently I am incorporating yoga into my weekly routine once a week. I would love to figure out a way to add in one of the shorter sessions a 2nd time throughout each week, since I know how important recovery is to keep me healthy + active!

I’m sure there are MANY other great yoga sessions out there! Do you spend time on your mat at home? If so, what yoga resources do you use to guide your practice?

Running with my four-legged fur baby!

Coach Kelly requested a post on running with your favorite fur babies, so this one’s for you Coach!

Some of my favorite runs are with my favorite girl! It fills my heart to see her so happy and have so much fun! The world is her playground!

Running with my favorite girl along the lake!

Before running with Basil, we went on MANY walks to teach her commands that we wanted her to know before actually running with us. We did some of these walks on leash, and others off leash. Teaching her to follow commands both on leash and off leash were important to us for her safety, because we want to let her off leash to run when it is safe. Sure, she isn’t always perfect and sometimes forgets her listening ears, but she’s right where we want her approximately 95% of the time. Here are some commands your dog should know before he/she runs with you:

  1. When coming up to an intersection, I give Basil the command for the direction I intend to go: left, right or forward (straight sounds too much like right). She knows these commands well and instantly goes in the direction given.
  2. We do a fair amount of running on the streets against the flow of traffic, so it is important for Basil to heel when a vehicle is coming toward us. We have trained her to run on our left when she is heeling so that she is not in harms way of oncoming traffic.
  3. When we are running and there is something that Basil finds appealing (another runner going in the opposite direction, a child, a rabbit, a squirrel), I tell her to “leave it.” When given this command, she typically leaves whatever it is that has appealed to her. This is a command we frequently use in the house as well when we drop human food and don’t want her to snatch it up.
  4. Since we often run on the street, it is important for her to know “up” and “off” when we have to get “up” on the curb, or back “off” the curb and onto the street.
  5. When we come up on a busy intersection, I tell Basil to “stop” and “wait” until it is safe for us to cross the busy intersection. Sometimes I have her sit to wait until it is safe for us to cross. This allows me to focus on watching the passing traffic instead of needing to watch Basil. Once it is clear for us to cross the road, I tell Basil to “cross” so she knows it is safe to cross the street.
  6. There are some places where we run that I let Basil off leash letting her run free. We have a few parks, golf courses (in the winter), gravel roads and trails where Basil can run off leash. When she is running free, I have such a #happyheart watching her. Pure joy! But this also means that she needs to know when to “come back” to me when called. Sure she chases after squirrels, rabbits, and the occasional deer…she’s a Labrador, but she always “comes back” grinning from ear to ear!
Running through the golf course with Basil and her friend, Stella!

Through routine, consistency, and LOTS of treats (which are really just dog food kibbles), Basil is one of the best running partners ever!