2021 week 8: 100% responsibility

Last week I took responsibility for showing up to do the work. No one else will do the work for me, so I can be somewhat present, mostly present, or completely present in the work I’m doing. Last week I chose to show the f*%k up and be all in. It doesn’t mean I worked harder, but rather that I worked smarter. I kept my focus on behaviors within my control, staying mentally strong, and working to achieve my dreams. Keep deciding to be all in and take 100% responsibility, then watch as the magic happens!

Quote of the week:

“Taking 100% responsibility is a GIFT.”

~Vanessa Faye Foerster

Swim: 9100 yards

Tuesday morning I completed a swim workout I’ve done 9 times over the last year. Part of my main set included 5×100 yards FAST + NEGATIVE SPLIT (faster time and harder effort with each one) where I threw down these times 1:34.6, 1:34.4, 1:33.5, 1:33.1, and 1:32.6. These paces are so much more consistent and all faster than my fastest 100 yards of the exact same workout done a year ago (1:42.6, 1:41.9, 1:40.8, 1:38.4, and 1:35.9). Growth comes when you take 100% responsibility by courageously and consistently showing the f*%k up for yourself!

Do you have a specific outfit/suit/kit/color that you associate with showing up, going all in, and giving your absolute best?! When I wear this blue swimsuit during a swim workout I grow gills, I am strong, I am confident, I am efficient, I believe I will succeed, I feel fast. πŸ’™πŸ’›

Bike: 87.7 miles

Thursday I was tired. My early morning swim paces confirmed the fatigue I was feeling. The fatigue + swim performance created a lot of doubt about successfully completing my bike workout after work. Add to this that I had ALL damn day to think about it and my brain was NOT in a place for success to occur. Thankfully I recognized this before leaving work and took 100% responsibility for my success or failure by deciding to change my mindset. Was the workout challenging?! Yes! With a changed mindset was I able to successfully complete the workout?! YES! BUT had I not changed my mindset, I am sure that the fear monger would have won and I would have “failed” this workout (since it has happened SO many times in the past).

DECIDE! Decide to be EXCITED! Decide to be EXCITED to show up! Decide to be EXCITED to own your power! Decide to be EXCITED to be your best! Decide to be EXCITED to push your limits! Decide to be EXCITED to chase your dreams!
β€’
I struggled most of the day mentally with my bike workout after work. I was coming up with every excuse in the book, but they were all just fuel for the fear monger holding my brain captive. I was fearful that I wouldn’t successfully complete the workout because my legs (and let’s be honest my brain also) were tired from the last few days of challenging workouts. I DECIDED to change the energy from fear to excitement. Who cares if I don’t successfully complete this workout?! I’m EXCITED that I get to show up for myself! I’m EXCITED that I get to push my limits! I’m EXCITED that I get to chase my dreams! You have the power to show up living in fear or full of EXCITEMENT. Which are you choosing?! πŸ’™πŸ’›

Run: 26.2 miles

I typically don’t have work meetings after 4 pm, but Wednesday I had a work meeting from 4-5 pm. So I took 100% responsibility and got creative with my schedule. I decided to do my long run in the early afternoon before the meeting. I ventured out the door at 1 pm for my 11 mile run and was back in plenty of time to change into dry clothes and get some more work done before the meeting. Good thing for my co-workers that it was a virtual meeting so that they didn’t have to smell me. 🀣 When it’s important to you, take 100% responsibility and figure out a way to make it happen.

Looks like we’ve entered the season where we incorporate lots of cross training while running outdoors because there are puddles to hurdle (or in my case fall into up to my shins at mile 2), ice patches to dodge, and muddy patches to avoid. Every step requires complete mental awareness and focus so you don’t end up soaking wet (which clearly didn’t happen), falling down, or sucked into thick mud. BUT the fresh air, sunshine, endorphins, and freedom that comes with an outdoor run were SO worth the soaked feet and extra energy expended while cross training during my 11 mile run giving my body, mind, heart, and soul the fuel it desired! πŸ’™πŸ’›

Strength Training: 15 minutes of core strength daily
3×30 minute full body workouts
30 minutes of yoga

Weekly Totals: 15 hours & 41 minutes

Attitude of Gratitude:

I’m so grateful to Nick at Vitality Massage Ames for keeping me healthy and active!
Any day I GET to swim, bike, and run in the same day is a GREAT day!
I love that our baby girl LOVES to snuggle with me!
These two got new Noxgear vests to play in the dark safely!
Active recovery is a key to success!

What were your highlights from week 8 of 2021?! Where do you give yourself the GIFT of taking 100% responsibility?!

2021 week 7: keep showing the f*%k up

Last week was the official start of my “training plan” for Ironman Arizona. I use that term loosely as I don’t have a coach and don’t have a specific “plan” that I am following. But I’ve decided that since I’m 40 weeks out, I should focus my journey a bit more on achieving the goals I have for myself at IMAZ in November. So I let my mantra dictate my week!

Quote of the week:

“Show the f*%k up!”

~ME

Swim: 8300 yards

I just love when I see 12x100s in Training Peaks (even though I put it there 🀣πŸ₯³)! Thursday when I started this swim, I felt like I was swimming through mud, but I reminded myself to show the f*%k up and stick with it. After a solid warm up, I still felt I was swimming through mud, but told myself that I just needed to show up for THIS interval…and ya know what?! By the time I got to the “fast” efforts, I was feeling like I was moving efficiently through water instead of fighting the mud, so keep showing up in THIS moment!

  • Warm up:
    • 300 swim
    • 4×50 drills
    • 200 swim
    • 100 kick
  • Main Set:
    • 4×100 easy with 20 seconds rest between
    • 4×100 moderate with 20 seconds rest between
    • 4×100 fast with 20 seconds rest between
    • 500 pull with paddles
  • Cool Down:
    • 200 any stroke
Small habits add up to big success! Showing up for yourself in this moment is a step in developing small habits that fuel big successes over time. When you show up, you get a bit more courageous, confident, stronger, resilient, and powerful every time, so decide to show the f*%k up for yourself! πŸ’™πŸ’›

Bike: 87.2 miles

Saturday I showed up for some sweat equity. My brain said, “blah, blah, blah” at the 2:15 endurance ride and tried to sabotage my success by talking my body out of succeeding, but thankfully my body was stronger! My brain would rather have intervals instead of an endurance ride when riding indoors, so I had to show the f*%k up and pull my brain back into my workout multiple times throughout this ride.

My body reminded my brain to show the f*%k up even for the less challenging workout and won the battle!

Run: 22.1 miles

I had a lot of great runs this week (with a couple of them being outdoors…yay for our *heatwave*), but the one that I had to show the f*%K up for the most was Monday’s speed work on the treadmill. It was structured as:

  • 15 minute EASY warm up
  • 4×4 minutes FAST with 4 minutes EASY between
  • Cool down EASY to 50 minutes

I have done this workout a few times since the start of 2021, so I had a baseline that I felt I should be able to hold for the FAST efforts. This baseline was 7.8 mph (7:41/mile pace) at 1.0% incline. I decided to really challenge myself and push my limits by running “my pace” for these 4 minute FAST intervals at 8.0 mph (7:30/mile pace) with the 1.0% incline. The first 2 intervals were tough, but tolerable. By the 3rd interval I was spitting out positive words (Courage, Believe, Show Up, Limitless, and Strong) whenever I could get enough of a breath to talk out loud to myself, but they were on repeat in my brain. The last interval was all guts and determination!

I have goals! So today I challenged myself to run my “fast” intervals even faster than what I thought I could and ya know what?! I successfully surpassed what I thought I could do.
.
-Was it challenging?! YES!
-Was it comfortable?! NO!
-Did it take positive self talk to keep me focused on achieving success?! YES!
-Was it worth it?! HELL YES!
.
We are all capable of SO much more than we think. Have the COURAGE to SHOW UP and BELIEVE you are STRONG + LIMITLESS! This is where the magic happens! πŸ’™πŸ’›

Snowshoe: 4.89 miles

It finally warmed up enough (kind of…is +3*F windchill warm enough?!?!) to venture outside and snowshoe for a bit on Wednesday! It was fun to get to see one of my Coeur Sports Collective Beat teammates and play in the snow together! Our adventures were short, but it was good to catch up in a COVID safe way! We had a few more snowshoe adventures later in the week after it warmed up even more and felt like a *heatwave* when it was in the 20s.

After being cooped up for a week because of the bitterly cold temps, I’m grateful it finally warmed up enough to get some fresh air (some even with friends) today! β„οΈπŸ’™πŸ’›

Strength Training: 15 minutes of core strength daily
3×30 minute full body workouts
2×30 minutes of yoga

Weekly Totals: 17 hours & 2 minutes

Attitude of Gratitude:

I got my 2021 Coeur Sports Alumni team gear! I am SUPER excited to continue to represent Coeur Sports and be a part of the inaugural Alumni team as we continue to strive to encourage, empower, support, and inspire women in sport!
When the windchill is -38*F, reading a good book while sitting in the Normatec Recovery boots is a win!
So grateful I GOT to run outside…even if the windchill temp was only 3*F! Fresh, crisp air is good for the soul!
Someone wanted all the snuggles under the warm blanket with me after snowshoeing adventures! β„οΈπŸ’™πŸ’›
It’s all about the attitude! Today I had an #attitudeofgratitude for the *heatwave*, fresh air, sunshine, playtime, and sMILES together! πŸ’™πŸ’›
Short sunset snowshoe with the fam! β„οΈπŸ’™
Epsom salt + lavender bubble bath = good recovery after a big workout!
We HAD to get out and play in the snow covered woods today. It was such a GORGEOUS winter’s day! Fresh air + sunshine + family + play + snow = #happyheart β„οΈπŸ’™πŸ’›
I love my little snuggle bug!
I am stoked to continue to represent Coeur Sports in 2021 by being part of the inaugural Alumni team! Need some questions answered?! I’m your girl! Need some cheers or encouragement?! I’m your girl! Need some support?! I’m your girl! Need some motivation or inspiration?! I’m your girl! Need some race day high fives or hugs?! I’m your girl! 🀞🏻🀞🏻🀞🏻 Let’s empower and lift each other!

What were your highlights from week 7 of 2021?! What mantra(s) do you turn to?!

2021 week 6: brain freeze

It’s a good thing that last week was a recovery week because it was SO FREAKING COLD that it was easy to get brain freeze most days simply by stepping foot outside! It was just the step back week I needed before training officially kicked off for Ironman Arizona today. Wednesday was the warmest day of the week with a high temperature of 9*F (-3*F windchill)…which felt balmy. Sunday was our coldest day of the week with a high temperature of -7*F (-32 *F windchill). Sadly this meant we weren’t outside much last week. We have a few more days of bitterly cold temps this week before it warms back up to the 20s for the weekend.

Quote of the week:

“Baby it’s cold outside!”

~Unknown

Swim: 1500 yards

Friday was our weekly happy hour/roll the dice swim. We take a couple of dice with us to the pool deck and after a bit of a warm up, we each roll a dice. One dice tells us the number of lengths of the pool (you could change this to 50s or 100s if you wanted) and the second dice tells us how many reps of that we are to do. Then we talk briefly how we want to pace that particular set. It is a fun way to wrap up the work week and get some yardage in without a structured workout!

Gambling with the likelihood that we will have frozen hair when we walk outside post swim due to the -25*F windchill temps.

Bike: 0 miles

I opted for a bit of a break from cycling this week as I want to be nice and rested for the start of my training plan for Ironman Arizona.

Run: 13.5 miles

BRRRRR!! Wednesday was our warmest day of the week (actually the warmest day in just over a 2 week stretch), so I put on ALL THE LAYERS to run outside and IT WAS AWESOME!! I’m so glad I got to run outside in the fresh air…even if it was frigid air…it was invigorating!

It’s a good thing I decided to run 9 miles for the actual temperature (9*F) instead of the feel like/windchill temperature (-3*F) because I’m not sure I could run backwards for 3 miles. 🀣🀣🀣

Strength Training: 15 minutes of core strength daily
30 minute full body workout
30 minutes of yoga

Weekly Totals: 5 hours & 11 minutes

Attitude of Gratitude:

These two snuggle bugs make my heart happy!
Snuggles with our baby girl on frigid days are the best!
“Ready to go outside and help mom and dad shovel snow in -25*F windchill temps! Good thing we weren’t out there very long.” ~Jersey
We made LOTS of homemade soup to put in the freezer!
Mmmmm!! Sushi!!

Hopefully you have warmer temperatures than we’ve had/we are having!! What were your highlights from week 6 of 2021?!

2021 week 5: show the f*%k up

Last week I chose to show the f*%k up and do everything in my power to not only be physically present, but also mentally and emotionally present with every single stroke/pedal/step inching me closer toward my goals. If you want to achieve new levels of performance, you have to show up, you have to embrace the discomfort, you have to do the work, and you have to keep the focus on the intention in that moment. This doesn’t necessarily mean working harder, but rather working smarter. If the efforts are to be easy, then really focus on making sure you aren’t being overzealous and working too hard so that when you have those hard efforts, you can give it your all! Often times those easy efforts can be just as uncomfortable as the hard efforts!

Quote of the week:

“You can’t improve if you don’t show up.”

~Unknown

Swim: 9900 yards

During Thursday morning’s swim my easy efforts were almost 20 seconds per 100 yards slower than my hard efforts. Keeping the easy efforts easy allowed me to go hard on the hard efforts. So what did the workout look like?!

  • Warm up:
    • 400 swim
    • 300 drills
    • 100 kick
  • Main set:
    • 5×100 FAST + NEGATIVE SPLIT (faster time and harder effort with each one) (30 seconds rest between each)
    • 200 swim
    • 200 pull
    • 200 swim
    • 4×50 FAST on the 1:00
    • 200 pull
  • Cool Down:
    • 200 any stroke
Show the f*%k up and really challenge yourself. Give yourself the gift of learning what you are made of, turning self doubt into self confidence, creating magic by sitting in the discomfort, and achieving more than you ever dreamed possible! πŸ’™πŸ’›

Bike: 99.1 miles

Let’s go! Saturday’s bike workout was a good challenge! 20 minutes in Z1, 20 minutes in Z2, 20 minutes in Z3 and repeat for a total of 2 hours. I am most comfortable mashing my pedals, but have been forcing myself to sit in discomfort as I work to increase my cadence. It isn’t easy…especially while pushing higher watts, but I’m going to continue to sit in the discomfort so that eventually it becomes more comfortable. 🀞🏻

Dream big so you can grow into the best version of yourself. Ignore the people saying your dream is too grandiose, that you can’t accomplish it, that it is unrealistic, or that your dream should be xyz. Don’t listen to them! They don’t know YOU! Dreaming outside your comfort zone requires you to consider all the possibilities and to choose courage over comfort. I choose to dream BIG! I choose to acknowledge my fears and move through them! I choose courage over comfort! I choose to chase my dreams with intention! I choose to grow into my best self! You can too! πŸ’™πŸ’›

Run: 20.7 miles

Wednesday I had an AMAZING run after work on roads I haven’t run on in a LONG time! My run called for 2 easy miles followed by 4 progressive miles and one mile cool down. The route I chose had me doubting the progressive miles as it was VERY HILLY, but I was determined to show the f*%k up and give my best. The 1st progressive mile set a great pace for what was to follow. The 2nd progressive mile was 1 second slower than the first progressive mile, but it had a MONSTER hill that was about 0.5 mile long, so my HR was WAY higher and my effort was WAY harder than that first mile. The 3rd and 4th progressive miles were on point! By deciding to show the f*%k up and give my best, I was able to squash that doubt and replace it with CONFIDENCE and BELIEVE that I am super strong!

Choose your own adventure!
.
When you have the choice to run a flat route or a hilly route, what do you choose? I often find myself choosing the challenge of the hills. Challenges make us stronger; they give us some of the best stories and fondest memories of what we are made of, what we can overcome, and dreams we can achieve. Challenges are our best teachers; they allow us to grow and conquer the impossible.
.
So the next time you get to choose your own adventure, choose the challenge! Give yourself the gift of learning what you’re made of, overcoming more than you thought was in you, conquering the impossible, and achieving more than you ever dreamed! πŸ’™πŸ’›

Strength Training: 15 minutes of core strength daily
2×30 + 1×45 minute full body workouts
2×30 minutes of yoga

Weekly Totals: 15 hours & 56 minutes

Attitude of Gratitude:

My body SO needed this! Thanks to Nick at Vitality Massage Ames for keeping me healthy and active!
Pictures don’t do justice to the winter wonderland outside. Glistening trees are so beautiful!
I got to swim, bike, and run all in the same day! πŸ’™πŸ’›
The sky was on fire as the sun was setting!
“Wake me up when it’s warm enough to play outside again.” ~Jersey
Recovery is on point thanks to my Normatec Recovery boots!

What were your highlights from week 5 of 2021?! How do you show up in all areas of your life?!

2021 week 4: fuel the soul

Last week we got 9+ inches of fresh powder on Monday night/Tuesday morning and IT. WAS. AWESOME! I empowered myself to do what fuels my soul instead of starving myself. I opted for fresh air, fresh powder, blazing new trails, sunsets, joy, outdoor adventures, and family time to fuel my soul nearly every day last week. πŸ’™β„οΈ Sadly the fresh powder was destroyed by freezing rain on Saturday night, so our snow therapy has come to a screeching halt for a while.

These two have snow much fun playing in the fluffy powder! πŸ’™β„οΈπŸΆ

Quote of the week:

“There’s just something beautiful about walking on snow that nobody else has walked on.”

~Carol Rifka Brunt

Swim: 0 yards

We woke up Tuesday for swimming, but our street was completely drifted over nearly waist deep, so there was no way we were getting to the pool to swim. Thursday’s and Friday’s swims…well, playing in the snow took priority over diving into the pool. Sunday we were notified that that the pool was closed due to low chlorine levels, so I guess I’ll have to look forward to all the chlorine therapy this week!

Bike: 0 miles

I wasn’t on my bike at all last week because well…the fresh powder was calling me and sometimes you just have to listen to the call.

Run: 5.7 miles

Monday’s treadmill run incorporated some speed work. I haven’t gotten to the track to do an actual 5K time trial to see where my current threshold is, so I guessed on where I thought it might be and used that to determine where my pace should be for this run.

  • 15 minute warm up in Z1/Z2
  • 4×4 minutes Z4 with 4 min Z1/2 recovery
  • Cool down to 50 minutes

I decided to shoot for 7.5 mph (which is 7:59/mile at 1.0 incline) for the Z4 intervals. The first interval felt easy (hello Mama Bear pace), but I knew I had three more to go, so I didn’t want to be overzealous and push too hard too soon (hello Papa Bear pace). I wanted to push these intervals at a pace that was just right (hello Baby Bear pace) leaving me feeling like I had barely held on during the last interval. While the last interval was more challenging than the first, I still felt strong. I felt that I could have run more repeats or run these intervals at a faster pace, so I guess I ran the Mama Bear pace after all. Next time I am going to attempt 7.7 mph (7:47/mile pace at 1.0 incline) or 7.8 mph. (7:41/mile pace at 1.0 incline) if I don’t get to the track to do a 5K time trial first to know where my threshold actually is!

I can choose to dream in my sleep or work to turn my dreams into a reality.

Snowshoe: 13.1 miles

We went snowshoeing Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday, and Friday afternoons/evenings. Oh…and we went out Saturday morning before the rain/freezing rain/ice mix rolled into our area. Our entire family LOVES us some good snow therapy! πŸ’™β„οΈ

Snow what?! Our family LOVES snow therapy! πŸ’™β„οΈ

Strength Training: 15 minutes of core strength daily
30 minute full body workouts

Weekly Totals: 9 hours & 15 minutes

Attitude of Gratitude:

Excited to toe the line in October! 🀞🏻
It’s snow joke! We HAD to go play in the 9 inches of fresh powder! πŸ’™β„οΈ
Snowshoeing at sunset fuels my soul! πŸ’™β„οΈ
Chasing these two trail blazers makes my heart dance! πŸ’™β„οΈπŸΆ
How can one not love this?! #happyheart πŸ’™β„οΈ
Do you want to snow a secret?! These two are snow angels, but they win best in snow because they have a real winter’s attitude, are all bark and snow bite, and will melt your heart because they are snow lovable!! πŸ’™β„οΈπŸΆ
There’s snow doubt that today we had snow much fun playing in the powder and fresh air! We are snow grateful to have friends join us on our adventure! πŸ’™β„οΈπŸΆ
You snow the drill! 5th day in a row adventuring with the family in the fluffy white powder! πŸ’™β„οΈπŸΆ
Our version of The Beatles cover photo of Abbey Road.

What were your highlights from week 4 of 2021?! How do you fuel your soul?!

2021 week 3: consistency

WOW! After the inauguration on Wednesday, I felt a huge sense of relief as it feels like 2021 has finally started. As I mentioned in my week 2 post, I had a huge bike block in December, so my swimming, running, strength training, and yoga took a major backseat at the end of 2020. It’s not that I ignored them completely, but they definitely weren’t a priority as my training was very bike focused in December. After doing minimal training for the first couple weeks of January, last week was about re-establishing balance, routine, and consistency in my training…and it feels AWESOME! After all, CONSISTENCY is key to success!

Quote of the week:

“You are what you do consistently, not what you do occasionally.”

~Robbie Bruce

Swim: 9200 yards

The swim of the week was Thursday’s 2800 yard swim with the focus being best effort for quite a bit of it. Crazy 8s is a workout that I love to hate…

  • Warm up of 800 yards = 100 swim, 100 kick (with fins), 100 pull (with paddles), 200 swim, 100 kick (with fins), 100 pull (with paddles), 100 swim
  • Main Set:
    • 8×150 descending pace (increasing effort) with 20 seconds rest between…each 150 interval should be slightly faster than the last one finishing with the last 150 at max effort
    • 1 minute rest break
    • 8×50 on the 1:00…each of these 50s should be at max effort. (If you swim 45 seconds, then you have a 15 second rest. If you swim 50 seconds, then you have a 10 second rest.)
    • 1 minute rest break
    • 8×25 sprints with 10 seconds rest between…each of these 25s should be at max effort
    • Cool down = 200 yards
  • Cool down = 200 yards

Focusing on my form and concentrating on LIMITLESS during those hard intervals kept me giving my absolute best effort that I had in the moment.

You can choose to be a shark or a guppy. Today was shark day!

Bike: 106 miles

Despite having lost a bit of bike fitness from the summer, I am focusing on INTEGRITY in my training. I am training where I am and being grateful for the little wins every single day. If you know me, I’m not a fan of staying in the comfort zone for long, so I have begun working toward one of my goals which is to increase my FTP in the coming months. Thursday I was rocking my 1 hour & 10 minute workout with 3×10 minutes in high Z3/low Z4, so I felt it only right to host my own little dance party off the bike. Using Zwift, I set this workout up so that each 10 minute interval was a bit more challenging than the last.

  • 10 minute warm up
  • 5x (1 minute at 75% FTP/Z2 and 1 minute at 50% FTP/Z1)
  • 3 minutes at 50% FTP/Z1
  • 10 minutes at 80% FTP/Z3
  • 3 minutes at 50% FTP/Z1
  • 10 minutes at 85% FTP/Z3
  • 3 minutes at 50% FTP/Z1
  • 10 minutes at 90% FTP/Z4
  • 11 minutes cool down
Dance party! When you have a great ride, you should celebrate with a little happy dance off the bike!

Run: 21.1 miles

I have a goal to add more running into my training in 2021 to increase my run durability. This will help build strength in my legs and condition them to better handle a stronger and faster finish on race day. Of the 5 runs I completed last week, only 2 of them had any kind of intensity to them and 3 of them where 35 minutes or less. The key to run durability is frequent, shorter, easy runs. I am grateful for the treadmill to keep me honest on these runs as sometimes it is really hard for me to keep my easy runs easy…especially when running outside. Wednesday was my long (1 hour + 5 minutes) progression run. After a 5 minute warm up, the main set was to get faster by 10-20 seconds every 5 minutes and then end with a 5 minute cool down. This run really helped build my CONFIDENCE and helped me BELIEVE that I can get some speed back in my legs. I increased my speed by 1.5 mph over the course of the main set.

“Faith is taking the first step even when you don’t see the whole staircase.” ~Martin Luther King, Jr

Strength Training: 15 minutes of core strength daily
3×30 minute full body workouts
2×30 minutes of yoga

Weekly Totals: 16 hours & 57 minutes

Attitude of Gratitude:

Jersey doesn’t like Mondays
Combatting Blue Monday with fresh air, sunshine, snowshoes, exercise, friends, and dogs.
Thank you to my Coeur Sports teammate, Ruth, for my BELIEVE Fellow Flower!
I got to swim, bike, and run all in the same day! INTEGRITY…training with where I’m at not where I think I should be.
Snuggles with our baby girl! #happyheart
Today we celebrate the opportunity for change, hope, and healing. Seeing a Woman of Color sworn in as Vice President of the United States of America brought so many happy tears to my eyes.
These beautiful sunrises never get old!

What were your highlights from week 3 of 2021?!

2021 week 2: off season of sorts

I had a huge bike block in December, so I didn’t really take much of an “off season” at the end of 2020 like I have in years past. For this reason (and that my big A race isn’t until November), I have tried SO hard to give myself an off season of sorts the past couple of weeks. My mind REALLY wants to be training because I am SO excited to have races to train for…races that feel like they will actually happen in real life in 2021. I also thrive off of routines and consistency (which to some might be considered a fault). Last week had a lot of down time, but that will change starting today as I’m a mover and a doer…oh, and did I mention that my mind is REALLY craving workouts, routine, and consistency?!

Quote of the week:

“There is nothing in nature that blooms all year long, so don’t expect yourself to do so either.”

~Anonymous

Swim: 3000 yards

Tuesday I had a 3000 yard swim workout with the focus being to practice my swim pace. This is a workout that I LOVE as I don’t have to hit specific numbers, but rather swim on effort. It is such good practice for practicing swim pace changes that might be needed during a race if you are trying to draft off someone to minimize your energy output, pass someone, or cruise at your race pace.

  • Warm up: 300 swim with fins
  • Main set: 10×125 (50 easy, 25 FAST/HARD, 50 moderate effort) with 20 seconds rest between
    • 100 pull (no paddles)
    • 10×125 (50 easy, 25 FAST/HARD, 50 moderate effort) with 20 seconds rest between
  • Cool down: 100 any stroke
The strongest fins conquer the roughest waters…building strong fins one stroke at a time!

Bike: 0 miles

Zero. Zilch. Nope. Nada.

Run: 0 miles

Zero. Zilch. Nope. Nada.

Strength Training: 15 minutes of core strength daily

Weekly Totals: 2 hours & 39 minutes

Attitude of Gratitude:

Jersey ABSOLUTELY ADORES our neighbor!
My body SO needed this! Thanks to Nick at Vitality Massage Ames for keeping me healthy and active!
I love these two kids! They are SO SWEET!
Wednesday was a BEAUTIFUL winter day (hello 45*F, sunny, and very little wind), so we took advantage of the weather for a 3+ mile walk!
Finished White Fragility…Something all white people should read. #alwayslearning
I also finished Stamped last week…absolutely LOVED this book! A very quick read with a look at what was left out of our history books in school. #alwayslearning
I made my vision board for 2021 and hung it by my bike.

What were your highlights from week 2 of 2021?!

2021 week 1: focus on the positive

This wasn’t the start of the new year that many of us had hoped for, but it was the start that we were given. We can choose to focus on the negative or choose to focus on the positive. I chose to make the most of what I was given last week and focus on the POSITIVES.

Quote of the week:

“Bringing integrity back to training and racing means you have to stop worrying about where you SHOULD be and OWN WHERE YOU ARE.”

~Lauren Fleshman

Swim: 2600 yards

I had a swim test on Tuesday to determine where I am currently with my swim speed. LIMITLESS guided me throughout this test and helped me give everything I had to do my absolute best! My CSS (critical swim speed) has dropped just a bit since peaking for IMLP in 2019, but considering I haven’t swam as much in 2020 (thanks to closed pools + no racing) and I haven’t been training for anything other than life + fun, I am super happy with where my current swim speed is! I have a few more weeks before more focused and dedicated training will start for my 2021 races, so for now I will keep swimming for life + fun.

Bike: 22.7 miles

On December 31, 2020 I did an FTP test on the bike and while I lost some bike fitness, I FINALLY feel strong on the bike again! During my bike workout on Tuesday (which I forgot to take a picture of), I was FINALLY able to nail all of my intervals because I am training at my current fitness level instead of where I think I SHOULD be (aka…where I was before). OWNING WHERE I AM gave me a HUGE boost of CONFIDENCE on the bike again. Now it’s time to put in the hard work to RISE up and get those watts back that I lost. πŸ˜‰

Run: 13.5 miles

I had a few good runs last week, but the highlight was my speed work on the treadmill that went so much better than I expected this week! That means next time I GET to work harder and increase my pace a bit. It is time to FLY! πŸ˜‰

Strength Training: 15 minutes of core strength daily + a 30 minute full body workout

Weekly Totals: 5 hours & 58 minutes

Attitude of Gratitude:

I GOT to swim + bike + run all in the same day! πŸ™‚
Focus words for 2021!
Continuously learning and growing
Snuggles with my baby girl!
Organizing our workout room!

What were your positive highlights from the first week of 2021?!

2021 focus

In years past, I have picked a word or phrase to guide me through the year…but this year is different. I was struggling to pick only one word/phrase because there are multiple words speaking to me right now.

I will RISE from the ashes of despair like a phoenix and SOAR!

I will spread my wings and FLY!

I will continue to DREAM big!

I will get my CONFIDENCE back and BELIEVE in myself to the depths of my soul!

I will rebuild CONSISTENCY!

I will bring INTEGRITY back into my training and racing as I own where I am at instead of worrying about where I think I should be.

I will be FREE and LIMITLESS in all aspects of my life!

Why do I have to limit myself to just one word/phrase (hello LIMITLESS…remember me?!)?????? Oh yeah…I don’t! SO I am going to be LIMITLESS as I let multiple words keep me focused in 2021!

my 2020 year in review via photos

January:

2 sliver medals for our household at the Incydeman Triathlon!

Running away from the judgement and toward living my best life!

Kicking out the previous 198 watt FTP to make room for the new 214 watt FTP.

February:

Finishing 1st in F40-49 and 4th overall female at the Rosy Cheeks 5K.

Lunch, girl talk, and hugs with my Coeur Sports teammates, Jess and Courtney!

The twins had a swim meet! Love seeing these two!

March:

Running in a new town…exploring new places and SHORTS!!

Coeur team gear arrived! For me, 2020 is about courage, confidence, and celebration! Bring it! ***Little did I know what 2020 had in store for us all…

Celebrating my birthday a bit early with one of my favorite food groups…sushi!

So grateful for all of the strong AF, badass women in my life. The ones who lift each other up, support each other in life and sport, encourage each other to live their best life, inspire each other to dream big, and stand beside you through it all! I’m so grateful I got to share some miles with one of those strong AF, badass women today!

Getting to travel with this beautiful lady! #safety first

Grateful for these AMAZING ladies who sang happy birthday to me mid swim in the rain. It really filled my heart!

Having fun running laps in SoCal!

These two beauties are AMAZING!! I’m so grateful for everything Kebby (the founder of Coeur Sports) has done for women in sport (myself included). And Lisa…You my dear are beautiful soul inside and out! Thanks for the laughs (and photo bombing)!!

After work, we adopted our new baby girl…meet Jersey! She is 1 year old and holds keys to all of our hearts.

1.25 recovery miles with Jersey

It warms my heart to watch the dogs play ball!

Grateful I don’t have to social distance from my favorite girl and for the 12 miles of time together!

Do what makes you happy and be kind to others! We are all struggling right now. A happy heart and kindness go a LONG way.

April:

Play time! That slobber says it all…PURE JOY!!

Enjoying sunshine, fresh air, and family time!

“Hey mom, what is that thing?” ~Jersey

Jersey made sure to find a space to snuggle while I was getting my recovery on with my Normatec recovery boots.

We may not be able to connect in person, but we are finding ways to connect virtually. I’m so grateful to have landed beside this STAR when I was shooting for the moon! She shines SO bright and makes my heart happy!

Playing LOTS of cards with my fave as we isolate.

Race day hugs are on hold right now. Until we can hug in person, virtual race day hugs will have to do!

I got to ride outside!! It rained on us a little bit, but I SERIOUSLY LOVED EVERY MINUTE OF IT!!

Did a virtual race since racing isn’t happening right now. I miss racing in real life.

Yay for more outdoor riding with my fave!

May:

Did a virtual 1/2 marathon…since they sent me the medal, I felt I had to run the distance.

As a white female, I do not fear for my safety while running. I have ran many miles at o’dark thirty in the morning. I have ran countless miles by myself. I don’t run with music and am always very aware of my surroundings, but I do not run in fear. Sadly, there are many people who do run in fear for their safety. They face their fear as they head out the door to run because running is something that brings them joy.
.
Today we #runwithmaud because we are honoring a man we don’t know. Because hatred should not exist in our world. Because no one should ever be brutally murdered while out running and doing what brings them joy. Because he was a different skin color. Because racial injustice breaks my heart and angers me to the depths of my soul. Because it should not take an outrage on the internet to get action and justice. Because now more than ever we need to come together as HUMAN BEINGS, love each other, and spread kindness!

Playing ball at the cross country course!

Full and grateful heart!
.
I GOT TO run 5 miles with my girls just after sunrise!

Full and grateful heart!
.
I GOT TO spontaneously ride 55 miles with my fav after running today!

After 10 weeks away from the water, it is safe to say I missed it tremendously! The calm, quiet, meditative state the water provides is exactly what my soul needed! I was SO grateful to have the whole pool to just the two of us this morning.

3 keys to my heart!

Today was a near perfect day in Iowa on two wheels…blue skies, sunshine, little wind, open roads, wind turbine farms for miles, fresh air, 85 miles of bike love with my fav…life doesn’t get much better than this!

“Life is a journey. Enjoy the ride.” 60+ more miles with my fav on two wheels and the open roads really filled my soul today.

June:

What a perfect day for 100 miles on 2 wheels! Bluebird skies, gorgeous green foliage, golden glow, and no wind on the open roads/trails…doesn’t get much better than this! #1stcenturyof2020

I love the water! Today’s adventures on the water were the perfect recovery for my body, mind, and soul!

See these smiles?! This is what happens when you ride with friends on the open roads on two wheels! #happyheart + pure joy!

July:

#smilesformiles with some AMAZING peeps today! Love life on two wheels even more when others join the fun!
#2ndcenturyof2020

Oh what a beautiful morning! Oh what a beautiful day!
“How far do you want to ride today?!”
“I don’t know. Let’s see how we feel.”
85 miles later I think it’s safe to say we felt really good!

Lost. I feel SO LOST right now. 2020 has forced me to slow down, step back, look at the big picture, and appreciate all that I had. And ya know what?! I don’t like it! I don’t like it one bit! It has left me feeling SO LOST!
.
I f*cking miss racing. I miss IN REAL LIFE RACING. I miss the motivation it provides me to push myself way out of my comfort zone. I miss the long days of swim/bike/run training to prepare for the big dance. I miss traveling to new places. I miss the race morning butterflies. I miss the hugs and high fives. I miss the race week and race day excitement. I miss meeting new people. I miss the spectators. I miss pushing and challenging myself in training so I can do and be my best on race day. I miss the volunteers. I miss the drive and focus. I miss overcoming obstacles. I miss problem solving on the fly. I miss Mother Nature throwing us race day curve balls. I miss the competition. I miss the race day exhilaration. I miss those finish lines. I miss the HUGE sense of accomplishment. I miss overcoming the impossible. I even miss the blisters and chafing…ok, maybe not.
.
Sure I get some of these things on occasion while training right now, but NOT like I do when training for a race and on race day. Solo training and virtual racing just don’t fill my cup. I miss IN REAL LIFEE RACING!
.
I’m ready for the 2020 dumpster fire to burn out. I’m ready for this lost feeling to make its exit. I’m ready to move forward into 2021 better, smarter, and more ready than ever to race safe, happy, and full of passion. This 2020 break from racing has lit the fire in my soul so big and bright for what is to come in future races! I want it! I can feel it!

A run can change your mood, your day, your life, so the next time you have the opportunity, lace up and head out the door. You won’t regret it!

“Happiness can be found even in the darkest of times, if one only remembers to turn on the light.” ~J.K. Rowling
.
I’m so grateful for this amazing light! She has helped make the 2020 darkness so much brighter!

Sometimes you have to let go of all expectations and just play in the rain and splash in the puddles.

August:

Rolling into August with a #happyheart + 100 miles of fun on two wheels with my fav! #3rdcenturyof2020

That family portrait…fun with friends on two wheels!

A weekend with friends on two wheels enjoying life outdoors in Madison was exactly what my heart and soul needed!

Today’s ride had a few detours and route adjustments due to Monday’s Derecho storm, which allowed for opportunities to climb hay bales and play!

Today should have been Ironman #8 at IMMT. We rode 112 miles because…why the hell not?! The scenery in central Iowa looks nothing like Mont Tremblant, but any day on two wheels with my fav is a great day! Hopefully next year we’ll get to head back to MT for beautiful scenery and an epic day of racing! #4thcenturyof2020

Fun Friday fooleries at the poolery! Adding play is SO important and often overlooked. Don’t forget to play and play often!

Morning miles with my girls was glorious!

#sundayfunday was had helping my Collective Beat teammate, Courtney, build confidence on the bike.

#sundayfunday included Jersey taking her maiden voyage on the SUP (we will work on standing when she doesn’t move around on the board so much)!

A tired pup is a good pup!

September:

My heart is full!

Happy 8th birthday Basil!

Grateful for:
-Jersey running 7 miles with me
-cooler temperatures
-longest run in a LONG time
-endurance miles
-smiling the whole way
-SO MUCH JOY

#fridayhappyhourswim is the best way to end the week!

What SUP?! Being on the water makes me happy!!

Truth bomb and lots of vulnerability coming at ya!
.
As a child I was sexually abused by our babysitter and have ridden the mental health roller coaster for decades. With the cancellation of all good things in 2020, I have spent more time in the valleys of the mental health roller coaster than up on the peaks. For the last couple of decades, racing has provided me with structure to help me cope with the mental demons. I really miss racing and the structure it provides me.
.
I tell you this because September 6 kicked off National Suicide Prevention Week. There is not enough emphasis and support placed on mental health. It’s time to change that! So today I put on a bright Coeur Sports kit, laced up my Newton Kismets, and ran 9.88 miles to raise awareness for mental health.
.
In the event of a physical emergency, people know to call 911. Starting in 2022, people can dial 988 in the event of a mental and emotional emergency.988 will automatically connect people to the Suicide Prevention hotline.

100 miles on two wheels with my favorite super hero as the colors start to indicate that fall is well on its way = perfect way to enjoy a day off work. #5thcenturyof2020

I got paid to ride my bike today! I found this $2 bill on my ride. And while it looks like fall has arrived with the changing colors and fields getting harvested, I was grateful for the summer temps!

Do what makes you happy and brings you joy! For me this includes LOTS of time in the saddle. This has been my biggest bike year ever! Cycling puts my mind at ease during discomfort and uncertainty, it provides me with freedom from the chains of my past, and it untames my soul. I’m so happy to be riding through life and today’s 100 miles with my fav by my side! 6thcenturyof2020

Today we spread our wings and flew! The struggle (strong headwind) was definitely worth the reward (20 mph tailwinds pushing us home)! Grateful for 55 miles of freedom on two wheels with my fav!

October:

Running into fall!

It’s #medalmonday! SO grateful to have these two help me run the Drake 1/2 Marathon on Saturday. They definitely earned this medal!

Any day I GET TO ride 100 miles with my fav is a FANTABULOUS day! #7thcenturyof2020

You can find magic wherever you like. All you need is an open road, fresh air, and a bike. Cycling provides me so much freedom and clarity. Riding outdoors this time of year can be such a rarity. So I’m taking advantage of every last beautiful day…To get outside and be on my way!

Just going to LEAF you with photos from our century ride today. #8thcenturyof2020

“Fall reminds us that change is inevitable and necessary for growth. There is beauty in change.” ~Rita Messing

The temps felt like summer, but the colors definitely say fall is here!

November:

Family photos! Love these 3 to pieces! Photo credit: Captured by Heidi

The keys to my heart are all in this pic! Photo credit: Captured by Heidi

Looking forward to 2021 with my Coeur family in a new and special way!

I’m SO glad these two love each other!

This run was full of goodness!
-62*F
-sunshine
-no wind
-bliss
-smiles
-shorts + tank in November
-freedom
-joy
Get out there and enjoy the goodness!

Inhale…exhale…
Run off the crazy…
Trust the process…
Do you…

Jersey is SO good at yoga!

Play! Today we played outside! Today we played in the sunshine! Today we played for 70+ miles of #bikelove with no wind! Today was all play!

Today I am SO GRATEFUL that I GOT TO race for the first time since February. While I was very undertrained for this event, it was my first 1/2 marathon EVER that I ran the ENTIRE thing without taking one walking step. I kept reminding myself that #IGETTO do this and I have no idea when I’ll get to race again, so I was going to push myself even when it became uncomfortable.
.
Thank you to the race directors for putting on a SAFE race.
-each athlete had to fill out a Covid survey online 24 hours before racing
-masks were required before and after (I wore mine for the first 4 miles and every time I went through an aid station or if I was by others while running)
-athletes were spread 6 feet apart in the starting “corral” that extended for an eternity
-2 athletes started every 5 seconds to spread athletes out for social distancing
-there was no medal distribution at the finish line (finisher medals were placed in a brown paper bag with a banana, cookie, and granola bar that athletes picked up off of a table)
-spectators were not allowed to congregate at the start/finish area
-I carried my own water for this race so I didn’t have to interact with volunteers at the aid stations
.
Bonus safety measure…Mother Nature provided us with 20+ mph winds so there was very little risk of droplets from others.

On #muralmonday (November 9) I got to run in shorts + tank top in Iowa. I’m sure snow will be here before we know it, but for now I’m holding on to this weather for as long as I can!

Running with a grateful heart today! It’s so much easier to run when I focus on gratitude…it feels effortless, I go faster, I smile more, my heart is happy!

Our playground is open! Our playground is open! We love when the golf course closes so we can play all winter!

Progressive miles + lots of heart on this #muralmonday run.
.
Progressive miles…do you love them or hate them?! Sometimes I find myself starting out faster than I thought and end up having to push SO hard in that last mile. I’m sure the grimace on my face is UGLY during that last mile! BUT the smile on my face when I’m done knowing I left it all out there and gave my best effort is HUGE!

Snuggles with Jersey while recovering in my Normatec boots is the best! She LOVES the “pillows” that my recovery boots create for her!

The fire in the sky during morning sunrises have been STUNNING lately!

Here’s another gorgeous sunrise!

“When you’re doing what you love to do, you don’t get exhausted. You get exhausted from trying to fulfill everyone else’s ideas and ideals about who you should be. When you do that, you’re not being true to yourself.” ~Oprah
.
Do what you love and be true to yourself!

#sundayrunday with 2 of my favorite girls enjoying the sunshine, fresh air, and open playground!

This is me rising up like a phoenix, stepping out of the shadows and soaring into the light…into my greatness! Vulnerability IS strength!

Awww…these two snuggle bugs have two keys to my heart!

Happy Thanksgiving! We took our family turkey trot through campus today with two of our favorite turkeys!
.
Why should you never put the turkey next to the dessert?
.
Because he will gobble it right up!

Me: (serenading Tim to Brynn Elliott’s song) “Well if you don’t like girls that are stronger than you
And if you don’t like girls who are faster than you
And if you don’t like girls who are smarter than you
Well then you might not like me, you might not like me”
Tim: You’re loca en la cabeza! Keep practicing and you might get better at singing.
.
Disclaimer…holding a tune is NOT one of my strengths!

Anytime I get double snuggles with two of my favorite girls, I’ll take it! Love these two to pieces!

“‘Run to win’ isn’t about finishing first, but about getting the best out of yourself.” ~Meb Keflezighi
.
Always show up so you can get the best out of yourself! On this bonus vacation day, we braved the cold temps to enjoy the sunshine, fresh air + family time and get the best out of ourselves!

December:

I’m hoping that by November of 2021 we will be in a place where racing is happening again! SOOOO…I signed up to play in the desert!

It is National Believe Week. I believe!
-I believe Black Lives Matter.
-I believe one person CAN make a difference.
-I believe we CAN create change.
-I believe the time is NOW!
-I believe we need to keep educating ourselves.
-I believe we need to keep stepping out of our comfort zones.
-I believe we need to keep showing up for others.
-I believe kindness always wins.
.
Do you believe?

This morning’s ride was tough! I missed hitting targets on some intervals, but nailed an interval (on shredded legs) that I missed on Saturday’s ride. Moral of the story…keep showing up! You never know when the breakthrough will come!

Sunshine, fresh air, and endorphins are good for the body, mind, and soul!! Go outside and get you some of your own today!!

“Oh what a beautiful morning…Oh what a beautiful day…”

Today’s choice…let the water wash over me as I continue to strive to get the best out of myself.
.
Choices…we all make them everyday. You may not agree with my choices, but you aren’t walking in my shoes. You don’t know all of the pros and cons that are weighed before making the choices and decisions I do. Just because you don’t agree with my choices doesn’t give you the right to shame me, belittle me, guilt me, or say/do hurtful things to try to make me feel small. Kindness, love, encouragement, compassion, empowerment…these all need to be spread like wildfire to support people living BIG!

When I get an opportunity to run commute home from work on a nice winter day, I take it!

Productive Failure…I’d rather try my best and fail, than not try at all. So what if I fall short of my expectations as long as I’ve given my all. This is failing productively. This is where we learn. This is how we get stronger. This is where we grow. This is where we move from the uncomfortable a little closer to the comfortable. This is where the magic happens! Keep failing, but fail productively!

What month is it?! December in Iowa and we’re in shorts + tanks today. Say what?! Don’t worry…snow is supposed to be on the way this weekend!
.
Today’s weather had me dreaming about the future. Dream big so you can grown into the best version of yourself. Ignore the people saying your dream is too grandiose, that you can’t accomplish it, that it is unrealistic, or that your dream should be xyz. Don’t listen to them! They don’t know YOU! Dreaming outside your comfort zone requires you to consider all the possibilities and to choose courage over comfort. I choose to dream BIG! I choose to acknowledge my fears and move through them! I choose courage over comfort! I choose to chase my dreams with intention! I choose to grow into my best self! You can too!

How lucky am I?! I got to run outside in December in Iowa in shorts + tank top two days in a row! I have a feeling tomorrow’s view is going to look VERY different.

Walking (aka snowshoeing) in a winter wonderland!!

More winter wonderland adventures!!

4 days ago I was running in shorts + tank top. Today looked and felt a bit different…all the layers, frozen snot, white all around, some slick surfaces…bring on the winter running!

Rollin’, rollin’, rollin’ right past 7000 miles on the bike in 2020! This is by far the most bike mileage I’ve ever had in one year! How many bike miles will I end up with?!?!?!

I reflected on 2020 A LOT today! Sure this year was HARD and NOT AT ALL what I had hoped or planned for, BUT 2020 gave me the OPPORTUNITY to slow down, appreciate all that I have, overcome challenges and GROW in so many ways! 2020 has helped me become an even better version of myself and I bet if you take some time to reflect, you are heading into 2021 a stronger, more resilient, grittier, more courageous, wiser, better version of yourself too!

Giving the courage cave a face lift…making it bright, vibrant, and sunny no matter what the weather is like outside!

Frosty Frolic

I love her and her snuggles!

Some MUCH NEEDED treatment!

“Create your own sunshine!”
.
It may be gloomy outside, but it is bright and sunny in our courage cave!

Merry Christmas 2020 style!

Run Santa Run!

Merry Christmas from our pack to yours!

Sushi…mmmmmm

Snuggling under the blanket with Jersey warms my heart!

What are you chasing? Are you chasing the fire deep in your heart and soul? Are you chasing someone else’s dreams because you’re comparing yourself to others? Are you chasing something you feel you SHOULD be chasing, but doesn’t hold a key to your heart?
.
If you are chasing anything other than what sets your heart and soul on fire, you are wasting energy. Let go of all of the things that don’t serve you! Don’t let anyone tell you that what’s in your heart and soul isn’t worth chasing, because they are wrong! #doyou

“Gratitude opens the door to the power, the wisdom, and the creativity of the universe. You open the door through gratitude.” ~Deepak Chopra
.
So grateful for a strong and healthy body, mind, and soul as we leave 2020 behind.

Most of my everything is right here!

Nature is so beautiful!

A long sunset family snowshoe hike was the perfect adventure to close the door on 2020 and open the door to 2021!

2020 wasn’t all bad! πŸ˜‰