Pick up the Pen!

“And one day she discovered that she was fierce, and strong, and full of fire, and that not even she could hold herself back because her passion burned brighter than her fears.” ~Mark Anthony

So many people wait for the “perfect moment” to do something. They wait for something better, a better time, more money, the possibility of a better job, the moment that they can’t take it anymore, when it works for someone else that they care about, the list goes on and on and on.

Why? Why not do whatever it is RIGHT NOW?! What are you truly waiting for?! We write our own stories. It is time to take the pen and write the story that you desire. If you are waiting for the perfect time, the perfect place, the perfect whatever, you might never get to write the story that you desire.

Who’s writing your story? Are you allowing fear or COURAGE to be the ink on the page? Are you allowing yourself to be surrounded by negativity or POSITIVITY? Are you allowing yourself to be full of thanklessness or GRATITUDE? Are you allowing what you’re comfortable with to dictate your story? Are you allowing doubt or CONFIDENCE to be the print on the paper? There is no better time than RIGHT NOW to take hold of that pen and write your story as you wish. What do you desire? What will it take to achieve your desires? What are you willing to do to turn your desires into a reality?

“It’s up to me to manifest my destiny and create the life I desire.” ~Megan Hottman

Sometimes we hold ourselves back, often due to a lack of confidence. It’s time to be fierce, strong, and full of fire!! It’s time to change, embrace discomfort, and create opportunities!! Will it be scary? Maybe. Will it be hard? Possibly. Will it be risky? Perhaps. Will it be exciting? Likely! Will it be worth it? Definitely!

What are you waiting for?! Take the pen and write your story!! Manifest your destiny!! The best time is RIGH NOW!! Let your passion burn brighter than your fears!!

I’m choosing to hold the pen and write my story in 2019!!
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What’s up?! – January 2019

2019 is off to a great start…even with arctic temps last week!! I love the changing seasons and we FINALLY got snow, so winter is officially here!! Only in Iowa can you have nearly a 100*F temperature swing in a span of 5 days. Thankfully we are experiencing a temperature swing in the upward direction!! As the saying goes, “If you don’t like the weather in Iowa, just wait 5 days…it will change!”😂 Here is a snapshot of what January had in store for me.

Training:

I had a SOLID month of training!! I completed 10 minutes of core strength daily + I did not miss one workout last month!! BOOM!!

It is SO HARD to swim with a merman on your back!!
We don’t always hit our targets, sometimes we don’t even hit a single target, and that’s ok. That’s why they are targets. I wanted to quit multiple times throughout the 7×20 minute intervals during my 3:11:00 ride, but instead I became more determined with each one. I gave everything I had today. Tomorrow is a new day.
Running in the snow is SO HARD, but I loved every minute of my 8+ mile run in the sun!!

Swim: 35,300 yards (20.06 miles)
Bike: 257 miles
Run: 62.8 miles
Strength: 10 minutes of core daily + various full body strength + some yoga 🙂
Monthly Totals: 50 hours & 1 minute

Creating Headspace:

I have been meditating in the morning for about 6 months, but I did so on my own until January 1. I had tried the Calm app, but it was definitely not for me. So many people had recommended the Headspace app to me, so on January 1, I bit the bullet and officially tried using the Headspace app to help me meditate. I am pleased to say that I used the app everyday for the entire month of January. The best part…I don’t mind it!! This is a HUGE success for me as I typically don’t like it when someone else tells me what to “think” or how to think.😂 Thankfully the Headspace app doesn’t do this, but instead subtly reminds me to focus on my breathing rather than on the random thoughts floating through my mind like clouds in the sky.

Listening to:

Kona Kamps!! Bianca Faulke-Tanner won the F30-34 age group at Ironman Malaysia on a challenging day. Sara Randolph won the F40-44 age group at Ironman Malaysia on a hot, humid, and stormy day! Congratulations to both ladies on their win!

Reading:

Courage to Tri: Finish Your First Triathlon. A Motivational How-To for Women by Bethany Rutledge isn’t just for new triathletes. This is a great read with little nuggets of motivation + practical tools that even veteran triathletes can benefit from.

4 heartbreaking (yet very common) reasons we don’t set goals by Mel, with Fellow Flowers, really resonated with me. I find so many of these reasons to be true for why women (and sometimes even men) don’t set goals. It is ok to fail…it makes us stronger and more resilient! Stop comparing yourself to others…YOU DO YOU & BE YOU! It is ok to change your mind…people do this all of the time with small, medium, and large things. Make a decision, commit, and set goals that feel good to YOU in this moment!

Race Day:

First race of 2019 is in the books and a podium finish!!

Focus…Today is going to be tough, but I’M READY to push myself to new limits!
Goal swim was sub 8:30 for the 500 yards. Actual swim time was 8:06 (1:37/100 yards)…BOOM!!
This stationary bike was so not fit for me, but I still managed to average 18.5 mph for the 8 miles at the resistance we were instructed to ride at. I missed Mojo SO MUCH!! That gurl and I have a bond…she gets me!!
Onto the run…running 16 laps on an indoor track isn’t easy…hence the ugly grimace.
Finally…done and I can honestly say that was the toughest race I’ve had. I pushed myself into a state I’ve never been in before.
Overall finish time was 50:03 for 2nd place in my age group!!
Podium finish is a great way to start 2019!!

Grateful for:

I’m so grateful our twin nieces and my sister came to visit for the twin’s swim meet!
I’m so grateful for morning runs with my favorite girl! #basillovesrunning
WOW!! Magnificent sunsets are amazing!!
So grateful to have some of my tribe coming to cheer me on…even though it was snowing!!
Cheer squad!! #grateful
Basil loves to play in the snow and help shovel!!
Snowshoeing at dusk with my faves!!
I have some of the best people in my village!! Thanks Ruth for the reminder to #explore in all areas of my life this year and always! You’re the best! ❤
I’m so grateful for sushi…SO YUMMY!!

How was your month of January?! What were you grateful for last month?! Have you done an indoor triathlon?! If so, what were your favorite parts of the race?!

First race of 2019 is in the books!

Last Sunday was my first triathlon of 2019. As an endurance machine, going short + fast was SO HARD, but it was OH SO MUCH FUN!! This was my first opportunity to #explore and see what I was truly capable of in 2019!!

Negatives:
-Lots of time spent waiting…waiting for other athletes in my wave to finish, so we could go on to the next leg of the triathlon. Waiting for the people in the wave before us to finish the leg they were on so we could go on to the next one.
-Not being able to ride Mojo…those stationary bikes are NOT comfortable!! I really missed my gurl!!
-My race didn’t start until noon. In my opinion there was too much time to wait for the race start.

Positives:
-The triathlon was INDOORS in Iowa in January!! So much warmer than my Ironman Louisville experience in October.
-I got to sleep in my own bed and arrive to the race start right before it started because…small, local race.
-I needed less gear (no wetsuit, helmet, race belt, etc.)!!
-There was no contact during the swim because we split lanes with only one other athlete.
-There was music playing during the bike ride to keep us motivated and distracted from the “pain” we were inflicting on ourselves.
-There were only 10 people in my wave, so I didn’t have much traffic to dodge during the run.
-Part of my tribe was able to come out and cheer me on as I pushed my limits.
-Going short + fast means the “pain” ends much sooner than an all day Ironman event.

Notice there are so many more positives than negatives for this event! This may have to become an annual event on my calendar!!

Doesn’t everyone shovel snow to “warm up” before their triathlon?! Oh wait…this is actually the first triathlon I’ve ever done where I’ve WARMED UP with SNOW! We had to shovel out to get to the race…
Focus…Today is going to be tough, but I’M READY to push myself to new limits!
Goal swim was sub 8:30 for the 500 yards. Actual swim time was 8:06 (1:37/100 yards)…BOOM!!
This stationary bike was so not fit for me, but 8 miles…that’s all I had to tough it out for. I missed Mojo SO MUCH!! That gurl and I have a bond…she gets me!! Actual bike time was 25:55 (average speed = 18.5 mph)…BOOM!!
Onto the run…running 16 laps on an indoor track isn’t easy…hence the ugly grimace.
Finally…done and I can honestly say that was the toughest race I’ve had. I pushed myself into a state I’ve never been in before. Actual run time was 16:02 for 2 miles (average pace = 8:01 min/mile)…BOOM!!
Overall finish time was 50:03 for 2nd place in my age group!!
Podium finish is a great way to start 2019!!
A free massage post race was much needed!! #grateful
So grateful to have some of my tribe coming to cheer me on…even though it was snowing!!
Cheer squad!! #grateful

What a great way to start off my 2019 season!! Let’s keep this momentum going throughout 2019!!

2019 Mantras

Mantras can be used in so many areas of your life to help guide you and your focus. In the past, I have used mantras during training and racing more than at work, in relationships, and everyday life. “Man” means mind and “tra” means vehicle or transport. So a mantra is an instrument of the mind that helps you access heightened levels of awareness. For me, awareness refers to the ability to pay attention to the choices I make, and recognize when something isn’t working so I can change it. Mantras can help bring me back to the present state of mind I am desiring.

Last year I used “courage over comfort” in nearly every workout and it served me VERY well. This year, I decided to expand my use of mantras to include not only training, but also at work, in my relationships, and in my everyday life. I have a list of mantras that I’ve been using at different times so far in 2019. These mantras have been serving me well and I’m excited to see how they help me stay focused and in the present state of mind that I am desiring in that moment.

“Sail the seas”

“Uncage your inner beast”

“Uncage the magic”

“Be the magic”

“Face your fears”

“Find your power”

“Be the seahorse”

“Strength and power”

“Long, strong, pull” – this one is swim specific

What mantras do you use to bring you back to the present state of mind you are desiring?

The power of the mind

The mind is a POWERFUL tool! When I am positive, focused, and open minded I have performed at much higher levels and generally been a much happier person. I have made some changes since Thanksgiving that have freed my mind of negativity + chaos, allowed me to be more focused + present, and opened my mind to so much more! More exploration on so many levels. More belief in myself. More grit. More physical strength. More tenacity. More mental fortitude. More resiliency. More desire to be better than I was yesterday. More potential to be the best version of myself I can possibly be.

Life and triathlon can be very uncomfortable at times with so many uncontrollable factors and unknowns. This can make it difficult to stay positive, focused, and in the present moment, but positivity, focus, and staying in the present moment is where it’s at! I have achieved SO MUCH success when I focus on what I need in the present moment. Don’t worry about the past. Don’t worry about my workout after work. Don’t worry about tomorrow’s work meeting. Don’t worry about the next interval. Don’t worry about how the conversation is going to go. Don’t worry about what others are/aren’t doing. What do I need right here, right now?

As I embark on my first race week of 2019, I am happy to report that my mindset is strong, positive, focused, excited, and I’m ready to unleash some serious attitude on Sunday!!

How do you use your mind as a powerful tool? 

What’s Up?! – December 2018

How is it possible that 2018 is in the rearview mirror?! December was a fun month full of great things!! Here is a small snapshot of what I was up to last month!!

Training:

SURPRISE!! Coach Kelly called as I was heading out the door to swim and told me to do a swim test instead of my scheduled swim. Adapt on the fly + handle the pressure!! This is the excitement when you do better than expected on your swim test!!
Ending 2018 on a HIGH note!! A HUGE increase in my FTP means I’m going to GET to work even harder in 2019!! (44 watt increase on my FTP)
Somedays you just keep climbing even when staring a challenge in the face!! The view from the top is ALWAYS worth the struggle!!

Swim: 22,600 yards (12.84 miles)
Bike: 221 miles
Run: 56.5 miles
Monthly Totals: 39 hours & 14 minutes

Listening to:

The Coeur Sports EarSplitz Podcast featured Lesley Paterson and Simon Marshall this month as they talk about Mindset!! This was SO insightful on how we can let our mind drive us or derail us…it is our choice!! “We chat with Lesley Paterson and Simon Marshall about mindset in depth. How do we find ways to defeat ourselves? How can we achieve what we didn’t think was possible? Learn how you can use acting techniques to make things work even when they shouldn’t. BTW, did we mention Lesley is this year’s Xterra World Champion? And Simon is a PhD in psychology?”

KonaKamps featured Mindy Nicolet who won the W40-44 age group at Ironman Louisville. It was fun to hear her perspective as I also raced this event and am in the same age group. I was glad to know that the conditions were challenging even for the winners.

KonaKamps also featured Sanna Duvebrant who won the W50-54 age group at Ironman Louisville. Since she is from Sweden and used to colder weather, it was good to get her perspective on the race day conditions and know that they really were as bad as I thought!!

Reading:

Finding Ultra: Rejecting Middle Age, Becoming one of the World’s Fittest Men, and Discovering Myself by Rich Roll is a must read!! “On the night before he was to turn forty, Rich Roll experienced a chilling glimpse of his future. Nearly fifty pounds overweight and unable to climb the stairs without stopping, he could see where his current sedentary life was taking him—and he woke up.” Following Rich’s journey was inspiring, uplifting, and fun!! Not only what he has accomplished to live life to the fullest, but the message he sends.

“Let go of the end game. Instead, fall in love with the process. Show up for life with enthusiasm and commitment. Connect with spirit. Wrestle with your soul and relish every hardship. Along the way, be patient. Go gently. And give freely of yourself to others. Because it’s the journey that truly gives your path meaning. And there truly is no destination.”

Enjoying:

Time with family, friends, and Coeur Sports sisters!! So much love to fill my hear this time of year!!

My colleagues are so much fun!!
Framily!! ❤
Family! ❤
Grateful to get to spend time with my Coeur Sports sister, Courtney!! Can’t wait for her and her husband to return so we can spend more time together!!

Excited for:

2019!! Each year is a new chapter in my journey of life and I’m super excited to see what 2019 has in store for me!! Who else is excited + ready for 2019?!

Grateful for:

So grateful to Breakthrough Nutrition for helping me sleep at night!!
We don’t always wear spandex!! 🙂
Basil decided to interrupt us while we were dancing to Christmas music in the kitchen.
Great Grandma Annie delivers again!
Making gingerbread houses with my favorite little people!!
Making gingerbread houses with my favorite people!!
Thank you to Ruth for our new doggie Coeur gear!!
My Coeur Sports sister, Courtney, came to Iowa for the holidays!! So blessed to get to swim with her + enjoy lunch together!!
Christmas with my fave!!
Getting to watch and play ball with Stella!! ❤

How was your month of December?! What were you grateful for last month?! What are you excited about?!

My 2019 Focus Word

2018 was an amazing year focused around “courage over comfort” and it served me well throughout the year!!

With the start of the New Year, so many people set New Year’s Resolutions. I prefer to set intentions instead of resolutions. I feel like resolutions set me up for failure the moment my train gets derailed, whereas intentions make me more mindful + allow for success by not being so finite.

Only about 8% of people who make New Year’s resolutions keep them throughout the year, which might be why I view resolutions as negative and personally don’t make them. In the last couple of weeks, I have had so many words and phrases speak to me, so I “tried them on” to see which one(s) really fit. Which one(s) clutched at my heart strings?! Which one(s) will motivate me the most to do and be my best self in 2019?! I swam with them, biked with them, ran with them, listened to them at home, listened to them at work, rolled them around, sat still with them in chaos, rested in silence with them, and would just BE with them.

The conversation started with “don’t settle.” Don’t settle in sport, at work, at home, in life. I LOVE how this speaks to me, but do find it a bit negative since it starts with “don’t.” Next up “uncaged” and “uncage your inner beast.” This spoke volumes to me and continues to do so from time to time! It is time to break free from the cage that surrounds me, but it still didn’t feel quite right. “Uncage the magic” came next. YES!! When you step outside of your comfort zone, this is where the magic happens!! While I LOVE this, I decided it was a better mantra for 2019 than an action word to really focus in on, so the search continued. During some intense bike intervals, phrases from songs spoke to me…”don’t backdown,” “full throttle,” “unstoppable,” “unshakeable,” “fight,”and “dig deeper.” While these all spoke to me during my workout, none of them spoke to me in ALL aspects of my life, so I kept searching. Thanks to the help of Ruth, she suggested “commit,” “execute,” and “choose.” I tried these on for size and they just weren’t the fit I was looking for. I thought about Ironman Ohio 70.3 and Ironman Louisville. Both of these races had their own unique challenges, but “explore” served me well in both races…so I tried it on in sport, at work, at home, and in life. Not only did it fit just right, but it is positive and motivates me! So, without further adieu…

My focus word and intention for 2019: