2021 week 17: race week + power of choice

Last week was race week! Each of us has the power of choice. What choices are you making today to make your life better? I made some choices last week that definitely made my life better…biking outside, running a race, hugging my twin nieces for the first time in over a year, and showing up for myself ESPECIALLY when I considered skipping out on multiple occasions.

Quote of the week:

“Choice is the most powerful tool we have. Everything boils down to choice. We exist in a field of infinite possibilities. Every choice we make shuts an infinite number of doors and opens an infinite number of doors. At any point we can change the direction of our lives by a simple choice.”

~unknown

Swim: 11,000 yards

Thursday’s swim workout had me progressively getting faster with each set of 200s. To complete this swim workout, you need to know your critical swim speed (CSS). My CSS is 1:45/100 yards (although I should probably do a CSS test soon as this seemed a little slow for me Thursday morning), so for the first 4x200s the goal was to swim 1:51/100 yards or 3:42 total time for each of the 4x200s. I went into this swim choosing to feel strong and powerful, so by the time I reached the 2x200s, I was swimming at my CSS instead of CSS+2 as planned. This set me up for a solid 200 at an all out effort to wrap up the main set.

  • Warm up:
    • 100 swim with fins (20 sec rest)
    • 100 kick with fins (20 sec rest)
    • 100 pull (20 sec rest)
    • 4×50 drills (20 sec rest)
  • Main Set:
    • 4×200 at CSS+6 sec (20 sec rest)
    • 3×200 at CSS+4 sec (20 sec rest)
    • 2×200 at CSS+2 sec (20 sec rest)
    • 1×200 ALL OUT EFFORT (try to be sub CSS)
  • Cool Down:
    • 200 any stroke
When you refuse to believe anything can stop you from achieving your dreams, you give your dreams wings. Spread your wings and soar! πŸ’™πŸ’›πŸ¦‹

Bike: 149 miles

Tuesday I chose to ride outside instead of in the basement on the trainer and this choice definitely made my day better! Making the choice to get vaccinated made Tuesday even better, because I got to hug my mama for the first time in 16 months! Thank you science! πŸ₯³ If you want different results, make different choices. πŸ’›πŸ’™

#happyheart

Run: 21.6 miles

Saturday I was SO STOKED because I got to race AGAIN IRL! It was INSANELY windy and SO SPICY HOT, but I didn’t even care because I got to race again! I chose to run this entire race at my pace (except walking through the aid stations to make sure I was taking in plenty of fluids in the heat of the day), which allowed me to pass many people who went out way too fast in these spicy hot temps. I’ll have a full race report later this week!

I got to cross another start line and a spicy hot finish line Saturday! Running strong for 13.1 miles in 87F with 50 mph winds and full sun at 2 pm is no joke, but it was SO AWESOME to GET to race again! πŸ’™πŸ’›

SUP: 0.8 miles

I LOVE spending time in and on the water! I am SO happy to have had amazing weather to get out on the water for the first time in 2021!

Recovery days with time on the water fill my heart and soul with joy! πŸ’™πŸ’›

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

Weekly Totals: 19 hours & 36 minutes

Attitude of Gratitude:

Thank you Nick, with Vitality Massage, for keeping me healthy and active!
I knew it was going to be a good week when I saw a smile on the pavement on my way into work Monday. πŸ₯³
I love my “blanket” so much! 🐢πŸ₯°
Friday was a perfect 10 to ride all the miles! We don’t get many days with temps in the low 70s and winds at only 5 mph, so we HAD to take advantage of it and get out on the open roads. 87 miles later… #happyheart πŸ’™πŸ’›
Getting race ready! Squeeze da legs Normatec Recovery boots!
I got to see and hug my nieces after my race! Thank you science! #getyourfauciouchie
Love these two! I sure have missed them! #getyourfauciouchie

What were your highlights from week 17 of 2021?! What choices are you making today to make your life better?!

2021 week 16: where you need to be

Last week was a recover week and I definitely needed it! After having a stellar race on Sunday, I needed some down time. Getting my #fauciouchie2 on Wednesday only added to the recovery that I needed since I had some side effects on Thursday. I was SO grateful to get our 2nd vaccine! I’ve never been so happy to feel so miserable when the side effects knocked us down for a bit. That vax is giving me superpowers and I can’t wait to see and hug my family! Throughout the week, I was reminded that I am right where I NEED to be, even if it isn’t where I WANT to be.

Quote of the week:

“Right where you are is where you need to be.”

~Unknown

Swim: 5400 yards

Tuesday’s swim had some pace work. After a solid warm up, I got to practice pacing at different efforts which may be needed during a race. There are no time targets to hit, paces to strive for, or specific heart rate zones to try to achieve. It is all based on perceived effort and I was right where I needed to be for the entirety of this workout…even if I always want to be faster, stronger, braver, grittier, blah, blah, blah.

  • Warm up:
    • 300 swim with fins (20 sec rest)
    • 300 kick with fins (20 sec rest)
    • 300 pull with paddles (20 sec rest)
  • Main Set:
    • 100 HARD (15 sec rest)
    • 200 steady (10 sec rest)
    • 300 HARD (15 sec rest)
    • 400 with fins POWERFUL (20 sec rest)
    • 300 HARD (15 sec rest)
    • 200 steady (10 sec rest)
    • 100 HARD (15 sec rest)
  • Cool Down:
    • 200 any stroke
You are right where you need to be in this moment. πŸ’™πŸ’›

Bike: 48.1 miles

My toughest bike workout this week had some challenging intervals in it. My legs were heavy, but I stayed in the moment. Be in the moment. Learn from the moment. Grow from the learnings. I was right where I needed to be even if it’s not where I wanted to be.

Sometimes what a friend needs to hear is also EXACTLY what you need to hear. πŸ’™πŸ’›

Run: 6.0 miles

First run post vax #2. It was a beautiful afternoon on Saturday for an outdoor run with the family. Our only goals for this run were to get outside and enjoy the fresh air + sunshine + company. Check…all goals were all accomplished. πŸ₯³

Running into the next stage of the pandemic. πŸ’™πŸ’›

Strength Training: 15 minutes of core strength daily

Weekly Totals: 7 hours & 8 minutes

Attitude of Gratitude:

All of the Jersey snuggles! πŸ’™πŸ’›
Spring is here! πŸ’™πŸ’›
More Jersey snuggles! πŸ’™πŸ’›
A long walk with Basil and Jersey post vax #2 πŸ’™πŸ’›

What were your highlights from week 16 of 2021?! Remember…you are right where you need to be!

squeee!

β€œRacing teaches us to challenge ourselves. It teaches us to push beyond where we thought we could go. It helps us to find out what we are made of. This is what we do. This is what it’s all about.”

~PattiSue Plumer

Cliff Notes Version: Squeee! I GOT to race IN REAL LIFE Sunday! πŸ’™πŸ’›

The race directors at the Drake 1/2 marathon put on a very safe race with the following Covid guidelines in place:

  • any athlete with Covid symptoms was asked to stay home
  • masks were required before and after the race
  • athletes were not allowed into the starting corral until 6:45 am (with a 7:00 am start time for the first wave)
  • athletes were spread 6 feet apart in the starting β€œcorral” (each athlete had to stand on one of the 50 blue “D”s that was painted on the ground to be spread apart)
  • 50 athletes started every 90 seconds to spread athletes out for social distancing
  • I carried my own water for this race so I didn’t have to interact with volunteers at the aid stations, but there were dixie cups with water and sports drink available for athletes to grab off of tables at the water stations
  • volunteers were not serving athletes at the aid stations, only refilling water/sports drink
  • all volunteers were masked
  • when athletes crossed the finish line in the stadium, a volunteer gave each athlete a mask and mylar blanket
  • volunteers guided the athletes out of the stadium preventing athletes from hanging out in the stadium after finishing
  • no spectators were allowed in the stadium at the finish line
  • there was no medal distribution at the finish line (finisher medals were placed on a table for each athlete to pick up their own medal after leaving the stadium)
  • there was no food distribution at the finish line (each athlete picked up a box with water, sports drink, banana, cookies, and beef jerky in it after leaving the stadium)
Yay for getting to do a #medalmonday post!

Longer Version: I was SO full of JOY because I GOT to cross a start line and a finish line of an IRL race on Sunday! We parked about 2 blocks from the start line, so after getting completely ready to run, eating my banana, and drinking some water, we walked to the start line. I used a kybo to quickly empty my bladder, stripped off my sweatpants and sweatshirt (thanks to the Iron Hippie for putting them in his backpack and lugging them around with him while he biked around the course to cheer me on), and then entered the starting corral at 6:45 am when they started to let athletes in. I was not allowed to start in the first wave of runners because I am not an elite athlete, but I positioned myself in the second wave so that I could get moving as soon as possible. After the National Anthem and a few announcements, the first wave was off and we were moved up into the starting area.

Once in the starting area, we were told to stand on a blue “D,” remove our masks, and stow them as we would need them when we crossed the finish line. I put mine in a Ziploc bag that also housed my phone, which I put in one of my pockets in my Coeur Sports fitted running shorts. It was nice to be spread far enough apart that we could remove our masks before starting instead of having to wait until after we crossed the start line to remove them and then fumble with everything while running.

The weather was perfect for a 1/2 marathon…48*F, mostly cloudy, winds from the NW at 7 mph. When it was our turn to cross the start line, a volunteer counted down, said “GO”, and we were off. While there were only 50 people in our wave, it was nice to feel like we were racing again…even if the field of athletes was much more spread out than in years past.

Squeee! I get to race today! Photo credit: Iron Hippie

We immediately started climbing right from the start line, which is a good way to kind of tame the excitement at the race start that can sometimes cause one to start way faster than planned/intended. I settled into a slightly uncomfortable Z4 heart rate within the first mile. My goals were to maintain this slightly uncomfortable heart rate for the duration of the run knowing that it would likely creep up into Z5 at various times when climbing and #BELIEVE I could maintain this slightly uncomfortable HR for the duration of the race. Within that first mile, I realized I had forgotten to take my beet pill while waiting in the starting corral, so I took in a beet pill at about mile 1 while it was still relatively flat. Speaking of terrain, the first 3 miles are generally flattish, but then there is a good sized downhill and what goes down…must go up…and up…and up…and up…

What goes down, must come up!

I decided I was not going to look at my Garmin to see where I was for pace or overall time for the duration of the race. I was running by feel and enjoying the opportunity to race in person. I wanted to see just how my race would unfold without monitoring my pace. I took in my first Science in Sport (SIS) gel at about mile 3.5 (there were big signs on the course indicating the location of each mile), washed it down, and continued to run strong!

Squeee! I get to race today! Photo credit: Iron Hippie

I was so happy to be racing again! I continued to run strong and smile big for the duration of the race. Lots of spectators commented on my big smile. Truth…I just couldn’t stop smiling! I was SO full of joy! I was SO grateful to be racing in person again! It was fun to chase down other athletes, see spectators out on the course cheering + holding up signs (“Go Stranger” was a big hit), and getting to do what I love again!

Squeee! I get to race today! Photo credit: Iron Hippie

Shortly after mile 7, I took in my second SIS gel and then took in another beet pill at mile 8 to keep the energy flowing so I could continue to run strong through all of the hills…did I mention this is a hilly course?! I didn’t even care! I just kept smiling BIG and running STRONG because I GOT TO RACE!

squeee!! I get to race today! Photo credit: Drake Road Races

With that BIG smile plastered on my face, joy in my heart, and my feet moving forward, I made my way to the top of the last BIG hill around mile 10 (there were still more rollers, but the BIG ones were behind me). This is where I took in my final SIS gel to keep me running strong all the way through to the finish.

Just keep climbing! Just keep climbing! Just keep climbing! Photo credit: Iron Hippie

As I approached Drake Stadium (where the finish line is), I was so full of joy…the weather was perfect, I got to see friends I haven’t seen in over a year, I GOT to race IRL, there were real spectators cheering, I got to push my limits without looking at my Garmin once, I felt the strongest physically and mentally while racing that I’ve felt in years!

Entering Drake Stadium and running the last 0.1 on the only flat surface of this entire race course. Photo credit: Drake Road Races

As I crossed the finish line with a smile on my face, tears in my eyes, fatigue in my legs, happiness in my heart, and fuel in my soul, all was right in the world! I had SO MUCH JOY! Oh…and the icing on the cake…I ran my second fastest 1/2 marathon EVER (my fastest was 14 years ago and I only missed that finish time by 2 minutes).

Squeee!! I GOT to cross a start line and a finish line of an IRL race on Sunday!! Photo credit: Drake Road Races

Finish time: 1:50:47 (8:28/mile average pace) AG: 7/18, Females: 35/133, Overall: 127/311
Gear: Coeur Sports fitted run shorts, Coeur Sports triathlon tank with shelf bra, Coeur Sports visor, Newton Kismet running shoes, Roka SL-1X sunnies, Orange Mud hand held water bottle

2021 week 15: race week

Say wut?! Yep! Last week was race week! I got to race IRL for the 2nd time in 2021. With the year+ of cancelled races and uncertainty in 2020, I am not taking racing for granted. Racing is a beautiful gift! One that I am enjoying, while also striving to do + be my best.

Quote of the week:

“Racing is the fun part; it’s the reward of the hard work.”

~Kara Goucher

Swim: 9500 yards

Tuesday’s swim was given to me by one of my Coeur Sports teammates and it was a good one! Thank you Michelle for sharing this fun…ahem…challenging workout with me! I was hoping this swim (and afternoon brick) was an indication of how my race was going to go, because I felt STRONG, race ready, and excited! I also noticed that my swim efficiency is improving as I’ve been spending more time focusing on my form lately. πŸ₯³

  • Warm up:
    • 200 swim
  • Main Set:
    • 16×50 every 4th one is HARD (5 sec rest)
    • 12×50 every 3rd one is HARD (10 sec rest)
    • 8×50 every 2nd one is HARD (15 sec rest)
    • 4×50 every one is HARD (20 sec rest)
  • Cool Down:
    • 200 any stroke
Who’s ready to race?! This girl!! LFG!! πŸ₯³πŸ’™πŸ’›

Bike: 86.3 miles

I used to spend most of my focus while on the trainer scrolling through social media and texting friends to distract myself from the tough work in front of me.

Now my focus is 100% on the work in front of me. Keeping my thoughts strong, positive, and focused on the present moment. When I get to those recovery intervals, I celebrate my success(es) on the previous tough interval(s) and refocus my thoughts to be strong and positive for the next interval.

I know making this shift in my focus and thoughts will reward me tremendously in the future as I continue to get stronger physically and mentally! #believe

Where is your focus? Where do your thoughts go? πŸ’™πŸ’›

Run: 26.0 miles

Sunday I got to race and I was SO full of joy for SO many reasons…the weather was perfect, I got to see friends I haven’t seen in over a year, I GOT to race IRL, there were real participants to chase down, there were real spectators cheering, I got to push my limits without looking at my Garmin once, I felt the strongest physically and mentally I’ve felt in years…SO MUCH JOY! Oh…and the icing on the cake…I ran my 2nd fastest 1/2 marathon EVER! My fastest was 14 years ago and I only missed that finish time on Sunday by 2 minutes. I’ll have a more detailed race report in the coming days, so stay tuned.

Squeee!! I GOT to cross a start line and a finish line of an IRL race on Sunday!! πŸ’™πŸ’›

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

Weekly Totals: 14 hours & 35 minutes

Attitude of Gratitude:

All the snuggles! πŸ’™πŸ’›
Thank you Nick with Vitality Massage Ames for keeping me healthy and getting me ace ready!
Getting to swim/bike/run in the same day fills my heart with happy! πŸ’™πŸ’›
Recovering in my Normatec Recovery boots and getting all of the snuggles is pure joy! πŸ’™πŸ’›
Spring is here!!
Flat Kecia is race ready!
Love these three!
We got new furniture!

What were your highlights from week 15 of 2021?! What does the IRL return to racing look like where you live?!

2021 week 14: fail more and quit less

My focus for last week was to “fail more and quit less.” Sometimes I find that I micro quit on myself before I even start something so that I won’t fail. I set myself up to have an “out” or to not work as hard just so I don’t have to witness myself failing. I don’t want to feel the disappointment and embarrassment that comes with failure. I want to be able to say I successfully completed the work as it was planned. But this keeps me small. It keeps me in a space of comfort and doesn’t allow me to grow. Providing myself with OPPORTUNITIES to fail more allows me to really get an idea of where my current limits are. When I fail, I am learning to allow myself to feel all the feelings, learn from the failure, rise up, and continue to believe in myself…and that my friends, is NOT failure!

Quote of the week:

“Fail more & quit less.”

~Vanessa Faye Foerster

Swim: 10,400 yards

Tuesday’s swim was crazy 8s with the main set being 8×150 descending paces (increasing effort) with 20 seconds rest, 8×50 on the 1:00, and 8×25 sprint with 10 seconds rest. Normally I start these 150s at an easy pace (50% effort) and progressively get faster and faster until the last one is at an all out effort (95-100% effort). This normal way of descending these 150s is comfortable, but I know I don’t grow when I stay in my comfort zone. Sooooo, Tuesday morning I DECIDED to start faster (85-90% effort) for these 150s, which forced me to have to push harder and harder throughout this set than what I normally do. Why?! How do I know where my limits are if I don’t push them?

Taking this action created an OPPORTUNITY to fail more and quit less! An OPPORTUNITY to find where my current limits are! In the past when I would start off my 150s at an easier effort/slower pace, I was micro quitting on myself. I was giving myself an β€œout” so I didn’t have to witness myself failing by not being able to descend my splits. By starting faster, did I fail Tuesday?! A little (because I missed descending the 6th interval by 0.8 of a second), but I also learned a lot! And those learnings are NOT failure! I learned that I CAN (and DID) put that one failure behind me as I rise up and believe that I will be successful in the next interval. I learned that I CAN (and DID) generally descend paces at faster speeds/harder efforts than what is comfortable. I learned that I AM STRONG and FAST! I learned that I’m starting to believe that I do belong amongst the fast women I look up to. I learned that when I believe in myself, the data starts to reflect this belief. My friends, all this learning is NOT failure!

  • Warm up:
    • 100 swim
    • 100 kick
    • 100 pull
    • 200 swim
    • 100 kick
    • 100 pull
    • 100 swim
  • Main Set:
    • 8×150 descending (20 sec)
    • Rest 40 sec
    • 8×50 on the minute
    • Rest 1 minutes
    • 8×25 sprint (10 sec rest)
  • Cool Down:
    • 200 any stroke
Fail more & quit less! πŸ’™πŸ’›

Bike: 95.2 miles

While I physically didn’t “fail” any part of Saturday’s ride, Mentally I struggled…BIG TIME! Those mental battles were more exhausting than the actual physical work. My brain wanted my body to quit SO many times I lost count…hello micro quits I saw you and gave my best effort to ignore you. Every time my brain tried to convince my body to quit, I would tell myself, “Kecia, you are strong! Just one more minute.” This battle lasted for 2 hours (of my 3 hour ride), but my self talk was the stronger participant, shutting the micro quits down, and won all of those battles Saturday.

The mental battles were brutal, but thankfully my self talk was the stronger participant and won all of those battles. πŸ’™πŸ’›

Run: 25.5 miles

The main set of Wednesday’s run was 4×4 minutes FAST followed by 4 minutes easy. I had some fatigue in my legs from a challenging brick after work Tuesday, so I doubted that my legs would hold on at the FAST paces that were staring me in the face, but I was determined to try! After all, β€œfail more and quit less” right?!

Not only did I successfully complete these intervals at the scheduled paces on tired legs, but I decided that the next time this workout is on my schedule (which is 3 weeks from now) I am going to strive to push my limits A LOT farther than I did Wednesday. By cutting 25 more seconds per mile off my FAST pace (which scares the sh!t out of me), I am hoping to find my limit. Can I do it?! You’ll have to wait 3 weeks to find out!

Friday’s run was a 10 mile progression run. I did this on the treadmill as it was a cold, windy, rainy morning and I didn’t want to run outside in those conditions. I started out strong and confident, but by about mile 7, I bonked…BAD! Step off the treadmill and walk to regain some semblance of composure. Whomp! Whomp! Hello Failure…it was good to see you! Why?! Failure = learning! I learned that I need to consume fuel before (and maybe during) my longer runs when they are early in the morning.

Speed work makes the dream work! πŸ’™πŸ’› (πŸ“Έ Wednesday’s run)

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

Weekly Totals: 15 hours & 54 minutes

Attitude of Gratitude:

Any day I get to swim/bike/run in the same day is a GREAT day!! πŸ’™πŸ’›
I love how these two snuggle! It warms my heart! πŸ’™πŸ’›
Our recovery is on point! I get a good squeeze from my Normatec Recovery boots and Jersey gets all the pets! πŸ’™πŸ’›
Friday Happy Hour swims are SO FUN!! πŸ’™πŸ’›

What were your highlights from week 14 of 2021?! Where do you find yourself micro quitting and could benefit more from failing instead?!

2021 week 13: kinetic energy

Kinetic energy…AKA energy of motion…steered my yellow Lamborghini last week. I converted all of that potential energy I acquired from two weeks ago into kinetic energy. When you decide, commit, and act, you succeed. I’m happy to say that last week was a successful week! πŸ₯³

Quote of the week:

“We have kinetic energy only when we act. Remember, velocity is the main factor that decides our kinetic energy.”

~Mani Kannan

Swim: 8000 yards

I splashed into Thursday with motion at a variety of paces! “Hard swims into race pace” was on deck and it was tough, but so AWESOME! I BELIEVED I could successfully complete this swim, so I did! There is no greater gift you can give yourself than to believe in you, your abilities, your goals, and your dreams!

  • Warm up:
    • 400 swim starting easy and building effort
    • 6×50 as 25 drill/25 swim (10 sec)
  • Main Set:
    • 3 times through the following:
      • 2×100 BEST
      • EFFORT (20 sec)
      • 400 race pace (80% effort) (20 sec)
      • 100 easy
  • Cool Down:
    • 200 any stroke
DECIDE…Decide to be brave enough to believe in you, your abilities, your goals, your dreams! Own that belief and wear it proudly! If an oyster can turn sand into pearls you can turn negativity into optimism, skepticism into confidence, doubt into belief. Decide to let the magic happen by being brave enough to change your mindset to believe in yourself, commit to your goals, and focus on your dreams. πŸ’™πŸ’›

Bike: 92.6 miles

I grew the most mentally during Tuesday’s ride this week! The structure of the workout was 1 min @ 117 % of FTP followed by 30 seconds @ 20% FTP. Repeat this until “failure” or 20 intervals, whichever comes first. Failure means you can no longer hit the 117% of FTP and have missed the target by 10-15 watts after at least 2 tries.

I had a LOT of doubt going into this ride, but during my warm up I DECIDED to be brave enough to change my mindset. I DECIDED to be brave enough to #believe in myself. I DECIDED to be brave enough to focus on one interval at a time. I DECIDED to be brave enough to show the f*%k up. I DECIDED to be brave enough to bet on ME! And ya know what?! I not only successfully completed 20 intervals at 117% of FTP, but I know I had a few more intervals in me! πŸ₯³

DECIDE…Decide to be brave enough to bet on the YOU of tomorrow! Don’t focus on the you of yesterday. If you continue to strive to be 1% better today than yesterday, the you of tomorrow will be someone worth betting on! πŸ’™πŸ’›

Run: 23.1 miles

Wednesday morning the family went for an endurance run! It was so nice to have the streets mostly to ourselves at 5 am. We received a nice compliment from a random newspaper delivery person, β€œThank you for making it easier for us to see you by being so well lit and having your dogs lit up also.” πŸ₯³ Everyone who is out exercising in the dark should take advantage of the spring sale that Noxgear is currently having…30% off right now and if you sign up for their newsletter, you get an additional 5% off. It is a small investment for your safety! *I am not sponsored by nor affiliated with Noxgear. I just love their product!

Thank you Noxgear for making us much more visible and helping to keep our family safe when we run because #itcouldbeme πŸ’™πŸ’›

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

Weekly Totals: 14 hours & 46 minutes

Attitude of Gratitude:

So grateful to Nick at Vitality Massage for keeping me healthy and active! πŸ’™πŸ’›
Yay for days that include all things swim/bike/run! πŸ’™πŸ’›
This is how we recover…sleep + Normatec Recovery boots = WIN!! πŸ’™πŸ’›
March totals…I’m so grateful I got to do an IRL race in March! πŸ’™πŸ’›
I love snuggling with our baby girl…even when she puts her foot in my face while she’s sleeping! 🐢πŸ₯°
Another day of all the swim/bike/run love! πŸ’™πŸ’›
It was a GORGEOUS day to cover 50+ miles OUTSIDE on two wheels in my Coeur Sports Kinetic Kit! πŸ’™πŸ’›
β€’
When you get ready to head out on two wheels and your speed, cadence, and power sensors don’t work (after trying two new batteries in each), do you ride without metrics or fret about the missing metrics and scrap the ride to problem solve why they aren’t working?! I chose to ride without metrics and worry about problem solving tomorrow. And. It. Was. AMAZING! πŸ₯³ #itcouldhappenonraceday
Grateful to get to do yoga outside on such a beautiful day! Thanks to Jersey for “helping” me!

What were your highlights from week 13 of 2021?!

2021 week 12: potential energy

My focus for last week was on potential energy…rest, recovery, replenishing, and repairing. After racing a week ago Sunday, I knew it would be in my best interest to keep last week on the DL to allow my body the opportunity to reset and adequately recover. There was a lot of feet up, resting, reading, snuggles with our girls, and doing what I felt like in the moment. And just like that the potential energy I’ve gained this last week is ready to be converted into kinetic energy!

Quote of the week:

“Every object has potential when it is in rest but when we apply force then its potential energy is converted to kinetic energy.”

~Mira Kirshenbaum

Swim: 2600 yards

My only swim of the week was Sunday. The focus was on swim strength, but my focus was on the AH-MAZING sunshine that I got to swim through! This was the first time in a whole week that we actually saw the glow in the sky and I was so grateful for it!

  • Warm Up:
    • 200 swim
  • Main Set:
    • 5×200 pull with paddles (20 sec rest between)
    • 200 swim
    • 5×200 pull with paddles (20 sec rest between)
  • Cool Down:
    • 200 any stroke
β€œThere is always light, if only we’re brave enough to see it. If only we’re brave enough to be it.” ~Amanda GormanπŸ’™πŸ’›

Bike: 59.2 miles

My brain was full of doubt going into my ride on Saturday. After having a lot of time off throughout the week, I wasn’t confident that I had what it took to complete my workout as planned, BUT I showed up and decided to be brave enough to change the negative mental chatter into a positive mindset. I took back my power, traded in the keys to the struggle bus, and exchanged them for the keys to the vehicle of my dreams! I took my shiny new yellow Lamborghini for a cruise! I love the way she handles and the confidence I feel when I’m in the driver’s seat of my powerful + fast ride!

You GET to decide what you drive! You GET to hold your power in the palms of your hands! Take back your power. Trade in your keys to your struggle bus and exchange them for keys to the ride of your dreams! πŸ’™πŸ’›

Run: 0 miles

I took the week off of running last week because I had some tightness in my right calf and I wanted to give it some time to rest and repair. With another IRL 1/2 marathon race in 3 weeks and another two weeks after that, I wanted to take some time to rest and recover. Hopefully that rest will set me up nicely for my next two IRL races.

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

Weekly Totals: 6 hours & 4 minutes

Attitude of Gratitude:

Two peas in a pod! Love these two baby girls so much! 🐢πŸ₯°πŸΆπŸ₯°
Recovery time in my Normatec Recovery boots eating some homemade pineapple curry = perfection!
All the snuggles with our baby girl! 🐢πŸ₯°
Love the new design by Coeur Sports! So excited to rock the kinetic energy this week!
She sleeps with her head up more often than not! I love her so much! 🐢πŸ₯°

What were your highlights from week 12 of 2021?! Do you take time to acquire more potential energy?!

pinch me!

β€œNerves are a cousin to excitement and excitement is a cousin to gratitude. If you feel nervous, it’s a sign that a VERY BIG THING is unfolding. Be nervous for how good that thing can be.”

~Alexi Pappas

Cliff Notes Version: Pinch me! I got to race IN REAL LIFE Sunday for the first time since November 2020! Nerves were high, but it is a good thing to be nervous! I was SO excited and grateful to be racing in person again that I didn’t even care about the ridiculously strong winds! I stayed true to myself and did what I said I was going to do…run the whole race and push my limits even when it became uncomfortable, which it definitely did. Oh, and that VERY BIG THING that unfolded…it was massive amounts of self discovery because I decided to show the f*%k up and #believe I could push myself farther than I thought possible! πŸ’™πŸ’›

The race directors at the Des Moines St. Paddy’s 1/2 marathon put on a very safe race with the following Covid guidelines in place:

  • each athlete had to fill out a survey online before racing to determine their exact start time, which was sent to each athlete via email
  • any athlete with Covid symptoms was asked to stay home
  • masks were required before and after the race
  • athletes were not to arrive to the start line any earlier than 5 minutes before their designated start time
  • athletes were spread 6 feet apart in the starting β€œcorral”
  • 1 athlete 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 paper bag with an orange, cookie, and protein 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, but there were small individually sealed water bottles and sports drink available for athletes to grab off of tables at the water stations. Volunteers were not handing them to athletes
  • all volunteers were masked
  • Bonus safety measure…Mother Nature provided us with 20+ mph winds so there was very little risk of Covid droplets hanging in the air from others
It’s race morning! Who’s ready to race IN PERSON?! THIS GIRL!! πŸ₯³

Longer Version: As I was preparing to start the race, my nerves were REALLY high but I knew those nerves were representatives of excitement and gratitude that I was going to GET to race IN PERSON! I was given the start time of 7:45 am, but I could hear an announcement being made that anyone could start the 1/2 marathon if they were ready (as they had spread people SO far out that they weren’t sending people off every 5 seconds as planned, but more like every minute instead). So I ate my banana, took off my sweats, and made my way to the starting corral where only 2 people were waiting to start. Within 10 seconds of me entering the starting corral, I was off.

I was fumbling a bit after crossing the starting mat as I had to remove my mask and put it away. I put it in a Ziploc bag that also housed my phone, which I put in one of my pockets on my Coeur Sports fitted running shorts.

It was a WINDY morning with temps near 40*F (and a windchill temp closer to freezing) at the start + partly sunny/cloudy…and those winds were 18-20 mph with gusts up to 45 mph from the south. I honestly didn’t even care that it was windy! I was just SO happy to be racing in person!

Mile 4 ish and going strong…Photo credit: Iron Hippie

As I ran, my phone was giving me splits (that were often WAY off), which annoyed me, but I decided to completely ignore it and just go! I typically don’t run with my phone in this mode, but I didn’t want to try to mess with it while running + it was the tracking device that was being used so the Iron Hippie would know where I was. He and Jersey (our baby girl) were bouncing around the course cheering me on. I am so grateful for their love and support!

Mile 5 ish and feeling great! Photo credit: Iron Hippie

In previous 1/2 marathons I had only taken in 1 or 2 gels throughout the entire race and typically felt it wasn’t enough. I decided this time I was going to take in 3 gels throughout the race even if I didn’t feel I needed it in that moment…one every 3-4 miles. This would turn out to be a GREAT decision and one I need to be sure to implement in future races as well! This helped me achieve my goal, which was to run the entire race without one walking step and to continue to push myself even when things got uncomfortable. My mindset was strong! I stayed focused and determined.

Mile 8 ish…so happy to see my cheer squad! Photo credit: Iron Hippie

Around mile 9 I started to really heat up. The sun had risen and I was warm. I should have given my LS jersey to the Iron Hippie at this point, but with the wind I didn’t know if I would still want it, so I decided to keep it on until I saw him next. This was the only thing I really regret about my race.

Mile 9 ish…should have ditched that LS here. Photo credit: Iron Hippie

I ended up ditching my LS at about mile 11 when I saw the Iron Hippie next and was SO grateful for that strong wind and evaporative cooling! Knowing I was getting closer and closer to the finish line, I just kept pushing! Reminding myself to #believe I could do this and that I was here to show the f*%k up and give it all I had!

Focused rounding the corner just before mile 12. Photo credit: Iron Hippie

Shortly after seeing the Iron Hippie for the last time before the finish line, I saw our friend Alex (who also happens to be the event timer for this race). He gave me a high five, which was just the motivation I needed to push hard for that last mile! As I got closer to the Capitol building (where the finish line was), I got even more excited! I was doing this! I was pushing my limits! I was staying strong! I was having fun! I was showing the f*%k up! I was believing in myself! I was confident! I was having fun!

About a 1/2 mile from the finish line! Photo Credit: Alex

As I approached the finish line, the gratitude I had for being able to race in person was overwhelming…tears in my eyes, fatigue in my legs, happiness in my heart, fuel in my soul. All was right in the world…even if briefly. I had missed this! I had missed racing! I had missed these moments of self discovery…leaving it all out there and seeing what you are really capable of! While this wasn’t a PR race, it was everything I needed in this moment!

Pinch me! I got to race IN REAL LIFE Sunday! And cross an actual finish line! πŸ’™πŸ’› Photo Credit: Iron Hippie

Finish time: 1:54:49 (8:44/mile average pace) AG: 5/18, Females: 33/132, Overall: 109/293
Gear: Coeur Sports fitted run shorts, Coeur Sports triathlon tank with shelf bra, Coeur Sports long sleeve jersey, Coeur Sports visor, Newton Kismet running shoes, Roka SL-1X sunnies, Orange Mud hand held water bottle, Boco Gear converter glove

It’s been far too long since I’ve gotten to do a #medalmonday post! Beyond grateful for the opportunity to race in person and cross a real finish line! Soaking it all up and celebrating some BIG wins from Sunday’s race! πŸ’™πŸ’›

2021 week 11: race week

Hello IRL racing! I’ve missed you! I’m SO EXCITED that we got the opportunity to meet again! Last week was race week and I got to race IN REAL LIFE! Eeekkk! I LOVE to race, but I felt like a fish out of water going into this race since we have had SO LITTLE in person races in the last year. The nerves were heightened, but it’s ok to be nervous. “Nerves are cousin to excitement, and excitement is cousin to gratitude.” My nerves were a sign that something Very Big was about to go down and I was excited for just how good it might be! Those butterflies are a good thing!

Quote of the week:

“Racing teaches us to challenge ourselves. It teaches us to push beyond where we thought we could go. It helps us to find out what we are made of. This is what we do. This is what it’s all about.”

~Patti Sue Plummer

Swim: 2600 yards

I managed to strain some muscles in my left shoulder on my birthday just over a week ago (apparently the universe wanted to remind me that I’m getting older 🀣), so there wasn’t as much swimming last week as I would have liked. Thankfully my shoulder was feeling nearly 100% by Friday and I was able to get one swim in over the weekend.

Saturday I swam as a form of active prep/recovery for Sunday’s race. The workout was full of pulling to save my legs. I was a bit worried that all of the pulling would negatively impact my shoulder, but thankfully my shoulder held up very well.

  • Warm up:
    • 400 swim
  • Main Set:
    • 4x(400 pull, 100 FAST)
  • Cool Down:
    • 200 any stroke
I’ve been a fish out of water for over a week due to a strained shoulder, but thankfully my shoulder is back to feeling 100% and it felt amazing to be back in my happy place!

Bike: miles

Tuesday I changed up my training plans. I had some extra time to do my longer workout Tuesday instead of doing it on the weekend like originally planned, so I took advantage of the opportunity. This allowed me to recover a bit more later in the week since it was RACE WEEK! πŸ₯³

Be flexible in the process, but committed to your goals. πŸ’™πŸ’›

Run: 26.5 miles

Sunday I got to dust off the cobwebs and race IRL! I was SO nervous, excited, grateful, and happy to be racing in person again. There is something special about the feeling that comes with chasing down the people in front of you, pushing your limits with others around, and crossing an actual real finish line!

Pinch me! I got to race IN REAL LIFE Sunday! And cross an actual finish line! πŸ’™πŸ’›

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

Weekly Totals: 12 hours & 35 minutes

Attitude of Gratitude:

One year ago today, as the world shut down and uncertainty skyrocketed, our lives became richer. This little lucky charm entered our pack. πŸ€ Happy gotcha day, Jersey! We love you SO much baby girl! πŸ’š
It’s been WAY TOO LONG since I’ve last put one of these on for an in person race! Excited to toe the start line Sunday!
So grateful for my friend, neighbor, and Coeur Sports sister, Courtney, for the homemade sourdough bread she made me for my birthday! SO YUMMY!
We take recovery VERY seriously in our household. Two more human sleeps and many 🐢 sleeps to my first race day of 2021! πŸ₯³
Flat Kecia is ready for my first IRL race of 2021! LFG! ⚑️🌟πŸ₯³
Nerves were high, but it is a good thing to be nervous! β€œNerves are a cousin to excitement and excitement is a cousin to gratitude. If you feel nervous, it’s a sign that a VERY BIG THING is unfolding. Be nervous for how good that thing can be.” I was SO excited and grateful to be racing in person again that I didn’t even care about the ridiculously strong winds! Oh, and that VERY BIG THING that unfolded…it was massive amounts of self discovery because I decided to show the f*%k up and #believe I could push myself farther than I thought possible! πŸ’™πŸ’›

What were your highlights from week 11 of 2021?! Are IRL races happening around you?!

2021 week 10: decide

When you decide to twist the negative into a positive, magic happens! Last week I made the decision in multiple areas to change the negative dialogue in my head into a positive script and it transformed each and every situation into a successful, more joyful, more magical experience.

Quote of the week:

“Our power is in our ability to decide.”

~R. Buckminster Fuller

Swim: 3000 yards

Speaking of deciding to change the negative narrative into a positive script…Tuesday morning I had 100s to failure (or 20x100s HARD…whichever comes first) on the schedule. I have no idea why I let this workout spiral me mentally into a negative narrative before I even start swimming, but I manage to EVERY STINKING TIME it shows up on my schedule. And ya know what?! I am self coached. I put that workout on my schedule. I do this to myself! 🀣 Thankfully during my warm up, I changed my negative narrative and decided to write an optimistic script instead. I decided to be brave enough to show up! I decided to be brave enough to focus on the interval I was in. I decided to be brave enough to keep pushing myself HARD each and every interval. I decided to be brave enough to push myself out of my comfort zone and see just how far I could take myself.

The average of my first 5x100s was 1:38/100 yards. This meant I had to keep my 100s to failure at a sub 1:41/100 yard pace. UGH! When you feel like an anchor in the water, achieving these paces seems impossible, but as Ironman says, “Anything is Possible” so I kept showing up, focusing on my form, deciding to be brave, and pushing myself with each and every interval. I ended up successfully swimming a total of 20x100s HARD at a paces ranging from 1:35.6 to 1:40.7/100 yards. πŸ₯³

  • Warm up:
    • 300 swim
    • 200 pull
    • 100 kick
    • 100 easy
  • Main Set:
    • Swim 5x100s HARD (20 seconds rest between) and average these times.
    • Swim as many 100s HARD as possible. The pace should be less than +3 seconds from the average of the first 5x100s (20 seconds rest). You are done when you fail 2x100s in a row or successfully achieve 20x100s (total…including the first 5x100s HARD), whichever comes first.
  • Cool Down:
    • 200 any stroke
We are capable of SO much more than we think! Decide to be brave enough to show up! Decide to be brave enough to push yourself out of your comfort zone! Decide to change the negative narrative! Decide to let the magic happen! πŸ’™πŸ’›

Bike: 114 miles

Remember a week ago when my aero bar snapped off my bike during my trainer ride…well, I took Mojo to the BEST bike hospital around on Monday (Kyle’s Bikes). Kyle had her for the first half of the week so he could do some surgery on her, but I got her back just in time to spend some quality time together for my birthday weekend! She was SO HAPPY to be fixed up and in working order! THANK YOU KYLE for working your magic on her! You’re da bomb diggity!

Saturday I had a 3 hour ride structured as 3x(20 min Z1, 20 min Z2, 20 min Z3) + a 5K run off the bike. The week before I struggled with this bike workout so on Saturday I decided to try again. Not only did I successfully complete the bike workout on Saturday, but the #5KO run off the bike was a FUN way to celebrate a life lost way too soon.

Decide to be brave enough to keep showing up! Decide to be brave enough to step out of your comfort zone! Decide to be brave enough to try again! DECIDE! πŸ’™πŸ’›

Run: 22.9 miles

Monday I had a 50 minute run with 4×4 minutes FAST intervals (scripted at 8.0 mph or 7:30/mile pace) and let me tell ya, I had a LOT of doubt and SO many excuses for wanting to change my 4×4 min FAST run to an easy paced run. BUT I decided to be brave enough to show up. I decided to be brave enough to give myself a chance! I decided to do the workout as written, push my limits, and see what I had in me. And ya know what?! I had SO much more in me than I thought I did. I successfully completed this workout on tired + sore legs. It felt good to actually feel like I had more in the tank to give!

DECIDE! Decide to be brave enough to show up! Decide to be brave enough to give yourself a chance because you may just have SO much more in you than you thought you did! πŸ’™πŸ’›

Snowshoe: 0 miles

Yep! In looking at the extended forecast, those days are officially over for the season. With the ice off the lakes, it’s time for the water to warm up so I can take the SUP out!

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

Weekly Totals: 12 hours & 42 minutes

Attitude of Gratitude:

We had a couple of really nice days to start the week. I was grateful to get out in the fresh air + sunshine to recharge the batteries by walking around campus for a little bit on Tuesday.
My gut has been pulling me in this direction for months. I DECIDED to listen to it. Appointment is scheduled for Monday, March 22. πŸ’™πŸ’›
Sunshine + fresh air + endorphins + family time + warm temps in March in Iowa = #happyheart πŸ’™πŸ’›
So grateful for all the snuggles with our baby girl! πŸ₯°
Celebrating another trip around the sun during a global pandemic means sushi to go!
Grateful for the opportunity to run #5KO for a life lost way too early!
Getting my squeeze on! So grateful for my Normatec recovery boots!

What were your highlights from week 10 of 2021?! Where in your life do you decide to bravely show up?!