The Best of 2014

After posting the Best of 2013 last year, I decided it would be fun to look back through 2014 and reminisce my faves 🙂 The idea came from Abby over at Change of Pace who links up with Miss Zippy. If you haven’t checked them out yet, you definitely should!!

Best race experience?

Ironman Wisconsin was definitely my best race experience of 2014.  I overcame obstacles, set a swim PR with a time of 1:21:52, an Ironman run PR with a time of 5:15:32, and an overall Ironman race PR with a time of 15:15:56.  I met my race goals and had a near perfect day, while having a lot of fun!!

Feeling good as I run down the finish shoot.  Photo courtesy of Finisherpix.
Feeling good as I run down the finish shoot. Photo courtesy of Finisherpix.

Best run?

I have ran on the trails near our house many times over the years, but I had never run a trail race until this year.  One month after Ironman Wisconsin, the Iron Hippie and I ran a 10 mile trail race in Cedar Falls, Iowa.  We had a blast!!  I love running in the woods where you have to keep your focus or this will happen…

It wouldn't be a trail race if someone didn't eat dirt ;)
It wouldn’t be a trail race if someone didn’t eat dirt 😉

Best bike?

The best bike of the year was post Ironman Wisconsin.  The Iron Hippie and I decided to go ride at McFarland Park through the prairie and wooded areas.  While we weren’t racing or completing a hard training ride, it was fun to ride our cross bikes on different terrain than we are use to.  Being out in the fresh air surrounded by nature without many people around while on our bikes was AWESOME!!

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Best swim?

The best swim of the year was definitely the Okoboji 3.5 mile point to point swim.  I immediately set a PR simply by finishing this distance, but it was also a lot of fun to have Dad in a kayak next to me while I swam.  I finished the 3.5 miles in a time of 1:49:33 🙂

Photo courtesy of L. Bierbaum...Allen and Dad were our support crew.
Photo courtesy of L. Bierbaum…Allen and Dad were our support crew.
Photo courtesy of L. Bierbaum:  The Iron Hippie and I successfully finished our 3.5 mile swim "race"
Photo courtesy of L. Bierbaum: The Iron Hippie and I successfully finished our 3.5 mile swim “race”

Best brick workout?

The best brick workout of the year was our last big brick workout on August 16th.  We rode 112 miles in just under 7 hours and then ran 9 miles at a 10 min/mile pace (which was our goal pace for race day).  It was a near perfect workout and it gave me the confidence that would guide me to a successful race at Ironman Wisconsin.

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Best group workout?

The best group workout was our second 100 mile bike ride on July 6.  Since it was a holiday weekend, we decided to take advantage of the extra vacation day and get outside to ride.  It was fun to have a few additional friends join us for a long day!!

 

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Best new piece of gear?

This is SUPER easy…my new Coeur Sports tri kits!!  L.O.V.E. LOVE my Coeur tri kits…no chafing, seamless chamois, perfect fit, fun colors, #stylishspeed…simply AMAZING!!  I love them so much, that I have 4 of them…shh, don’t tell the Iron Hippie 😉  I love what Coeur Sports stands for and represents…#heartandcourage.  ALL women who SBR (swim, bike, run) and/or do triathlon should wear Coeur Sports apparel…it is da BOMB!!

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Approaching the finish line of Ironman Wisconsin 2014.  Photo courtesy of Finisherpix.
Approaching the finish line of Ironman Wisconsin 2014. Photo courtesy of Finisherpix.

Best hydration find?

This is another SUPER easy one…Osmo Nutrition!!  Because “Women are Not Small Men” there is a product line specifically for women.  Osmo Nutrition kept me properly hydrated during my hundreds of hours of training and racing this year.  I experienced one of the worst nutrition failures at Ironman Wisconsin 2011 and I am pleased to say that Osmo Nutrition worked perfectly for me and hydration failure was not an option at Ironman Wisconsin 2014!!

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Best piece of racing advice you received?

“Just one more” ~Tim Jenks

This quote was with me during many training workouts and on race day as I had to do just one more loop on the bike, or climb Observatory hill just one more time. He will be missed, but never forgotten!

Most inspirational athlete?

She is not known around the world, but this year a former student quickly became the most inspirational athlete to me.  Olivia was with her twin brother on a bicycle training ride when he tragically lost his life in June because he was struck by a vehicle.  Olivia had the heart and courage to race a few short weeks later in the Junior Elite Triathlon they were training for.  She was first out of the water and finished 9th overall (out of 75 participants) qualifying her for the National competition.  I am so proud of her!!

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OJ finishing strong!!
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Timothy Jenks was remembered at the Junior Elite Triathlon he was training for. He was given race #1 and his transition area was set up with his running shoes.

If you could sum up your year in a couple of words, what would they be?

Epic, Fun, Inspirational

Tell me about your 2014 year!!

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20 thoughts on “The Best of 2014

  1. IMOO was not only the event of the year, but will likely be the event of a lifetime. But I also scored 7 PR’s this year and qualified for the Houston Marathon as well as some front coral spots. But, a small moment that has meant a lot happened at work. I was talking to a new co-worker and she suddenly said “oh, you’re the runner”. The marvel was that I just replied “yes”. I was an obese couch potato until 3 years ago and was never comfortable with the idea that I was an athlete. A comment like this a few months ago would have embarrassed me and I would have replied “not really”, or “I wouldn’t say that”, or “not at the speed that I go”. It wasn’t until later in the day that I realised that I really do view myself as a runner and an athlete now, and that I am no longer ashamed or embarrassed about it. That was a huge revelation for me…

  2. What an incredible year of racing, Kecia! You really shined in many ways and had a number of great experiences. Love the battle wound from your trail running experience and the epic long swim – all great reminders of how strong you are. I think you are setting yourself up for some remarkable things in 2015.

    This year was a year of growth, new experiences and challenges, and appreciation.

    1. Thanks Kristen! You too had a remarkable year! You’ve set yourself up for a rockin’ 2015 and I can’t wait to see all the great things that come your way 🙂

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