What’s Up?! – May 2016

Wahoo!! I made it to the end of the school year and am looking forward to having my summer off!! This is what I’ve been up to throughout the month of May:

Focus: Mental Gains

#courageovercomfort has gotten me through some really tough workouts this month, but self confidence and believing more in myself has definitely helped with this also! Some of these tough workouts wouldn’t have happened if I didn’t start believing in myself more. I had a great 10K run off of a 56 mile bike where I saw negative splits (where I ran down into the 7 minutes for the last few splits…gains), I had a long 15 mile run the next day with an average pace of 8:30/mile (I was hoping to run a 9:00/mile pace…gains), I put up fantastic times at the Market to Market Relay and Hickory Grove Duathlon…gains (see below). None of this would have happened without gaining self confidence and believing in myself.

Finish: School Year

The students had their last day of school on Friday, May 27. I have two additional days as professional development days on today and tomorrow, but then I will be free to do whatever I want for the whole summer. I’m definitely looking forward to this!

Firsts: Market to Market Relay Iowa and Hickory Grove Duathlon

Market to Market Relay: This was my first relay that I’ve ever participated in and boy was it SUPER fun!! I was really nervous going into it about what the day would be like, if I would enjoy myself, and how well my legs would hold up. I think being an Ironman athlete helped me both mentally and physically today as I ran 3 different times throughout the day. We woke up at 4 am, met the rest of Team #KissOurAsphalt at the middle school at 5:15 for a departure to Jefferson where we would start our 75 mile running relay to Des Moines, and our first runner started running at 7:15 am. I was the third runner, so I had some time before I started running. My first leg was 5.4 miles at an average pace of 7:56/mile. I didn’t feel too taxed with this leg, but boy could I smell and see the smoke that had drifted down from a Minnesota wildfire. My throat was very scratchy, but all I could think was “I hope everyone up north is safe!” as I ran. My second leg was 5.1 miles at an average pace of 8:07/mile. I didn’t smell the smoke as bad on this leg, but we were farther south…I don’t know if that matters or not. I did slow my pace a bit on this leg for just a short time to run with a friend for about 0.3 miles that I caught up to on the trail. It was good to chat with a friendly face, even if it meant running a bit slower than I had been! I was the final runner for our team, which meant running about 3.7 miles and then meeting my team for the last 0.3 miles as we crossed the finish line. I was nervous about this leg because everyone kept telling me how tired and sore my legs would be and that they wouldn’t want to cooperate. I was pleasantly surprised…as a triathlete, I am used to running on tired legs. It felt just like running off the bike after a long/tough workout. My last run totaled 3.95 miles at an average pace of 8:18/mile. This part of the run I was VERY familiar with (having run this part of the trail during MANY other local races) and I usually break down mentally in this area. Thankfully I had a pep talk with myself before I started this leg and I didn’t break down too badly today! Overall, I ran 14.42 miles at an average pace of 8:07/mile. Since I thought I would be running closer to 9:00 miles, I was SUPER happy with my performance on the day!

#courageovercomfort definitely helped me push past some mental barriers today! We arrived back home at about 8 pm, unloaded the car, showered, relaxed for a bit, and then hit the pillow by 9 pm. It was a really long day, but super fun!! Overall, our team finished in 10:26:45 with an average pace of 8:20/mile over the 75.1 miles. We had a LOT of fun and were VERY happy with our overall time and pace!

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Hickory Grove Duathlon: This was my first duathlon I’ve ever participated in and it was SO MUCH FUN!!

In training I have done some run/bike/run training, but had never raced in this format before. Since it was a 0.9 mile run/15.5 mile bike/3.1 mile run, I wanted to go hard and see what I could do. I am pretty pleased with my performance! I raced to 1st in my age group, 2nd overall female, and finished 11th overall. You can find the full race recap here.

#solesistersweat and a podium finish at my first ever duathlon
#solesistersweat and a podium finish at my first ever duathlon

Finding Faster:

As you know, I have been working on my swim. Thanks to the recommendation of my Coeur Teammate Erin, I purchased the Finis Forearm Fulcrums and have just started to use them. I am hoping these help me find my catch again…sooner rather than later 😉

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Fun Reads:

The Girl On The Train by Paula Hawkins kept me reading. I really wanted to know who “did it.” I was so captivated that I read the whole book in less than a week. I couldn’t put it down!! “Rachel takes the same commuter train every morning and night. Every day she rattles down the track, flashes past a stretch of cozy suburban homes, and stops at the signal that allows her to daily watch the same couple breakfasting on their deck. She’s even started to feel like she knows them. Jess and Jason, she calls them. Their life—as she sees it—is perfect. Not unlike the life she recently lost. And then she sees something shocking. It’s only a minute until the train moves on, but it’s enough. Now everything’s changed. Unable to keep it to herself, Rachel goes to the police. But is she really as unreliable as they say? Soon she is deeply entangled not only in the investigation but in the lives of everyone involved. Has she done more harm than good?”

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Elite Minds: Creating the Competitive Advantage by Stan Beecham is a must read for those people trying to change their mindset to develop a world-class mind in business or sport. “Most people don’t reach their full potential because of their body, training, or physical talent. It is their mind that is the deterrent. They may or may not consider how their thoughts and beliefs are actually hindering performance. “Elite Minds” gives insight into the process of developing a world-class mind in both business and sport, where the principles of performance are the same, despite the activity. With “Elite Minds,” Dr. Stan Beecham will: Explain that what you believe is the most important thing in the world to you; Show you how fear is keeping you from reaching your goals; Teach you that there is no such thing as individual performance; Demonstrate how successful people value their time more, making them more efficient; Take you through the minds of the elite, who have reached their full potential by tapping into their consciousness and answering the question: Who Am I?”

Stop Using Qualifiers: How to Own Your Strengths by Carrie Cheadle really got me thinking about how I discount my strengths by adding qualifiers to them. She stresses how important it is to be confident (not cocky) when owning your strengths and not undersell them. Own your strengths, be proud of them, and don’t over shadow them by always setting the bar higher and higher. Accept your strengths and successes as being “enough.”

Stop Saying Just! by Janine Kaye, a Witsup.com contributor, had me really thinking about downplaying our accomplishments no matter how big or small by putting the word “just” in front of it. I just ran a 5K. I just raced the bike leg of the triathlon for my team. I just swam in open water for only 20 minutes. We are awesome and we should own it! “Don’t belittle your achievement or success.”

I am currently reading Grit: The Power of Passion and Perseverance by Angela Duckworth. As an educator and endurance athlete, I am always trying to gain insight on how to intrinsically motivate individuals. “Pioneering psychologist Angela Duckworth shows anyone striving to succeed—be it parents, students, educators, athletes, or business people—that the secret to outstanding achievement is not talent but a special blend of passion and persistence she calls “grit.” Among Grit’s most valuable insights:

*Why any effort you make ultimately counts twice toward your goal
*How grit can be learned, regardless of I.Q. or circumstances
*How lifelong interest is triggered
*How much of optimal practice is suffering and how much ecstasy
*Which is better for your child—a warm embrace or high standards
*The magic of the Hard Thing Rule

Winningly personal, insightful, and even life-changing, Grit is a book about what goes through your head when you fall down, and how that—not talent or luck—makes all the difference.”

How was your month of May? Have you tried anything new lately? If so, what was your overall impression of this new endeavor? What new reads have you enjoyed lately?

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8 thoughts on “What’s Up?! – May 2016

  1. I’m so glad that you enjoyed those two races…it’s those kind of experiences that get you through the hard weeks of training. May was kind of a bust for me-bad weather and sick kids kept me from doing the biking that I planned (gym and outside). I’m not letting it get me down though…my time will come when the boys are a little older 🙂

      1. Thanks! The weather is looking great for Thursday and the kids are on the mend, so I may actually get out for short ride that day-YAY!

  2. Great month!! Lots of fun stuff going on!!! I loved Girl On The Train….so good!
    I don’t think I have done anything different lately… a lot of the same ol swimming, biking, and running!! One day I will put a blog post together!! 😉

    1. Thanks Leslie! You’re right…such a good book!! Sometimes no change is a good thing. I look forward to reading your post when you get to it, but I know life can be busy…hopefully not too busy 😉

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