2023 week 4: explore

Last week I spent exploring…exploring where my edge was while climbing Alp du Zwift on the bike, exploring where my edge was during a 200 yard time trial, and exploring all the trails in the snow (including some new to us trails).

“Exploration is a wonderful way to open our eyes to the world, and to truly see that impossible is just a word.”

~Richard Branson

Swim highlights: 3050 yards

Wednesday was the only day I swam last week and boy was it a great swim! We did a “shark” swim Wednesday. Melissa is about 30 seconds faster than me at the 200 distance (her breast stroke and my freestyle). She gave me a 30 second head start and I worked HARD to not let her catch me. Thanks Melissa for pushing me to really get the most out of myself! 💙

New PR for the 200 yard distance in the pool Wednesday that ended with heavy + labored breathing, seeing stars, feeling my heartbeat in my toes, and feeling SO DAMN PROUD of myself for going deep into the well. ⚡️

Bike highlights: 29.4 miles + 36,388 feet of cumulative elevation gained in January

Monday I climbed Alp du Zwift with the goal of trying to set a 90 day PR. My previous PR was set 5 days prior with a time of 90:20 for the 7.76 mile climb. On Monday I SMASHED that by setting a new PR of 78:04! ⚡️ This climb also got me to the top of Mount Everest for the month of January. Don’t worry…I didn’t stop climbing just because I achieved this goal. I’m still climbing through the end of the month!

So damn proud of my accomplishments:
⚡️cutting over 12 minutes
⚡️sticking with the discomfort when I wanted to quit climbing many times
⚡️my curiosity won instead of my fear of failure and fear of disappointment
⚡️my intentional thoughts were on point to get me to the top

Run fun: 0 miles

I didn’t do one run last week and I’m ok with that. I ventured out on snowshoes multiple times instead. Taking advantage of the white fluff! ❄️💙

Snowshoe adventures: 6.61 miles

We got out for a snowshoe adventure early in the week before it got too cold to be outside for long later in the week. It is so peaceful out in the woods! I’m so grateful to have a family who enjoys these outdoor adventures! ❄️💙🐶

Happy hearts ❄️💙🐶

Weekly Totals: 9 hours & 40 minutes

15 minutes of core strength daily
2×30 minutes of full body strength

Attitude of Gratitude:

what is that strange glow in the sky???
snuggles + building radical self belief with Vanessa Foerster + getting squeezed by my Normatec boots = happy heart
snowshoeing at dusk was a great way to end the work week ❄️💙🐶
love these two happy butts ❄️💙🐶
snowshoe adventures in the falling ❄️ before the temps plummeted ❄️💙🐶
Recovery is on point after all the playing in the ❄️

What are you highlights from week 4 of 2023?

2023 week 3: messy + imperfect + uncomfortable = success

Last week we started to figure out our new normal while experiencing less of everything: dog hair, love, feet to clean, happy tails, mouths to feed, snuggles. Monday I made the commitment to myself to “just show up” everyday and that is what I did. By doing this, I had a super successful week that I am SO DAMN PROUD of!

“Show up messy. Show up imperfect. But just keep showing up.”

~Jenna Kutcher

Swim highlights: 10,800 yards

During Wednesday’s swim, Coach Sophie gave me feedback to make my swim stroke more efficient and balanced long term. Right now it is in the ugly + uncomfortable + craptastic stage where I am mentally doubting if it is worth it because I am slow and awkward. I trust the process and I believe that it will get better with time. So for now, I will continue to show up, be messy + imperfect + uncomfortable and practice, practice, practice. AND on Friday, I set a new PR at the 500 yard distance with a time trial…maybe those tweaks to my swim stroke are working. 🙃

How lucky are we that we get to swim here?! Oh…and that new 500 yard PR is pretty awesome too!! 🙃

Bike highlights: 57.8 miles + 30,705 feet of cumulative elevation gained in January

Ummm…Thursday’s ride was BRUTAL in the BEST way!! I missed doing the Kilimanjaro workout with the @coeursports #veloclub Thursday morning, which meant I had to do this challenging workout solo later in the day. After seeing all of the posts and comments about the difficulty of this workout I was scared + nervous to go it alone. My brain was full of doubt. But thankfully doubt isn’t a problem. I did some session priming before starting this workout. I decided ahead of time what I wanted to think + how I wanted to feel DURING this workout AND what I wanted to think + how I wanted to feel AFTER this workout.

“Remember you have to be a bit scared to be brave, AND you have to overcome that fear to get the biggest feeling of accomplishment after.” ~ @jesssmithtri

I am exploring where my edge is. As challenging as this workout was, today I was pushed close to my edge, but I did not reach it. I finished with stars for all 49 intervals, trashed legs, a happy heart, and the biggest feeling of accomplishment! ⚡️

Run fun: 5.64 miles

Wednesday I had a run where the main set was 4 minutes fast/4 minutes easy. Based on my last performance doing this workout a couple of weeks ago, I decided to shoot for 7.8 mph (8:01/mile pace) for those fast intervals. I took some time to session prime and when I stepped on the treadmill, decided to explore where my edge is and go for 8.0 mph (7:49/mile pace). I had no idea if I could actually hit this, but I knew I was willing to try it and see if I had it in me to do on this day. It wasn’t pretty, but I held on for every second of those fast intervals and I was so damn proud of myself for not settling with the easier pace and pushing myself so close to my edge.

Snowshoe adventures: 5.25 miles

We finally got out for some snow adventures last weekend! Wahoo!

so grateful to be out in the woods ❄️💙

Weekly Totals: 16 hours & 33 minutes

15 minutes of core strength daily
30 minutes of full body strength

30 minutes of yoga

Attitude of Gratitude:

Look at what we FINALLY got?! Who’s ready to snowshoe?! 🙋🏻‍♀️
getting our snuggles on 🐶🥰
recovery is on point 🥰 with a squeeze from my Normatec boots
everytime we light this we think of our baby girl 🐶🥰 thanks Steena and John for giving us such a beautiful gift to keep her around for a bit longer
snowshoe adventures with this amazing crew ❄️💙
2000 piece puzzle is complete
snow, friends, and conversation is great therapy ❄️💙
Sometimes we get tree limbs and sometimes we get deer legs brought to us by our favorite little “hunter.” Sunday was a little of both. 😜🤣 (this one is the tree limb)

What are you highlights from week 3 of 2023?

2023 week 2: goodbye sweet girl

Last week was a really HARD week. Our sweet old girl, Mya, went over the Rainbow Bridge on Tuesday. We miss her SO much! She have left a huge hole in our hearts that directly correlates to the love we shared. She gave so much love in her nearly 14 years on this Earth and we are forever grateful that we got to share so much love with her. Adjusting to a family of 4 has been way out of our comfort zone. We are all floundering at the moment, but we will create our new normal with time.

“No longer by my side, but forever in my heart
We’ll meet again at the Rainbow Bridge
And we’ll never be far apart” 🐾

~Unknown

Swim highlights: 3300 yards

Diving into a new week ready to go…before our unplanned hiccup.

Bike highlights: 0 miles + 17,765 feet of cumulative elevation gained in January

Run fun: 6.72 miles

“B- work saves the world.” It isn’t about the grade, but rather about the work in the world that we’re here to do. Letting go of perfectionist tendencies allows us to show up to the world and contribute to the world. As a perfectionist, you wait until you are ready to give A+ work and then you don’t contribute and others don’t benefit from you and your work. ~Brooke Castillo

I am a work in progress. I am always striving to be the best version of myself, BUT that does NOT mean “perfect”. I have only done one speed work run session since mid November, so looking at how today’s run was written caused me to 😳. I decided to let go of trying to nail this run “perfectly” as planned and instead stayed curious about what I could do. I stayed present and in the moment while focusing on the interval I was in. Did I nail the workout as written? No I did not, but I did give everything I had for today and that is “perfect”!! ⚡️

Weekly Totals: 4 hours & 43 minutes

15 minutes of core strength daily
30 minutes of full body strength

Attitude of Gratitude:

Thank you for all of the love you have given us. We love and miss you so much! Run and swim free baby girl! 💕
We just can’t get enough snuggles! 🐶🥰
Feeling all the emotions is exhausting. 🐶🥰
Isabella made the finals in 5 of her 6 individual events at the swim meet last weekend. SO DAMN PROUD of her!

📸 William Jenks

What are you highlights from week 2 of 2023?

2023 week 1: hiiiii

2023 started off strong and with a great bike challenge! Last week I spent some time thinking about what challenges I want to take on for 2023 and what direction I want to take my journey. I am still ironing it all out, but my heart is definitely pulling me toward one direction.

“Who’s ready to make 2023 their best year yet?! 🙋🏻‍♀️”

~Me

Swim highlights: 4900 yards

Consistency is my talent ⚡️

Consistently show up ⚡️
Consistently put in the work ⚡️
Consistently see positive results ⚡️

Bike highlights: 67.6 miles + 17,765 feet of cumulative elevation gained in January

This month I am taking on the HardCoeur Coaching Everest Challenge. The goal is to climb up Mt. Everest over the course of the month of January (it does not have to be all at once). I am doing this all virtually on Zwift because…hello winter in Iowa. I have chosen to climb up Alp du Zwift everytime I get on the bike. As a result, my pace is much slower and I am covering less mileage for the same amount of time on the bike, but I am killing the elevation gain!!

Run fun: 13.7 miles

It’s not the achievement of the goal that is the greatest reward, but rather who you become in the process of pushing your limits, overcoming challenges, and growing into the best version of yourself. Life is full of opportunities, so take those opportunities and run with them!

Weekly Totals: 13 hours & 59 minutes

15 minutes of core strength daily
2×30 minutes of full body strength

Attitude of Gratitude:

Snuggles + getting my squeeze on = yes please!
We had some visitors that I’m grateful to meet (the twin babies) and have dearly missed
One of the twins…SO TINY!
Super excited to be on the SBR ambassador team again in 2023!
Getting to swim/bike/run all in one day makes my heart happy! 🥰
The morning frost was so beautiful! 🥰

What are you highlights from week 1 of 2023?

my 2022 year in review via photos

January:

Our snowshoes were calling our names, so we HAD to go play! The girls were happy to oblige, even if the 12 inches of snow was a bit deep to plow through at times. ❄️💙 #snowdogs #snowshoeadventures #snowtherapy
Every few years I get my haircut so I can donate it to Wigs For Kids. 🥰 It is time to donate!
“We’ve trained our humans to give us what we want. Today we told them we wanted to go play in the white stuff and they listened! We are so lucky to have humans that love doing what we do! Thanks mom and dad for taking us on epic adventures so we can play!” 💙 -Basil and Jersey #snowdogs #snowshoe #snowshoeadventures
Excited to be an SBR ambassador again in 2022. If you are looking for great products to remove the chlorine, get your wetsuit on/off easier, reduce/avoid chafing, or keep the goggles from fogging over (even the ski goggles), SBR has something for you! Use KECIAPLACEFENCL at checkout for 20% off!
Getting to play in the snow with our niece and the girls!
Getting my Normatec squeeze on while helping with homework and snuggling.
Supporting our niece at her swim meet!
So grateful to be representing Coeur Sports again in 2022! If you see any of us, know that we are there to help you, hug you, give high fives, encourage you, and support you! 🥰

February:

Ames Triathlon directors meeting + recovery in my Normatec boots = multitasking at its best!
We finally completed our 2000 piece puzzle!
These two peas in a pod have my heart!
Mental health is SO important! You must take care of yourself first so you can be at your best for those you love. Do more of what lights a fire within you to keep your batteries at max capacity! 💙💛 #selfcare
What are you doing today to elevate you tomorrow?!
I am so grateful for the blue skies, sunshine, fresh air, warm ish winter temps, a strong body, a powerful mind, and all the joy during my long run Saturday. 💙💛

March:

It definitely felt like spring in #iowa Wednesday! 💛 So grateful for family, miles, sunshine, warm temps, fresh air, and lots of joy! 💙 Oh, and don’t worry…if you have some jealousy because of our weather it changed and returned to “normal” Thursday. 🤪
Happy 3rd birthday baby girl!
Things feel heavy right now and many are hurting (dehumanizing trans laws, the invasion of Ukraine, mental illness, cancer, etc.), but we still need to take time to celebrate those moments that bring us joy and connection in ourselves and to others. The world needs more joy, so let’s spread more joy. 💛 • Today I had a 6 watt increase in my FTP (with help from my Breakthru @coeursports kit), I got to play in the water with my fav, and I got to snuggle with my baby girl. I’m choosing to celebrate all of these things because they bring me joy (even if I have to work harder now on the bike 🤪). • What are you celebrating today?! What brought you joy today?! 💛
Strong, brave, intelligent, determined, confident, kind, gritty, up lifting, resilient, empowering, bold, audacious, relentless…just a few words to describe the women in my life. #happyinternationalwomensday 💙💛
Courage and growth • Courage to venture out in adverse conditions ( 🥶 + 💨) = growth as I challenge what once were limits and elevate myself to my next level. ⚡️
45 comin’ in 🔥 with a bullseye! #LFG
Ummm…sushi FTW!!
First outdoor ride of 2022!!
Laying one brick at a time by staying present and focused in the mile I’m in. ⚡️ • Grateful for: -miles with my girls 🐶 -sunshine ☀️ -fresh air -16+ miles on two feet (after a swim + bike) 🏊🏻‍♀️🚴🏻🏃🏻‍♀️ -so much joy 💛
Grateful we get to spend time with these two + get them new running shoes for track…Isabella didn’t want her picture taken.🤪

April:

“Past results do not equal future possibility.” ~Dede Greisbauer
Looooong ladder with increasing effort • When you focus your thoughts intentionally, those increasing efforts = faster pacing (even with more fatigue due to more yardage) ⚡️ #LFG
“Never be afraid to try something new, because life gets boring when you stay within the limits of what you already know.” ~unknown • Wednesday I tried something new! 1 hour endurance run outside + 80 minute ride with intervals + 1 hour treadmill run with 4×1 mile progressive repeats • The goals: 1. To push myself and find where my limits currently are 2. To train the legs to run strong while fatigued 3. To mix things up by doing some unconventional training • Learnings: 1. Doing something new and different is uncertain, but so exciting 2. Session priming is where it’s at! Decide ahead of time how you want the workout to go, how you want to feel, and what thoughts you’ll have to align with those feelings 3. Pack LOTS of clothing options to run outside because spring in Iowa is 😩 4. Being curious about what you can do and how far you can go is EVERYTHING! #LFG ⚡️
100s to failure this morning was a HUGE success! Not only did I swim at paces that have never been on my radar until recently, but I also had my own back when I hit “failure” because failing is finding my current limit, not my forever limit! #LFG ⚡️
Our 2000 piece puzzle is complete! 🥰
Cousins! 🥰
Family! 🥰
35 mph sustained winds with gusts at 50+ mph made our 11 mile run the perfect combination of challenging + fun Thursday afternoon! • I am here for it! ⚡️ • I am here for all of the discomfort. I am here for the burning in my legs. I am here for the pounding heart. I am here for the heavy breathing. I am here for the sweat in my eyes. I am here for the exhaustion. I am here for the emotional discomfort. I am here to learn and grow. I am here for the challenge. • Because all of this leads to being S O D A M N P R O U D of who I am, what I’ve already accomplished, and what I will accomplish in the future! #LFG ⚡️
We got to go cheer on our nieces at their first 7th grade track meet. So fun!
There was a hot air balloon that soared over us at the track meet. Look at that bluebird sky!
Hanging out where it is safe during a storm with rotations overhead.
Sunday was my first race of 2022. The Drake 1/2 Marathon had loads of discomfort, burning in my legs, a pounding heart, heavy breathing, salty sweat in my eyes, exhaustion, emotional discomfort, challenges, learning, and growing, AND you know what?! I’m S O D A M N P R O U D of experiencing all of it because all of this helps me create the best version of myself! I am here for it! #LFG ⚡️

May:

Even the wind couldn’t wipe this smile off my face for 105 miles. I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again…I’ll never take riding outdoors for granted. 🥰 • With 5 weeks to IMDSM I’m SO grateful to be healthy, able, and fit enough to be able to make some big deposits in the bank! And I’m even more grateful to finally get outside on two wheels with blue skies, sunshine, warmer temps, and the freedom of the open roads. Oh…and the wind was an added bonus…both a bit challenging and loads of fun!!⚡️
Getting to cheer Laylah on during the last track meet on Monday, which was cancelled right after this event due to cold, rainy weather.
Jersey wants to help Laylah with her homework, but finds this particular assignment boring. 🤣😜
This is a privilege! ⚡️🔥
Double rainbow (look closely…the top one is faint) 🥰
Grateful for beautiful weather on a long run day!
Open water swim season is here!! 🐶🥰
Any day on two wheels and the open roads is a great day! Today I had the privilege of previewing a large portion of the #IMDSM bike course with Michelle Maria ⚡️ • 3 weeks ‘til IMDSM! #LFG ⚡️
And that’s a wrap on the big training. Now to taper…even though it doesn’t feel like it yet.
Getting to meet up with some Coeur Sports sisters, race, and test the fitness for IMDSM was SO MUCH FUN!
I GOT to play Saturday at Tri Clear Lake and do a little speed work in the midst of IRONMAN training. I’m SO DAMN PROUD of my effort, my execution, and my mental endurance. • 2 weeks to IMDSM #LFG ⚡️

June:

Last long swim before #IMDSM is in the bank! It is SO awesome to be back swimming in the outdoor 50m pool! • I am R E A D Y to toe the start line of IM #9 and test my physical, mental, and emotional fitness + endurance! • 10 days until #IMDSM race day! #LFG ⚡️
Sooo grateful to get to spend the morning cheering on our niece, Isabella, in her first swim meet in a 50m pool!
Getting to meet up with my Coeur Sports teammates on Saturday before the race was exactly what I needed to help calm the anxiety!
The universe is reminding me to be PRESENT. Don’t waste energy wishing for a different past or worrying about the future. Stay focused and PRESENT in THIS moment as you lay THIS brick! ⚡️ • 4 days until #IMDSM #LFG ⚡️
All checked in and ready to race! #LFG ⚡️
The dogs love to play in the water, so we started teaching them to jump off the dock this week!
So grateful for meeting Mike Reilly at IMDSM athlete check in and that he is supporting the Ames Triathlon. If you haven’t registered for it yet, get on it TODAY!
As I ran down the red carpet in my first ever daylight finish with the cheers of family, friends, and random strangers surrounding me, I was full of emotions. I was SO drained, but also SO F’ING PROUD! I executed a solid race that allowed me to cross the finish line of Ironman #9 on an incredibly tough day! Icing on the cake…knowing I had given my best on this day while creating an 11th place age group finish (my highest AG finish placement yet in an Ironman race)! 13:53:58⚡️
YAY for play time with Tim and our friend Courtney! 🥰
We love the water! 🥰
YAY for water walking, vitamin D, fresh air, and amazing company!
Sometimes all you need is: ⚡️ the freedom of the open roads ⚡️ two wheels ⚡️ sunshine ⚡️ fresh air ⚡️ blue skies ⚡️ a bit of a challenge ⚡️ time with your own thoughts 😜 and a little smell of country animals
We got transition set on Saturday night and were ready for Sunday morning!
We are SO proud of our friend who completed her FIRST EVER triathlon at the Ames Triathlon on Sunday. She did this 10 years post paralysis. ⚡️🔥
Being on the water is so peaceful. It was a great way to decompress from an amazing and successful weekend for the 3rd annual Ames Triathlon race!
All clear for another year! Breast cancer screening complete!
All the snuggles! 🐶🥰

July:

My heart is so full! Thank you Courtney and Jess for smiles, miles, laughter, all the mulberries (see the last pic), girl time, conversation, fuel, and an all around AMAZING day! 🚴🏻‍♀️💙
3 pm miles with my niece
“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 • Things I love: 💙 spending time on two wheels 💛 magnificent sunrises 💙 the open roads 💛 friends 💙 girl talk 💛 beautiful weather 💙 bluebird skies 💛 challenges that create growth 💙 days like today
“Today I got to cheer dad on at his first ever duathlon. I cheered so hard I have slept the whole rest of the day. I really wanted to be with him as he covered every mile, but the race director wouldn’t let me, so I had to stay with mom and cheer. Dad said he knew exactly where we were since he could hear me even when he couldn’t see me.” ~Jersey
I 💙 that I get to run with my niece! I 💛 that it was a beautiful day! I 💙 the endorphins from running! I 💛 challenging myself and growing in the process! There is so much to 💙💛!
“I know you are on a Zoom call Mama, but I NEED attention right now!” ~Jersey 🐶🥰
I’m SO grateful for the freedom of the open roads, challenge of rolling terrain, and joy that cycling gives me! 💙💛
The water is my happy place and getting to spend it with this crew filled my 💙!
“You can’t take a withdrawal if you haven’t made a deposit.” ~Reese Witherspoon • Sometimes the deposits are large, while other times they are small, but they all add up so that I can make a big withdrawal in the future! ⚡️
Grateful for the time we got to spend with Tim’s family.
My cup runneth over! I am beyond proud of our niece for running her first road race at a local 5K and taking 1st place in her age group today, but most importantly giving her absolute best and not backing down when it got uncomfortable. ⚡️
My happy place! 💙💛
“Success is not final. Failure is not fatal. It’s the courage to continue that counts.” ~Winston Churchill • How do you view success and failure? Success and failure are not endpoints, but rather they are middle points of a much larger journey…the journey of becoming all that you can be and your absolute best self! Keep rolling on that journey and doing what you love because getting the most and best from yourself is worth E V E R Y T H I N G !! ⚡️

August:

Not every workout is fantabulous; Wednesday’s was 💩tastic. Despite the 💩, there are still things to be grateful for: 💙 running by the lake at home home 💛 cooler temps and a wonderful breeze 💙 blue skies and sunshine 💛 fresh air 💙 a mini vaca 💛 it wasn’t race day 💙 I persevered even when it was uncomfortable…iykyk 😜
How can you be in two places at once? Ride down the state line! • Thursday I got the privilege of riding in both Iowa and Minnesota! What a glorious day on two wheels! 💙💛
Golf cart rides to get Snow Cones
Do you let the numbers dictate who you think you should be, how you think you’re supposed to feel, or whether you have achieved success or failed? • Numbers and data only tell a very small piece of the story. You can be proud of yourself without even looking at the data. Don’t let the numbers and data dictate if you’re proud, disappointed, elated, sad, etc. Instead, tie those emotions to your effort, your execution, your ability to endure in training and racing, and your enjoyment for doing what truly lights you up! • Friday I rode the exact same route I rode Thursday. It was MUCH more windy Friday than Thursday, with headwinds for most of the last half of my ride and my legs were carrying more fatigue today. I am S O D A M N P R O U D of my effort, execution, mental endurance, and enjoyment Friday! The icing on the cake is looking at the data AFTER finishing the ride and seeing how focusing on effort, execution, endurance, and enjoyment Friday produced numbers to also be proud of. • “I didn’t look at the data in training and racing, because I didn’t want the numbers to dictate how I thought I was supposed to feel.” ~ME during my interview with @vanessafayefoerster for episode 50 of the Train Your Mind podcast
The house of mirrors is always a hoot!
A gorgeous night at Arnolds Park Amusement Park
Success = doing hill repeats in Platteville, WI before the funeral.
As you have bigger goals, you have to be willing to expand on your belief to reach your next level and the future version of you. Be clear about who you are, what you want to be, who the future you is. How does that future person act, think, feel?! PRACTICE that over and over and over! Don’t wait to become that person. BE that person RIGHT NOW!! ⚡️
Thank you to whomever invented the bicycle. Life is better on two wheels and the open roads. 💙💛
A little massage + a little cupping to keep me on track. Thanks Nick with Vitality Massage!
Great minds think alike! Twining with Isabella in our blue Coeur Sports tanks. So grateful for the miles I get to share with her! 💙💛
Sunday we celebrated Margie’s 82nd trip around the sun! We are so lucky and blessed to have such an amazing woman in our lives! 🥰
Sushi FTW! Definitely a great way to recover post hellacious ride Saturday.

September:

We got to see the new pool and facility we will be swimming in starting this next week! Not only is it a brand new facility and pool, but it is also a brand new masters swimming program! #LFG
We celebrated Basil’s 10th birthday. How is our baby girl already 10?!
Saturday morning I set out to swim the furthest I have ever swam before…6 km (3.7 miles). Some may say, “Why?! You don’t NEED to swim that far” and they would be correct…I don’t NEED to swim that far, but I WANTED to go for it! I wanted to challenge myself in a new way. Saturday morning was the last opportunity to swim long course in the 50 m outdoor pool for the season and I WANTED to soak it all in, so I did just that! #LFG ⚡️
So grateful to cheer on this girl in her first xc race! She did AWESOME! ⚡️
Wednesday we got the privilege of swimming in a brand new pool and with a brand new masters group and it was AH-FREAKING-MAZING! Cheers to many more awesome starts to the day just like this one! #LFG ⚡️
I am S O D A M N P R O U D of my commitment to staying curious and leaving it all out there during my 1/2 marathon today. • ⚡️ How’s my effort? High ⚡️ Just how deep can I dig? Deep ⚡️ How long can I hold on? Just one more mile ⚡️ How bad do I want it? Bad ⚡️ What am I willing to feel? Everything • 📸 @timfencl
Cheering this one on in her vb games is a joy. Watching her get better and better at her overhand serving has been fun to see.

October:

Cheering this one on at her XC meet and smashing her previous PR was SO much fun!
So grateful for help changing our flat tire on race morning before the race even started!
4th place podium 📸 Tim Fencl
Thank you science! Covid bivalent boosted!
So much fun to watch this one make huge strides this year in XC!
Sunday long run family style with all the hills was a great start to the day…even if it was a bit brisk. 💙
Love these two…even if they aren’t super cooperative at picture time. 😜
I have the BEST support crew around! Thank you for coming to pick up all the layers so I didn’t have to carry them on the bike with me.
This is a happy group of masters swimmers!
Thank you science! Vaxxed for the flu!
So much fun to watch this one make huge strides (see what I did there 😜) this year in XC! She has become a stronger, more confident, and faster runner. Her season PR is 14:45 for 2 miles, which is nearly 3 minutes faster than her PR last year. So proud of her for also receiving the “dedication award” from her XC coaches for showing up to every practice, being coachable, and supporting her teammates. #proudaunt
It has been fun to watch this one go from serving underhand to consistently serving overhand throughout the season. She has also stepped up her game this season by being more aggressive as she goes after the ball. Way to end the season with a W Laylah! #proudaunt
So incredibly grateful to be part of the Coeur Sports family for year 9!
I got to play and the weather was a 10! ⚡️
Sunday was a great day at the races! SO proud of this one for running her own race, setting a PR at the 5K distance, and getting 3rd place in her age group! ⚡️ • I took 1st place in my age group in both the 5K and 10K races with a few bonus miles to get 14 solid miles in Sunday morning. ⚡️
Jersey loves massage day…she gets the snuggles and keeps me relaxed so that Nick can really work out the kinks!
How it started…
How it ended… I’m the luckiest person to have such an amazingly supportive spouse! Thanks Tim Fencl for meeting me to pick up all the layers as the temps climbed during my last big training day before #IMAZ in 3 weeks! 💙💛

November:

So proud of Isabella for giving her best on a day where she wasn’t feeling the best.
Thanks to Kyle for giving Mojo his blessing for a solid race day at IMAZ!
So proud of this one for being aggressive and going after the ball in her first BB game of her 8th grade year!
Riding with the Coeur Velo girls has been such a fun + challenging way to wake up on Tuesday and Thursday mornings!
Decide ahead of time that it wont be so bad and it will all be fine! • Rain, wind, 27F windchill, and another finish line at the Hillbilly Hike 1/2 marathon. There weren’t enough layers (even though I was wearing all the thermal gear…4 layers on top) in those last 5 miles, but it was fine! It was all fine! • 2 weeks to #IMAZ and I hope that finish line looks MUCH different! SO MUCH mental endurance added to the bank Saturday!
So grateful for our safety as we drove over the Vail Pass.
Running at 5000+ feet in Arches National Park on Monday
Tim’s first visit to the Grand Canyon was a success!
Running at 7000 feet in Flagstaff…7F means all bundled up!
Swimming at dusk on Wednesday in Tempe at ASU Rec Services
So grateful that we got to spend time with our friends that moved down here after retiring.
Tomorrow I have the privilege of toeing the start line at IRONMAN Arizona. This will be IRONMAN #10. I am so grateful for a strong and healthy body + mind. I am R E A D Y to challenge myself physically, mentally, and emotionally. I am R E A D Y to put it all together. I am R E A D Y to create a race performance I have never experienced before. I am R E A D Y to take risks. I am R E A D Y to put together my grittiest + gutsiest performance yet! #LFG ⚡️
Shake out ride with my Coeur Sports teammate Cindy
It was great to FINALLY meet some of my Coeur Sports teammates at the swim practice IRL.
Who’s ready to jump into 60F water?! We are!
I’m grateful for the privilege to race, for the privilege of a healthy body and mind, for the privilege to push my boundaries, for the privilege to run down another red carpet, and for the privilege to cross the finish line at IRONMAN #10! ⚡️ • 📸 Finisher Pix
Things I’m celebrating: ⚡️not letting the cold water temperatures be a problem ⚡️swimming on the buoys ⚡️not letting the high winds be a problem ⚡️being confident in my flat changing skills (they were needed between miles 25 and 30) ⚡️not letting witnessing of a major crash in the first 18 miles of the bike put me in a negative headspace ⚡️staying connected to the pedals ⚡️my grit, resilience, and perseverance were on point ⚡️smiling all day long ⚡️giving my absolute best on the day ⚡️crossing the finish line of IRONMAN #10 and got to hear Mike Reilly call me an IRONMAN one last time • Thanks @ironmanvoice for all the memories! Wishing you the best in your retirement! 🥰
Thanksgiving day hike in Denver, CO with family.
I REALLY missed the snuggles while away from our girls. So grateful that we are back to snuggle time!
The lighting of the Christmas tree on Campus is always a beautiful sight!
Keeping me calm during my massage. 🐶🥰

December:

Boom!! So proud of this one!! She helped her team get the W!!
Holiday fun run on campus with this crew!!
Tuba Christmas
Dry needling did the trick! Thanks Dr. Feil for getting me back on track!
Let’s play! 🐶🥰
A day of puzzling…finished up #1 😍
With the impending storm, Tuesday was the last time we saw the sun before we started to get more daylight, so we had to get out in the fresh air + sunshine. The -4F windchills were balmy compared to what was ahead for the remainder of the week. 💙🥶
After a few days of this, the -1F windchill felt amazing!
Family! 🥰
Celebrating Tonja’s 50th birthday! Love you T! 🥰
Seeing the colors in the sky is such a great way to start the day!

2022 week 52: goodbye 2022; hello 2023

Last week we waved goodbye to 2022 and smiled as we welcomed 2023.

Quote of the week:

“Goodbye 2022! Hello 2023!”

~ Me 🥰

Swim highlights: 10,075 yards

Monday we were given time to free swim without a scheduled workout and it was SO AWESOME!! I swam one of my favorite workouts…3×800 with increasing effort at Ironman pace. It has been great to swim with the Masters group, but there hasn’t been any endurance swimming for me since Ironman Arizona, so getting to swim 800s made my heart happy!

We’ve been swimming shorter + faster sets during masters swim lately, so it was awesome to be given the opportunity to swim longer endurance sets Monday! 3x800s with increasing effort = faster pace with each interval…and that is definitely something to celebrate!! ⚡️

Bike highlights: 128 miles

Last week’s rides were more aerobic and tempo based. A great way to ease into my relationship with Moxie!

So grateful I for some quality time with my new girl, Moxie!

Run highlights: 4.25 miles

I got a couple of short runs in last week, but no pics were taken.

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

Weekly Totals: 14 hours & 48 minutes

Attitude of Gratitude:

Any day that I GET to swim/bike/run all in the same day is a great day!!
Celebrating Tonja’s 50th birthday! Love you T! 🥰
All the snuggles! 🐶🥰
Recovery is on point with my Normatec Recovery boots! 🥰
Homemade kale, sweet potato, mushroom, onion, basil pesto pizza…YUMMY!!
Seeing the colors in the sky is such a great way to start the day!

What were your highlights from week 52 of 2022?!

the best of 2022

I love looking back and thinking about all of the amazing things that I’ve accomplished and all of the challenges I’ve overcome! I’ve reflected for the last 9 years and now it’s time to reflect on 2022! You can look back at my previous posts if you’d like: the best of 2013, the best of 2014, the best of 2015, the best of 2016, the best of 2017, the best of 2018, the best of 2019, the best of 2020, and the best of 2021. Now it’s time to reminisce my favs from 2022! 🙂

Best race performance?

Ironman 70.3 Muncie was hands down my best race performance of 2022. The race started with a cold, choppy, foggy swim, but I was determined to not let the circumstances of the swim hijack my brain. I kept my effort high while staying focused and present on doing everything I could to make sure I would be so damn proud of myself later in the day. I raced the bike in a way I have never raced before. I intentionally planned to focus on my power output instead of going by perceived effort on the bike. In order to “bike my legs off,” I really needed to stay connected to the pedals, stay aero, and monitor my power output, so that is what I set out to do. I ran my heart out while hydrating and fueling solidly. I stayed connected to my effort, laying one brick at a time while racing for Anne. I was determined to not walk one step, I stayed focused on the mile I was in, and I reminded myself that I have everything I need to succeed. All of this allowed me to create something I’ve never had before! I had left it all out on the course…my legs were trashed more than they have ever been, my heart was so full that it was overflowing, and my soul was lit up! I had truly raced from start to finish and I was SO F’ING PROUD! I created something I’ve never had before. Icing on the cake…creating a 12 minute PR and a 4th place age group finish landing me on the podium for the FIRST TIME EVER at an IRONMAN race! ⚡️ Here is the link for my race recap.

4th place podium
📸 Tim Fencl

Best swim?

I swam my longest swim EVER this summer in the 50 m pool…6 km (3.7 miles). Some may say, “Why?! You don’t NEED to swim that far” and they would be correct…I didn’t NEED to swim that far, but I WANTED to go for it! I wanted to challenge myself in a new way. So why the hell not go for it?!?!

The last morning of outdoor long course swimming for the season I set out for the opportunity to challenge myself in a new way. I WANTED to soak it all in, so I did just that! #LFG ⚡️

Best bike?

Getting to ride a large portion (100 miles) of the Ironman Des Moines course with my dear friend + Coeur Sports sister, Michelle, was definitely a highlight of my season. So grateful for the time we got to spend together, the support of Tim chasing us around all day, and our safety on the open roads.

Any day on two wheels and the open roads is a great day! Today I had the privilege of previewing a large portion of the #IMDSM bike course with Michelle ⚡️

Best run?

Any run that I got to do with our niece was a great run!! I think running with her as she crossed the finish line of her first ever 5K race was a definite favorite this year!!

My cup runneth over! I am beyond proud of our niece for running her first road race at a local 5K and taking 1st place in her age group today, but most importantly giving her absolute best and not backing down when it got uncomfortable. ⚡️

Best finish line?

Running down the red carpet to the finish line at Ironman Des Moines in June was my first ever daylight finish for an Ironman distance race. I executed a solid race that allowed me to cross the finish line of Ironman #9 on an incredibly tough day and with a very challenging lead up (see below)! Icing on the cake…knowing I had given my best on this day while creating an 11th place age group finish (my highest AG finish placement yet in a full Ironman race)! ⚡️ Here is the link for my race recap.

As I ran down the red carpet in my first ever daylight finish with the cheers of family, friends, and random strangers surrounding me, I was full of emotions. I was SO drained, but also SO F’ING PROUD!  13:53:58⚡️

Best race-cation?

Our travels around IMAZ allowed us to experience Arches National Park, the Grand Canyon, Flagstaff, South Mountain, Thanksgiving in Denver, and so much more. It truly was a great time!

Running at 5000+ feet in Arches National Park
Tim’s first visit to the Grand Canyon was a success!

Best moment out of my comfort zone?

Four days before Ironman Des Moines, Tim woke up with a fever, body aches, and a bad cough. He decided to stay home from work. Midday I received a text message from our 82 year old neighbor across the street (she is like family to us) that she tested positive for Covid. About a minute later, Tim texted me that he also tested positive for Covid. I had a complete meltdown and pity party (thankfully they texted me right before my therapy session). I am 4 days out from IMDSM…what am I going to do?! After about 15 minutes of feeling all the emotions, I went into problem solving mode with my therapist. After therapy, I called our neighbor and asked her if Tim could “move in with her” until after my race to keep me as healthy as possible. She was fully on board and was glad I had asked (it was either that or I get a hotel room and move out temporarily). So Tim packed up everything he needed for the next 4 days and moved across the street. After work Wednesday, I came home to an empty house (except the girls were still home), tested negative for Covid, and continued my plan for my IM race (now having to shift my plans around for race weekend because I would be doing everything solo…taking care of our girls, driving myself down to the race which was thankfully only 35 minutes away from home, getting all my gear post race, etc.). I ran some errands for each of them on Thursday and Friday, checked in to the IM race, did some race week workouts, made them meals and did literal door dashes (setting the food outside, ringing the doorbell and dashing back across the street), got all my gear together for IM, and tried to relax and reduce my anxiety as much as possible. Saturday morning I still tested negative for Covid, so I took all my gear down to transition and continued to relax and doordash. Having Tim live with our neighbor was the best worst case scenario and I am grateful to the both of them for making it work! Sunday was race day. My anxiety was a bit high going into the race as this was my first full IM race without my husband (either racing it with me or being there to support me), but I kept reminding myself that I have done this before and know what to do. Getting to run down that red carpet and cross the finish line was one I am SO DAMN PROUD of for all of the adversity I had to overcome in the lead up to the race.

Pure relief and completely drained

Best nutritional find?

Later in the year I experimented with Skratch Labs super high-carb. I used Skratch super high-carb during Ironman 70.3 Muncie with huge success, so I decided to use it for Ironman Arizona and for the first time in 10 full Ironman finish lines I did not have GI distress, hyponatremia, or dehydration. This was a HUGE win for me!

Best enCOEURaging moment?

The Ames Triathlon was so fun!! It is always great to see people achieve their goals and do things they once thought were impossible. The absolute best part of my day was creating an opportunity for our friend, Leisa, to start + finish her first triathlon ever. If you want to experience the Ames Triathlon for yourself, come to Ames in June 2023! You won’t be disappointed!

We are SO proud of our friend who completed her FIRST EVER triathlon at the Ames Triathlon. She did this 10 years post paralysis. ⚡️🔥

Best new gear?

The Coeur Sports Wind Vest isn’t new, but it is hands down the best gear for getting outside and riding + running on those chilly fall/winter/spring days! Signing up for an Ironman that took place in November meant I had to bundle up to get my 100 mile rides done outside…because let’s be honest…riding 100 miles in the basement on the trainer is definitely not as much fun as riding outside! And the wind vest definitely makes running outside in the cold + wind much more bearable!

Decide ahead of time that it won’t be so bad and it will all be fine!

Rain, wind, 27F windchill, and another finish line at the Hillbilly Hike 1/2 marathon. There weren’t enough layers (even though I was wearing all the thermal gear…4 layers on top) in those last 5 miles, but it was fine! It was all fine!

2 weeks to #IMAZ and I hope that finish line looks MUCH different! SO MUCH mental endurance added to the bank Saturday!

Best piece of racing advice you received?

“Be calm; focus on what you are going to do. Don’t get distracted, don’t get overwhelmed, take it all as it comes. You are ready for this; you’ve prepared for years. This is it, your time to shine. Go forth with all your powers. Go forth with everything in you. Make it work.”

~Lynne Cox in her book “Swimming to Antarctica”

Most inspirational athlete?

Vanessa Faye Foerster is such an inspiration…not only as an athlete, but as a human being. Her grit, determination, resilience, strength, bravery, and relentless pursuit to be the best version of herself she can be is so admirable. If you didn’t get a chance to hear about her LONG T2 at Kona this year, set aside 1 hour + 40 minutes to listen, and be prepared to be inspired! You won’t regret it!

This amazing, beautiful human helped me transform my self belief from superficial belief to belief down to my core. THANK YOU VANESSA! ❤️

Best support crew?

I am so damn lucky to have the most amazing support of my #1! He has supported me not only on race day(s), but day in and day out throughout my entire journey. He has driven around on long rides to make sure I could ditch layers + get extra fluids + fuel, made sure I had food to refuel after long workouts, did many household chores, and so much more. I am forever grateful to have him on this journey with me. ❤️ you!

I have the BEST support crew around! Thank you for coming to pick up all the layers so I didn’t have to carry them on the bike with me.

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

PROUD + gratitude + create + fun

Tell me about your 2022 year!! What are your “bests” from 2022?!

2022 week 51: merry everything and happy always

Last week was a short work week due to a blizzard + the holidays. Despite Mother Nature not letting us all get together for the holidays, we enjoyed some time with loved ones here in town as well as quiet solo time.

Quote of the week:

“Merry everything and happy always”

~ unknown

Swim highlights: 8675 yards

I had multiple swims last week with the Masters group focusing on short/fast efforts. I got a lot of help + practice working on my butterfly stroke. I REALLY enjoy the masters community and the diversity of swim workouts that we do, but with most of our swim sessions being short efforts, I REALLY miss long endurance efforts.

Merry everything and happy always!

Bike highlights: 65.6 miles

Eeeekkkk…I got my new steed for Christmas and she is not only beautiful, but so enjoyable to ride! We are getting more and more acquainted with each other.

“It’s not the achievement of the goal that is the greatest reward, it is who you become by pushing yourself past your greatest challenges.” ~unknown

Thursday’s workout was properly named “Die Hard”. While I didn’t die, it was so hard. 🤣 I am proud of pushing myself, who I am becoming in the process, and nailing these challenging intervals. ⚡️ Oh…and I had to bring a bit of warmth to this workout with the Coeur Sports Kona kit since the windchill was -39F outside.

Run highlights: 6.45 miles

Time with these two while pounding the pavement always warms my heart (which was needed since it has been so cold)! 🥰

With the impending storm, Tuesday was the last time we saw the sun before we started to get more daylight, so we had to get out in the fresh air + sunshine. The -4F windchills were balmy compared to what was ahead for the remainder of the week. 💙🥶

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

Weekly Totals: 10 hours & 7 minutes

Attitude of Gratitude:

I got to walk on campus during a light snowfall on Monday.
So grateful for a flush of the body by the best in the business!
This one knows exactly what to do when the windchill is -39F outside. 🐶🥰
After a few days of this, the -1F windchill felt amazing!
Isabella got us matching banana running shorts for Christmas…hers are on the way so we can all wear them at the same race this summer! 🥰
Family! 🥰
So grateful that these two live close enough that we could get together when Mother Nature presented us with some gnarly winter weather.

What were your highlights from week 51 of 2022?!

3 year anniversary

They say “never quit” but I disagree; there are some things definitely worth quitting! Alcohol is one of the best things I have EVER quit.

Three years ago I had my last alcoholic drink. On December 24, 2019 I took my last sip and I’m SOOOO grateful that I made the decision to quit this bad habit. I am in a much happier, healthier, and wholesome place without it. There are many things I don’t miss about drinking alcohol:

  1. I don’t miss feeling out of control when alcohol flows through my veins.
  2. I don’t miss waking up the next day with low energy, feeling slow, low, and/or hungover.
  3. I don’t miss the headaches, restless sleep, and feeling unmotivated.
  4. I don’t miss the extra calories and the lack of hydration.

I feel SOOOOO much better physically, mentally, and emotionally without the addition of alcohol in my life! Deciding to stop drinking alcohol has honestly been one of the best decisions I’ve made and one that I am SO DAMN PROUD of.

Cheers to many, many more alcohol free days in the future as I continue to live my best life!

📸 Finisher Pix

2022 week 50: hello doms…I’ve missed you 😜

Last week I got back to doing what I love and with it came all the doms (delayed onset muscle soreness). It feels SO good to not be able to walk straight, lift my arms above my head, and naturally squat down to the toilet seat. 😜

Quote of the week:

“DOMS: proof that you pushed yourself, so enjoy the pain.”

~ unknown

Swim highlights: 4750 yards

I ripped off the band-aid and got myself back into the pool on Friday morning. The time away was just what I needed to reset myself…so much so that my first swim back I successfully swam the butterfly stroke for the first time EVER in my life. I have lots of room for improvement. I may not be where I want to be with it YET, but I have the form down and am continuing to show up to make it better! ⚡️ 🥳

HIIII!! I’m back!!

Bike highlights: 16.7 miles

I got my new bike last week! She is all built, set up, and ready to ride. We spent a little bit of time together last week to start building our relationship. I’ll get pictures out of her soon!

Run highlights: 3.07 miles

I ran with Jersey one day last week. It was a brisk run, but nothing like what our temps are going to look like this week. Sadly I didn’t any pics of this adventure.

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

Weekly Totals: 5 hours & 41 minutes

Attitude of Gratitude:

snuggle bug 🐶🥰
Let’s play! 🐶🥰
Look at the sun greeting us after our swim session Saturday morning! 😍
A day of puzzling…finished up #1 😍
Finished up puzzle #2 😍
And started puzzle #3 😍
Too much puzzling meant snuggles were in order! 😍

What were your highlights from week 50 of 2022?!