I’ve intentionally held off giving weekly updates for Ironman Louisville until this week, but I do love weekly updates. Thirty seems like a good number to start counting down from! Last week I hit the “reset button” in so many different places in my life. I was able to ease back into a training routine (after being sick), put some life stresses to rest, celebrate turning 41, enjoy spring break with a relaxing week at home sans work, spring clean the house (we even moved the fridge and stove to clean behind them), and adjust to daylight savings time. Now begins the final push to the end of the school year. Only 11 more weeks, but who’s counting?! 😉
“When we follow our dreams, we discover the magic inside of ourselves.”
I love watching the Olympic coverage and am so sad that the Olympics are over! I know the Paralympics will be starting soon, and I am super excited to see that NBC will be broadcasting more of them than in previous years! There are SO MANY amazing athletes following their dreams and discovering the magic inside of each of them. These athletes are dreamers + doers. They embrace courage over comfort. They are willing to learn and take feedback seriously to improve. They have a growth mindset. They embrace all that it takes to become a champion. They are determined, focused, inspirational, disciplined, strong, driven, gritty, empowering, and so much more!
The message Jessie Diggins sent to girls of all ages is SPOT ON! “I want them to know it’s ok to be girly with your sparkles and your glitter and its also ok to be very competitive and be totally fierce on the race course and to be able to push you body hard and not worry about what it looks like just think about what your body can do. And I really want that message to come across because I think it’s really important to be comfortable in your own skin and see sports as something that lifts you up and empowers you.”
I may not be to Olympic caliber, but I still have dreams that I am willing to work hard for. Dreams that I am willing to embrace the spirit of Olympic athletes to pursue. There is so much magic to discover in each one of us! I’m looking forward to discovering the magic inside of me as I continue on my journey to achieve my dreams! #chasingdreams
Who is ready to take a magic carpet ride with me?!
The Rolling Stones have been singing LOUDLY to me this last week. I WANTED to be swimming, biking, running, having dinner with friends, teaching my weekly fitness class, enjoying the beautiful spring weather we were blessed with. I WANTED to be active + healthy!
But as the song goes, “You can’t always get what you want. But if you try sometime you find. You get what you need.” And apparently my body needed rest, and LOTS of it! Monday I went to the doctor with a sore throat, hopeful that it wasn’t strep, but I should have known better. I was given a z-pak for strep throat and was told to come back in a few days if I wasn’t feeling better. By Wednesday my throat felt much better, but I felt like all the crap had started to move into my chest, so Thursday I went back to the doctor and was put on 3 different medications for bronchitis. Today I am FINALLY feeling a bit more human. Yesterday I took the dogs for a walk. It was good to get out in the fresh air, but it was also enough to make me winded. I think it will be a few more days before I get back to the swim/bike/run love that I so dearly miss…especially since this coming week is parent/teacher conference week.
I am incredibly grateful to be on the mend + to have these two teaching me how to recover like a champ! “You can’t always get what you want. But if you try sometime you find. You get what you need.”
I’m so excited that March is here! March typically means spring in the Midwest, and I’m ready for it! I’m ready to get outside and soak up some sunshine + the longer daylight hours!
Despite getting sick with strep throat at the end of the month, I had some amazing breakthroughs this month!
Swim: 22,150 yards
Bike: 154 miles
Run: 63.8 miles
Monthly Totals: 29:51:49 + core + strength
Watching + Being Inspired by:
The Olympic Athletes! The U.S. women who are role models for young ladies and grown ladies…WOW!! So inspired by these amazing ladies! “I want them to know it’s ok to be girly with your sparkles and your glitter and its also ok to be very competitive and be totally fierce on the race course and to be able to push you body hard and not worry about what it looks like just think about what your body can do. And I really want that message to come across because I think it’s really important to be comfortable in your own skin and see sports as something that lifts you up and empowers you.” ~Jessie Diggins
If you haven’t watched this yet, you really should!
What to do When You Love/Hate Your Sport by Carrie Cheadle helps bring balance between having fun and your ego. Sure we all need our “ego to help push us, to drive us to do better, but not sabotage our performance.” Sometimes we need to “just go out and play,” so put the ego on the shelf and reconnect with the joy that brought you to your sport in the first place!
Nail Your Triathlon Goals in 2018 (by Setting the Right Ones) by Bethany Rutledge gives us 5 tips for a stellar 2018 season. Prioritize your workouts and use the winter months to focus on improving your weaknesses. Choose performance over outcomes by picking goals based on variables that you can control as much as possible. Work backwards from your big goal for the season to figure out what you should be doing between now and then. Be specific and choose a goal with specific metrics that you can measure. Think in terms of big pay off by putting your time and effort into areas that will give you a huge bang for your buck.
The Find Your Awesome Podcast with Professional Triathlete Dede Griesbauer by Kelsey Abbott is AMAZING! Dede became a professional triathlete at age 35! She will be 48 years old this year and still racing as a professional triathlete…how awesome is that?!?! Two key nuggets that Dede mentioned that resonate with me in sport and life are “Living in the past is only going to hold you back in the future” and “Love has to be what drives you.”
The Find Your Awesome Podcast with Mindset Coach Jordana Jaffe by Kelsey Abbott is spot on! She really gets you thinking about what does feeling good mean to you. Does your ego feeling good really make YOU feel good? Does social media really make YOU feel good? “The line in the sand between social media that inspires and enlightens and social media that kind of drowns you is unclear sometimes.”
Stop apologizing for being you by Kelsey Abbott…YES! THIS! “If you are apologizing for being you, knock it off!” Challenge yourself to be you, to shine bright, and to be love. ❤
Looking forward to:
Spring! More specifically, spring break! With a week left before spring break, I am looking forward to 10 days away from the classroom, doing some spring cleaning, refocusing my training, and decompressing before the last push to summer break!
Being healthy! Since I am still taking meds for strep throat (only one day left), I am looking forward to being healthy, feeling good, and chasing dreams!
Fresh show + friends!
Having amazing peeps in my tribe keeping me healthy!
The Iron Hippie…my rock! He helps me be the best version of myself every day. I know I don’t say it nearly enough…thank you for all of your love, support, and help in life! Thank you for pushing me out of my comfort zone to help me become a better person!
How was your month of February?! What are you looking forward to?! What are you grateful for?!
In the last couple of weeks, I have tapped into #SunnyMcGritty‘s energy. She has helped me have some breakthrough sessions! Ten days ago, I had a bike workout with a HUGE breakthrough! After a good warm-up, I was to ride 1 minute @120% FTP with 30 seconds @10% FTP and continue this until failure. I had done this workout a few times before, but always with expectations (“I want to get to 20 intervals before I reach failure,” or “I want to get to 25 intervals before I reach failure”). These expectations actually limited me. Once I achieved my expectation, I gave myself “permission” to back down and wouldn’t continue to really push to see just how far I could REALLY go. Thursday’s ride was different. I stayed present with each minute and focused only on that minute. Because I stayed present with each minute, after about 5 intervals, I lost track of how many intervals I had completed. This was probably the best thing that could have ever happened! From this point on I had no idea of how many intervals I had completed, so my only expectation was to give my best for the minute I was in. I didn’t give myself permission to back down…Sunny McGritty wouldn’t give herself permission to back down, so I wasn’t going to either! When I got to the 1 hour planned duration for this ride and was still doing intervals, I knew that I had surpassed previous stats for this ride. I hadn’t reached failure yet! I stayed present with each minute and pushed until my legs wouldn’t push any more. Breakthrough!
My 2nd breakthrough session was a week ago. After a 9+ mile run, I went to the pool to swim. I had zero expectations…after all, I was swimming after a long run. I had 5×100 as part of my main set with 2 minutes rest between each 100 to see just how far I could push myself. For comparison, my fastest 100 time ever is 1:31 and I’d only seen that once! On Saturday, my first 100 was 1:33. I was super happy with this since I knew I was swimming tired. My second 100 was 1:31 and so was my third! Boom! I was swimming as fast as my fastest 100 time AFTER my 9+ mile run! My fourth and fifth 100 times were 1:32. Hello breakthrough!
Sunny McGritty has helped me really fight to new levels and truly not back down. Sunny wouldn’t give herself permission to back down, so when I tap into Sunny’s personality, I don’t give myself permission to back down either!
Some of you have noticed “#SunnyMcGritty” added to some of my insta/FB/twitter posts and have asked, “Who is Sunny McGritty?!” Sunny is a character that I made up to impersonate in training during tough sessions and on race day…she is my alter ego. If Clark Kent had Superman as his alter ego, why can’t I have an alter ego?!
Sunny is a long-distance triathlete who is not graceful or pretty, but she is a strong muppet FULL of grit, determination, and perseverance. She thrives in tough conditions, is fierce, and will out-suffer anyone to overcome adversity + challenges in her path. She gets knocked down 9 times, but stands up 10! She embraces courage over comfort, always believes in herself, and when discomfort strikes asks, “Is that all you’ve got?! How bad do you want it?!” She always has a smile on her face, gives out high-fives, and always encourages others!
So where did this idea of creating an alter ego come from?! The Brave Athlete Calm the F*ck Down and Rise to the Occasion by Simon Marshall, PhD and Lesley Paterson is FULL of amazing “tools to overcome negative patterns of thinking and feeling so you can be faster + happier in sport and life.” This is definitely a MUST READ for everyone! I highly recommend you make up your own alter ego to help you push though challenges you face in life or sport! Sunny McGritty has helped me become a better athlete and person! What can an alter ego do for you?!
Do you have an alter ego?! If so, who is your character?! What qualities does your character have?! If not, what qualities would your character have if you were to create an alter ego?!
“Success isn’t always about ‘Greatness’, it’s about consistency. Consistent, hard work gains success. Greatness will come…Success isn’t overnight. It’s when everyday you get a little better than the day before. It all adds up.” ~Dwayne ‘The Rock’ Johnson
We all have workouts that “didn’t go as planned,” but there are still key lessons learned in each of them. I believe it is actually a good thing to have workouts “not go as planned,” because most races rarely go as planned. It is good to know how to overcome adversity and problem solve as challenges arise. The key is to not let the workout spiral into self doubt or judgement and contaminate future workouts. One workout won’t make or break your racing experience. Consistency in training is what is critical to achieve success on race day. Not only should we, as athletes, be consistent in our daily/weekly/monthly physical training, but also in our mental training.
January was “hit or miss” for me in terms of consistency and it was a bit frustrating. Instead of focusing on the past, I am putting my energy into the future and working to rebuild my consistency (both physically and mentally) in February.
Physically: I am prioritizing my workouts and seeing lots of green in Training Peaks again. This is a great feeling! Consistency is key! Consistency is helping me get a little better + stronger everyday!
Mentally: I am setting an intention before each key workout. I am mentally trying to stay focused throughout the workout. As soon as I notice my mental energy wavering during a workout, I immediately reset my mind. I pull from the following mantras depending on what I need for that workout:
Kecia, how bad do you want it?!
I am strong!
I am tough!
Courage over comfort!
I am so grateful to be seeing green again and successfully rebuilding consistency in my training! Each day I am getting a little better + stronger than the day before and it IS all adding up!