First tri of the season – light my fire

On Mother’s Day, I had the privilege of getting to do what I love…swim/bike/run!! My fave and I went to Kansas City for a weekend getaway so I could shake off the cobwebs to start my season. Here is a brief rundown of how my race unfolded.

As I was getting ready to leave the hotel on race morning, my fave was tightening all of my bolts on Mojo when…one holding my seat to the seat post busted. So we did what we could and jimmy rigged it by putting the bolt in the hole and tying to my bike with a bread tie. The question became…how long will this hold???

So grateful to have my fave as Sherpa/spectator extraordinaire jimmy rigging Mojo for me!!

Pre-race:

I set up my transition area and then found Michelle, one of my Coeur Sports teammates for a morning hug! Morning hugs from fellow triathletes are always the best!

Pre-race with Michelle! #heartandcourage

There was a LOT of time to stand around on the beach and wait for our swim wave to begin.

Swim: 33:50 (2:16/100 yard average)

When the horn sounded, I entered the water and then…hyperventilated. I don’t ever recall hyperventilating in the water before, but there is a first time for everything. I couldn’t find my rhythm, I was swum over by the wave of elite men just starting their 2nd loop, I felt restricted in my wetsuit (this was only my 2nd time in it this year), I couldn’t see any of the buoys while swimming away from the beach…I was a mess! I took a quick break and tried to relax, then continued to swim. I made it to the first turn buoy and eventually back to the beach. At the start of the 2nd loop, I began to find my rhythm and finished much stronger than I began. I was so grateful to have the swim behind me.

Swim…lap #1 done! Photo credit my fave

T1: 2:58

I was a flustered mess in transition. I was frustrated by my swim performance. Instead of letting it go, I was thinking about how it could have gone better. This was NOT helpful in the moment! Instead of having a fluid transition, I was dropping things and a hot mess!

Swim…done! Photo credit: my fave
T1…fumble, fumble, fumble Photo credit: my fave

Bike: 1:23:51 (17.7 mph average)

Ok…FOCUS!! Leave the swim behind and move onto the bike!! As I left transition, there were a few packs of people that I had to maneuver my way around. On the first out and back stretch, I took in my nutrition and worked to pass as many people as I could. During the next out and back stretch, I passed people walking up hills and realized there are probably a lot of first time triathletes racing today! As I climbed hills, I would say, “On your left” only to follow it up with, “no, no, no. I’m on your left. Don’t move left!” Yep, you guessed it…the people I was trying to pass would move to the left when I told them I was on their left. I continued to the 3rd out and back stretch of the first loop where the biggest hill climb of the race was. I was ready to rocket down the hill, but was afraid to really let ‘er rip since there were some riders in front of me that I couldn’t get around because they were riding 2 and 3 abreast. Oh well…time to move onto the second loop!! This was pretty much a repeat of loop #1, but I found my groove. Let’s finish the bike strong!  I ate another round of nutrition shortly before pulling into T2.

Here we go! Time to ride! Photo credit: Kansas City Triathlon

T2: 2:15

This went much more smoothly than T1…bike racked, helmet off, shoes on, grab the visor + race belt and go!

Run: 1:01:31 (9:55 minutes/mile)

I started off on the run at a slower pace than I was hoping for. It was HOT…the temperatures had started to climb and were now in the mid 80s. This may not seem so bad, but we had not really had summer temperatures to this point, so it felt like I was in a steam room at the gym. Instead of dwelling on the pace, I decided to monitor my heart rate. Monitoring my pace for the duration of the run would only frustrate me…FOCUS on what I can control. This was the smartest thing I had done all day! By the time I had gotten to loop #2 of the run, I was melting and ready to be done. I pushed on all the way to the finish letting my heart rate creep higher and higher with each mile.

What a HOT run! Photo credit: my fave

Overall: 3:04:19 (6 out of 16 in my age group)

I finished strong and was super happy to get to swim/bike/run with my fave there cheering me on all the whole time. #grateful

Race done! Photo Credit: my fave

Things to work on:

-practice in my wetsuit more so I don’t hyperventilate
-have my fave practice swimming over me in the pool + in open water
-practice transitions so I am more seamless
-be more comfortable pushing HARD on the bike
-be more comfortable and confident getting around people on the bike who are slower than me
-be more comfortable with the uncomfortable…PUSH HARDER all around!!
-get into my race pace on the run right away
-believe more in myself and my abilities

Things that went well:

-I eventually found my groove on the swim
-I ran by monitoring my heart rate instead of by pace
-I had fun
-I got to swim/bike/run on Mother’s Day!
-One thing is for certain…this race really relit my fire for triathlon + working hard to chase my dreams

Photo credit: Kansas City Triathlon
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21 weeks ’til #IMLou – whirlwind

Last week was a whirlwind! So much crazy packed in one week that I’m feeling a bit overwhelmed at the present moment. Lots of highs, lows, life stress, work stress, fun, play, and so much more all packed into 7 days. Thankfully this overwhelming feeling will pass!

Swim: 5300 yards

Fist pump because I FINALLY went under 1:30/100 yards…even if it was only one time!
My first 100 yard swim time that is sub 1:30!! #hardworkpaysoff
So grateful to start a long training day with a swim! #swimlove

Bike: 74.3 miles 

#bikelove intervals
50+ miles on two wheels!! Open roads, warm weather, beautiful scenery…so much #bikelove!!
Mojo always looks so beautiful against the farmland!!

Run: 22 miles

A little #runlove around Ankeny was pretty awesome!!
So grateful to get to play all day long!! #swimlove + #bikelove + #runlove = #happygirl
11 mile run in cooler temps = 2 #happygirls!! #basillovesrunning

Strength Training: 1 hour & 15 minutes + 10 minutes of core strength/stretching daily

Getting my strength on!
Some SBT Extreme work with some help from Coach Basil…”Mom, you need to work on your form.” lol

Weekly Totals: 12 hours & 42 minutes

Quote of the Week:

“I breathe in calm and exhale the crazy. I breathe in relax and exhale stress. I breathe in ease and exhale anxiety. I breathe in peace and exhale tension. I breathe in quiet and exhale noise.”

Attitude of Gratitude:

Getting a Mother’s Day card from my niece Isabella started my week off on a positive note!
Thanks Kyle (with Kyle’s Bikes) for fixing up Mojo and making everything right again!! #bestbikemechanic
Epsom salt baths post long training days are a must!
So grateful my sister-in-law came to visit briefly!
Cheering on my fave at the Hickory Grove Triathlon was so much fun!! Cold, but fun!!
Dog walks are always relaxing!!
Daily meditation to calm my thoughts like Basil and Mya…Love these two!!

How was your week? Daily mediation has helped me reduce my anxiety. How do you reduce anxiety when you feel overwhelmed?!

22 weeks ’til #IMLou – focus

Last week was all about focus! Staying focused during training, on the process of chasing my dreams, while packing for a weekend getaway, on my pre-race preparations, on my race strategy, during my race…focus, Focus, FOCUS!!

Swim: 4596 yards

Focus! Push the pace and challenge yourself on the longer stuff!!
First open water swim of the season! I remained wetsuit hicky free thanks to the #trislide by SBR Sports, Inc.! Get some today using code KEPL18 for 20% off your next order!!

Bike: 38.4 miles

Pre-race prep…solid 20 minute working set nailing my goal watts!!
Pre-race spin on the bike. Mojo is ready to race! Don’t worry…I didn’t ride around in the hotel lobby! 🙂

Run: 13.3 miles

Pre race prep…Run off the bike Wednesday morning with a solid goal race pace for the first 12 minutes as planned! #confidencebuilder
Running in the heat of the day to acclimate…Summer is finally here and it puts a smile on my face!!
Pre-race shake out run! I got to enjoy 10 easy minutes with my fave! He went on for a longer run!!

Kansas City Olympic Distance Triathlon:

Swim…lap #1 done!
Swim…done!
T1
Time to ride!
What a HOT run!
Race done!

Strength Training: 10 minutes of core strength or stretching daily

Weekly Totals: 6 hours & 56 minutes

Quote of the Week:

“Focus! Focus on today! Focus on this moment! What can I do today to make me better tomorrow?!”

Attitude of Gratitude:

So grateful to Nick, at Vitality Massage, for helping me keep my body healthy and race ready!
So grateful + blessed to be part of this amazing Coeur Sports team! I have met so many incredible women in sport and am excited to meet even more!! #TeamCoeur2018 #CourageTeam18
Thanks to my fave for taking some fab pics of me in our new Coeur Sports 2018 team kit!! #rockstar
A clean bike is a FAST bike!! Mojo is clean and ready to race!!
The 50 meter outdoor pool has water in it!! #signsofsummer
Flat Kecia is ready to toe the start line of her first triathlon of 2018. Time to go have some fun!!
So grateful to have my fave as Sherpa/spectator extraordinaire for me!!

How was your week?! What were you grateful for last week?! How do you keep your focus and stay in the moment?!

Thank you!

Last Saturday, my fave and I ventured out on the open roads of central Iowa on two wheels for the first time this year. It felt AMAZING to be on the open roads with the wind in our faces, the sun on our backs, and to be enjoying the outdoor beauty! Our days of staring at the same basement walls like we’ve been doing all winter are behind us for a while!!

“Right now” was pure joy for 50 miles on two wheels with my fave! I was so happy to be outside riding on the open roads!

It is that time of year when so many people will be out on the open roads…motorists,  farmers, motorcyclists, cyclists, pedestrians…we can all share the road peacefully together. We all have loved ones that we want to come home safely to. I want to take a minute to thank all of the drivers on the road who gave us plenty of space when passing us. THANK YOU for sharing it with us!

23 weeks ’til #IMLou – right now

Last week’s theme was “right now!” It came to me during my Tuesday morning swim. My mind was all over the place and I knew my first set of 10×50 at zone 5 effort were not consistent. When I started the second set of 10×50 at zone 5 effort, I started singing Van Halen’s “Right Now” in my head as I swam. Guess what happened?!?! CONSISTENCY!! My 50 yard times for that set varied by less than 2 seconds for each 50. YES!! Don’t worry about the last interval, don’t worry about the upcoming interval, stay present! Focus on RIGHT NOW!

Swim:  8900 yards

“Right now, hey
It’s your tomorrow
Right now,
C’mon, it’s everything
Right now,
Catch that magic moment, do it
Right here and now
It means everything” ~Van Halen
Focus on “right now!” Plant your feet on the floor and move toward chasing your dreams!
3700 yard swim with 2000 yards in Z4. I am very happy with my efforts and consistency. “Right now” helped me chase my dreams!

Bike:  86.2 miles

First outdoor ride this year…even if it was on the trainer! I am grateful for the warm temps + sunshine!! Never mind the 30 mph sustained winds with gusts up to 40 mph (that’s why I rode on the trainer).
Hello humidity! Apparently we skipped over spring. Time to acclimate for race season!
Easy active recovery ride after a long day before chaperoning the 8th grade party…how I spent my Friday evening…
“Right now” was pure joy for 50 miles on two wheels with my fave! I was so happy to be outside riding on the open roads!
This bright pink Coeur Sports Pop Tart kit is perfect for riding on the open roads!

Run:  16.9 miles

Running off the bike in this humidity was tough! The air was thick as pea soup!
“Right now” included a 30 minute run off the bike! Hello heat acclimation!
10 mile heat acclimation run. “Right now” helped me chase my dreams!

Strength Training:  75 minutes + 10 minutes of core strength or yoga stretching daily

30 minutes of strength with weights…It felt SO good to be lifting weights again!
45 minutes of SBT Extreme Suspension Training

Yoga: 30 minutes

Stretching out those tight hips post long run!

Weekly Totals:  14 hours +  30 minutes

Quote of the Week:

“Right now, hey
It’s your tomorrow
Right now
C’mon, it’s everything
Right now
Catch that magic moment, and do it right, right now
Oh, Right now
It’s what’s happening?
Right here and now
Right now
It’s right now
Oh,
Tell me, what are you waiting for
Turn this thing around

~Van Halen

Attitude of Gratitude:

BT Nutrition helps me recover every night! So grateful for their Goodnight formula to help me sleep better!
Love this girl! Not sure why she thinks laying on the coffee table is more comfortable than her dog bed.
Wearing my Normatec Recovery boots at a morning work meeting post early morning race simulation brick workout in some very thick air!
Dance like no one is watching when you’re happy! So grateful there are only 35 days (including weekends) until summer break!
Super grateful that the trees are starting to produce leaves!! 🙂
Put a 2nd raised bed in the yard for veggies!
When my Garmin thinks I should take 66 hours of rest before my next workout…ha ha ha! It clearly doesn’t know me very well!!

How was your week?! What were you grateful for last week?! How do you use “right now” to keep you on track?!

What’s Up?! – April 2018

It took most of April, but I think spring has FINALLY arrived and I am more than ready for it!! I’m ready to put away the winter running gear!! I’m ready to get out and ride on the open roads with the wind in my face and the sun on my back!! But first, let’s recap the month of April!!

Training:

I finally had a solid month of training with a race thrown in! I successfully saw green in Training Peaks everyday in April and completed 10 minutes of core strength everyday as well! I’m finally finding my stride again! Hello consistency…I’ve missed you!!

Swimming into the light
When Coach gives you a “Just for fun…random power challenge”…aka FTP test, you pull out the magic @coeursports kit!! It worked! My test went better than I expected!
First race of 2018 is in the books! My finish time wasn’t as good as I’d hoped for, but it was better than I expected! #happygirl #mydrakerelays

Swim: 29, 550 yards (16.8 miles)
Bike: 203 miles
Run: 76.4 miles
Monthly Totals: 45 hours & 23 minutes

Enjoying:

SPRING!! Spring finally decided to show up in the last week of April!! I am so happy to have FINALLY put my winter coat, stocking hats, and mittens away for the summer!! Now if I could just put all of the winter running gear away…I think it might be a bit early for that though.

Signs of spring…FINALLY!
What a BEAUTIFUL morning for a run with bubble gum tongue! So glad I showed up this morning! #Basillovesrunning

Reading:

Racing Weight: How to get Lean for Peak Performance by Matt Fitzgerald is a great read for all endurance athletes! Matt focuses athletes on improving their diet quality score, managing appetite, balancing energy sources, monitoring weight and performance, and timing nutrition to stay lean for training. He has included food diaries from 18 pro athletes, recipes and strength training workouts to accelerate changes in body composition.

Carrie Cheadle’s blog post “Slow Down: How to Relax Your Mind Under Pressure” is a great reminder to stay focused and present. Allowing your mind to be distracted means you are likely “not bringing 100% of yourself to your performance and you are more likely to get injured.” Our society thrives on how much can you jam into a short amount of time. Carrie has us SLOW DOWN, meditate, and breathe to recenter ourselves and find our focus.

New Research is Changing the Game for Female Athletes by A.C. Shilton…ladies and gentlemen…women and men are different! Women take longer to acclimate to heat. According to Stacy Sims, “Progesterone elevates your core temperature, so you’ll feel hotter to begin with. On top of that, lower blood volume during high-hormone days means it’s harder for your body to sweat and cool yourself.” Women’s cycles impact performance. Knowing how your cycle impacts your performance can be a huge asset to you while training and racing. Women on low carb diets often produce more cortisol. With more stress hormone in our systems, our bodies don’t recover as well because it can directly inhibit muscle repair. The good news?! Women tend to dominate at long distance races and when racing at altitude! Our bodies are better able to metabolize and burn fat for energy. So ladies…go the distance! Race in the mountains! Oh…and take a nap! Women tend to need more rest than the men they train with.

Listening to:

Tina Muir’s podcast with Allie Kieffer is so real and inspiring! Allie’s positive body image message is spot on! “Could I be smaller? Maybe. I don’t think that means I would necessarily be faster.” Allie is always pushing herself to be stronger + faster without worrying about body image. “Don’t box yourself in by putting limits on what you think you are capable of. Set yourself up for success, not failure.”

Are you looking for more motivation? If so, you should listen to the podcast IronWomen did with Dr. Kristin Keim. They discuss ways to get and stay motivated as well as mental health, post Ironman blues, and dealing with eating disorders.  It is a great listen!!

Looking forward to:

Summer break! Now that we have turned the page and are officially in the last month of the school year, I am officially counting down the DAYS to summer break! I am also really looking forward to rolling on the open roads with the wind on my face and the sun on my back! I LOVE riding my bicycle! Oh…and my first triathlon of the season this month! I’m a bit nervous about the water temperature due to the cold spring we’ve had, but am excited to test my current fitness! Yay for race season!

Grateful for:

3 of my favorite little bunnies!
Getting blood work done to learn more about what I can do to improve as an endurance athlete.
When you are unmotivated to workout and your AMAZING husband knows it, so he drew this beauty on our chalkboard wall by my bike to encourage and support me! #imaluckygirl
Traci, we love you! So grateful to have amazing friends at work!
We have two very happy girls because spring FINALLY decided to show up!! Yay for long walks in the warmth + sunshine!!
New Garmin day! #therunnersflat

How was your month of April?! What are you looking forward to?! What were you grateful for last month?!

24 weeks ’til #IMLou – show up

Last week’s focus was to show up and do the work! I was super grateful that spring decided to finally show up also!! Wahoo!!

Swim: 7300 yards

All you have to do is show up…and have some fun!
Show up and follow the line. It will eventually lead to greatness!
When you GET to swim, bike, run, and recover in the same day, you show up to do the work!

Bike: 38.1 miles

Show up! Do the work! Have fun!
When you GET to swim, bike, run, and recover in the same day, you show up to do the work!

Run: 10.6 miles

Show up! That’s the mantra this week! So grateful for spring weather and this girl! #Basillovesrunning
What a BEAUTIFUL morning for a run with bubble gum tongue! So glad I showed up this morning! #Basillovesrunning
When you GET to swim, bike, run, and recover in the same day, you show up to do the work!

Strength Training: 45 minutes + 10 minutes of core strength daily

Show up and strength train!

Weekly Totals: 9 hours + 3 minutes

Quote of the Week:

“Some days it just flows and I feel like I’m born to do this, other days it feels like I’m trudging through hell. Every day I make the choice to show up and see what I’ve got, and to try and be better. My advice: keep showing up.” ~Desiree Linden

Attitude of Gratitude:

Grateful to Nick at Vitality Massage for the post race flush! Body is ready to build, build, build!
Signs of spring…FINALLY!
Dog walks are the best when you don’t have to bundle up!
New Garmin day! #therunnersflat
Checking my gait while picking up our new Garmins! #therunnersflat
CPR/AED recertification day!
SO happy to have this pretty lady back home in Iowa! #lovemyneighbor
Being filmed for a video being put together for Team Chiropractic…what does it take to be an Ironman??? Many hours staring at the same walls! Desire, focus, determination, grit, tenacity, belief in yourself…just to name a few!
When you GET to swim, bike, run, and recover (in my Normatec boots) in the same day, you show up to do the work!

How was your week?! What were you grateful for last week?! How do you commit to showing up, seeing what you’ve got to give, and trying to be better than you were before?!