#celebrate all that the body does

Sunday I pushed my body to its limits. I started the day with a TOUGH session on Zwift. The main set was 10x(2:30 at threshold [180 watts] + 0:30 above threshold [240 watts]). While this ride was TOUGH, I was TOUGHER! I nailed each of the intervals, building strength, confidence, stamina, resilience, and SO MUCH MORE. I was carrying a lot of increased fatigue in my legs from the previous 19 days of the HardCoeur Coaching Cycling Challenge + 4 week FTP Booster on Zwift, so this workout only further fatigued my legs in preparation for the InCydeMan Triathlon Sunday afternoon (scheduled to start about 2 hours after completing this ride).

Sunday’s Zwift ride before the triathlon

Why show up to tri on fatigued legs? I wanted to see what I was truly capable of. I’ve always toed the start line of races fairly well rested. I wanted to see just how far I could push myself out of that comfort zone and into the growth zone. What am I truly capable of? How deep can I really dig? How far can I really push myself while fatigued? Can I still achieve my goals for each distance while fatigued? I wanted to build stamina, strength, grit, resilience, confidence, and truly push my limits!!

Swim: 500 yard swim
Last year I had a swim time of 8:05. I haven’t been swimming as much (or as hard) heading into this triathlon this year and I knew I was carrying a lot of fatigue going into this race, so I didn’t want to be too overzealous. I set a swim goal for myself of 8:10 for this year. I could definitely feel the fatigue once I started swimming, but I didn’t let myself use it as an excuse. Instead I reminded myself to have a long, strong stroke and to #celebrate what my body was doing. #playinmyownlane

Just keep swimming! Just keep swimming!

Swim time = 8:33 (1:43/100 yards)

Bike: 8 miles
Last year I had a bike time of 25:55. I’ve been cycling A LOT this month (I had 25 hours of saddle time in the bank in the first 19 days of January…with a lot of work at or above threshold) and because of all of this cycling, I figured my legs would be tired and I’d have a slower cycling time this year. I decided to set a goal of 25:00, knowing that this was probably a bit overzealous. The women had to set the resistance on our spin bikes to 11 (the men had to set their resistance to 13). I really wanted to have more resistance. I am not a fan of high cadence riding. I’d much rather push hard with lower cadence than spin my legs so fast that I become air born as I fly off the saddle. I was quickly reminded why I despise spin bikes…the saddles are SO. FREAKING. UNCOMFORTABLE! The spin bike is definitely NOT my tri bike on so many different levels! I reminded myself multiple times to #celebrate that I GET to do this and enjoy the challenge!

Go, go, go!!!

Bike time = 21:32 (22.3 mph average speed)

Run: 2 miles
Last year I had a run time of 16:03. Knowing I would be running on trashed legs, I didn’t know what to expect, but I knew I was going to dig deep to give it my best! My goal was 16:00, knowing that this was likely overzealous, but I wanted to really go for it. I settled in behind a lady that was running exactly what my goal was and tried to stick with her as long as I could. At 1 mile, my timer told me that my time was 7:56. I was right where I wanted to be, but I could feel myself slowing no matter how mentally focused and strong I was, the fatigue in my legs was winning. I continued to dig deep all the way to the end. I did lose time in that 2nd mile, but I didn’t lose focus and I stayed with this lady until the last lap. #celebrate that I GET to do this! Run like Basil…happy, strong, and full of joy!

Digging deep and doing my best to hold on to this lady as long as possible!

Run time = 16:13 (8:07/mile average pace)

Overall:
My overall goal time was 49:10. I crushed this on fatigued legs with an overall finish time of 46:18, which was enough to land me on the podium with a silver medal. What a great start to 2020!! What did I learn?! I am much stronger than I think. I can dig deeper than I thought possible. I am more resilient than I imagined. Challenges build stamina and make us stronger. If I keep pushing myself to new limits, I will make my dreams come true! Don’t settle for mediocre when you can be exceptional!

2nd place!
2 sliver medals for our household!

Have you raced on shredded legs? If so, what did you gain from this experience? If not, why not?

A look at 2020

2020 is filling up fast and I’m super excited to toe the line at some new + repeat race events, experience some big training weekends with others, and have so much fun as I swim/bike/run + #celebrate EVERYTHING in 2020!

Here is what my 2020 schedule looks like so far:

  1. InCydeman Triathlon – January 19
  2. PBR 1/2 Marathon – February 1
  3. Coeur Camp in California – March 12-16
  4. Drake 1/2 Marathon – April 19
  5. Des Moines Women’s 1/2 Marathon – May 3
  6. Tri Clear Lake – May 30
  7. IRONMAN Des Moines 70.3 – June 21
  8. Madison Training Weekend – July 3-5
  9. Okoboji Triathlon – July 18
  10. IRONMAN Ohio 70.3 – July 26
  11. Okoboji Point to Point Swim – August 1
  12. IRONMAN Mont Tremblant – August 23
  13. Hillbilly Hike 1/2 Marathon – November 7

I have some BIG goals for some of these races, which I’ll share with you in another post (or multiple posts). Ultimately, I plan to #CELEBRATE the highs and lows, the peaks and valleys, the successes and challenges of my journey to each finish line + life! Throughout 2020, I will be focusing on having more fun, more joy, more action, more play, more dancing, more laughter and #CELEBRATE every part of each chapter that I write this year!

The chapters at the end of 2020 have some gaps in it that I know will fill in, but it’s anyone’s guess as to what I’ll fill them in with. We’ll see what I can find to add to the months of September, October, November, and December as the year progresses.

Cheers to a fun 2020!! What does 2020 have in store for you?!

#celebrate in 2020

2019 was a pretty great year focused around #explore and I explored in SO MANY WAYS!! I explored in my personal life, explored in training, explored in racing, explored with a new career, and I have begun to explore with stepping out of the box as I move into 2020!! This was the perfect word to guide me in 2019!!

With the start of the New Year, so many people set New Year’s Resolutions. As I’ve said in previous posts, I prefer to set intentions instead of resolutions. I feel like resolutions set me up for failure the moment my train gets derailed, whereas intentions make me more mindful + allow for success by not being so finite.

Only about 8% of people who make New Year’s resolutions keep them throughout the year, which might be why I view resolutions as negative and personally don’t make them. In the last couple of weeks, I have had so many words and phrases speak to me, so I “tried them on” to see which one(s) really fit. Which one(s) sang to my heart?! Which one(s) fueled my passion?! Which one(s) will motivate me the most to do and be my best self in 2020?! I swam with them, biked with them, ran with them, listened to them at home, listened to them at work, rolled them around, listened to them while recovering from minor injury, sat still with them in chaos, rested in silence with them, and would just BE with them.

The conversation started with “unstoppable.” Unstoppable in sport, at work, at home, in life. I LOVE how this speaks to me, but I do find it a bit negative since the middle of it has the word “stop,” so I knew this one wasn’t quite right. Next up “win.” This came up as I was trying to “win the day” by not dwelling in the past or focusing on the future, but staying present in the moment. While it spoke to me in that moment, it also wasn’t the right fit either. “Stay in your own lane” I decided is a better mantra for 2020 rather than an action word to guide me, so the search continued. “Believe” came next. This has been my word in the past and will always guide me as it is tattooed on my forearm. I wanted something new for 2020. I had some other words speak to me at different times throughout training, life, work, resting, recovery, chaos…”courage,” “play,” “grow,” “fun,” “achieve,” and “create” were just a few. While these all spoke to me at different times, none of them spoke to me in ALL aspects of my life, so I kept searching. For the longest time, I thought my word was going to be “live.” In 2020 I want to “live my best life,” “live my truth,” “live my passion,” “live what’s in my heart,” and remind myself that “this is living” whether faced with challenges or when I’m thriving in life! This word was SO close to feeling just right, but something small was still missing. When I least expected it, I realized my word for 2020 was staring me in the face the whole time. I don’t just want to “live” in 2020. I want to “celebrate” the growth I’ve made and the growth that is yet to come. I want to “celebrate” the challenges I’ve overcome and the ones I’ve yet to face. I want to “celebrate” the victories along the way…small and large. I want to “celebrate” all of the little things and the big things. I want to have more fun, more joy, more action, more play, more dancing, more laughter, and “celebrate” more in 2020. I want to “celebrate” every aspect of living! Are you sensing the theme?! Yep…You guessed it! My intention for 2020:

My 2019 Year in Review via Photos

January:

Podium finish is a great way to start 2019!!
It is SO HARD to swim with a merman on your back!!
I’m so grateful our twin nieces and my sister came to visit for the twin’s swim meet!
I’m so grateful for morning runs with my favorite girl! #basillovesrunning
WOW!! Magnificent sunsets are amazing!!
Running in the snow is SO HARD, but I loved every minute of my 8+ mile run in the sun!!
Basil loves to play in the snow and help shovel!!
Snowshoeing at dusk with my faves!!
I have some of the best people in my village!! Thanks Ruth for the reminder to #explore in all areas of my life this year and always! You’re the best! ❤

February:

I’m so ready to “explore” in a new career!!
Carving my glass heart!
The finished product! I think they turned out pretty awesome!
These 3…I love them all!! So grateful for their unconditional love!!
I’m so grateful to be on #tigerteam19!! My Coeur Sports teammates help me to feel empowered, inspired, connected, loved, and full of joy!!
Mother Nature’s sense of humor is a bit different than mine, but I am grateful for the 4 seasons…even if the snow drifts over one of our favorite trails. #driftedsnowiswaistdeep
I am so grateful for my Normatec recovery boots…especially after 14 solid treadmill miles!!

March:

Double medal race day at the St. Paddy’s 1/2 Marathon where I got 2nd place in my age group!
So grateful I got to see these two beautiful faces…even if it wasn’t for the happiest reason.
So grateful for girl’s night out playing board games with these beauties!! #needtodothismoreoften
The first time in my 16 years of teaching that I was given flowers from a student.
Love my mama! She’s still the boss even after 42 years!! 🙂
I am grateful that the weather is nice enough to rake up all the leaves and play in them with my favorite girl!!
Love you more and SO glad you’re back in the water!!
So grateful for spring weather so I could wear the same Coeur Sports “Not Today Cancer” kit for my bike + run! Oh…and super grateful for my favorite girl who loves to run!! #basillovesrunning
After a tough run (1100 feet of climbing over 7 miles), I was so grateful to find a way to use my Normatec Recovery boots in the car since I had to be there for a few hours post run.
Grateful to meet the Iron Hippie’s parents for lunch!
So grateful that I got some run love with Robin! I’ve missed my girl time!

April:

“Growth comes at a point of resistance; we learn by pushing ourselves to the outer reaches of our abilities.” ~Josh Waitzkin
Grateful for the support of SBR Sports, Inc. SBR is my go to for chlorine removal + blister prevention + easy wetsuit removal. Use KEPL19 at checkout for 20% off your next order of these amazing products!!
Grateful for the warmer temps + sunshine as I put my feet up with a good book while the dogs enjoy their bones!!
WAHOO!! Grateful that the IronHippie is seeing green in Training Peaks again post surgery!!
Grateful for the yoga mat + some vitamin D!!
Grateful to have Basil run by my side and the IronHippie back in the saddle!!
These two…so grateful for their unconditional love!!
Grateful for some girl time with Robin as we pound the pavement!!
14 Ironman finish lines amongst this #swimsquad and more to come in our futures!!
3 cheers for 3 Drake 1/2 marathon finishers!! Grateful to cross another finish line!!
Grateful for freedom on 2 wheels on the open road with my fave!!
100s Z3 effort until failure for breakfast…goal pace = 1:39/100 yards with 20 sec recovery between each; failure = 1:42/100 yards
Self doubt told me I could only maintain my goal pace for 5×100.
Self confidence told me I was strong and could crush this pace for at least 10×100.
Giddy!! That’s how I felt when I successfully completed 20×100 at 1:3x.x + nailing 21×100 before failure!! #explore #befierce #beatiger #believe

May:

Chaperoning my last 8th grade dance!!
Morning sunrises are the best way to start the day!!
Playing in the water with my fave!!
Joining some friends for a spin class!
Our neighbor, Marjorie, came home from Arizona. We are so happy she is here to stay!!
So grateful my favorite girl loves to run!! 13.2 miles later, we were both ready for some food and a nap!! 🙂
BOOM!! I think I grew gills and fins!!
I love fresh, homegrown veggies!! So grateful to get our garden planted!!
Grateful for the time and nice weather to finally landscape around the house!!
I love spending time on two wheels outside with my fave at my side!!
Walking into my classroom for the last week of school with kids.
Grateful to have these two amazing ladies show up and attend my triathlon clinic!!
Going out with a splash!! My last day with kids was super fun!! Now for a week of professional development before starting my new adventure next week!!
So grateful to have had some of the most AMAZING colleagues ever!!

June:

Riding in Minnesota, but the lake to my left is in Iowa. Love this route!
Basil is checking out the Roomba. Each day she gets less and less afraid of it.
Sometimes it takes a little encouragement to complete a tough workout!! High fives all around!!
Today marks the last time I’ll run from the middle school as my place of employment.
Grateful to spend my last days of teaching with my colleague and friend! I already miss seeing her everyday!
Post 100 mile ride playtime! So grateful to have my fave by my side through this roller coaster ride of life!!
So grateful to be starting my new gig in Physics Hall on ISU campus!!
I’m grateful I got to spend a few hours with the Iron Hippie’s family
So grateful we were asked to be on the radio to promote the Ames Triathlon!
WOW!! Early morning runs with sunrises like this are TOTALLY worth it!!
Thank you to Kyle at Kyle’s Bikes for always keeping Mojo ready for race day and for getting me into some new bike shoes!!
So grateful these kids came to Ames to have dinner with us…ok, they really came to race the Ames Triathlon!! LOL!!
Watching the downtown crit races was so much fun with these peeps!!
We had a great day at the Ames Triathlon and couldn’t have done it without all of you…the athletes, volunteers, spectators, other race directors, sponsors, partners, medical support, photographers…YOU!!
Three Cheers to Allen Bierbaum and Dr. Chris Feil for helping one of our para-athletes in and out of the water at the Ames Triathlon on Sunday!!
Who’s ready to race the Ames Triathlon?! These two!! So glad my Coeur Sports sisters came to race in the inaugural Ames Triathlon event!!

July:

Grateful I got to see my twin nieces…even if the circumstances weren’t the best.
Grandma got most of the cousins together, but she wasn’t able to get me into Hawkeye apparel.
Yep…we are strong and ready to race!
Knocking out the last really big training day before #IMLP!!
Grateful to score this sweet treadmill from friends that moved to the Bay Area.
Grateful for the first ripe homegrown tomato from our garden before leaving on vacation!
SO GRATEFUL we got to enjoy a few days with some of our favorite people. Only wish we lived closer together and got to spend more time with Erika, Rob, and their girls!
Running along Niagara Falls was a real highlight! It isn’t everyday you get to run along the falls!
Grateful to play tourists for a day! Taking the boat tour and getting up close and personal with the falls was fun!
Grateful to celebrate 9 years of marriage to this wonderful man exploring Niagara Falls!
Celebrating 9 years of marriage with a high class dinner (this was my first time ever eating at a place with a restroom attendant).
Getting to stay on the 39th floor above the falls provided some amazing views and a perfect place to watch the evening fireworks.
We made it to Lake Placid in time for a short shake out run before the sunset.
We made it to Lake Placid! Love this place!
Swimming in my favorite place makes my heart happy!
Mirror Lake is the best place to swim…EVER!! It makes my heart happy!!
So grateful to ride the Ironman Lake Placid bike course with my fave!
So grateful for this amazing Coeur Sports Sunset Strip kit. The colors stand out!
Grateful I got to play lots of cards with my fave!!
Exploring some falls off of the Ironman Lake Placid bike course.
Grateful I get to do life with this guy! Happy 40th to the Iron Hippie!
Having fun running down Main Street Lake Placid
The Ironman Lake Placid Underpants Run Participants
Grateful for Amy Farrell! What an amazing human being!
Grateful for Carol! Love her to pieces!
Grateful to have such amazing support!
Grateful for my Coeur Sports family!
Our race day support crew! Love you Dad, Aunt Linda, and Cousin Neal! Photo credit: Neal Fedora
Love this man! So glad I get to do life with him by my side! Photo credit: Neal Fedora
Race ready!
That’s a swim PR! Photo credit: FinisherPix
Finishing loop #1 of the bike! Photo credit: FinisherPix
Finishing loop #2 of the bike! Photo credit: FinisherPix
Chasing down my fave! I see him! Photo credit: FinisherPix
Not feeling it on the run. Photo Credit: Amy Farrell
Ready to conquer run loop #2. Photo Credit: Amy Farrell
On the last loop of the run! Photo credit: FinisherPix
So glad to see Moira and Mike at the finish line! Photo credit: FinisherPix
Grateful for this finish line with my Fave by my side! Photo credit: FinisherPix
Grateful for fun opportunities with free music and beautiful views!
Grateful to Tim Chien at Balanced Bodywork & Massage for an amazing pre-race and post race massage!
Grateful to meet awesome peeps!

August:

So happy to be on the open water! You can take the girl out of the lake, but you can’t take the lake out of the girl!
So grateful we got to spend some time with two of our favorite people! Can’t wait to spend more time with you in September!
I missed my baby girl while on vacation SO MUCH! I am so grateful she missed me too!
Grateful for a BEAUTIFUL evening to listen to our friend play live music at our local Coop!
Grateful for BEAUTIFUL morning sunrises!! #redskyinthemorningsailorstakewarning
Grateful for pool shenanigans with these two peeps!
Grateful for time with family!
Grateful that the big “kids” still like to play and have fun like little kids!
Grateful for the Heritage Farm recognition at the Iowa State Fair. The family farm has been in the same family for 150 years.
“Smile for the camera, Traci!” Grateful to race with my dear friend!
Photo Credit: Dave Mable
3rd place age group on a FUN day! Congrats to Bradie for 2nd place in our age group!
Meeting up with my Coeur Sports Teammate, Jess, always brings multiple smiles to my face! Love this girl!
So grateful to my Coeur Sports Teammate, Steena, for this Fellow Flower!! “Living my truth!!”
Truth: I rode 32 miles after work. I had lots of time to think. I realized just how much I REALLY do LOVE to ride my bicycle when I do it my way. I love the open roads, the wind in my face, the sun on my back, and the freedom I feel!
Truth: I ran 6 miles this morning…3 solo miles followed by 3 miles with Robin. I REALLY do LOVE running, but I love it even more with friends! I love the early morning sunrises, the fresh air, the conversations, the community, the sounds of feet hitting the pavement, sweating together, and the hugs at the end!
Grateful for the lunch date at the food truck with my fave…one of the many advantages of us both working on campus!!
Grateful for time on the water with some of my loved ones!
Grateful for time picking berries with loved ones!! Fresh fruit…YUMMMM!!
This was my favorite run so far this year! I found peace, freedom, and oh so much joy on the trails. I couldn’t stop smiling! It is exactly what I needed!

September:

Grateful to see the early morning painted sky!
Grateful to get to reconnect with my mat on the lake with my fave + my Dad.
SO GRATEFUL to run with my faves at home home! Love them and the lake!
I absolutely LOVE swimming at home home! So grateful for this magical opportunity!
Grateful to spend time with our twin nieces and play in the water!
Riding with my fave on one of my favorite routes brings me pure joy! I am in Minnesota and he is in Iowa in this picture.
Love these 3!! I’m so grateful they love to have fun + eat ice cream!
I am truly blessed to have my 2 favorite running buddies run with me at home home by the lake!
Love my girls! Happy 7th birthday to my baby! Love you Basil!
Bluebird skies + lots of sunshine + no wind + 2 wheels on the open roads = EXACTLY what my heart needed today! #happyheart #livingmytruth
So grateful for such a magical playground!!
Grateful that my fave and I got to spend a long weekend in Madison!
Grateful to have Mike Reilly sign our copy of his book, “Finding My Voice”
The rural Wisconsin views always make my heart happy!
Happy to be giving back to a sport that has given so much to me!
So grateful to all of these volunteers (+ many, many more) for helping to make dreams come true at Ironman Wisconsin for so many athletes.
Happy to be donating my hair to Wigs for Kids.
Grateful that my fave loves to have fun on this roller coaster of life!
Grateful that my fave loves to play around and enjoy life with me!
Grateful to branch out and go to trivia night, which was a bit uncomfortable as I am clueless when it comes to trivia.
I’m so grateful to have lots of time with my favorite girl to think and process my thoughts. She’s such a good listener!
This is the first time I have relaxed in the Normatec Recovery boots since IMLP in July. It felt truly amazing and I was grateful to have the neighbor’s dog snuggle up next to me.
Grateful for the bright colors of this Coeur Sports Liberty kit! It made me so much more visible riding on the open roads!
Intention: Gratitude
I started to incorporate intentions before each workout during the middle of the month and it has really served me well. During this swim, I kept focus on the gratitude and was so thankful to my body for allowing me to push it.
Thank you Ruth for thinking of me and being one of my biggest supporters!
I’m glad to have reconnected with my mat and have Basil coaching me through the moves.
Grateful to have a solid double digit run where my body felt so good I decided to run a little longer than planned and of course celebrate with a dance party post run! “If you like piña coladas and getting caught in the rain…”
SO GRATEFUL for spontaneity in riding cross bikes with my fave after work!
Grateful to see some “friends” on my 11 mile run!
Grateful for 70+ miles on two wheels with my fave on new terrain!
Grateful to Robin and Basil for running with me!
Grateful to my Coeur Sports sister, Jess, and her family for having us over for dinner and enjoying each other’s company!!

October:

Grateful for a dog that loves to run and is sad when I run on the treadmill.
Grateful for my reminder to believe in myself and what I am doing!
Grateful for my body to allow me to push it even when I have ALL. OF. THE. EXCUSES. TO. NOT. SHOW. UP!
Grateful to have my CECs done for my personal training certification!
So grateful to have such an amazing running buddy! Basil is my girl and she definitely LOVES to run!
Grateful to have Sound Probiotics boosting my immune health!
Grateful for my Normatec Recovery boots to flush out the legs post long run!
Grateful to “crash” my dear friend’s tailgate “party” and surprise her!
Grateful for this beautiful morning sunrise on our way to Lou.
Grateful to spend the weekend with my girlfriend + Coeur Sports teammate, Erika.
Grateful I go to volunteer at registration on Friday morning with this crew.
Grateful I got to turn social media friends into real friends! So awesome to meet Kristen in person!
Helping our Coeur Sports sister, Mikki, wrap up registration.
Helping our Coeur Sports sister, Kristin, wrap up registration.
Thank you Erika for my matching bracelet!! Love you girl!!
Autumn in Bardstown with Erika!!
Three peas in a pod!!
Swimming in Lou when we arrived.
Go, Kristen, GOOOOO!!! Keep MOOOVING forward!! #IMLou
Cheering our hearts out!! #IMLou
Grateful we got to meet up with our Coeur Sports sister, Erin on the bike course! #IMLou
Grateful my fave enjoys having loads of fun! Our outfits got lots of laughs and cheers from the athletes! #IMLou
Go Rob GOOOO!!! Keep MOOOVING forward!! #IMLou
Rob getting chased by my fave in his second costume of the day. #IMLou
Looking strong Mikki! #IMLou
Happy birthday Kristin! #IMLou
Encouraging Kristin to finish strong! Congrats on your 1st place AG and Kona qualification! #IMLou
Ironman Louisville from a new perspective. What a fun day! Congrats Rob on your amazing race! #IMLou
Grateful for the beautiful fall colors that showed up a bit later than normal.
Intention: Gratitude
15 miles for my Friday happy hour in 30+ mph winds. Some of my gratitude thoughts while running:
*I’m grateful for a strong body + mind.
*I’m grateful for warm temps + sunshine.
*I’m grateful for completely new running routes.
*I’m grateful for a job that I love.
*I’m grateful for Halloween decorations to keep me entertained.
*I’m grateful to have my long run done before the rain shows up this weekend.
*I’m grateful for the beautiful fall colors.
I’m so grateful for friends that like to try something new. Glass blowing is so much fun and I got to make a beautiful pumpkin for fall.
Thank you to Robin and Basil for 8 BEAUTIFUL fall, morning miles with me!
Grateful for Triny and the #itcouldbeme campaign to help make roads safer for everyone!
Grateful that our girls love to go to the parade and enjoy the socialization.
Grateful for my babies, beautiful fall colors, and fall walks!
Grateful for fall campfires…even if the fall season was EXTREMELY short this year!
Life is a roller coaster ride full of highs and lows. I’m grateful for good people to help lift me up and run with me when I’m at a low. 6 beautiful fall/early winter miles this am with my faves!
Grateful to connect with my mat and the intention of fear.
Grateful to reconnect with my inner Arial.
Grateful for early morning rides with my fave!
Grateful for some easy miles off the bike to start my day!

November:

I’m beyond grateful, humbled, blessed, and honored to be a Coeur Sports ambassador for my 6th year! 2020 is going to be amazing!
So grateful for Friday happy hour swims with my fave!
I’m so grateful for a strong body + mind so I can do what I love!
Another Hillbilly Hike 1/2 marathon is in the books!
So grateful to be getting back to the weights and strength training the entire body!
Grateful for the opportunity to ride the horse carriage at Snow Magic.
So grateful to get to run with these rad ladies at the Coeur Sports women’s run in Des Moines.
Looking for a way to make squats (or wall sits if you don’t have suspended straps) more challenging?! Add a dog to the mix! Basil LOVES to “help,” but sometimes her version of helping creates more of a challenge for me. Grateful for her unconditional love and support!
Grateful for some time with my mat!
Grateful to get to cheer these two on at their swim meet!
So grateful for my Coeur Sports teammate, Triny, and the work she is doing to make roads safer for everyone!
Grateful for time on my mat with Robin by my side!
Intention: WIN (the day)
After being away from the water for two weeks, it felt so amazing to get some #chlorinetherapy today! #wintheday
Grateful for a morning run with my fave!
Crushing bike intervals + spending time with my fave = pure joy!
Grateful for time to PLAY in the water!
I love sushi! So grateful for this yummy goodness!
So grateful that Mom came down to join us for an evening of joy + entertainment!
Wow! This was a great show! Grateful I got to experience it!
Grateful for this girl’s friendship! Morning miles + girl talk are icing on the cake! What a perfect start to the day + week!
“Follow your heart. Life is too short to be sidetracked by the things everyone else wants you to do.” ~Unknown
My heart speaks swim/bike/run! It brings me calm, it brings me joy, it builds self confidence, it often teaches me something new, it breeds discipline, it connects me with others, it forces me to be more courageous, it allows me the freedom to mess up & still end up ok, it provides me an outlet, it makes me stronger – physically and mentally, it fills me with gratitude, and SO much more! What does your heart say?! Do you listen?!
I love digging deep and feeling the accomplishment of overcoming obstacles and achieving something that once seemed impossible! I’m so grateful my body allows me to push it!
So grateful for these peeps (and Basil) to run with before devouring all of the yummy Thanksgiving food!
Friendsgiving! SO grateful for my framily!
Now that Thanksgiving is over, the tree is up. I’m grateful for making all of the 2019 memories (that are documented with medals on our tree) and the bright lights that remind us to always shine bright and give our best in everything we do!
Intention: I get to
It isn’t always easy. Mother Nature threw down some 38-40*F temps, rain, and winds (hello IMLou 2018 weather). She likes to think that she holds the power, BUT SHE’S WRONG! I hold the power when I keep the mental chatter positive!

December:

I’ve decided to step out of the box I’ve been in and experiment with self coaching in 2020. I’m excited to try new things knowing that some of these things may not work for me, while other things may be the best thing ever for me! I’m grateful for the opportunity to think outside of the box, experiment with trial and error, the freedom and control to do it my way, and the excitement with trying something new!
So grateful to Dr. Chris Feil at Team Chiropractic and Rehabilitation of Ames for helping me get back to training.
So grateful for the dream that Emily Hampton had to start Ignite Yoga and build such an amazing community!
So grateful for Dr. Chris Feil with Team Chiropractic and Rehabilitation of Ames who continues to work to get me back to healthy!
So grateful that I can spend time with my mat while rehabbing my back.
LIVE! Every. Damn. Day!
So grateful to be spinning on the bike…even if it is an easy ride!
Grateful for our new Tuff Mutt hands-free running leash from our Secret Santa. We can’t wait to enjoy all of the miles together with this!
I’m grateful for Dr. Chris Feil at Team Chiropractic and Rehabilitation of Ames for helping get me back on track this month.
These beautiful December days with unseasonable temperatures are amazing!!
The girls are so glad that Dad is home after being gone for a week.
Glad to be rolling again!
Wow!! Grateful for beautiful sunrises!!
Grateful for Kyle at Kyle’s Bikes to help me get my Wahoo Kickr ready to ride!!
Grateful for framily and matching PJs!!
First run all month!! Grateful to be nearly fully recovered from my back sprain and enjoying fresh air + sunshine + time with my faves!!
Grateful for these love bugs!! “Give me all the treats!!”
Sushi for Christmas dinner…YES PLEASE!!
Today I had all the excuses for not moving…
-I didn’t pack warm enough gear for the drop in temperature today.
-I should just go home and try to get Zwift working.
-I’m still not quite 100% after my back sprain.
-I don’t have a coach, so I can run tomorrow or this weekend.
-I’m tired. I should just go home and rest.
I ignored all of these excuses, put on my sweatshirt, and ran home from work. I celebrated every step, every breath of air, and every drop of sweat. And yes…I was reminded why I don’t wear cotton when I workout!!
Chris Chapman with Movewell Iowa is helping me get my muscles to properly fire and keep me injury free.
Friday night happy hour miles + quality time with my 2 faves! My heart couldn’t be happier!
First official Zwift ride…yep, I think I’m hooked! Lots to learn, but I can see how this will help me get faster + stronger in 2020! #grateful
Grateful that yoga is a family affair in our house!
So grateful to have worked out to the point that the Normatec Recovery boots got some use!
Burning the sh!t I want to let go of as I prepare for 2020. I am so grateful for the Athlete Mastermind program that Jenny Hayes is putting on.
Sending 2019 out in style! My FTP test indicates a loss of fitness in the off season, but that’s what the off season is for, right?! Time to get to work as I chase my dreams in 2020!!
2019 Totals

What’s up?! – December 2019

December tested my patience. I messed up my back on December 2 and was unable to do much for most of the month. Patience to step back and not do what I want and what my brain needs this time of year. Patience to ease back into training once I was cleared to do so. Patience going without a car for a week. Patience getting my Wahoo Kickr set up with Zwift so I could start 2020 off with a bang. Patience…patience…PATIENCE!!! Thanks to the help and support from Dr. Chris Feil with Team Chiropractic and Rehabilitation of Ames and Nick Morton with Vitality Massage, I was back to feeling myself by the end of the month and I’m ready to start 2020 strong and healthy.

Training:

Friday night happy hour yardage! Celebrate every stroke!
Sending 2019 out in style! My FTP test indicates a loss of fitness in the off season, but that’s what the off season is for, right?! Time to get to work as I chase my dreams in 2020!!
First run all month!! Grateful to be nearly fully recovered from my back sprain and enjoying fresh air + sunshine + time with my faves!!

Swim: 12,400 yards (7.05 miles)
Bike: 91 miles
Run: 14.2 miles
Strength: 10 minutes of core daily (except for 4 days in early December when my back was a hot mess) + some strength training + more yoga ❤
Meditation: 3 minutes daily since January 1
Monthly Totals: 21 hours & 49 minutes

2019 Totals:
Swim: 286,818 yards (162.96 miles)
Bike: 2785 miles
Run: 835 miles
511 hours & 27 minutes

#explore:

Explore was my focus word in 2019 and I’m happy that I incorporated it into all areas of my life throughout the year. In December, I planned for 2020 and #explore was at the focus of this planning! I’m SUPER EXCITED about what’s on my 2020 schedule and will be sharing that with you soon! I also started to #explore functional power training with Chris Chapman at Movewell Iowa. We are working on getting all of my muscles to properly fire like they are supposed to while doing different motions. This takes work, but the work will be worth it as it should help prevent injuries and keep me healthy and active!

Listening to:

Here is what I listened to this month:

Coeur Sports Earsplitz
Holidays!

KonaKamps always has me inspired and motivated!! Some of this months faves were:
Ironman St. George 2020 Six Month Preview
Damien Bethencourt, Overall AG Champion, Ironman Malaysia 2019
Nicola Beck, Ironman Wales 2019
PR Ironman in 2020
Ironman Texas 2020 Six Month Preview
Tom De Bruyn, Overall AG Champion, Ironman Cozumel 2019
Rebecca Duxbury, Ironamn Wales 2019
Nathan Ford, Ironman Cozumel 2019
Kelly Collins, Ironman Cozumel 2019
Off Season

Witsup Podcast:
Linsey Corbin
Heather Wurtele

The Same 24 Hours:
Susan Lacke: Life’s Too Short and Running Outside the Comfort Zone
Notes on Nonsense: Holidays are Hard
Notes on Nonsense: Talking about Procrastination
Kevin Curry: Fit Men Cook
Notes on Nonsense: Publication Day is NOT Nonsense

Clean Sport Collective:
Emma Coburn, Steeplechase World Champion
Roger Pielke, Expert in Sports Governance
Clean Sport Panel with Rob Krar, Dylan Bowman, Alysia Montano, and Kara Goucher
James Wilks, UFC Fighter and Producer from The Game Changers

Kelsey Abbott brought on:
Jennifer Brown: With Diversity and Inclusion

Ironwomen Podcast has so many amazing women on!
Swim, Bike, Ruff – Kearci Smith

Rich Roll brought on:
Breaking Boston: Scott Fauble is Leading American Marathoners into the Olympics
Kendra Little is Becoming More: Broadening the Gender Identity Conversation

Michael Gervais has brought some amazing people on his Finding Mastery podcast:
Missy Franklin on Being a Champion in Victory and Defeat

C Tolle Run brought on:
Jessie Diggins – Brave Enough

Run4PRs:
How fast can you become? What are your limits? The Law of Diminishing Returns Explained

Hidden Brain:
Creatures of Habit

Conquer Athlete Podcast:
Functional Power Training with Dr. John Rusin

Trained:
Simon Sinek: Finding Your “Why”

Crime Junkie:
WANTED: A Christmas Killer
SERIAL KILLER: Highway of Tears

Reading:

Beyond Grit: Ten Powerful Practices to Gain the High-Performance Edge by Cindra Kamphoff has practical tools and actions to help you improve your mindset and become the high-performer you want to be. “Kamphoff shares the tools and strategies she’s taught executives, entrepreneurs, NFL ProBowl athletes, Olympians, college athletes, and championship teams. Based on almost twenty years of research and consulting with the world’s best, she provides a practical, inspiring, and easy-to-use guide to radically accelerating your performance and improving your happiness.

In this book, Kamphoff teaches you how to develop Ten Practices of the World’s Best:
1. The world’s best are gritty.
2. The world’s best are clear on their purpose.
3. The world’s best become a master of their thoughts.
4. The world’s best know themselves to master yourself.
5. The world’s best dominate the controllables.
6. The world’s best own the moment.
7. The world’s best choose empowering emotions.
8. The world’s best own who they are.
9. The world’s best live and let go.
10. The world’s best choose their courage zone.

You’ll also discover 52 life-altering strategies that you can put in your High Performance Toolbox to develop these practices and change your daily life. Each chapter describes one strategy and ends with a powerful affirmation to help you develop the High Performance Mindset. A widely respected keynote speaker, trainer, and coach, Kamphoff possesses an inspiring style that combines high energy with strategies that work. Her proven system can transform the performance of anyone who wants to up their game, regardless of their field. Whether you re seeking to own your dream business, triple your income, be the best you can be in your sport, or merely achieve a higher level of personal satisfaction, Beyond Grit shows you how. Inspiring and practical, Kamphoff will show you how to ”own your why,” develop your grit, take control of your future, discover your purpose, thrive under pressure, and be your best more often.”

Chasing Kona: From Back of the Pack Smoker to Racing the Ironman World Championships in Kona by Rob Cummins was a fun, quick read. “Sitting watching TV with a cigarette in one hand, a black coffee in the other and nursing a crushing hangover I switched channels until I found sports. There was some sort of bike race on and I half watched while lighting another cigarette off the butt of my last one for a minute before switching channels again. Just as I hit the button on the remote the commentator mentioned something about the athletes swimming before and running afterwards as well as racing the bike. I thought he said something about the run being a marathon but that couldn’t be right.This sparked my interest and I switched back, but he was talking about something else so I waited for him to get around to describing exactly what this race was. I didn’t have long to wait as he said they first did a 2.5 mile swim, then 112 miles on the bike all topped of with running a marathon. I was stunned. I didn’t think that would be physically possible and as I lit another cigarette I wondered how many days did they have to do it. I guessed it would have to be three days. Swim the first day, bike the second and run the third but it still sounded like a crazy thing to do. Then he said that they did it all in the one day, one after another without stopping. I was completely incredulous. And hooked. I remained glued to the TV and learned that these bronzed, muscular Greek God looking athletes weren’t all professionals either. There was an amateur or “age group” race as well Although I could hardly tell the difference between the pros and amateurs. They all looked unbelievably fit. As I sat there mesmerized I swore to myself that I’d race there someday. I’d stop smoking and drinking and somehow do “The Ironman” At the time I had no idea what that meant or how I would do it and after a while as things have a way of doing I got busy with life and I forgot all about The Ironman and Hawaii. I forgot until several years later when I had actually given up smoking and had taken up triathlon. It had taken me two years and sixteen races of swimming breast stroke before I learned to swim properly. I never once looked even remotely like Kona material but I wanted to have a go at doing an Ironman. It took another three years before I plucked up the courage and lined up for my first one in Nice, France. I finished in the last quarter of the field, hours behind the athletes racing for those precious Kona slots. Nothing I had done up to then had given any indication that I should have had a reason to believe I had a chance at qualifying, but three years later when I asked Aisling, my wife if she thought it was possible she immediately said yes and then she added let’s do it. Aisling’s belief in me started us on a journey that led to me treading water on the most iconic start line in triathlon, waiting for the cannon to fire at the start of the Ironman World Championships in Hawaii. This is how we overcame all of the odds and discovered what it would take to get to the Ironman World Championships. This is our Kona story.”

The 5 Love Languages: The Secret to Love that Lasts by Gary Chapman is a great read to make sure you and your partner are speaking each other’s language to really connect with each other. “Falling in love is easy. Staying in love—that’s the challenge. How can you keep your relationship fresh and growing amid the demands, conflicts, and just plain boredom of everyday life? In the #1 New York Times bestseller The 5 Love Languages, you’ll discover the secret that has transformed millions of relationships worldwide. Whether your relationship is flourishing or failing, Dr. Gary Chapman’s proven approach to showing and receiving love will help you experience deeper and richer levels of intimacy with your partner—starting today. The 5 Love Languages is as practical as it is insightful. Updated to reflect the complexities of relationships today, this new edition reveals intrinsic truths and applies relevant, actionable wisdom in ways that work.”

Attitude of Gratitude:

I’m excited and grateful to step out of the box I’ve been in and experiment with self coaching in 2020. I’m excited to try new things knowing that some of these things may not work for me, while other things may be the best thing ever for me! Bring on the thinking outside of the box, the experimentation, the trial and error, the freedom and control to do it my way, and the excitement with trying something new!
So grateful to Dr. Chris Feil at Team Chiropractic and Rehabilitation of Ames for helping me get back to training.
So grateful for Dr. Chris Feil with Team Chiropractic and Rehabilitation of Ames who continues to work to get me back to healthy!
So grateful for the dream that Emily Hampton had to start Ignite Yoga and build such an amazing community!
So grateful for a few days of warmer weather in December to go outside in flip flops without freezing my toes!
Grateful for a beautiful morning moon setting on Friday the 13th!
So grateful that I can spend time with my mat while rehabbing my back.
Grateful to get some chlorine therapy next to my fave!!
I’m grateful that I can ride the bus when my fave is gone with the car and I get to walk to the bus stop on a nice winter day.
I’m grateful for Dr. Chris Feil at Team Chiropractic and Rehabilitation of Ames for helping get me back on track this month.
So grateful to be spinning on the bike…even if it is an easy ride!
I’m lucky to have these two support me while I ride.
The morning sunrise was so magnificent…this picture doesn’t even begin to do it justice. WOW!
Grateful for our new Tuff Mutt hands-free running leash from our Secret Santa. We can’t wait to enjoy all of the miles together with this!
Very grateful for these beautiful December days with unseasonable temperatures are amazing!!
The girls and I are so grateful that Dad is home after being gone for a week.
So grateful to be rolling again!
Wow!! Grateful for beautiful sunrises!!
Grateful for Kyle at Kyle’s Bikes to help me get my Wahoo Kickr ready to ride!!
Grateful for framily and matching PJs!!
Grateful for these little beauties!! Missing them this Christmas!!
Grateful for these love bugs!! “Give me all the treats!!”
Sushi for Christmas dinner…YES PLEASE!!
Today I had all the excuses for not moving…
-I didn’t pack warm enough gear for the drop in temperature today.
-I should just go home and try to get Zwift working.
-I’m still not quite 100% after my back sprain.
-I don’t have a coach, so I can run tomorrow or this weekend.
-I’m tired. I should just go home and rest.
I ignored all of these excuses, put on my sweatshirt, and ran home from work. I celebrated every step, every breath of air, and every drop of sweat. And yes…I was reminded why I don’t wear cotton when I workout!!
Friday night happy hour miles + quality time with my 2 faves! My heart couldn’t be happier!
First official Zwift ride…yep, I think I’m hooked! Lots to learn, but I can see how this will help me get faster + stronger in 2020! #grateful
Grateful that yoga is a family affair in our house!
So grateful to have worked out to the point that the Normatec Recovery boots got some use!
Celebrating some yards…especially when they aren’t always easy.
Burning the sh!t I want to let go of as I prepare for 2020. I am so grateful for the Athlete Mastermind program that Jenny Hayes is putting on.

How was your month of December?! What were you grateful for last month?! Are you ready for the start of 2020?!

The Best of 2019

I love looking back and thinking about all of the amazing things that I’ve accomplished and all of the challenges I’ve overcome! 2019 was full of opportunities to #explore, challenges to overcome, accomplishments to enjoy, and SO MUCH FUN!! I’ve reflected for the last 6 years and now it’s time to reflect on 2019! 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, and the Best of 2018. Now its time to reminisce my faves from 2019! 🙂

Best race experience?

Bluff Creek Triathlon where I competed with my girl, Traci, and had an absolute blast! We started the swim together. I waited for her in T1 and then followed her on the bike (don’t worry…I followed the drafting rules and rode far enough back). We had a mechanical issue on the bike, but we made it back to T2 and headed out on the run. Despite the mechanical, Traci had a PR! It was so much fun to cheer her on and encourage her every stroke and step of the way!

“Smile for the camera, Traci!”
Photo Credit: Dave Mable

Best run?

St. Paddy’s Day 1/2 Marathon in March was SO. MUCH. FUN! Not only was I prepared for it physically and mentally, but I was able to race it and come within 3 minutes of a 1/2 marathon PR. Oh…and did I mention that I walked away with not 1, but 2 medals for that race?!

Double medal race day at the St. Paddy’s 1/2 Marathon where I got 2nd place in my age group!

Best bike?

Riding with my fave from Iowa to Minnesota and back to Iowa! I absolutely love this route and the company! Any chance I get, I ride this route from Home Home!

Riding with my fave on one of my favorite routes brings me pure joy! I am in Minnesota and he is in Iowa in this picture.

Best swim?

Swimming in Mirror Lake for IRONMAN Lake Placid was my best IM swim to date! Swimming with the underwater cable to sight off of created an exceptional swim experience and allowed me to set an IRONMAN swim PR!! I was super pumped about it too!!

That’s a swim PR! Photo credit: FinisherPix

Best finish line?

IRONMAN Lake Placid! This was a very special finish line! It wasn’t planned for the Iron Hippie and I to finish together, but half way through the bike portion of this race, I made it my mission to catch him and finish with him. It was a long marathon, but we made it to the finish line TOGETHER!

Grateful for this finish line with my Fave by my side! Photo credit: FinisherPix

Best training weekend?

Getting to train in Lake Placid with my fave before IRONMAN Lake Placid! We swam in Mirror Lake multiple times, rode one loop of the bike course, ran a good portion of one loop of the run course, and experienced Lake Placid! OH. SO. MUCH. FUN!!

Swimming in my favorite place makes my heart happy!
So grateful to ride the Ironman Lake Placid bike course with my fave!
Wrapping up my last “long” run in Lake Placid on the Ironman Lake Placid run course. So beautiful!!

Best training compass?

Myself! At different times in 2019 I was in the deepest valleys and on top of the highest mountains…I had some really high highs and some really low lows! Listening to my heart and allowing it to guide me in 2019 opened the door to so much more fun, joy, and “get to” experiences! I can’t wait to see where I take myself in 2020!

“Follow your heart. Life is too short to be sidetracked by the things everyone else wants you to do.” ~Unknown
My heart speaks swim/bike/run! It brings me calm, it brings me joy, it builds self confidence, it often teaches me something new, it breeds discipline, it connects me with others, it forces me to be more courageous, it allows me the freedom to mess up & still end up ok, it provides me an outlet, it makes me stronger – physically and mentally, it fills me with gratitude, and SO much more! What does your heart say?! Do you listen?!

Best moment out of my comfort zone?

The Underpants Run at IRONMAN Lake Placid! This was so much fun, but I was way out of my comfort zone! Who runs in a swimsuit (or underpants) down main street exposing their flaws for all of the world to see?! Apparently a lot of crazy people!!

Having fun running down Main Street Lake Placid

Best enCOEURaging moment?

The inaugural Ames Triathlon! It has been many years in the making, but we FINALLY got the approval for the Ames Triathlon in March of 2019 and within a few months were able to pull off the best race we could have asked for! If you want to experience this race for yourself in 2020, head to Ames in June. We look forward to seeing YOU on June 28!

We had a great day at the Ames Triathlon and couldn’t have done it without all of you…the athletes, volunteers, spectators, other race directors, sponsors, partners, medical support, photographers…YOU!!

Best nutritional find?

Orange Mud double barrel pack for carrying my hydration + nutrition is the best way I’ve found to carry enough nutrition on long runs without having to really plan my route to make sure I get enough hydration on those hot days. I was worried that it might chafe me in various places, but alas…15 miles with ZERO chafing!

Intention: Gratitude
15 miles for my Friday happy hour in 30+ mph winds. Some of my gratitude thoughts while running:
*I’m grateful for a strong body + mind.
*I’m grateful for warm temps + sunshine.
*I’m grateful for completely new running routes.
*I’m grateful for a job that I love.
*I’m grateful for Halloween decorations to keep me entertained.
*I’m grateful to have my long run done before the rain shows up this weekend.
*I’m grateful for the beautiful fall colors.
*I’m grateful for this Orange Mud pack to hold all my hydration + nutrition and so much more!

Best new gear?

Coeur Sports running shorts and tights. The pockets in both of these are AMAZING! I can hold SO much in each of them. They are even flexible enough for me to carry a water bottle in the pocket if I want. They don’t move or chafe no matter how wet you get. These are a MUST HAVE!!

Intention: I get to
It isn’t always easy. Mother Nature threw down some 38-40*F temps, rain, and winds (hello IMLou 2018 weather). She likes to think that she holds the power, BUT SHE’S WRONG! I hold the power when I keep the mental chatter positive!

Best recovery tool?

Our Sleep Number bed! This has made a world of difference! I sleep so much better and I wake up without back pain. If you aren’t getting good quality sleep, you are compromising your health. I highly recommend the Sleep Number bed. It is definitely worth the investment!

Basil loves our new bed too!!

Best time saver?

The Roomba! I can do one of at least a 1000 other possible things while the Roomba vacuums the house. The dogs aren’t too keen on it when it appears to be chasing them around the house, but they are adjusting to it and try to stay out of its way while it does its thing!

Basil is checking out the Roomba. Each day she gets less and less afraid of it.

Best supportive role?

Heading to IRONMAN Louisville to cheer athletes on instead of racing myself. This was a REALLY TOUGH decision, but it was the right one. The weekend was full of laughter, fun, and friends! It was EXACTLY what I needed to help me figure out what I want from this sport and where I want to go with it in the future!

Ironman Louisville from a new perspective. What a fun day! Congrats Rob on your amazing race!

Best way to stay healthy?

Change careers! My mental stress has dropped SUBSTANTIALLY and I am no longer exposed to all of the germs from middle schoolers. Sure I am still exposed to germs at Iowa State University, but I’m not confined to a classroom and I’m not around the students much. Changing careers has been one of the best decisions for my overall health that I could have ever made!

So grateful to be starting my new gig in Physics Hall on ISU campus!!

Best piece of racing advice you received?

Have fun! I’ve heard this from so many different people, that I can’t pinpoint just one individual to give credit to. If we can’t have fun racing, then why are we doing it?!

Most inspirational athlete?

There are so many that I can’t pick just one! Everyone is on their own, unique journey and I am inspired by them all. My Coeur Sports sisters inspire me EVERY. SINGLE. DAY! I’ve also been SUPER inspired this year by friends who finished their first IRONMAN. By friends who attempted their first IRONMAN, but didn’t meet cutoffs. By friends who did their first triathlon this year. By people who have survived an accident and are still training + racing. By people who fight disease and keep training + racing. By people who challenge themselves and try something new. By people who don’t follow conventional training methods and SMASH their goals out of the park! By people I haven’t met yet and people I see everyday! There are far too many people who inspire me to pick just one!

Best support crew?

Hands down…Dad, Aunt Linda, Cousin Neal, and a dear friend Carol! These four pushed me through during some VERY dark times at Ironman Lake Placid. They were up EARLY on race morning. They cheered, photographed, and spread their love to me and so many other athletes throughout a REALLY long day! There are not enough hugs and kisses for each of you! Thank you! Thank you! Thank you! Love you all so much! I couldn’t have gotten to this finish line without your unwavering encouragement and support!!

Our race day support crew! Love you Dad, Aunt Linda, and Cousin Neal! Photo credit: Neal Fedora
Grateful for Carol! Love her to pieces!

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

Explore, strong, courage, brave, fun!!

Tell me about your 2019 year!! What are your “bests” from 2019?!

Test of patience

“Patience is not the ability to wait, but the ability to keep a good attitude while waiting.” ~Joyce Meyer

Patience is not one of my strengths. As a matter of fact, if you ask my husband or my mother, they would likely tell you it is one of my greatest weaknesses. Every once in a while, the Universe tests my patience. At the beginning of the month (December 2 to be exact), I managed to sprain my back. Hello patience…we meet again. This time of year is NOT the time to test my patience, but apparently what I think doesn’t matter. This is the time of year when our bodies naturally go into hibernation and I need my daily dose of exercise! Hello hibernation mode…less daylight, more eating, more sleeping, less motivation, holiday stress. Throw a sprained back (+ being without a car for a week…long story, but all good) into this mix and hibernation mode has been full steam ahead for far too long. I’ve been trying to keep a good attitude…I really have, but when patience is your kryptonite, it can be SO CHALLENGING to keep a good attitude! I know there are far worse things in life than not being able to exercise the way I want, when I want and I know that this will pass, but I JUST WANT TO EXERCISE MY WAY. My patience has been tested long enough!

Week 1 of a back sprain (I tried swimming a bit too soon)
Week 2 of a back sprain
Week 3 of a back sprain…starting to see some improvement and a bit more movement

I am very grateful to Dr. Chris Feil with Team Chiropractic and Rehabilitation of Ames and Nick Morton with Vitality Massage for working together to help me get better and back on track…even if it is slower than I’d like. Hello patience…did I mention that you aren’t one of my closest friends?!

Dry needling
Adjustments
Theragun

I am finally able to swim, bike, and do yoga, but no running just yet…cue the song “All I want for Christmas is my two front teeth” with a little change of the lyrics.

All I want for Christmas is to go for a run
to go for a run
just to go for a run
Gee, if I could only go for a run,
Then I could wish you, “Merry Christmas”

Ok, I’m not quite that grumpy, but I am more than ready to be outside enjoying the fresh air with my faves and racking up all the miles. The weather has been ideal for outdoor winter running here in central Iowa…no snow, no ice, above average temperatures…and here I am unable to run. It’s time for the Universe to stop testing my patience and let me get back to filling my heart with all things swim/bike/run and without limitations!

Unfortunately, I am certain that I’ll get another lesson in patience from the Universe again at some point in the future, but I’m going to do everything in my power to make sure this lesson doesn’t happen for a very long time to come! For now…fingers crossed that I can start running again after seeing Dr. Chris Feil later this morning.

Just keep swimming…and LIVE! Every. Damn. Day!