VACATION!! That was the theme of July!! We made so many amazing memories as we traveled in the Northeast and even into Canada!! #ktneadventures
I had another SOLID month of training!! I’m still on the green streak in Training Peaks!! I have not missed one workout so far this year…30 weeks and counting!! BOOM!!
Swim: 32,519 yards (18.48 miles)
Bike: 400 miles
Run: 102 miles
Strength: 10 minutes of core daily (except around Ironman Lake Placid per coach’s instructions) + various full body strength
Meditation: 3 minutes daily since January 1
Monthly Totals: 60 hours & 40 minutes
Explore is my focus word in 2019 and I’m happy to be incorporating it into all areas of my life…including racing #IMLP!! Race day in Lake Placid did not disappoint! It gave me time to really dig deep within myself to explore what I truly want from life. It gave me quality time with my fave. It opened my eyes and heart to new beginnings. It made me realize now is the time for me to live my life instead of survive it! You can read more about my race day here.
In the #HURDLEMOMENT: These Few Words Can Change Your Life with Emily Abbate, she addresses the power of mantras. When you choose or make a mantra, use the word “you” not “I” to reduce the stress on you. I love “All it takes is all you’ve got,” which is one of Emily’s mantras.
The Ted Talk with Guy Winch, How to practice emotional first aid, addresses how important it is to not only focus on our physical health, but also on our mental health. If your mind tries to convince you that you can’t succeed at something, you will believe it, which is why so many people do not live to their true potential. It is important to change our thinking so our mind can and will convince us that we can succeed instead of fail.
Where are you “parking” your thoughts? by Carrie Cheadle is a good reminder to stay on the positive side and feed the athlete. “Where have I been parking my thoughts lately?
Am I choosing to park my thoughts in a place consumed with obstacles, or am I choosing to park my thoughts in a place filled with opportunities?
Is it time to choose a different parking spot?”
Some Choose Darkness by Charlie Donlea is a great read! “The truth is easy to miss, even when it’s right in front of us. As a forensic reconstructionist, Rory Moore sheds light on cold-case homicides by piecing together crime scene details others fail to see. Cleaning out her late father’s law office a week after his burial, she receives a call that plunges her into a decades-old case come to life once more.
In the summer of 1979, five Chicago women went missing. The predator, nicknamed The Thief, left no bodies and no clues behind—until police received a package from a mysterious woman named Angela Mitchell, whose unorthodox investigation skills appear to have led to his identity. But before they could question her, Angela disappeared. Forty years later, The Thief is about to be paroled for Angela’s murder—the only crime the DA could pin on him. But the cryptic file Rory finds in her father’s law office suggests there is more to the case, and Angela Mitchell, than what was fed to the public, the details of which have been buried for four decades.
Rory’s talents are tested as she begins reconstructing Angela’s last days. Making one startling discovery after another, Rory becomes helplessly entangled in the enigma of Angela Mitchell and what happened to her. Drawing connections between the past and present, Rory uncovers dark truths about the reclusive victim, her father, and the man called The Thief that send her down a twisting trail where things may not be as they appear. As she continues to dig, even Rory can’t be prepared for the full, terrifying truth that is emerging . . .”
Attitude of Gratitude:
How was your month of July?! What were you grateful for last month?! Where is your favorite vacation spot?!
“Happiness is letting go of what you think your life is supposed to look like and celebrating it for everything that it is.” ~Mandy Hale
I’m not really sure where to begin with this…the beginning, middle, or end. I guess it depends on what you want to hear, so the beginning is where I’ll begin. If you want the cliff notes version, skip to the end 😉
My focus word for 2019 is EXPLORE and when I picked this word, I had NO idea just where it would take me, but I’m so grateful for the journey it has taken me on this year. If you’ve been following my blog, EXPLORE is definitely the perfect word for my 2019 journey. I have changed careers, had some tough conversations with those that I love which has brought me so much freedom + space, and have created lots of amazing memories. Ironman Lake Placid did not disappoint as I #explored and #discovered so much about who I am and who I want to be to live my absolute best life.
Swim: 1:16:52 (1:59/100 m or 1:48/100 yards) PR
The Iron Hippie and I lined up just behind the 1:21-1:30 finish time. As we approached the shore, the pro men were coming out of the water finishing their first 1.2 mile loop and heading back out for loop #2. When I crossed the starting mat, I had open water and was in very little contact with other swimmers during the first loop. I came out of the water right where I was aiming for at the end of my first loop.
As I entered the water for loop #2, I encountered a bit more physical contact in the water, so I made my way to the inside of the buoys where the water was much cleaner. I went outside of the two turn buoys on the far end of the course, and then back to the inside line for my return back to the shore. With the underwater cable, this was perfect for sighting and swimming a straight line! My second loop was a tad bit slower than I was aiming for, but with more physical contact on the second loop, I had to fight more to get around slower people in front of me.
As I entered the transition area, I saw a social media friend! Erin and I quickly exchanged hugs before heading into the change tent. Thank you for lifting me up in that moment Erin! ❤ I flew solo in the change tent as the volunteers were all helping other ladies. I briefly struggled getting my aero top on over my wet body, but quickly made my way to Mojo so we could head out on the bike and start our 112 mile journey.
Bike: 7:48:38 (average speed = 14.34 mph)
This is the place where things changed. Not only did my legs feel like lead from the start, but my mind went back to those tough conversations and the freedom + space I’ve gained through having those conversations. When you ride 112 miles, it gives you A LOT of time to think, process your thoughts, and make sense of your true feelings. I asked myself multiple times “why” am I doing this? Not the superficial why, but the deep down to the depths of your soul why. I knew my superficial why, but this was not the answer I was truly seeking on this day. Ironman finds a way of stripping you down to nothing, exposing your true self, and helping you discover who you really are on a daily basis. As I was being stripped down to nothing during the 112 mile bike portion of the race, I came to the revelation that I have been using Ironman training and racing (and marathon training/racing before that) as a coping mechanism. Taking all of the negative energy I have been holding on to for 35+ years and putting that negative energy into something I could control. Something that gave me my power back. Something that taught me I am worth so much more than I have given myself credit for. Something that has taught me to believe in myself. Something that has taught me to obliterate self doubt that has been holding me back…not just in my athletic endeavors, but in all areas of my life. Something that has given me a gift…the gift to figure out who I am and who I want to be.
At about mile 50, the Iron Hippie went by me on the bike. By this point, I had already decided that I was going to pull out of the race at mile 56 when I got back into town. I had nothing left to prove; I realized I was racing Ironman and chasing someone else’s dreams for all the wrong reasons. Using it as a way to channel the negative energy that I no longer truly possessed was not the reason I wanted to be racing Ironman. The first 50 miles allowed me to open my eyes and heart. Racing Ironman distance triathlon is not something I truly want to do when it perpetuates those negative feelings. It is time to let go of the hurt and negativity. I knew I wanted to support the Iron Hippie and do whatever I could to ensure he had the best race possible and finished strong. His journey to the start line of Ironman Lake Placid has been less than ideal. I was planning to put my bike back in transition, turn in my chip, change clothes, and cheer him on from the sidelines. In those last 6 miles of the first loop on the bike before returning to town, I came to the realization that I needed to keep going so that I could finish with him and support him while being beside him. I knew I could catch him on the run as his longest run prior to this race was 10 miles (running 5 minutes/walking 1 minute) one week before the race due to having his knee scoped in February.
So, I came into town, swapped out my bike bottles at special needs and headed out for loop #2. I felt so relieved knowing that this race was my Ironman swan song centered around negative energy and would no longer be used as a coping mechanism. I decided in those moments wasn’t going to do another Ironman unless I one day found a joyful, positive reason for doing it. I knew deep down to the depths of my soul that I really didn’t want to do another Ironman for all of the wrong reasons and this was my last one for all the wrong reasons. I kept pushing forward (even through the 10 minute heavy down pour). As I came back to town, the crowds carried us up the bears and into transition.
I handed off Mojo to a volunteer (these volunteers are truly amazing!), grabbed my run bag and headed to the change tent where I again flew solo because all of the volunteers were helping other athletes.
Run: 6:17:00 (14:23/mile)
As I left T2, I saw our friend Carol and she told me the Iron Hippie was only 4 minutes ahead of me on the run. I talked with her for a few minutes telling her about the revelations I came to on the bike and then hunted down my fave!
I caught him between mile 2 and mile 3 of the run. As we continued to run/walk for a bit, I told him about everything I was thinking, the relief I was feeling about not doing another Ironman for all of the wrong reasons, and how I wanted to support him in whatever future races and adventures he decided to do. We saw lots of friends and family as we continued to make forward progress.
As our run/walk became more of a walk, we talked about so many things. It was so nice to have this time together.
Ironman Lake Placid was my Ironman swan song centered around negative energy and for all the wrong reasons. Maybe someday I will do another Ironman, but it has to be centered around joy positive energy, and for all of the right reasons. This is not letting go of a dream, but having the courage to let go of past demons and start on a new path where I follow my heart and live more freely. As I close this chapter of my life I am grateful for the freedom + space it has provided me and the lessons it has taught me. I’m not sure what the next chapter has in store for me, but I know it will still include swim/bike/run as I strive to find a better balance. I have learned lessons that have shaped me and will continue to do so in the future, and I am so grateful for every moment. I feel relieved. I will continue to be a part of Ironman as a volunteer and spectator. I love giving back to others, supporting them on their journey, and watching them cross the finish line. Ironman Lake Placid gave me a gift! It gave me the feeling of freedom! It gave me the awareness + focus to discover myself anew! It gave me an opportunity to recreate my “why”! It opened my eyes + heart, teaching me that it is time to live my life instead of survive it!
I couldn’t have gotten where I am without help and support from others. It takes a village and I am so grateful to have an amazing village supporting me!
To my Coeur Sports family for their amazing support and for creating top of the line kits + gear!
To Sound Probiotics for keeping me healthy and ready to tackle everything that came my way.
I have to be honest, when the Iron Hippie decided he wanted to do Ironman Lake Placid for his 40th birthday, I had SERIOUS apprehension and self-doubt when pressing that registration button. I thought back to riding one loop of the bike course with the Iron Hippie in 2017 and thinking this was one of the most challenging rides I had ever done. How on Earth could people do this twice + follow it up with a marathon?! Could I REALLY do this?! There is over 8000 feet of climbing over 112 miles on the bike. Are you kidding me?!
That apprehension and self-doubt plagued me until we rode 45 miles of the bike course (just shy of 1 full loop) last Thursday. Thankfully riding 45 miles of the bike course about 10 days before race day helped ease the apprehension and quell the self-doubt. Not only did I have LOADS of FUN, but I kept thinking, “This is so much easier than I remember!”
That does NOT mean this course is easy, but it wouldn’t be an Ironman if it was easy. It does NOT mean anything can’t happen on race day, I am well aware anything can happen on race day. It DOES mean that I am stronger + fitter than I was in 2017! It DOES mean I am more confident in my abilities and training than I was last week! It DOES mean that I am race ready! It DOES mean that I am going to have as much fun as possible on Sunday!
And a HUGE shout out to the Iron Hippie as he celebrates turning the big 4-0 today! I am so lucky to be on this journey with him!
Wow!! What a month!! I officially ended my 8th grade science teaching career, started my new career as the Teaching Laboratory Coordinator for the Physics and Astronomy Department at Iowa State University, put in some big training for #IMLP and #IMLou, helped coordinate and put on the inaugural Ames Triathlon event, had some difficult conversations with those that I love, and had a blast while I lived in the moment as much as possible.
I had another SOLID month of training!! I completed 10 minutes of core strength daily + 3 minutes of meditation daily + I’m still on the green streak in Training Peaks!! I have not missed one workout so far this year…26 weeks and counting!! BOOM!!
Swim: 36,691 yards (20.8 miles)
Bike: 391 miles
Run: 101 miles
Strength: 10 minutes of core daily + various full body strength
Meditation: 3 minutes daily since January 1
Monthly Totals: 60 hours & 19 minutes
Explore is my focus word in 2019 and I’m happy to be incorporating it into all areas of my life…including having some tough conversations with those that I love. It is like having a China cabinet full of China leaning against the doors. You know when you open the doors all of the dishes are going to crash to the floor and make a big mess. BUT it will also open up a LOT of space for new China. How long do you wait to open the door to free up this space? Everyone is different. Some choose to leave the doors closed forever and never free up the space. I am grateful that I have opened those doors and created a lot of space in my China cabinet.
Coeur Sports Earsplitz Podcast recently brought on Bob Babbit, who is a LEGEND in triathlon and endurance sports! He talked about visualization, gave great tips on balance, and the founding + progress of the Challenged Athletes’ Foundation (CAF).
This month I have been rereading my Harry Potter series. I love these books and have probably read them a dozen times, but I’m sure I will read them a dozen more!
My new job! I am so grateful that I made the leap and decided to change careers. This seems to be a perfect fit…the people, the work, the hours. I’m looking forward to learning more as I go and making the Physics Department my “home” in the coming years.
Looking forward to:
Our vacation! With the start of July, comes the excitement for our 3 week vacation! We will be heading to the northeast again this year…Detroit, Michigan, Niagara Falls (Canada side), Lake Placid, NY, Finger Lakes region, Cooperstown, NY…lots to see and do with #IMLP sandwiched in the mix! #KTNEAdventures
Attitude of Gratitude:
How was your month of June?! What were you grateful for last month?!
Last week I posted about how we juggle time and balance work/training/life to do what we love during the day. This week I’m going to give you some of our time saving hacks that we have found to be helpful.
Start a load of laundry in the morning before the morning workout and start another load after the workout. When we get home from work, start another load of laundry before our pm workout and start another load after the workout. This doesn’t happen daily, but more on an “as needed” basis. The laundry runs while we are working out or at work.
Make our morning smoothies before going to bed. I am much more cognitively awake and aware in the evening, so it usually takes me less time. When I make smoothies in the morning, I have been known to forget an ingredient or two. When you forget to put the protein powder in your smoothie, you get hungry MUCH earlier than normal. #hangry We have also had morning smoothie casualties where the ingredients end up on the floor or the pitcher gets dropped and we have a huge mess to clean up…this only adds time to our already crammed morning schedule.
We put all of our workouts for the coming week and appointments for the coming month on a white board in our kitchen (yes, I am OCD and it is color coded…the Iron Hippie is blue, joint engagements are black, and I am green). Sometimes we need information about each other’s schedules when scheduling our own appointments months from now, so we started using the FamCal app on our phones about a month ago. This allows us to keep track of appointments + training schedules, make shopping lists, to-do lists, and memos that we both have access to whenever we need it.
Make leftovers! When we are cooking, we always seem to make a big enough meal so there are plenty of leftovers for us to take to lunch or have for dinner the next day. This is a huge time saving hack when we don’t have much time to make a fresh meal every night.
Make multiple large meals on the weekends that can be frozen and pulled out at a later date to thaw + eat. When you are making a mess in the kitchen, make it big and benefit from it in the weeks to come. We have 2 deep freezers in our basement…one specifically for pre-made meals so we have healthy + quick meals to pull out and chow on during our crazy weekday schedules. In case you were wondering, the 2nd deep freezer is for meat/fish. We tend to keep both stocked very well, especially during peak training.
Use the crock pot (or insta pot…we should invest in one of these soon)! We will prepare a meal in the crock pot the night before and leave it in the refrigerator over night, so that in the morning all we have to do is plug it in, turn it on low, and head out the door. After a long day of work + afternoon/evening workouts, your healthy meal is ready to eat and you didn’t have to spend time cooking when the potential for #hangry might set in. This makes everyone happy!
Grow your own veggies! I know this seems like it is work (and it is to get started + the occasional weeding), but when you have fresh veggies in the garden out your back door, you don’t have to go to the store multiple times a week for fresh produce + there is nothing better than fresh veggies!
Invest in a Roomba! With two dogs and an Iron Hippie (I really do love his longer hair when I don’t have to vacuum it up daily) in the house, I’ve been talking about getting a Roomba for at least 6 months now. Last week, I finally bit the bullet and purchased a Roomba, which was delivered on Monday. This has been such an AH-MAZING investment!! I don’t have to spend at least 2 hours a week vacuuming. WIN!!
Train your dogs to fold your laundry, do the dishes, and vacuum while you are at work. They are little Hoovers and pick up any food that has been dropped on the floor and they “wash” the dishes (although it would be nice if they used soap), but the laundry is still not getting folded…we are still working on this one!! LOL!! 😂
I also want to try, but haven’t yet…
Grocery delivery!! Hy Vee is one of our local grocery stores. One of the services they provide (with a fee of course) is grocery delivery. You put the groceries you wish to purchase in your online cart, pay for them, and select a delivery date/time. An employee will shop for you, bag everything up, and deliver it to your doorstep. So why haven’t I tried this yet?! Well…going back to my OCD tendencies, I prefer to pick out my produce. I want the least bruised, best quality. I am afraid if someone else shops for me, I might not end up with the best quality produce.
House cleaning service!! I know there are amazing companies who clean houses and do a fantastic job, but this also goes back to my OCD tendencies and the Iron Hippie’s tight wad tendencies. I really should look into this more and see just how much it would cost for a once a week or even once every other week cleaning. This would save us some serious time.