#batcapchallenge = exhilarating + exhausting

In October, I contacted Michelle about participating in the #batcapchallenge that she offers athletes. She decided that 30K yards of swimming in 7 days would be the perfect way to make my “eyes open wide.” I asked Coach Kelly if she thought this was an appropriate challenge for me (I wanted to remain injury free). I wanted her blessing + guidance on how to structure these 7 days before fully committing to it. Coach Kelly was on board, so I let Michelle know that we (the Iron Hippie decided to complete this challenge as well) would be completing this challenge on Tuesday, December 26 – Monday, January 1. What a way to close out 2017 and bring in the new year?!?!

To put this in perspective, I swam a total of 31,400 yards for the ENTIRE month of November. To say my eyes were open wide was an understatement. This challenge had me excited, nervous, eager, intimidated, anxious, and so much more!

Here is how Coach Kelly structured these 7 days:

Day 1: 5200 yards at the Bedell Family YMCA
I started the week off with a bang! This was a great swim for me since I felt fresh, charged, and ready to knock this swim challenge out of the park!

Day 2: 3200 yards at the Bedell Family YMCA
After yesterday’s long swim, I was expecting to feel a bit more fatigued than I actually felt, so I was very grateful for another strong swim day!

Day 3: 3300 yards at Ames Racquet and Fitness Center
I felt a bit more fatigued during this workout, but I was determined and focused. The fatigue was definitely something I could push through and finish strong.

Day 4: Double swim day! 2500 yards in the AM and 3500 yards in the PM at Ames Racquet and Fitness Center
This was my FIRST ever double swim day! The morning swim was short (in comparison to what I’ve been swimming lately) and full of recovery type of swimming. It was relatively easy, but my body was tired and I could tell.

The evening swim was to be more pace focused. I started out using my tempo trainer and tried so hard to stay with the beep, but my body just wouldn’t listen to my mind. That fatigue I was feeling earlier in the day was still lingering. After losing to my body’s fatigue (and not staying with the beep of the tempo trainer), I decided to put the tempo trainer on the pool deck and just swim to cover the yardage. Michelle did say that it is pretty common to feel the most fatigue on days 3 & 4. Yep…I was definitely feeling fatigue today!

Day 5: 5300 yards at the Ames Municipal Pool
After feeling really tired yesterday, I didn’t know what to expect of my body. Thankfully my body showed up to give some effort today! I managed to swim a 1:51/100 yard pace for a 500 yard effort. I was pretty happy with this since my body was so exhausted! My body is starting to “come through” the fatigue and feeling better and stronger. I can’t wait to see what it does for me in the next 2 swims and how this translates to future swimming!

Day 6: 3500 yards at Ames Racquet and Fitness Center
This swim had some good kick sets in it, which obviously take longer than simply swimming, but it was nice to have this break. The little swimming I did have went well! I was able to stay on the beep of my tempo trainer and felt strong…fatigued, but strong! Feeling grateful my body has allowed me to push it on this journey, but this triathlete is ready to be less of a swimmer and a more well rounded triathlete again!

Day 7: 3300 yards at the Boone YMCA
The final swim of the #batcapchallenge was rewarding! I swam one of my 100s at a 1:32/100 yard pace, which is a new swim PR for me! With all of the hours and swim mileage I’ve put in over the last 7 days, I still managed to have some speed in my swim on the last day of the challenge! Boom!

Grand Totals:
30,000 yards (17.045 miles) in 7 days!
11 hours & 35 minutes of swimming
8 swims in 7 days!
4 pools visited

This week of swimming was FULL of #swimlove + #chlorinetherapy! It was exhausting and exhilarating at the same time! It challenged me both mentally and physically. It pushed my limits. I surprised myself on so many levels with this challenge! It was all for the bat cap + some lessons learned:

  1. All the swimming helped me find my swim stroke and become stronger + more efficient + faster in the water.
  2. All the swimming is exhausting and allowed me sleep REALLY WELL (I even got a couple of naps in)!
  3. I can do anything I put my mind to…even swimming 17+ miles in 7 days.
  4. The final push is worth the sweet reward of success!
  5. Accomplishing new goals + PRs is exhilarating!
  6. Achievement is sweet when it is earned, not given!
  7. Stepping outside of your comfort zone is where all of the magic happens! #courageovercomfort is where it is at!
  8. I love triathlon! The balance of swimming, cycling, and running is so much better than simply swimming! 😉 Triathlon lights my fire!
  9. I can do hard things!
  10. I am grateful my body is healthy and allows me to do what I love + enjoy!

Thank you Michelle for creating the #batcapchallenge and setting a distance that pushed my limits, but was achievable! Thank you Coach Kelly for keeping me #trackcatstrong + believing in me + structuring my week in such a way that I was able to achieve what seemed a daunting feat at the start! Thank you to SBR Sports, Inc. for making amazing swim products to wash away the chlorine + keep me itch free all week! Thank you to Coeur Sports for the most comfortable + super cute swimsuits!

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Courage over Comfort

With the start of the New Year, so many people set New Year’s Resolutions. I prefer to set intentions instead of resolutions. I feel like resolutions set me up for failure the moment I “fall off the train,” 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.

Last year I adopted the phrase “courage over comfort” part of the way through 2017 and it served me very well. It fits in all areas of my life…personal, relationships, work, sport, financial, etc. When I’m more mindful of being courageous, growth happens. Change happens. When growth and change happen, I feel empowered.

Why change a good thing?! I’ve decided to keep this ball rolling! My intention for 2018:

COURAGE OVER COMFORT!

What’s up?! – December 2017

How is it already 2018?! It seems like not too long ago I was sitting here writing about my intensions for 2017 (I’ll have my 2018 intentions later this week) and now the year has come and gone! Here is a snapshot of what December had in store for me.

Training:

This month had a lot of ups and a few downs. I was sick for a few days this month, which derailed my training a bit, but I bounced back strong and ready to end the month putting in the work to earn the “bat cap” by taking on a swim challenge. I will have a post on this in the next week or two. Because of this challenge, there was a LOT more swimming than biking or running during December.

Crushing our #batcapchallenge the last week of December!
Dreaming of Kona while I watch the Ironman World Championships!
#runlove with my favorite girl!

Swim: 53,700 yards
Bike: 79.6 miles
Run: 33.8 miles

Listening to:

IronWomen Podcast interviewed Jen Annett about her most recent bike course record at Ironman Arizona. She biked the 112 miles in 4 hours & 38 minutes…SMOKIN’ FAST! She is an athlete that is managing epilepsy (where she has grand mal seizures) with her training and racing.

Emily Esfahani Smith’s TedTalk “There’s more to life than being happy” is profound! She talks about “having meaning in life — serving something beyond yourself and developing the best within you — gives you something to hold onto.” She refers to 4 pillars : belonging, purpose, transcendence, and storytelling.

Putting together:

PUZZLES! I love putting puzzles together! They are so addicting! 😉

Putting puzzles together is a favorite holiday tradition!
More puzzles!

Holidays:

Spending time with family is the best part of the holiday season (well, that and getting two weeks off from work)!!

Holiday cheers with the Iron Hippie’s sister + brother-in-law.
Merry Christmas!
Christmas Day sunset over the frozen lake at home home! #lakeokoboji
Making cookies with our twin nieces at Christmas.

Embracing:

Winter! We have had snow + some seriously ridiculously cold temperatures in the last 2 weeks. The real temperatures of -22 to -25*F with windchill temperatures as low as -45*F. That hasn’t stopped us from bundling up and getting outside. Fresh air and movement are so good for the body!

Windchill temps of -32*F means we bundle up to shovel snow!
Making snow angels in the dark before the FREEZING cold temperatures set in!

Looking forward to:

Change! 2017 has been truly AMAZING, but there is one major area of my life I’m hoping to see some drastic changes come to fruition in the coming months. I’m not ready to give much insight into this yet, but as soon as I know more about the coming change, I’ll be sharing the news with you as well! HINT: It does NOT involve expanding our perfect little family! 😉

How was your month of December?! What are you looking forward to in 2018?!

My 2017 Year in Review via Photos

January:

Running into 2017 with my favorite girl!
Crushing my FTP challenge = HUGE smiles!
Running ninja style when it is 2F outside!
Striving for progress, not perfection in the pool this week with a 2 second increase in my 200 yard time trial! 🙂
Doing the work and trusting the process means hay in the barn so I can start a HUGE fire on race day!
So giddy since I crushed my 5K time trial secret goal!
Pushing my limits…always!
Ironman Mont Tremblant…I’m comin’ for ya!
Snow shoeing in the woods with the Iron Hippie and my girls!

February:

Easy morning run for the first time in over a week!
It takes a lot of strength, determination, grit, resilience, perseverance, and self confidence when you have big dreams! Chase your dreams peeps!
Spin ups!
First swim in almost 3 weeks…I still have it!
Running when it is cold out can sometimes turn you blue!
As an 8th grade science teacher, I was blessed to have a student give this to me as a gift on Friday!
New 100 yard PR!
Every second counts when you go down the rabbit hole! “Alice: How long is forever? White Rabbit: Sometimes just one second!” ~Lewis Carroll, Alice in Wonderland
I’m honored to be invited to share my Ironman journey with members of the community.
Swim #2 this week was SO much better than #1!
Twin Tuesday at school…Love my sole sister!
Lots of dreaming of spring swims on our walk Tuesday!
Dry needling + electric shock to get my back to cooperate!
Diving into the unknown by incorporating some speed work into my swim so I can #findfaster
Staring fear in the face!

March:

Just keep swimming!
How bad do you want it?!
Work hard for what you want!
Dancing in the water!
Spin, spin, spin!
Running with my favorite girl!
#solesister + #runlove = #happyheart
Running with my faves!
My Coeur Sports + Sound Probiotics team gear for 2016 arrived!
Lunch date at the elementary school with the twins!
Coeur Sports photo shoot at the lake with my favorite girl!
40!
Love this family!
Swimming next to my fave while crushing intervals in a different pool = #swimlove
Family fun in the water!
Birthday miles + smiles!
Snuggles with my favorite girl!
Found the worlds smallest snowman while running Tuesday!
Running with the sunrise on Wednesday morning…so cold my eyelashes froze!
Sound Probiotics = FTW DOUBLE WIN!
New Newton Kismets! YES!
With my parents and the Iron Hippie!
Reconnecting with my mat was MUCH needed!
Incredibly grateful + lucky to have my sole sister pushing me through high intensity intervals even when she isn’t right beside me!
My first ever trophy (when I’ve placed on the podium before, I’ve always earned a medal)!

April:

You can sleep with your dreams or get up and work hard to turn them into reality. I really wanted to keep sleeping with my dreams Tuesday morning, but hard work won!
Tears of joy as I pushed out of my comfort zone on so many levels during my #timetrialtuesday ride!
Morning miles with friends is best!
#runlove in the misty rain! Perfect running weather!
“Celebrate good times…come on!” Some #swimlove Thursday morning!
My morning running buddy! Hill repeats this morning!
More #swimlove, that continued to work hard despite being exhausted
#tearsofjoy for finding a gear in my legs I didn’t think I had on this #timetrialtuesday
Sometimes you fall, but when you get up and keep moving, you get closer to achieving your dreams!
Boston Marathon Monday with my #solesister
So giddy! 16 watt improvement in my FTP test today means I’m over the 200 watt threshold! I never imagined I would see this day! So grateful for Coach Kelly to push me WAY out of my comfort zone and help me get stronger this season!
Aren’t I the “Best in Show”?!
Not quite the race I was hoping for, but I pushed as hard as I could all the way through! Grateful the rain held off until after I finished! Another Drake 1/2 is in the books!

May:

I have 2 students who are committed to teaching me how to do my own race day braids! Each day gets easier!
Flippin’ Friday evening with lots of #swimlove to #findfaster
Chaperoning the 8th grade dance with my #solesister
Grateful to be on 2 wheels on the open roads!
Hill repeats with the sunrise is a perfect way to start the day! #rememberingTRJ
First long solo ride on Saturday! HUGE confidence builder!
Snuggles with my favorite girl!
Lots of puppy love!
Some days you have it, and some days you don’t. Today was a “don’t” kind of day for me. Turning the page!
#saltyballs are prepped and ready for some long outdoor rides the next two days of this 3 day weekend!
Windy day on 2 wheels, but any day with my fave, Mojo, and the open roads is a great day! Lucky for me I get to do it all over again tomorrow!
“This is HUGE! Congrats. A back to back 4 hour ride is a great prep session for the Ironman build up. I’m so happy it went well and glad you do not back down in the face of adversity. You’ve evolved a lot as an athlete this year. I’m proud of you today. Good work.” ~Coach Kelly
I’m SO glad my back to back long bricks are done! All that wind made it VERY challenging!!

June: 

Basil also loves her homemade rope toy that one of my students made her!
60 miles of quiet time with Mojo, Mother Nature, and a few random strangers who wanted to chat while riding on the trail or needed help. #midwesthospitality #bikelove
What a warm + HUMID morning run!
Mojo has been blessed for Saturday’s race by Kyle…the best bike mechanic on the planet!
Morning meters in my favorite pool!
The heat index was 97F with sustained winds of 22-25 mph and gusts up to 35 mph. It was a rough day! Not what we’ve trained for, but we each set a new PR since we did a new distance…
Jumping for joy because the heat index is much lower today and my run was amazing as a result!
Meeting my mother in the middle of no where Iowa to pick up the twins for a couple of nights!
Helping to make dinner!
Cleaning all the fruit!
Playing games!
Visiting Iowa State University’s campus
Eating Tropical Snow
Some days you’re the bug and some days you’re the windshield. Today I was the bug. SPLAT!
Happy Fri-yay morning!
My fastest 100 miles ever in the saddle with these two!

July:

Strong, athletic women are the best! Summer doesn’t get much better than this!
Outdoor swimming is the best! So #grateful to have my fave at my side for so many of life’s crazy adventures!
Love these peeps!
Spending some much needed time with my sole sister!
Mojo and I spent some quality time with Mother Nature! I love the open roads on 2 wheels in Iowa!
So much fun to watch dog jumping downtown this July 4th weekend!
So happy + #grateful to finally put together a pretty solid long run despite the full sun, warm temps, + high dew point. Mother Nature put up a fight, but I won Wednesday!
I’m in a big build…today (Friday) adversity had me sitting on the side of the road in tears with 10 miles to go. I had lots of thoughts and choices while sitting under the tree. I chose to get back on Mojo and continue to chase my dreams! As Coach Kelly says, “it is supposed to feel like that and that this is what it takes. :)” First solo century is in the books!
So much fun to meet my Coeur Sports teammate Saturday and cheer her on to 1st place AG as she raced in Iowa last weekend!
Turning social media friends into real friends is so much fun!
Pure joy comes when you learn new skills! Congratulations to Maggie! She stared fear in the face and won! So proud of you Maggie!
Holding plank with 3 of my nieces on my back! They are such good help when doing my core work!
#swimlove with my fave at home home!
Tubing is part of the pre-race training plan, right?!
4 of my favorite girls swimming in the lake off the boat!
Family + Lake Okoboji = #happyheart
2nd place AG at the Okoboji Triathlon!
Enjoying Indian cuisine with our friends + being blessed with these gifts from India = #happyheart
With a really tight calf comes dry needling. Thanks to Dr. Chris at Team Chiropractic for keeping me healthy and getting me in to see him right away!
Thank you Kyle for getting Mojo ready for my last big push to Ironman Mont Tremblant! You are the BEST! Kyle’s Bikes all the way!
“Never give up, and be confident in what you do. There may be tough times, but the difficulties which you face will make you more determined to achieve your objectives and to win against all the odds.” ~Marta
Wednesday’s 18 mile run was a sufferfest, but I was determined to #nevergiveup and was SO happy to be done!
Last long ride (107+ miles) in Iowa done before leaving for the NE! With an excessive heat advisory Saturday, there were a few times I felt like I was in hell, but I kept on going!
Helping my fave get some birthday miles in Sunday morning! Happy Birthday to the Iron Hippie!
Morning swim in 86*F water in La Porte, Indiana with my fave! #toohotforlapswimming
Visiting Niagara Falls with my Fave!
Climbing App Gap…5 miles of continuous climbing.
#trackcatstrong
All ready to ride and then…
Last long run before #IMMT in Stowe, Vermont…now it is time to taper and soak up all this training!
Smore’s at training camp!

August:

We’ve arrived in Lake Placid, New York!
Soaking in the beauty of Mirror Lake!
The Ice Hockey venue where Miracle on Ice took place!
The Ski jump!
Standing on the podium for the ski jump
Overcoming fears and going to the top of the ski jump to look out over Lake Placid and surrounding areas.
Swimming in Mirror Lake in Lake Placid, NY
A beautiful night for a free concert on the lake!
After climbing out of Jay, it was time for a little descending.
Mojo loves the views of the Ironman Lake Placid bike course!
Dinner with a new friend in Lake Placid!
This lady is AMAZING!
Big Slide Brewery has some great pizza options and some pretty tasty craft brews also!
Arriving at our condo in Mont Tremblant, Quebec, Canada…look at this view!
Riding the gondola to the top of the hills to look out over Mont Tremblant!
The top! These views!
We got to swim in one of the most cleanest, nicest pools ever in Mont Tremblant! Why can’t we have a facility like this in Ames?!
Getting a pre-race massage at our condo. Melanie Jardot did a FANTASTIC job. HIGHLY recommend her for massage if you are in need of one in Mont Tremblant!
Running with my fave for a few miles to shake out the legs post massage.
My family from California came came for a few days! #happyheart
Love these three monkeys!
Family snuggles
We went to the top on the gondola again!
Getting ready to ride the luge in the summer!
Putting in some work, but alas the storms showed up and cut our work a bit short for this ride!
Enjoying a beer by the fire after babysitting the nieces so my sister and brother-in-law could enjoy a date night!
These peeps hold 4 keys to my heart!
Tandem in Quebec!
Snuggles at the lake!
Love these peeps!
Pre-race swim prep!
Riding Chemin Duplessis in Mont Tremblant…such a beautiful bike course!
Meeting Erika, my Coeur Sports teammate!!
Swimming to the coffee boat on the swim course!
So grateful to have Dad and Aunt Linda come spend time with us in Mont Tremblant and cheer us on to PRs on race day!
What a stunning sunset view from our condo!
Mojo is racked and ready for an epic adventure tomorrow!
The Iron Hippie and I making our way to the water.
Let’s go ride!
Two of the best spectators EVER! Thanks to Dad and Aunt Linda for cheering us on all day long! Love you both!
So much coeur on this course! #bikelove
Loving this course and enjoying the beautiful views!
Love you Ericka! Thanks for the photo!

September:

Helping a fellow triathlete (soon to be Ironman athlete) learn to change her tire before race day!
Rock climbing…still working on overcoming my fear of heights!
The many volunteers in T1 at Ironman Wisconsin!
Giving back! I LOVE this sport!
Washing away the post Ironman blues!
Running with my faves on a beautiful morning!
Spirit Run with my 2 favorite colleagues!
CyMan Sprint Triathlon…OUCH!
CyMan Sprint Triathlon…this hurts SO bad!
Fall #bikelove in Iowa!
Children of the corn 😉

October:

Running makes most of us happy! 😉
Dr. Chris Feil with Team Chiropractic educating the ladies at the recovery clinic co-sponsored by Coeur Sports and Ignite Yoga!
Practicing yoga with this amazing community of women at the recovery clinic co-sponsored by Coeur Sports, Ignite Yoga, and Team Chiropractic!
This amazing community of women learning, practicing, and loving at the recovery clinic co-sponsored by Coeur Sports, Ignite Yoga, and Team Chiropractic!
Reconnecting with my mat!
“All you need is love” and a shower!
Focus, focus, focus!
Brick…45 minute run, 45 minute bike, 45 minute run all before work…in the rain!
You’re never too old to sit on your mama’s lap!
Watching Iowa State beat Oklahoma!
The dogs love swimming in the lake!
Snuggles with 3 of my most favorite ladies!
Running with my favorite girl along the lake!
Dreaming of warmer days and lots of swimming (by both of us)!
Swim time trial day!
Bike power challenge!
2 mile time trial at the track!
Running with friends is always best!
Swim stroke refinement thanks to Coach Hansen!
Trying to multitask by grading and riding my bike at the same time!
Running with girlfriends is always fun…even when Mother Nature has decided that winter would show up a few months early!

November:

Wrapping up a full week of work + parent teacher conferences by running with my favorite girl!
Running the Hillbilly 1/2 Marathon with these two crazy kids was so much fun!
So humble + honored to have this AMAZING company and these empowering women by my side in 2018!
First successful intervals since IMMT!
3800 yards of #chlorinetherapy is my longest swim since IMMT!
Running is always better with four-legged fur babies!
Some rides are easier than others. Like in life, the challenges help us grow. I must have grown a LOT on this ride!
Speed development on this #sundayrunday meant 100 yard repeats at the track!
Tempo Trainer M3 Ramp Test had me like…holy crap!
Crushing my bike intervals!
Getting stronger as I #findfaster in the water!
#sundayrunday with these two amazing running buddies!
Early morning miles with my favorite girl! I’m so lucky to have such an amazing running companion!
Starting my 4 day Thanksgiving weekend with #chlorinetherapy + #swimlove!
Basil loves our evening walks!
So grateful for these amazing people in my life + morning miles! #friendsgiving
The boys carving the turkey for our #friendsgiving feast!
The Iron Hippie’s parents came to visit for Small Business Saturday!
Family dog walks at dusk are the best!
Working to #findfaster as I chase my dreams!
So much #bikelove on my longest ride since #IMMT
Good morning! What a beautiful sunrise!
“Never give up, for that is just the place and time that the tide will turn.” ~Harriet Stowe
Finishing off November with my favorite girl!

December:

Getting back into the gym to build strength!
Running with my two faves!
One of the best swims I’ve had in a while!
Dreaming of Kona and the sunshine!
Dreaming of Kona while I watch the Ironman World Championships!
Kona love for this swim!
#runlove with my favorite girl!
Putting puzzles together is a favorite holiday tradition!
Celebrating my sole sister’s birthday with these amazing ladies!
#runlove with my favorite girl!
Dancing with my favorite girl in the kitchen!
Playing in the water is a must!
Holiday cheers with the Iron Hippie’s sister + brother-in-law.
Merry Christmas!
Christmas Day sunset over the frozen lake at home home! #lakeokoboji
Making cookies with our twin nieces at Christmas.
Crushing our #batcapchallenge the last week of December!
Pedicures with my #solesister
Evening snowshoeing with my favorites!
Making snow angels in the dark!
Windchill temps of -32*F means we bundle up to shovel snow!
New Years Eve swimming!!

The Best of 2017

I love looking back and thinking about all of the amazing things that I’ve accomplished and all of the challenges I’ve overcome! I’ve reflected for the last 4 years and want to keep this trend going! You can look back at my previous posts if you’d like: Best of 2013, the Best of 2014, the Best of 2015, and the Best of 2016. Now its time to reminisce my faves from 2017! 🙂

 

My #2017bestnine on instagram is full of #heartandcourage

Best race experience?

Ironman Mont Tremblant! This was by far one of the best experiences of the year! I was blessed with a near perfect day + a PR on the day. I was so incredibly lucky to combine my race experience with an extended vacation with family + friends, which made for a really fun time!

So much coeur on this course! #bikelove

Best run?

I have been waiting to have a good run during an Ironman race for 6 years and this year, it finally happened at Ironman Mont Tremblant! I FINALLY pulled off a sub 5 hour marathon (and I know it could have been even faster without some visits to the kybo). I felt good, I felt strong, I was happy, I smiled the whole run, I really enjoyed myself, I spread coeur with others, and gave “hi-fives” to those who looked like they could use one. This run was a HUGE confidence builder for future races!

Love you Ericka! Thanks for the photo!

Best bike?

Sometimes the best rides aren’t the ones where we have the most fun, but where we learn the most. Yes, I had some seriously fun rides this summer…some solo rides, some with the Iron Hippie, some at the Track Cat Fitness Training Camp, and some on the Ironman Lake Placid + Ironman Mont Tremblant bike courses. For me, the ride that stands out the most this year is the one I learned the most from…my first solo century ride. It was a VERY tough day for me! Physically the wind BEAT. ME. UP! Mentally, I had to overcome a case of the “I can’t do this,” a case of the “I’m not strong enough,” a case of the “I’m not fast enough,” and a case of the “I’m not fueled enough” to finish. In this process, I learned so much about who I am and what I can do when staring adversity in the face!

I’m in a big build…today (Friday) adversity had me sitting on the side of the road in tears with 10 miles to go. I had lots of thoughts and choices while sitting under the tree. I chose to get back on Mojo and continue to chase my dreams! As Coach Kelly says, “it is supposed to feel like that and that this is what it takes. :)” First solo century is in the books!

Best Swim?

Swimming in Mirror Lake was probably one of the best experiences of the summer! It was so much fun to swim with an underwater guide wire! All lakes should be closed to motorized vehicles and have have an underwater guide wire available for swimmers!

Swimming in Mirror Lake in Lake Placid, NY

Best training weekend?

The Track Cat Fitness Training Camp in Stowe, Vermont at the end of July was CHALLENGING + SO. MUCH. FUN! I climbed Smuggler’s Notch. I climbed App Gap. I ran trails. I swam. In addition to all of the fun, there was community, riding, running, swimming, eating, learning, and growing as an athlete.

#trackcatstrong

Best training compass?

Coach Kelly with Track Cat Fitness has provided me with structure, focus, guidance, feedback, support, accountability, motivation + so much more! She has paved the yellow brick road for me this year and I am forever grateful! Standing beside me, believing in me, educating me, and helping me to become a better, #trackcatstrong athlete every day!

Loved meeting Coach Kelly + spending time with her and other amazing athletes at the Vermont Training Camp put on by Track Cat Fitness!

Best enCOEURaging moment?

Thanks to the support of Coeur Sports, Ignite Yoga, and Team Chiropractic for helping me provide a recovery clinic for women! The community! The learning! The practice! The enCOEURaging! The supporting! The love!

Learning!
Practicing!
Community!

Best recovery secret?

Wearing my CEP recovery tights as part of my work attire after a tough morning workout. Hello style + recovery! The best of both worlds!

Best tapering adventure?

Having my sister, brother-in-law, and 3 nieces vacation with us in Mont Tremblant for a few days was so much fun! We don’t get to see each other nearly enough (since they live in California and we live in Iowa), so this was a special treat!

My family from California came for a few days! #happyheart
These peeps hold 4 keys to my heart!

Best new piece of gear?

This was SUPER easy! We had some REALLY HOT + HUMID summer days this year, which forced me out of my comfort zone as I became a part of the #sportsbrasquad! I absolutely love the Coeur Sports sports bras! Not only are they super cute, functional, and comfortable, but they also have a hidden pocket that is perfect for carrying keys, nutrition, or ice!

So happy + #grateful to finally put together a pretty solid long run despite the full sun, warm temps, + high dew point. Mother Nature put up a fight, but I won Wednesday! #sportsbrasquad

Best way to stay healthy?

This was also SUPER easy…Sound Probiotics has been keeping me healthy since March 2015! As endurance athletes, we put ourselves at risk for a dysfunctional immune system because of the intensity and duration of our workouts. When stress (life, work, or otherwise), inadequate sleep, poor diet choices, cold weather, alcohol or travel are thrown into the mix, our immune system is even further suppressed. How has Sound Probiotics helped me? Sound Probiotics helps in nutrient production and absorption, helps fend off viruses, promotes the production of cytokines and mucin, and limits bad bacteria in the gut. I have experienced less fatigue and fewer sick days, which as a middle school teacher who is an endurance athlete speaks volumes! This has provided me with the opportunity for more training and better performance. I would highly recommend all endurance athletes use Sound Probiotics to stay healthy!!

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#soundathlete = #soundlife #winningtakesguts

Best piece of racing advice you received?

Hello race morning! Time to drink my Karma Kombucha, eat my muesli, and get inspired to do and be my best as I embark on the race ahead:

“Be calm; focus on what you are going to do. Don’t get distracted, don’t get overwhelmed, take it all as it comes. You are ready for this; you’ve prepared for years. This is it, your time to shine. Go forth with all your powers. Go forth with everything in you. Make it work.” ~Lynne Cox, “Swimming to Antarctica: Tales of a Long-Distance Swimmer”

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Most inspirational athlete?

There are so many that I can’t pick just one! 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 people who fight disease and keep training + racing. By people who challenge themselves and try something new. By people I haven’t met yet and people I see everyday! There are far to many people who inspire me to pick just one!

Best support crew?

Hands down…Dad and my Aunt Linda! These two helped us load our car with ALL. THE. GEAR. from our 4 week vacation the day before our race. They were up EARLY on race morning to help us get to transition. They were patient with the process of all of the race morning shenanigans. They were in all of the right places at all of the right times during the race. They helped us get our gear after the race. They cheered, photographed, and spread love to us and 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 both so much!

Two of the best spectators EVER! Thanks to Dad and Aunt Linda for cheering us on all day long! Love you both!

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

Courage over comfort, believe, fun!!

Tell me about your 2017 year!! What are your “bests” from 2017?!

self love gifts for the 12 days of Christmas – day 1

In case you are just joining me, I am giving myself 12 free gifts of self love this Holiday season! You should too! We can all benefit from more love this Holiday season! Day 12 was writing a letter to yourself! Day 11 was dreams! Day 10 was encouragement! Day 9 was time! Day 8 was fresh air! Day 7 was hugs! Day 6 was exercise! Day 5 was gratitude! Day 4 was laughter! Day 3 was forgiveness! Day 2 was fun!

On the 1st day of Christmas, my true self gave to me:

Relaxation! Kick up your feet and relax! Take a bubble bath! Do whatever relaxes you! Enjoy some relaxation before all of the Christmas celebrations and traditions start up!

Snuggling with my baby girl!

self love gifts for the 12 days of Christmas – day 2

In case you are just joining me, I am giving myself 12 free gifts of self love this Holiday season! You should too! We can all benefit from more love this Holiday season! Day 12 was writing a letter to yourself! Day 11 was dreams! Day 10 was encouragement! Day 9 was time! Day 8 was fresh air! Day 7 was hugs! Day 6 was exercise! Day 5 was gratitude! Day 4 was laughter! Day 3 was forgiveness!

On the 2nd day of Christmas, my true self gave to me:

Fun! Hold a dance party! Play your favorite song! Sing at the top of your lungs! Dance! Get down and groove! Play! Do something truly fun…just for you!

Dancing with Basil in the kitchen!

“Celebrate good times…come on!”