Doubt to Confidence

For the last 3+ weeks, I have experienced increasing self doubt with every ride. I was actually starting to lose my #bikelove and dread upcoming bike rides. Every workout was HARD…SO MUCH harder than it should have been. Even the easy rides felt taxing. Why? Was my power meter not calibrated correctly? Was my Garmin not synced with the most recent updates? Was I training too hard? Was I not getting enough sleep? Why were these workouts SO TOUGH?! I was troubleshooting right and left, up and down to try to figure out what was wrong.

I expressed all of this to Coach Kelly. She thought I was carrying a lot of fatigue from training and life, so she made some changes to my schedule and gave me a power ramp test last Thursday after resting me just a bit. This was EXACTLY what I needed! Not only was this fun, but it also quelled the self doubt and turned it back into self confidence on the bike! Hello #bikelove! I’m so happy we meet again! I’ve missed you!

I executed this ramp test exactly how it was written and produced beautiful increasing trends for my power, heart rate, and speed.

While these beautiful graphs are amazing and something I am proud of, the best part was turning the self doubt back into confidence on the bike! Sometimes the chimp between my ears needs a reminder to STFU and stop interfering with forward progress! Clearly Coach was right…I’ve been carrying a lot of extra fatigue from training and life lately. It was nice to see that everything was calibrated and synced correctly and that I wasn’t losing fitness as I feared. With a little rest, I am performing right where I should be. Time to keep that confidence rolling in the forward direction and soak up some more #bikelove!

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What’s up?! – February 2019

February was a mixed bag with LOTS of snow (over 24 inches just in the short month of February) + turning into a hamster running on the wheel, but it was full of LOTS of good things as well. Spring is just around the corner on the calendar…hopefully Mother Nature keeps her eye on the calendar

Training:

I had another SOLID month of training!! I completed 10 minutes of core strength daily + I did not miss one workout last month!! BOOM!!

1000 yard straight swim right where I wanted to be!
My goal was to complete 10×1 minute Z5 repeats before failure. I successfully completed 15!! BOOM!!
I’ve spent FAR TOO MANY MILES here this month, but I’m just grateful that I have an option for running when Mother Nature’s sense of humor doesn’t match mine.

Swim: 24,200 yards (13.75 miles)
Bike: 214 miles
Run: 78.7 miles
Strength: 10 minutes of core daily + various full body strength + some yoga 🙂
Monthly Totals: 43 hours & 56 minute

#explore:

Explore is my focus word in 2019 and I’m happy to be incorporating it into all areas of my life…including my work life. Not only have I been exploring in training and racing this year, but in February, I accepted a new gig! At the end of this school year, I will be starting a new chapter. I am pleased to announce that I will be the Teaching Laboratory Coordinator with the Physics and Astronomy Department at Iowa State University!! I am VERY nervous to embark on a new career (I have been teaching 8th graders for 16 years…change is scary), but I am SUPER excited for this new opportunity and can’t wait to embark on this new adventure!!

I’m so ready to “explore” in a new career!!

Listening to:

Coeur Sports Earsplitz Podcast!! Voices (featuring Mike Reilly the voice of Ironman) is SO exciting!! He has called over 400,000 athletes across Ironman finish lines all around the world. The things he’s seen, the stories he’s learned about people and the enthusiasm he brings to each finisher over the many, many years is so exciting!! Just listening to Mike brings a HUGE smile to my face!!

KonaKamps!! Gah!! So many AMAZING podcasts dropped this month that I can’t keep up!! So many GREAT listens listed below!!
Kampsite 1
Jess Bramble Perry (Ironman Arizona 2018)
Kampsite 2
Kampsite 3
Eryn Schmisseur (Ironman Arizona 2018)
Kampsite 4
Katie Colville (Ironman Cozumel 2018)
Kampsite 5

Reading:

The Confidence Code: The Science and Art of Self -Assurance—What Women Should Know by Katty Kay and Claire Shipman is very insightful.

“In The Confidence Code, journalists Katty Kay and Claire Shipman travel to the frontiers of neuroscience on a hunt for the confidence gene and reveal surprising new research on its roots in our brains. They visit the world’s leading psychologists who explain how we can all choose to become more confident simply by taking action and courting risk, and how those actions change our physical wiring. They interview women leaders from the worlds of politics, sports, the military, and the arts to learn how they have tapped into this elemental resource. They examine how a lack of confidence impacts our leadership, success, and fulfillment.

Ultimately, they argue, while confidence is partly influenced by genetics, it is not a fixed psychological state. That’s the good news. You won’t discover it by thinking positive thoughts or by telling yourself (or your children) that you are perfect as you are. You also won’t find it by simply squaring your shoulders and faking it. But it does require a choice: less people pleasing and perfectionism and more action, risk taking, and fast failure.

Inspiring, insightful, and persuasive, The Confidence Code shows that by acting on our best instincts and by daring to be authentic, women can feel the transformative power of a life on confidence.”

Trying Something New:

Thanks to my friend and colleague, Traci, for encouraging me to try something new! We went to Art Ciccotti and made glass heart paperweights. This was my first experience with glass blowing and it was so much fun! I’m already thinking about future glass blowing experiences. 🙂

Carving my glass heart!
The finished product! I think they turned out pretty awesome!

Photo Shoot Time:

I am SO blessed and honored to be a part of the rad Coeur Sports #tigerteam19 mission to encourage, empower, and support women in sport + spread #heartandcourage EVERYWHERE! This year’s theme is to #befierce and remove the leash that may be holding you back and not allowing you to be your best self. It is time to #uncageyourinnerbeast ❤

Because my focus for this year is to #explore, even in training and racing!
#uncageyourinnerbeast
Not only do I love this team, but I love this girl!
These two have two keys to my heart!
“And one day she discovered she was fierce, and strong, and full of fire, and that not even she could hold herself back because her passion burned brighter than her fears!” ~Mark Anthony

Grateful for:

So grateful for being able to run outside in short sleeves in February in Iowa!! This was DEFINITELY NOT the norm this month!!
I’m so grateful to be on #tigerteam19!! My Coeur Sports teammates help me to feel empowered, inspired, connected, loved, and full of joy!!
The Skratch Labs cookies are da bomb diggity!! I’m so grateful for the ease to make these!!
These 3…I love them all!! So grateful for their unconditional love!!
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!!
So grateful for Nick at Vitality Massage for keeping me active and healthy!

How was your month of February?! What were you grateful for last month?! Have you ever tried glass blowing?! 

Pick up the Pen!

“And one day she discovered that she was fierce, and strong, and full of fire, and that not even she could hold herself back because her passion burned brighter than her fears.” ~Mark Anthony

So many people wait for the “perfect moment” to do something. They wait for something better, a better time, more money, the possibility of a better job, the moment that they can’t take it anymore, when it works for someone else that they care about, the list goes on and on and on.

Why? Why not do whatever it is RIGHT NOW?! What are you truly waiting for?! We write our own stories. It is time to take the pen and write the story that you desire. If you are waiting for the perfect time, the perfect place, the perfect whatever, you might never get to write the story that you desire.

Who’s writing your story? Are you allowing fear or COURAGE to be the ink on the page? Are you allowing yourself to be surrounded by negativity or POSITIVITY? Are you allowing yourself to be full of thanklessness or GRATITUDE? Are you allowing what you’re comfortable with to dictate your story? Are you allowing doubt or CONFIDENCE to be the print on the paper? There is no better time than RIGHT NOW to take hold of that pen and write your story as you wish. What do you desire? What will it take to achieve your desires? What are you willing to do to turn your desires into a reality?

“It’s up to me to manifest my destiny and create the life I desire.” ~Megan Hottman

Sometimes we hold ourselves back, often due to a lack of confidence. It’s time to be fierce, strong, and full of fire!! It’s time to change, embrace discomfort, and create opportunities!! Will it be scary? Maybe. Will it be hard? Possibly. Will it be risky? Perhaps. Will it be exciting? Likely! Will it be worth it? Definitely!

What are you waiting for?! Take the pen and write your story!! Manifest your destiny!! The best time is RIGH NOW!! Let your passion burn brighter than your fears!!

I’m choosing to hold the pen and write my story in 2019!!

What’s up?! – January 2019

2019 is off to a great start…even with arctic temps last week!! I love the changing seasons and we FINALLY got snow, so winter is officially here!! Only in Iowa can you have nearly a 100*F temperature swing in a span of 5 days. Thankfully we are experiencing a temperature swing in the upward direction!! As the saying goes, “If you don’t like the weather in Iowa, just wait 5 days…it will change!”😂 Here is a snapshot of what January had in store for me.

Training:

I had a SOLID month of training!! I completed 10 minutes of core strength daily + I did not miss one workout last month!! BOOM!!

It is SO HARD to swim with a merman on your back!!
We don’t always hit our targets, sometimes we don’t even hit a single target, and that’s ok. That’s why they are targets. I wanted to quit multiple times throughout the 7×20 minute intervals during my 3:11:00 ride, but instead I became more determined with each one. I gave everything I had today. Tomorrow is a new day.
Running in the snow is SO HARD, but I loved every minute of my 8+ mile run in the sun!!

Swim: 35,300 yards (20.06 miles)
Bike: 257 miles
Run: 62.8 miles
Strength: 10 minutes of core daily + various full body strength + some yoga 🙂
Monthly Totals: 50 hours & 1 minute

Creating Headspace:

I have been meditating in the morning for about 6 months, but I did so on my own until January 1. I had tried the Calm app, but it was definitely not for me. So many people had recommended the Headspace app to me, so on January 1, I bit the bullet and officially tried using the Headspace app to help me meditate. I am pleased to say that I used the app everyday for the entire month of January. The best part…I don’t mind it!! This is a HUGE success for me as I typically don’t like it when someone else tells me what to “think” or how to think.😂 Thankfully the Headspace app doesn’t do this, but instead subtly reminds me to focus on my breathing rather than on the random thoughts floating through my mind like clouds in the sky.

Listening to:

Kona Kamps!! Bianca Faulke-Tanner won the F30-34 age group at Ironman Malaysia on a challenging day. Sara Randolph won the F40-44 age group at Ironman Malaysia on a hot, humid, and stormy day! Congratulations to both ladies on their win!

Reading:

Courage to Tri: Finish Your First Triathlon. A Motivational How-To for Women by Bethany Rutledge isn’t just for new triathletes. This is a great read with little nuggets of motivation + practical tools that even veteran triathletes can benefit from.

4 heartbreaking (yet very common) reasons we don’t set goals by Mel, with Fellow Flowers, really resonated with me. I find so many of these reasons to be true for why women (and sometimes even men) don’t set goals. It is ok to fail…it makes us stronger and more resilient! Stop comparing yourself to others…YOU DO YOU & BE YOU! It is ok to change your mind…people do this all of the time with small, medium, and large things. Make a decision, commit, and set goals that feel good to YOU in this moment!

Race Day:

First race of 2019 is in the books and a podium finish!!

Focus…Today is going to be tough, but I’M READY to push myself to new limits!
Goal swim was sub 8:30 for the 500 yards. Actual swim time was 8:06 (1:37/100 yards)…BOOM!!
This stationary bike was so not fit for me, but I still managed to average 18.5 mph for the 8 miles at the resistance we were instructed to ride at. I missed Mojo SO MUCH!! That gurl and I have a bond…she gets me!!
Onto the run…running 16 laps on an indoor track isn’t easy…hence the ugly grimace.
Finally…done and I can honestly say that was the toughest race I’ve had. I pushed myself into a state I’ve never been in before.
Overall finish time was 50:03 for 2nd place in my age group!!
Podium finish is a great way to start 2019!!

Grateful for:

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!!
So grateful to have some of my tribe coming to cheer me on…even though it was snowing!!
Cheer squad!! #grateful
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! ❤
I’m so grateful for sushi…SO YUMMY!!

How was your month of January?! What were you grateful for last month?! Have you done an indoor triathlon?! If so, what were your favorite parts of the race?!

First race of 2019 is in the books!

Last Sunday was my first triathlon of 2019. As an endurance machine, going short + fast was SO HARD, but it was OH SO MUCH FUN!! This was my first opportunity to #explore and see what I was truly capable of in 2019!!

Negatives:
-Lots of time spent waiting…waiting for other athletes in my wave to finish, so we could go on to the next leg of the triathlon. Waiting for the people in the wave before us to finish the leg they were on so we could go on to the next one.
-Not being able to ride Mojo…those stationary bikes are NOT comfortable!! I really missed my gurl!!
-My race didn’t start until noon. In my opinion there was too much time to wait for the race start.

Positives:
-The triathlon was INDOORS in Iowa in January!! So much warmer than my Ironman Louisville experience in October.
-I got to sleep in my own bed and arrive to the race start right before it started because…small, local race.
-I needed less gear (no wetsuit, helmet, race belt, etc.)!!
-There was no contact during the swim because we split lanes with only one other athlete.
-There was music playing during the bike ride to keep us motivated and distracted from the “pain” we were inflicting on ourselves.
-There were only 10 people in my wave, so I didn’t have much traffic to dodge during the run.
-Part of my tribe was able to come out and cheer me on as I pushed my limits.
-Going short + fast means the “pain” ends much sooner than an all day Ironman event.

Notice there are so many more positives than negatives for this event! This may have to become an annual event on my calendar!!

Doesn’t everyone shovel snow to “warm up” before their triathlon?! Oh wait…this is actually the first triathlon I’ve ever done where I’ve WARMED UP with SNOW! We had to shovel out to get to the race…
Focus…Today is going to be tough, but I’M READY to push myself to new limits!
Goal swim was sub 8:30 for the 500 yards. Actual swim time was 8:06 (1:37/100 yards)…BOOM!!
This stationary bike was so not fit for me, but 8 miles…that’s all I had to tough it out for. I missed Mojo SO MUCH!! That gurl and I have a bond…she gets me!! Actual bike time was 25:55 (average speed = 18.5 mph)…BOOM!!
Onto the run…running 16 laps on an indoor track isn’t easy…hence the ugly grimace.
Finally…done and I can honestly say that was the toughest race I’ve had. I pushed myself into a state I’ve never been in before. Actual run time was 16:02 for 2 miles (average pace = 8:01 min/mile)…BOOM!!
Overall finish time was 50:03 for 2nd place in my age group!!
Podium finish is a great way to start 2019!!
A free massage post race was much needed!! #grateful
So grateful to have some of my tribe coming to cheer me on…even though it was snowing!!
Cheer squad!! #grateful

What a great way to start off my 2019 season!! Let’s keep this momentum going throughout 2019!!

2019 Mantras

Mantras can be used in so many areas of your life to help guide you and your focus. In the past, I have used mantras during training and racing more than at work, in relationships, and everyday life. “Man” means mind and “tra” means vehicle or transport. So a mantra is an instrument of the mind that helps you access heightened levels of awareness. For me, awareness refers to the ability to pay attention to the choices I make, and recognize when something isn’t working so I can change it. Mantras can help bring me back to the present state of mind I am desiring.

Last year I used “courage over comfort” in nearly every workout and it served me VERY well. This year, I decided to expand my use of mantras to include not only training, but also at work, in my relationships, and in my everyday life. I have a list of mantras that I’ve been using at different times so far in 2019. These mantras have been serving me well and I’m excited to see how they help me stay focused and in the present state of mind that I am desiring in that moment.

“Sail the seas”

“Uncage your inner beast”

“Uncage the magic”

“Be the magic”

“Face your fears”

“Find your power”

“Be the seahorse”

“Strength and power”

“Long, strong, pull” – this one is swim specific

What mantras do you use to bring you back to the present state of mind you are desiring?

The power of the mind

The mind is a POWERFUL tool! When I am positive, focused, and open minded I have performed at much higher levels and generally been a much happier person. I have made some changes since Thanksgiving that have freed my mind of negativity + chaos, allowed me to be more focused + present, and opened my mind to so much more! More exploration on so many levels. More belief in myself. More grit. More physical strength. More tenacity. More mental fortitude. More resiliency. More desire to be better than I was yesterday. More potential to be the best version of myself I can possibly be.

Life and triathlon can be very uncomfortable at times with so many uncontrollable factors and unknowns. This can make it difficult to stay positive, focused, and in the present moment, but positivity, focus, and staying in the present moment is where it’s at! I have achieved SO MUCH success when I focus on what I need in the present moment. Don’t worry about the past. Don’t worry about my workout after work. Don’t worry about tomorrow’s work meeting. Don’t worry about the next interval. Don’t worry about how the conversation is going to go. Don’t worry about what others are/aren’t doing. What do I need right here, right now?

As I embark on my first race week of 2019, I am happy to report that my mindset is strong, positive, focused, excited, and I’m ready to unleash some serious attitude on Sunday!!

How do you use your mind as a powerful tool?