2016 Intentions Check-In #4

Where has time gone?! It is hard to believe that 2016 is already behind us and we are staring 2017 in the face! It seems like just yesterday I was sitting down to write about my intentions for 2016, and now it is time to write my intentions for 2017!

  1. #Believe…I have made progress with this intention, but will ALWAYS have room for growth! When things get tough in training, work, or life, my forearm reminds me to #believe and move forward!img_6848
  2. Break down barriers…I am beyond thrilled that we had HUGE success with the first ladies only nights this summer! We managed to have one ride each in June, July, and August. Thanks so much to Coeur Sports and Kyle’s Bikes for their support to help make this event successful!! Yay for encouraging more women in cycling, helping them gain confidence on their bike and on the roads, and helping them learn basic bike maintenance!! I am definitely looking forward to hosting many more ladies only rides in 2017 and am planning to mix this up even more to get more women out riding!!                 IMG_3720        IMG_4134
  3. Be present…I think I will forever struggle with this one! I have a VERY hard time focusing on the here and now. My mind is always wandering! I am getting better at staying in the present only because I’m becoming more aware of when I’m not staying focused in the present. When I notice my mind wandering, I remind myself to stay in the present. It requires me to be aware of where my mind is at and reign it back in. Unfortunately this doesn’t always happen since I don’t always realize when my mind wanders, but I am definitely getting better at it!
  4. Find Balance…I set out to find balance more with the emotions that I direct at myself than other parts of my life. I started the year participating in the Living Brave Semester with Brene Brown; this course taught me to focus on how I am feeling, why I am feeling a certain way, giving myself permission to be human, and how to forgive myself for being human and making mistakes. While I did a much better job of focusing on this while I was immersed in the class, I am pleased that I’ve been able to keep most of these habits in play even though the class has concluded. Now, it is time to work to find balance between life, training, work, and fun as my training ramps back up for my 2017 goals.

Did you set goals or intentions for yourself for 2016? If so, have you checked in with these goals or intentions lately? What progress did you make toward achieving your goals or intentions in 2016?

2016 Intentions Check In #3

Where has time gone?! It is hard to believe that 3/4 of 2016 is already behind us! It seems like just yesterday I was sitting down to write about my intentions for 2016! 2017 will be here before we know it!

  1. #Believe…I have made progress with this intention, but still have room for growth. I think this is one area I will ALWAYS have room for growth. When things get tough in training, work, or life, I have turned to #courageovercomfort to bring me focus, help me overcome obstacles, and remind me to believe in myself throughout 2016. #courageovercomfort has helped me many times to find focus and redirect my self confidence to where it should be…to a place where I #believe in myself and my abilities much more than I used to. “Bravery means believing in yourself when nobody else does.”                    img_6190
  2. Break down barriers…I am pleased as punch to have our ladies only bike rides so well attended this summer! We managed to have one ride each in June, July, and August. Thanks so much to Coeur Sports and Kyle’s Bikes for their support to help make this event successful!! Yay for encouraging more women in cycling, helping them gain confidence on their bike and on the roads, and helping them learn basic bike maintenance!! I am definitely looking forward to hosting many more ladies only rides in 2017!!                 IMG_3720        IMG_4134
  3. Be present…I continue to really struggle with this one! I have a VERY hard time focusing on the here and now. I often find myself thinking about the past or the future. I wish I could say my 30 days of meditation in July happened, but unfortunately they did not. I’m still hopeful to make this happen before 2016 is over and out. Yoga always seems to help me find presence, but I have not had much of this in my schedule in the last few months due to ramped up Ironman training. Now that I am in the offseason, I have time to reacquaint myself with “mat,” my boyfriend. Tomorrow we have a date and I can’t wait!
  4. Find Balance…I set out to find balance more with the emotions that I direct at myself than other parts of my life. Thanks in part to my Living Brave Semester with Brene Brown, I have been doing a much better job of focusing in on how I am feeling, why I am feeling a certain way, giving myself permission to be human, and how to forgive myself for being human and making mistakes. I am pleased that I’ve been able to keep these habits in play even though the class has concluded. Now, it is time to find balance between life, training, work, and fun in the offseason.

Did you set goals or intentions for yourself for 2016? If so, have you checked in with these goals or intentions lately? What progress are you making toward achieving your goals or intentions?

2016 Intentions Check In #2

Where has time gone?! It is hard to believe that 2016 is already half over! It seems like just yesterday I was sitting down to write about my intentions for 2016 and now we are already half way through the year!

  1. #Believe…I have made progress with this intention, but still have room for growth. I think this is one area I will ALWAYS have room for growth. When things get tough in training, work, or life, I turn to #courageovercomfort to bring me focus on believing in myself. So far this year, it has helped bring me focus and redirected my self confidence to where it should be…to a place where I #believe in myself much more.
  2. Break down barriers…I am pleased as punch to have our ladies only bike rides started! The ultimate goal is to host these rides weekly, but for this year, we will be meeting once a month. Our first ride was a HUGE success, which you can read more about here. Thanks so much to Coeur Sports and Kyle’s Bikes for their support to help make this event successful!! Yay for encouraging more women in cycling, helping them gain confidence on their bike and on the roads, and helping them learn basic bike maintenance!! I am definitely looking forward to ladies night #2 on Monday, July 11 at 5:30 pm (location to be determined)…local ladies, mark your calendars!!We made it to Slater!
  3. Be present…I really struggle with this one! I have a VERY hard time focusing on the here and now. I often find myself thinking about the past or the future. I have not yet incorporated meditation into my weekly routine, but it is in my planner for July…30 days of meditation, here I come! I’m hoping after 30 days, it will become a habit! Yoga always seems to help with this…I just need to carve out more time to spend with my mat!
  4. Find Balance…I set out to find balance more with the emotions that I direct at myself than other parts of my life. Thanks in part to my Living Brave Semester with Brene Brown, I have been doing a much better job of focusing in on how I am feeling, why I am feeling a certain way, giving myself permission to be human, and how to forgive myself for being human and making mistakes. I am pleased that I’ve been able to keep these habits in play even though the class has concluded.

Did you set goals or intentions for yourself for 2016? If so, have you checked in with these goals or intentions lately? What progress are you making toward achieving your goals or intentions?

2016 Intentions Check In #1

I was hoping to check in with my 2016 intentions on a monthly basis, but alas, that hasn’t happened. Quarterly check-ins will have to suffice for now.

  1. #Believe…I have made progress with this intention, but still have room for growth. I think this is one area I will ALWAYS have room for growth. I have focused a lot on courage over comfort in all aspects of my life since the start of 2016. I have made some progress, which you can read more about here if you haven’t already, but there is still room for growth.

    FTP test results...My normalized power was 189 watts...this was 12 watts higher than peak Ironman Boulder training in 2015!!

    FTP test results…My normalized power was 189 watts…this was 12 watts higher than peak Ironman Boulder training in 2015!!

  2. Break down barriers…We do have women who ride with us in our basement, but I haven’t made progress with the women’s only ride YET. That is mostly in part to Mother Nature. We are still experiencing cool temperatures and occasional snow showers, which make outdoor riding non-existent this time of year. Since most of the women prefer riding in warmer temperatures, I am waiting a bit for Mother Nature to start cooperating with us. I am SERIOUSLY hoping we get outside to ride in the next month! If you are a women interested in cycling in the Ames area, please let me know so I can get you the information for our outdoor rides!!
  3. Be present…I really struggle with this one! I have a VERY hard time focusing on the here and now. I often find myself thinking about the past or the future. I am looking to incorporate some meditation into my weekly routine (and hopefully daily if time permits as I figure it out) to help me stay focused on the here and now.
  4. Find Balance…I set out to find balance more with the emotions that I direct at myself than other parts of my life. Thanks in part to my Living Brave Semester with Brene Brown, I have been doing a much better job of focusing in on how I am feeling, why I am feeling a certain way, giving myself permission to be human, and how to forgive myself for being human and making mistakes.

Did you set goals or intentions for yourself for 2016? If so, have you checked in with these goals or intentions lately? What progress are you making toward achieving your goals or intentions?

Courage over Comfort

“We can choose courage or we can choose comfort, but we can’t have both. Not at the same time.” ~Brene Brown

At the beginning of 2016, I thought “believe” would be my 2016 word. As 2016 has gotten underway, my 2016 word has evolved into the word “Courage,” which is the ability to do something that you know is difficult or dangerous. Believe is still an underlying theme of courage for me, but there are so many other areas of my life that require courage as well. Over the last couple of months, the word courage has evolved into the phrase “Courage Over Comfort,” which has gotten me through multiple challenges in all aspects of life so far in 2016.

Courage over Comfort in my relationships

The Iron Hippie and I have a great relationship, but like any couple, we do have our differences and disagreements. Being vulnerable by sharing my thoughts and feelings in a new and different way is hard and takes a lot of courage, but it will be worth it when this uncomfortable method becomes “comfortable” and less difficult one day. “Courage over comfort” is where the magic happens!!

comfortable with uncomfortable

Courage over Comfort at work

I am not an emotional person, so incorporating more Developmental Designs (a social-emotional approach to learning) into my lessons and classroom is uncomfortable and has definitely taken courage. I keep waiting for the day when this style of learning into my lessons and classrooms becomes more comfortable, but so far it just hasn’t happened…so…I guess I’ll just living the “courage over comfort” theme at work also.

Courage over Comfort in training

Leap day was full of “Courage over Comfort” in my training. An FTP test on the bike was staring me in the face from my Training Peaks calendar, and I was intimidated. I have done these many times, but have never had everything fall together so I could experience a “successful” test, and this was precisely why I was intimidated. Sure I’ve seen improvements with them, but there has always been something that has happened for me to think “it could have been better if…” when I was done. This time around, I was determined it would be different. I would conquer this FTP test and not let it conquer me! #believe

I picked a gear and cadence and was determined to stick with it! 5 minutes in, I felt good and was questioning if I should be going a little harder. I decided to stick with my plan and reevaluate later in the test. 10 minutes in, things were getting tougher, but it was still doable. 15 minutes in, I just wanted to take a break. This is when I started mentally telling myself “Courage over Comfort” over and over and over. I pushed through the last 5 minutes and walla…I had the most successful FTP test I’ve ever had!! Why was this test so “successful?” It wasn’t about the 12 watt increase in power output, although I am incredibly happy and proud of my improvements. It was about my execution of the FTP test. This was the first test that I put it all together…physically, mentally, emotionally, and nutritionally. I didn’t have any lingering “it could have been better if…” when I finished this FTP test, and it felt better than AWESOME!!

FTP test results...My normalized power was 189 watts...this was 12 watts higher than peak Ironman Boulder training in 2015!!

FTP test results…My normalized power was 189 watts…this was 12 watts higher than peak Ironman Boulder training in 2015!!

My run on March 1 was also FULL of “courage over comfort!” I had a 4×1 mile progressive repeats run staring at me from Training Peaks all day long!! I knew this would be a tough run, since my legs were exhausted from my FTP test on the bike the day before. It was a cold day with ice on the roads (thanks to an early morning freezing rain, snow mix…gotta love Iowa winters), so I opted to run on the treadmill at the gym after work. When I got to the gym, there was no cardio equipment!! What?! They got all new cardio equipment in that morning and were in the process of putting all of the machines together, but so far, no treadmills had been assembled. So it was time for plan B…back to school I went to run on OLD treadmills with no televisions, no people, nothing to distract me from my own potentially negative thoughts. Thankfully I did have music on my phone to jam to as I ran. After my 2 mile warm-up, I set the treadmill to just under a 9 minute/mile pace, which I estimated to be my current 1/2 marathon pace (although I haven’t been running consistently for long, so I had no idea how accurate this was). With each mile, I dropped ~15 seconds off per mile. The first couple of miles weren’t bad, but by the 4th mile repeat, I was running at an 8:13 minute/mile pace and thought I was going to die! Hello “courage over comfort” and goodbye negative thoughts!! I was so proud of myself for not quitting when it got tough…boy did I think REALLY hard about making the pace on the treadmill easier so I didn’t have to work so hard, but I just kept telling myself “courage over comfort” as I pushed on through that final mile. As I ran my cool down mile, mentally I was super strong and on cloud nine, but physically, my legs were TRASHED!! So this is what it feels like to REALLY push myself out of my comfort zone…

IMG_7950

Change is uncomfortable, but that is why I have been embracing #courageovercomfort as my theme and mantra in all aspects of my life in 2016. Strength doesn’t come from what we can do, it comes from overcoming the things we once thought we couldn’t do. If dreams come true when we step out of our comfort zone, then you can bet I will be tapping into a lot more courage and a lot less comfort this year!!

Do you stick with what is comfortable in your life, or do you rise to the challenge of trying to make the uncomfortable more comfortable? Where are you courageous in your life? What is your word/phrase for 2016?

2016 S.M.A.R.T. Goals for my “A” Race

Many people start the new year with “New Year’s Resolutions” and most of those people quit trying to keep these resolutions within the first month of the new year. According to the Huffington Post, only about 13% (1 in 8) of people who set New Year Resolutions successfully keep their resolutions for one year. This is why I don’t set New Year’s Resolutions…instead, I set intentions and S.M.A.R.T. (Specific, Measurable, Attainable, Relevant and Time-based) goals.

I evaluated my 2015 journey, which allowed me to reflect on successes and failures throughout the year. Being truthful with myself and my 2015 journey, has helped me set S.M.A.R.T. goals for my 2016 “A” race.

Smart Goal

When setting S.M.A.R.T. goals, it is important that they are:

  1. Specific…having precise goals stated in terms of performance.
  2. Measurable…being able to determine if the goal has been accomplished.
  3. Attainable…setting high, but realistic and achievable goals.
  4. Relevant…setting a goal that is important to YOU and NOT because a friend or family member has a similar goal.
  5. Timely…having a specific time frame for completing the goal.

My “A” race for 2016 is Ironman Wisconsin on September 11. My time goal for this race is sub 13 hours…

IMG_6026

  • What does this mean for a time goal for each discipline of the race? Swim = 1:15-1:20 (I swam 1:21:52 in 2014 at Ironman Wisconsin); Bike = 7:00:00…or less (I biked 8:15:12 in 2014 and 7:56:58 in 2011 at Ironman Wisconsin and I biked 6:46:12 in 2015 at Ironman Boulder on a much easier course); Run = 4:30:00-4:45:00 (I ran 5:15:32 in 2014 at Ironman Wisconsin and 5:28:05 in 2015 at Ironman Boulder); With transitions, this could be close…can I do it? ABSOLUTELY!
  • Why do I have a sub 13 hour goal? While it would be awesome to set a new PR (and sub 13 hours would be a PR by over an hour), I really want to push my limits and see what I can actually do. I have BIG DREAMS and a sub 13 hour Ironman would get me one step closer to fulfilling these #BigDreams.      IMG_0973
  • What steps am I going to take to get there?
    • I am going to focus most of my efforts on the bike to improve my bike strength. Incorporating more power focused workouts on the bike into my training plan will definitely help me build the bike strength I am seeking to conquer this hilly course.
    • I am also going to incorporate more brick runs off the bike to teach my legs to run strong when they are tired.
    • I am going to run my long runs at a faster pace. In the past I’ve been trying to maintain a 10 min/mile average pace, but I feel that if I can focus on a faster pace, that I will set myself up for a faster marathon at the end of Ironman.
    • I am going to follow a well laid out training plan making sure it includes proper strength training and recovery to help prevent injuries.
    • I am going to continue to incorporate mental training into my training plan so that I continue to teach myself to #believe in me, my abilities and my training.
    • I am going to focus on my nutrition and figure out how to overcome the hyponatremia issues I’ve experienced in the past. I am still seeking a place to have a a sweat test done where they measure the electrolytes that I sweat out; this information will help me prevent hyponatremia in future events.

I am expecting some challenges along the way…after all, it wouldn’t be an Ironman if there weren’t challenges. The most challenging part of Ironman Wisconsin for me, in the past, has been nutrition and the 6156 feet of climbing throughout the bike course. I am looking forward to overcoming these challenges and pushing myself to new limits at Ironman Wisconsin on September 11, 2016!!

What is your “A” goal for 2016? Have you made this goal a S.M.A.R.T. goal?

2016 Intentions

Happy New Year everyone!!

Last year I set “intentions” instead of “resolutions” for 2015. I wasn’t as good at checking in on these intentions as I should have been. I decided to put my intentions in writing for this year and be more diligent at checking my progress throughout the year. So here are my intentions for 2016:

  1. #Believe…I had this same intention last year and made some serious progress, but I still have lots of room for even more progress. I have #BigDreams! The only way to achieve these dreams is to believe in myself, my training and my abilities on race day. A sub 13 hour race at Ironman Wisconsin on September 11, 2016 would get me a bit closer to achieving those big dreams, so I will be focusing on action and execution during 2016. After all…  Screen Shot 2015-01-18 at 2.19.10 PM
  2. Break down barriers…I had this intention last year as well and am carrying this intention with me into 2016. Why??? Because it is time to get more women in endurance sport, whether that is triathlon, swimming, running, cycling, or even cross country skiing!! Why endurance sport?!?!?!? It is fun, it is rewarding and it allows me to challenge myself in a way that nothing else can. I would love to share those experiences and my passion for endurance sport with other women in 2016!! In 2016 I will be starting a women’s only cycling group in Ames, where we will meet once a week to ride, learn and have fun!! If you are in this area and want to join us, please let me know!!
  3. Be present…I also had this intention last year and continue to struggle with it, so I am taking it with me into 2016. I always find myself thinking about what is next instead of focusing on the here and now. I need to slow down, find time to laugh (out loud) every day, enjoy every moment and be present.  Be Present
  4. Find Balance…I do a fairly good job of balancing work, home and training, but I definitely need to incorporate more balance, especially with the emotions I direct at myself…less stress, more fun, less anxiety, more joy, less anger, more happiness, less destruction, more self confidence, less negativity, more positivity!! This intention will probably be the one I struggle with the most and will take some serious focus and reflection throughout the year to make progress.

As with any intentions that we set, it is important to remember that baby steps will make the most difference and allow long term change and success. With these intentions, I gladly welcome 2016 and the fresh start 🙂 Cheers to 2016!!

xoxo

What are your intentions for 2016?