As I roll into my last month of teaching, before changing careers, it is time to reflect on April. April has brought us some days of warmer weather, had me spending time with my Coeur sisters, crossing the finish line of another 1/2 marathon, and riding outside on the open roads with my fave. With all of these amazing things in the rear view mirror, I have high hopes for the month of May!!
I had another SOLID month of training!! I completed 10 minutes of core strength daily + I’m still on the green streak in Training Peaks!! I have not missed one workout so far this year…18 weeks and counting!! BOOM!!
Swim: 38,700 yards (21.99 miles)
Bike: 282 miles
Run: 95.5 miles
Strength: 10 minutes of core daily + various full body strength
Monthly Totals: 54 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 training!! Before each race, I think back to key sessions that better prepared me (both physically and mentally) for the race I’m about to embark on. I even jot these key sessions down so that I know the dates to refer back to in my training log. On April 23, I had a key swim session that gave me the confidence that I can have a stellar PR swim this year! The workout…
Swim 100 at the 3rd fastest pace from the 4 x 100 descending above. Assuming that felt “right” for z3/mod hard type effort this will be your pace.
Swim as many 100’s as you can at this pace with :20 to :25 rest between. If using a tempo trainer, your rest is one beep cycle.
If off by 3 seconds, rest a full minute and try again.
If after 1 minute you cannot hold the pace you are done. Cool down.
Well…my 3rd fastest 100 was 1:38.7/100 yards. Could I really hold 1:39/100 yards for more than 5 intervals?
Apparently so! #befierce is the mantra for the Coeur Team in 2019 and it helped me crush my expectations and self doubt during this workout and I know it will help me with many more in the future!!
KonaKamps always has me inspired by some amazing peeps!! Keri Houston is an age group champ at Ironman New Zealand 2019. Michelle Enslin is the age group champion for the 50-54 age group at Ironman South Africa 2019 after coming back from surgery. Her gratitude is contagious!
Rich Roll brought Johann Hari on his podcast to talk about addiction and depression. “The opposite of addiction isn’t sobriety. It’s connection.” With the world at our fingertips (quite literally…that phone you’re holding is taking you away from making connections with the people around you, so put it down and make memories with those around you) we can disconnect from those around us just as quickly as we can connect with them by putting the technology away. “If you suffer from addiction or depression, this is a must listen. If you don’t, chances are someone you care for does. This conversation can provide the insight and tools for better understanding the struggle — because mental health truly impacts everyone.”
Peak Performance: Elevate your Game, Avoid Burnout, and Thrive with the New Science of Success by Brad Stulberg and Steve Magness is amazing!! It kept me engaged and wanting to read even more!! The authors suggest “optimally alternating between periods of intense work and rest; priming the body and mind for enhanced productivity; and developing and harnessing the power of a self-transcending purpose.” There is so much useful information in here!! It was one that I struggled to put down so I could get adequate sleep each night!!
Discomfort…I know that when we step outside of our comfort zone and embrace discomfort that we experience growth. As a result, I have been leaning into discomfort more in my personal life and am making huge strides. Discomfort isn’t easy and it takes a lot of work for growth to happen, but the rewards that come from it are definitely worth leaning into and embracing the discomfort.
Attitude of Gratitude:
How was your month of April?! What were you grateful for last month?!
March was a turning point. Spring FINALLY showed up, the snow is nearly all melted, a sh!t ton of dog poop has been picked up, I finished my last parent teacher conferences EVER, and I am now just over 2 months away from the end of my last school year teaching. With the end of the school year comes the building excitement of starting my new career and nerves (in a good way) of doing something different for the first time in 16 years. Meanwhile, these are some of the highlights of March…
I had another SOLID month of training!! I completed 10 minutes of core strength daily + I’m still on the green streak in Training Peaks!! I have not missed one workout so far this year…13 weeks and counting!! BOOM!!
Swim: 26,500 yards (15 miles)
Bike: 227 miles
Run: 79.2 miles
Strength: 10 minutes of core daily + various full body strength
Monthly Totals: 42 hours & 32 minutes
Explore is my focus word in 2019 and I’m happy to be incorporating it into all areas of my life…including racing!! I ran the St. Paddy’s 1/2 Marathon with the goal of averaging an 8:30 min/mile pace and I am pleased as a Leprechaun finding a pot of gold with my performance!! I had an overall finish time of 1:51:44 (8:32 min/mile average pace)! I finished 2nd out of 20 in F40-44 and 89th out of 341 overall. I am super excited about where 2019 might take me as I continue to #explore and push my limits!!
KonaKamps had me inspired by two AMAZING women!! Maggie Walsh won Ironman Maryland 2018 at her FIRST EVER triathlon!! She didn’t just win her age group, she was the first female to cross the finish line and break the tape!! Reiko Donato won Ironman Chattanooga 2018 for women 60-64 on a VERY special day…her birthday!! That’s right!! She turned 60 years old and won!! Jana Richtrova won Ironman Cozumel 2018 for women 35-39. This will be her 7th time at Kona!! Congratulations to all of these amazing ladies!!
Find Your Awesome Podcast with Kelsey Abbott had Jessica Broderick on to talk about grief and what one goes through when they lose a part of their identity. Jessica was a pro triathlete who recently retired and explains the grieving process she went through when this part of her identity was removed. “You can be healthy and fit. They are two very different things.” ~Jessica Broderick
She has some great tips for how to start your own gratitude practice! She recommends “bedtime reflection, a happy jar, and a gratitude journal.” Every night before I go to bed, I write down as many things as I can think of that I’m grateful for from the day. I don’t limit myself to only 3 things and I try to make sure I am not writing down the same things everyday. I also try to take pictures of things that I am grateful for and I look back at these pictures at the end of each month as I compose my “What’s Up?!” monthly blog post. Compiling the “Attitude of Gratitude” section of my blog post each month is a great way to remind myself of all of the amazing things that I have in my life to be thankful for. Taking the pictures also keeps me focused on gratitude daily.
42!! My birthday fell on a very LONG work day (teach all day + parent teacher conferences all evening), but this being my last parent teacher conferences ever was one of the best birthday presents I could give myself!! I did get to celebrate over the weekend as I consumed loads of sushi + raced the St. Paddy’s 1/2 Marathon!!
Attitude of Gratitude:
How was your month of March?! What were you grateful for last month?! How can you document them in a meaningful way for you?!
Thankfully the month of May flew by and I am only a couple of days away from summer break!! Here’s a look at what I’ve been up to…
This month has been full of ups and downs as it relates to training. The month started off strong, but took a nose dive in the middle. Thankfully I was able to pull myself back out of a mental slump after some life stress and get back on track to finish strong at the end of the month.
I’ve been working on flip turns in the pool, but they aren’t progressing as well as I’d like. Now that school is almost out, I can spend more time at the pool to master this skill.
I’ve gotten outside on two wheels with the wind in my face! I LOVE the open road on two wheels! Over Memorial Day weekend, I had two back-to-back 70 mile training rides in VERY WINDY conditions! I had some choice words for Mother Nature, but I know I will be stronger because of rides like these!
Coach Kelly has moved my long run to the middle of the week, and I love it! I’m so glad to have made this switch…sometimes change is good!
HUGE hugs to Coach Kelly, with Track Cat Fitness, for challenging me on so many levels, pushing me WAY out of my comfort zone, and making me #trackcatstrong this year! I am forever grateful for her guidance + support this year!
Swim Totals: 18.4 miles
Bike Totals: 369 miles
Run Totals: 83 miles
Carrie Cheadle’s blog post “How to be Resilient when Sh*t Happens” really makes you think…do you wear “rose-colored glasses,” or “shit-colored” glasses? How do you view your life and the situations that surround you? Do you lift others up, or tear them down? Are you willing to roll with the punches, or do you spread your shit everywhere?
Carrie Cheadle had another GREAT post…Reduce Stress & Recharge! Declutter, unbook yourself, and make a “To Don’t List” to give yourself time to recharge! I LOVE this idea! Carrie even recommends scheduling this down time in your planner/iCalendar to force yourself to take some time to yourself to recharge your batteries!
Marni Sumbal has some great posts! This month, her post “Stop trying to fit in – be YOU!” really hit home with me! I’ve been working to embrace more of who I am and worry less about what others think of me, so this post was spot on!
A podcast on being Resilient with Mallory Weggemann…WOW! This amazing woman has a perspective on life that everyone should have!
Turia Pitt is an amazing individual who has overcome severe burns on 65% of her body that she endured when she got caught in a brush fire during an ultramarathon. Her spirit, determination, and resilience are something we can all learn from! She overcame so many odds to become an Ironman World Champion!
A No Bullsh*t Look at Sports Nutrition with Breakthrough Nutrition is a must listen to if you race and train with sports nutrition. They talk about the doping pandemic that is flooding the triathlon + running racing scene.
How badly do you want it by Kelly Roberts really struck home with me this month! It brought me focus after some life stress this month and grounded me for the coming build into IMWT!
“Women Who Tri” Author Alicia DiFabio didn’t dive headfirst into triathlon, but got into triathlon more as a psychology experiment. She is part of a 900+ women only triathlon club that has taken off, encourages women in sport, and continues to grow!
Look Forward To:
Summer break! With only a couple of days left of my school year (my last day is Monday, June 5), I am looking forward to having time to train, do house chores, and enjoy my time away from work for a few months!
Swimming in the outdoor 50 meter pool! I absolutely love this pool and wish we had an indoor pool just like it!
My intention for 2017 is to become more fearless! So…how have I been doing with this? I’ve continued to make progress on becoming more fearless. Some areas of my life I’ve made more progress than in others, but that’s part of life. In my personal life, I am still working on facing those things that truly scare me, but with some regression this month, it has slowed to the pace of a three-toed sloth (that can only move with a maximum speed of 0.003 miles per hour). I am NOT giving up and I WILL overcome these scary things! I am also really working on not letting others opinions of me bother me and I think I’ve gotten much better at this in the last month…I’ve even started doing more runs in shorts and a sports bra (when the temperature has been warm enough) and wearing bikinis at the pool for lap swimming. Am I comfortable…not yet, but I’m facing the fear head on! At work, there have been a lot of changes taking place in preparation for next year. Change can be scary, but it can also be a good thing. I am remaining very hopeful that these coming changes lead to great things! I have made some BIG gains while training this month! This has caused me to have to stare fear in the face and stretch WAY out of my comfort zone! I have been working on flip turns in the pool and I am SO fearful of cracking my heels on the edge of the pool that I’m not getting close enough to the wall to actually push off of it. I have more work to do in this area, but I will get there! I also stared fear in the face by going out for a solo, long ride for the first time ever! In the past I’ve always had company for rides over 2 hours, but after spending 4 solo hours in the saddle on the open roads, I’m happy to say that I’m getting more comfortable with the uncomfortable = progress!
While I’ve made some progress on becoming more fearless in different parts of my life, I still have a LOT more progress to make, but don’t we all?! I’m a continuous work in progress!
How was your month of May? What were your May highlights? What are you excited for?
The month of April seemed to drag on forever, but overall, it was a pretty good month!! Here’s a look at what I’ve been up to…
I’ve been working on flip turns in the water to help me be more consistent with my pacing in the water. I’m looking forward to have this flip turning down, so I can really focus on getting faster in the water! May will be the month I master the flip!
I had a BIG month of building strength on the bike, and it REALLY showed on my most recent FTP challenge…hello 16 watt increase and crossing over the 200 watt barrier!! Wahoo!!
I ran my first 1/2 marathon of the year at the Drake Road Relays on Saturday. It was cold + windy, but perfect running weather! I was hoping for a much better outcome to my race, but it just wasn’t in the cards for me on this day. I’m still very happy with my overall finish time and have lots to be thankful for!
HUGE hugs to Coach Kelly, with Track Cat Fitness, for challenging me on so many levels, pushing me WAY out of my comfort zone, and making me #trackcatstrong this year! I am forever grateful for her guidance + support this year!
Swim Totals: 13.15 miles
Bike Totals: 226.7 miles
Run Totals: 66.6 miles
After You by Jojo Moyes is an inspiring book for those trying to move on after a loss. “Louisa Clark is no longer just an ordinary girl living an ordinary life. After the transformative six months spent with Will Traynor, she is struggling without him. When an extraordinary accident forces Lou to return home to her family, she can’t help but feel she’s right back where she started. Her body heals, but Lou herself knows that she needs to be kick-started back to life. Which is how she ends up in a church basement with the members of the Moving On support group, who share insights, laughter, frustrations, and terrible cookies. They will also lead her to the strong, capable Sam Fielding—the paramedic, whose business is life and death, and the one man who might be able to understand her. Then a figure from Will’s past appears and hijacks all her plans, propelling her into a very different future. ”
Running Man Charlie Engle is an ultra endurance runner, who has overcome alcohol + cocaine addiction that plagued him in his early 20s. He shares his adventures and accomplishments in life, how he stays motivated, and his upcoming plans of running from the lowest place on Earth (the Dead Sea) to the highest place on Earth (Mt. Everest). Charlie Engle gives a whole new definition to the word CRAZY!
Louis Cole is CRAZY! He gave up a job + living in a house to live an adventurous life. He started filming his adventures and posting them on YouTube. This became his career…doing what he loves and sharing it with others. “Everyone benefits from being put in situations where you are challenged and all of those kinds of things. You don’t get anything from staying in a comfortable bubble.”
Mind Power Training:
I had a 6 week bike block that I was immersed in for most of April. This required a LOT of mental strength and fortitude. During this block, Coach Kelly has also immersed me in a mind power block. The focus of those 6 weeks…to make me #trackcatstrong both physically and mentally this season! I had a homework assignment every day. While I didn’t provide all of the homework assignments I completed, I have laid out the basics of 16 assignments and my responses to these assignments from this block. I feel these 16 assignments were key to helping me build my mind power.
My intention for 2017 is to become more fearless! So…how have I been doing with this? I’ve continued to make progress on becoming more fearless. Some areas of my life I’ve made more progress than in others, but that’s part of life. In my personal life, I have remained alcohol free in 2017 = WIN! I am still working on facing those things that truly scare me, but this is going at a turtle’s pace…ok…maybe a snail’s pace. I am NOT giving up and I WILL overcome these scary things! I am also really working on not letting others opinions of me bother me and I think I’ve gotten much better at this in the last month. At work, there have been a lot of changes taking place in preparation for next year. Change can be scary, but it can also be a good thing. I am remaining very hopeful that these coming changes lead to great things! I have made some BIG gains while training this month! This has caused me to have to stare fear in the face and stretch WAY out of my comfort zone! I have been working on flip turns in the pool and I am SO fearful of cracking my heels on the edge of the pool that I’m not getting close enough to the wall to actually push off of it. I have more work to do in this area, but I will get there! I’m determined that the month of May will be full of progress as I learn to flip in the pool so I am able to push off the wall without drowning or ending up in another lane. I also pushed myself HARD during my FTP challenge, while keeping my mental focus STRONG! This was very uncomfortable, but it helped me achieve my goal of reaching the 200+ watt threshold! Getting comfortable with the uncomfortable = progress! My 1/2 marathon road race…SO hard!! From the very beginning, my legs felt as though they had been loaded down with lead. They were SO heavy! (Side Note: I think I got my pre-race massage too close to the actual race. Lesson learned for the future!) At about mile 6, the uphill battle began. I was climbing and climbing and climbing some more! I’m so proud of myself for changing the negative channel in my head and pushing myself hard all the way through the finish chute! I was literally talking to my legs while running… “Come on legs, you can do this! You are light as feathers! Don’t quit on me now legs! Just one more mile! Just one more mile!” People around me probably thought I was going crazy…if they were even listening. While I’ve made some progress on becoming more fearless in different parts of my life, I still have a LOT more progress to make, but don’t we all?! I’m a continuous work in progress!
How was your month of April? What were your April highlights? What are you excited for?
The month of March was SO much better than February!! I wasn’t sick or injured at all! Whoop! Whoop! Here’s a look at what I’ve been up to…
My training was SO much more productive and focused than February! And that makes me happy! I had a swim time trial…my CSS (critical swim speed) increased 3 seconds per 100 yards! Hello small gains in the water! I had a FTP challenge on the bike this month, where I had an increase of 10 watts over my last challenge! Hello HUGE gains on the bike! I also finished the year with a 10K road race, where I came SO close to breaking my PR from 2008! The best part…I wasn’t even rested for this race, so I can only imagine what I could have done on rested legs! HUGE hugs to Coach Kelly, with Track Cat Fitness, for challenging me on so many levels, pushing me WAY out of my comfort zone, and making me #trackcatstrong this year!
Swim Totals: 14.1 miles
Bike Totals: 234 miles
Run Totals: 54.2 miles
Me Before You by Jojo Moyes is a very moving book. Louisa Clark is living a simple and comfortable life when she loses her job. She takes a much needed job working for Will Traynor who was in an accident and is now wheelchair bound. He is bossy, crabby, and used to being the center of the universe. Louisa’s life changes on so many levels throughout this amazing story.
How Bad Do You Want It: Motivation vs. Commitment by Carrie Cheadle gets you thinking about the differences between motivation and commitment. Do you have desire + drive to stay motivated? Are you so committed that you have determination + dedication? Do you feel like you HAVE to complete your workout or do you feel lucky that you GET to complete your workout? If you want more insight on how motivation + commitment can help you achieve your goals, this is a must read!
Do This Now: Mental Training Homework on Getting Unstuck by Carrie Cheadle is great if you are seeking change! Maybe you’re seeking change in your personal life. Maybe it is time to make a change professionally. Maybe you want change in your sport. What ever it is, now is the time to change! Now is the time to “Do Something Different!”
Conor Dwyer is an Olympic gold medalist who talks about how hard work in swimming has gotten him so much farther than someone with talent who doesn’t work hard. A hard worker definitely trumps someone who wastes their talent! So inspiring!
Turning 40! I’m super pumped about turning 40! I’ve heard this is one of the greatest decades of our lives and I’m excited to finally be here to experience it! I’m also super excited to be the youngest one in my age group as I race and push myself to new levels this year! 😉
Getting my Coeur Sports 2017 Team gear…This kit! This Team! I absolutely LOVE EVERYTHING Coeur Sports stands for! As a Coeur Sports ambassador, I am a beacon of the Coeur mission: to inspire + encourage other women, to welcome questions from women + other athletes of all abilities + backgrounds, to be a good sport…even if my race didn’t go as planned, have fun…even if in pain, during bad weather, or when my spirit unicorn doesn’t show up to guide my way, and to give a hi-5! If you see me or one of my sisters in one of these amazing kits this year, PLEASE come chat with us! We’d LOVE to give you a hi-5 (or even a hug), answer questions, and cheer you on! I’ll even share my spirit unicorn with you! Cheers to an amazing 2017 full of lots of #heartandcourage + chasing dreams!
My intention for 2017 is to become more fearless! So…how have I been doing with this? I feel like I was much more successful during January, but I’ve still made some progress on becoming more fearless in March. In my personal life, I have not had a drop of alcohol in 2017 = WIN! I am still working on facing those things that truly scare me, but this has required me to take baby steps because some of these things have a REALLY TIGHT hold on me. I am also really working on not letting others opinions of me bother me, but this is very challenging since it too has a TIGHT hold on me. How do you get those tight holds to let you go?!?! At work, we have started a new unit that I have never taught before thanks to our newly adopted standards. As a result, I am much less knowledgable than I am comfortable with. This has challenged me to be more #fearless at work, because I have had to openly admit that I often “don’t know” all of the answers. SCARY! I have made some BIG gains while training this month! This has caused me to have to stare fear in the face and stretch WAY out of my comfort zone! I also pushed myself HARD during my 10K road race…so hard that at about mile 4 self-doubt started to infiltrate my thoughts. How long can I keep pushing myself at this pace?! I’m feeling tired…what if the wheels fall off?! I can’t believe how hard this is…what if I work this hard and I don’t reach my goal?! I’m so proud of myself for changing the negative channel in my head and pushing myself hard all the way through the finish chute! While I’ve made some progress, I still have a LOT more progress to make, but don’t we all?! I’m a continuous work in progress!
How was your month of March? What were your March highlights? What are you excited for?
This month has been a COMPLETE whirlwind! It seems as though it has drug on and flown by all at the same time! How does that happen?!
9/11 marked our third trip around the Ironman Wisconsin race course and was the 5 year anniversary of my first Ironman…which was also Ironman Wisconsin! It was a fantastic day for racing…so fantastic that I had a 40+ minute PR on this course for the day! You can read more about my race here.
Post Ironman always means lots of “down time” and recovery. I think this is probably the best I’ve done at taking time off and doing NO exercise for nearly 2 full weeks…well, I did do an EASY hour on the trainer and we helped a friend move, but otherwise we’ve done no swimming, no running, and VERY little cycling and strength training. While my body will definitely appreciate the down time, my mind is going CRAZY without my daily dose of stress relief! Thankfully we are starting to see some easy recovery workouts in Training Peaks again and some stress relief is in sight!
At the beginning of September, I finished reading On Top of You Game: Mental Skills to Maximize Your Athletic Performance by Carrie Cheadle for the 2nd time. This book is a MUST read if you are an athlete wanting to perform at a higher level. It is full of great tools and has activities for you to do to help you achieve success! #feedtheathlete is something we can all be on board with!!
After Ironman Wisconsin, I picked up 17 Hours to Glory: Extraordinary Stories from the Heart of Triathlon by Mathias Miller, Mark Deterline, and Timothy Carlson. This book is great! Each chapter is about a different person’s journey to the Ironman finish line. Some individuals have crossed the finish line of multiple Ironman races, while others just a few. It is the perfect book to read just a chapter and set down, or read it from cover to cover!
Finding the “new normal” after an Ironman race is always a challenge! When we are used to having SBR (swim/bike/run) consume most of our “free time,” we are often at a loss for a few weeks after an Ironman. We have cleaned both of our vehicles (inside and out), we’ve cooked many meals to load our freezer, we’ve cleaned the house and the garage, we’ve reseeded part of our lawn that the city chewed up when redoing our street earlier this summer…we can’t seem to sit still, so lots of things are getting done that we’ve put off during peak training and racing.
How was your month of September? What where your highlights?
I am sad to report that training has been hit or miss throughout December. While I have had some good workouts, I have had more workouts show up as red in Training Peaks than green 😦
The best part…I have rekindled my relationship with my mat!! It has been amazing and I am so happy to be back on my mat!! Now to rekindle my relationship with my swim goggles, bike, and running shoes on a more regular basis 😉
I’ve said this before, but I’m going to say it again…Carrie Cheadle is an amazing mental skills coach! Her most recent blog post really helped me focus on dreaming big. It is time to break away from comfortable and familiar. It is time to spread my wings and soar like an eagle!
The Husband’s Secret by Liane Moriarty is about a wife who found a letter written to her from her husband. The letter was intended to be found and read if he had died, but she found it while her husband was still alive. The secret he shares with her in this letter is deep, dark and has the potential to destroy the life they have built together and the lives of others. It is a quick, easy read that I highly recommend!
Rising Strong by Brene Brown is a must read! We all have struggles that test our courage. As we wrestle with the stories that surround these struggles, we rise strong in the same way: “we reckon with our emotions and get curious about what we’re feeling; we rumble with our stories until we get to a place of truth; and we live this process, every day, until it becomes a practice and creates nothing short of a revolution in our lives. Rising strong after a fall is how we cultivate wholeheartedness.” This is the process that Brown guides us through to teach us about who we really are.
It was fun to spend time with family during the holidays!! Chatting with my sisters, playing with my nieces, eating lots of unnecessary comfort foods, and traveling all over northern and central Iowa as well as southern Minnesota was a whirlwind. There is nothing quite like family!
The first 10 days of December, I took part in the Rising Tide 10 Day Routines for Inevitable Success Challenge. It was AWESOME!! I am so grateful to Sonja for guiding me through this experience and helping me find a way to #believe in myself deep underneath the surface at the very core of my being! You can read about my experience here. I am currently going through the #RTTC10dayroutine again to build #fun into my training routine. I’ll share my post on the #fun factor when I complete that process.
I have been dreaming about the journeys I will go on, the struggles and joys I will encounter, the finish lines I will cross, and all that will make me a stronger person in 2016!! 2016 is going to be an amazing year and I am ready to soar like an eagle!!
Quote of the Week
“Yesterday is history, tomorrow is a mystery and today is a gift, that is way it is called the present.” ~Eleanor Roosevelt
How was your December? Any good reads lately? How do you get back on track when your train gets derailed?
Sonja at Rising Tide Triathlon Coaching provided a free 10 day challenge to kick off December. Routines for Inevitable Success has brought focus and meaning to my training and racing and I will be forever grateful to Sonja and the team of coaches at Rising Tide for their guidance and support!!
Day 1: Setting Intentions
As you probably guessed, day 1 was all about setting intentions. This is a part of the email I received from Sonja:
“Kecia, this is the dream big day…
What have you been wanting more of? What is lacking in your triathlon experience? What do you need a little magical boost of? Some fairy dust that bestows ______ on you? Think big, dream big, allow yourself to go there today, I give you permission. Don’t be shy with what you want!“
So, with Sonja’s permission and Carrie Cheadle’s guidance, I sat down and started the process of setting my intention. What was my big dream? That was easy. The harder question was “Why do I have this dream? I mean, why do I REALLY have this dream?” Here is what I found out…
Goal: To qualify for Ironman World Championships in Kona
Why 1: I want to overcome the fear of really pushing myself to my limits.
Why 2: I want to feel successful and in control.
Why 3: I want to feel worthy of such an amazing accomplishment and eliminate all self doubt throughout this journey.
Why 4: I want to truly believe deep underneath the surface at the very core of my being that I am amazing inside and out!
Whoa!! I talk about believing in myself, my abilities, and my training all the time. I visualize success. I incorporate positive self talk into my training and racing. I have mantras to keep me focused. I have reasons for why I am deserving of success. But do I really, REALLY, truly believe deep underneath the surface at the very core of my being?!?!?!?! I guess not as much as I thought I did. I have work to do and am thankful that Sonja is going to guide me in this process to develop the kind of belief in myself that I am truly craving to help me achieve my goals and reach my dreams!!
Day 2: Rally the Troops
Today was about my community. This is a part of the email I received from Sonja:
“Looking back on the intention you set yesterday, I want you to select 3 PEOPLE in your life that either:
~~~ Expect you to “show up” in racing or training with that Day 1 intention
~~~ Believe that you possess that Day 1 intention (even when you don’t think you do)
Now it’s time to get creative. My favorite part!!
I want you to think of 3 ACTIONS that incorporate one of these people into your routine.”
Coming up with 3 people who believe in me deep underneath the surface at the very core of my being was easy the easy part. I have MANY people in my community who believe in me and support my crazy dreams. But, Tonja (my #solesister), the Iron Hippie (my husband) and my dad are the 3 people I chose to focus on who believe in me deep at the core of my being. They are 3 of the many people I can lean on for support when I am struggling and need a pick me up. I decided to choose my #solesister for this part of the challenge. Why?
I know she will be overjoyed to help me.
She is a woman…a strong, brave, courageous, supportive, inspirational woman who knows what it is like to be a woman athlete.
I want more than anything for her to not only be a part of my training journey, but to also be there in person for my race day journey.
Coming up with the actions made me think a bit longer. Three actions that I came up with to incorporate Tonja into my routine:
A pep talk video to remind me to always believe in myself deep underneath the surface at the very core of my being, to get comfortable with the uncomfortable, and to #nevergiveup on my goals and dreams!
Text self confidence and belief quotes to me just because, when I need a pick me up, to help me get out the door to train, and in the days leading up to a big race.
Take my lucky charm with me (given to me by Tonja) on trainer rides, look at it before and after every workout, and continue to take it with me to all of my races.
Day 3: Functional Playlist
Today was about the tunes. Here is a part of the email I received from Sonja today:
“A functional playlist is a short list of 2-4 songs that gets you into a particular mood.
These aren’t necessarily your favorite songs of the moment, these songs tap you into your intention set on day one.
Function means that they serve a purpose, these songs are a step on the path to your intention…it’s a bit of a lifehack honestly!”
While I LOVE to listen to music, I don’t pay much attention to song titles and the artists who sing them. I just know a good song when I hear it and I can typically give you some of the lyrics to the song…although sometimes I have made up my own lyrics to the songs I like. What can I say…it has been known to happen 😉 To make it even more challenging, I was to come up with 2-4 tunes that help me #believe in myself deep underneath the surface at the very core of my being. Sooooo…my lack of knowledge for song titles and artists made this challenge take longer than it probably should have. A couple of songs came to mind immediately…”Perfect” by Pink and “Roar” by Katy Parry. “What Makes You Beautiful” by One Direction and “Soar” by Christina Aguilera took much longer to come up with, thanks to my lack of musical knowledge. The good news…I found the songs that help me #believe in myself and downloaded them so I don’t have to search any longer!! And without further adieu, I give you my “Believe Playlist”
Day 4: A Touch of Magic
Lucky charms and superstitions was the theme for today, and here is part of the email Sonja sent:
“If you already have a good luck charm or superstition that you use I want you to shine the microscope on it today and ask yourself:
What successful moment in your life it connects you to?
When was the first time you used it?
Where did that superstition come from?
Is it in line with your day 1 intention?
Is it in harmony or dissonance with what you are trying to create your routine around?”
I do have a lucky charm and a superstition, so the next step was to reflect on each of the questions above.
Lucky Charm: a stone from my #solesister that says, “In a world of ordinary mortals you are a wonder woman!”
Superstition: Take a shower before all of my “A” races
What successful moment in your life it connects you to?
Lucky Charm: This connects me to Tonja so she is with me on race day, even though she may not be there in person, she is with me in spirit.
Superstition: This connects me to great race experiences by washing away all bad race experiences from the past.
When was the first time you used it?
Lucky Charm: When Tonja gave it to me before my USAT Age Group National Championships in 2013
Superstition: At Ironman Wisconsin 2014 when I washed away my bad IMWI race experience from 2011.
Where did that lucky charm/superstition come from?
Lucky Charm: My stone came from Tonja, my #solesister
Superstition: This came from deciding to wash away my bad IMWI race experience from 2011 before starting my day at IMWI in 2014.
Is it in line with your day 1 intention?
Lucky Charm: Absolutely! This helps me get into the mindset that I am wonder woman 🙂
Superstition: Absolutely! It helps me #believe in myself, my abilities and my training more by washing away all negativity and starting the day clean, fresh and positive.
Is it in harmony or dissonance with what you are trying to create your routine around?
Lucky Charm: Harmony…this definitely ties in well with instilling more belief in myself
Superstition: Harmony…this definitely ties in well with instilling more belief in myself
Day 5: Meaningful Mantras
Mantras are “instruments of thought” and are derived from the root word man-, which means “to think” and the suffix -tra, which means “tools or instruments.” I have always had mantras for different parts of my training and racing experiences so I am pumped Sonja has us focusing on creating a mantra that ties us to our day 1 intention!! Here are a few words from Sonja:
“They take many different forms and you can really get creative here, but to help you out, here are some guidelines to follow when creating a mantra for your routine for inevitable success:
~~~ Connect to your intention, you may even start with your intention and work from there
~~~ Use funky creative words. You can even use words that aren’t words, like funner, funning, relaxer, chillax, diggity, fliggity, radtastic
“Lighter, Softer, Faster, Relaxer” from Tara Anderson, a Boulder runner
~~~ Keep it short, and memorable
~~~ Stay positive, and whatever you do, don’t vocalize what you don’t want. Phrases like “No pain, no gain”, “clear your mind of can’t” or “pain is weakness leaving the body” highlight the feelings you don’t want. Don’t fall into this trap!
~~~ Use action words, especially ones that connect you to what it feels like to be at your best like: climb, fly, lead, leap, push, pull
~~~ Three words with the same first letter work really well, Bold, Brave, Boss, as do words with the same ending, Lighter, Faster, Stronger
When in doubt, think about what you will desperately need to hear when you are in a state that is NOT your day 1 intention. What will resonate deeply?“
My intention is to #believe in myself deep underneath the surface at the very core of my being, but I also want to achieve big dreams. Sooooo…with inspiration from a friend who recently gifted this bracelet to me, I have decided to combine my intention with my want to create my meaningful mantra.
Day 6: Productive Pep Talk
I talk to myself all the time while training and racing, constantly encouraging myself to keep pushing hard, while trying to change my mindset from the negative to the positive. Sonja’s email made creating a pep talk easy because she scripted what we should write to create a productive pep talk.
“Grab a sheet of paper and follow along:
WRITE DOWN: “Hi__________”
—>> then add your name, your nickname, what your friends call you, what you wish your friends called you… make it personal!
WRITE DOWN: “I know you feel __________”
—>> then add what the opposite of your Day 1 intention is, you know, that feeling of uug, or poor me, or I just want to sit on the couch, that one!
WRITE DOWN: “Your goal is to __________”
—>> now write a little about your intention and what you hope it brings you
WRITE DOWN: “and in order to do that you might have to __________”
—>> now write down all the things you need to do that you don’t want to, especially when you are feeling the opposite or you intention.
WRITE DOWN: “You have__________”
—>> write as many support structures as you can think of
WRITE DOWN: “and here’s what you have to gain__________”
—>> then add all you have to gain from racing/training/being in sync with your Day 1 intention
WRITE DOWN: “__________, I know you can do this”
—>> Add back in your name, your nickname, what your friends call you, what you wish your friends called you.”
So, I set to work and here is what I created for my productive pep talk:
Day 7: Wake Up That Brain
After yesterday’s more challenging task, today’s task was designed to be much simpler 🙂 Here is a snippet from Sonja’s email:
“Do you know which brain exercise to use for your intention?
Victory and Power Posing: Use this for intentions that require you to be strong, be tough, get through something challenging.
Belief in Self
Jumping off Things…
Now that you know which one, it’s time to practice, to TRAIN! 3×30 seconds will do! See, I promised it was QUICK!”
Day 8: Tapping into your Senses
Wow! This was one of the toughest days of the challenge yet. Did you know that sweet foods lead to satisfaction and salty foods lead to a zest for life?!?!?! Me neither!! Sonja had us tap into our senses, specifically taste and smell for today’s challenge.
“Smells and Tastes can connect us to a time, a place, a memory, a feeling or an emotion.
If you need to go from a low energetic state to a high energy state:
caffeine, or bright smells work well
If you need to go from a high energy state to a calmer more introspective place:
tea, or floral scents are the way to go.
Think of foods or smells that link back to successful moments, memories, or instances in your life.
You are a PRO at connecting your challenge to you intention by now, use your creativity and incorporate something that’s going to tap you into either the success you are after, or the emotion you hope to feel.”
I had lots of options to choose from…but the one that REALLY stood out to me that screamed #believe was…
Day 9: Pulling Things Together
The time is here to pull all of our hard work together and get our routine for inevitable success dialed in!! Here is an excerpt from Sonja’s email:
“Start off with reviewing your last 7 days of completed challenge exercises. Sit with each of them for about 30 seconds and make a mental note of your favorites.
NOW – Select 4-5 of the challenge days that either:
feel the most fun
feel easy and effortless
~~~ Remember, if you are using MOJO, or willpower you are headed in the WRONG direction. Back up the truck, put it in reverse, and look for EASY and/or FUN.
Some of your challenge days might need a little beefing up, or tweaking so that they start to come together in the right way. That watermelon you used for the senses might turn into a secret stash of watermelon Jolly Ranchers.
NEXT – think about FLOW.
~~~ I highly urge you start with either your playlist, or your senses. Those are both great for kicking off a routine. What task would keep it mojo free? For me, starting a playlist takes no mojo, but going downstairs and getting a handful of Espresso Beans does. Think easy!
~~~ Imagine the state you will be in when you are starting this routine….you are in a place of lack, a state that is the opposite of your Day 1 intention. Think of how you are going to use these challenges to build momentum into your Intention.
~~~ End with your brain warm up exercise. That is going to be money and the final straw to launch you into your Day 1 intention.”
So, I launched into it and this is what I came up with for the first draft of my personalized routine:
Day 10: Celebrate!!
I’m sad to see this challenge come to completion! It has been so much fun and very beneficial! This last day is all about putting it all together and celebrating! Sonja said:
“TODAY we put your SFD into practice!
Can you see what a game changer this can be for you? Did you get excited just knowing you have a tool in your toolbox that you can pull out anytime to put yourself in the energy state that yields SUCCESS? I got excited for you!
Give that ritual a test drive today, see what needs tweaking! What took mojo to incorporate…ditch that…what was the most fun part? Add MORE of that!
If you didn’t put together your routine yesterday, TODAY is that DAY! Like I said, when in doubt, slap your 5 favorite challenges on a piece of paper and call it good. It’s not about perfection, you have already done the heavy lifting. THEY ALL WORK!
It can be so easy to think that we have learned enough by doing 90%. I see this as a triathlon coach constantly. Athletes often stop just short of completion, when usually, that last 5% is literally easy as cake.
The moment you’re ready to quit, is usually the moment right before the miracle happens! Don’t give up!
At rising Tide Triathlon coaching, we ask our athletes to reach out if they are frustrated, confused, or STUCK, and I want you to do the same.”
With last week’s illness, my workout train got derailed. This week has been busy at work and have lacked the motivation to get my train moving forward. This was just the ticket I needed to get moving again and work hard to achieve my dreams!! I followed the first draft of my routine and found myself climbing tough hills for 21 minutes straight and loving it!!
Rising Tide is currently accepting new athletes for the 2016 season, so now is the time to capitalize and have a great coaching team support your journey!!
This 10 day challenge was absolutely amazing and so much fun!! If you missed out on the opportunity to participate in it, I would highly recommend you do it on your own time 😉 I think I’m going to go through this process for a couple of different aspects of both training and racing so I am completely set up for success!! Heck…why stop there?!?! I can use it to fit other areas of my life as well…work, family, home…and you can too 🙂
Thank you Sonja and Rising Tide Triathlon Coaching for this AWESOME and FUN opportunity to grow and learn!! xoxo
November was the month of #bikeblocktraining and cycling 7 times throughout the week really paid off. My FTP test was on Thanksgiving morning and found that #hardworkpaysoff 🙂 My previous FTP test was on October 5 where my normalized power was 160 watts for my 20 minute TT. In just under 8 weeks, my new FTP test results on November 26 produced a normalized power of 176 watts for my 20 minute TT. I’ll take the 16 watt improvement! The best part?!?!?!?! This is only 1 watt less than my FTP test during peak training before Ironman Boulder. I am pumped for what this might mean for the 2016 season!!
I have also been able to start running again just this last week. While I am not running long or far, I am running without pain. 🙂
Carrie Cheadle is an amazing mental skills coach. Her book On Top of Your Game helped me mentally prepare for Ironman Boulder. Her most recent blog post really hit home with me!! Setting a goal and figuring out why the goal is important…not the surface why, but the “why deep underneath the surface at your very core” can help keep you motivated and focused on what is really important to you.
2016!!! I have spent time reflecting on my 2015 racing calendar and results. This has helped me develop S.M.A.R.T. goals for 2016 (more on these in a later post). I am so excited to work hard to achieve my dreams!!
I believe 2016 is going to be an epic year!! I have been chosen to be part of the Coeur Sports 2016 Ambassador Team. I ABSOLUTELY love these women!! They are inspirational, motivational, enCOEURaging, supportive and full of #heartandcourage 🙂
Family and friends! My heart and soul were full this Thanksgiving as I was surrounded by so much love! #friendsgiving
Friday morning after our #friendsgiving I woke up with a sore throat and am headed to the doctor today. While I am not a fan of being sick, I am #grateful that it is the offseason and I am not sick during peak training and race season!!
Quote of the week
“Some people want it to happen, some wish it would happen, others make it happen.” ~Michael Jordan
How was your month of November? How was your Thanksgiving?