What’s Up?! – December 2018

How is it possible that 2018 is in the rearview mirror?! December was a fun month full of great things!! Here is a small snapshot of what I was up to last month!!

Training:

SURPRISE!! Coach Kelly called as I was heading out the door to swim and told me to do a swim test instead of my scheduled swim. Adapt on the fly + handle the pressure!! This is the excitement when you do better than expected on your swim test!!
Ending 2018 on a HIGH note!! A HUGE increase in my FTP means I’m going to GET to work even harder in 2019!! (44 watt increase on my FTP)
Somedays you just keep climbing even when staring a challenge in the face!! The view from the top is ALWAYS worth the struggle!!

Swim: 22,600 yards (12.84 miles)
Bike: 221 miles
Run: 56.5 miles
Monthly Totals: 39 hours & 14 minutes

Listening to:

The Coeur Sports EarSplitz Podcast featured Lesley Paterson and Simon Marshall this month as they talk about Mindset!! This was SO insightful on how we can let our mind drive us or derail us…it is our choice!! “We chat with Lesley Paterson and Simon Marshall about mindset in depth. How do we find ways to defeat ourselves? How can we achieve what we didn’t think was possible? Learn how you can use acting techniques to make things work even when they shouldn’t. BTW, did we mention Lesley is this year’s Xterra World Champion? And Simon is a PhD in psychology?”

KonaKamps featured Mindy Nicolet who won the W40-44 age group at Ironman Louisville. It was fun to hear her perspective as I also raced this event and am in the same age group. I was glad to know that the conditions were challenging even for the winners.

KonaKamps also featured Sanna Duvebrant who won the W50-54 age group at Ironman Louisville. Since she is from Sweden and used to colder weather, it was good to get her perspective on the race day conditions and know that they really were as bad as I thought!!

Reading:

Finding Ultra: Rejecting Middle Age, Becoming one of the World’s Fittest Men, and Discovering Myself by Rich Roll is a must read!! “On the night before he was to turn forty, Rich Roll experienced a chilling glimpse of his future. Nearly fifty pounds overweight and unable to climb the stairs without stopping, he could see where his current sedentary life was taking him—and he woke up.” Following Rich’s journey was inspiring, uplifting, and fun!! Not only what he has accomplished to live life to the fullest, but the message he sends.

“Let go of the end game. Instead, fall in love with the process. Show up for life with enthusiasm and commitment. Connect with spirit. Wrestle with your soul and relish every hardship. Along the way, be patient. Go gently. And give freely of yourself to others. Because it’s the journey that truly gives your path meaning. And there truly is no destination.”

Enjoying:

Time with family, friends, and Coeur Sports sisters!! So much love to fill my hear this time of year!!

My colleagues are so much fun!!
Framily!! ❤
Family! ❤
Grateful to get to spend time with my Coeur Sports sister, Courtney!! Can’t wait for her and her husband to return so we can spend more time together!!

Excited for:

2019!! Each year is a new chapter in my journey of life and I’m super excited to see what 2019 has in store for me!! Who else is excited + ready for 2019?!

Grateful for:

So grateful to Breakthrough Nutrition for helping me sleep at night!!
We don’t always wear spandex!! 🙂
Basil decided to interrupt us while we were dancing to Christmas music in the kitchen.
Great Grandma Annie delivers again!
Making gingerbread houses with my favorite little people!!
Making gingerbread houses with my favorite people!!
Thank you to Ruth for our new doggie Coeur gear!!
My Coeur Sports sister, Courtney, came to Iowa for the holidays!! So blessed to get to swim with her + enjoy lunch together!!
Christmas with my fave!!
Getting to watch and play ball with Stella!! ❤

How was your month of December?! What were you grateful for last month?! What are you excited about?!

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My 2018 Year in Review via Photos

January:

Celebrating the end of the #batcapchallenge on January 1!
Ironman Louisville registration for 2018!!
Supporting our twin nieces at their swim meet!
My fave and me at home home!!
Me and my fave listening to Damon Dotson!
Snowshoeing adventures with my fam!
Lunch with the twins at school!
Winter wonderland with Dad + my fave!
Catching up with my “baby brother” at home home!

February:

My longest run since November and with this amazing sunset!
Snowshoe adventures!
Enjoying life with my fave!

March:

The biggest birthday card I’ve ever received! Thank you Laylah!
Warm enough for shorts?! YES!! Soaking up the sun + vitamin D!!
Making an effort, not an excuse!
Rolling out of 40 and into 41 like “Hell yeah! 40 was an amazing year! Cheers to an even better 41!”
Birthday lunch date with my #solesister
We are SO grateful to have SBR Sports, Inc. in our tribe this year! #sbrambassador
These two girls fill my heart with love and joy every day!
The girls playing tug of war with a stick in the yard while we shovel.
Listening to your gut instead of your heart can be REALLY tough! I’m confident we made the right decision not to race the 10K road race this morning and swim instead.
These kids! They engineered some very creative ways to protect their eggs when they dropped them from the balcony at school! #eggdrop

April:

3 of my favorite little bunnies!
Our winter playground is officially closed for the summer
I’m so grateful to have this amazing man by my side in life!
I’m so grateful for my #solesister!
Traci, we love you! So grateful to have amazing friends at work!
First race of 2018 is in the books! My finish time wasn’t as good as I’d hoped for, but it was better than I expected! #happygirl #mydrakerelays
CPR/AED recertification day!
SO happy to have this pretty lady back home in Iowa! #lovemyneighbor
Checking my gait while picking up our new Garmins! #therunnersflat
New Garmin day! #therunnersflat
Being filmed for a video being put together for Team Chiropractic…what does it take to be an Ironman??? Many hours staring at the same walls! Desire, focus, determination, grit, tenacity, belief in yourself…just to name a few!

May:

Dance like no one is watching when you’re happy! So grateful there are only 35 days (including weekends) until summer break!
“Right now” was pure joy for 50 miles on two wheels with my fave! I was so happy to be outside riding on the open roads!
10 mile heat acclimation run. “Right now” helped me chase my dreams!
A clean bike is a FAST bike!! Mojo is clean and ready to race!!
So grateful + blessed to be part of this amazing Coeur Sports team! I have met so many incredible women in sport and am excited to meet even more!! #TeamCoeur2018 #CourageTeam18
So grateful to have my fave as Sherpa/spectator extraordinaire jimmy rigging Mojo for me!!
Pre-race with my Coeur Sports sister, Michelle!
Race done!
Thanks Kyle (with Kyle’s Bikes) for fixing up Mojo and making everything right again!! #bestbikemechanic
Mojo always looks so beautiful against the farmland!!
So grateful my sister-in-law came to visit briefly!
Cheering on my fave at the Hickory Grove Triathlon was so much fun!! Cold, but fun!!
50 mile ride + 1 mile run with my fave on this HOT + STILL day is done!! It wasn’t pretty, but it is done!!
An open water swim with my fave!!

June:

Grateful to have these two monkeys come and visit us this weekend! Life is always better with ice cream!!
Love these girls!! Grateful I got to spend some time with them at the outdoor aquatic center!!
Incredibly grateful to live in a neighborhood that comes together to help each other out. Our neighbor’s tree was struck by lightening during a storm and everyone came together to help clean it up.
Turning social friends into real friends!! So grateful to meet Beth in person!!
Pre-race swim…check
So grateful I got to meet up with Steena my Coeur Sports teammate!! Love this pretty, badass lady!!
So grateful to have my fave by my side and help make decisions that are right for us…this was the weather on race morning.
I did a thang! The #flatlander703 was the TOUGHEST race I’ve ever done, but I learned A LOT and got 1st place overall!! Thanks to my fave for the award ceremony and making me feel special!!
Volunteer lead bikes at the Hope Run Saturday morning! #givingback
42 solo miles on a VERY HOT + HUMID day!!
Cheering + spectating at the Ames Velo crit races…so much fun!! #crazyfastriders
Incredibly grateful that my fave walked away from a solo bicycle accident with lots of road rash and NO head injury (despite cracking his helmet in 2 places). Wear your helmet people!! It saves lives!!
So grateful for cooler temps so this bubble gum tongue could run 10 miles with me this morning! #basillovesrunning
Grateful to get the opportunity to be the lead bike for the local 5K + 10K race to support Iowa Able!! My fave directed traffic at the finish area!!
FINALLY nailing goal watts on an outdoor ride!!!
Double run day!! I pleasantly surprised myself today!!

July:

New Roka Sports wetsuit day!! So grateful to have Roka support this crazy journey and help us #findfaster!!
Doesn’t everyone play in the water after they swim?!?!
Running into the weekend with my fave by my side!! Today marks 100 days until #IMLou!! So grateful for the nice summer weather during my 10 miles of pace work this morning!!
So grateful to have Coach Kelly in my village, helping me get stronger, believing in me (even when I don’t always believe in myself), and guiding my ship through unchartered waters.
Some days you’re the tugboat and some days you’re the mermaid, but any day I GET to swim with the sun on my back is a good day!!
So grateful for my friend Robin!! She surprised me with the perfect motivational gift from Hawaii…an #IMWC visor (don’t worry…it doesn’t say finisher or have a date on it…she made sure of that)!! Thank you!! Thank you!! Thank you!!
“Surprise yourself every day with your own courage.” ~Denholm Elliott
Today was a soggy, gross run, but I surprised myself and ran faster than it felt!!
So grateful that I got to spend the morning with my colleague at the Accel Triathlon cheering on my fave and friends!!
Love these peeps!! So grateful to have them in my life!!
My happy place!! Life on two wheels!!
Diving into race week!! #IMOhio70point3 is this coming Sunday!!
So grateful for Kyle at Kyle’s Bikes!! His race day blessing means Mojo is ready to roll!!
Today we broke up 7.5 hours of driving with a little #swimlove in a new city!!
My Coeur runneth over!! I got to meet some of the most inspirational, determined, loving ladies today!! #happycoeur
These three ladies hold a special place in my heart!!
The #sub6orbust is no longer a dream!! Today I turned it into a reality thanks to Steena who ran with me!! This lady is such a strong, positive badass and I’m blessed and grateful to have had her by my side today!!
Our Air BNB hosts were spectacular!! I’m so grateful for their hospitality, openness, and friendship!!
I’m riding cloud nine after setting a PR at Ironman Ohio 70.3 and finally breaking 6 hours, but I’m not sure it would have happened without Steena by my side. This girl is the definition of #heartandcourage and I’m so grateful for her!! Her strength, positivity, selflessness, and uplifting spirit are just a few of the wonderful things about her!! Thank you Steena for all you did to help me achieve my dream!! Love you girl!! “PRs are better with friends!!”
So grateful to have Steena by my side as I broke 6 hours, crushed goals, and achieved dreams at Ironman Ohio 70.3!! Thank you Steena for being such a strong, motivating, awesome BADASS!!

August:

Grateful that Kim showed up for my Women’s only triathlon clinic. Since she was the only one to show up, she got 2 hours of one-on-one attention and lots of gifts!! 🙂
Only in Iowa does your neighbor walk goats on leash down the sidewalk. The goats allowed Basil and My to smell them and try to play with them. When one goat “talked” to Basil, Basil didn’t have a clue what that noise was or what to do.
Celebrating with Dad back at home home!
Snow cones with the twins!! Yummy!!
These animals have keys to my heart!
So grateful that I got to stay with my college friend, Christina, and her girl, Gracie, in Madison at my solo training camp!
Hard work pays off!! Thanks to my #sub6orbust buddy Steena for pulling me up ALL. THE. HILLS On 2 loops of the #IMWI bike course!!
Making fitness + pushing myself in Madison on the #IMWI bike course!
Grateful to spend the afternoon at the state fair with these fun peeps listening to Brett Eldredge live in concert!
Finding the sunshine among the storms during my long run!
After riding the struggle bus in the pool Saturday morning, I got to ride 71.9 miles. This is where I started to transition from a passenger on the struggle bus to the captain…I’m not in full control of the bus just yet, but I’m getting closer!!
Grateful to have these two motivate me for some #sundayrunday hill repeats!!
Hanging with some colleagues…back to work!
Morning hill repeats with Basil!! Basil got compliments on her glow-in-the-dark collar this morning. Sad we are losing daylight, but grateful for the cooler temps so my running buddy can join me!!
Today was my 15th first day of teaching!!
Happy Friday!! Running in the mist with Robin was a great way to start the day!!
90 miles of #bikelove and chasing Anne for 55 of those miles on a very hot + humid day = DONE!!
#sundayrunday was 16 soggy + gross miles thanks to the 72*F dew point!! Thanks for running 5 of those miles with me Robin!!

September:

So grateful to have nailed my swim with PR swim splits!!
Basil turned 6 years old on Monday…I love these two SO MUCH!!
Riding 5 hours on the trainer staring at Lake Monona…I so wanted to be on the IMWI bike course, but my gut told me not to and I listened to it.
45 minute run off the bike…so fun to run into (literally) a social media friend and turn him into a real friend!!
All of these amazing volunteers helped us keep T1 in check on IMWI race morning. I’m so grateful for their help!!
Playing pack mule for friends racing!! So glad we were able to get their gear, take it to their car, and help them out!! Congrats to both Steena and John on stellar IMWI races!!
Congratulations to my fave!! He finished his last long run (22 miles) before the Twin Cities Marathon in 3 weeks!! Meanwhile, I was still riding on the trainer…5 hours in the books!!
The sunrise on my 18 mile long run was magnificent!! Grateful!!
Starting Friday off right…with my fave by my side for some morning miles!!
Knocking out the workouts one at a time!
V is for victory!! I nailed my swim session with my second 1200 yard split being 4 sec/100 yards faster than my first 1200 yard split!!
8 morning miles with Basil (2 of those with my fave too)!! #basillovesrunning
+ 9 afternoon miles = 17 strong miles Wednesday!!
Playing around in the pool after putting in some work!!
Thank you Kyle for putting a new chain on Mojo and giving her your race day blessing!!
Grateful for the OneBrainWellness Self Defense clinic to learn how to defend myself against an attacker!!
After crushing my 90 minute run/1 hour bike intervals/1 hour run back to back to back Sunday, the hay is in the barn!! I’m #IMLou race ready!! It’s time to TAPER!! (Run #2)

October:

While swimming today, there was a seahorse on the bottom of the pool in my lane. Was this a sign?! I believe it was!! The seahorse is considered to be a symbol of strength and power. Just what I needed today!!
So grateful to have this crazy group of colleagues to work with!!
Cycling around the Twin Cities on my cross bike chasing down my fave!! No idea how many miles I logged, but it was fun and challenging to stay ahead of him!!
So grateful to briefly chat with Elaina at mile 26 of the Twin Cities Marathon!!
SO FREAKING PROUD of my FAVE!! HE CRUSHED IT!! Setting a new PR in a time of 3:33:05 at the Twin Cities Marathon!! 🙂
So grateful to briefly chat with my Coeur Sports teammate Kendra (and meet little Ralphie <3) at mile 8.5 of the Twin Cities Marathon!!
Running with my fave by Churchill Downs after spending hours in the car to get to Louisville!!
Getting to meet up with a few of my Coeur Sports teammates was so much fun!! This team of uplifting, encouraging, supportive women is where it’s at!!
Swinging in the sunshine with my fave on Saturday…the calm before the storm (quite literally)!!
Grateful that my Dad came to cheer me on at Ironman Louisville!!
These two!! I’m so grateful for my fave and sis who kept me going strong all day long!!
This sums up my Ironman Louisville race day…cold + wet + windy + challenging + strong = success!!
My cheer squad on the second loop!! Tim, Abbie, and Dad (left to right) chasing me up the hill into LaGrange! I made it back to them!
I’m so proud to be crossing the finish line of Ironman #6!!
Giving Dad and Abbie a “high five” in the finish chute with my run bottle in hand! Love you both!
LOVE these two smiling faces!!
Grateful to get to see my cousin and cheer on his wife at the Des Moines Marathon!!
Grateful for my colleagues!! The #7dwarfs #spookoutdrugs during Red Ribbon Week at school!!
Happy Halloween from some 8th grade teachers!! #decadestheme

November:

Playing in the leaves after some #runlove with Basil!!
The Coeur Sports 2019 ambassador team…I’m SO grateful to be representing the BEST brand + sisterhood in endurance sport!!
Spending more time on the bike with my fave now that we are training for the same races in 2019!!
Grateful to have my mother-in-law visit us!!
When you FINALLY see yourself on the side of the city bus when it is stopped!!
So thankful to have this guy by my side in life!!
So grateful that I got to meet up with framily over Thanksgiving break!!

December:

SURPRISE!! Coach Kelly called as I was heading out the door to swim and told me to do a swim test instead of my scheduled swim. Adapt on the fly + handle the pressure!! This is the excitement when you do better than expected on your swim test!!
Basil decided to interrupt us while we were dancing to Christmas music in the kitchen.
So grateful to Breakthrough Nutrition for helping me sleep at night!!
I would chase this girl anywhere!!
Playtime in the pool!!
FTP progress…not where I once was, but getting closer 🙂
I had the swim of my life!! Everything just clicked and I felt amazing!!
We don’t always wear spandex!! 🙂
My colleagues!!
Framily!! ❤
Family! ❤
Sisters! ❤
Great Grandma Annie delivers again!
Making gingerbread houses with my favorite little people!!
Making gingerbread houses with my favorite people!!
Thank you to Ruth for our new doggie Coeur gear!!
My Coeur Sports sister, Courtney, came to Iowa for the holidays!! So blessed to get to swim with her + enjoy lunch together!!
Grateful to get to spend time with Courtney!! Can’t wait for her and her husband to return so we can spend more time together!!
Christmas with my fave!!
Ending 2018 on a HIGH note!! A HUGE increase in my FTP means I’m going to GET to work even harder in 2019!! (44 watt increase on my FTP)
Happy New Year’s!! Bring on 2019!!

The Best of 2018

I love looking back and thinking about all of the amazing things that I’ve accomplished and all of the challenges I’ve overcome! 2018 was full of challenges, accomplishments, and FUN!! I’ve reflected for the last 5 years and now it’s time to reflect on 2018! You can look back at my previous posts if you’d like: Best of 2013, the Best of 2014, the Best of 2015, the Best of 2016, and the Best of 2017. Now its time to reminisce my faves from 2018! 🙂

Best race experience?

Ironman Ohio 70.3 was hands down my FAVORITE race this year!! I not only accomplished my #sub6orbust goal, but got to meet and race with so many of my Coeur Sports sisters + cross the finish with Steena!! It was truly one of the best race experiences I’ve ever had!! #blessed

My Coeur runneth over!! I got to meet some of the most inspirational, determined, loving ladies today!! #happycoeur Photo Credit: my fave
So grateful to have Steena by my side as I broke 6 hours, crushed goals, and achieved dreams at Ironman Ohio 70.3!! Thank you Steena for being such a strong, motivating, awesome BADASS!! Photo credit: FinisherPix

Best run?

Running with Steena at Ironman Ohio 70.3!! She ran stride for stride with me, pushing me to a 70.3 PR!! #sub6orbust

The #sub6orbust is no longer a dream!! Today I turned it into a reality thanks to Steena who ran with me!! This lady is such a strong, positive badass and I’m blessed and grateful to have had her by my side today!! Photo Credit: Danielle Worthington

Best bike?

For me, the ride that stands out the most this year is the one I learned the most from…my first 5 hour trainer ride. It was a VERY tough day for me! Physically I was pushing higher watts for longer durations than I ever had before. Mentally, I WANTED to be riding out on the open roads around the amazing #IMWI bike course, but a gut check put me on the trainer instead. In this process, I learned SO much about how STRONG I truly am both mentally and physically and what I can do when staring adversity in the face! Thanks to Ruth for keeping me going when the meltdown started! ❤

5 hours on the trainer pushed me to a whole new level…physically and mentally.

Best swim?

The first time I went sub 1:30/100 yards in the pool was this year!! While I have seen a sub 1:30/100 yards a few times since then, it has not happened often, but I’m THRILLED every time it does!!

My first 100 yard swim time that is sub 1:30!! #hardworkpaysoff

Best mental focus?

HANDS DOWN…Ironman Louisville!! What a day!! What a race!! I had to dig mentally into places I didn’t even know I had in me!! I was thrown challenge after challenge throughout the day; from Mother Nature providing us with MUCH LESS than ideal weather, to the race directors changing up the swim course 5 minutes before the race was set to start, to the traffic on the bike course that forced me to come to a complete stop (more than once) so I wouldn’t rear end the vehicle in front of me (with wet breaks I might add), to my body when my back cramped up on the run, and others I’m sure I’ve forgotten (or maybe blocked from my memory). Through all of these challenges, I fought the fight and won!! I remained focused throughout the day, stayed strong, and crossed the finish line with complete exhaustion and a smile on my face!!

This sums up my Ironman Louisville race day…cold + wet + windy + challenging + strong = success!! Photo credit: FinisherPix

Best training weekend?

My solo training weekend in Madison, Wisconsin!! I got to spend time on 2 wheels with Steena, I got to push myself out of my comfort zone, and I got to enjoy ALL. OF. THE. HILLS. on a course I LOVE!!

Hard work pays off!! Thanks to my #sub6orbust buddy Steena for pulling me up ALL. THE. HILLS On 2 loops of the #IMWI bike course!! Photo credit: GoPro 🙂

Best training compass?

Coach Kelly with Ever Racing has kept me grounded this year. There have been times this year when I overlooked my successes because I was consumed by the immediate feelings instead of the big picture. Thankfully Coach Kelly called me out on my SH!T and redirected my focus!! I would not be where I am today without her structure, focus, guidance, feedback, support, accountability, motivation + so much more! She has helped me to become a better, #everstrong athlete and person every day! I am forever grateful to her and so glad we have a strong relationship built on communication and trust!! I am excited to see how far we go in 2019!!

Best enCOEURaging moment?

Getting this text message from my sister after Ironman Louisville completely melted my heart!! I am SO excited that my 10 year old niece wants to do an Ironman with me one day in the future!! You never know who you are inspiring!!

Best nutritional find?

Infinit Nutrition has been a game changer for me this year!! Ironman Louisville was my first Ironman race that I did not bonk, have GI issues, or end up in the med tent with hyponatremia or dehydration. With 6 Ironman finish lines under my belt, I think I MAY have finally dialed in my race day nutrition!! 🙂

Best new gear?

My Normatec Recovery boots are da bomb diggity!! They have helped me recover from intense training + provided Basil with an inflatable pillow 😉 We are both in love with them and use them often!!

“I love my inflatable pillow Mama” ~Basil
So grateful for Normatec! #recoveryisimportant

Best supportive role?

Chasing my fave around while he ran the Twin Cities Marathon the week before I raced Ironman Louisville. I am SO PROUD of the hard work, dedication, perseverance, and PR race that he put up!! High five (or ten) to my fave!!

SO FREAKING PROUD of my FAVE!! HE CRUSHED IT!! Setting a new PR in a time of 3:33:05 at the Twin Cities Marathon!! 🙂

Best way to stay healthy?

Obviously eating healthy + sleep are super important, but to help me get a better understanding of how I can recover smarter, I decided to monitor my blood work with the help of Inside Tracker. I have learned so much about different biomarkers + how they can impact my training, recovery, sleep, etc. Knowledge is power!!

#blooddontlie

Best piece of racing advice you received?

I know this has been my best piece of racing advice for a few years, but that is because I have not found anything better to remind me of my race day “job” and what I need to do to achieve success. Race day can be a mixed bag (hello Ironman Louisville), but this advice works no matter what the conditions and the day bring:

“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”

IMG_3610

Most inspirational athlete?

There are so many that I can’t pick just one! Everyone is on their own, unique journey and I am inspired by them all. 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 friends who did their first triathlon this year. By people who have survived an accident and are still training + racing. 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 too many people who inspire me to pick just one!

Best support crew?

Hands down…Tim, Dad and my sister, Abbie! These three pushed me through during some VERY challenging times at Ironman Louisville. They were up EARLY on race morning to help me get to transition. They were patient with the process of all of the race morning shenanigans…even in the cold + rain + wind. They were in all of the right places at all of the right times during the race encouraging me (and SO many others) to keep moving forward when it would have been SO. MUCH. EASIER to throw in the towel and call it a day. Tim got all of my race gear while I was out on the run to save time. They cheered, photographed, and spread love to me 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 all so much! I couldn’t have gotten to this finish line without your unwavering encouragement and support!!

My cheer squad on the second loop!! Tim, Abbie, and Dad (left to right) chasing me up the hill into LaGrange! I made it back to them!

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

Strong, courage, believe, fun!!

Tell me about your 2018 year!! What are your “bests” from 2018?!

What’s Up?! – November 2018

How is it possible that we are less than one month away from 2019?! I think time moves faster the older I get, but I must say that November was the LONGEST month I’ve had in quite some time! Here is a small snapshot of what I was up to last month!!

Training:

Putting in the work with my fave by my side!!
Spending more time on the bike with my fave now that we are training for the same races in 2019!!
Running on the golf course now that it is closed for winter!!

Swim: 17,400 yards (9.89 miles)
Bike: 139 miles
Run: 44.9 miles
Monthly Totals: 31 hours & 3 minutes

Dreaming of:

A white Christmas!! I want SNOW!! I love to go out and play in the snow, but sadly we have none…not even one measly flake. Mother Nature has blessed many other locations around us with snow, but none here. I’m ready for lots of snow so I can go snowshoeing with the family, run through the fresh stuff and be the first one to leave tracks, and go sledding with my nieces at Christmas!! Let it snow, let it snow, let it snow!!

Listening to:

Michelle Bandur is not only an AMAZING friend and Coeur Sports sister, but she is a PHENOMENAL person! Listen to her story about how she turned a dollar into a triathlon club for young girls in her community. I guarantee…you won’t be disappointed!!

Ellen Wexler is also an AMAZING friend and Coeur Sports sister!! This woman is so inspirational, determined, and full of grit + tenacity!! You definitely are going to want to listen to her story!! She has overcome many obstacles in her path to find happiness + joy!! #fuckcancer!!

Planning for:

2019!! I am SUPER excited to chase some BIG GOALS in 2019!! Thanks to the help of Coach Kelly, we have a plan in place to help me achieve my goals. I’m so grateful to have her as my compass pointing me in the “right direction” as I continue on the yellow (or blue if I’m in the pool) brick road toward my dreams in endurance sport!!

Grateful for:

The Coeur Sports 2019 ambassador team…I’m SO grateful to be representing the BEST brand + sisterhood in endurance sport!!
Grateful to have my mother-in-law visit us!!
When you FINALLY see yourself on the side of the city bus when it is stopped!!
So thankful to have this guy by my side in life!!
So grateful that we got to meet up with framily over Thanksgiving break!!

How was your month of November?! What were you grateful for last month?! 

#heartandcourage in 2019

If you follow me on social media, you’ll know that I have been accepted back as an ambassador for the 2019 Coeur Sports team. I am SUPER excited to represent the most amazing brand for my 5th year in 2019!!

It is more than the gear…it is the brand!! Coeur Sports has set a standard for their ambassadors and hopefully for women wearing their gear. Here are some of the key things that they represent that truly resonate with me:

  1. Positive + Kind…you can’t go wrong when you shower the world with positivity and kindness!!
  2. Do + Be your BEST self…if you are going to do something, you should always give your absolute best. Who doesn’t want to do + be the best version of yourself?!?!
  3. Train + Race CLEAN…I just don’t understand the cheater mentality!! Whether it is taking performance enhancing supplements/drugs, cutting a course, or sabotaging someone else’s race, I don’t understand it and DEFINITELY DO NOT agree with it!! Race CLEAN peeps!!
  4. Take the high road…It may not be your day, but that doesn’t mean you can’t congratulate those who beat you. Always be a POSITIVE ambassador for sport!!
  5. EnCOEURage others to get into sport…We all started at the beginning at some point. Help another girl out! Teach her how to change her bike tire. Answer all of her questions. Pass on one of your older (but still usable) tri kits or wetsuits. Share your bike pump on race day. Just be there and listen. Encourage her!
The Coeur Sports 2019 ambassador team…I’m SO grateful to be representing the BEST brand + sisterhood in endurance sport!!

It is time to become #uncaged and be more #fierce in all aspects of my life!! 2019 is going to be an ABSOLUTELY amazing year and I’m SUPER excited to see what it has in store for me!! Cheers to 2019!! Time to #uncagetheinnerbeast and have a FANTABULOUS year!!

Attitude of Gratitude

I’ve been working to harbor an “Attitude of Gratitude” in 2018, which is sometimes harder than it should be! There is SO much to be grateful for everyday and I reflect on that before bed every night. The hard part is finding gratitude in every moment throughout the day…especially when faced with challenges, struggles, and negativity.

Since November is typically the month of gratitude and we are embarking on Thanksgiving week, I decided to take some time to reflect on what I have done to include more gratitude in my life.

  1. You may have noticed during my monthly “What’s up?!” blog posts, a gratitude section this year. This is a great way to reflect on each month and be grateful for the things that have stood out as positive and uplifting!
  2. Each night before crawling into bed, I reflect on the day. Writing down all of the things I am grateful for that day in my gratitude journal. This is a great way to focus on all of the positives (even the little things) that happen throughout the day. It has also caused me to focus more on the positives and gratitude moments throughout the day as they occur.
  3. I am constantly reminding myself to be grateful even during the struggles. When I catch myself encountering a struggle, I try to shift my mindset and make myself much more aware of the positives that I’m experiencing in those moments.
  4. I am also working to be more mindful and present throughout each day. Focusing on the 5 senses + how I feel in the moment + what I think at different moments in time throughout each day.

All of these things have helped me harbor an “attitude of gratitude” this year. I truly believe we can not have enough gratitude for all of the amazing people, experiences, memories + things in our lives! I’ve chosen to embrace gratitude this year and find good in everything! Some moments are more of a struggle than others, but even when things are tough, there is something to be grateful for! Sometimes we just have to get out our magnifying glass and look a little harder for the good. 😉

There have been so many amazing moments so far in 2018!! Here is just a snapshot of the things I am grateful for this year:

Supporting our twin nieces at their swim meet!
Home home with my fave!!
Snowshoeing adventures with my fam!
Birthday lunch date with my #solesister
3 of my favorite little bunnies!
Traci, we love you! So grateful to have amazing friends at work!
SO grateful for the best neighbor anyone could ask for! #lovemyneighbor
“Right now” was pure joy for 50 miles on two wheels with my fave! I was so happy to be outside riding on the open roads!
Meeting up with my Coeur Sports sister, Michelle at the Kansas City Triathlon!
Turning social friends into real friends!! So grateful to meet Beth in person!!
So grateful I got to meet up with Steena, my Coeur Sports sister!! Love this beautiful, badass lady!!
I did a thang! The #flatlander703 was the TOUGHEST race I’ve ever done, but I learned A LOT and got 1st place overall!! Thanks to my fave for the award ceremony and making me feel special!!
Incredibly grateful that my fave walked away from a solo bicycle accident with lots of road rash and NO head injury (despite cracking his helmet in 2 places). Wear your helmet people!! It saves lives!!
So grateful for my friend Robin!! She surprised me with the perfect motivational gift from Hawaii…an #IMWC visor (don’t worry…it doesn’t say finisher or have a date on it…she made sure of that)!! Thank you!! Thank you!! Thank you!!
So grateful that I got to spend the morning with my colleague at the Accel Triathlon cheering on my fave and friends!!
Love these peeps!! So grateful to have them in my life!!
So grateful for Kyle at Kyle’s Bikes!! His race day blessing means Mojo is ready to roll!!
My Coeur runneth over!! I got to meet some of the most inspirational, determined, loving ladies today!! #happycoeur
I’m riding cloud nine after setting a PR at Ironman Ohio 70.3 and finally breaking 6 hours, but I’m not sure it would have happened without Steena by my side. This girl is the definition of #heartandcourage and I’m so grateful for her!! Her strength, positivity, selflessness, and uplifting spirit are just a few of the wonderful things about her!! Thank you Steena for all you did to help me achieve my dream!! Love you girl!! “PRs are better with friends!!”
So grateful to have Steena by my side as I broke 6 hours, crushed goals, and achieved dreams at Ironman Ohio 70.3!! Thank you Steena for being such a strong, motivating, awesome BADASS!!
This guy! There aren’t enough words! Thank you for your support! Thank you for believing in me! Thank you for encouraging me to chase my dreams! Thank you for motivating me when I lack self-motivation! Thank you for pushing me to do and be my best! Thank you for loving and choosing me! Thank you! I’m so blessed and grateful to have you by my side on this journey! Love you!
Hard work pays off!! Thanks to my #sub6orbust buddy Steena for pulling me up ALL. THE. HILLS On 2 loops of the #IMWI bike course!!
Grateful to spend the afternoon at the state fair with these fun peeps listening to Brett Eldredge live in concert!
Basil turned 6 years old on Monday…I love these two SO MUCH!!
All of these amazing volunteers helped us keep T1 in check on #IMWI race morning. I’m so grateful for their help!!
Grateful for the OneBrainWellness Self Defense clinic to learn how to defend myself against an attacker!!
So grateful to have this crazy group of colleagues to work with!!
So grateful to briefly chat with Elaina at mile 26 of the Twin Cities Marathon!!
So grateful to briefly chat with my Coeur Sports sister, Kendra (and meet little Ralphie <3) at mile 8.5 of the Twin Cities Marathon!!
Getting to meet up with a few of my Coeur Sports sisters in Louisville was so much fun!! This team of uplifting, encouraging, supportive women is where it’s at!!
My cheer squad on the second loop at #IMLou!! Tim, Abbie, and Dad (left to right) chasing me up the hill into LaGrange! I made it back to them!
The finish line is the best feeling after such a physically and mentally challenging day! #IMLou
LOVE these two smiling faces!!
Grateful to get to see my cousin and cheer on his wife at the Des Moines Marathon!!
Grateful for my colleagues!! The #7dwarfs #spookoutdrugs during Red Ribbon Week at school!!
The Coeur Sports 2019 ambassador team…I’m SO grateful to be representing the BEST brand + sisterhood in endurance sport!!
So thankful to have this guy by my side in life!!

How do you live with an attitude of gratitude?! How do you focus on gratitude in every moment…even when faced with challenges and struggles?! 

Aligning My Actions with My Goals

My focus in 2018 has been on better aligning my actions with my goals. It’s no secret…I have a dream of someday qualifying for the Ironman World Championships in Kona. To get myself closer to this dream, I set goals for myself at the start of each season and again before each race. Sometimes I achieve success by reaching these goals and other times I fall short, but I always learn something that can better prepare me for the next training session or race.

I was on a mission this year to achieve my #sub6orbust goal at Ironman Ohio 70.3. Thanks to Steena for running stride for stride with me during the entire 13.1 mile run and pushing me those last two miles so I could achieve my goal!

The #sub6orbust is no longer a dream!! Today I turned it into a reality thanks to my Coeur Sports teammate/sister, Steena, who ran with me!! This lady is such a strong, positive badass and I’m blessed and grateful to have had her by my side today!!

I also set myself up to go sub 13 hours at Ironman Louisville. While I didn’t achieve this goal, I am confident that if conditions and circumstances were different on that day, I definitely would have.

This sums up my Ironman Louisville race day…cold + wet + windy + challenging + strong = success!! Photo credit: Finisher Pix

What have I done to better align my actions with my goals this year?

  1. I work hard! I #showup and give everything I have at that moment for each workout. Staying present + focused on the current interval, current workout, and current mindset/attitude.
  2. I recover harder! I make sure to properly rehydrate and refuel immediately post workout, sit in my Normatec Recovery boots, get a massage every 2 weeks (thanks Nick with Vitality Massage), see Dr. Chris at Team Chiropractic as niggles arise, and prioritize sleep by getting at least 8 hours EVERY night! Consuming Breakthrough Nutrition’s Goodnight formula + magnesium before bed also helps me get some solid REM + deep sleep.
  3. I #trainthebrain…I think this has brought me the most success and what I am the most proud of in 2018!! When faced with adversity, I overcame!! I truly am SO much stronger than I ever thought!! Focusing on an attitude of gratitude, keeping positive, and smiling through the pain/discomfort in training and racing has brought me huge success this year!!
  4. I eat healthy!! I stick with whole foods as much as possible and save indulgences for rare occasions!! 🙂
  5. I communicate with Coach Kelly (giving her meat is ALWAYS better than bare bones)!! I’m so grateful when she calls me out on my SH!T and makes me reflect and think about my training, my mindset, my training/life/work balance, etc.!! #everstrong
  6. #courageovercomfort…when you step out of your comfort zone, this is where the magic happens!! There has been sweat (lots of sweat), pain, blood, blisters, chaffing, black toenails, and tears (LOTS of tears…Thanks Ruth for pulling me out of some low places while on the trainer) in training this year. Overcoming this discomfort often requires lots of courage to push outside of my comfort zone, but it is TOTALLY worth it!! #magic
  7. Attitude of gratitude…focusing on ALL things to be grateful for during highs and lows. There is always something to be grateful for…even when you are deep in the pain cave and riding the struggle bus. I have intentionally been finding things to be grateful for during training + racing. Gratitude has taken me so much farther than I ever thought possible.
  8. #believe…when you truly believe deep down to the depths of your soul, you can accomplish ANYTHING!!

What additional tips do you have to better align your actions with your goals?! What have you done to better align your actions with your goals this year?! What can you do to better align your actions with your goals in 2019?!