The Flatlander 70.3 – the good, the bad, and the ugly

On Sunday, I was ready to race Ironman Wisconsin 70.3. Mojo was set in transition on Saturday and I was excited to test my endurance and push my limits on race day! I woke up to severe thunderstorms on race morning and a note from Ironman Wisconsin:

So, with no real hurry to get to transition only to stand around in the pouring rain, we opted to sit in the car for a bit at the Alliant Energy Center before boarding a school bus to transition.

Sitting in the car while it POURED buckets outside!!

Once in transition, we set up our gear (trying to find ways to keep it as dry as possible), donned our wetsuits in the mud pit that transition was, and 3 minutes before transition closed made the decision to pull out of the event. We loaded up our gear, trudged through the mud pit, and headed back to the Alliant Energy Center where the car was.

Hmmm…is this a Tough Mudder Triathlon?????

My fave decided to take a quick shower to get all of the mud off of him before getting in the car…

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.

Fast forward to Sunday afternoon…

I talked on the phone with Coach Kelly. She really wanted me to test my fitness since I was trained, tapered, and super jazzed to test my endurance. I immediately got excited about the idea of doing a solo 70.3 race! Coach Kelly encouraged me to come up with a name for my event and reminded me to mentally prepare to crush it! She may have also told me not to get a drafting penalty on a solo race! 😉 I came up with the name “Flatlander 70.3” for my event since our terrain in central Iowa is pretty flat compared to most locations and MUCH flatter than the IMWI 70.3 course!!

Fast forward to Tuesday morning…race day!!

Swim: The Good…
I felt the normal “pre-race butterflies” as I ate my breakfast and drank my Karma Kombucha. I set up my run transition in the garage, and headed to the pool where I would begin my Flatlander 70.3 adventure! I set up my bike and transition area inside the gate of the aquatic center, started my RoadID app so people could track my progress, and hopped in the pool at about 6:05 am for 2000 meters (just over the 1.2 mile distance). I felt like I was working hard and swimming at a good clip, but I was burping A LOT!! I never have this problem, so I wasn’t really sure what was going on. My swim ended up not being as fast as I thought or hoped for…41:48 for 2000 meters (1:55/100 yard swim time) + 1st overall 🙂

Race morning!

Bike: The Bad…
I quickly jumped out of the pool, jogged to my transition area (and was asked by the lifeguard not to run in the pool area…LOL…don’t they know I’m racing?!?!), and transitioned to my bike gear. As I exited the pool area, I quickly dropped my swim skin + swim goggles + swim cap in the car before heading out on the bike. It ended up being a bit foggy, which was a good indicator of the humidity levels, but I could still see at least a mile out in front of me, so I wasn’t worried about vehicles being able to see me. As I pulled up to the first stoplight leaving town, I realized that auto pause was set to “stop mode” on my Garmin. As the light changed green and I rolled ahead, I tried to change this while riding, but accidentally pushed the “lap” button putting my data in T2 instead of on the bike. I kept rolling, but stopped the triathlon mode and just set my Garmin to the bike mode and stopped messing with it. I was still burping a bit, so I drank water and pushed on. As I left town and went west, the sun came out, but when I turned around and went back east, the fog was still hanging on. It was weird. About 30 minutes into my ride, I took my first round of nutrition (Salty Balls) and nearly puked. My stomach didn’t want them, but I had no other nutrition with me, so I forced them down (gagging the whole time), drank a lot of water, and kept moving forward. Each time I tried to consume nutrition, I thought I was going to puke…my stomach was not happy, but I knew I needed nutrition to have any chance of finishing the day, so I kept forcing it down little by little every 30 minutes and drinking all the fluids I had. With about 1 hour ride time left, I knew I had to stop at the gas station and refill my water bottles since I was completely out of water. I could feel the temperature + humidity rising and there was no breeze! About 5 miles from home, I had to stop for a train…I think the race director for the Flatlander 70.3 forgot to inform Union Pacific Railroads that there was a race going on…LOL!! 😉 As I was rolling back into town the fog lifted and the sun beat down just in time for me to transition to the run. My bike was not as fast as I’d hoped (and my watts were lower than I’d wanted + expected them to be)…3:18:43 for 57.1 miles (17.2 mph average speed) + 1st overall 🙂

Trying to smile through the discomfort in my gut!

Run: The Ugly…
I quickly put my bike in the garage and transitioned to the run. Basil was barking at me from inside the house…clearly VERY upset that I wasn’t taking her running with me! Within the first few steps of the run, I knew this was going to be a long run. My calves were on the verge of cramping. I knew this meant I needed to drink a LOT more water, so I started downing my handheld water bottle. By mile 2, I was run/walking…the cramping was awful, I was HOT, there wasn’t even a breeze from the fart of a nearby animal, the humidity was 70* (which was on the border between “uncomfortable and tropical” according to our local meteorologist, which I found out when I was done), and there was no one there to encourage me to keep going. I SERIOUSLY considered quitting! I decided to keep run/walking + drinking all the water I had to Moore Park where I would refill my water bottle and then head back home calling it a day. I had made the decision to quit. By mile 3, I was so sweaty that I had sweat squishing out of my shoes with every step I took. At about mile 4, a Spring Green Lawn Care employee saw me hobbling by with my Ironman Wisconsin 70.3 race bib on (I figured I had it from Sunday’s race that I didn’t do and I was racing, so I should wear it). He asked, “Did you race on Sunday?” I told him I opted not to start the race due to the weather, which is why I was doing the distance today instead. He said, “That was a wise decision. That race was one of the stupidest things I’ve done. I couldn’t see the swim buoys because of the chop on the water, the transition was a muddy mess and then when I got to the bike, people were crashing all around me. I just held on during the run trying to get to the finish line.” I said, “Congratulations on finishing!” and ran on. He gave me the motivation to finish the whole 13.1 miles even if it was going to continue to be a run/walk due to the cramping and feeling defeated (as I knew my sub 6 hour goal was gone). I consumed some fruit snacks (which I always use while running for nutrition), but my stomach was still off and I was gagging on them. I forced them down and washed them down with water. I refilled my water bottle at Moore Park, drank the whole thing, then filled it again before going on. I drank the whole bottle again before mile 7. I took in more fruit snacks, refilled my water bottle at a different park, and forged on. I made it home at about mile 10.5, where I consumed more fruit snacks and refilled my water bottle again (using the outside spigot…I knew if I went inside where there was air conditioning + puppy snuggles I’d be done) before heading back to the pool where I’d left the car. It was a struggle and I was very disappointed that I wasn’t going to meet my sub 6 hour goal. At mile 12, I was jogging and sobbing uncontrollably because I was so disappointed in myself. I decided to change the channel and set a new goal for the last 1.1 miles. I had just over 12 minutes to finish the 13.1 miles in under 2 hours and 30 minutes run/walk time (my actual run time was 2:52 something with stopping at the drinking fountains all over town). When I hit the 13.1 miles, I immediately started crying…I was done. I was so happy to be done, but also very disappointed in my performance. I was upset that my stomach wasn’t cooperative. I was crushed. My run time was MUCH slower than I’d hoped for (and much slower than I know I’m capable of)…2:29:45 for 13.1 miles of run/walk (11:26/mile pace) + 1st overall 🙂

I was very happy to be done with the Flatlander 70.3 race!!

Overall I finished in about 7 hours and 10 minutes of total time + 1st overall. Sure, I did what I could and I finished, but no where near how I had hoped. This was THE TOUGHEST RACE I’ve ever done!

Disappointed in my day

After taking some time to think about my race, I have so many take aways and lessons learned!

  1. When my stomach is off (even just burping in the water) take Tums! I had them with me, but didn’t consume any. Don’t know what I was thinking…oh wait…I clearly wasn’t thinking!!
  2. Because of my stomach issues, it is time to start practicing other nutrition options. This isn’t the first time the salty balls have caused some GI distress for me during a race, so I need to start practicing other options.
  3. I am a VERY heavy sweater (not the kind you wear in the dead of winter either)!! My body requires a LOT more salt + water as a result. Don’t skimp on the water/hydration consumption…especially when it is so humid! Drink it all up + take my Base Salt!
  4. Self supported races require a lot of planning to try and get all of the hydration/water you need on your own.
  5. Having no volunteers, spectators, cheer squads, and other athletes on the course is SO HARD!! I’ve had some races in worse racing conditions that I THOUGHT were miserable, but they weren’t compared to this! Having friends, family, and random strangers around you, supporting you, pushing you, encouraging you, and cheering for you makes tough conditions much more bearable!!
  6. My mind is so much stronger than I think it is. I have to believe in myself even more than I already do! I have come a long way in this department over the last 15 years of racing, but I still have a long way to go! I am strong! As a friend said, “NOW you know what you’re made of…pretty amazing ain’t ya!”
  7. My body allowed me to keep pushing it even when my stomach was upset, my legs were cramping, and my mind wanted to quit. Sure I was cramping a bit on the run, but I KNOW I used that as an excuse far more than I should have during this race. I definitely could have run more than I did + I should’ve and could’ve pushed harder than I did in every discipline throughout this race.
  8. I am beyond blessed to have a village full of amazing people who were behind me in this crazy adventure!! Thank you to Coach Kelly for believing in me + pushing me out of my comfort zone to have me complete a solo 70.3!! Thank you to Coeur Sports for making super comfortable apparel even when I saturate it in sweat and for connecting me with such an amazing + supportive team of women!! Thank you to SBR Sports Inc. for keeping me chafe-free (even in all of that sweat) with the use of Skin Slick…or should I say skin saver!! Thank you to my cheer squad for encouraging me to keep going and finish this crazy feat…my fave, Ruth, Robin, Liz, Beth, Sara…your social media posts brought a smile to my face when I was done!! Thank you to Nick at Vitality Massage for working out all of the mess RIGHT after I was done racing!! Thank you to my FAVE!! You are my rock…your unwavering support and encouragement help me achieve the impossible!! I’m so grateful to have you by my side!!
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!!
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18 weeks ’til #IMLou – Race Week Part 1

Last week was RACE WEEEEEEEKKK…well, kind of!!! Ironman Wisconsin 70.3 was today!! My goal was #sub6orbust and you can read more about how I planned to achieve this goal here. Due to the weather, delays, and my safety, I made the decision to pull out of the race before it started (see the picture below of my fave and the crazy weather we had). Coach Kelly is having me do a solo 70.3 “race” on Tuesday and I’m really excited to do so! The #sub6orbust is still alive, but will hopefully be put to rest (unofficially) soon!! This will be a different kind of 70.3, but since I’m trained, tapered and mentally ready, I am going to give it my ALL and am going to crush the 6 hour time barrier!!

Swim: 5329 yards

Swimming away from the school year and into summer break!! #schoolsoutforsummer
Swimming into #imwi703 race weekend with my fave right beside me in the outdoor 50 meter pool!!
Pre-race swim…check!!

Bike: 32.7 miles

Rollin’ into race week ready to test my endurance and push my limits!!
Starting my last official day of school this year off with my fave doing what I love!
Short brick session for #globalrunningday to prepare the legs for #IMWI703 on Sunday!!
Pre-race bike…check!!

Run: 3.79 miles

Short brick session for #globalrunningday to prepare the legs for #IMWI703 on Sunday!!
Pre-race run…check!!

Strength Training: 30 minutes + 10 minutes of core strength/stretching daily

Short morning strength post bike ride on the last official day of school!!

Weekly Totals: 6 hours & 17 minutes 

Quote of the Week:

“Make and be confident in your own decisions.”

Attitude of Gratitude:

So grateful to Nick, with Vitality Massage for getting me race ready!!
Love these girls!! Grateful I got to spend some time with them at the outdoor aquatic center!!
Ha Ha Ha!! My phone still thinks I’m going to work this morning when I started the car…NOPE!! Grateful for summer break!!
I am so grateful to get to push my limits and test my endurance. I will have a race report later this week on my #sub6orbust race today!! (You are going to have to wait a few extra days for this report since I’ll be doing my solo race on Tuesday!!)
Incredibly grateful to live in a neighborhood that comes together to help each other out. Our neighbor’s tree went down during a storm and everyone came together to help clean it up.
Grateful to have Zealios sunscreen protect me during training and racing!
Love my little helper!! Basil helped me put new tires on Mojo for race day!!
Grateful for the squeeze from my Normatec Recovery boots while I blog!
Grateful to be Madison bound with my fave!!
Turning social friends into real friends!! So grateful to meet Beth in person!!
So grateful to stay with my college friend, Chris, and her girl Gracie while in Madison!!
Mojo is racked and ready to race tomorrow.
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 tough decisions that are right for us…this was the weather on race morning that influenced our decision to pull out of the race.

How was your week? What are you grateful for this week?! 

What’s Up?! – May 2018

With the end of May came the end of the school year for the students (my last day was yesterday). There were MANY times throughout this year that I didn’t think this day was ever going to come. I’m not going to sugar coat anything…this was my most challenging year ever and I just completed my 14th year teaching. I’m incredibly happy to be facing summer and a much needed break!! Here is a small glimpse of what May had in store for me!!

Training:

Fist pump because I FINALLY went under 1:30/100 yards…even if it was only one time!
“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!
13 miles as the sun came up over the horizon Wednesday morning!

Swim: 22,953 yards (13 miles)
Bike: 274 miles
Run: 80.3 miles
Monthly Totals: 49 hours & 18 minutes

First triathlon of the season:

In case you missed it, I raced the Kansas City Olympic Distance Triathlon on Mother’s Day. This was a good test to dust off the cobwebs before Ironman Wisconsin 70.3 this coming Sunday. It was a super fun race and I’m very glad I decided to put this in my training plan this year. In case you missed my race recap and want to check it out, click here.

Pre-race with one of my Coeur Sports teammates, Michelle!

Reading:

How Goal Setting and Self-Talk Will Bring Your Success in Triathlon by Seth Rose hit home with me. Let’s face it…I love learning about mindset, mental training, and goal setting, so this article was right up my alley!! So often as athletes, we focus on the outcome goals (achieving a certain time, placing in your age group, etc.). Sometimes this is good, but to really achieve the outcome goals, we need to be focusing on the process goals (getting to the race site early, keeping your hydration and nutrition in check, keeping your heart rate in check, etc.). When things get tough, it is time to pull out the self-talk. “Our confidence is fueled by what we tell ourselves, and ultimately our thoughts have a direct influence on our emotions and actions.” Two of my favorite mantras are, “courage over comfort” and “I am strong. I am tough.” I also tend to ask myself “how bad do you want it?!” multiple times while training and racing. Find a mantra (or 2) that works for you and use it in training and racing!

The One Thing Every Athlete Wants: Confidence by Carrie Cheadle is spot on!! Even the best athlete isn’t 100% confident 100% of the time! One of her favorite quotes struck home with me: “The reason we struggle with insecurity is because we compare our behind-the-scenes with everyone else’s highlight reel.” – Steve Furtick
WOW!!! Truth!!! Most endurance athletes want to “feel” confident, but confidence isn’t simply a feeling, it is also an action! I’m definitely looking forward to part 2 of this blog post to learn ways to increase my own self confidence!! Aren’t you?!?!

Listening to:

The Lost in Transition Podcast Diet Trends, Nutrition Myth Busting and More with Andrea Kendrick, RD is full of valuable information around sport nutrition and everyday nutrition for athletes. As a triathlete, nutrition and mental training are the 4th and 5th disciplines that are often overlooked. Professionals can definitely set you up for success, by helping you feel better + more energetic + recover better after tough sessions!!

Playing:

Sherpa Extraordinaire!! The Iron Hippie raced a local sprint triathlon. It was a brisk morning, but he did awesome!! It was SO much fun to cheer on the athletes, take pics of friends racing, and support my super awesome fave while he got to play!!

Cheering on my fave at the Hickory Grove Triathlon was so much fun!! Cold, but fun!!

Grateful for:

First open water swim of the season! I remained wetsuit hicky free thanks to the #trislide by SBR Sports, Inc.! Get some today using code KEPL18 for 20% off your next order!!
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 on race morning so I could safely ride her!!
Thanks Kyle (with Kyle’s Bikes) for fixing up Mojo and making everything right again!! #bestbikemechanic
So grateful my sister-in-law came to visit briefly!
Recovery…the 4th (or is it the 5th) discipline of Ironman training. Thanks to Nick with Vitality Massage for keeping me on track to do what I love!!
So grateful for the hard work my fave has done to get us to the point where we could plant the garden!
How do you probiotic?! So grateful to have Sound Probiotics in my tribe!! #soundathlete #winningtakesguts #nogutsnoglory Get some today using code PUSHMYLIMITS for 10% off your next order!!

How was your month of May?! What is your favorite mantra?! What were you grateful for last month?!

20 weeks ’til #IMLou – the end is near

Last week was the last full week of school for this school year! There are 3 days left with students and 3 without before I am free to play all summer long and act like a professional triathlete! I am definitely looking forward to it! The end is near 🙂

Swim: 8518 yards

Chasing dreams means doing the work to get there!
When you are committed to your dreams, sometimes you have to tap into every ounce of determination you have to make your dreams come true!
An open water swim with my fave!!

Bike:  76.1 miles

Easy spin of the legs to flush them out! Look at that bluebird sky!!
50 mile ride + 1 mile run with my fave on this HOT + STILL day is done!! It wasn’t pretty, but it is done!!
Cycling on the surface of the sun today!! Holy hell is it a HOT + STILL one today!!

Run: 21 miles

13 miles as the sun came up over the horizon Wednesday morning!
I sandwiched my last Friday with students for the school year between a double run!! 5 am miles = lots of humidity acclimation!!
I sandwiched my last Friday with students for the school year between a double run!! 2 pm miles = lots of heat acclimation!!
50 mile ride + 1 mile run with my fave on this HOT + STILL day is done!! It wasn’t pretty, but it is done!!

Strength Training: 1 hour & 15 minutes + 10 minutes of core strength/stretching daily

Strength training at the gym for a change!

Weekly Totals:  13 hours & 29 minutes

Quote of the Week:

“The future is uncertain, but the end is always near.” ~Jim Morrison

Attitude of Gratitude:

Recovery…the 4th (or is it the 5th) discipline of Ironman training. Thanks to Nick with Vitality Massage for keeping me on track to do what I love!!
When the husband is away…the wife eats sushi!!
Normatec Recovery boots are a must post long run…even if it means multitasking during a morning work meeting!
Basil (not the dog) is ready to grow this summer!
So grateful for the hard work my fave has done to get us to the point where we could plant the garden!
How do you probiotic?! So grateful to have Sound Probiotics in my tribe!! Use code PUSHMYLIMITS at checkout for 10% off your next order!!
New Coeur Sports gear!! Stock up now!! Use code SWEETSUMMER for 30% off through Memorial Day!!
Thanks to SBR Sports, Inc. for the #trislide keeping me all lubed up during my open water swim!! You can get some too!! Use code KEPL18 at checkout for 20% off your next order!!

How was your week? What are you grateful for this week?!

First tri of the season – light my fire

On Mother’s Day, I had the privilege of getting to do what I love…swim/bike/run!! My fave and I went to Kansas City for a weekend getaway so I could shake off the cobwebs to start my season. Here is a brief rundown of how my race unfolded.

As I was getting ready to leave the hotel on race morning, my fave was tightening all of my bolts on Mojo when…one holding my seat to the seat post busted. So we did what we could and jimmy rigged it by putting the bolt in the hole and tying to my bike with a bread tie. The question became…how long will this hold???

So grateful to have my fave as Sherpa/spectator extraordinaire jimmy rigging Mojo for me!!

Pre-race:

I set up my transition area and then found Michelle, one of my Coeur Sports teammates for a morning hug! Morning hugs from fellow triathletes are always the best!

Pre-race with Michelle! #heartandcourage

There was a LOT of time to stand around on the beach and wait for our swim wave to begin.

Swim: 33:50 (2:16/100 yard average)

When the horn sounded, I entered the water and then…hyperventilated. I don’t ever recall hyperventilating in the water before, but there is a first time for everything. I couldn’t find my rhythm, I was swum over by the wave of elite men just starting their 2nd loop, I felt restricted in my wetsuit (this was only my 2nd time in it this year), I couldn’t see any of the buoys while swimming away from the beach…I was a mess! I took a quick break and tried to relax, then continued to swim. I made it to the first turn buoy and eventually back to the beach. At the start of the 2nd loop, I began to find my rhythm and finished much stronger than I began. I was so grateful to have the swim behind me.

Swim…lap #1 done! Photo credit my fave

T1: 2:58

I was a flustered mess in transition. I was frustrated by my swim performance. Instead of letting it go, I was thinking about how it could have gone better. This was NOT helpful in the moment! Instead of having a fluid transition, I was dropping things and a hot mess!

Swim…done! Photo credit: my fave
T1…fumble, fumble, fumble Photo credit: my fave

Bike: 1:23:51 (17.7 mph average)

Ok…FOCUS!! Leave the swim behind and move onto the bike!! As I left transition, there were a few packs of people that I had to maneuver my way around. On the first out and back stretch, I took in my nutrition and worked to pass as many people as I could. During the next out and back stretch, I passed people walking up hills and realized there are probably a lot of first time triathletes racing today! As I climbed hills, I would say, “On your left” only to follow it up with, “no, no, no. I’m on your left. Don’t move left!” Yep, you guessed it…the people I was trying to pass would move to the left when I told them I was on their left. I continued to the 3rd out and back stretch of the first loop where the biggest hill climb of the race was. I was ready to rocket down the hill, but was afraid to really let ‘er rip since there were some riders in front of me that I couldn’t get around because they were riding 2 and 3 abreast. Oh well…time to move onto the second loop!! This was pretty much a repeat of loop #1, but I found my groove. Let’s finish the bike strong!  I ate another round of nutrition shortly before pulling into T2.

Here we go! Time to ride! Photo credit: Kansas City Triathlon

T2: 2:15

This went much more smoothly than T1…bike racked, helmet off, shoes on, grab the visor + race belt and go!

Run: 1:01:31 (9:55 minutes/mile)

I started off on the run at a slower pace than I was hoping for. It was HOT…the temperatures had started to climb and were now in the mid 80s. This may not seem so bad, but we had not really had summer temperatures to this point, so it felt like I was in a steam room at the gym. Instead of dwelling on the pace, I decided to monitor my heart rate. Monitoring my pace for the duration of the run would only frustrate me…FOCUS on what I can control. This was the smartest thing I had done all day! By the time I had gotten to loop #2 of the run, I was melting and ready to be done. I pushed on all the way to the finish letting my heart rate creep higher and higher with each mile.

What a HOT run! Photo credit: my fave

Overall: 3:04:19 (6 out of 16 in my age group)

I finished strong and was super happy to get to swim/bike/run with my fave there cheering me on all the whole time. #grateful

Race done! Photo Credit: my fave

Things to work on:

-practice in my wetsuit more so I don’t hyperventilate
-have my fave practice swimming over me in the pool + in open water
-practice transitions so I am more seamless
-be more comfortable pushing HARD on the bike
-be more comfortable and confident getting around people on the bike who are slower than me
-be more comfortable with the uncomfortable…PUSH HARDER all around!!
-get into my race pace on the run right away
-believe more in myself and my abilities

Things that went well:

-I eventually found my groove on the swim
-I ran by monitoring my heart rate instead of by pace
-I had fun
-I got to swim/bike/run on Mother’s Day!
-One thing is for certain…this race really relit my fire for triathlon + working hard to chase my dreams

Photo credit: Kansas City Triathlon

22 weeks ’til #IMLou – focus

Last week was all about focus! Staying focused during training, on the process of chasing my dreams, while packing for a weekend getaway, on my pre-race preparations, on my race strategy, during my race…focus, Focus, FOCUS!!

Swim: 4596 yards

Focus! Push the pace and challenge yourself on the longer stuff!!
First open water swim of the season! I remained wetsuit hicky free thanks to the #trislide by SBR Sports, Inc.! Get some today using code KEPL18 for 20% off your next order!!

Bike: 38.4 miles

Pre-race prep…solid 20 minute working set nailing my goal watts!!
Pre-race spin on the bike. Mojo is ready to race! Don’t worry…I didn’t ride around in the hotel lobby! 🙂

Run: 13.3 miles

Pre race prep…Run off the bike Wednesday morning with a solid goal race pace for the first 12 minutes as planned! #confidencebuilder
Running in the heat of the day to acclimate…Summer is finally here and it puts a smile on my face!!
Pre-race shake out run! I got to enjoy 10 easy minutes with my fave! He went on for a longer run!!

Kansas City Olympic Distance Triathlon:

Swim…lap #1 done!
Swim…done!
T1
Time to ride!
What a HOT run!
Race done!

Strength Training: 10 minutes of core strength or stretching daily

Weekly Totals: 6 hours & 56 minutes

Quote of the Week:

“Focus! Focus on today! Focus on this moment! What can I do today to make me better tomorrow?!”

Attitude of Gratitude:

So grateful to Nick, at Vitality Massage, for helping me keep my body healthy and race ready!
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
Thanks to my fave for taking some fab pics of me in our new Coeur Sports 2018 team kit!! #rockstar
A clean bike is a FAST bike!! Mojo is clean and ready to race!!
The 50 meter outdoor pool has water in it!! #signsofsummer
Flat Kecia is ready to toe the start line of her first triathlon of 2018. Time to go have some fun!!
So grateful to have my fave as Sherpa/spectator extraordinaire for me!!

How was your week?! What were you grateful for last week?! How do you keep your focus and stay in the moment?!

What’s Up?! – April 2018

It took most of April, but I think spring has FINALLY arrived and I am more than ready for it!! I’m ready to put away the winter running gear!! I’m ready to get out and ride on the open roads with the wind in my face and the sun on my back!! But first, let’s recap the month of April!!

Training:

I finally had a solid month of training with a race thrown in! I successfully saw green in Training Peaks everyday in April and completed 10 minutes of core strength everyday as well! I’m finally finding my stride again! Hello consistency…I’ve missed you!!

Swimming into the light
When Coach gives you a “Just for fun…random power challenge”…aka FTP test, you pull out the magic @coeursports kit!! It worked! My test went better than I expected!
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

Swim: 29, 550 yards (16.8 miles)
Bike: 203 miles
Run: 76.4 miles
Monthly Totals: 45 hours & 23 minutes

Enjoying:

SPRING!! Spring finally decided to show up in the last week of April!! I am so happy to have FINALLY put my winter coat, stocking hats, and mittens away for the summer!! Now if I could just put all of the winter running gear away…I think it might be a bit early for that though.

Signs of spring…FINALLY!
What a BEAUTIFUL morning for a run with bubble gum tongue! So glad I showed up this morning! #Basillovesrunning

Reading:

Racing Weight: How to get Lean for Peak Performance by Matt Fitzgerald is a great read for all endurance athletes! Matt focuses athletes on improving their diet quality score, managing appetite, balancing energy sources, monitoring weight and performance, and timing nutrition to stay lean for training. He has included food diaries from 18 pro athletes, recipes and strength training workouts to accelerate changes in body composition.

Carrie Cheadle’s blog post “Slow Down: How to Relax Your Mind Under Pressure” is a great reminder to stay focused and present. Allowing your mind to be distracted means you are likely “not bringing 100% of yourself to your performance and you are more likely to get injured.” Our society thrives on how much can you jam into a short amount of time. Carrie has us SLOW DOWN, meditate, and breathe to recenter ourselves and find our focus.

New Research is Changing the Game for Female Athletes by A.C. Shilton…ladies and gentlemen…women and men are different! Women take longer to acclimate to heat. According to Stacy Sims, “Progesterone elevates your core temperature, so you’ll feel hotter to begin with. On top of that, lower blood volume during high-hormone days means it’s harder for your body to sweat and cool yourself.” Women’s cycles impact performance. Knowing how your cycle impacts your performance can be a huge asset to you while training and racing. Women on low carb diets often produce more cortisol. With more stress hormone in our systems, our bodies don’t recover as well because it can directly inhibit muscle repair. The good news?! Women tend to dominate at long distance races and when racing at altitude! Our bodies are better able to metabolize and burn fat for energy. So ladies…go the distance! Race in the mountains! Oh…and take a nap! Women tend to need more rest than the men they train with.

Listening to:

Tina Muir’s podcast with Allie Kieffer is so real and inspiring! Allie’s positive body image message is spot on! “Could I be smaller? Maybe. I don’t think that means I would necessarily be faster.” Allie is always pushing herself to be stronger + faster without worrying about body image. “Don’t box yourself in by putting limits on what you think you are capable of. Set yourself up for success, not failure.”

Are you looking for more motivation? If so, you should listen to the podcast IronWomen did with Dr. Kristin Keim. They discuss ways to get and stay motivated as well as mental health, post Ironman blues, and dealing with eating disorders.  It is a great listen!!

Looking forward to:

Summer break! Now that we have turned the page and are officially in the last month of the school year, I am officially counting down the DAYS to summer break! I am also really looking forward to rolling on the open roads with the wind on my face and the sun on my back! I LOVE riding my bicycle! Oh…and my first triathlon of the season this month! I’m a bit nervous about the water temperature due to the cold spring we’ve had, but am excited to test my current fitness! Yay for race season!

Grateful for:

3 of my favorite little bunnies!
Getting blood work done to learn more about what I can do to improve as an endurance athlete.
When you are unmotivated to workout and your AMAZING husband knows it, so he drew this beauty on our chalkboard wall by my bike to encourage and support me! #imaluckygirl
Traci, we love you! So grateful to have amazing friends at work!
We have two very happy girls because spring FINALLY decided to show up!! Yay for long walks in the warmth + sunshine!!
New Garmin day! #therunnersflat

How was your month of April?! What are you looking forward to?! What were you grateful for last month?!