2021 week 15: race week

Say wut?! Yep! Last week was race week! I got to race IRL for the 2nd time in 2021. With the year+ of cancelled races and uncertainty in 2020, I am not taking racing for granted. Racing is a beautiful gift! One that I am enjoying, while also striving to do + be my best.

Quote of the week:

“Racing is the fun part; it’s the reward of the hard work.”

~Kara Goucher

Swim: 9500 yards

Tuesdayโ€™s swim was given to me by one of my Coeur Sports teammates and it was a good one! Thank you Michelle for sharing this fun…ahem…challenging workout with me! I was hoping this swim (and afternoon brick) was an indication of how my race was going to go, because I felt STRONG, race ready, and excited! I also noticed that my swim efficiency is improving as I’ve been spending more time focusing on my form lately. ๐Ÿฅณ

  • Warm up:
    • 200 swim
  • Main Set:
    • 16×50 every 4th one is HARD (5 sec rest)
    • 12×50 every 3rd one is HARD (10 sec rest)
    • 8×50 every 2nd one is HARD (15 sec rest)
    • 4×50 every one is HARD (20 sec rest)
  • Cool Down:
    • 200 any stroke
Who’s ready to race?! This girl!! LFG!! ๐Ÿฅณ๐Ÿ’™๐Ÿ’›

Bike: 86.3 miles

I used to spend most of my focus while on the trainer scrolling through social media and texting friends to distract myself from the tough work in front of me.

Now my focus is 100% on the work in front of me. Keeping my thoughts strong, positive, and focused on the present moment. When I get to those recovery intervals, I celebrate my success(es) on the previous tough interval(s) and refocus my thoughts to be strong and positive for the next interval.

I know making this shift in my focus and thoughts will reward me tremendously in the future as I continue to get stronger physically and mentally! #believe

Where is your focus? Where do your thoughts go? ๐Ÿ’™๐Ÿ’›

Run: 26.0 miles

Sunday I got to race and I was SO full of joy for SO many reasons…the weather was perfect, I got to see friends I haven’t seen in over a year, I GOT to race IRL, there were real participants to chase down, there were real spectators cheering, I got to push my limits without looking at my Garmin once, I felt the strongest physically and mentally Iโ€™ve felt in years…SO MUCH JOY! Oh…and the icing on the cake…I ran my 2nd fastest 1/2 marathon EVER! My fastest was 14 years ago and I only missed that finish time on Sunday by 2 minutes. I’ll have a more detailed race report in the coming days, so stay tuned.

Squeee!! I GOT to cross a start line and a finish line of an IRL race on Sunday!! ๐Ÿ’™๐Ÿ’›

Strength Training: 15 minutes of core strength daily
2×30 minute full body workouts
2×30 minutes of yoga

Weekly Totals: 14 hours & 35 minutes

Attitude of Gratitude:

All the snuggles! ๐Ÿ’™๐Ÿ’›
Thank you Nick with Vitality Massage Ames for keeping me healthy and getting me ace ready!
Getting to swim/bike/run in the same day fills my heart with happy! ๐Ÿ’™๐Ÿ’›
Recovering in my Normatec Recovery boots and getting all of the snuggles is pure joy! ๐Ÿ’™๐Ÿ’›
Spring is here!!
Flat Kecia is race ready!
Love these three!
We got new furniture!

What were your highlights from week 15 of 2021?! What does the IRL return to racing look like where you live?!

2021 week 14: fail more and quit less

My focus for last week was to “fail more and quit less.” Sometimes I find that I micro quit on myself before I even start something so that I won’t fail. I set myself up to have an “out” or to not work as hard just so I don’t have to witness myself failing. I donโ€™t want to feel the disappointment and embarrassment that comes with failure. I want to be able to say I successfully completed the work as it was planned. But this keeps me small. It keeps me in a space of comfort and doesn’t allow me to grow. Providing myself with OPPORTUNITIES to fail more allows me to really get an idea of where my current limits are. When I fail, I am learning to allow myself to feel all the feelings, learn from the failure, rise up, and continue to believe in myself…and that my friends, is NOT failure!

Quote of the week:

“Fail more & quit less.”

~Vanessa Faye Foerster

Swim: 10,400 yards

Tuesdayโ€™s swim was crazy 8s with the main set being 8×150 descending paces (increasing effort) with 20 seconds rest, 8×50 on the 1:00, and 8×25 sprint with 10 seconds rest. Normally I start these 150s at an easy pace (50% effort) and progressively get faster and faster until the last one is at an all out effort (95-100% effort). This normal way of descending these 150s is comfortable, but I know I donโ€™t grow when I stay in my comfort zone. Sooooo, Tuesday morning I DECIDED to start faster (85-90% effort) for these 150s, which forced me to have to push harder and harder throughout this set than what I normally do. Why?! How do I know where my limits are if I donโ€™t push them?

Taking this action created an OPPORTUNITY to fail more and quit less! An OPPORTUNITY to find where my current limits are! In the past when I would start off my 150s at an easier effort/slower pace, I was micro quitting on myself. I was giving myself an โ€œoutโ€ so I didnโ€™t have to witness myself failing by not being able to descend my splits. By starting faster, did I fail Tuesday?! A little (because I missed descending the 6th interval by 0.8 of a second), but I also learned a lot! And those learnings are NOT failure! I learned that I CAN (and DID) put that one failure behind me as I rise up and believe that I will be successful in the next interval. I learned that I CAN (and DID) generally descend paces at faster speeds/harder efforts than what is comfortable. I learned that I AM STRONG and FAST! I learned that Iโ€™m starting to believe that I do belong amongst the fast women I look up to. I learned that when I believe in myself, the data starts to reflect this belief. My friends, all this learning is NOT failure!

  • Warm up:
    • 100 swim
    • 100 kick
    • 100 pull
    • 200 swim
    • 100 kick
    • 100 pull
    • 100 swim
  • Main Set:
    • 8×150 descending (20 sec)
    • Rest 40 sec
    • 8×50 on the minute
    • Rest 1 minutes
    • 8×25 sprint (10 sec rest)
  • Cool Down:
    • 200 any stroke
Fail more & quit less! ๐Ÿ’™๐Ÿ’›

Bike: 95.2 miles

While I physically didn’t “fail” any part of Saturday’s ride, Mentally I struggled…BIG TIME! Those mental battles were more exhausting than the actual physical work. My brain wanted my body to quit SO many times I lost count…hello micro quits I saw you and gave my best effort to ignore you. Every time my brain tried to convince my body to quit, I would tell myself, “Kecia, you are strong! Just one more minute.” This battle lasted for 2 hours (of my 3 hour ride), but my self talk was the stronger participant, shutting the micro quits down, and won all of those battles Saturday.

The mental battles were brutal, but thankfully my self talk was the stronger participant and won all of those battles. ๐Ÿ’™๐Ÿ’›

Run: 25.5 miles

The main set of Wednesdayโ€™s run was 4×4 minutes FAST followed by 4 minutes easy. I had some fatigue in my legs from a challenging brick after work Tuesday, so I doubted that my legs would hold on at the FAST paces that were staring me in the face, but I was determined to try! After all, โ€œfail more and quit lessโ€ right?!

Not only did I successfully complete these intervals at the scheduled paces on tired legs, but I decided that the next time this workout is on my schedule (which is 3 weeks from now) I am going to strive to push my limits A LOT farther than I did Wednesday. By cutting 25 more seconds per mile off my FAST pace (which scares the sh!t out of me), I am hoping to find my limit. Can I do it?! Youโ€™ll have to wait 3 weeks to find out!

Friday’s run was a 10 mile progression run. I did this on the treadmill as it was a cold, windy, rainy morning and I didn’t want to run outside in those conditions. I started out strong and confident, but by about mile 7, I bonked…BAD! Step off the treadmill and walk to regain some semblance of composure. Whomp! Whomp! Hello Failure…it was good to see you! Why?! Failure = learning! I learned that I need to consume fuel before (and maybe during) my longer runs when they are early in the morning.

Speed work makes the dream work! ๐Ÿ’™๐Ÿ’› (๐Ÿ“ธ Wednesday’s run)

Strength Training: 15 minutes of core strength daily
3×30 minute full body workouts
30 minutes of yoga

Weekly Totals: 15 hours & 54 minutes

Attitude of Gratitude:

Any day I get to swim/bike/run in the same day is a GREAT day!! ๐Ÿ’™๐Ÿ’›
I love how these two snuggle! It warms my heart! ๐Ÿ’™๐Ÿ’›
Our recovery is on point! I get a good squeeze from my Normatec Recovery boots and Jersey gets all the pets! ๐Ÿ’™๐Ÿ’›
Friday Happy Hour swims are SO FUN!! ๐Ÿ’™๐Ÿ’›

What were your highlights from week 14 of 2021?! Where do you find yourself micro quitting and could benefit more from failing instead?!

New Ink

After the Indianapolis Marathon, I decided I needed permanent motivation. ย What better way than new ink?!?!?!?! ย I don’t have many tattoos…as a matter of fact, this one made number 3 (one of which I don’t really count because it was a stupid decision I made when I was 18 and doesn’t have any meaning to it). ย I had put a lot of thought into this tattoo…what the design would look like, where I wanted it, when I would get it, why I was getting it, etc. ย After thinking and planning for nearly 6 months, I decided the off season was a perfect time to get new ink.

When I am riding my bike in areo position, there will be a constant reminder staring me in the face…a reminder to be strong, confident, persevere and have mental fortitude.

The African symbol means strength, confidence and perseverance.
The African symbol means strength, confidence and perseverance.