Racing with Heart and Courage in 2016

Wow, just WOW!! I am honored to be representing Coeur Sports again in 2016 as part of their ambassador team!!

I found out that I made the Coeur Sports 2016 Ambassador Team...Such a badass group of women that I'm overjoyed to be a part of!!

I am overjoyed to be a part of this badass group of strong, courageous women who encourage women in sport and inspire me to be the best version of myself everyday!! They challenge me to #dreambig, #pushmylimits and to even push past them on occasion 🙂

Not only do I love Coeur Sports’s apparel (hello #stylishspeed, seamless chamois and #noangrykitty), but I love what this amazing company and the people behind it stand for: community, kindness, strength, positive sportsmanship, giving back (1% of sales go to the Challenged Athlete Foundation), #heartandcourage, and encouraging more women to lead a life of health and fitness.

Coeur Sports, founder Kebby Holden, and co-founder Hailey Manning stand for these Coeur values and aren’t afraid to #dreambig, while positively impacting the world around them. They put #heartandcourage into everything they do – while racing, training and behind the scenes.

I am beyond excited to represent a brand that embraces strong women and be a part of this badass group of courageous women who are full of #heartandcourage!

And Now…My tentative race schedule for 2016:

St. Louis 1/2 Marathon – April 10, 2016

Drake 1/2 Marathon – April 30, 2016

Tour de Cure Central Iowa 75 mile ride – June 11, 2016

Wisconsin Milkman Triathlon – June 19, 2016

Okoboji Triathlon – July 16, 2016

My “A” Race is: Ironman Wisconsin – September 11, 2016

2016 is going to be an FANTABULOUS year!!

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My 2015 Year in Review via Photos

January:

Running with the family
Running with the family
#solesistasweat
#solesistasweat
Getting some #runlove with my favorite four-legged baby girl!
Getting some #runlove with my favorite four-legged baby girl!
One of my favorite trainer workouts
One of my favorite trainer workouts

February:

#solesistasweat
#solesistasweat
Getting my Coeur Sports Ambassador gear :)
Getting my Coeur Sports Ambassador gear 🙂
Swim clinic...love to learn
Swim clinic…love to learn
#solesistasweat
#solesistasweat
#heartandcourage strong
#heartandcourage strong
Conquering Mountains
Conquering Mountains

March:

#Yogalove
#Yogalove
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Fun times with my #solesista
Birthday funday!
Birthday funday!
Bike fit love
Bike fit love
Spring break with my #solesister
Spring break with my #solesister
Fun with my nieces at the park
Fun with my nieces at the park
Playing tag with the family
Playing tag with the family
Running a 5K with my sister
Running a 5K with my sister

April:

Our own 70.3 workout day
Our own 70.3 workout day
Teaching women how to do bike maintenance
Teaching women how to do bike maintenance
#runlove with the family
#runlove with the family
Drake 1/2 Marathon fun!
Drake 1/2 Marathon fun!
Drake 1/2 Marathon fun
Drake 1/2 Marathon fun
Niece #5 was born!
Niece #5 was born!

May:

Outdoor training :)
Outdoor training 🙂
I love to ride my bicycle!
I love to ride my bicycle!
Oops...learning lessons
Oops…learning lessons
Visiting the Aerospace Engineering Department at Iowa State University
Visiting the Aerospace Engineering Department at Iowa State University
Changing a flat while the Iron Hippie watches...I'm sure many people who passed us had some thoughts about his "supervision" duties ;)
Changing a flat while the Iron Hippie watches…I’m sure many people who passed us had some thoughts about his “supervision” duties 😉
Last day of school!!
Last day of school!!
Getting my Undress in the mail and loving it!!
Getting my Undress in the mail and loving it!!

June:

First outdoor swim in 2015
First outdoor swim in 2015
Finishing the Legend 100 hand-in-hand with the Iron Hippie. Photo courtesy of Legend Endurance
Finishing the Legend 100 hand-in-hand with the Iron Hippie. Photo courtesy of Legend Endurance
Who's ready to race?!?!?!
Who’s ready to race?!?!?!
Dad (blue) and Tom (gray) figuring out how to get into their kayaks to escort me on an open water swim
Dad (blue) and Tom (gray) figuring out how to get into their kayaks to escort me on an open water swim
We are ready to ride the Tour de Cure Cedar Rapids!!
We are ready to ride the Tour de Cure Cedar Rapids!!

July:

30 miles into our 115 mile bike ride. Last big ride before Ironman Boulder
30 miles into our 115 mile bike ride. Last big ride before Ironman Boulder
Last big swim before Ironman Boulder
Last big swim before Ironman Boulder
Last long run before Ironman Boulder
Last long run before Ironman Boulder
Meeting my blog friend, Kelli, and her family :)
Meeting my blog friend, Kelli, and her family 🙂
The view off of the deck overlooking the lake in Red Feather Lakes, CO.
The view off of the deck overlooking the lake in Red Feather Lakes, CO.
The morning sunrise on the mountains at Red Feather Lakes, CO.
The morning sunrise on the mountains at Red Feather Lakes, CO.
Taking a boat ride in Red Feather Lakes, CO
Taking a boat ride in Red Feather Lakes, CO
Sunset with a double rainbow in the background (this photo does not do the real beauty justice) in Red Feather Lakes, CO
Sunset with a double rainbow in the background (this photo does not do the real beauty justice) in Red Feather Lakes, CO
We made it to Estes Park, CO!!
We made it to Estes Park, CO!!
The view of Longs Peak from our patio in Estes Park, CO.
The view of Longs Peak from our patio in Estes Park, CO.
Happy Anniversary to the Iron Hippie...what a great way to celebrate 5 years in Grand Lakes, CO ;)
Happy Anniversary to the Iron Hippie…what a great way to celebrate 5 years in Grand Lakes, CO 😉
We made it to Adam's Falls...with Allen and the Iron Hippie.
We made it to Adam’s Falls…with Allen and the Iron Hippie.
We all survived our first run at altitude :)
We all survived our first run at altitude 🙂
Three athletes ready to ride in Boulder, CO!
Three athletes ready to ride in Boulder, CO!
The view from the path around Lake Estes, CO.
The view from the path around Lake Estes, CO.
Ward, Colorado was our turn around point for the Peak to Peak Highway ride.
Ward, Colorado was our turn around point for the Peak to Peak Highway ride.
People lining the shore getting ready for the BAM OWS in Boulder, CO.
People lining the shore getting ready for the BAM OWS in Boulder, CO.
BAM OWS in Boulder, CO complete...I felt GREAT!!
BAM OWS in Boulder, CO complete…I felt GREAT!!
Stand-up paddle boarding in Lake Estes, CO :)
Stand-up paddle boarding in Lake Estes, CO 🙂
Taking a break from the riding and doing a little core work in Ward!!
Taking a break from the riding and doing a little core work in Ward!!
Riding the Peak to Peak Highway in Colorado
#bikelove on the Peak to Peak Highway in Colorado
We found a "sign" of back home in downtown Denver!!
We found a “sign” of back home in downtown Denver!!
Loch Lake, CO...Loving the hike!
Loch Lake, CO…Loving the hike!
Having a little fun throwing snowballs in July on our way up to Loch Vale.
Having a little fun throwing snowballs in July on our way up to Loch Vale.
"Riding" tandem in Estes Park, CO
“Riding” tandem in Estes Park, CO
Ironman Boulder...here I come!
Ironman Boulder…here I come!
Ready to race IMBoulder :)
Ready to race IMBoulder 🙂
Getting Registered for Ironman Boulder
Getting Registered for Ironman Boulder
I'm so lucky to have my family at IMBoulder to cheer me on!
I’m so lucky to have my family at IMBoulder to cheer me on!

August:

Mojo is all racked and getting a good night's rest at her temporary home so we can have fun at IMBoulder!!
Mojo is all racked and getting a good night’s rest at her temporary home so we can have fun at IMBoulder!!
My aunt, cousins and Dad came out to the Rez for the IMBoulder swim
My aunt, cousins and Dad came out to the Rez for the IMBoulder swim
Whizzing through Hygiene on the first loop...Serious #bikelove on this course!!
Whizzing through Hygiene on the first loop…Serious #bikelove on this course!!
Mom and the twins are cheering me on to the run!
Mom and the twins are cheering me on to the run!
This smile sums up my race day experience!!
This smile sums up my race day experience!!
Erin...one of my Coeur Sports teammates and my angel on race day!!
Erin…one of my Coeur Sports teammates and my angel on race day!!
My cheer squad...Love them all!!
My cheer squad…Love them all!!
Dad and Sam cheering me on down the finish shoot...yes, that blur is me :)
Dad and Sam cheering me on down the finish shoot…yes, that blur is me 🙂
Coming into the finish shoot all smiles...it was a daylight finish, but these photos don't represent that.
Coming into the finish shoot all smiles…it was a daylight finish, but these photos don’t represent that.
Visiting my sister and nieces in California
Visiting my sister and nieces in California
Sister time in Cali!
Sister time in Cali!
Running up Mt. Diablo in California
Running up Mt. Diablo in California
#solesistasweat
#solesistasweat
#bikelove with friends
#bikelove with friends

September:

Team Kecia crossed the finish line at the Des Moines Triathlon...job complete.
Team Kecia crossed the finish line at the Des Moines Triathlon…job complete.
Holy Crap! I think this is a sign that I left it all out on the bike course.
Holy Crap! I think this is a sign that I left it all out on the bike course.
Volunteering at Ironman Wisconsin...Race morning in front of the Capitol.
Volunteering at Ironman Wisconsin…Race morning in front of the Capitol.
Ironman Wisconsin Race morning...who is ready to swim?!?!?!
Ironman Wisconsin Race morning…who is ready to swim?!?!?!
The women volunteers in T1 at Ironman Wisconsin
The women volunteers in T1 at Ironman Wisconsin
Getting my Sound Probiotics Ambassador gear
Getting my Sound Probiotics Ambassador gear
Basil walking toward the Supermoon on a rural gravel road.
Basil walking toward the Supermoon on a rural gravel road.

October:

Signed up for Ironman Wisconsin 2016!
Signed up for Ironman Wisconsin 2016!
300+ 8th grade students ready for the AMS Spirit Run!
300+ 8th grade students ready for the AMS Spirit Run!
Fall #bikelove is the best :)
Fall #bikelove is the best 🙂
Date night with the Iron Hippie as we work on our strength training
Date night with the Iron Hippie as we work on our strength training
Finding some motivation with my #IMWI finisher medal and race bib on the wall next to me as I ride
Finding some motivation with my #IMWI finisher medal and race bib on the wall next to me as I ride
Lots of #heartandcourage as I heal up from bursitis of the my left knee
Lots of #heartandcourage as I heal up from bursitis of the my left knee
Taking the dogs for a swim
Taking the dogs for a swim
Nailing my intervals on the trainer! #bikelove
Nailing my intervals on the trainer! #bikelove
Dry needling to assist my healing...thanks to Dr. Chris at Team Chiropractic
Dry needling to assist my healing…thanks to Dr. Chris at Team Chiropractic
Getting our #solesista tattoos :)
Getting our #solesista tattoos 🙂
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This ink will be my constant reminder while training and racing to #believe in myself, my abilities and my training!!

November:

Enjoying some outdoor #bikelove in November in Iowa...short sleeves and shorts!
Enjoying some outdoor #bikelove in November in Iowa…short sleeves and shorts! WHAT?!?!?!
Century ride in November in Iowa...this amazing weather is unheard of!!
Century ride in November in Iowa…this amazing weather is unheard of!!
I found out that I made the Coeur Sports 2016 Ambassador Team...Such a badass group of women that I'm overjoyed to be a part of!!
I found out that I made the Coeur Sports 2016 Ambassador Team…Such a badass group of women that I’m overjoyed to be a part of!!
My fitness article on "Giving thanks in an active lifestyle" was a big hit this month ;)
My fitness article on “Giving thanks in an active lifestyle” was a big hit this month in our local magazine 😉
Girl's night out with some running friends...so much fun :)
Girl’s night out with some running friends…so much fun 🙂
Outdoor #bikelove lasted through November 14 this year!!
Outdoor #bikelove lasted through November 14 this year!!
Pleasantly surprised with a Passion Planner from one of my colleagues.
Pleasantly surprised with a Passion Planner from one of my colleagues.
Winter greeted us with a LOT of snow (7.6 inches) for the first snow fall of the season.
Winter greeted us with a LOT of snow (7.6 inches) for the first snow fall of the season.
Romping and snowshoeing with friends
Romping and snowshoeing with friends
Riding a motorized animal because I can :)
Riding a motorized animal just because I can 🙂
Spending an afternoon with Mom and Grandma.
Spending an afternoon with Mom and Grandma.

December:

"Believe, Endure, Achieve" will be my mantra for 2016. It will remind me to #believe in all that I am and to #endure and overcome challenges throughout my journey so I can #achieve big dreams! #dreambig #meaningfulmantras
Thank you to Simone for my wonderful bracelet!! “Believe, Endure, Achieve” will be my mantra for 2016. It will remind me to #believe in all that I am and to #endure and overcome challenges throughout my journey so I can #achieve big dreams! #dreambig #meaningfulmantras
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Looking back at 2015 to move forward in 2016 #goalsetting
Yahoo!! So pumped for my new Roka Sports wetsuit!!
Yahoo!! So pumped for my new Roka Sports wetsuit!!
Taking part in Rising Tide Triathlon Coaching's #rttc10dayroutine Challenge and developing a routine that has helped me #believe in myself deep underneath the surface at the very core of my being. 1. Start my "Believe" playlist...time to get down and jam! 2. Take a couple of swigs of Karma Kombucha Orange Ginger..."I #believe I can fly" 3. Listen to my pep talk (previously recorded) while I pull on my workout gear..."Don't stop believing" 4. Grab my lucky charm from Tonja and head out the door..."In a world of ordinary mortals, you are a Wonder Woman!" 5. Stand on the front step in power pose for 30 seconds because...I am Wonder Woman!
Taking part in Rising Tide Triathlon Coaching’s #rttc10dayroutine Challenge and developing a routine that has helped me #believe in myself deep underneath the surface at the very core of my being.
1. Start my “Believe” playlist…time to get down and jam!
2. Take a couple of swigs of Karma Kombucha Orange Ginger…”I #believe I can fly”
3. Listen to my pep talk (previously recorded) while I pull on my workout gear…”Don’t stop believing”
4. Grab my lucky charm from Tonja and head out the door…”In a world of ordinary mortals, you are a Wonder Woman!”
5. Stand on the front step in power pose for 30 seconds because…I am Wonder Woman!
Finally reconnecting with my mat after 9 months off.
Finally reconnecting with my mat after 9 months off…#yogalove
Running on a beautiful cold morning.
Running on a beautiful cold morning with 2 of my faves!
Grandma Annie continues to show up at Christmas and surprise us all with her awesomeness...Our hideous pajama pants were a family favorite this year!
Grandma Annie continues to show up at Christmas and surprise us all with her awesomeness…Our hideous pajama pants were a family favorite this year!
Snowshoeing in the offseason!!
Snowshoeing in the offseason!!
Basil loves playing in the snow!! #happyheart
Basil loves playing in the snow!! #happyheart
Love my sole sister!!
Love my sole sister!!
Girls night out!! Lots of laughs!! :)
Girls night out!! Lots of laughs!! 🙂
My new Cobb Cycling V-Flow saddle :)
My new Cobb Cycling V-Flow saddle 🙂
Fun times with family!!
Fun times with family!!

Happy New Year!! Cheers to an awesome 2016!! 

xoxo

Mental Toughness

“You can have all the fitness and equipment in the world, but if you show up to the start line without confidence, you’ll show up to the finish line with disappointment.”   ~Carrie Cheadle

What qualities does it take to be mentally tough and cross the finish line happy and satisfied with your performance?

  1. Resilience…it is important to respond to challenges, unexpected obstacles and setbacks like a rubber ball; bounce back higher and farther than you set out to bounce the first time. When something doesn’t go as planned, gets you down, or sets you back, don’t let it define you and keep you down. Get back up and fight harder than you ever thought possible. The past is just training; it doesn’t define you. Think about what went wrong, but only in terms of how you can learn from it and make sure that next time you will know how to make sure it goes right. “The next time you want to go crawl under a rock, remember that one event doesn’t define you and that your accomplishments wouldn’t feel as good or be as rewarding if you didn’t have to overcome some challenges and encounter some heartbreak along the way.” ~Carrie Cheadle
  2. Focus…know your goals and don’t let them out of your sight. Focus. There will be times when things don’t go as planned. Focus. There will be times when things are tough. Focus. There will be internal distractions. Focus. There will be external distractions. Focus. There will be times when things go according to the plan. Focus. There will be times when things seem easy. Focus. There will be times when things go better than you had planned. Focus. There will be things that are out of your control. Let them go. Focus on the things that you have control over; don’t waste your time and energy on things that are out of your control. Focus. There will be times you need to overcome pressures…focus, dig deep and persevere!!focus
  3. Strength…every workout that you complete adds a card to your deck. It is easy to rip one card in half, but much more difficult to rip a deck of cards in half. By keeping your focus and completing your scheduled workouts, you are setting yourself up for a much more successful race. The thicker the deck of cards, the stronger you’ll be (both physically and mentally) for your next workout and on race day.
  4. Preparation…you have to want to cross the finish line. In order to get to the finish line, you will need to have the determination to work hard to show up at the start line. The only way to get to the finish line is to first cross the start line. It is important to dream, and #dreambig, but the only way to accomplish goals and dreams is to work hard, learn from mistakes/failures and prepare, both physically and mentally, for what lies ahead. Put a plan into place and execute…Screen Shot 2015-01-18 at 2.19.10 PM
  5. Vision…Where do you want to go? What are your goals/hopes/dreams? How do you plan to accomplish them? What steps do you need to take right now to get you closer to accomplishing them? These are all questions that should have solid answers to get you to whatever finish line you have set. Without vision, it is difficult to have success. Without vision, it is difficult to accomplish goals and fulfill dreams.What road do I take
  6. Confidence…BELIEVE in yourself, your abilities and your training. Confidence is not arrogance. How you see yourself is key…even if you doubt yourself, “fake it ’til you make it” and eventually you will start to believe in your training, your abilities and yourself!! The body will achieve what the mind believes 🙂 What do you have to lose???? Even in the face of doubt.kitty vs lion  doubt vs failure
  7. Trust…trust the process. Show up, do the work, breathe, build momentum, make sure the flame  stays lit. “Figure out what lights your fire, then chase the match.” Be present in the moment, learn from the moment and trust that it will make you stronger/faster/more prepared for what is to come in the future. Trust yourself. Trust your training. Trust that you’ve done all the work. Trust your abilities. Trust that you are ready. Trust others. “Hold the vision, trust the process.” hold the vision trust the process

Mental toughness is not something that develops overnight. It has taken me a long time to build up my mental toughness and feel confident in my abilities, my training and myself so I can cross the finish line happy and satisfied. I have found that dedicating 5 minutes everyday to mental training (visualization, mantras, telling myself positive things, etc.) has really helped build my mental toughness to where it is today. I hope that my mental toughness continues to grow with time and experience!

Which of these qualities do you excel at? Which of these qualities do you need to work on? What qualities would you add to this list?

My #FaveWorkout – Week 17

This week my #FaveWorkout was more a day of workouts…

Yesterday was my birthday and I celebrated it doing what I love…working out 🙂

I started my day with 45 minutes of easy #runlove at 4:30 am with the Iron Hippie and Basil. It was perfect outside (low 40s F) and no one was out and about yet 🙂 After the run, the Iron Hippie made me a “birthday smoothie” to replace my birthday cake for the day…I think it had enough calories in it for the entire day…

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Chocolate almond milk, 1/2 a bag of mint Oreo cookies, a heaping scoop of peanut butter and two scoops of Osmo Recovery...#toomanycalories
Chocolate almond milk, 1/2 a bag of mint Oreo cookies, a heaping scoop of peanut butter and two scoops of Osmo Recovery…#toomanycalories

After work, we took to the trainers for some #bikelove #intervals. Thankfully it was 74F outside and we rode in the driveway on our trainers. I broke out my new Coeur Sports tri kit…it is time to reach for the stars and #dreambig!!  “Shoot for the moon. Even if you miss, you’ll land among the stars.” ~Les Brown

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I love that my friends understand me and want to workout while celebrating my birthday at the same time 🙂

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It wasn’t all fun and celebrations. We did get down to work with this 30 second #interval workout:

20 minute warm-up including 3×45 sec single leg drills
3x(7:00 of 30 sec sprint/30 sec recovery) w/ 5 min easy spin between sets
9 minute cool down

After the #bikelove, I taught TRX…lots of core work to give the legs a bit of a break in preparation for today’s long run after work.

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What was your favorite workout this week?

22 Weeks ’til Ironman Boulder

This was a recovery week and was supposed to be a week of parent teacher conferences. Thanks to Mother Nature deciding to continue to force her bad attitude on us, we had an early dismissal from school and no parent teacher conferences on Wednesday. This was a nice reprieve, but it puts a kink into my training schedule for the coming week since we have to make up those conferences…

Monday:

Rest Day…While I had planned to get up early and complete an hour strength training session, I decided resting up for the coming week would be more advantageous due to the long days ahead of me. After a 13 hour work day, I came home to a very special delivery…my new Coeur Sports gear!! LOVE, LOVE, LOVE!! #heartandcourage #stylishspeed

Basil loves my new Coeur gear!!
Basil loves my new Coeur gear!!

Tuesday:

Rest Day #2…I intentionally took Tuesday and Wednesday off from working out since I had an FTP test on the calendar for Thursday afternoon. My 13 hour work day #2 is in the books…

Wednesday:

Rest Day #3…I did have to shovel some snow, but that was the only working out that I did in preparation for my FTP test tomorrow. Instead of leaving work at 7:30 pm, we were released at 1:30 pm due to the weather. What does one do with this extra down time?!?!?!?

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Relaxing with the dog and a good book.

Thursday:

This was a half day of work, so I was home by noon…just in time for a nap before my FTP test 😉

And now for the FTP test…after a 20 minute warm-up, I pushed hard for 20 minutes and sweat A LOT. The results??? I improved my FTP by 21 watts (up from 156 watts to 177 watts) from my last test 2 months ago. #progress 🙂 I still have LOTS of room for growth and will continue to work hard to continue to get stronger and faster on the bike!!

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I followed my FTP test up with TRX…this was my #FaveWorkout this week. OUCH!!

Full class!!
Full class!!

Friday:

HOLY COLD…BRR!! Going outside in this weather = #hardcoeur

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With the day off, I could go to the gym and complete my workouts whenever I wanted, so I opted for about 10:00 am…

3500 yard swim...in sets of 3x1000. Not my ideal pace, but it gives me room for improvement.
3500 yard swim…in sets of 3×1000. Not my ideal pace, but it gives me room for improvement.

I followed my swim up with 50 minutes of #runlove including 6×1 minute at faster than 5K pace. I ran these at a 7:03 pace…I’m not sure I could have gone much faster today. My legs were still REALLY tired from yesterday’s FTP test and TRX class.

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No…I didn’t pee myself, lots of sweating on this run!!

After refueling and cleaning up, it was time for a massage. Bad news…OUCH!!! Good news…Nick noticed that my muscles aren’t as tight as they have been in the past. Maybe my thyroid meds are slowly starting to work. 🙂

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I also had a very special delivery from Barnana today!! #realfoodfuel #potassiumboost

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Saturday:

We opted for an early morning run on the mill again due to the cold morning temps…it looks like we MIGHT have warmer weather in the next 7 days. We’ll see…

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9.9 miles of #solesistasweat is the best start to my Saturday…ignore the creepy guy in the background…

I followed this run up with 30 minutes of #hardcoeur work…

Yes...that is a weight on my glutes to make this plank a bit more challenging. This after a 3:30 plank, 1:00 plank and 1:00 plank. I was a planking fool this morning ;)
Yes…that is a weight on my glutes to make this plank a bit more challenging. This came after a 3:30 plank, 1:00 plank and 1:00 plank. I was a planking fool this morning 😉

After cleaning up, we did a little photo shoot for my Coeur Sports Ambassador Team photo 😉

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Sometimes you need to move mountains to accomplish dreams. ‪#‎hardcoeur‬‬ ‪#‎dreambig‬

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When you conquer the mountain of obstacles in your path, the victory is yours!!

Sunday:

I started my morning with the Z2, Z3 and wall sit workout lasting 2 hours…this was tough, but when you conquer the mountain of obstacles in your path, the victory is yours. I’m hoping the victory becomes mine on race day 🙂

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I followed up this workout with good food, a little rest and 90 minutes of hot yoga with friends 🙂

Taking child's pose
Taking child’s pose before we got too sweaty

Weekly Totals:

Swim: 3500 yards

Bike: 42.7 miles

Run: 15.4 miles

Strength Training: 1:15:00

Hot Yoga: 1:30:00

Total Duration: 9:15:00

What were the highlights of your week?