What’s up?! – August 2019

August was an uncomfortable month. I’m changing things up. I don’t want to swim/bike/run because that is what I have known for so long and what I think I SHOULD do. I want it to be something that I really WANT to do. So I took a step back to dig deep within myself and search my soul to try to figure out what it is that truly makes me happy and lights my fire. It is a process. One that I struggle to be patient with, but I believe that time will give me the clarity that I need for how and where to move forward.

Training:

After Ironman Lake Placid at the end of July, I strived to find more balance. As a result, my training wasn’t top priority this month. I took some time to figure out what I TRULY WANT and where I WANT to go, but I have learned that I really do LOVE swim/bike/run and can’t imagine my life without them in it.

Swimming (exercise really) is ALWAYS better with friends! Grateful for pool shenanigans with these two peeps!
Truth: I rode 32 miles after work. I had lots of time to think. I realized just how much I REALLY do LOVE to ride my bicycle when I do it my way. I love the open roads, the wind in my face, the sun on my back, and the freedom I feel!
This was my favorite run so far this year! I found peace, freedom, and oh so much joy on the trails. I couldn’t stop smiling! It is exactly what I needed!

Swim: 8132 yards (4.62 miles)
Bike: 92.8 miles
Run: 28.8 miles
Strength: 10 minutes of core daily + various full body strength
Meditation: 3 minutes daily since January 1
Monthly Totals: 19 hours & 20 minutes

#explore:

Explore is my focus word in 2019 and I’m happy to be incorporating it into all areas of my life…including recreating triathlon and sport as my happy place! With the uncertainty of where I want to go with sport, I have taken a break from coaching. Kelly, with Ever Racing,  has been AMAZING for me! We developed a great coach/athlete relationship over the last couple of years. She has helped me get the strongest + fittest I have ever been. I am forever grateful for her knowledge, guidance, support, and commitment to me!

Because I am recreating triathlon and sport as my happy place, I invited a dear friend (and former colleague) to complete the Bluff Creek Triathlon with me. I wanted to do this race with the only goals of having fun + finishing with Traci! When you are committed to crossing the finish line with someone else and your only focus is to help them get to the finish line, it gives you new purpose, removes the pressure, and opens space for a LOT more fun!! I am so grateful she said “yes” to this adventure and so proud of her for her perseverance and fortitude!! Congratulations Traci on your 1st place podium finish in your division!!

We both made the podium in our divisions!

Listening to:

With my new job, I am able to listen to lots of podcasts as I set up and tear down labs. I am finding that I really enjoy this, so if you have any suggestions, please send them my way!

KonaKamps always has me inspired and motivated!! Some of this months faves were:
Jennifer Campbell, Santa Rosa 2019
Clarice Chastang Lorenzini, Ironman Boulder 2019
Tom Oosterdijk, Overall Champion, Ironman Cork 2019
Daniel McParland, Ironman Cork 2019

Coeur Sports EarSplitz Podcast featured Kate Bevilaqua “Achieving the Difficult” is full of inspiration! Kate is the Ultraman World Champion. In case you are wondering, the Ultraman covers 320 miles on the Big Island of Hawaii. It includes 6.2 miles of swimming + 261.4 miles of biking + 52.4 miles of running over 3 days. WOW!!!

The TEDx Talk with Mel Robbins How to Stop Screwing Yourself Over is spot on! “Your soul needs exploration and growth.” It sure does! Routine and monotony are boring!

The 5 Second Rule to Change Your Life with Mel Robbins and Lewis Howes is eye opening! WOW!

The TEDx Talk with Germaine Gaspard The Power of Using Your Pain to Fuel Your Success had me nodding my head A LOT!! “The moment that I decided to be the author of my story rather than a character in it is the moment that my pain began to evolve into my power. To do this, I had to love myself enough to walk away from anything and everything that required me to be and play small.” WOW!! YES!!

Share the Road: How Cities Can Keep Cyclists Safe is a great listen! We need to stop separating motorists from cyclists. We are all people trying to get from point A to point B. We all have people in our lives who love us and whom we love. Please remember that it isn’t just a bike out on the road, it is a person on a bike. #itcouldbeme

Rich Roll has a lot of great guests on his show. Recently he brought Gwen Jorgensen onto the show and it was AMAZING!! Gwen Jorgensen’s Champion Mindset: Big Dreams, Taking Risks, and Following Your Heart is full of lots of snippets that anyone can relate to sport and life. ❤

Kelsey Abbott brought Sarah Nannen on her Find Your Awesome podcast. “Sarah became a military widow and solo mom of four young children in 2014 when her husband died in an aviation accident. Her journey through grief opened her eyes to a renegade way of living life that goes beyond just surviving the ride. This idea now informs her work with people breaking through their limitations to live extraordinary lives.” Sarah has some amazing insights that don’t simply relate to loss and grief, but can relate to all areas of life. “Life is full of hard stuff. So, if we’re not going to have some pleasure along the way, then we’re missing the point.” ~Sarah Nannen

Ironwomen Podcast has so many amazing women on! Amanda Wendorff is a must listen to! Amanda addresses how she overcame many obstacles thrown her way in 2018 to get to the top step of the podium at Ironman Cork in 2019. Paula Findlay is such an inspiration as she talks about transitioning from ITU to 70.3 racing, overcoming injuries, and how she handles pressure. Believe in your best is full of great nuggets that any athlete can benefit from!

Reading:

“A tribute to Bethany – Keep triathlon fun” by Marni Sumbal is a great reminder that we should keep fun in the sport of triathlon. “When you have fun and truly enjoy yourself, you are more capable of dealing with everything else in life and there’s purpose with your training and racing. We all know that life isn’t always fun. Life is tough. It’s often serious, sad and difficult. Triathlon is a beautiful escape from life. Triathlon shouldn’t be all serious and hard work. Sure, being dedicating and working hard makes you a better athlete but if you are overly serious, competitive and extreme, you probably aren’t having much fun.”

Ghost by Jason Reynolds is a quick, easy read and written at a level that is perfect for adolescent individuals. “Ghost wants to be the fastest sprinter on his elite middle school track team, but his past is slowing him down in this first electrifying novel of a brand-new series from Coretta Scott King/John Steptoe Award–winning author Jason Reynolds.
Ghost. Lu. Patina. Sunny. Four kids from wildly different backgrounds with personalities that are explosive when they clash. But they are also four kids chosen for an elite middle school track team—a team that could qualify them for the Junior Olympics if they can get their acts together. They all have a lot to lose, but they also have a lot to prove, not only to each other, but to themselves.
Running. That’s all Ghost (real name Castle Cranshaw) has ever known. But Ghost has been running for the wrong reasons—it all started with running away from his father, who, when Ghost was a very little boy, chased him and his mother through their apartment, then down the street, with a loaded gun, aiming to kill. Since then, Ghost has been the one causing problems—and running away from them—until he meets Coach, an ex-Olympic Medalist who sees something in Ghost: crazy natural talent. If Ghost can stay on track, literally and figuratively, he could be the best sprinter in the city. Can Ghost harness his raw talent for speed, or will his past finally catch up to him?”

Coeur Sports had a blog post, We’re Outspoken about Inclusivity, that REALLY tugged at my heartstrings. I see so many people shy away from doing a triathlon because they fear the unknown and when they do finally show up on race day, there are other athletes who are rude and sometimes down right mean to them when they ask questions or try to interact with them. Why can’t we all be encouraging and inclusive?! There was a day when each one of us was a newbie in the sport. Do you remember your first triathlon?! Please, please, please be nice and help a fellow athlete out!!

Attitude of Gratitude:

Grateful that my fave enjoys the same things I do. Hiking to the falls post Ironman only resulted in a few minor scratches due to tired legs and falling.
Grateful we got to explore part of Skaneateles, NY via a boat tour.
So happy to be on the open water! You can take the girl off of the lake, but you can’t take the lake out of the girl!
So grateful we got to spend some time with two of our favorite people! Can’t wait to spend more time with you in September!
I missed my baby girl SO MUCH while on vacation! I am so grateful she missed me too!
SO GRATEFUL to be going back to a job that I LOVE after a 3 week vacation
Ah…Sushi and the best company are two amazing ways to end the day!
Grateful to play in the water with my fave by my side and not feel the pressure of structured training.
Grateful for a BEAUTIFUL evening to listen to our friend play live music at our local Coop!
Grateful for BEAUTIFUL morning sunrises!!
Grateful for my standing desk at work. It is nice to have the option to work from different positions when I am at my desk.
SO GRATEFUL I GOT to pound the pavement for a few miles after work for the pure joy of running and not because I SHOULD or HAVE TO.
Grateful for time with family!
Grateful for family fun at the Iowa State Fair!
Grateful that the big “kids” still like to play and have fun like little kids!
Grateful for the Heritage Farm recognition at the Iowa State Fair. The family farm has been in the same family for 150 years.
“Smile for the camera, Traci!” SO GRATEFUL that I got to do the Bluff Creek Triathlon with this fantabulous lady!!
Photo Credit: Dave Mable
So grateful to Steena for thinking of me and sending me this perfect reminder to “live my truth”!! Fellow Flowers
So grateful that I got to run with Robin! I love the early morning sunrises, the fresh air, the conversations, the community, the sounds of feet hitting the pavement, sweating together, and the hugs at the end!
Grateful for the lunch date at the food truck with my fave…one of the many advantages of us both working on campus!!
Grateful for time picking berries with loved ones!! Fresh fruit…YUMMMM!!
Grateful for time on the water with some of my loved ones!
Grateful to get to spend the weekend with these peeps!!
Grateful that my twin nieces want to come visit us and adventure with us!!
I have some of the best people in my life! Grateful Erika is sharing with me courage, clarity, and balance as I #livemytruth
Love this dog so much! She keeps the play in playful and I am forever grateful for her youth and spunk!
Nature’s beauty is everywhere…even on my short walk from the car to my building on Iowa State’s Campus. Grateful to love my job!
Grateful to see the early morning painted sky!
SO GRATEFUL to run with my faves at home home! Love them and the lake!
Grateful to get to reconnect with my mat on the lake with my fave + my Dad.
I absolutely LOVE swimming at home home! So grateful for this magical opportunity!
Living my truth!
I am blessed beyond words to have such an amazing partner in life!

How was your month of August?! What were you grateful for last month?! What things do you do to maintain balance in your life?!

Advertisements

#explore Ironman Lake Placid race report

“Happiness is letting go of what you think your life is supposed to look like and celebrating it for everything that it is.” ~Mandy Hale

I’m not really sure where to begin with this…the beginning, middle, or end. I guess it depends on what you want to hear, so the beginning is where I’ll begin. If you want the cliff notes version, skip to the end 😉

My focus word for 2019 is EXPLORE and when I picked this word, I had NO idea just where it would take me, but I’m so grateful for the journey it has taken me on this year. If you’ve been following my blog, EXPLORE is definitely the perfect word for my 2019 journey. I have changed careers, had some tough conversations with those that I love which has brought me so much freedom + space, and have created lots of amazing memories. Ironman Lake Placid did not disappoint as I #explored and #discovered so much about who I am and who I want to be to live my absolute best life.

Putting on the wetsuits! Photo credit: Neal Fedora
Ready for a big day! Photo credit: Neal Fedora
Love this man! So glad I get to do life with him by my side! Photo credit: Neal Fedora

Swim: 1:16:52 (1:59/100 m or 1:48/100 yards) PR

This sea of athletes is race ready!

The Iron Hippie and I lined up just behind the 1:21-1:30 finish time. As we approached the shore, the pro men were coming out of the water finishing their first 1.2 mile loop and heading back out for loop #2. When I crossed the starting mat, I had open water and was in very little contact with other swimmers during the first loop. I came out of the water right where I was aiming for at the end of my first loop.

Swim loop #1 complete! Photo credit: FinisherPix

As I entered the water for loop #2, I encountered a bit more physical contact in the water, so I made my way to the inside of the buoys where the water was much cleaner. I went outside of the two turn buoys on the far end of the course, and then back to the inside line for my return back to the shore. With the underwater cable, this was perfect for sighting and swimming a straight line! My second loop was a tad bit slower than I was aiming for, but with more physical contact on the second loop, I had to fight more to get around slower people in front of me.

That’s a swim PR! Photo credit: FinisherPix

T1: 8:05

As I entered the transition area, I saw a social media friend! Erin and I quickly exchanged hugs before heading into the change tent. Thank you for lifting me up in that moment Erin! ❤ I flew solo in the change tent as the volunteers were all helping other ladies. I briefly struggled getting my aero top on over my wet body, but quickly made my way to Mojo so we could head out on the bike and start our 112 mile journey.

Done with the swim! Photo credit: Neal Fedora

Bike: 7:48:38 (average speed = 14.34 mph)

This is the place where things changed. Not only did my legs feel like lead from the start, but my mind went back to those tough conversations and the freedom + space I’ve gained through having those conversations. When you ride 112 miles, it gives you A LOT of time to think, process your thoughts, and make sense of your true feelings. I asked myself multiple times “why” am I doing this? Not the superficial why, but the deep down to the depths of your soul why. I knew my superficial why, but this was not the answer I was truly seeking on this day. Ironman finds a way of stripping you down to nothing, exposing your true self, and helping you discover who you really are on a daily basis. As I was being stripped down to nothing during the 112 mile bike portion of the race, I came to the revelation that I have been using Ironman training and racing (and marathon training/racing before that) as a coping mechanism. Taking all of the negative energy I have been holding on to for 35+ years and putting that negative energy into something I could control. Something that gave me my power back. Something that taught me I am worth so much more than I have given myself credit for. Something that has taught me to believe in myself. Something that has taught me to obliterate self doubt that has been holding me back…not just in my athletic endeavors, but in all areas of my life. Something that has given me a gift…the gift to figure out who I am and who I want to be.

Out on loop #1 of the bike! Photo credit: FinisherPix

At about mile 50, the Iron Hippie went by me on the bike. By this point, I had already decided that I was going to pull out of the race at mile 56 when I got back into town. I had nothing left to prove; I realized I was racing Ironman and chasing someone else’s dreams for all the wrong reasons. Using it as a way to channel the negative energy that I no longer truly possessed was not the reason I wanted to be racing Ironman. The first 50 miles allowed me to open my eyes and heart. Racing Ironman distance triathlon is not something I truly want to do when it perpetuates those negative feelings. It is time to let go of the hurt and negativity. I knew I wanted to support the Iron Hippie and do whatever I could to ensure he had the best race possible and finished strong. His journey to the start line of Ironman Lake Placid has been less than ideal. I was planning to put my bike back in transition, turn in my chip, change clothes, and cheer him on from the sidelines. In those last 6 miles of the first loop on the bike before returning to town, I came to the realization that I needed to keep going so that I could finish with him and support him while being beside him. I knew I could catch him on the run as his longest run prior to this race was 10 miles (running 5 minutes/walking 1 minute) one week before the race due to having his knee scoped in February.

Finishing loop #1 of the bike! Photo credit: FinisherPix

So, I came into town, swapped out my bike bottles at special needs and headed out for loop #2. I felt so relieved knowing that this race was my Ironman swan song centered around negative energy and would no longer be used as a coping mechanism. I decided in those moments wasn’t going to do another Ironman unless I one day found a joyful, positive reason for doing it. I knew deep down to the depths of my soul that I really didn’t want to do another Ironman for all of the wrong reasons and this was my last one for all the wrong reasons. I kept pushing forward (even through the 10 minute heavy down pour). As I came back to town, the crowds carried us up the bears and into transition.

Finishing loop #2 of the bike! Photo credit: FinisherPix

T2: 7:49

I handed off Mojo to a volunteer (these volunteers are truly amazing!), grabbed my run bag and headed to the change tent where I again flew solo because all of the volunteers were helping other athletes.

Run: 6:17:00 (14:23/mile)

As I left T2, I saw our friend Carol and she told me the Iron Hippie was only 4 minutes ahead of me on the run. I talked with her for a few minutes telling her about the revelations I came to on the bike and then hunted down my fave!

Chasing down my fave! I see him! Photo credit: FinisherPix

I caught him between mile 2 and mile 3 of the run. As we continued to run/walk for a bit, I told him about everything I was thinking, the relief I was feeling about not doing another Ironman for all of the wrong reasons, and how I wanted to support him in whatever future races and adventures he decided to do. We saw lots of friends and family as we continued to make forward progress.

Not feeling it on the run. Photo Credit: Amy Farrell
Ready to conquer run loop #2. Photo Credit: Amy Farrell

As our run/walk became more of a walk, we talked about so many things. It was so nice to have this time together.

On the last loop of the run! Photo credit: FinisherPix

Finish: 15:38:24

Ironman Lake Placid was my Ironman swan song centered around negative energy and for all the wrong reasons. Maybe someday I will do another Ironman, but it has to be centered around joy positive energy, and for all of the right reasons. This is not letting go of a dream, but having the courage to let go of past demons and start on a new path where I follow my heart and live more freely. As I close this chapter of my life I am grateful for the freedom + space it has provided me and the lessons it has taught me. I’m not sure what the next chapter has in store for me, but I know it will still include swim/bike/run as I strive to find a better balance. I have learned lessons that have shaped me and will continue to do so in the future, and I am so grateful for every moment. I feel relieved. I will continue to be a part of Ironman as a volunteer and spectator. I love giving back to others, supporting them on their journey, and watching them cross the finish line. Ironman Lake Placid gave me a gift! It gave me the feeling of freedom! It gave me the awareness + focus to discover myself anew! It gave me an opportunity to recreate my “why”! It opened my eyes + heart, teaching me that it is time to live my life instead of survive it!

So glad to see Moira and Mike at the finish line! Photo credit: FinisherPix
Grateful for this finish line with my Fave by my side! Photo credit: FinisherPix

Grateful Heart!

I couldn’t have gotten where I am without help and support from others. It takes a village and I am so grateful to have an amazing village supporting me!

  • To my Coeur Sports family for their amazing support and for creating top of the line kits + gear!
  • To Sound Probiotics for keeping me healthy and ready to tackle everything that came my way.
  • To SBR Sports, Inc. for the best anti-chaffing lube on the market!
  • To Nick at Vitality Massage for helping to keep my body physically read to handle the next challenge.
  • To Chris with Team Chiropractic for helping to “fix” all of the nagging aches and pains; preventing them from turning into injuries.
  • To Coach Kelly with Ever Racing for customizing my plan and helping me become the fittest and strongest version of myself.
  • To my Dad, Aunt Linda, and Cousin Neal for making the trip to Lake Placid to cheer us on and photograph the day.

    Our race day support crew! Love you Dad, Aunt Linda, and Cousin Neal! Photo credit: Neal Fedora
  • To my parents for their unwavering love and support in life and sport. I love you both more than you can possibly know.
  • To my Fave for always being by my side through the easy + challenging times; encouraging me, supporting me, and always helping me become the best version of myself. I love you to infinity and beyond!

    I am SO proud of the Iron Hippie for his accomplishments this racing season! He overcame so many challenges to get to this finish line! Photo credit: FinisherPix

What’s up?! – May 2019

And with that, I am officially done teaching 8th graders!! I still have multiple days of professional development ahead of me, but the students are gone. It is bitter sweet!! You can read more about that here. It is time to start my next new adventure soon, but first, here is a look at what the month of May had in store for me.

Training:

I had another SOLID month of training!! I completed 10 minutes of core strength daily + 3 minutes of meditation daily + I’m still on the green streak in Training Peaks!! I have not missed one workout so far this year…22 weeks and counting!! BOOM!!

BOOM!! I think I grew gills and fins!! This is my fastest ever 100 yard pace!! 🙂
I love spending time on two wheels outside with my fave at my side!! 70+ miles on the most perfect weather day any cyclist could ask for!!
What?! I got to run with my fave!! WAHOO!! I’m so proud of his patience, strength, and focus on getting to the start line of #IMLP this July!!

Swim: 28,725 yards (16.3 miles)
Bike: 357 miles
Run: 83.6 miles
Strength: 10 minutes of core daily + various full body strength
Meditation: 3 minutes daily since January 1
Monthly Totals: 53 hours & 5 minutes

#explore:

Explore is my focus word in 2019 and I’m happy to be incorporating it into all areas of my life…including racing!! I’ve been talking with Coach Kelly about racing two IRONMAN races in one year and she was just as excited for me to give it a go as I am. So, on May 1, I decided to #explore with racing TWO IRONMAN races 10 weeks apart in 2019. I have officially registered for Ironman Lake Placid on July 28 AND Ironman Louisville on October 13. This will be my first ever experience in doing two Ironman races so close together. Am I nervous? Sure! Am I scared? A bit! Am I excited? MOST DEFINITELY! I am ready to push my limits and see what my body + mind can handle.

Ironman Louisville registration is complete! I am ready for another crack at you and hoping for much better weather this year!!

Listening to:

KonaKamps always has me inspired by some amazing peeps!! Megan Anley won Ironman South Africa in the W18-24 age group at her first Ironman. Congrats Megan!!

Rich Roll brought Jesse Thomas to his podcast recently. Jesse is not only an amazing professional triathlete, but he balances his pro triathlon career with a wife, kids, his own business, and fun. He is quite the inspiration and so down to Earth!!

Reading:

Finding my Voice by Mike Reilly is so inspirational!! “Finding My Voice is a series of deeply personal vignettes illuminating how profoundly the sport of IRONMAN touches both its participants and its fans. Written from Reilly’s unique insider’s perspective as the long-time World Championship race announcer and one of the most prominent personalities in the endurance sports field, it  provides an intimate, revealing and entertaining glimpse into a fascinating corner of the world of endurance sports.”

Can’t Hurt Me: Master Your Mind and Defy the Odds by David Goggins is a great read. He overcame so many obstacles in life and eventually became “the only man in history to complete elite training as a Navy SEAL, Army Ranger, and Air Force Tactical Air Controller. He went on to set records in numerous endurance events, inspiring Outside magazine to name him “The Fittest (Real) Man in America.” Through self-discipline, mental toughness, and hard work, Goggins transformed himself from a depressed, overweight young man with no future into a U.S. Armed Forces icon and one of the world’s top endurance athletes.”

Loving:

Our new Sleep Number bed!! While we have only slept in it for 3 nights, it has been three of the best nights’ of sleep in a LONG time!! As we continue to dial in our numbers, I can only imagine that out sleep will continue to improve!!

Basil loves our new bed!!

Leaning into:

My last week of my middle school teaching career. This change feels scary, but right!! I’m super excited to embark on this new career as a Teaching Laboratory Coordinator with the Physics and Astronomy Department at Iowa State University starting next week. After all, stepping outside of your comfort zone is where the magic happens!

Going out with a splash!! My last day with kids was super fun and wet!! Now for a week of professional development before starting my new adventure next week!!

Attitude of Gratitude:

Chaperoning my last 8th grade dance!!
Morning sunrises are the best way to start the day!!
Playing in the water with my fave!!
Recovering in my Normatec boots while watching the Kentucky Derby!!
Joining some friends for a spin class!
Our neighbor, Marjorie, came home from Arizona. We are so happy she is here to stay!!
So grateful my favorite girl loves to run!! 13.2 miles later, we were both ready for some food and a nap!! 🙂
I love fresh, homegrown veggies!! So grateful to get our garden planted!!
Grateful to get to reconnect with my mat!
Grateful for the time and nice weather to finally landscape around the house!!
Grateful to have these two amazing ladies show up and attend my triathlon clinic!!
So grateful that Shane, our UPS delivery driver, loves our girls!!
So grateful to have had some of the most AMAZING colleagues ever!! I will miss some of our shenanigans!!

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

Work Works!!

Monday morning I had the swim of my life!! I’ve been working so hard for years and all of my hard work is paying off!! Seriously!! For the main set, I had 5×100 ALL OUT EFFORT with 4 minutes of recovery between intervals. The last time I did this swim, my times were 1:31-1:33/100 yards, so my goal was to break 1:30/100 yards for most of them. I didn’t know if it was possible, but I was going to do my best to give it a go!!

After my first 100 yards, I was STOKED!! Not only was I sub 1:30/100 yards, but I was more than a couple of seconds under. BOOM!! Let’s keep this momentum going!! 4 minutes rest and my second one was even faster!! WHAT?! Who am I?! Have I grown gills and fins?! 4 minutes rest and consistency…same time as my 2nd interval. I’m good with that!! 4 minutes rest and BOOM…5 seconds faster than the 1:30/100 yard goal!! WHAT?! I must be in someone else’s body this morning!! 4 minutes rest and let’s do this last one. SOLID!!

My 5×100 yard splits

I am super pleased with this swim. Not because I surpassed my wildest expectations. Not because I had super fast (for me) swim times. Not because I fought hard for every second. Not because I stayed physically strong throughout this swim. Not because I was efficient in the water. Not because I was determined and disciplined during this swim. Not because I was focused mentally throughout this swim.

I am super pleased with this swim BECAUSE I never gave up!! I have been consistently showing up and working SO HARD to get to this point. My first 100 yard time trial effort in January of 2010 was 1:57/100 yards and in reading my notes about that swim, it was SUCH a struggle to achieve. I could have settled with the 1:57/100 yard pace and continued to swim at this *fast* speed for the next 9+ years; instead I decided to work hard and push myself out of my comfort zone to achieve great things. Consistently show up!! Never give up!! Work works!!

Accomplishing this goal has not been a solo endeavor.

  • Thank you to the Iron Hippie for always believing in me, always pushing me to be the best I can be, and being my rock. ❤
  • Thank you to Coach Kelly for believing in me, challenging me, and building a program that has allowed me to get stronger and faster.
  • Thank you to my parents for teaching me to chase my dreams, that hard work pays off, and always supporting me no matter what! ❤
  • Thank you to my Coeur teammates for your motivation, inspiration, support, and encouragement to always strive for the best from myself.

** Special thanks to Steena for the title of this post!!

#explore x2

If you’ve been following my blog this year, you know that #explore is my word for 2019. I have been exploring in all areas of my life…training, racing, work, and my personal life. I have been healthy and strong so far this year, so after conferring with the Iron Hippie and Coach Kelly, I have decided to #explore x2 in 2019!

What does #explore x2 mean?! Well…2x the Ironman journey, 2x the learning + growing, 2x the fun! On July 28, 2019 I will be tackling Ironman Lake Placid and on October 13, 2019 I will be tackling Ironman Louisville. Until now, the closest I have raced two Ironman competitions is 10 months apart, but in 2019 I am going to #explore and see what my body + mind can do with two Ironman races 10 WEEKS apart. Eeeekkkkk!!! Like any new thing, I am full of mixed emotions; one minute I doubt my decision and abilities, and the next I am confident in my decision and my abilities. Overall, I am very excited and looking forward to the challenge.

Ironman teaches me something during every journey to the start line and on every race day. I learn things about myself; things I didn’t know before. I ❤ to learn! As a result, I am looking forward to learning and growing on my journey to Ironman Lake Placid, on my journey to Ironman Louisville, during Ironman Lake Placid, and during Ironman Louisville this year.

“Adversity is what introduces you to yourself, so I am discovering myself anew on a daily basis, and everyday I get stronger.” ~Mike Reilly

July 28, 2019
October 13, 2019

For those of you who have done 2 Ironman races ~10 weeks apart, what advice do you have?!

Coaches Expectations

I recently received feedback from Coach Kelly on a couple of workouts that I’ve completed. They got me thinking about what I think her expectations are of me as an athlete. As athletes, we have expectations of our coaches, so wouldn’t it be true that our coaches have expectations of us as athletes?! I believe our coaches have expectations of us as athletes. I believe the following are some of Coach Kelly’s expectations of me.

  1. Communicate openly and honestly with her. I am paying her to help me. If I hold things back from her, I limit the amount of help she can provide me and limit my own success.
  2. Be open and responsive to feedback. I hired her to help me get stronger and improve my fitness. I want her feedback and I am grateful when she helps me reframe my mindset to be more positive and realistic.
  3. Be realistic about the time that I have to commit to training. Keeping her informed from week to week of engagements and appointments so that I can minimize my stress + maximize my success is key. With my career changing, I may find that my work hours change a bit as well, so being realistic with the amount of time I have to train and the time of day that I can do so will also be key.
  4. Stay healthy; this does not only mean staying injury free, but also remaining healthy mentally. Fueling my body with healthy foods, getting plenty of sleep so it is ready for the next session, and getting massages + ART as needed are key in staying physically + mentally healthy.
  5. Be engaged and focused during my training sessions. The mind will wander…that’s a given, but when I notice the mind has wandered, pull it back to the task at hand and keep the focus.
  6. Adjust to adversity…life isn’t always full of rainbows and unicorns. There are challenges that we have to face. As an athlete, it is important to face adversity head on, problem solve, and make adjustments on the fly to make the challenging situation as easy as possible. How can I get past this struggle?!
  7. Believe in myself…know that I won’t hit every target that is set. Having targets to chase is how I will get stronger and become a better athlete. Even when I don’t hit the targets, believe that I will one day and keep fighting with everything I have in me.
  8. Trust my coach…if I go into workouts questioning why I’m doing this workout or doubting what she has put in place to help me be successful, I will not be successful. It is just as important for me to believe in my coach as it is to believe in myself!
  9. Do and be my best! Not just in training and racing, but in life. Be a positive ambassador for the sport. If it isn’t my day, that’s ok. I can still be positive, encouraging, and uplifting for others around me. Knowing I gave the best I had for that day.
  10. Have fun! If we aren’t having fun, what is the point of training and racing?! Fun should always be the top reason for doing what we love!!
Coach Kelly really cares about her athletes and I am SO grateful to have her in my village guiding, supporting, and encouraging me on my journey to becoming the best triathlete + person I can be!!

Am I missing any expectations that you think a coach might have for their athlete?! If so, what are they?

What’s up?! – April 2019

As I roll into my last month of teaching, before changing careers, it is time to reflect on April. April has brought us some days of warmer weather, had me spending time with my Coeur sisters, crossing the finish line of another 1/2 marathon, and riding outside on the open roads with my fave. With all of these amazing things in the rear view mirror, I have high hopes for the month of May!!

Training:

I had another SOLID month of training!! I completed 10 minutes of core strength daily + I’m still on the green streak in Training Peaks!! I have not missed one workout so far this year…18 weeks and counting!! BOOM!!

14 Ironman finish lines amongst this #swimsquad and more to come in our futures!!
“Growth comes at a point of resistance; we learn by pushing ourselves to the outer reaches of our abilities.” ~Josh Waitzkin
Keep the focus and finish STRONG!! My 7th Drake 1/2 marathon is in the books!! You can read more about it here.

Swim: 38,700 yards (21.99 miles)
Bike: 282 miles
Run: 95.5  miles
Strength: 10 minutes of core daily + various full body strength
Monthly Totals: 54 hours & 40 minutes

#explore:

Explore is my focus word in 2019 and I’m happy to be incorporating it into all areas of my life…including training!! Before each race, I think back to key sessions that better prepared me (both physically and mentally) for the race I’m about to embark on. I even jot these key sessions down so that I know the dates to refer back to in my training log. On April 23, I had a key swim session that gave me the confidence that I can have a stellar PR swim this year! The workout…

Swim 100 at the 3rd fastest pace from the 4 x 100 descending above. Assuming that felt “right” for z3/mod hard type effort this will be your pace.

Swim as many 100’s as you can at this pace with :20 to :25 rest between. If using a tempo trainer, your rest is one beep cycle.

If off by 3 seconds, rest a full minute and try again.

If after 1 minute you cannot hold the pace you are done. Cool down.

Well…my 3rd fastest 100 was 1:38.7/100 yards. Could I really hold 1:39/100 yards for more than 5 intervals?

100s Z3 effort until failure for breakfast…goal pace = 1:39/100 yards with 20 sec recovery between each; failure = 1:42/100 yards
Self doubt told me I could only maintain my goal pace for 5×100.
Self confidence told me I was strong and could crush this pace for at least 10×100.
Giddy!! That’s how I felt when I successfully completed 20×100 at 1:3x.x + nailing 21×100 before failure!! #explore #befierce #beatiger #believe

Apparently so! #befierce is the mantra for the Coeur Team in 2019 and it helped me crush my expectations and self doubt during this workout and I know it will help me with many more in the future!!

Tiger Team!! #beatiger

Listening to:

KonaKamps always has me inspired by some amazing peeps!! Keri Houston is an age group champ at Ironman New Zealand 2019. Michelle Enslin is the age group champion for the 50-54 age group at Ironman South Africa 2019 after coming back from surgery. Her gratitude is contagious!

Rich Roll brought Johann Hari on his podcast to talk about addiction and depression. “The opposite of addiction isn’t sobriety. It’s connection.” With the world at our fingertips (quite literally…that phone you’re holding is taking you away from making connections with the people around you, so put it down and make memories with those around you) we can disconnect from those around us just as quickly as we can connect with them by putting the technology away. “If you suffer from addiction or depression, this is a must listen. If you don’t, chances are someone you care for does. This conversation can provide the insight and tools for better understanding the struggle — because mental health truly impacts everyone.”

Reading:

Peak Performance: Elevate your Game, Avoid Burnout, and Thrive with the New Science of Success by Brad Stulberg and Steve Magness is amazing!! It kept me engaged and wanting to read even more!! The authors suggest “optimally alternating between periods of intense work and rest; priming the body and mind for enhanced productivity; and developing and harnessing the power of a self-transcending purpose.” There is so much useful information in here!! It was one that I struggled to put down so I could get adequate sleep each night!!

Leaning into:

Discomfort…I know that when we step outside of our comfort zone and embrace discomfort that we experience growth. As a result, I have been leaning into discomfort more in my personal life and am making huge strides. Discomfort isn’t easy and it takes a lot of work for growth to happen, but the rewards that come from it are definitely worth leaning into and embracing the discomfort.

Attitude of Gratitude:

Grateful for the support of SBR Sports, Inc. SBR is my go to for chlorine removal + blister prevention + easy wetsuit removal. Use KEPL19 at checkout for 20% off your next order of these amazing products!!
Grateful for the warmer temps + sunshine as I put my feet up with a good book while the dogs enjoy their bones!!
WAHOO!! Grateful that the IronHippie is seeing green in Training Peaks again post surgery!!
Grateful for the yoga mat + some vitamin D!!
Grateful for a strong body to put up some all time records during my most recent FTP test!!
Grateful to have Basil run by my side and the IronHippie back in the saddle!!
Grateful to Normatec Recovery for helping me bounce back from tough workouts so I can nail the next session!!
These two…so grateful for their unconditional love!!
Grateful for some girl time with Robin as we pound the pavement!!
Grateful to Nick with Vitality Massage for keeping me active!!
So grateful to meet up with some of my Coeur sisters!! Pre race hugs are where it’s at!!
3 cheers for 3 Drake 1/2 marathon finishers!! Grateful to cross another finish line!!
So grateful I get to fill my belly with this yummy sushi!! Especially after racing!!
Grateful for freedom on 2 wheels on the open road with my fave!!
Grateful to have a coach who thinks I’m a mermaid…specifically Ariel. 🙂
Mindfulness is a practice. I am so grateful to be practicing this and becoming more aware of my thoughts/emotions as a result!

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