2023 week 4: explore

Last week I spent exploring…exploring where my edge was while climbing Alp du Zwift on the bike, exploring where my edge was during a 200 yard time trial, and exploring all the trails in the snow (including some new to us trails).

“Exploration is a wonderful way to open our eyes to the world, and to truly see that impossible is just a word.”

~Richard Branson

Swim highlights: 3050 yards

Wednesday was the only day I swam last week and boy was it a great swim! We did a “shark” swim Wednesday. Melissa is about 30 seconds faster than me at the 200 distance (her breast stroke and my freestyle). She gave me a 30 second head start and I worked HARD to not let her catch me. Thanks Melissa for pushing me to really get the most out of myself! 💙

New PR for the 200 yard distance in the pool Wednesday that ended with heavy + labored breathing, seeing stars, feeling my heartbeat in my toes, and feeling SO DAMN PROUD of myself for going deep into the well. ⚡️

Bike highlights: 29.4 miles + 36,388 feet of cumulative elevation gained in January

Monday I climbed Alp du Zwift with the goal of trying to set a 90 day PR. My previous PR was set 5 days prior with a time of 90:20 for the 7.76 mile climb. On Monday I SMASHED that by setting a new PR of 78:04! ⚡️ This climb also got me to the top of Mount Everest for the month of January. Don’t worry…I didn’t stop climbing just because I achieved this goal. I’m still climbing through the end of the month!

So damn proud of my accomplishments:
⚡️cutting over 12 minutes
⚡️sticking with the discomfort when I wanted to quit climbing many times
⚡️my curiosity won instead of my fear of failure and fear of disappointment
⚡️my intentional thoughts were on point to get me to the top

Run fun: 0 miles

I didn’t do one run last week and I’m ok with that. I ventured out on snowshoes multiple times instead. Taking advantage of the white fluff! ❄️💙

Snowshoe adventures: 6.61 miles

We got out for a snowshoe adventure early in the week before it got too cold to be outside for long later in the week. It is so peaceful out in the woods! I’m so grateful to have a family who enjoys these outdoor adventures! ❄️💙🐶

Happy hearts ❄️💙🐶

Weekly Totals: 9 hours & 40 minutes

15 minutes of core strength daily
2×30 minutes of full body strength

Attitude of Gratitude:

what is that strange glow in the sky???
snuggles + building radical self belief with Vanessa Foerster + getting squeezed by my Normatec boots = happy heart
snowshoeing at dusk was a great way to end the work week ❄️💙🐶
love these two happy butts ❄️💙🐶
snowshoe adventures in the falling ❄️ before the temps plummeted ❄️💙🐶
Recovery is on point after all the playing in the ❄️

What are you highlights from week 4 of 2023?

2023 week 3: messy + imperfect + uncomfortable = success

Last week we started to figure out our new normal while experiencing less of everything: dog hair, love, feet to clean, happy tails, mouths to feed, snuggles. Monday I made the commitment to myself to “just show up” everyday and that is what I did. By doing this, I had a super successful week that I am SO DAMN PROUD of!

“Show up messy. Show up imperfect. But just keep showing up.”

~Jenna Kutcher

Swim highlights: 10,800 yards

During Wednesday’s swim, Coach Sophie gave me feedback to make my swim stroke more efficient and balanced long term. Right now it is in the ugly + uncomfortable + craptastic stage where I am mentally doubting if it is worth it because I am slow and awkward. I trust the process and I believe that it will get better with time. So for now, I will continue to show up, be messy + imperfect + uncomfortable and practice, practice, practice. AND on Friday, I set a new PR at the 500 yard distance with a time trial…maybe those tweaks to my swim stroke are working. 🙃

How lucky are we that we get to swim here?! Oh…and that new 500 yard PR is pretty awesome too!! 🙃

Bike highlights: 57.8 miles + 30,705 feet of cumulative elevation gained in January

Ummm…Thursday’s ride was BRUTAL in the BEST way!! I missed doing the Kilimanjaro workout with the @coeursports #veloclub Thursday morning, which meant I had to do this challenging workout solo later in the day. After seeing all of the posts and comments about the difficulty of this workout I was scared + nervous to go it alone. My brain was full of doubt. But thankfully doubt isn’t a problem. I did some session priming before starting this workout. I decided ahead of time what I wanted to think + how I wanted to feel DURING this workout AND what I wanted to think + how I wanted to feel AFTER this workout.

“Remember you have to be a bit scared to be brave, AND you have to overcome that fear to get the biggest feeling of accomplishment after.” ~ @jesssmithtri

I am exploring where my edge is. As challenging as this workout was, today I was pushed close to my edge, but I did not reach it. I finished with stars for all 49 intervals, trashed legs, a happy heart, and the biggest feeling of accomplishment! ⚡️

Run fun: 5.64 miles

Wednesday I had a run where the main set was 4 minutes fast/4 minutes easy. Based on my last performance doing this workout a couple of weeks ago, I decided to shoot for 7.8 mph (8:01/mile pace) for those fast intervals. I took some time to session prime and when I stepped on the treadmill, decided to explore where my edge is and go for 8.0 mph (7:49/mile pace). I had no idea if I could actually hit this, but I knew I was willing to try it and see if I had it in me to do on this day. It wasn’t pretty, but I held on for every second of those fast intervals and I was so damn proud of myself for not settling with the easier pace and pushing myself so close to my edge.

Snowshoe adventures: 5.25 miles

We finally got out for some snow adventures last weekend! Wahoo!

so grateful to be out in the woods ❄️💙

Weekly Totals: 16 hours & 33 minutes

15 minutes of core strength daily
30 minutes of full body strength

30 minutes of yoga

Attitude of Gratitude:

Look at what we FINALLY got?! Who’s ready to snowshoe?! 🙋🏻‍♀️
getting our snuggles on 🐶🥰
recovery is on point 🥰 with a squeeze from my Normatec boots
everytime we light this we think of our baby girl 🐶🥰 thanks Steena and John for giving us such a beautiful gift to keep her around for a bit longer
snowshoe adventures with this amazing crew ❄️💙
2000 piece puzzle is complete
snow, friends, and conversation is great therapy ❄️💙
Sometimes we get tree limbs and sometimes we get deer legs brought to us by our favorite little “hunter.” Sunday was a little of both. 😜🤣 (this one is the tree limb)

What are you highlights from week 3 of 2023?

2023 week 2: goodbye sweet girl

Last week was a really HARD week. Our sweet old girl, Mya, went over the Rainbow Bridge on Tuesday. We miss her SO much! She have left a huge hole in our hearts that directly correlates to the love we shared. She gave so much love in her nearly 14 years on this Earth and we are forever grateful that we got to share so much love with her. Adjusting to a family of 4 has been way out of our comfort zone. We are all floundering at the moment, but we will create our new normal with time.

“No longer by my side, but forever in my heart
We’ll meet again at the Rainbow Bridge
And we’ll never be far apart” 🐾

~Unknown

Swim highlights: 3300 yards

Diving into a new week ready to go…before our unplanned hiccup.

Bike highlights: 0 miles + 17,765 feet of cumulative elevation gained in January

Run fun: 6.72 miles

“B- work saves the world.” It isn’t about the grade, but rather about the work in the world that we’re here to do. Letting go of perfectionist tendencies allows us to show up to the world and contribute to the world. As a perfectionist, you wait until you are ready to give A+ work and then you don’t contribute and others don’t benefit from you and your work. ~Brooke Castillo

I am a work in progress. I am always striving to be the best version of myself, BUT that does NOT mean “perfect”. I have only done one speed work run session since mid November, so looking at how today’s run was written caused me to 😳. I decided to let go of trying to nail this run “perfectly” as planned and instead stayed curious about what I could do. I stayed present and in the moment while focusing on the interval I was in. Did I nail the workout as written? No I did not, but I did give everything I had for today and that is “perfect”!! ⚡️

Weekly Totals: 4 hours & 43 minutes

15 minutes of core strength daily
30 minutes of full body strength

Attitude of Gratitude:

Thank you for all of the love you have given us. We love and miss you so much! Run and swim free baby girl! 💕
We just can’t get enough snuggles! 🐶🥰
Feeling all the emotions is exhausting. 🐶🥰
Isabella made the finals in 5 of her 6 individual events at the swim meet last weekend. SO DAMN PROUD of her!

📸 William Jenks

What are you highlights from week 2 of 2023?

2023 week 1: hiiiii

2023 started off strong and with a great bike challenge! Last week I spent some time thinking about what challenges I want to take on for 2023 and what direction I want to take my journey. I am still ironing it all out, but my heart is definitely pulling me toward one direction.

“Who’s ready to make 2023 their best year yet?! 🙋🏻‍♀️”

~Me

Swim highlights: 4900 yards

Consistency is my talent ⚡️

Consistently show up ⚡️
Consistently put in the work ⚡️
Consistently see positive results ⚡️

Bike highlights: 67.6 miles + 17,765 feet of cumulative elevation gained in January

This month I am taking on the HardCoeur Coaching Everest Challenge. The goal is to climb up Mt. Everest over the course of the month of January (it does not have to be all at once). I am doing this all virtually on Zwift because…hello winter in Iowa. I have chosen to climb up Alp du Zwift everytime I get on the bike. As a result, my pace is much slower and I am covering less mileage for the same amount of time on the bike, but I am killing the elevation gain!!

Run fun: 13.7 miles

It’s not the achievement of the goal that is the greatest reward, but rather who you become in the process of pushing your limits, overcoming challenges, and growing into the best version of yourself. Life is full of opportunities, so take those opportunities and run with them!

Weekly Totals: 13 hours & 59 minutes

15 minutes of core strength daily
2×30 minutes of full body strength

Attitude of Gratitude:

Snuggles + getting my squeeze on = yes please!
We had some visitors that I’m grateful to meet (the twin babies) and have dearly missed
One of the twins…SO TINY!
Super excited to be on the SBR ambassador team again in 2023!
Getting to swim/bike/run all in one day makes my heart happy! 🥰
The morning frost was so beautiful! 🥰

What are you highlights from week 1 of 2023?

What’s up?! – December 2019

December tested my patience. I messed up my back on December 2 and was unable to do much for most of the month. Patience to step back and not do what I want and what my brain needs this time of year. Patience to ease back into training once I was cleared to do so. Patience going without a car for a week. Patience getting my Wahoo Kickr set up with Zwift so I could start 2020 off with a bang. Patience…patience…PATIENCE!!! Thanks to the help and support from Dr. Chris Feil with Team Chiropractic and Rehabilitation of Ames and Nick Morton with Vitality Massage, I was back to feeling myself by the end of the month and I’m ready to start 2020 strong and healthy.

Training:

Friday night happy hour yardage! Celebrate every stroke!

Sending 2019 out in style! My FTP test indicates a loss of fitness in the off season, but that’s what the off season is for, right?! Time to get to work as I chase my dreams in 2020!!

First run all month!! Grateful to be nearly fully recovered from my back sprain and enjoying fresh air + sunshine + time with my faves!!

Swim: 12,400 yards (7.05 miles)
Bike: 91 miles
Run: 14.2 miles
Strength: 10 minutes of core daily (except for 4 days in early December when my back was a hot mess) + some strength training + more yoga ❤
Meditation: 3 minutes daily since January 1
Monthly Totals: 21 hours & 49 minutes

2019 Totals:
Swim: 286,818 yards (162.96 miles)
Bike: 2785 miles
Run: 835 miles
511 hours & 27 minutes

#explore:

Explore was my focus word in 2019 and I’m happy that I incorporated it into all areas of my life throughout the year. In December, I planned for 2020 and #explore was at the focus of this planning! I’m SUPER EXCITED about what’s on my 2020 schedule and will be sharing that with you soon! I also started to #explore functional power training with Chris Chapman at Movewell Iowa. We are working on getting all of my muscles to properly fire like they are supposed to while doing different motions. This takes work, but the work will be worth it as it should help prevent injuries and keep me healthy and active!

Listening to:

Here is what I listened to this month:

Coeur Sports Earsplitz
Holidays!

KonaKamps always has me inspired and motivated!! Some of this months faves were:
Ironman St. George 2020 Six Month Preview
Damien Bethencourt, Overall AG Champion, Ironman Malaysia 2019
Nicola Beck, Ironman Wales 2019
PR Ironman in 2020
Ironman Texas 2020 Six Month Preview
Tom De Bruyn, Overall AG Champion, Ironman Cozumel 2019
Rebecca Duxbury, Ironamn Wales 2019
Nathan Ford, Ironman Cozumel 2019
Kelly Collins, Ironman Cozumel 2019
Off Season

Witsup Podcast:
Linsey Corbin
Heather Wurtele

The Same 24 Hours:
Susan Lacke: Life’s Too Short and Running Outside the Comfort Zone
Notes on Nonsense: Holidays are Hard
Notes on Nonsense: Talking about Procrastination
Kevin Curry: Fit Men Cook
Notes on Nonsense: Publication Day is NOT Nonsense

Clean Sport Collective:
Emma Coburn, Steeplechase World Champion
Roger Pielke, Expert in Sports Governance
Clean Sport Panel with Rob Krar, Dylan Bowman, Alysia Montano, and Kara Goucher
James Wilks, UFC Fighter and Producer from The Game Changers

Kelsey Abbott brought on:
Jennifer Brown: With Diversity and Inclusion

Ironwomen Podcast has so many amazing women on!
Swim, Bike, Ruff – Kearci Smith

Rich Roll brought on:
Breaking Boston: Scott Fauble is Leading American Marathoners into the Olympics
Kendra Little is Becoming More: Broadening the Gender Identity Conversation

Michael Gervais has brought some amazing people on his Finding Mastery podcast:
Missy Franklin on Being a Champion in Victory and Defeat

C Tolle Run brought on:
Jessie Diggins – Brave Enough

Run4PRs:
How fast can you become? What are your limits? The Law of Diminishing Returns Explained

Hidden Brain:
Creatures of Habit

Conquer Athlete Podcast:
Functional Power Training with Dr. John Rusin

Trained:
Simon Sinek: Finding Your “Why”

Crime Junkie:
WANTED: A Christmas Killer
SERIAL KILLER: Highway of Tears

Reading:

Beyond Grit: Ten Powerful Practices to Gain the High-Performance Edge by Cindra Kamphoff has practical tools and actions to help you improve your mindset and become the high-performer you want to be. “Kamphoff shares the tools and strategies she’s taught executives, entrepreneurs, NFL ProBowl athletes, Olympians, college athletes, and championship teams. Based on almost twenty years of research and consulting with the world’s best, she provides a practical, inspiring, and easy-to-use guide to radically accelerating your performance and improving your happiness.

In this book, Kamphoff teaches you how to develop Ten Practices of the World’s Best:
1. The world’s best are gritty.
2. The world’s best are clear on their purpose.
3. The world’s best become a master of their thoughts.
4. The world’s best know themselves to master yourself.
5. The world’s best dominate the controllables.
6. The world’s best own the moment.
7. The world’s best choose empowering emotions.
8. The world’s best own who they are.
9. The world’s best live and let go.
10. The world’s best choose their courage zone.

You’ll also discover 52 life-altering strategies that you can put in your High Performance Toolbox to develop these practices and change your daily life. Each chapter describes one strategy and ends with a powerful affirmation to help you develop the High Performance Mindset. A widely respected keynote speaker, trainer, and coach, Kamphoff possesses an inspiring style that combines high energy with strategies that work. Her proven system can transform the performance of anyone who wants to up their game, regardless of their field. Whether you re seeking to own your dream business, triple your income, be the best you can be in your sport, or merely achieve a higher level of personal satisfaction, Beyond Grit shows you how. Inspiring and practical, Kamphoff will show you how to ”own your why,” develop your grit, take control of your future, discover your purpose, thrive under pressure, and be your best more often.”

Chasing Kona: From Back of the Pack Smoker to Racing the Ironman World Championships in Kona by Rob Cummins was a fun, quick read. “Sitting watching TV with a cigarette in one hand, a black coffee in the other and nursing a crushing hangover I switched channels until I found sports. There was some sort of bike race on and I half watched while lighting another cigarette off the butt of my last one for a minute before switching channels again. Just as I hit the button on the remote the commentator mentioned something about the athletes swimming before and running afterwards as well as racing the bike. I thought he said something about the run being a marathon but that couldn’t be right.This sparked my interest and I switched back, but he was talking about something else so I waited for him to get around to describing exactly what this race was. I didn’t have long to wait as he said they first did a 2.5 mile swim, then 112 miles on the bike all topped of with running a marathon. I was stunned. I didn’t think that would be physically possible and as I lit another cigarette I wondered how many days did they have to do it. I guessed it would have to be three days. Swim the first day, bike the second and run the third but it still sounded like a crazy thing to do. Then he said that they did it all in the one day, one after another without stopping. I was completely incredulous. And hooked. I remained glued to the TV and learned that these bronzed, muscular Greek God looking athletes weren’t all professionals either. There was an amateur or “age group” race as well Although I could hardly tell the difference between the pros and amateurs. They all looked unbelievably fit. As I sat there mesmerized I swore to myself that I’d race there someday. I’d stop smoking and drinking and somehow do “The Ironman” At the time I had no idea what that meant or how I would do it and after a while as things have a way of doing I got busy with life and I forgot all about The Ironman and Hawaii. I forgot until several years later when I had actually given up smoking and had taken up triathlon. It had taken me two years and sixteen races of swimming breast stroke before I learned to swim properly. I never once looked even remotely like Kona material but I wanted to have a go at doing an Ironman. It took another three years before I plucked up the courage and lined up for my first one in Nice, France. I finished in the last quarter of the field, hours behind the athletes racing for those precious Kona slots. Nothing I had done up to then had given any indication that I should have had a reason to believe I had a chance at qualifying, but three years later when I asked Aisling, my wife if she thought it was possible she immediately said yes and then she added let’s do it. Aisling’s belief in me started us on a journey that led to me treading water on the most iconic start line in triathlon, waiting for the cannon to fire at the start of the Ironman World Championships in Hawaii. This is how we overcame all of the odds and discovered what it would take to get to the Ironman World Championships. This is our Kona story.”

The 5 Love Languages: The Secret to Love that Lasts by Gary Chapman is a great read to make sure you and your partner are speaking each other’s language to really connect with each other. “Falling in love is easy. Staying in love—that’s the challenge. How can you keep your relationship fresh and growing amid the demands, conflicts, and just plain boredom of everyday life? In the #1 New York Times bestseller The 5 Love Languages, you’ll discover the secret that has transformed millions of relationships worldwide. Whether your relationship is flourishing or failing, Dr. Gary Chapman’s proven approach to showing and receiving love will help you experience deeper and richer levels of intimacy with your partner—starting today. The 5 Love Languages is as practical as it is insightful. Updated to reflect the complexities of relationships today, this new edition reveals intrinsic truths and applies relevant, actionable wisdom in ways that work.”

Attitude of Gratitude:

I’m excited and grateful to step out of the box I’ve been in and experiment with self coaching in 2020. I’m excited to try new things knowing that some of these things may not work for me, while other things may be the best thing ever for me! Bring on the thinking outside of the box, the experimentation, the trial and error, the freedom and control to do it my way, and the excitement with trying something new!

So grateful to Dr. Chris Feil at Team Chiropractic and Rehabilitation of Ames for helping me get back to training.

So grateful for Dr. Chris Feil with Team Chiropractic and Rehabilitation of Ames who continues to work to get me back to healthy!

So grateful for the dream that Emily Hampton had to start Ignite Yoga and build such an amazing community!

So grateful for a few days of warmer weather in December to go outside in flip flops without freezing my toes!

Grateful for a beautiful morning moon setting on Friday the 13th!

So grateful that I can spend time with my mat while rehabbing my back.

Grateful to get some chlorine therapy next to my fave!!

I’m grateful that I can ride the bus when my fave is gone with the car and I get to walk to the bus stop on a nice winter day.

I’m grateful for Dr. Chris Feil at Team Chiropractic and Rehabilitation of Ames for helping get me back on track this month.

So grateful to be spinning on the bike…even if it is an easy ride!

I’m lucky to have these two support me while I ride.

The morning sunrise was so magnificent…this picture doesn’t even begin to do it justice. WOW!

Grateful for our new Tuff Mutt hands-free running leash from our Secret Santa. We can’t wait to enjoy all of the miles together with this!

Very grateful for these beautiful December days with unseasonable temperatures are amazing!!

The girls and I are so grateful that Dad is home after being gone for a week.

So grateful to be rolling again!

Wow!! Grateful for beautiful sunrises!!

Grateful for Kyle at Kyle’s Bikes to help me get my Wahoo Kickr ready to ride!!

Grateful for framily and matching PJs!!

Grateful for these little beauties!! Missing them this Christmas!!

Grateful for these love bugs!! “Give me all the treats!!”

Sushi for Christmas dinner…YES PLEASE!!

Today I had all the excuses for not moving…
-I didn’t pack warm enough gear for the drop in temperature today.
-I should just go home and try to get Zwift working.
-I’m still not quite 100% after my back sprain.
-I don’t have a coach, so I can run tomorrow or this weekend.
-I’m tired. I should just go home and rest.
I ignored all of these excuses, put on my sweatshirt, and ran home from work. I celebrated every step, every breath of air, and every drop of sweat. And yes…I was reminded why I don’t wear cotton when I workout!!

Friday night happy hour miles + quality time with my 2 faves! My heart couldn’t be happier!

First official Zwift ride…yep, I think I’m hooked! Lots to learn, but I can see how this will help me get faster + stronger in 2020! #grateful

Grateful that yoga is a family affair in our house!

So grateful to have worked out to the point that the Normatec Recovery boots got some use!

Celebrating some yards…especially when they aren’t always easy.

Burning the sh!t I want to let go of as I prepare for 2020. I am so grateful for the Athlete Mastermind program that Jenny Hayes is putting on.

How was your month of December?! What were you grateful for last month?! Are you ready for the start of 2020?!

The Best of 2019

I love looking back and thinking about all of the amazing things that I’ve accomplished and all of the challenges I’ve overcome! 2019 was full of opportunities to #explore, challenges to overcome, accomplishments to enjoy, and SO MUCH FUN!! I’ve reflected for the last 6 years and now it’s time to reflect on 2019! You can look back at my previous posts if you’d like: the Best of 2013, the Best of 2014, the Best of 2015, the Best of 2016, the Best of 2017, and the Best of 2018. Now its time to reminisce my faves from 2019! 🙂

Best race experience?

Bluff Creek Triathlon where I competed with my girl, Traci, and had an absolute blast! We started the swim together. I waited for her in T1 and then followed her on the bike (don’t worry…I followed the drafting rules and rode far enough back). We had a mechanical issue on the bike, but we made it back to T2 and headed out on the run. Despite the mechanical, Traci had a PR! It was so much fun to cheer her on and encourage her every stroke and step of the way!

“Smile for the camera, Traci!”
Photo Credit: Dave Mable

Best run?

St. Paddy’s Day 1/2 Marathon in March was SO. MUCH. FUN! Not only was I prepared for it physically and mentally, but I was able to race it and come within 3 minutes of a 1/2 marathon PR. Oh…and did I mention that I walked away with not 1, but 2 medals for that race?!

Double medal race day at the St. Paddy’s 1/2 Marathon where I got 2nd place in my age group!

Best bike?

Riding with my fave from Iowa to Minnesota and back to Iowa! I absolutely love this route and the company! Any chance I get, I ride this route from Home Home!

Riding with my fave on one of my favorite routes brings me pure joy! I am in Minnesota and he is in Iowa in this picture.

Best swim?

Swimming in Mirror Lake for IRONMAN Lake Placid was my best IM swim to date! Swimming with the underwater cable to sight off of created an exceptional swim experience and allowed me to set an IRONMAN swim PR!! I was super pumped about it too!!

That’s a swim PR! Photo credit: FinisherPix

Best finish line?

IRONMAN Lake Placid! This was a very special finish line! It wasn’t planned for the Iron Hippie and I to finish together, but half way through the bike portion of this race, I made it my mission to catch him and finish with him. It was a long marathon, but we made it to the finish line TOGETHER!

Grateful for this finish line with my Fave by my side! Photo credit: FinisherPix

Best training weekend?

Getting to train in Lake Placid with my fave before IRONMAN Lake Placid! We swam in Mirror Lake multiple times, rode one loop of the bike course, ran a good portion of one loop of the run course, and experienced Lake Placid! OH. SO. MUCH. FUN!!

Swimming in my favorite place makes my heart happy!

So grateful to ride the Ironman Lake Placid bike course with my fave!

Wrapping up my last “long” run in Lake Placid on the Ironman Lake Placid run course. So beautiful!!

Best training compass?

Myself! At different times in 2019 I was in the deepest valleys and on top of the highest mountains…I had some really high highs and some really low lows! Listening to my heart and allowing it to guide me in 2019 opened the door to so much more fun, joy, and “get to” experiences! I can’t wait to see where I take myself in 2020!

“Follow your heart. Life is too short to be sidetracked by the things everyone else wants you to do.” ~Unknown
My heart speaks swim/bike/run! It brings me calm, it brings me joy, it builds self confidence, it often teaches me something new, it breeds discipline, it connects me with others, it forces me to be more courageous, it allows me the freedom to mess up & still end up ok, it provides me an outlet, it makes me stronger – physically and mentally, it fills me with gratitude, and SO much more! What does your heart say?! Do you listen?!

Best moment out of my comfort zone?

The Underpants Run at IRONMAN Lake Placid! This was so much fun, but I was way out of my comfort zone! Who runs in a swimsuit (or underpants) down main street exposing their flaws for all of the world to see?! Apparently a lot of crazy people!!

Having fun running down Main Street Lake Placid

Best enCOEURaging moment?

The inaugural Ames Triathlon! It has been many years in the making, but we FINALLY got the approval for the Ames Triathlon in March of 2019 and within a few months were able to pull off the best race we could have asked for! If you want to experience this race for yourself in 2020, head to Ames in June. We look forward to seeing YOU on June 28!

We had a great day at the Ames Triathlon and couldn’t have done it without all of you…the athletes, volunteers, spectators, other race directors, sponsors, partners, medical support, photographers…YOU!!

Best nutritional find?

Orange Mud double barrel pack for carrying my hydration + nutrition is the best way I’ve found to carry enough nutrition on long runs without having to really plan my route to make sure I get enough hydration on those hot days. I was worried that it might chafe me in various places, but alas…15 miles with ZERO chafing!

Intention: Gratitude
15 miles for my Friday happy hour in 30+ mph winds. Some of my gratitude thoughts while running:
*I’m grateful for a strong body + mind.
*I’m grateful for warm temps + sunshine.
*I’m grateful for completely new running routes.
*I’m grateful for a job that I love.
*I’m grateful for Halloween decorations to keep me entertained.
*I’m grateful to have my long run done before the rain shows up this weekend.
*I’m grateful for the beautiful fall colors.
*I’m grateful for this Orange Mud pack to hold all my hydration + nutrition and so much more!

Best new gear?

Coeur Sports running shorts and tights. The pockets in both of these are AMAZING! I can hold SO much in each of them. They are even flexible enough for me to carry a water bottle in the pocket if I want. They don’t move or chafe no matter how wet you get. These are a MUST HAVE!!

Intention: I get to
It isn’t always easy. Mother Nature threw down some 38-40*F temps, rain, and winds (hello IMLou 2018 weather). She likes to think that she holds the power, BUT SHE’S WRONG! I hold the power when I keep the mental chatter positive!

Best recovery tool?

Our Sleep Number bed! This has made a world of difference! I sleep so much better and I wake up without back pain. If you aren’t getting good quality sleep, you are compromising your health. I highly recommend the Sleep Number bed. It is definitely worth the investment!

Basil loves our new bed too!!

Best time saver?

The Roomba! I can do one of at least a 1000 other possible things while the Roomba vacuums the house. The dogs aren’t too keen on it when it appears to be chasing them around the house, but they are adjusting to it and try to stay out of its way while it does its thing!

Basil is checking out the Roomba. Each day she gets less and less afraid of it.

Best supportive role?

Heading to IRONMAN Louisville to cheer athletes on instead of racing myself. This was a REALLY TOUGH decision, but it was the right one. The weekend was full of laughter, fun, and friends! It was EXACTLY what I needed to help me figure out what I want from this sport and where I want to go with it in the future!

Ironman Louisville from a new perspective. What a fun day! Congrats Rob on your amazing race!

Best way to stay healthy?

Change careers! My mental stress has dropped SUBSTANTIALLY and I am no longer exposed to all of the germs from middle schoolers. Sure I am still exposed to germs at Iowa State University, but I’m not confined to a classroom and I’m not around the students much. Changing careers has been one of the best decisions for my overall health that I could have ever made!

So grateful to be starting my new gig in Physics Hall on ISU campus!!

Best piece of racing advice you received?

Have fun! I’ve heard this from so many different people, that I can’t pinpoint just one individual to give credit to. If we can’t have fun racing, then why are we doing it?!

Most inspirational athlete?

There are so many that I can’t pick just one! Everyone is on their own, unique journey and I am inspired by them all. My Coeur Sports sisters inspire me EVERY. SINGLE. DAY! I’ve also been SUPER inspired this year by friends who finished their first IRONMAN. By friends who attempted their first IRONMAN, but didn’t meet cutoffs. By friends who did their first triathlon this year. By people who have survived an accident and are still training + racing. By people who fight disease and keep training + racing. By people who challenge themselves and try something new. By people who don’t follow conventional training methods and SMASH their goals out of the park! By people I haven’t met yet and people I see everyday! There are far too many people who inspire me to pick just one!

Best support crew?

Hands down…Dad, Aunt Linda, Cousin Neal, and a dear friend Carol! These four pushed me through during some VERY dark times at Ironman Lake Placid. They were up EARLY on race morning. They cheered, photographed, and spread their love to me and so many other athletes throughout a REALLY long day! There are not enough hugs and kisses for each of you! Thank you! Thank you! Thank you! Love you all so much! I couldn’t have gotten to this finish line without your unwavering encouragement and support!!

Our race day support crew! Love you Dad, Aunt Linda, and Cousin Neal! Photo credit: Neal Fedora

Grateful for Carol! Love her to pieces!

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

Explore, strong, courage, brave, fun!!

Tell me about your 2019 year!! What are your “bests” from 2019?!

What’s up?! – November 2019

November was full of fun, gratitude, and heart! I spent time really listening to my heart and letting it guide me in my training, life experiences, and planning for 2020! Here is a snippet of what November looked like for me:

Training:

This month I decided to do whatever I wanted, when I wanted. No structured training. No 4 am wake ups until I was ready. No routines. It was awesomely awful! I swam when I wanted. I biked when I wanted. I ran when I wanted. I did intervals when I wanted. I incorporated more strength training. I spent more time with my mat. I went back to 10 minutes of core strength daily because it is a better fit for my schedule. I’ve decided I definitely thrive off of routines and consistency. While this freedom in training was much needed to reset my body and mind, it is time for me to regain the routines and consistency that I enjoy as I get ready to head into 2020.

Intention: WIN (the day)
After being away from the water for two weeks, it felt so amazing to get some #chlorinetherapy today! #wintheday

Crushing bike intervals + spending time with my fave = pure joy!

So grateful to get to run with these rad ladies at the Coeur Sports women’s run in Des Moines.

Swim: 18,900 yards (10.74 miles)
Bike: 75.4 miles
Run: 57.0 miles
Strength: 10 minutes of core daily + more strength training + yoga ❤
Meditation: 3 minutes daily since January 1
Monthly Totals: 35 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 racing the Hillbilly Hike 1/2 Marathon. When I went into this race, I wasn’t sure if I was going to run with my friend, Robin, or try to push myself and see what I could do. I decided to let my legs tell me. They told me to go after it despite the frost + ice covered running surfaces. I’m glad I pushed myself, am happy with my results, and am looking for more opportunities to #explore + break out of my comfort zone + push myself to new limits in 2020!

SO SLICK! Photo credit: Kathy Shupe King

Another Hillbilly Hike 1/2 marathon is in the books!

Listening to:

Here is what I listened to this month:

Coeur Sports Earsplitz
Bike Safety #itcouldbeme (featuring Triny Willerton)

KonaKamps always has me inspired and motivated!! Some of this months faves were:
World Champion Anthony Philippe, Ironman World Championships 2019
World Champion Jana Richtrova, Ironman World Championships 2019
Eric Engel, Overall AG Champion, Ironman Louisville 2019
Kristin Goett, Ironman Louisville 2019
Rob Watson, Ironman Barcelona 2019
Daniel Day, Ironman Louisville 2019
World Champion Bobbe Greenberg, Ironman World Championships 2019
Jacqui Guiliano, Overall AG Champion, Ironman Florida 2019
Ryan Guiliano, Overall AG Champion, Ironman Florida 2019

The Same 24 Hours:
Notes on Nonsense: Hair Color is Bullsh*t
Notes on Nonsense: Destinations are Bullsh*t
Notes on Nonsense: Kids are (Really) Bullsh*t
Notes on Nonsense: Positive Vibes are BS
Nir Eyal: Indestractible
Danielle LaPorte: The Desire Map and Her 24 Hours
Sarah Ban Breanthnach: Simple Abundance, Shoes & Gratitude

Endurance Planet:
Sub 2-Relay, HRV Guided Training, How to Approach Hill on MAF, Ironman After 50, and Quelling Anxiety around those ‘What If’ Thoughts

Clean Sport Collective:
Frank Shorter, 2-time Olympic Medalist in the Marathon
Frank Shorter, Part 2
Mary Cain Tells Us Her Story
Amelia Boone, 4-Time OCR World Champion

Kelsey Abbott brought on:
Andrea Owen
Kate Marolt

Ironwomen Podcast has so many amazing women on!
Ignite the Fire – Renee Kiley
Respect the Race – Ellie Salthouse
Chasing Gold – Emma Coburn

Rich Roll brought on:
Dean Karnazes Is Running For Good: Lessons On Longevity & Embracing Discomfort
He Ran Across America – On Plants with Robbie Balenger

Michael Gervais has brought some amazing people on his Finding Mastery podcast:
Angela Naeth on Discovery and Acceptance
Mick Fanning on Hard Work, Resiliency, and Sacrifice
Ronnie Lott on Exhausting Every Moment

The Bek and Siri Show brought on:
Dr. Stacy Sims – Women are NOT Small Men
Siri’s Secret Sauce

Run4PRs:
Why you NEED to take time off after a marathon
Optimizing Your Offseason to Become Faster
Goal Setting & Reaching Your Potential
Natural Speed, Durability, & Mental Toughness: Assessing Your Strengths & Weaknesses
Winter Running: Snow, Ice or Treadmill?

Reading:

80/20 Triathlon: Discover the Breakthrough Elite-Training Formula for Ultimate Fitness and Performance at All Levels by Matt Fitzgerald and David Warden is for triathletes of all levels helping them balance training intensity to maximize performance. “Cutting-edge research has proven that triathletes and other endurance athletes experience their greatest performance when they do 80 percent of their training at low intensity and the remaining 20 percent at moderate to high intensity. But the vast majority of recreational triathletes are caught in the so-called “moderate-intensity rut,” spending almost half of their time training too hard–harder than the pros. Training harder isn’t smarter; it actually results in low-grade chronic fatigue that prevents recreational athletes from getting the best results. In 80/20 Triathlon, Matt Fitzgerald and David Warden lay out the real-world and scientific evidence, offering concrete tips and strategies, along with complete training plans for every distance–Sprint, Olympic, Half-Ironman, and Ironman–to help athletes implement the 80/20 rule of intensity balance. Benefits include reduced fatigue and injury risk, improved fitness, increased motivation, and better race results.”

The 5 Second Rule: Transform Your Life, Work, and Confidence with Everyday Courage by Mel Robbins provides you with tools to create action and change. “Throughout your life, you’ve had parents, coaches, teachers, friends, and mentors who have pushed you to be better than your excuses and bigger than your fears. What if the secret to having the confidence and courage to enrich your life and work is simply knowing how to push yourself? Using the science of habits, riveting stories, and surprising facts from some of the most famous moments in history, art, and business, Mel Robbins will explain the power of a “push moment”. Then, she’ll give you one simple tool you can use to become your greatest self. It takes just five seconds to use this tool, and every time you do you’ll be in great company. More than eight million people have watched Mel’s TEDx Talk, and executives inside of the world’s largest brands are using the tool to increase productivity, collaboration, and engagement. In The 5 Second Rule, you’ll discover it takes just five seconds to:

  • Become confident
  • Break the habit of procrastination and self-doubt
  • Beat fear and uncertainty
  • Stop worrying and feel happier
  • Share your ideas with courage

The 5 Second Rule is a simple, one-size-fits-all solution for the one problem we all face – we hold ourselves back. The secret isn’t knowing what to do – it’s knowing how to make yourself do it.”

Two Concepts to Guide Your Off-season Training by Matt Edwards is full of some great information for things you can do in the off-season to better prepare yourself for the coming season. During your off-season, take time to focus on technique, strength training, your weakness, and endurance.

6 Ways to Avoid “Bad Race Blues” by Mackenzie Madison has some great tips for getting back on track after a “bad” race and “avoid feeling mentally stuck in a previous disappointment.”

How to Master Your Athletes’ Motivation by Jamie Blanchfield is very insightful on what influences motivation and what enhances motivation. Motivation ebbs and flows with changes in life, training, work, etc. Self efficacy is key to motivation and success.

Feeling Stuck: Regain Momentum Using This Simple Sport Psych Tool by Carrie Cheadle is a great way to assess the change you want to make. What do you want to stop doing, what do you want to start doing, and what do you want to continue doing to create the change you desire?

Inspire Your Gratitude Practice with These Gratitude Journal Prompts by Jiji Lee has some amazing tips for how to start your gratitude journal and prompts to get you going when/if you get stuck.

Attitude of Gratitude:

I’m beyond grateful, humbled, blessed, and honored to be a Coeur Sports ambassador for my 6th year! 2020 is going to be amazing!

So grateful for Friday happy hour swims with my fave!

I’m so grateful for a strong body + mind so I can do what I love!

Sunday mornings are for snuggles and Sudoku! Grateful for my snuggle buddy!

Grateful for some recovery yards to loosen up the stiff body after yesterday’s 1/2 marathon!

So grateful to be getting back to the weights and strength training the entire body!

So grateful for warm boots when there is snow on the ground and the windchill is -1*F on my walk into work.

Grateful for the opportunity to ride the horse carriage at Snow Magic.

Getting the opportunity to run with new ladies at the Coeur Sports women’s run was a fantastic way to start the day! SO grateful!

Looking for a way to make squats (or wall sits if you don’t have suspended straps) more challenging?! Add a dog to the mix! Basil LOVES to help, but sometimes her version of helping creates more of a challenge for me. Grateful for her unconditional love and support!

Grateful for some time with my mat!

Grateful for Nick with Vitality Massage for the recovery time I needed.

Grateful to get to cheer these two on at their swim meet!

So grateful for my Coeur Sports teammate, Triny, and the work she is doing to make roads safer for everyone!

Grateful for time on my mat with Robin by my side!

Grateful for a morning run with my fave!

Grateful for spending time with my SBT suspension trainer and building strength!

Grateful for time to PLAY in the water!

I love sushi! So grateful for this yummy goodness!

So grateful that Mom came down to join us for an evening of joy + entertainment!

Wow! This was a great show! Grateful I got to experience it!

Anytime I get to spend in the water is time that I find calm and peace! So grateful!

Grateful for this girl’s friendship! Morning miles + girl talk are icing on the cake! What a perfect start to the day + week!

“Follow your heart. Life is too short to be sidetracked by the things everyone else wants you to do.” ~Unknown
My heart speaks swim/bike/run! It brings me calm, it brings me joy, it builds self confidence, it often teaches me something new, it breeds discipline, it connects me with others, it forces me to be more courageous, it allows me the freedom to mess up & still end up ok, it provides me an outlet, it makes me stronger – physically and mentally, it fills me with gratitude, and SO much more! What does your heart say?! Do you listen?!

I love digging deep and feeling the accomplishment of overcoming obstacles and achieving something that once seemed impossible! I’m so grateful my body allows me to push it!

So grateful for these peeps (and Basil) to run with before devouring all of the yummy Thanksgiving food!

Friendsgiving! SO grateful for my framily!

So grateful for this framily! I can’t believe how much these two have grown!

Now that Thanksgiving is over, the tree is up. I’m grateful for making all of the 2019 memories (that are documented with medals on our tree) and the bright lights that remind us to always shine bright and give our best in everything we do!

Intention: I get to
It isn’t always easy. Mother Nature threw down some 38-40*F temps, rain, and winds (hello IMLou 2018 weather). She likes to think that she holds the power, BUT SHE’S WRONG! I hold the power when I keep the mental chatter positive!

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

What’s up?! – October 2019

October was a roller coaster ride. It was full of some really high highs, and some pretty low lows. I’m happy to be moving into November, figuring out what “normal” is for us, planning for 2020, and preparing for winter.

Training:

This month I took part in the Coretober Challenge that Multisport Mastery + JHC Coaching put together. It was a good challenge for me. I have been doing 10 minutes of core strength daily for nearly 2 years (with the few exceptions around race days or when I have been sick), so the extra 5 minutes was a definite challenge for the first week or two, but I’m so glad I took part in this challenge!

Grateful to have my Friday night happy hour swims back in my schedule!

Grateful for my reminder to believe in myself and what I am doing!

Intention: Gratitude
15 miles for my Friday happy hour in 30+ mph winds. Some of my gratitude thoughts while running:
*I’m grateful for a strong body + mind.
*I’m grateful for warm temps + sunshine.
*I’m grateful for completely new running routes.
*I’m grateful for a job that I love.
*I’m grateful for Halloween decorations to keep me entertained.
*I’m grateful to have my long run done before the rain shows up this weekend.
*I’m grateful for the beautiful fall colors.

Swim: 13,850 yards (7.87 miles)
Bike: 90.7 miles
Run: 78.3 miles
Strength: 15 minutes of core daily + some yoga ❤
Meditation: 3 minutes daily since January 1
Monthly Totals: 31 hours & 52 minutes

#explore:

Explore is my focus word in 2019 and I’m happy to be incorporating it into all areas of my life…including being at my first IRONMAN race that I wasn’t racing or volunteering (aka working) on race day. This was WAY out of my comfort zone!! I struggled going to this event knowing that I wasn’t racing (when I originally was suppose to be toeing the start line). I wanted to race SO badly, but also knew that this race had to be different for me. I had to use this race to explore. Explore being involved in IRONMAN without racing. Explore being involved in IRONMAN without volunteering and “working” on race day. Explore what is deep in my heart. Explore living my truth. So many memories were made, perspective was gained, and laughter in Lou filled my heart. I’ll have more on what I learned down the road.

Ironman Louisville from a new perspective. What a fun day! Congrats Rob on your amazing race!

Listening to:

I am finding that I love to listen to podcasts while I set up and tear down labs at work, so if you have any suggestions, please send them my way! Here is what I listened to this month:

Coeur Sports Earsplitz
Coeur at Kona 2019 (Chapter 1: Benedict, Donato, Colville, Simmons)
Coeur at Kona 2019 (Chapter 2: Perkins, Sophiea, Flynn, Ritchie)

KonaKamps always has me inspired and motivated!! Some of this months faves were:
Jon Morton, Ironman Wisconsin 2019
Amanda Marek, Ironman Wisconsin 2019
Evan Wetzel, Ironman Wisconsin 2019
Michele Sorenson, Ironman Vichy 2019
Jacob Barnes, Kona 2019 Preview
Michelle Enslin, Kona 2019 Preview
Daniel McParland, Kona 2019 Preview
Jess Perry, Kona 2019 Preview
Jana Richtrova, Kona 2019 Preview
Ray Picard, Overall Champion, Ironman Canada 2019
World Champion Aaron Tomasz, Ironman World Championships 2019
World Champion Natia Van Heerden, Ironman World Championships 2019
Overall World Champion Ruth Purbrook, Ironman World Championships 2019
World Champion Kevin Fergusson, Ironman World Championships 2019
World Champion Mary Mitchell, Ironman World Championships 2019
World Champion Gill Fullen, Ironman World Championships 2019
Liza Rachetto, Overall AG Champion, Ironman Louisville 2019

The Same 24 Hours:
Notes on Nonsense: Rock Bottom is Bullsh*t
Notes on Nonsense: Detoxing is Bullsh*t
Notes on Nonsense: Weekends are Bullsh*t
Notes on Nonsense: Numbers are Bullsh*t
Notes on Nonsense: Subtitles are Bullsh*t
Notes on Nonsense: Doing the Easy Thing is Bullsh*t
Notes on Nonsense: Wagons are Bullsh*t
Notes on Nonsense: Waiting is Bullsh*t
Notes on Nonsense: FOMO is Bullsh*t
Notes on Nonsense: People Pleasing is Bullsh*t
Notes on Nonsense: Hard is Bullsh*t
Notes on Nonsense: Other People are Bullsh*t
Notes on Nonsense: Repetition is King (and also Bullsh*t)
Notes on Nonsense: Someday Soon is Bullsh*t
Notes on Nonsense: Being Stuck is Bullsh*t
Notes on Nonsense: Motivation is Bullsh*t
CrisMarie Campbell & Susan Clarke: The Beauty of Conflict for Couples
Patrick Vellner: Cross Fit, Hard Work, and “We are Not Machines”

Endurance Planet:
Julie Moss: The Crawl of Fame, and Finding Purpose and Personal Growth Through Sport
Kona Special: Race Recap of the 2019 Ironman World Championships with Thorsten Radde

Clean Sport Collective interviewed Kara and Adam Goucher on the 4-year bans for Salazar/Brown for Doping Violations. If you want to support anti-doping in sport, you need to take a stand. Invest your money in brands that have taken the pledge to support the pursuit of clean sport and athletics through. Tyler Hamilton, Convicted Doper and Whistleblower in Cycling was also interviewed by Clean Sport Collective. Tyler is a former professional cyclist who received two doping bans while competing, gave back his Olympic gold medal, and eventually testified against Lance Armstrong in the federal case against him.

Kelsey Abbott brought CrisMarie Campbell and Susan Clarke onto the Find Your Awesome Podcast. Susan said something that really hit home with me, “Speaking up is more important than shutting up and dying.”

Ironwomen Podcast has so many amazing women on!
Living the Dream – Kim Morrison
The Kona Show – Ana Lidia Borba
Follow Your Heart – Liz Baugher

Rich Roll brought on Amelia Boone. She is the most decorated and dominate female in obstacle course racing. She struggles with childhood trauma and an eating disorder. “I don’t want to be ‘the eating disorder recovery girl’, I don’t want to be ‘the athlete’. This is just me. I am super flawed, I’m super complex, just like everybody else out there.”

Michael Gervais has brought some amazing people on his Finding Mastery podcast:
Apollo Ohno on Competition, Olympic Greatness, and Transitions

Lone Wolf – Motivational Video For All Those Fighting Battles Alone with Tony Robbins is very insightful. I was moved by this piece and am going to implement some of the rituals he was addressing in this video.

Reading:

“Where the Crawdads Sing” by Delia Owens is captivating. It was the perfect book to take me away into another world. “For years, rumors of the “Marsh Girl” have haunted Barkley Cove, a quiet town on the North Carolina coast. So in late 1969, when handsome Chase Andrews is found dead, the locals immediately suspect Kya Clark, the so-called Marsh Girl. But Kya is not what they say. Sensitive and intelligent, she has survived for years alone in the marsh that she calls home, finding friends in the gulls and lessons in the sand. Then the time comes when she yearns to be touched and loved. When two young men from town become intrigued by her wild beauty, Kya opens herself to a new life – until the unthinkable happens.”

“Snap, Crackle, Pop: My Road to IRONMAN Kona 2019” by Barbara Perkins was highlighted by USA Triathlon this month. Barbara is one of my Coeur Sports teammates who qualified for the IRONMAN World Championships at IRONMAN Santa Rosa in May. She has overcome some obstacles to get to the start of the IRONMAN World Championships, but as Barb says,  “Each of us deals with our own set of circumstances, injury, bike mishaps and more. You have to trust that you have done (mostly) everything in your power to get to that start line happy and healthy. Enjoy the day! Celebrate the moment! Because hey, this is actually happening.”  This is a good reminder that I GET TO DO THIS SPORT! ❤

“Manage Your Personal Energy to Improve the Quality of Life” by Darius Foroux is a great reminder that when we do things that energize us (even if we don’t feel energized when doing it), we empower ourselves. We need to focus on the 20% of the activities that improve the quality of our lives and incorporate these activities into our lives at least 80% of the time. “What is one thing I can do today to improve my mood?”

“Triumph Over Heartbreak: My Kona 2019 Story” by Barbara Perkins was highlighted by USA Triathlon this month. As I mentioned above, Barbara is one of my Coeur Sports teammates who qualified for and competed in the IRONMAN World Championships. She is a fierce competitor and warrior. “You will find your true, innermost self out in the lava fields of the IRONMAN World Championship course. Some people will fall victim to the brutal conditions. They will give up, but others will conquer the course and everything inside them that doubted they could make it there. Most will come away with some itch left unscratched, drawn again to the island to discover its unique possibilities.”

Attitude of Gratitude:

Grateful for a dog that loves to run and is sad when I run on the treadmill.

Grateful to have a treadmill to run on in our basement when the weather is bad.

Grateful for my body to allow me to push it even when I have ALL. OF. THE. EXCUSES. TO. NOT. SHOW. UP!

Grateful to have my CECs done for my personal training certification!

So grateful to have such an amazing running buddy! Basil is my girl and she definitely LOVES to run!

Grateful to see on our calendar that I DON’T have parent teacher conferences this year!

Grateful to have Sound Probiotics boosting my immune health!

Grateful for my Normatec Recovery boots to flush out the legs post long run!

Intention: Strong
8.5 miles with 4×4 minute Z4 interval paces of:
8:00/mile
7:53/mile
7:41/mile
7:30/mile
.
Grateful to be finding some speed again in these legs!

Surprise!! So grateful to have friends that we can ride our bikes and crash their party!! Miss this girl beyond words now that we aren’t right next door to each other, but she’ll always be one of my “sisters.”

Intention: Courage
The goal was to start off easy + negative split the first 6 miles and run the last mile easy. I would say this was a success!! Grateful to my body for allowing me to push myself + the beautiful weather today!!

Intention: Courage
Grateful to my Courage flower from Fellow Flowers for the constant reminder to be courageous on this run!!

Grateful for this beautiful morning sunrise on our way to Lou.

Grateful to spend the weekend with my girlfriend + Coeur Sports teammate, Erika.

Grateful to experience IRONMAN Louisville weekend + SO MUCH LAUGHTER with this crew.

Grateful I go to volunteer at registration on Friday morning with this crew.

Grateful I got to turn social media friends into real friends! So awesome to meet Kristen in person!

Grateful we got to meet up with our Coeur Sports sister, Erin on the bike course!

Grateful my fave enjoys having loads of fun! Our outfits got lots of laughs and cheers from the athletes!

So grateful for Nick at Vitality Massage to help keep me active + healthy!

Grateful for the beautiful fall colors that showed up a bit later than normal.

I’m so grateful for friends that like to try something new. Glass blowing is so much fun and I got to make a beautiful pumpkin for fall.

Grateful for the guidance and knowledge of a skilled glass blower to help me make my pumpkin.

Grateful that I am FINALLY able to do “knee to nose” during yoga.

Thank you to Robin and Basil for 8 BEAUTIFUL fall, morning miles with me!

Grateful that my fave likes to play in the pool post swim!

Grateful for Triny and the #itcouldbeme campaign to help make roads safer for everyone!

Grateful that our girls love to go to the parade and enjoy the socialization.

Grateful for my babies, beautiful fall colors, and fall walks!

So grateful for Nick at Vitality Massage to help keep me active + healthy!

Grateful for fall campfires…even if the fall season was EXTREMELY short this year!

Life is a roller coaster ride full of highs and lows. I’m grateful for good people to help lift me up and run with me when I’m at a low. 6 beautiful fall/early winter miles this am with my faves!

Grateful to connect with my mat and the intention of fear.

Grateful to reconnect with my inner Arial.

Grateful for early morning rides with my fave!

Grateful for some easy miles off the bike to start my day!

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

What’s up?! – September 2019

September was a roller coaster ride. I struggled with wanting to crawl back into my comfort zone vs. continuing my quest to being true to myself. In that quest, I have learned a lot about what I don’t want more than what I do want. As I continue on this quest, I know I will eventually find answers and as long as I stay true to myself, I will have no regrets.

Training:

Training has been so enjoyable lately. I still find myself occasionally fighting off the negative demons, but those times are getting fewer and fewer and I’m so grateful for that! This month had me riding OUTSIDE WITH MY FAVE for 4 rides ranging from 40 to 70 miles EACH. I can’t remember the last time we rode so many miles together over multiple rides in one month! My heart is so happy!

Intention: Gratitude
I started to incorporate intentions before each workout during the middle of the month and it has really served me well. During this swim, I kept focus on the gratitude and was so thankful to my body for allowing me to push it.

So grateful to have my fave to ride with on this nearly perfect summer day for 60 miles! 🙂

I’m so grateful to have lots of time with my favorite girl to think and process my thoughts. She’s such a good listener!

Swim: 10,450 yards (5.94 miles)
Bike: 306 miles
Run: 53.3 miles
Strength: 10 minutes of core daily + some yoga ❤
Meditation: 3 minutes daily since January 1
Monthly Totals: 34 hours & 27 minutes

#explore:

Explore is my focus word in 2019 and I’m happy to be incorporating it into all areas of my life…including following my inner compass. We all have that inner voice that talks to us. Sometimes we listen to it and sometimes we ignore it. Thinking back to those times when I listened to my inner compass, the outcome was almost always amazing and often better than I thought it would be. When I didn’t listen to my inner compass, the outcome was often negative and I regretted my decision to ignore it. In recent weeks, I decided to follow my inner compass and regain control of my life. My training. My physical health. My mental health. Reigniting the fire in my soul. This month I’ve been doing what I want. If I feel like riding bikes, I ride. If I feel like running, I run. If I feel like swimming, I swim. If I feel like doing yoga, I do yoga. If I feel like sitting on the couch and turning into a couch potato…well, I tried not to do too much of that this month, but there was some of it. The freedom to #doitmyway has been a breath of fresh air and one I am SO grateful for! I have been following my inner compass and setting intentions before my workouts centered around play, fun, gratitude, joy, fierce, ease, sunshine, truth, light, appreciation, and being present. What a game changer to reawaken my passion, fire, and soul.

I love getting to ride with my fave!! Life is a roller coaster ride full of ups and downs! I’m so grateful to have my fave by my side! Instead of screaming throughout the ride, he throws his hands in the air and enjoys the ride!

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:
Safety at Races, Mental Toughness, Debbie Downer
Katie Clayton, Ironman Lake Placid 2019
Matt Cymanski, Ironman Lake Placid 2019
Laurie Keteri-Smith, Ironman Lake Placid 2019

Rich Roll has a lot of great guests on his show. Recently he brought David Epstein onto the show and it was AMAZING!! “You don’t change your identity overnight. You have to start with these little keyhole experiments until something that you think that was just an interest becomes a real passion or a vocation.” ~David Epstein
He brought on Catra Corbett in 2018, but I finally listened to it and WOW!! This woman runs crazy distances…200+ mile races and a 425 mile trail run. After getting arrested for peddling crystal meth, she was scared straight in a jail cell when she hit rock bottom. She left behind meth addiction, disordered eating, and sexual and emotional abuse. Sobriety saved her, but running gave her a completely new life. “Getting out is the first step. You don’t have to become a runner. Just get out and see what the world has to offer.” ~Catra Corbett

Kelsey Abbott brought Cody Byrns on her Find Your Awesome podcast. His life experiences have him living the fullest life possible. “I cannot change what happened to me, but I can change what I do today and make the most of what I do today.” ~Cody Byrns

Ironwomen Podcast has so many amazing women on!
Outside the Comfort Zone with Emily Cocks and Susan Lacke is a great listen! Emily gives her podium picks at Ironman 70.3 World Championships in Nice, France and Susan talks about her experiences that fueled her new book Running Outside the Comfort Zone.
Race with Purpose with Nicole Valentine was heart warming! Nicole’s mission is to create change. “Nicole shares her passion for inspiring women in sport, finding purpose beyond the finish line, and showing others how to use fear as an opportunity for growth.”
Into the Deep End with Julie Moss was so inspiring. This woman was the one who put Ironman racing on the map in 1982 as she crawled across the finish line in Kona. “You have the opportunity to be a Wonder Woman for your own life and you better take it!” ~Julie Moss
Small Bites, Big Goals with Selah Schneiter is SO INSPIRING! She is a 10-year old who is the youngest person to have ever climbed “The Nose” of El Capitan. “How do you eat an elephant? Small bites. Some things are hard and that’s just reality” ~Selah Schnieter

Michael Gervais has brought some amazing people on his Finding Mastery podcast:
Katie Zaferes is the #1 triathlete in the world after recently winning the ITU World Triathlon Series. She is a 2016 Olympian and has her sights set on qualifying for the 2o20 Olympic Games. “Mastery is unattainable, but trying to master it is everything.” ~Katie Zaferes
Meb Keflezighi is the only runner to win the Boston Marathon, the New York City Marathon, and an Olympic medal. He is SO inspirational! “Quitting is not my best.” ~Meb Keflezighi
Javier Gomez is a professional triathlete who has raced and won at so many different distances. While he is currently in peak training for the Ironman World Championship that will take place in Kona, Hawaii on October 13, he is so humble and grounded. “Enjoy life; it is the most important. Enjoy what you do all of the time.” ~Javier Gomez
Bethany Hamilton is a professional surfer who has survived a shark attack. At the age of 13, she was attacked by a 14-foot tiger shark who took her left arm from her. One month after the attack, Bethany returned to the water and within two years she had won her first national title. “Mastery is more about loving what you’re doing, rather than nailing it perfectly or being the best of the best.” ~Bethany Hamilton

Reading:

Stop Saying Your Fine: The No-BS Guide to Getting What You Want” by Mel Robbins was the kick in the pants that I needed to remind myself that life is too short. It is time to stop waiting for my life to change and create the change that I want. “There will always be setbacks, so you must learn how to deal with them. When you hit an obstacle, you shouldn’t be questioning yourself, you should just be figuring out the alternatives. You should be like water. Water doesn’t consider its flow. If something gets in the way, it just moves around the obstacle. You need to adopt the same mentality.” ~Mel Robbins

10 Ways to Make IRONMAN Training Fit Your Lifestyle has some great tips on creating a healthy balance between life and the Ironman lifestyle.

Attitude of Gratitude:

I ABSOLUTELY LOVE riding with my fave at home home by the lake! #happyheart

Riding with my fave on one of my favorite routes brings me pure joy! I am in Minnesota and he is in Iowa in this picture.

Grateful to spend time with our twin nieces and play in the water!

Love these 3!! I’m so grateful they love to have fun + eat ice cream!

I am truly blessed to have my 2 favorite running buddies run with me at home home by the lake!

So grateful for the reminder from Steena and Fellow Flowers to live my truth! This has been my focus since Ironman Lake Placid!

Love my girls! Happy 7th birthday to my baby! Love you Basil!

This brought a HUGE smile to my face throughout the entire ride! It was such a fun + easy ride!

Bluebird skies + lots of sunshine + no wind + 2 wheels on the open roads = EXACTLY what my heart needed today! #happyheart #livingmytruth

A reminder to fill your heart with joy. After meditating, I looked up to see this “heart” shaped screw in our ceiling.

So grateful for such a magical playground!!

Grateful that my fave and I got to spend a long weekend in Madison!

Grateful to have Mike Reilly sign our copy of his book, “Finding My Voice

So happy to be riding one loop of the Ironman Wisconsin bike loop before the big dance!

The rural Wisconsin views always make my heart happy!

Grateful that my fave loves to have fun on this roller coaster of life!

Grateful that my fave loves to play around and enjoy life with me!

Blessed to run a “Mississippi Mile” with my fave in Madison!

Happy to be giving back to a sport that has given so much to me!

So grateful to all of these volunteers (+ many, many more) for helping to make dreams come true at Ironman Wisconsin for so many athletes.

Happy to be donating my hair to Wigs for Kids.

Grateful to branch out and go to trivia night, which was a bit uncomfortable as I am clueless when it comes to trivia.

This is the first time I have relaxed in the Normatec Recovery boots since IMLP in July. It felt truly amazing and I was grateful to have the neighbor’s dog snuggle up next to me.

Grateful for the bright colors of this Coeur Sports Liberty kit! It made me so much more visible riding on the open roads!

So grateful that my fave put this surprise reminder in my lunch pail. He’s a keeper!!

Grateful to have Nick with Vitality Massage work out all the kinks!!

Relishing that “high” from doing it my way! Oh…and LOVIN’ my new Coeur Sports Sorbet kit! SO FUN!

When the intention is set to play and have fun during my swim workout, that is exactly what I do…my swimsuit definitely helps set the intention also!

So grateful to be back in the water after a hiatus.

So grateful for amazing peeps in my life!

Thank you Ruth for thinking of me and being one of my biggest supporters!

I’m glad to have reconnected with my mat and have Basil coaching me through the moves.

Grateful to have a solid double digit run where my body felt so good I decided to run a little longer than planned and of course celebrate with a dance party post run! “If you like piña coladas and getting caught in the rain…”

Grateful to be a “model” in the Coeur Sports email that was sent out! Hello Liberty kit…I love you!

SO GRATEFUL for spontaneity in riding cross bikes with my fave after work!

Grateful to see some “friends” on my 11 mile run!

Grateful for my Friday night happy hour!!

Grateful for 70+ miles on two wheels with my fave on new terrain!

Grateful to my Coeur Sports sister, Jess, and her family for having us over for dinner and enjoying each other’s company!!

Grateful to Robin and Basil for running with me!

Grateful for some yards next to my fave!!

So grateful to reconnect with my mat at the hot yoga studio!! I’ve truly missed this and am so glad to be back!!

How was your month of September?! What were you grateful for last month?! When your inner compass speaks, do you listen?!

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?!