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?! 

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What’s up?! – March 2019

March was a turning point. Spring FINALLY showed up, the snow is nearly all melted, a sh!t ton of dog poop has been picked up, I finished my last parent teacher conferences EVER, and I am now just over 2 months away from the end of my last school year teaching. With the end of the school year comes the building excitement of starting my new career and nerves (in a good way) of doing something different for the first time in 16 years. Meanwhile, these are some of the highlights of March…

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…13 weeks and counting!! BOOM!!

Love you more and SO glad you’re back in the water!!
My graph from my bike ramp test is so pretty!! Thanks Coach Kelly for helping me realize the strength I had didn’t disappear!!
So grateful for spring weather so I could wear the same Coeur Sports “Not Today Cancer” kit for my bike + run! Oh…and super grateful for my favorite girl who loves to run!! #basillovesrunning

Swim: 26,500 yards (15 miles)
Bike: 227 miles
Run: 79.2 miles
Strength: 10 minutes of core daily + various full body strength
Monthly Totals: 42 hours & 32 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 ran the St. Paddy’s 1/2 Marathon with the goal of averaging an 8:30 min/mile pace and I am pleased as a Leprechaun finding a pot of gold with my performance!! I had an overall finish time of 1:51:44 (8:32 min/mile average pace)! I finished 2nd out of 20 in F40-44 and 89th out of 341 overall. I am super excited about where 2019 might take me as I continue to #explore and push my limits!!

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

Listening to:

KonaKamps had me inspired by two AMAZING women!! Maggie Walsh won Ironman Maryland 2018 at her FIRST EVER triathlon!! She didn’t just win her age group, she was the first female to cross the finish line and break the tape!! Reiko Donato won Ironman Chattanooga 2018 for women 60-64 on a VERY special day…her birthday!! That’s right!! She turned 60 years old and won!! Jana Richtrova won Ironman Cozumel 2018 for women 35-39. This will be her 7th time at Kona!! Congratulations to all of these amazing ladies!!

Rich Roll Podcast with Todd Herman On the Alter Ego Effect: Unlocking the Hero Within is a long listen, but has so many useful nuggets in it! Wow! “There’s a big difference between interested and committed.” ~Todd Herman

Find Your Awesome Podcast with Kelsey Abbott had Jessica Broderick on to talk about grief and what one goes through when they lose a part of their identity. Jessica was a pro triathlete who recently retired and explains the grieving process she went through when this part of her identity was removed. “You can be healthy and fit. They are two very different things.” ~Jessica Broderick

Reading:

I strive to have an attitude of gratitude daily, so when I saw the recent blog post by Carrie Cheadle titled How an Attitude-Of-Gratitude Can Also Lead to Better Performance, I knew I had to read it! Gratitude has so many amazing benefits, why wouldn’t people try to be more grateful?!?!

  • “Greater feeling of happiness
  • Improved sleep
  • Boost your immune system
  • Feeling more optimistic
  • Better at handling adversity
  • Increased amount of exercise
  • Experiencing more positive emotions
  • Raises self-confidence
  • Less physical pain
  • More resiliency”

She has some great tips for how to start your own gratitude practice! She recommends “bedtime reflection, a happy jar, and a gratitude journal.” Every night before I go to bed, I write down as many things as I can think of that I’m grateful for from the day. I don’t limit myself to only 3 things and I try to make sure I am not writing down the same things everyday. I also try to take pictures of things that I am grateful for and I look back at these pictures at the end of each month as I compose my “What’s Up?!” monthly blog post. Compiling the “Attitude of Gratitude” section of my blog post each month is a great way to remind myself of all of the amazing things that I have in my life to be thankful for. Taking the pictures also keeps me focused on gratitude daily.

Celebrating:

42!! My birthday fell on a very LONG work day (teach all day + parent teacher conferences all evening), but this being my last parent teacher conferences ever was one of the best birthday presents I could give myself!! I did get to celebrate over the weekend as I consumed loads of sushi + raced the St. Paddy’s 1/2 Marathon!!

Love me some sushi…SO YUMMY!!

Attitude of Gratitude:

So grateful I got to see these two beautiful faces…even if it wasn’t for the happiest reason.
So grateful for girl’s night out playing board games with these beauties!! #needtodothismoreoften
The first time in my 16 years of teaching that I was given flowers from a student.
Love my mama! She’s still the boss even after 42 years!! 🙂
So grateful, blessed, and lucky to have my fave supporting me, encouraging me, and cheering me on in races and life!!
I am so grateful for the sun, bluebird skies, and warm temps for a tank top + shorts while running outside!!
I am grateful for noticing the little things in life…the random heart that the cord of our fan made on the floor by my bike trainer.
I am grateful that the weather is nice enough to rake up all the leaves and play in them with my favorite girl!!
SO grateful my legs and mind were strong allowing me to put together a solid 7 mile run with 1100 feet of climbing!! 🙂
After a tough run (1100 feet of climbing over 7 miles), I was so grateful to find a way to use my Normatec Recovery boots in the car since I had to be there for a few hours post run.
Grateful to meet the Iron Hippie’s parents for lunch!
So grateful that my body and mind are strong and they allow me to run 15 miles after a busy day at work!
So grateful that I got some run love with Robin in the sunshine (even if the temps were cold)! I’ve missed my girl time!

How was your month of March?! What were you grateful for last month?! How can you document them in a meaningful way for you?!

What’s Up?! – February 2018

I’m so excited that March is here! March typically means spring in the Midwest, and I’m ready for it! I’m ready to get outside and soak up some sunshine + the longer daylight hours!

Training:

Despite getting sick with strep throat at the end of the month, I had some amazing breakthroughs this month!

Soaring after a breakthrough swim session!
Head down giving it everything I have!
My longest run since November that I finished with this amazing sunset!

Swim: 22,150 yards
Bike: 154 miles
Run: 63.8 miles
Monthly Totals: 29:51:49 + core + strength

Watching + Being Inspired by:

The Olympic Athletes! The U.S. women who are role models for young ladies and grown ladies…WOW!! So inspired by these amazing ladies! “I want them to know it’s ok to be girly with your sparkles and your glitter and its also ok to be very competitive and be totally fierce on the race course and to be able to push you body hard and not worry about what it looks like just think about what your body can do. And I really want that message to come across because I think it’s really important to be comfortable in your own skin and see sports as something that lifts you up and empowers you.” ~Jessie Diggins

If you haven’t watched this yet, you really should!

Reading:

You are a Badass: How to Stop Doubting Your Greatness and Start Living an Awesome Life by Jen Sincero is a MUST READ! Jen helps you “identify and change the self-sabotaging beliefs and behaviors that stop you from getting what you want. Create a life you totally love!”

What to do When You Love/Hate Your Sport by Carrie Cheadle helps bring balance between having fun and your ego. Sure we all need our “ego to help push us, to drive us to do better, but not sabotage our performance.” Sometimes we need to “just go out and play,” so put the ego on the shelf and reconnect with the joy that brought you to your sport in the first place!

Nail Your Triathlon Goals in 2018 (by Setting the Right Ones) by Bethany Rutledge gives us 5 tips for a stellar 2018 season. Prioritize your workouts and use the winter months to focus on improving your weaknesses. Choose performance over outcomes by picking goals based on variables that you can control as much as possible. Work backwards from your big goal for the season to figure out what you should be doing between now and then. Be specific and choose a goal with specific metrics that you can measure. Think in terms of big pay off by putting your time and effort into areas that will give you a huge bang for your buck.

Listening to:

The Find Your Awesome Podcast with Professional Triathlete Dede Griesbauer by Kelsey Abbott is AMAZING! Dede became a professional triathlete at age 35! She will be 48 years old this year and still racing as a professional triathlete…how awesome is that?!?! Two key nuggets that Dede mentioned that resonate with me in sport and life are “Living in the past is only going to hold you back in the future” and “Love has to be what drives you.”

The Find Your Awesome Podcast with Mindset Coach Jordana Jaffe by Kelsey Abbott is spot on! She really gets you thinking about what does feeling good mean to you. Does your ego feeling good really make YOU feel good? Does social media really make YOU feel good? “The line in the sand between social media that inspires and enlightens and social media that kind of drowns you is unclear sometimes.”

Stop apologizing for being you by Kelsey Abbott…YES! THIS! “If you are apologizing for being you, knock it off!” Challenge yourself to be you, to shine bright, and to be love. ❤

Looking forward to:

Spring! More specifically, spring break! With a week left before spring break, I am looking forward to 10 days away from the classroom, doing some spring cleaning, refocusing my training, and decompressing before the last push to summer break!

Being healthy! Since I am still taking meds for strep throat (only one day left), I am looking forward to being healthy, feeling good, and chasing dreams!

Grateful for:

Fresh show + friends!

Snowshoe adventures!

Puppy snuggles!

Snuggles with my favorite girl!

Having amazing peeps in my tribe keeping me healthy!

Sound Probiotics + Karma Kombucha help keep my gut healthy when taking meds for strep throat.

The Iron Hippie…my rock! He helps me be the best version of myself every day. I know I don’t say it nearly enough…thank you for all of your love, support, and help in life! Thank you for pushing me out of my comfort zone to help me become a better person!

Enjoying life with my fave!

How was your month of February?! What are you looking forward to?! What are you grateful for?!

What’s Up?! – January 2018

How is the first month of 2018 already in the rearview mirror?! It seems like the start of the new year was just yesterday! Here is a look at what the month had in store for me:

Training:

This month my training was hit or miss thanks to an illness shortly after the start of the year and most recently the inability to turn my head. Thankfully I am back to feeling 100% and am ready to regain consistency in February! I did establish a racing schedule for 2018 that I am SUPER PUMPED about! I’ve let myself fully recover from my 2017 racing season and am SO ready to start rebuilding the engine for a stronger + fun filled 2018!

Celebrating the end of the #batcapchallenge on January 1!
First power test of 2018! Grateful for a healthy body! I’m ready to work hard and rebuild my fitness + surpass 2017!
So grateful to run with my fave + get some fresh air before the freezing temps return!

Swim: 8500 yards
Bike: 127 miles
Run: 24.8 miles
Totals: 20 hours & 53 minutes

Family:

We were so blessed to have our twin nieces (and my sister) come stay with us for a weekend early in January so we could attend their swim meet. The twins convinced the Iron Hippie to make a cake from scratch when they came to visit us. The recipe used was one the twins found on the internet and was a bit dry…it needs some love! We also got to spend some time back home home with family for the Okoboji Winter Games.

The twins are ready for their swim meet!
The cake is done!
Date night! #balance
Me and my fave listening to Damon Dotson!
Snowshoeing adventures with my fam!
Lunch with the twins at their school!
Putting puzzles together with the twins!
Winter wonderland with Dad + my fave!
Catching up with my “baby brother” at home home!

Reading:

My Weight Has Nothing to Do with How Good a Runner I Am by Allie Kieffer is a MUST READ! Wow! Body image plagues society! As an endurance athlete not on the skinny side, I often feel that I should lose weight to perform better…not because I think I am overweight, but because I see + hear what society says about being “skinnier.” I am STRONG! Stronger now than I have ever been…my swim times are dropping, my FTP on the bike is climbing, and my run times have gotten faster during the marathon of my Ironman races. If I were to lose weight, I may perform better, but I may also lose this strength. That is not a risk I am willing to take. It is time for society to change! The negative body image stereotyping MUST go, we need to focus on nutrient dense foods (count the colors not calories people), and we need to be grateful for what our bodies do for us! “As women, we shared more similarities than differences: We are all perseverant, powerful, confident, and healthy. And, dare I say it, strong.” #strongisthenewskinny

2017: A Year of Rediscovering Joy where Amelia shares how she rediscovered joy as she overcame injury. “True joy and true gratitude does not come from the victory – it comes from the pursuit of the achievement.”

The Champion Mindset: An athlete’s Guide to Mental Toughness by Joanna Zeiger is a great read! To race at your best, you have to not only train the body, but also the mind. Zeiger takes you through her “own personal journey from a struggling novice swimmer to Olympian and World Champion.”

Listening to:

The Find Your Awesome Podcast with Olympian Samantha Livingston…WOW!!! I SO connected to what Samantha and Kelsey discussed in this podcast!!! I have SO many perfectionist tendencies that I am trying to shed and leave behind. “Perfection is driven by the fear of what people will think.” I will continue to work to shed these perfectionist tendencies. I don’t want to live in fear of what other people think or what I think that they think!

The Find Your Awesome Podcast with Professional Triathlete Amber Ferreira is a must listen to! Kelsey Abbott interviews Amber and learns more about Amber’s “pro career to date, her love of racing up mountains, her mindset, resiliency and heart. We dig into her current project—recovering from stage 3 adrenal fatigue. Amber Ferreira is a professional triathlete, a physical therapist and a multisport coach. She’s the 2014 Ironman Lake Placid Champion and the two-time US National Snowshoe champion. She’s also a heart-driven, spunky human who loves to dream big and loves to laugh.”

Pumped For:

My 2018 race schedule! I am SO excited to be racing Ironman Wisconsin 70.3, Ironman Ohio 70.3, and Ironman Louisville as my long distance races this year! The Ironman has become my lifestyle! I love the Ironman distance! I love the feels that come with training + racing ALL. DAY. LONG! I love the excitement crossing the Ironman finish line brings so many people! I love the challenges that each new Ironman journey + race brings! I LOVE IRONMAN!

Grateful For:

-My body allowing me to push it to new levels, but also accepting the recovery I give it to perform stronger + better in the future.

-A snow day + a few days with 2 hour delays to start this month at school. I’m not a fan of having to make up the snow days, but it is always nice to have a break from school from time to time. Oh…and the 2 hour delays we don’t have to make up! 🙂

-The most supportive husband ever! I’m so grateful the Iron Hippie is willing to support me on my #IMLou journey! This will be the first Ironman race I participate in with him as sherpa + spectator extraordinaire!

-Dr. Chris Feil with Team Chiropractic for helping me overcome my “whiplash” symptoms from the car accident I was NEVER in. We have no idea how it happened!

-Nick Morton with Vitality Massage for keeping me on the train moving forward thanks to my biweekly massages!

Coach Kelly’s flexibility this month as life threw me a couple of curve balls!

-Being a SBR Sports Inc Ambassador for 2018! I absolutely LOVE the TRISWIM, TRISLIDE and SKINSLICK products to remove chlorine and keep me chafe + blister free during training, racing, and snowshoeing! These products are a dream!

How was your month of January?! What are you pumped up about?! What are you grateful for?!