My 2019 Year in Review via Photos

January:

Podium finish is a great way to start 2019!!
It is SO HARD to swim with a merman on your back!!
I’m so grateful our twin nieces and my sister came to visit for the twin’s swim meet!
I’m so grateful for morning runs with my favorite girl! #basillovesrunning
WOW!! Magnificent sunsets are amazing!!
Running in the snow is SO HARD, but I loved every minute of my 8+ mile run in the sun!!
Basil loves to play in the snow and help shovel!!
Snowshoeing at dusk with my faves!!
I have some of the best people in my village!! Thanks Ruth for the reminder to #explore in all areas of my life this year and always! You’re the best! ❤

February:

I’m so ready to “explore” in a new career!!
Carving my glass heart!
The finished product! I think they turned out pretty awesome!
These 3…I love them all!! So grateful for their unconditional love!!
I’m so grateful to be on #tigerteam19!! My Coeur Sports teammates help me to feel empowered, inspired, connected, loved, and full of joy!!
Mother Nature’s sense of humor is a bit different than mine, but I am grateful for the 4 seasons…even if the snow drifts over one of our favorite trails. #driftedsnowiswaistdeep
I am so grateful for my Normatec recovery boots…especially after 14 solid treadmill miles!!

March:

Double medal race day at the St. Paddy’s 1/2 Marathon where I got 2nd place in my age group!
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!! 🙂
I am grateful that the weather is nice enough to rake up all the leaves and play in them with my favorite girl!!
Love you more and SO glad you’re back in the water!!
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
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 I got some run love with Robin! I’ve missed my girl time!

April:

“Growth comes at a point of resistance; we learn by pushing ourselves to the outer reaches of our abilities.” ~Josh Waitzkin
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 to have Basil run by my side and the IronHippie back in the saddle!!
These two…so grateful for their unconditional love!!
Grateful for some girl time with Robin as we pound the pavement!!
14 Ironman finish lines amongst this #swimsquad and more to come in our futures!!
3 cheers for 3 Drake 1/2 marathon finishers!! Grateful to cross another finish line!!
Grateful for freedom on 2 wheels on the open road with my fave!!
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

May:

Chaperoning my last 8th grade dance!!
Morning sunrises are the best way to start the day!!
Playing in the water with my fave!!
Joining some friends for a spin class!
Our neighbor, Marjorie, came home from Arizona. We are so happy she is here to stay!!
So grateful my favorite girl loves to run!! 13.2 miles later, we were both ready for some food and a nap!! 🙂
BOOM!! I think I grew gills and fins!!
I love fresh, homegrown veggies!! So grateful to get our garden planted!!
Grateful for the time and nice weather to finally landscape around the house!!
I love spending time on two wheels outside with my fave at my side!!
Walking into my classroom for the last week of school with kids.
Grateful to have these two amazing ladies show up and attend my triathlon clinic!!
Going out with a splash!! My last day with kids was super fun!! Now for a week of professional development before starting my new adventure next week!!
So grateful to have had some of the most AMAZING colleagues ever!!

June:

Riding in Minnesota, but the lake to my left is in Iowa. Love this route!
Basil is checking out the Roomba. Each day she gets less and less afraid of it.
Sometimes it takes a little encouragement to complete a tough workout!! High fives all around!!
Today marks the last time I’ll run from the middle school as my place of employment.
Grateful to spend my last days of teaching with my colleague and friend! I already miss seeing her everyday!
Post 100 mile ride playtime! So grateful to have my fave by my side through this roller coaster ride of life!!
So grateful to be starting my new gig in Physics Hall on ISU campus!!
I’m grateful I got to spend a few hours with the Iron Hippie’s family
So grateful we were asked to be on the radio to promote the Ames Triathlon!
WOW!! Early morning runs with sunrises like this are TOTALLY worth it!!
Thank you to Kyle at Kyle’s Bikes for always keeping Mojo ready for race day and for getting me into some new bike shoes!!
So grateful these kids came to Ames to have dinner with us…ok, they really came to race the Ames Triathlon!! LOL!!
Watching the downtown crit races was so much fun with these peeps!!
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!!
Three Cheers to Allen Bierbaum and Dr. Chris Feil for helping one of our para-athletes in and out of the water at the Ames Triathlon on Sunday!!
Who’s ready to race the Ames Triathlon?! These two!! So glad my Coeur Sports sisters came to race in the inaugural Ames Triathlon event!!

July:

Grateful I got to see my twin nieces…even if the circumstances weren’t the best.
Grandma got most of the cousins together, but she wasn’t able to get me into Hawkeye apparel.
Yep…we are strong and ready to race!
Knocking out the last really big training day before #IMLP!!
Grateful to score this sweet treadmill from friends that moved to the Bay Area.
Grateful for the first ripe homegrown tomato from our garden before leaving on vacation!
SO GRATEFUL we got to enjoy a few days with some of our favorite people. Only wish we lived closer together and got to spend more time with Erika, Rob, and their girls!
Running along Niagara Falls was a real highlight! It isn’t everyday you get to run along the falls!
Grateful to play tourists for a day! Taking the boat tour and getting up close and personal with the falls was fun!
Grateful to celebrate 9 years of marriage to this wonderful man exploring Niagara Falls!
Celebrating 9 years of marriage with a high class dinner (this was my first time ever eating at a place with a restroom attendant).
Getting to stay on the 39th floor above the falls provided some amazing views and a perfect place to watch the evening fireworks.
We made it to Lake Placid in time for a short shake out run before the sunset.
We made it to Lake Placid! Love this place!
Swimming in my favorite place makes my heart happy!
Mirror Lake is the best place to swim…EVER!! It makes my heart happy!!
So grateful to ride the Ironman Lake Placid bike course with my fave!
So grateful for this amazing Coeur Sports Sunset Strip kit. The colors stand out!
Grateful I got to play lots of cards with my fave!!
Exploring some falls off of the Ironman Lake Placid bike course.
Grateful I get to do life with this guy! Happy 40th to the Iron Hippie!
Having fun running down Main Street Lake Placid
The Ironman Lake Placid Underpants Run Participants
Grateful for Amy Farrell! What an amazing human being!
Grateful for Carol! Love her to pieces!
Grateful to have such amazing support!
Grateful for my Coeur Sports family!
Our race day support crew! Love you Dad, Aunt Linda, and Cousin Neal! Photo credit: Neal Fedora
Love this man! So glad I get to do life with him by my side! Photo credit: Neal Fedora
Race ready!
That’s a swim PR! Photo credit: FinisherPix
Finishing loop #1 of the bike! Photo credit: FinisherPix
Finishing loop #2 of the bike! Photo credit: FinisherPix
Chasing down my fave! I see him! Photo credit: FinisherPix
Not feeling it on the run. Photo Credit: Amy Farrell
Ready to conquer run loop #2. Photo Credit: Amy Farrell
On the last loop of the run! Photo credit: FinisherPix
So glad to see Moira and Mike at the finish line! Photo credit: FinisherPix
Grateful for this finish line with my Fave by my side! Photo credit: FinisherPix
Grateful for fun opportunities with free music and beautiful views!
Grateful to Tim Chien at Balanced Bodywork & Massage for an amazing pre-race and post race massage!
Grateful to meet awesome peeps!

August:

So happy to be on the open water! You can take the girl out 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 while on vacation SO MUCH! I am so grateful she missed me too!
Grateful for a BEAUTIFUL evening to listen to our friend play live music at our local Coop!
Grateful for BEAUTIFUL morning sunrises!! #redskyinthemorningsailorstakewarning
Grateful for pool shenanigans with these two peeps!
Grateful for time with family!
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!” Grateful to race with my dear friend!
Photo Credit: Dave Mable
3rd place age group on a FUN day! Congrats to Bradie for 2nd place in our age group!
Meeting up with my Coeur Sports Teammate, Jess, always brings multiple smiles to my face! Love this girl!
So grateful to my Coeur Sports Teammate, Steena, for this Fellow Flower!! “Living my truth!!”
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!
Truth: I ran 6 miles this morning…3 solo miles followed by 3 miles with Robin. I REALLY do LOVE running, but I love it even more with friends! 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 on the water with some of my loved ones!
Grateful for time picking berries with loved ones!! Fresh fruit…YUMMMM!!
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!

September:

Grateful to see the early morning painted sky!
Grateful to get to reconnect with my mat on the lake with my fave + my Dad.
SO GRATEFUL to run with my faves at home home! Love them and the lake!
I absolutely LOVE swimming at home home! So grateful for this magical opportunity!
Grateful to spend time with our twin nieces and play in the water!
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.
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!
Love my girls! Happy 7th birthday to my baby! Love you Basil!
Bluebird skies + lots of sunshine + no wind + 2 wheels on the open roads = EXACTLY what my heart needed today! #happyheart #livingmytruth
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”
The rural Wisconsin views always make my heart happy!
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 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!
Grateful to branch out and go to trivia night, which was a bit uncomfortable as I am clueless when it comes to trivia.
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!
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!
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.
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…”
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 70+ miles on two wheels with my fave on new terrain!
Grateful to Robin and Basil for running with me!
Grateful to my Coeur Sports sister, Jess, and her family for having us over for dinner and enjoying each other’s company!!

October:

Grateful for a dog that loves to run and is sad when I run on the treadmill.
Grateful for my reminder to believe in myself and what I am doing!
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 have Sound Probiotics boosting my immune health!
Grateful for my Normatec Recovery boots to flush out the legs post long run!
Grateful to “crash” my dear friend’s tailgate “party” and surprise her!
Grateful for this beautiful morning sunrise on our way to Lou.
Grateful to spend the weekend with my girlfriend + Coeur Sports teammate, Erika.
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!
Helping our Coeur Sports sister, Mikki, wrap up registration.
Helping our Coeur Sports sister, Kristin, wrap up registration.
Thank you Erika for my matching bracelet!! Love you girl!!
Autumn in Bardstown with Erika!!
Three peas in a pod!!
Swimming in Lou when we arrived.
Go, Kristen, GOOOOO!!! Keep MOOOVING forward!! #IMLou
Cheering our hearts out!! #IMLou
Grateful we got to meet up with our Coeur Sports sister, Erin on the bike course! #IMLou
Grateful my fave enjoys having loads of fun! Our outfits got lots of laughs and cheers from the athletes! #IMLou
Go Rob GOOOO!!! Keep MOOOVING forward!! #IMLou
Rob getting chased by my fave in his second costume of the day. #IMLou
Looking strong Mikki! #IMLou
Happy birthday Kristin! #IMLou
Encouraging Kristin to finish strong! Congrats on your 1st place AG and Kona qualification! #IMLou
Ironman Louisville from a new perspective. What a fun day! Congrats Rob on your amazing race! #IMLou
Grateful for the beautiful fall colors that showed up a bit later than normal.
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 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.
Thank you to Robin and Basil for 8 BEAUTIFUL fall, morning miles with me!
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!
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!

November:

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!
Another Hillbilly Hike 1/2 marathon is in the books!
So grateful to be getting back to the weights and strength training the entire body!
Grateful for the opportunity to ride the horse carriage at Snow Magic.
So grateful to get to run with these rad ladies at the Coeur Sports women’s run in Des Moines.
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 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!
Intention: WIN (the day)
After being away from the water for two weeks, it felt so amazing to get some #chlorinetherapy today! #wintheday
Grateful for a morning run with my fave!
Crushing bike intervals + spending time with my fave = pure joy!
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!
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!
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!

December:

I’ve decided 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! I’m grateful for the opportunity to think outside of the box, experiment with 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 the dream that Emily Hampton had to start Ignite Yoga and build such an amazing community!
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 that I can spend time with my mat while rehabbing my back.
LIVE! Every. Damn. Day!
So grateful to be spinning on the bike…even if it is an easy ride!
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!
I’m grateful for Dr. Chris Feil at Team Chiropractic and Rehabilitation of Ames for helping get me back on track this month.
These beautiful December days with unseasonable temperatures are amazing!!
The girls are so glad that Dad is home after being gone for a week.
Glad 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!!
First run all month!! Grateful to be nearly fully recovered from my back sprain and enjoying fresh air + sunshine + time with my faves!!
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!!
Chris Chapman with Movewell Iowa is helping me get my muscles to properly fire and keep me injury free.
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!
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.
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!!
2019 Totals

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?!

My 2017 Year in Review via Photos

January:

Running into 2017 with my favorite girl!
Crushing my FTP challenge = HUGE smiles!
Running ninja style when it is 2F outside!
Striving for progress, not perfection in the pool this week with a 2 second increase in my 200 yard time trial! 🙂
Doing the work and trusting the process means hay in the barn so I can start a HUGE fire on race day!
So giddy since I crushed my 5K time trial secret goal!
Pushing my limits…always!
Ironman Mont Tremblant…I’m comin’ for ya!
Snow shoeing in the woods with the Iron Hippie and my girls!

February:

Easy morning run for the first time in over a week!
It takes a lot of strength, determination, grit, resilience, perseverance, and self confidence when you have big dreams! Chase your dreams peeps!
Spin ups!
First swim in almost 3 weeks…I still have it!
Running when it is cold out can sometimes turn you blue!
As an 8th grade science teacher, I was blessed to have a student give this to me as a gift on Friday!
New 100 yard PR!
Every second counts when you go down the rabbit hole! “Alice: How long is forever? White Rabbit: Sometimes just one second!” ~Lewis Carroll, Alice in Wonderland
I’m honored to be invited to share my Ironman journey with members of the community.
Swim #2 this week was SO much better than #1!
Twin Tuesday at school…Love my sole sister!
Lots of dreaming of spring swims on our walk Tuesday!
Dry needling + electric shock to get my back to cooperate!
Diving into the unknown by incorporating some speed work into my swim so I can #findfaster
Staring fear in the face!

March:

Just keep swimming!
How bad do you want it?!
Work hard for what you want!
Dancing in the water!
Spin, spin, spin!
Running with my favorite girl!
#solesister + #runlove = #happyheart
Running with my faves!
My Coeur Sports + Sound Probiotics team gear for 2016 arrived!
Lunch date at the elementary school with the twins!
Coeur Sports photo shoot at the lake with my favorite girl!
40!
Love this family!
Swimming next to my fave while crushing intervals in a different pool = #swimlove
Family fun in the water!
Birthday miles + smiles!
Snuggles with my favorite girl!
Found the worlds smallest snowman while running Tuesday!
Running with the sunrise on Wednesday morning…so cold my eyelashes froze!
Sound Probiotics = FTW DOUBLE WIN!
New Newton Kismets! YES!
With my parents and the Iron Hippie!
Reconnecting with my mat was MUCH needed!
Incredibly grateful + lucky to have my sole sister pushing me through high intensity intervals even when she isn’t right beside me!
My first ever trophy (when I’ve placed on the podium before, I’ve always earned a medal)!

April:

You can sleep with your dreams or get up and work hard to turn them into reality. I really wanted to keep sleeping with my dreams Tuesday morning, but hard work won!
Tears of joy as I pushed out of my comfort zone on so many levels during my #timetrialtuesday ride!
Morning miles with friends is best!
#runlove in the misty rain! Perfect running weather!
“Celebrate good times…come on!” Some #swimlove Thursday morning!
My morning running buddy! Hill repeats this morning!
More #swimlove, that continued to work hard despite being exhausted
#tearsofjoy for finding a gear in my legs I didn’t think I had on this #timetrialtuesday
Sometimes you fall, but when you get up and keep moving, you get closer to achieving your dreams!
Boston Marathon Monday with my #solesister
So giddy! 16 watt improvement in my FTP test today means I’m over the 200 watt threshold! I never imagined I would see this day! So grateful for Coach Kelly to push me WAY out of my comfort zone and help me get stronger this season!
Aren’t I the “Best in Show”?!
Not quite the race I was hoping for, but I pushed as hard as I could all the way through! Grateful the rain held off until after I finished! Another Drake 1/2 is in the books!

May:

I have 2 students who are committed to teaching me how to do my own race day braids! Each day gets easier!
Flippin’ Friday evening with lots of #swimlove to #findfaster
Chaperoning the 8th grade dance with my #solesister
Grateful to be on 2 wheels on the open roads!
Hill repeats with the sunrise is a perfect way to start the day! #rememberingTRJ
First long solo ride on Saturday! HUGE confidence builder!
Snuggles with my favorite girl!
Lots of puppy love!
Some days you have it, and some days you don’t. Today was a “don’t” kind of day for me. Turning the page!
#saltyballs are prepped and ready for some long outdoor rides the next two days of this 3 day weekend!
Windy day on 2 wheels, but any day with my fave, Mojo, and the open roads is a great day! Lucky for me I get to do it all over again tomorrow!
“This is HUGE! Congrats. A back to back 4 hour ride is a great prep session for the Ironman build up. I’m so happy it went well and glad you do not back down in the face of adversity. You’ve evolved a lot as an athlete this year. I’m proud of you today. Good work.” ~Coach Kelly
I’m SO glad my back to back long bricks are done! All that wind made it VERY challenging!!

June: 

Basil also loves her homemade rope toy that one of my students made her!
60 miles of quiet time with Mojo, Mother Nature, and a few random strangers who wanted to chat while riding on the trail or needed help. #midwesthospitality #bikelove
What a warm + HUMID morning run!
Mojo has been blessed for Saturday’s race by Kyle…the best bike mechanic on the planet!
Morning meters in my favorite pool!
The heat index was 97F with sustained winds of 22-25 mph and gusts up to 35 mph. It was a rough day! Not what we’ve trained for, but we each set a new PR since we did a new distance…
Jumping for joy because the heat index is much lower today and my run was amazing as a result!
Meeting my mother in the middle of no where Iowa to pick up the twins for a couple of nights!
Helping to make dinner!
Cleaning all the fruit!
Playing games!
Visiting Iowa State University’s campus
Eating Tropical Snow
Some days you’re the bug and some days you’re the windshield. Today I was the bug. SPLAT!
Happy Fri-yay morning!
My fastest 100 miles ever in the saddle with these two!

July:

Strong, athletic women are the best! Summer doesn’t get much better than this!
Outdoor swimming is the best! So #grateful to have my fave at my side for so many of life’s crazy adventures!
Love these peeps!
Spending some much needed time with my sole sister!
Mojo and I spent some quality time with Mother Nature! I love the open roads on 2 wheels in Iowa!
So much fun to watch dog jumping downtown this July 4th weekend!
So happy + #grateful to finally put together a pretty solid long run despite the full sun, warm temps, + high dew point. Mother Nature put up a fight, but I won Wednesday!
I’m in a big build…today (Friday) adversity had me sitting on the side of the road in tears with 10 miles to go. I had lots of thoughts and choices while sitting under the tree. I chose to get back on Mojo and continue to chase my dreams! As Coach Kelly says, “it is supposed to feel like that and that this is what it takes. :)” First solo century is in the books!
So much fun to meet my Coeur Sports teammate Saturday and cheer her on to 1st place AG as she raced in Iowa last weekend!
Turning social media friends into real friends is so much fun!
Pure joy comes when you learn new skills! Congratulations to Maggie! She stared fear in the face and won! So proud of you Maggie!
Holding plank with 3 of my nieces on my back! They are such good help when doing my core work!
#swimlove with my fave at home home!
Tubing is part of the pre-race training plan, right?!
4 of my favorite girls swimming in the lake off the boat!
Family + Lake Okoboji = #happyheart
2nd place AG at the Okoboji Triathlon!
Enjoying Indian cuisine with our friends + being blessed with these gifts from India = #happyheart
With a really tight calf comes dry needling. Thanks to Dr. Chris at Team Chiropractic for keeping me healthy and getting me in to see him right away!
Thank you Kyle for getting Mojo ready for my last big push to Ironman Mont Tremblant! You are the BEST! Kyle’s Bikes all the way!
“Never give up, and be confident in what you do. There may be tough times, but the difficulties which you face will make you more determined to achieve your objectives and to win against all the odds.” ~Marta
Wednesday’s 18 mile run was a sufferfest, but I was determined to #nevergiveup and was SO happy to be done!
Last long ride (107+ miles) in Iowa done before leaving for the NE! With an excessive heat advisory Saturday, there were a few times I felt like I was in hell, but I kept on going!
Helping my fave get some birthday miles in Sunday morning! Happy Birthday to the Iron Hippie!
Morning swim in 86*F water in La Porte, Indiana with my fave! #toohotforlapswimming
Visiting Niagara Falls with my Fave!
Climbing App Gap…5 miles of continuous climbing.
#trackcatstrong
All ready to ride and then…
Last long run before #IMMT in Stowe, Vermont…now it is time to taper and soak up all this training!
Smore’s at training camp!

August:

We’ve arrived in Lake Placid, New York!
Soaking in the beauty of Mirror Lake!
The Ice Hockey venue where Miracle on Ice took place!
The Ski jump!
Standing on the podium for the ski jump
Overcoming fears and going to the top of the ski jump to look out over Lake Placid and surrounding areas.
Swimming in Mirror Lake in Lake Placid, NY
A beautiful night for a free concert on the lake!
After climbing out of Jay, it was time for a little descending.
Mojo loves the views of the Ironman Lake Placid bike course!
Dinner with a new friend in Lake Placid!
This lady is AMAZING!
Big Slide Brewery has some great pizza options and some pretty tasty craft brews also!
Arriving at our condo in Mont Tremblant, Quebec, Canada…look at this view!
Riding the gondola to the top of the hills to look out over Mont Tremblant!
The top! These views!
We got to swim in one of the most cleanest, nicest pools ever in Mont Tremblant! Why can’t we have a facility like this in Ames?!
Getting a pre-race massage at our condo. Melanie Jardot did a FANTASTIC job. HIGHLY recommend her for massage if you are in need of one in Mont Tremblant!
Running with my fave for a few miles to shake out the legs post massage.
My family from California came came for a few days! #happyheart
Love these three monkeys!
Family snuggles
We went to the top on the gondola again!
Getting ready to ride the luge in the summer!
Putting in some work, but alas the storms showed up and cut our work a bit short for this ride!
Enjoying a beer by the fire after babysitting the nieces so my sister and brother-in-law could enjoy a date night!
These peeps hold 4 keys to my heart!
Tandem in Quebec!
Snuggles at the lake!
Love these peeps!
Pre-race swim prep!
Riding Chemin Duplessis in Mont Tremblant…such a beautiful bike course!
Meeting Erika, my Coeur Sports teammate!!
Swimming to the coffee boat on the swim course!
So grateful to have Dad and Aunt Linda come spend time with us in Mont Tremblant and cheer us on to PRs on race day!
What a stunning sunset view from our condo!
Mojo is racked and ready for an epic adventure tomorrow!
The Iron Hippie and I making our way to the water.
Let’s go ride!
Two of the best spectators EVER! Thanks to Dad and Aunt Linda for cheering us on all day long! Love you both!
So much coeur on this course! #bikelove
Loving this course and enjoying the beautiful views!
Love you Ericka! Thanks for the photo!

September:

Helping a fellow triathlete (soon to be Ironman athlete) learn to change her tire before race day!
Rock climbing…still working on overcoming my fear of heights!
The many volunteers in T1 at Ironman Wisconsin!
Giving back! I LOVE this sport!
Washing away the post Ironman blues!
Running with my faves on a beautiful morning!
Spirit Run with my 2 favorite colleagues!
CyMan Sprint Triathlon…OUCH!
CyMan Sprint Triathlon…this hurts SO bad!
Fall #bikelove in Iowa!
Children of the corn 😉

October:

Running makes most of us happy! 😉
Dr. Chris Feil with Team Chiropractic educating the ladies at the recovery clinic co-sponsored by Coeur Sports and Ignite Yoga!
Practicing yoga with this amazing community of women at the recovery clinic co-sponsored by Coeur Sports, Ignite Yoga, and Team Chiropractic!
This amazing community of women learning, practicing, and loving at the recovery clinic co-sponsored by Coeur Sports, Ignite Yoga, and Team Chiropractic!
Reconnecting with my mat!
“All you need is love” and a shower!
Focus, focus, focus!
Brick…45 minute run, 45 minute bike, 45 minute run all before work…in the rain!
You’re never too old to sit on your mama’s lap!
Watching Iowa State beat Oklahoma!
The dogs love swimming in the lake!
Snuggles with 3 of my most favorite ladies!
Running with my favorite girl along the lake!
Dreaming of warmer days and lots of swimming (by both of us)!
Swim time trial day!
Bike power challenge!
2 mile time trial at the track!
Running with friends is always best!
Swim stroke refinement thanks to Coach Hansen!
Trying to multitask by grading and riding my bike at the same time!
Running with girlfriends is always fun…even when Mother Nature has decided that winter would show up a few months early!

November:

Wrapping up a full week of work + parent teacher conferences by running with my favorite girl!
Running the Hillbilly 1/2 Marathon with these two crazy kids was so much fun!
So humble + honored to have this AMAZING company and these empowering women by my side in 2018!
First successful intervals since IMMT!
3800 yards of #chlorinetherapy is my longest swim since IMMT!
Running is always better with four-legged fur babies!
Some rides are easier than others. Like in life, the challenges help us grow. I must have grown a LOT on this ride!
Speed development on this #sundayrunday meant 100 yard repeats at the track!
Tempo Trainer M3 Ramp Test had me like…holy crap!
Crushing my bike intervals!
Getting stronger as I #findfaster in the water!
#sundayrunday with these two amazing running buddies!
Early morning miles with my favorite girl! I’m so lucky to have such an amazing running companion!
Starting my 4 day Thanksgiving weekend with #chlorinetherapy + #swimlove!
Basil loves our evening walks!
So grateful for these amazing people in my life + morning miles! #friendsgiving
The boys carving the turkey for our #friendsgiving feast!
The Iron Hippie’s parents came to visit for Small Business Saturday!
Family dog walks at dusk are the best!
Working to #findfaster as I chase my dreams!
So much #bikelove on my longest ride since #IMMT
Good morning! What a beautiful sunrise!
“Never give up, for that is just the place and time that the tide will turn.” ~Harriet Stowe
Finishing off November with my favorite girl!

December:

Getting back into the gym to build strength!
Running with my two faves!
One of the best swims I’ve had in a while!
Dreaming of Kona and the sunshine!
Dreaming of Kona while I watch the Ironman World Championships!
Kona love for this swim!
#runlove with my favorite girl!
Putting puzzles together is a favorite holiday tradition!
Celebrating my sole sister’s birthday with these amazing ladies!
#runlove with my favorite girl!
Dancing with my favorite girl in the kitchen!
Playing in the water is a must!
Holiday cheers with the Iron Hippie’s sister + brother-in-law.
Merry Christmas!
Christmas Day sunset over the frozen lake at home home! #lakeokoboji
Making cookies with our twin nieces at Christmas.
Crushing our #batcapchallenge the last week of December!
Pedicures with my #solesister
Evening snowshoeing with my favorites!
Making snow angels in the dark!
Windchill temps of -32*F means we bundle up to shovel snow!
New Years Eve swimming!!

The Best of 2017

I love looking back and thinking about all of the amazing things that I’ve accomplished and all of the challenges I’ve overcome! I’ve reflected for the last 4 years and want to keep this trend going! You can look back at my previous posts if you’d like: Best of 2013, the Best of 2014, the Best of 2015, and the Best of 2016. Now its time to reminisce my faves from 2017! 🙂

 

My #2017bestnine on instagram is full of #heartandcourage

Best race experience?

Ironman Mont Tremblant! This was by far one of the best experiences of the year! I was blessed with a near perfect day + a PR on the day. I was so incredibly lucky to combine my race experience with an extended vacation with family + friends, which made for a really fun time!

So much coeur on this course! #bikelove

Best run?

I have been waiting to have a good run during an Ironman race for 6 years and this year, it finally happened at Ironman Mont Tremblant! I FINALLY pulled off a sub 5 hour marathon (and I know it could have been even faster without some visits to the kybo). I felt good, I felt strong, I was happy, I smiled the whole run, I really enjoyed myself, I spread coeur with others, and gave “hi-fives” to those who looked like they could use one. This run was a HUGE confidence builder for future races!

Love you Ericka! Thanks for the photo!

Best bike?

Sometimes the best rides aren’t the ones where we have the most fun, but where we learn the most. Yes, I had some seriously fun rides this summer…some solo rides, some with the Iron Hippie, some at the Track Cat Fitness Training Camp, and some on the Ironman Lake Placid + Ironman Mont Tremblant bike courses. For me, the ride that stands out the most this year is the one I learned the most from…my first solo century ride. It was a VERY tough day for me! Physically the wind BEAT. ME. UP! Mentally, I had to overcome a case of the “I can’t do this,” a case of the “I’m not strong enough,” a case of the “I’m not fast enough,” and a case of the “I’m not fueled enough” to finish. In this process, I learned so much about who I am and what I can do when staring adversity in the face!

I’m in a big build…today (Friday) adversity had me sitting on the side of the road in tears with 10 miles to go. I had lots of thoughts and choices while sitting under the tree. I chose to get back on Mojo and continue to chase my dreams! As Coach Kelly says, “it is supposed to feel like that and that this is what it takes. :)” First solo century is in the books!

Best Swim?

Swimming in Mirror Lake was probably one of the best experiences of the summer! It was so much fun to swim with an underwater guide wire! All lakes should be closed to motorized vehicles and have have an underwater guide wire available for swimmers!

Swimming in Mirror Lake in Lake Placid, NY

Best training weekend?

The Track Cat Fitness Training Camp in Stowe, Vermont at the end of July was CHALLENGING + SO. MUCH. FUN! I climbed Smuggler’s Notch. I climbed App Gap. I ran trails. I swam. In addition to all of the fun, there was community, riding, running, swimming, eating, learning, and growing as an athlete.

#trackcatstrong

Best training compass?

Coach Kelly with Track Cat Fitness has provided me with structure, focus, guidance, feedback, support, accountability, motivation + so much more! She has paved the yellow brick road for me this year and I am forever grateful! Standing beside me, believing in me, educating me, and helping me to become a better, #trackcatstrong athlete every day!

Loved meeting Coach Kelly + spending time with her and other amazing athletes at the Vermont Training Camp put on by Track Cat Fitness!

Best enCOEURaging moment?

Thanks to the support of Coeur Sports, Ignite Yoga, and Team Chiropractic for helping me provide a recovery clinic for women! The community! The learning! The practice! The enCOEURaging! The supporting! The love!

Learning!
Practicing!
Community!

Best recovery secret?

Wearing my CEP recovery tights as part of my work attire after a tough morning workout. Hello style + recovery! The best of both worlds!

Best tapering adventure?

Having my sister, brother-in-law, and 3 nieces vacation with us in Mont Tremblant for a few days was so much fun! We don’t get to see each other nearly enough (since they live in California and we live in Iowa), so this was a special treat!

My family from California came for a few days! #happyheart
These peeps hold 4 keys to my heart!

Best new piece of gear?

This was SUPER easy! We had some REALLY HOT + HUMID summer days this year, which forced me out of my comfort zone as I became a part of the #sportsbrasquad! I absolutely love the Coeur Sports sports bras! Not only are they super cute, functional, and comfortable, but they also have a hidden pocket that is perfect for carrying keys, nutrition, or ice!

So happy + #grateful to finally put together a pretty solid long run despite the full sun, warm temps, + high dew point. Mother Nature put up a fight, but I won Wednesday! #sportsbrasquad

Best way to stay healthy?

This was also SUPER easy…Sound Probiotics has been keeping me healthy since March 2015! As endurance athletes, we put ourselves at risk for a dysfunctional immune system because of the intensity and duration of our workouts. When stress (life, work, or otherwise), inadequate sleep, poor diet choices, cold weather, alcohol or travel are thrown into the mix, our immune system is even further suppressed. How has Sound Probiotics helped me? Sound Probiotics helps in nutrient production and absorption, helps fend off viruses, promotes the production of cytokines and mucin, and limits bad bacteria in the gut. I have experienced less fatigue and fewer sick days, which as a middle school teacher who is an endurance athlete speaks volumes! This has provided me with the opportunity for more training and better performance. I would highly recommend all endurance athletes use Sound Probiotics to stay healthy!!

IMG_5891
#soundathlete = #soundlife #winningtakesguts

Best piece of racing advice you received?

Hello race morning! Time to drink my Karma Kombucha, eat my muesli, and get inspired to do and be my best as I embark on the race ahead:

“Be calm; focus on what you are going to do. Don’t get distracted, don’t get overwhelmed, take it all as it comes. You are ready for this; you’ve prepared for years. This is it, your time to shine. Go forth with all your powers. Go forth with everything in you. Make it work.” ~Lynne Cox, “Swimming to Antarctica: Tales of a Long-Distance Swimmer”

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Most inspirational athlete?

There are so many that I can’t pick just one! 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 people who fight disease and keep training + racing. By people who challenge themselves and try something new. By people I haven’t met yet and people I see everyday! There are far to many people who inspire me to pick just one!

Best support crew?

Hands down…Dad and my Aunt Linda! These two helped us load our car with ALL. THE. GEAR. from our 4 week vacation the day before our race. They were up EARLY on race morning to help us get to transition. They were patient with the process of all of the race morning shenanigans. They were in all of the right places at all of the right times during the race. They helped us get our gear after the race. They cheered, photographed, and spread love to us and 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 both so much!

Two of the best spectators EVER! Thanks to Dad and Aunt Linda for cheering us on all day long! Love you both!

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

Courage over comfort, believe, fun!!

Tell me about your 2017 year!! What are your “bests” from 2017?!