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.
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
Swim: 286,818 yards (162.96 miles)
Bike: 2785 miles
Run: 835 miles
511 hours & 27 minutes
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!
Here is what I listened to this month:
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
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
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
–Creatures of Habit
Conquer Athlete Podcast:
–Functional Power Training with Dr. John Rusin
–Simon Sinek: Finding Your “Why”
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:
How was your month of December?! What were you grateful for last month?! Are you ready for the start of 2020?!
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! 🙂
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!
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!
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!
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!
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.
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!
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!
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!
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!
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!!
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”
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!
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?!
As a triathlete, I’ve learned the importance of recovery…active recovery, massages, compression, yoga…it is all so important in keeping me healthy + active! I LOVE going to Ignite Yoga for hot yoga classes…the community, the practice, the instructors, the heat. Sometimes after 2-4 hours of swim/bike/run before yoga, my body needs a good stretch without the added heat. After sweating so much during swim/bike/run workouts, sweating buckets during yoga isn’t always the best idea.
Here are a few of my favorite yoga videos:
Yoga for Triathletes: Post-Training Practice is a 30 minute session that is perfect for after a swim, bike, or run. You get a great stretch in multiple ranges of motion to work on imbalances we develop while always moving forward.
Yoga for Athletes: Enhance your Performance is an hour long session that helps open tight areas that hinder performance, improve range of motion, and helps you recover faster. This is more of a workout than simply stretching, but is definitely doable after an hour swim, bike, or run workout.
Yoga for Athletes: IT Band and Hips is just over 50 minutes. Since IT band syndrome is a common injury for runners and cyclists, this session provides a lot of great stretches to open up the tight IT bands, hips, glutes, and hamstrings.
Daily Decompression is just over 20 minutes. It helps you decompress your spine, increase mobility, and relax your mind. This is a great, short session that can be done any time of day.
Grounding and Centering Yoga Flow is a 40 minute session that focuses on the present. This is a great session to bring you back to your home base.
Currently I am incorporating yoga into my weekly routine once a week. I would love to figure out a way to add in one of the shorter sessions a 2nd time throughout each week, since I know how important recovery is to keep me healthy + active!
I’m sure there are MANY other great yoga sessions out there! Do you spend time on your mat at home? If so, what yoga resources do you use to guide your practice?