13 weeks ’til #IMLou – push out of the comfort zone

Last week was gross! The dew point was above 70*F (in the tropical range) for the majority of the week. It felt like running through a tropical jungle (not that I know what that is like, but I have a REALLY good imagination)! The good thing about this week?!?! I pushed myself out of my comfort zone many times and performed better than I expected for the majority of this week’s workouts despite the gross, tropical conditions outside! When I push myself out of my comfort zone, I always learn and grow…SO REWARDING!!

Swim: 8775 yards

Some days you’re the tugboat and some days you’re the mermaid, but any day I GET to swim with the sun on my back is a good day!!
Starting the day off right with a little #swimlove!
Just keep swimming!! Just keep swimming!! Just keep swimming!!

Bike: 82.9 miles

Easy spin in the a/c now that the tropical conditions have returned.
Starting the day off right with a little #bikelove!!
The only way to make dreams come true is to do the work!!
Putting hay in the barn for race day!

Run: 24.1 miles

I felt so good for my 14 mile long run this week despite the higher heat index. I felt like I could have run forever!!
“Surprise yourself every day with your own courage.” ~Denholm Elliott
Today was a soggy, gross run, but I surprised myself and ran faster than it felt!!
Somedays the heart says yes, but the body says no.

Strength Training: 10 minutes of core strength almost daily + 1 hour & 15 minutes full body strength 

Building strength!!

Weekly Totals: 15 hours & 8 minutes

Quote of the Week:

“Move out of your comfort zone. You can only grow if you are willing to feel awkward and uncomfortable when you try something new.” ~Brian Tracy

Attitude of Gratitude:

My helper!! Love her to pieces!!
How we roll!! My fave riding while I recover in my Normatec Recovery boots!!
So grateful for my friend Robin!! She surprised me with the perfect motivational gift from Hawaii…an #IMWC visor (don’t worry…it doesn’t say finisher or have a date on it…she made sure of that)!! Thank you!! Thank you!! Thank you!!
SO grateful to Nick at Vitality Massage for beating me up…I mean working the kinks out of my muscles so I can keep chasing my dreams!!
Celebrating the end of a work week with my fave!!
So grateful that I got to spend the morning with my colleague at the Accel Triathlon cheering on my fave and friends!!
Cheering, spectating, and Sherpa duties were a BLAST at the Accel Triathlon!! Congratulations to all who participated!!

How was your week? What were you grateful for last week?! How do you feel when you push yourself out of your comfort zone?!

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14 weeks ’til #IMLou – Confidence!!

Last week was full of many opportunities to push the envelop and see where my limits were with different workouts and in varying conditions. My self confidence was challenged many times last week, but each time it was challenged, magic happened. This week put so much confidence in the barn for race day, which I am very excited (and nervous) about!! Self confidence really is a super power!!

Swim: 7093 yards

A BEAUTIFUL day for some #swimlove!!
Jumping into today feet first!!
Doesn’t everyone play in the water after they swim?!?!

Bike: 68.4 miles

So much of myself to explore and learn from!!
1 hour ride between runs on July 4…look at all of that sweat on the ground!!
ALL. THE. FEELS…starting with fear, distrust, disbelief, and doubt in myself and my abilities before starting this brick. I was scared and full of “Can I really do this?” I hopped on my bike and told myself to stay in the moment. Focus on this interval. Don’t give up! Explore your limits! After nailing all of the bike intervals, it was time to see just what I was made of on this run.

Run: 33.7 miles

Running into a new week with some pace work!
Run #1 on July 4 was SOGGY and GROSS, but the first 6 miles were decent!!
Run #2 on July 4 with a dew point of 75* and heat index of 91*F at 9 am when I finished sweating out all of the fluids + electrolytes. The last 7 mile run didn’t go as planned, but I got it done!!
Running into the weekend with my fave by my side!! Today marks 100 days until #IMLou!! So grateful for the nice summer weather during my 10 miles of pace work this morning!!
This is where I turned the fear, distrust, disbelief, and doubt into COURAGE, TRUST, BELIEVE, and CONFIDENCE!! Now I don’t simply BELIEVE I can, I KNOW I can!!

Strength Training: 10 minutes of core strength almost daily + 1 hour & 15 minutes full body strength 

The only way to get stronger is to do the work!
Atomic push-ups using the SBT Extreme Suspension trainer!! I LOVE this device!!

Weekly Totals: 15 hours & 1 minute

Quote of the Week:

“Self confidence is a super power. Once you start believing in yourself, magic starts happening.”

Attitude of Gratitude:

The only way to recover…Tart Cherry Juice + Normatec Recovery Boots!!
Sushi FTW!!!
So grateful for summer break and morning walks with my two favorite fur babies!! #thattail
So grateful to have Coach Kelly in my village, helping me get stronger, believing in me (even when I don’t always believe in myself), and guiding my ship through unchartered waters. #trackcatstrong
So grateful for this much needed epsom salt + lavender bubble bath soak post brick workout!!

How was your week? What were you grateful for last week?! How do you put confidence in the barn to tap into on race day?!

24 weeks ’til #IMLou – show up

Last week’s focus was to show up and do the work! I was super grateful that spring decided to finally show up also!! Wahoo!!

Swim: 7300 yards

All you have to do is show up…and have some fun!
Show up and follow the line. It will eventually lead to greatness!
When you GET to swim, bike, run, and recover in the same day, you show up to do the work!

Bike: 38.1 miles

Show up! Do the work! Have fun!
When you GET to swim, bike, run, and recover in the same day, you show up to do the work!

Run: 10.6 miles

Show up! That’s the mantra this week! So grateful for spring weather and this girl! #Basillovesrunning
What a BEAUTIFUL morning for a run with bubble gum tongue! So glad I showed up this morning! #Basillovesrunning
When you GET to swim, bike, run, and recover in the same day, you show up to do the work!

Strength Training: 45 minutes + 10 minutes of core strength daily

Show up and strength train!

Weekly Totals: 9 hours + 3 minutes

Quote of the Week:

“Some days it just flows and I feel like I’m born to do this, other days it feels like I’m trudging through hell. Every day I make the choice to show up and see what I’ve got, and to try and be better. My advice: keep showing up.” ~Desiree Linden

Attitude of Gratitude:

Grateful to Nick at Vitality Massage for the post race flush! Body is ready to build, build, build!
Signs of spring…FINALLY!
Dog walks are the best when you don’t have to bundle up!
New Garmin day! #therunnersflat
Checking my gait while picking up our new Garmins! #therunnersflat
CPR/AED recertification day!
SO happy to have this pretty lady back home in Iowa! #lovemyneighbor
Being filmed for a video being put together for Team Chiropractic…what does it take to be an Ironman??? Many hours staring at the same walls! Desire, focus, determination, grit, tenacity, belief in yourself…just to name a few!
When you GET to swim, bike, run, and recover (in my Normatec boots) in the same day, you show up to do the work!

How was your week?! What were you grateful for last week?! How do you commit to showing up, seeing what you’ve got to give, and trying to be better than you were before?!

26 weeks ’til #IMLou – patience

Last week’s focus was on patience. Patience while training, patience with myself, patience at home, patience at work, patience with Mother Nature…patience, patience, patience.

This is what “spring” in Iowa looks like! This was the weather across the state Friday afternoon…

Swim: 8900 yards

Thanks for sharing a lane with me Anne! So fun to see you and play in the water together!
“I breathe my courage, exhale my fear.” ~Jonathan Lockwood Huie
3700 yard swim with 20×100 at swim threshold required lots of patience + focus!

Bike: 55.6 miles 

Recovery spin while chasing dreams!
When Coach gives you a “Just for fun…random power challenge”…aka FTP test, you pull out the magic @coeursports kit!! It worked! My test went better than I expected!
Sweat fest on the bike for a couple of hours. “Don’t worry about the numbers. Be patient and do your best!”

Run: 17.7 miles

Hmmmm….2 legs or 4?! #runlove
Sunshine + 63*F = tank top + shorts + a happy Basil + a happy Kecia!! Shhh…don’t talk about the expected snow in less than 48 hours.
My run ladder required lots of patience and had to be done on the treadmill since Mother Nature has a VERY unique idea of what spring looks like. So unique no one else agrees with her!
So grateful to have some motivation and support running next to me today. Thank you Kris!
Leaving tracks while running in our “spring” weather. WHY?!
A short transition run off the bike required lots of layers. The transition was ridiculously long as I struggled to get into all these layers super sweaty, but when the windchill is 13*F, the layers are a MUST!

Yoga: 30 minutes

Thank you Yoga Download for helping me get a good stretch post training!

Strength Training: 45 minutes + 10 minutes of core strength daily 

Weekly Totals: 12 hours & 22 minutes

Quote of the Week: 

“Patience is not the ability to wait, but the ability to keep a good attitude while waiting.”

#mothernatureisntfunny

Thursday’s weather while running.
Sunday’s weather while running

Attitude of Gratitude:

A beautiful morning sunrise!
Getting blood work done to learn more about what I can do to improve as an endurance athlete. #blooddontlie
Watching Basil tree squirrels makes my heart happy!
Recovery fuel + NormaTec boots post FTP test.
Homemade Thai food!! YUMMY!!

How was your week?! What were you grateful for last week?! How do you remain patient when you want immediate change/gratification?!

29 weeks ’til #IMLou – Making Tough Decisions

Last week was back to work after having the previous week off. The week didn’t go exactly as I had hoped, but life is always full of twists and turns. How you adjust to them reflects your character.

Swim: 4550 yards

Sometimes all you need is the quiet water to submerge yourself in after a crazy day!
Listening to your gut instead of your heart can be REALLY tough! I’m confident we made the right decision not to race the 10K road race this morning and swim instead. #finickyhammy

Bike: 31 miles

Doing the work on this #timetrialtuesday was challenging today, but it gets me closer to achieving my goals + dreams!
Riding + conversing with my fave on this snowy spring day!

Run: 3.1 miles

My running was VERY limited this week. I started to feel some hamstring tension in my right hammy during a short run on Tuesday. My intuition told me to not run the rest of the week. I was supposed to run a 10K road race on Sunday, but I listened to my gut and did not start the race. My heart wanted to be on that start line and give it my all, but my gut said, “DON’T DO IT!” I don’t need to blow my season right now by pulling, straining, or tearing my hammy! Part of achieving one’s dream is to sometimes make tough decisions that break your heart at the time, but set you up for success down the road.

Strength Training: 45 minutes + 10 minutes of core strength each day

Weekly Totals: 6 hours & 20 minutes

Quote of the Week:

“Decisions are the hardest thing to make, especially when it is a choice between where you should be and where you want to be.” ~Unknown

Attitude of Gratitude:

A beautiful sunrise…this picture doesn’t even begin to capture the beauty!
These two girls fill my heart with love and joy every day!
Mother Nature is drunk and should take an Uber back to reality! So much for spring weather. Grateful for my personal snow removal service!
Using my birthday present while watching the Xterra Triathlon after a bike workout!
The girls playing tug of war with a stick in the yard while we shovel snow.
Mother Nature may be drunk, but the trees in town are beautiful!
Quite possibly the last snowshoe outing of the season!

How was your week?! What are you grateful for this week? What tough decisions did you have to make this week?

30 weeks ’til #IMLou – reset button

I’ve intentionally held off giving weekly updates for Ironman Louisville until this week, but I do love weekly updates. Thirty seems like a good number to start counting down from! Last week I hit the “reset button” in so many different places in my life. I was able to ease back into a training routine (after being sick), put some life stresses to rest, celebrate turning 41, enjoy spring break with a relaxing week at home sans work, spring clean the house (we even moved the fridge and stove to clean behind them), and adjust to daylight savings time. Now begins the final push to the end of the school year. Only 11 more weeks, but who’s counting?! 😉

Swim: 5300 yards

#swimlove in the middle of the day?! Yes!!
Making an effort, not an excuse!

Bike: 

Rolling out of 40 and into 41 like “Hell yeah! 40 was an amazing year! Cheers to an even better 41!”
Reverse brick day!
Endurance rides can sometimes be boring, but today I kept my focus and nailed this ride as it was scheduled!

Run: 12.6 miles

“Mom, thanks for taking me running! I love running and I love you!” ~Basil
Warm enough for shorts?! YES!! Soaking up the sun + vitamin D!!
#chasingdreams and putting in the work!

Strength Training: 45 minutes + 10 minutes of core strength daily

Weekly Totals: 10 hours & 46 minutes

Quote of the week:

“When it rains, look for rainbows. When it is dark, look for stars.”

Attitude of Gratitude:

The biggest birthday card I’ve ever received! Thank you Laylah!
Birthday Massage! Thanks Nick! Vitality Massage 🙂
Birthday lunch date with my #solesister
We are SO grateful to have SBR Sports, Inc. in our tribe this year! #sbrambassador
Barnana delivery!
NBS = No Bull Shit delivery with personalized notes!
“Mom, are you done cleaning yet?! I just want the house put back together!” ~Basil
My idea of a SERIOUSLY yummy dinner!

How was your week? Do you look for the rainbows and the stars?

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?!