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 9 years and now it’s time to reflect on 2022! You can look back at my previous posts if you’d like: the best of 2013, the best of 2014, the best of 2015, the best of 2016, the best of 2017, the best of 2018, the best of 2019, the best of 2020, and the best of 2021. Now it’s time to reminisce my favs from 2022! 🙂
Best race performance?
Ironman 70.3 Muncie was hands down my best race performance of 2022. The race started with a cold, choppy, foggy swim, but I was determined to not let the circumstances of the swim hijack my brain. I kept my effort high while staying focused and present on doing everything I could to make sure I would be so damn proud of myself later in the day. I raced the bike in a way I have never raced before. I intentionally planned to focus on my power output instead of going by perceived effort on the bike. In order to “bike my legs off,” I really needed to stay connected to the pedals, stay aero, and monitor my power output, so that is what I set out to do. I ran my heart out while hydrating and fueling solidly. I stayed connected to my effort, laying one brick at a time while racing for Anne. I was determined to not walk one step, I stayed focused on the mile I was in, and I reminded myself that I have everything I need to succeed. All of this allowed me to create something I’ve never had before! I had left it all out on the course…my legs were trashed more than they have ever been, my heart was so full that it was overflowing, and my soul was lit up! I had truly raced from start to finish and I was SO F’ING PROUD! I created something I’ve never had before. Icing on the cake…creating a 12 minute PR and a 4th place age group finish landing me on the podium for the FIRST TIME EVER at an IRONMAN race! ⚡️ Here is the link for my race recap.
I swam my longest swim EVER this summer in the 50 m pool…6 km (3.7 miles). Some may say, “Why?! You don’t NEED to swim that far” and they would be correct…I didn’t NEED to swim that far, but I WANTED to go for it! I wanted to challenge myself in a new way. So why the hell not go for it?!?!
Getting to ride a large portion (100 miles) of the Ironman Des Moines course with my dear friend + Coeur Sports sister, Michelle, was definitely a highlight of my season. So grateful for the time we got to spend together, the support of Tim chasing us around all day, and our safety on the open roads.
Any run that I got to do with our niece was a great run!! I think running with her as she crossed the finish line of her first ever 5K race was a definite favorite this year!!
Best finish line?
Running down the red carpet to the finish line at Ironman Des Moines in June was my first ever daylight finish for an Ironman distance race. I executed a solid race that allowed me to cross the finish line of Ironman #9 on an incredibly tough day and with a very challenging lead up (see below)! Icing on the cake…knowing I had given my best on this day while creating an 11th place age group finish (my highest AG finish placement yet in a full Ironman race)! ⚡️ Here is the link for my race recap.
Our travels around IMAZ allowed us to experience Arches National Park, the Grand Canyon, Flagstaff, South Mountain, Thanksgiving in Denver, and so much more. It truly was a great time!
Best moment out of my comfort zone?
Four days before Ironman Des Moines, Tim woke up with a fever, body aches, and a bad cough. He decided to stay home from work. Midday I received a text message from our 82 year old neighbor across the street (she is like family to us) that she tested positive for Covid. About a minute later, Tim texted me that he also tested positive for Covid. I had a complete meltdown and pity party (thankfully they texted me right before my therapy session). I am 4 days out from IMDSM…what am I going to do?! After about 15 minutes of feeling all the emotions, I went into problem solving mode with my therapist. After therapy, I called our neighbor and asked her if Tim could “move in with her” until after my race to keep me as healthy as possible. She was fully on board and was glad I had asked (it was either that or I get a hotel room and move out temporarily). So Tim packed up everything he needed for the next 4 days and moved across the street. After work Wednesday, I came home to an empty house (except the girls were still home), tested negative for Covid, and continued my plan for my IM race (now having to shift my plans around for race weekend because I would be doing everything solo…taking care of our girls, driving myself down to the race which was thankfully only 35 minutes away from home, getting all my gear post race, etc.). I ran some errands for each of them on Thursday and Friday, checked in to the IM race, did some race week workouts, made them meals and did literal door dashes (setting the food outside, ringing the doorbell and dashing back across the street), got all my gear together for IM, and tried to relax and reduce my anxiety as much as possible. Saturday morning I still tested negative for Covid, so I took all my gear down to transition and continued to relax and doordash. Having Tim live with our neighbor was the best worst case scenario and I am grateful to the both of them for making it work! Sunday was race day. My anxiety was a bit high going into the race as this was my first full IM race without my husband (either racing it with me or being there to support me), but I kept reminding myself that I have done this before and know what to do. Getting to run down that red carpet and cross the finish line was one I am SO DAMN PROUD of for all of the adversity I had to overcome in the lead up to the race.
Best nutritional find?
Later in the year I experimented with Skratch Labs super high-carb. I used Skratch super high-carb during Ironman 70.3 Muncie with huge success, so I decided to use it for Ironman Arizona and for the first time in 10 full Ironman finish lines I did not have GI distress, hyponatremia, or dehydration. This was a HUGE win for me!
Best enCOEURaging moment?
The Ames Triathlon was so fun!! It is always great to see people achieve their goals and do things they once thought were impossible. The absolute best part of my day was creating an opportunity for our friend, Leisa, to start + finish her first triathlon ever. If you want to experience the Ames Triathlon for yourself, come to Ames in June 2023! You won’t be disappointed!
Best new gear?
The Coeur Sports Wind Vest isn’t new, but it is hands down the best gear for getting outside and riding + running on those chilly fall/winter/spring days! Signing up for an Ironman that took place in November meant I had to bundle up to get my 100 mile rides done outside…because let’s be honest…riding 100 miles in the basement on the trainer is definitely not as much fun as riding outside! And the wind vest definitely makes running outside in the cold + wind much more bearable!
Best piece of racing advice you received?
“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 in her book “Swimming to Antarctica”
Most inspirational athlete?
Vanessa Faye Foerster is such an inspiration…not only as an athlete, but as a human being. Her grit, determination, resilience, strength, bravery, and relentless pursuit to be the best version of herself she can be is so admirable. If you didn’t get a chance to hear about her LONG T2 at Kona this year, set aside 1 hour + 40 minutes to listen, and be prepared to be inspired! You won’t regret it!
Best support crew?
I am so damn lucky to have the most amazing support of my #1! He has supported me not only on race day(s), but day in and day out throughout my entire journey. He has driven around on long rides to make sure I could ditch layers + get extra fluids + fuel, made sure I had food to refuel after long workouts, did many household chores, and so much more. I am forever grateful to have him on this journey with me. ❤️ you!
If you could sum up your year in a couple of words, what would they be?
PROUD + gratitude + create + fun
Tell me about your 2022 year!! What are your “bests” from 2022?!