How is it already July?! The month of June seems to have flown by MUCH faster than I’d like, but I guess that means I’m having fun! Here is a look at what I’ve been up to:
Hello outdoor swimming in the 50 meter pool! I sure have missed you and am glad we’ve gotten to spend some time together! I have found that I am becoming a stronger swimmer…putting up swim times that I didn’t think were possible + reflecting on the progress I’ve made! Serious #swimlove
Hello first century ride of 2017 + a new 100 mile PR! It was an AMAZING day on 2 wheels and the open roads (with some trail riding)! I felt incredibly strong and felt like I could have easily continued to ride! Serious #bikelove
Coach Kelly has moved my long run to the middle of the week, and I love it! I’m so glad to have made this switch…sometimes change is good! Another thing I’m loving is the split long run! I have found that splitting my long run into an AM and PM run allows me to recover a bit between the two runs and I’m able to run both of these distances at a faster pace. Don’t worry…I’m also getting some long runs in that are done all at once as well…they aren’t always pretty, but I’m doing the work! 😉
HUGE hugs to Coach Kelly, with Track Cat Fitness, for challenging me on so many levels, pushing me WAY out of my comfort zone, and making me #trackcatstrong this year! I am forever grateful for her guidance + support this year!
Swim Totals: 16.7 miles
Bike Totals: 392 miles
Run Totals: 94 miles
I did the Liberty Triathlon early in the month, but it didn’t exactly go as planned and wasn’t something I care to repeat. I finished, but not the distance I had trained for.
This Road I Ride: Sometimes it Takes Losing Everything to Find Yourself by Juliana Buhring is an amazing ride…errrr…read! Juliana lost the love of her life and decided to cycle around the world having never seriously ridden a bicycle before. Over 152 days, Juliana’s ride spanned four continents and 18,060 miles. She became the fastest woman to cycle the world and beat prior men’s records as well! This inspirational story takes you through her trials and tribulations as she accomplishes a goal she once thought was impossible.
The Brave Athlete: Calm the F*ck Down and Rise to the Occasion by Simon Marshall PhD and Lesley Paterson is a practical guide to help athletes with their mental training. I love that this book gives you “homework” to do to help you improve your mental performance. It isn’t just a book you read, but if you use this amazing tool correctly, it is also a hands-on approach for you to overcome negative thinking, feelings, and acting that have the potential to sabotage your potential and love for sport. This book has helped keep the fun in triathlon!
Re-Defining Our “Weaknesses” by Kara LaPoint is spot on! “In sport, as in life, it’s good to identify our weaknesses; to know them and confront them. But it’s not so good to continually identify ourselves by those weaknesses…” She has changed her mindset…”I now see my “weaknesses” merely as opportunities to become stronger.” We should all view our weaknesses as an opportunity to become stronger!
The Brave Athlete with Dr. Simon Marshall and Lesley Paterson is also one of the books I am currently reading. For most athletes, the “textbook” approaches to mental performance may not work as advertised. Dr. Simon Marshall provides performance psychology support for the BMC Pro Cycling Team. When you combine his knowledge with Lesley Paterson’s impressive triathlon record (hello three-time off road triathlon champion + Ironman champion + coach), you get a dynamic duo who share some of their unique approaches to improve mental performance in athletes.
Triathlete Turned Marathon Swimmer Jamie Ann Phillips is currently training for a 28.5 mile open water swim around New York City known as the 20 Bridges Swim. Her commitment and dedication to swimming this race has her currently swimming 37,000 yards (just over 21 miles) each week in preparation for this event. Become inspired by Jamie Ann Phillips and cheer her on as she swims one of the “Triple Crown” open water swim events this August!
Time with family + friends! We’ve been so lucky to have our twin nieces come visit us and spend some time with friends!
Sarah Cooper and Janie Hayes! These two women are strong, inspirational, and amazing! Sarah finished 1st woman in the individual Race Across America (RAAM) in 11 hours 18 hours 56 minutes. When asked “Why?” her response, “Why not?!” Janie finished 1st woman and 3rd overall in the Trans Am bike self supported bike race across America in 19 days 7 hours 50 minutes. This was Janie’s 2nd time doing this race!
Looking Forward To:
Our 4 week vacation in Vermont, New York, and Canada! While I don’t want to wish summer away (and we’ll be back to work the day we return from our vacation), I am looking forward to exploring new territory, connecting with family + friends, training on new terrain, relaxing, and racing Ironman Mont Tremblant!
My intention for 2017 is to become more fearless! So…how have I been doing with this? I’ve continued to make progress on becoming more fearless. I am also really working on not letting others opinions of me bother me and I think I’ve gotten much better at this…hello #sportsbrasquad and wearing bikinis at the pool for lap swimming. Am I comfortable…not yet, but I’m facing the fear head on! Since I’m on summer break, work is on the back burner. I will be back at it soon enough! I have made some BIG gains while training this month! This has caused me to have to stare fear in the face and stretch WAY out of my comfort zone! I have stared fear in the face by going out for many solo, long rides! In the past I’ve always had company for rides over 2 hours, but after spending multiple 4+ solo hours in the saddle on the open roads, I’m happy to say that I’m getting more comfortable with the uncomfortable = progress! I have also learned which roads I prefer to ride on by myself and which ones to completely avoid!
While I’ve made some progress on becoming more fearless in different parts of my life, I still have a LOT more progress to make, but don’t we all?! I’m a continuous work in progress!
How was your month of June? What were your June highlights? What are you looking forward to?
I was recently asked why I went from self coaching for the last couple of years to hiring a coach. The answer is simple…I felt that my training had plateaued and I wanted a coach who could push me to the next level. For the last 5+ months Coach Kelly at Track Cat Fitness has been pushing me and helping me reach this next level! There are so many benefits to having a coach most of which I wasn’t getting when I was self coached. So, what are they?! Let’s dive into each one!
Accountability…I am no longer the only one who knows when I’m not doing the work and giving my all to achieve my goals and dreams! I have to report to someone who actually looks at my post workout reports and gives me feedback. No more slacking off…its time to get to work!!
Focus/Purpose…The last couple of years, my training revolved around fun, fun, and more fun. If the workouts weren’t fun, what was the point?! Sure, I had goals and dreams, but I wasn’t putting them first. I’m not even sure I was putting them 2nd or 3rd. They were just on the back burner, burning a hole in my mind and heart, as I went through the motions. Coach Kelly has created a blueprint to turn my goals and dreams into a reality. My weekly plan has structure + focus and each workout has a purpose. Sure it is going to take time to turn my goals and dreams into a reality, but Rome wasn’t built in a day!
Knowledge + Experience…My job is teaching middle school students, leaving me little time to stay current on all things triathlon and how to make myself the best possible athlete. Coach Kelly’s job is coaching. She stays up to date on current triathlon research and shares this knowledge with me by summarizing the information that will best benefit me. She is data driven and uses this data to help me become the best athlete I can be.
Motivation + Support…When I’m nervous to go out the door to ride my first long ride by myself, I know I can message Coach Kelly for some motivation and support. Not only does she message me back, but she calls and leaves me a voice message as well to encourage me! Telling me I am a strong athlete and she knows I can do this! It’s the little things that matter!
Push me out of my comfort zone…Coach Kelly knows my goals and dreams and she has forced me to make them a priority! She has pushed me WAY out of my comfort zone physically, which has also stretched me mentally. I am pushing watts and paces that always seemed too far out of my reach and I am overcoming mental hurdles to make these physical changes possible. #grateful
Customization/Personalization…There have been a few setbacks in my training (i.e. getting sick, falling and hurting my knees pretty badly while running, work meetings, life stress, sick puppies, etc.) that have required my plan to be modified on the fly. Coach Kelly looks at where I currently am in my training, what I am able to do (depending on the illness/injury/time constraint), and makes modifications to my schedule. This is what customized training is really all about! She personalizes my plan to meet my goals + needs. #grateful
Believing in me…Coach Kelly BELIEVES in ME! She believes in me on days when I am lacking belief in myself. She believes I can achieve my goals. She believes I can achieve my dreams. Coach Kelly BELIEVES in ME!
Investing in me…We have spent many hours on the phone talking through my goals, race strategies, and life. Coach Kelly is determined to make me #trackcatstrong this year so that I am more fit than ever before as I toe the line at Ironman Mont Tremblant this August!
Effectively communicates with me…Through effective and open communication, we work together toward the same goals. Coach Kelly knows my goals and dreams. She has expectations of me as an athlete, and I have expectations of her has a coach. We communicate with each other about aspects of training, racing, and life frequently.
Coach Kelly and I have created a strong coach/athlete relationship built on trust and open communication that will only continue to become stronger with time! I’m super excited to see where we go together in the future!
Do you have a coach? If so, what benefits do you experience in having a coach?
Mother Nature (errr…Global Warming) has blessed us with BEAUTIFUL weather this “winter”…weather we typically see in April and May here in Central Iowa. This beautiful weather + back rehabilitation got me thinking about my 2017 racing season. I have had WAY MORE downtime than is typical for me during this rehab process, so…I had plenty of time to plan for my 2017 racing season and register for some races. Thanks to this downtime, my 2017 racing season is taking shape! I have registered for the following races:
I am super pumped about these races! This schedule will provide me with some opportunities to test my race day plan for long distances, but also give me some opportunities to go hard, fast, and have fun at some shorter distances!
I have also registered for a 3 day training camp in Vermont on July 27-30 with Track Cat Fitness! This training camp is 3 weeks before Ironman Mont Tremblant, so we will be extending our vacation to 4 weeks! We will be heading to the New England States before going to Mont Tremblant, Canada…visiting new places, training in new places, and having even more fun!
CRAZY to think that the first month of 2017 is already over! Where does time go?! I must say I am a bit happier to have longer daylight hours, so if that means saying “goodbye” to January, I’m ok that time has flown by!
My training had a few bumps this month as I was sick…twice. The most recent bout lasting longer than I had hoped. Despite these bumps, I have had some successful training sessions, including a FTP challenge on the bike, where my threshold power increased by 13 watts! I’m so grateful to see my fitness bouncing back after taking a few months off during the off season! I have also seen my 200 yard swim time trial times increase by 2 seconds. While this may not seem like much, if I can carry this over to long distance swimming, I should see huge improvements on my swim time for Ironman Mont Tremblant in August! My run time trial also went better than expected! I dropped my average time over a 5K from 8:08/mile to 7:42/mile. I not only achieved my goal, but also my secret goal on this time trial! BOOM!
Swim Totals: 12.3 miles
Bike Totals: 218 miles
Run Totals: 51.8 miles
I have read two amazing blog posts by Carrie Cheadle. The first is on ways to get more grit…who doesn’t want more grit in their life?! The second is on gratitude. We should all be incredibly grateful everyday. Looking for the things to be grateful for everyday can give you a completely different mindset and attitude about every part of your day!
Roar by Stacy Sims is a serious GAME CHANGER for active women! Stacy is BRILLIANT! This is a MUST READ! Not is it full of helpful information on nutrition, strength training, and how each impact your training and racing, but it is also packed full of information on how your cycle impacts training, racing, and your everyday life. I’m so grateful to one of my Coeur Sports Teammies for putting this book in my hands!
Running Man: A Memoir by Charlie Engle sucks you into his life. After a decade-long addiction to crack-cocaine and alcohol, Charlie hit rock bottom and was nearly killed during a 6 day binge. He turned his life around with the help of running. He started with marathons and when they weren’t long enough, he began to take on ultramarathons and adventure races in some very unforgiving locations around the globe. Running even helped him not just survive, but thrive in a federal prison because of an unjust conviction. Charlie Engle takes you on a few crazy adventures throughout his gripping, emotional, and inspiring life journey!!
David Goggins Podcast…WOW!! Can you say inspiring?! He is probably the toughest athlete on the planet and full of great insights on mindset and why knowing your purpose will get you farther than motivation. I highly recommend this podcast. Prepare yourself to learn more about the fighter mindset and how it can take you anywhere! Note: he has no filter and there is some swearing throughout this podcast.
Kerri Walsh Jennings Podcast…Hello!! She has competed in the last 5 Olympic games, earning 4 medals (3 gold and 1 bronze) in beach volleyball. She is so “rad!” She shares her take on mindset and the importance of effective communication both in sport and relationships. She is super inspiring and so full of energy + passion! “I don’t want to be better than you or her or him – I want to be better than I am right now.” ~Kerri Walsh Jennings
The future of all people of the United States of America! I am deeply saddened by the departure of President Obama and the First Lady as well as the current state that our country is in. I believe that the basic value of not discriminating on the basis of religion and nationality is foundational to the fabric of American democracy. Most of our ancestors were immigrants. I believe diversity is not a weakness, but rather a strength that we should embrace. We the people are creating a serious dividing line between us, and I’m scared that history will repeat itself. I’m choosing to focus on all of the positives I can find during these dark days…some days I have to really look hard, but there are always positives!! “We the people” have to stay united!!
This is my intention for 2017 is to become more fearless! So…how have I been doing with this? Quite well I believe! In my personal life, I have not had a drop of alcohol all month = WIN! I am working on facing those things that truly scare me, but this has required me to take baby steps because some of these things have a REALLY TIGHT hold on me. I am also really working on not letting others opinions of me bother me, but this is also more challenging since it has a TIGHT hold on me as well. At work, I have openly admitted to students a couple of times (just this month) that I don’t have all of the answers. And. It. Feels. GREAT! Being an introvert, the human connection piece is something I still struggle with, but I am going to continue to work on this. Thanks to Coach Kelly with Track Cat Fitness, I have been pushing myself WAY outside of my comfort zone while training and finding I am capable of so much more than I think I am. And. It. Feels. AMAZING! As for racing, I haven’t had a chance to race in January, so I haven’t been able to truly go HARD and find out what I’m capable of on race day. As you can see, this is definitely a work in progress, and I’m happy to say that in the first month I’ve already made some progress!
How was your first month of 2017? What were your January highlights?
This was an excellent week of progress for me! I LOVE to see things falling together so nicely! Thanks to the guidance and support of Coach Kelly, I’m seeing more progress than I thought I would this early in my training! I hope that means big things to come in August at Ironman Mont Tremblant!
Swim: 8250 yards
I had a swim time trial on Wednesday this week. It was only 200 yards, but I saw a 2 second improvement over my 200 yard TT from about 6 weeks ago. This may not seem like much, but I was super happy with this! Now if I can translate it to long distance swimming, I will see HUGE improvements in my swim times at Ironman Mont Tremblant! Hello Progress! I’m glad we’ve met! 😉
Bike: 76.8 miles
I put some hard work in on the bike this week! I love to push myself and see what I am truly capable of from time to time! When you do the work and trust the process, you reap the rewards! I am looking forward to reaping the rewards of my hard work on race day in August!
Run: 14.8 miles
I also had a run time trial this week…5K at the track on Saturday. After spending MANY hours at the track rehabbing an injury a few years ago, I have had a mental block at the track since. I’m happy to be making progress with this mental block AND my 5K time! I went into my 5K time trial with a goal of running a sub 8:00/mile pace and a secret goal of breaking 24 minutes. I’m giddy to report that I surpassed my secret goal! I finished in 23:53 with negative splits! My 1st mile was 7:46/mile, my 2nd mile was 7:41/mile, my 3rd mile was 7:40/mile, and my last 0.1 of a mile was 7:28/mile…I was so happy with myself that I smiled and laughed during my 1.25 mile cool down! I’m still smiling! Hello progress! I’m glad we are still hanging out together!
I had 3 solid strength training sessions + 10 minutes of core work every day this week. I’m so grateful that my body allows me to push it so hard, while remaining injury free. I know this wouldn’t be the case if I didn’t incorporate the strength training into my schedule every week. Strength training keeps me on track and allows me to keep doing what I love while staying injury free! Thank you body!
Weekly Totals: 12 hours & 42 minutes
Quote of the Week:
“Strive for progress, not perfection.”
How was your week? What were your highlights from the week? What progress have you made on your goals/training lately?
“Be fearless in the pursuit of what sets your soul on fire.” ~Author Unknown
With 2017 well underway, I suppose it is time for me to talk about my intentions for this year. I don’t set New Year’s resolutions. Instead I set intentions that I hope to guide my life throughout the coming year. For 2017, I’ve decided to use my power word as my intention in all aspects of my life.
I want to be more #fearless:
In my personal life…we all have $hit that we need to own and face to improve upon, which means it is likely a difficult topic since we aren’t facing it.
One life area I want to be more #fearless in is saying no to drinking alcohol. Other than loving the taste of a good beer, nothing positive comes when I drink alcohol…I don’t sleep well, I don’t feel well, I further dehydrate myself, my already “no filter” self completely loses my filter, I get mouthy, I don’t like the person I become when I drink alcohol and neither does my husband. I am not one to drink a lot…except for maybe the offseason. When I am training, I am pretty good at staying away from the sauce. I have dreams to chase and goals to fulfill. I don’t have time to get less sleep and dehydrate myself more than what I already do with my training.
Another life area I want to be more #fearless in is facing those things that truly scare me head on so I can try to overcome the fear. I am afraid of multiple things, but one I’m willing to openly share with you is my fear of heights. Hello head spinning, light headed/dizzy, sweaty palms, blurred vision…I have experienced all of these at some point while being high in the air. Standing at the top of the Sears Tower in Chicago…I want to throw up just thinking about it and I almost did while I was there! So this year I’ve decided to incorporate more rock climbing into my life. Climbing isn’t the hard part…it is looking down and letting go of the wall trusting the auto belay to lower me gently back to safety. This has been a scary adventure, but I’m determined to overcome the fear and become more and more comfortable with each climb.
Be #fearless and not worry about what others may think or say about me and my body. Sure, I don’t have six-pack abs and my body is not that of a super model, but as Jana recently reminded me, “six pack abs don’t equal speed!” Thank you Jana! I needed that reminder! I don’t want a super model body. I want a strong, fit, healthy body that takes me on all kinds of fun and crazy adventures. Thankfully, that is exactly what my body does. I need to thank it more often and not fear or worry about what others may think or say. Becoming more #fearless in this avenue of my life will help build my confidence…who doesn’t want to be more confident?!
At work…there are always things that happen at work where I think, “I should have done this” or “I should have said that.” It’s time to do and say more!
We are teaching new science standards this year. This is requiring me to step out of my comfort zone, learn new things, and become more #fearless. How so?! It’s ok to tell the students that I don’t have all of the answers…I’m learning too!
It may come as a surprise to you that I am NOT a “touchy, feely” kind of person – or maybe it doesn’t. Most middle school students respond best to people who are “touchy, feely.” I want to become more #fearless as I work on connecting with humans more…thinking about their needs and desires, to build a relationship that gives a sense of belonging. While I notice my lack of human connection more at work when working with middle school students, it is also something I can improve in my everyday life as well. Human connection is uncomfortable for me, but I know it is an area of my life that I might even learn to enjoy if I just work a bit harder at it!
During training and racing…courage over comfort is what I preach and try to live by, but it sometimes evades me and I don’t push myself as hard as I should have. It’s time for change! Step out of the comfort zone and make change happen!
I want to be more #fearless to push myself WAY out of my comfort zone! After all, they say this is where the magic happens! Every time I push myself WAY out of my comfort zone I learn more about who I am…qualities come out that I didn’t even know I had in me. That’s when I find out who I am. When everything else is stripped from me, I learn more about what I can overcome and accomplish. I can push myself out of my comfort zone by working on my inefficient swim stroke, by pushing watts on the bike until my legs don’t turn over any more, and by running at paces that make me want to puke. All of these will help me get stronger and faster come Ironman Mont Tremblant race day! They will also help me become more confident in pushing myself out of my comfort zone on race day!
On race day, I want to be so #fearless that I go HARD and am NOT afraid of a DNF because I leave it all out on the course. In order for me to get closer to achieving my dream of one day racing in Kona, I need to become comfortable with the uncomfortable and learn to leave it all out on the course!
By becoming more #fearless, I am risking all kinds of possible outcomes. It is time to not worry about the “what if,” but rather live in the moment and find the courage to try – the willingness to stand up, let go, try, screw up, learn, grow and start again. This is the only way I will learn what I am truly capable of and learn more about who I truly am!
What are your 2017 intentions? Do you have a focus word for 2017? If so, what is it?