What’s up?! – August 2019

August was an uncomfortable month. I’m changing things up. I don’t want to swim/bike/run because that is what I have known for so long and what I think I SHOULD do. I want it to be something that I really WANT to do. So I took a step back to dig deep within myself and search my soul to try to figure out what it is that truly makes me happy and lights my fire. It is a process. One that I struggle to be patient with, but I believe that time will give me the clarity that I need for how and where to move forward.

Training:

After Ironman Lake Placid at the end of July, I strived to find more balance. As a result, my training wasn’t top priority this month. I took some time to figure out what I TRULY WANT and where I WANT to go, but I have learned that I really do LOVE swim/bike/run and can’t imagine my life without them in it.

Swimming (exercise really) is ALWAYS better with friends! Grateful for pool shenanigans with these two peeps!
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!
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!

Swim: 8132 yards (4.62 miles)
Bike: 92.8 miles
Run: 28.8 miles
Strength: 10 minutes of core daily + various full body strength
Meditation: 3 minutes daily since January 1
Monthly Totals: 19 hours & 20 minutes

#explore:

Explore is my focus word in 2019 and I’m happy to be incorporating it into all areas of my life…including recreating triathlon and sport as my happy place! With the uncertainty of where I want to go with sport, I have taken a break from coaching. Kelly, with Ever Racing,  has been AMAZING for me! We developed a great coach/athlete relationship over the last couple of years. She has helped me get the strongest + fittest I have ever been. I am forever grateful for her knowledge, guidance, support, and commitment to me!

Because I am recreating triathlon and sport as my happy place, I invited a dear friend (and former colleague) to complete the Bluff Creek Triathlon with me. I wanted to do this race with the only goals of having fun + finishing with Traci! When you are committed to crossing the finish line with someone else and your only focus is to help them get to the finish line, it gives you new purpose, removes the pressure, and opens space for a LOT more fun!! I am so grateful she said “yes” to this adventure and so proud of her for her perseverance and fortitude!! Congratulations Traci on your 1st place podium finish in your division!!

We both made the podium in our divisions!

Listening to:

With my new job, I am able to listen to lots of podcasts as I set up and tear down labs. I am finding that I really enjoy this, so if you have any suggestions, please send them my way!

KonaKamps always has me inspired and motivated!! Some of this months faves were:
Jennifer Campbell, Santa Rosa 2019
Clarice Chastang Lorenzini, Ironman Boulder 2019
Tom Oosterdijk, Overall Champion, Ironman Cork 2019
Daniel McParland, Ironman Cork 2019

Coeur Sports EarSplitz Podcast featured Kate Bevilaqua “Achieving the Difficult” is full of inspiration! Kate is the Ultraman World Champion. In case you are wondering, the Ultraman covers 320 miles on the Big Island of Hawaii. It includes 6.2 miles of swimming + 261.4 miles of biking + 52.4 miles of running over 3 days. WOW!!!

The TEDx Talk with Mel Robbins How to Stop Screwing Yourself Over is spot on! “Your soul needs exploration and growth.” It sure does! Routine and monotony are boring!

The 5 Second Rule to Change Your Life with Mel Robbins and Lewis Howes is eye opening! WOW!

The TEDx Talk with Germaine Gaspard The Power of Using Your Pain to Fuel Your Success had me nodding my head A LOT!! “The moment that I decided to be the author of my story rather than a character in it is the moment that my pain began to evolve into my power. To do this, I had to love myself enough to walk away from anything and everything that required me to be and play small.” WOW!! YES!!

Share the Road: How Cities Can Keep Cyclists Safe is a great listen! We need to stop separating motorists from cyclists. We are all people trying to get from point A to point B. We all have people in our lives who love us and whom we love. Please remember that it isn’t just a bike out on the road, it is a person on a bike. #itcouldbeme

Rich Roll has a lot of great guests on his show. Recently he brought Gwen Jorgensen onto the show and it was AMAZING!! Gwen Jorgensen’s Champion Mindset: Big Dreams, Taking Risks, and Following Your Heart is full of lots of snippets that anyone can relate to sport and life. ❤

Kelsey Abbott brought Sarah Nannen on her Find Your Awesome podcast. “Sarah became a military widow and solo mom of four young children in 2014 when her husband died in an aviation accident. Her journey through grief opened her eyes to a renegade way of living life that goes beyond just surviving the ride. This idea now informs her work with people breaking through their limitations to live extraordinary lives.” Sarah has some amazing insights that don’t simply relate to loss and grief, but can relate to all areas of life. “Life is full of hard stuff. So, if we’re not going to have some pleasure along the way, then we’re missing the point.” ~Sarah Nannen

Ironwomen Podcast has so many amazing women on! Amanda Wendorff is a must listen to! Amanda addresses how she overcame many obstacles thrown her way in 2018 to get to the top step of the podium at Ironman Cork in 2019. Paula Findlay is such an inspiration as she talks about transitioning from ITU to 70.3 racing, overcoming injuries, and how she handles pressure. Believe in your best is full of great nuggets that any athlete can benefit from!

Reading:

“A tribute to Bethany – Keep triathlon fun” by Marni Sumbal is a great reminder that we should keep fun in the sport of triathlon. “When you have fun and truly enjoy yourself, you are more capable of dealing with everything else in life and there’s purpose with your training and racing. We all know that life isn’t always fun. Life is tough. It’s often serious, sad and difficult. Triathlon is a beautiful escape from life. Triathlon shouldn’t be all serious and hard work. Sure, being dedicating and working hard makes you a better athlete but if you are overly serious, competitive and extreme, you probably aren’t having much fun.”

Ghost by Jason Reynolds is a quick, easy read and written at a level that is perfect for adolescent individuals. “Ghost wants to be the fastest sprinter on his elite middle school track team, but his past is slowing him down in this first electrifying novel of a brand-new series from Coretta Scott King/John Steptoe Award–winning author Jason Reynolds.
Ghost. Lu. Patina. Sunny. Four kids from wildly different backgrounds with personalities that are explosive when they clash. But they are also four kids chosen for an elite middle school track team—a team that could qualify them for the Junior Olympics if they can get their acts together. They all have a lot to lose, but they also have a lot to prove, not only to each other, but to themselves.
Running. That’s all Ghost (real name Castle Cranshaw) has ever known. But Ghost has been running for the wrong reasons—it all started with running away from his father, who, when Ghost was a very little boy, chased him and his mother through their apartment, then down the street, with a loaded gun, aiming to kill. Since then, Ghost has been the one causing problems—and running away from them—until he meets Coach, an ex-Olympic Medalist who sees something in Ghost: crazy natural talent. If Ghost can stay on track, literally and figuratively, he could be the best sprinter in the city. Can Ghost harness his raw talent for speed, or will his past finally catch up to him?”

Coeur Sports had a blog post, We’re Outspoken about Inclusivity, that REALLY tugged at my heartstrings. I see so many people shy away from doing a triathlon because they fear the unknown and when they do finally show up on race day, there are other athletes who are rude and sometimes down right mean to them when they ask questions or try to interact with them. Why can’t we all be encouraging and inclusive?! There was a day when each one of us was a newbie in the sport. Do you remember your first triathlon?! Please, please, please be nice and help a fellow athlete out!!

Attitude of Gratitude:

Grateful that my fave enjoys the same things I do. Hiking to the falls post Ironman only resulted in a few minor scratches due to tired legs and falling.
Grateful we got to explore part of Skaneateles, NY via a boat tour.
So happy to be on the open water! You can take the girl off 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 SO MUCH while on vacation! I am so grateful she missed me too!
SO GRATEFUL to be going back to a job that I LOVE after a 3 week vacation
Ah…Sushi and the best company are two amazing ways to end the day!
Grateful to play in the water with my fave by my side and not feel the pressure of structured training.
Grateful for a BEAUTIFUL evening to listen to our friend play live music at our local Coop!
Grateful for BEAUTIFUL morning sunrises!!
Grateful for my standing desk at work. It is nice to have the option to work from different positions when I am at my desk.
SO GRATEFUL I GOT to pound the pavement for a few miles after work for the pure joy of running and not because I SHOULD or HAVE TO.
Grateful for time with family!
Grateful for family fun at the Iowa State Fair!
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!” SO GRATEFUL that I got to do the Bluff Creek Triathlon with this fantabulous lady!!
Photo Credit: Dave Mable
So grateful to Steena for thinking of me and sending me this perfect reminder to “live my truth”!! Fellow Flowers
So grateful that I got to run with Robin! 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 picking berries with loved ones!! Fresh fruit…YUMMMM!!
Grateful for time on the water with some of my loved ones!
Grateful to get to spend the weekend with these peeps!!
Grateful that my twin nieces want to come visit us and adventure with us!!
I have some of the best people in my life! Grateful Erika is sharing with me courage, clarity, and balance as I #livemytruth
Love this dog so much! She keeps the play in playful and I am forever grateful for her youth and spunk!
Nature’s beauty is everywhere…even on my short walk from the car to my building on Iowa State’s Campus. Grateful to love my job!
Grateful to see the early morning painted sky!
SO GRATEFUL to run with my faves at home home! Love them and the lake!
Grateful to get to reconnect with my mat on the lake with my fave + my Dad.
I absolutely LOVE swimming at home home! So grateful for this magical opportunity!
Living my truth!
I am blessed beyond words to have such an amazing partner in life!

How was your month of August?! What were you grateful for last month?! What things do you do to maintain balance in your life?!

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What’s up?! – July 2019

VACATION!! That was the theme of July!! We made so many amazing memories as we traveled in the Northeast and even into Canada!! #ktneadventures

Training:

I had another SOLID month of training!! I’m still on the green streak in Training Peaks!! I have not missed one workout so far this year…30 weeks and counting!! BOOM!!

Mirror Lake is the best place to swim…EVER!! It makes my heart SO happy!!
So grateful to ride the Ironman Lake Placid bike course with my fave!
Running along Niagara Falls was a real highlight! It isn’t everyday you get to run along the falls! #wearesosmall

Swim: 32,519 yards (18.48 miles)
Bike: 400 miles
Run: 102 miles
Strength: 10 minutes of core daily (except around Ironman Lake Placid per coach’s instructions) + various full body strength
Meditation: 3 minutes daily since January 1
Monthly Totals: 60 hours & 40 minutes

#explore:

Explore is my focus word in 2019 and I’m happy to be incorporating it into all areas of my life…including racing #IMLP!! Race day in Lake Placid did not disappoint! It gave me time to really dig deep within myself to explore what I truly want from life. It gave me quality time with my fave. It opened my eyes and heart to new beginnings. It made me realize now is the time for me to live my life instead of survive it! You can read more about my race day here.

Grateful for this finish line with my Fave by my side! Photo credit: FinisherPix
I am SO proud of the Iron Hippie for his accomplishments this racing season! He overcame so many challenges to get to this finish line! Photo credit: FinisherPix

Listening to:

KonaKamps always has me inspired and motivated!! Some of this months faves were:
Barbara Perkins, Ironman Santa Rosa 2019
Ailsa Mcdonald, Ironman Santa Rosa 2019

In the #HURDLEMOMENT: These Few Words Can Change Your Life with Emily Abbate, she addresses the power of mantras. When you choose or make a mantra, use the word “you” not “I” to reduce the stress on you. I love “All it takes is all you’ve got,” which is one of Emily’s mantras.

The Ted Talk with Guy Winch, How to practice emotional first aid, addresses how important it is to not only focus on our physical health, but also on our mental health. If your mind tries to convince you that you can’t succeed at something, you will believe it, which is why so many people do not live to their true potential. It is important to change our thinking so our mind can and will convince us that we can succeed instead of fail.

Reading:

Self-doubt can actually help you bloom and it all starts with how you talk to yourself by Rich Karlgaard is very insightful.

Katie Ledecky’s Willingness to Fail is Her Greatest Talent by Olivier Poirier-Leroy is also super insightful. “For Ledecky, it’s not enough to work hard, it’s about being willing to fail, to push herself to the point of failure over and over again and not get discouraged.”

Where are you “parking” your thoughts? by Carrie Cheadle is a good reminder to stay on the positive side and feed the athlete. “Where have I been parking my thoughts lately?
Am I choosing to park my thoughts in a place consumed with obstacles, or am I choosing to park my thoughts in a place filled with opportunities?
Is it time to choose a different parking spot?”

Some Choose Darkness by Charlie Donlea is a great read! “The truth is easy to miss, even when it’s right in front of us. As a forensic reconstructionist, Rory Moore sheds light on cold-case homicides by piecing together crime scene details others fail to see. Cleaning out her late father’s law office a week after his burial, she receives a call that plunges her into a decades-old case come to life once more.
In the summer of 1979, five Chicago women went missing. The predator, nicknamed The Thief, left no bodies and no clues behind—until police received a package from a mysterious woman named Angela Mitchell, whose unorthodox investigation skills appear to have led to his identity. But before they could question her, Angela disappeared. Forty years later, The Thief is about to be paroled for Angela’s murder—the only crime the DA could pin on him. But the cryptic file Rory finds in her father’s law office suggests there is more to the case, and Angela Mitchell, than what was fed to the public, the details of which have been buried for four decades.
Rory’s talents are tested as she begins reconstructing Angela’s last days. Making one startling discovery after another, Rory becomes helplessly entangled in the enigma of Angela Mitchell and what happened to her. Drawing connections between the past and present, Rory uncovers dark truths about the reclusive victim, her father, and the man called The Thief that send her down a twisting trail where things may not be as they appear. As she continues to dig, even Rory can’t be prepared for the full, terrifying truth that is emerging . . .”

Attitude of Gratitude:

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.
Grateful to spend time on 2 wheels with my fave for 6 hours!!
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 we got to enjoy sushi before leaving Iowa.
Grateful for the first ripe homegrown tomato from our garden before leaving on vacation!
Grateful we can get so much stuff in our car and travel across the country.
Grateful I get to run in new locations. This gravel road in Canton, Michigan.
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!
Grateful Coeur Sports brought Erika and I together 2 years ago!
Grateful to play tourists for a day! Taking the boat tour and getting up close and personal with the falls was fun!
I’m so lucky and grateful that I get to make memories with my fave!
Grateful to celebrate 9 years of marriage to this wonderful man exploring Niagara Falls!
The white water river walk is pretty amazing!
Such a fun day in Niagara Falls with my fave!
Going behind the falls…WOW! We are so small compared to the vastness and power that these falls possess!
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.
Arriving in the Adirondack Mountains! 🙂
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!
Life on 2 wheels in the mountains brings me pure joy!
Nothing better than 2 wheels and fresh mountain air!!
So grateful for this amazing Coeur Sports Sunset Strip kit. The colors stand out!
Raw oysters are da bomb!!
Grateful I got to play lots of cards with my fave!!
Wrapping up my last “long” run in Lake Placid on the Ironman Lake Placid run course. So beautiful!!
Enjoying sunsets in the mountains!!
Exploring some falls off of the Ironman Lake Placid bike course.
The sound of running water and the smell of fresh air is where it’s at!
Kicking the feet up and relaxing in our Normatec Recovery boots.
Grateful for beautiful views atop Whiteface Mountain with my fave at my side.
Grateful for amazing experiences and memories made.
Grateful to Tim Chien at Balanced Bodywork & Massage for an amazing pre-race and post race massage!
Grateful I get to do life with this guy! Happy 40th to the Iron Hippie!
Grateful to know how to clean my bike and be confident to do it myself.
Grateful for my Coeur Sports sister, Amy Farrell! What an amazing human being!
Grateful for Carol! Love her to pieces!
Grateful for another Ironman adventure together!
Grateful to have such amazing support!
Grateful I am confident enough to run in the Underpants Run down Main Street in Lake Placid!
Grateful for my Coeur Sports family!
Grateful for celebratory beers and another finish line.
Grateful for fun opportunities with free music and beautiful views!
Grateful to meet awesome peeps!

How was your month of July?! What were you grateful for last month?! Where is your favorite vacation spot?!

What’s up?! – June 2019

Wow!! What a month!! I officially ended my 8th grade science teaching career, started my new career as the Teaching Laboratory Coordinator for the Physics and Astronomy Department at Iowa State University, put in some big training for #IMLP and #IMLou, helped coordinate and put on the inaugural Ames Triathlon event, had some difficult conversations with those that I love, and had a blast while I lived in the moment as much as possible.

Training:

Swimming outside under the sun in the 50 meter pool is something I really miss this summer!! It is nice to do this on Saturday’s when I can!!
Riding in Minnesota, but the lake to my left is in Iowa. Love this route!
Today marks the last time I’ll run from the middle school as my place of employment.

I had another SOLID month of training!! I completed 10 minutes of core strength daily + 3 minutes of meditation daily + I’m still on the green streak in Training Peaks!! I have not missed one workout so far this year…26 weeks and counting!! BOOM!!

Swim: 36,691 yards (20.8 miles)
Bike: 391 miles
Run: 101 miles
Strength: 10 minutes of core daily + various full body strength
Meditation: 3 minutes daily since January 1
Monthly Totals: 60 hours & 19 minutes

#explore:

Explore is my focus word in 2019 and I’m happy to be incorporating it into all areas of my life…including having some tough conversations with those that I love. It is like having a China cabinet full of China leaning against the doors. You know when you open the doors all of the dishes are going to crash to the floor and make a big mess. BUT it will also open up a LOT of space for new China. How long do you wait to open the door to free up this space? Everyone is different. Some choose to leave the doors closed forever and never free up the space. I am grateful that I have opened those doors and created a lot of space in my China cabinet.

Listening to:

KonaKamps always has me inspired and motivated!! Some of this months faves were:
Kampsite: Ginny Cataldi on Overcoming Obstacles
Kampsite: Rebecca McKee on Mental Toughness
Kampsite: Rebecca McKee on Constant Learning

Coeur Sports Earsplitz Podcast recently brought on Bob Babbit, who is a LEGEND in triathlon and endurance sports! He talked about visualization, gave great tips on balance, and the founding + progress of the Challenged Athletes’ Foundation (CAF).

Reading:

This month I have been rereading my Harry Potter series. I love these books and have probably read them a dozen times, but I’m sure I will read them a dozen more!

Loving:

My new job! I am so grateful that I made the leap and decided to change careers. This seems to be a perfect fit…the people, the work, the hours. I’m looking forward to learning more as I go and making the Physics Department my “home” in the coming years.

Looking forward to:

Our vacation! With the start of July, comes the excitement for our 3 week vacation! We will be heading to the northeast again this year…Detroit, Michigan, Niagara Falls (Canada side), Lake Placid, NY, Finger Lakes region, Cooperstown, NY…lots to see and do with #IMLP sandwiched in the mix! #KTNEAdventures

Attitude of Gratitude:

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 feet up in my Normatec boots next to 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!!
Balancing act with my fave post run!! So grateful he is on this life journey with me!!
So grateful to be starting my new gig in Physics Hall on ISU campus!!
Grateful for the kind note and chocolates from my former substitute teacher at my new gig.
I love my new gig!! I get to set up and tear down labs, make sure equipment is running properly, and play!!
I love Basil snuggles…even when she tries to help me stretch my legs.
SUSHI!! YES PLEASE!! I’m so grateful that we get to refuel well!
We missed the sun for many days in June, so having it shine on my back while walking to work was a great feeling!
I’m grateful I got to spend a few hours with the Iron Hippie’s family
I am grateful for some long runs this month to help prepare me for #IMLP in a few weeks!
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!!
Basil is checking out the Roomba. Each day she gets less and less afraid of it. I’m grateful I don’t have to spend hours vacuuming each week anymore!
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 an amazing 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!! Thank you for making this inaugural event so special!!
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!!
Huge shout out to my Coeur Sports teammate, Michelle, for crushing the Ames Triathlon!! #befierce
Congratulations to my Coeur Sports Collective Beat teammate, Char, for knocking the Ames Triathlon out of the park!! #believe

How was your month of June?! What were you grateful for last month?! 

What’s up?! – May 2019

And with that, I am officially done teaching 8th graders!! I still have multiple days of professional development ahead of me, but the students are gone. It is bitter sweet!! You can read more about that here. It is time to start my next new adventure soon, but first, here is a look at what the month of May had in store for me.

Training:

I had another SOLID month of training!! I completed 10 minutes of core strength daily + 3 minutes of meditation daily + I’m still on the green streak in Training Peaks!! I have not missed one workout so far this year…22 weeks and counting!! BOOM!!

BOOM!! I think I grew gills and fins!! This is my fastest ever 100 yard pace!! 🙂
I love spending time on two wheels outside with my fave at my side!! 70+ miles on the most perfect weather day any cyclist could ask for!!
What?! I got to run with my fave!! WAHOO!! I’m so proud of his patience, strength, and focus on getting to the start line of #IMLP this July!!

Swim: 28,725 yards (16.3 miles)
Bike: 357 miles
Run: 83.6 miles
Strength: 10 minutes of core daily + various full body strength
Meditation: 3 minutes daily since January 1
Monthly Totals: 53 hours & 5 minutes

#explore:

Explore is my focus word in 2019 and I’m happy to be incorporating it into all areas of my life…including racing!! I’ve been talking with Coach Kelly about racing two IRONMAN races in one year and she was just as excited for me to give it a go as I am. So, on May 1, I decided to #explore with racing TWO IRONMAN races 10 weeks apart in 2019. I have officially registered for Ironman Lake Placid on July 28 AND Ironman Louisville on October 13. This will be my first ever experience in doing two Ironman races so close together. Am I nervous? Sure! Am I scared? A bit! Am I excited? MOST DEFINITELY! I am ready to push my limits and see what my body + mind can handle.

Ironman Louisville registration is complete! I am ready for another crack at you and hoping for much better weather this year!!

Listening to:

KonaKamps always has me inspired by some amazing peeps!! Megan Anley won Ironman South Africa in the W18-24 age group at her first Ironman. Congrats Megan!!

Rich Roll brought Jesse Thomas to his podcast recently. Jesse is not only an amazing professional triathlete, but he balances his pro triathlon career with a wife, kids, his own business, and fun. He is quite the inspiration and so down to Earth!!

Reading:

Finding my Voice by Mike Reilly is so inspirational!! “Finding My Voice is a series of deeply personal vignettes illuminating how profoundly the sport of IRONMAN touches both its participants and its fans. Written from Reilly’s unique insider’s perspective as the long-time World Championship race announcer and one of the most prominent personalities in the endurance sports field, it  provides an intimate, revealing and entertaining glimpse into a fascinating corner of the world of endurance sports.”

Can’t Hurt Me: Master Your Mind and Defy the Odds by David Goggins is a great read. He overcame so many obstacles in life and eventually became “the only man in history to complete elite training as a Navy SEAL, Army Ranger, and Air Force Tactical Air Controller. He went on to set records in numerous endurance events, inspiring Outside magazine to name him “The Fittest (Real) Man in America.” Through self-discipline, mental toughness, and hard work, Goggins transformed himself from a depressed, overweight young man with no future into a U.S. Armed Forces icon and one of the world’s top endurance athletes.”

Loving:

Our new Sleep Number bed!! While we have only slept in it for 3 nights, it has been three of the best nights’ of sleep in a LONG time!! As we continue to dial in our numbers, I can only imagine that out sleep will continue to improve!!

Basil loves our new bed!!

Leaning into:

My last week of my middle school teaching career. This change feels scary, but right!! I’m super excited to embark on this new career as a Teaching Laboratory Coordinator with the Physics and Astronomy Department at Iowa State University starting next week. After all, stepping outside of your comfort zone is where the magic happens!

Going out with a splash!! My last day with kids was super fun and wet!! Now for a week of professional development before starting my new adventure next week!!

Attitude of Gratitude:

Chaperoning my last 8th grade dance!!
Morning sunrises are the best way to start the day!!
Playing in the water with my fave!!
Recovering in my Normatec boots while watching the Kentucky Derby!!
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!! 🙂
I love fresh, homegrown veggies!! So grateful to get our garden planted!!
Grateful to get to reconnect with my mat!
Grateful for the time and nice weather to finally landscape around the house!!
Grateful to have these two amazing ladies show up and attend my triathlon clinic!!
So grateful that Shane, our UPS delivery driver, loves our girls!!
So grateful to have had some of the most AMAZING colleagues ever!! I will miss some of our shenanigans!!

How was your month of May?! What were you grateful for last month?! 

What’s up?! – April 2019

As I roll into my last month of teaching, before changing careers, it is time to reflect on April. April has brought us some days of warmer weather, had me spending time with my Coeur sisters, crossing the finish line of another 1/2 marathon, and riding outside on the open roads with my fave. With all of these amazing things in the rear view mirror, I have high hopes for the month of May!!

Training:

I had another SOLID month of training!! I completed 10 minutes of core strength daily + I’m still on the green streak in Training Peaks!! I have not missed one workout so far this year…18 weeks and counting!! BOOM!!

14 Ironman finish lines amongst this #swimsquad and more to come in our futures!!
“Growth comes at a point of resistance; we learn by pushing ourselves to the outer reaches of our abilities.” ~Josh Waitzkin
Keep the focus and finish STRONG!! My 7th Drake 1/2 marathon is in the books!! You can read more about it here.

Swim: 38,700 yards (21.99 miles)
Bike: 282 miles
Run: 95.5  miles
Strength: 10 minutes of core daily + various full body strength
Monthly Totals: 54 hours & 40 minutes

#explore:

Explore is my focus word in 2019 and I’m happy to be incorporating it into all areas of my life…including training!! Before each race, I think back to key sessions that better prepared me (both physically and mentally) for the race I’m about to embark on. I even jot these key sessions down so that I know the dates to refer back to in my training log. On April 23, I had a key swim session that gave me the confidence that I can have a stellar PR swim this year! The workout…

Swim 100 at the 3rd fastest pace from the 4 x 100 descending above. Assuming that felt “right” for z3/mod hard type effort this will be your pace.

Swim as many 100’s as you can at this pace with :20 to :25 rest between. If using a tempo trainer, your rest is one beep cycle.

If off by 3 seconds, rest a full minute and try again.

If after 1 minute you cannot hold the pace you are done. Cool down.

Well…my 3rd fastest 100 was 1:38.7/100 yards. Could I really hold 1:39/100 yards for more than 5 intervals?

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

Apparently so! #befierce is the mantra for the Coeur Team in 2019 and it helped me crush my expectations and self doubt during this workout and I know it will help me with many more in the future!!

Tiger Team!! #beatiger

Listening to:

KonaKamps always has me inspired by some amazing peeps!! Keri Houston is an age group champ at Ironman New Zealand 2019. Michelle Enslin is the age group champion for the 50-54 age group at Ironman South Africa 2019 after coming back from surgery. Her gratitude is contagious!

Rich Roll brought Johann Hari on his podcast to talk about addiction and depression. “The opposite of addiction isn’t sobriety. It’s connection.” With the world at our fingertips (quite literally…that phone you’re holding is taking you away from making connections with the people around you, so put it down and make memories with those around you) we can disconnect from those around us just as quickly as we can connect with them by putting the technology away. “If you suffer from addiction or depression, this is a must listen. If you don’t, chances are someone you care for does. This conversation can provide the insight and tools for better understanding the struggle — because mental health truly impacts everyone.”

Reading:

Peak Performance: Elevate your Game, Avoid Burnout, and Thrive with the New Science of Success by Brad Stulberg and Steve Magness is amazing!! It kept me engaged and wanting to read even more!! The authors suggest “optimally alternating between periods of intense work and rest; priming the body and mind for enhanced productivity; and developing and harnessing the power of a self-transcending purpose.” There is so much useful information in here!! It was one that I struggled to put down so I could get adequate sleep each night!!

Leaning into:

Discomfort…I know that when we step outside of our comfort zone and embrace discomfort that we experience growth. As a result, I have been leaning into discomfort more in my personal life and am making huge strides. Discomfort isn’t easy and it takes a lot of work for growth to happen, but the rewards that come from it are definitely worth leaning into and embracing the discomfort.

Attitude of Gratitude:

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 for a strong body to put up some all time records during my most recent FTP test!!
Grateful to have Basil run by my side and the IronHippie back in the saddle!!
Grateful to Normatec Recovery for helping me bounce back from tough workouts so I can nail the next session!!
These two…so grateful for their unconditional love!!
Grateful for some girl time with Robin as we pound the pavement!!
Grateful to Nick with Vitality Massage for keeping me active!!
So grateful to meet up with some of my Coeur sisters!! Pre race hugs are where it’s at!!
3 cheers for 3 Drake 1/2 marathon finishers!! Grateful to cross another finish line!!
So grateful I get to fill my belly with this yummy sushi!! Especially after racing!!
Grateful for freedom on 2 wheels on the open road with my fave!!
Grateful to have a coach who thinks I’m a mermaid…specifically Ariel. 🙂
Mindfulness is a practice. I am so grateful to be practicing this and becoming more aware of my thoughts/emotions as a result!

How was your month of April?! What were you grateful for last month?! 

What’s up?! – March 2019

March was a turning point. Spring FINALLY showed up, the snow is nearly all melted, a sh!t ton of dog poop has been picked up, I finished my last parent teacher conferences EVER, and I am now just over 2 months away from the end of my last school year teaching. With the end of the school year comes the building excitement of starting my new career and nerves (in a good way) of doing something different for the first time in 16 years. Meanwhile, these are some of the highlights of March…

Training:

I had another SOLID month of training!! I completed 10 minutes of core strength daily + I’m still on the green streak in Training Peaks!! I have not missed one workout so far this year…13 weeks and counting!! BOOM!!

Love you more and SO glad you’re back in the water!!
My graph from my bike ramp test is so pretty!! Thanks Coach Kelly for helping me realize the strength I had didn’t disappear!!
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

Swim: 26,500 yards (15 miles)
Bike: 227 miles
Run: 79.2 miles
Strength: 10 minutes of core daily + various full body strength
Monthly Totals: 42 hours & 32 minutes

#explore:

Explore is my focus word in 2019 and I’m happy to be incorporating it into all areas of my life…including racing!! I ran the St. Paddy’s 1/2 Marathon with the goal of averaging an 8:30 min/mile pace and I am pleased as a Leprechaun finding a pot of gold with my performance!! I had an overall finish time of 1:51:44 (8:32 min/mile average pace)! I finished 2nd out of 20 in F40-44 and 89th out of 341 overall. I am super excited about where 2019 might take me as I continue to #explore and push my limits!!

Double medal race day at the St. Paddy’s 1/2 Marathon where I got 2nd place in my age group!

Listening to:

KonaKamps had me inspired by two AMAZING women!! Maggie Walsh won Ironman Maryland 2018 at her FIRST EVER triathlon!! She didn’t just win her age group, she was the first female to cross the finish line and break the tape!! Reiko Donato won Ironman Chattanooga 2018 for women 60-64 on a VERY special day…her birthday!! That’s right!! She turned 60 years old and won!! Jana Richtrova won Ironman Cozumel 2018 for women 35-39. This will be her 7th time at Kona!! Congratulations to all of these amazing ladies!!

Rich Roll Podcast with Todd Herman On the Alter Ego Effect: Unlocking the Hero Within is a long listen, but has so many useful nuggets in it! Wow! “There’s a big difference between interested and committed.” ~Todd Herman

Find Your Awesome Podcast with Kelsey Abbott had Jessica Broderick on to talk about grief and what one goes through when they lose a part of their identity. Jessica was a pro triathlete who recently retired and explains the grieving process she went through when this part of her identity was removed. “You can be healthy and fit. They are two very different things.” ~Jessica Broderick

Reading:

I strive to have an attitude of gratitude daily, so when I saw the recent blog post by Carrie Cheadle titled How an Attitude-Of-Gratitude Can Also Lead to Better Performance, I knew I had to read it! Gratitude has so many amazing benefits, why wouldn’t people try to be more grateful?!?!

  • “Greater feeling of happiness
  • Improved sleep
  • Boost your immune system
  • Feeling more optimistic
  • Better at handling adversity
  • Increased amount of exercise
  • Experiencing more positive emotions
  • Raises self-confidence
  • Less physical pain
  • More resiliency”

She has some great tips for how to start your own gratitude practice! She recommends “bedtime reflection, a happy jar, and a gratitude journal.” Every night before I go to bed, I write down as many things as I can think of that I’m grateful for from the day. I don’t limit myself to only 3 things and I try to make sure I am not writing down the same things everyday. I also try to take pictures of things that I am grateful for and I look back at these pictures at the end of each month as I compose my “What’s Up?!” monthly blog post. Compiling the “Attitude of Gratitude” section of my blog post each month is a great way to remind myself of all of the amazing things that I have in my life to be thankful for. Taking the pictures also keeps me focused on gratitude daily.

Celebrating:

42!! My birthday fell on a very LONG work day (teach all day + parent teacher conferences all evening), but this being my last parent teacher conferences ever was one of the best birthday presents I could give myself!! I did get to celebrate over the weekend as I consumed loads of sushi + raced the St. Paddy’s 1/2 Marathon!!

Love me some sushi…SO YUMMY!!

Attitude of Gratitude:

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!! 🙂
So grateful, blessed, and lucky to have my fave supporting me, encouraging me, and cheering me on in races and life!!
I am so grateful for the sun, bluebird skies, and warm temps for a tank top + shorts while running outside!!
I am grateful for noticing the little things in life…the random heart that the cord of our fan made on the floor by my bike trainer.
I am grateful that the weather is nice enough to rake up all the leaves and play in them with my favorite girl!!
SO grateful my legs and mind were strong allowing me to put together a solid 7 mile run with 1100 feet of climbing!! 🙂
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 my body and mind are strong and they allow me to run 15 miles after a busy day at work!
So grateful that I got some run love with Robin in the sunshine (even if the temps were cold)! I’ve missed my girl time!

How was your month of March?! What were you grateful for last month?! How can you document them in a meaningful way for you?!

What’s up?! – February 2019

February was a mixed bag with LOTS of snow (over 24 inches just in the short month of February) + turning into a hamster running on the wheel, but it was full of LOTS of good things as well. Spring is just around the corner on the calendar…hopefully Mother Nature keeps her eye on the calendar

Training:

I had another SOLID month of training!! I completed 10 minutes of core strength daily + I did not miss one workout last month!! BOOM!!

1000 yard straight swim right where I wanted to be!
My goal was to complete 10×1 minute Z5 repeats before failure. I successfully completed 15!! BOOM!!
I’ve spent FAR TOO MANY MILES here this month, but I’m just grateful that I have an option for running when Mother Nature’s sense of humor doesn’t match mine.

Swim: 24,200 yards (13.75 miles)
Bike: 214 miles
Run: 78.7 miles
Strength: 10 minutes of core daily + various full body strength + some yoga 🙂
Monthly Totals: 43 hours & 56 minute

#explore:

Explore is my focus word in 2019 and I’m happy to be incorporating it into all areas of my life…including my work life. Not only have I been exploring in training and racing this year, but in February, I accepted a new gig! At the end of this school year, I will be starting a new chapter. I am pleased to announce that I will be the Teaching Laboratory Coordinator with the Physics and Astronomy Department at Iowa State University!! I am VERY nervous to embark on a new career (I have been teaching 8th graders for 16 years…change is scary), but I am SUPER excited for this new opportunity and can’t wait to embark on this new adventure!!

I’m so ready to “explore” in a new career!!

Listening to:

Coeur Sports Earsplitz Podcast!! Voices (featuring Mike Reilly the voice of Ironman) is SO exciting!! He has called over 400,000 athletes across Ironman finish lines all around the world. The things he’s seen, the stories he’s learned about people and the enthusiasm he brings to each finisher over the many, many years is so exciting!! Just listening to Mike brings a HUGE smile to my face!!

KonaKamps!! Gah!! So many AMAZING podcasts dropped this month that I can’t keep up!! So many GREAT listens listed below!!
Kampsite 1
Jess Bramble Perry (Ironman Arizona 2018)
Kampsite 2
Kampsite 3
Eryn Schmisseur (Ironman Arizona 2018)
Kampsite 4
Katie Colville (Ironman Cozumel 2018)
Kampsite 5

Reading:

The Confidence Code: The Science and Art of Self -Assurance—What Women Should Know by Katty Kay and Claire Shipman is very insightful.

“In The Confidence Code, journalists Katty Kay and Claire Shipman travel to the frontiers of neuroscience on a hunt for the confidence gene and reveal surprising new research on its roots in our brains. They visit the world’s leading psychologists who explain how we can all choose to become more confident simply by taking action and courting risk, and how those actions change our physical wiring. They interview women leaders from the worlds of politics, sports, the military, and the arts to learn how they have tapped into this elemental resource. They examine how a lack of confidence impacts our leadership, success, and fulfillment.

Ultimately, they argue, while confidence is partly influenced by genetics, it is not a fixed psychological state. That’s the good news. You won’t discover it by thinking positive thoughts or by telling yourself (or your children) that you are perfect as you are. You also won’t find it by simply squaring your shoulders and faking it. But it does require a choice: less people pleasing and perfectionism and more action, risk taking, and fast failure.

Inspiring, insightful, and persuasive, The Confidence Code shows that by acting on our best instincts and by daring to be authentic, women can feel the transformative power of a life on confidence.”

Trying Something New:

Thanks to my friend and colleague, Traci, for encouraging me to try something new! We went to Art Ciccotti and made glass heart paperweights. This was my first experience with glass blowing and it was so much fun! I’m already thinking about future glass blowing experiences. 🙂

Carving my glass heart!
The finished product! I think they turned out pretty awesome!

Photo Shoot Time:

I am SO blessed and honored to be a part of the rad Coeur Sports #tigerteam19 mission to encourage, empower, and support women in sport + spread #heartandcourage EVERYWHERE! This year’s theme is to #befierce and remove the leash that may be holding you back and not allowing you to be your best self. It is time to #uncageyourinnerbeast ❤

Because my focus for this year is to #explore, even in training and racing!
#uncageyourinnerbeast
Not only do I love this team, but I love this girl!
These two have two keys to my heart!
“And one day she discovered she was fierce, and strong, and full of fire, and that not even she could hold herself back because her passion burned brighter than her fears!” ~Mark Anthony

Grateful for:

So grateful for being able to run outside in short sleeves in February in Iowa!! This was DEFINITELY NOT the norm this month!!
I’m so grateful to be on #tigerteam19!! My Coeur Sports teammates help me to feel empowered, inspired, connected, loved, and full of joy!!
The Skratch Labs cookies are da bomb diggity!! I’m so grateful for the ease to make these!!
These 3…I love them all!! So grateful for their unconditional love!!
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!!
So grateful for Nick at Vitality Massage for keeping me active and healthy!

How was your month of February?! What were you grateful for last month?! Have you ever tried glass blowing?!