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?!

Advertisements

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?! 

My 2018 Year in Review via Photos

January:

Celebrating the end of the #batcapchallenge on January 1!
Ironman Louisville registration for 2018!!
Supporting our twin nieces at their swim meet!
My fave and me at home home!!
Me and my fave listening to Damon Dotson!
Snowshoeing adventures with my fam!
Lunch with the twins at school!
Winter wonderland with Dad + my fave!
Catching up with my “baby brother” at home home!

February:

My longest run since November and with this amazing sunset!
Snowshoe adventures!
Enjoying life with my fave!

March:

The biggest birthday card I’ve ever received! Thank you Laylah!
Warm enough for shorts?! YES!! Soaking up the sun + vitamin D!!
Making an effort, not an excuse!
Rolling out of 40 and into 41 like “Hell yeah! 40 was an amazing year! Cheers to an even better 41!”
Birthday lunch date with my #solesister
We are SO grateful to have SBR Sports, Inc. in our tribe this year! #sbrambassador
These two girls fill my heart with love and joy every day!
The girls playing tug of war with a stick in the yard while we shovel.
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.
These kids! They engineered some very creative ways to protect their eggs when they dropped them from the balcony at school! #eggdrop

April:

3 of my favorite little bunnies!
Our winter playground is officially closed for the summer
I’m so grateful to have this amazing man by my side in life!
I’m so grateful for my #solesister!
Traci, we love you! So grateful to have amazing friends at work!
First race of 2018 is in the books! My finish time wasn’t as good as I’d hoped for, but it was better than I expected! #happygirl #mydrakerelays
CPR/AED recertification day!
SO happy to have this pretty lady back home in Iowa! #lovemyneighbor
Checking my gait while picking up our new Garmins! #therunnersflat
New Garmin day! #therunnersflat
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!

May:

Dance like no one is watching when you’re happy! So grateful there are only 35 days (including weekends) until summer break!
“Right now” was pure joy for 50 miles on two wheels with my fave! I was so happy to be outside riding on the open roads!
10 mile heat acclimation run. “Right now” helped me chase my dreams!
A clean bike is a FAST bike!! Mojo is clean and ready to race!!
So grateful + blessed to be part of this amazing Coeur Sports team! I have met so many incredible women in sport and am excited to meet even more!! #TeamCoeur2018 #CourageTeam18
So grateful to have my fave as Sherpa/spectator extraordinaire jimmy rigging Mojo for me!!
Pre-race with my Coeur Sports sister, Michelle!
Race done!
Thanks Kyle (with Kyle’s Bikes) for fixing up Mojo and making everything right again!! #bestbikemechanic
Mojo always looks so beautiful against the farmland!!
So grateful my sister-in-law came to visit briefly!
Cheering on my fave at the Hickory Grove Triathlon was so much fun!! Cold, but fun!!
50 mile ride + 1 mile run with my fave on this HOT + STILL day is done!! It wasn’t pretty, but it is done!!
An open water swim with my fave!!

June:

Grateful to have these two monkeys come and visit us this weekend! Life is always better with ice cream!!
Love these girls!! Grateful I got to spend some time with them at the outdoor aquatic center!!
Incredibly grateful to live in a neighborhood that comes together to help each other out. Our neighbor’s tree was struck by lightening during a storm and everyone came together to help clean it up.
Turning social friends into real friends!! So grateful to meet Beth in person!!
Pre-race swim…check
So grateful I got to meet up with Steena my Coeur Sports teammate!! Love this pretty, badass lady!!
So grateful to have my fave by my side and help make decisions that are right for us…this was the weather on race morning.
I did a thang! The #flatlander703 was the TOUGHEST race I’ve ever done, but I learned A LOT and got 1st place overall!! Thanks to my fave for the award ceremony and making me feel special!!
Volunteer lead bikes at the Hope Run Saturday morning! #givingback
42 solo miles on a VERY HOT + HUMID day!!
Cheering + spectating at the Ames Velo crit races…so much fun!! #crazyfastriders
Incredibly grateful that my fave walked away from a solo bicycle accident with lots of road rash and NO head injury (despite cracking his helmet in 2 places). Wear your helmet people!! It saves lives!!
So grateful for cooler temps so this bubble gum tongue could run 10 miles with me this morning! #basillovesrunning
Grateful to get the opportunity to be the lead bike for the local 5K + 10K race to support Iowa Able!! My fave directed traffic at the finish area!!
FINALLY nailing goal watts on an outdoor ride!!!
Double run day!! I pleasantly surprised myself today!!

July:

New Roka Sports wetsuit day!! So grateful to have Roka support this crazy journey and help us #findfaster!!
Doesn’t everyone play in the water after they swim?!?!
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!!
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.
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!!
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!!
“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!!
So grateful that I got to spend the morning with my colleague at the Accel Triathlon cheering on my fave and friends!!
Love these peeps!! So grateful to have them in my life!!
My happy place!! Life on two wheels!!
Diving into race week!! #IMOhio70point3 is this coming Sunday!!
So grateful for Kyle at Kyle’s Bikes!! His race day blessing means Mojo is ready to roll!!
Today we broke up 7.5 hours of driving with a little #swimlove in a new city!!
My Coeur runneth over!! I got to meet some of the most inspirational, determined, loving ladies today!! #happycoeur
These three ladies hold a special place in my heart!!
The #sub6orbust is no longer a dream!! Today I turned it into a reality thanks to Steena who ran with me!! This lady is such a strong, positive badass and I’m blessed and grateful to have had her by my side today!!
Our Air BNB hosts were spectacular!! I’m so grateful for their hospitality, openness, and friendship!!
I’m riding cloud nine after setting a PR at Ironman Ohio 70.3 and finally breaking 6 hours, but I’m not sure it would have happened without Steena by my side. This girl is the definition of #heartandcourage and I’m so grateful for her!! Her strength, positivity, selflessness, and uplifting spirit are just a few of the wonderful things about her!! Thank you Steena for all you did to help me achieve my dream!! Love you girl!! “PRs are better with friends!!”
So grateful to have Steena by my side as I broke 6 hours, crushed goals, and achieved dreams at Ironman Ohio 70.3!! Thank you Steena for being such a strong, motivating, awesome BADASS!!

August:

Grateful that Kim showed up for my Women’s only triathlon clinic. Since she was the only one to show up, she got 2 hours of one-on-one attention and lots of gifts!! 🙂
Only in Iowa does your neighbor walk goats on leash down the sidewalk. The goats allowed Basil and My to smell them and try to play with them. When one goat “talked” to Basil, Basil didn’t have a clue what that noise was or what to do.
Celebrating with Dad back at home home!
Snow cones with the twins!! Yummy!!
These animals have keys to my heart!
So grateful that I got to stay with my college friend, Christina, and her girl, Gracie, in Madison at my solo training camp!
Hard work pays off!! Thanks to my #sub6orbust buddy Steena for pulling me up ALL. THE. HILLS On 2 loops of the #IMWI bike course!!
Making fitness + pushing myself in Madison on the #IMWI bike course!
Grateful to spend the afternoon at the state fair with these fun peeps listening to Brett Eldredge live in concert!
Finding the sunshine among the storms during my long run!
After riding the struggle bus in the pool Saturday morning, I got to ride 71.9 miles. This is where I started to transition from a passenger on the struggle bus to the captain…I’m not in full control of the bus just yet, but I’m getting closer!!
Grateful to have these two motivate me for some #sundayrunday hill repeats!!
Hanging with some colleagues…back to work!
Morning hill repeats with Basil!! Basil got compliments on her glow-in-the-dark collar this morning. Sad we are losing daylight, but grateful for the cooler temps so my running buddy can join me!!
Today was my 15th first day of teaching!!
Happy Friday!! Running in the mist with Robin was a great way to start the day!!
90 miles of #bikelove and chasing Anne for 55 of those miles on a very hot + humid day = DONE!!
#sundayrunday was 16 soggy + gross miles thanks to the 72*F dew point!! Thanks for running 5 of those miles with me Robin!!

September:

So grateful to have nailed my swim with PR swim splits!!
Basil turned 6 years old on Monday…I love these two SO MUCH!!
Riding 5 hours on the trainer staring at Lake Monona…I so wanted to be on the IMWI bike course, but my gut told me not to and I listened to it.
45 minute run off the bike…so fun to run into (literally) a social media friend and turn him into a real friend!!
All of these amazing volunteers helped us keep T1 in check on IMWI race morning. I’m so grateful for their help!!
Playing pack mule for friends racing!! So glad we were able to get their gear, take it to their car, and help them out!! Congrats to both Steena and John on stellar IMWI races!!
Congratulations to my fave!! He finished his last long run (22 miles) before the Twin Cities Marathon in 3 weeks!! Meanwhile, I was still riding on the trainer…5 hours in the books!!
The sunrise on my 18 mile long run was magnificent!! Grateful!!
Starting Friday off right…with my fave by my side for some morning miles!!
Knocking out the workouts one at a time!
V is for victory!! I nailed my swim session with my second 1200 yard split being 4 sec/100 yards faster than my first 1200 yard split!!
8 morning miles with Basil (2 of those with my fave too)!! #basillovesrunning
+ 9 afternoon miles = 17 strong miles Wednesday!!
Playing around in the pool after putting in some work!!
Thank you Kyle for putting a new chain on Mojo and giving her your race day blessing!!
Grateful for the OneBrainWellness Self Defense clinic to learn how to defend myself against an attacker!!
After crushing my 90 minute run/1 hour bike intervals/1 hour run back to back to back Sunday, the hay is in the barn!! I’m #IMLou race ready!! It’s time to TAPER!! (Run #2)

October:

While swimming today, there was a seahorse on the bottom of the pool in my lane. Was this a sign?! I believe it was!! The seahorse is considered to be a symbol of strength and power. Just what I needed today!!
So grateful to have this crazy group of colleagues to work with!!
Cycling around the Twin Cities on my cross bike chasing down my fave!! No idea how many miles I logged, but it was fun and challenging to stay ahead of him!!
So grateful to briefly chat with Elaina at mile 26 of the Twin Cities Marathon!!
SO FREAKING PROUD of my FAVE!! HE CRUSHED IT!! Setting a new PR in a time of 3:33:05 at the Twin Cities Marathon!! 🙂
So grateful to briefly chat with my Coeur Sports teammate Kendra (and meet little Ralphie <3) at mile 8.5 of the Twin Cities Marathon!!
Running with my fave by Churchill Downs after spending hours in the car to get to Louisville!!
Getting to meet up with a few of my Coeur Sports teammates was so much fun!! This team of uplifting, encouraging, supportive women is where it’s at!!
Swinging in the sunshine with my fave on Saturday…the calm before the storm (quite literally)!!
Grateful that my Dad came to cheer me on at Ironman Louisville!!
These two!! I’m so grateful for my fave and sis who kept me going strong all day long!!
This sums up my Ironman Louisville race day…cold + wet + windy + challenging + strong = success!!
My cheer squad on the second loop!! Tim, Abbie, and Dad (left to right) chasing me up the hill into LaGrange! I made it back to them!
I’m so proud to be crossing the finish line of Ironman #6!!
Giving Dad and Abbie a “high five” in the finish chute with my run bottle in hand! Love you both!
LOVE these two smiling faces!!
Grateful to get to see my cousin and cheer on his wife at the Des Moines Marathon!!
Grateful for my colleagues!! The #7dwarfs #spookoutdrugs during Red Ribbon Week at school!!
Happy Halloween from some 8th grade teachers!! #decadestheme

November:

Playing in the leaves after some #runlove with Basil!!
The Coeur Sports 2019 ambassador team…I’m SO grateful to be representing the BEST brand + sisterhood in endurance sport!!
Spending more time on the bike with my fave now that we are training for the same races in 2019!!
Grateful to have my mother-in-law visit us!!
When you FINALLY see yourself on the side of the city bus when it is stopped!!
So thankful to have this guy by my side in life!!
So grateful that I got to meet up with framily over Thanksgiving break!!

December:

SURPRISE!! Coach Kelly called as I was heading out the door to swim and told me to do a swim test instead of my scheduled swim. Adapt on the fly + handle the pressure!! This is the excitement when you do better than expected on your swim test!!
Basil decided to interrupt us while we were dancing to Christmas music in the kitchen.
So grateful to Breakthrough Nutrition for helping me sleep at night!!
I would chase this girl anywhere!!
Playtime in the pool!!
FTP progress…not where I once was, but getting closer 🙂
I had the swim of my life!! Everything just clicked and I felt amazing!!
We don’t always wear spandex!! 🙂
My colleagues!!
Framily!! ❤
Family! ❤
Sisters! ❤
Great Grandma Annie delivers again!
Making gingerbread houses with my favorite little people!!
Making gingerbread houses with my favorite people!!
Thank you to Ruth for our new doggie Coeur gear!!
My Coeur Sports sister, Courtney, came to Iowa for the holidays!! So blessed to get to swim with her + enjoy lunch together!!
Grateful to get to spend time with Courtney!! Can’t wait for her and her husband to return so we can spend more time together!!
Christmas with my fave!!
Ending 2018 on a HIGH note!! A HUGE increase in my FTP means I’m going to GET to work even harder in 2019!! (44 watt increase on my FTP)
Happy New Year’s!! Bring on 2019!!

Attitude of Gratitude

I’ve been working to harbor an “Attitude of Gratitude” in 2018, which is sometimes harder than it should be! There is SO much to be grateful for everyday and I reflect on that before bed every night. The hard part is finding gratitude in every moment throughout the day…especially when faced with challenges, struggles, and negativity.

Since November is typically the month of gratitude and we are embarking on Thanksgiving week, I decided to take some time to reflect on what I have done to include more gratitude in my life.

  1. You may have noticed during my monthly “What’s up?!” blog posts, a gratitude section this year. This is a great way to reflect on each month and be grateful for the things that have stood out as positive and uplifting!
  2. Each night before crawling into bed, I reflect on the day. Writing down all of the things I am grateful for that day in my gratitude journal. This is a great way to focus on all of the positives (even the little things) that happen throughout the day. It has also caused me to focus more on the positives and gratitude moments throughout the day as they occur.
  3. I am constantly reminding myself to be grateful even during the struggles. When I catch myself encountering a struggle, I try to shift my mindset and make myself much more aware of the positives that I’m experiencing in those moments.
  4. I am also working to be more mindful and present throughout each day. Focusing on the 5 senses + how I feel in the moment + what I think at different moments in time throughout each day.

All of these things have helped me harbor an “attitude of gratitude” this year. I truly believe we can not have enough gratitude for all of the amazing people, experiences, memories + things in our lives! I’ve chosen to embrace gratitude this year and find good in everything! Some moments are more of a struggle than others, but even when things are tough, there is something to be grateful for! Sometimes we just have to get out our magnifying glass and look a little harder for the good. 😉

There have been so many amazing moments so far in 2018!! Here is just a snapshot of the things I am grateful for this year:

Supporting our twin nieces at their swim meet!
Home home with my fave!!
Snowshoeing adventures with my fam!
Birthday lunch date with my #solesister
3 of my favorite little bunnies!
Traci, we love you! So grateful to have amazing friends at work!
SO grateful for the best neighbor anyone could ask for! #lovemyneighbor
“Right now” was pure joy for 50 miles on two wheels with my fave! I was so happy to be outside riding on the open roads!
Meeting up with my Coeur Sports sister, Michelle at the Kansas City Triathlon!
Turning social friends into real friends!! So grateful to meet Beth in person!!
So grateful I got to meet up with Steena, my Coeur Sports sister!! Love this beautiful, badass lady!!
I did a thang! The #flatlander703 was the TOUGHEST race I’ve ever done, but I learned A LOT and got 1st place overall!! Thanks to my fave for the award ceremony and making me feel special!!
Incredibly grateful that my fave walked away from a solo bicycle accident with lots of road rash and NO head injury (despite cracking his helmet in 2 places). Wear your helmet people!! It saves lives!!
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 that I got to spend the morning with my colleague at the Accel Triathlon cheering on my fave and friends!!
Love these peeps!! So grateful to have them in my life!!
So grateful for Kyle at Kyle’s Bikes!! His race day blessing means Mojo is ready to roll!!
My Coeur runneth over!! I got to meet some of the most inspirational, determined, loving ladies today!! #happycoeur
I’m riding cloud nine after setting a PR at Ironman Ohio 70.3 and finally breaking 6 hours, but I’m not sure it would have happened without Steena by my side. This girl is the definition of #heartandcourage and I’m so grateful for her!! Her strength, positivity, selflessness, and uplifting spirit are just a few of the wonderful things about her!! Thank you Steena for all you did to help me achieve my dream!! Love you girl!! “PRs are better with friends!!”
So grateful to have Steena by my side as I broke 6 hours, crushed goals, and achieved dreams at Ironman Ohio 70.3!! Thank you Steena for being such a strong, motivating, awesome BADASS!!
This guy! There aren’t enough words! Thank you for your support! Thank you for believing in me! Thank you for encouraging me to chase my dreams! Thank you for motivating me when I lack self-motivation! Thank you for pushing me to do and be my best! Thank you for loving and choosing me! Thank you! I’m so blessed and grateful to have you by my side on this journey! Love you!
Hard work pays off!! Thanks to my #sub6orbust buddy Steena for pulling me up ALL. THE. HILLS On 2 loops of the #IMWI bike course!!
Grateful to spend the afternoon at the state fair with these fun peeps listening to Brett Eldredge live in concert!
Basil turned 6 years old on Monday…I love these two SO MUCH!!
All of these amazing volunteers helped us keep T1 in check on #IMWI race morning. I’m so grateful for their help!!
Grateful for the OneBrainWellness Self Defense clinic to learn how to defend myself against an attacker!!
So grateful to have this crazy group of colleagues to work with!!
So grateful to briefly chat with Elaina at mile 26 of the Twin Cities Marathon!!
So grateful to briefly chat with my Coeur Sports sister, Kendra (and meet little Ralphie <3) at mile 8.5 of the Twin Cities Marathon!!
Getting to meet up with a few of my Coeur Sports sisters in Louisville was so much fun!! This team of uplifting, encouraging, supportive women is where it’s at!!
My cheer squad on the second loop at #IMLou!! Tim, Abbie, and Dad (left to right) chasing me up the hill into LaGrange! I made it back to them!
The finish line is the best feeling after such a physically and mentally challenging day! #IMLou
LOVE these two smiling faces!!
Grateful to get to see my cousin and cheer on his wife at the Des Moines Marathon!!
Grateful for my colleagues!! The #7dwarfs #spookoutdrugs during Red Ribbon Week at school!!
The Coeur Sports 2019 ambassador team…I’m SO grateful to be representing the BEST brand + sisterhood in endurance sport!!
So thankful to have this guy by my side in life!!

How do you live with an attitude of gratitude?! How do you focus on gratitude in every moment…even when faced with challenges and struggles?! 

#IMLou Race Report…Explore!

“Of course we all have our limits, but how can you possibly find your boundaries unless you EXPLORE as far and as wide as you possibly can? I would rather fail in an attempt at something new and uncharted than safely succeed in a repeat of something I have done.” ~Ericka Hachmeister

Each race tells a story and gives lessons about triathlon and life. Ironman Louisville was definitely NOT a repeat of something I have ever done and was quite the story with so many lessons learned! Sit back with your favorite beverage and enjoy what was the absolute toughest day I’ve ever had! It is quite the lengthy account of my day, so if you want the short version, you’ll miss out on so much, but just scroll to “Overall” at the bottom of the post.

Pre-Race:

On race morning, I woke to rain, air temperatures of 40*F, and higher winds than I what were predicted. I ate my muesli, drank my Karma Kombucha, and read my pre-race paragraph from “Swimming to Antarctica” by Lynne Cox before putting on my race gear and heading out the door.

“Be calm; focus on what you are doing 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.”

Once we parked the car, we hung out in the warm, dry environment for about 30 extra minutes before venturing out in the cold rain + wind. During this time, I decided to weasel my way into my wetsuit inside of the car. If you’ve ever tried to put on a wetsuit when you are wet, it is NOT easy!! It wasn’t exactly “easy” weaseling my way into my wetsuit in the front car seat either…

Struggling into my wetsuit in the dry car.

After putting on my wetsuit, it was time to make my way down to transition to put my bike bottles on my bike, reduce my tire pressure a bit (thanks to the wet roads), get body marked (thankfully this was under a bridge so I could get my wetsuit back on easily), and then head down to the swim start.

Transition…who’s ready to race in the rain + cold?!

It was a 0.9 mile walk from transition to the swim start. During this time, I drank one bottle of my Infinit bike nutrition to get some extra calories in before the swim. Once at the swim start, I lined up behind the 1:10-1:20 sign as I anticipated a 1:12-1:15 swim time for my 2.4 mile swim. As we waited for the swim start, my feet started to freeze and I really had to pee. Since it was still raining, I decided let it flow and guess what?!?! IT WARMED MY TOES!! This would later prove to be a great decision as the amount of time we were to stand and wait was extended from about 30 minutes to more than an hour. At 7:2o am, they let the pro men into the water for a practice swim. This was when the race director realized the swim course was going to have to be shortened because the pro men could not swim upstream due to the strong current. This meant that the race start would be pushed back by at least 35 minutes. Once the age group athletes got word that we were now only swimming 0.9 miles downstream and wouldn’t be starting until 8:10 (instead of the 7:35 am scheduled start time), the buzz + hype started. Athletes were upset that they wouldn’t be doing the full Ironman distance. Athletes said things like, “If Ironman’s mantra is ‘Anything is possible,’ then they should allow us to try the full swim.” I could have easily allowed myself to get sucked into all of the buzz and drama that was going on, but instead reminded myself that even though I’d trained for the 2.4 mile swim, it was time to accept the change and focus on getting to the run. Yes, I knew that a 112 mile bike stood between the swim and the run, but with the adverse conditions, my goal was to get to the run.

Spraying down with SBR Sports Tri Slide before zipping up the wetsuit. Thankfully I was under a bridge to stay dry at this point.

As we made our way to the docks, I joked with Dave Kappas (the race announcer since Mike Reilly was in Kona) about floating on our backs down river with a pool floaty and a cup holder for an exotic drink. As we slowly made our way down to the docks, the chatter continued, my feet became numb, and the anxiety of spending the rest of my day cold + wet built.

Swim: 16:19 for 0.9 mile (1:02/100 yards); 39/113 W40-44; 228/601 W; 949/2034 Overall

Finally it was my turn to jump off of the dock and into the water. Before jumping into the water, we were told there were 6 buoys we should keep on our left (in other words, stay to the right of the buoys and to the left of the kayakers). As I jumped into the water, the 69*F water temperature felt SO WARM!! Ahhh…finally my feet would warm up!! I saw the 1st buoy and kept it to my left, but as I was approaching the 2nd buoy, I realized it was no longer attached to the anchor at the bottom of the Ohio River. Instead, it was drifting downstream and toward the center of the river (it kept moving right), so I decided to try to hold my line. The kayakers were yelling at us telling us to go to the right of the buoy. I stopped swimming just long enough to tell them the buoy was not attached and was floating away. A couple of them took off after the buoy and others just kept shouting at us trying to tell us where to go as the next buoy had also previously been separated from the anchor. Others were trying to keep us to the right of the bridge pillar as all kinds of logs and debris had built up between the pillar and the shore. They didn’t want us swimming into a log jam. Thank you volunteers!! Trying to hear what people are shouting at you with your head in the water is nearly impossible, so I did my best to hold my line and keep swimming. I swam past one gentleman floating on his back taking advantage of the strong current in the water. As I continued to swim, I realized that only 3 of the 6 buoys we were supposed to swim to the right of were actually properly placed for us to swim past. The other 3 buoys had to be captured and hauled to shore by kayakers because they became detached from the anchors. As I approached the swim exit, more kayakers were shouting. I briefly stopped swimming so that I could hear what they were shouting. “Don’t overshoot the swim exit!”Apparently people had overshot the swim exit and kayakers had to haul them back upstream because the current was too strong for them to swim back upstream to the swim exit that they’d missed. I continued on and as I was within 100 yards from the swim exit, the smell of sewer drifted over us. I SERIOUSLY thought I was going to puke in the river! It was ABSOLUTELY DISGUSTING! While it was still raining and cold, I was very glad to have the first part of the day behind me.

One lone swim buoy out in the Ohio River!!

T1: 12:15

I quickly pulled down my wetsuit and had a couple of amazing volunteers strip it off of me before running my way into the transition area to bundle up before heading out on the bike.

Warmest part of the day…DONE!!

The day before I had put on my race gear, took a cold shower, and went out on the bike in 38*F air temperature to test if my race gear would be warm enough. Brrrr!! Through this test, I had a really good idea of what to wear on the bike though!! I stepped into my aero top, tugged on two pair of arm warmers, slipped my toes into plastic bags, pulled my socks on overtop, slid my feet into my shoes, grabbed my extra Infinit bike nutrition and shoved it in my aero top, donned my helmet and clear goggles as I ran to my bike. As I exited T1, I saw my Coeur Sports teammate Lia cheering me on! Thanks Lia!

Running to the bike…ready to ride in the rain!!

Bike: 7:03:05 for 112 miles (15.88 mph); 41/113 W40-44; 244/601 W; 1196/2034 Overall

As I started rolling out of town, I was cold (42*F), wet, and I decided to ride on feel alone. This was not going to be a “normal” 112 mile Ironman bike ride, so trying to maintain my prescribed watts with wet roads and wet brakes went out the window in the first mile.

Rolling out of transition ready to be cold and wet for the rest of the day!!

The headwind was strong. Not as strong as I’m used to when riding on the open roads in central Iowa, but stronger than the 5-10 mph that The Weather Channel said it should be. Combining that with the cold and wet conditions, just poured salt in the wound. “Just put your head down and get to LaGrange so you can see Tim, Dad, and Abbie! EXPLORE!”

I’m riding along the river, although you can’t really see it in the background thanks to Mother Nature’s unique sense of humor.

As I turned onto the loop, I saw a few athletes standing on the side of the road with their bikes leaned up against a fence. They were SO cold that they were shivering uncontrollably. I told them they should get on their bikes and keep moving to try to stay warm, but they said they were waiting for the sag vehicle to come and pick them up. They had decided that their day was done. I rode on. OMG…my feet are so cold that they are numb!! I really have to pee…I’ve never peed on the bike before…maybe I should try on the next downhill. Ahhh…that feels SO GOOD!! OH and my feet are warm!! I may have to do this more often!! Well that didn’t last…cold feet again. UGH!! Shortly after this point, I saw Tim as I was climbing up the hill into LaGrange. He was cheering for me (and all of the other athletes), ringing the cowbell, and encouraging us to keep going. He told me Dad and Abbie were up ahead. After passing him, I started crying. “This is SO HARD!! STOP IT!! You have done harder things!! EXPLORE!!” (lie #1 to myself) I pedaled on through the hot corner in LaGrange with a smile on my face as random strangers cheered me on. I completely missed seeing Dad and Abbie on that first loop. After leaving town, it became pretty desolate. There were only a couple of places where spectators were out on the course cheering us on, but not many. Thankfully when I turned left, I was blocked by a wall of trees and I had a break from the wind. Who cares if I have to climb a hill or two?!?! I don’t!! I love climbing!! I’m just happy to have a temporary reprieve from the rain and wind (don’t worry…it didn’t last)!!

Taking advantage of the temporary break in the rain and wind!! Climb baby climb!!

And then the rain and drizzle started back up and I passed a sign on the side of the road that said, “Mother Nature is a whore!” I smiled and nodded. Yep! “Mother Nature, why do you hate us?!?! STOP CRYING! I feel AMAZING! EXPLORE!” (lie #2 to myself) Oh…time to warm up the feet again! That feels so good! Just get back to Tim, Dad, and Abbie!! Keep pedaling!! UGH…my feet are frozen again! Grandma’s hill…check! Pee on the bike…check! Guys in speedos cheering us on the rain…check! Pee on the bike…check! Road sign that says “Louisville 33″…check! “Why can’t I have only 33 miles back to Louisville?!?! STOP!! I feel good, I knew that I would, now! I feel good, I knew that I would, now! So good, so good, I got you!” (as I sang James Brown out loud…lie #3 to myself) Just get back to Tim, Dad, and Abbie!! Here is the split…I REALLY wish I were going back into town instead of starting the loop again! EXPLORE! Here we go again! Warm those feet up again momentarily…check! Oh…here is LaGrange! Bike special needs pit stop…swap out the bottles and move on…check! Just keep pedaling to Tim, Dad, and Abbie! Oh look…

My cheer squad on the second loop!! Tim, Abbie, and Dad (left to right) chasing me up the hill into LaGrange! I made it back to them!

Ok…Here we go again!! One more loop!! Just finish the bike and get to the run!! There are those random strangers cheering me on at the hot corner in LaGrange!! Thank you for still being out here. Finally I get to turn left again to enjoy the area without wind!! Let’s climb some more!!

Here we go again!! Loop 2 will lead me back to Louisville!!

Thankfully I get to descend and pee again to warm my feet!! A guy in an IronWorx Multisport kit passed me saying, “Hey…Do you know Steena?!” I responded with, “I do! Love her!” He said, “She is the best!” before riding on down the road. Oh look…there is the sign saying, “Mother Nature is a whore” and guess what?!?! It’s still raining + cold!! Go figure!! Just keep smiling!! You’re AWESOME!! EXPLORE!!” (lie #4 to myself) I really wish my feet would stay warm longer than 10 seconds when I pee on them!! “I don’t know if I can do this anymore. I’m so cold + wet! Why can’t Mother Nature give us a break?! STOP WITH THE NEGATIVITY!! You are doing awesome!! Just get to the run!! EXPLORE!!” (more lies…how many exactly by this point is beyond me as I’m sure I missed a few) Grandma’s hill…here we go again!! Last time up this B*TCH!! “OH SH*T!! Mojo…why did you drop your chain at the bottom of the hill?!?! UGH!! OK…Single leg spinning…you can do this!! You’ve done worse!! There you go! Clip that other foot in and get to the top!” Grandma’s hill for the last time…check! Pee on the bike…check! Guys in speedos cheering us on the rain…where are you?!?! Pee on the bike…check! Road sign that says “Louisville 33″…check! FINALLY I get to go back to Louisville and I get to enjoy the tailwind since I fought a headwind on the way out of Louisville! “Wahoo! Let’s rocket home! Right hand turn back to Louisville…wait a minute…where is that tailwind I was supposed to enjoy?!?! Why do you hate us Mother Nature?!?! WHY?!?! Push on!! You have less than 20 miles home!! Just get to the run!! EXPLORE!!” Pee on the bike…check! “Wait a minute…why are there so many cars on this road?! HOLY SH*T!! I have to stop so I don’t rear end that car…OH NO…wet brakes…Mojo, please STOP!! PLEASE STOP!! THANK YOU!! This is insane!! Why are there so many cars on our roads?!?! I’ve never had this much traffic to dodge during an Ironman before. Someone could seriously get hurt out here. This is not safe! Just get back to town! Go figure…brake on the descent so I have to start from a stopped position to climb the hill. STUPID CARS!! ATTITUDE ADJUSTMENT…You GET to do this! Be safe and enjoy the last few miles! You are feeling great! EXPLORE!!” (How many lies is this?!?!) Pee on the bike…check! “Oh…there is the Ohio River…that means I’m getting close to transition!! Look…there are the bridges!! Wahoo!! I made it!!” This was my 2nd fastest Ironman bike split in tough conditions!! Boom!!

T2: 10:26

After I handed Mojo off to a volunteer, ran to get my run gear bag, and made my way into the women’s change tent, I knew I needed some information. A volunteer came to help me and I immediately asked, “What is the current windchill and what time of day is it?” She responded with, “Let me look. It is 4:30 pm and the current windchill is 53*F. How can I help you get out on the run?” She helped me exchange my bike nutrition for run nutrition in my pockets, filled my hand held bottle with water (it already had Infinit run formula in the bottle), and helped me pack up my bike gear (don’t worry…I made sure to put my socks and bike shoes in the bag myself so she didn’t have to touch the urine filled gear…although the rain probably washed them clean). I kept one pair of arm warmers and swapped out my gloves for a dry pair (not really sure why since it was still raining) before heading out of transition and onto the run.

Run: 5:30:52 for 26.2 miles (12:37 min/mi); 49/113 W40-44; 281/601 W; 1225/2034 Overall

I finished the bike!! Let’s run!! Ugh…I can’t feel my feet…how long is this going to last?! Oh well…maybe it is best that I can’t feel my feet for now!! Oh…There’s Dad and Abbie! Abbie asked, “How are you feeling.” I responded with, “Good, but I can’t feel my feet. They’re numb from the cold.” As I kept going, I saw Tim just up the street.

Time to get this marathon started!

Only monitor the heart rate screen…perfect! I am right where I need to be! I’m feeling good! Nice and steady! Forget about the rain…that clearly isn’t going to change! One foot in front of the other! I’m actually feeling a bit warm for the first time since the swim…arm warmers off. Should I throw them or keep them?! I’ll keep them until the second loop to make sure I don’t need them later on. Oh look!! There is Katie Thomas! I bet she’s coming into the finish. “Go Katie go!” She replied with, “You’ve got this Kecia” as she gave me a high five. Just the motivation I needed at this point to keep going. Oh volunteer at the corner…YOU are the best! “Remember your why! Things are going to get tough out there. Remember your why!” He was so right! Heart rate…check! Ugh…I have to pee again! How many times am I going to pee today?! I don’t want that in my run shoes, so kybo it is! That is so much better! Ok…here we go…one foot in front of the other!! There is my Coeur Sports teammate Michelle! “Good work Michelle! You’re doing awesome!” She also cheered me on as we gave each other a high five in passing. Oh…there is the guy from Madison in the IronWorx Multisport kit that passed me on the bike! “Hey there! You are the one that passed me on the bike correct?” He said, “Yes, that was me! So you know Steena!” I said, “Yes! Her and John both! They are great people! I’m Kecia by the way.” “I’m Andrew.” I said, “Steena and I ran together on at Ironman Ohio 70.3 and she helped me achieve a sub 6 hour finish! When it got tough, she gave me this Fellow Flower that I’m wearing. I’m so grateful for them!” He said, “Yes, they just did Ironman Wisconsin.” I said, “Yes! They did awesome! I am the captain of the women’s change area in Wisconsin, so I picked up their gear and bikes and took it to their car for them.” He said, “They are so much fun! Well, I’m going to walk for a bit, so run strong! If you see my wife, Heidi, up ahead, she has a red Fellow Flower in her hair.” I replied with, “I’ll look for her! I’m sure I’ll see you again before the day is done.” Heart rate…check! Keep running strong! Finally…the turn around! Ugh…I have to pee again! Why do I have to pee so much?! Oh…I bet I’m peeing so much because I’m not sweating! I’m glad there are kybos every mile on the run course. Ok…here we go again…one foot in front of the other! Keep going strong and keep the heart rate in check. Oh…I can feel my feet again! They finally aren’t numb from the cold! Wahoo! Heart rate…check! Yes! I made it back to Churchill Downs! Oh…there is Tim out on the bike! He asked, “How are you feeling?” I said, “Good. I’m keeping my heart rate in check.” He said, “I’m going to yo-yo with you back to the turn around” as he rolled ahead. It was about this time that I started to feel a lot of added tension in my back. Just keep moving forward and focus on your form!

There is Tim! Keep putting one foot in front of the other!

There is that amazing volunteer on the corner. He knows just what to say to keep us going! “You have to make it to me 4 times today. That last time, I’ll send you home. Don’t give up! I WANT to see you again!” Oh look!! There is Andrea! We have been social media friends for years and I finally get to give her a high five in person! “Go Andrea Go!” That was a great way to lift my spirits! What was that?! Some guy was yelling at us as he was trying to sleep on the sidewalk by the church. He definitely wasn’t cheering us on either. Hmmm…this is a little sketchy! Ok…there is Tim again. Keep making your way to the turn around! Ugh…I have to pee again! I’ll go in the next Kybo. There, that feels so much better! I’m glad Tim is out here to keep me going right now. “Kecia, I’m going to get your gear when we get to the turn around and I’ll see you later.” I responded with, “Ok. Thank you!”

Make it to the turn around!

I made it to the turn around, saw Dad and Abbie, stopped briefly at my run special needs bag to pick up some SBR Sports, Inc. Skin Slick to spray down my arm pits that were feeling like they might have some chafing started. I told the lady that if anyone needed my long sleeved tech shirt to please give it to them (since they throw away our special needs bags after the race…we don’t get them back). It was time to head back out for the last leg of the marathon. Ugh…my back is getting tighter. EXPLORE! Just get to mile 14! Heart rate…check! Mile 14…check! Just get to mile 15! Heart rate…check! Mile 15…check! Just get to mile 16! I have to pee again…this is getting annoying, but I have to keep drinking my calories! Ok…where’s the kybo…there…that’s better! Here we go again…oh no…my back is SCREAMING at me! EXPLORE! Ok…do what you can to keep moving forward. Walk for a bit and then jog as long as you can. Just get to mile 16! Brrr…I’m starting to get cold again. Time to put the arm warmers back on! I’m glad I kept them! Oh…there is Michelle! “Finish strong girl! You’re doing awesome!” Ok…one foot in front of the other! Mile 16…check! Just get to mile 17! Focus on your form. EXPLORE! Come on back…don’t lock up on me just yet! I have a few more miles to get to the finish line! Mile 17…check! Just get to mile 18! I have to pee again! Mile 18…check! Kybo…check! As I stepped out of the kybo, my back spasmed and almost brought me to my knees. Ok…walk for a bit. Just keep moving forward to mile 19 and get to that turn around! Ok…let’s try to jog easy. EXPLORE! Little by little make your way to the finish line. You haven’t come all this way today to quit now. Keep moving forward. Mile 19…check! The turn around…check! Mile 20…check! Kybo…check! Just keep walking/jogging to the finish line! Mile 21…check! There’s Andrew! “Go Andrew!” He asked, “How much farther to the turn around?!” I responded with, “You have a ways to go yet. Finish strong!” I couldn’t remember if he had 1 mile or 2 miles to the turn around and I didn’t want to give him inaccurate information. That is the worst as an athlete! I have to pee again! Mile 22…check! Kybo…check! Oh no…my back is just not going to let me run right now. I’ll try again in a bit. EXPLORE! Nope…still no such luck. Ok…less than 4 miles left. You can walk it home from here. Churchill Downs…check! Mile 23…check! I made it back to the amazing volunteer on the corner. “Time to send me home,” I said as I passed by him. “Way to go! You’ve got this! Finish strong!” As I rounded the corner, I saw another lady walking in front of me. As I approached her, I asked her how her day was going. She said she’d had better. This was her 11th Ironman and this has been her most challenging day yet. She was also walking because her back had locked up, but sadly she was just approaching the turn around and had to go back out for a second loop. We decided that we thought we were having back issues because of the cold temperatures. She said she was going to stop to stretch out her back, so I continued on. Mile 24…check! Just keep walking! Mile 25…check! I have to pee again! I should probably go before I go through the finish chute…it always takes so long to get through there and to a kybo. I’ll go at the next one! Kybo…check! Mile 26…check! Lia! Thank you for being out here! It’s time to shuffle as best I can to make it look like I’m running (that’s pathetic). There’s the finish chute! I can’t believe I made it here. This was truly the toughest day I’ve ever had. Tears…nope, not yet! There is Abbie and Dad! Love you guys! That finish line!

Giving Dad and Abbie a “high five” in the finish chute with my run bottle in hand! Love you both!

Finish: 13:12:58 

The finish line is the best feeling after such a physically and mentally challenging day!

Overall:

I have no idea how many “lies” I actually told myself so I would keep going and not quit. I was determined to find my way to the finish line and was willing to dig deep to do so. I’ve never had to dig so deep mentally to achieve the finish line in anything until now. This day pushed me way out of my comfort zone and beyond what I ever thought possible. Even over a week later, I still don’t know how I overcame all of the challenges that the day presented to make it to the finish line, but I did!! It is the finish line that I’m the most proud of…not because I achieved my goal time, not because it was the perfect day, not because I nailed my race day goals, not for so many reasons one might typically think of. I am most proud of this finish line because I adjusted on the fly to overcome all of the challenges throughout the day and I gave EVERYTHING I had and MORE mentally to reach that finish line.

I’m so proud to be crossing the finish line of Ironman #6!!

Lessons Learned:

  1. I am SO MUCH STRONGER than I give myself credit for. When the rubber meets the road, I rise to the challenge.
  2. #trainthebrain…you CAN do anything you put your mind to. On race morning, I was determined to do everything within my power to get to the finish line of Ironman #6. I had to mentally dig deep into places I didn’t even know I had in me. I’m so grateful that I had the mental strength, grit, determination, perseverance, and fortitude, to push my limits and cross the finish line of Ironman #6!!
  3. Be prepared for the unexpected. Pack everything…including the kitchen sink…when traveling to a race. You never know just what you might need on race day!
  4. There are so many great people in this world!! Camaraderie occurs during times of struggle and the way that athletes, volunteers, and spectators came together to help and support each other during Ironman Louisville 2018 was so encouraging.
  5. Triathlon lessons = life lessons
  6. Stepping outside of one’s comfort zone is where the magic happens!!
  7. It takes a village!! While I’m the one to cross the finish line, I couldn’t do it without support. I’m beyond grateful for my village!!

Attitude of Gratitude:

  1. My #1…This year Tim and I have had completely different races and training plans. He has stepped up and done so much to make sure I got my workouts done, I was refueled properly, and the home front was in check. I couldn’t do this without him! This finish line is just as much his as mine! Thank you and love you more than you know Tim!! ❤
  2. My support crew…Thank you for keeping me going!! There were many times I thought about giving up, but as soon as I saw you all, I was overcome with joy, love, and determination to keep going. Thank you and love you!! ❤
  3. Coach Kelly…Your guidance, support, belief in me, training plan, and challenges prepared me physically and mentally for a day I never anticipated I would ever have. Thank you for making me #trackcatstrong and ready to conquer any challenge!! ❤
  4. Camilla…Thank you for cheering me on, catching me at the finish line, escorting me to the massage tent, and making sure I had met back up with my crew!! You are amazing!! ❤
  5. Coeur Sports…This brand…I am beyond grateful to Kebby Holden and Hailey Manning for connecting me with some of the most amazing, supportive, encouraging, and inspirational women!! I am truly blessed!! I had so many of these amazing women with me in spirit on race day!! Bonus…the Coeur Sports gear is the best out there!! After being cold + wet ALL. DAY. LONG. I had ZERO chaffing and #noangrykitty!!
  6. SBR Sports, Inc…Thank you for your support this season!! The Skin Slick and Tri Slide made my race day + training so much better!!
  7. Infinit Nutrition…Thank you for helping me find a nutrition solution that FINALLY worked for me after nutritional failure after 5 Ironman races!! Thank you for overnighting my bike nutrition when my first bag arrived damaged just days before we were leaving for Louisville!!
  8. Kyle’s Bikes…Thank you for always giving Mojo the BEST care!! I always know we are in good hands when you have our backs!!
  9. Nick with Vitality Massage…Thank you for keeping me healthy and ready to race + watching our fur babies when we are off playing for multiple weekends throughout the year!!
  10. Chris with Team Chiropractic…Thank you for keeping me healthy and race ready + working on my back post Ironman Louisville!!
  11. Steena…Thank you for my Fellow Flower to remind me throughout the run to remain resilient, full of grit, strong, and focused on forward motion!! ❤

What’s Up?! – September 2018

It seems like just yesterday I signed up for Ironman Louisville and now I’m less than 10 days from race day. How does that happen?! Time just keeps flying by!! Fall has arrived and brought with it MUCH cooler temps (almost like we went from summer to winter without the fall temps) and the changing leaves…both of which I enjoy!! I’m not a fan of the decreased amount of daylight hours, but we don’t have any other option than to endure it.

Training:

V is for victory!! I nailed my swim session with my second 1200 yard split being 4 sec/100 yards faster than my first 1200 yard split!!
Riding 5 hours on the trainer staring at Lake Monona…I so wanted to be on the IMWI bike course, but my gut told me not to and I listened to it. (I had 3×5 hour trainer rides this month…hello mental toughness!!)
+ 9 afternoon miles = 17 strong miles Wednesday!!

Swim: 39,000 yards (22.16 miles)
Bike: 443 miles
Run: 114 miles
Monthly Totals: 69 hours & 48 minutes

Race Ready:

After crushing my 90 minute run/1 hour bike intervals/1 hour run back to back to back Sunday, the hay is in the barn!! I’m #IMLou race ready!! It’s time to TAPER!!

Run #1
Bike Intervals
Run #2

Reading:

Let Your Mind Run: A Memoir of Thinking My Way to Victory by Deena Kastor is a MUST READ!! There are so many great insights for how positive thought, positive visualization, and gratitude changed Deena’s career. What a STRONG + INSPIRATIONAL woman!! I am working to implement these into my training and racing plan as well, knowing that it will take time to fully implement!! “Building a mind so strong would take years of effort and discipline, but it would propel Kastor to the pinnacle of running—to American records in every distance from the 5K to the marathon—and to the accomplishment of earning America’s first Olympic medal in the marathon in twenty years.”

Listening to:

I listened to Kona Kamps episodes with Noga Ruttenberg and Megan Pennington. I LOVE listening to Lilias and David interview these amazing women!! They are SO inspiring and down to earth!!

Grateful for:

Basil turned 6 years old on Monday…I love these two SO MUCH!!
All of these amazing volunteers helped us keep T1 in check on IMWI race morning. I’m so grateful for their help!!
So grateful to have Nick with Vitality Massage keeping me healthy and ready for the next workout!
Grateful that Hardcoeur Coaching recognized my #sub6orbust goal at IMOhio 70.3 was achieved. They sent me some goodies as a “congratulations” gift!!
Only one way to refuel post long workouts…SUSHI!!
Grateful to have Dr. Chris keeping me on track at Team Chiropractic with only 3 weeks left until #IMLou!!
Thank you Kyle for putting a new chain on Mojo and giving her your race day blessing!!
Grateful for the OneBrainWellness Self Defense clinic to learn how to defend myself against an attacker!!

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

2 weeks ’til #IMLou – Taper Time

It’s TAPER TIME!! I’m so glad to have made it to this point!! With the completion of last week’s workouts comes the taper for Ironman Louisville and I’m ready for it!! The hay is in the barn and I’m looking forward to lighting it on fire in 2 weeks!!

Swim: 10,300 yards

V is for victory!! I nailed my swim session with my second 1200 yard split being 4 sec/100 yards faster than my first 1200 yard split!!
Playing around in the pool after putting in some work!!
It’s Flippin’ Friday!! Doing somersaults in the water after swimming Friday morning!

Bike: 101 (trainer) miles

Alternating between Z2 and Z3 was a struggle, but I did it!!
5 hours on the trainer for the last time this year!! 🙂
After crushing my 90 minute run/1 hour bike intervals/1 hour run back to back to back Sunday, the hay is in the barn!! I’m #IMLou race ready!! It’s time to TAPER!!

Run: 32.5 miles

8 morning miles with Basil (2 of those with my fave too)!! #basillovesrunning
+ 9 afternoon miles = 17 strong miles Wednesday!!
After crushing my 90 minute run/1 hour bike intervals/1 hour run back to back to back Sunday, the hay is in the barn!! I’m #IMLou race ready!! It’s time to TAPER!! (Run #1)
After crushing my 90 minute run/1 hour bike intervals/1 hour run back to back to back Sunday, the hay is in the barn!! I’m #IMLou race ready!! It’s time to TAPER!! (Run #2)

Strength Training: 10 minutes of core strength almost daily  

Weekly Totals: 16 hours & 47 minutes

Quote of the Week:

“Bring on the taper!! It’s TAPER TIME!!” ~ME 🙂

Attitude of Gratitude:

Grateful to have Dr. Chris keeping me on track at Team Chiropractic with only 3 weeks left until #IMLou!!
These two…love them and our nightly dog parties in our bed!!
Thank you to Kyle at Kyle’s Bikes for putting a new chain on Mojo and giving her your race day blessing!!
Grateful for the OneBrainWellness Self Defense clinic to learn how to defend myself against an attacker!!

How was your week? What were you grateful for last week?! Do you enjoy the taper?!