my 2021 year in review via photos

January:

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Snuggles with our baby girl!
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YASSS!! First African American Woman Vice President!!
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Fire in the sky!
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Snowshoeing at sunset fuels my soul!
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It’s snow joke that our family LOVES snow therapy!
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This is the life!
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Our version of The Beatles cover photo of Abbey Road.

February:

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The sky was on fire as the sun was setting!
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Friday happy hour swims where we play games are the best way to celebrate the end of another work week! 💙💛
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After being cooped up for a week because of the bitterly cold temps, I’m grateful it finally warmed up enough to get some fresh air (some even with friends) today!
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It’s all about the attitude! Today I had an #attitudeofgratitude for the *heatwave*, fresh air, sunshine, playtime, and sMILES together!
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We HAD to get out and play in the snow covered woods today. It was such a GORGEOUS winter’s day! Fresh air + sunshine + family + play + snow = #happyheart
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I am stoked to continue to represent Coeur Sports in 2021 by being part of the inaugural Alumni team! Need some questions answered?! I’m your girl! Need some cheers or encouragement?! I’m your girl! Need some support?! I’m your girl! Need some motivation or inspiration?! I’m your girl! Need some race day high fives or hugs?! I’m your girl! 🤞🏻🤞🏻🤞🏻 Let’s empower and lift each other!
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DECIDE! Decide to be EXCITED! Decide to be EXCITED to show up! Decide to be EXCITED to own your power! Decide to be EXCITED to be your best! Decide to be EXCITED to push your limits! Decide to be EXCITED to chase your dreams! • I struggled most of the day mentally with my bike workout after work. I was coming up with every excuse in the book, but they were all just fuel for the fear monger holding my brain captive. I was fearful that I wouldn’t successfully complete the workout because my legs (and let’s be honest my brain also) were tired from the last few days of challenging workouts. I DECIDED to change the energy from fear to excitement. Who cares if I don’t successfully complete this workout?! I’m EXCITED that I get to show up for myself! I’m EXCITED that I get to push my limits! I’m EXCITED that I get to chase my dreams! You have the power to show up living in fear or full of EXCITEMENT. Which are you choosing?! 💙💛
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Active recovery is a key to success!

March:

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Getting snuggles while reading makes my heart SO happy!
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Grateful for: *shorts + tank top weather for running (55F) *sunshine + soaking up vitamin D *fresh air *endorphins *longest run in 2021 *having my girls to run with (9.6 miles with Jersey and 3.5 miles with Basil) *a strong body + mind *GETTING to doing what I LOVE! 💙💛
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Jersey turned 2 on March 5! We are SO grateful to have her as a part of our family!
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Sunshine + fresh air + endorphins + family time + warm temps in March in Iowa = #happyheart 💙💛
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Celebrating another trip around the sun during a global pandemic means sushi to go!
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Be flexible in the process, but committed to your goals. 💙💛
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I’ve been a fish out of water for over a week due to a strained shoulder, but thankfully my shoulder is back to feeling 100% and it felt amazing to be back in my happy place!
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Pinch me! I got to race IN REAL LIFE Sunday! And cross an actual finish line! 💙💛 Photo Credit: Iron Hippie
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Two peas in a pod! Love these two baby girls so much!
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This is how we recover…sleep + Normatec Recovery boots = WIN!!

April:

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DECIDE…Decide to be brave enough to believe in you, your abilities, your goals, your dreams! Own that belief and wear it proudly! If an oyster can turn sand into pearls you can turn negativity into optimism, skepticism into confidence, doubt into belief. Decide to let the magic happen by being brave enough to change your mindset to believe in yourself, commit to your goals, and focus on your dreams.
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It was a GORGEOUS day to cover 50+ miles outside on two wheels! 💙💛 • When you get ready to head out on two wheels and your speed, cadence, and power sensors don’t work (after trying two new batteries in each), do you ride without metrics or fret about the missing metrics and scrap the ride to problem solve why they aren’t working?! I chose to ride without metrics and worry about problem solving tomorrow. And. It. Was. AMAZING! 🥳 #itcouldhappenonraceday
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Grateful to get to do yoga outside on such a beautiful day! Thanks to Jersey for “helping” me!
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Recovering in my Normatec Recovery boots and getting all of the snuggles is pure joy!
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Squeee!! I GOT to cross a start line and a finish line of an IRL race!!
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Spring is here!
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#happyheart
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When you refuse to believe anything can stop you from achieving your dreams, you give your dreams wings. Spread your wings and soar! 💙💛🦋
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Friday was a perfect 10 to ride all the miles! We don’t get many days like this, so we HAD to take advantage of it and get out on the open roads. 87 miles later… #happyheart 💙💛

May:

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I got to see and hug my nieces after my race! Thank you science! #getyourfauciouchie

 

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Love these two! I sure have missed them! #getyourfauciouchie

 

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This was a spicy hot finish line, but I’m so grateful to have gotten the opportunity to cross it! Photo Credit: The Iron Hippie

 

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Recovery days with time on the water fill my heart and soul with joy! 💙💛

 

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Thank you Jersey and Normatec Recovery for the snuggles and squeezes. 💙💛

 

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The 🔥 in the sky this morning was 😍! I definitely prefer sunrises over sunsets…Jersey is learning to love them too!

 

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SURPRISE! There was just enough time before the storms came to roll down the open roads on two wheels and fill the happiness tank! 💙💛⚡️

 

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Today was my longest swim since February 2020. The goal for the main set was to swim at CSS (critical swim speed) for all 4200 yards. What actually happened…I swam 2 sec/100 yards FASTER than my CSS for all 4200 yards. 🥳 #LFG ⚡️

 

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Swimming…for now.

 

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Getting to race again and squeeze into the Roka wetsuit…oh how I’ve missed doing the neoprene shimmy!

 

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1st place AG with a bike split PR + run split PR for the Oly distance! #LFG ⚡️

 

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Thank you to those who gave the ultimate sacrifice for our freedom.

June:

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This little girl loves the water as much as I do!

 

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SO MUCH JOY for racing again and pushing my limits!

 

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I raced with a focus on fun + gratitude at the Pigman Olympic Distance Triathlon on Sunday and as a result I got to kiss a pig (my 2nd place AG award was a piggy bank).

 

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The heat was cranked up this afternoon, so @coeursports fire in the sky was a fitting choice to help acclimate to this heat! 🔥

 

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Gratitude overload for the peace the water brings me!

 

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Kyle with Kyle’s bikes gave Mojo his pre-race blessing!

 

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Meeting up with friends before Ironman 70.3 Des Moines was SO fun!

 

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I GOT the privilege of racing and stepping onto that red carpet for the first time in 23 months!

 

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Pure joy!

 

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Who’s ready to race?! We are ready to get this party started! Photo credit: Dave Mable

July:

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Saturday’s 71.3 miles on the open roads!

 

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Sunday’s 71.3 miles on the open roads!

 

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“I set goals on purpose and with purpose.” ⚡️🔥

 

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WUT?! I got a roll down slot to Ironman 70.3 World Championships! #soexcited

 

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Seize the opportunity! • So grateful for nearly 3 peaceful miles of #swimlove at home home in Okoboji.

 

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Some family miles by the lake in Okoboji before heading back home. 💙💛

 

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Thank you Vanessa for these beauties!

 

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My cup runneth over! So many hugs from my Coeur Sports sisters on race weekend!

 

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How can one grieve something they never had?! I grieved the race I trained for. Grieved the anticipation of the joy I wanted to feel crossing that finish line knowing I put it all out there. Grieved the anticipation of what could have been a different outcome. • It’s ok to take time to feel the emotions. How you feel is yours and no one has the right to tell you how to feel, what to feel, or how long to feel it. “Grief is real because loss is real. Grief is the healing process that ultimately brings us comfort in our pain.” ~Elisabeth Kubler-Ross • What better way to heal from the pain of this loss than to hop back on the saddle and prepare for Ironman 70.3 World Championships! ⚡️ #LFG

 

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Whew! Glad that’s over! Photo credit: FinisherPix

 

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Early morning paddle before work is a great way to start the day!

August:

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So grateful I got to spend some time with my Coeur Sports sister, Courtney, while she and her husband were visiting from DC!

 

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GETTING to break the tape as I take 1st overall female! ⚡️⚡️⚡️

 

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Getting to squeeze and race with my Coeur Sports sistas!

 

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So much heart and courage running into that 2nd place overall female finish at Bluff Creek Triathlon! Photo credit: Dave Mable

 

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These are my peeps! Love them all so much!

 

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Rough waters make for stronger merpeople! 5K swim Sunday morning in choppy waters. ⚡️⚡️⚡️

 

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Turn your fears into new adventures and uncertainty into curiosity. Be open to creating the story of your goals and dreams. ⚡️ • Change can be scary, but it can also be exciting. Feel all the feelings and then direct your thoughts towards the feelings that serve you! ⚡️

 

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So excited to have these two live a few miles away from us!

September:

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Happy belated birthday to one of our favorite people! So glad we got to celebrate you, Marjorie! Oh…and thanks for making your own cake. 🤪

 

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Grateful that I can find a way to knockout a 16 mile run amongst the chaos. Thanks to the Iron Hippie for his support in all of this!

 

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Teaching these two how to ride the city bus!

 

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Dig in and go for it today because you have no idea what tomorrow will bring you! ⚡️⚡️⚡️ #LFG

 

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“As you have bigger goals, you have to be willing to expand on your belief for the next future version. Be clear about who you are, what you want to be, who the future you is. How does that future person act, think, feel?! PRACTICE that over and over and over!” ~ Vanessa Faye Foerster • Grateful for more miles to PRACTICE how my future self acts, thinks, and feels on race day! ⚡️⚡️⚡️#LFG #fun #gratitude #joy

 

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Challenge yourself! The more fires you experience, the more fireproof you become! 🔥

 

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So many shenanigans with my fav on the IMWI bike course.

 

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“Life isn’t about finding yourself. Life is about creating yourself.” ~George Bernard Shaw • Creating calm, peace, gratitude, and joy along Lake Mendota this morning with my fav before the excitement and whirlwind of volunteering/spectating at IMWI.

 

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Meeting up with my Coeur Sports sisters!

 

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Today is bitter sweet as it marks the end of a chapter. It is time to pass the Captain badge off to the next amazing Women’s Change Tent Captain. 🐮 ❤️

 

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Look at that! My name is on the Ironman 70.3 World Championships banner!

 

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Beet, kale, feta pizza from Farmstead…YES PLEASE!

 

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So grateful to be in the land of endurance!

 

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Thanks Dad for coming out to St. George support me!

 

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Just a few of my Coeur Sports sisters who arrived early.

 

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Ironman 70.3 World stage with some of the best athletes in the world. This race challenged me in SO many ways forcing me to “rise to it!” I am beginning to learn that I am strongest when given the most challenging circumstances…hello IMLou 2018 AND I preform my best when I remove internal pressure + expectations while focusing on the present moment. What doesn’t kill you makes you stronger! I am beyond grateful that my body + mind showed up to play at the Ironman 70.3 World Championships! 📸 Finisher Pix

 

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Ironman 70.3 World Championship gave us a race to remember! Who’s ready to do it again?! 🤪 #medalmonday

 

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Hiking over 8 miles in Zion National Park with my fav the day after racing.

 

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Swimming at Glenwood Springs, Colorado in the hot springs pool was the perfect break in our travels. 1200 yards in 1,078,000 gallons of 91F water at 5761 feet elevation.

October:

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So grateful to get to support our niece, Isabella, at her cross country meet.

 

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So grateful to get to support our niece, Laylah, at her volleyball game.

 

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Celebrating because my 8 mile pm run averaged 34 seconds per mile faster than my 7 mile am run. #LFG

 

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Living my best life! • The end 💙💛

 

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Not all workouts go according to plan. Sometimes the legs stop turning over and no amount of mental “pushing” can change it…so sleep + snuggles while still sweaty will make the legs stronger for tomorrow. 💙💛

 

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I GET to challenge myself and push my limits as I enter into peak training! Enjoying the process and excited to see what I can do on race day! #LFG ⚡️⚡️⚡️

 

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Doing my civic duty by voting for city council + school board at a satellite site.

 

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I have been at a loss for words on how to accurately describe how grateful I am to represent Coeur Sports for year 8 in 2022. This is more than a team. It’s a family! 🥰

 

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#SundayFunday included a farm ninja obstacle course, zip lines, hay rides, a corn maze, and quality time with some of my favorite peeps! 💙💛

 

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100 miles…take 2 • Kecia = 1, Mother Nature = 0 • Decide…I decided 100+ miles on the bike (+ 1 hour run off the bike) was going to be MUCH better today! I was determined to keep a positive attitude, be gritty, and to persevere! I wasn’t going to let Mother Nature win. She tried to push me around a bit (hello wind), but I won this round! • I GET to do this! So much gratitude for the strength of my body + mind, the support from my #1, my safety on the open roads, the beautiful fall day, and the gorgeous fall foliage. • #IronmanArizona is 4 weeks from tomorrow! #LFG ⚡️⚡️⚡️

 

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S O M U C H J O Y!!! 💛 • In the last 6 days I’ve covered 276 miles of swim/bike/run love with multiple workouts that have challenged me in ways I’ve never been challenged before. Feeling strong and confident in those final miles of this morning’s 20 mile run on exhausted legs was such an amazingly awesome feeling! I’m honestly at a loss for words to accurately describe the joy I felt. I’ve been cultivating joy in the process and visualizing myself with that same joy at #IronmanArizona in 25 days! This girl is so excited to test her mental and physical endurance + fitness on race day! #LFG ⚡️⚡️⚡️

 

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110+ miles is a long time to be in your own head. Good thing I know the words to a lot of songs or make up my own words and can sing at the top of my lungs because Mother Nature doesn’t care what I sound like! 🤣🤪 • Seriously though…looking forward to feeling as good (or better) on race day as I did today for my last big brick workout. ⚡️⚡️⚡️ • #IronmanArizona is 22 days away! #LFG ⚡️⚡️⚡️

 

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Get in my belly! This was the perfect way to cap off my last big brick workout!

November:

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Turn up the volume! It was race day! ⚡️⚡️⚡️ • This was my 4th time running the @hillbillyhike 1/2 marathon and I beat my previous course PR by almost 7 minutes! Say WUT?! Racing with joy + gratitude is definitely the way to race! • #IronmanArizona is in 15 days! #LFG ⚡️⚡️⚡️

 

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You have very little control over where a smooth golf ball travels. Dimpled and dented golf balls travel farther and straighter than smooth golf balls. The dimples and dents are more aerodynamic, creating less drag and more lift. • Challenges give us dimples and dents, allowing us to travel farther and straighter in future storms. So when given the opportunity to be smooth or dimpled and dented, always choose the dimples and dents! • It was windy AF today, but I couldn’t resist riding outside in shorts and a short sleeved jersey when the temps were in the mid 60s in November in Iowa. The challenge the wind provided was just what I needed to add more dimples and dents so I can travel better on race day! #thisismykindofchallenge • 14 days to #IronmanArizona #LFG ⚡️⚡️⚡️

 

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Thank you Kyle, with Kyle’s Bikes, for blessing Mojo before the big dance!

 

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Determination, adaptability, commitment, resilience, fortitude, perseverance, self belief… • This is what it took to get through my last big swim before race day. About half way through, the fire alarm went off and we had to evacuate the building. I stood outside in my wet swimsuit, towel, swim cap, flip flops, and a sweatshirt in 45F temps with 40 mph winds waiting to jump back in the pool to finish my workout. Thankfully I didn’t have to wait too long! • Oh…and the workout…let’s just say I’m ready for #IronmanArizona in 10 days! #LFG ⚡️⚡️⚡️

 

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Oh yeah! Soaking up all the recovery and snuggles before we leave for Arizona. 🐶🥰

 

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Visiting the National Petrified Forest was so cool!

 

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This sunrise run in Holbrook, Arizona at ~5000 feet was STUNNING!

 

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Standing on the corner in Winslow, Arizona!

 

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Getting to swim at ~7000 feet in Flagstaff, Arizona was AMAZING!

 

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We arrived in Tempe, Arizona

 

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R E A D Y to create an experience I’ve never had on Sunday! • 3 days to #IronmanArizona #LFG ⚡️⚡️⚡️

 

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Coeur Sports meet up! Meeting new friends is always fun!

 

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This AMAZING human has always been a light that shines bright! I’m so blessed and grateful that she made time in her busy day to be my personal tour guide in Tempe Friday morning!

 

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I got one of the absolute BEST surprises today! My dear friend Erika Olson Myers flew down to surprise me and support me at #IronmanArizona tomorrow. I’m so blessed and grateful to have the best people in my life! Thank you to Tim Fencl for helping coordinate this wonderful surprise! 🥰 • 1 day to #IronmanArizona #LFG ⚡️⚡️⚡️

 

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I was R E A D Y! I was R E A D Y to toe the start line. I was R E A D Y to challenge myself. I was R E A D Y to put it all together and create a performance I had never had before. And that is E X A C T L Y what I did! I created an experience I’ve never had and it was A M A Z I N G! I had an overall PR of 52 minutes, finishing in 12:44:56. #LFG ⚡️⚡️⚡️ • I’m grateful for the privilege to race, for the privilege to challenge myself in new ways, for the privilege to run down another red carpet, and for the privilege to cross another finish line! ⚡️ 📸 credit: Finisher Pix

 

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Recovery is on point with cribbage and Normatec recovery boots.

 

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“All aboard” in Santa Fe, NM

 

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Hiking in Red Rocks, CO with family on Thanksgiving morning!

 

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Red Rocks with my #1 + snow = 😍

 

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Thanksgiving meal in CO with family.

 

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Puzzling with family on Thanksgiving.

 

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The rising sun was so beautiful as we departed Colorado.

 

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Coming home to all the snuggles. 😍

 

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I’m boosted! #getvaccinated (not up for debate…I’ll delete your comments)

 

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My snuggle bug!

December:

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Going to a swim meet to support our niece…love having them live close to us!
Cheering on Laylah at a 7th grade basketball game (warm up pic) was a highlight!
2 weeks can drag on forever or go by in the blink of an eye.

2 weeks ago today I crossed the #IronmanArizona finish line. In the last 13 days I have done zero swimming, zero biking, and zero running. While I know it was good for me to take a break from what I love to allow for proper recovery, the last two weeks have felt like an eternity.
So grateful to have my favorites join me on my first run since #IronmanArizona!
Getting to spend time with Isabella running and playing makes my heart happy!
The girls found and caught a field mouse on our adventure and they were so happy about it! 💙💛
Not nearly enough snow fell here for our liking, but we got out and played in it before it’s all gone!
Thank you to Michelle K for my Secret Santa gift! LOVE it all!
Staying safe during a tornado warning and comforting all the girls.
So grateful to have our niece join us to meet Tim’s parents for lunch on Saturday.
Even when the run feels tough, it’s always fun to watch the joy these two have while running! #basillovesrunning #jerserylovesrunning
Fri-yay happy hour roll the dice swim was a great way to end the week and ease back into training after nearly 4 weeks off post #IronmanArizona ⚡️
Running into vacation with my favs! 💙💛
It is SO important to not only do the work, but also PLAY! Oh…and have you ever tried to coordinate a handstand with 5 people before?! That was work in its own way! 🤣
Xmas Day lunch on the road in Kansas.
The family visiting the Inner Space Cavern in Austin, Texas.
My fav and I in the Inner Space Cavern in Austin, Texas.
We got to swim outside…in December, which is something we are definitely NOT use to. Oh…we are also not use to swimming in a pool that is 33 1/3 yards long, so our 3000 yard swim quickly turned into 4000 yards. We thought we were swimming in a 25 yard pool despite the much slower paces than normal. 🤪
Hope…hope for a brighter tomorrow. Hope for acceptance of differences. Hope for true equality. Hope for unity. Hope for change.

We can hope all we want, but change comes with action. Let’s all have courage, be kind, and decide to create the change we want to see in the world. We have the power to create a brighter, bolder, better future. #bringon2022
We had a blast escaping from 4th grade! #escaperoom
So grateful I got to send 2021 out with family! This was the first time we’ve all been together since 2018. ❤️
So blessed to have these amazing ladies in our lives! ❤️
Love this goofy crew so much! ❤️
Getting snuggles with two of our little ladies to bring in the New Year! ❤️
I’m so damn proud of what I created in 2021 and looking forward to creating more awesomeness in 2022! ⚡️

the best of 2021

I love looking back and thinking about all of the amazing things that I’ve accomplished and all of the challenges I’ve overcome! I’ve reflected for the last 8 years and now it’s time to reflect on 2021! You can look back at my previous posts if you’d like: the Best of 2013, the Best of 2014, the Best of 2015, the Best of 2016, the Best of 2017, the Best of 2018, the Best of 2019, and the Best of 2020. Now its time to reminisce my favs from 2021! 🙂

Best race experience?

The Ironman 70.3 World Championship isn’t the “best race experience” because it was easy and everything went according to plan on race day (wait…does that ever happen?!). Nope! It was the “best race experience” because it challenged me in ways I’ve NEVER been challenged before. The challenging terrain + Mother Nature’s crazy attitude forced us to “rise to it” on race day like I’ve never had to do before. It was definitely a race to remember! If you missed the recap of this epic race, this is one you definitely want to catch up on! Here is the link. Sit back and enjoy what can only be described as crazy! ***Secretly I want to do it all again with the same conditions, on the same course. 🤪

📸 Finisher Pix

Best race performance?

I was  R E A D Y  for Ironman Arizona! I was  R E A D Y  to toe the start line. I was  R E A D Y  to challenge myself. I was  R E A D Y  to put it all together and create a performance I had never had before. And that is
E X A C T L Y  what I did! I created an experience I’ve never had and it was  A M A Z I N G! I had an overall PR of 52 minutes, finishing in 12:44:56. #LFG
⚡️⚡️⚡️

Sure, this was my best Ironman performance physically, but it was also my best Ironman performance from my mental endurance performance and that is what I’m the most damn proud of! ⚡️⚡️⚡️

I was SO DAMN PROUD to have created a shiny new PR by 52 minutes! ⚡️

I’m grateful for the privilege to race, for the privilege to challenge myself in new ways, for the privilege to run down another red carpet, and for the privilege to cross another finish line! ⚡️⚡️⚡️

Best run?

The Drake 1/2 Marathon was one where I completely pushed myself out of my comfort zone and RACED! I had no idea if this would be my last race of the year (hello Covid) and I was not going to leave anything out on the course just in case things went backwards. Crossing that finish line brought tears to my eyes! Full race recap here.

Squeee!! I GOT to cross a start line and a finish line of an IRL race!!

Best bike?

I had a lot of great bike rides this year, but the ones that speak to me as being the “best” from 2021 were the last two century+ bike rides that I did in preparation for IMAZ. The temps had dropped, the winds were high, and I had to bundle up in all of the gear to stay warm. I almost took these rides to the trainer, but I’m SO glad I opted to ride outside instead. These rides gave me a great mental boost (as well as physical boost) going into Ironman Arizona!


Decide…I decided 100+ miles on the bike (+ 1 hour run off the bike) was going to be AMAZING! I was determined to keep a positive attitude, be gritty, and to persevere! I wasn’t going to let Mother Nature win. She tried to push me around a bit (hello wind), but I won this round!

I GET to do this! So much gratitude for the strength of my body + mind, the support from my #1, my safety on the open roads, the beautiful fall day, and the gorgeous fall foliage.

Best swim?

We FINALLY made it home home to visit my parents last summer (it had been nearly 2 years since we were last home…hello Covid). Thank you vaccines! When we were home, Dad drove the boat beside us (on more than one occasion) so we could swim a 5K in West Okoboji Lake. Getting to swim in the open water, see the bottom of the lake while swimming (because the water is so clear), and having my #1 beside me was amazing! Having Dad’s support was icing on the cake!

Seize the opportunity!

Best finish line?

Twin Lakes Sprint Triathlon when I took the overall female win! I never imagined myself breaking the tape at any race. I’m sooo thrilled to have had such an awesome experience! Here is the link for my race recap.

GETTING to break the tape as I take 1st overall female! ⚡️⚡️⚡️

Best surprise?

Getting a roll down slot to Ironman 70.3 World Championships in St. George, Utah was the best surprise of the year! I was shocked when I got the email that I had earned a roll down slot from racing Ironman 70.3 Des Moines. I had a great race in Des Moines in spite of the nearly 3 hour weather delay + shortened bike, but my performance didn’t put me in the top 14 in my age group (which is how many slots were awarded), so I didn’t expect to get a slot. Thankfully some ladies who were faster than me had either already qualified at a different race or didn’t want to go to Worlds, so I got a slot and it was quite the epic adventure!

WUT?! I got a roll down slot to Ironman 70.3 World Championships! #soexcited

Best mental endurance compass?

I had the AMAZING opportunity and pleasure to work with Vanessa Faye Foerster for 24 weeks this year. She teaches athletes how to build mental endurance by “dropping the self doubt + fueling the self confidence.” The journey she helped me create this year was challenging, enlightening, fun, and worth every penny! What I have learned has not only boosted my racing performance, but it has also elevated my personal life. I am so grateful for her guidance to push me out of my comfort zone to level up into the zone where I cultivate the life I want to live. #LFG ⚡️

This amazing, beautiful human helped me transform my self belief from superficial belief to belief down to my core. ⚡️ THANK YOU VANESSA! ❤️

Best enCOEURaging moment?

The Ames Triathlon was back in action this year after a year off (thank you Covid). What a great race! It is so fun to see people achieve their goals and do things they once thought were impossible. If you want to experience the Ames Triathlon for yourself, come to Ames in June 2022! You won’t be disappointed!

Who’s ready to race?! We are ready to get this party started! Photo credit: Dave Mable

Best new gear?

The Coeur Sports Wind Vest has been AMAZING for getting outside and riding on those chilly fall days! Signing up for an Ironman that took place in November meant I had to bundle up to get my 100 mile rides done outside…because let’s be honest…riding 100 miles in the basement is definitely not as much fun as riding outside!

110+ miles is a long time to be in your own head. Good thing I know the words to a lot of songs or make up my own words and can sing at the top of my lungs because Mother Nature doesn’t care what I sound like! 🤣🤪

Seriously though…this wind vest is AMAZING! It kept me warm while allowing me to carry all the nutrition, and has reflective strips on it for better visibility.

Best way to stay healthy?

Get vaccinated! The end (no comments on this necessary…I will delete them).

I’m boosted! #getvaccinated (not up for debate…I’ll delete your comments)

Best piece of racing advice you received?

“Be calm; focus on what you are going to do. Don’t get distracted, don’t get overwhelmed, take it all as it comes. You are ready for this; you’ve prepared for years. This is it, your time to shine. Go forth with all your powers. Go forth with everything in you. Make it work.”

~Lynne Cox in her book “Swimming to Antarctica”

Most inspirational athlete?

Chris Nikic crossed the Ironman Florida finish line in November of 2020 becoming the first person with Down Syndrome to become an Ironman. He believes you can achieve more by creating a habit to get 1% better than you were yesterday. He has since crossed the finish line of the Boston Marathon and the New York City Marathon. He is gearing up for the Ironman World Championships in Kona in 2022, so let’s all cheer him on!

Best support crew?

I am so damn lucky to have the amazing support of my #1! He has supported me not only on race day(s), but day in and day out throughout my entire journey. I am forever grateful to have him on this journey with me. ❤️ you!

My #1! SO grateful for you! ❤️ you!

If you could sum up your year in a couple of words, what would they be?

PROUD + gratitude + fun + joy

Tell me about your 2021 year!! What are your “bests” from 2021?!

2021 week 45: taper time

I’m a bit behind in posting. Last week was my first official week of the taper. It was great to back off the training, get everything packed for our trip to Arizona, and have more time for prioritizing recovery. There were a few bumps along the way last week, but these were great bumps to overcome in preparation for race day!

Quote of the week:

“I am not afraid of storms, for I am learning how to sail my ship.”

~Louisa May Alcott

Swim: 10,200 yards

Sometimes you have to be determined to persevere NO MATTER WHAT!

Determination, adaptability, commitment, resilience, fortitude, perseverance, self belief…

This is what it took to get through my last big swim before race day. About half way through, the fire alarm went off and we had to evacuate the building. I stood outside in my wet swimsuit, towel, swim cap, flip flops, and a sweatshirt in 45F temps with 40 mph winds waiting to jump back in the pool to finish my workout. Thankfully I didn’t have to wait too long!

Oh…and the workout…let’s just say I’m ready for #IronmanArizona in 10 days! #LFG ⚡️⚡️⚡️
  • Warm up:
    • 200 swim
    • 100 kick with fins
    • 200 drills
    • 200 pull
  • Main Set:
    • Each set of intervals should get slightly faster as more effort is added:
      • 500 (10 sec rest)
      • 2×400 (15 sec rest)
      • 3×300 (20 sec rest)
      • 4×200 (25 sec rest)
      • 5×100 (30 sec rest)
      • 6×50 on 1:00
      • 8×25 sprints (10 sec rest)
  • Cool Down:
    • 300 any stroke

Bike: 84.3 miles

I had some great bike workouts to keep the legs fresh and ready for race week!

“I am a 1 in 7 billion athlete. My process doesn’t have to look like anyone else’s.” And it doesn’t!

My process appears to be “just right” as #IronmanArizona is in 8 days and I’m feeling GOOOOD! #LFG ⚡️⚡️⚡️

Run: 12.3 miles

Just the right amount to feel AMAZING and READY for race week!

“Life isn’t about finding yourself. Life is about creating yourself.” ~George Bernard Shaw

I have been working on moving away from who I think I’m supposed to be and instead creating who I WANT to be and it is magical! Own your power! Be bold! Be courageously, authentically, unapologetically YOU!

11 days to #IronmanArizona #LFG ⚡️⚡️⚡️

Strength Training: 15 minutes of core strength daily

Weekly Totals: 11 hours & 57 minutes
30 minutes of full body strength training
30 minutes of yoga

Attitude of Gratitude:

Getting to swim, bike, and run in the same day is such a blessing!
Thank you Kyle, with Kyle’s Bikes, for blessing Mojo before the big dance!
Jersey LOVES to be wherever I am…even on my yoga mat to “help” me. 🐶🥰
Waiting out the fire alarm with determination to complete the workout!
Thank you Nick, with Vitality Massage, for keeping me healthy and ready to race!
Have I mentioned that Jersey LOVES to be where I am…even if it means “helping” me at work?! 🐶🥰
Oh yeah! Soaking up all the recovery and snuggles before we leave for Arizona. 🐶🥰
Her snuggles are my fav! 🐶🥰

What were your highlights from week 45 of 2021?!

2021 week 25: race week

Last week was race week of a different sort. As race organizers for the Ames Triathlon, we were in the finishing stages last week as we kicked off the race on Sunday morning.

Quote of the week:

“OMG! OMG! It’s race week.”

~ME

Swim: 2953 yards

Saturday morning we got to swim in the 50m pool with my Coeur Sports sister, Sarah, who came to stay with us for the weekend. I love the 50m pool!

  • Warm up:
    • 300 easy swim
    • 4×50 drills
    • 200 swim
    • 100 kick
  • Main Set:
    • 4×100 easy (20 sec rest)
    • 4×100 moderate (20 sec rest)
    • 4×100 fast (20 sec rest)
    • 500 pull
  • Cool Down:
    • 200 any stroke
Playtime with friends in the 50m pool!

Bike: 0 miles

Mojo didn’t get any love last week as all of the last minute race prep took precedence.

Run: 3.01 miles

Wednesday I ran home from work in the heat of the day to continue acclimating to the warmer temps. It was toasty, but I kept the run short and my pace easy + steady.

Heat acclimation run!

SUP: 1.89 miles

Spent some time on the water Tuesday before the storms rolled in. It is so peaceful and calming to be on the water!

Pure joy! 🥰🐶

Strength Training: 15 minutes of core strength daily

Weekly Totals: 3 hours & 57 minutes

Attitude of Gratitude:

Getting the post race tightness/soreness worked out by Nick with Vitality Massage Ames.
This sweet thing loves to ride on my board with me! Thank you Ruffwear for making it so easy for her to get on after she swims! 🥰🐶
This little nugget is the snuggliest thing! Love her SO much! 🥰🐶
More cuddle time with our baby girl! 🥰🐶
Testing out the podium for Sunday! 🥰🐶
Getting transition set so athletes can fill it in just a few minutes!
Who’s ready to race?! We are ready to get the Ames Triathlon party started!
Photo credit: Dave Mable

What were your highlights from week 25 of 2021?

2021 week 24: race week

Last week was race week and it FLEW by!

Quote of the week:

“OMG! OMG! It’s race week.”

~ME

Swim: 7448 yards

Thursday I had a race prep swim!

  • Warm up:
    • 300 easy with fins
    • 10×50 drills
    • 4×50 descending times (increasing effort) (20 sec rest between each)
  • Main Set:
    • 4 times through:
      • 50 Z5 effort (10 sec rest)
      • 150 Z4 effort (30 sec rest)
  • Cool Down:
    • 200 any stroke
Race Prep! #LFG ⚡️

Bike: 82.9 miles

Saturday we got to ride a part of the IM 70.3 Des Moines bike route with Coeur Sports teammates and friends. It was SO MUCH FUN! We definitely need to do more bike meet ups!

Two wheels with friends on roads as smooth as butter…YEEESSSSS PLEASE!!!

Run: 21.4 miles

Friday morning I GOT to run with Robin! Thanks to Covid, it has been far too long since we were last able to run together! So grateful for her and our runs together!

Running with friends is ALWAYS best!

Strength Training: 15 minutes of core strength daily
2×30 minutes of yoga

Weekly Totals: 13 hours & 19 minutes

Attitude of Gratitude:

Always ready…just incase! 🥰
So grateful for all of the snuggles this little sweet pea dishes out! 🥰
Mojo is getting all shiny for race day!
Kyle with Kyle’s Bikes gave Mojo his pre-race blessing!
Getting my pre-race Normatec Recovery squeeze on and snuggles!
Meeting up with Coeur Sports sisters is always a race weekend highlight!
Mojo got to hang out with all of her friends in transition!
I GOT the privilege of racing and stepping onto that red carpet for the first time in 23 months!

What were your highlights from week 24 of 2021?!

2021 week 10: decide

When you decide to twist the negative into a positive, magic happens! Last week I made the decision in multiple areas to change the negative dialogue in my head into a positive script and it transformed each and every situation into a successful, more joyful, more magical experience.

Quote of the week:

“Our power is in our ability to decide.”

~R. Buckminster Fuller

Swim: 3000 yards

Speaking of deciding to change the negative narrative into a positive script…Tuesday morning I had 100s to failure (or 20x100s HARD…whichever comes first) on the schedule. I have no idea why I let this workout spiral me mentally into a negative narrative before I even start swimming, but I manage to EVERY STINKING TIME it shows up on my schedule. And ya know what?! I am self coached. I put that workout on my schedule. I do this to myself! 🤣 Thankfully during my warm up, I changed my negative narrative and decided to write an optimistic script instead. I decided to be brave enough to show up! I decided to be brave enough to focus on the interval I was in. I decided to be brave enough to keep pushing myself HARD each and every interval. I decided to be brave enough to push myself out of my comfort zone and see just how far I could take myself.

The average of my first 5x100s was 1:38/100 yards. This meant I had to keep my 100s to failure at a sub 1:41/100 yard pace. UGH! When you feel like an anchor in the water, achieving these paces seems impossible, but as Ironman says, “Anything is Possible” so I kept showing up, focusing on my form, deciding to be brave, and pushing myself with each and every interval. I ended up successfully swimming a total of 20x100s HARD at a paces ranging from 1:35.6 to 1:40.7/100 yards. 🥳

  • Warm up:
    • 300 swim
    • 200 pull
    • 100 kick
    • 100 easy
  • Main Set:
    • Swim 5x100s HARD (20 seconds rest between) and average these times.
    • Swim as many 100s HARD as possible. The pace should be less than +3 seconds from the average of the first 5x100s (20 seconds rest). You are done when you fail 2x100s in a row or successfully achieve 20x100s (total…including the first 5x100s HARD), whichever comes first.
  • Cool Down:
    • 200 any stroke
We are capable of SO much more than we think! Decide to be brave enough to show up! Decide to be brave enough to push yourself out of your comfort zone! Decide to change the negative narrative! Decide to let the magic happen! 💙💛

Bike: 114 miles

Remember a week ago when my aero bar snapped off my bike during my trainer ride…well, I took Mojo to the BEST bike hospital around on Monday (Kyle’s Bikes). Kyle had her for the first half of the week so he could do some surgery on her, but I got her back just in time to spend some quality time together for my birthday weekend! She was SO HAPPY to be fixed up and in working order! THANK YOU KYLE for working your magic on her! You’re da bomb diggity!

Saturday I had a 3 hour ride structured as 3x(20 min Z1, 20 min Z2, 20 min Z3) + a 5K run off the bike. The week before I struggled with this bike workout so on Saturday I decided to try again. Not only did I successfully complete the bike workout on Saturday, but the #5KO run off the bike was a FUN way to celebrate a life lost way too soon.

Decide to be brave enough to keep showing up! Decide to be brave enough to step out of your comfort zone! Decide to be brave enough to try again! DECIDE! 💙💛

Run: 22.9 miles

Monday I had a 50 minute run with 4×4 minutes FAST intervals (scripted at 8.0 mph or 7:30/mile pace) and let me tell ya, I had a LOT of doubt and SO many excuses for wanting to change my 4×4 min FAST run to an easy paced run. BUT I decided to be brave enough to show up. I decided to be brave enough to give myself a chance! I decided to do the workout as written, push my limits, and see what I had in me. And ya know what?! I had SO much more in me than I thought I did. I successfully completed this workout on tired + sore legs. It felt good to actually feel like I had more in the tank to give!

DECIDE! Decide to be brave enough to show up! Decide to be brave enough to give yourself a chance because you may just have SO much more in you than you thought you did! 💙💛

Snowshoe: 0 miles

Yep! In looking at the extended forecast, those days are officially over for the season. With the ice off the lakes, it’s time for the water to warm up so I can take the SUP out!

Strength Training: 15 minutes of core strength daily
30 minute full body workout

Weekly Totals: 12 hours & 42 minutes

Attitude of Gratitude:

We had a couple of really nice days to start the week. I was grateful to get out in the fresh air + sunshine to recharge the batteries by walking around campus for a little bit on Tuesday.
My gut has been pulling me in this direction for months. I DECIDED to listen to it. Appointment is scheduled for Monday, March 22. 💙💛
Sunshine + fresh air + endorphins + family time + warm temps in March in Iowa = #happyheart 💙💛
So grateful for all the snuggles with our baby girl! 🥰
Celebrating another trip around the sun during a global pandemic means sushi to go!
Grateful for the opportunity to run #5KO for a life lost way too early!
Getting my squeeze on! So grateful for my Normatec recovery boots!

What were your highlights from week 10 of 2021?! Where in your life do you decide to bravely show up?!

my 2020 year in review via photos

January:

2 sliver medals for our household at the Incydeman Triathlon!

Running away from the judgement and toward living my best life!

Kicking out the previous 198 watt FTP to make room for the new 214 watt FTP.

February:

Finishing 1st in F40-49 and 4th overall female at the Rosy Cheeks 5K.

Lunch, girl talk, and hugs with my Coeur Sports teammates, Jess and Courtney!

The twins had a swim meet! Love seeing these two!

March:

Running in a new town…exploring new places and SHORTS!!

Coeur team gear arrived! For me, 2020 is about courage, confidence, and celebration! Bring it! ***Little did I know what 2020 had in store for us all…

Celebrating my birthday a bit early with one of my favorite food groups…sushi!

So grateful for all of the strong AF, badass women in my life. The ones who lift each other up, support each other in life and sport, encourage each other to live their best life, inspire each other to dream big, and stand beside you through it all! I’m so grateful I got to share some miles with one of those strong AF, badass women today!

Getting to travel with this beautiful lady! #safety first

Grateful for these AMAZING ladies who sang happy birthday to me mid swim in the rain. It really filled my heart!

Having fun running laps in SoCal!

These two beauties are AMAZING!! I’m so grateful for everything Kebby (the founder of Coeur Sports) has done for women in sport (myself included). And Lisa…You my dear are beautiful soul inside and out! Thanks for the laughs (and photo bombing)!!

After work, we adopted our new baby girl…meet Jersey! She is 1 year old and holds keys to all of our hearts.

1.25 recovery miles with Jersey

It warms my heart to watch the dogs play ball!

Grateful I don’t have to social distance from my favorite girl and for the 12 miles of time together!

Do what makes you happy and be kind to others! We are all struggling right now. A happy heart and kindness go a LONG way.

April:

Play time! That slobber says it all…PURE JOY!!

Enjoying sunshine, fresh air, and family time!

“Hey mom, what is that thing?” ~Jersey

Jersey made sure to find a space to snuggle while I was getting my recovery on with my Normatec recovery boots.

We may not be able to connect in person, but we are finding ways to connect virtually. I’m so grateful to have landed beside this STAR when I was shooting for the moon! She shines SO bright and makes my heart happy!

Playing LOTS of cards with my fave as we isolate.

Race day hugs are on hold right now. Until we can hug in person, virtual race day hugs will have to do!

I got to ride outside!! It rained on us a little bit, but I SERIOUSLY LOVED EVERY MINUTE OF IT!!

Did a virtual race since racing isn’t happening right now. I miss racing in real life.

Yay for more outdoor riding with my fave!

May:

Did a virtual 1/2 marathon…since they sent me the medal, I felt I had to run the distance.

As a white female, I do not fear for my safety while running. I have ran many miles at o’dark thirty in the morning. I have ran countless miles by myself. I don’t run with music and am always very aware of my surroundings, but I do not run in fear. Sadly, there are many people who do run in fear for their safety. They face their fear as they head out the door to run because running is something that brings them joy.
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Today we #runwithmaud because we are honoring a man we don’t know. Because hatred should not exist in our world. Because no one should ever be brutally murdered while out running and doing what brings them joy. Because he was a different skin color. Because racial injustice breaks my heart and angers me to the depths of my soul. Because it should not take an outrage on the internet to get action and justice. Because now more than ever we need to come together as HUMAN BEINGS, love each other, and spread kindness!

Playing ball at the cross country course!

Full and grateful heart!
.
I GOT TO run 5 miles with my girls just after sunrise!

Full and grateful heart!
.
I GOT TO spontaneously ride 55 miles with my fav after running today!

After 10 weeks away from the water, it is safe to say I missed it tremendously! The calm, quiet, meditative state the water provides is exactly what my soul needed! I was SO grateful to have the whole pool to just the two of us this morning.

3 keys to my heart!

Today was a near perfect day in Iowa on two wheels…blue skies, sunshine, little wind, open roads, wind turbine farms for miles, fresh air, 85 miles of bike love with my fav…life doesn’t get much better than this!

“Life is a journey. Enjoy the ride.” 60+ more miles with my fav on two wheels and the open roads really filled my soul today.

June:

What a perfect day for 100 miles on 2 wheels! Bluebird skies, gorgeous green foliage, golden glow, and no wind on the open roads/trails…doesn’t get much better than this! #1stcenturyof2020

I love the water! Today’s adventures on the water were the perfect recovery for my body, mind, and soul!

See these smiles?! This is what happens when you ride with friends on the open roads on two wheels! #happyheart + pure joy!

July:

#smilesformiles with some AMAZING peeps today! Love life on two wheels even more when others join the fun!
#2ndcenturyof2020

Oh what a beautiful morning! Oh what a beautiful day!
“How far do you want to ride today?!”
“I don’t know. Let’s see how we feel.”
85 miles later I think it’s safe to say we felt really good!

Lost. I feel SO LOST right now. 2020 has forced me to slow down, step back, look at the big picture, and appreciate all that I had. And ya know what?! I don’t like it! I don’t like it one bit! It has left me feeling SO LOST!
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I f*cking miss racing. I miss IN REAL LIFE RACING. I miss the motivation it provides me to push myself way out of my comfort zone. I miss the long days of swim/bike/run training to prepare for the big dance. I miss traveling to new places. I miss the race morning butterflies. I miss the hugs and high fives. I miss the race week and race day excitement. I miss meeting new people. I miss the spectators. I miss pushing and challenging myself in training so I can do and be my best on race day. I miss the volunteers. I miss the drive and focus. I miss overcoming obstacles. I miss problem solving on the fly. I miss Mother Nature throwing us race day curve balls. I miss the competition. I miss the race day exhilaration. I miss those finish lines. I miss the HUGE sense of accomplishment. I miss overcoming the impossible. I even miss the blisters and chafing…ok, maybe not.
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Sure I get some of these things on occasion while training right now, but NOT like I do when training for a race and on race day. Solo training and virtual racing just don’t fill my cup. I miss IN REAL LIFEE RACING!
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I’m ready for the 2020 dumpster fire to burn out. I’m ready for this lost feeling to make its exit. I’m ready to move forward into 2021 better, smarter, and more ready than ever to race safe, happy, and full of passion. This 2020 break from racing has lit the fire in my soul so big and bright for what is to come in future races! I want it! I can feel it!

A run can change your mood, your day, your life, so the next time you have the opportunity, lace up and head out the door. You won’t regret it!

“Happiness can be found even in the darkest of times, if one only remembers to turn on the light.” ~J.K. Rowling
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I’m so grateful for this amazing light! She has helped make the 2020 darkness so much brighter!

Sometimes you have to let go of all expectations and just play in the rain and splash in the puddles.

August:

Rolling into August with a #happyheart + 100 miles of fun on two wheels with my fav! #3rdcenturyof2020

That family portrait…fun with friends on two wheels!

A weekend with friends on two wheels enjoying life outdoors in Madison was exactly what my heart and soul needed!

Today’s ride had a few detours and route adjustments due to Monday’s Derecho storm, which allowed for opportunities to climb hay bales and play!

Today should have been Ironman #8 at IMMT. We rode 112 miles because…why the hell not?! The scenery in central Iowa looks nothing like Mont Tremblant, but any day on two wheels with my fav is a great day! Hopefully next year we’ll get to head back to MT for beautiful scenery and an epic day of racing! #4thcenturyof2020

Fun Friday fooleries at the poolery! Adding play is SO important and often overlooked. Don’t forget to play and play often!

Morning miles with my girls was glorious!

#sundayfunday was had helping my Collective Beat teammate, Courtney, build confidence on the bike.

#sundayfunday included Jersey taking her maiden voyage on the SUP (we will work on standing when she doesn’t move around on the board so much)!

A tired pup is a good pup!

September:

My heart is full!

Happy 8th birthday Basil!

Grateful for:
-Jersey running 7 miles with me
-cooler temperatures
-longest run in a LONG time
-endurance miles
-smiling the whole way
-SO MUCH JOY

#fridayhappyhourswim is the best way to end the week!

What SUP?! Being on the water makes me happy!!

Truth bomb and lots of vulnerability coming at ya!
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As a child I was sexually abused by our babysitter and have ridden the mental health roller coaster for decades. With the cancellation of all good things in 2020, I have spent more time in the valleys of the mental health roller coaster than up on the peaks. For the last couple of decades, racing has provided me with structure to help me cope with the mental demons. I really miss racing and the structure it provides me.
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I tell you this because September 6 kicked off National Suicide Prevention Week. There is not enough emphasis and support placed on mental health. It’s time to change that! So today I put on a bright Coeur Sports kit, laced up my Newton Kismets, and ran 9.88 miles to raise awareness for mental health.
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In the event of a physical emergency, people know to call 911. Starting in 2022, people can dial 988 in the event of a mental and emotional emergency.988 will automatically connect people to the Suicide Prevention hotline.

100 miles on two wheels with my favorite super hero as the colors start to indicate that fall is well on its way = perfect way to enjoy a day off work. #5thcenturyof2020

I got paid to ride my bike today! I found this $2 bill on my ride. And while it looks like fall has arrived with the changing colors and fields getting harvested, I was grateful for the summer temps!

Do what makes you happy and brings you joy! For me this includes LOTS of time in the saddle. This has been my biggest bike year ever! Cycling puts my mind at ease during discomfort and uncertainty, it provides me with freedom from the chains of my past, and it untames my soul. I’m so happy to be riding through life and today’s 100 miles with my fav by my side! 6thcenturyof2020

Today we spread our wings and flew! The struggle (strong headwind) was definitely worth the reward (20 mph tailwinds pushing us home)! Grateful for 55 miles of freedom on two wheels with my fav!

October:

Running into fall!

It’s #medalmonday! SO grateful to have these two help me run the Drake 1/2 Marathon on Saturday. They definitely earned this medal!

Any day I GET TO ride 100 miles with my fav is a FANTABULOUS day! #7thcenturyof2020

You can find magic wherever you like. All you need is an open road, fresh air, and a bike. Cycling provides me so much freedom and clarity. Riding outdoors this time of year can be such a rarity. So I’m taking advantage of every last beautiful day…To get outside and be on my way!

Just going to LEAF you with photos from our century ride today. #8thcenturyof2020

“Fall reminds us that change is inevitable and necessary for growth. There is beauty in change.” ~Rita Messing

The temps felt like summer, but the colors definitely say fall is here!

November:

Family photos! Love these 3 to pieces! Photo credit: Captured by Heidi

The keys to my heart are all in this pic! Photo credit: Captured by Heidi

Looking forward to 2021 with my Coeur family in a new and special way!

I’m SO glad these two love each other!

This run was full of goodness!
-62*F
-sunshine
-no wind
-bliss
-smiles
-shorts + tank in November
-freedom
-joy
Get out there and enjoy the goodness!

Inhale…exhale…
Run off the crazy…
Trust the process…
Do you…

Jersey is SO good at yoga!

Play! Today we played outside! Today we played in the sunshine! Today we played for 70+ miles of #bikelove with no wind! Today was all play!

Today I am SO GRATEFUL that I GOT TO race for the first time since February. While I was very undertrained for this event, it was my first 1/2 marathon EVER that I ran the ENTIRE thing without taking one walking step. I kept reminding myself that #IGETTO do this and I have no idea when I’ll get to race again, so I was going to push myself even when it became uncomfortable.
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Thank you to the race directors for putting on a SAFE race.
-each athlete had to fill out a Covid survey online 24 hours before racing
-masks were required before and after (I wore mine for the first 4 miles and every time I went through an aid station or if I was by others while running)
-athletes were spread 6 feet apart in the starting “corral” that extended for an eternity
-2 athletes started every 5 seconds to spread athletes out for social distancing
-there was no medal distribution at the finish line (finisher medals were placed in a brown paper bag with a banana, cookie, and granola bar that athletes picked up off of a table)
-spectators were not allowed to congregate at the start/finish area
-I carried my own water for this race so I didn’t have to interact with volunteers at the aid stations
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Bonus safety measure…Mother Nature provided us with 20+ mph winds so there was very little risk of droplets from others.

On #muralmonday (November 9) I got to run in shorts + tank top in Iowa. I’m sure snow will be here before we know it, but for now I’m holding on to this weather for as long as I can!

Running with a grateful heart today! It’s so much easier to run when I focus on gratitude…it feels effortless, I go faster, I smile more, my heart is happy!

Our playground is open! Our playground is open! We love when the golf course closes so we can play all winter!

Progressive miles + lots of heart on this #muralmonday run.
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Progressive miles…do you love them or hate them?! Sometimes I find myself starting out faster than I thought and end up having to push SO hard in that last mile. I’m sure the grimace on my face is UGLY during that last mile! BUT the smile on my face when I’m done knowing I left it all out there and gave my best effort is HUGE!

Snuggles with Jersey while recovering in my Normatec boots is the best! She LOVES the “pillows” that my recovery boots create for her!

The fire in the sky during morning sunrises have been STUNNING lately!

Here’s another gorgeous sunrise!

“When you’re doing what you love to do, you don’t get exhausted. You get exhausted from trying to fulfill everyone else’s ideas and ideals about who you should be. When you do that, you’re not being true to yourself.” ~Oprah
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Do what you love and be true to yourself!

#sundayrunday with 2 of my favorite girls enjoying the sunshine, fresh air, and open playground!

This is me rising up like a phoenix, stepping out of the shadows and soaring into the light…into my greatness! Vulnerability IS strength!

Awww…these two snuggle bugs have two keys to my heart!

Happy Thanksgiving! We took our family turkey trot through campus today with two of our favorite turkeys!
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Why should you never put the turkey next to the dessert?
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Because he will gobble it right up!

Me: (serenading Tim to Brynn Elliott’s song) “Well if you don’t like girls that are stronger than you
And if you don’t like girls who are faster than you
And if you don’t like girls who are smarter than you
Well then you might not like me, you might not like me”
Tim: You’re loca en la cabeza! Keep practicing and you might get better at singing.
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Disclaimer…holding a tune is NOT one of my strengths!

Anytime I get double snuggles with two of my favorite girls, I’ll take it! Love these two to pieces!

“‘Run to win’ isn’t about finishing first, but about getting the best out of yourself.” ~Meb Keflezighi
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Always show up so you can get the best out of yourself! On this bonus vacation day, we braved the cold temps to enjoy the sunshine, fresh air + family time and get the best out of ourselves!

December:

I’m hoping that by November of 2021 we will be in a place where racing is happening again! SOOOO…I signed up to play in the desert!

It is National Believe Week. I believe!
-I believe Black Lives Matter.
-I believe one person CAN make a difference.
-I believe we CAN create change.
-I believe the time is NOW!
-I believe we need to keep educating ourselves.
-I believe we need to keep stepping out of our comfort zones.
-I believe we need to keep showing up for others.
-I believe kindness always wins.
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Do you believe?

This morning’s ride was tough! I missed hitting targets on some intervals, but nailed an interval (on shredded legs) that I missed on Saturday’s ride. Moral of the story…keep showing up! You never know when the breakthrough will come!

Sunshine, fresh air, and endorphins are good for the body, mind, and soul!! Go outside and get you some of your own today!!

“Oh what a beautiful morning…Oh what a beautiful day…”

Today’s choice…let the water wash over me as I continue to strive to get the best out of myself.
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Choices…we all make them everyday. You may not agree with my choices, but you aren’t walking in my shoes. You don’t know all of the pros and cons that are weighed before making the choices and decisions I do. Just because you don’t agree with my choices doesn’t give you the right to shame me, belittle me, guilt me, or say/do hurtful things to try to make me feel small. Kindness, love, encouragement, compassion, empowerment…these all need to be spread like wildfire to support people living BIG!

When I get an opportunity to run commute home from work on a nice winter day, I take it!

Productive Failure…I’d rather try my best and fail, than not try at all. So what if I fall short of my expectations as long as I’ve given my all. This is failing productively. This is where we learn. This is how we get stronger. This is where we grow. This is where we move from the uncomfortable a little closer to the comfortable. This is where the magic happens! Keep failing, but fail productively!

What month is it?! December in Iowa and we’re in shorts + tanks today. Say what?! Don’t worry…snow is supposed to be on the way this weekend!
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Today’s weather had me dreaming about the future. Dream big so you can grown into the best version of yourself. Ignore the people saying your dream is too grandiose, that you can’t accomplish it, that it is unrealistic, or that your dream should be xyz. Don’t listen to them! They don’t know YOU! Dreaming outside your comfort zone requires you to consider all the possibilities and to choose courage over comfort. I choose to dream BIG! I choose to acknowledge my fears and move through them! I choose courage over comfort! I choose to chase my dreams with intention! I choose to grow into my best self! You can too!

How lucky am I?! I got to run outside in December in Iowa in shorts + tank top two days in a row! I have a feeling tomorrow’s view is going to look VERY different.

Walking (aka snowshoeing) in a winter wonderland!!

More winter wonderland adventures!!

4 days ago I was running in shorts + tank top. Today looked and felt a bit different…all the layers, frozen snot, white all around, some slick surfaces…bring on the winter running!

Rollin’, rollin’, rollin’ right past 7000 miles on the bike in 2020! This is by far the most bike mileage I’ve ever had in one year! How many bike miles will I end up with?!?!?!

I reflected on 2020 A LOT today! Sure this year was HARD and NOT AT ALL what I had hoped or planned for, BUT 2020 gave me the OPPORTUNITY to slow down, appreciate all that I have, overcome challenges and GROW in so many ways! 2020 has helped me become an even better version of myself and I bet if you take some time to reflect, you are heading into 2021 a stronger, more resilient, grittier, more courageous, wiser, better version of yourself too!

Giving the courage cave a face lift…making it bright, vibrant, and sunny no matter what the weather is like outside!

Frosty Frolic

I love her and her snuggles!

Some MUCH NEEDED treatment!

“Create your own sunshine!”
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It may be gloomy outside, but it is bright and sunny in our courage cave!

Merry Christmas 2020 style!

Run Santa Run!

Merry Christmas from our pack to yours!

Sushi…mmmmmm

Snuggling under the blanket with Jersey warms my heart!

What are you chasing? Are you chasing the fire deep in your heart and soul? Are you chasing someone else’s dreams because you’re comparing yourself to others? Are you chasing something you feel you SHOULD be chasing, but doesn’t hold a key to your heart?
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If you are chasing anything other than what sets your heart and soul on fire, you are wasting energy. Let go of all of the things that don’t serve you! Don’t let anyone tell you that what’s in your heart and soul isn’t worth chasing, because they are wrong! #doyou

“Gratitude opens the door to the power, the wisdom, and the creativity of the universe. You open the door through gratitude.” ~Deepak Chopra
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So grateful for a strong and healthy body, mind, and soul as we leave 2020 behind.

Most of my everything is right here!

Nature is so beautiful!

A long sunset family snowshoe hike was the perfect adventure to close the door on 2020 and open the door to 2021!

2020 wasn’t all bad! 😉

23 weeks to IMMT

Last week I stepped WAY out of my comfort zone and did something I’ve NEVER done before. I packed Mojo (my bike) into a bike box and flew with her (and a friend) to Coeur Camp in Carlsbad, Cali! I have NEVER flown with my bike before, and it was quite the experience. We met up with some AMAZING women where we hoped to have an amazing weekend of all things swim/bike/run/goat yoga/family/etc., but sadly COVID-19 put an abrupt end to camp Friday morning. Thankfully we got in a good swim workout, run, and learned about race planning.

Monday:

  • Other than my daily core + meditation, I took a rest day. My “Form” in Garmin was -40 and my body was craving rest, so I listened to it.

Tuesday:

  • Other than my daily core + meditation, I took a rest day again today. I had to finish packing so I was ready to travel to Minneapolis tomorrow for camp.

Wednesday:

  • Other than my daily core + mediation, I had another rest day. I knew today would be a rest day due to travel. With the Coronavirus scare, I was a bit nervous about the flights. What if I get to Cali and all flights are cancelled for the return trip?! Road trip home!

Thursday:

  • 2 am CST wake up call to get to the airport for our 5 am flight.
  • When we got to camp, we had a great swim in an outdoor pool in the rain. I found myself swimming paces I haven’t seen in quite a while! Oh…and mid swim workout, the ladies all sang happy birthday to me. Definitely a memory I will never forget.

    Grateful for these AMAZING ladies who sang happy birthday to me mid swim in the rain. It really filled my heart!
  • After doing a quick change, we met up for a 40 minute descending run. The first 10 minutes were an easy warm-up and for the next 30 minutes, we ran a 0.5 mile loop progressively descending with each loop.

    Having fun running laps in SoCal!

Friday:

  • We woke up to a message that camp had been cancelled due to COVID-19, so we scrambled to find flights home. This was another FULL day of traveling.

Saturday:

  • I was SO exhausted today that I did my core work + meditation, tried to unpack some gear (I got the bike unpacked and ready to ride…priorities), took a 3 hour nap, and was back in bed early for a long + good night’s rest.

Sunday:

  • After 11 hours of sleep, I woke up feeling almost like myself. I got everything unpacked and put away, made smoothies for the week, cleaned up the house, and

I completed 15 minutes of core strength and 5 minutes of meditation every day this week…that was about the only exercise I got in this week due to complete craziness, but I’m ready to start this week off strong!

Swim totals: 2700 yards (1.53 miles)
Bike totals: 0 miles
Run totals: 4.5 miles
Weekly total: 3 hours & 7 minutes

This wasn’t the week I had planned for (and hoped for), but I’m healthy. I’m home. I’m ready for the social distancing (which isn’t that much different than my everyday life). I’m doing what I can to help flatten the curve.

Other weekly highlights:

Getting to travel with this beautiful lady! #safetyfirst

I got my bike all put together by myself in Cali (only to have to take it apart and repack it for the return trip)!!

Chlorine kills! Love this beautiful lady so much! #birthdayhugs

These two beauties are AMAZING!! I’m so grateful for everything Kebby (the founder of Coeur Sports) has done for women in sport (myself included). And Lisa…You my dear are beautiful soul inside and out! Thanks for the laughs (and photo bombing)!!

What were the highlights of your week last week?

My 2019 Year in Review via Photos

January:

Podium finish is a great way to start 2019!!

It is SO HARD to swim with a merman on your back!!

I’m so grateful our twin nieces and my sister came to visit for the twin’s swim meet!

I’m so grateful for morning runs with my favorite girl! #basillovesrunning

WOW!! Magnificent sunsets are amazing!!

Running in the snow is SO HARD, but I loved every minute of my 8+ mile run in the sun!!

Basil loves to play in the snow and help shovel!!

Snowshoeing at dusk with my faves!!

I have some of the best people in my village!! Thanks Ruth for the reminder to #explore in all areas of my life this year and always! You’re the best! ❤

February:

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

Carving my glass heart!

The finished product! I think they turned out pretty awesome!

These 3…I love them all!! So grateful for their unconditional love!!

I’m so grateful to be on #tigerteam19!! My Coeur Sports teammates help me to feel empowered, inspired, connected, loved, and full of joy!!

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!!

March:

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

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!! 🙂

I am grateful that the weather is nice enough to rake up all the leaves and play in them with my favorite girl!!

Love you more and SO glad you’re back in the water!!

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

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 I got some run love with Robin! I’ve missed my girl time!

April:

“Growth comes at a point of resistance; we learn by pushing ourselves to the outer reaches of our abilities.” ~Josh Waitzkin

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 to have Basil run by my side and the IronHippie back in the saddle!!

These two…so grateful for their unconditional love!!

Grateful for some girl time with Robin as we pound the pavement!!

14 Ironman finish lines amongst this #swimsquad and more to come in our futures!!

3 cheers for 3 Drake 1/2 marathon finishers!! Grateful to cross another finish line!!

Grateful for freedom on 2 wheels on the open road with my fave!!

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

May:

Chaperoning my last 8th grade dance!!

Morning sunrises are the best way to start the day!!

Playing in the water with my fave!!

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!! 🙂

BOOM!! I think I grew gills and fins!!

I love fresh, homegrown veggies!! So grateful to get our garden planted!!

Grateful for the time and nice weather to finally landscape around the house!!

I love spending time on two wheels outside with my fave at my side!!

Walking into my classroom for the last week of school with kids.

Grateful to have these two amazing ladies show up and attend my triathlon clinic!!

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

So grateful to have had some of the most AMAZING colleagues ever!!

June:

Riding in Minnesota, but the lake to my left is in Iowa. Love this route!

Basil is checking out the Roomba. Each day she gets less and less afraid of it.

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 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!!

So grateful to be starting my new gig in Physics Hall on ISU campus!!

I’m grateful I got to spend a few hours with the Iron Hippie’s family

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!!

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 a great 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…YOU!!

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!!

July:

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.

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 for the first ripe homegrown tomato from our garden before leaving on vacation!

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!

Running along Niagara Falls was a real highlight! It isn’t everyday you get to run along the falls!

Grateful to play tourists for a day! Taking the boat tour and getting up close and personal with the falls was fun!

Grateful to celebrate 9 years of marriage to this wonderful man exploring Niagara Falls!

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.

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!

Mirror Lake is the best place to swim…EVER!! It makes my heart happy!!

So grateful to ride the Ironman Lake Placid bike course with my fave!

So grateful for this amazing Coeur Sports Sunset Strip kit. The colors stand out!

Grateful I got to play lots of cards with my fave!!

Exploring some falls off of the Ironman Lake Placid bike course.

Grateful I get to do life with this guy! Happy 40th to the Iron Hippie!

Having fun running down Main Street Lake Placid

The Ironman Lake Placid Underpants Run Participants