my 2022 year in review via photos

January:

Our snowshoes were calling our names, so we HAD to go play! The girls were happy to oblige, even if the 12 inches of snow was a bit deep to plow through at times. ❄️💙 #snowdogs #snowshoeadventures #snowtherapy
Every few years I get my haircut so I can donate it to Wigs For Kids. 🥰 It is time to donate!
“We’ve trained our humans to give us what we want. Today we told them we wanted to go play in the white stuff and they listened! We are so lucky to have humans that love doing what we do! Thanks mom and dad for taking us on epic adventures so we can play!” 💙 -Basil and Jersey #snowdogs #snowshoe #snowshoeadventures
Excited to be an SBR ambassador again in 2022. If you are looking for great products to remove the chlorine, get your wetsuit on/off easier, reduce/avoid chafing, or keep the goggles from fogging over (even the ski goggles), SBR has something for you! Use KECIAPLACEFENCL at checkout for 20% off!
Getting to play in the snow with our niece and the girls!
Getting my Normatec squeeze on while helping with homework and snuggling.
Supporting our niece at her swim meet!
So grateful to be representing Coeur Sports again in 2022! If you see any of us, know that we are there to help you, hug you, give high fives, encourage you, and support you! 🥰

February:

Ames Triathlon directors meeting + recovery in my Normatec boots = multitasking at its best!
We finally completed our 2000 piece puzzle!
These two peas in a pod have my heart!
Mental health is SO important! You must take care of yourself first so you can be at your best for those you love. Do more of what lights a fire within you to keep your batteries at max capacity! 💙💛 #selfcare
What are you doing today to elevate you tomorrow?!
I am so grateful for the blue skies, sunshine, fresh air, warm ish winter temps, a strong body, a powerful mind, and all the joy during my long run Saturday. 💙💛

March:

It definitely felt like spring in #iowa Wednesday! 💛 So grateful for family, miles, sunshine, warm temps, fresh air, and lots of joy! 💙 Oh, and don’t worry…if you have some jealousy because of our weather it changed and returned to “normal” Thursday. 🤪
Happy 3rd birthday baby girl!
Things feel heavy right now and many are hurting (dehumanizing trans laws, the invasion of Ukraine, mental illness, cancer, etc.), but we still need to take time to celebrate those moments that bring us joy and connection in ourselves and to others. The world needs more joy, so let’s spread more joy. 💛 • Today I had a 6 watt increase in my FTP (with help from my Breakthru @coeursports kit), I got to play in the water with my fav, and I got to snuggle with my baby girl. I’m choosing to celebrate all of these things because they bring me joy (even if I have to work harder now on the bike 🤪). • What are you celebrating today?! What brought you joy today?! 💛
Strong, brave, intelligent, determined, confident, kind, gritty, up lifting, resilient, empowering, bold, audacious, relentless…just a few words to describe the women in my life. #happyinternationalwomensday 💙💛
Courage and growth • Courage to venture out in adverse conditions ( 🥶 + 💨) = growth as I challenge what once were limits and elevate myself to my next level. ⚡️
45 comin’ in 🔥 with a bullseye! #LFG
Ummm…sushi FTW!!
First outdoor ride of 2022!!
Laying one brick at a time by staying present and focused in the mile I’m in. ⚡️ • Grateful for: -miles with my girls 🐶 -sunshine ☀️ -fresh air -16+ miles on two feet (after a swim + bike) 🏊🏻‍♀️🚴🏻🏃🏻‍♀️ -so much joy 💛
Grateful we get to spend time with these two + get them new running shoes for track…Isabella didn’t want her picture taken.🤪

April:

“Past results do not equal future possibility.” ~Dede Greisbauer
Looooong ladder with increasing effort • When you focus your thoughts intentionally, those increasing efforts = faster pacing (even with more fatigue due to more yardage) ⚡️ #LFG
“Never be afraid to try something new, because life gets boring when you stay within the limits of what you already know.” ~unknown • Wednesday I tried something new! 1 hour endurance run outside + 80 minute ride with intervals + 1 hour treadmill run with 4×1 mile progressive repeats • The goals: 1. To push myself and find where my limits currently are 2. To train the legs to run strong while fatigued 3. To mix things up by doing some unconventional training • Learnings: 1. Doing something new and different is uncertain, but so exciting 2. Session priming is where it’s at! Decide ahead of time how you want the workout to go, how you want to feel, and what thoughts you’ll have to align with those feelings 3. Pack LOTS of clothing options to run outside because spring in Iowa is 😩 4. Being curious about what you can do and how far you can go is EVERYTHING! #LFG ⚡️
100s to failure this morning was a HUGE success! Not only did I swim at paces that have never been on my radar until recently, but I also had my own back when I hit “failure” because failing is finding my current limit, not my forever limit! #LFG ⚡️
Our 2000 piece puzzle is complete! 🥰
Cousins! 🥰
Family! 🥰
35 mph sustained winds with gusts at 50+ mph made our 11 mile run the perfect combination of challenging + fun Thursday afternoon! • I am here for it! ⚡️ • I am here for all of the discomfort. I am here for the burning in my legs. I am here for the pounding heart. I am here for the heavy breathing. I am here for the sweat in my eyes. I am here for the exhaustion. I am here for the emotional discomfort. I am here to learn and grow. I am here for the challenge. • Because all of this leads to being S O D A M N P R O U D of who I am, what I’ve already accomplished, and what I will accomplish in the future! #LFG ⚡️
We got to go cheer on our nieces at their first 7th grade track meet. So fun!
There was a hot air balloon that soared over us at the track meet. Look at that bluebird sky!
Hanging out where it is safe during a storm with rotations overhead.
Sunday was my first race of 2022. The Drake 1/2 Marathon had loads of discomfort, burning in my legs, a pounding heart, heavy breathing, salty sweat in my eyes, exhaustion, emotional discomfort, challenges, learning, and growing, AND you know what?! I’m S O D A M N P R O U D of experiencing all of it because all of this helps me create the best version of myself! I am here for it! #LFG ⚡️

May:

Even the wind couldn’t wipe this smile off my face for 105 miles. I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again…I’ll never take riding outdoors for granted. 🥰 • With 5 weeks to IMDSM I’m SO grateful to be healthy, able, and fit enough to be able to make some big deposits in the bank! And I’m even more grateful to finally get outside on two wheels with blue skies, sunshine, warmer temps, and the freedom of the open roads. Oh…and the wind was an added bonus…both a bit challenging and loads of fun!!⚡️
Getting to cheer Laylah on during the last track meet on Monday, which was cancelled right after this event due to cold, rainy weather.
Jersey wants to help Laylah with her homework, but finds this particular assignment boring. 🤣😜
This is a privilege! ⚡️🔥
Double rainbow (look closely…the top one is faint) 🥰
Grateful for beautiful weather on a long run day!
Open water swim season is here!! 🐶🥰
Any day on two wheels and the open roads is a great day! Today I had the privilege of previewing a large portion of the #IMDSM bike course with Michelle Maria ⚡️ • 3 weeks ‘til IMDSM! #LFG ⚡️
And that’s a wrap on the big training. Now to taper…even though it doesn’t feel like it yet.
Getting to meet up with some Coeur Sports sisters, race, and test the fitness for IMDSM was SO MUCH FUN!
I GOT to play Saturday at Tri Clear Lake and do a little speed work in the midst of IRONMAN training. I’m SO DAMN PROUD of my effort, my execution, and my mental endurance. • 2 weeks to IMDSM #LFG ⚡️

June:

Last long swim before #IMDSM is in the bank! It is SO awesome to be back swimming in the outdoor 50m pool! • I am R E A D Y to toe the start line of IM #9 and test my physical, mental, and emotional fitness + endurance! • 10 days until #IMDSM race day! #LFG ⚡️
Sooo grateful to get to spend the morning cheering on our niece, Isabella, in her first swim meet in a 50m pool!
Getting to meet up with my Coeur Sports teammates on Saturday before the race was exactly what I needed to help calm the anxiety!
The universe is reminding me to be PRESENT. Don’t waste energy wishing for a different past or worrying about the future. Stay focused and PRESENT in THIS moment as you lay THIS brick! ⚡️ • 4 days until #IMDSM #LFG ⚡️
All checked in and ready to race! #LFG ⚡️
The dogs love to play in the water, so we started teaching them to jump off the dock this week!
So grateful for meeting Mike Reilly at IMDSM athlete check in and that he is supporting the Ames Triathlon. If you haven’t registered for it yet, get on it TODAY!
As I ran down the red carpet in my first ever daylight finish with the cheers of family, friends, and random strangers surrounding me, I was full of emotions. I was SO drained, but also SO F’ING PROUD! I executed a solid race that allowed me to cross the finish line of Ironman #9 on an incredibly tough day! Icing on the cake…knowing I had given my best on this day while creating an 11th place age group finish (my highest AG finish placement yet in an Ironman race)! 13:53:58⚡️
YAY for play time with Tim and our friend Courtney! 🥰
We love the water! 🥰
YAY for water walking, vitamin D, fresh air, and amazing company!
Sometimes all you need is: ⚡️ the freedom of the open roads ⚡️ two wheels ⚡️ sunshine ⚡️ fresh air ⚡️ blue skies ⚡️ a bit of a challenge ⚡️ time with your own thoughts 😜 and a little smell of country animals
We got transition set on Saturday night and were ready for Sunday morning!
We are SO proud of our friend who completed her FIRST EVER triathlon at the Ames Triathlon on Sunday. She did this 10 years post paralysis. ⚡️🔥
Being on the water is so peaceful. It was a great way to decompress from an amazing and successful weekend for the 3rd annual Ames Triathlon race!
All clear for another year! Breast cancer screening complete!
All the snuggles! 🐶🥰

July:

My heart is so full! Thank you Courtney and Jess for smiles, miles, laughter, all the mulberries (see the last pic), girl time, conversation, fuel, and an all around AMAZING day! 🚴🏻‍♀️💙
3 pm miles with my niece
“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 • Things I love: 💙 spending time on two wheels 💛 magnificent sunrises 💙 the open roads 💛 friends 💙 girl talk 💛 beautiful weather 💙 bluebird skies 💛 challenges that create growth 💙 days like today
“Today I got to cheer dad on at his first ever duathlon. I cheered so hard I have slept the whole rest of the day. I really wanted to be with him as he covered every mile, but the race director wouldn’t let me, so I had to stay with mom and cheer. Dad said he knew exactly where we were since he could hear me even when he couldn’t see me.” ~Jersey
I 💙 that I get to run with my niece! I 💛 that it was a beautiful day! I 💙 the endorphins from running! I 💛 challenging myself and growing in the process! There is so much to 💙💛!
“I know you are on a Zoom call Mama, but I NEED attention right now!” ~Jersey 🐶🥰
I’m SO grateful for the freedom of the open roads, challenge of rolling terrain, and joy that cycling gives me! 💙💛
The water is my happy place and getting to spend it with this crew filled my 💙!
“You can’t take a withdrawal if you haven’t made a deposit.” ~Reese Witherspoon • Sometimes the deposits are large, while other times they are small, but they all add up so that I can make a big withdrawal in the future! ⚡️
Grateful for the time we got to spend with Tim’s family.
My cup runneth over! I am beyond proud of our niece for running her first road race at a local 5K and taking 1st place in her age group today, but most importantly giving her absolute best and not backing down when it got uncomfortable. ⚡️
My happy place! 💙💛
“Success is not final. Failure is not fatal. It’s the courage to continue that counts.” ~Winston Churchill • How do you view success and failure? Success and failure are not endpoints, but rather they are middle points of a much larger journey…the journey of becoming all that you can be and your absolute best self! Keep rolling on that journey and doing what you love because getting the most and best from yourself is worth E V E R Y T H I N G !! ⚡️

August:

Not every workout is fantabulous; Wednesday’s was 💩tastic. Despite the 💩, there are still things to be grateful for: 💙 running by the lake at home home 💛 cooler temps and a wonderful breeze 💙 blue skies and sunshine 💛 fresh air 💙 a mini vaca 💛 it wasn’t race day 💙 I persevered even when it was uncomfortable…iykyk 😜
How can you be in two places at once? Ride down the state line! • Thursday I got the privilege of riding in both Iowa and Minnesota! What a glorious day on two wheels! 💙💛
Golf cart rides to get Snow Cones
Do you let the numbers dictate who you think you should be, how you think you’re supposed to feel, or whether you have achieved success or failed? • Numbers and data only tell a very small piece of the story. You can be proud of yourself without even looking at the data. Don’t let the numbers and data dictate if you’re proud, disappointed, elated, sad, etc. Instead, tie those emotions to your effort, your execution, your ability to endure in training and racing, and your enjoyment for doing what truly lights you up! • Friday I rode the exact same route I rode Thursday. It was MUCH more windy Friday than Thursday, with headwinds for most of the last half of my ride and my legs were carrying more fatigue today. I am S O D A M N P R O U D of my effort, execution, mental endurance, and enjoyment Friday! The icing on the cake is looking at the data AFTER finishing the ride and seeing how focusing on effort, execution, endurance, and enjoyment Friday produced numbers to also be proud of. • “I didn’t look at the data in training and racing, because I didn’t want the numbers to dictate how I thought I was supposed to feel.” ~ME during my interview with @vanessafayefoerster for episode 50 of the Train Your Mind podcast
The house of mirrors is always a hoot!
A gorgeous night at Arnolds Park Amusement Park
Success = doing hill repeats in Platteville, WI before the funeral.
As you have bigger goals, you have to be willing to expand on your belief to reach your next level and the future version of you. 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! Don’t wait to become that person. BE that person RIGHT NOW!! ⚡️
Thank you to whomever invented the bicycle. Life is better on two wheels and the open roads. 💙💛
A little massage + a little cupping to keep me on track. Thanks Nick with Vitality Massage!
Great minds think alike! Twining with Isabella in our blue Coeur Sports tanks. So grateful for the miles I get to share with her! 💙💛
Sunday we celebrated Margie’s 82nd trip around the sun! We are so lucky and blessed to have such an amazing woman in our lives! 🥰
Sushi FTW! Definitely a great way to recover post hellacious ride Saturday.

September:

We got to see the new pool and facility we will be swimming in starting this next week! Not only is it a brand new facility and pool, but it is also a brand new masters swimming program! #LFG
We celebrated Basil’s 10th birthday. How is our baby girl already 10?!
Saturday morning I set out to swim the furthest I have ever swam before…6 km (3.7 miles). Some may say, “Why?! You don’t NEED to swim that far” and they would be correct…I don’t NEED to swim that far, but I WANTED to go for it! I wanted to challenge myself in a new way. Saturday morning was the last opportunity to swim long course in the 50 m outdoor pool for the season and I WANTED to soak it all in, so I did just that! #LFG ⚡️
So grateful to cheer on this girl in her first xc race! She did AWESOME! ⚡️
Wednesday we got the privilege of swimming in a brand new pool and with a brand new masters group and it was AH-FREAKING-MAZING! Cheers to many more awesome starts to the day just like this one! #LFG ⚡️
I am S O D A M N P R O U D of my commitment to staying curious and leaving it all out there during my 1/2 marathon today. • ⚡️ How’s my effort? High ⚡️ Just how deep can I dig? Deep ⚡️ How long can I hold on? Just one more mile ⚡️ How bad do I want it? Bad ⚡️ What am I willing to feel? Everything • 📸 @timfencl
Cheering this one on in her vb games is a joy. Watching her get better and better at her overhand serving has been fun to see.

October:

Cheering this one on at her XC meet and smashing her previous PR was SO much fun!
So grateful for help changing our flat tire on race morning before the race even started!
4th place podium 📸 Tim Fencl
Thank you science! Covid bivalent boosted!
So much fun to watch this one make huge strides this year in XC!
Sunday long run family style with all the hills was a great start to the day…even if it was a bit brisk. 💙
Love these two…even if they aren’t super cooperative at picture time. 😜
I have the BEST support crew around! Thank you for coming to pick up all the layers so I didn’t have to carry them on the bike with me.
This is a happy group of masters swimmers!
Thank you science! Vaxxed for the flu!
So much fun to watch this one make huge strides (see what I did there 😜) this year in XC! She has become a stronger, more confident, and faster runner. Her season PR is 14:45 for 2 miles, which is nearly 3 minutes faster than her PR last year. So proud of her for also receiving the “dedication award” from her XC coaches for showing up to every practice, being coachable, and supporting her teammates. #proudaunt
It has been fun to watch this one go from serving underhand to consistently serving overhand throughout the season. She has also stepped up her game this season by being more aggressive as she goes after the ball. Way to end the season with a W Laylah! #proudaunt
So incredibly grateful to be part of the Coeur Sports family for year 9!
I got to play and the weather was a 10! ⚡️
Sunday was a great day at the races! SO proud of this one for running her own race, setting a PR at the 5K distance, and getting 3rd place in her age group! ⚡️ • I took 1st place in my age group in both the 5K and 10K races with a few bonus miles to get 14 solid miles in Sunday morning. ⚡️
Jersey loves massage day…she gets the snuggles and keeps me relaxed so that Nick can really work out the kinks!
How it started…
How it ended… I’m the luckiest person to have such an amazingly supportive spouse! Thanks Tim Fencl for meeting me to pick up all the layers as the temps climbed during my last big training day before #IMAZ in 3 weeks! 💙💛

November:

So proud of Isabella for giving her best on a day where she wasn’t feeling the best.
Thanks to Kyle for giving Mojo his blessing for a solid race day at IMAZ!
So proud of this one for being aggressive and going after the ball in her first BB game of her 8th grade year!
Riding with the Coeur Velo girls has been such a fun + challenging way to wake up on Tuesday and Thursday mornings!
Decide ahead of time that it wont be so bad and it will all be fine! • Rain, wind, 27F windchill, and another finish line at the Hillbilly Hike 1/2 marathon. There weren’t enough layers (even though I was wearing all the thermal gear…4 layers on top) in those last 5 miles, but it was fine! It was all fine! • 2 weeks to #IMAZ and I hope that finish line looks MUCH different! SO MUCH mental endurance added to the bank Saturday!
So grateful for our safety as we drove over the Vail Pass.
Running at 5000+ feet in Arches National Park on Monday
Tim’s first visit to the Grand Canyon was a success!
Running at 7000 feet in Flagstaff…7F means all bundled up!
Swimming at dusk on Wednesday in Tempe at ASU Rec Services
So grateful that we got to spend time with our friends that moved down here after retiring.
Tomorrow I have the privilege of toeing the start line at IRONMAN Arizona. This will be IRONMAN #10. I am so grateful for a strong and healthy body + mind. I am R E A D Y to challenge myself physically, mentally, and emotionally. I am R E A D Y to put it all together. I am R E A D Y to create a race performance I have never experienced before. I am R E A D Y to take risks. I am R E A D Y to put together my grittiest + gutsiest performance yet! #LFG ⚡️
Shake out ride with my Coeur Sports teammate Cindy
It was great to FINALLY meet some of my Coeur Sports teammates at the swim practice IRL.
Who’s ready to jump into 60F water?! We are!
I’m grateful for the privilege to race, for the privilege of a healthy body and mind, for the privilege to push my boundaries, for the privilege to run down another red carpet, and for the privilege to cross the finish line at IRONMAN #10! ⚡️ • 📸 Finisher Pix
Things I’m celebrating: ⚡️not letting the cold water temperatures be a problem ⚡️swimming on the buoys ⚡️not letting the high winds be a problem ⚡️being confident in my flat changing skills (they were needed between miles 25 and 30) ⚡️not letting witnessing of a major crash in the first 18 miles of the bike put me in a negative headspace ⚡️staying connected to the pedals ⚡️my grit, resilience, and perseverance were on point ⚡️smiling all day long ⚡️giving my absolute best on the day ⚡️crossing the finish line of IRONMAN #10 and got to hear Mike Reilly call me an IRONMAN one last time • Thanks @ironmanvoice for all the memories! Wishing you the best in your retirement! 🥰
Thanksgiving day hike in Denver, CO with family.
I REALLY missed the snuggles while away from our girls. So grateful that we are back to snuggle time!
The lighting of the Christmas tree on Campus is always a beautiful sight!
Keeping me calm during my massage. 🐶🥰

December:

Boom!! So proud of this one!! She helped her team get the W!!
Holiday fun run on campus with this crew!!
Tuba Christmas
Dry needling did the trick! Thanks Dr. Feil for getting me back on track!
Let’s play! 🐶🥰
A day of puzzling…finished up #1 😍
With the impending storm, Tuesday was the last time we saw the sun before we started to get more daylight, so we had to get out in the fresh air + sunshine. The -4F windchills were balmy compared to what was ahead for the remainder of the week. 💙🥶
After a few days of this, the -1F windchill felt amazing!
Family! 🥰
Celebrating Tonja’s 50th birthday! Love you T! 🥰
Seeing the colors in the sky is such a great way to start the day!

2022 week 34: roller coaster ride

Last week was a bit of a roller coaster ride. Monday morning started out with an amazing run with speed work, but mid day things took a turn. I took Mojo to my awesome bike mechanic/bike fitter (Kyle, you are the BEST) to get a new saddle put on and new bike shoes. The shoes were the easy part…the saddle not so much. There is more dense foam in the new saddle, which meant I needed to have my seat post lowered just a bit so I wouldn’t be reaching so much with each pedal stroke. This is where things turned dicy…with all of the miles I have ridden comes all of the salty sweat. And if you know me, you know I am a HEAVY and SALTY sweater! Wouldn’t ya know it…all of that salty sweat has cemented my seat post in place and it won’t budge…at all. Kyle kept Mojo overnight and tried EVERYTHING to get the seat post to move, but it is cemented in place. So we are back to riding the old broken in saddle for the last few races of 2022 while we look for a new steed. Mojo has given me 10 amazing years and I am grateful for all of the adventures we’ve been on and the memories we’ve made! The ebb and flow continued throughout the week.

Quote of the week:

“Life is like a roller coaster. Sometimes you close your eyes and hold on in shear terror & other times, you just have to raise your hands up in the air and enjoy the ride…”

~Unknown

Swim highlights: 11,829 yards

Swimming outdoors is drawing to a close, so I am grateful for the last few swims in the fresh air before being forced back indoors (and into a brand new facility + pool…so freaking excited!) for the next 9 months. This is the last week of outdoor swimming for the season, but I’m enjoying every minute of it! Saturday I got to swim 5000 m in the 50 m pool and I soaked up every minute of it!

  • Warm up:
    • 100 kick
    • 100 pull
    • 100 swim
    • 4×100 descending (20 sec rest)
  • Main Set: each one more effort than the next
    • 3×800 (30 sec rest)
  • Cool Down:
    • 100 any
Do you allow the numbers to determine if you have achieved success or if you’ve “failed”?

If I let the numbers dictate my success, I would have failed Tuesday’s swim session. Good thing the numbers aren’t the only measure of success!

The main set of this swim was 3×800 descending starting hard and getting harder with each one. If I look at the numbers, my first one was the fastest with the second one being 4 seconds slower and the third one being an additional 5 seconds slower. BUT…my effort definitely increased from the first 800 to the third 800. I was working harder in that last 800 than I did in the first one or even the second one. I am so damn proud of the effort I put into my swim Tuesday and that my friends is worth celebrating! ⚡️

Avoid getting caught up in the numbers. Instead, I challenge you to look for alternative measurements to determine success.

Bike highlights: 148 miles

Mojo and I got to spend some quality time together after her visit with Kyle…Friday afternoon was glorious; Saturday was awful. The awful days make us appreciate the glorious ones even more! #IAmWillingToFeelEverything

Sometimes you’re the hammer (Friday)…
and sometimes you’re the nail (Saturday), but both are necessary to build a solid, strong, sturdy, durable, weather resistant building. #keepbuilding

Run highlights: 8.19 miles

Monday’s speed work session went so much better than last time I did this workout! Adding more money in the bank!

How would you show up differently if you were twice as confident?

⚡️ Show up with that confidence NOW!
⚡️ The belief in myself is what makes the goal worth going after.
⚡️ I will always give my best effort even when there are no guarantees.
⚡️ The goal is worth going after even if I don’t hit it the 1st time, the 2nd time, or even the 9th time.
⚡️ I keep showing up with trust that what I am doing is working and it’s getting me closer to achieving my goal.

Strength Training: 15 minutes of core strength daily

Weekly Totals: 16 hours & 26 minutes
2×30 minutes of full body strength training

Attitude of Gratitude:

I love a good sunrise! 🥰
Having horses on campus to pet as a midday break is 🥰
Getting my Normatec squeeze on!
Sushi FTW! Definitely a great way to recover post hellacious ride Saturday.

What were your highlights from week 34 of 2022?!

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!
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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: