2021 week 14: fail more and quit less

My focus for last week was to “fail more and quit less.” Sometimes I find that I micro quit on myself before I even start something so that I won’t fail. I set myself up to have an “out” or to not work as hard just so I don’t have to witness myself failing. I don’t want to feel the disappointment and embarrassment that comes with failure. I want to be able to say I successfully completed the work as it was planned. But this keeps me small. It keeps me in a space of comfort and doesn’t allow me to grow. Providing myself with OPPORTUNITIES to fail more allows me to really get an idea of where my current limits are. When I fail, I am learning to allow myself to feel all the feelings, learn from the failure, rise up, and continue to believe in myself…and that my friends, is NOT failure!

Quote of the week:

“Fail more & quit less.”

~Vanessa Faye Foerster

Swim: 10,400 yards

Tuesday’s swim was crazy 8s with the main set being 8×150 descending paces (increasing effort) with 20 seconds rest, 8×50 on the 1:00, and 8×25 sprint with 10 seconds rest. Normally I start these 150s at an easy pace (50% effort) and progressively get faster and faster until the last one is at an all out effort (95-100% effort). This normal way of descending these 150s is comfortable, but I know I don’t grow when I stay in my comfort zone. Sooooo, Tuesday morning I DECIDED to start faster (85-90% effort) for these 150s, which forced me to have to push harder and harder throughout this set than what I normally do. Why?! How do I know where my limits are if I don’t push them?

Taking this action created an OPPORTUNITY to fail more and quit less! An OPPORTUNITY to find where my current limits are! In the past when I would start off my 150s at an easier effort/slower pace, I was micro quitting on myself. I was giving myself an “out” so I didn’t have to witness myself failing by not being able to descend my splits. By starting faster, did I fail Tuesday?! A little (because I missed descending the 6th interval by 0.8 of a second), but I also learned a lot! And those learnings are NOT failure! I learned that I CAN (and DID) put that one failure behind me as I rise up and believe that I will be successful in the next interval. I learned that I CAN (and DID) generally descend paces at faster speeds/harder efforts than what is comfortable. I learned that I AM STRONG and FAST! I learned that I’m starting to believe that I do belong amongst the fast women I look up to. I learned that when I believe in myself, the data starts to reflect this belief. My friends, all this learning is NOT failure!

  • Warm up:
    • 100 swim
    • 100 kick
    • 100 pull
    • 200 swim
    • 100 kick
    • 100 pull
    • 100 swim
  • Main Set:
    • 8×150 descending (20 sec)
    • Rest 40 sec
    • 8×50 on the minute
    • Rest 1 minutes
    • 8×25 sprint (10 sec rest)
  • Cool Down:
    • 200 any stroke
Fail more & quit less! 💙💛

Bike: 95.2 miles

While I physically didn’t “fail” any part of Saturday’s ride, Mentally I struggled…BIG TIME! Those mental battles were more exhausting than the actual physical work. My brain wanted my body to quit SO many times I lost count…hello micro quits I saw you and gave my best effort to ignore you. Every time my brain tried to convince my body to quit, I would tell myself, “Kecia, you are strong! Just one more minute.” This battle lasted for 2 hours (of my 3 hour ride), but my self talk was the stronger participant, shutting the micro quits down, and won all of those battles Saturday.

The mental battles were brutal, but thankfully my self talk was the stronger participant and won all of those battles. 💙💛

Run: 25.5 miles

The main set of Wednesday’s run was 4×4 minutes FAST followed by 4 minutes easy. I had some fatigue in my legs from a challenging brick after work Tuesday, so I doubted that my legs would hold on at the FAST paces that were staring me in the face, but I was determined to try! After all, “fail more and quit less” right?!

Not only did I successfully complete these intervals at the scheduled paces on tired legs, but I decided that the next time this workout is on my schedule (which is 3 weeks from now) I am going to strive to push my limits A LOT farther than I did Wednesday. By cutting 25 more seconds per mile off my FAST pace (which scares the sh!t out of me), I am hoping to find my limit. Can I do it?! You’ll have to wait 3 weeks to find out!

Friday’s run was a 10 mile progression run. I did this on the treadmill as it was a cold, windy, rainy morning and I didn’t want to run outside in those conditions. I started out strong and confident, but by about mile 7, I bonked…BAD! Step off the treadmill and walk to regain some semblance of composure. Whomp! Whomp! Hello Failure…it was good to see you! Why?! Failure = learning! I learned that I need to consume fuel before (and maybe during) my longer runs when they are early in the morning.

Speed work makes the dream work! 💙💛 (📸 Wednesday’s run)

Strength Training: 15 minutes of core strength daily
3×30 minute full body workouts
30 minutes of yoga

Weekly Totals: 15 hours & 54 minutes

Attitude of Gratitude:

Any day I get to swim/bike/run in the same day is a GREAT day!! 💙💛
I love how these two snuggle! It warms my heart! 💙💛
Our recovery is on point! I get a good squeeze from my Normatec Recovery boots and Jersey gets all the pets! 💙💛
Friday Happy Hour swims are SO FUN!! 💙💛

What were your highlights from week 14 of 2021?! Where do you find yourself micro quitting and could benefit more from failing instead?!

2021 week 7: keep showing the f*%k up

Last week was the official start of my “training plan” for Ironman Arizona. I use that term loosely as I don’t have a coach and don’t have a specific “plan” that I am following. But I’ve decided that since I’m 40 weeks out, I should focus my journey a bit more on achieving the goals I have for myself at IMAZ in November. So I let my mantra dictate my week!

Quote of the week:

“Show the f*%k up!”

~ME

Swim: 8300 yards

I just love when I see 12x100s in Training Peaks (even though I put it there 🤣🥳)! Thursday when I started this swim, I felt like I was swimming through mud, but I reminded myself to show the f*%k up and stick with it. After a solid warm up, I still felt I was swimming through mud, but told myself that I just needed to show up for THIS interval…and ya know what?! By the time I got to the “fast” efforts, I was feeling like I was moving efficiently through water instead of fighting the mud, so keep showing up in THIS moment!

  • Warm up:
    • 300 swim
    • 4×50 drills
    • 200 swim
    • 100 kick
  • Main Set:
    • 4×100 easy with 20 seconds rest between
    • 4×100 moderate with 20 seconds rest between
    • 4×100 fast with 20 seconds rest between
    • 500 pull with paddles
  • Cool Down:
    • 200 any stroke
Small habits add up to big success! Showing up for yourself in this moment is a step in developing small habits that fuel big successes over time. When you show up, you get a bit more courageous, confident, stronger, resilient, and powerful every time, so decide to show the f*%k up for yourself! 💙💛

Bike: 87.2 miles

Saturday I showed up for some sweat equity. My brain said, “blah, blah, blah” at the 2:15 endurance ride and tried to sabotage my success by talking my body out of succeeding, but thankfully my body was stronger! My brain would rather have intervals instead of an endurance ride when riding indoors, so I had to show the f*%k up and pull my brain back into my workout multiple times throughout this ride.

My body reminded my brain to show the f*%k up even for the less challenging workout and won the battle!

Run: 22.1 miles

I had a lot of great runs this week (with a couple of them being outdoors…yay for our *heatwave*), but the one that I had to show the f*%K up for the most was Monday’s speed work on the treadmill. It was structured as:

  • 15 minute EASY warm up
  • 4×4 minutes FAST with 4 minutes EASY between
  • Cool down EASY to 50 minutes

I have done this workout a few times since the start of 2021, so I had a baseline that I felt I should be able to hold for the FAST efforts. This baseline was 7.8 mph (7:41/mile pace) at 1.0% incline. I decided to really challenge myself and push my limits by running “my pace” for these 4 minute FAST intervals at 8.0 mph (7:30/mile pace) with the 1.0% incline. The first 2 intervals were tough, but tolerable. By the 3rd interval I was spitting out positive words (Courage, Believe, Show Up, Limitless, and Strong) whenever I could get enough of a breath to talk out loud to myself, but they were on repeat in my brain. The last interval was all guts and determination!

I have goals! So today I challenged myself to run my “fast” intervals even faster than what I thought I could and ya know what?! I successfully surpassed what I thought I could do.
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-Was it challenging?! YES!
-Was it comfortable?! NO!
-Did it take positive self talk to keep me focused on achieving success?! YES!
-Was it worth it?! HELL YES!
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We are all capable of SO much more than we think. Have the COURAGE to SHOW UP and BELIEVE you are STRONG + LIMITLESS! This is where the magic happens! 💙💛

Snowshoe: 4.89 miles

It finally warmed up enough (kind of…is +3*F windchill warm enough?!?!) to venture outside and snowshoe for a bit on Wednesday! It was fun to get to see one of my Coeur Sports Collective Beat teammates and play in the snow together! Our adventures were short, but it was good to catch up in a COVID safe way! We had a few more snowshoe adventures later in the week after it warmed up even more and felt like a *heatwave* when it was in the 20s.

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! ❄️💙💛

Strength Training: 15 minutes of core strength daily
3×30 minute full body workouts
2×30 minutes of yoga

Weekly Totals: 17 hours & 2 minutes

Attitude of Gratitude:

I got my 2021 Coeur Sports Alumni team gear! I am SUPER excited to continue to represent Coeur Sports and be a part of the inaugural Alumni team as we continue to strive to encourage, empower, support, and inspire women in sport!
When the windchill is -38*F, reading a good book while sitting in the Normatec Recovery boots is a win!
So grateful I GOT to run outside…even if the windchill temp was only 3*F! Fresh, crisp air is good for the soul!
Someone wanted all the snuggles under the warm blanket with me after snowshoeing adventures! ❄️💙💛
It’s all about the attitude! Today I had an #attitudeofgratitude for the *heatwave*, fresh air, sunshine, playtime, and sMILES together! 💙💛
Short sunset snowshoe with the fam! ❄️💙
Epsom salt + lavender bubble bath = good recovery after a big workout!
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 ❄️💙💛
I love my little snuggle bug!
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!

What were your highlights from week 7 of 2021?! What mantra(s) do you turn to?!

2021 week 3: consistency

WOW! After the inauguration on Wednesday, I felt a huge sense of relief as it feels like 2021 has finally started. As I mentioned in my week 2 post, I had a huge bike block in December, so my swimming, running, strength training, and yoga took a major backseat at the end of 2020. It’s not that I ignored them completely, but they definitely weren’t a priority as my training was very bike focused in December. After doing minimal training for the first couple weeks of January, last week was about re-establishing balance, routine, and consistency in my training…and it feels AWESOME! After all, CONSISTENCY is key to success!

Quote of the week:

“You are what you do consistently, not what you do occasionally.”

~Robbie Bruce

Swim: 9200 yards

The swim of the week was Thursday’s 2800 yard swim with the focus being best effort for quite a bit of it. Crazy 8s is a workout that I love to hate…

  • Warm up of 800 yards = 100 swim, 100 kick (with fins), 100 pull (with paddles), 200 swim, 100 kick (with fins), 100 pull (with paddles), 100 swim
  • Main Set:
    • 8×150 descending pace (increasing effort) with 20 seconds rest between…each 150 interval should be slightly faster than the last one finishing with the last 150 at max effort
    • 1 minute rest break
    • 8×50 on the 1:00…each of these 50s should be at max effort. (If you swim 45 seconds, then you have a 15 second rest. If you swim 50 seconds, then you have a 10 second rest.)
    • 1 minute rest break
    • 8×25 sprints with 10 seconds rest between…each of these 25s should be at max effort
    • Cool down = 200 yards
  • Cool down = 200 yards

Focusing on my form and concentrating on LIMITLESS during those hard intervals kept me giving my absolute best effort that I had in the moment.

You can choose to be a shark or a guppy. Today was shark day!

Bike: 106 miles

Despite having lost a bit of bike fitness from the summer, I am focusing on INTEGRITY in my training. I am training where I am and being grateful for the little wins every single day. If you know me, I’m not a fan of staying in the comfort zone for long, so I have begun working toward one of my goals which is to increase my FTP in the coming months. Thursday I was rocking my 1 hour & 10 minute workout with 3×10 minutes in high Z3/low Z4, so I felt it only right to host my own little dance party off the bike. Using Zwift, I set this workout up so that each 10 minute interval was a bit more challenging than the last.

  • 10 minute warm up
  • 5x (1 minute at 75% FTP/Z2 and 1 minute at 50% FTP/Z1)
  • 3 minutes at 50% FTP/Z1
  • 10 minutes at 80% FTP/Z3
  • 3 minutes at 50% FTP/Z1
  • 10 minutes at 85% FTP/Z3
  • 3 minutes at 50% FTP/Z1
  • 10 minutes at 90% FTP/Z4
  • 11 minutes cool down
Dance party! When you have a great ride, you should celebrate with a little happy dance off the bike!

Run: 21.1 miles

I have a goal to add more running into my training in 2021 to increase my run durability. This will help build strength in my legs and condition them to better handle a stronger and faster finish on race day. Of the 5 runs I completed last week, only 2 of them had any kind of intensity to them and 3 of them where 35 minutes or less. The key to run durability is frequent, shorter, easy runs. I am grateful for the treadmill to keep me honest on these runs as sometimes it is really hard for me to keep my easy runs easy…especially when running outside. Wednesday was my long (1 hour + 5 minutes) progression run. After a 5 minute warm up, the main set was to get faster by 10-20 seconds every 5 minutes and then end with a 5 minute cool down. This run really helped build my CONFIDENCE and helped me BELIEVE that I can get some speed back in my legs. I increased my speed by 1.5 mph over the course of the main set.

“Faith is taking the first step even when you don’t see the whole staircase.” ~Martin Luther King, Jr

Strength Training: 15 minutes of core strength daily
3×30 minute full body workouts
2×30 minutes of yoga

Weekly Totals: 16 hours & 57 minutes

Attitude of Gratitude:

Jersey doesn’t like Mondays
Combatting Blue Monday with fresh air, sunshine, snowshoes, exercise, friends, and dogs.
Thank you to my Coeur Sports teammate, Ruth, for my BELIEVE Fellow Flower!
I got to swim, bike, and run all in the same day! INTEGRITY…training with where I’m at not where I think I should be.
Snuggles with our baby girl! #happyheart
Today we celebrate the opportunity for change, hope, and healing. Seeing a Woman of Color sworn in as Vice President of the United States of America brought so many happy tears to my eyes.
These beautiful sunrises never get old!

What were your highlights from week 3 of 2021?!

2021 week 1: focus on the positive

This wasn’t the start of the new year that many of us had hoped for, but it was the start that we were given. We can choose to focus on the negative or choose to focus on the positive. I chose to make the most of what I was given last week and focus on the POSITIVES.

Quote of the week:

“Bringing integrity back to training and racing means you have to stop worrying about where you SHOULD be and OWN WHERE YOU ARE.”

~Lauren Fleshman

Swim: 2600 yards

I had a swim test on Tuesday to determine where I am currently with my swim speed. LIMITLESS guided me throughout this test and helped me give everything I had to do my absolute best! My CSS (critical swim speed) has dropped just a bit since peaking for IMLP in 2019, but considering I haven’t swam as much in 2020 (thanks to closed pools + no racing) and I haven’t been training for anything other than life + fun, I am super happy with where my current swim speed is! I have a few more weeks before more focused and dedicated training will start for my 2021 races, so for now I will keep swimming for life + fun.

Bike: 22.7 miles

On December 31, 2020 I did an FTP test on the bike and while I lost some bike fitness, I FINALLY feel strong on the bike again! During my bike workout on Tuesday (which I forgot to take a picture of), I was FINALLY able to nail all of my intervals because I am training at my current fitness level instead of where I think I SHOULD be (aka…where I was before). OWNING WHERE I AM gave me a HUGE boost of CONFIDENCE on the bike again. Now it’s time to put in the hard work to RISE up and get those watts back that I lost. 😉

Run: 13.5 miles

I had a few good runs last week, but the highlight was my speed work on the treadmill that went so much better than I expected this week! That means next time I GET to work harder and increase my pace a bit. It is time to FLY! 😉

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

Weekly Totals: 5 hours & 58 minutes

Attitude of Gratitude:

I GOT to swim + bike + run all in the same day! 🙂
Focus words for 2021!
Continuously learning and growing
Snuggles with my baby girl!
Organizing our workout room!

What were your positive highlights from the first week of 2021?!

2021 focus

In years past, I have picked a word or phrase to guide me through the year…but this year is different. I was struggling to pick only one word/phrase because there are multiple words speaking to me right now.

I will RISE from the ashes of despair like a phoenix and SOAR!

I will spread my wings and FLY!

I will continue to DREAM big!

I will get my CONFIDENCE back and BELIEVE in myself to the depths of my soul!

I will rebuild CONSISTENCY!

I will bring INTEGRITY back into my training and racing as I own where I am at instead of worrying about where I think I should be.

I will be FREE and LIMITLESS in all aspects of my life!

Why do I have to limit myself to just one word/phrase (hello LIMITLESS…remember me?!)?????? Oh yeah…I don’t! SO I am going to be LIMITLESS as I let multiple words keep me focused in 2021!