What’s up?! – March 2019

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

Training:

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

Love you more and SO glad you’re back in the water!!
My graph from my bike ramp test is so pretty!! Thanks Coach Kelly for helping me realize the strength I had didn’t disappear!!
So grateful for spring weather so I could wear the same Coeur Sports “Not Today Cancer” kit for my bike + run! Oh…and super grateful for my favorite girl who loves to run!! #basillovesrunning

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

#explore:

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

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

Listening to:

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

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

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

Reading:

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

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

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

Celebrating:

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

Love me some sushi…SO YUMMY!!

Attitude of Gratitude:

So grateful I got to see these two beautiful faces…even if it wasn’t for the happiest reason.
So grateful for girl’s night out playing board games with these beauties!! #needtodothismoreoften
The first time in my 16 years of teaching that I was given flowers from a student.
Love my mama! She’s still the boss even after 42 years!! 🙂
So grateful, blessed, and lucky to have my fave supporting me, encouraging me, and cheering me on in races and life!!
I am so grateful for the sun, bluebird skies, and warm temps for a tank top + shorts while running outside!!
I am grateful for noticing the little things in life…the random heart that the cord of our fan made on the floor by my bike trainer.
I am grateful that the weather is nice enough to rake up all the leaves and play in them with my favorite girl!!
SO grateful my legs and mind were strong allowing me to put together a solid 7 mile run with 1100 feet of climbing!! 🙂
After a tough run (1100 feet of climbing over 7 miles), I was so grateful to find a way to use my Normatec Recovery boots in the car since I had to be there for a few hours post run.
Grateful to meet the Iron Hippie’s parents for lunch!
So grateful that my body and mind are strong and they allow me to run 15 miles after a busy day at work!
So grateful that I got some run love with Robin in the sunshine (even if the temps were cold)! I’ve missed my girl time!

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

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What’s up?! – February 2019

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

Training:

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

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

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

#explore:

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

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

Listening to:

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

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

Reading:

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

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

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

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

Trying Something New:

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

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

Photo Shoot Time:

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

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

Grateful for:

So grateful for being able to run outside in short sleeves in February in Iowa!! This was DEFINITELY NOT the norm this month!!
I’m so grateful to be on #tigerteam19!! My Coeur Sports teammates help me to feel empowered, inspired, connected, loved, and full of joy!!
The Skratch Labs cookies are da bomb diggity!! I’m so grateful for the ease to make these!!
These 3…I love them all!! So grateful for their unconditional love!!
Mother Nature’s sense of humor is a bit different than mine, but I am grateful for the 4 seasons…even if the snow drifts over one of our favorite trails. #driftedsnowiswaistdeep
I am so grateful for my Normatec recovery boots…especially after 14 solid treadmill miles!!
So grateful for Nick at Vitality Massage for keeping me active and healthy!

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

The Best of 2018

I love looking back and thinking about all of the amazing things that I’ve accomplished and all of the challenges I’ve overcome! 2018 was full of challenges, accomplishments, and FUN!! I’ve reflected for the last 5 years and now it’s time to reflect on 2018! You can look back at my previous posts if you’d like: Best of 2013, the Best of 2014, the Best of 2015, the Best of 2016, and the Best of 2017. Now its time to reminisce my faves from 2018! 🙂

Best race experience?

Ironman Ohio 70.3 was hands down my FAVORITE race this year!! I not only accomplished my #sub6orbust goal, but got to meet and race with so many of my Coeur Sports sisters + cross the finish with Steena!! It was truly one of the best race experiences I’ve ever had!! #blessed

My Coeur runneth over!! I got to meet some of the most inspirational, determined, loving ladies today!! #happycoeur Photo Credit: my fave
So grateful to have Steena by my side as I broke 6 hours, crushed goals, and achieved dreams at Ironman Ohio 70.3!! Thank you Steena for being such a strong, motivating, awesome BADASS!! Photo credit: FinisherPix

Best run?

Running with Steena at Ironman Ohio 70.3!! She ran stride for stride with me, pushing me to a 70.3 PR!! #sub6orbust

The #sub6orbust is no longer a dream!! Today I turned it into a reality thanks to Steena who ran with me!! This lady is such a strong, positive badass and I’m blessed and grateful to have had her by my side today!! Photo Credit: Danielle Worthington

Best bike?

For me, the ride that stands out the most this year is the one I learned the most from…my first 5 hour trainer ride. It was a VERY tough day for me! Physically I was pushing higher watts for longer durations than I ever had before. Mentally, I WANTED to be riding out on the open roads around the amazing #IMWI bike course, but a gut check put me on the trainer instead. In this process, I learned SO much about how STRONG I truly am both mentally and physically and what I can do when staring adversity in the face! Thanks to Ruth for keeping me going when the meltdown started! ❤

5 hours on the trainer pushed me to a whole new level…physically and mentally.

Best swim?

The first time I went sub 1:30/100 yards in the pool was this year!! While I have seen a sub 1:30/100 yards a few times since then, it has not happened often, but I’m THRILLED every time it does!!

My first 100 yard swim time that is sub 1:30!! #hardworkpaysoff

Best mental focus?

HANDS DOWN…Ironman Louisville!! What a day!! What a race!! I had to dig mentally into places I didn’t even know I had in me!! I was thrown challenge after challenge throughout the day; from Mother Nature providing us with MUCH LESS than ideal weather, to the race directors changing up the swim course 5 minutes before the race was set to start, to the traffic on the bike course that forced me to come to a complete stop (more than once) so I wouldn’t rear end the vehicle in front of me (with wet breaks I might add), to my body when my back cramped up on the run, and others I’m sure I’ve forgotten (or maybe blocked from my memory). Through all of these challenges, I fought the fight and won!! I remained focused throughout the day, stayed strong, and crossed the finish line with complete exhaustion and a smile on my face!!

This sums up my Ironman Louisville race day…cold + wet + windy + challenging + strong = success!! Photo credit: FinisherPix

Best training weekend?

My solo training weekend in Madison, Wisconsin!! I got to spend time on 2 wheels with Steena, I got to push myself out of my comfort zone, and I got to enjoy ALL. OF. THE. HILLS. on a course I LOVE!!

Hard work pays off!! Thanks to my #sub6orbust buddy Steena for pulling me up ALL. THE. HILLS On 2 loops of the #IMWI bike course!! Photo credit: GoPro 🙂

Best training compass?

Coach Kelly with Ever Racing has kept me grounded this year. There have been times this year when I overlooked my successes because I was consumed by the immediate feelings instead of the big picture. Thankfully Coach Kelly called me out on my SH!T and redirected my focus!! I would not be where I am today without her structure, focus, guidance, feedback, support, accountability, motivation + so much more! She has helped me to become a better, #everstrong athlete and person every day! I am forever grateful to her and so glad we have a strong relationship built on communication and trust!! I am excited to see how far we go in 2019!!

Best enCOEURaging moment?

Getting this text message from my sister after Ironman Louisville completely melted my heart!! I am SO excited that my 10 year old niece wants to do an Ironman with me one day in the future!! You never know who you are inspiring!!

Best nutritional find?

Infinit Nutrition has been a game changer for me this year!! Ironman Louisville was my first Ironman race that I did not bonk, have GI issues, or end up in the med tent with hyponatremia or dehydration. With 6 Ironman finish lines under my belt, I think I MAY have finally dialed in my race day nutrition!! 🙂

Best new gear?

My Normatec Recovery boots are da bomb diggity!! They have helped me recover from intense training + provided Basil with an inflatable pillow 😉 We are both in love with them and use them often!!

“I love my inflatable pillow Mama” ~Basil
So grateful for Normatec! #recoveryisimportant

Best supportive role?

Chasing my fave around while he ran the Twin Cities Marathon the week before I raced Ironman Louisville. I am SO PROUD of the hard work, dedication, perseverance, and PR race that he put up!! High five (or ten) to my fave!!

SO FREAKING PROUD of my FAVE!! HE CRUSHED IT!! Setting a new PR in a time of 3:33:05 at the Twin Cities Marathon!! 🙂

Best way to stay healthy?

Obviously eating healthy + sleep are super important, but to help me get a better understanding of how I can recover smarter, I decided to monitor my blood work with the help of Inside Tracker. I have learned so much about different biomarkers + how they can impact my training, recovery, sleep, etc. Knowledge is power!!

#blooddontlie

Best piece of racing advice you received?

I know this has been my best piece of racing advice for a few years, but that is because I have not found anything better to remind me of my race day “job” and what I need to do to achieve success. Race day can be a mixed bag (hello Ironman Louisville), but this advice works no matter what the conditions and the day bring:

“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, “Swimming to Antarctica: Tales of a Long-Distance Swimmer”

IMG_3610

Most inspirational athlete?

There are so many that I can’t pick just one! Everyone is on their own, unique journey and I am inspired by them all. My Coeur Sports sisters inspire me EVERY. SINGLE. DAY! I’ve also been SUPER inspired this year by friends who finished their first Ironman. By friends who attempted their first Ironman, but didn’t meet cutoffs. By friends who did their first triathlon this year. By people who have survived an accident and are still training + racing. By people who fight disease and keep training + racing. By people who challenge themselves and try something new. By people I haven’t met yet and people I see everyday! There are far too many people who inspire me to pick just one!

Best support crew?

Hands down…Tim, Dad and my sister, Abbie! These three pushed me through during some VERY challenging times at Ironman Louisville. They were up EARLY on race morning to help me get to transition. They were patient with the process of all of the race morning shenanigans…even in the cold + rain + wind. They were in all of the right places at all of the right times during the race encouraging me (and SO many others) to keep moving forward when it would have been SO. MUCH. EASIER to throw in the towel and call it a day. Tim got all of my race gear while I was out on the run to save time. They cheered, photographed, and spread love to me and other athletes throughout a REALLY long day! There are not enough hugs and kisses for each of you! Thank you! Thank you! Thank you! Love you all so much! I couldn’t have gotten to this finish line without your unwavering encouragement and support!!

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

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

Strong, courage, believe, fun!!

Tell me about your 2018 year!! What are your “bests” from 2018?!

Aligning My Actions with My Goals

My focus in 2018 has been on better aligning my actions with my goals. It’s no secret…I have a dream of someday qualifying for the Ironman World Championships in Kona. To get myself closer to this dream, I set goals for myself at the start of each season and again before each race. Sometimes I achieve success by reaching these goals and other times I fall short, but I always learn something that can better prepare me for the next training session or race.

I was on a mission this year to achieve my #sub6orbust goal at Ironman Ohio 70.3. Thanks to Steena for running stride for stride with me during the entire 13.1 mile run and pushing me those last two miles so I could achieve my goal!

The #sub6orbust is no longer a dream!! Today I turned it into a reality thanks to my Coeur Sports teammate/sister, Steena, who ran with me!! This lady is such a strong, positive badass and I’m blessed and grateful to have had her by my side today!!

I also set myself up to go sub 13 hours at Ironman Louisville. While I didn’t achieve this goal, I am confident that if conditions and circumstances were different on that day, I definitely would have.

This sums up my Ironman Louisville race day…cold + wet + windy + challenging + strong = success!! Photo credit: Finisher Pix

What have I done to better align my actions with my goals this year?

  1. I work hard! I #showup and give everything I have at that moment for each workout. Staying present + focused on the current interval, current workout, and current mindset/attitude.
  2. I recover harder! I make sure to properly rehydrate and refuel immediately post workout, sit in my Normatec Recovery boots, get a massage every 2 weeks (thanks Nick with Vitality Massage), see Dr. Chris at Team Chiropractic as niggles arise, and prioritize sleep by getting at least 8 hours EVERY night! Consuming Breakthrough Nutrition’s Goodnight formula + magnesium before bed also helps me get some solid REM + deep sleep.
  3. I #trainthebrain…I think this has brought me the most success and what I am the most proud of in 2018!! When faced with adversity, I overcame!! I truly am SO much stronger than I ever thought!! Focusing on an attitude of gratitude, keeping positive, and smiling through the pain/discomfort in training and racing has brought me huge success this year!!
  4. I eat healthy!! I stick with whole foods as much as possible and save indulgences for rare occasions!! 🙂
  5. I communicate with Coach Kelly (giving her meat is ALWAYS better than bare bones)!! I’m so grateful when she calls me out on my SH!T and makes me reflect and think about my training, my mindset, my training/life/work balance, etc.!! #everstrong
  6. #courageovercomfort…when you step out of your comfort zone, this is where the magic happens!! There has been sweat (lots of sweat), pain, blood, blisters, chaffing, black toenails, and tears (LOTS of tears…Thanks Ruth for pulling me out of some low places while on the trainer) in training this year. Overcoming this discomfort often requires lots of courage to push outside of my comfort zone, but it is TOTALLY worth it!! #magic
  7. Attitude of gratitude…focusing on ALL things to be grateful for during highs and lows. There is always something to be grateful for…even when you are deep in the pain cave and riding the struggle bus. I have intentionally been finding things to be grateful for during training + racing. Gratitude has taken me so much farther than I ever thought possible.
  8. #believe…when you truly believe deep down to the depths of your soul, you can accomplish ANYTHING!!

What additional tips do you have to better align your actions with your goals?! What have you done to better align your actions with your goals this year?! What can you do to better align your actions with your goals in 2019?! 

3 weeks ’til #IMLou – knocking out the workouts

With last week in the rear view mirror, I only have one more big week before the taper for #IMLou begins!!

Swim: 6500 yards

3K swim…what a great way to start the day!!
Capping off the week with more yards in the pool!

Bike: 74.4 miles

Easy recovery spin on the bike!
LONG, focused ride on the trainer…leg crusher!!
Recovery ride post long run!!

Run: 27.3 miles

Treadmill miles with speed work!
Starting Friday off right…with my fave by my side for some morning miles!!
Knocking out the workouts one at a time!
Running with such a #happydog makes me have a #happyheart!! #basillovesrunning
Following the run plan!!

Strength Training: 10 minutes of core strength almost daily  

Weekly Totals: 13 hours & 34 minutes

Quote of the Week:

“When it gets tough, put on your boxing gloves.” ~unknown

Attitude of Gratitude:

The sunrise was so stunning!!
Grateful to Nick at Vitality Massage for keeping me healthy!!
Love the Coeur Sports Kona kit design!!
Only one way to refuel post long workouts…SUSHI!!
Grateful to have my legs squeezed by my Normatec boots post long + tough workouts!
Race numbers are here for IMLou!! I’m so grateful my body and mind allow me to do this crazy + fun sport!!

How was your week? What were you grateful for last week?! 

What’s Up?! – August 2018

Where in the world does time go?! How is it possible that we are back in school, I’ve started my 15th year of teaching, and summer is in the rearview mirror?! I’ve been teaching longer than my students have been alive…AND…this year one of our new colleagues was a student of mine 15 years ago when she was in 8th grade!! I am officially old! LOL 😉 Here is a brief look at what August had in store for me…

Training:

Show up and do the work…you’ll always be glad you did!
I am grateful for my fave! He came out to check on me and take pics while I was riding on Saturday. Love my support crew + cheerleader!
Grateful to have these two motivate me for some #sundayrunday hill repeats!!

Swim: 46,260 yards (26.28 miles)
Bike: 381 miles
Run: 87.1 miles
Monthly Totals: 57 hours

Training Camp:

I went up to Madison for a solo training camp to put in miles on more hilly terrain. It definitely made me stronger + I got to spend Friday on two wheels with my Coeur Sports teammate, Steena!! Love this lady!! After cycling two loops of the IMWI bike course on Friday, I did a short 30 minute run off the bike. On Saturday, I rode 1 loop of the bike course + part of the stem and then did another 30 minute run off the bike. On Sunday I ran 1 loop of the IMWI run course. I didn’t get any swimming in as the lake wasn’t safe for swimming due to higher blue green algae + bacteria levels. During Saturday’s bike ride, I was tapped by a car. The driver was on her phone when her front right bumper tapped my left handlebar pushing me off the road as she was pulling out onto the road where I was riding straight. I’m still not sure how I stayed upright as I slid down the grassy ditch, but I did. There were thousands of riders out on the course that Saturday and others witnessed what happened. Thankfully both Mojo and I were unharmed. Unfortunately it isn’t illegal to be on your phone while driving in the state of Wisconsin, but it should be!! Be safe out there and stay off your phones while driving!! Regardless of Saturday’s mishap, I gained some great fitness and had fun!! I learned a lot about how strong + resilient I am and that when I show up and do the work, I never regret it!!

Hard work pays off!! Thanks to my #sub6orbust buddy Steena for pulling me up ALL. THE. HILLS On 2 loops of the #IMWI bike course!!

Reading:

Gratitude in Motion: A True Story of Hope, Determination, and the Everyday Heroes Around Us by Colleen Kelly Alexander is SO INSPIRING!! This women…her grit…her tenacity…her resilience…WOW!! Just WOW!! “It was a beautiful fall day in Connecticut when Colleen Kelly Alexander, a lifelong athlete, rode her bike home from work. She had survived both a diagnosis of lupus and brain surgery, had a fulfilling career, and was married at last to the love of her life. Everything was good as she coasted along, meeting the eyes of a truck driver as he approached the stop sign beside her. He didn’t stop. The truck hit Colleen, running over her lower body with front and back tires and dragging her across the pavement. As she bled out in the street, nearby strangers surrounded her and the driver attempted to get away. An EMT herself, Colleen knew she had to stay awake. “I’ve just been reconnected with my soulmate,” she told the medic. “We want to have a baby. I can’t die now. Please don’t let me die.” Five weeks in a coma and twenty-nine surgeries later, Colleen survived. Rather than let the trauma and PTSD control her life, she became determined to find a way to make something positive from her pain. She decided she’d run again and dedicate her race medals to the everyday heroes around us, including the medical staff and blood donors who saved her life. Since then Colleen has run fifty races and completed forty triathlons, including four half-Ironman events. Now a spokesperson for the Red Cross, Colleen shares her incredible inspirational story to encourage others to take that first step forward.”

Listening to:

I finally got caught up on Ironwomen Podcasts when I was driving home from my solo training camp in Madison. Jennifer Pharr Davis is so fun to listen to! She shared about “her record breaking experiences on the Appalachian Trail, the specific challenges she faced, and how she managed the lows and highs of her incredible efforts.” Sarah Thomas “holds the record for longest current neutral swim EVER! She shares the hardships and challenges of marathon swimming, her battle with cancer, and what drives her to do these long swims.”

I listened to Kona Kamps episodes with Kristin Louderback and Kiah Wheeler while cleaning the house. These women are SO inspiring!!

Grateful for:

Grateful that Kim showed up for my Women’s only triathlon clinic. Since she was the only one to show up, she got 2 hours of one-on-one attention and lots of gifts!! 🙂
Celebrating with Dad back at home home!
Snow cones with the twins!! Yummy!!
So grateful that I got to stay with my college friend, Christina, and her girl, Gracie, in Madison at my solo training camp!
Making fitness + pushing myself in Madison on the #IMWI bike course!
So many homegrown tomatoes from our garden! I am grateful to get to go outside and eat from the garden!
Today was my 15th first day of teaching!!
I have the best Coeur Sports teammates!! Thank you Ruth!!
90 miles of #bikelove and chasing Anne for 55 of those miles on a very hot + humid day = DONE!!
This! I am so grateful for my Normatec boots + home cooked meal that my fave made after a long day of swim + bike + run!

How was your month of August?! What were you grateful for last month?! Have you ever done a solo training camp?! If so, what did you learn?!

7 weeks ’til #IMLou – back to reality

Last week I was reintroduced to reality…it is apparently time to go back to school. This means reestablishing routines, balancing life and training, and figuring out the “new normal.”

Swim: 10,453 yards

Putting in some work during this tough #timetrialtuesday swim!!
My 15th first day of school started with a long early morning swim!!
#swimlove in the 50 meter pool = DONE!!

Bike: 116 miles

#timetrialtuesday helped me move my way off of the struggle bus and into a Rolls Roys!!
My 15th first day of school ended with some #bikelove + #basillove!!
90 miles of #bikelove and chasing Anne for 55 of those miles on a very hot + humid day = DONE!!

Run: 26 miles

Morning hill repeats with Basil!! Basil got compliments on her glow-in-the-dark collar this morning. Sad we are losing daylight, but grateful for the cooler temps so my running buddy can join me!!
Happy Friday!! Running in the mist with Robin was a great way to start the day!!
#sundayrunday was 16 soggy + gross miles thanks to the 72*F dew point!! Thanks for running 5 of those miles with me Robin!!

Strength Training: 10 minutes of core strength daily  

Weekly Totals: 16 hours & 22 minutes

Quote of the Week:

“Back to life. Back to reality.” ~Soul II Soul

Attitude of Gratitude:

Hanging with some colleagues…back to work!
Today was my 15th first day of teaching!!
I have the best Coeur Sports teammates!! Thank you Ruth!!
Grateful for recovery in my Normatec Recovery boots!!

How was your week? What were you grateful for last week?! Any tips for reestablishing routines after a vacation?!