Last weekend I participated in my third Ironman Virtual Race. I was supposed to run the Des Moines Women’s 1/2 Marathon (DSMWHM) on Sunday, but as you probably guessed, it was cancelled. The race director and organizers sent us our swag and finisher medal suggesting that we run the race virtually, so I knew I had to run a 1/2 marathon to earn my medal. This fit in well with the IMVR5. I decided to run the 5K and bike the 56 miles on Friday after the official time began and figured I’d run the 1/2 marathon on Sunday sandwiching a 75+ mile bike ride with my fave in on Saturday. Flexibility became the name of the game as plans changed on Saturday morning when we woke up to rain in the area. I ran the 1/2 marathon on Saturday morning and we went for our 75+ mile bike ride on Sunday instead.
As with the previous two IM virtual races, I wanted to really push myself with each leg of this race and see where my fitness is. I am grateful for the opportunity to break out my Coeur Sports team kit anytime I can this year!
5K run – 24:28 (7:51/mile average pace)
90 K bike – 2:41:12 (20.9 mph average speed)
21K run – 1:54:30 (8:44/mile average pace)
I’m grateful for the Ironman VR5 OPPORTUNITY. It was an opportunity to “race” hard and compare my fitness to where I was a few weeks ago on the same courses. I’m so grateful for a strong + healthy body, a strong mind, and the opportunity to do this “race” over a couple of days instead of doing all of these disciplines consecutively! I kept reminding myself to push hard, dig deep, be grateful that I GET to do this, and know that I’ll get to cross a real finish line again one day! 💛💙🤍
I won’t be participating in the IM virtual races anymore. I am disappointed that they are changing the format. I realize there are people who want to be competitive with these events, but there are also many people who are using these “races” as a way to stay motivated and feel somewhat normal in these uncertain times. It would be nice if they had “for competition” and “for fun” options when registering so that people who don’t want to be competitive can continue to do these in a way that challenges and motivates them. Cheating is something I will never understand and to me, it makes even less sense to cheat on a virtual race.
This weekend is the IMVR6 and it is an “Olympic” distance event again. Are you going to participate?
Last weekend I participated in my second Ironman Virtual Race. I wasn’t sure if I was actually going to participate or not as I had been having some left hip tightness/soreness while running last week, so I decided I would head out for the 3K run and see how it felt before deciding just how far to push. If it was bothering me, I was going to take a DNF for this “race” and do a long ride instead. Thankfully it didn’t bother me, so I was able to race strong!
I treated this as a real life race doing each discipline back to back in the 3K run/40K bike/10K run format with as little transition time as possible. I did both of my runs outside and rode on the trainer indoors. I wanted to really push myself with this race and see where my fitness is. I am grateful for the opportunity to break out my Coeur Sports team kit!
3K run – 14:26 (7:36/mile average pace)
40 K bike – 1:10:16 (21.3 mph average speed)
10K run – 52:04 (8:22/mile average pace)
Total 2:16:44 (Overall 2917/14506…top 20.1%; Women 279/4231…top 6.59%; F40-44 63/930…top 6.77%)
I’m grateful for the Ironman VR4 OPPORTUNITY. It was an opportunity “race” hard. I found my limits and pushed past them as I overcooked my chicken on the 3K run + 40K bike before giving everything I had left on the 10K run. I’m so grateful for a strong + healthy body, a strong mind, and random strangers cheering me on when I needed it most! I kept reminding myself to push hard, dig deep, be grateful that I GET to do this, and know that I’ll get to cross a real finish line again one day! 💛💙🤍
Strongly considering this weekend’s “70.3” IMVR race, but breaking it up because I REALLY want to go for a LONG bike ride outside on Saturday. So I would likely do the 5K run + 90K bike tomorrow and run the 21K on Sunday. Are you in for this distance?
Last weekend I decided to drink the Kool-Aid and participate in my first Ironman Virtual Race. I was holding off because I figured it was just another way for Ironman to gain a profit, BUT the races are FREE! They definitely look different than racing in real life. Here are some of the differences:
When you think of Ironman, you typically think swim/bike/run, but these races are duathlons instead of triathlons. That means NO SWIM! For those of you that don’t know how to swim or the swim scares you, these virtual races (VR) are for you! They follow a run/bike/run format.
You create your own routes. You can do the entire race indoors on the treadmill and trainer. You can do the entire race outdoors running and biking on the trails/streets around you. You can do the entire race by combining indoor and outdoor experiences like I did.
There are no competitors around you. You can’t rely on other athletes to push you. You have to push yourself.
There are no spectators and fans cheering for you. I highly recommend telling your neighbors that you are racing. Maybe they will go outside and cheer you on from a safe distance. If they have kids, they can make signs, which gives them something to do at home.
Your transition times are not added to your overall finish time. Only the times for each discipline of the race are added to your overall time for the race. In real life races, any time you spend changing, fueling, etc. between disciplines is added to your overall finish time.
You have 2.5 days to complete all three disciplines, so they don’t have to be done back to back. If you are unsure about how your body will hold up to complete each discipline one right after the other, you can spread them out. Each discipline of the race must be completed between 6 pm GMT on Friday and 11:59 pm GMT on Sunday. If you want to do one discipline on Friday, one on Saturday, and one on Sunday, you can. If you want to do them all back to back like a race in real life, YOU CAN!
You can do the disciplines in whatever order you prefer. In a real race, you have to do the disciplines in a specific order. With the VR, you can do them as it works for you. If you want to do all of the running disciplines first and then bike, you can. If you want to bike first and then run, you can. If you want to do it like a real life race (run/bike/run), YOU CAN! It is completely up to you!
I treated this as a real life race doing each discipline back to back in the run/bike/run format with as little transition time as possible. I did both of my runs outside and rode on the trainer indoors. I wanted to really push myself with this race and see where my fitness is.
1.5 K run – 7:05 (7:30/mile average pace)
20 K bike – 35:47 (21.0 mph average speed)
5K run – 24:47 (7:58/mile average pace)
Total 1:07:39 (Women 658/6245…top 10.5%; F40-44 127/1326…top 9.6%)
I’m grateful for the Ironman VR3 to push myself and wear my Coeur Sports race kit! I kept reminding myself to push hard, dig deep, be grateful that I GET to do this, and know that I’ll get to cross a real finish line again one day…even if it doesn’t look promising in 2020. Racing doesn’t define me, but it sure is FUN! 💛💙🤍
Who’s joining me for this weekend’s “Olympic distance” IMVR race?
And with that, I am officially done teaching 8th graders!! I still have multiple days of professional development ahead of me, but the students are gone. It is bitter sweet!! You can read more about that here. It is time to start my next new adventure soon, but first, here is a look at what the month of May had in store for me.
I had another SOLID month of training!! I completed 10 minutes of core strength daily + 3 minutes of meditation daily + I’m still on the green streak in Training Peaks!! I have not missed one workout so far this year…22 weeks and counting!! BOOM!!
Swim: 28,725 yards (16.3 miles)
Bike: 357 miles
Run: 83.6 miles
Strength: 10 minutes of core daily + various full body strength
Meditation: 3 minutes daily since January 1
Monthly Totals: 53 hours & 5 minutes
Explore is my focus word in 2019 and I’m happy to be incorporating it into all areas of my life…including racing!! I’ve been talking with Coach Kelly about racing two IRONMAN races in one year and she was just as excited for me to give it a go as I am. So, on May 1, I decided to #explore with racing TWO IRONMAN races 10 weeks apart in 2019. I have officially registered for Ironman Lake Placid on July 28 AND Ironman Louisville on October 13. This will be my first ever experience in doing two Ironman races so close together. Am I nervous? Sure! Am I scared? A bit! Am I excited? MOST DEFINITELY! I am ready to push my limits and see what my body + mind can handle.
KonaKamps always has me inspired by some amazing peeps!! Megan Anley won Ironman South Africa in the W18-24 age group at her first Ironman. Congrats Megan!!
Rich Roll brought Jesse Thomas to his podcast recently. Jesse is not only an amazing professional triathlete, but he balances his pro triathlon career with a wife, kids, his own business, and fun. He is quite the inspiration and so down to Earth!!
Finding my Voice by Mike Reilly is so inspirational!! “Finding My Voice is a series of deeply personal vignettes illuminating how profoundly the sport of IRONMAN touches both its participants and its fans. Written from Reilly’s unique insider’s perspective as the long-time World Championship race announcer and one of the most prominent personalities in the endurance sports field, it provides an intimate, revealing and entertaining glimpse into a fascinating corner of the world of endurance sports.”
Can’t Hurt Me: Master Your Mind and Defy the Odds by David Goggins is a great read. He overcame so many obstacles in life and eventually became “the only man in history to complete elite training as a Navy SEAL, Army Ranger, and Air Force Tactical Air Controller. He went on to set records in numerous endurance events, inspiring Outside magazine to name him “The Fittest (Real) Man in America.” Through self-discipline, mental toughness, and hard work, Goggins transformed himself from a depressed, overweight young man with no future into a U.S. Armed Forces icon and one of the world’s top endurance athletes.”
Our new Sleep Number bed!! While we have only slept in it for 3 nights, it has been three of the best nights’ of sleep in a LONG time!! As we continue to dial in our numbers, I can only imagine that out sleep will continue to improve!!
My last week of my middle school teaching career. This change feels scary, but right!! I’m super excited to embark on this new career as a Teaching Laboratory Coordinator with the Physics and Astronomy Department at Iowa State University starting next week. After all, stepping outside of your comfort zone is where the magic happens!
Attitude of Gratitude:
How was your month of May?! What were you grateful for last month?!
As I roll into my last month of teaching, before changing careers, it is time to reflect on April. April has brought us some days of warmer weather, had me spending time with my Coeur sisters, crossing the finish line of another 1/2 marathon, and riding outside on the open roads with my fave. With all of these amazing things in the rear view mirror, I have high hopes for the month of May!!
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…18 weeks and counting!! BOOM!!
Swim: 38,700 yards (21.99 miles)
Bike: 282 miles
Run: 95.5 miles
Strength: 10 minutes of core daily + various full body strength
Monthly Totals: 54 hours & 40 minutes
Explore is my focus word in 2019 and I’m happy to be incorporating it into all areas of my life…including training!! Before each race, I think back to key sessions that better prepared me (both physically and mentally) for the race I’m about to embark on. I even jot these key sessions down so that I know the dates to refer back to in my training log. On April 23, I had a key swim session that gave me the confidence that I can have a stellar PR swim this year! The workout…
Swim 100 at the 3rd fastest pace from the 4 x 100 descending above. Assuming that felt “right” for z3/mod hard type effort this will be your pace.
Swim as many 100’s as you can at this pace with :20 to :25 rest between. If using a tempo trainer, your rest is one beep cycle.
If off by 3 seconds, rest a full minute and try again.
If after 1 minute you cannot hold the pace you are done. Cool down.
Well…my 3rd fastest 100 was 1:38.7/100 yards. Could I really hold 1:39/100 yards for more than 5 intervals?
Apparently so! #befierce is the mantra for the Coeur Team in 2019 and it helped me crush my expectations and self doubt during this workout and I know it will help me with many more in the future!!
KonaKamps always has me inspired by some amazing peeps!! Keri Houston is an age group champ at Ironman New Zealand 2019. Michelle Enslin is the age group champion for the 50-54 age group at Ironman South Africa 2019 after coming back from surgery. Her gratitude is contagious!
Rich Roll brought Johann Hari on his podcast to talk about addiction and depression. “The opposite of addiction isn’t sobriety. It’s connection.” With the world at our fingertips (quite literally…that phone you’re holding is taking you away from making connections with the people around you, so put it down and make memories with those around you) we can disconnect from those around us just as quickly as we can connect with them by putting the technology away. “If you suffer from addiction or depression, this is a must listen. If you don’t, chances are someone you care for does. This conversation can provide the insight and tools for better understanding the struggle — because mental health truly impacts everyone.”
Peak Performance: Elevate your Game, Avoid Burnout, and Thrive with the New Science of Success by Brad Stulberg and Steve Magness is amazing!! It kept me engaged and wanting to read even more!! The authors suggest “optimally alternating between periods of intense work and rest; priming the body and mind for enhanced productivity; and developing and harnessing the power of a self-transcending purpose.” There is so much useful information in here!! It was one that I struggled to put down so I could get adequate sleep each night!!
Discomfort…I know that when we step outside of our comfort zone and embrace discomfort that we experience growth. As a result, I have been leaning into discomfort more in my personal life and am making huge strides. Discomfort isn’t easy and it takes a lot of work for growth to happen, but the rewards that come from it are definitely worth leaning into and embracing the discomfort.
Attitude of Gratitude:
How was your month of April?! What were you grateful for last month?!
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…
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!!
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 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!!
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!!
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
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.
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!!
Attitude of Gratitude:
How was your month of March?! What were you grateful for last month?! How can you document them in a meaningful way for you?!
Saturday I ran the St. Paddy’s 1/2 marathon with the goal of averaging an 8:30 min/mile pace over the course of 13.1 miles. When I hit mile 1, I noticed I was running a bit faster than planned, but I was feeling good and decided to go with it. Sure, I was working hard, but my goal for this year is to #explore and see what I can do, so that is exactly what I did. I knew the later part of the race would be more challenging with fatigue and that gradual climb back to the Capitol building, so I was going to ride the good feeling wave as long as I could. I didn’t negative split my run, but I am very happy with how I performed! This has me super excited for what 2019 has in store for me as I continue to #explore!
1:51:44 Official Finish time (8:32 min/mile average pace)
2nd place out of 20 in F40-44
25th place out of 50 Females
89th place out of 341 total finishers
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
I had another SOLID month of training!! I completed 10 minutes of core strength daily + I did not miss one workout last month!! BOOM!!
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 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!!
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!!
“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. 🙂
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 ❤
How was your month of February?! What were you grateful for last month?! Have you ever tried glass blowing?!
2019 is off to a great start…even with arctic temps last week!! I love the changing seasons and we FINALLY got snow, so winter is officially here!! Only in Iowa can you have nearly a 100*F temperature swing in a span of 5 days. Thankfully we are experiencing a temperature swing in the upward direction!! As the saying goes, “If you don’t like the weather in Iowa, just wait 5 days…it will change!”😂 Here is a snapshot of what January had in store for me.
I had a SOLID month of training!! I completed 10 minutes of core strength daily + I did not miss one workout last month!! BOOM!!
Swim: 35,300 yards (20.06 miles)
Bike: 257 miles
Run: 62.8 miles
Strength: 10 minutes of core daily + various full body strength + some yoga 🙂
Monthly Totals: 50 hours & 1 minute
I have been meditating in the morning for about 6 months, but I did so on my own until January 1. I had tried the Calm app, but it was definitely not for me. So many people had recommended the Headspace app to me, so on January 1, I bit the bullet and officially tried using the Headspace app to help me meditate. I am pleased to say that I used the app everyday for the entire month of January. The best part…I don’t mind it!! This is a HUGE success for me as I typically don’t like it when someone else tells me what to “think” or how to think.😂 Thankfully the Headspace app doesn’t do this, but instead subtly reminds me to focus on my breathing rather than on the random thoughts floating through my mind like clouds in the sky.
Kona Kamps!! Bianca Faulke-Tanner won the F30-34 age group at Ironman Malaysia on a challenging day. Sara Randolph won the F40-44 age group at Ironman Malaysia on a hot, humid, and stormy day! Congratulations to both ladies on their win!
4 heartbreaking (yet very common) reasons we don’t set goals by Mel, with Fellow Flowers, really resonated with me. I find so many of these reasons to be true for why women (and sometimes even men) don’t set goals. It is ok to fail…it makes us stronger and more resilient! Stop comparing yourself to others…YOU DO YOU & BE YOU! It is ok to change your mind…people do this all of the time with small, medium, and large things. Make a decision, commit, and set goals that feel good to YOU in this moment!
The mind is a POWERFUL tool! When I am positive, focused, and open minded I have performed at much higher levels and generally been a much happier person. I have made some changes since Thanksgiving that have freed my mind of negativity + chaos, allowed me to be more focused + present, and opened my mind to so much more! More exploration on so many levels. More belief in myself. More grit. More physical strength. More tenacity. More mental fortitude. More resiliency. More desire to be better than I was yesterday. More potential to be the best version of myself I can possibly be.
Life and triathlon can be very uncomfortable at times with so many uncontrollable factors and unknowns. This can make it difficult to stay positive, focused, and in the present moment, but positivity, focus, and staying in the present moment is where it’s at! I have achieved SO MUCH success when I focus on what I need in the present moment. Don’t worry about the past. Don’t worry about my workout after work. Don’t worry about tomorrow’s work meeting. Don’t worry about the next interval. Don’t worry about how the conversation is going to go. Don’t worry about what others are/aren’t doing. What do I need right here, right now?
As I embark on my first race week of 2019, I am happy to report that my mindset is strong, positive, focused, excited, and I’m ready to unleash some serious attitude on Sunday!!