My 2018 Year in Review via Photos

January:

Celebrating the end of the #batcapchallenge on January 1!
Ironman Louisville registration for 2018!!
Supporting our twin nieces at their swim meet!
My fave and me at home home!!
Me and my fave listening to Damon Dotson!
Snowshoeing adventures with my fam!
Lunch with the twins at school!
Winter wonderland with Dad + my fave!
Catching up with my “baby brother” at home home!

February:

My longest run since November and with this amazing sunset!
Snowshoe adventures!
Enjoying life with my fave!

March:

The biggest birthday card I’ve ever received! Thank you Laylah!
Warm enough for shorts?! YES!! Soaking up the sun + vitamin D!!
Making an effort, not an excuse!
Rolling out of 40 and into 41 like “Hell yeah! 40 was an amazing year! Cheers to an even better 41!”
Birthday lunch date with my #solesister
We are SO grateful to have SBR Sports, Inc. in our tribe this year! #sbrambassador
These two girls fill my heart with love and joy every day!
The girls playing tug of war with a stick in the yard while we shovel.
Listening to your gut instead of your heart can be REALLY tough! I’m confident we made the right decision not to race the 10K road race this morning and swim instead.
These kids! They engineered some very creative ways to protect their eggs when they dropped them from the balcony at school! #eggdrop

April:

3 of my favorite little bunnies!
Our winter playground is officially closed for the summer
I’m so grateful to have this amazing man by my side in life!
I’m so grateful for my #solesister!
Traci, we love you! So grateful to have amazing friends at work!
First race of 2018 is in the books! My finish time wasn’t as good as I’d hoped for, but it was better than I expected! #happygirl #mydrakerelays
CPR/AED recertification day!
SO happy to have this pretty lady back home in Iowa! #lovemyneighbor
Checking my gait while picking up our new Garmins! #therunnersflat
New Garmin day! #therunnersflat
Being filmed for a video being put together for Team Chiropractic…what does it take to be an Ironman??? Many hours staring at the same walls! Desire, focus, determination, grit, tenacity, belief in yourself…just to name a few!

May:

Dance like no one is watching when you’re happy! So grateful there are only 35 days (including weekends) until summer break!
“Right now” was pure joy for 50 miles on two wheels with my fave! I was so happy to be outside riding on the open roads!
10 mile heat acclimation run. “Right now” helped me chase my dreams!
A clean bike is a FAST bike!! Mojo is clean and ready to race!!
So grateful + blessed to be part of this amazing Coeur Sports team! I have met so many incredible women in sport and am excited to meet even more!! #TeamCoeur2018 #CourageTeam18
So grateful to have my fave as Sherpa/spectator extraordinaire jimmy rigging Mojo for me!!
Pre-race with my Coeur Sports sister, Michelle!
Race done!
Thanks Kyle (with Kyle’s Bikes) for fixing up Mojo and making everything right again!! #bestbikemechanic
Mojo always looks so beautiful against the farmland!!
So grateful my sister-in-law came to visit briefly!
Cheering on my fave at the Hickory Grove Triathlon was so much fun!! Cold, but fun!!
50 mile ride + 1 mile run with my fave on this HOT + STILL day is done!! It wasn’t pretty, but it is done!!
An open water swim with my fave!!

June:

Grateful to have these two monkeys come and visit us this weekend! Life is always better with ice cream!!
Love these girls!! Grateful I got to spend some time with them at the outdoor aquatic center!!
Incredibly grateful to live in a neighborhood that comes together to help each other out. Our neighbor’s tree was struck by lightening during a storm and everyone came together to help clean it up.
Turning social friends into real friends!! So grateful to meet Beth in person!!
Pre-race swim…check
So grateful I got to meet up with Steena my Coeur Sports teammate!! Love this pretty, badass lady!!
So grateful to have my fave by my side and help make decisions that are right for us…this was the weather on race morning.
I did a thang! The #flatlander703 was the TOUGHEST race I’ve ever done, but I learned A LOT and got 1st place overall!! Thanks to my fave for the award ceremony and making me feel special!!
Volunteer lead bikes at the Hope Run Saturday morning! #givingback
42 solo miles on a VERY HOT + HUMID day!!
Cheering + spectating at the Ames Velo crit races…so much fun!! #crazyfastriders
Incredibly grateful that my fave walked away from a solo bicycle accident with lots of road rash and NO head injury (despite cracking his helmet in 2 places). Wear your helmet people!! It saves lives!!
So grateful for cooler temps so this bubble gum tongue could run 10 miles with me this morning! #basillovesrunning
Grateful to get the opportunity to be the lead bike for the local 5K + 10K race to support Iowa Able!! My fave directed traffic at the finish area!!
FINALLY nailing goal watts on an outdoor ride!!!
Double run day!! I pleasantly surprised myself today!!

July:

New Roka Sports wetsuit day!! So grateful to have Roka support this crazy journey and help us #findfaster!!
Doesn’t everyone play in the water after they swim?!?!
Running into the weekend with my fave by my side!! Today marks 100 days until #IMLou!! So grateful for the nice summer weather during my 10 miles of pace work this morning!!
So grateful to have Coach Kelly in my village, helping me get stronger, believing in me (even when I don’t always believe in myself), and guiding my ship through unchartered waters.
Some days you’re the tugboat and some days you’re the mermaid, but any day I GET to swim with the sun on my back is a good day!!
So grateful for my friend Robin!! She surprised me with the perfect motivational gift from Hawaii…an #IMWC visor (don’t worry…it doesn’t say finisher or have a date on it…she made sure of that)!! Thank you!! Thank you!! Thank you!!
“Surprise yourself every day with your own courage.” ~Denholm Elliott
Today was a soggy, gross run, but I surprised myself and ran faster than it felt!!
So grateful that I got to spend the morning with my colleague at the Accel Triathlon cheering on my fave and friends!!
Love these peeps!! So grateful to have them in my life!!
My happy place!! Life on two wheels!!
Diving into race week!! #IMOhio70point3 is this coming Sunday!!
So grateful for Kyle at Kyle’s Bikes!! His race day blessing means Mojo is ready to roll!!
Today we broke up 7.5 hours of driving with a little #swimlove in a new city!!
My Coeur runneth over!! I got to meet some of the most inspirational, determined, loving ladies today!! #happycoeur
These three ladies hold a special place in my heart!!
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!!
Our Air BNB hosts were spectacular!! I’m so grateful for their hospitality, openness, and friendship!!
I’m riding cloud nine after setting a PR at Ironman Ohio 70.3 and finally breaking 6 hours, but I’m not sure it would have happened without Steena by my side. This girl is the definition of #heartandcourage and I’m so grateful for her!! Her strength, positivity, selflessness, and uplifting spirit are just a few of the wonderful things about her!! Thank you Steena for all you did to help me achieve my dream!! Love you girl!! “PRs are better with friends!!”
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!!

August:

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!! 🙂
Only in Iowa does your neighbor walk goats on leash down the sidewalk. The goats allowed Basil and My to smell them and try to play with them. When one goat “talked” to Basil, Basil didn’t have a clue what that noise was or what to do.
Celebrating with Dad back at home home!
Snow cones with the twins!! Yummy!!
These animals have keys to my heart!
So grateful that I got to stay with my college friend, Christina, and her girl, Gracie, in Madison at my solo training camp!
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!!
Making fitness + pushing myself in Madison on the #IMWI bike course!
Grateful to spend the afternoon at the state fair with these fun peeps listening to Brett Eldredge live in concert!
Finding the sunshine among the storms during my long run!
After riding the struggle bus in the pool Saturday morning, I got to ride 71.9 miles. This is where I started to transition from a passenger on the struggle bus to the captain…I’m not in full control of the bus just yet, but I’m getting closer!!
Grateful to have these two motivate me for some #sundayrunday hill repeats!!
Hanging with some colleagues…back to work!
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!!
Today was my 15th first day of teaching!!
Happy Friday!! Running in the mist with Robin was a great way to start the day!!
90 miles of #bikelove and chasing Anne for 55 of those miles on a very hot + humid day = DONE!!
#sundayrunday was 16 soggy + gross miles thanks to the 72*F dew point!! Thanks for running 5 of those miles with me Robin!!

September:

So grateful to have nailed my swim with PR swim splits!!
Basil turned 6 years old on Monday…I love these two SO MUCH!!
Riding 5 hours on the trainer staring at Lake Monona…I so wanted to be on the IMWI bike course, but my gut told me not to and I listened to it.
45 minute run off the bike…so fun to run into (literally) a social media friend and turn him into a real friend!!
All of these amazing volunteers helped us keep T1 in check on IMWI race morning. I’m so grateful for their help!!
Playing pack mule for friends racing!! So glad we were able to get their gear, take it to their car, and help them out!! Congrats to both Steena and John on stellar IMWI races!!
Congratulations to my fave!! He finished his last long run (22 miles) before the Twin Cities Marathon in 3 weeks!! Meanwhile, I was still riding on the trainer…5 hours in the books!!
The sunrise on my 18 mile long run was magnificent!! Grateful!!
Starting Friday off right…with my fave by my side for some morning miles!!
Knocking out the workouts one at a time!
V is for victory!! I nailed my swim session with my second 1200 yard split being 4 sec/100 yards faster than my first 1200 yard split!!
8 morning miles with Basil (2 of those with my fave too)!! #basillovesrunning
+ 9 afternoon miles = 17 strong miles Wednesday!!
Playing around in the pool after putting in some work!!
Thank you Kyle for putting a new chain on Mojo and giving her your race day blessing!!
Grateful for the OneBrainWellness Self Defense clinic to learn how to defend myself against an attacker!!
After crushing my 90 minute run/1 hour bike intervals/1 hour run back to back to back Sunday, the hay is in the barn!! I’m #IMLou race ready!! It’s time to TAPER!! (Run #2)

October:

While swimming today, there was a seahorse on the bottom of the pool in my lane. Was this a sign?! I believe it was!! The seahorse is considered to be a symbol of strength and power. Just what I needed today!!
So grateful to have this crazy group of colleagues to work with!!
Cycling around the Twin Cities on my cross bike chasing down my fave!! No idea how many miles I logged, but it was fun and challenging to stay ahead of him!!
So grateful to briefly chat with Elaina at mile 26 of the Twin Cities Marathon!!
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!! 🙂
So grateful to briefly chat with my Coeur Sports teammate Kendra (and meet little Ralphie <3) at mile 8.5 of the Twin Cities Marathon!!
Running with my fave by Churchill Downs after spending hours in the car to get to Louisville!!
Getting to meet up with a few of my Coeur Sports teammates was so much fun!! This team of uplifting, encouraging, supportive women is where it’s at!!
Swinging in the sunshine with my fave on Saturday…the calm before the storm (quite literally)!!
Grateful that my Dad came to cheer me on at Ironman Louisville!!
These two!! I’m so grateful for my fave and sis who kept me going strong all day long!!
This sums up my Ironman Louisville race day…cold + wet + windy + challenging + strong = success!!
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!
I’m so proud to be crossing the finish line of Ironman #6!!
Giving Dad and Abbie a “high five” in the finish chute with my run bottle in hand! Love you both!
LOVE these two smiling faces!!
Grateful to get to see my cousin and cheer on his wife at the Des Moines Marathon!!
Grateful for my colleagues!! The #7dwarfs #spookoutdrugs during Red Ribbon Week at school!!
Happy Halloween from some 8th grade teachers!! #decadestheme

November:

Playing in the leaves after some #runlove with Basil!!
The Coeur Sports 2019 ambassador team…I’m SO grateful to be representing the BEST brand + sisterhood in endurance sport!!
Spending more time on the bike with my fave now that we are training for the same races in 2019!!
Grateful to have my mother-in-law visit us!!
When you FINALLY see yourself on the side of the city bus when it is stopped!!
So thankful to have this guy by my side in life!!
So grateful that I got to meet up with framily over Thanksgiving break!!

December:

SURPRISE!! Coach Kelly called as I was heading out the door to swim and told me to do a swim test instead of my scheduled swim. Adapt on the fly + handle the pressure!! This is the excitement when you do better than expected on your swim test!!
Basil decided to interrupt us while we were dancing to Christmas music in the kitchen.
So grateful to Breakthrough Nutrition for helping me sleep at night!!
I would chase this girl anywhere!!
Playtime in the pool!!
FTP progress…not where I once was, but getting closer 🙂
I had the swim of my life!! Everything just clicked and I felt amazing!!
We don’t always wear spandex!! 🙂
My colleagues!!
Framily!! ❤
Family! ❤
Sisters! ❤
Great Grandma Annie delivers again!
Making gingerbread houses with my favorite little people!!
Making gingerbread houses with my favorite people!!
Thank you to Ruth for our new doggie Coeur gear!!
My Coeur Sports sister, Courtney, came to Iowa for the holidays!! So blessed to get to swim with her + enjoy lunch together!!
Grateful to get to spend time with Courtney!! Can’t wait for her and her husband to return so we can spend more time together!!
Christmas with my fave!!
Ending 2018 on a HIGH note!! A HUGE increase in my FTP means I’m going to GET to work even harder in 2019!! (44 watt increase on my FTP)
Happy New Year’s!! Bring on 2019!!
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What’s Up?! – July 2018

I want my July back!! August is flying by and I’m not ready to go back to school just yet!! I could definitely use a few more weeks of summer break before the daily grind begins back up, but alas, that isn’t going to happen. Thankfully I still have 12 days of summer break left and I’m going to soak up every moment that I can!!

Training:

Whatever you decide to do, make sure it makes you happy!!
My happy place!! Life on two wheels!!
Stride for stride! Side by side! So grateful to have Steena by my side throughout the 13.1 miles at Ironman Ohio 70.3!!

Swim: 34,332 yards (19.5 miles)
Bike: 320 miles
Run: 92.3 miles
Monthly Totals: 53 hours & 51 minutes

Racing:

Ironman Ohio 70.3 was nearly perfect! Incase you missed it, my goal was to go sub 6 hours. I’m happy to report that I FINALLY achieved this goal!! Thanks to Coach Kelly for designing a plan to help me achieve this. Thanks to Steena for running the 13.1 miles with me and pushing me the last 2 miles. Thanks to my fave for being the most supportive, encouraging, motivating, loving friend and life partner I could ask for!!

I’m riding cloud nine after setting a PR at Ironman Ohio 70.3 and finally breaking 6 hours, but I’m not sure it would have happened without Steena by my side. This girl is the definition of #heartandcourage and I’m so grateful for her!! Her strength, positivity, selflessness, and uplifting spirit are just a few of the wonderful things about her!! Thank you Steena for all you did to help me achieve my dream!! Love you girl!! “PRs are better with friends!!”

Reading:

Summit Lake by Charlie Donlea is a great mystery! I typically figure out the ending before I get there, but I really didn’t see this ending coming! “Becca Eckersley was a first-year law student and daughter of a powerful attorney was brutally murdered in Summit Lake. There are no suspects. No persons of interest. Just a girl who was alive one day and dead the next. Kelsey Castle is an investigative reporter who thinks this assignment is a fluff piece at first. As Kelsey digs deeper, despite danger and warnings, she feels a growing connection to the dead girl. And the more she learns about Becca’s friendships, her love life—and her secrets—the more convinced she becomes that walking in Becca’s footsteps could lead her out of her own dark past…”

The Girl Who was Taken by Charlie Donlea is another great mystery! “The night they go missing, high school seniors Nicole Cutty and Megan McDonald are at a beach party in their small town of Emerson Bay, North Carolina. Police launch a massive search, but hope is almost lost—until Megan escapes from a bunker deep in the woods. . . . A year later, the bestselling account of her ordeal has made Megan a celebrity. It’s a triumphant story, except for one inconvenient detail: Nicole is still missing. Nicole’s older sister, Livia, a fellow in forensic pathology, expects that one day soon Nicole’s body will be found and her sister’s fate determined. Instead, the first clue comes from another body—that of a young man connected to Nicole’s past. Livia reaches out to Megan to learn more about that fateful night. Other girls have disappeared, and she’s increasingly sure the cases are connected. Megan knows more than she revealed in her book. Flashes of memory are pointing to something more monstrous than she described. And the deeper she and Livia dig, the more they realize that sometimes true terror lies in finding exactly what you’ve been looking for . . .”

Listening to:

The Coeur Sports EarSplitz Podcast interviewed Kebby Holden, Founder of Coeur Sports. This company has my heart…not simply because of the amazing clothing, but because of what they represent. I love that they encourage us to try to get more women in sport!! ❤

Grateful for:

New Roka Sports wetsuit day!! So grateful to have Roka support this crazy journey and help us #findfaster!!
So grateful that I got to spend the morning with my colleague at the Accel Triathlon cheering on my fave and friends!!
Love these peeps!! So grateful to have them in my life!!
So grateful Dr. Feil pulls out all the stops to help me achieve my goals!! Dry needling + electrolysis + electric shock treatment = progress towards #sub6orbust next week!!
So grateful for Kyle at Kyle’s Bikes!! His race day blessing means Mojo is ready to roll!!
My Coeur runneth over!! I got to meet some of the most inspirational, determined, loving ladies today!! #happycoeur
These three ladies hold a special place in my heart!!
Our Air BNB hosts were spectacular!! I’m so grateful for their hospitality, openness, and friendship!!
This lady (and her friend) were two of the most AMAZING volunteers!! So grateful for the volunteers, meeting new people, and the triathlon community!!
This guy! There aren’t enough words! Thank you for your support! Thank you for believing in me! Thank you for encouraging me to chase my dreams! Thank you for motivating me when I lack self-motivation! Thank you for pushing me to do and be my best! Thank you for loving and choosing me! Thank you! I’m so blessed and grateful to have you by my side on this journey! Love you!
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!!

How was your month of July?! What were you grateful for last month?!

“PRs are better with friends!”

Wow!! Where to begin?!?! I guess I’ll start with the short version…

Now for the full race report…Ironman Ohio 70.3 was more than I could have hoped for!! If you’ve been following my journey, you’ll know that #sub6orbust was my goal for Ohio. I knew I could break 6 hours, but everything had to fall together. Ironman Ohio 70.3 was about exploring! After 5+ years of dreaming about breaking 6 hours at the 70.3 distance, it was time to turn that dream into a reality! I felt strong, ready, and willing to give it my all!

“Of course we all have our limits, but how can you possibly find your boundaries unless you EXPLORE as far and as wide as you possibly can? I would rather fail in an attempt at something new and uncharted than safely succeed in a repeat of something I have done.”

This guy!! I don’t even know where to begin!! He is my biggest supporter, favorite person, and my rock!! Love him beyond words!! Photo credit: ME!

Swim: 43:19 (2:03/100 yards)

Good morning Delaware Lake!! Photo credit: FinisherPix

The water was 79.25*F, which made it wetsuit optional. It was DEFINITELY too warm for a wetsuit…swimming in murky bath water isn’t ideal, but it is what we were all given. I LOVE the self seeding swim starts!! This was my second race of this format and it is so much cleaner in the water. My Coeur Sports teammate, Steena, her friend Jodi, and I all lined up in the corrals together, but I somehow ended up in the water about 7 seconds before them. As I entered the water, I was calm, relaxed, and focused. I found my line and swam! No anxiety! No stress! Just pure swim flow! I swam a relatively straight line (for me) siting every 6 strokes. I had very little contact with others in the water for the majority of the swim. I focused on my swim mantra, “long, strong, pull” for the duration of the swim…especially when I encountered traffic after the last turn buoy before returning to the shore. As I exited the water, I was a bit disappointed with my swim time, but immediately changed the channel and reset my brain to a positive state for the bike ahead. In hindsight, I think this swim was long. Other athletes had similar swim distances (2300 yards instead of 2187), but no excuses…we all swam the same distance!

Who’s ready to swim?! We are! Photo credit: my fave
There I go! Photo credit: my fave

Gear: Roka swim skin, Roka X1 goggles, SBR Sports Inc. TriSlide, SBR Sports Inc. Foggies

T1: 4:00

Bike: 2:56:13 (19.04 miles/hour)

As I left transition, my fave was right at the mount line and told me to ease into my pace and be careful as there was a TON of congestion out there and other athletes weren’t being very respectful of one another.

Onto the bike! Photo credit: my fave

He was right. I hadn’t even got a 1/4 mile down the road and was getting yelled at by another athlete to get out of his way as I was trying to safely pass two other athletes. One of the athletes I was passing yelled, “Don’t be a douche bag,” while I reminded this douche bag that “we are all out here to have a good and SAFE day.” He wanted to hear nothing of it. He yelled some profanity at us and off he went. I reset my positivity! I knew I would be on the pedals for the whole ride as there isn’t much climbing over the 56 miles on this course. I’ve never raced a 70.3 distance (or full Ironman for that matter) on such a flat course, so this would be a new experience. I was ready to explore and give it my all!! Mojo and I quickly settled into Z3 watts (152-182 watts for me) where we planned to remain for the duration of the ride. Once settled into my pace, I ate a Honey Stinger Waffle, drank some hydration and cruised! About mile 10, I passed Steena. She had beat me out of the water. She said, “Go get it” to me as I passed her. I REALLY wanted to slap her on the a$$ as I passed her, but didn’t want to cause an accident, so I cheered for her and kept going strong. It was shortly after this that I eased up on my watts (oops!) into Z2 and they stayed on the upper end of Z2 for the remainder of the ride. This wasn’t the goal, but it was what happened.

In my happy place!! Photo Credit: FinisherPix

At about mile 54, Steena passed me and said, “What are you doing? Let’s go!” I was having a bit of heart burn, so I took 4 Tums and off I went. I passed Steena (after all she told me at the swim start that I should be in front of her all day long) and as I passed her, she told me she wanted to photo bomb me if the opportunity presented itself…sadly it didn’t. I wheeled into transition with her right behind me.

Gear: Coeur Sports team kit, Mojo (Specialized Transition bike), Specialized Evade helmet, Specialized Shoes, Roka Sunnies

T2: 2:22

Run: 2:10:29 (9:50 min/mile)

Steena and I left T2 at the same time, so we decided to start the run together and see how things unfolded. Now was the time to truly explore how my legs would hold up. They felt trashed right from the first run step, but I ignored them. I ignored the fact that I really had to pee (I didn’t have time to stop…#sub6orbust was on the line). I ignored my run pace. I monitored my HR. Coach Kelly told me to monitor my HR through mile 10 and if I was feeling up to it to let ‘er rip at that point. I told Steena of my plan and she decided to stick with me for a while and see how this unfolded. I couldn’t have asked for a better running partner! We were so evenly matched in pace and footfall! She says I pulled her through the first 11 miles, but in reality, she gave me a “job” of successfully pacing both of us to a sub 6 hour finish! I turned my Garmin screen to monitor only my HR and tried not to focus on the pace. We were moving along at a decent clip, chatting occasionally (in broken sentences), and enjoying the footfalls of each other as we moved forward. At one point Steena said, “You are such a consistent pacer. You need to come pace me at Ironman Wisconsin.” I started singing “Pacing Queen” instead of “Dancing Queen” in my head and shared this with Steena as we pushed on.

Stride for stride! Side by side! Photo credit: my fave

Having my fave yo-yo around us on his bike was AMAZING!! We saw him every 1-2 miles. He was cheering, taking photos, and texting with Coach Kelly throughout the run. As we started the 2nd loop, Steena said, “Let’s F*ck Sh!t UP!” and told me the back story that goes with it. I said, “I’m ready, but am going to stick to the plan until mile 10.” So we continued on with the plan. At mile 10, I picked up the pace, but by mile 11, I was in the hurt box. This is where Steena took over and got us to the finish line. She gave me her flower and told me it means “resilience” and that I was going to break 6 hours today! At mile 12, my fave chased me up the hill cracking the whip…

My fave cracking the whip at mile 12! Photo credit: some random stranger with my phone

After we turned back on Henry to head back to the stadium, I saw Linda (a fellow Coeur teammate) heading out on the run. I gave her a quick hug and started to tear up. Steena said, “Don’t cry! It makes running harder. Focus on your dog and all of the funny things she does to make you smile. Let’s go!” As we continued down Henry, I could hear our Air BNB hosts cheering me on. Then we rounded the corner into the stadium and Ruth (another Coeur teammate) was on the corner cheering!

Running strong to the stadium! Photo credit: Ruth Rickey

I knew we would break 6 hours, but by how much?! Steena asked me if I wanted to run ahead and have my own moment at the finish line. I said, “Hell no! You have been with me this whole run. We are crossing together!”

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

And that is EXACTLY what we did! PRs are definitely better with friends!!

We did it!! (ignore the time on the clock that was the elapsed time from the first wave of athletes that entered the water)
PRs are definitely better with friends!!

Overall: 5:56:20 (30 out of 110 in F40-44; 192 out of 666 women; 764 out of 1957 total finishers)

I can’t even begin to explain how elated I am with this race, my performance, and the amazing people that entered my life throughout this weekend! This was so much better than I ever dreamed!! I pushed myself way out of my comfort zone and achieved big goals and dreams!! This gives me huge amounts of confidence for big rewards at #IMLou in October!! I am forever grateful to Steena for making sure I achieved my #sub6 dream by pushing me those last 2 miles and to my fave for being the best husband, friend, supporter, Sherpa, spectator, cheerleader, photographer, and whip cracker anyone could ask for!! I am truly blessed and riding on cloud nine!!

We are now both a part of the #sub6club!!

15 weeks ’til #IMLou – Mixed Bag

Last week was a mixed bag! I had some breakthrough sessions and some sessions where I rode the struggle bus. On Thursday, I went out for my ride and got REALLY dehydrated. While it was my fault for not stopping on the way home to refill my bike bottles, I didn’t want to ride 2 miles out of my way to refill them when there were some SERIOUS storms rolling in, so I kept rolling toward home. My pace kept getting slower and slower and slower. About 7 miles from home, I called for a ride. Not only was there thunder and lightening in the area, but I was very dehydrated. Time to call it a day! I kept riding toward home until I met my ride about 5 miles from home. Thanks to George for coming to pick Mojo and me up!! This little bump caused me to miss a couple of days of training, but I learned a couple of lessons…stop and refill the bottles (I may have actually made it home before the storms if I had been hydrated) and don’t wear arm coolers when it is SO HUMID (they don’t allow for evaporative cooling when it is in the tropics zone). #alwayslearning

Swim: 6032 yards

“Consistent hard work is what yields success, not perfectly nailed sessions!” ~Hailey Manning  #breakthroughsession
#swimlove #happyheart

Bike: 128 miles

FINALLY nailing goal watts on an outdoor ride!!! #breakthroughsession
Coach Basil wasn’t keen on the easy, recovery ride. She likes it better when I push and sweat all over…tasty!! 😉
Today I tried to outride the “storm,” but the “storm” won.
Recovery ride post dehydration

Run: 15 miles

Double run day!! I pleasantly surprised myself today!!
Double run day!! I pleasantly surprised myself today!!

Strength Training: 10 minutes of core strength almost daily + 1 hour & 15 minutes full body strength 

Strength training post ride!! 🙂
Mya was “coaching” me while I did SBT Extreme this week.

Weekly Totals: 15 hours & 1 minute

Quote of the Week:

“Life is a mixed bag of blessings and disaster.” ~Brandon B.

Attitude of Gratitude:

SO GRATEFUL to Nick with Vitality Massage for keeping me healthy and active!!
I was DREAMING about these AMAZING fish tacos ALL. DAY. LONG!!! #getinmybelly
Grateful to have Sound Probiotics in my village!! #winningtakesguts
Recovering on a double run day with avocado toast and Normatec Recovery boots!
Epsom salt + lavender bubble bath = grateful
My dehydration craving of choice was pickle juice!! So grateful we had some in the fridge!!
New Roka Sports wetsuit day!! So grateful to have Roka support this crazy journey and help us #findfaster!!

How was your week? What are you grateful for this week?! What do you crave when you are dehydrated?!

CyMan Triathlon Race Report

Five weeks post Ironman Mont Tremblant, I tackled the CyMan Sprint Triathlon. There is a HUGE difference in pain level between Ironman racing and Sprint Triathlon racing! The sprint hurt…a LOT! Way more than Ironman!

We arrived early, set up transition, and then waited for over 2 hours for the start of the sprint race.

Mojo and I are ready to race! Where is everyone else?!?!

Since the race was in small town Iowa, one of my colleagues (who is also a dear friend) came to cheer us on. It was so nice to have her spectating! She was in all of the right places! 🙂

So grateful to have Rachel cheering us on!

Swim: 16:45 for 750 yards

This was the most DISGUSTING water I’ve EVER swam in! It was so thick and dark that I couldn’t see anything. The water was wetsuit legal, but only by a few degrees, so I opted to swim in my Roka Viper Elite Swim Skin which was the prefect decision for this water.

We are ready to swim despite the NASTY water!

We started with a floating start. There was no real place to “start” so all of the ladies in the water were chatting (as we waited for the air horn to go off) about moving closer and closer to the first turn buoy and see just when the announcers called us back, but no one was brave enough to lead the way. 😉 There were very few ladies, so I had zero physical contact in the water. I got in a groove and just kept swimming. My swim time was slower than I’d hoped for, but I also think the swim distance may have been longer than the advertised 750 yards.

T1: 1:06

I quickly transitioned to the bike. Mojo and I were off before I knew it!

Out of the water!
Getting ready for the bike!
Time to ride!

Bike: 46:51 for 12 miles (my Garmin said 13.9 miles for actual distance)

Uh Oh! My legs decided to not show up for the party right from the beginning. This was going to be a challenge, but thankfully it would be a short challenge! I had made the decision to go as hard as I could and hold on for as long as I could. Since my legs weren’t having it, going hard wasn’t as hard as I’d hoped. The plus side…my Coeur Sports one pice racing suit was SO comfortable! Smooth as butter + #noangrykitty = WIN!

As the temperatures climbed, I drank my NBS hydration, thanked all of the volunteers, pushed past people, and just kept riding as hard as I could!

T2: 52 seconds

I quickly changed into my run shoes and was out on the run.

Run: 29:13 for a 5K run

Yep! The legs decided they weren’t showing up for the run either. It was already close to 90*F heat index when I started the run, and I just couldn’t get the legs to turn over like I wanted. I kept running and doing what I could to keep moving forward, but my legs were in full on protest mode! At about 1.5 miles into the run, I saw a friend in passing who should have been in front of me, so I asked him how it was going only to learn he had been stung by a bee and had to sit in the ditch on the bike waiting for an epipen (the one triathlon he didn’t carry his own with him). Grateful he was ok!

Shortly before mile 2, I saw Rachel and was so happy to be that much closer to done! Now to get back around the lake and to the finish line!

Overall: 1:34:49

This was not the performance I had hoped for, but any day I *get* to swim/bike/run is a great day! I’m grateful this was a short distance event so I didn’t have to feel *off* all day long! Apparently my body needed a bit more time to recover from Ironman Mont Tremblant before trying to go hard at the sprint distance!

Ironman Wisconsin: Gratitude for My Tribe

I have so much to be grateful for!! I am beyond grateful that my body is healthy and allows me to push it to limits I would have never thought possible 5 years ago, but I can’t do it alone!! People often think of Ironman racing as an individual sport, but there are SO many people who have helped me on my journey and I couldn’t do it without their support!!

Family and Friends…

I am so blessed to have the most amazing and supportive family! Dad made the trip to Madison to cheer us on since he was in the area for work earlier in the week. He has kayaked beside me while I swim (both in training and swim racing), keeping me safe and on track. My sister and twin nieces cheered me on at the finish line of the Okoboji Triathlon earlier this year as well. Mom has had many tasty meals ready for us to consume after workouts and has cheered me on to 2 Ironman finish lines over the years. My sole sister has joined me on bike rides and runs throughout my training and has encouraged and motivated me to do and be my best! Our girlfriends Sue and Michele are amazing! I’m so grateful for their support and encouragement of us and our crazy lifestyle! My Coeur Sports Teammies have been inspiring and motivating me virtually for 2 years now. I was super lucky to have a few of them out on the course cheering me on (and many others on) in person…so much fun to see them all over the course! My family and friends are always inquiring about how my training is going and what race I am doing next. I am a lucky girl to have their support!!

Thanks to Dad and Tom for being our kayak support for the 3.5 mile Okoboji open water swim event!
Thanks to Dad and Tom for being our kayak support for the 3.5 mile Okoboji open water swim event!
#solesister + #bikelove = #perfectworld
#solesister + #bikelove = #perfectworld

My Sponsors…

Coeur Sports is hands down the best women’s SBR (swim/bike/run) brand on the market!! They have created #stylishspeed that keeps my girly bits happy…even while covering 140.6 miles. #noangrykitty here!! As a Coeur Sports ambassador, I get the privilege of being a part of an AMAZING team of women who are supportive, inspirational and genuinely full of #heartandcourage! I am so lucky to get the opportunity to enCOEURage more women in endurance sport, experience the ups and downs they encounter while on their journey and witness their joy when they reach new finish lines!! Thank you, Thank You, THANK YOU!!

I am forever grateful for Kyle and the Kyle’s Bikes crew, who have kept Mojo happy throughout training and on race day! You are always there for me when I frantically call or text, so thank you for talking me off a ledge and immediately getting Mojo fixed up when she has a mechanical issue!! Thank you, Thank You, THANK YOU!!

So glad two of my favorite worlds have collided! :)
So glad two of my favorite worlds have collided…Kyle’s Bikes and Coeur Sports! 🙂

Sound Probiotics has been keeping me healthy and on track for almost 2 years. Before taking Sound Probiotics, I would end up sick during the taper and often times once or twice during training…especially since I teach middle schoolers and am always surrounded by germs. Thanks to Sound Probiotics for my #happygut, enhanced immunity and better recovery throughout my training and racing experience!! After all, #winningtakesguts!

Karma Kombucha has been a daily staple in my diet since it’s birth…5 years now! They help keep my gut happy and healthy everyday! Drinking my booch before starting the marathon during Ironman Wisconsin definitely helped set me up for a great run!

So grateful to Karma Kombucha and Sound Probiotics for keeping me healthy while I train hard and start a new school year!
So grateful to Karma Kombucha and Sound Probiotics for keeping me healthy while I train hard and race harder!

One of the many perks of being a Coeur Sports ambassador is getting support from other amazing companies as well. Roka Sports, Smith Optics and Base Performance are three of the companies that have helped make my training and race experience so awesome!! Ironman Wisconsin was a wetsuit legal swim, so I donned my Maverick Elite wetsuit and my X1 goggles!! The Roka wetsuit works with my body instead of against it, making each swim stroke feel easy!! I absolutely LOVE the Roka goggles!! If you haven’t tried them, you definitely should…they are the BEST!! This year I tried the Smith Optics PivLock Arena sunnies and ABSOLUTELY love them!! What a game changer on the bike and run!! Speaking of game changer…Base Salt has definitely helped me better prevent hyponatremia (which I’ve experienced during 2 of my 5 Ironman races). Thank you, Thank You, THANK YOU to you all!!

My Triathlon Peeps…

I am one of the luckiest ladies around! I have a slew of support, inspiration, and motivation from my triathlon people…both in person and virtually! Thank you to all of the people who called, texted, emailed, Facebook messaged me, tweeted me, commented on my blog posts, commented on my Instagram pictures and tracked my progress both while training and on race day! You all ROCK!!

Nick has been keeping my body well recovered through massage for almost 3 years. He knows all of my problem areas and knows just what to do to keep my body (and ultimately my mind) happy and healthy! Thank you Nick for restoring the damage I do as I swim/bike/run my way to countless finish lines! Vitality Massage is definitely where recovery is at!!

The Iron Hippie…

My fave has been by my side for millions of swim strokes and the countless views as we’ve covered thousands and thousands of miles on two wheels and pounding the pavement. You are my #1 cheerleader and have supported me on this crazy journey of life and the even crazier journey of triathlon. I love you and am forever grateful for your love and support. What crazy journey should we take on next?!?!?!?

Countless laps next to my fave!
Countless laps next to my fave!
Many miles on two wheels with my fave!
Thousands of miles on two wheels with my fave!
Pounding the pavement for hundreds of miles with my fave!
Pounding the pavement for hundreds of miles with my fave!