“You can’t do passion halfway. Living your passion means you’re all in. You trust your heart and trust your gut wherever it takes you.” ~Joe Plumeri
My heart speaks swim/bike/run! It brings me calm, it brings me joy, it builds self confidence, it often teaches me something new, it breeds discipline, it connects me with others, it forces me to be more courageous, it allows me the freedom to mess up & still end up ok, it provides me an outlet, it makes me stronger (physically, mentally & emotionally), it fills me with gratitude, it helps me become a better version of myself, and SO much more!
I believe the purpose of my life is to be fearlessly authentic and passionate, to empower others, and inspire others to LIVE + PLAY BIG so they can be their best self and chase their dreams with their whole heart. When I live my purpose and live my passion, I have more heart, energy, and enthusiasm for what I am doing and those around me. I feel ALIVE! I’m so grateful for this life!
Part of living my passion is to live with a FULL heart, and LOADS of PURE JOY + GRATITUDE! The joy doesn’t come from crossing the finish line…although it does feel good to finally put the breaks on at the end of the really long day of IRONMAN racing. The pure joy + full heart comes from the reflection on how I got there. The journey. All the chlorine therapy. Each pedal stroke. Every step. The strength developed. The challenging workouts and the easy ones. The hard work. The recovery/nutrition/training balance. The obstacles I overcame. Staring at the same walls. Whatever Mother Nature threw my way. The self doubt. The mental strength I created. The gratitude I discovered in the good times and the bad times. The determination. The early mornings. The risks. The long hours on the bike. The persistence. The Basil miles. The balancing of life + training. The sacrifices. The daily grind. The resilience in getting back up when I got knocked down. The lows that I survived and the highs that I reveled in. The failures I learned from. The courage to be me and share with others. The freedom to do it my way. The success I accomplished. The entire journey; not simply the destination.
I am going to continue to follow my heart and live my passion in 2020 as it leads me on a new + exciting IRONMAN journey!
If you’ve been following my journey, you’ll know that I have made the decision to “choose me” and live my truth. By choosing me, I am actually choosing US, and I’m so grateful to have the Iron Hippie on this roller coaster ride with me. Here is a quick update on where I’m at.
TRUTH: I REALLY DO LOVE to swim/bike/run! My heart speaks swim/bike/run! It brings me calm. It brings me joy. It builds self confidence. It often teaches me something new. It breeds discipline. It connects me with others. It forces me to be more courageous. It allows me the freedom to mess up & still end up ok. It provides me an outlet. It makes me stronger – physically & mentally. It fills me with gratitude. It helps me be the best version of myself. I can’t imagine my life without swim/bike/run! Here are some of my truths:
I am a social introvert. Generally, I like to socialize with others while I workout. Socializing while working out fills me up and brings me joy because I get to connect with such great people in amazing communities. Don’t get me wrong, there are times a good solo workout is exactly what I need and crave…hence the introvert. The introvert is more present in the day to day activities when I hunker down at home, recover, gear up for the coming day/week, and jumpstart my batteries.
I love playing and feeling like a fish gliding through the water! Splashing around, making mud pies, dunking a friend, doing hand stands and somersaults in the water…hello childhood! ❤
I love the open roads, the wind in my face, the sun on my back, and the freedom I feel when I am on two wheels…I love it even more when I GET to ride with others!! The occasional red wing black bird that dive bombs my helmet also brings me joy…it is good interval training. 😉
I love running, but I love it even more with friends! Bonus = running with Basil! She knows how to have fun and bring a smile to my face! It’s hard not to smile when I watch her run. 🙂
I love being on the water!! It takes me back to my childhood. I love to SUP, canoe, kayak, water ski, tube, boat, anything that involves being on the water. The water is in my blood! 🙂
I love yoga! I love the community, the mindfulness, the focus, and the feeling of accomplishment + calm after a yoga session.
I love to be outside during all seasons! I love the fresh air, the calming sounds of nature, the various temperatures and humidity levels, the calm, the quiet, and the peace that comes with outdoor adventures.
Boxes aren’t for everyone. I’ve decided to step out of the box I’ve been in and experiment with self coaching in 2020. I’m excited to try new things knowing that some of these things may not work for me, while other things may be the best thing ever for me! Bring on the thinking outside of the box, the experimentation, the trial and error, the freedom and control to do it my way, and the excitement with trying something new!
I dream of one day…believing in myself so deeply that I open locked doors without the keys and inspire others to do the same on whatever journey they are on!!
Are you living your truth?! Are you being true to what YOU TRULY feel, what YOU really WANT to do, who YOU REALLY are, and what YOU DEFINITELY dream for yourself?! Are you choosing YOU?!
November was full of fun, gratitude, and heart! I spent time really listening to my heart and letting it guide me in my training, life experiences, and planning for 2020! Here is a snippet of what November looked like for me:
This month I decided to do whatever I wanted, when I wanted. No structured training. No 4 am wake ups until I was ready. No routines. It was awesomely awful! I swam when I wanted. I biked when I wanted. I ran when I wanted. I did intervals when I wanted. I incorporated more strength training. I spent more time with my mat. I went back to 10 minutes of core strength daily because it is a better fit for my schedule. I’ve decided I definitely thrive off of routines and consistency. While this freedom in training was much needed to reset my body and mind, it is time for me to regain the routines and consistency that I enjoy as I get ready to head into 2020.
Swim: 18,900 yards (10.74 miles)
Bike: 75.4 miles
Run: 57.0 miles
Strength: 10 minutes of core daily + more strength training + yoga ❤
Meditation: 3 minutes daily since January 1
Monthly Totals: 35 hours & 20 minutes
Explore is my focus word in 2019 and I’m happy to be incorporating it into all areas of my life…including racing the Hillbilly Hike 1/2 Marathon. When I went into this race, I wasn’t sure if I was going to run with my friend, Robin, or try to push myself and see what I could do. I decided to let my legs tell me. They told me to go after it despite the frost + ice covered running surfaces. I’m glad I pushed myself, am happy with my results, and am looking for more opportunities to #explore + break out of my comfort zone + push myself to new limits in 2020!
80/20 Triathlon: Discover the Breakthrough Elite-Training Formula for Ultimate Fitness and Performance at All Levels by Matt Fitzgerald and David Warden is for triathletes of all levels helping them balance training intensity to maximize performance. “Cutting-edge research has proven that triathletes and other endurance athletes experience their greatest performance when they do 80 percent of their training at low intensity and the remaining 20 percent at moderate to high intensity. But the vast majority of recreational triathletes are caught in the so-called “moderate-intensity rut,” spending almost half of their time training too hard–harder than the pros. Training harder isn’t smarter; it actually results in low-grade chronic fatigue that prevents recreational athletes from getting the best results. In 80/20 Triathlon, Matt Fitzgerald and David Warden lay out the real-world and scientific evidence, offering concrete tips and strategies, along with complete training plans for every distance–Sprint, Olympic, Half-Ironman, and Ironman–to help athletes implement the 80/20 rule of intensity balance. Benefits include reduced fatigue and injury risk, improved fitness, increased motivation, and better race results.”
The 5 Second Rule: Transform Your Life, Work, and Confidence with Everyday Courage by Mel Robbins provides you with tools to create action and change. “Throughout your life, you’ve had parents, coaches, teachers, friends, and mentors who have pushed you to be better than your excuses and bigger than your fears. What if the secret to having the confidence and courage to enrich your life and work is simply knowing how to push yourself? Using the science of habits, riveting stories, and surprising facts from some of the most famous moments in history, art, and business, Mel Robbins will explain the power of a “push moment”. Then, she’ll give you one simple tool you can use to become your greatest self. It takes just five seconds to use this tool, and every time you do you’ll be in great company. More than eight million people have watched Mel’s TEDx Talk, and executives inside of the world’s largest brands are using the tool to increase productivity, collaboration, and engagement. In The 5 Second Rule, you’ll discover it takes just five seconds to:
Break the habit of procrastination and self-doubt
Beat fear and uncertainty
Stop worrying and feel happier
Share your ideas with courage
The 5 Second Rule is a simple, one-size-fits-all solution for the one problem we all face – we hold ourselves back. The secret isn’t knowing what to do – it’s knowing how to make yourself do it.”
Two Concepts to Guide Your Off-season Training by Matt Edwards is full of some great information for things you can do in the off-season to better prepare yourself for the coming season. During your off-season, take time to focus on technique, strength training, your weakness, and endurance.
6 Ways to Avoid “Bad Race Blues” by Mackenzie Madison has some great tips for getting back on track after a “bad” race and “avoid feeling mentally stuck in a previous disappointment.”
How to Master Your Athletes’ Motivation by Jamie Blanchfield is very insightful on what influences motivation and what enhances motivation. Motivation ebbs and flows with changes in life, training, work, etc. Self efficacy is key to motivation and success.
October was a roller coaster ride. It was full of some really high highs, and some pretty low lows. I’m happy to be moving into November, figuring out what “normal” is for us, planning for 2020, and preparing for winter.
This month I took part in the Coretober Challenge that Multisport Mastery + JHC Coaching put together. It was a good challenge for me. I have been doing 10 minutes of core strength daily for nearly 2 years (with the few exceptions around race days or when I have been sick), so the extra 5 minutes was a definite challenge for the first week or two, but I’m so glad I took part in this challenge!
Swim: 13,850 yards (7.87 miles)
Bike: 90.7 miles
Run: 78.3 miles
Strength: 15 minutes of core daily + some yoga ❤
Meditation: 3 minutes daily since January 1
Monthly Totals: 31 hours & 52 minutes
Explore is my focus word in 2019 and I’m happy to be incorporating it into all areas of my life…including being at my first IRONMAN race that I wasn’t racing or volunteering (aka working) on race day. This was WAY out of my comfort zone!! I struggled going to this event knowing that I wasn’t racing (when I originally was suppose to be toeing the start line). I wanted to race SO badly, but also knew that this race had to be different for me. I had to use this race to explore. Explore being involved in IRONMAN without racing. Explore being involved in IRONMAN without volunteering and “working” on race day. Explore what is deep in my heart. Explore living my truth. So many memories were made, perspective was gained, and laughter in Lou filled my heart. I’ll have more on what I learned down the road.
I am finding that I love to listen to podcasts while I set up and tear down labs at work, so if you have any suggestions, please send them my way! Here is what I listened to this month:
Kelsey Abbott brought CrisMarie Campbell and Susan Clarke onto the Find Your Awesome Podcast. Susan said something that really hit home with me, “Speaking up is more important than shutting up and dying.”
Rich Roll brought on Amelia Boone. She is the most decorated and dominate female in obstacle course racing. She struggles with childhood trauma and an eating disorder. “I don’t want to be ‘the eating disorder recovery girl’, I don’t want to be ‘the athlete’. This is just me. I am super flawed, I’m super complex, just like everybody else out there.”
“Where the Crawdads Sing” by Delia Owens is captivating. It was the perfect book to take me away into another world. “For years, rumors of the “Marsh Girl” have haunted Barkley Cove, a quiet town on the North Carolina coast. So in late 1969, when handsome Chase Andrews is found dead, the locals immediately suspect Kya Clark, the so-called Marsh Girl. But Kya is not what they say. Sensitive and intelligent, she has survived for years alone in the marsh that she calls home, finding friends in the gulls and lessons in the sand. Then the time comes when she yearns to be touched and loved. When two young men from town become intrigued by her wild beauty, Kya opens herself to a new life – until the unthinkable happens.”
“Snap, Crackle, Pop: My Road to IRONMAN Kona 2019” by Barbara Perkins was highlighted by USA Triathlon this month. Barbara is one of my Coeur Sports teammates who qualified for the IRONMAN World Championships at IRONMAN Santa Rosa in May. She has overcome some obstacles to get to the start of the IRONMAN World Championships, but as Barb says, “Each of us deals with our own set of circumstances, injury, bike mishaps and more. You have to trust that you have done (mostly) everything in your power to get to that start line happy and healthy. Enjoy the day! Celebrate the moment! Because hey, this is actually happening.” This is a good reminder that I GET TO DO THIS SPORT! ❤
“Manage Your Personal Energy to Improve the Quality of Life” by Darius Foroux is a great reminder that when we do things that energize us (even if we don’t feel energized when doing it), we empower ourselves. We need to focus on the 20% of the activities that improve the quality of our lives and incorporate these activities into our lives at least 80% of the time. “What is one thing I can do today to improve my mood?”
“Triumph Over Heartbreak: My Kona 2019 Story” by Barbara Perkins was highlighted by USA Triathlon this month. As I mentioned above, Barbara is one of my Coeur Sports teammates who qualified for and competed in the IRONMAN World Championships. She is a fierce competitor and warrior. “You will find your true, innermost self out in the lava fields of the IRONMAN World Championship course. Some people will fall victim to the brutal conditions. They will give up, but others will conquer the course and everything inside them that doubted they could make it there. Most will come away with some itch left unscratched, drawn again to the island to discover its unique possibilities.”
Attitude of Gratitude:
How was your month of October?! What were you grateful for last month?!
September was a roller coaster ride. I struggled with wanting to crawl back into my comfort zone vs. continuing my quest to being true to myself. In that quest, I have learned a lot about what I don’t want more than what I do want. As I continue on this quest, I know I will eventually find answers and as long as I stay true to myself, I will have no regrets.
Training has been so enjoyable lately. I still find myself occasionally fighting off the negative demons, but those times are getting fewer and fewer and I’m so grateful for that! This month had me riding OUTSIDE WITH MY FAVE for 4 rides ranging from 40 to 70 miles EACH. I can’t remember the last time we rode so many miles together over multiple rides in one month! My heart is so happy!
Swim: 10,450 yards (5.94 miles)
Bike: 306 miles
Run: 53.3 miles
Strength: 10 minutes of core daily + some yoga ❤
Meditation: 3 minutes daily since January 1
Monthly Totals: 34 hours & 27 minutes
Explore is my focus word in 2019 and I’m happy to be incorporating it into all areas of my life…including following my inner compass. We all have that inner voice that talks to us. Sometimes we listen to it and sometimes we ignore it. Thinking back to those times when I listened to my inner compass, the outcome was almost always amazing and often better than I thought it would be. When I didn’t listen to my inner compass, the outcome was often negative and I regretted my decision to ignore it. In recent weeks, I decided to follow my inner compass and regain control of my life. My training. My physical health. My mental health. Reigniting the fire in my soul. This month I’ve been doing what I want. If I feel like riding bikes, I ride. If I feel like running, I run. If I feel like swimming, I swim. If I feel like doing yoga, I do yoga. If I feel like sitting on the couch and turning into a couch potato…well, I tried not to do too much of that this month, but there was some of it. The freedom to #doitmyway has been a breath of fresh air and one I am SO grateful for! I have been following my inner compass and setting intentions before my workouts centered around play, fun, gratitude, joy, fierce, ease, sunshine, truth, light, appreciation, and being present. What a game changer to reawaken my passion, fire, and soul.
With my new job, I am able to listen to lots of podcasts as I set up and tear down labs. I am finding that I really enjoy this, so if you have any suggestions, please send them my way!
Rich Roll has a lot of great guests on his show. Recently he brought David Epstein onto the show and it was AMAZING!! “You don’t change your identity overnight. You have to start with these little keyhole experiments until something that you think that was just an interest becomes a real passion or a vocation.” ~David Epstein
He brought on Catra Corbett in 2018, but I finally listened to it and WOW!! This woman runs crazy distances…200+ mile races and a 425 mile trail run. After getting arrested for peddling crystal meth, she was scared straight in a jail cell when she hit rock bottom. She left behind meth addiction, disordered eating, and sexual and emotional abuse. Sobriety saved her, but running gave her a completely new life. “Getting out is the first step. You don’t have to become a runner. Just get out and see what the world has to offer.” ~Catra Corbett
Kelsey Abbott brought Cody Byrns on her Find Your Awesome podcast. His life experiences have him living the fullest life possible. “I cannot change what happened to me, but I can change what I do today and make the most of what I do today.” ~Cody Byrns
Ironwomen Podcast has so many amazing women on!
–Outside the Comfort Zone with Emily Cocks and Susan Lacke is a great listen! Emily gives her podium picks at Ironman 70.3 World Championships in Nice, France and Susan talks about her experiences that fueled her new book Running Outside the Comfort Zone.
–Race with Purpose with Nicole Valentine was heart warming! Nicole’s mission is to create change. “Nicole shares her passion for inspiring women in sport, finding purpose beyond the finish line, and showing others how to use fear as an opportunity for growth.”
–Into the Deep End with Julie Moss was so inspiring. This woman was the one who put Ironman racing on the map in 1982 as she crawled across the finish line in Kona. “You have the opportunity to be a Wonder Woman for your own life and you better take it!” ~Julie Moss
–Small Bites, Big Goals with Selah Schneiter is SO INSPIRING! She is a 10-year old who is the youngest person to have ever climbed “The Nose” of El Capitan. “How do you eat an elephant? Small bites. Some things are hard and that’s just reality” ~Selah Schnieter
Michael Gervais has brought some amazing people on his Finding Mastery podcast:
–Katie Zaferes is the #1 triathlete in the world after recently winning the ITU World Triathlon Series. She is a 2016 Olympian and has her sights set on qualifying for the 2o20 Olympic Games. “Mastery is unattainable, but trying to master it is everything.” ~Katie Zaferes
–Meb Keflezighi is the only runner to win the Boston Marathon, the New York City Marathon, and an Olympic medal. He is SO inspirational! “Quitting is not my best.” ~Meb Keflezighi
–Javier Gomez is a professional triathlete who has raced and won at so many different distances. While he is currently in peak training for the Ironman World Championship that will take place in Kona, Hawaii on October 13, he is so humble and grounded. “Enjoy life; it is the most important. Enjoy what you do all of the time.” ~Javier Gomez
–Bethany Hamilton is a professional surfer who has survived a shark attack. At the age of 13, she was attacked by a 14-foot tiger shark who took her left arm from her. One month after the attack, Bethany returned to the water and within two years she had won her first national title. “Mastery is more about loving what you’re doing, rather than nailing it perfectly or being the best of the best.” ~Bethany Hamilton
“Stop Saying Your Fine: The No-BS Guide to Getting What You Want” by Mel Robbins was the kick in the pants that I needed to remind myself that life is too short. It is time to stop waiting for my life to change and create the change that I want. “There will always be setbacks, so you must learn how to deal with them. When you hit an obstacle, you shouldn’t be questioning yourself, you should just be figuring out the alternatives. You should be like water. Water doesn’t consider its flow. If something gets in the way, it just moves around the obstacle. You need to adopt the same mentality.” ~Mel Robbins
People have often asked why I do this crazy sport and I can honestly say that it has been a great way to emotionally deal with life. It has taught me SO much about who I am and who I want to be, but that is for another post coming soon.
After having crossed 7 Ironman finish lines, I thought I’d try to shed some light on the stages that the athlete (and often the people who live with the athlete) experience. These are what I believe to be the stages of Ironman training:
Base Fun: Everything is all rainbows and unicorns! After all, I just signed up for an Ironman and I am going to do epic sh!t! I haven’t started “officially” training yet, so I have free time and energy to be fun and do things! Who wants to go to a show or play games/cards at the brewery?! I am training, but nothing serious yet!
Build Phase: We’re having fun now! My volume is increasing, so I’m finding that I turn into a pumpkin at 7 pm most nights. Who wants to come swim/ride/run with me?! Love me a good recovery week with reduced training so I can catch up with family and friends!
Peak Training: Who has time to see anyone unless they are swimming/biking/running with me?! I work 40 hours a week, workout 16-20+ hours a week, and am still trying to maintain a happy/healthy relationship at home. Oh…and if you come to visit our house, you will likely see chamois butter in place of lotion in the bathroom, tires and spare tubes hanging from the hall tree, Body Glide and Skin Slick on the dining room table where it can be easily accessed, the Roomba vacuuming (who has time to vacuum?!), and ALL. THE. TECH. CLOTHES. Hanging on drying racks around the house (who has time to fold them and put them away?! Just pull them off and wear them so they can be washed again in a few days). This is also where I live in a constant state of hangry. Thankfully before peak training begins, we stock our freezer with food that simply needs to be heated up so we don’t have to spend much time preparing and cooking food.
Taper Crazies: Where is my race belt?! Where is my favorite race temporary tattoos?! Where is my extra Skin Slick?! Where is my swim skin?! Where are those new goggles I purchased last week?! Trying to organize and pack for race day while still working 40 hours a week and exercising 10-14 hours a week to maintain the fitness gained without over doing it is a fine line. My race plan says I should go for X power output for the bike, but I was thinking Y might be better. Stop overthinking and roll with it!
Race Week Whirlwind: Stalking and obsessing over the weather has become normal. Making sure I have packed EVERYTHING (including the kitchen sink) for ANY possible race day weather. Should I put this in my transition bag?! How easy should my shake out run be?! Oh…I forgot to order more bike nutrition. How quickly can I have this shipped to me?!
Post Race High: I am an Ironman (insert happy dance and HUGE grin). I did epic sh!t!
Ironman Blues: Now what?! I have all of this spare time on my hands and I don’t know what to do with myself. What races should I sign up for?! Maybe I’ll sign up for another Ironman. 😉
For those that live the Ironman lifestyle, or live with someone who does, what stages do you go through? Anything you would add?!
Saturday the plan was to ride for 60-80 miles with the Iron Hippie, but with rain on the radar to the west, we decided to wait and ride on Sunday with the potential for better weather. So, Basil and I went out for a run instead of the bike ride. The Iron Hippie asked me how long we would be gone, to which I responded, “I don’t know, but I’ll keep you posted of our progress.” When we set out for our run, my only goals were to enjoy the run, have fun, and do some soul searching. So here are my random running thoughts from Saturday:
I’m going to start by running 3 miles and see how I feel and then evaluate my next move.
I have really missed running with no agenda (no targets to hit, no distance to run, no time goal, no pressure, etc.)!
I REALLY DO love to run!
This run is filling me with joy!
Look at this dog…she LOVES to run!! She’s so happy!! She makes me happy!!
Oh, rain…guess we are going to get a little wet.
Basil is SO focused when we run. She doesn’t get distracted by other runners, other dogs, other smells…oh wait…there is a squirrel. So much for that focus! That is one of the two things (rabbits are the other) that can distract her during a run.
Oh, the rain stopped. Guess we aren’t going to get that wet after all.
That was a fun and easy feeling 3 miles. Let’s go down into the park and run on the trail around the lake.
I like having races to train for. I know I’m signed up for the Ironman Des Moines 70.3, but that is SO far away. I think I might sign up for the Hillbilly Hike in early November to have a goal on the calendar.
I love not focusing on results but rather on the joy running (+ biking + swimming + yoga) brings me.
This is so much fun!
When I get to do it my way, I really enjoy the process.
Those yellow flowers are beautiful!
Look how calm the lake is.
I haven’t looked at my Garmin one time and it has been so refreshing.
I definitely don’t want my life to revolve around my training schedule.
This feels so good!
Oh, more rain…maybe we’ll get more wet than last time.
“Thanks for running with me Basil!”
That hill didn’t even really hurt like I thought it would.
Uh oh…I think that was thunder. “Basil, it’s ok” (she HATES thunder).
I can’t stop smiling.
Doing it my way is the best way.
I like the flexibility of self coaching. I’m able to change things around and go run instead of ride today. It is so refreshing.
I think I REALLY do want to do another Ironman centered around joy, fun, and happiness. No idea when, but someday.
Yep, that was thunder. “Basil we are almost home.”
It is ok to rely on exercise as a coping mechanism. I love exercise, so I’m ok with that.
It is good to stop being so hard on yourself. So you don’t do the workout that was planned. You can do that another day. So you don’t hit the targets you were aiming for. You can do that another day. You are a work in progress and there is nothing wrong with that!
I’m feeling so happy right now. I love endorphins!
Stay in the moment and give your best in this moment.
Oh look…there is the Iron Hippie. He came to pick us up. “Thank you! Basil hasn’t been a fan of the thunder.”
That was a great 9 miles for not being sure how long I’d be gone when I left the house!
I REALLY needed this run!
I am grateful for the time to think and process my thoughts while I swim/bike/run.