#celebrate all that the body does

Sunday I pushed my body to its limits. I started the day with a TOUGH session on Zwift. The main set was 10x(2:30 at threshold [180 watts] + 0:30 above threshold [240 watts]). While this ride was TOUGH, I was TOUGHER! I nailed each of the intervals, building strength, confidence, stamina, resilience, and SO MUCH MORE. I was carrying a lot of increased fatigue in my legs from the previous 19 days of the HardCoeur Coaching Cycling Challenge + 4 week FTP Booster on Zwift, so this workout only further fatigued my legs in preparation for the InCydeMan Triathlon Sunday afternoon (scheduled to start about 2 hours after completing this ride).

Sunday’s Zwift ride before the triathlon

Why show up to tri on fatigued legs? I wanted to see what I was truly capable of. I’ve always toed the start line of races fairly well rested. I wanted to see just how far I could push myself out of that comfort zone and into the growth zone. What am I truly capable of? How deep can I really dig? How far can I really push myself while fatigued? Can I still achieve my goals for each distance while fatigued? I wanted to build stamina, strength, grit, resilience, confidence, and truly push my limits!!

Swim: 500 yard swim
Last year I had a swim time of 8:05. I haven’t been swimming as much (or as hard) heading into this triathlon this year and I knew I was carrying a lot of fatigue going into this race, so I didn’t want to be too overzealous. I set a swim goal for myself of 8:10 for this year. I could definitely feel the fatigue once I started swimming, but I didn’t let myself use it as an excuse. Instead I reminded myself to have a long, strong stroke and to #celebrate what my body was doing. #playinmyownlane

Just keep swimming! Just keep swimming!

Swim time = 8:33 (1:43/100 yards)

Bike: 8 miles
Last year I had a bike time of 25:55. I’ve been cycling A LOT this month (I had 25 hours of saddle time in the bank in the first 19 days of January…with a lot of work at or above threshold) and because of all of this cycling, I figured my legs would be tired and I’d have a slower cycling time this year. I decided to set a goal of 25:00, knowing that this was probably a bit overzealous. The women had to set the resistance on our spin bikes to 11 (the men had to set their resistance to 13). I really wanted to have more resistance. I am not a fan of high cadence riding. I’d much rather push hard with lower cadence than spin my legs so fast that I become air born as I fly off the saddle. I was quickly reminded why I despise spin bikes…the saddles are SO. FREAKING. UNCOMFORTABLE! The spin bike is definitely NOT my tri bike on so many different levels! I reminded myself multiple times to #celebrate that I GET to do this and enjoy the challenge!

Go, go, go!!!

Bike time = 21:32 (22.3 mph average speed)

Run: 2 miles
Last year I had a run time of 16:03. Knowing I would be running on trashed legs, I didn’t know what to expect, but I knew I was going to dig deep to give it my best! My goal was 16:00, knowing that this was likely overzealous, but I wanted to really go for it. I settled in behind a lady that was running exactly what my goal was and tried to stick with her as long as I could. At 1 mile, my timer told me that my time was 7:56. I was right where I wanted to be, but I could feel myself slowing no matter how mentally focused and strong I was, the fatigue in my legs was winning. I continued to dig deep all the way to the end. I did lose time in that 2nd mile, but I didn’t lose focus and I stayed with this lady until the last lap. #celebrate that I GET to do this! Run like Basil…happy, strong, and full of joy!

Digging deep and doing my best to hold on to this lady as long as possible!

Run time = 16:13 (8:07/mile average pace)

Overall:
My overall goal time was 49:10. I crushed this on fatigued legs with an overall finish time of 46:18, which was enough to land me on the podium with a silver medal. What a great start to 2020!! What did I learn?! I am much stronger than I think. I can dig deeper than I thought possible. I am more resilient than I imagined. Challenges build stamina and make us stronger. If I keep pushing myself to new limits, I will make my dreams come true! Don’t settle for mediocre when you can be exceptional!

2nd place!
2 sliver medals for our household!

Have you raced on shredded legs? If so, what did you gain from this experience? If not, why not?

#celebrate in 2020

2019 was a pretty great year focused around #explore and I explored in SO MANY WAYS!! I explored in my personal life, explored in training, explored in racing, explored with a new career, and I have begun to explore with stepping out of the box as I move into 2020!! This was the perfect word to guide me in 2019!!

With the start of the New Year, so many people set New Year’s Resolutions. As I’ve said in previous posts, I prefer to set intentions instead of resolutions. I feel like resolutions set me up for failure the moment my train gets derailed, whereas intentions make me more mindful + allow for success by not being so finite.

Only about 8% of people who make New Year’s resolutions keep them throughout the year, which might be why I view resolutions as negative and personally don’t make them. In the last couple of weeks, I have had so many words and phrases speak to me, so I “tried them on” to see which one(s) really fit. Which one(s) sang to my heart?! Which one(s) fueled my passion?! Which one(s) will motivate me the most to do and be my best self in 2020?! I swam with them, biked with them, ran with them, listened to them at home, listened to them at work, rolled them around, listened to them while recovering from minor injury, sat still with them in chaos, rested in silence with them, and would just BE with them.

The conversation started with “unstoppable.” Unstoppable in sport, at work, at home, in life. I LOVE how this speaks to me, but I do find it a bit negative since the middle of it has the word “stop,” so I knew this one wasn’t quite right. Next up “win.” This came up as I was trying to “win the day” by not dwelling in the past or focusing on the future, but staying present in the moment. While it spoke to me in that moment, it also wasn’t the right fit either. “Stay in your own lane” I decided is a better mantra for 2020 rather than an action word to guide me, so the search continued. “Believe” came next. This has been my word in the past and will always guide me as it is tattooed on my forearm. I wanted something new for 2020. I had some other words speak to me at different times throughout training, life, work, resting, recovery, chaos…”courage,” “play,” “grow,” “fun,” “achieve,” and “create” were just a few. While these all spoke to me at different times, none of them spoke to me in ALL aspects of my life, so I kept searching. For the longest time, I thought my word was going to be “live.” In 2020 I want to “live my best life,” “live my truth,” “live my passion,” “live what’s in my heart,” and remind myself that “this is living” whether faced with challenges or when I’m thriving in life! This word was SO close to feeling just right, but something small was still missing. When I least expected it, I realized my word for 2020 was staring me in the face the whole time. I don’t just want to “live” in 2020. I want to “celebrate” the growth I’ve made and the growth that is yet to come. I want to “celebrate” the challenges I’ve overcome and the ones I’ve yet to face. I want to “celebrate” the victories along the way…small and large. I want to “celebrate” all of the little things and the big things. I want to have more fun, more joy, more action, more play, more dancing, more laughter, and “celebrate” more in 2020. I want to “celebrate” every aspect of living! Are you sensing the theme?! Yep…You guessed it! My intention for 2020:

What’s up?! – December 2019

December tested my patience. I messed up my back on December 2 and was unable to do much for most of the month. Patience to step back and not do what I want and what my brain needs this time of year. Patience to ease back into training once I was cleared to do so. Patience going without a car for a week. Patience getting my Wahoo Kickr set up with Zwift so I could start 2020 off with a bang. Patience…patience…PATIENCE!!! Thanks to the help and support from Dr. Chris Feil with Team Chiropractic and Rehabilitation of Ames and Nick Morton with Vitality Massage, I was back to feeling myself by the end of the month and I’m ready to start 2020 strong and healthy.

Training:

Friday night happy hour yardage! Celebrate every stroke!
Sending 2019 out in style! My FTP test indicates a loss of fitness in the off season, but that’s what the off season is for, right?! Time to get to work as I chase my dreams in 2020!!
First run all month!! Grateful to be nearly fully recovered from my back sprain and enjoying fresh air + sunshine + time with my faves!!

Swim: 12,400 yards (7.05 miles)
Bike: 91 miles
Run: 14.2 miles
Strength: 10 minutes of core daily (except for 4 days in early December when my back was a hot mess) + some strength training + more yoga ❤
Meditation: 3 minutes daily since January 1
Monthly Totals: 21 hours & 49 minutes

2019 Totals:
Swim: 286,818 yards (162.96 miles)
Bike: 2785 miles
Run: 835 miles
511 hours & 27 minutes

#explore:

Explore was my focus word in 2019 and I’m happy that I incorporated it into all areas of my life throughout the year. In December, I planned for 2020 and #explore was at the focus of this planning! I’m SUPER EXCITED about what’s on my 2020 schedule and will be sharing that with you soon! I also started to #explore functional power training with Chris Chapman at Movewell Iowa. We are working on getting all of my muscles to properly fire like they are supposed to while doing different motions. This takes work, but the work will be worth it as it should help prevent injuries and keep me healthy and active!

Listening to:

Here is what I listened to this month:

Coeur Sports Earsplitz
Holidays!

KonaKamps always has me inspired and motivated!! Some of this months faves were:
Ironman St. George 2020 Six Month Preview
Damien Bethencourt, Overall AG Champion, Ironman Malaysia 2019
Nicola Beck, Ironman Wales 2019
PR Ironman in 2020
Ironman Texas 2020 Six Month Preview
Tom De Bruyn, Overall AG Champion, Ironman Cozumel 2019
Rebecca Duxbury, Ironamn Wales 2019
Nathan Ford, Ironman Cozumel 2019
Kelly Collins, Ironman Cozumel 2019
Off Season

Witsup Podcast:
Linsey Corbin
Heather Wurtele

The Same 24 Hours:
Susan Lacke: Life’s Too Short and Running Outside the Comfort Zone
Notes on Nonsense: Holidays are Hard
Notes on Nonsense: Talking about Procrastination
Kevin Curry: Fit Men Cook
Notes on Nonsense: Publication Day is NOT Nonsense

Clean Sport Collective:
Emma Coburn, Steeplechase World Champion
Roger Pielke, Expert in Sports Governance
Clean Sport Panel with Rob Krar, Dylan Bowman, Alysia Montano, and Kara Goucher
James Wilks, UFC Fighter and Producer from The Game Changers

Kelsey Abbott brought on:
Jennifer Brown: With Diversity and Inclusion

Ironwomen Podcast has so many amazing women on!
Swim, Bike, Ruff – Kearci Smith

Rich Roll brought on:
Breaking Boston: Scott Fauble is Leading American Marathoners into the Olympics
Kendra Little is Becoming More: Broadening the Gender Identity Conversation

Michael Gervais has brought some amazing people on his Finding Mastery podcast:
Missy Franklin on Being a Champion in Victory and Defeat

C Tolle Run brought on:
Jessie Diggins – Brave Enough

Run4PRs:
How fast can you become? What are your limits? The Law of Diminishing Returns Explained

Hidden Brain:
Creatures of Habit

Conquer Athlete Podcast:
Functional Power Training with Dr. John Rusin

Trained:
Simon Sinek: Finding Your “Why”

Crime Junkie:
WANTED: A Christmas Killer
SERIAL KILLER: Highway of Tears

Reading:

Beyond Grit: Ten Powerful Practices to Gain the High-Performance Edge by Cindra Kamphoff has practical tools and actions to help you improve your mindset and become the high-performer you want to be. “Kamphoff shares the tools and strategies she’s taught executives, entrepreneurs, NFL ProBowl athletes, Olympians, college athletes, and championship teams. Based on almost twenty years of research and consulting with the world’s best, she provides a practical, inspiring, and easy-to-use guide to radically accelerating your performance and improving your happiness.

In this book, Kamphoff teaches you how to develop Ten Practices of the World’s Best:
1. The world’s best are gritty.
2. The world’s best are clear on their purpose.
3. The world’s best become a master of their thoughts.
4. The world’s best know themselves to master yourself.
5. The world’s best dominate the controllables.
6. The world’s best own the moment.
7. The world’s best choose empowering emotions.
8. The world’s best own who they are.
9. The world’s best live and let go.
10. The world’s best choose their courage zone.

You’ll also discover 52 life-altering strategies that you can put in your High Performance Toolbox to develop these practices and change your daily life. Each chapter describes one strategy and ends with a powerful affirmation to help you develop the High Performance Mindset. A widely respected keynote speaker, trainer, and coach, Kamphoff possesses an inspiring style that combines high energy with strategies that work. Her proven system can transform the performance of anyone who wants to up their game, regardless of their field. Whether you re seeking to own your dream business, triple your income, be the best you can be in your sport, or merely achieve a higher level of personal satisfaction, Beyond Grit shows you how. Inspiring and practical, Kamphoff will show you how to ”own your why,” develop your grit, take control of your future, discover your purpose, thrive under pressure, and be your best more often.”

Chasing Kona: From Back of the Pack Smoker to Racing the Ironman World Championships in Kona by Rob Cummins was a fun, quick read. “Sitting watching TV with a cigarette in one hand, a black coffee in the other and nursing a crushing hangover I switched channels until I found sports. There was some sort of bike race on and I half watched while lighting another cigarette off the butt of my last one for a minute before switching channels again. Just as I hit the button on the remote the commentator mentioned something about the athletes swimming before and running afterwards as well as racing the bike. I thought he said something about the run being a marathon but that couldn’t be right.This sparked my interest and I switched back, but he was talking about something else so I waited for him to get around to describing exactly what this race was. I didn’t have long to wait as he said they first did a 2.5 mile swim, then 112 miles on the bike all topped of with running a marathon. I was stunned. I didn’t think that would be physically possible and as I lit another cigarette I wondered how many days did they have to do it. I guessed it would have to be three days. Swim the first day, bike the second and run the third but it still sounded like a crazy thing to do. Then he said that they did it all in the one day, one after another without stopping. I was completely incredulous. And hooked. I remained glued to the TV and learned that these bronzed, muscular Greek God looking athletes weren’t all professionals either. There was an amateur or “age group” race as well Although I could hardly tell the difference between the pros and amateurs. They all looked unbelievably fit. As I sat there mesmerized I swore to myself that I’d race there someday. I’d stop smoking and drinking and somehow do “The Ironman” At the time I had no idea what that meant or how I would do it and after a while as things have a way of doing I got busy with life and I forgot all about The Ironman and Hawaii. I forgot until several years later when I had actually given up smoking and had taken up triathlon. It had taken me two years and sixteen races of swimming breast stroke before I learned to swim properly. I never once looked even remotely like Kona material but I wanted to have a go at doing an Ironman. It took another three years before I plucked up the courage and lined up for my first one in Nice, France. I finished in the last quarter of the field, hours behind the athletes racing for those precious Kona slots. Nothing I had done up to then had given any indication that I should have had a reason to believe I had a chance at qualifying, but three years later when I asked Aisling, my wife if she thought it was possible she immediately said yes and then she added let’s do it. Aisling’s belief in me started us on a journey that led to me treading water on the most iconic start line in triathlon, waiting for the cannon to fire at the start of the Ironman World Championships in Hawaii. This is how we overcame all of the odds and discovered what it would take to get to the Ironman World Championships. This is our Kona story.”

The 5 Love Languages: The Secret to Love that Lasts by Gary Chapman is a great read to make sure you and your partner are speaking each other’s language to really connect with each other. “Falling in love is easy. Staying in love—that’s the challenge. How can you keep your relationship fresh and growing amid the demands, conflicts, and just plain boredom of everyday life? In the #1 New York Times bestseller The 5 Love Languages, you’ll discover the secret that has transformed millions of relationships worldwide. Whether your relationship is flourishing or failing, Dr. Gary Chapman’s proven approach to showing and receiving love will help you experience deeper and richer levels of intimacy with your partner—starting today. The 5 Love Languages is as practical as it is insightful. Updated to reflect the complexities of relationships today, this new edition reveals intrinsic truths and applies relevant, actionable wisdom in ways that work.”

Attitude of Gratitude:

I’m excited and grateful 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!
So grateful to Dr. Chris Feil at Team Chiropractic and Rehabilitation of Ames for helping me get back to training.
So grateful for Dr. Chris Feil with Team Chiropractic and Rehabilitation of Ames who continues to work to get me back to healthy!
So grateful for the dream that Emily Hampton had to start Ignite Yoga and build such an amazing community!
So grateful for a few days of warmer weather in December to go outside in flip flops without freezing my toes!
Grateful for a beautiful morning moon setting on Friday the 13th!
So grateful that I can spend time with my mat while rehabbing my back.
Grateful to get some chlorine therapy next to my fave!!
I’m grateful that I can ride the bus when my fave is gone with the car and I get to walk to the bus stop on a nice winter day.
I’m grateful for Dr. Chris Feil at Team Chiropractic and Rehabilitation of Ames for helping get me back on track this month.
So grateful to be spinning on the bike…even if it is an easy ride!
I’m lucky to have these two support me while I ride.
The morning sunrise was so magnificent…this picture doesn’t even begin to do it justice. WOW!
Grateful for our new Tuff Mutt hands-free running leash from our Secret Santa. We can’t wait to enjoy all of the miles together with this!
Very grateful for these beautiful December days with unseasonable temperatures are amazing!!
The girls and I are so grateful that Dad is home after being gone for a week.
So grateful to be rolling again!
Wow!! Grateful for beautiful sunrises!!
Grateful for Kyle at Kyle’s Bikes to help me get my Wahoo Kickr ready to ride!!
Grateful for framily and matching PJs!!
Grateful for these little beauties!! Missing them this Christmas!!
Grateful for these love bugs!! “Give me all the treats!!”
Sushi for Christmas dinner…YES PLEASE!!
Today I had all the excuses for not moving…
-I didn’t pack warm enough gear for the drop in temperature today.
-I should just go home and try to get Zwift working.
-I’m still not quite 100% after my back sprain.
-I don’t have a coach, so I can run tomorrow or this weekend.
-I’m tired. I should just go home and rest.
I ignored all of these excuses, put on my sweatshirt, and ran home from work. I celebrated every step, every breath of air, and every drop of sweat. And yes…I was reminded why I don’t wear cotton when I workout!!
Friday night happy hour miles + quality time with my 2 faves! My heart couldn’t be happier!
First official Zwift ride…yep, I think I’m hooked! Lots to learn, but I can see how this will help me get faster + stronger in 2020! #grateful
Grateful that yoga is a family affair in our house!
So grateful to have worked out to the point that the Normatec Recovery boots got some use!
Celebrating some yards…especially when they aren’t always easy.
Burning the sh!t I want to let go of as I prepare for 2020. I am so grateful for the Athlete Mastermind program that Jenny Hayes is putting on.

How was your month of December?! What were you grateful for last month?! Are you ready for the start of 2020?!

The Best of 2019

I love looking back and thinking about all of the amazing things that I’ve accomplished and all of the challenges I’ve overcome! 2019 was full of opportunities to #explore, challenges to overcome, accomplishments to enjoy, and SO MUCH FUN!! I’ve reflected for the last 6 years and now it’s time to reflect on 2019! You can look back at my previous posts if you’d like: the Best of 2013, the Best of 2014, the Best of 2015, the Best of 2016, the Best of 2017, and the Best of 2018. Now its time to reminisce my faves from 2019! 🙂

Best race experience?

Bluff Creek Triathlon where I competed with my girl, Traci, and had an absolute blast! We started the swim together. I waited for her in T1 and then followed her on the bike (don’t worry…I followed the drafting rules and rode far enough back). We had a mechanical issue on the bike, but we made it back to T2 and headed out on the run. Despite the mechanical, Traci had a PR! It was so much fun to cheer her on and encourage her every stroke and step of the way!

“Smile for the camera, Traci!”
Photo Credit: Dave Mable

Best run?

St. Paddy’s Day 1/2 Marathon in March was SO. MUCH. FUN! Not only was I prepared for it physically and mentally, but I was able to race it and come within 3 minutes of a 1/2 marathon PR. Oh…and did I mention that I walked away with not 1, but 2 medals for that race?!

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

Best bike?

Riding with my fave from Iowa to Minnesota and back to Iowa! I absolutely love this route and the company! Any chance I get, I ride this route from Home Home!

Riding with my fave on one of my favorite routes brings me pure joy! I am in Minnesota and he is in Iowa in this picture.

Best swim?

Swimming in Mirror Lake for IRONMAN Lake Placid was my best IM swim to date! Swimming with the underwater cable to sight off of created an exceptional swim experience and allowed me to set an IRONMAN swim PR!! I was super pumped about it too!!

That’s a swim PR! Photo credit: FinisherPix

Best finish line?

IRONMAN Lake Placid! This was a very special finish line! It wasn’t planned for the Iron Hippie and I to finish together, but half way through the bike portion of this race, I made it my mission to catch him and finish with him. It was a long marathon, but we made it to the finish line TOGETHER!

Grateful for this finish line with my Fave by my side! Photo credit: FinisherPix

Best training weekend?

Getting to train in Lake Placid with my fave before IRONMAN Lake Placid! We swam in Mirror Lake multiple times, rode one loop of the bike course, ran a good portion of one loop of the run course, and experienced Lake Placid! OH. SO. MUCH. FUN!!

Swimming in my favorite place makes my heart happy!
So grateful to ride the Ironman Lake Placid bike course with my fave!
Wrapping up my last “long” run in Lake Placid on the Ironman Lake Placid run course. So beautiful!!

Best training compass?

Myself! At different times in 2019 I was in the deepest valleys and on top of the highest mountains…I had some really high highs and some really low lows! Listening to my heart and allowing it to guide me in 2019 opened the door to so much more fun, joy, and “get to” experiences! I can’t wait to see where I take myself in 2020!

“Follow your heart. Life is too short to be sidetracked by the things everyone else wants you to do.” ~Unknown
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 and mentally, it fills me with gratitude, and SO much more! What does your heart say?! Do you listen?!

Best moment out of my comfort zone?

The Underpants Run at IRONMAN Lake Placid! This was so much fun, but I was way out of my comfort zone! Who runs in a swimsuit (or underpants) down main street exposing their flaws for all of the world to see?! Apparently a lot of crazy people!!

Having fun running down Main Street Lake Placid

Best enCOEURaging moment?

The inaugural Ames Triathlon! It has been many years in the making, but we FINALLY got the approval for the Ames Triathlon in March of 2019 and within a few months were able to pull off the best race we could have asked for! If you want to experience this race for yourself in 2020, head to Ames in June. We look forward to seeing YOU on June 28!

We had a great day at the Ames Triathlon and couldn’t have done it without all of you…the athletes, volunteers, spectators, other race directors, sponsors, partners, medical support, photographers…YOU!!

Best nutritional find?

Orange Mud double barrel pack for carrying my hydration + nutrition is the best way I’ve found to carry enough nutrition on long runs without having to really plan my route to make sure I get enough hydration on those hot days. I was worried that it might chafe me in various places, but alas…15 miles with ZERO chafing!

Intention: Gratitude
15 miles for my Friday happy hour in 30+ mph winds. Some of my gratitude thoughts while running:
*I’m grateful for a strong body + mind.
*I’m grateful for warm temps + sunshine.
*I’m grateful for completely new running routes.
*I’m grateful for a job that I love.
*I’m grateful for Halloween decorations to keep me entertained.
*I’m grateful to have my long run done before the rain shows up this weekend.
*I’m grateful for the beautiful fall colors.
*I’m grateful for this Orange Mud pack to hold all my hydration + nutrition and so much more!

Best new gear?

Coeur Sports running shorts and tights. The pockets in both of these are AMAZING! I can hold SO much in each of them. They are even flexible enough for me to carry a water bottle in the pocket if I want. They don’t move or chafe no matter how wet you get. These are a MUST HAVE!!

Intention: I get to
It isn’t always easy. Mother Nature threw down some 38-40*F temps, rain, and winds (hello IMLou 2018 weather). She likes to think that she holds the power, BUT SHE’S WRONG! I hold the power when I keep the mental chatter positive!

Best recovery tool?

Our Sleep Number bed! This has made a world of difference! I sleep so much better and I wake up without back pain. If you aren’t getting good quality sleep, you are compromising your health. I highly recommend the Sleep Number bed. It is definitely worth the investment!

Basil loves our new bed too!!

Best time saver?

The Roomba! I can do one of at least a 1000 other possible things while the Roomba vacuums the house. The dogs aren’t too keen on it when it appears to be chasing them around the house, but they are adjusting to it and try to stay out of its way while it does its thing!

Basil is checking out the Roomba. Each day she gets less and less afraid of it.

Best supportive role?

Heading to IRONMAN Louisville to cheer athletes on instead of racing myself. This was a REALLY TOUGH decision, but it was the right one. The weekend was full of laughter, fun, and friends! It was EXACTLY what I needed to help me figure out what I want from this sport and where I want to go with it in the future!

Ironman Louisville from a new perspective. What a fun day! Congrats Rob on your amazing race!

Best way to stay healthy?

Change careers! My mental stress has dropped SUBSTANTIALLY and I am no longer exposed to all of the germs from middle schoolers. Sure I am still exposed to germs at Iowa State University, but I’m not confined to a classroom and I’m not around the students much. Changing careers has been one of the best decisions for my overall health that I could have ever made!

So grateful to be starting my new gig in Physics Hall on ISU campus!!

Best piece of racing advice you received?

Have fun! I’ve heard this from so many different people, that I can’t pinpoint just one individual to give credit to. If we can’t have fun racing, then why are we doing it?!

Most inspirational athlete?

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

Best support crew?

Hands down…Dad, Aunt Linda, Cousin Neal, and a dear friend Carol! These four pushed me through during some VERY dark times at Ironman Lake Placid. They were up EARLY on race morning. They cheered, photographed, and spread their love to me and so many other athletes throughout a REALLY long day! There are not enough hugs and kisses for each of you! Thank you! Thank you! Thank you! Love you all so much! I couldn’t have gotten to this finish line without your unwavering encouragement and support!!

Our race day support crew! Love you Dad, Aunt Linda, and Cousin Neal! Photo credit: Neal Fedora
Grateful for Carol! Love her to pieces!

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

Explore, strong, courage, brave, fun!!

Tell me about your 2019 year!! What are your “bests” from 2019?!

Test of patience

“Patience is not the ability to wait, but the ability to keep a good attitude while waiting.” ~Joyce Meyer

Patience is not one of my strengths. As a matter of fact, if you ask my husband or my mother, they would likely tell you it is one of my greatest weaknesses. Every once in a while, the Universe tests my patience. At the beginning of the month (December 2 to be exact), I managed to sprain my back. Hello patience…we meet again. This time of year is NOT the time to test my patience, but apparently what I think doesn’t matter. This is the time of year when our bodies naturally go into hibernation and I need my daily dose of exercise! Hello hibernation mode…less daylight, more eating, more sleeping, less motivation, holiday stress. Throw a sprained back (+ being without a car for a week…long story, but all good) into this mix and hibernation mode has been full steam ahead for far too long. I’ve been trying to keep a good attitude…I really have, but when patience is your kryptonite, it can be SO CHALLENGING to keep a good attitude! I know there are far worse things in life than not being able to exercise the way I want, when I want and I know that this will pass, but I JUST WANT TO EXERCISE MY WAY. My patience has been tested long enough!

Week 1 of a back sprain (I tried swimming a bit too soon)
Week 2 of a back sprain
Week 3 of a back sprain…starting to see some improvement and a bit more movement

I am very grateful to Dr. Chris Feil with Team Chiropractic and Rehabilitation of Ames and Nick Morton with Vitality Massage for working together to help me get better and back on track…even if it is slower than I’d like. Hello patience…did I mention that you aren’t one of my closest friends?!

Dry needling
Adjustments
Theragun

I am finally able to swim, bike, and do yoga, but no running just yet…cue the song “All I want for Christmas is my two front teeth” with a little change of the lyrics.

All I want for Christmas is to go for a run
to go for a run
just to go for a run
Gee, if I could only go for a run,
Then I could wish you, “Merry Christmas”

Ok, I’m not quite that grumpy, but I am more than ready to be outside enjoying the fresh air with my faves and racking up all the miles. The weather has been ideal for outdoor winter running here in central Iowa…no snow, no ice, above average temperatures…and here I am unable to run. It’s time for the Universe to stop testing my patience and let me get back to filling my heart with all things swim/bike/run and without limitations!

Unfortunately, I am certain that I’ll get another lesson in patience from the Universe again at some point in the future, but I’m going to do everything in my power to make sure this lesson doesn’t happen for a very long time to come! For now…fingers crossed that I can start running again after seeing Dr. Chris Feil later this morning.

Just keep swimming…and LIVE! Every. Damn. Day!

live your PASSION

“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!

“Follow your heart. Life is too short to be sidetracked by the things everyone else wants you to do.” ~Unknown

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!

Ironman Mont Tremblant has my heart, so I’m going back in 2020! Photo credit: Ericka Hachmeister

living my truth update

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.

I love getting to ride with my fave!! Life is a roller coaster ride full of ups and downs! I’m so grateful to have my fave by my side! Instead of screaming throughout the ride, he throws his hands in the air and enjoys the ride!

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! ❤

    Truth: I REALLY do LOVE swimming! I love playing and feeling like a fish gliding through the water. I am a Pisces after all!
  • 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. 😉

    Truth: During my outdoor rides this fall, I have come to realize just how much I REALLY do LOVE to ride my bicycle when I do it my way. I love the open roads, the wind in my face, the sun on my back, and the freedom I feel! Riding with others is a bonus! FYI…I am in Minnesota and my fave is in Iowa in this picture.
  • 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. 🙂
Truth: I ran 6 miles this morning…3 solo miles followed by 3 miles with Robin. I REALLY do LOVE running, but I love it even more with friends! I love the early morning sunrises, the fresh air, the girl talk, the community, the sounds of feet hitting the pavement, sweating together, and of course the hugs at the end!
  • 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! 🙂

    Truth: I REALLY do LOVE being on the water! I love the core challenge + arm workout water sports provide, soaking up the vitamin D, connecting with nature, the fresh air, and the freedom! It is something I definitely need to do more frequently!!
  • I love yoga! I love the community, the mindfulness, the focus, and the feeling of accomplishment + calm after a yoga session.

    Truth: I love spending time on my mat, creating space, reducing stress, increasing relaxation, and working to improve my flexibility.
  • 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.
Truth: I REALLY do LOVE being outside in all seasons! Snowshoeing adventures with my fam is one of my favorite winter activities!
  • 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?!