What’s up?! – September 2019

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:

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!

Intention: Gratitude
I started to incorporate intentions before each workout during the middle of the month and it has really served me well. During this swim, I kept focus on the gratitude and was so thankful to my body for allowing me to push it.
So grateful to have my fave to ride with on this nearly perfect summer day for 60 miles! 🙂
I’m so grateful to have lots of time with my favorite girl to think and process my thoughts. She’s such a good listener!

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:

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.

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!

Listening to:

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!

KonaKamps always has me inspired and motivated!! Some of this months faves were:
Safety at Races, Mental Toughness, Debbie Downer
Katie Clayton, Ironman Lake Placid 2019
Matt Cymanski, Ironman Lake Placid 2019
Laurie Keteri-Smith, Ironman Lake Placid 2019

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

Reading:

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

10 Ways to Make IRONMAN Training Fit Your Lifestyle has some great tips on creating a healthy balance between life and the Ironman lifestyle.

Attitude of Gratitude:

I ABSOLUTELY LOVE riding with my fave at home home by the lake! #happyheart
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.
Grateful to spend time with our twin nieces and play in the water!
Love these 3!! I’m so grateful they love to have fun + eat ice cream!
I am truly blessed to have my 2 favorite running buddies run with me at home home by the lake!
So grateful for the reminder from Steena and Fellow Flowers to live my truth! This has been my focus since Ironman Lake Placid!
Love my girls! Happy 7th birthday to my baby! Love you Basil!
This brought a HUGE smile to my face throughout the entire ride! It was such a fun + easy ride!
Bluebird skies + lots of sunshine + no wind + 2 wheels on the open roads = EXACTLY what my heart needed today! #happyheart #livingmytruth
A reminder to fill your heart with joy. After meditating, I looked up to see this “heart” shaped screw in our ceiling.
So grateful for such a magical playground!!
Grateful that my fave and I got to spend a long weekend in Madison!
Grateful to have Mike Reilly sign our copy of his book, “Finding My Voice
So happy to be riding one loop of the Ironman Wisconsin bike loop before the big dance!
The rural Wisconsin views always make my heart happy!
Grateful that my fave loves to have fun on this roller coaster of life!
Grateful that my fave loves to play around and enjoy life with me!
Blessed to run a “Mississippi Mile” with my fave in Madison!
Happy to be giving back to a sport that has given so much to me!
So grateful to all of these volunteers (+ many, many more) for helping to make dreams come true at Ironman Wisconsin for so many athletes.
Happy to be donating my hair to Wigs for Kids.
Grateful to branch out and go to trivia night, which was a bit uncomfortable as I am clueless when it comes to trivia.
This is the first time I have relaxed in the Normatec Recovery boots since IMLP in July. It felt truly amazing and I was grateful to have the neighbor’s dog snuggle up next to me.
Grateful for the bright colors of this Coeur Sports Liberty kit! It made me so much more visible riding on the open roads!
So grateful that my fave put this surprise reminder in my lunch pail. He’s a keeper!!
Grateful to have Nick with Vitality Massage work out all the kinks!!
Relishing that “high” from doing it my way! Oh…and LOVIN’ my new Coeur Sports Sorbet kit! SO FUN!
When the intention is set to play and have fun during my swim workout, that is exactly what I do…my swimsuit definitely helps set the intention also!
So grateful to be back in the water after a hiatus.
So grateful for amazing peeps in my life!
Thank you Ruth for thinking of me and being one of my biggest supporters!
I’m glad to have reconnected with my mat and have Basil coaching me through the moves.
Grateful to have a solid double digit run where my body felt so good I decided to run a little longer than planned and of course celebrate with a dance party post run! “If you like piña coladas and getting caught in the rain…”
Grateful to be a “model” in the Coeur Sports email that was sent out! Hello Liberty kit…I love you!
SO GRATEFUL for spontaneity in riding cross bikes with my fave after work!
Grateful to see some “friends” on my 11 mile run!
Grateful for my Friday night happy hour!!
Grateful for 70+ miles on two wheels with my fave on new terrain!
Grateful to my Coeur Sports sister, Jess, and her family for having us over for dinner and enjoying each other’s company!!
Grateful to Robin and Basil for running with me!
Grateful for some yards next to my fave!!
So grateful to reconnect with my mat at the hot yoga studio!! I’ve truly missed this and am so glad to be back!!

How was your month of September?! What were you grateful for last month?! When your inner compass speaks, do you listen?!

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the stages of Ironman

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:

  1. 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!
  2. 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!
  3. 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.
  4. 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!
  5. 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?!
  6. Post Race High: I am an Ironman (insert happy dance and HUGE grin). I did epic sh!t!

    Grateful for this finish line with my Fave by my side! Photo credit: FinisherPix
  7. 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?!

Random running thoughts

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.
  • I feel so FREE!
  • That was so much fun!
  • My heart is full of joy and happiness!
I’m so grateful to have lots of time with my favorite girl to think and process my thoughts. She’s such a good listener!

I choose me…living my truth

“The moment that I decided to be the author of my story rather than a character in it is the moment that my pain began to evolve into my power. To do this, I had to love myself enough to walk away from anything and everything that required me to be and play small.” ~Germaine Gaspard

We all have our own story and unique journey. Our stories are dynamic; new chapters are written as we acquire new knowledge and new experiences. I have said this thousands of times in the past, and I’m sure I’ll say it thousands more in the future: “You can not judge until you’ve walked in someone else’s shoes.” Our experiences mold and shape us into who we are and who we become. I have kept my story a secret from EVERYONE for 35+ years, which has been SO exhausting. Recently I started sharing my story with family and friends. This has created so much freedom + space in my life. Through this process, I have learned that I have been surviving life instead of living it. It is time to change this and start living my truth!

I am worth so much more than I have been giving myself. I have been going through the motions, feeling what I thought I SHOULD feel, doing what I thought I SHOULD do, being who I thought I SHOULD be, dreaming what I thought I SHOULD dream. I have numbed myself to knowing what I truly am feeling, what I truly do want, who I truly am, and what I truly dream for myself. With this newfound freedom + space, I have decided to choose me and be true to me.

I have stepped back to take some time to accept and embrace the opportunity to get closer to what I TRULY feel, what I really WANT to do, who I REALLY am, and what I DEFINITELY dream for myself. This process is uncomfortable. This process is hard. This process promotes fear. I find myself wanting to go back into my comfort zone, do what I’ve always done + numb all of the bad feelings (which are becoming fewer and fewer with time). I know I am not where I want to be in the future, so I will continue to push myself out of my comfort zone and strive to do + be true to myself. This process forces me to acknowledge my past, face my fears, and own my shit. While I can’t control the shit that has happened to me, I can control my attitude + my response to it + how I move forward in the future. It is time to pay attention to what really brings me joy and live my truth!

I am fearful about the future. I am afraid I won’t find pure joy in swim/bike/run (although I am getting closer to experiencing pure joy in swim/bike/run). I am afraid I will disappoint people who support and encourage me. I am afraid I will not get to do another Ironman focused around joy + fun. I am afraid I will fall back into my old habits because they are within my comfort zone. I am afraid that the next chapter in my story will be more of the same.

I know being fearful is a good thing. “Fear means I am doing something brave with my life and is an indicator that I am getting closer to my truth. It is time for me to lean into my courage instead of listening to my fear.” ~Mel Charbonneau

I am grateful to have amazing people surrounding me + inspiring me + helping me + supporting me + encouraging me in this very difficult process. The hardest step was the first one. With every subsequent step, it gets easier and easier. I may not be where I want to be, but I am getting closer with every forward step! I will continue to choose me and live my truth!

“Fully present, calm, balanced, at peace. Living my truth. A declaration of self – my soul’s freedom. Embracing who I am and what I stand for. Aware of my faults and loving myself anyway. I am content. This is me. I accept it and that’s what matters.” ~Fellow Flowers

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?!

What’s up?! – August 2019

August was an uncomfortable month. I’m changing things up. I don’t want to swim/bike/run because that is what I have known for so long and what I think I SHOULD do. I want it to be something that I really WANT to do. So I took a step back to dig deep within myself and search my soul to try to figure out what it is that truly makes me happy and lights my fire. It is a process. One that I struggle to be patient with, but I believe that time will give me the clarity that I need for how and where to move forward.

Training:

After Ironman Lake Placid at the end of July, I strived to find more balance. As a result, my training wasn’t top priority this month. I took some time to figure out what I TRULY WANT and where I WANT to go, but I have learned that I really do LOVE swim/bike/run and can’t imagine my life without them in it.

Swimming (exercise really) is ALWAYS better with friends! Grateful for pool shenanigans with these two peeps!
Truth: I rode 32 miles after work. I had lots of time to think. I realized 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!
This was my favorite run so far this year! I found peace, freedom, and oh so much joy on the trails. I couldn’t stop smiling! It is exactly what I needed!

Swim: 8132 yards (4.62 miles)
Bike: 92.8 miles
Run: 28.8 miles
Strength: 10 minutes of core daily + various full body strength
Meditation: 3 minutes daily since January 1
Monthly Totals: 19 hours & 20 minutes

#explore:

Explore is my focus word in 2019 and I’m happy to be incorporating it into all areas of my life…including recreating triathlon and sport as my happy place! With the uncertainty of where I want to go with sport, I have taken a break from coaching. Kelly, with Ever Racing,  has been AMAZING for me! We developed a great coach/athlete relationship over the last couple of years. She has helped me get the strongest + fittest I have ever been. I am forever grateful for her knowledge, guidance, support, and commitment to me!

Because I am recreating triathlon and sport as my happy place, I invited a dear friend (and former colleague) to complete the Bluff Creek Triathlon with me. I wanted to do this race with the only goals of having fun + finishing with Traci! When you are committed to crossing the finish line with someone else and your only focus is to help them get to the finish line, it gives you new purpose, removes the pressure, and opens space for a LOT more fun!! I am so grateful she said “yes” to this adventure and so proud of her for her perseverance and fortitude!! Congratulations Traci on your 1st place podium finish in your division!!

We both made the podium in our divisions!

Listening to:

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!

KonaKamps always has me inspired and motivated!! Some of this months faves were:
Jennifer Campbell, Santa Rosa 2019
Clarice Chastang Lorenzini, Ironman Boulder 2019
Tom Oosterdijk, Overall Champion, Ironman Cork 2019
Daniel McParland, Ironman Cork 2019

Coeur Sports EarSplitz Podcast featured Kate Bevilaqua “Achieving the Difficult” is full of inspiration! Kate is the Ultraman World Champion. In case you are wondering, the Ultraman covers 320 miles on the Big Island of Hawaii. It includes 6.2 miles of swimming + 261.4 miles of biking + 52.4 miles of running over 3 days. WOW!!!

The TEDx Talk with Mel Robbins How to Stop Screwing Yourself Over is spot on! “Your soul needs exploration and growth.” It sure does! Routine and monotony are boring!

The 5 Second Rule to Change Your Life with Mel Robbins and Lewis Howes is eye opening! WOW!

The TEDx Talk with Germaine Gaspard The Power of Using Your Pain to Fuel Your Success had me nodding my head A LOT!! “The moment that I decided to be the author of my story rather than a character in it is the moment that my pain began to evolve into my power. To do this, I had to love myself enough to walk away from anything and everything that required me to be and play small.” WOW!! YES!!

Share the Road: How Cities Can Keep Cyclists Safe is a great listen! We need to stop separating motorists from cyclists. We are all people trying to get from point A to point B. We all have people in our lives who love us and whom we love. Please remember that it isn’t just a bike out on the road, it is a person on a bike. #itcouldbeme

Rich Roll has a lot of great guests on his show. Recently he brought Gwen Jorgensen onto the show and it was AMAZING!! Gwen Jorgensen’s Champion Mindset: Big Dreams, Taking Risks, and Following Your Heart is full of lots of snippets that anyone can relate to sport and life. ❤

Kelsey Abbott brought Sarah Nannen on her Find Your Awesome podcast. “Sarah became a military widow and solo mom of four young children in 2014 when her husband died in an aviation accident. Her journey through grief opened her eyes to a renegade way of living life that goes beyond just surviving the ride. This idea now informs her work with people breaking through their limitations to live extraordinary lives.” Sarah has some amazing insights that don’t simply relate to loss and grief, but can relate to all areas of life. “Life is full of hard stuff. So, if we’re not going to have some pleasure along the way, then we’re missing the point.” ~Sarah Nannen

Ironwomen Podcast has so many amazing women on! Amanda Wendorff is a must listen to! Amanda addresses how she overcame many obstacles thrown her way in 2018 to get to the top step of the podium at Ironman Cork in 2019. Paula Findlay is such an inspiration as she talks about transitioning from ITU to 70.3 racing, overcoming injuries, and how she handles pressure. Believe in your best is full of great nuggets that any athlete can benefit from!

Reading:

“A tribute to Bethany – Keep triathlon fun” by Marni Sumbal is a great reminder that we should keep fun in the sport of triathlon. “When you have fun and truly enjoy yourself, you are more capable of dealing with everything else in life and there’s purpose with your training and racing. We all know that life isn’t always fun. Life is tough. It’s often serious, sad and difficult. Triathlon is a beautiful escape from life. Triathlon shouldn’t be all serious and hard work. Sure, being dedicating and working hard makes you a better athlete but if you are overly serious, competitive and extreme, you probably aren’t having much fun.”

Ghost by Jason Reynolds is a quick, easy read and written at a level that is perfect for adolescent individuals. “Ghost wants to be the fastest sprinter on his elite middle school track team, but his past is slowing him down in this first electrifying novel of a brand-new series from Coretta Scott King/John Steptoe Award–winning author Jason Reynolds.
Ghost. Lu. Patina. Sunny. Four kids from wildly different backgrounds with personalities that are explosive when they clash. But they are also four kids chosen for an elite middle school track team—a team that could qualify them for the Junior Olympics if they can get their acts together. They all have a lot to lose, but they also have a lot to prove, not only to each other, but to themselves.
Running. That’s all Ghost (real name Castle Cranshaw) has ever known. But Ghost has been running for the wrong reasons—it all started with running away from his father, who, when Ghost was a very little boy, chased him and his mother through their apartment, then down the street, with a loaded gun, aiming to kill. Since then, Ghost has been the one causing problems—and running away from them—until he meets Coach, an ex-Olympic Medalist who sees something in Ghost: crazy natural talent. If Ghost can stay on track, literally and figuratively, he could be the best sprinter in the city. Can Ghost harness his raw talent for speed, or will his past finally catch up to him?”

Coeur Sports had a blog post, We’re Outspoken about Inclusivity, that REALLY tugged at my heartstrings. I see so many people shy away from doing a triathlon because they fear the unknown and when they do finally show up on race day, there are other athletes who are rude and sometimes down right mean to them when they ask questions or try to interact with them. Why can’t we all be encouraging and inclusive?! There was a day when each one of us was a newbie in the sport. Do you remember your first triathlon?! Please, please, please be nice and help a fellow athlete out!!

Attitude of Gratitude:

Grateful that my fave enjoys the same things I do. Hiking to the falls post Ironman only resulted in a few minor scratches due to tired legs and falling.
Grateful we got to explore part of Skaneateles, NY via a boat tour.
So happy to be on the open water! You can take the girl off of the lake, but you can’t take the lake out of the girl!
So grateful we got to spend some time with two of our favorite people! Can’t wait to spend more time with you in September!
I missed my baby girl SO MUCH while on vacation! I am so grateful she missed me too!
SO GRATEFUL to be going back to a job that I LOVE after a 3 week vacation
Ah…Sushi and the best company are two amazing ways to end the day!
Grateful to play in the water with my fave by my side and not feel the pressure of structured training.
Grateful for a BEAUTIFUL evening to listen to our friend play live music at our local Coop!
Grateful for BEAUTIFUL morning sunrises!!
Grateful for my standing desk at work. It is nice to have the option to work from different positions when I am at my desk.
SO GRATEFUL I GOT to pound the pavement for a few miles after work for the pure joy of running and not because I SHOULD or HAVE TO.
Grateful for time with family!
Grateful for family fun at the Iowa State Fair!
Grateful that the big “kids” still like to play and have fun like little kids!
Grateful for the Heritage Farm recognition at the Iowa State Fair. The family farm has been in the same family for 150 years.
“Smile for the camera, Traci!” SO GRATEFUL that I got to do the Bluff Creek Triathlon with this fantabulous lady!!
Photo Credit: Dave Mable
So grateful to Steena for thinking of me and sending me this perfect reminder to “live my truth”!! Fellow Flowers
So grateful that I got to run with Robin! I love the early morning sunrises, the fresh air, the conversations, the community, the sounds of feet hitting the pavement, sweating together, and the hugs at the end!
Grateful for the lunch date at the food truck with my fave…one of the many advantages of us both working on campus!!
Grateful for time picking berries with loved ones!! Fresh fruit…YUMMMM!!
Grateful for time on the water with some of my loved ones!
Grateful to get to spend the weekend with these peeps!!
Grateful that my twin nieces want to come visit us and adventure with us!!
I have some of the best people in my life! Grateful Erika is sharing with me courage, clarity, and balance as I #livemytruth
Love this dog so much! She keeps the play in playful and I am forever grateful for her youth and spunk!
Nature’s beauty is everywhere…even on my short walk from the car to my building on Iowa State’s Campus. Grateful to love my job!
Grateful to see the early morning painted sky!
SO GRATEFUL to run with my faves at home home! Love them and the lake!
Grateful to get to reconnect with my mat on the lake with my fave + my Dad.
I absolutely LOVE swimming at home home! So grateful for this magical opportunity!
Living my truth!
I am blessed beyond words to have such an amazing partner in life!

How was your month of August?! What were you grateful for last month?! What things do you do to maintain balance in your life?!

Bluff Creek Triathlon – Having Fun!

Sunday, August 18 I participated in the Bluff Creek Sprint Triathlon alongside my friend, Traci. I am SO PROUD of Traci for overcoming obstacles and fighting to the end. This was her 2nd Triathlon ever and she absolutely CRUSHED IT!! It was so fun to be alongside her in this adventure!! My only two goals going into this race were:

  1. HAVE FUN!!!
  2. Finish with Traci

I managed to accomplish both of these goals!

We are ready to have some fun!
Love connecting with these amazing people!
Photo Credit: Dave Mable
Laughing at some funny stories before the race start!
Photo Credit: Dave Mable
It’s GO time!
Photo Credit: Dave Mable
Just keep swimming!
Photo Credit: Dave Mable
Ready to ride!
Photo Credit: My Fave
“Smile for the camera, Traci!”
Photo Credit: Dave Mable
Running our way to the finish line!
Photo Credit: My Fave
We did it!
We both made the podium!
3rd place age group on a FUN day! Congrats to Bradie for 2nd place in our age group!
Meeting up with my Coeur Sports Teammate, Jess, always brings multiple smiles to my face! Love this girl!

This is EXACTLY what I needed! Happy ❤

What’s up?! – July 2019

VACATION!! That was the theme of July!! We made so many amazing memories as we traveled in the Northeast and even into Canada!! #ktneadventures

Training:

I had another SOLID month of training!! I’m still on the green streak in Training Peaks!! I have not missed one workout so far this year…30 weeks and counting!! BOOM!!

Mirror Lake is the best place to swim…EVER!! It makes my heart SO happy!!
So grateful to ride the Ironman Lake Placid bike course with my fave!
Running along Niagara Falls was a real highlight! It isn’t everyday you get to run along the falls! #wearesosmall

Swim: 32,519 yards (18.48 miles)
Bike: 400 miles
Run: 102 miles
Strength: 10 minutes of core daily (except around Ironman Lake Placid per coach’s instructions) + various full body strength
Meditation: 3 minutes daily since January 1
Monthly Totals: 60 hours & 40 minutes

#explore:

Explore is my focus word in 2019 and I’m happy to be incorporating it into all areas of my life…including racing #IMLP!! Race day in Lake Placid did not disappoint! It gave me time to really dig deep within myself to explore what I truly want from life. It gave me quality time with my fave. It opened my eyes and heart to new beginnings. It made me realize now is the time for me to live my life instead of survive it! You can read more about my race day here.

Grateful for this finish line with my Fave by my side! Photo credit: FinisherPix
I am SO proud of the Iron Hippie for his accomplishments this racing season! He overcame so many challenges to get to this finish line! Photo credit: FinisherPix

Listening to:

KonaKamps always has me inspired and motivated!! Some of this months faves were:
Barbara Perkins, Ironman Santa Rosa 2019
Ailsa Mcdonald, Ironman Santa Rosa 2019

In the #HURDLEMOMENT: These Few Words Can Change Your Life with Emily Abbate, she addresses the power of mantras. When you choose or make a mantra, use the word “you” not “I” to reduce the stress on you. I love “All it takes is all you’ve got,” which is one of Emily’s mantras.

The Ted Talk with Guy Winch, How to practice emotional first aid, addresses how important it is to not only focus on our physical health, but also on our mental health. If your mind tries to convince you that you can’t succeed at something, you will believe it, which is why so many people do not live to their true potential. It is important to change our thinking so our mind can and will convince us that we can succeed instead of fail.

Reading:

Self-doubt can actually help you bloom and it all starts with how you talk to yourself by Rich Karlgaard is very insightful.

Katie Ledecky’s Willingness to Fail is Her Greatest Talent by Olivier Poirier-Leroy is also super insightful. “For Ledecky, it’s not enough to work hard, it’s about being willing to fail, to push herself to the point of failure over and over again and not get discouraged.”

Where are you “parking” your thoughts? by Carrie Cheadle is a good reminder to stay on the positive side and feed the athlete. “Where have I been parking my thoughts lately?
Am I choosing to park my thoughts in a place consumed with obstacles, or am I choosing to park my thoughts in a place filled with opportunities?
Is it time to choose a different parking spot?”

Some Choose Darkness by Charlie Donlea is a great read! “The truth is easy to miss, even when it’s right in front of us. As a forensic reconstructionist, Rory Moore sheds light on cold-case homicides by piecing together crime scene details others fail to see. Cleaning out her late father’s law office a week after his burial, she receives a call that plunges her into a decades-old case come to life once more.
In the summer of 1979, five Chicago women went missing. The predator, nicknamed The Thief, left no bodies and no clues behind—until police received a package from a mysterious woman named Angela Mitchell, whose unorthodox investigation skills appear to have led to his identity. But before they could question her, Angela disappeared. Forty years later, The Thief is about to be paroled for Angela’s murder—the only crime the DA could pin on him. But the cryptic file Rory finds in her father’s law office suggests there is more to the case, and Angela Mitchell, than what was fed to the public, the details of which have been buried for four decades.
Rory’s talents are tested as she begins reconstructing Angela’s last days. Making one startling discovery after another, Rory becomes helplessly entangled in the enigma of Angela Mitchell and what happened to her. Drawing connections between the past and present, Rory uncovers dark truths about the reclusive victim, her father, and the man called The Thief that send her down a twisting trail where things may not be as they appear. As she continues to dig, even Rory can’t be prepared for the full, terrifying truth that is emerging . . .”

Attitude of Gratitude:

Grateful I got to see my twin nieces…even if the circumstances weren’t the best.
Grandma got most of the cousins together, but she wasn’t able to get me into Hawkeye apparel.
Grateful to spend time on 2 wheels with my fave for 6 hours!!
Yep…we are strong and ready to race!
Knocking out the last really big training day before #IMLP!!
Grateful to score this sweet treadmill from friends that moved to the Bay Area.
Grateful we got to enjoy sushi before leaving Iowa.
Grateful for the first ripe homegrown tomato from our garden before leaving on vacation!
Grateful we can get so much stuff in our car and travel across the country.
Grateful I get to run in new locations. This gravel road in Canton, Michigan.
SO GRATEFUL we got to enjoy a few days with some of our favorite people. Only wish we lived closer together and got to spend more time with Erika, Rob, and their girls!
Grateful Coeur Sports brought Erika and I together 2 years ago!
Grateful to play tourists for a day! Taking the boat tour and getting up close and personal with the falls was fun!
I’m so lucky and grateful that I get to make memories with my fave!
Grateful to celebrate 9 years of marriage to this wonderful man exploring Niagara Falls!
The white water river walk is pretty amazing!
Such a fun day in Niagara Falls with my fave!
Going behind the falls…WOW! We are so small compared to the vastness and power that these falls possess!
Celebrating 9 years of marriage with a high class dinner (this was my first time ever eating at a place with a restroom attendant).
Getting to stay on the 39th floor above the falls provided some amazing views and a perfect place to watch the evening fireworks.
Arriving in the Adirondack Mountains! 🙂
We made it to Lake Placid in time for a short shake out run before the sunset.
We made it to Lake Placid! Love this place!
Swimming in my favorite place makes my heart happy!
Life on 2 wheels in the mountains brings me pure joy!
Nothing better than 2 wheels and fresh mountain air!!
So grateful for this amazing Coeur Sports Sunset Strip kit. The colors stand out!
Raw oysters are da bomb!!
Grateful I got to play lots of cards with my fave!!
Wrapping up my last “long” run in Lake Placid on the Ironman Lake Placid run course. So beautiful!!
Enjoying sunsets in the mountains!!
Exploring some falls off of the Ironman Lake Placid bike course.
The sound of running water and the smell of fresh air is where it’s at!
Kicking the feet up and relaxing in our Normatec Recovery boots.
Grateful for beautiful views atop Whiteface Mountain with my fave at my side.
Grateful for amazing experiences and memories made.
Grateful to Tim Chien at Balanced Bodywork & Massage for an amazing pre-race and post race massage!
Grateful I get to do life with this guy! Happy 40th to the Iron Hippie!
Grateful to know how to clean my bike and be confident to do it myself.
Grateful for my Coeur Sports sister, Amy Farrell! What an amazing human being!
Grateful for Carol! Love her to pieces!
Grateful for another Ironman adventure together!
Grateful to have such amazing support!
Grateful I am confident enough to run in the Underpants Run down Main Street in Lake Placid!
Grateful for my Coeur Sports family!
Grateful for celebratory beers and another finish line.
Grateful for fun opportunities with free music and beautiful views!
Grateful to meet awesome peeps!

How was your month of July?! What were you grateful for last month?! Where is your favorite vacation spot?!