The Flatlander 70.3 – the good, the bad, and the ugly

On Sunday, I was ready to race Ironman Wisconsin 70.3. Mojo was set in transition on Saturday and I was excited to test my endurance and push my limits on race day! I woke up to severe thunderstorms on race morning and a note from Ironman Wisconsin:

So, with no real hurry to get to transition only to stand around in the pouring rain, we opted to sit in the car for a bit at the Alliant Energy Center before boarding a school bus to transition.

Sitting in the car while it POURED buckets outside!!

Once in transition, we set up our gear (trying to find ways to keep it as dry as possible), donned our wetsuits in the mud pit that transition was, and 3 minutes before transition closed made the decision to pull out of the event. We loaded up our gear, trudged through the mud pit, and headed back to the Alliant Energy Center where the car was.

Hmmm…is this a Tough Mudder Triathlon?????

My fave decided to take a quick shower to get all of the mud off of him before getting in the car…

So grateful to have my fave by my side and help make decisions that are right for us…this was the weather on race morning.

Fast forward to Sunday afternoon…

I talked on the phone with Coach Kelly. She really wanted me to test my fitness since I was trained, tapered, and super jazzed to test my endurance. I immediately got excited about the idea of doing a solo 70.3 race! Coach Kelly encouraged me to come up with a name for my event and reminded me to mentally prepare to crush it! She may have also told me not to get a drafting penalty on a solo race! 😉 I came up with the name “Flatlander 70.3” for my event since our terrain in central Iowa is pretty flat compared to most locations and MUCH flatter than the IMWI 70.3 course!!

Fast forward to Tuesday morning…race day!!

Swim: The Good…
I felt the normal “pre-race butterflies” as I ate my breakfast and drank my Karma Kombucha. I set up my run transition in the garage, and headed to the pool where I would begin my Flatlander 70.3 adventure! I set up my bike and transition area inside the gate of the aquatic center, started my RoadID app so people could track my progress, and hopped in the pool at about 6:05 am for 2000 meters (just over the 1.2 mile distance). I felt like I was working hard and swimming at a good clip, but I was burping A LOT!! I never have this problem, so I wasn’t really sure what was going on. My swim ended up not being as fast as I thought or hoped for…41:48 for 2000 meters (1:55/100 yard swim time) + 1st overall 🙂

Race morning!

Bike: The Bad…
I quickly jumped out of the pool, jogged to my transition area (and was asked by the lifeguard not to run in the pool area…LOL…don’t they know I’m racing?!?!), and transitioned to my bike gear. As I exited the pool area, I quickly dropped my swim skin + swim goggles + swim cap in the car before heading out on the bike. It ended up being a bit foggy, which was a good indicator of the humidity levels, but I could still see at least a mile out in front of me, so I wasn’t worried about vehicles being able to see me. As I pulled up to the first stoplight leaving town, I realized that auto pause was set to “stop mode” on my Garmin. As the light changed green and I rolled ahead, I tried to change this while riding, but accidentally pushed the “lap” button putting my data in T2 instead of on the bike. I kept rolling, but stopped the triathlon mode and just set my Garmin to the bike mode and stopped messing with it. I was still burping a bit, so I drank water and pushed on. As I left town and went west, the sun came out, but when I turned around and went back east, the fog was still hanging on. It was weird. About 30 minutes into my ride, I took my first round of nutrition (Salty Balls) and nearly puked. My stomach didn’t want them, but I had no other nutrition with me, so I forced them down (gagging the whole time), drank a lot of water, and kept moving forward. Each time I tried to consume nutrition, I thought I was going to puke…my stomach was not happy, but I knew I needed nutrition to have any chance of finishing the day, so I kept forcing it down little by little every 30 minutes and drinking all the fluids I had. With about 1 hour ride time left, I knew I had to stop at the gas station and refill my water bottles since I was completely out of water. I could feel the temperature + humidity rising and there was no breeze! About 5 miles from home, I had to stop for a train…I think the race director for the Flatlander 70.3 forgot to inform Union Pacific Railroads that there was a race going on…LOL!! 😉 As I was rolling back into town the fog lifted and the sun beat down just in time for me to transition to the run. My bike was not as fast as I’d hoped (and my watts were lower than I’d wanted + expected them to be)…3:18:43 for 57.1 miles (17.2 mph average speed) + 1st overall 🙂

Trying to smile through the discomfort in my gut!

Run: The Ugly…
I quickly put my bike in the garage and transitioned to the run. Basil was barking at me from inside the house…clearly VERY upset that I wasn’t taking her running with me! Within the first few steps of the run, I knew this was going to be a long run. My calves were on the verge of cramping. I knew this meant I needed to drink a LOT more water, so I started downing my handheld water bottle. By mile 2, I was run/walking…the cramping was awful, I was HOT, there wasn’t even a breeze from the fart of a nearby animal, the humidity was 70* (which was on the border between “uncomfortable and tropical” according to our local meteorologist, which I found out when I was done), and there was no one there to encourage me to keep going. I SERIOUSLY considered quitting! I decided to keep run/walking + drinking all the water I had to Moore Park where I would refill my water bottle and then head back home calling it a day. I had made the decision to quit. By mile 3, I was so sweaty that I had sweat squishing out of my shoes with every step I took. At about mile 4, a Spring Green Lawn Care employee saw me hobbling by with my Ironman Wisconsin 70.3 race bib on (I figured I had it from Sunday’s race that I didn’t do and I was racing, so I should wear it). He asked, “Did you race on Sunday?” I told him I opted not to start the race due to the weather, which is why I was doing the distance today instead. He said, “That was a wise decision. That race was one of the stupidest things I’ve done. I couldn’t see the swim buoys because of the chop on the water, the transition was a muddy mess and then when I got to the bike, people were crashing all around me. I just held on during the run trying to get to the finish line.” I said, “Congratulations on finishing!” and ran on. He gave me the motivation to finish the whole 13.1 miles even if it was going to continue to be a run/walk due to the cramping and feeling defeated (as I knew my sub 6 hour goal was gone). I consumed some fruit snacks (which I always use while running for nutrition), but my stomach was still off and I was gagging on them. I forced them down and washed them down with water. I refilled my water bottle at Moore Park, drank the whole thing, then filled it again before going on. I drank the whole bottle again before mile 7. I took in more fruit snacks, refilled my water bottle at a different park, and forged on. I made it home at about mile 10.5, where I consumed more fruit snacks and refilled my water bottle again (using the outside spigot…I knew if I went inside where there was air conditioning + puppy snuggles I’d be done) before heading back to the pool where I’d left the car. It was a struggle and I was very disappointed that I wasn’t going to meet my sub 6 hour goal. At mile 12, I was jogging and sobbing uncontrollably because I was so disappointed in myself. I decided to change the channel and set a new goal for the last 1.1 miles. I had just over 12 minutes to finish the 13.1 miles in under 2 hours and 30 minutes run/walk time (my actual run time was 2:52 something with stopping at the drinking fountains all over town). When I hit the 13.1 miles, I immediately started crying…I was done. I was so happy to be done, but also very disappointed in my performance. I was upset that my stomach wasn’t cooperative. I was crushed. My run time was MUCH slower than I’d hoped for (and much slower than I know I’m capable of)…2:29:45 for 13.1 miles of run/walk (11:26/mile pace) + 1st overall 🙂

I was very happy to be done with the Flatlander 70.3 race!!

Overall I finished in about 7 hours and 10 minutes of total time + 1st overall. Sure, I did what I could and I finished, but no where near how I had hoped. This was THE TOUGHEST RACE I’ve ever done!

Disappointed in my day

After taking some time to think about my race, I have so many take aways and lessons learned!

  1. When my stomach is off (even just burping in the water) take Tums! I had them with me, but didn’t consume any. Don’t know what I was thinking…oh wait…I clearly wasn’t thinking!!
  2. Because of my stomach issues, it is time to start practicing other nutrition options. This isn’t the first time the salty balls have caused some GI distress for me during a race, so I need to start practicing other options.
  3. I am a VERY heavy sweater (not the kind you wear in the dead of winter either)!! My body requires a LOT more salt + water as a result. Don’t skimp on the water/hydration consumption…especially when it is so humid! Drink it all up + take my Base Salt!
  4. Self supported races require a lot of planning to try and get all of the hydration/water you need on your own.
  5. Having no volunteers, spectators, cheer squads, and other athletes on the course is SO HARD!! I’ve had some races in worse racing conditions that I THOUGHT were miserable, but they weren’t compared to this! Having friends, family, and random strangers around you, supporting you, pushing you, encouraging you, and cheering for you makes tough conditions much more bearable!!
  6. My mind is so much stronger than I think it is. I have to believe in myself even more than I already do! I have come a long way in this department over the last 15 years of racing, but I still have a long way to go! I am strong! As a friend said, “NOW you know what you’re made of…pretty amazing ain’t ya!”
  7. My body allowed me to keep pushing it even when my stomach was upset, my legs were cramping, and my mind wanted to quit. Sure I was cramping a bit on the run, but I KNOW I used that as an excuse far more than I should have during this race. I definitely could have run more than I did + I should’ve and could’ve pushed harder than I did in every discipline throughout this race.
  8. I am beyond blessed to have a village full of amazing people who were behind me in this crazy adventure!! Thank you to Coach Kelly for believing in me + pushing me out of my comfort zone to have me complete a solo 70.3!! Thank you to Coeur Sports for making super comfortable apparel even when I saturate it in sweat and for connecting me with such an amazing + supportive team of women!! Thank you to SBR Sports Inc. for keeping me chafe-free (even in all of that sweat) with the use of Skin Slick…or should I say skin saver!! Thank you to my cheer squad for encouraging me to keep going and finish this crazy feat…my fave, Ruth, Robin, Liz, Beth, Sara…your social media posts brought a smile to my face when I was done!! Thank you to Nick at Vitality Massage for working out all of the mess RIGHT after I was done racing!! Thank you to my FAVE!! You are my rock…your unwavering support and encouragement help me achieve the impossible!! I’m so grateful to have you by my side!!
I did a thang! The #flatlander703 was the TOUGHEST race I’ve ever done, but I learned A LOT and got 1st place overall!! Thanks to my fave for the award ceremony and making me feel special!!
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What’s Up?! – May 2018

With the end of May came the end of the school year for the students (my last day was yesterday). There were MANY times throughout this year that I didn’t think this day was ever going to come. I’m not going to sugar coat anything…this was my most challenging year ever and I just completed my 14th year teaching. I’m incredibly happy to be facing summer and a much needed break!! Here is a small glimpse of what May had in store for me!!

Training:

Fist pump because I FINALLY went under 1:30/100 yards…even if it was only one time!
“Right now” was pure joy for 50 miles on two wheels with my fave! I was so happy to be outside riding on the open roads!
13 miles as the sun came up over the horizon Wednesday morning!

Swim: 22,953 yards (13 miles)
Bike: 274 miles
Run: 80.3 miles
Monthly Totals: 49 hours & 18 minutes

First triathlon of the season:

In case you missed it, I raced the Kansas City Olympic Distance Triathlon on Mother’s Day. This was a good test to dust off the cobwebs before Ironman Wisconsin 70.3 this coming Sunday. It was a super fun race and I’m very glad I decided to put this in my training plan this year. In case you missed my race recap and want to check it out, click here.

Pre-race with one of my Coeur Sports teammates, Michelle!

Reading:

How Goal Setting and Self-Talk Will Bring Your Success in Triathlon by Seth Rose hit home with me. Let’s face it…I love learning about mindset, mental training, and goal setting, so this article was right up my alley!! So often as athletes, we focus on the outcome goals (achieving a certain time, placing in your age group, etc.). Sometimes this is good, but to really achieve the outcome goals, we need to be focusing on the process goals (getting to the race site early, keeping your hydration and nutrition in check, keeping your heart rate in check, etc.). When things get tough, it is time to pull out the self-talk. “Our confidence is fueled by what we tell ourselves, and ultimately our thoughts have a direct influence on our emotions and actions.” Two of my favorite mantras are, “courage over comfort” and “I am strong. I am tough.” I also tend to ask myself “how bad do you want it?!” multiple times while training and racing. Find a mantra (or 2) that works for you and use it in training and racing!

The One Thing Every Athlete Wants: Confidence by Carrie Cheadle is spot on!! Even the best athlete isn’t 100% confident 100% of the time! One of her favorite quotes struck home with me: “The reason we struggle with insecurity is because we compare our behind-the-scenes with everyone else’s highlight reel.” – Steve Furtick
WOW!!! Truth!!! Most endurance athletes want to “feel” confident, but confidence isn’t simply a feeling, it is also an action! I’m definitely looking forward to part 2 of this blog post to learn ways to increase my own self confidence!! Aren’t you?!?!

Listening to:

The Lost in Transition Podcast Diet Trends, Nutrition Myth Busting and More with Andrea Kendrick, RD is full of valuable information around sport nutrition and everyday nutrition for athletes. As a triathlete, nutrition and mental training are the 4th and 5th disciplines that are often overlooked. Professionals can definitely set you up for success, by helping you feel better + more energetic + recover better after tough sessions!!

Playing:

Sherpa Extraordinaire!! The Iron Hippie raced a local sprint triathlon. It was a brisk morning, but he did awesome!! It was SO much fun to cheer on the athletes, take pics of friends racing, and support my super awesome fave while he got to play!!

Cheering on my fave at the Hickory Grove Triathlon was so much fun!! Cold, but fun!!

Grateful for:

First open water swim of the season! I remained wetsuit hicky free thanks to the #trislide by SBR Sports, Inc.! Get some today using code KEPL18 for 20% off your next order!!
So grateful + blessed to be part of this amazing Coeur Sports team! I have met so many incredible women in sport and am excited to meet even more!! #TeamCoeur2018 #CourageTeam18
So grateful to have my fave as Sherpa/spectator extraordinaire jimmy rigging Mojo for me on race morning so I could safely ride her!!
Thanks Kyle (with Kyle’s Bikes) for fixing up Mojo and making everything right again!! #bestbikemechanic
So grateful my sister-in-law came to visit briefly!
Recovery…the 4th (or is it the 5th) discipline of Ironman training. Thanks to Nick with Vitality Massage for keeping me on track to do what I love!!
So grateful for the hard work my fave has done to get us to the point where we could plant the garden!
How do you probiotic?! So grateful to have Sound Probiotics in my tribe!! #soundathlete #winningtakesguts #nogutsnoglory Get some today using code PUSHMYLIMITS for 10% off your next order!!

How was your month of May?! What is your favorite mantra?! What were you grateful for last month?!

20 weeks ’til #IMLou – the end is near

Last week was the last full week of school for this school year! There are 3 days left with students and 3 without before I am free to play all summer long and act like a professional triathlete! I am definitely looking forward to it! The end is near 🙂

Swim: 8518 yards

Chasing dreams means doing the work to get there!
When you are committed to your dreams, sometimes you have to tap into every ounce of determination you have to make your dreams come true!
An open water swim with my fave!!

Bike:  76.1 miles

Easy spin of the legs to flush them out! Look at that bluebird sky!!
50 mile ride + 1 mile run with my fave on this HOT + STILL day is done!! It wasn’t pretty, but it is done!!
Cycling on the surface of the sun today!! Holy hell is it a HOT + STILL one today!!

Run: 21 miles

13 miles as the sun came up over the horizon Wednesday morning!
I sandwiched my last Friday with students for the school year between a double run!! 5 am miles = lots of humidity acclimation!!
I sandwiched my last Friday with students for the school year between a double run!! 2 pm miles = lots of heat acclimation!!
50 mile ride + 1 mile run with my fave on this HOT + STILL day is done!! It wasn’t pretty, but it is done!!

Strength Training: 1 hour & 15 minutes + 10 minutes of core strength/stretching daily

Strength training at the gym for a change!

Weekly Totals:  13 hours & 29 minutes

Quote of the Week:

“The future is uncertain, but the end is always near.” ~Jim Morrison

Attitude of Gratitude:

Recovery…the 4th (or is it the 5th) discipline of Ironman training. Thanks to Nick with Vitality Massage for keeping me on track to do what I love!!
When the husband is away…the wife eats sushi!!
Normatec Recovery boots are a must post long run…even if it means multitasking during a morning work meeting!
Basil (not the dog) is ready to grow this summer!
So grateful for the hard work my fave has done to get us to the point where we could plant the garden!
How do you probiotic?! So grateful to have Sound Probiotics in my tribe!! Use code PUSHMYLIMITS at checkout for 10% off your next order!!
New Coeur Sports gear!! Stock up now!! Use code SWEETSUMMER for 30% off through Memorial Day!!
Thanks to SBR Sports, Inc. for the #trislide keeping me all lubed up during my open water swim!! You can get some too!! Use code KEPL18 at checkout for 20% off your next order!!

How was your week? What are you grateful for this week?!

25 weeks ’til #IMLou – #disciplineovermotivation

Last week was all about discipline! Discipline to go workout (even when I didn’t want to), discipline while racing (start off easy, build into race pace, and try to hammer it at the end), discipline to use the data given to me from Inside Tracker. Discipline, discipline, discipline…As Coach Kelly says, “You don’t always have to be motivated, but you do have to be disciplined.” #trackcatstrong

Taking a page from the Andrea’s book #disciplineovermotivation this week! My permanent reminder at work by my desk!

Swim: 5550 yards

“Focus! Focus on this moment! Focus on today! Focus on what can make you better tomorrow!” Today’s focus was FUN! I’m so grateful to SBR Sports, Inc. for taking away the dry, itchy, chlorine saturated skin and helping to keep swimming FUN!!
Getting to the pool took #disciplineovermotivation, but I’m so grateful that I went!

Bike: 42.3 miles

God intervals required a much needed massage afterwards!
As winter continues to surround us, I tapped into warmer days + the Kona sunset with my Coeur Sports Kona kit on this morning’s ride.
An easy ride to spin out the legs mid week! If Ruth can ride 18 miles for each survivor of the OKC bombing, I can ride for an hour! #showup #dothework

Run: 19.7 miles

Hello blue skies and sunshine!! Please stay around!!
Short run with the bubble gum tongue to round out the work week! #runlove #Basillovesrunning
First race of 2018 is in the books! My finish time wasn’t as good as I’d hoped for, but it was better than I expected! #happygirl #mydrakerelays

Strength Training: 10 minutes of core strength daily

Yoga: 30 minutes

Mat time to stretch out the sore legs post race!

Weekly Totals: 9 hours & 57 minutes

Quote of the Week:

“Discipline is the bridge between goals and accomplishment.” ~Jim Rohn

Attitude of Gratitude:

I’m so grateful to have this amazing man by my side in life! Congratulations to all of the Boston Marathon finishers! #bostonstrong
I’m so grateful for my #solesister!
Thank you Nick at Vitality Massage for keeping me healthy and race ready!
Thank you SBR Sports, Inc for removing all the chlorine!! Use code KEPL18 at checkout for 20% off your next order!!
Thank you Sound Probiotics for keeping my gut healthy and helping me recover!
“I love my inflatable pillow Mama” ~Basil
So grateful for Normatec! #recoveryisimportant
When you are unmotivated to workout and your AMAZING husband knows it, so he drew this beauty on our chalkboard wall by my bike to encourage and support me! #imaluckygirl
Traci, we love you! So grateful to have such close friends at work!
Celebrating no more radiation for a colleague overcoming breast cancer. I work with amazing people! #wewearpinkforcheryl
Wahoo!! My Coeur Sports 2018 team kit arrived just in time for race weekend!
More Coeur Sports 2018 team gear!
Sushi for a pre-race lunch…YUMMY!!
We have two very happy girls because spring FINALLY decided to show up!! Yay for long walks in the warmth + sunshine!!

Tips for when you’re unmotivated:

  1. Text, call, email someone who is invested in your journey and will encourage + push you.
  2. Put your feet on the floor and go do the work before your brain thinks about why it doesn’t think you should. JUST SHOW UP!!
  3. Focus on your “Why.” Why do you want to achieve x, y, or z? Write about it! Reconnect with it.
  4. Envision yourself achieving success. How does it make you feel?! Tap into those amazing feelings!
  5. Find the FUN! Remember how much FUN you’ve had doing this before and how much FUN you are going to have in the future.
  6. Listen to your favorite motivating song(s) to pump you up and get you moving in the right direction!
  7. Eat a snack that makes you excited to go do the work! Taste success!
  8. Make the decision ahead of time to do the work. Commit to it and follow through! JUST SHOW UP!
  9. Prepare to celebrate! After you’ve shown up and done the work, CELEBRATE! Throw a dance party, jam out to your favorite song singing at the top of your lungs, do a handstand, indulge in a sweet reward, stand in power pose. Whatever it is, just celebrate!
  10. Sign up for a race! Sometimes this is all the motivation you need to SHOW UP and DO THE WORK!
  11. Order some fun, new gear to motivate you!

How was your week?! What were you grateful for last week?! What tips do you have for staying disciplined when you aren’t motivated?!

Triswim, Skinslick, Trislide, Foggies…OH MY!!

OMG! If you haven’t tried SBR Sports products, you MUST try them! Their Triswim products remove the chlorine, the Skinslick prevents blisters and chafing, the Trislide helps you get out of your wetsuit easily and prevents chafing, and the Foggies keep your goggles crystal clear! What’s even better?! Use this code: KEPL18 for 20% off your order!

I use the Triswim shampoo, conditioner, body wash and lotion after EVERY swim! My hair dresser is always amazed that my hair is in such good shape…especially since I swim 3-4 times a week and get my hair cut once every 4-6 months. I’m super happy to have skin that doesn’t itch and dry out after being submerged in chlorine for multiple hours a week!

Not only do I use the Skinslick to spray down my feet to prevent blisters when I run, but I also spray me feet down when we go snowshoeing. I used to get blisters Every. Time. I. Went. Snowshoeing. Not anymore! I can’t remember the last time I had a blister from snowshoeing. And the last time I had a blister running…well, that was last week because I forgot to take my Skinslick (and my running socks) with me to the gym to run on the treadmill.

I spray myself down with Trislide around my wrists, ankles, neck, and shoulders/armpits before donning my wetsuit or skin suit for races. When I get to T1, not only do I lack chafing (including the notorious wetsuit kiss), but I slide right out of my wetsuit with ease! Every second counts, so why add time to your transition by struggling with your wetsuit?!

Oh the Foggies!! I have had races where my goggles kept fogging up and I spent so much time on my back trying to clear them so I could see the next buoy. Since being introduced to Foggies, this is no longer a problem! I use them at the pool, open water swimming, and at races. HELLO clear vision! I can no longer say, “I couldn’t see the buoys” as an excuse for my slow swim times. LOL 😉 I know people who use the Foggies on their snow ski goggles, so you don’t have to swim to be a Foggies fan!

*Yes, I am an ambassador for SBR Sports, Inc. I do not use or recommend products I don’t believe in. These opinions are mine and I have used these products for years before becoming an ambassador.

30 weeks ’til #IMLou – reset button

I’ve intentionally held off giving weekly updates for Ironman Louisville until this week, but I do love weekly updates. Thirty seems like a good number to start counting down from! Last week I hit the “reset button” in so many different places in my life. I was able to ease back into a training routine (after being sick), put some life stresses to rest, celebrate turning 41, enjoy spring break with a relaxing week at home sans work, spring clean the house (we even moved the fridge and stove to clean behind them), and adjust to daylight savings time. Now begins the final push to the end of the school year. Only 11 more weeks, but who’s counting?! 😉

Swim: 5300 yards

#swimlove in the middle of the day?! Yes!!
Making an effort, not an excuse!

Bike: 

Rolling out of 40 and into 41 like “Hell yeah! 40 was an amazing year! Cheers to an even better 41!”
Reverse brick day!
Endurance rides can sometimes be boring, but today I kept my focus and nailed this ride as it was scheduled!

Run: 12.6 miles

“Mom, thanks for taking me running! I love running and I love you!” ~Basil
Warm enough for shorts?! YES!! Soaking up the sun + vitamin D!!
#chasingdreams and putting in the work!

Strength Training: 45 minutes + 10 minutes of core strength daily

Weekly Totals: 10 hours & 46 minutes

Quote of the week:

“When it rains, look for rainbows. When it is dark, look for stars.”

Attitude of Gratitude:

The biggest birthday card I’ve ever received! Thank you Laylah!
Birthday Massage! Thanks Nick! Vitality Massage 🙂
Birthday lunch date with my #solesister
We are SO grateful to have SBR Sports, Inc. in our tribe this year! #sbrambassador
Barnana delivery!
NBS = No Bull Shit delivery with personalized notes!
“Mom, are you done cleaning yet?! I just want the house put back together!” ~Basil
My idea of a SERIOUSLY yummy dinner!

How was your week? Do you look for the rainbows and the stars?

What’s Up?! – January 2018

How is the first month of 2018 already in the rearview mirror?! It seems like the start of the new year was just yesterday! Here is a look at what the month had in store for me:

Training:

This month my training was hit or miss thanks to an illness shortly after the start of the year and most recently the inability to turn my head. Thankfully I am back to feeling 100% and am ready to regain consistency in February! I did establish a racing schedule for 2018 that I am SUPER PUMPED about! I’ve let myself fully recover from my 2017 racing season and am SO ready to start rebuilding the engine for a stronger + fun filled 2018!

Celebrating the end of the #batcapchallenge on January 1!
First power test of 2018! Grateful for a healthy body! I’m ready to work hard and rebuild my fitness + surpass 2017!
So grateful to run with my fave + get some fresh air before the freezing temps return!

Swim: 8500 yards
Bike: 127 miles
Run: 24.8 miles
Totals: 20 hours & 53 minutes

Family:

We were so blessed to have our twin nieces (and my sister) come stay with us for a weekend early in January so we could attend their swim meet. The twins convinced the Iron Hippie to make a cake from scratch when they came to visit us. The recipe used was one the twins found on the internet and was a bit dry…it needs some love! We also got to spend some time back home home with family for the Okoboji Winter Games.

The twins are ready for their swim meet!
The cake is done!
Date night! #balance
Me and my fave listening to Damon Dotson!
Snowshoeing adventures with my fam!
Lunch with the twins at their school!
Putting puzzles together with the twins!
Winter wonderland with Dad + my fave!
Catching up with my “baby brother” at home home!

Reading:

My Weight Has Nothing to Do with How Good a Runner I Am by Allie Kieffer is a MUST READ! Wow! Body image plagues society! As an endurance athlete not on the skinny side, I often feel that I should lose weight to perform better…not because I think I am overweight, but because I see + hear what society says about being “skinnier.” I am STRONG! Stronger now than I have ever been…my swim times are dropping, my FTP on the bike is climbing, and my run times have gotten faster during the marathon of my Ironman races. If I were to lose weight, I may perform better, but I may also lose this strength. That is not a risk I am willing to take. It is time for society to change! The negative body image stereotyping MUST go, we need to focus on nutrient dense foods (count the colors not calories people), and we need to be grateful for what our bodies do for us! “As women, we shared more similarities than differences: We are all perseverant, powerful, confident, and healthy. And, dare I say it, strong.” #strongisthenewskinny

2017: A Year of Rediscovering Joy where Amelia shares how she rediscovered joy as she overcame injury. “True joy and true gratitude does not come from the victory – it comes from the pursuit of the achievement.”

The Champion Mindset: An athlete’s Guide to Mental Toughness by Joanna Zeiger is a great read! To race at your best, you have to not only train the body, but also the mind. Zeiger takes you through her “own personal journey from a struggling novice swimmer to Olympian and World Champion.”

Listening to:

The Find Your Awesome Podcast with Olympian Samantha Livingston…WOW!!! I SO connected to what Samantha and Kelsey discussed in this podcast!!! I have SO many perfectionist tendencies that I am trying to shed and leave behind. “Perfection is driven by the fear of what people will think.” I will continue to work to shed these perfectionist tendencies. I don’t want to live in fear of what other people think or what I think that they think!

The Find Your Awesome Podcast with Professional Triathlete Amber Ferreira is a must listen to! Kelsey Abbott interviews Amber and learns more about Amber’s “pro career to date, her love of racing up mountains, her mindset, resiliency and heart. We dig into her current project—recovering from stage 3 adrenal fatigue. Amber Ferreira is a professional triathlete, a physical therapist and a multisport coach. She’s the 2014 Ironman Lake Placid Champion and the two-time US National Snowshoe champion. She’s also a heart-driven, spunky human who loves to dream big and loves to laugh.”

Pumped For:

My 2018 race schedule! I am SO excited to be racing Ironman Wisconsin 70.3, Ironman Ohio 70.3, and Ironman Louisville as my long distance races this year! The Ironman has become my lifestyle! I love the Ironman distance! I love the feels that come with training + racing ALL. DAY. LONG! I love the excitement crossing the Ironman finish line brings so many people! I love the challenges that each new Ironman journey + race brings! I LOVE IRONMAN!

Grateful For:

-My body allowing me to push it to new levels, but also accepting the recovery I give it to perform stronger + better in the future.

-A snow day + a few days with 2 hour delays to start this month at school. I’m not a fan of having to make up the snow days, but it is always nice to have a break from school from time to time. Oh…and the 2 hour delays we don’t have to make up! 🙂

-The most supportive husband ever! I’m so grateful the Iron Hippie is willing to support me on my #IMLou journey! This will be the first Ironman race I participate in with him as sherpa + spectator extraordinaire!

-Dr. Chris Feil with Team Chiropractic for helping me overcome my “whiplash” symptoms from the car accident I was NEVER in. We have no idea how it happened!

-Nick Morton with Vitality Massage for keeping me on the train moving forward thanks to my biweekly massages!

Coach Kelly’s flexibility this month as life threw me a couple of curve balls!

-Being a SBR Sports Inc Ambassador for 2018! I absolutely LOVE the TRISWIM, TRISLIDE and SKINSLICK products to remove chlorine and keep me chafe + blister free during training, racing, and snowshoeing! These products are a dream!

How was your month of January?! What are you pumped up about?! What are you grateful for?!