25 weeks ’til #IMMT: looking fear in the face

I’m not 100% yet, but I have made #progress with my recovery and being #fearless this week!

Swim: 5200 yards

I had two really good swims this week. During my second swim, I was able to put some intensity into my swim without any issues with my back. It felt SO good to finally be getting a good workout in! #progress

Not fast, not far, and my form still needs work, but I was swimming pain free!
Not fast, not far, and my form still needs work, but I was swimming pain free!
Diving into the unknown by incorporating some speed work into my swim so I can #findfaster
Diving into the unknown by incorporating some speed work into my swim so I can #findfaster

Bike: 25.9 miles

I had 3 bike rides this week with 2 adding some intensity again…z3, but it was still some intensity! The good news is they were all pain free!

Incorporated some intensity into this ride...5x1 minute in Z3 was pain free!
Incorporated some intensity into this ride…5×1 minute in Z3 was pain free!
Recovery spin post swim...2 workouts in one day with no pain = BLISS!
Recovery spin post swim…2 workouts in one day with no pain = BLISS!
Workout #2 for the day with more intensity + pain free! :)
Workout #2 for the day with more z3 intensity + pain free! ūüôā

Run: 2 miles

I was finally able to run on Sunday for the first time in over 2 weeks. It wasn’t far, it wasn’t fast, but it was pain free and I was running! I had to stare at the treadmill for a while to build up the courage to finally press the start button, but I’m so glad I did!

Staring fear in the face!
Staring fear in the face! #fearless

Strength Training:

I haven’t had much strength training other than the exercise Dr. Chris has given me and rebuilding some core strength. I am hopeful that this coming week will change all of that and I’ll be able to slowly build my strength training back up again.

Weekly Totals: 5 hours & 15 minutes

Weekly Positives:

Dr. Chris Feil with Team Chiropractic and Rehabilitation and Nick Morton with Vitality Massage worked wonders on me this week! I was finally able to run after more than 2 weeks sans running!

Dry needling + electric shock to get my back to cooperate!
Dry needling + electric shock to get my back to cooperate!

Thanks to the 70+F weather early in the week, I got to dream with my girls about spring/summer!

Lots of dreaming of spring swims on our walk Tuesday!
Lots of dreaming of spring swims on our walk Tuesday!

We had a very special delivery this week…Barnana! Hello #potassiumboost + whole food nutrition!

Barnana deliver!
Barnana deliver!

Tuesday was twin day at school and who better to be my twin, than my #solesister?!?!?!

Twin Tuesday at school...Love my sole sister!
Twin Tuesday at school…Love my sole sister!

Quote of the Week:

“You gain strength, courage, and confidence by every experience in which you really stop to look fear in the face. You must do the thing you think you cannot do.” ~Eleanor Roosevelt

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My 2016 Year in Review via Photos

January:

My first ever MRI
My first ever MRI…thankfully it was nothing serious!
Basil loves to help me foam roller after a sweaty workout!
Basil is a good helper after a sweaty workout!
I can finally reach my toes...yoga is working :)
Spending lots of time with my boyfriend…mat¬†ūüôā

February:

Some serious #runlove with my 2 faves!! Bonus = running in SHORTS in Iowa...see the snow on the ground ;)
Some serious #runlove with my 2 faves!! Bonus = running in SHORTS in Iowa…see the snow on the ground ūüėČ
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More #yogalove this month
Who's ready to race?!
Who’s ready to race?! I’m so excited to be on the Coeur Sports Ambassador Team again for 2016!!

March:

Basil and Mya are dreaming of chasing the geese and swimming!
Basil and Mya are dreaming of chasing the geese and swimming!
Family run off the bike!
Family run off the bike!
"Just one more" hill for TRJ!!
“Just one more” hill for TRJ!!
Easy recovery ride with the boys!
Easy recovery ride in the courage cave with the boys!
Starting my day with my main squeeze and a new friend in the burbs of Chicago!
Starting my day with my main squeeze and a new friend in the burbs of Chicago!

April:

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Lots of swim analyses done this month!
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Outdoor #runlove in shorts!
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First century ride in 2016!!
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#runlove with friends is the best!
Drake 1/2 marathon is in the books! Official finish time = 1:54:23
Drake 1/2 marathon is in the books! Official finish time = 1:54:23

May:

LOTS to work on this week in the pool! Thanks Coach for the stroke analysis and guidance!!
Thanks Coach Hansen for the stroke analysis and guidance!!
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Market to Market Relay fun!
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Market to Market Relay Fun!
#solesistersweat and a podium finish at my first ever duathlon
#solesistersweat and a podium finish at my first ever duathlon
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Challenging our principal to an inflatable race on the last day of school.
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Riding the open roads!

June:

Yoga in the park!
Yoga in the park!
#solesister + #bikelove = #perfectworld
#solesister + #bikelove = #perfectworld
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DC trip with about 20 eighth graders
Swimming with the nieces between storms.
Swimming with the nieces between storms.
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Milkman 70.3 race in Madison on a hot day!
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Our first women’s only ride…SO MUCH FUN and amazing courage in these women!!

July:

4th of July Century ride
4th of July Century ride
#bikelove with amazing people!
#bikelove with amazing people!
Outdoor #swimlove
Outdoor #swimlove
Women's only ride #2 for the year!
Women’s only ride #2 for the year!
Teaching the twins how to ride their bikes without training wheels!
Teaching the twins how to ride their bikes without training wheels!
Swimming with 2 of my favorite girls!
Swimming with 2 of my favorite girls!
Getting low fives from my nieces at the Okoboji Triathlon. Photo by Sarah Riley
Getting low fives from my nieces at the Okoboji Triathlon. Photo by Sarah Riley
The Iron Hippie's Birthday Century Ride
The Iron Hippie’s Birthday Century Ride
Pool Shenanigans post birthday century ride!
Pool Shenanigans post birthday century ride!
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128 miles on the Ironman Wisconsin bike course…EXCELLENT training weekend!
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2.4 mile open water swim event in Madison
This is what happy looks like after a successful Ironman Wisconsin training camp!
This is what happy looks like after a successful Ironman Wisconsin training camp!

August:

Running through the jungle on a sweltering day!
Running through the jungle on a sweltering day!
3.5 mile Okoboji Swim with Dad kayaking next to me
Okoboji 3.5 mile Swim with Dad kayaking next to me
Outdoor pool swimming is coming to an end.
Outdoor 50 meter pool swimming is coming to an end.
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Running with friends is always best!
Outdoor #bikelove
Outdoor #bikelove
Taking a trip down the slide at the pool!
Taking a trip down the slide at the pool!
#runlove with my faves!
#runlove with my faves!
Date night!
Date night!

September:

Countless laps next to my fave!
Countless laps next to my fave!
Race prep while I watch the Ironman 70.3 Worlds Championship!
Race prep while I watch the Ironman 70.3 Worlds Championship!
Swimming with family in Lake Monona
Swimming with family in Lake Monona
Meeting my Coeur Sports teammies
Meeting my Coeur Sports teammies
Ironman Wisconsin race day! Photo credit: Doree Harding
Ironman Wisconsin race day! Photo credit: Doree Harding
Ironman Wisconsin #bikelove Photo credit: Erin Klegstad
Ironman Wisconsin #bikelove Photo credit: Erin Klegstad
Running strong! Photo Credit: Erin Klegstad
Running strong at Ironman Wisconsin! Photo Credit: Erin Klegstad

October:

Mom came to visit for a weekend! It was fun to spend quality time with her!
Mom came to visit for a weekend! It was fun to spend quality time with her!
Run for the Roses fun!
Run for the Roses fun!
Love this little family of mine!
Love this little family of mine!
Spectating the IMT Des Moines Marathon!
Spectating the IMT Des Moines Marathon!
The Iron Hippie getting close to the finish of the IMT Des Moines Marathon...I'm so proud of him only 5 weeks post Ironman Wisconsin
The Iron Hippie getting close to the finish of the IMT Des Moines Marathon…I’m so proud of him only 5 weeks post Ironman Wisconsin
#bikelove in my fall playground!
#bikelove in my fall playground!
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I registered for Ironman Mont Tremblant for 2017!!
These ladies not only inspire me, but encourage me and light my fire! <3
So happy to cheer on my Coeur Sports Teammates as they take on Ironman World Championships in Kona. These ladies not only inspire me, but encourage me and light my fire! ‚̧

November:

I found out that I made the Coeur Sports 2017 Ambassador Team...Such a #hardcoeur group of women that I'm overjoyed to be a part of!!
I found out that I made the Coeur Sports 2017 Ambassador Team…Such a #hardcoeur group of women that I’m overjoyed to be a part of!!
I'm excited to have hired Kelly Hardiaris with Track Cat Fitness as my new coach!!
I’m excited to have hired Kelly Hardiaris with Track Cat Fitness as my new coach!!
Hot yoga...a date with my mat is always better with friends!!
Hot yoga…a date with my mat is always better with friends!! #yogalove
Washing away the negativity of the month.
Washing away the negativity of the month. #swimlove
Running with friends and THIS. BEAUTIFUL. SUNRISE!
Running with friends and THIS. BEAUTIFUL. SUNRISE! #runlove
Running with my sole sister and Basil makes the world a better place!
Running with my #solesister and Basil makes the world a better place! #runlove
My twin nieces had their first swim meet this month!
My twin nieces had their first swim meet this month!
Proud Aunt!
Proud Aunt!
We are Godparents! Baptism for the twins.
We are Godparents! Baptism for the twins.
Ice skating with our nieces!
Ice skating with our nieces!
Starting Thanksgiving with friends and morning miles!
Starting Thanksgiving with friends and morning miles!
Thankful for this tribe!
Thankful for this tribe!
4 generations of #strongwomen
4 generations of #strongwomen
Jumping on trampolines is a much tougher workout than I thought it would be!
Jumping on trampolines is a much tougher workout than I thought it would be!
Yay!! Mojo is home after surgery!! Now it is time to get to work!!
Yay!! Mojo is home after surgery!! Now it is time to get to work!!

December:

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#chlorinetherapy + #swimlove with the Iron Hippie!!
2 mile time trial with the track all to myself!!
2 mile time trial with the track all to myself!!
FTP test...not where I want to be, but better than where I thought I was.
FTP test…I’m not where I once was, but I’m recovered and ready to work hard to surpass where I once was!!
Working hard to turn my dreams into a reality with some #chlorinetherapy
When you wask up to negative wind chills and want to stay in bed with your dreams, but get up and work hard during your swim time trial to turn those dreams into a reality instead! #swimlove #chlorinetherapy
Running on trails along the river = #runlove
Running on trails along the river = #runlove
Z5 intervals on the bike were super tough, but it felt good to push my limits in a new way and come out stronger as a result!
Z5 intervals on the bike were super tough, but it felt good to push my limits in a new way and come out stronger as a result!
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When it is FREEZING cold outside, it is time to run on the mill and dream of the tropics in my Coeur Sports Tropical Punch kit!
Running the golf course with my girl + bonus #puppylove
Running the golf course with my girl + bonus #puppylove
I did make it all the way to the top and then didn't want to let go...but I did! #fearless
Climbing to new heights is VERY scary for someone who is afraid of heights…but I did! #fearless
Tree pose on a tree trunk...this is much harder in jeans than yoga pants!
Tree pose on a tree trunk…this is much harder in jeans than yoga pants!

I’m thankful¬†for all of the great experiences, adventures, and joy in 2016! Cheers to an even better 2017!

The Best of 2016

After posting the Best of 2013,¬†the Best of 2014, and the Best of 2015 I decided it would be fun to look back through 2016 and reminisce my favesūüôā

Best race experience?

The Okoboji Triathlon was my favorite race this year! It was special to race with The Iron Hippie on our Anniversary and get cheered on by our twin nieces at the finish line!

Getting low fives from my nieces at the Okoboji Triathlon. Photo by Sarah Riley
Getting low fives from my twin nieces at the Okoboji Triathlon. Photo by Sarah Riley

Best run?

There weren’t many runs that stood out as belonging at the top of the pile this year, but the most fun I had while running was at the Market to Market Relay. I got to run with friends All. Day. Long!

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Best bike?

Riding 3 loops of the Ironman Wisconsin bike course…was a challenging day full of 6847 feet of climbing over 125 miles. This ride gave me a lot of confidence for Ironman Wisconsin race day!

Looking down Barlow...this doesn't do it justice since you can't see the bottom!
Looking down Barlow (a 21% climb)…this doesn’t do it justice since you can’t see the bottom!

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Best swim?

The Okoboji 3.5 mile swim was not wetsuit legal, but it was a great experience for me to swim LONG with my father kayaking beside me!! I love swimming in my playground…Lake Okoboji!!

3.5 mile Okoboji Swim with Dad kayaking next to me
3.5 mile Okoboji Swim with Dad kayaking next to me

Best NEW racing experience?

This was a tough one! I had two new race experiences this year…Market to Market Relay and the Hickory Grove Duathlon. While both experiences were new, fun, and challenging (in their own way), the duathlon rocked this category! I was challenged in ways I hadn’t experienced before, had a BLAST, and got to race with my #solesister!

#solesistersweat and a podium finish at my first ever duathlon
#solesistersweat and a podium finish at my first ever duathlon

Best encouraging moment?

This year I was blessed to have the support from Coeur Sports¬†and Kyle’s Bikes to help me start a women’s only ride in central Iowa. It was fun to enCOEURage other women in sport and help them make gains on the bike and in their self confidence! #strongwomen #heartandcourage

Ladies Night!
Ladies Night!

Best recovery technique?

#recoveryisimportant and that is why I invest in the best recovery possible! Nick with Vitality Massage helps keep me injury free. I like to refer to myself as his insurance policy since Ironman racing looks to be in our future for the next few yearsūüėČ

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Best offseason adventure?

Family time, which included:

Ice skating with our nieces!
Ice skating with our nieces!
Jumping on trampolines is a much tougher workout than I thought it would be!
Jumping on trampolines with family over Thanksgiving weekend!

Best new piece of gear?

This is SUPER EASY!! The Coeur Sports¬†Zele Aero Triathlon Kit…it is the most comfortable, breathable, stylish, aerodynamic kit on the market!! I’m hopeful for more amazing designs in 2017!! #stylishspeed

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Best way to log my workouts?

This is another SUPER easy one…my #believetrainingjournal!! While I love to see green in Training Peaks, I much prefer writing things down by hand. I love looking back through my workouts and it is so much easier to do when they are written down. I don’t particularly like having to open up every box in Training Peaks to review my workouts, so the Believe Training Journal has been an absolute favorite this year! I love it so much that I ordered the Compete Training Journal for 2017!!
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Best way to stay healthy?

This was also SUPER easy…Sound Probiotics has been keeping me healthy since March 2015! As endurance athletes, we put ourselves at risk for a dysfunctional immune system because of the intensity and duration of our workouts. When stress, inadequate sleep, poor diet choices, cold weather, alcohol or travel are thrown into the mix, our immune system is even further suppressed. How has Sound Probiotics helped me? Sound Probiotics helps in nutrient production and absorption, helps fend off viruses, promotes the production of cytokines and mucin, and limits bad bacteria in the gut. I have experienced less fatigue and fewer sick days, which as a middle school teacher who is an endurance athlete speaks volumes! This has provided me with the opportunity for more training and better performance. I would highly recommend all endurance athletes use Sound Probiotics to stay healthy!!

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#soundathlete = #soundlife #winningtakesguts

Best piece of racing advice you received?

I read this before every big race. It is so motivating and reminds me to do and be my best as I embark on the race ahead:

‚ÄúBe calm; focus on what you are going to do. Don‚Äôt get distracted, don‚Äôt get overwhelmed, take it all as it comes. You are ready for this; you‚Äôve prepared for years. This is it, your time to shine. Go forth with all your powers. Go forth with everything in you. Make it work.‚ÄĚ ~Lynne Cox, ‚ÄúSwimming to Antarctica: Tales of a Long-Distance Swimmer‚ÄĚ

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Most inspirational athlete?

I can’t pick just one…so many of my Coeur Sports teammates have inspired me this year!! There were many Coeur women who raced with #heartandcourage in Kona at the Ironman World Championships, other ladies had podium finishes at various races they competed in, many ladies met goals, and all are working hard to achieve their dreams. My inspiration cup runneth over!! I am so pumped to be a part of this amazing team again in 2017!!

I found out that I made the Coeur Sports 2017 Ambassador Team...Such a #hardcoeur group of women that I'm overjoyed to be a part of!!
I found out that I made the Coeur Sports 2017 Ambassador Team…Such a #hardcoeur group of women that I’m overjoyed to be a part of!!
These ladies not only inspire me, but encourage me and light my fire! <3
These ladies not only inspire me, but encourage me and light my fire! ‚̧

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

Courage over comfort, believe, fun!!

Tell me about your 2016 year!! What are your ‚Äúbests‚ÄĚ from 2016?!

What’s Up?! – November 2016

November did not go as planned, but I guess that’s part of life. Right?! There were more struggles this month than I would like to admit, but there were some great things that did come from this month as well!! I’m choosing to focus on the positive¬†and not the negative¬†in this post!!

Training

Training this month has been VERY limited, which makes me VERY sad and adds to the my stress level, but it is the reality of our chaotic and stressful life this month. I haven’t had Mojo (my trusty steed…aka bike) this month since she has undergone extensive surgery (so much so that she had to be shipped back to Specialized so they could fix her). I’m grateful they were able to fix her and I was able to get her back in perfect working order just in time to start the month of December off right! I’ve REALLY missed her!! There’s nothing quite like #bikelove ūüėČ So without Mojo, I have gotten ¬†in a few good swims, a couple of runs, a few strength sessions, and one date with my mat, but nothing like I’d hoped for this month. That’s ok though…it is the offseason right?! I’m sure my body will bounce back quickly!

Washing away the negativity of the month.
Washing away the negativity of the month.
Running with friends and THIS. BEAUTIFUL. SUNRISE!
Running with friends and THIS. BEAUTIFUL. SUNRISE!
Running with my sole sister and Basil makes the world a better place!
Running with my #solesister and Basil makes the world a better place!
Hot yoga...a date with my mat is always better with friends!!
Hot yoga…a date with my mat is always better with friends!!
Starting Thanksgiving with friends and morning miles!
Starting Thanksgiving with friends and morning miles!
Yay!! Mojo is home after surgery!! Now it is time to get to work!!
Yay!! Mojo is home after surgery!! Now it is time to get to work!!

Planning for

2017!! I’ve recently hired Kelly Hadiaris with Track Cat Fitness as my coach and am super excited to see where we go together in 2017!! It is so nice to see workouts in Training Peaks that I didn’t generate! ūüôā I’ve spent time reflecting on my 2016 racing season and am in the process of working on my S.M.A.R.T. goals for 2017. Be on the lookout for those in the coming weeks!

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Pumped about

I’m so excited to be part of the Coeur Sports Ambassador Team again for 2017!! I ABSOLUTELY love these women!! They are inspirational, motivational, enCOEURaging, supportive and full of #heartandcourage ūüôā

I found out that I made the Coeur Sports 2016 Ambassador Team...Such a #hardcoeur group of women that I'm overjoyed to be a part of!!
I found out that I made the Coeur Sports 2017 Ambassador Team…Such a #hardcoeur group of women that I’m overjoyed to be a part of!!

Thankful for

Family!!

We are Godparents! Baptism for the twins.
We are Godparents! Baptism for the twins.
Ice skating with our nieces!
Ice skating with our nieces!
Time with the nieces!
Time with the nieces!
Thankful for this tribe!
Thankful for this tribe!
4 generations of #strongwomen
4 generations of #strongwomen
Jumping on trampolines is a much tougher workout than I thought it would be!
Jumping on trampolines is a much tougher workout than I thought it would be!

Encouraging

My nieces!! They have joined the swim team and had their first swim meet. It was SO MUCH FUN to go cheer them on and support them as they start their journey with endurance sport! I’m hopeful we get them to do a triathlon this summer ūüôā

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Who’s ready to swim?!
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So proud of these two!!

How was your month of November? What were your highlights? Who’s ready for December?!

Ironman Wisconsin: Gratitude for My Tribe

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

Family and Friends…

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

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

My Sponsors…

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

My Triathlon Peeps…

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

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

The Iron Hippie…

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

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

Rising Tide Routines for Inevitable Success 10 Day Challenge

Sonja at Rising Tide Triathlon Coaching provided a free 10 day challenge to kick off December. Routines for Inevitable Success has brought focus and meaning to my training and racing and I will be forever grateful to Sonja and the team of coaches at Rising Tide for their guidance and support!!

Day 1: Setting Intentions

As you probably guessed, day 1 was all about setting intentions. This is a part of the email I received from Sonja:

“Kecia, this is the¬†dream big¬†day…

What have you been wanting more of? What is lacking in your triathlon experience? What do you need a little magical boost of? Some fairy dust that bestows ______ on you? Think big, dream big, allow yourself to go there today, I give you permission. Don’t be shy with what you want!
So, with Sonja’s permission and Carrie Cheadle’s¬†guidance, I sat down and started the process of setting my intention. What was my big dream? That was easy. The harder question was “Why do I have this dream? I mean, why do I REALLY have this dream?” Here is what I found out…
Goal: To qualify for Ironman World Championships in Kona
Why 1: I want to overcome the fear of really pushing myself to my limits.
Why 2: I want to feel successful and in control.
Why 3: I want to feel worthy of such an amazing accomplishment and eliminate all self doubt throughout this journey.
Why 4: I want to truly believe deep underneath the surface at the very core of my being that I am amazing inside and out!
Whoa!! I talk about believing in myself, my abilities, and my training all the time. I visualize success. I incorporate positive self talk into my training and racing. I have mantras to keep me focused. I have reasons for why I am deserving of success. But do I really, REALLY, truly believe deep underneath the surface at the very core of my being?!?!?!?! I guess not as much as I thought I did. I have work to do and am thankful that Sonja is going to guide me in this process to develop the kind of belief in myself that I am truly craving to help me achieve my goals and reach my dreams!!
IMG_6223
“Intentions are the starting point of every dream.” I’m committing to believing in myself deep underneath the surface at the very core of my being. #believe #rttc10dayroutine

Day 2: Rally the Troops

Today was about my community. This is a part of the email I received from Sonja:

“Looking back on the intention you set yesterday, I want you to select 3 PEOPLE¬†in your life that either:

~~~ Expect you to “show up” in racing or training with that Day 1 intention

OR

~~~ Believe that you possess that Day 1 intention (even when you don’t think you do)

Now it’s time to get creative. My favorite part!!

I want you to think of 3 ACTIONS¬†that incorporate one of these people into your routine.”

Coming up with 3 people who believe in me deep underneath the surface at the very core of my being was easy the easy part. I have MANY people in my community who believe in me and support my crazy dreams. But, Tonja (my #solesister), the Iron Hippie (my husband) and my dad are the 3 people I chose to focus on who believe in me deep at the core of my being. They are 3 of the many people I can lean on for support when I am struggling and need a pick me up. I decided to choose my #solesister for this part of the challenge. Why?

  1. I know she will be overjoyed to help me.
  2. She is a woman…a strong, brave, courageous, supportive, inspirational woman who knows what it is like to be a woman athlete.
  3. I want more than anything for her to not only be a part of my training journey, but to also be there in person for my race day journey.
My #solesister believes in me...deep underneath the surface at the very core of my being. She encourages, inspires and motivates me to always do and be my best. I can not wait for the day when she not only experiences my training journey, but also experiences race day with me.
My #solesister believes in me…deep underneath the surface at the very core of my being. She encourages, inspires and motivates me to always do and be my best. I can not wait for the day when she not only experiences my training journey, but also experiences race day with me. #rttc10dayroutine

Coming up with the actions made me think a bit longer. Three actions that I came up with to incorporate Tonja into my routine:

  1. A pep talk video to remind me to always believe in myself deep underneath the surface at the very core of my being, to get comfortable with the uncomfortable, and to #nevergiveup on my goals and dreams!
  2. Text self confidence and belief quotes to me just because, when I need a pick me up, to help me get out the door to train, and in the days leading up to a big race.
  3. Take my lucky charm with me (given to me by Tonja) on trainer rides, look at it before and after every workout, and continue to take it with me to all of my races.

Day 3: Functional Playlist

Today was about the tunes. Here is a part of the email I received from Sonja today:

“A functional playlist is a short list of 2-4 songs that gets you into a particular mood.

These aren’t necessarily your favorite songs of the moment, these songs tap you into your intention set on day one.

Function means that they serve a purpose, these songs are a step on the path to your intention…it’s a bit of a lifehack honestly!”

While I LOVE to listen to music, I don’t pay much attention to song titles and the artists¬†who sing them. I just know a good song when I hear it and I can typically give you some of the lyrics to the song…although sometimes I have made up my own lyrics¬†to the songs I like. What can I say…it has been known to happen ūüėČ To make it even more challenging, I was to come up with 2-4 tunes that help me #believe in myself deep underneath the surface at the very core of my being. Sooooo…my lack of knowledge for song titles and artists made this challenge take longer than it probably should have. A couple of songs came to mind immediately…”Perfect” by Pink and “Roar” by Katy Parry. “What Makes You Beautiful” by One Direction and “Soar” by Christina Aguilera took much¬†longer to come up with, thanks to my lack of musical knowledge. The good news…I found the songs that help me #believe in myself and downloaded them so I don’t have to search any longer!!¬†And without further adieu, I give you my “Believe Playlist”

#rttc10dayroutine Day 3 is all about the tunes that make me believe in myself deep underneath the surface at the very core of my being. #believe
#rttc10dayroutine Day 3 is all about the tunes that make me believe in myself deep underneath the surface at the very core of my being. #believe

Day 4: A Touch of Magic

Lucky charms and superstitions was the theme for today, and here is part of the email Sonja sent:

If you already have a good luck charm or superstition that you use I want you to shine the microscope on it today and ask yourself:

  • What successful moment in your life it connects you to?
  • When was the first time you used it?
  • Where did that superstition come from?
  • Is it in line with your day 1 intention?
  • Is it in harmony or dissonance with what you are trying to create your routine around?”
I do have a lucky charm and a superstition, so the next step was to reflect on each of the questions above.
  • Lucky Charm: a stone from my #solesister that says, “In a world of ordinary mortals you are a wonder woman!”
  • Superstition: Take a shower before all of my “A” races
  1. What successful moment in your life it connects you to?
    • Lucky Charm: This connects me to Tonja so she is with me on race day, even though she may not be there in person, she is with me in spirit.
    • Superstition: This connects me to great race experiences by washing away all bad race experiences from the past.
  2. When was the first time you used it?
    • Lucky Charm: When Tonja gave it to me before my USAT Age Group National Championships in 2013
    • Superstition: At Ironman Wisconsin 2014 when I washed away my bad IMWI race experience from 2011.
  3. Where did that lucky charm/superstition come from?
    • Lucky Charm: My stone came from Tonja, my #solesister
    • Superstition: This came from deciding to wash away my bad IMWI race experience from 2011 before starting my day at IMWI in 2014.
  4. Is it in line with your day 1 intention?
    • Lucky Charm: Absolutely! This helps me get into the mindset that I am wonder woman ūüôā
    • Superstition: Absolutely! It helps me #believe in myself, my abilities and my training more by washing away all negativity and starting the day clean, fresh and positive.
  5. Is it in harmony or dissonance with what you are trying to create your routine around?
    • Lucky Charm: Harmony…this definitely ties in well with instilling more belief in myself
    • Superstition: Harmony…this definitely ties in well with instilling more belief in myself
#rttc10dayroutine Day4: my lucky charm was giving to me by my #solesister and I take it with me to all of my races, that way she is with me in spirit on race day. It is my reminder to #believe in myself deep underneath the surface at the very core of my being, because I am a "wonder woman!" I shower before every "A" race as a way to wash away all negativity and bad vibes from previous races. I know it sounds silly since I typically submerge myself in a lake to swim and proceed to get all sweaty and nasty, but I start my race clean and full of positive mojo so I can truly believe in myself, my abilities and my training as I race to the next finish line!!
#rttc10dayroutine Day4: my lucky charm was giving to me by my #solesister and I take it with me to all of my races, that way she is with me in spirit on race day. It is my reminder to #believe in myself deep underneath the surface at the very core of my being, because I am a “wonder woman!”
I shower before every “A” race as a way to wash away all negativity and bad vibes from previous races. I know it sounds silly since I typically submerge myself in a lake to swim and proceed to get all sweaty and nasty, but I start my race clean and full of positive mojo so I can truly believe in myself, my abilities and my training as I race to the next finish line!!
Day 5: Meaningful Mantras
Mantras are “instruments of thought” and are derived from the root word man-, which means “to think” and the suffix -tra, which means “tools or instruments.” I have always had mantras for different parts of my training and racing experiences so I am¬†pumped¬†Sonja has us focusing on creating a mantra that ties us to our day 1 intention!! Here are a few words from Sonja:

“They take many different forms and you can really get creative here, but to help you out, here are some guidelines to follow when creating a mantra for your routine for inevitable success:

~~~ Connect to your intention, you may even start with your intention and work from there
~~~ Use funky creative words. You can even use words that aren’t words, like funner, funning, relaxer, chillax, diggity, fliggity, radtastic
“Lighter, Softer, Faster, Relaxer” from Tara Anderson, a Boulder runner
~~~ Keep it short, and memorable
~~~ Stay positive, and whatever you do, don’t vocalize what you don’t want. Phrases like “No pain, no gain”, “clear your mind of can’t” or “pain is weakness leaving the body” highlight the feelings you don’t want. Don’t fall into this trap!
~~~ Use action words, especially ones that connect you to what it feels like to be at your best like: climb, fly, lead, leap, push, pull
~~~ Three words with the same first letter work really well, Bold, Brave, Boss, as do words with the same ending, Lighter, Faster, Stronger
When in doubt, think about what you will desperately need to hear when you are in a state that is NOT your day 1 intention. What will resonate deeply?
¬†My intention is to #believe in myself deep underneath the surface at the very core of my being, but I also want to achieve big dreams. Sooooo…with inspiration from a friend who recently gifted this bracelet to me, I have decided to combine my intention with my want to create¬†my meaningful mantra.
"Believe, Endure, Achieve" will be my mantra for 2016. It will remind me to #believe in all that I am and to #endure and overcome challenges throughout my journey so I can #achieve big dreams! #dreambig #meaningfulmantras
“Believe, Endure, Achieve” will be my mantra for 2016. It will remind me to #believe in all that I am and to #endure and overcome challenges throughout my journey so I can #achieve big dreams! #dreambig #meaningfulmantras

Day 6: Productive Pep Talk

I talk to myself all the time while training and racing, constantly encouraging myself to keep pushing hard, while trying to change my mindset from the negative to the positive. Sonja’s email made creating a pep talk easy because she scripted what we should write to create a productive pep talk.

Grab a sheet of paper and follow along: 

WRITE DOWN: “Hi__________”
¬† ¬† ¬†—>> then add your name, your nickname, what your friends call you, what you wish your friends called you… make it personal!
WRITE DOWN: “I know you feel __________”
¬† ¬† ¬†—>> then add what the opposite of your Day 1 intention is, you know, that feeling of uug, or poor me, or I just want to sit on the couch, that one!
WRITE DOWN: “Your goal is to ¬†__________”
¬† ¬† ¬†—>> now write a little about your intention and what you hope it brings you
WRITE DOWN: “and in order to do that you might have to ¬†__________”
¬† ¬† ¬†—>> now write down all the things you need to do that you don’t want to, especially when you are feeling the opposite or you intention.
WRITE DOWN: “You have__________”
¬† ¬† ¬†—>> write as many support structures as you can think of
WRITE DOWN: “and here’s what you have to gain__________”
¬† ¬† ¬†—>> then add all you have to gain from racing/training/being in sync with your Day 1 intention
WRITE DOWN: “__________, I know you can do this”
¬† ¬† ¬†—>> Add back in your name, your nickname, what your friends call you, what you wish your friends called you.”
 So, I set to work and here is what I created for my productive pep talk:
#rttc10dayroutine Day 6: #productivepeptalk to myself! #believe
#rttc10dayroutine Day 6: #productivepeptalk to myself! #believe

Day 7: Wake Up That Brain

After yesterday’s more challenging task, today’s task was designed to be much simpler ūüôā Here is a snippet from Sonja’s email:

“Do you know which brain exercise to use for your intention?

Victory and Power Posing: Use this for intentions that require you to be strong, be tough, get through something challenging.
  • Belief in Self
  • Confidence
  • Courage
  • Bravery
  • Self love
  • Jumping off Things…

Now that you know which one, it’s time to practice, to TRAIN! 3×30 seconds will do! See, I promised it was QUICK!”

#rrtc10dayroutine Day 7: striking the power pose makes me feel strong and that I can conquer anything! The victory pose as I cross almost every finish line. I guess I should be doing them both more often to help me #believe in myself even more!
#rrtc10dayroutine Day 7: striking the power pose makes me feel strong and that I can conquer anything! The victory pose as I cross almost every finish line. I guess I should be doing them both more often to help me #believe in myself even more!

Day 8: Tapping into your Senses

Wow! This was one of the toughest days of the challenge yet. Did you know that sweet foods lead to satisfaction and salty foods lead to a zest for life?!?!?! Me neither!! Sonja had us tap into our senses, specifically taste and smell for today’s challenge.

“Smells and Tastes can connect us to a time, a place, a memory, a feeling or an emotion.

If you need to go from a low energetic state to a high energy state:
  • caffeine, or bright smells work well
If you need to go from a high energy state to a calmer more introspective place:
  • tea, or floral scents are the way to go.
Also helpful,
Think of foods or smells that link back to successful moments, memories, or instances in your life.
You are a PRO at connecting your challenge to you intention by now, use your creativity and incorporate something that’s going to tap you into either the success you are after, or the emotion you hope to feel.”
I had lots of options to choose from…but the one that REALLY stood out to me that screamed #believe was…
#rttc10dayroutine Day 8: a taste that means #believe is definitely my Karma Kombucha Orange Ginger. In 2014 at #IMWI I suffered from an upset stomach on the bike and didn't know if I would actually make it to the finish line. Enjoying my booch before starting the run helped settle my stomach and ran me to a PR of an hour. I #believe I can achieve with booch in my belly!!
#rttc10dayroutine Day 8: a taste that means #believe is definitely my Karma Kombucha Orange Ginger. In 2014 at #IMWI I suffered from an upset stomach on the bike and didn’t know if I would actually make it to the finish line. Enjoying my booch before starting the run helped settle my stomach and ran me to a PR of an hour. I #believe I can achieve with booch in my belly!!

Day 9: Pulling Things Together

The time is here to pull all of our hard work together and get our routine for inevitable success dialed in!! Here is an excerpt from Sonja’s email:

“Start off with reviewing your last 7 days of completed challenge exercises. Sit with each of them for about 30 seconds and make a mental note of your favorites.

NOW – Select 4-5 of the challenge days that either:
  • feel the most fun
  • feel easy and effortless
~~~ Remember, if you are using MOJO, or willpower you are headed in the WRONG direction. Back up the truck, put it in reverse, and look for EASY and/or FUN.
Some of your challenge days might need a little beefing up, or tweaking so that they start to come together in the right way. That watermelon you used for the senses might turn into a secret stash of watermelon Jolly Ranchers.
NEXT – think about FLOW.
~~~ I highly urge you start with either your playlist, or your senses. Those are both great for kicking off a routine. What task would keep it mojo free? For me, starting a playlist takes no mojo, but going downstairs and getting a handful of Espresso Beans does. Think easy!
~~~ Imagine the state you will be in when you are starting this routine….you are in a place of lack, a state that is the opposite of your Day 1 intention. Think of how you are going to use these challenges to build momentum into your Intention.
~~~ End with your brain warm up exercise. That is going to be money and the final straw to launch you into your Day 1 intention.”
So, I launched into it and this is what I came up with for the first draft of my personalized routine:
#rttc10dayroutine Day 9: time to pull things together and get a first draft of my personalized routine! 1. Start my "Believe" playlist...time to get down and jam! 2. Take a couple of swigs of Karma Kombucha Orange Ginger..."I #believe I can fly" 3. Listen to my pep talk (previously recorded) while I pull on my workout gear..."Don't stop believing" 4. Grab my lucky charm from Tonja and head out the door..."In a world of ordinary mortals, you are a Wonder Woman!" 5. Stand on the front step in power pose for 30 seconds because...I am Wonder Woman! It is time to #believe in my journey!! Thanks Rising Tide Triathlon Coaching for this amazing experience!!
#rttc10dayroutine Day 9: time to pull things together and get a first draft of my personalized routine!
1. Start my “Believe” playlist…time to get down and jam!
2. Take a couple of swigs of Karma Kombucha Orange Ginger…”I #believe I can fly”
3. Listen to my pep talk (previously recorded) while I pull on my workout gear…”Don’t stop believing”
4. Grab my lucky charm from Tonja and head out the door…”In a world of ordinary mortals, you are a Wonder Woman!”
5. Stand on the front step in power pose for 30 seconds because…I am Wonder Woman!
It is time to #believe in my journey!! Thanks Rising Tide Triathlon Coaching for this amazing experience!!

Day 10: Celebrate!!

I’m sad to see this challenge come to completion! It has been so much fun and very beneficial! This last day is all about putting it all together and celebrating! Sonja said:

“TODAY we put your SFD¬†into practice!

Can you see what a game changer this can be for you? Did you get excited just knowing you have a tool in your toolbox that you can pull out anytime to put yourself in the energy state that yields SUCCESS? I got excited for you!
Give that ritual a test drive today, see what needs tweaking! What took mojo to incorporate…ditch that…what was the most fun part? Add MORE of that!¬†
If you didn’t put together your routine yesterday, TODAY is that DAY! Like I said, when in doubt, slap your 5 favorite¬†challenges¬†on a piece of paper and call it good. It’s not about perfection, you have already done the heavy lifting. THEY ALL WORK!
It can be so easy to think that we have learned enough by doing 90%. I see this as a triathlon coach constantly. Athletes often stop just short of completion, when usually, that last 5% is literally easy as cake.
The moment you’re ready to quit, is usually the moment right before the miracle happens! Don’t give up!
 
At rising Tide Triathlon coaching, we ask our athletes to reach out if they are frustrated, confused, or STUCK, and I want you to do the same.”
With last week’s illness, my¬†workout train got derailed. This¬†week has been busy at work and have lacked the motivation to get my train moving forward. This was just the ticket I needed to get moving again and work hard to achieve my dreams!! I followed the first draft of my routine and found myself climbing tough hills for 21 minutes straight and loving it!!
#rttc10dayroutine Day10: I successfully accomplished my challenging hill climb workout thanks to my new routine!! Thank you Rising Tide Triathlon Coaching for an amazing experience!! #believe
#rttc10dayroutine Day10: I successfully accomplished my challenging hill climb workout thanks to my new routine!! Thank you Rising Tide Triathlon Coaching for an amazing experience!! #believe

Rising Tide is currently accepting new athletes for the 2016 season, so now is the time to capitalize and have a great coaching team support your journey!!

This 10 day challenge was absolutely amazing and so much fun!! If you missed out on the opportunity to participate in it, I would highly recommend you do it on your own time ūüėČ I think I’m going to go through¬†this process for a couple of different aspects of both training and racing so I am completely set up for success!! Heck…why stop there?!?! I can use it to fit other areas of my life as well…work, family, home…and you can too ūüôā

Thank you Sonja and Rising Tide Triathlon Coaching for this AWESOME and FUN opportunity to grow and learn!! xoxo