What’s up?! – November 2019

November was full of fun, gratitude, and heart! I spent time really listening to my heart and letting it guide me in my training, life experiences, and planning for 2020! Here is a snippet of what November looked like for me:

Training:

This month I decided to do whatever I wanted, when I wanted. No structured training. No 4 am wake ups until I was ready. No routines. It was awesomely awful! I swam when I wanted. I biked when I wanted. I ran when I wanted. I did intervals when I wanted. I incorporated more strength training. I spent more time with my mat. I went back to 10 minutes of core strength daily because it is a better fit for my schedule. I’ve decided I definitely thrive off of routines and consistency. While this freedom in training was much needed to reset my body and mind, it is time for me to regain the routines and consistency that I enjoy as I get ready to head into 2020.

Intention: WIN (the day)
After being away from the water for two weeks, it felt so amazing to get some #chlorinetherapy today! #wintheday
Crushing bike intervals + spending time with my fave = pure joy!
So grateful to get to run with these rad ladies at the Coeur Sports women’s run in Des Moines.

Swim: 18,900 yards (10.74 miles)
Bike: 75.4 miles
Run: 57.0 miles
Strength: 10 minutes of core daily + more strength training + yoga ❤
Meditation: 3 minutes daily since January 1
Monthly Totals: 35 hours & 20 minutes

#explore:

Explore is my focus word in 2019 and I’m happy to be incorporating it into all areas of my life…including racing the Hillbilly Hike 1/2 Marathon. When I went into this race, I wasn’t sure if I was going to run with my friend, Robin, or try to push myself and see what I could do. I decided to let my legs tell me. They told me to go after it despite the frost + ice covered running surfaces. I’m glad I pushed myself, am happy with my results, and am looking for more opportunities to #explore + break out of my comfort zone + push myself to new limits in 2020!

SO SLICK! Photo credit: Kathy Shupe King
Another Hillbilly Hike 1/2 marathon is in the books!

Listening to:

Here is what I listened to this month:

Coeur Sports Earsplitz
Bike Safety #itcouldbeme (featuring Triny Willerton)

KonaKamps always has me inspired and motivated!! Some of this months faves were:
World Champion Anthony Philippe, Ironman World Championships 2019
World Champion Jana Richtrova, Ironman World Championships 2019
Eric Engel, Overall AG Champion, Ironman Louisville 2019
Kristin Goett, Ironman Louisville 2019
Rob Watson, Ironman Barcelona 2019
Daniel Day, Ironman Louisville 2019
World Champion Bobbe Greenberg, Ironman World Championships 2019
Jacqui Guiliano, Overall AG Champion, Ironman Florida 2019
Ryan Guiliano, Overall AG Champion, Ironman Florida 2019

The Same 24 Hours:
Notes on Nonsense: Hair Color is Bullsh*t
Notes on Nonsense: Destinations are Bullsh*t
Notes on Nonsense: Kids are (Really) Bullsh*t
Notes on Nonsense: Positive Vibes are BS
Nir Eyal: Indestractible
Danielle LaPorte: The Desire Map and Her 24 Hours
Sarah Ban Breanthnach: Simple Abundance, Shoes & Gratitude

Endurance Planet:
Sub 2-Relay, HRV Guided Training, How to Approach Hill on MAF, Ironman After 50, and Quelling Anxiety around those ‘What If’ Thoughts

Clean Sport Collective:
Frank Shorter, 2-time Olympic Medalist in the Marathon
Frank Shorter, Part 2
Mary Cain Tells Us Her Story
Amelia Boone, 4-Time OCR World Champion

Kelsey Abbott brought on:
Andrea Owen
Kate Marolt

Ironwomen Podcast has so many amazing women on!
Ignite the Fire – Renee Kiley
Respect the Race – Ellie Salthouse
Chasing Gold – Emma Coburn

Rich Roll brought on:
Dean Karnazes Is Running For Good: Lessons On Longevity & Embracing Discomfort
He Ran Across America – On Plants with Robbie Balenger

Michael Gervais has brought some amazing people on his Finding Mastery podcast:
Angela Naeth on Discovery and Acceptance
Mick Fanning on Hard Work, Resiliency, and Sacrifice
Ronnie Lott on Exhausting Every Moment

The Bek and Siri Show brought on:
Dr. Stacy Sims – Women are NOT Small Men
Siri’s Secret Sauce

Run4PRs:
Why you NEED to take time off after a marathon
Optimizing Your Offseason to Become Faster
Goal Setting & Reaching Your Potential
Natural Speed, Durability, & Mental Toughness: Assessing Your Strengths & Weaknesses
Winter Running: Snow, Ice or Treadmill?

Reading:

80/20 Triathlon: Discover the Breakthrough Elite-Training Formula for Ultimate Fitness and Performance at All Levels by Matt Fitzgerald and David Warden is for triathletes of all levels helping them balance training intensity to maximize performance. “Cutting-edge research has proven that triathletes and other endurance athletes experience their greatest performance when they do 80 percent of their training at low intensity and the remaining 20 percent at moderate to high intensity. But the vast majority of recreational triathletes are caught in the so-called “moderate-intensity rut,” spending almost half of their time training too hard–harder than the pros. Training harder isn’t smarter; it actually results in low-grade chronic fatigue that prevents recreational athletes from getting the best results. In 80/20 Triathlon, Matt Fitzgerald and David Warden lay out the real-world and scientific evidence, offering concrete tips and strategies, along with complete training plans for every distance–Sprint, Olympic, Half-Ironman, and Ironman–to help athletes implement the 80/20 rule of intensity balance. Benefits include reduced fatigue and injury risk, improved fitness, increased motivation, and better race results.”

The 5 Second Rule: Transform Your Life, Work, and Confidence with Everyday Courage by Mel Robbins provides you with tools to create action and change. “Throughout your life, you’ve had parents, coaches, teachers, friends, and mentors who have pushed you to be better than your excuses and bigger than your fears. What if the secret to having the confidence and courage to enrich your life and work is simply knowing how to push yourself? Using the science of habits, riveting stories, and surprising facts from some of the most famous moments in history, art, and business, Mel Robbins will explain the power of a “push moment”. Then, she’ll give you one simple tool you can use to become your greatest self. It takes just five seconds to use this tool, and every time you do you’ll be in great company. More than eight million people have watched Mel’s TEDx Talk, and executives inside of the world’s largest brands are using the tool to increase productivity, collaboration, and engagement. In The 5 Second Rule, you’ll discover it takes just five seconds to:

  • Become confident
  • Break the habit of procrastination and self-doubt
  • Beat fear and uncertainty
  • Stop worrying and feel happier
  • Share your ideas with courage

The 5 Second Rule is a simple, one-size-fits-all solution for the one problem we all face – we hold ourselves back. The secret isn’t knowing what to do – it’s knowing how to make yourself do it.”

Two Concepts to Guide Your Off-season Training by Matt Edwards is full of some great information for things you can do in the off-season to better prepare yourself for the coming season. During your off-season, take time to focus on technique, strength training, your weakness, and endurance.

6 Ways to Avoid “Bad Race Blues” by Mackenzie Madison has some great tips for getting back on track after a “bad” race and “avoid feeling mentally stuck in a previous disappointment.”

How to Master Your Athletes’ Motivation by Jamie Blanchfield is very insightful on what influences motivation and what enhances motivation. Motivation ebbs and flows with changes in life, training, work, etc. Self efficacy is key to motivation and success.

Feeling Stuck: Regain Momentum Using This Simple Sport Psych Tool by Carrie Cheadle is a great way to assess the change you want to make. What do you want to stop doing, what do you want to start doing, and what do you want to continue doing to create the change you desire?

Inspire Your Gratitude Practice with These Gratitude Journal Prompts by Jiji Lee has some amazing tips for how to start your gratitude journal and prompts to get you going when/if you get stuck.

Attitude of Gratitude:

I’m beyond grateful, humbled, blessed, and honored to be a Coeur Sports ambassador for my 6th year! 2020 is going to be amazing!
So grateful for Friday happy hour swims with my fave!
I’m so grateful for a strong body + mind so I can do what I love!
Sunday mornings are for snuggles and Sudoku! Grateful for my snuggle buddy!
Grateful for some recovery yards to loosen up the stiff body after yesterday’s 1/2 marathon!
So grateful to be getting back to the weights and strength training the entire body!
So grateful for warm boots when there is snow on the ground and the windchill is -1*F on my walk into work.
Grateful for the opportunity to ride the horse carriage at Snow Magic.
Getting the opportunity to run with new ladies at the Coeur Sports women’s run was a fantastic way to start the day! SO grateful!
Looking for a way to make squats (or wall sits if you don’t have suspended straps) more challenging?! Add a dog to the mix! Basil LOVES to help, but sometimes her version of helping creates more of a challenge for me. Grateful for her unconditional love and support!
Grateful for some time with my mat!
Grateful for Nick with Vitality Massage for the recovery time I needed.
Grateful to get to cheer these two on at their swim meet!
So grateful for my Coeur Sports teammate, Triny, and the work she is doing to make roads safer for everyone!
Grateful for time on my mat with Robin by my side!
Grateful for a morning run with my fave!
Grateful for spending time with my SBT suspension trainer and building strength!
Grateful for time to PLAY in the water!
I love sushi! So grateful for this yummy goodness!
So grateful that Mom came down to join us for an evening of joy + entertainment!
Wow! This was a great show! Grateful I got to experience it!
Anytime I get to spend in the water is time that I find calm and peace! So grateful!
Grateful for this girl’s friendship! Morning miles + girl talk are icing on the cake! What a perfect start to the day + week!
“Follow your heart. Life is too short to be sidetracked by the things everyone else wants you to do.” ~Unknown
My heart speaks swim/bike/run! It brings me calm, it brings me joy, it builds self confidence, it often teaches me something new, it breeds discipline, it connects me with others, it forces me to be more courageous, it allows me the freedom to mess up & still end up ok, it provides me an outlet, it makes me stronger – physically and mentally, it fills me with gratitude, and SO much more! What does your heart say?! Do you listen?!
I love digging deep and feeling the accomplishment of overcoming obstacles and achieving something that once seemed impossible! I’m so grateful my body allows me to push it!
So grateful for these peeps (and Basil) to run with before devouring all of the yummy Thanksgiving food!
Friendsgiving! SO grateful for my framily!
So grateful for this framily! I can’t believe how much these two have grown!
Now that Thanksgiving is over, the tree is up. I’m grateful for making all of the 2019 memories (that are documented with medals on our tree) and the bright lights that remind us to always shine bright and give our best in everything we do!
Intention: I get to
It isn’t always easy. Mother Nature threw down some 38-40*F temps, rain, and winds (hello IMLou 2018 weather). She likes to think that she holds the power, BUT SHE’S WRONG! I hold the power when I keep the mental chatter positive!

How was your month of November?! What were you grateful for last month?! 

What’s up?! – October 2019

October was a roller coaster ride. It was full of some really high highs, and some pretty low lows. I’m happy to be moving into November, figuring out what “normal” is for us, planning for 2020, and preparing for winter.

Training:

This month I took part in the Coretober Challenge that Multisport Mastery + JHC Coaching put together. It was a good challenge for me. I have been doing 10 minutes of core strength daily for nearly 2 years (with the few exceptions around race days or when I have been sick), so the extra 5 minutes was a definite challenge for the first week or two, but I’m so glad I took part in this challenge!

Grateful to have my Friday night happy hour swims back in my schedule!
Grateful for my reminder to believe in myself and what I am doing!
Intention: Gratitude
15 miles for my Friday happy hour in 30+ mph winds. Some of my gratitude thoughts while running:
*I’m grateful for a strong body + mind.
*I’m grateful for warm temps + sunshine.
*I’m grateful for completely new running routes.
*I’m grateful for a job that I love.
*I’m grateful for Halloween decorations to keep me entertained.
*I’m grateful to have my long run done before the rain shows up this weekend.
*I’m grateful for the beautiful fall colors.

Swim: 13,850 yards (7.87 miles)
Bike: 90.7 miles
Run: 78.3 miles
Strength: 15 minutes of core daily + some yoga ❤
Meditation: 3 minutes daily since January 1
Monthly Totals: 31 hours & 52 minutes

#explore:

Explore is my focus word in 2019 and I’m happy to be incorporating it into all areas of my life…including being at my first IRONMAN race that I wasn’t racing or volunteering (aka working) on race day. This was WAY out of my comfort zone!! I struggled going to this event knowing that I wasn’t racing (when I originally was suppose to be toeing the start line). I wanted to race SO badly, but also knew that this race had to be different for me. I had to use this race to explore. Explore being involved in IRONMAN without racing. Explore being involved in IRONMAN without volunteering and “working” on race day. Explore what is deep in my heart. Explore living my truth. So many memories were made, perspective was gained, and laughter in Lou filled my heart. I’ll have more on what I learned down the road.

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

Listening to:

I am finding that I love to listen to podcasts while I set up and tear down labs at work, so if you have any suggestions, please send them my way! Here is what I listened to this month:

Coeur Sports Earsplitz
Coeur at Kona 2019 (Chapter 1: Benedict, Donato, Colville, Simmons)
Coeur at Kona 2019 (Chapter 2: Perkins, Sophiea, Flynn, Ritchie)

KonaKamps always has me inspired and motivated!! Some of this months faves were:
Jon Morton, Ironman Wisconsin 2019
Amanda Marek, Ironman Wisconsin 2019
Evan Wetzel, Ironman Wisconsin 2019
Michele Sorenson, Ironman Vichy 2019
Jacob Barnes, Kona 2019 Preview
Michelle Enslin, Kona 2019 Preview
Daniel McParland, Kona 2019 Preview
Jess Perry, Kona 2019 Preview
Jana Richtrova, Kona 2019 Preview
Ray Picard, Overall Champion, Ironman Canada 2019
World Champion Aaron Tomasz, Ironman World Championships 2019
World Champion Natia Van Heerden, Ironman World Championships 2019
Overall World Champion Ruth Purbrook, Ironman World Championships 2019
World Champion Kevin Fergusson, Ironman World Championships 2019
World Champion Mary Mitchell, Ironman World Championships 2019
World Champion Gill Fullen, Ironman World Championships 2019
Liza Rachetto, Overall AG Champion, Ironman Louisville 2019

The Same 24 Hours:
Notes on Nonsense: Rock Bottom is Bullsh*t
Notes on Nonsense: Detoxing is Bullsh*t
Notes on Nonsense: Weekends are Bullsh*t
Notes on Nonsense: Numbers are Bullsh*t
Notes on Nonsense: Subtitles are Bullsh*t
Notes on Nonsense: Doing the Easy Thing is Bullsh*t
Notes on Nonsense: Wagons are Bullsh*t
Notes on Nonsense: Waiting is Bullsh*t
Notes on Nonsense: FOMO is Bullsh*t
Notes on Nonsense: People Pleasing is Bullsh*t
Notes on Nonsense: Hard is Bullsh*t
Notes on Nonsense: Other People are Bullsh*t
Notes on Nonsense: Repetition is King (and also Bullsh*t)
Notes on Nonsense: Someday Soon is Bullsh*t
Notes on Nonsense: Being Stuck is Bullsh*t
Notes on Nonsense: Motivation is Bullsh*t
CrisMarie Campbell & Susan Clarke: The Beauty of Conflict for Couples
Patrick Vellner: Cross Fit, Hard Work, and “We are Not Machines”

Endurance Planet:
Julie Moss: The Crawl of Fame, and Finding Purpose and Personal Growth Through Sport
Kona Special: Race Recap of the 2019 Ironman World Championships with Thorsten Radde

Clean Sport Collective interviewed Kara and Adam Goucher on the 4-year bans for Salazar/Brown for Doping Violations. If you want to support anti-doping in sport, you need to take a stand. Invest your money in brands that have taken the pledge to support the pursuit of clean sport and athletics through. Tyler Hamilton, Convicted Doper and Whistleblower in Cycling was also interviewed by Clean Sport Collective. Tyler is a former professional cyclist who received two doping bans while competing, gave back his Olympic gold medal, and eventually testified against Lance Armstrong in the federal case against him.

Kelsey Abbott brought CrisMarie Campbell and Susan Clarke onto the Find Your Awesome Podcast. Susan said something that really hit home with me, “Speaking up is more important than shutting up and dying.”

Ironwomen Podcast has so many amazing women on!
Living the Dream – Kim Morrison
The Kona Show – Ana Lidia Borba
Follow Your Heart – Liz Baugher

Rich Roll brought on Amelia Boone. She is the most decorated and dominate female in obstacle course racing. She struggles with childhood trauma and an eating disorder. “I don’t want to be ‘the eating disorder recovery girl’, I don’t want to be ‘the athlete’. This is just me. I am super flawed, I’m super complex, just like everybody else out there.”

Michael Gervais has brought some amazing people on his Finding Mastery podcast:
Apollo Ohno on Competition, Olympic Greatness, and Transitions

Lone Wolf – Motivational Video For All Those Fighting Battles Alone with Tony Robbins is very insightful. I was moved by this piece and am going to implement some of the rituals he was addressing in this video.

Reading:

“Where the Crawdads Sing” by Delia Owens is captivating. It was the perfect book to take me away into another world. “For years, rumors of the “Marsh Girl” have haunted Barkley Cove, a quiet town on the North Carolina coast. So in late 1969, when handsome Chase Andrews is found dead, the locals immediately suspect Kya Clark, the so-called Marsh Girl. But Kya is not what they say. Sensitive and intelligent, she has survived for years alone in the marsh that she calls home, finding friends in the gulls and lessons in the sand. Then the time comes when she yearns to be touched and loved. When two young men from town become intrigued by her wild beauty, Kya opens herself to a new life – until the unthinkable happens.”

“Snap, Crackle, Pop: My Road to IRONMAN Kona 2019” by Barbara Perkins was highlighted by USA Triathlon this month. Barbara is one of my Coeur Sports teammates who qualified for the IRONMAN World Championships at IRONMAN Santa Rosa in May. She has overcome some obstacles to get to the start of the IRONMAN World Championships, but as Barb says,  “Each of us deals with our own set of circumstances, injury, bike mishaps and more. You have to trust that you have done (mostly) everything in your power to get to that start line happy and healthy. Enjoy the day! Celebrate the moment! Because hey, this is actually happening.”  This is a good reminder that I GET TO DO THIS SPORT! ❤

“Manage Your Personal Energy to Improve the Quality of Life” by Darius Foroux is a great reminder that when we do things that energize us (even if we don’t feel energized when doing it), we empower ourselves. We need to focus on the 20% of the activities that improve the quality of our lives and incorporate these activities into our lives at least 80% of the time. “What is one thing I can do today to improve my mood?”

“Triumph Over Heartbreak: My Kona 2019 Story” by Barbara Perkins was highlighted by USA Triathlon this month. As I mentioned above, Barbara is one of my Coeur Sports teammates who qualified for and competed in the IRONMAN World Championships. She is a fierce competitor and warrior. “You will find your true, innermost self out in the lava fields of the IRONMAN World Championship course. Some people will fall victim to the brutal conditions. They will give up, but others will conquer the course and everything inside them that doubted they could make it there. Most will come away with some itch left unscratched, drawn again to the island to discover its unique possibilities.”

Attitude of Gratitude:

Grateful for a dog that loves to run and is sad when I run on the treadmill.
Grateful to have a treadmill to run on in our basement when the weather is bad.
Grateful for my body to allow me to push it even when I have ALL. OF. THE. EXCUSES. TO. NOT. SHOW. UP!
Grateful to have my CECs done for my personal training certification!
So grateful to have such an amazing running buddy! Basil is my girl and she definitely LOVES to run!
Grateful to see on our calendar that I DON’T have parent teacher conferences this year!
Grateful to have Sound Probiotics boosting my immune health!
Grateful for my Normatec Recovery boots to flush out the legs post long run!
Intention: Strong
8.5 miles with 4×4 minute Z4 interval paces of:
8:00/mile
7:53/mile
7:41/mile
7:30/mile
.
Grateful to be finding some speed again in these legs!
Surprise!! So grateful to have friends that we can ride our bikes and crash their party!! Miss this girl beyond words now that we aren’t right next door to each other, but she’ll always be one of my “sisters.”
Intention: Courage
The goal was to start off easy + negative split the first 6 miles and run the last mile easy. I would say this was a success!! Grateful to my body for allowing me to push myself + the beautiful weather today!!
Intention: Courage
Grateful to my Courage flower from Fellow Flowers for the constant reminder to be courageous on this run!!
Grateful for this beautiful morning sunrise on our way to Lou.
Grateful to spend the weekend with my girlfriend + Coeur Sports teammate, Erika.
Grateful to experience IRONMAN Louisville weekend + SO MUCH LAUGHTER with this crew.
Grateful I go to volunteer at registration on Friday morning with this crew.
Grateful I got to turn social media friends into real friends! So awesome to meet Kristen in person!
Grateful we got to meet up with our Coeur Sports sister, Erin on the bike course!
Grateful my fave enjoys having loads of fun! Our outfits got lots of laughs and cheers from the athletes!
So grateful for Nick at Vitality Massage to help keep me active + healthy!
Grateful for the beautiful fall colors that showed up a bit later than normal.
I’m so grateful for friends that like to try something new. Glass blowing is so much fun and I got to make a beautiful pumpkin for fall.
Grateful for the guidance and knowledge of a skilled glass blower to help me make my pumpkin.
Grateful that I am FINALLY able to do “knee to nose” during yoga.
Thank you to Robin and Basil for 8 BEAUTIFUL fall, morning miles with me!
Grateful that my fave likes to play in the pool post swim!
Grateful for Triny and the #itcouldbeme campaign to help make roads safer for everyone!
Grateful that our girls love to go to the parade and enjoy the socialization.
Grateful for my babies, beautiful fall colors, and fall walks!
So grateful for Nick at Vitality Massage to help keep me active + healthy!
Grateful for fall campfires…even if the fall season was EXTREMELY short this year!
Life is a roller coaster ride full of highs and lows. I’m grateful for good people to help lift me up and run with me when I’m at a low. 6 beautiful fall/early winter miles this am with my faves!
Grateful to connect with my mat and the intention of fear.
Grateful to reconnect with my inner Arial.
Grateful for early morning rides with my fave!
Grateful for some easy miles off the bike to start my day!

How was your month of October?! What were you grateful for last month?! 

#explore Ironman Lake Placid race report

“Happiness is letting go of what you think your life is supposed to look like and celebrating it for everything that it is.” ~Mandy Hale

I’m not really sure where to begin with this…the beginning, middle, or end. I guess it depends on what you want to hear, so the beginning is where I’ll begin. If you want the cliff notes version, skip to the end 😉

My focus word for 2019 is EXPLORE and when I picked this word, I had NO idea just where it would take me, but I’m so grateful for the journey it has taken me on this year. If you’ve been following my blog, EXPLORE is definitely the perfect word for my 2019 journey. I have changed careers, had some tough conversations with those that I love which has brought me so much freedom + space, and have created lots of amazing memories. Ironman Lake Placid did not disappoint as I #explored and #discovered so much about who I am and who I want to be to live my absolute best life.

Putting on the wetsuits! Photo credit: Neal Fedora
Ready for a big day! Photo credit: Neal Fedora
Love this man! So glad I get to do life with him by my side! Photo credit: Neal Fedora

Swim: 1:16:52 (1:59/100 m or 1:48/100 yards) PR

This sea of athletes is race ready!

The Iron Hippie and I lined up just behind the 1:21-1:30 finish time. As we approached the shore, the pro men were coming out of the water finishing their first 1.2 mile loop and heading back out for loop #2. When I crossed the starting mat, I had open water and was in very little contact with other swimmers during the first loop. I came out of the water right where I was aiming for at the end of my first loop.

Swim loop #1 complete! Photo credit: FinisherPix

As I entered the water for loop #2, I encountered a bit more physical contact in the water, so I made my way to the inside of the buoys where the water was much cleaner. I went outside of the two turn buoys on the far end of the course, and then back to the inside line for my return back to the shore. With the underwater cable, this was perfect for sighting and swimming a straight line! My second loop was a tad bit slower than I was aiming for, but with more physical contact on the second loop, I had to fight more to get around slower people in front of me.

That’s a swim PR! Photo credit: FinisherPix

T1: 8:05

As I entered the transition area, I saw a social media friend! Erin and I quickly exchanged hugs before heading into the change tent. Thank you for lifting me up in that moment Erin! ❤ I flew solo in the change tent as the volunteers were all helping other ladies. I briefly struggled getting my aero top on over my wet body, but quickly made my way to Mojo so we could head out on the bike and start our 112 mile journey.

Done with the swim! Photo credit: Neal Fedora

Bike: 7:48:38 (average speed = 14.34 mph)

This is the place where things changed. Not only did my legs feel like lead from the start, but my mind went back to those tough conversations and the freedom + space I’ve gained through having those conversations. When you ride 112 miles, it gives you A LOT of time to think, process your thoughts, and make sense of your true feelings. I asked myself multiple times “why” am I doing this? Not the superficial why, but the deep down to the depths of your soul why. I knew my superficial why, but this was not the answer I was truly seeking on this day. Ironman finds a way of stripping you down to nothing, exposing your true self, and helping you discover who you really are on a daily basis. As I was being stripped down to nothing during the 112 mile bike portion of the race, I came to the revelation that I have been using Ironman training and racing (and marathon training/racing before that) as a coping mechanism. Taking all of the negative energy I have been holding on to for 35+ years and putting that negative energy into something I could control. Something that gave me my power back. Something that taught me I am worth so much more than I have given myself credit for. Something that has taught me to believe in myself. Something that has taught me to obliterate self doubt that has been holding me back…not just in my athletic endeavors, but in all areas of my life. Something that has given me a gift…the gift to figure out who I am and who I want to be.

Out on loop #1 of the bike! Photo credit: FinisherPix

At about mile 50, the Iron Hippie went by me on the bike. By this point, I had already decided that I was going to pull out of the race at mile 56 when I got back into town. I had nothing left to prove; I realized I was racing Ironman and chasing someone else’s dreams for all the wrong reasons. Using it as a way to channel the negative energy that I no longer truly possessed was not the reason I wanted to be racing Ironman. The first 50 miles allowed me to open my eyes and heart. Racing Ironman distance triathlon is not something I truly want to do when it perpetuates those negative feelings. It is time to let go of the hurt and negativity. I knew I wanted to support the Iron Hippie and do whatever I could to ensure he had the best race possible and finished strong. His journey to the start line of Ironman Lake Placid has been less than ideal. I was planning to put my bike back in transition, turn in my chip, change clothes, and cheer him on from the sidelines. In those last 6 miles of the first loop on the bike before returning to town, I came to the realization that I needed to keep going so that I could finish with him and support him while being beside him. I knew I could catch him on the run as his longest run prior to this race was 10 miles (running 5 minutes/walking 1 minute) one week before the race due to having his knee scoped in February.

Finishing loop #1 of the bike! Photo credit: FinisherPix

So, I came into town, swapped out my bike bottles at special needs and headed out for loop #2. I felt so relieved knowing that this race was my Ironman swan song centered around negative energy and would no longer be used as a coping mechanism. I decided in those moments wasn’t going to do another Ironman unless I one day found a joyful, positive reason for doing it. I knew deep down to the depths of my soul that I really didn’t want to do another Ironman for all of the wrong reasons and this was my last one for all the wrong reasons. I kept pushing forward (even through the 10 minute heavy down pour). As I came back to town, the crowds carried us up the bears and into transition.

Finishing loop #2 of the bike! Photo credit: FinisherPix

T2: 7:49

I handed off Mojo to a volunteer (these volunteers are truly amazing!), grabbed my run bag and headed to the change tent where I again flew solo because all of the volunteers were helping other athletes.

Run: 6:17:00 (14:23/mile)

As I left T2, I saw our friend Carol and she told me the Iron Hippie was only 4 minutes ahead of me on the run. I talked with her for a few minutes telling her about the revelations I came to on the bike and then hunted down my fave!

Chasing down my fave! I see him! Photo credit: FinisherPix

I caught him between mile 2 and mile 3 of the run. As we continued to run/walk for a bit, I told him about everything I was thinking, the relief I was feeling about not doing another Ironman for all of the wrong reasons, and how I wanted to support him in whatever future races and adventures he decided to do. We saw lots of friends and family as we continued to make forward progress.

Not feeling it on the run. Photo Credit: Amy Farrell
Ready to conquer run loop #2. Photo Credit: Amy Farrell

As our run/walk became more of a walk, we talked about so many things. It was so nice to have this time together.

On the last loop of the run! Photo credit: FinisherPix

Finish: 15:38:24

Ironman Lake Placid was my Ironman swan song centered around negative energy and for all the wrong reasons. Maybe someday I will do another Ironman, but it has to be centered around joy positive energy, and for all of the right reasons. This is not letting go of a dream, but having the courage to let go of past demons and start on a new path where I follow my heart and live more freely. As I close this chapter of my life I am grateful for the freedom + space it has provided me and the lessons it has taught me. I’m not sure what the next chapter has in store for me, but I know it will still include swim/bike/run as I strive to find a better balance. I have learned lessons that have shaped me and will continue to do so in the future, and I am so grateful for every moment. I feel relieved. I will continue to be a part of Ironman as a volunteer and spectator. I love giving back to others, supporting them on their journey, and watching them cross the finish line. Ironman Lake Placid gave me a gift! It gave me the feeling of freedom! It gave me the awareness + focus to discover myself anew! It gave me an opportunity to recreate my “why”! It opened my eyes + heart, teaching me that it is time to live my life instead of survive it!

So glad to see Moira and Mike at the finish line! Photo credit: FinisherPix
Grateful for this finish line with my Fave by my side! Photo credit: FinisherPix

Grateful Heart!

I couldn’t have gotten where I am without help and support from others. It takes a village and I am so grateful to have an amazing village supporting me!

  • To my Coeur Sports family for their amazing support and for creating top of the line kits + gear!
  • To Sound Probiotics for keeping me healthy and ready to tackle everything that came my way.
  • To SBR Sports, Inc. for the best anti-chaffing lube on the market!
  • To Nick at Vitality Massage for helping to keep my body physically read to handle the next challenge.
  • To Chris with Team Chiropractic for helping to “fix” all of the nagging aches and pains; preventing them from turning into injuries.
  • To Coach Kelly with Ever Racing for customizing my plan and helping me become the fittest and strongest version of myself.
  • To my Dad, Aunt Linda, and Cousin Neal for making the trip to Lake Placid to cheer us on and photograph the day.

    Our race day support crew! Love you Dad, Aunt Linda, and Cousin Neal! Photo credit: Neal Fedora
  • To my parents for their unwavering love and support in life and sport. I love you both more than you can possibly know.
  • To my Fave for always being by my side through the easy + challenging times; encouraging me, supporting me, and always helping me become the best version of myself. I love you to infinity and beyond!

    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

What’s Up?! – October 2018

How are we less than 2 months away from 2019?!?! It just doesn’t seem possible!! October was a VERY BUSY + FUN month for us, but time flies when you’re having fun!! Here is a snapshot of all of the fun October had in store for me!!

Training:

While swimming today, there was a seahorse on the bottom of the pool in my lane. Was this a sign?! I believe it was!! The seahorse is considered to be a symbol of strength and power. Just what I needed today!!
In 2018 we’ve been training for two completely different races, so we haven’t had many opportunities to get to ride together. I’m grateful for the “bike date” today after work + am looking forward to more saddle time with my fave in 2019!!
Running with my fave by Churchill Downs after spending hours upon hours in the car to get to Louisville!!

Swim: 14,359 yards (8.16 miles)
Bike: 172 miles
Run: 47.6 miles
Monthly Totals: 27 hours & 21 minutes

Racing:

Ironman Louisville pushed me WAY out of my comfort zone and challenged me in ways I’ve never been challenged before. Thankfully I overcame many obstacles throughout the day and am much stronger than I ever thought possible. If you want to read all about my race day, click here! #courageovercomfort #believe #everstrong

This sums up my Ironman Louisville race day…cold + wet + windy + challenging + strong = success!!

Reading:

I finished up Let Your Mind Run: A Memoir of Thinking My Way to Victory by Deena Kastor this month. It is a MUST READ!! There are so many great insights for how positive thought, positive visualization, and gratitude changed Deena’s career. What a STRONG + INSPIRATIONAL woman!! I am working to implement these into my training and racing plan as well, knowing that it will take time to fully implement, but if Ironman Louisville is any indication of how this implementation is going, I can’t wait to see what happens in the future!! “Building a mind so strong would take years of effort and discipline, but it would propel Kastor to the pinnacle of running—to American records in every distance from the 5K to the marathon—and to the accomplishment of earning America’s first Olympic medal in the marathon in twenty years.”

Spectating:

I played Sherpa/spectator extraordinaire for my fave as he crushed his previous marathon PR by nearly 5 minutes at the Twin Cities Marathon!! SO PROUD OF HIM!!

Cycling around the Twin Cities on my cross bike chasing down my fave!! No idea how many miles I logged, but it was fun and challenging to stay ahead of him!!

I also helped my cousin and fave spectate at the Des Moines Marathon for my cousin’s wife. She had a great race and is well on her way to completing the 50 states club!!

Spectating and cheering done!! Congratulations to Jennifer on knocking out another state!!

Grateful for:

When you are a tapering Ironman athlete + middle school teacher in the Midwest with drastically changing temperatures, you load up on Sound Probiotics to keep healthy!! Use code PUSHMYLIMITS to get 10% off your next order!!
So grateful to have this crazy group of colleagues to work with!!
SO FREAKING PROUD of my FAVE!! HE CRUSHED IT!! Setting a new PR in a time of 3:33:05 at the Twin Cities Marathon!! 🙂
Getting to meet up with a few of my Coeur Sports teammates was so much fun!! This team of uplifting, encouraging, supportive women is where it’s at!!
My cheer squad on the second loop!! Tim, Abbie, and Dad (left to right) chasing me up the hill into LaGrange! I was SO happy to have made it back to them!
LOVE these two smiling faces!!
Grateful to get to see my cousin and cheer on his wife at the Des Moines Marathon!!
Grateful for my colleagues!! The #7dwarfs #spookoutdrugs during Red Ribbon Week at school!!
GETTING to do more workouts with my fave next to me!! So grateful that we were able to support each other in different races this year, but I’m really excited to be training for the same races in 2019!!
Happy Halloween from some 8th grade teachers!! #decadestheme

How was your month of October?! What were you grateful for last month?! 

6 weeks ’til #IMLou – Meh

Last week was meh!! I ended up getting a bug on Tuesday that put me out of commission for a few days, but this was probably a good thing. My motivation has been SERIOUSLY lacking lately, so this was a welcomed break. With the start of the school year in full swing + peak training for IMLou staring me in the face, the timing of this break was pretty ideal.

Swim: 2800 yards

Nailed my swim set with some impressive (for me) 100 times!!

Bike: 55.4 miles

Sometimes you just need to spend time on two wheels where you feel safe…especially when the weather is in the tropical category.
Nailed my bike intervals based on IM effort

Run: 20 miles

Sweaty 2 mile run off the bike…SO GROSS outside!!
Double run day…9 zone 2 sweaty morning miles on the treadmill thanks to Mother Nature’s idea of what she finds funny!
Double run day…9 more sweaty afternoon miles on the treadmill with negative splits. #mothernatureisntfunny

Strength Training: 10 minutes of core strength x 4 days this week  

Weekly Totals: 9 hours & 21 minutes

Quote of the Week:

“Meh
adjective…uninspiring; unexceptional
exclamation…expressing a lack of interest or enthusiasm”

Attitude of Gratitude:

New look! Same AMAZING product! Grateful to have Sound Probiotics on my team!
Grateful that Dr. Chris Feil was able to get me in to see him. He thinks I’m not balanced…LOL!! (I think we already knew that!!)
So grateful to have nailed my swim with PR swim splits!!
Grateful to have a treadmill to run on when Mother Nature blesses us with continual thunderstorms + tropical weather conditions.

How was your week? What were you grateful for last week?! 

15 weeks ’til #IMLou – Mixed Bag

Last week was a mixed bag! I had some breakthrough sessions and some sessions where I rode the struggle bus. On Thursday, I went out for my ride and got REALLY dehydrated. While it was my fault for not stopping on the way home to refill my bike bottles, I didn’t want to ride 2 miles out of my way to refill them when there were some SERIOUS storms rolling in, so I kept rolling toward home. My pace kept getting slower and slower and slower. About 7 miles from home, I called for a ride. Not only was there thunder and lightening in the area, but I was very dehydrated. Time to call it a day! I kept riding toward home until I met my ride about 5 miles from home. Thanks to George for coming to pick Mojo and me up!! This little bump caused me to miss a couple of days of training, but I learned a couple of lessons…stop and refill the bottles (I may have actually made it home before the storms if I had been hydrated) and don’t wear arm coolers when it is SO HUMID (they don’t allow for evaporative cooling when it is in the tropics zone). #alwayslearning

Swim: 6032 yards

“Consistent hard work is what yields success, not perfectly nailed sessions!” ~Hailey Manning  #breakthroughsession
#swimlove #happyheart

Bike: 128 miles

FINALLY nailing goal watts on an outdoor ride!!! #breakthroughsession
Coach Basil wasn’t keen on the easy, recovery ride. She likes it better when I push and sweat all over…tasty!! 😉
Today I tried to outride the “storm,” but the “storm” won.
Recovery ride post dehydration

Run: 15 miles

Double run day!! I pleasantly surprised myself today!!
Double run day!! I pleasantly surprised myself today!!

Strength Training: 10 minutes of core strength almost daily + 1 hour & 15 minutes full body strength 

Strength training post ride!! 🙂
Mya was “coaching” me while I did SBT Extreme this week.

Weekly Totals: 15 hours & 1 minute

Quote of the Week:

“Life is a mixed bag of blessings and disaster.” ~Brandon B.

Attitude of Gratitude:

SO GRATEFUL to Nick with Vitality Massage for keeping me healthy and active!!
I was DREAMING about these AMAZING fish tacos ALL. DAY. LONG!!! #getinmybelly
Grateful to have Sound Probiotics in my village!! #winningtakesguts
Recovering on a double run day with avocado toast and Normatec Recovery boots!
Epsom salt + lavender bubble bath = grateful
My dehydration craving of choice was pickle juice!! So grateful we had some in the fridge!!
New Roka Sports wetsuit day!! So grateful to have Roka support this crazy journey and help us #findfaster!!

How was your week? What are you grateful for this week?! What do you crave when you are dehydrated?!

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?!