my 2020 year in review via photos

January:

2 sliver medals for our household at the Incydeman Triathlon!

Running away from the judgement and toward living my best life!

Kicking out the previous 198 watt FTP to make room for the new 214 watt FTP.

February:

Finishing 1st in F40-49 and 4th overall female at the Rosy Cheeks 5K.

Lunch, girl talk, and hugs with my Coeur Sports teammates, Jess and Courtney!

The twins had a swim meet! Love seeing these two!

March:

Running in a new town…exploring new places and SHORTS!!

Coeur team gear arrived! For me, 2020 is about courage, confidence, and celebration! Bring it! ***Little did I know what 2020 had in store for us all…

Celebrating my birthday a bit early with one of my favorite food groups…sushi!

So grateful for all of the strong AF, badass women in my life. The ones who lift each other up, support each other in life and sport, encourage each other to live their best life, inspire each other to dream big, and stand beside you through it all! I’m so grateful I got to share some miles with one of those strong AF, badass women today!

Getting to travel with this beautiful lady! #safety first

Grateful for these AMAZING ladies who sang happy birthday to me mid swim in the rain. It really filled my heart!

Having fun running laps in SoCal!

These two beauties are AMAZING!! I’m so grateful for everything Kebby (the founder of Coeur Sports) has done for women in sport (myself included). And Lisa…You my dear are beautiful soul inside and out! Thanks for the laughs (and photo bombing)!!

After work, we adopted our new baby girl…meet Jersey! She is 1 year old and holds keys to all of our hearts.

1.25 recovery miles with Jersey

It warms my heart to watch the dogs play ball!

Grateful I don’t have to social distance from my favorite girl and for the 12 miles of time together!

Do what makes you happy and be kind to others! We are all struggling right now. A happy heart and kindness go a LONG way.

April:

Play time! That slobber says it all…PURE JOY!!

Enjoying sunshine, fresh air, and family time!

“Hey mom, what is that thing?” ~Jersey

Jersey made sure to find a space to snuggle while I was getting my recovery on with my Normatec recovery boots.

We may not be able to connect in person, but we are finding ways to connect virtually. I’m so grateful to have landed beside this STAR when I was shooting for the moon! She shines SO bright and makes my heart happy!

Playing LOTS of cards with my fave as we isolate.

Race day hugs are on hold right now. Until we can hug in person, virtual race day hugs will have to do!

I got to ride outside!! It rained on us a little bit, but I SERIOUSLY LOVED EVERY MINUTE OF IT!!

Did a virtual race since racing isn’t happening right now. I miss racing in real life.

Yay for more outdoor riding with my fave!

May:

Did a virtual 1/2 marathon…since they sent me the medal, I felt I had to run the distance.

As a white female, I do not fear for my safety while running. I have ran many miles at o’dark thirty in the morning. I have ran countless miles by myself. I don’t run with music and am always very aware of my surroundings, but I do not run in fear. Sadly, there are many people who do run in fear for their safety. They face their fear as they head out the door to run because running is something that brings them joy.
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Today we #runwithmaud because we are honoring a man we don’t know. Because hatred should not exist in our world. Because no one should ever be brutally murdered while out running and doing what brings them joy. Because he was a different skin color. Because racial injustice breaks my heart and angers me to the depths of my soul. Because it should not take an outrage on the internet to get action and justice. Because now more than ever we need to come together as HUMAN BEINGS, love each other, and spread kindness!

Playing ball at the cross country course!

Full and grateful heart!
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I GOT TO run 5 miles with my girls just after sunrise!

Full and grateful heart!
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I GOT TO spontaneously ride 55 miles with my fav after running today!

After 10 weeks away from the water, it is safe to say I missed it tremendously! The calm, quiet, meditative state the water provides is exactly what my soul needed! I was SO grateful to have the whole pool to just the two of us this morning.

3 keys to my heart!

Today was a near perfect day in Iowa on two wheels…blue skies, sunshine, little wind, open roads, wind turbine farms for miles, fresh air, 85 miles of bike love with my fav…life doesn’t get much better than this!

“Life is a journey. Enjoy the ride.” 60+ more miles with my fav on two wheels and the open roads really filled my soul today.

June:

What a perfect day for 100 miles on 2 wheels! Bluebird skies, gorgeous green foliage, golden glow, and no wind on the open roads/trails…doesn’t get much better than this! #1stcenturyof2020

I love the water! Today’s adventures on the water were the perfect recovery for my body, mind, and soul!

See these smiles?! This is what happens when you ride with friends on the open roads on two wheels! #happyheart + pure joy!

July:

#smilesformiles with some AMAZING peeps today! Love life on two wheels even more when others join the fun!
#2ndcenturyof2020

Oh what a beautiful morning! Oh what a beautiful day!
“How far do you want to ride today?!”
“I don’t know. Let’s see how we feel.”
85 miles later I think it’s safe to say we felt really good!

Lost. I feel SO LOST right now. 2020 has forced me to slow down, step back, look at the big picture, and appreciate all that I had. And ya know what?! I don’t like it! I don’t like it one bit! It has left me feeling SO LOST!
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I f*cking miss racing. I miss IN REAL LIFE RACING. I miss the motivation it provides me to push myself way out of my comfort zone. I miss the long days of swim/bike/run training to prepare for the big dance. I miss traveling to new places. I miss the race morning butterflies. I miss the hugs and high fives. I miss the race week and race day excitement. I miss meeting new people. I miss the spectators. I miss pushing and challenging myself in training so I can do and be my best on race day. I miss the volunteers. I miss the drive and focus. I miss overcoming obstacles. I miss problem solving on the fly. I miss Mother Nature throwing us race day curve balls. I miss the competition. I miss the race day exhilaration. I miss those finish lines. I miss the HUGE sense of accomplishment. I miss overcoming the impossible. I even miss the blisters and chafing…ok, maybe not.
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Sure I get some of these things on occasion while training right now, but NOT like I do when training for a race and on race day. Solo training and virtual racing just don’t fill my cup. I miss IN REAL LIFEE RACING!
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I’m ready for the 2020 dumpster fire to burn out. I’m ready for this lost feeling to make its exit. I’m ready to move forward into 2021 better, smarter, and more ready than ever to race safe, happy, and full of passion. This 2020 break from racing has lit the fire in my soul so big and bright for what is to come in future races! I want it! I can feel it!

A run can change your mood, your day, your life, so the next time you have the opportunity, lace up and head out the door. You won’t regret it!

“Happiness can be found even in the darkest of times, if one only remembers to turn on the light.” ~J.K. Rowling
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I’m so grateful for this amazing light! She has helped make the 2020 darkness so much brighter!

Sometimes you have to let go of all expectations and just play in the rain and splash in the puddles.

August:

Rolling into August with a #happyheart + 100 miles of fun on two wheels with my fav! #3rdcenturyof2020

That family portrait…fun with friends on two wheels!

A weekend with friends on two wheels enjoying life outdoors in Madison was exactly what my heart and soul needed!

Today’s ride had a few detours and route adjustments due to Monday’s Derecho storm, which allowed for opportunities to climb hay bales and play!

Today should have been Ironman #8 at IMMT. We rode 112 miles because…why the hell not?! The scenery in central Iowa looks nothing like Mont Tremblant, but any day on two wheels with my fav is a great day! Hopefully next year we’ll get to head back to MT for beautiful scenery and an epic day of racing! #4thcenturyof2020

Fun Friday fooleries at the poolery! Adding play is SO important and often overlooked. Don’t forget to play and play often!

Morning miles with my girls was glorious!

#sundayfunday was had helping my Collective Beat teammate, Courtney, build confidence on the bike.

#sundayfunday included Jersey taking her maiden voyage on the SUP (we will work on standing when she doesn’t move around on the board so much)!

A tired pup is a good pup!

September:

My heart is full!

Happy 8th birthday Basil!

Grateful for:
-Jersey running 7 miles with me
-cooler temperatures
-longest run in a LONG time
-endurance miles
-smiling the whole way
-SO MUCH JOY

#fridayhappyhourswim is the best way to end the week!

What SUP?! Being on the water makes me happy!!

Truth bomb and lots of vulnerability coming at ya!
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As a child I was sexually abused by our babysitter and have ridden the mental health roller coaster for decades. With the cancellation of all good things in 2020, I have spent more time in the valleys of the mental health roller coaster than up on the peaks. For the last couple of decades, racing has provided me with structure to help me cope with the mental demons. I really miss racing and the structure it provides me.
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I tell you this because September 6 kicked off National Suicide Prevention Week. There is not enough emphasis and support placed on mental health. It’s time to change that! So today I put on a bright Coeur Sports kit, laced up my Newton Kismets, and ran 9.88 miles to raise awareness for mental health.
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In the event of a physical emergency, people know to call 911. Starting in 2022, people can dial 988 in the event of a mental and emotional emergency.988 will automatically connect people to the Suicide Prevention hotline.

100 miles on two wheels with my favorite super hero as the colors start to indicate that fall is well on its way = perfect way to enjoy a day off work. #5thcenturyof2020

I got paid to ride my bike today! I found this $2 bill on my ride. And while it looks like fall has arrived with the changing colors and fields getting harvested, I was grateful for the summer temps!

Do what makes you happy and brings you joy! For me this includes LOTS of time in the saddle. This has been my biggest bike year ever! Cycling puts my mind at ease during discomfort and uncertainty, it provides me with freedom from the chains of my past, and it untames my soul. I’m so happy to be riding through life and today’s 100 miles with my fav by my side! 6thcenturyof2020

Today we spread our wings and flew! The struggle (strong headwind) was definitely worth the reward (20 mph tailwinds pushing us home)! Grateful for 55 miles of freedom on two wheels with my fav!

October:

Running into fall!

It’s #medalmonday! SO grateful to have these two help me run the Drake 1/2 Marathon on Saturday. They definitely earned this medal!

Any day I GET TO ride 100 miles with my fav is a FANTABULOUS day! #7thcenturyof2020

You can find magic wherever you like. All you need is an open road, fresh air, and a bike. Cycling provides me so much freedom and clarity. Riding outdoors this time of year can be such a rarity. So I’m taking advantage of every last beautiful day…To get outside and be on my way!

Just going to LEAF you with photos from our century ride today. #8thcenturyof2020

“Fall reminds us that change is inevitable and necessary for growth. There is beauty in change.” ~Rita Messing

The temps felt like summer, but the colors definitely say fall is here!

November:

Family photos! Love these 3 to pieces! Photo credit: Captured by Heidi

The keys to my heart are all in this pic! Photo credit: Captured by Heidi

Looking forward to 2021 with my Coeur family in a new and special way!

I’m SO glad these two love each other!

This run was full of goodness!
-62*F
-sunshine
-no wind
-bliss
-smiles
-shorts + tank in November
-freedom
-joy
Get out there and enjoy the goodness!

Inhale…exhale…
Run off the crazy…
Trust the process…
Do you…

Jersey is SO good at yoga!

Play! Today we played outside! Today we played in the sunshine! Today we played for 70+ miles of #bikelove with no wind! Today was all play!

Today I am SO GRATEFUL that I GOT TO race for the first time since February. While I was very undertrained for this event, it was my first 1/2 marathon EVER that I ran the ENTIRE thing without taking one walking step. I kept reminding myself that #IGETTO do this and I have no idea when I’ll get to race again, so I was going to push myself even when it became uncomfortable.
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Thank you to the race directors for putting on a SAFE race.
-each athlete had to fill out a Covid survey online 24 hours before racing
-masks were required before and after (I wore mine for the first 4 miles and every time I went through an aid station or if I was by others while running)
-athletes were spread 6 feet apart in the starting “corral” that extended for an eternity
-2 athletes started every 5 seconds to spread athletes out for social distancing
-there was no medal distribution at the finish line (finisher medals were placed in a brown paper bag with a banana, cookie, and granola bar that athletes picked up off of a table)
-spectators were not allowed to congregate at the start/finish area
-I carried my own water for this race so I didn’t have to interact with volunteers at the aid stations
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Bonus safety measure…Mother Nature provided us with 20+ mph winds so there was very little risk of droplets from others.

On #muralmonday (November 9) I got to run in shorts + tank top in Iowa. I’m sure snow will be here before we know it, but for now I’m holding on to this weather for as long as I can!

Running with a grateful heart today! It’s so much easier to run when I focus on gratitude…it feels effortless, I go faster, I smile more, my heart is happy!

Our playground is open! Our playground is open! We love when the golf course closes so we can play all winter!

Progressive miles + lots of heart on this #muralmonday run.
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Progressive miles…do you love them or hate them?! Sometimes I find myself starting out faster than I thought and end up having to push SO hard in that last mile. I’m sure the grimace on my face is UGLY during that last mile! BUT the smile on my face when I’m done knowing I left it all out there and gave my best effort is HUGE!

Snuggles with Jersey while recovering in my Normatec boots is the best! She LOVES the “pillows” that my recovery boots create for her!

The fire in the sky during morning sunrises have been STUNNING lately!

Here’s another gorgeous sunrise!

“When you’re doing what you love to do, you don’t get exhausted. You get exhausted from trying to fulfill everyone else’s ideas and ideals about who you should be. When you do that, you’re not being true to yourself.” ~Oprah
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Do what you love and be true to yourself!

#sundayrunday with 2 of my favorite girls enjoying the sunshine, fresh air, and open playground!

This is me rising up like a phoenix, stepping out of the shadows and soaring into the light…into my greatness! Vulnerability IS strength!

Awww…these two snuggle bugs have two keys to my heart!

Happy Thanksgiving! We took our family turkey trot through campus today with two of our favorite turkeys!
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Why should you never put the turkey next to the dessert?
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Because he will gobble it right up!

Me: (serenading Tim to Brynn Elliott’s song) “Well if you don’t like girls that are stronger than you
And if you don’t like girls who are faster than you
And if you don’t like girls who are smarter than you
Well then you might not like me, you might not like me”
Tim: You’re loca en la cabeza! Keep practicing and you might get better at singing.
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Disclaimer…holding a tune is NOT one of my strengths!

Anytime I get double snuggles with two of my favorite girls, I’ll take it! Love these two to pieces!

“‘Run to win’ isn’t about finishing first, but about getting the best out of yourself.” ~Meb Keflezighi
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Always show up so you can get the best out of yourself! On this bonus vacation day, we braved the cold temps to enjoy the sunshine, fresh air + family time and get the best out of ourselves!

December:

I’m hoping that by November of 2021 we will be in a place where racing is happening again! SOOOO…I signed up to play in the desert!

It is National Believe Week. I believe!
-I believe Black Lives Matter.
-I believe one person CAN make a difference.
-I believe we CAN create change.
-I believe the time is NOW!
-I believe we need to keep educating ourselves.
-I believe we need to keep stepping out of our comfort zones.
-I believe we need to keep showing up for others.
-I believe kindness always wins.
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Do you believe?

This morning’s ride was tough! I missed hitting targets on some intervals, but nailed an interval (on shredded legs) that I missed on Saturday’s ride. Moral of the story…keep showing up! You never know when the breakthrough will come!

Sunshine, fresh air, and endorphins are good for the body, mind, and soul!! Go outside and get you some of your own today!!

“Oh what a beautiful morning…Oh what a beautiful day…”

Today’s choice…let the water wash over me as I continue to strive to get the best out of myself.
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Choices…we all make them everyday. You may not agree with my choices, but you aren’t walking in my shoes. You don’t know all of the pros and cons that are weighed before making the choices and decisions I do. Just because you don’t agree with my choices doesn’t give you the right to shame me, belittle me, guilt me, or say/do hurtful things to try to make me feel small. Kindness, love, encouragement, compassion, empowerment…these all need to be spread like wildfire to support people living BIG!

When I get an opportunity to run commute home from work on a nice winter day, I take it!

Productive Failure…I’d rather try my best and fail, than not try at all. So what if I fall short of my expectations as long as I’ve given my all. This is failing productively. This is where we learn. This is how we get stronger. This is where we grow. This is where we move from the uncomfortable a little closer to the comfortable. This is where the magic happens! Keep failing, but fail productively!

What month is it?! December in Iowa and we’re in shorts + tanks today. Say what?! Don’t worry…snow is supposed to be on the way this weekend!
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Today’s weather had me dreaming about the future. Dream big so you can grown into the best version of yourself. Ignore the people saying your dream is too grandiose, that you can’t accomplish it, that it is unrealistic, or that your dream should be xyz. Don’t listen to them! They don’t know YOU! Dreaming outside your comfort zone requires you to consider all the possibilities and to choose courage over comfort. I choose to dream BIG! I choose to acknowledge my fears and move through them! I choose courage over comfort! I choose to chase my dreams with intention! I choose to grow into my best self! You can too!

How lucky am I?! I got to run outside in December in Iowa in shorts + tank top two days in a row! I have a feeling tomorrow’s view is going to look VERY different.

Walking (aka snowshoeing) in a winter wonderland!!

More winter wonderland adventures!!

4 days ago I was running in shorts + tank top. Today looked and felt a bit different…all the layers, frozen snot, white all around, some slick surfaces…bring on the winter running!

Rollin’, rollin’, rollin’ right past 7000 miles on the bike in 2020! This is by far the most bike mileage I’ve ever had in one year! How many bike miles will I end up with?!?!?!

I reflected on 2020 A LOT today! Sure this year was HARD and NOT AT ALL what I had hoped or planned for, BUT 2020 gave me the OPPORTUNITY to slow down, appreciate all that I have, overcome challenges and GROW in so many ways! 2020 has helped me become an even better version of myself and I bet if you take some time to reflect, you are heading into 2021 a stronger, more resilient, grittier, more courageous, wiser, better version of yourself too!

Giving the courage cave a face lift…making it bright, vibrant, and sunny no matter what the weather is like outside!

Frosty Frolic

I love her and her snuggles!

Some MUCH NEEDED treatment!

“Create your own sunshine!”
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It may be gloomy outside, but it is bright and sunny in our courage cave!

Merry Christmas 2020 style!

Run Santa Run!

Merry Christmas from our pack to yours!

Sushi…mmmmmm

Snuggling under the blanket with Jersey warms my heart!

What are you chasing? Are you chasing the fire deep in your heart and soul? Are you chasing someone else’s dreams because you’re comparing yourself to others? Are you chasing something you feel you SHOULD be chasing, but doesn’t hold a key to your heart?
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If you are chasing anything other than what sets your heart and soul on fire, you are wasting energy. Let go of all of the things that don’t serve you! Don’t let anyone tell you that what’s in your heart and soul isn’t worth chasing, because they are wrong! #doyou

“Gratitude opens the door to the power, the wisdom, and the creativity of the universe. You open the door through gratitude.” ~Deepak Chopra
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So grateful for a strong and healthy body, mind, and soul as we leave 2020 behind.

Most of my everything is right here!

Nature is so beautiful!

A long sunset family snowshoe hike was the perfect adventure to close the door on 2020 and open the door to 2021!

2020 wasn’t all bad! 😉

My 2019 Year in Review via Photos

January:

Podium finish is a great way to start 2019!!

It is SO HARD to swim with a merman on your back!!

I’m so grateful our twin nieces and my sister came to visit for the twin’s swim meet!

I’m so grateful for morning runs with my favorite girl! #basillovesrunning

WOW!! Magnificent sunsets are amazing!!

Running in the snow is SO HARD, but I loved every minute of my 8+ mile run in the sun!!

Basil loves to play in the snow and help shovel!!

Snowshoeing at dusk with my faves!!

I have some of the best people in my village!! Thanks Ruth for the reminder to #explore in all areas of my life this year and always! You’re the best! ❤

February:

I’m so ready to “explore” in a new career!!

Carving my glass heart!

The finished product! I think they turned out pretty awesome!

These 3…I love them all!! So grateful for their unconditional love!!

I’m so grateful to be on #tigerteam19!! My Coeur Sports teammates help me to feel empowered, inspired, connected, loved, and full of joy!!

Mother Nature’s sense of humor is a bit different than mine, but I am grateful for the 4 seasons…even if the snow drifts over one of our favorite trails. #driftedsnowiswaistdeep

I am so grateful for my Normatec recovery boots…especially after 14 solid treadmill miles!!

March:

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

So grateful I got to see these two beautiful faces…even if it wasn’t for the happiest reason.

So grateful for girl’s night out playing board games with these beauties!! #needtodothismoreoften

The first time in my 16 years of teaching that I was given flowers from a student.

Love my mama! She’s still the boss even after 42 years!! 🙂

I am grateful that the weather is nice enough to rake up all the leaves and play in them with my favorite girl!!

Love you more and SO glad you’re back in the water!!

So grateful for spring weather so I could wear the same Coeur Sports “Not Today Cancer” kit for my bike + run! Oh…and super grateful for my favorite girl who loves to run!! #basillovesrunning

After a tough run (1100 feet of climbing over 7 miles), I was so grateful to find a way to use my Normatec Recovery boots in the car since I had to be there for a few hours post run.

Grateful to meet the Iron Hippie’s parents for lunch!

So grateful that I got some run love with Robin! I’ve missed my girl time!

April:

“Growth comes at a point of resistance; we learn by pushing ourselves to the outer reaches of our abilities.” ~Josh Waitzkin

Grateful for the support of SBR Sports, Inc. SBR is my go to for chlorine removal + blister prevention + easy wetsuit removal. Use KEPL19 at checkout for 20% off your next order of these amazing products!!

Grateful for the warmer temps + sunshine as I put my feet up with a good book while the dogs enjoy their bones!!

WAHOO!! Grateful that the IronHippie is seeing green in Training Peaks again post surgery!!

Grateful for the yoga mat + some vitamin D!!

Grateful to have Basil run by my side and the IronHippie back in the saddle!!

These two…so grateful for their unconditional love!!

Grateful for some girl time with Robin as we pound the pavement!!

14 Ironman finish lines amongst this #swimsquad and more to come in our futures!!

3 cheers for 3 Drake 1/2 marathon finishers!! Grateful to cross another finish line!!

Grateful for freedom on 2 wheels on the open road with my fave!!

100s Z3 effort until failure for breakfast…goal pace = 1:39/100 yards with 20 sec recovery between each; failure = 1:42/100 yards
Self doubt told me I could only maintain my goal pace for 5×100.
Self confidence told me I was strong and could crush this pace for at least 10×100.
Giddy!! That’s how I felt when I successfully completed 20×100 at 1:3x.x + nailing 21×100 before failure!! #explore #befierce #beatiger #believe

May:

Chaperoning my last 8th grade dance!!

Morning sunrises are the best way to start the day!!

Playing in the water with my fave!!

Joining some friends for a spin class!

Our neighbor, Marjorie, came home from Arizona. We are so happy she is here to stay!!

So grateful my favorite girl loves to run!! 13.2 miles later, we were both ready for some food and a nap!! 🙂

BOOM!! I think I grew gills and fins!!

I love fresh, homegrown veggies!! So grateful to get our garden planted!!

Grateful for the time and nice weather to finally landscape around the house!!

I love spending time on two wheels outside with my fave at my side!!

Walking into my classroom for the last week of school with kids.

Grateful to have these two amazing ladies show up and attend my triathlon clinic!!

Going out with a splash!! My last day with kids was super fun!! Now for a week of professional development before starting my new adventure next week!!

So grateful to have had some of the most AMAZING colleagues ever!!

June:

Riding in Minnesota, but the lake to my left is in Iowa. Love this route!

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

Sometimes it takes a little encouragement to complete a tough workout!! High fives all around!!

Today marks the last time I’ll run from the middle school as my place of employment.

Grateful to spend my last days of teaching with my colleague and friend! I already miss seeing her everyday!

Post 100 mile ride playtime! So grateful to have my fave by my side through this roller coaster ride of life!!

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

I’m grateful I got to spend a few hours with the Iron Hippie’s family

So grateful we were asked to be on the radio to promote the Ames Triathlon!

WOW!! Early morning runs with sunrises like this are TOTALLY worth it!!

Thank you to Kyle at Kyle’s Bikes for always keeping Mojo ready for race day and for getting me into some new bike shoes!!

So grateful these kids came to Ames to have dinner with us…ok, they really came to race the Ames Triathlon!! LOL!!

Watching the downtown crit races was so much fun with these peeps!!

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

Three Cheers to Allen Bierbaum and Dr. Chris Feil for helping one of our para-athletes in and out of the water at the Ames Triathlon on Sunday!!

Who’s ready to race the Ames Triathlon?! These two!! So glad my Coeur Sports sisters came to race in the inaugural Ames Triathlon event!!

July:

Grateful I got to see my twin nieces…even if the circumstances weren’t the best.

Grandma got most of the cousins together, but she wasn’t able to get me into Hawkeye apparel.

Yep…we are strong and ready to race!

Knocking out the last really big training day before #IMLP!!

Grateful to score this sweet treadmill from friends that moved to the Bay Area.

Grateful for the first ripe homegrown tomato from our garden before leaving on vacation!

SO GRATEFUL we got to enjoy a few days with some of our favorite people. Only wish we lived closer together and got to spend more time with Erika, Rob, and their girls!

Running along Niagara Falls was a real highlight! It isn’t everyday you get to run along the falls!

Grateful to play tourists for a day! Taking the boat tour and getting up close and personal with the falls was fun!

Grateful to celebrate 9 years of marriage to this wonderful man exploring Niagara Falls!

Celebrating 9 years of marriage with a high class dinner (this was my first time ever eating at a place with a restroom attendant).

Getting to stay on the 39th floor above the falls provided some amazing views and a perfect place to watch the evening fireworks.

We made it to Lake Placid in time for a short shake out run before the sunset.

We made it to Lake Placid! Love this place!

Swimming in my favorite place makes my heart happy!

Mirror Lake is the best place to swim…EVER!! It makes my heart happy!!

So grateful to ride the Ironman Lake Placid bike course with my fave!

So grateful for this amazing Coeur Sports Sunset Strip kit. The colors stand out!

Grateful I got to play lots of cards with my fave!!

Exploring some falls off of the Ironman Lake Placid bike course.

Grateful I get to do life with this guy! Happy 40th to the Iron Hippie!

Having fun running down Main Street Lake Placid

The Ironman Lake Placid Underpants Run Participants

Grateful for Amy Farrell! What an amazing human being!

Grateful for Carol! Love her to pieces!

Grateful to have such amazing support!

Grateful for my Coeur Sports family!

Our race day support crew! Love you Dad, Aunt Linda, and Cousin Neal! Photo credit: Neal Fedora

Love this man! So glad I get to do life with him by my side! Photo credit: Neal Fedora

Race ready!

That’s a swim PR! Photo credit: FinisherPix

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

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

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

Not feeling it on the run. Photo Credit: Amy Farrell

Ready to conquer run loop #2. Photo Credit: Amy Farrell

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

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 for fun opportunities with free music and beautiful views!

Grateful to Tim Chien at Balanced Bodywork & Massage for an amazing pre-race and post race massage!

Grateful to meet awesome peeps!

August:

So happy to be on the open water! You can take the girl out of the lake, but you can’t take the lake out of the girl!

So grateful we got to spend some time with two of our favorite people! Can’t wait to spend more time with you in September!

I missed my baby girl while on vacation SO MUCH! I am so grateful she missed me too!

Grateful for a BEAUTIFUL evening to listen to our friend play live music at our local Coop!

Grateful for BEAUTIFUL morning sunrises!! #redskyinthemorningsailorstakewarning

Grateful for pool shenanigans with these two peeps!

Grateful for time with family!

Grateful that the big “kids” still like to play and have fun like little kids!

Grateful for the Heritage Farm recognition at the Iowa State Fair. The family farm has been in the same family for 150 years.

“Smile for the camera, Traci!” Grateful to race with my dear friend!
Photo Credit: Dave Mable

3rd place age group on a FUN day! Congrats to Bradie for 2nd place in our age group!

Meeting up with my Coeur Sports Teammate, Jess, always brings multiple smiles to my face! Love this girl!

So grateful to my Coeur Sports Teammate, Steena, for this Fellow Flower!! “Living my truth!!”

Truth: I rode 32 miles after work. I had lots of time to think. I realized just how much I REALLY do LOVE to ride my bicycle when I do it my way. I love the open roads, the wind in my face, the sun on my back, and the freedom I feel!

Truth: I ran 6 miles this morning…3 solo miles followed by 3 miles with Robin. I REALLY do LOVE running, but I love it even more with friends! I love the early morning sunrises, the fresh air, the conversations, the community, the sounds of feet hitting the pavement, sweating together, and the hugs at the end!

Grateful for the lunch date at the food truck with my fave…one of the many advantages of us both working on campus!!

Grateful for time on the water with some of my loved ones!

Grateful for time picking berries with loved ones!! Fresh fruit…YUMMMM!!

This was my favorite run so far this year! I found peace, freedom, and oh so much joy on the trails. I couldn’t stop smiling! It is exactly what I needed!

September:

Grateful to see the early morning painted sky!

Grateful to get to reconnect with my mat on the lake with my fave + my Dad.

SO GRATEFUL to run with my faves at home home! Love them and the lake!

I absolutely LOVE swimming at home home! So grateful for this magical opportunity!

Grateful to spend time with our twin nieces and play in the water!

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

Love these 3!! I’m so grateful they love to have fun + eat ice cream!

I am truly blessed to have my 2 favorite running buddies run with me at home home by the lake!

Love my girls! Happy 7th birthday to my baby! Love you Basil!

Bluebird skies + lots of sunshine + no wind + 2 wheels on the open roads = EXACTLY what my heart needed today! #happyheart #livingmytruth

So grateful for such a magical playground!!

Grateful that my fave and I got to spend a long weekend in Madison!

Grateful to have Mike Reilly sign our copy of his book, “Finding My Voice”

The rural Wisconsin views always make my heart happy!

Happy to be giving back to a sport that has given so much to me!

So grateful to all of these volunteers (+ many, many more) for helping to make dreams come true at Ironman Wisconsin for so many athletes.

Happy to be donating my hair to Wigs for Kids.

Grateful that my fave loves to have fun on this roller coaster of life!

Grateful that my fave loves to play around and enjoy life with me!

Grateful to branch out and go to trivia night, which was a bit uncomfortable as I am clueless when it comes to trivia.

I’m so grateful to have lots of time with my favorite girl to think and process my thoughts. She’s such a good listener!

This is the first time I have relaxed in the Normatec Recovery boots since IMLP in July. It felt truly amazing and I was grateful to have the neighbor’s dog snuggle up next to me.

Grateful for the bright colors of this Coeur Sports Liberty kit! It made me so much more visible riding on the open roads!

Intention: Gratitude
I started to incorporate intentions before each workout during the middle of the month and it has really served me well. During this swim, I kept focus on the gratitude and was so thankful to my body for allowing me to push it.

Thank you Ruth for thinking of me and being one of my biggest supporters!

I’m glad to have reconnected with my mat and have Basil coaching me through the moves.

Grateful to have a solid double digit run where my body felt so good I decided to run a little longer than planned and of course celebrate with a dance party post run! “If you like piña coladas and getting caught in the rain…”

SO GRATEFUL for spontaneity in riding cross bikes with my fave after work!

Grateful to see some “friends” on my 11 mile run!

Grateful for 70+ miles on two wheels with my fave on new terrain!

Grateful to Robin and Basil for running with me!

Grateful to my Coeur Sports sister, Jess, and her family for having us over for dinner and enjoying each other’s company!!

October:

Grateful for a dog that loves to run and is sad when I run on the treadmill.

Grateful for my reminder to believe in myself and what I am doing!

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 have Sound Probiotics boosting my immune health!

Grateful for my Normatec Recovery boots to flush out the legs post long run!

Grateful to “crash” my dear friend’s tailgate “party” and surprise her!

Grateful for this beautiful morning sunrise on our way to Lou.

Grateful to spend the weekend with my girlfriend + Coeur Sports teammate, Erika.

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!

Helping our Coeur Sports sister, Mikki, wrap up registration.

Helping our Coeur Sports sister, Kristin, wrap up registration.

Thank you Erika for my matching bracelet!! Love you girl!!

Autumn in Bardstown with Erika!!

Three peas in a pod!!

Swimming in Lou when we arrived.

Go, Kristen, GOOOOO!!! Keep MOOOVING forward!! #IMLou

Cheering our hearts out!! #IMLou

Grateful we got to meet up with our Coeur Sports sister, Erin on the bike course! #IMLou

Grateful my fave enjoys having loads of fun! Our outfits got lots of laughs and cheers from the athletes! #IMLou

Go Rob GOOOO!!! Keep MOOOVING forward!! #IMLou

Rob getting chased by my fave in his second costume of the day. #IMLou

Looking strong Mikki! #IMLou

Happy birthday Kristin! #IMLou

Encouraging Kristin to finish strong! Congrats on your 1st place AG and Kona qualification! #IMLou

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

Grateful for the beautiful fall colors that showed up a bit later than normal.

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

I’m 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.

Thank you to Robin and Basil for 8 BEAUTIFUL fall, morning miles with me!

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!

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!

November:

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!

Another Hillbilly Hike 1/2 marathon is in the books!

So grateful to be getting back to the weights and strength training the entire body!

Grateful for the opportunity to ride the horse carriage at Snow Magic.

So grateful to get to run with these rad ladies at the Coeur Sports women’s run in Des Moines.

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 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!

Intention: WIN (the day)
After being away from the water for two weeks, it felt so amazing to get some #chlorinetherapy today! #wintheday

Grateful for a morning run with my fave!

Crushing bike intervals + spending time with my fave = pure joy!

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!

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!

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!

December:

I’ve decided to step out of the box I’ve been in and experiment with self coaching in 2020. I’m excited to try new things knowing that some of these things may not work for me, while other things may be the best thing ever for me! I’m grateful for the opportunity to think outside of the box, experiment with trial and error, the freedom and control to do it my way, and the excitement with trying something new!

So grateful to Dr. Chris Feil at Team Chiropractic and Rehabilitation of Ames for helping me get back to training.

So grateful for the dream that Emily Hampton had to start Ignite Yoga and build such an amazing community!

So grateful for Dr. Chris Feil with Team Chiropractic and Rehabilitation of Ames who continues to work to get me back to healthy!

So grateful that I can spend time with my mat while rehabbing my back.

LIVE! Every. Damn. Day!

So grateful to be spinning on the bike…even if it is an easy ride!

Grateful for our new Tuff Mutt hands-free running leash from our Secret Santa. We can’t wait to enjoy all of the miles together with this!

I’m grateful for Dr. Chris Feil at Team Chiropractic and Rehabilitation of Ames for helping get me back on track this month.

These beautiful December days with unseasonable temperatures are amazing!!

The girls are so glad that Dad is home after being gone for a week.

Glad to be rolling again!

Wow!! Grateful for beautiful sunrises!!

Grateful for Kyle at Kyle’s Bikes to help me get my Wahoo Kickr ready to ride!!

Grateful for framily and matching PJs!!

First run all month!! Grateful to be nearly fully recovered from my back sprain and enjoying fresh air + sunshine + time with my faves!!

Grateful for these love bugs!! “Give me all the treats!!”

Sushi for Christmas dinner…YES PLEASE!!

Today I had all the excuses for not moving…
-I didn’t pack warm enough gear for the drop in temperature today.
-I should just go home and try to get Zwift working.
-I’m still not quite 100% after my back sprain.
-I don’t have a coach, so I can run tomorrow or this weekend.
-I’m tired. I should just go home and rest.
I ignored all of these excuses, put on my sweatshirt, and ran home from work. I celebrated every step, every breath of air, and every drop of sweat. And yes…I was reminded why I don’t wear cotton when I workout!!

Chris Chapman with Movewell Iowa is helping me get my muscles to properly fire and keep me injury free.

Friday night happy hour miles + quality time with my 2 faves! My heart couldn’t be happier!

First official Zwift ride…yep, I think I’m hooked! Lots to learn, but I can see how this will help me get faster + stronger in 2020! #grateful

Grateful that yoga is a family affair in our house!

So grateful to have worked out to the point that the Normatec Recovery boots got some use!

Burning the sh!t I want to let go of as I prepare for 2020. I am so grateful for the Athlete Mastermind program that Jenny Hayes is putting on.

Sending 2019 out in style! My FTP test indicates a loss of fitness in the off season, but that’s what the off season is for, right?! Time to get to work as I chase my dreams in 2020!!

2019 Totals

What’s up?! – December 2019

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

Training:

Friday night happy hour yardage! Celebrate every stroke!

Sending 2019 out in style! My FTP test indicates a loss of fitness in the off season, but that’s what the off season is for, right?! Time to get to work as I chase my dreams in 2020!!

First run all month!! Grateful to be nearly fully recovered from my back sprain and enjoying fresh air + sunshine + time with my faves!!

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

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

#explore:

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

Listening to:

Here is what I listened to this month:

Coeur Sports Earsplitz
Holidays!

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

Witsup Podcast:
Linsey Corbin
Heather Wurtele

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

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

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

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

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

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

C Tolle Run brought on:
Jessie Diggins – Brave Enough

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

Hidden Brain:
Creatures of Habit

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

Trained:
Simon Sinek: Finding Your “Why”

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

Reading:

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

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

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

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

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

Attitude of Gratitude:

I’m excited and grateful to step out of the box I’ve been in and experiment with self coaching in 2020. I’m excited to try new things knowing that some of these things may not work for me, while other things may be the best thing ever for me! Bring on the thinking outside of the box, the experimentation, the trial and error, the freedom and control to do it my way, and the excitement with trying something new!

So grateful to Dr. Chris Feil at Team Chiropractic and Rehabilitation of Ames for helping me get back to training.

So grateful for Dr. Chris Feil with Team Chiropractic and Rehabilitation of Ames who continues to work to get me back to healthy!

So grateful for the dream that Emily Hampton had to start Ignite Yoga and build such an amazing community!

So grateful for a few days of warmer weather in December to go outside in flip flops without freezing my toes!

Grateful for a beautiful morning moon setting on Friday the 13th!

So grateful that I can spend time with my mat while rehabbing my back.

Grateful to get some chlorine therapy next to my fave!!

I’m grateful that I can ride the bus when my fave is gone with the car and I get to walk to the bus stop on a nice winter day.

I’m grateful for Dr. Chris Feil at Team Chiropractic and Rehabilitation of Ames for helping get me back on track this month.

So grateful to be spinning on the bike…even if it is an easy ride!

I’m lucky to have these two support me while I ride.

The morning sunrise was so magnificent…this picture doesn’t even begin to do it justice. WOW!

Grateful for our new Tuff Mutt hands-free running leash from our Secret Santa. We can’t wait to enjoy all of the miles together with this!

Very grateful for these beautiful December days with unseasonable temperatures are amazing!!

The girls and I are so grateful that Dad is home after being gone for a week.

So grateful to be rolling again!

Wow!! Grateful for beautiful sunrises!!

Grateful for Kyle at Kyle’s Bikes to help me get my Wahoo Kickr ready to ride!!

Grateful for framily and matching PJs!!

Grateful for these little beauties!! Missing them this Christmas!!

Grateful for these love bugs!! “Give me all the treats!!”

Sushi for Christmas dinner…YES PLEASE!!

Today I had all the excuses for not moving…
-I didn’t pack warm enough gear for the drop in temperature today.
-I should just go home and try to get Zwift working.
-I’m still not quite 100% after my back sprain.
-I don’t have a coach, so I can run tomorrow or this weekend.
-I’m tired. I should just go home and rest.
I ignored all of these excuses, put on my sweatshirt, and ran home from work. I celebrated every step, every breath of air, and every drop of sweat. And yes…I was reminded why I don’t wear cotton when I workout!!

Friday night happy hour miles + quality time with my 2 faves! My heart couldn’t be happier!

First official Zwift ride…yep, I think I’m hooked! Lots to learn, but I can see how this will help me get faster + stronger in 2020! #grateful

Grateful that yoga is a family affair in our house!

So grateful to have worked out to the point that the Normatec Recovery boots got some use!

Celebrating some yards…especially when they aren’t always easy.

Burning the sh!t I want to let go of as I prepare for 2020. I am so grateful for the Athlete Mastermind program that Jenny Hayes is putting on.

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

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!!