The Best of 2017

I love looking back and thinking about all of the amazing things that I’ve accomplished and all of the challenges I’ve overcome! I’ve reflected for the last 4 years and want to keep this trend going! You can look back at my previous posts if you’d like: Best of 2013, the Best of 2014, the Best of 2015, and the Best of 2016. Now its time to reminisce my faves from 2017! 🙂

 

My #2017bestnine on instagram is full of #heartandcourage

Best race experience?

Ironman Mont Tremblant! This was by far one of the best experiences of the year! I was blessed with a near perfect day + a PR on the day. I was so incredibly lucky to combine my race experience with an extended vacation with family + friends, which made for a really fun time!

So much coeur on this course! #bikelove

Best run?

I have been waiting to have a good run during an Ironman race for 6 years and this year, it finally happened at Ironman Mont Tremblant! I FINALLY pulled off a sub 5 hour marathon (and I know it could have been even faster without some visits to the kybo). I felt good, I felt strong, I was happy, I smiled the whole run, I really enjoyed myself, I spread coeur with others, and gave “hi-fives” to those who looked like they could use one. This run was a HUGE confidence builder for future races!

Love you Ericka! Thanks for the photo!

Best bike?

Sometimes the best rides aren’t the ones where we have the most fun, but where we learn the most. Yes, I had some seriously fun rides this summer…some solo rides, some with the Iron Hippie, some at the Track Cat Fitness Training Camp, and some on the Ironman Lake Placid + Ironman Mont Tremblant bike courses. For me, the ride that stands out the most this year is the one I learned the most from…my first solo century ride. It was a VERY tough day for me! Physically the wind BEAT. ME. UP! Mentally, I had to overcome a case of the “I can’t do this,” a case of the “I’m not strong enough,” a case of the “I’m not fast enough,” and a case of the “I’m not fueled enough” to finish. In this process, I learned so much about who I am and what I can do when staring adversity in the face!

I’m in a big build…today (Friday) adversity had me sitting on the side of the road in tears with 10 miles to go. I had lots of thoughts and choices while sitting under the tree. I chose to get back on Mojo and continue to chase my dreams! As Coach Kelly says, “it is supposed to feel like that and that this is what it takes. :)” First solo century is in the books!

Best Swim?

Swimming in Mirror Lake was probably one of the best experiences of the summer! It was so much fun to swim with an underwater guide wire! All lakes should be closed to motorized vehicles and have have an underwater guide wire available for swimmers!

Swimming in Mirror Lake in Lake Placid, NY

Best training weekend?

The Track Cat Fitness Training Camp in Stowe, Vermont at the end of July was CHALLENGING + SO. MUCH. FUN! I climbed Smuggler’s Notch. I climbed App Gap. I ran trails. I swam. In addition to all of the fun, there was community, riding, running, swimming, eating, learning, and growing as an athlete.

#trackcatstrong

Best training compass?

Coach Kelly with Track Cat Fitness has provided me with structure, focus, guidance, feedback, support, accountability, motivation + so much more! She has paved the yellow brick road for me this year and I am forever grateful! Standing beside me, believing in me, educating me, and helping me to become a better, #trackcatstrong athlete every day!

Loved meeting Coach Kelly + spending time with her and other amazing athletes at the Vermont Training Camp put on by Track Cat Fitness!

Best enCOEURaging moment?

Thanks to the support of Coeur Sports, Ignite Yoga, and Team Chiropractic for helping me provide a recovery clinic for women! The community! The learning! The practice! The enCOEURaging! The supporting! The love!

Learning!
Practicing!
Community!

Best recovery secret?

Wearing my CEP recovery tights as part of my work attire after a tough morning workout. Hello style + recovery! The best of both worlds!

Best tapering adventure?

Having my sister, brother-in-law, and 3 nieces vacation with us in Mont Tremblant for a few days was so much fun! We don’t get to see each other nearly enough (since they live in California and we live in Iowa), so this was a special treat!

My family from California came for a few days! #happyheart
These peeps hold 4 keys to my heart!

Best new piece of gear?

This was SUPER easy! We had some REALLY HOT + HUMID summer days this year, which forced me out of my comfort zone as I became a part of the #sportsbrasquad! I absolutely love the Coeur Sports sports bras! Not only are they super cute, functional, and comfortable, but they also have a hidden pocket that is perfect for carrying keys, nutrition, or ice!

So happy + #grateful to finally put together a pretty solid long run despite the full sun, warm temps, + high dew point. Mother Nature put up a fight, but I won Wednesday! #sportsbrasquad

Best way to stay healthy?

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

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#soundathlete = #soundlife #winningtakesguts

Best piece of racing advice you received?

Hello race morning! Time to drink my Karma Kombucha, eat my muesli, and get inspired to do and be my best as I embark on the race ahead:

“Be calm; focus on what you are going to do. Don’t get distracted, don’t get overwhelmed, take it all as it comes. You are ready for this; you’ve prepared for years. This is it, your time to shine. Go forth with all your powers. Go forth with everything in you. Make it work.” ~Lynne Cox, “Swimming to Antarctica: Tales of a Long-Distance Swimmer”

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Most inspirational athlete?

There are so many that I can’t pick just one! My Coeur Sports sisters inspire me EVERY. SINGLE. DAY! I’ve also been SUPER inspired this year by friends who finished their first Ironman. By friends who attempted their first Ironman, but didn’t meet cutoffs. By people who fight disease and keep training + racing. By people who challenge themselves and try something new. By people I haven’t met yet and people I see everyday! There are far to many people who inspire me to pick just one!

Best support crew?

Hands down…Dad and my Aunt Linda! These two helped us load our car with ALL. THE. GEAR. from our 4 week vacation the day before our race. They were up EARLY on race morning to help us get to transition. They were patient with the process of all of the race morning shenanigans. They were in all of the right places at all of the right times during the race. They helped us get our gear after the race. They cheered, photographed, and spread love to us and other athletes throughout a REALLY long day! There are not enough hugs and kisses for each of you! Thank you! Thank you! Thank you! Love you both so much!

Two of the best spectators EVER! Thanks to Dad and Aunt Linda for cheering us on all day long! Love you both!

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

Courage over comfort, believe, fun!!

Tell me about your 2017 year!! What are your “bests” from 2017?!

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What’s Up?! – June 2017

How is it already July?! The month of June seems to have flown by MUCH faster than I’d like, but I guess that means I’m having fun! Here is a look at what I’ve been up to:

Training:

Hello outdoor swimming in the 50 meter pool! I sure have missed you and am glad we’ve gotten to spend some time together! I have found that I am becoming a stronger swimmer…putting up swim times that I didn’t think were possible + reflecting on the progress I’ve made! Serious #swimlove

Morning meters in my favorite pool!

Hello first century ride of 2017 + a new 100 mile PR! It was an AMAZING day on 2 wheels and the open roads (with some trail riding)! I felt incredibly strong and felt like I could have easily continued to ride! Serious #bikelove

My fastest 100 miles ever in the saddle with these two!

Coach Kelly has moved my long run to the middle of the week, and I love it! I’m so glad to have made this switch…sometimes change is good! Another thing I’m loving is the split long run! I have found that splitting my long run into an AM and PM run allows me to recover a bit between the two runs and I’m able to run both of these distances at a faster pace. Don’t worry…I’m also getting some long runs in that are done all at once as well…they aren’t always pretty, but I’m doing the work! 😉

Long run done! Not pretty, but done!

HUGE hugs to Coach Kelly, with Track Cat Fitness, for challenging me on so many levels, pushing me WAY out of my comfort zone, and making me #trackcatstrong this year! I am forever grateful for her guidance + support this year!

Swim Totals: 16.7 miles
Bike Totals: 392 miles
Run Totals: 94 miles

Racing:

I did the Liberty Triathlon early in the month, but it didn’t exactly go as planned and wasn’t something I care to repeat. I finished, but not the distance I had trained for.

Reading:

This Road I Ride: Sometimes it Takes Losing Everything to Find Yourself by Juliana Buhring is an amazing ride…errrr…read! Juliana lost the love of her life and decided to cycle around the world having never seriously ridden a bicycle before. Over 152 days, Juliana’s ride spanned four continents and 18,060 miles. She became the fastest woman to cycle the world and beat prior men’s records as well! This inspirational story takes you through her trials and tribulations as she accomplishes a goal she once thought was impossible.

The Brave Athlete: Calm the F*ck Down and Rise to the Occasion by Simon Marshall PhD and Lesley Paterson is a practical guide to help athletes with their mental training. I love that this book gives you “homework” to do to help you improve your mental performance. It isn’t just a book you read, but if you use this amazing tool correctly, it is also a hands-on approach for you to overcome negative thinking, feelings, and acting that have the potential to sabotage your potential and love for sport. This book has helped keep the fun in triathlon!

Re-Defining Our “Weaknesses” by Kara LaPoint is spot on! “In sport, as in life, it’s good to identify our weaknesses; to know them and confront them. But it’s not so good to continually identify ourselves by those weaknesses…” She has changed her mindset…”I now see my “weaknesses” merely as opportunities to become stronger.” We should all view our weaknesses as an opportunity to become stronger!

Listening to:

The Brave Athlete with Dr. Simon Marshall and Lesley Paterson is also one of the books I am currently reading. For most athletes, the “textbook” approaches to mental performance may not work as advertised. Dr. Simon Marshall provides performance psychology support for the BMC Pro Cycling Team. When you combine his knowledge with Lesley Paterson’s impressive triathlon record (hello three-time off road triathlon champion + Ironman champion + coach), you get a dynamic duo who share some of their unique approaches to improve mental performance in athletes.

Triathlete Turned Marathon Swimmer Jamie Ann Phillips is currently training for a 28.5 mile open water swim around New York City known as the 20 Bridges Swim. Her commitment and dedication to swimming this race has her currently swimming 37,000 yards (just over 21 miles) each week in preparation for this event. Become inspired by Jamie Ann Phillips and cheer her on as she swims one of the “Triple Crown” open water swim events this August!

Enjoying:

Time with family + friends! We’ve been so lucky to have our twin nieces come visit us and spend some time with friends!

Playing games!
Visiting Iowa State University’s campus
Strong, athletic women are the best! Summer doesn’t get much better than this!

Following:

Sarah Cooper and Janie Hayes! These two women are strong, inspirational, and amazing! Sarah finished 1st woman  in the individual Race Across America (RAAM) in 11 hours 18 hours 56 minutes. When asked “Why?” her response, “Why not?!” Janie finished 1st woman and 3rd overall in the Trans Am bike self supported bike race across America in 19 days 7 hours 50 minutes. This was Janie’s 2nd time doing this race!

Looking Forward To:

Our 4 week vacation in Vermont, New York, and Canada! While I don’t want to wish summer away (and we’ll be back to work the day we return from our vacation), I am looking forward to exploring new territory, connecting with family + friends, training on new terrain, relaxing, and racing Ironman Mont Tremblant!

#Fearless check-in:

My intention for 2017 is to become more fearless! So…how have I been doing with this? I’ve continued to make progress on becoming more fearless. I am also really working on not letting others opinions of me bother me and I think I’ve gotten much better at this…hello #sportsbrasquad and wearing bikinis at the pool for lap swimming. Am I comfortable…not yet, but I’m facing the fear head on! Since I’m on summer break, work is on the back burner. I will be back at it soon enough! I have made some BIG gains while training this month! This has caused me to have to stare fear in the face and stretch WAY out of my comfort zone! I have stared fear in the face by going out for many solo, long rides! In the past I’ve always had company for rides over 2 hours, but after spending multiple 4+ solo hours in the saddle on the open roads, I’m happy to say that I’m getting more comfortable with the uncomfortable = progress! I have also learned which roads I prefer to ride on by myself and which ones to completely avoid!

Hello #sportsbrasquad running!

While I’ve made some progress on becoming more fearless in different parts of my life, I still have a LOT more progress to make, but don’t we all?! I’m a continuous work in progress!

How was your month of June? What were your June highlights? What are you looking forward to?