What’s up?! – July 2019

VACATION!! That was the theme of July!! We made so many amazing memories as we traveled in the Northeast and even into Canada!! #ktneadventures

Training:

I had another SOLID month of training!! I’m still on the green streak in Training Peaks!! I have not missed one workout so far this year…30 weeks and counting!! BOOM!!

Mirror Lake is the best place to swim…EVER!! It makes my heart SO happy!!
So grateful to ride the Ironman Lake Placid bike course with my fave!
Running along Niagara Falls was a real highlight! It isn’t everyday you get to run along the falls! #wearesosmall

Swim: 32,519 yards (18.48 miles)
Bike: 400 miles
Run: 102 miles
Strength: 10 minutes of core daily (except around Ironman Lake Placid per coach’s instructions) + various full body strength
Meditation: 3 minutes daily since January 1
Monthly Totals: 60 hours & 40 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 #IMLP!! Race day in Lake Placid did not disappoint! It gave me time to really dig deep within myself to explore what I truly want from life. It gave me quality time with my fave. It opened my eyes and heart to new beginnings. It made me realize now is the time for me to live my life instead of survive it! You can read more about my race day here.

Grateful for this finish line with my Fave by my side! Photo credit: FinisherPix
I am SO proud of the Iron Hippie for his accomplishments this racing season! He overcame so many challenges to get to this finish line! Photo credit: FinisherPix

Listening to:

KonaKamps always has me inspired and motivated!! Some of this months faves were:
Barbara Perkins, Ironman Santa Rosa 2019
Ailsa Mcdonald, Ironman Santa Rosa 2019

In the #HURDLEMOMENT: These Few Words Can Change Your Life with Emily Abbate, she addresses the power of mantras. When you choose or make a mantra, use the word “you” not “I” to reduce the stress on you. I love “All it takes is all you’ve got,” which is one of Emily’s mantras.

The Ted Talk with Guy Winch, How to practice emotional first aid, addresses how important it is to not only focus on our physical health, but also on our mental health. If your mind tries to convince you that you can’t succeed at something, you will believe it, which is why so many people do not live to their true potential. It is important to change our thinking so our mind can and will convince us that we can succeed instead of fail.

Reading:

Self-doubt can actually help you bloom and it all starts with how you talk to yourself by Rich Karlgaard is very insightful.

Katie Ledecky’s Willingness to Fail is Her Greatest Talent by Olivier Poirier-Leroy is also super insightful. “For Ledecky, it’s not enough to work hard, it’s about being willing to fail, to push herself to the point of failure over and over again and not get discouraged.”

Where are you “parking” your thoughts? by Carrie Cheadle is a good reminder to stay on the positive side and feed the athlete. “Where have I been parking my thoughts lately?
Am I choosing to park my thoughts in a place consumed with obstacles, or am I choosing to park my thoughts in a place filled with opportunities?
Is it time to choose a different parking spot?”

Some Choose Darkness by Charlie Donlea is a great read! “The truth is easy to miss, even when it’s right in front of us. As a forensic reconstructionist, Rory Moore sheds light on cold-case homicides by piecing together crime scene details others fail to see. Cleaning out her late father’s law office a week after his burial, she receives a call that plunges her into a decades-old case come to life once more.
In the summer of 1979, five Chicago women went missing. The predator, nicknamed The Thief, left no bodies and no clues behind—until police received a package from a mysterious woman named Angela Mitchell, whose unorthodox investigation skills appear to have led to his identity. But before they could question her, Angela disappeared. Forty years later, The Thief is about to be paroled for Angela’s murder—the only crime the DA could pin on him. But the cryptic file Rory finds in her father’s law office suggests there is more to the case, and Angela Mitchell, than what was fed to the public, the details of which have been buried for four decades.
Rory’s talents are tested as she begins reconstructing Angela’s last days. Making one startling discovery after another, Rory becomes helplessly entangled in the enigma of Angela Mitchell and what happened to her. Drawing connections between the past and present, Rory uncovers dark truths about the reclusive victim, her father, and the man called The Thief that send her down a twisting trail where things may not be as they appear. As she continues to dig, even Rory can’t be prepared for the full, terrifying truth that is emerging . . .”

Attitude of Gratitude:

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.
Grateful to spend time on 2 wheels with my fave for 6 hours!!
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 we got to enjoy sushi before leaving Iowa.
Grateful for the first ripe homegrown tomato from our garden before leaving on vacation!
Grateful we can get so much stuff in our car and travel across the country.
Grateful I get to run in new locations. This gravel road in Canton, Michigan.
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!
Grateful Coeur Sports brought Erika and I together 2 years ago!
Grateful to play tourists for a day! Taking the boat tour and getting up close and personal with the falls was fun!
I’m so lucky and grateful that I get to make memories with my fave!
Grateful to celebrate 9 years of marriage to this wonderful man exploring Niagara Falls!
The white water river walk is pretty amazing!
Such a fun day in Niagara Falls with my fave!
Going behind the falls…WOW! We are so small compared to the vastness and power that these falls possess!
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.
Arriving in the Adirondack Mountains! 🙂
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!
Life on 2 wheels in the mountains brings me pure joy!
Nothing better than 2 wheels and fresh mountain air!!
So grateful for this amazing Coeur Sports Sunset Strip kit. The colors stand out!
Raw oysters are da bomb!!
Grateful I got to play lots of cards with my fave!!
Wrapping up my last “long” run in Lake Placid on the Ironman Lake Placid run course. So beautiful!!
Enjoying sunsets in the mountains!!
Exploring some falls off of the Ironman Lake Placid bike course.
The sound of running water and the smell of fresh air is where it’s at!
Kicking the feet up and relaxing in our Normatec Recovery boots.
Grateful for beautiful views atop Whiteface Mountain with my fave at my side.
Grateful for amazing experiences and memories made.
Grateful to Tim Chien at Balanced Bodywork & Massage for an amazing pre-race and post race massage!
Grateful I get to do life with this guy! Happy 40th to the Iron Hippie!
Grateful to know how to clean my bike and be confident to do it myself.
Grateful for my Coeur Sports sister, Amy Farrell! What an amazing human being!
Grateful for Carol! Love her to pieces!
Grateful for another Ironman adventure together!
Grateful to have such amazing support!
Grateful I am confident enough to run in the Underpants Run down Main Street in Lake Placid!
Grateful for my Coeur Sports family!
Grateful for celebratory beers and another finish line.
Grateful for fun opportunities with free music and beautiful views!
Grateful to meet awesome peeps!

How was your month of July?! What were you grateful for last month?! Where is your favorite vacation spot?!

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#explore Ironman Lake Placid race report

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

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

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

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

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

This sea of athletes is race ready!

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

Swim loop #1 complete! Photo credit: FinisherPix

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

That’s a swim PR! Photo credit: FinisherPix

T1: 8:05

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

Done with the swim! Photo credit: Neal Fedora

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

T2: 7:49

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Finish: 15:38:24

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

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

Grateful Heart!

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

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

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

    I am SO proud of the Iron Hippie for his accomplishments this racing season! He overcame so many challenges to get to this finish line! Photo credit: FinisherPix

What’s up?! – June 2019

Wow!! What a month!! I officially ended my 8th grade science teaching career, started my new career as the Teaching Laboratory Coordinator for the Physics and Astronomy Department at Iowa State University, put in some big training for #IMLP and #IMLou, helped coordinate and put on the inaugural Ames Triathlon event, had some difficult conversations with those that I love, and had a blast while I lived in the moment as much as possible.

Training:

Swimming outside under the sun in the 50 meter pool is something I really miss this summer!! It is nice to do this on Saturday’s when I can!!
Riding in Minnesota, but the lake to my left is in Iowa. Love this route!
Today marks the last time I’ll run from the middle school as my place of employment.

I had another SOLID month of training!! I completed 10 minutes of core strength daily + 3 minutes of meditation daily + I’m still on the green streak in Training Peaks!! I have not missed one workout so far this year…26 weeks and counting!! BOOM!!

Swim: 36,691 yards (20.8 miles)
Bike: 391 miles
Run: 101 miles
Strength: 10 minutes of core daily + various full body strength
Meditation: 3 minutes daily since January 1
Monthly Totals: 60 hours & 19 minutes

#explore:

Explore is my focus word in 2019 and I’m happy to be incorporating it into all areas of my life…including having some tough conversations with those that I love. It is like having a China cabinet full of China leaning against the doors. You know when you open the doors all of the dishes are going to crash to the floor and make a big mess. BUT it will also open up a LOT of space for new China. How long do you wait to open the door to free up this space? Everyone is different. Some choose to leave the doors closed forever and never free up the space. I am grateful that I have opened those doors and created a lot of space in my China cabinet.

Listening to:

KonaKamps always has me inspired and motivated!! Some of this months faves were:
Kampsite: Ginny Cataldi on Overcoming Obstacles
Kampsite: Rebecca McKee on Mental Toughness
Kampsite: Rebecca McKee on Constant Learning

Coeur Sports Earsplitz Podcast recently brought on Bob Babbit, who is a LEGEND in triathlon and endurance sports! He talked about visualization, gave great tips on balance, and the founding + progress of the Challenged Athletes’ Foundation (CAF).

Reading:

This month I have been rereading my Harry Potter series. I love these books and have probably read them a dozen times, but I’m sure I will read them a dozen more!

Loving:

My new job! I am so grateful that I made the leap and decided to change careers. This seems to be a perfect fit…the people, the work, the hours. I’m looking forward to learning more as I go and making the Physics Department my “home” in the coming years.

Looking forward to:

Our vacation! With the start of July, comes the excitement for our 3 week vacation! We will be heading to the northeast again this year…Detroit, Michigan, Niagara Falls (Canada side), Lake Placid, NY, Finger Lakes region, Cooperstown, NY…lots to see and do with #IMLP sandwiched in the mix! #KTNEAdventures

Attitude of Gratitude:

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 feet up in my Normatec boots next to 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!!
Balancing act with my fave post run!! So grateful he is on this life journey with me!!
So grateful to be starting my new gig in Physics Hall on ISU campus!!
Grateful for the kind note and chocolates from my former substitute teacher at my new gig.
I love my new gig!! I get to set up and tear down labs, make sure equipment is running properly, and play!!
I love Basil snuggles…even when she tries to help me stretch my legs.
SUSHI!! YES PLEASE!! I’m so grateful that we get to refuel well!
We missed the sun for many days in June, so having it shine on my back while walking to work was a great feeling!
I’m grateful I got to spend a few hours with the Iron Hippie’s family
I am grateful for some long runs this month to help prepare me for #IMLP in a few weeks!
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!!
Basil is checking out the Roomba. Each day she gets less and less afraid of it. I’m grateful I don’t have to spend hours vacuuming each week anymore!
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 an amazing 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!! Thank you for making this inaugural event so special!!
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!!
Huge shout out to my Coeur Sports teammate, Michelle, for crushing the Ames Triathlon!! #befierce
Congratulations to my Coeur Sports Collective Beat teammate, Char, for knocking the Ames Triathlon out of the park!! #believe

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

A day in the life during peak training…

I was inspired by Steena to share how I find/make the training/work/life balance work…especially as we are in peak IM training these next few weeks. This is what last Thursday looked like for me:

4:00 am – alarm (roll over and grab my phone to input my HRV data)
4:03 am – hit the mats in the basement for 10 minutes of core strength followed by 3 minutes of meditation and some stretching
4:25 am – brush my teeth, change into my swim gear, grab my swim bag + smoothie from the fridge (we make our smoothies the night before so we can grab and go)
4:40 am – leave the house for the gym
4:55 am – walk into the gym (the awesome lady working the desk opened 5 minutes early this morning)
5:00 am – start swimming
6:00 am – finish swimming and drive back home while drinking my smoothie on the road
6:20 am – unpack swim bag, shower, pack lunch, feed dogs, take them potty, load all of the bags in the car
7:00 am – leave house for work
7:18 am – park on campus (hello new job!!) and walk to my building
7:25 am to 4:00 pm – work day
4:13 pm – take dogs potty, start a load of laundry, change clothes, and head out the door
4:30 pm – rolling hilly run
5:15 to 5:50 pm – let dogs go potty, shower, put laundry in dryer and start another load, inhale leftovers and head out the door
6:00 to 7:30 pm – Attend a meeting for the proposed Healthy Life Center by the City of Ames Parks and Rec…voting will be Tuesday, September 10
7:45 to 8:20 pm – make smoothies for morning, do dishes, fold laundry, and get ready for bed
8:20 to 8:30 pm – read in bed
8:30 pm – lights out

Morning play time + #chlorinetherapy
Life is always a balancing act! I’m so glad I get to do it with my fave! #postrunshenanigans

As you can see, there isn’t much wiggle room to fit it all in being only 6 weeks away from Ironman Lake Placid. What does your typical day look like?

What’s up?! – May 2019

And with that, I am officially done teaching 8th graders!! I still have multiple days of professional development ahead of me, but the students are gone. It is bitter sweet!! You can read more about that here. It is time to start my next new adventure soon, but first, here is a look at what the month of May had in store for me.

Training:

I had another SOLID month of training!! I completed 10 minutes of core strength daily + 3 minutes of meditation daily + I’m still on the green streak in Training Peaks!! I have not missed one workout so far this year…22 weeks and counting!! BOOM!!

BOOM!! I think I grew gills and fins!! This is my fastest ever 100 yard pace!! 🙂
I love spending time on two wheels outside with my fave at my side!! 70+ miles on the most perfect weather day any cyclist could ask for!!
What?! I got to run with my fave!! WAHOO!! I’m so proud of his patience, strength, and focus on getting to the start line of #IMLP this July!!

Swim: 28,725 yards (16.3 miles)
Bike: 357 miles
Run: 83.6 miles
Strength: 10 minutes of core daily + various full body strength
Meditation: 3 minutes daily since January 1
Monthly Totals: 53 hours & 5 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!! I’ve been talking with Coach Kelly about racing two IRONMAN races in one year and she was just as excited for me to give it a go as I am. So, on May 1, I decided to #explore with racing TWO IRONMAN races 10 weeks apart in 2019. I have officially registered for Ironman Lake Placid on July 28 AND Ironman Louisville on October 13. This will be my first ever experience in doing two Ironman races so close together. Am I nervous? Sure! Am I scared? A bit! Am I excited? MOST DEFINITELY! I am ready to push my limits and see what my body + mind can handle.

Ironman Louisville registration is complete! I am ready for another crack at you and hoping for much better weather this year!!

Listening to:

KonaKamps always has me inspired by some amazing peeps!! Megan Anley won Ironman South Africa in the W18-24 age group at her first Ironman. Congrats Megan!!

Rich Roll brought Jesse Thomas to his podcast recently. Jesse is not only an amazing professional triathlete, but he balances his pro triathlon career with a wife, kids, his own business, and fun. He is quite the inspiration and so down to Earth!!

Reading:

Finding my Voice by Mike Reilly is so inspirational!! “Finding My Voice is a series of deeply personal vignettes illuminating how profoundly the sport of IRONMAN touches both its participants and its fans. Written from Reilly’s unique insider’s perspective as the long-time World Championship race announcer and one of the most prominent personalities in the endurance sports field, it  provides an intimate, revealing and entertaining glimpse into a fascinating corner of the world of endurance sports.”

Can’t Hurt Me: Master Your Mind and Defy the Odds by David Goggins is a great read. He overcame so many obstacles in life and eventually became “the only man in history to complete elite training as a Navy SEAL, Army Ranger, and Air Force Tactical Air Controller. He went on to set records in numerous endurance events, inspiring Outside magazine to name him “The Fittest (Real) Man in America.” Through self-discipline, mental toughness, and hard work, Goggins transformed himself from a depressed, overweight young man with no future into a U.S. Armed Forces icon and one of the world’s top endurance athletes.”

Loving:

Our new Sleep Number bed!! While we have only slept in it for 3 nights, it has been three of the best nights’ of sleep in a LONG time!! As we continue to dial in our numbers, I can only imagine that out sleep will continue to improve!!

Basil loves our new bed!!

Leaning into:

My last week of my middle school teaching career. This change feels scary, but right!! I’m super excited to embark on this new career as a Teaching Laboratory Coordinator with the Physics and Astronomy Department at Iowa State University starting next week. After all, stepping outside of your comfort zone is where the magic happens!

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

Attitude of Gratitude:

Chaperoning my last 8th grade dance!!
Morning sunrises are the best way to start the day!!
Playing in the water with my fave!!
Recovering in my Normatec boots while watching the Kentucky Derby!!
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!! 🙂
I love fresh, homegrown veggies!! So grateful to get our garden planted!!
Grateful to get to reconnect with my mat!
Grateful for the time and nice weather to finally landscape around the house!!
Grateful to have these two amazing ladies show up and attend my triathlon clinic!!
So grateful that Shane, our UPS delivery driver, loves our girls!!
So grateful to have had some of the most AMAZING colleagues ever!! I will miss some of our shenanigans!!

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

Work Works!!

Monday morning I had the swim of my life!! I’ve been working so hard for years and all of my hard work is paying off!! Seriously!! For the main set, I had 5×100 ALL OUT EFFORT with 4 minutes of recovery between intervals. The last time I did this swim, my times were 1:31-1:33/100 yards, so my goal was to break 1:30/100 yards for most of them. I didn’t know if it was possible, but I was going to do my best to give it a go!!

After my first 100 yards, I was STOKED!! Not only was I sub 1:30/100 yards, but I was more than a couple of seconds under. BOOM!! Let’s keep this momentum going!! 4 minutes rest and my second one was even faster!! WHAT?! Who am I?! Have I grown gills and fins?! 4 minutes rest and consistency…same time as my 2nd interval. I’m good with that!! 4 minutes rest and BOOM…5 seconds faster than the 1:30/100 yard goal!! WHAT?! I must be in someone else’s body this morning!! 4 minutes rest and let’s do this last one. SOLID!!

My 5×100 yard splits

I am super pleased with this swim. Not because I surpassed my wildest expectations. Not because I had super fast (for me) swim times. Not because I fought hard for every second. Not because I stayed physically strong throughout this swim. Not because I was efficient in the water. Not because I was determined and disciplined during this swim. Not because I was focused mentally throughout this swim.

I am super pleased with this swim BECAUSE I never gave up!! I have been consistently showing up and working SO HARD to get to this point. My first 100 yard time trial effort in January of 2010 was 1:57/100 yards and in reading my notes about that swim, it was SUCH a struggle to achieve. I could have settled with the 1:57/100 yard pace and continued to swim at this *fast* speed for the next 9+ years; instead I decided to work hard and push myself out of my comfort zone to achieve great things. Consistently show up!! Never give up!! Work works!!

Accomplishing this goal has not been a solo endeavor.

  • Thank you to the Iron Hippie for always believing in me, always pushing me to be the best I can be, and being my rock. ❤
  • Thank you to Coach Kelly for believing in me, challenging me, and building a program that has allowed me to get stronger and faster.
  • Thank you to my parents for teaching me to chase my dreams, that hard work pays off, and always supporting me no matter what! ❤
  • Thank you to my Coeur teammates for your motivation, inspiration, support, and encouragement to always strive for the best from myself.

** Special thanks to Steena for the title of this post!!

What’s up?! – April 2019

As I roll into my last month of teaching, before changing careers, it is time to reflect on April. April has brought us some days of warmer weather, had me spending time with my Coeur sisters, crossing the finish line of another 1/2 marathon, and riding outside on the open roads with my fave. With all of these amazing things in the rear view mirror, I have high hopes for the month of May!!

Training:

I had another SOLID month of training!! I completed 10 minutes of core strength daily + I’m still on the green streak in Training Peaks!! I have not missed one workout so far this year…18 weeks and counting!! BOOM!!

14 Ironman finish lines amongst this #swimsquad and more to come in our futures!!
“Growth comes at a point of resistance; we learn by pushing ourselves to the outer reaches of our abilities.” ~Josh Waitzkin
Keep the focus and finish STRONG!! My 7th Drake 1/2 marathon is in the books!! You can read more about it here.

Swim: 38,700 yards (21.99 miles)
Bike: 282 miles
Run: 95.5  miles
Strength: 10 minutes of core daily + various full body strength
Monthly Totals: 54 hours & 40 minutes

#explore:

Explore is my focus word in 2019 and I’m happy to be incorporating it into all areas of my life…including training!! Before each race, I think back to key sessions that better prepared me (both physically and mentally) for the race I’m about to embark on. I even jot these key sessions down so that I know the dates to refer back to in my training log. On April 23, I had a key swim session that gave me the confidence that I can have a stellar PR swim this year! The workout…

Swim 100 at the 3rd fastest pace from the 4 x 100 descending above. Assuming that felt “right” for z3/mod hard type effort this will be your pace.

Swim as many 100’s as you can at this pace with :20 to :25 rest between. If using a tempo trainer, your rest is one beep cycle.

If off by 3 seconds, rest a full minute and try again.

If after 1 minute you cannot hold the pace you are done. Cool down.

Well…my 3rd fastest 100 was 1:38.7/100 yards. Could I really hold 1:39/100 yards for more than 5 intervals?

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

Apparently so! #befierce is the mantra for the Coeur Team in 2019 and it helped me crush my expectations and self doubt during this workout and I know it will help me with many more in the future!!

Tiger Team!! #beatiger

Listening to:

KonaKamps always has me inspired by some amazing peeps!! Keri Houston is an age group champ at Ironman New Zealand 2019. Michelle Enslin is the age group champion for the 50-54 age group at Ironman South Africa 2019 after coming back from surgery. Her gratitude is contagious!

Rich Roll brought Johann Hari on his podcast to talk about addiction and depression. “The opposite of addiction isn’t sobriety. It’s connection.” With the world at our fingertips (quite literally…that phone you’re holding is taking you away from making connections with the people around you, so put it down and make memories with those around you) we can disconnect from those around us just as quickly as we can connect with them by putting the technology away. “If you suffer from addiction or depression, this is a must listen. If you don’t, chances are someone you care for does. This conversation can provide the insight and tools for better understanding the struggle — because mental health truly impacts everyone.”

Reading:

Peak Performance: Elevate your Game, Avoid Burnout, and Thrive with the New Science of Success by Brad Stulberg and Steve Magness is amazing!! It kept me engaged and wanting to read even more!! The authors suggest “optimally alternating between periods of intense work and rest; priming the body and mind for enhanced productivity; and developing and harnessing the power of a self-transcending purpose.” There is so much useful information in here!! It was one that I struggled to put down so I could get adequate sleep each night!!

Leaning into:

Discomfort…I know that when we step outside of our comfort zone and embrace discomfort that we experience growth. As a result, I have been leaning into discomfort more in my personal life and am making huge strides. Discomfort isn’t easy and it takes a lot of work for growth to happen, but the rewards that come from it are definitely worth leaning into and embracing the discomfort.

Attitude of Gratitude:

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 for a strong body to put up some all time records during my most recent FTP test!!
Grateful to have Basil run by my side and the IronHippie back in the saddle!!
Grateful to Normatec Recovery for helping me bounce back from tough workouts so I can nail the next session!!
These two…so grateful for their unconditional love!!
Grateful for some girl time with Robin as we pound the pavement!!
Grateful to Nick with Vitality Massage for keeping me active!!
So grateful to meet up with some of my Coeur sisters!! Pre race hugs are where it’s at!!
3 cheers for 3 Drake 1/2 marathon finishers!! Grateful to cross another finish line!!
So grateful I get to fill my belly with this yummy sushi!! Especially after racing!!
Grateful for freedom on 2 wheels on the open road with my fave!!
Grateful to have a coach who thinks I’m a mermaid…specifically Ariel. 🙂
Mindfulness is a practice. I am so grateful to be practicing this and becoming more aware of my thoughts/emotions as a result!

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