14 weeks ’til #IMLou – Confidence!!

Last week was full of many opportunities to push the envelop and see where my limits were with different workouts and in varying conditions. My self confidence was challenged many times last week, but each time it was challenged, magic happened. This week put so much confidence in the barn for race day, which I am very excited (and nervous) about!! Self confidence really is a super power!!

Swim: 7093 yards

A BEAUTIFUL day for some #swimlove!!
Jumping into today feet first!!
Doesn’t everyone play in the water after they swim?!?!

Bike: 68.4 miles

So much of myself to explore and learn from!!
1 hour ride between runs on July 4…look at all of that sweat on the ground!!
ALL. THE. FEELS…starting with fear, distrust, disbelief, and doubt in myself and my abilities before starting this brick. I was scared and full of “Can I really do this?” I hopped on my bike and told myself to stay in the moment. Focus on this interval. Don’t give up! Explore your limits! After nailing all of the bike intervals, it was time to see just what I was made of on this run.

Run: 33.7 miles

Running into a new week with some pace work!
Run #1 on July 4 was SOGGY and GROSS, but the first 6 miles were decent!!
Run #2 on July 4 with a dew point of 75* and heat index of 91*F at 9 am when I finished sweating out all of the fluids + electrolytes. The last 7 mile run didn’t go as planned, but I got it done!!
Running into the weekend with my fave by my side!! Today marks 100 days until #IMLou!! So grateful for the nice summer weather during my 10 miles of pace work this morning!!
This is where I turned the fear, distrust, disbelief, and doubt into COURAGE, TRUST, BELIEVE, and CONFIDENCE!! Now I don’t simply BELIEVE I can, I KNOW I can!!

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

The only way to get stronger is to do the work!
Atomic push-ups using the SBT Extreme Suspension trainer!! I LOVE this device!!

Weekly Totals: 15 hours & 1 minute

Quote of the Week:

“Self confidence is a super power. Once you start believing in yourself, magic starts happening.”

Attitude of Gratitude:

The only way to recover…Tart Cherry Juice + Normatec Recovery Boots!!
Sushi FTW!!!
So grateful for summer break and morning walks with my two favorite fur babies!! #thattail
So grateful to have Coach Kelly in my village, helping me get stronger, believing in me (even when I don’t always believe in myself), and guiding my ship through unchartered waters. #trackcatstrong
So grateful for this much needed epsom salt + lavender bubble bath soak post brick workout!!

How was your week? What were you grateful for last week?! How do you put confidence in the barn to tap into on race day?!

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The Flatlander 70.3 – the good, the bad, and the ugly

On Sunday, I was ready to race Ironman Wisconsin 70.3. Mojo was set in transition on Saturday and I was excited to test my endurance and push my limits on race day! I woke up to severe thunderstorms on race morning and a note from Ironman Wisconsin:

So, with no real hurry to get to transition only to stand around in the pouring rain, we opted to sit in the car for a bit at the Alliant Energy Center before boarding a school bus to transition.

Sitting in the car while it POURED buckets outside!!

Once in transition, we set up our gear (trying to find ways to keep it as dry as possible), donned our wetsuits in the mud pit that transition was, and 3 minutes before transition closed made the decision to pull out of the event. We loaded up our gear, trudged through the mud pit, and headed back to the Alliant Energy Center where the car was.

Hmmm…is this a Tough Mudder Triathlon?????

My fave decided to take a quick shower to get all of the mud off of him before getting in the car…

So grateful to have my fave by my side and help make decisions that are right for us…this was the weather on race morning.

Fast forward to Sunday afternoon…

I talked on the phone with Coach Kelly. She really wanted me to test my fitness since I was trained, tapered, and super jazzed to test my endurance. I immediately got excited about the idea of doing a solo 70.3 race! Coach Kelly encouraged me to come up with a name for my event and reminded me to mentally prepare to crush it! She may have also told me not to get a drafting penalty on a solo race! 😉 I came up with the name “Flatlander 70.3” for my event since our terrain in central Iowa is pretty flat compared to most locations and MUCH flatter than the IMWI 70.3 course!!

Fast forward to Tuesday morning…race day!!

Swim: The Good…
I felt the normal “pre-race butterflies” as I ate my breakfast and drank my Karma Kombucha. I set up my run transition in the garage, and headed to the pool where I would begin my Flatlander 70.3 adventure! I set up my bike and transition area inside the gate of the aquatic center, started my RoadID app so people could track my progress, and hopped in the pool at about 6:05 am for 2000 meters (just over the 1.2 mile distance). I felt like I was working hard and swimming at a good clip, but I was burping A LOT!! I never have this problem, so I wasn’t really sure what was going on. My swim ended up not being as fast as I thought or hoped for…41:48 for 2000 meters (1:55/100 yard swim time) + 1st overall 🙂

Race morning!

Bike: The Bad…
I quickly jumped out of the pool, jogged to my transition area (and was asked by the lifeguard not to run in the pool area…LOL…don’t they know I’m racing?!?!), and transitioned to my bike gear. As I exited the pool area, I quickly dropped my swim skin + swim goggles + swim cap in the car before heading out on the bike. It ended up being a bit foggy, which was a good indicator of the humidity levels, but I could still see at least a mile out in front of me, so I wasn’t worried about vehicles being able to see me. As I pulled up to the first stoplight leaving town, I realized that auto pause was set to “stop mode” on my Garmin. As the light changed green and I rolled ahead, I tried to change this while riding, but accidentally pushed the “lap” button putting my data in T2 instead of on the bike. I kept rolling, but stopped the triathlon mode and just set my Garmin to the bike mode and stopped messing with it. I was still burping a bit, so I drank water and pushed on. As I left town and went west, the sun came out, but when I turned around and went back east, the fog was still hanging on. It was weird. About 30 minutes into my ride, I took my first round of nutrition (Salty Balls) and nearly puked. My stomach didn’t want them, but I had no other nutrition with me, so I forced them down (gagging the whole time), drank a lot of water, and kept moving forward. Each time I tried to consume nutrition, I thought I was going to puke…my stomach was not happy, but I knew I needed nutrition to have any chance of finishing the day, so I kept forcing it down little by little every 30 minutes and drinking all the fluids I had. With about 1 hour ride time left, I knew I had to stop at the gas station and refill my water bottles since I was completely out of water. I could feel the temperature + humidity rising and there was no breeze! About 5 miles from home, I had to stop for a train…I think the race director for the Flatlander 70.3 forgot to inform Union Pacific Railroads that there was a race going on…LOL!! 😉 As I was rolling back into town the fog lifted and the sun beat down just in time for me to transition to the run. My bike was not as fast as I’d hoped (and my watts were lower than I’d wanted + expected them to be)…3:18:43 for 57.1 miles (17.2 mph average speed) + 1st overall 🙂

Trying to smile through the discomfort in my gut!

Run: The Ugly…
I quickly put my bike in the garage and transitioned to the run. Basil was barking at me from inside the house…clearly VERY upset that I wasn’t taking her running with me! Within the first few steps of the run, I knew this was going to be a long run. My calves were on the verge of cramping. I knew this meant I needed to drink a LOT more water, so I started downing my handheld water bottle. By mile 2, I was run/walking…the cramping was awful, I was HOT, there wasn’t even a breeze from the fart of a nearby animal, the humidity was 70* (which was on the border between “uncomfortable and tropical” according to our local meteorologist, which I found out when I was done), and there was no one there to encourage me to keep going. I SERIOUSLY considered quitting! I decided to keep run/walking + drinking all the water I had to Moore Park where I would refill my water bottle and then head back home calling it a day. I had made the decision to quit. By mile 3, I was so sweaty that I had sweat squishing out of my shoes with every step I took. At about mile 4, a Spring Green Lawn Care employee saw me hobbling by with my Ironman Wisconsin 70.3 race bib on (I figured I had it from Sunday’s race that I didn’t do and I was racing, so I should wear it). He asked, “Did you race on Sunday?” I told him I opted not to start the race due to the weather, which is why I was doing the distance today instead. He said, “That was a wise decision. That race was one of the stupidest things I’ve done. I couldn’t see the swim buoys because of the chop on the water, the transition was a muddy mess and then when I got to the bike, people were crashing all around me. I just held on during the run trying to get to the finish line.” I said, “Congratulations on finishing!” and ran on. He gave me the motivation to finish the whole 13.1 miles even if it was going to continue to be a run/walk due to the cramping and feeling defeated (as I knew my sub 6 hour goal was gone). I consumed some fruit snacks (which I always use while running for nutrition), but my stomach was still off and I was gagging on them. I forced them down and washed them down with water. I refilled my water bottle at Moore Park, drank the whole thing, then filled it again before going on. I drank the whole bottle again before mile 7. I took in more fruit snacks, refilled my water bottle at a different park, and forged on. I made it home at about mile 10.5, where I consumed more fruit snacks and refilled my water bottle again (using the outside spigot…I knew if I went inside where there was air conditioning + puppy snuggles I’d be done) before heading back to the pool where I’d left the car. It was a struggle and I was very disappointed that I wasn’t going to meet my sub 6 hour goal. At mile 12, I was jogging and sobbing uncontrollably because I was so disappointed in myself. I decided to change the channel and set a new goal for the last 1.1 miles. I had just over 12 minutes to finish the 13.1 miles in under 2 hours and 30 minutes run/walk time (my actual run time was 2:52 something with stopping at the drinking fountains all over town). When I hit the 13.1 miles, I immediately started crying…I was done. I was so happy to be done, but also very disappointed in my performance. I was upset that my stomach wasn’t cooperative. I was crushed. My run time was MUCH slower than I’d hoped for (and much slower than I know I’m capable of)…2:29:45 for 13.1 miles of run/walk (11:26/mile pace) + 1st overall 🙂

I was very happy to be done with the Flatlander 70.3 race!!

Overall I finished in about 7 hours and 10 minutes of total time + 1st overall. Sure, I did what I could and I finished, but no where near how I had hoped. This was THE TOUGHEST RACE I’ve ever done!

Disappointed in my day

After taking some time to think about my race, I have so many take aways and lessons learned!

  1. When my stomach is off (even just burping in the water) take Tums! I had them with me, but didn’t consume any. Don’t know what I was thinking…oh wait…I clearly wasn’t thinking!!
  2. Because of my stomach issues, it is time to start practicing other nutrition options. This isn’t the first time the salty balls have caused some GI distress for me during a race, so I need to start practicing other options.
  3. I am a VERY heavy sweater (not the kind you wear in the dead of winter either)!! My body requires a LOT more salt + water as a result. Don’t skimp on the water/hydration consumption…especially when it is so humid! Drink it all up + take my Base Salt!
  4. Self supported races require a lot of planning to try and get all of the hydration/water you need on your own.
  5. Having no volunteers, spectators, cheer squads, and other athletes on the course is SO HARD!! I’ve had some races in worse racing conditions that I THOUGHT were miserable, but they weren’t compared to this! Having friends, family, and random strangers around you, supporting you, pushing you, encouraging you, and cheering for you makes tough conditions much more bearable!!
  6. My mind is so much stronger than I think it is. I have to believe in myself even more than I already do! I have come a long way in this department over the last 15 years of racing, but I still have a long way to go! I am strong! As a friend said, “NOW you know what you’re made of…pretty amazing ain’t ya!”
  7. My body allowed me to keep pushing it even when my stomach was upset, my legs were cramping, and my mind wanted to quit. Sure I was cramping a bit on the run, but I KNOW I used that as an excuse far more than I should have during this race. I definitely could have run more than I did + I should’ve and could’ve pushed harder than I did in every discipline throughout this race.
  8. I am beyond blessed to have a village full of amazing people who were behind me in this crazy adventure!! Thank you to Coach Kelly for believing in me + pushing me out of my comfort zone to have me complete a solo 70.3!! Thank you to Coeur Sports for making super comfortable apparel even when I saturate it in sweat and for connecting me with such an amazing + supportive team of women!! Thank you to SBR Sports Inc. for keeping me chafe-free (even in all of that sweat) with the use of Skin Slick…or should I say skin saver!! Thank you to my cheer squad for encouraging me to keep going and finish this crazy feat…my fave, Ruth, Robin, Liz, Beth, Sara…your social media posts brought a smile to my face when I was done!! Thank you to Nick at Vitality Massage for working out all of the mess RIGHT after I was done racing!! Thank you to my FAVE!! You are my rock…your unwavering support and encouragement help me achieve the impossible!! I’m so grateful to have you by my side!!
I did a thang! The #flatlander703 was the TOUGHEST race I’ve ever done, but I learned A LOT and got 1st place overall!! Thanks to my fave for the award ceremony and making me feel special!!

18 weeks ’til #IMLou – Race Week Part 1

Last week was RACE WEEEEEEEKKK…well, kind of!!! Ironman Wisconsin 70.3 was today!! My goal was #sub6orbust and you can read more about how I planned to achieve this goal here. Due to the weather, delays, and my safety, I made the decision to pull out of the race before it started (see the picture below of my fave and the crazy weather we had). Coach Kelly is having me do a solo 70.3 “race” on Tuesday and I’m really excited to do so! The #sub6orbust is still alive, but will hopefully be put to rest (unofficially) soon!! This will be a different kind of 70.3, but since I’m trained, tapered and mentally ready, I am going to give it my ALL and am going to crush the 6 hour time barrier!!

Swim: 5329 yards

Swimming away from the school year and into summer break!! #schoolsoutforsummer
Swimming into #imwi703 race weekend with my fave right beside me in the outdoor 50 meter pool!!
Pre-race swim…check!!

Bike: 32.7 miles

Rollin’ into race week ready to test my endurance and push my limits!!
Starting my last official day of school this year off with my fave doing what I love!
Short brick session for #globalrunningday to prepare the legs for #IMWI703 on Sunday!!
Pre-race bike…check!!

Run: 3.79 miles

Short brick session for #globalrunningday to prepare the legs for #IMWI703 on Sunday!!
Pre-race run…check!!

Strength Training: 30 minutes + 10 minutes of core strength/stretching daily

Short morning strength post bike ride on the last official day of school!!

Weekly Totals: 6 hours & 17 minutes 

Quote of the Week:

“Make and be confident in your own decisions.”

Attitude of Gratitude:

So grateful to Nick, with Vitality Massage for getting me race ready!!
Love these girls!! Grateful I got to spend some time with them at the outdoor aquatic center!!
Ha Ha Ha!! My phone still thinks I’m going to work this morning when I started the car…NOPE!! Grateful for summer break!!
I am so grateful to get to push my limits and test my endurance. I will have a race report later this week on my #sub6orbust race today!! (You are going to have to wait a few extra days for this report since I’ll be doing my solo race on Tuesday!!)
Incredibly grateful to live in a neighborhood that comes together to help each other out. Our neighbor’s tree went down during a storm and everyone came together to help clean it up.
Grateful to have Zealios sunscreen protect me during training and racing!
Love my little helper!! Basil helped me put new tires on Mojo for race day!!
Grateful for the squeeze from my Normatec Recovery boots while I blog!
Grateful to be Madison bound with my fave!!
Turning social friends into real friends!! So grateful to meet Beth in person!!
So grateful to stay with my college friend, Chris, and her girl Gracie while in Madison!!
Mojo is racked and ready to race tomorrow.
So grateful I got to meet up with Steena, my Coeur Sports teammate!! Love this pretty, badass lady!!
So grateful to have my fave by my side and help make tough decisions that are right for us…this was the weather on race morning that influenced our decision to pull out of the race.

How was your week? What are you grateful for this week?! 

Ironman Wisconsin 70.3 Race Goals

With Ironman Wisconsin 70.3 just a few days away, I decided to take a page from Becca’s book! With the prompting of Coach Kelly, I have come up with outcome and process goals for each discipline of the race and I’ve decided to share my goals and intentions publicly. Becca said it best, “I find that when I say it out loud, it makes it much harder to hide from your goal.” So here is my over arching goal for Sunday’s race:

I REALLY want to see a sub 6 hour finish time for the 70.3 distance! There I said it out loud! I BELIEVE I can achieve this! As Steena says #sub6orbust!!

Here is how I plan to make it happen:

Swim: 37 minutes (1:45/100 yards average pace)
I did this race in 2016 and had a swim time of 41 minutes on this course – this year the swim is a rolling start format instead of age group, so I can seed myself accordingly.
1. Remain calm, strong, and focused. If I feel like I’m anxious, change the channel in my mind (I didn’t do this at the Kansas City Olympic Distance Triathlon last month) to “long, strong, calm” with each stroke. Mentally speaking these words while swimming has helped me in training overcome different obstacles and I know it can help on race day too.
2. Site every 4-6 strokes to swim a straight line and close to the buoys to keep my distance shorter.

Bike: 3:15:00 or faster (17.2 mph average speed)
In 2016 my bike time was 3:25:14 (16.3 mph average) with about 2500 feet of climbing – this year the bike course is slightly different, but still has 2327 feet of climbing over the 56 miles with some BIG climbs…similar to the IMWI course where you can’t always take your momentum with you.
1. Keep my variability index (VI) as close to 1.00 as possible. With all of the hills this could be a challenge, but I am going to do my very best!
2. Keep my power output solidly in Z3 (152-182 watts) for the duration of the bike. Pick it up after the BIG hill climb on Whalen Road (about mile 47) all the way into transition.
3. Remain focused even on the rough road surfaces. There are parts of this course that have REALLY rough road surfaces. I need to keep my focus and continue to push hard through them instead of slowing my pace as I sometimes do without realizing it until I look back at my data.
4. Don’t get frustrated in the first few miles since a good part of it is on a paved path and very crowded.

Run: sub 2 hour run (9:00 min/mile average pace)
In 2016 my run time was 2:45:36 (12:38 min/mile average pace) on a REALLY HOT DAY where the heat index was +/- 100*F – there is a lot of shade early on with some rolling hills as we run around Lake Monona in some neighborhoods, but during the last 5K, I don’t remember much shade.
1. Keep my HR in the 160s for the first 10 miles.
2. During the last 5K, give it all I have…and leave it all out there in the last mile.

Transitions: sub 4 minute T1 and sub 3 minute T2
I remember a long run from the boat ramp to transition. My 2016 T1 time was 5:29 and my 2016 T2 time was 4:06.
1. Be fluid and efficient! Get and Go!
2. Keep HR in check so I don’t start the bike/run with a really spiked HR.

Overall: sub 6 hour race!!
1. Smile! When I smile I push harder and don’t focus on the “pain” as much. It also makes the “pain” much more enjoyable!!
2. Don’t focus on others…focus on ME! What do I need right now? How am I feeling right now?
3. Mantras!! Self-talk!! Focus!! How bad do you want it?!

If you want to follow me on Sunday, I’m number:

25 weeks ’til #IMLou – #disciplineovermotivation

Last week was all about discipline! Discipline to go workout (even when I didn’t want to), discipline while racing (start off easy, build into race pace, and try to hammer it at the end), discipline to use the data given to me from Inside Tracker. Discipline, discipline, discipline…As Coach Kelly says, “You don’t always have to be motivated, but you do have to be disciplined.” #trackcatstrong

Taking a page from the Andrea’s book #disciplineovermotivation this week! My permanent reminder at work by my desk!

Swim: 5550 yards

“Focus! Focus on this moment! Focus on today! Focus on what can make you better tomorrow!” Today’s focus was FUN! I’m so grateful to SBR Sports, Inc. for taking away the dry, itchy, chlorine saturated skin and helping to keep swimming FUN!!
Getting to the pool took #disciplineovermotivation, but I’m so grateful that I went!

Bike: 42.3 miles

God intervals required a much needed massage afterwards!
As winter continues to surround us, I tapped into warmer days + the Kona sunset with my Coeur Sports Kona kit on this morning’s ride.
An easy ride to spin out the legs mid week! If Ruth can ride 18 miles for each survivor of the OKC bombing, I can ride for an hour! #showup #dothework

Run: 19.7 miles

Hello blue skies and sunshine!! Please stay around!!
Short run with the bubble gum tongue to round out the work week! #runlove #Basillovesrunning
First race of 2018 is in the books! My finish time wasn’t as good as I’d hoped for, but it was better than I expected! #happygirl #mydrakerelays

Strength Training: 10 minutes of core strength daily

Yoga: 30 minutes

Mat time to stretch out the sore legs post race!

Weekly Totals: 9 hours & 57 minutes

Quote of the Week:

“Discipline is the bridge between goals and accomplishment.” ~Jim Rohn

Attitude of Gratitude:

I’m so grateful to have this amazing man by my side in life! Congratulations to all of the Boston Marathon finishers! #bostonstrong
I’m so grateful for my #solesister!
Thank you Nick at Vitality Massage for keeping me healthy and race ready!
Thank you SBR Sports, Inc for removing all the chlorine!! Use code KEPL18 at checkout for 20% off your next order!!
Thank you Sound Probiotics for keeping my gut healthy and helping me recover!
“I love my inflatable pillow Mama” ~Basil
So grateful for Normatec! #recoveryisimportant
When you are unmotivated to workout and your AMAZING husband knows it, so he drew this beauty on our chalkboard wall by my bike to encourage and support me! #imaluckygirl
Traci, we love you! So grateful to have such close friends at work!
Celebrating no more radiation for a colleague overcoming breast cancer. I work with amazing people! #wewearpinkforcheryl
Wahoo!! My Coeur Sports 2018 team kit arrived just in time for race weekend!
More Coeur Sports 2018 team gear!
Sushi for a pre-race lunch…YUMMY!!
We have two very happy girls because spring FINALLY decided to show up!! Yay for long walks in the warmth + sunshine!!

Tips for when you’re unmotivated:

  1. Text, call, email someone who is invested in your journey and will encourage + push you.
  2. Put your feet on the floor and go do the work before your brain thinks about why it doesn’t think you should. JUST SHOW UP!!
  3. Focus on your “Why.” Why do you want to achieve x, y, or z? Write about it! Reconnect with it.
  4. Envision yourself achieving success. How does it make you feel?! Tap into those amazing feelings!
  5. Find the FUN! Remember how much FUN you’ve had doing this before and how much FUN you are going to have in the future.
  6. Listen to your favorite motivating song(s) to pump you up and get you moving in the right direction!
  7. Eat a snack that makes you excited to go do the work! Taste success!
  8. Make the decision ahead of time to do the work. Commit to it and follow through! JUST SHOW UP!
  9. Prepare to celebrate! After you’ve shown up and done the work, CELEBRATE! Throw a dance party, jam out to your favorite song singing at the top of your lungs, do a handstand, indulge in a sweet reward, stand in power pose. Whatever it is, just celebrate!
  10. Sign up for a race! Sometimes this is all the motivation you need to SHOW UP and DO THE WORK!
  11. Order some fun, new gear to motivate you!

How was your week?! What were you grateful for last week?! What tips do you have for staying disciplined when you aren’t motivated?!

What’s Up?! – January 2018

How is the first month of 2018 already in the rearview mirror?! It seems like the start of the new year was just yesterday! Here is a look at what the month had in store for me:

Training:

This month my training was hit or miss thanks to an illness shortly after the start of the year and most recently the inability to turn my head. Thankfully I am back to feeling 100% and am ready to regain consistency in February! I did establish a racing schedule for 2018 that I am SUPER PUMPED about! I’ve let myself fully recover from my 2017 racing season and am SO ready to start rebuilding the engine for a stronger + fun filled 2018!

Celebrating the end of the #batcapchallenge on January 1!
First power test of 2018! Grateful for a healthy body! I’m ready to work hard and rebuild my fitness + surpass 2017!
So grateful to run with my fave + get some fresh air before the freezing temps return!

Swim: 8500 yards
Bike: 127 miles
Run: 24.8 miles
Totals: 20 hours & 53 minutes

Family:

We were so blessed to have our twin nieces (and my sister) come stay with us for a weekend early in January so we could attend their swim meet. The twins convinced the Iron Hippie to make a cake from scratch when they came to visit us. The recipe used was one the twins found on the internet and was a bit dry…it needs some love! We also got to spend some time back home home with family for the Okoboji Winter Games.

The twins are ready for their swim meet!
The cake is done!
Date night! #balance
Me and my fave listening to Damon Dotson!
Snowshoeing adventures with my fam!
Lunch with the twins at their school!
Putting puzzles together with the twins!
Winter wonderland with Dad + my fave!
Catching up with my “baby brother” at home home!

Reading:

My Weight Has Nothing to Do with How Good a Runner I Am by Allie Kieffer is a MUST READ! Wow! Body image plagues society! As an endurance athlete not on the skinny side, I often feel that I should lose weight to perform better…not because I think I am overweight, but because I see + hear what society says about being “skinnier.” I am STRONG! Stronger now than I have ever been…my swim times are dropping, my FTP on the bike is climbing, and my run times have gotten faster during the marathon of my Ironman races. If I were to lose weight, I may perform better, but I may also lose this strength. That is not a risk I am willing to take. It is time for society to change! The negative body image stereotyping MUST go, we need to focus on nutrient dense foods (count the colors not calories people), and we need to be grateful for what our bodies do for us! “As women, we shared more similarities than differences: We are all perseverant, powerful, confident, and healthy. And, dare I say it, strong.” #strongisthenewskinny

2017: A Year of Rediscovering Joy where Amelia shares how she rediscovered joy as she overcame injury. “True joy and true gratitude does not come from the victory – it comes from the pursuit of the achievement.”

The Champion Mindset: An athlete’s Guide to Mental Toughness by Joanna Zeiger is a great read! To race at your best, you have to not only train the body, but also the mind. Zeiger takes you through her “own personal journey from a struggling novice swimmer to Olympian and World Champion.”

Listening to:

The Find Your Awesome Podcast with Olympian Samantha Livingston…WOW!!! I SO connected to what Samantha and Kelsey discussed in this podcast!!! I have SO many perfectionist tendencies that I am trying to shed and leave behind. “Perfection is driven by the fear of what people will think.” I will continue to work to shed these perfectionist tendencies. I don’t want to live in fear of what other people think or what I think that they think!

The Find Your Awesome Podcast with Professional Triathlete Amber Ferreira is a must listen to! Kelsey Abbott interviews Amber and learns more about Amber’s “pro career to date, her love of racing up mountains, her mindset, resiliency and heart. We dig into her current project—recovering from stage 3 adrenal fatigue. Amber Ferreira is a professional triathlete, a physical therapist and a multisport coach. She’s the 2014 Ironman Lake Placid Champion and the two-time US National Snowshoe champion. She’s also a heart-driven, spunky human who loves to dream big and loves to laugh.”

Pumped For:

My 2018 race schedule! I am SO excited to be racing Ironman Wisconsin 70.3, Ironman Ohio 70.3, and Ironman Louisville as my long distance races this year! The Ironman has become my lifestyle! I love the Ironman distance! I love the feels that come with training + racing ALL. DAY. LONG! I love the excitement crossing the Ironman finish line brings so many people! I love the challenges that each new Ironman journey + race brings! I LOVE IRONMAN!

Grateful For:

-My body allowing me to push it to new levels, but also accepting the recovery I give it to perform stronger + better in the future.

-A snow day + a few days with 2 hour delays to start this month at school. I’m not a fan of having to make up the snow days, but it is always nice to have a break from school from time to time. Oh…and the 2 hour delays we don’t have to make up! 🙂

-The most supportive husband ever! I’m so grateful the Iron Hippie is willing to support me on my #IMLou journey! This will be the first Ironman race I participate in with him as sherpa + spectator extraordinaire!

-Dr. Chris Feil with Team Chiropractic for helping me overcome my “whiplash” symptoms from the car accident I was NEVER in. We have no idea how it happened!

-Nick Morton with Vitality Massage for keeping me on the train moving forward thanks to my biweekly massages!

Coach Kelly’s flexibility this month as life threw me a couple of curve balls!

-Being a SBR Sports Inc Ambassador for 2018! I absolutely LOVE the TRISWIM, TRISLIDE and SKINSLICK products to remove chlorine and keep me chafe + blister free during training, racing, and snowshoeing! These products are a dream!

How was your month of January?! What are you pumped up about?! What are you grateful for?!

Ironman Louisville I’m coming for ya!

After Ironman Wisconsin 2011 (my first Ironman), I decided I would NEVER do another Ironman. That was one of the HARDEST things I’d ever done and I wanted to let it rest. I was certain I was one and done! These thoughts lasted about 2 years and then I decided I wanted to have a happier Ironman finish (not necessarily a faster finish time, but finishing in a better physical + medical state). So, in 2013 I signed up for Ironman Wisconsin 2014. I had so much FUN + finished HEALTHY! This is when I realized that Ironman could be a lifestyle for me. I have come to learn that I am better suited to long distance racing. I love testing my body physically + mentally and for me, there is a spiritual component to training and racing. It is one of those things that you have to “experience for yourself.”

Since Ironman Wisconsin 2014 (swim, bike, run race reports), I have raced Ironman Boulder 2015 (race report), Ironman Wisconsin 2016 (race report) and Ironman Mont Tremblant 2017 (race report). After Ironman Mont Tremblant, I thought I wanted to take a break from Ironman training + racing in 2018. I was WRONG! I thought I wanted to focus on getting faster at the shorter distances, including the 70.3 distance. And I do! I am excited to work on this goal in 2018! I want to get substantially faster at the 70.3 distance, but as I’ve sat with this idea for the last 5 months, I’ve come to realize that the Ironman lifestyle + race really makes me happy! I want to be true to myself + follow my heart + dream big + have fun in 2018! For me, that includes an Ironman in 2018! I find so much joy in the pursuit of the Ironman finish line!

So…after lots of thought, conversations with the Iron Hippie and Coach Kelly, I’ve followed my heart and signed up for Ironman Louisville in 2018!

 

There are many people that put Ironman on their “bucket list” and when they cross the finish line, they never do another one. In my opinion, they are missing out. Each finish line is a different journey with different lessons learned. The body and mind get challenged in new and different ways each time. The Ironman lifestyle allows you to experience so much more with each and every Ironman experience. I want to ride this wave and enjoy the Ironman lifestyle as long as my body + mind allow me to!

With that…cheers to another journey to an Ironman finish line with more chasing dreams + following my heart + having FUN in 2018!