privilege

“Racing is a privilege and nothing is guaranteed. Putting myself in discomfort is a privilege.”

~ME

Cliff Notes Version: I GOT to race Ironman “70.3” Des Moines IN REAL LIFE on Sunday, June 20! 💙💛

  • logistically, things were spread WAY OUT and there was a LOT of walking before and after the race
  • athletes had to park about 1.5 miles from transition area and walk in
  • there was nearly a 3 hour delay from the original start time due to storms (with thunder and lightening)
  • the swim was 1.2 miles, the bike was 27.1 miles, and the run was 13.1 miles (the bike was shortened due to road closure permits not being able to be extended)
  • transition opened at 8:45 am and was spaced out normally (pre-Covid)
  • by 9:00 am they were already walking athletes down to Gray’s Lake
  • the walk from transition to the swim start was about 1 mile
  • the water temp was 78.3 (wetsuit optional…I wore my Roka swimskin)
  • the swim start was self seeded with 3 athletes sent off every 3 seconds
  • the swim was cloudy, but not rainy
  • it was 0.58 miles from the swim exit to T1
  • the roads for the 27.1 mile bike were smooth with rolling bumps (hills)
  • there was one water/aid station on the bike somewhere between mile 15 and 20
  • the run was HOT AF with full sun and SO HUMID after the morning rains…felt like we were running on the surface of the sun
  • there were aid stations on the run nearly every mile with water, gatorade, gels, ice, bananas, cookies, etc.
  • there was a buffet line with burgers, hot dogs, veggie burgers, chips, bananas, and lots of beverage options at the finish
  • there was a 2 mile walk (or shuttles would take masked athletes only…no spectators/volunteers) back to transition to get gear and then another 1.5 mile walk back to the parking lot
Stepping onto the red carpet was a privilege! ⚡️
Photo credit: FinisherPix

Longer Version: I GOT to race my first “70.3” distance race since July 2018.

Saturday night we got notification that the race start would be delayed one hour due to the strong possibility of thunderstorms, so we got to sleep in an extra hour on race morning. Since we live about 40 miles from the race, we stayed at home. Sleeping in your own bed before a big race (and crazy day) is priceless! We were up by 4 am and on the road by 5 am. At about 5:15 am as we were driving south and watching the MAGNIFICENT lightening show, we received notification that we were further delayed, to stay in a sheltered location, and to wait for further updates to come by 7:30 am.

Once we arrived at the parking lot, we listened to music, danced a little (as much as you can in a car), and chilled listening to the rain + thunder as we continued to watch an amazing lightening show. We joked that we haven’t had rain in over month and Mother Nature chose race day to finally bless us with a little rain (not nearly enough to even turn the grass from brown to green, but hey…we’ll take what we can get). As we were waiting in the Volunteer parking lot (the Iron Hippie was kayak support again for this race), a volunteer came by in the pouring rain and gave him a breakfast sandwich. Such a great way to take care of the volunteers.

Here we wait! So grateful for the amazing communication from the race committee as they prioritized safety while trying to get as much of the race in as possible.

We eventually left the parking lot and headed to a gas station to use the restrooms and then decided to park in the athlete parking lot (as it was paved…not gravel…and was a closer walk to transition).

At 7:23 am we received notification that transition would open at 8:45 am and the race would start at 9:30 am for the professional athletes with the age group athletes starting at 9:40 am. The Iron Hippie had to be to the water by 8:00 am, so he headed out shortly after this announcement. I did some last minute fueling and race prep before making my way to transition. I was incredibly conscious of not getting sucked into the mind drama of the surrounding athletes…so much complaining about things out of our control. Hey folks…we GET to race today! Privilege! ⚡️ I put everything inside of the garbage bag so that it would stay mostly dry until I was ready for it at my transition location.

Garbage bags to keep things as dry as possible.

I hit the Kybo one more time, donned my Roka swimskin, and made my way to the swim line up in transition. There was about a one mile walk from transition to the swim start during which time it quit raining. Once we were at the swim start, I used the Kybo one last time and then got in line for the swim start.

Swim: (42:25 for 1.2 miles at 2:12/100 m average pace…58/168 F40-44, 225/828 F, 875/2352 overall)

After the National Anthem, the professional men were off, followed by the professional women 5 minutes later. When the age group athletes started at 9:40 am, athletes were sent off every 3 seconds. I felt strong and confident in the water, passing lots of green swim caps along the way. I didn’t have much congestion in the water, which made me feel good about where I had self seeded. As we made our way around the last swim buoy, the chop on the water was very noticeable! I think the winds had picked up quite a bit. It was great to plant my feet on the ground and make the long trek to Mojo.

I felt strong in the water as I passed lots of green swim caps. Privilege! ⚡️
Photo credit: FinisherPix

T1: (7:06)

T1 was 0.58 miles long…hence the LONG transition time! As I exited the swim, and ran up onto the trail toward transition, I got my swimskin off just below my hips as I was running, stopped quick to strip it all the way off so I didn’t have to run in it, and removed my goggles + swim cap while I continued running to my transition spot. I put on my socks + bike shoes, donned my helmet and clear glasses, threw my run nutrition in my (wrong) pockets, grabbed Mojo, and off we went!

Let’s do this! ⚡️
Photo Credit: Elaina Wild

Bike: (1:21:36 for 27.1 miles at 20.19 mph average speed…46/168 F40-44, 204/828 F, 1065/2352 overall)

The sky was a bit ominous at the start of the bike, but the clouds parted and really heated things up.
Photo credit: Ruth Rickey

After crossing the mount line and getting on Mojo, we cruised our way out of Water Works. The majority of the road surfaces were SO smooth! Shortly after starting the ride, the clouds separated and the sun came out. I wished I would have put my Roka SL-1X sunnies out in transition instead of my clears, but I couldn’t change it, so I went with it. I saw about 5 people riding who had forgotten to take their swimskin all the way off in T1. I also passed a lady on a B cycle bike cruising along. She was killing it!

Enjoying the privilege of racing! ⚡️
Photo Credit: FinisherPix

It was an out and back course that was shortened to 27.1 due to the delayed start and not being able to extend road closure permits. Being an out and back course was a great way to cheer on friends who were also racing. I didn’t look at my power output/speed/cadence at all during this ride. I was so grateful to be racing that I only focused on playing and having fun. As I played chase trying to catch different people in front of me, I kept asking myself if I could go just a little bit harder in that moment. I felt SO strong on this bike ride, which put me in a great mental state heading back into T2.

This was a super fast and fun ride where I really pushed myself! Privilege! ⚡️
Photo credit: FinisherPix

T2: (2:49)

I quickly racked my bike, changed into my Newton running shoes, grabbed my visor + race belt + hand-held water bottle, and exited T2.

Run: (2:11:10 for 13.1 miles at 10:01/mile average pace…45/168 F40-44, 212/828 F, 857/2352 overall)

As I exited T2, I knew I would have to be smart about my pacing and monitor my HR as it was HOT + HUMID…Like running on the surface of the sun HOT!

This run was a 2 loop course. Shortly after leaving Water Works and entering the trails around Gray’s Lake, I saw the Iron Hippie. He had just finished up with swim support and was going to load the kayak onto the car. It was nice to see him as I started the run. After seeing him, I was adjusting my tri top + race belt when I noticed that I didn’t have any of my run nutrition with me. I had put 3 gels in my tri top pocket in T1 before heading out on the bike. (I always take my run nutrition with me on the bike so that I can’t accidentally forget it in T2 when my brain becomes more foggy.) I know not to put my gels in my tri top pockets because they are not snug enough to hold them safely, but for whatever reason I didn’t put them in my tri shorts while in T1 and I lost all of them somewhere out on the bike course without my knowing. So here I am out on the run course with no run nutrition while running on the surface of the sun. Oh…and those Roka sunnies I wished I’d had on the bike, now I was really wishing I’d had them on the run! I knew there was nothing I could do to change the fact that I had no run nutrition nor Roka sunnies, so I let those negative thoughts go and reminded myself that I GET to race today. When I approached the first aid station, I looked to see what was offered so I could problem solve before needing nutrition at mile 3.5/4…bananas…that became my fuel for the rest of the day. Thank you Ironman for providing fuel out on the run course!

Here we go! ⚡️
Photo credit: The Iron Hippie

It was fun to see other athletes and cheer them on. After I turned around the first cone, I saw a Coeur Sports teammate, Michelle, making her way out to the first turn around. “Love you Michelle!” Shortly after mile 2, I saw another one of my Coeur Sports teammates, Jess (also a pro triathlete). She was on her second loop and running for a top 10 finish amongst the pro women. It was great to cheer for her! I continued to race from a place of fun + gratitude and reminded myself that it was a privilege to GET to race today. I took in water at every aid station and sipped from my water bottle throughout the run to stay hydrated. At mile 4 I took in about 3/4 of a banana (that was all I could get down the hatch before having entering the last trash zone). This is where Jess passed me as she was at mile 11. GO JESS GO!

There wasn’t much shade on this run course. As I was climbing up over the bridge by MLK Parkway heading toward downtown, I could feel my HR really climbing. When I looked down at my HR, it was nearing 170 bpm. My goal was to keep my HR between 155-165 for the duration of the run, so I knew I needed to take a quick walking break to let my HR come back down just a bit.

Downtown felt like a sauna, but there were so many cheers downtown from people I knew and strangers I didn’t. What a great distraction from that heat! After turning around the cone downtown to head back out for loop #2, I saw a sign that made me giggle… “Dig deeper than a kid going for boogers.” Thank you random stranger for that boost!

Run felt like we were running on the surface of the sun, so I raced smart and got it done. Privilege! ⚡️
Photo credit: FinisherPix

At about mile 7, I hammered down another 3/4 of a banana to get in the calories. It was shortly after this that I needed to let my HR come down a bit, so I walked and helped a fellow athlete by carrying her water bottle while she adjusted her onesie. I trudged on and eventually saw the Iron Hippie again before briefly walking with another friend on the bridge of Gray’s Lake to encourage and support her for just a minute before continuing on. The second half of the run had more walk breaks, but I kept them short as I reminded myself often that I am here to do my best. I have goals, which I set on purpose and with purpose.

At mile 10, I took in another 3/4 of a banana and continued to mostly run with short walking stints toward the finish. Making the last turn toward the finish chute was the best feeling in the world! I tried to pick up my pace just a bit as I hit the red carpet, but my legs immediately cramped and said, “Nope! We’ll get you across the finish at this pace, but don’t you dare try to go any faster!”

I GOT the privilege of racing and stepping onto that red carpet for the first time in 23 months! ⚡️

Overall: (4:25:05…34/168 F40-44, 156/828 F, 773/2352 overall)

I am incredibly grateful that I had the privilege to race on Sunday! I am super happy with how the day unfolded, the adjustments I made throughout the day to get to that red carpet, and the challenges I overcame to get to this finish line. I have some things to improve on before the next one, but this experience at Ironman “70.3” Des Moines lit a fire under my ass. The fires are burning HOT inside of me for what is to come!

I’m so grateful for races, finish lines, friends, and the privilege we were given on Sunday! ⚡️
Photo credit: The Iron Hippie

Gear: Coeur Sports triathlon shorts, Coeur Sports triathlon tank with shelf bra, Roka X-1 Goggles, Roka Women’s Viper Swimskin, Specialized Transition tri bike, Specialized S-works Evade helmet, Specialized Torch 2.0 Road Shoes, Coeur Sports visor, Newton Kismet running shoes, Orange Mud hand held water bottle

#LFG

“Racing teaches us to challenge ourselves. It teaches us to push beyond where we thought we could go. It helps us to find out what we are made of. This is what we do. This is what it’s all about.”

~PattiSue Plumer

Cliff Notes Version: I GOT to race the Pigman Olympic distance triathlon IN REAL LIFE Sunday, June 6! 💙💛

  • it was hot…the air temp by the end of the race was in the upper 80s with mostly sunny skies and pretty gusty winds
  • the swim start was a self seeded rolling start
  • transition was spaced out normally (pre-Covid)
  • there was no water/aid station on the bike (as is pretty typical for shorter distance triathlons)
  • there were two self-serve aid stations on the run (volunteers were filling cups, but not handing them out)
  • we were given disposable timing chips
  • there was a buffet line with pasta, bread, chips, bananas, and lots of beverage options
  • there was an award ceremony with people getting to stand on “podiums” again
  • there were lots of door prizes that were given away

Longer Version: I GOT to race two weekends in a row! Since racing from a place of fun + gratitude served me so well last week, I opted to race with this same focus for this Oly.

We were able to park right next to the transition area, which was super convenient. I went to packet pick-up (by transition), saw my Coeur sister Sarah, got checked-in, then walked back to the car to get all of the stickers on the bikes, helmets, etc. The Iron Hippie wasn’t racing this event, but instead volunteering as kayak support in the water, so I was on my own to get everything all ready to race.

I got to set up a transition area again! Oh…and how lucky am I that I was right on the end of our transition row?!

As we were setting up our transition area, they made the announcement that the water temp was 70*F so it would be a wetsuit legal swim. After hugging friends I haven’t seen in person since before the pandemic, setting up my transition area, doing the neoprene shimmy in my Roka wetsuit, and taking in a gel, I was ready for a practice swim. The water in this lake was much warmer than last week. It was nice to get a little warm up swim done. While we were at the practice swim, Sarah and I met a new friend…Natasha.

Meeting new friends is THE BEST!! Photo credit: Dave Mable

Swim: (33:34 for 1500 m at 2:14/100 m average pace…3/10 F40-44, 18/53 F, 62/157 overall)

After the National Anthem, I lined up toward the front of the rolling start as I knew that’s where I belonged and wanted to get going to beat as much heat as possible. I entered the water confident and immediately started bilateral breathing (so I didn’t have a panic attack like last week). Making our way to the first turn buoy was DIRECTLY into the sun, so sighting was a real challenge. When I got to the first turn buoy, I saw the Iron Hippie in his kayak, so without altering my swim stroke, I waved as I swam around the buoy. The swim was pretty uneventful for me until I got back toward the swim exit where the sprint triathlon swimmers were REALLY congested, but I just fought my way through all the way to the swim exit.

Swim exit focus! Photo credit: Dave Mable

T1: (2:47…5/10 F40-44, 30/53 F, 83/157 overall)

As I exited the swim, and ran up the beach, I saw our friend Nancy who came out to cheer me on. It was SO nice to see her! I got my wetsuit off just below my hips and removed my goggles + swim cap as I was running to my transition spot so that when I arrived to my bike, I could quickly get my legs out of my wetsuit. I put on my socks + bike shoes, donned my helmet and Roka sunnies, grabbed Mojo, and off we went!

Bike: (1:16:47 for 24.8 miles at 19.4 mph average speed…2/10 F40-44, 8/53 F, 63/157 overall)

After crossing the mount line and getting on Mojo, we cruised our way out of Pleasant Creek State Recreation Area. This course was the opposite of last week with lots of rolling hills, which I LOVE! It was an out and back course that was done twice, so we got to see a lot of other athletes. It was great to cheer on friends who were also racing. I didn’t look at my power output/speed/cadence at all during this ride. I was so grateful to be racing that I only focused on playing and having fun. As I played chase trying to catch different people in front of me, I kept asking myself if I could go just a little bit harder in that moment.

There was a bit of headwind as we headed back toward Pleasant Creek State Recreation Area, but thankfully the bluff blocked a fair amount of it and it was early enough in the morning that the winds weren’t too strong…yet.

T2: (1:19…2/10 F40-44, 6/53 F, 26/157 overall)

I quickly racked my bike, changed into my Newton running shoes, grabbed my visor + race belt + hand-held water bottle, and exited T2.

Run: (54:40 for 6.2 miles at 8:49/mile average pace…3/10 F40-44, 15/53 F, 73/157 overall)

As I exited T2, I knew this run would be a bit different from last week’s race as it was HOT. Thankfully those winds that the bluff blocked on the bike were out in full force on the run, so we had a built in air conditioning of sorts.

Running is a gift. A gift that has gotten me through many lows and brought me many highs. A gift I will continue to give myself for as long as I physically can. A gift that gives way more than it takes. 💙💛 Photo credit: The Iron Hippie

This run was a 3 loop course. It was fun to see other athletes and cheer them on. During the run, I continued to race from a place of fun + gratitude even as the temps climbed. I kept reminding myself to take it easy for the first loop, build in the second loop, and finish strong in the third loop. I took in water at the aid station and sipped from my water bottle throughout the run to stay hydrated. I also consumed one gel at about mile 2 to give me the energy to stay strong to the end.

Home stretch…right after my spill. Photo credit: The Iron Hippie

As I was running into the finish, I tripped over a cone about 100 m from the finish line. Why?! Well…I was looking backward and talking to a friend who was spectating…basically not looking where I was going. I went down hard, but popped right back up and ran into the finish shoot. Thankfully I only ended up with some minor scrapes and bruising, but that little blunder cost me. While I set another new bike split PR for the Oly distance, I missed an overall Oly distance PR by 4 seconds. That spill…yep…more than a 4 second blunder. Oh…and I missed 1st place by 24 seconds. I have been trying to catch Laura (who got 1st place) for years. I am getting much closer and it won’t be long before I’m on that top step. Laura, I’m coming for ya!

SO MUCH JOY for racing again, finish lines, and pushing my limits! Photo credit: Dave Mable

Overall: (2:49:07…2/10 F40-44, 12/53 F, 60/157 overall)

I raced with a focus on fun + gratitude at the Pigman Olympic Distance Triathlon on Sunday and as a result I got to kiss a pig (my 2nd place AG award was a piggy bank). Photo credit: The Iron Hippie

After the awards ceremony, Sarah and I went out to find Natasha who was struggling to support her to the finish line, which was by far one major highlight to my day!

The best parts of race day were hugging Sarah + meeting Natasha and helping her cross the finish line when the day gave her many challenges. She was the true winner of this race! I love this sport! ⚡️💙💛 Photo credit: The Iron Hippie

Gear: Coeur Sports triathlon shorts, Coeur Sports triathlon tank with shelf bra, Roka X-1 Goggles, Roka Women’s Maverick X Wetsuit, Specialized Transition tri bike, Specialized S-works Evade helmet, Specialized Torch 2.0 Road Shoes, Coeur Sports visor, Newton Kismet running shoes, Roka SL-1X sunnies, Orange Mud hand held water bottle

pumped!

“Racing teaches us to challenge ourselves. It teaches us to push beyond where we thought we could go. It helps us to find out what we are made of. This is what we do. This is what it’s all about.”

~PattiSue Plumer

Cliff Notes Version: I GOT to race Tri Clear Lake Olympic distance triathlon IN REAL LIFE Saturday, May 29! 💙💛

  • the start of the race was delayed an hour due to the cold air temps (we were notified of this change on Friday, so we could sleep in an extra hour)
  • the air temp at the race start was about ~40*F with full sun and light winds
  • the swim was cut from 1500 m to 500 m for the Olympic distance race due to the 62F water temps
  • the swim start was a wave start
  • transition was spaced out normally (pre-Covid)
  • there was no water/aid station on the bike (as is pretty typical for shorter distance triathlons)
  • there were two self-serve aid stations on the run (volunteers were filling cups, but not handing them out)
  • volunteers took our timing chips off of us after we crossed the finish line and put medals around our necks
  • there were little insulated bags with deli sandwiches, chips, grapes, and a granola bar for each athlete
  • there were individually wrapped cookies to select from for each athlete
  • there was plenty of beverage options (water, different flavors of soda, and beer)
  • there was an award ceremony with people getting to stand on podiums again
  • there were lots of door prizes that were given away

Longer Version: I was SO freaking pumped because I GOT to cross a start line and a finish line of an IRL triathlon race on Saturday, May 29! We parked about 2 blocks from the transition area, which was super convenient. We walked to packet pick-up (by transition), got checked-in, picked up our timing chips, then walked back to the car to get all of the stickers on the bikes, helmets, etc. As we were walking to the transition area, there were plenty of people talking about the cold temps, but I didn’t let myself get sucked into that mind drama. I always responded with, “At least it isn’t raining, the sun is shining, and the winds are light.” I was just so pumped to get to race!

I’m glad I remember how to set up a transition area after 21 months away from Tri racing!

As we were setting up our transition area, they made the announcement that the water temp was 62*F and that all athletes would be swimming the 500 meter distance. I will admit I was a bit bummed by this as the longer we were in the water, the more time there was for the air temps to rise, but I immediately decided I was here to have fun and race with gratitude, so I let go of the things that were out of my control. After hugging friends I haven’t seen in person since before the pandemic, setting up my transition area, doing the neoprene shimmy in my Roka wetsuit, and taking in a gel, I was ready for a practice swim. Easing my way down the boat ramp (swim exit) and into the water was a bit shocking, but not nearly as shocking as putting my face in the water. Hello brain freeze! I did a few short out and backs before heading over to the start area for the National Anthem and the start of the race.

Getting to see friends, hug, high-five, and race was such a joy!

Swim: (11:36 for 500 m at 2:19/100 m average pace…6/11 F40-44, 27/66 F, 102/193 overall)

I lined up at the front of our swim wave as I knew that’s where I belonged. As we were sent out into the water, I almost forgot to start my Garmin, but remembered at the last second. I was SO PUMPED to be racing, that the first ~100 meters I was swimming while breathing right side only every stroke (which I NEVER do…I’m a bilateral swimmer/breather). This was a HUGE mistake that caused a panic attack in the water. As I was swimming, I figured out what was causing the panic attack (hello…I wasn’t exhaling enough CO2 while breathing every stroke) and immediately corrected my stroke. This made the panic attack go away and made the last ~400 meters MUCH better! I guess taking almost 2 years off from racing made me a bit rusty, but I didn’t even care because I was SO pumped to be racing a triathlon again! As I was swimming those last 400 meters to the swim exit, I did have thoughts that I wished we were doing the full 1500 meters as I was ready and confident. This is a good sign for the coming races.

Getting to race again and squeeze into the Roka wetsuit…oh how I’ve missed doing the neoprene shimmy!

T1: (2:59…4/11 F40-44, 28/66 F, 96/193 overall)

As I exited the swim, the boat ramp was VERY slick with algae growing on it, so I cautiously walked up out of the water. I got my wetsuit off just below my hips and removed my goggles + swim cap as I was running to my transition spot so that when I arrived to my bike, I could quickly get my legs out of my wetsuit. As I was putting on my socks + bike shoes, I debated putting on my long sleeved jersey, but quickly opted to forgo that and only wear my gloves. It was chilly, but NOTHING like Ironman Louisville 2018, so I was confident with this decision. I donned my helmet and Roka sunnies, grabbed Mojo, and off we went!

Bike: (1:17:30 for 24.8 miles at 19.2 mph average speed…2/11 F40-44, 11/66 F, 87/193 overall)

After crossing the mount line and getting on Mojo, we cruised our way out of town (with some turns here and turns there). This course was a relatively flat course, so I just put the hammer down and went. I didn’t look at my power output/speed/cadence at all during this ride. I was so grateful to be racing that I only focused on playing and having fun. As I played chase trying to catch different people in front of me, I kept asking myself if I could go just a little bit harder in that moment.

I did some yo-yoing with another athlete as he was faster on the descents, but I was stronger on the climbs (not that there were many of either these). We did talk a little bit as we yo-yoed with each other. It was fun to encourage other athletes and cheer them on in a race setting again! Racing from a place of gratitude and fun removed all of the pressure, which set me up for success as I cruised into T2.

T2: (1:25…1/11 F40-44, 7/66 F, 44/193 overall)

I quickly racked my bike, changed into my running shoes, grabbed my visor + race belt, and exited T2.

Run: (50:14 for 6.2 miles at 8:06/mile average pace…2/11 F40-44, 12/66 F, 74/193 overall)

As I exited T2, I knew my feet were hitting the pavement because I wasn’t falling over while running, but my feet were SO cold and numb that I couldn’t feel them. I decided not to focus on them, but instead be grateful that I couldn’t feel them…if I was getting blisters (which doesn’t often happen), I couldn’t feel them, so numb feet was a good thing right?! 🤣

This run was 1.5ish miles out and back twice. It was fun to see other athletes and cheer them on. During the run, I continued to race from a place of fun + gratitude. I kept asking myself if I could go just a little bit harder. Since it was still cool, it was perfect for running. At one point, I passed another athlete who asked me what pace I’m trying to keep. I quickly responded with, “I am trying to keep a pace that is fun and full of gratitude.” I honestly didn’t look at my pace or metrics once during my run. This method served me well!

Overall: (2:23:46…1/11 F40-44, 11/66 F, 77/193 overall)

I was SO PUMPED to get to cross a finish line at a triathlon that I was grinning from ear to ear! Oh…and the icing on the cake…I set a new bike split PR and run split PR for the Oly distance! #LFG

1st place AG with a bike split PR + run split PR for the Oly distance! #LFG ⚡️

Gear: Coeur Sports triathlon shorts, Coeur Sports triathlon tank with shelf bra, Roka X-1 Goggles, Roka Women’s Maverick X Wetsuit, Specialized Transition tri bike, Specialized S-works Evade helmet, Specialized Torch 2.0 Road Shoes, Coeur Sports visor, Newton Kismet running shoes, Roka SL-1X sunnies

the best of 2020

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 think we can all agree that 2020 was a VERY UNIQUE year!! I’ve reflected for the last 7 years and now it’s time to reflect on 2020! You can look back at my previous posts if you’d like: the Best of 2013, the Best of 2014, the Best of 2015, the Best of 2016, the Best of 2017, the Best of 2018, and the Best of 2019. Now its time to reminisce my favs from 2020! 🙂

Best race experience?

The Hillbilly Hike 1/2 marathon was my first race in 40 weeks due to the Covid shutdown of so many things this year. I was SO GRATEFUL that I GOT TO race and race safely! You can see my full race report here, which includes all of the Covid precautions that were taken.

Happy heart! Photo credit: the Iron Hippie

Best run?

The Hillbilly Hike 1/2 marathon, while not my best 1/2 marathon finish time, was definitely my best run! After such a long hiatus from racing, I was SO full of gratitude that I was able to race again! This was my best run…possibly ever. It was the first time EVER that I ran the entire 1/2 marathon race without one walk step! So not only am I grateful for the opportunity to race, but I’m incredibly grateful that my body allowed me to push it by running every single step!

This mile is for you! Photo credit: the Iron Hippie

Best bike?

This is SUCH a tough one! I covered over 7000 miles on my bike in 2020 giving me the most bike miles in one year that I have EVER had by over 3500 miles. This provided lots of opportunities for the “best bike” ride. We completed 8 century rides this year. We got to ride in 2 states. We even explored some new roads. All in all, I can’t pick just one ride that was the best this year! Anytime I GOT to ride my bike outside on the open roads with my fav was the best bike ride in that moment…and I’m grateful there were A LOT of them this year!

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!

Best swim?

Since we had a 10 week hiatus from the pool due to the Covid shutdown, the first swim back in the pool in May after being away from the water for 10 weeks was pretty amazing!

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.

Best finish line?

Getting to cross the finish line at the Hillbilly Hike 1/2 Marathon was a dream come true this year with cancellation after cancellation of all things in 2020! It filled my heart with joy in those moments! It gave me hope for the future!

Happy heart! Photo credit: the Iron Hippie

Best training weekend?

Getting away to train in Madison with my fav and Coeur Sports teammates in August was a MUCH needed break from reality! We swam a bit in Lake Monona, ran some, and rode all of the miles! Getting to do what we love somewhere else and with others (safely and outdoors) filled my heart with joy and helped me keep plugging forward in this year of complete uncertainty.

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!

Best moment out of my comfort zone?

I have been out of my comfort zone more than I have been in it this year, so I am not sure I can pick just one moment. When you step out of your comfort zone, this is where learning occurs, where you grow, where the magic happens. I have been learning and growing SO MUCH in 2020!

Best 100 mile bike ride support crew?

We were SO lucky to have two of my amazing Coeur Sports teammates ride a big part of one of our 100 mile rides with us in early July! Wow was it was a HOT + HUMID day, but they didn’t complain (at least not to us)! They were so supportive and encouraged us to keep going for the last stretch when they were done. It was great to have others to ride with!

#smilesformiles with some AMAZING peeps today! Love life on two wheels even more when others join the fun!
#secondcenturyof2020

So fun to get to spend time on two wheels with these two AMAZING peeps! Can’t wait to do this again!

Best new gear?

Coeur Sports fitted run shorts and performance tights. The pockets in both of these are AMAZING! I can hold SO much in each of them. They are even flexible enough for me to carry a water bottle in the pocket if I want. They don’t move or chafe no matter how wet you get. These are a MUST HAVE!!

Best way to stay healthy?

Wear a face covering!

The masked bandit is ready to race.

Best piece of racing advice you received?

“Just be ready to feel rusty.” ~Steena

Best addition?

JERSEY! We are SO blessed to have been chosen to adopt Jersey right before the pandemic initiated shutdown mode. She is so sweet, loves to play, enjoys every moment, is a strong runner, wants to go everywhere we go, and has a key to each of our hearts.

After work, we adopted our new baby girl…meet Jersey! She will be 2 years old in March and holds keys to all of our hearts.

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

Challenging, courageous, uncomfortable…and of course dumpster fire!!

Tell me about your 2020 year!! What are your “bests” from 2020?!

Judgement

I have received comments in the past that felt like I was being judged. I’m sure the comments were meant from a place of good intentions, but my brain interpreted them negatively. I’ve asked myself, “Why am I allowing myself to feel judged? Why do you even care what someone else thinks? Why are you trying to justify how you train to someone else? Why are you trying to justify to others why you do the things you do?” I KNOW that I SHOULD ignore the naysayers. Why is it so hard to do? How is worrying about what others think about me benefiting me? Hello Captain Obvious…IT ISN’T!! Let that sh*t GO!!

There are many successful people out there who self coach and don’t follow the norm. I know what a recommended training plan looks like for the average triathlete, but not everyone is average, so not all triathletes need to (nor should they) train the same. If you do what everyone else does how will you know what you’re truly capable of? If you don’t experiment, how will you know what really lights your soul on fire? How will you know where your limits truly are? How will you know who you truly are? How will you become the best version of yourself?

I am currently wrapping up a 4-week FTP booster on the bike while racing shorter distances (a super sprint triathlon just over a week ago and a 1/2 marathon this coming Saturday). I am not overtraining. I am not skipping recovery. I am not injured. I am healthy. Yes, I am pushing myself to the edge. Yes, I am adding fatigue to my body. Yes, I am testing my limits. BUT I am listening to my body. When it needs rest, I give it rest (hence the 9+ hours of average sleep for the last 7 days). I fuel properly before, during, and after training. I get massages regularly. I do myofascial release (MFR) + yoga. I take care of my body. I can tell I am getting stronger. Not only am I seeing improvements in my stats, but I FEEL stronger. I don’t take my body for granted. I celebrate it!

My journey isn’t going to look like everyone else’s and I wouldn’t want it to. I’m me. I’m not someone else. This is my journey! I’m going to blaze my own trail. I’m going to do it MY way! You may judge me. You may disagree with me. You may choose not to believe in me. That’s totally fine. You haven’t walked in my shoes and experienced life through my lens. This is my life and I GET to do it my way!

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

A look at 2020

2020 is filling up fast and I’m super excited to toe the line at some new + repeat race events, experience some big training weekends with others, and have so much fun as I swim/bike/run + #celebrate EVERYTHING in 2020!

Here is what my 2020 schedule looks like so far:

  1. InCydeman Triathlon – January 19
  2. PBR 1/2 Marathon – February 1
  3. Coeur Camp in California – March 12-16
  4. Drake 1/2 Marathon – April 19
  5. Des Moines Women’s 1/2 Marathon – May 3
  6. Tri Clear Lake – May 30
  7. IRONMAN Des Moines 70.3 – June 21
  8. Madison Training Weekend – July 3-5
  9. Okoboji Triathlon – July 18
  10. IRONMAN Ohio 70.3 – July 26
  11. Okoboji Point to Point Swim – August 1
  12. IRONMAN Mont Tremblant – August 23
  13. Hillbilly Hike 1/2 Marathon – November 7

I have some BIG goals for some of these races, which I’ll share with you in another post (or multiple posts). Ultimately, I plan to #CELEBRATE the highs and lows, the peaks and valleys, the successes and challenges of my journey to each finish line + life! Throughout 2020, I will be focusing on having more fun, more joy, more action, more play, more dancing, more laughter and #CELEBRATE every part of each chapter that I write this year!

The chapters at the end of 2020 have some gaps in it that I know will fill in, but it’s anyone’s guess as to what I’ll fill them in with. We’ll see what I can find to add to the months of September, October, November, and December as the year progresses.

Cheers to a fun 2020!! What does 2020 have in store for you?!

The Best of 2019

I love looking back and thinking about all of the amazing things that I’ve accomplished and all of the challenges I’ve overcome! 2019 was full of opportunities to #explore, challenges to overcome, accomplishments to enjoy, and SO MUCH FUN!! I’ve reflected for the last 6 years and now it’s time to reflect on 2019! You can look back at my previous posts if you’d like: the Best of 2013, the Best of 2014, the Best of 2015, the Best of 2016, the Best of 2017, and the Best of 2018. Now its time to reminisce my faves from 2019! 🙂

Best race experience?

Bluff Creek Triathlon where I competed with my girl, Traci, and had an absolute blast! We started the swim together. I waited for her in T1 and then followed her on the bike (don’t worry…I followed the drafting rules and rode far enough back). We had a mechanical issue on the bike, but we made it back to T2 and headed out on the run. Despite the mechanical, Traci had a PR! It was so much fun to cheer her on and encourage her every stroke and step of the way!

“Smile for the camera, Traci!”
Photo Credit: Dave Mable

Best run?

St. Paddy’s Day 1/2 Marathon in March was SO. MUCH. FUN! Not only was I prepared for it physically and mentally, but I was able to race it and come within 3 minutes of a 1/2 marathon PR. Oh…and did I mention that I walked away with not 1, but 2 medals for that race?!

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

Best bike?

Riding with my fave from Iowa to Minnesota and back to Iowa! I absolutely love this route and the company! Any chance I get, I ride this route from Home Home!

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.

Best swim?

Swimming in Mirror Lake for IRONMAN Lake Placid was my best IM swim to date! Swimming with the underwater cable to sight off of created an exceptional swim experience and allowed me to set an IRONMAN swim PR!! I was super pumped about it too!!

That’s a swim PR! Photo credit: FinisherPix

Best finish line?

IRONMAN Lake Placid! This was a very special finish line! It wasn’t planned for the Iron Hippie and I to finish together, but half way through the bike portion of this race, I made it my mission to catch him and finish with him. It was a long marathon, but we made it to the finish line TOGETHER!

Grateful for this finish line with my Fave by my side! Photo credit: FinisherPix

Best training weekend?

Getting to train in Lake Placid with my fave before IRONMAN Lake Placid! We swam in Mirror Lake multiple times, rode one loop of the bike course, ran a good portion of one loop of the run course, and experienced Lake Placid! OH. SO. MUCH. FUN!!

Swimming in my favorite place makes my heart happy!

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

Wrapping up my last “long” run in Lake Placid on the Ironman Lake Placid run course. So beautiful!!

Best training compass?

Myself! At different times in 2019 I was in the deepest valleys and on top of the highest mountains…I had some really high highs and some really low lows! Listening to my heart and allowing it to guide me in 2019 opened the door to so much more fun, joy, and “get to” experiences! I can’t wait to see where I take myself in 2020!

“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?!

Best moment out of my comfort zone?

The Underpants Run at IRONMAN Lake Placid! This was so much fun, but I was way out of my comfort zone! Who runs in a swimsuit (or underpants) down main street exposing their flaws for all of the world to see?! Apparently a lot of crazy people!!

Having fun running down Main Street Lake Placid

Best enCOEURaging moment?

The inaugural Ames Triathlon! It has been many years in the making, but we FINALLY got the approval for the Ames Triathlon in March of 2019 and within a few months were able to pull off the best race we could have asked for! If you want to experience this race for yourself in 2020, head to Ames in June. We look forward to seeing YOU on June 28!

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!!

Best nutritional find?

Orange Mud double barrel pack for carrying my hydration + nutrition is the best way I’ve found to carry enough nutrition on long runs without having to really plan my route to make sure I get enough hydration on those hot days. I was worried that it might chafe me in various places, but alas…15 miles with ZERO chafing!

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 grateful for this Orange Mud pack to hold all my hydration + nutrition and so much more!

Best new gear?

Coeur Sports running shorts and tights. The pockets in both of these are AMAZING! I can hold SO much in each of them. They are even flexible enough for me to carry a water bottle in the pocket if I want. They don’t move or chafe no matter how wet you get. These are a MUST HAVE!!

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!

Best recovery tool?

Our Sleep Number bed! This has made a world of difference! I sleep so much better and I wake up without back pain. If you aren’t getting good quality sleep, you are compromising your health. I highly recommend the Sleep Number bed. It is definitely worth the investment!

Basil loves our new bed too!!

Best time saver?

The Roomba! I can do one of at least a 1000 other possible things while the Roomba vacuums the house. The dogs aren’t too keen on it when it appears to be chasing them around the house, but they are adjusting to it and try to stay out of its way while it does its thing!

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

Best supportive role?

Heading to IRONMAN Louisville to cheer athletes on instead of racing myself. This was a REALLY TOUGH decision, but it was the right one. The weekend was full of laughter, fun, and friends! It was EXACTLY what I needed to help me figure out what I want from this sport and where I want to go with it in the future!

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

Best way to stay healthy?

Change careers! My mental stress has dropped SUBSTANTIALLY and I am no longer exposed to all of the germs from middle schoolers. Sure I am still exposed to germs at Iowa State University, but I’m not confined to a classroom and I’m not around the students much. Changing careers has been one of the best decisions for my overall health that I could have ever made!

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

Best piece of racing advice you received?

Have fun! I’ve heard this from so many different people, that I can’t pinpoint just one individual to give credit to. If we can’t have fun racing, then why are we doing it?!

Most inspirational athlete?

There are so many that I can’t pick just one! Everyone is on their own, unique journey and I am inspired by them all. 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 friends who did their first triathlon this year. By people who have survived an accident and are still training + racing. By people who fight disease and keep training + racing. By people who challenge themselves and try something new. By people who don’t follow conventional training methods and SMASH their goals out of the park! By people I haven’t met yet and people I see everyday! There are far too many people who inspire me to pick just one!

Best support crew?

Hands down…Dad, Aunt Linda, Cousin Neal, and a dear friend Carol! These four pushed me through during some VERY dark times at Ironman Lake Placid. They were up EARLY on race morning. They cheered, photographed, and spread their love to me and so many 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 all so much! I couldn’t have gotten to this finish line without your unwavering encouragement and support!!

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

Grateful for Carol! Love her to pieces!

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

Explore, strong, courage, brave, fun!!

Tell me about your 2019 year!! What are your “bests” from 2019?!

What’s up?! – November 2019

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

Training:

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

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

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

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

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

#explore:

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

SO SLICK! Photo credit: Kathy Shupe King

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

Listening to:

Here is what I listened to this month:

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

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

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

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

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

Kelsey Abbott brought on:
Andrea Owen
Kate Marolt

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

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

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

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

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

Reading:

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Attitude of Gratitude:

I’m beyond grateful, humbled, blessed, and honored to be a Coeur Sports ambassador for my 6th year! 2020 is going to be amazing!

So grateful for Friday happy hour swims with my fave!

I’m so grateful for a strong body + mind so I can do what I love!

Sunday mornings are for snuggles and Sudoku! Grateful for my snuggle buddy!

Grateful for some recovery yards to loosen up the stiff body after yesterday’s 1/2 marathon!

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

So grateful for warm boots when there is snow on the ground and the windchill is -1*F on my walk into work.

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

Getting the opportunity to run with new ladies at the Coeur Sports women’s run was a fantastic way to start the day! SO grateful!

Looking for a way to make squats (or wall sits if you don’t have suspended straps) more challenging?! Add a dog to the mix! Basil LOVES to help, but sometimes her version of helping creates more of a challenge for me. Grateful for her unconditional love and support!

Grateful for some time with my mat!

Grateful for Nick with Vitality Massage for the recovery time I needed.

Grateful to get to cheer these two on at their swim meet!

So grateful for my Coeur Sports teammate, Triny, and the work she is doing to make roads safer for everyone!

Grateful for time on my mat with Robin by my side!

Grateful for a morning run with my fave!

Grateful for spending time with my SBT suspension trainer and building strength!

Grateful for time to PLAY in the water!

I love sushi! So grateful for this yummy goodness!

So grateful that Mom came down to join us for an evening of joy + entertainment!

Wow! This was a great show! Grateful I got to experience it!

Anytime I get to spend in the water is time that I find calm and peace! So grateful!

Grateful for this girl’s friendship! Morning miles + girl talk are icing on the cake! What a perfect start to the day + week!

“Follow your heart. Life is too short to be sidetracked by the things everyone else wants you to do.” ~Unknown
My heart speaks swim/bike/run! It brings me calm, it brings me joy, it builds self confidence, it often teaches me something new, it breeds discipline, it connects me with others, it forces me to be more courageous, it allows me the freedom to mess up & still end up ok, it provides me an outlet, it makes me stronger – physically and mentally, it fills me with gratitude, and SO much more! What does your heart say?! Do you listen?!

I love digging deep and feeling the accomplishment of overcoming obstacles and achieving something that once seemed impossible! I’m so grateful my body allows me to push it!

So grateful for these peeps (and Basil) to run with before devouring all of the yummy Thanksgiving food!

Friendsgiving! SO grateful for my framily!

So grateful for this framily! I can’t believe how much these two have grown!

Now that Thanksgiving is over, the tree is up. I’m grateful for making all of the 2019 memories (that are documented with medals on our tree) and the bright lights that remind us to always shine bright and give our best in everything we do!

Intention: I get to
It isn’t always easy. Mother Nature threw down some 38-40*F temps, rain, and winds (hello IMLou 2018 weather). She likes to think that she holds the power, BUT SHE’S WRONG! I hold the power when I keep the mental chatter positive!

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

What’s up?! – October 2019

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

Training:

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

Grateful to have my Friday night happy hour swims back in my schedule!

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

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

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

#explore:

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

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

Listening to:

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Reading:

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

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

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

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

Attitude of Gratitude:

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

Grateful to have a treadmill to run on in our basement when the weather is bad.

Grateful for my body to allow me to push it even when I have ALL. OF. THE. EXCUSES. TO. NOT. SHOW. UP!

Grateful to have my CECs done for my personal training certification!

So grateful to have such an amazing running buddy! Basil is my girl and she definitely LOVES to run!

Grateful to see on our calendar that I DON’T have parent teacher conferences this year!

Grateful to have Sound Probiotics boosting my immune health!

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

Intention: Strong
8.5 miles with 4×4 minute Z4 interval paces of:
8:00/mile
7:53/mile
7:41/mile
7:30/mile
.
Grateful to be finding some speed again in these legs!

Surprise!! So grateful to have friends that we can ride our bikes and crash their party!! Miss this girl beyond words now that we aren’t right next door to each other, but she’ll always be one of my “sisters.”

Intention: Courage
The goal was to start off easy + negative split the first 6 miles and run the last mile easy. I would say this was a success!! Grateful to my body for allowing me to push myself + the beautiful weather today!!

Intention: Courage
Grateful to my Courage flower from Fellow Flowers for the constant reminder to be courageous on this run!!

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

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

Grateful to experience IRONMAN Louisville weekend + SO MUCH LAUGHTER with this crew.

Grateful I go to volunteer at registration on Friday morning with this crew.

Grateful I got to turn social media friends into real friends! So awesome to meet Kristen in person!

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

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

So grateful for Nick at Vitality Massage to help keep me active + healthy!

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

I’m so grateful for friends that like to try something new. Glass blowing is so much fun and I got to make a beautiful pumpkin for fall.

Grateful for the guidance and knowledge of a skilled glass blower to help me make my pumpkin.

Grateful that I am FINALLY able to do “knee to nose” during yoga.

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

Grateful that my fave likes to play in the pool post swim!

Grateful for Triny and the #itcouldbeme campaign to help make roads safer for everyone!

Grateful that our girls love to go to the parade and enjoy the socialization.

Grateful for my babies, beautiful fall colors, and fall walks!

So grateful for Nick at Vitality Massage to help keep me active + healthy!

Grateful for fall campfires…even if the fall season was EXTREMELY short this year!

Life is a roller coaster ride full of highs and lows. I’m grateful for good people to help lift me up and run with me when I’m at a low. 6 beautiful fall/early winter miles this am with my faves!

Grateful to connect with my mat and the intention of fear.

Grateful to reconnect with my inner Arial.

Grateful for early morning rides with my fave!

Grateful for some easy miles off the bike to start my day!

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

What’s up?! – September 2019

September was a roller coaster ride. I struggled with wanting to crawl back into my comfort zone vs. continuing my quest to being true to myself. In that quest, I have learned a lot about what I don’t want more than what I do want. As I continue on this quest, I know I will eventually find answers and as long as I stay true to myself, I will have no regrets.

Training:

Training has been so enjoyable lately. I still find myself occasionally fighting off the negative demons, but those times are getting fewer and fewer and I’m so grateful for that! This month had me riding OUTSIDE WITH MY FAVE for 4 rides ranging from 40 to 70 miles EACH. I can’t remember the last time we rode so many miles together over multiple rides in one month! My heart is so happy!

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.

So grateful to have my fave to ride with on this nearly perfect summer day for 60 miles! 🙂

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!

Swim: 10,450 yards (5.94 miles)
Bike: 306 miles
Run: 53.3 miles
Strength: 10 minutes of core daily + some yoga ❤
Meditation: 3 minutes daily since January 1
Monthly Totals: 34 hours & 27 minutes

#explore:

Explore is my focus word in 2019 and I’m happy to be incorporating it into all areas of my life…including following my inner compass. We all have that inner voice that talks to us. Sometimes we listen to it and sometimes we ignore it. Thinking back to those times when I listened to my inner compass, the outcome was almost always amazing and often better than I thought it would be. When I didn’t listen to my inner compass, the outcome was often negative and I regretted my decision to ignore it. In recent weeks, I decided to follow my inner compass and regain control of my life. My training. My physical health. My mental health. Reigniting the fire in my soul. This month I’ve been doing what I want. If I feel like riding bikes, I ride. If I feel like running, I run. If I feel like swimming, I swim. If I feel like doing yoga, I do yoga. If I feel like sitting on the couch and turning into a couch potato…well, I tried not to do too much of that this month, but there was some of it. The freedom to #doitmyway has been a breath of fresh air and one I am SO grateful for! I have been following my inner compass and setting intentions before my workouts centered around play, fun, gratitude, joy, fierce, ease, sunshine, truth, light, appreciation, and being present. What a game changer to reawaken my passion, fire, and soul.

I love getting to ride with my fave!! Life is a roller coaster ride full of ups and downs! I’m so grateful to have my fave by my side! Instead of screaming throughout the ride, he throws his hands in the air and enjoys the ride!

Listening to:

With my new job, I am able to listen to lots of podcasts as I set up and tear down labs. I am finding that I really enjoy this, so if you have any suggestions, please send them my way!

KonaKamps always has me inspired and motivated!! Some of this months faves were:
Safety at Races, Mental Toughness, Debbie Downer
Katie Clayton, Ironman Lake Placid 2019
Matt Cymanski, Ironman Lake Placid 2019
Laurie Keteri-Smith, Ironman Lake Placid 2019

Rich Roll has a lot of great guests on his show. Recently he brought David Epstein onto the show and it was AMAZING!! “You don’t change your identity overnight. You have to start with these little keyhole experiments until something that you think that was just an interest becomes a real passion or a vocation.” ~David Epstein
He brought on Catra Corbett in 2018, but I finally listened to it and WOW!! This woman runs crazy distances…200+ mile races and a 425 mile trail run. After getting arrested for peddling crystal meth, she was scared straight in a jail cell when she hit rock bottom. She left behind meth addiction, disordered eating, and sexual and emotional abuse. Sobriety saved her, but running gave her a completely new life. “Getting out is the first step. You don’t have to become a runner. Just get out and see what the world has to offer.” ~Catra Corbett

Kelsey Abbott brought Cody Byrns on her Find Your Awesome podcast. His life experiences have him living the fullest life possible. “I cannot change what happened to me, but I can change what I do today and make the most of what I do today.” ~Cody Byrns

Ironwomen Podcast has so many amazing women on!
Outside the Comfort Zone with Emily Cocks and Susan Lacke is a great listen! Emily gives her podium picks at Ironman 70.3 World Championships in Nice, France and Susan talks about her experiences that fueled her new book Running Outside the Comfort Zone.
Race with Purpose with Nicole Valentine was heart warming! Nicole’s mission is to create change. “Nicole shares her passion for inspiring women in sport, finding purpose beyond the finish line, and showing others how to use fear as an opportunity for growth.”
Into the Deep End with Julie Moss was so inspiring. This woman was the one who put Ironman racing on the map in 1982 as she crawled across the finish line in Kona. “You have the opportunity to be a Wonder Woman for your own life and you better take it!” ~Julie Moss
Small Bites, Big Goals with Selah Schneiter is SO INSPIRING! She is a 10-year old who is the youngest person to have ever climbed “The Nose” of El Capitan. “How do you eat an elephant? Small bites. Some things are hard and that’s just reality” ~Selah Schnieter

Michael Gervais has brought some amazing people on his Finding Mastery podcast:
Katie Zaferes is the #1 triathlete in the world after recently winning the ITU World Triathlon Series. She is a 2016 Olympian and has her sights set on qualifying for the 2o20 Olympic Games. “Mastery is unattainable, but trying to master it is everything.” ~Katie Zaferes
Meb Keflezighi is the only runner to win the Boston Marathon, the New York City Marathon, and an Olympic medal. He is SO inspirational! “Quitting is not my best.” ~Meb Keflezighi
Javier Gomez is a professional triathlete who has raced and won at so many different distances. While he is currently in peak training for the Ironman World Championship that will take place in Kona, Hawaii on October 13, he is so humble and grounded. “Enjoy life; it is the most important. Enjoy what you do all of the time.” ~Javier Gomez
Bethany Hamilton is a professional surfer who has survived a shark attack. At the age of 13, she was attacked by a 14-foot tiger shark who took her left arm from her. One month after the attack, Bethany returned to the water and within two years she had won her first national title. “Mastery is more about loving what you’re doing, rather than nailing it perfectly or being the best of the best.” ~Bethany Hamilton

Reading:

Stop Saying Your Fine: The No-BS Guide to Getting What You Want” by Mel Robbins was the kick in the pants that I needed to remind myself that life is too short. It is time to stop waiting for my life to change and create the change that I want. “There will always be setbacks, so you must learn how to deal with them. When you hit an obstacle, you shouldn’t be questioning yourself, you should just be figuring out the alternatives. You should be like water. Water doesn’t consider its flow. If something gets in the way, it just moves around the obstacle. You need to adopt the same mentality.” ~Mel Robbins

10 Ways to Make IRONMAN Training Fit Your Lifestyle has some great tips on creating a healthy balance between life and the Ironman lifestyle.

Attitude of Gratitude:

I ABSOLUTELY LOVE riding with my fave at home home by the lake! #happyheart

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.

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

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!

So grateful for the reminder from Steena and Fellow Flowers to live my truth! This has been my focus since Ironman Lake Placid!

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

This brought a HUGE smile to my face throughout the entire ride! It was such a fun + easy ride!

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

A reminder to fill your heart with joy. After meditating, I looked up to see this “heart” shaped screw in our ceiling.

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

So happy to be riding one loop of the Ironman Wisconsin bike loop before the big dance!

The rural Wisconsin views always make my heart happy!

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!

Blessed to run a “Mississippi Mile” with my fave in Madison!

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

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!

So grateful that my fave put this surprise reminder in my lunch pail. He’s a keeper!!

Grateful to have Nick with Vitality Massage work out all the kinks!!

Relishing that “high” from doing it my way! Oh…and LOVIN’ my new Coeur Sports Sorbet kit! SO FUN!

When the intention is set to play and have fun during my swim workout, that is exactly what I do…my swimsuit definitely helps set the intention also!

So grateful to be back in the water after a hiatus.

So grateful for amazing peeps in my life!

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…”

Grateful to be a “model” in the Coeur Sports email that was sent out! Hello Liberty kit…I love you!

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 my Friday night happy hour!!

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

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

Grateful to Robin and Basil for running with me!

Grateful for some yards next to my fave!!

So grateful to reconnect with my mat at the hot yoga studio!! I’ve truly missed this and am so glad to be back!!

How was your month of September?! What were you grateful for last month?! When your inner compass speaks, do you listen?!