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1. Edit it in CMS "SEO Content" Content Area on normal CMS pages.

2. E-commerce categories have it in "SEO ("SEO Content")" section.

3. E-commerce Product is editable in "SEO Data (Content)" section.

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4. Blog list - blog name

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Subtitle

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Archive for April 2018

Iron-mama Blog – from Ironman to Pregnancy and Back

          

Archive for April 2018

How to move forward? How to feel? How I know I can depend on this community, this sisterhood, to be a catalyst for healing…

Simply put, this past week has been complete hell for me and for my family. I believe the only way to start the healing process is to share my experience and thoughts and what a better place to do so than with this amazing group of women.

What started out last Thursday as a trip to Los Angeles for some sun and much needed catching up with good friends turned in to a nightmare. After a series of text messages and phone calls from LA to MD, we made the discovery that my sister had suddenly passed away at her home in Columbia. The following morning after receiving the news that my sister had suddenly passed I did the only thing I knew how, I went for a run. The grief and sadness I was feeling were so overwhelming, I was running through tears but running cause it was something I could control.

I flew over 6000 miles in less than 48 hours to get back to Boston, see my twins, change over my suitcase and then fly down to Baltimore to be with my brother, parents and my sister’s family. She has three children, her two daughters and a son whom I love like they are my own. All I can think about is them not growing up and experiencing their milestones with their mom by their side. Being down there, I immediately go in to stoic/take care of them mode while inside I’m struggling with the dark places your mind will take you.

It’s hard to comprehend that while all of this is happening, the real world continues to go on. While you feel at times you just want to hide, the rest of the world continues. One voice inside says stay in bed, the other voice inside says you need to get up, go to work, hit your workouts. I am a wife, a mother of amazing 4.5 year old twin boys, a Senior Level Manager at my company running 7 states with 7 employees, a friend, a sister to 2 older brothers, an aunt to 3 beautiful nieces and a handsome nephew …. OH and I am training for an Ironman.

How do I find the strength to do all of this while feeling the incredible emptiness, guilt and grief of losing my only sister. The person who was with me every step of the way in life. The person who allowed me to live with her while I was in college, rent free; the only one who visited me when I lived 3000 miles away from everything I knew after college in San Diego; the person who took me to my first concert and many others after that; the person who was my matron of honor; the person who threw me a wedding and baby shower…my only sister was a huge part of my life.

As I’ve been deep in my thoughts and memories the last several days, I have made a few realizations. This is where I link back to this support system I am so fortunate to have. Not only with this amazing IRLAG community, but with my entire network of incredible women (and men) whom I call friends. The last several years of her life, my sister struggled with her health, physical pain, anxiety and depression.

We all have our moments of ups and downs, sometimes the downs feel so low but we many of us have the outlet to raise ourselves up and move on…but for my sister the moving on part wasn’t easy.  

For me, I wasn’t the fastest runner in high school. I wasn’t the fastest swimmer at our community pool. I was middle of the pack always, maybe back of the pack. I struggled with my own depression in college, the feeling of not knowing my identity, who I wanted to be. I moved to San Diego after graduation to do just that…find myself. It was there I started to build this network I now count on; however, I feel it wasn’t until I moved back east and met my husband that I truly began to get a glimpse of who I was to become. He gave me a bike on my 30th birthday and I never looked back. The mediocre runner/swimmer from my childhood was now riding Century rides, sometimes 3 per year and raising money for various charities. I made connections with people who will be lifelong friends through endurance sports. Centuries led to bike racing led to Aqua Bikes led to Triathlons. All along the way more and more amazing people became an important part of my “family”. I had found a community of people who supported each other in ways I had never seen before. I felt connected to something.

And NOW, now I am so fortunate to be a part of the most amazing group of inspiring women! Lifting each other up, sharing our struggles not only racing but in life. Talking about balance and how to get through the day. This community and the sense of belonging and striving to be the best we can be…this is the most amazing thing I could ask for. This makes me a stronger mother and example to my children. To show my children and others that you can push yourself, achieve anything you put your mind to, that you can be the best you can be. All it takes is putting one foot in front of the other even when it feels impossible to do so.

I hope that I can be an example to my sister’s children as they move forward out of the darkness. That’s its ok to ask for help when you need it. That its ok to fail and pick yourself up again. My sister would have wanted this, she asked me not too long ago to take care of them if she was ever unable and I pledge to her that I will.

What I can ask of all of you … if you know someone struggling, tell them it’s ok, tell them you love them that you are there for them. Lift them up. Take them for a run, a swim, a bike, let them talk it out. Be that shoulder. So they too can come out of the darkness and see the light.

We have set up a donation link in my sister’s honor with an incredible charity The Boot Campaign. Not only does this charity donate more than $0.80 on the dollar directly back to those in the most need, but it was founded by 5 incredibly strong women. We feel this is an amazing way to honor my sister’s legacy and provide help to others like her.

https://donate.bootcampaign.org/campaign/in-loving-memory-of-karen-christen-mccoy/c180794

**The Boot Campaign, proudly serves the country by providing life-improving programs for veterans and military families nationwide to bridge the divide between military life and civilian life.

@iracelikeagirl #iracelikeagirl @redbull #givesyouwings @myproteinbiktes #myproteinbites @topoathletic #topoathletic @sciconbags @rideshimano #rideshimano @headsweats @refreshinQ #NeverQuit @zealiosskincare @playtri @vitalproteins #stayvital @commonrootsbrewery #commonrootsbwery #gearsandbeers

Torch Run!

One of the biggest perks of my job (besides having an awesome gym) is being able to be a part of cool philantropic events. One of my favorite events is the Torch Run. The Florida Law Enforcement Torch Run is the largest annual public relations and fund-raising event for Special Olympics Florida. Our agency is one of the biggest participants in this event and does so many things to help raise money for them! Not only do we supply runners to carry the torch, but our SWAT vehicle leads the way and ensures that there is water and Krispy Kreme (yeah, don't ask) for those runners who need it!

Pretty early on in the year I had decided that I wanted to finish the entire course by running/riding in the SWAT vehicle. I knew I wouldn't be able to run the whole course because it was just shy of 30 miles. I wasn't comfortable hopping in and out of the SWAT vehicle so I tried to find a friend to run with! Luckily the friend I found is one of the main guys on the SWAT team and reassured me that I would be good to go the day of the run. Our strategy was to get in about 10-13 miles max. I haven't really put in long miles on my training days so I figured I would take it easy. The pace for the run is about 11 minutes and I figured it wouldn't be too bad. 

I skipped my "long" run on Sunday and opted to get in about 4 miles on the treadmill since it was raining and lightning. However, I still decided to go to Orange Theory in the morning the day before and push myself just a tad. Wednesday morning finally rolled around and I was SO excited. Right before the run I spritz my thighs and other areas with some crotchguard so I wouldn't chaffe. The guys made fun of my but man were they begging for crotchguard by the end of the run LOLOLOL. 

As we get ready to start I spot one of the Hallandale Beach police officers I know who happens to be an avid runner. We get to hug and small talk and that small exchange starts to hype me up.The start sound goes off and the Special Olympic's athletes take off. It is SO SO SO cool to see. They're just so happy to be a part of it and no matter what is going on in the world, at that moment, it doesn't matter.

One of the athletes holds the torch for a little while and then passes it over to one of the other runners I know. Since she was sick, she passed it off to one of the SWAT members. The SWAT team would end up carrying it a majority of the way. As the miles passed by I decided I would get up to 7 miles and then start jumping off and on of the vehicle. See, if you wait too long to rest, then once you hit the wall you are unable to start back up again. I wanted to stop somewhat early and have the ability to still run afterwards. It definitely worked.

After exchanging a lot of banter, I ended up running a littler over 15.5 miles. The other guy I was running with completed 19 miles. I can't wait to see what I can accomplish next year HAHAHA.

Although my heels hurt and my body aches, I am really proud of myself. It's really easy for self-doubt to rear it'sugly head and tell you that you're just not good enough. Well guess what self-doubt, I just crushed 15.5 miles like a boss! HAHA. Since I still am going through acidin my muscle build-up, I got in a 15 minute spin followeed by a .25 mile run. Not too bad, huh?!! Keep the training coming...

Next Stop: Wings for Life!!! 

Recovering from Injuries

Yesterday I had my second race of the season and it was SO MUCH FUN! I raced in the same event last year but had a bit more training under my belt back then. I'm still recovering from injuries and don't feel 100% better but I'm getting there. 

Let's start with my injuries first. A couple of months ago I noticed a pretty persistent pain in the back of my heels. I've had plantar fasciitis before but it felt different this time around. I started with my usual stubbornness and decided to avoid hard impact workouts and instead opted for more cycling workouts or strength training. About two weeks later I tried running again but my heels still hurt pretty badly. I decided that my shoes needed to change and bought some pretty and bright colored new ones. After a couple of days (and a lot more pain) I decided to take a week off from running completely. I am always reluctant to take some time off of training but I was pretty desperate at this point. It really really hurt guys.

After my week long sabbatical from running I laced up my shoelaces only to experience more pain. I cried. Threw a fit. And finally, I admitted to myself I needed to see my podiatrist. I saw him last year but this time around I feared I might be getting stress fractures. I made my appointment and was able to get in a few days later. In his office they x-rated my feet and heard my complaints. The X-rays confirmed what he already thought - heel spurs in both my heels. His remedy - lots of stretching and high heels. My lack of stretching finally came back to bite me in the butt. Since then I've tried to stretch as much as I can (especially throughout the day) but I'm failing miserably and need to do A LOT better. The pain has been subsiding but I have a ways to go until I feel pain free. Luckily I can keep training until then.

My next injury stems from strength training. Specifically, improper dead lift form. See, I had started incorporating strength training into my workouts because I figured it would help improve my overall fitness. Kettlebells and dumbbells were typically my go-to weights but this Christmas I had asked for a barbell for benchpressing, squats and deadlifts. My first stab at trying to deadlift just the bar was pretty painful. I knew I was doing something wrong so I watched videos on how to properly execute a deadlift. Well within my last set I still felt pain and thought to myself I needed much more practice and knowledge before trying to deadlift again. Well, I was wrong. Two days later I felt pain when I was walking and at one point my legs almost gave out. One of my coworkers recommended a chiropractor and so I made my appointment right away.

After explaining to my chiropractor about my issues they took an X-ray of my back. The X-ray showed that my lower vertebrae had turned and it was most likely due to the deadlifting. I was pretty bummed. He was able to adjust me right away though and it definitely made me feel better. He thought it would take 6-8 adjustments to fix me and he was pretty spot on. I still feel some residual pain but I feel so much better than I did a couple of weeks ago.

Now, I still feel some sort of pain from my nerves but I am trying acupuncture to see if that helps. It's been pretty frustrating dealing with all of these issues the last two months; however, all in all I've still been able to train and even race. I am hoping that by my next triathlon I am able to train free but who knows. Until then I am going to commit myself to the following:

  1. Stretching more (this includes throughout the day) - let's try a goal of two times a day. I figure start small and build from there.     
  2. Trying to wear high heels/sneakers instead of being barefoot or wearing flats. Who knew?!?!
  3. Drink more water!!!!!! This helps with muscles and joints. This should be a no-brainer but I'm impressed when I can drink one cup of water a day. Yes, you heard right... One.... Cup.

​So as I start my long recovery back, I am hoping to train smarter and stretch more. This last race I performed well but I am hoping for me. My running is slowly coming back but I would like to break 8 minute/miles by the end of the year. I am a little disappointed in my swim but that's entirely my fault because I don't train in the swim.... at all. I would love to train more but I honestly don't have the time. This week I enter back into my building phase. I am hoping to feel less pain during my workouts and better results. I'll keep you all updated of my progress :D

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