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Ironman

Iron-mama Blog – from Ironman to Pregnancy and Back

          

Ironman

Iron(wo)man -> Pregnant at 41! WHOA!

What a roller coaster of emotion the last few months! The highest highs to some pretty low lows. After the high of completing a very challenging FIRST EVER IRONMAN 140.6 in Lake Placid, I had never felt better. I had never been in better shape, been happier with my return to endurance sports and taking them to the next level, my new coach and team, WOW what would 2019 bring!!! 

Then...wham...I'm pregnant!! what did you say, yep I'm pregnant!!

The weeks following Ironman were very confusing for me to say the least. First, I just thought that my post Ironman hangover/depression was just hanging around for an extra long time. I just couldn't find my mojo or get my energy back. Then I found myself spontaneously napping on my home office floor for 20-30 minutes at a time. wait a minute...I started putting 2 and 2 together. I remember this fatigue from 6 years ago. I remember this nausea from 6 years ago. But I can't actually be pregnant? I just finished one of the hardest events of my life! Yep sure enough, after two home tests and a visit to the doctor I was about 7.5 weeks pregnant! almost 41 years old with almost 5 year old twin boys and now another on the way. 

talk about life changing events! I've had to reset my brain a few times over the last several weeks...now months. selfishly I was starting to really like my life again, the boys were getting older, in school, I had been able to return to racing, my job was going well...then the "mom guilt" sets in and I feel horrible for even having these thoughts. Time to reset to understanding that this is truly a blessing and now my #1 goal in life is to raise a healthy baby and take care of myself! Pregnancy at this age can be challenging but I was determined to continue to do the things I love like running, biking, swimming!! the things that my life outside of work and kids is centered around. I wanted to be one of those people who could blog about the 100s of miles I ran while pregnant! Since times had changed since the twins were born, there aren't now heart rate restrictions to follow, its all about perceived exertion. Exercise is encouraged! Yahoo! In my first few months, I was able to place 3rd in my AG at Lobsterman Triathlon (12 weeks), 3rd in my AG in a local 10k and then I rode 60 miles in the King Challenge bike event...everything was going just awesome! 

well, my body had other ideas about how well things were going...enter the exercise restrictions...enter the scary prognosis that my cervix was thinning too early. enter the low lows again. enter the resetting the brain to the #1 goal of growing a healthy baby who stays in the oven until its safe to come out. I spent way too much time with the twins in the NICU, its not worth the trip back there with a preemie. enter coming to terms with weight gain and only walking as my exercise.

but also enter the joy of feeling my baby GIRL kicking and seeing her on the screen growing before my eyes. She is truly an amazing blessing for this family! I'm excited to continue to write about my journey and would love to hear feedback from all of the other badass mommas on this team! 

Dear Hurricane Florence

I am four weeks from my fourth half ironman. I have to say when I first started this journey I was pretty excited, but as I get closer to race day, I have to say I just want to get this whole thing over. Now, for the kicker - my race venue is being hit by a hurricane at the moment. There is a possibility my race can get cancelled; I'm just waiting and seeing. 

If my race gets cancelled I'm not too sure of what I'm going to do. My body is worn and I am tired. I have a lot of aches and pains I'm ignoring that I really need to focus on. After my race I was planning on taking two full weeks off from at least running and probably do something like a Jillian Michael's DVD workout. Heck, I might even take 3 weeks off and do the Shred DVD. 

So far I've been trying to follow my training plan to a tee, but it's been really hard. Between Greg being in busy season and getting promoted, to my child just being a crazy little toddler who still doesn't sleep well - it leaves me drained. Now, I'm really proud of myself for how hard I've been working so don't think I'm all doom and gloom over here. I know I'm a beast and mentally it helps me cope with all the stresses of my life. It's also been a nice break from the work day when I train during lunch. 

So, in a couple of days I'll know the verdict - am I racing or not..... If I'm not, do I make up a race course and just race?! OR do I switch it to another race next year? I guess in a couple of days I'll find out....Let's wait and see.....

Not So Glamorous

The truth is training for a half ironman is hard. You sacrifice a lot. Sometimes you sacrifice weekend plans; sometimes you sacrifice sleep. I mean if it was easy, wouldn't everyone do it?

I'll be the first to tell you that during the training season, I get tired of it all. I get tired of the schedules, the work and the sacrifices. I have a lot on my plate and sometimes the thing that gets sacrificed first is my sleep. There are only so many hours in the day and that is the one thing that has to give. Now, don't get me wrong - once I get on that bike or on the treadmill, I feel alive. Suddenly, everything fades away and I find my inner peace; I absolutely love it.

For the most part I try to train in the morning. I've found a routine that works for me and I'm going to stick to it until the race. However, there are definitly times when my body is just tired and/or I just don't feel like swimming and that's okay. We all go through it. We just go out there and get it done and put those miles in our training log.

Now, it's easy to quit. It's easy to just say I'm not going to do this today. But, let me ask you something.... have you ever gone in to a race unprepared? Because I have and it royally sucks. Half way through the race you literally feel like dying. You either pray for a car to hit you or consider stopping and receiving the notorious DNF next to your name. Let's be honest you're to proud for either so you continue to feel miserable until you collapse past the finish line. You make it but all of that fun you were supposed to have along the way just doesn't happen.

Now, when you train like you're supposed to, racing is fun. You're body is ready for it and welcomes the challenge. It thinks to itself - I've got this - let's see how fast we can go this time. You are placed in an environment where other crazy individuals like yourself are at the exact place at the exact time. It's incredibe. You smile along the way. When you finish - you're damn proud of yourself because you know how much time, effort and drive it took to get to that finish line. And that my friends, is what it is all about. I've got almost one month left until this is all over and a part of me is glad. I'm tired. But, once it's all over I know I'll probably want to do it all over again.  

Birthday Race!

Today was such a fun day! Not only is it my birthday, but it's a day where I got to race with my teammates and assess where I am in my training and rehab.

It's been a couple of weeks since I graduated PT. I had been working with my PT for about two months and had a pretty aggressive treatment plan. Because of my activity level and competitiveness, they were worried I would quickly reinjure myself. The plan was to maintain my current home therapy exercises and focus on centralizing the pain with the Kenzie method. Physical therapy definitely taught me a lot. Not only did it make me realize that I am deficient in certain areas of my body (hips/glutes), it also made me realize how important strength training/core exercises are to our bodies and backs. 

Although I'm not nearly as good as I should be in completing my strength training, I've definitely incorporated a lot of strengthening exercises to my workouts. I've been training hard and even decided to hire a coach (yay Angela) to help get me through my Olympic triathlon as a guide to an athlete that is disabled as well as my half ironman two weeks. Hiring a coach has definitely been a game changer for me. Not only has it forced me to get into the pool a lot more, it's been nice to follow the workouts someone else has scheduled for me. Now, I haven't been able to follow every workout to the tee, but I've tried my best. 

We are now about 2 months away from my half ironman and I really wanted to see how I could perform in an Olympic triathlon. I had my eye on this race for a while because my team: Alex's bike shop would have a huge turnout AND because it was my birthday. I always wanted to do a race on my birthday. 

Two days before the race I brought up the race to my husband again. Because of our schedules I knew it would be hard to figure out the logistics for race day. Our whole house has been sick too so I wasn't sure if health wise we could pull it off. Right before putting my daughter to bed he popped in his head to ask me which distance I wanted to do. I was ecstatic. He would pull it off for me.... and this is why I love him. Yesterday (the day before the race) I spent most of the day freaking out about the bridges I would need to cross and dealing with all the pre-race jitters. 

Getting to the race was pretty easy and surprisingly enough parking was ridiculously easy as well. I love races where I don't have to sweat the small stuff like parking. I set-up all of my equipment in the transition and went to go look for the team. Once I found them all of the jitters came on in full effect. I started pacing back and forth until the start. Right before the start we gave each other pep talks; I was ready. 

The water was PERFECT: calm and warm. I had my typical slow start but was able to get comfortable and actually find a rhythm. Swimming is not my strongest sport and I swear no matter how many time I train, I never get any better. I was able to comfortably get to the finish and carefully out of the water. I ran hard into the transition area and headed off to the bike. 

The bike scared the bejesus out of me. I had to go over one of the biggest bridges in South Florida - FOUR TIMES. I swore I was just going to topple over because of how slow I would be climbing that bridge. As I started my bike I felt extremely confident and told myself the bridge wouldn't be so bad. I slowly climbed it - but hey- I didn't topple over.... It was all good, until I found out I was ON THE WRONG SIDE OF THE COURSE!!! I was able to cut across but I definitely had to slow down and cut in. The rest of the course was uneventful but it made me realize how weak I was in climbing hills LOL. I mean I knew I was, but now, I really know I am. Since I will be on the same course in a couple of weeks for the Olympic tri as a guide, I know I have A LOT of work to do in the climbing and strength training department. I finished the bike with a smile on my face and quickly transitioned to my run. 

The run is what made me the most nervous. This is the point where my back starts giving out. I have been training a lot on HR zones and not so much distance and speed. I was curious on how much my legs and back could take. I knew I had to start off slow and steady because if I went out too fast I would quickly crumble and probably injure myself in the process. As I set out, I was able to hit under 10 minute miles. My true goal was to finish the 10K in under an hour. About halfway through I knew I could keep it up and just focused on breathing and putting one foot in front of the other. At around mile 5 my body started to feel the full effects of the run. I was starting to tingle and felt really fatigued. I kept telling myself to keep running and not to stop. I'm so glad I listened. I couldn't sprint at the finish and that meant I knew I had given it my all. I worked really hard and I was proud of myself. I beat my original goal of 2:30 with a 2:22. Although I placed last in my age group, I knew those girls in front of me trained harder and longer. Begrudgingly I accepted that LOL. 

Overall I'm happy with myself. I know what I need to work on and will talk to my coach about a plan of action. I will also strength train more and stretch better. I'm also happy to get 20 more miles in for our 250 mile bike challenge HAHAHA. Next race up: Escape to Miami. Can't wait to tell you all about my training along the way <3

Colleen Schaible, YOU ARE AN IRONMAN!! Part 2

Continued ...

Run – the town is absolutely electric! Started down the hill and kept saying to myself slow down, slow down.

Colleen Schaible, YOU ARE AN IRONMAN!!

Is it the end of a journey or just the beginning…

Flashback a year ago, when I was introduced to Angela Naeth and I Race Like a Girl at the 2017 Boston Triathlon. It was my first season “back” to triathlon after the birth of my twins in December of 2013. How little did I know this would change my life in so many good ways.

That fall I entered the Red Bull Free Ironman Entry contest. The IRLAG team has sooooo many good monthly challenges and contests but I normally don’t win things so I took a shot figuring the odds were against me. Much to my surprise I WON!

The ultimate reason and goal of entering was to tell my story, we all have them, no story is better than another or more important, just wanted to put it out there about my kids and how important they are to me. I was training for Ironman when I found out I was pregnant (surprise #1) with twins (surprise #2). What I also didn’t know is the twins would come 8 weeks early and that one twin was to be born with a congenital heart defect. This would of course forever change my life. Following their birth, I had to give back and of course I had to regain my health and love for endurance sports. I raised money for Boston Children’s Hospital and ran my first marathon.

Fast forward to 2017. After a few health scares for Chase, things finally seemed to be settling and I yearned to get back on my bike and in the pool. I completed 3 triathlons that year, 1 sprint and 2 Olympic distances. I podiumed in 2 out of 3. FIRE IN THE BELLY! And then I WON and was immediately registered for IRONMAN LAKE PLACID. Holy Crap! What did I just sign up for!

We really started training in earnest in January of 2018. There were highs and lows, calendar juggling, lots of extra babysitting time. There were road races and early season triathlons. Time where I felt I was improving, times I just wanted to sleep and not work out. But in the end, I trusted the plan, did what I could. I was by no means perfect. I would say I missed at least one work out a week due to some unforeseen work or family issue. Training is technically my fourth job after #1 being a MOM, #2 being a wife and #3 being a Sales Director for 7 states.

A few things that 100% need to be stated here…IRONMAN takes a VILLAGE. There is no way I would have been able to even get to the starting line without the 1000% support of my husband and family! First and foremost, they need to be thanked! Next, my IRLAG teammates whom I will forever be friends with! Talk about a KICK ASS group of incredible women! We shared stories, good and bad, shared tips, shared just to share. I would not have gotten through without them!

Now, get me to race week. HOLY MADNESS. Can I tell you if things were going to be hectic and stressful they were? My guess is the rest and recovery needs to happen BEFORE you get to a venue at least with the camp I traveled with. 4.5-year-old twins, in laws and a dog = not a lot of pre-race rest! The entire environment is electric. It is so hard not to get caught up in the atmosphere and stay off your feet. You really have to fight the urge. I took in what I could, tried to eat as much as I could, tried to stay stress free as much as I could.

Race Night Eve: Sleep was NOT my friend. I woke up EVERY hour deathly afraid I would miss my 3:45 a.m. wake up. 4 a.m. and it’s time for my pre-race meal of 2 cups Applesauce, 1 scoop protein powder, 1 banana, 1 botte sports drink. And time to wake the husband up! He drove through the night from Portland/work to be there. Go time, 4:45 we left the house. Transition was absolute madness! People everywhere, body marking and straight to my bike to drop my sports drink bottles and bike computer. Next up to my transition bags to drop my beet juice in T2 bag. Of course, then a porta potty stop and time to head to the beach.

Swim: After a short warm up and watching the national anthem from the water it was time to be herded in to the swim start coral! The cannon went off and my heart jumped! Its go time. I had to push my way up through a sea of wetsuits to get to where I thought was the 1:05/1:10 pace group. Per coach’s instructions I asked everyone around me what their goal time was. Our group was next up! High fives from Mike O’Reilly and in to the water we went. I stayed on the outside of the group to avoid the chaos at the buoy line and I was very happy I did on loop one, 32 minutes and was feeling great until I got in for loop 2. Holy BOXING match. Somehow, I got myself mixed up in a large group of men near the buoy line at the start of my second lap, not a good place to be. After a slight panic, a kayaker motioned me inside the buoys to a clearer swim lane. I did my best to stay smooth and draft a little to conserve some energy. As I made the final turn, I went WAY on the outside, swimming an extra 100 yards or so just to avoid being punched and kicked some more! Overall, with the chaos I came out around 1:09 and felt good about my overall performance!

T1: can we say DEBACLE. First my wetsuit stripper couldn’t get my suit off! I was literally suction cupped in. After fighting with it about 3 minutes it was off to the change tents. Again total chaos! My volunteer couldn’t get my bags up and then my nutrition went all over the floor! Needless to say, coming out with a very high heart rate and 13 minutes later…need some improvement in this arena!!

Bike: This had to be one of the hardest bike legs ever!! As soon as I got out by the ski jumps I could feel the wind and holy wind it was. As we made the turn past the jumps a chipmunk literally almost took out my front tire! A rider came along side me saying “that chipmunk literally almost ended your day” … holy moly. My heart rate was super high at this point, still 170. So, I was trying to calm and bring it down, but you immediately go in to the 5 miles of climbing and then add the wind and rain. Did my best to settle in and overall focused on nutrition and drinking. First out and back and then the descent which was a white knuckle given the conditions. I would say overall on the bike, I had moments where I felt great in aero cruising at like 20-22 mph and then moments where I felt like I was going backwards. I had to pee already around mile 25, I pulled in to a stop, refilled a bottle and off again. the rain continued and then once I hit whiteface I was truly soaked! Stopped again to pee before the climb back in to town, which I LOVED. I was cruising past so many people on the ups…just need to figure out how to go down! Soaked up all I could in town and caught up with Kalyn in special needs area. Loop 2 was even windier! The descent was nuts, pedaling and just trying to stay upright. After that things and people spread out quickly. I pee’d again at the turn around on Hazelton Rd. at mile 90 I had to get some water, LOL. It was delicious. All in, I had 9 bottles, 9 GU gels, 2 Stinger waffles and two pieces of banana on the bike. Coming back in to town was awesome but mentally I was like holy crap I must run a marathon now. I had no idea how my legs were going to react getting off the bike.

T2 – ouch coming off the bike, lol. I stopped and took my shoes off before the long run around the oval to the transition bags. Grabbed my bag, hit the porta potty again! in to the change tent. This time my volunteer was AWESOME. I was still slow, but it seemed much more controlled. Hit the sunscreen station as at this point the sun was out and it was humid! And off to the run course.

Run – the town is absolutely electric! Started down the hill and kept saying to myself slow down, slow down. 

Plagued by Injury

We all hate injuries. We mostly try to work through them because if we don't then it ends up putting a dent in our training plan (and life). 

I've been injured for months and it all started with trying to deadlift. Now, don't get me wrong. I wasn't trying to go all hulk mode and lift a bunch of weight. I was actually trying to work on proper form and was only using the barbell. I searched for a YouTube video on proper form so I could practice 3 sets of 8. Sounds smart, right? WRONG!!!!!!!! I still had improper form which set off a chain of reactions.

A day after the deadlift I knew something was wrong. There was a weird twinge in my back and something just didn't feel quite right. I ignored it and tried to rememdy the pain by cracking my back. Seemed to get me through the day so I wrote off the pain. The next day it started feeling a little bit worse. Tried the same rememdy and felt slightly better but at that point I knew something was pretty wrong. The following day things deteriorated. At one point in the day my leg sort of gave out and I realized I needed to do something that same day.

During the past few days I received a chiropractor's name so I called them the same day and was able to get an appointment that afternoon. When they assessed me and adjusted me - my life got a whole lot better. However, that relief was only temporary. After a couple of weeks of aggressive treatment I knew that seeing a chiropractor wasn't the answer so I tried accupuncture. 

At first accupuncture was great. I felt tingly and relieved, but everything was just temporary. During this whole time I kept up with my training session. I rode bike and ran and even continued on with my Orange Theory classes. Then... the shooting pain down my leg started to happen. That's when I knew something still wasn't right and after a couple of weeks I knew it was time to get serious. See, at some point during my injuries, I usually ask myself whether or not this injury will cause permanent damage. If my answer is yes or maybe, then I decide to get help - ASAP. 

I called the local hospital which has a ton of speciality doctors ( which my insurance covers) and tried to make an appointment for an orthopedic (see - I was thinking it was bone related). However, when I tried to make the appointment, because of the location of the injury they referred me to a neurologist. After seeing the neurologist, and after a series of xrays, he determined that I had a muscle injury due to a weak core and referred me to a physical therapist. 

So, now I am seeing a physical therapist. The first session was pretty enlightening. After a thorough assessment, my PT suspected a herniated disc and weak pelvic/hip abductors. In order to help with my deficiencies (I know- I'm so HR), she put my on an extension program and told me that she is hoping to get me up and running in 6 weeks. Now, her biggest fear isn't my half ironman - it's towing, pulling and pushing a disabled athlete two weeks prior to the half. Yes, sounds a bit insane; however, I knew my training would get me prepared for this huge task and my goal wasn't time but to be the "wheels" for someone who couldn't do the race. There aren't many opportunities where I can work with special athletes, so I wasn't going to miss it. 

I am two weeks into my PT and feel a bit better. I've laid off running which has royally sucked BUT I no longer have the shooting pain. I ran this past weekend for a half a mile and only felt pain when I tried to increase my speed and cadence. I am trying to run a full mile today by walking/running (1:1) and am hoping to do so pain-free. Since I haven't run, I've increased my cycling on Zwift (total game changer program by the way - if you don't know what it is - look it up) and have become a cycling junkie. My next race is July 1 so I want to at least do well on the cycling portion. Until then I will continue to chug along and work on my PT exercises. I'll keep you all updated on my progress. So keep calm and train on!!!!

Wings for Life

Part of my training plan includes setting races for myself to prepare for my A race. These races help me to gauge my progress and identify any deficiencies (and I have a lot of those LOL).

Now, races are stressful no matter what their purpose is. For example, even when I use races as part of my training I still want to be aggressive and kick butt. However, the Wings for Life race was something a little bit different and it helped me get my long run in... with a much faster pace than I would typically run. 

So you may ask yourself what makes Wings for Life different - easy. Wings for Life has no "finish line." There is a chaser car that starts chasing down runners 30 minutes after the start of the race. Every X amount of time the car speeds up a certain amount until the last runner/wheelchair athlete is caught. This race is run all over the world at the exact same time which is so amazing because you can see all of the other athletes all around the country running. It is so fun to watch the night time runners ... now that is dedication. Red Bull is the biggest sponsor of this event. The coolest part of this race isn't the concept, but the fact that the funds for this race 100% benefits individuals with spinal injury. Some of these athletes are at this event and it's incredible to see them... 

I've done this race a couple of times in the past, and last year I had gotten in almost a half marathon. This year I had set the same goal for myself. Now, the catch car seems to have gotten a bit faster because I only got in a little over 8 miles, but I really didn't care. I got in my long run PLUS it was fun. See, I forget to have fun a long the way sometimes. We are so busy training and following a schedule that at times it can become overwhelming... almost dreadful. When we have a strict mindset it is easy to get in to a training rut. I definitely don't want to do that. 

Now my next race is a sprint on July 1 and I am hoping to crush that race and have my best time for the season but we shall see... I hate setting up big goals for myself because I get EXTREMELY disappointed in myself if I don't hit them. However, regardless I am working hard and can't wait to see what I can do. I'm also debating signing up for a pretty big race in September (a month before the half ironman).... This race would be a little bit different. See, I might not be doing the race alone.... but helping someone else finish this race who can't. Now, I won't post details until it's finalized but I threw my name in the hat to be considered. I find out this week if I'm in or not and what my role might be.....

The point is - this race might be epic. Plus, it'll be something completely new and different. Stay tuned.... I'm hoping to post more about this in the next two weeks :) 

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

A Race Director and a Triathlete

The last couple of months I've been working on putting together my first ever 5K as a race director. It's been an insane amount of work from coordinating everything with the race venue to advertising for the race by visiting run clubs every other week. I can't complain though because I've enjoyed getting back out there and meeting new people. However, the day finally arrived and as stressful as it was, it was also one of the most rewarding days I've ever had. All of the work had paid off and the event was a success. We ended up having 197 participants and raised over $700 for The Max Cure Foundation (the charity we were working with). Overall, I was extremely pleased with our end result. Not only pleased but humbled as well as my friends and community came together to help support me.

The following day was my first race back into the triathlon season. I didn't tell too many people I was racing the next day because I wasn't too sure on how I would do. The 5K had taken more time away from training than I would like to admit and I was nervous that I wouldn't be able to have a good race. Not only was I physically tired the day before but I knew mentally I wasn't very prepared either. I had suffered an injury to my lower back two weeks prior to the race and was seeing a chiropractor three times a week. 

Now, there was a girl from work, Ana, who was racing for the very first time that day and it helped me to focus on her and trying to help her get ready for her first ever triathlon event. Once I got to the race site I settled into my race day groove by unloading all of my gear and walking around to clear my head. It was my very first time wearing the tri suit from Alex's Bicycle Pro Shop and I got compliments from my suit right away. My teammates spotted me easily and it was pretty nice hearing them simply say hi to me and yell encouraging words while they were warming up. Being part of a team feels nice, and you don't realize how nice it feels until that moment where they cheer you on. 

Ana and I finally got to the swim start line and it was a little intimidating. The water looked pretty rough and she was already talking about skipping the swim. The race officials ended up cutting the international distance swim course to the sprint distance due to the rough water conditions. As we watched the swimmers go out there we saw a couple of people getting rescued which didn't calm down my anxiety. Then they called my wave; it was do or die - quite literally lol. Once the race started I focused on cutting to the right. I quickly got into my groove and actually felt extremely comfortable in the water, which is funny because I never train for the swim. My last swim was the day of Miami 70.3 in October. Crazy? Yes. I actually enjoyed the swim until I had to get out of the water and the waves continually crashed on my back pushing me back into the water making me swallow in the water and panic a little. I ended up getting out (obviously or I wouldn't be writing you today) with a time of 11:35 - 2 minutes less than the previous year. 

I ran from the water all of the way to my bike and man does that short distance hurt. I remember thinking to myself keep going, keep going, keep going. It's funny how your mental mantras really do work. I found my bike - trusty old Shelly and put on my gear. As I left the transition area and mounted my bike - I told myself out loud to rock and roll. I quickly found my cadence and sank right into my pace. The ride was fun andI hit some areas of pretty strong wind but I managed to maintain a 20 mph pace for over 10 miles. I knew I had done well even though I didn't realize at the time what my actual speed had been on the bike. I went 0.7 mph/average faster than last year.... 

As I came back into the transition area I knew I had been doing well but this was the area I was most nervous about - the run. I had been experiencing a lot of issues running ever since hurting my back. I could feel my hip, back and legs each time I managed to feel good enough to run. The chiro told me I would be fine after I left his office on Friday but now we were about to put my body to the test. I told myself to just hold under a 9 min/mile if I could. As I sunk into a comfortable pace I felt good. I told myself I could do it. I felt fine until halfway through my run. At the halfway point it felt as though my body was starting to shut down. I was feeling pain throughout my legs and my body kept yelling at me to stop. I knew I could keep running though - so I did. As I neared the last mile I knew I could hold strong; I just needed to see the finish line. As I jogged I was passed by someone in my age group. She started pulling ahead and I just let her go. I would learn later I should have pushed myself just a teeny bit more. AS I crossed the finish line I was excited. I ran the entire thing.

I saw one of my teammates and we talked for a bit. I cheered him and a couple of other people on along the way and it was so much fun to see a support crew out there on the course (and holy crap are they good)! We went to go check on our results. I saw the 30-34 year old age group and my heart sank for a second. I didn't see my name and figured I was no where on the top, and then I realized my name was on the previous screen where I had placed 3rd in my age group. I smiled. I worked hard. As I checked out #2's results my smile disappeared. I lost by 2 freaking seconds. I know, I know - you were in pain and worked hard you're thinking AND you're right. However, if I had pushed myself just a little bit more I could have made it. You look back at some of the parts of the race where you may have cruised and thought to yourself "if only". Well, lesson learned. Honestly, I was proud as hell of myself to finish strong AND also to beat my time from last year by about a 1:30 minutes which is pretty good.

Overall I learned some key things during this race. 1 - Your swim start is extremely important. It can set the whole tone of your race. It's good to find your pace and focus in on your swim mechanics/breathing. 2 - Race hard, but know your limits. You're pushing your body to the max so be weary of uncomfortable versus pain; 3 - lean on your team. Being a part of a team is important. It definitely gives you the motivation and encouragement you need for the race. I'm so honored to be part of not only my Iracelikeagirl team but also Alex's Bike Pro Shop team.

 

When a Community Hurts

Last week something tragic happened in our community: Stoneman Douglas High School experienced a mass shooting. There were 17 people who died. The agency I worked for: The Broward Sheriff's Office responded. I couldn't help but cry. 

See, someone knew someone who was affected by this tragedy. Friends called to see if I was okay. They knew the Broward Sheriff's Office responded and some of the people Iknew might be in that building. They were right. I frantcially texted people on my cell phone to make sure they were okay. I knew they wouldn't respond but I didn't care. I just needed to go through the motions. As the news unfolded I was glued to the television just watching what the rest of the world was watching. I felt helpless. I felt vunerable and shaken. The reality sank in. My child would grow up in a world where a school is no longer considered to be safe. A school, a safe zone, was attacked and the lives of these children shattered. The world mourned. Seventeen families were affected. Their loved ones never coming back. It was just too much emotion. It felt like nothing else that I was doing at the moment really mattered. I hugged my daughter so tight that night thinking that in a couple of years I would have to teach her about this ugly world. I fell asleep that night praying.

The next day I woke up to go to work. I knew it was going to be a strange day. News trucks would most likely be outside and people would be coming and out as they were heading/leaving from the active crime scene. I was right. One of the deputies' wives who responded to the scene was still shaken from the day before. He was there, in a classroom, protecting those children. I can't imagine having that much fear that my husband won't come home because of his line of work. It's absolutely heartbreaking. I just hugged her and listened. I didn't know what to do. I just told her to thank her husband for me. Hell, we should thank law enforcement officers and first responders more than we actually do. As I went through my day I felt more and more prouder of my agency and the fact that I worked for them. Barely anyone was in the building that day. Most of them were out on the crime scene or doing something related to the shooting. Still I continued to check up on the people I knew because that's all I knew I could do. 

The next day was a little better. I think what had occurred two days ago had finally sunk in. Everyone had gotten over their shock and numbness and were either angry, mourning or passionate that something needed to change. I returned back to my "happy go lucky" personality and figured I would do what I do best - just try to make the world a little better by being nice, happy and supportive to everyone around me. 

The weekend arrived and there was so much happening in our community: from demonstrations to discussion about issues that should have been discussed a long time ago - it seemed as though everyone in the entire community was talking to one another. Organized events started popping up on social media in memory of some of the people who lost their lives. It was a chance for the community to come together to mourn and remember. It was beautiful. I think as a society we have veered off from being a "community" and instead operate as a single unit/"family" isolating ourselves from the rest of the world. Now a days most people don't know their neighbors. They're so caught up in their day to day that it's hard to make those connections. When out and about it's rare for people to look at one another and say hello or smile, we're so busy looking at our phones instead, completely oblivious to our surroundings. It has to stop. We need to stop and smell the roses. We need to realize that life is way too short to not be in the present. And most importantly, we need to live. 

Although this event will go down in the history books as one of the most tragic events this world has experienced something beautiful has emerged: a community that is stronger than it has ever been before. There are young children who were deeply affected by this that will change this world for the better. They will do more. I just know it. I stand behind them hoping that somehow I will be able to help them.

This past week I actually had a chance to visit the memorial. It was probably one of the most emotional experiences of my life. I had gone to the Run Club less than 2 miles away from the school to talk about my upcoming 5K. Their route passes the highschool and I knew I would finally have a chance to see it for myself. As I made my way towards the school you could see the lights and news crews all around. I could feel my anxiety rising as I ran past it. I felt my feet move faster and faster because that's how I cope with things - I run and I had to run faster at that moment. I turned the corner away from the school and I felt myself slow down for a minute. It was dark and I was unsure of the path so I just let myself get caught up in my own thoughts. I thought things like - how scared must have those kids been? What are they doing right now? As I was lost in my thoughts I saw a sign that read: MAke school safe no guns for kids with flowers surrounding it. I hit the 1.5 mile mark and turned around. As I made my way back towards the school I decided to cross the street to visit the memorial. As I made my way towards the gate I started crying hard. I couldn't comprehend it all. I have never felt my heart hurt so much. At the same time however I felt at peace. I felt as though visiting the memorial is what I needed to start healing. I tried controlling my cries as I made my way back to the route. Once I hit the sidewalk I sprinted so fast. I needed to get it all out and I was trying so hard just by moving my feet as fast as I could. My breathing was heavy and I just cried again. I finally came to a stop light where I had to slow down. I made it a point to calm down and slowly began processing what had just happened. I ran all of the way back just lost in my own thoughts again. 

When I got back to the store I thanked the manager and told him I was really happy I was able to make it out to them. They're holding a memorial run Sunday night I am hoping I might be able to make it. I really want to see the huge turnout they're expecting and I'm hoping my daughter is well enough to participate. Because that's what I do as a runner - I run. I run when I'm happy. I run when I'm sad. I run when I need to figure something out. It's how I live my life and what a beautiful life it has been. 

I know that this blog is supposed to be about my journey to Wilmington 70.3 and this event was just too powerful to not share. Because as much as we talk about the physical part of training we fail to mention a lot of the mental part of training. 

My Story

First and foremost, I would love to thank Red Bull for providing my group, Iracelikeagirl, with this opportunity – a paid entry to an Ironman Event + Red Bull shipments leading up to the event!!!! I just can’t believe I was chosen for this incredible prize!!!! I have to say I was shocked when I was notified because a part of me didn't believe that I would win (I mean I never win prizes haha). But, I'm glad I did - because I think I'm ready to conquer this racing distance again.
So, you might be thinking to yourself, well, what is this girl's story? Here, let me tell you......
I guess you could simply describe me as a mom, wife, employee and athlete.

Becoming a mom has been one of the most important parts of life and has taught me a lot of things about life in general and even about myself as a person. It’s a hard job and you don’t realize how hard it is until you’ve been up with a sick baby all night long only to head into work the next day without really sleeping. My two-year-old daughter is basically a mini-version of myself which means that she NEVER STOPS MOVING, AND as much as I complain, I wouldn’t have it any other way – she’s perfect. And, she’s the reason I’m still participating in triathlons. She watches me train, compete and occasionally become overwhelmed. Through this sport I’m teaching her about hard work, choosing an active lifestyle and that sometimes life can just be hard. I teach her how hard work leads to great results; however, it can also lead you to occasional disappoints – but that’s okay – you just keep working. And more importantly, I teach her that just because you’re a “girl” - it doesn’t mean that you can’t be tough and strong, because you can be.

As a wife, this balancing act is hard. Finding a way to truly appreciate your significant other while being a mom, working and training can sometimes become forgotten. Have I had those moments? Absolutely. However, there are certain moments when I realize how supportive my husband truly is and I can’t help but to appreciate the hell out of him and make a conscious effort to do something nice for him “just because”. Because of him (and my mom), I can train without worrying about my daughter. He’s one of my biggest cheerleaders and knows how important being an athlete is to me. Nothing is truly better than watching him and my daughter on the course. It pushes me harder even when I think I have nothing left.

Being a working mom is something that I’ve come to enjoy. It gives me the adult conversations I crave and helps me to focus on something that ultimately helps the community. I love my job and the people there. They’re basically all my free therapists and have become my second family. I can truly say I enjoy going to work and doing my job.

Lastly, being an athlete has always been an important part of my life. A part of my life that I never wanted to lose once I became a parent. See, it’s easy to have “MOM GUILT” and sacrifice pieces of your life that were important to you because you’re technically away from your child. I struggled with this concept, especially when I first became a mom, but again, my family encouraged me to keep this part of my life – and I’m so glad I did. It helps me become a better mom and let’s me focus on just “me”. What a concept – focusing “on just me.”

So, there you have it folks. A brief summary of my life. I’ll continue to tell you bits and pieces of my life as I blog about my training. As a side note, I’m no stranger to half ironmans. Heck, I thought I was done with them after my last 70.3 this past October. I told myself it was “too hard” to train and compete after being disappointed on my bike time for the race.  But, I recognize I was being a brat and have thought about what race I can aim for next. I even planned my racing schedule for most of the year – leaving the last half of the year open “just in case” I won this challenge. And, I’m so glad I did. So – Wilmington 70.3 – I’m coming for you!

Courage, Confidence and Consistency

Courage, Consistency and Confidence … my mantras for 2018.

cour·age

noun

1.     the ability to do something that frightens one. the choice and willingness to confront pain, danger, uncertainty, or intimidation

synonyms:

bravery, courageousness, pluck, pluckiness, valor, fearlessness, intrepidity, nerve, daring, audacity, boldness, grit, true grit, hardihood, heroism, gallantry; 

con·fi·dence

noun

1.     the feeling or belief that one can rely on someone or something; firm trust.

synonyms:

trust, belief, faith, credence, conviction"

2018 brings with it the CHOICE and WILLINGNESS to confront 140.6 miles at Ironman Lake Placid. Not just about the event but confronting the 6 months of training ahead of me. Being confident I can do it. Being consistent in my training/effort to get me across the finish line. Choice and willingness…no one is holding me to this challenge, this is entirely personal; and, it scares the bejesus out of me!

I’ve been training for a few months now building strength that will get me through this incredible event. When you are in the thick of it you begin to realize that you aren’t just training your body but also training your mind to BELIEVE you can accomplish anything you put your mind/body to! I find this is the place that I get stuck at times, the connection between body and mind. The doubt that enters your brain when you enter in to the 2nd or attempting a 3rd hour on a trainer ride. The 2nd or 3rd workout of the day. The hours spent before the sun comes up and those after the sun is well set and the kids are in bed. In all of these moments of doubt, I remember, on July 22nd, I will hear the words “Colleen Schaible, you are an Ironman”.

I feel very conflicted at times. Who am I? Mom? Director of Sales? Friend? Wife? Athlete? Teammate? Can I truly be all of these? How do you balance it all and be everything to everyone…slightly impossible! For all of the moms out there, the MOM GUILT can sometimes be the biggest deterrent to getting an extra workout in, an extra hour here and there on the weekend. I trust that I'm setting a good example for my boys that hard work and perseverance pay off.  I just have to take it one day at time. Create the schedule, recreate it, and try to nail it all as best as you can knowing that you are giving it your all! And trust in the process, be patient with the progress and thank everyone who is supporting you immensely all along the way. I have to remember I'm blessed to be doing these things, blessed to have this amazing family and network of friends at my side.

One of the biggest additions to my circle of trust and support is my team, coach and mentor. Being a part of I Race Like a Girl has been incredible so far. Triathlon is such an individual pursuit. It’s a very competitive and somewhat intimidating sport, everyone sizing you up when you enter transition to set up your area, pre-checking the participant list and past times, looking at the body marking and fellow age groupers. Being a part of this team for me has shown that Triathlon is so much more than that. I am so in awe on this team that includes women from all walks of life, backgrounds, nationalities, ages, shapes and sizes. Women new to the sport and those who are multi event veterans. This entire community of kick ass women is there to learn from, to lean on for advice, to ask for sanity checks. Our community is incredibly supportive and uplifting! I can't wait until IRLAG takes over the world of triathlon this year! 

COURAGE, CONFIDENCE, CONSITENCY … Ironman Lake Placid I’m coming for you!

Race Report:

January 1st – Winner’s Circle Running Club Hangover Classic 10k

What an incredibly FREEZING race! It was 11 degrees with a windchill of -15! What a way to start the year off right!

Was one of the fastest 10ks I’ve run. 52:49! 9th place in my division – still can’t believe how fast these 40+ year old women are!!

January 20th – Latitude Sports Indoor Triathlon to Benefit Hurricane Relief

So super fun, did the race with several of my friends, some of whom have never been on a spin bike or swam a competitive lap.

Design of the event was to swim as many laps as possible in 15 minutes, bike as many miles on the spin bike as possible in 25 minutes and run as many laps on the indoor track as possible in 20 minutes.

I pushed myself which was a great feeling after so much base building over last few months.

I placed 4th out of 48 participants and won 1st in the 40-49 age group.

Traditions, travel, turkeys ... oh and TRAINING!

It's the most wonderful time of the year! In more ways than one you can figure out how much you can truly juggle!

The Big 4-0…the best is yet to come!

This past few weeks have been quite the emotional roller coaster for many reasons...really for one reason, hitting the big 4-0! I always have celebrated birthdays as a chance to turn the page, reflect on the last year, think on things I would change, do better, do different. This year was especially important as I enter in to a new decade, the one I will say is going to be the best yet! 40 is the new 30 after all.

Pumpkinman Olympic!

Ok, so here’s the skinny on Pumpkinman Olympic 2017, South Berwick, ME…

Race Week Jitters

Today marks just under a week until a 7:36 a.m. swim start at the 11th Annual Pumpkinman Triathlon Festival in South Berwick, ME. And the RACE WEEK JITTERS have set in. I can hear the voice in my head starting to question…”did I train enough, what about those workouts I missed” “did I train too much, what about the soreness in my quads”, “what about the weather, oh crap, Hurricane Irma!!”, “what if it’s cold, what if it’s windy, what if it’s hot”, “what should I eat, not eat, drink” and of course I start to obsess over my weather channel app on my phone, start to read too far in to things people are posting on group chat pages…

I get to do an Ironman!

Update from Winner Colleen Schaible of our 2017 iracelikeagirl Red Bull Sponsored Ironman Entry - 

It has been quite an exciting July and August! My first season back to participating in Triathlon and it has certainly been an exciting one. Little did I know that when I was introduced to I Race Like a Girl and Angela Naeth that the next few weeks following would be life changing! So, you want to hear the words “You are an Ironman”! well now I have the chance thanks to Angela and our wonderful sponsor in Red Bull! So begins my journey to Lake Placid  2018.


And then there is the “O Shit” moment when you realize, you are on the journey to 140.6 miles in just over 11 months while juggling your full-time job as a Director of Sales for 7 states and more importantly your family life with 3.5 year old twins! How the heck am I going to do this? I barely have time to brush my teeth some mornings, where am I going to find an extra 15 – 20 hours a week to train? Take it one day at a time, plan ahead, work the plan, find some inspiration…that’s easy, my #twinpower… dig deep and then dig deeper. But we’ll get to that…  But first, let’s finish the 2017 season strong!

Next up, the Pumpkinman Olympic Triathlon in South Berwick, ME. This race is in just over four weeks, it takes place in a beautiful setting with a fresh water swim, rolling bike and run. I haven’t had any formal coaching yet this year, just following some online training plans but given the challenge on the horizon, I thought better to start now with some real training plans! So, enter Angela, training peaks, heart rate, nutrition and a week one plan that included over 100 miles on the bike! Giddy Up!
I feel pretty good about my performance on week one. I did miss one swim, life just got in the way, and lost some daylight on my last ride of the week, but legs and lungs felt strong throughout the week.

My biggest realization is my nutrition practices are pretty basic/terrible and that I need to slow my roll on my training runs! This is where the discipline and planning are really going to be important over the next several months. Train like you race, is the new mantra, so will be working on these nutrition practices over the next few weeks leading in to my last two races.

-More to come @iracelikeagirl @redbull #givesyouwings #twinpower

Race Report
Amesbury Dam Sprint Tri 7.8.17

Beautiful day for a Sprint Tri in my hometown! Overcast morning, lake temp of 72, light winds. It is my first official race this season after taking 4 years off following the birth of our twins, Colton & Chase. Overall nerves were pretty calm as I had a group of amazing women who had trained together for the event there with me! In to the water we went! I found a fast, clear path to swim and given it is the lake I train in, I felt very comfortable in the water. One of my best ½ mile swims in just over 13 minutes and 2nd out of the water in my wave. Transition felt a little frantic, always my worst Tri leg! The bike felt harder than it should given I know the roads like the back of my hand, averaged just over 17mph on a rolling course. Finally, on to the run, this transition never feels easy no matter the distance. My friends were out on course and that made for an awesome last 2 miles. I averaged a 7:20 which is super fast for me! My boys were there to watch me, which made the race really special! I came in 2nd in my age group for the race! What was more fun is I was able to watch 3 of my friends finish who were first timers! We were all together to enjoy a cold brew on the beach afterwards!

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