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dreaming big in 2015

 

I’ve been mulling over this post all week, and it’s time to finally talk about my goals for this year!

“Learn from the past, set vivid, detailed goals for the future, and live in the only moment of time over which you have any control: now.”
-Denis Waitley

When thinking about my goals for this year, I couldn’t help but think of what a fantastic year 2014 was. It will be hard to top last year, but I have my eyes set on bigger and better in 2015. I’m a firm believer that if your dreams don’t scare you, they aren’t big enough!

Here are my goals and dreams for the year ahead:

{Get strong & stay injury free} I feel like I said this last year, so maybe I’m just an injury prone triathlete (ugh). But seriously, I am trying to do everything in my power to prevent injuries from happening this year. This won’t be an easy task. I need to stay on top of my own body work and strength training!! The challenge will be keeping up with it once training gets more vigorous.

{Find a career that I love} I am getting close to achieving this goal. Something verrrry exciting is in the works on the job front… I will keep you all posted! Let’s just say… I believe in fate and something big is about to happen.

{Blog better} I can’t wait to see where my blog takes me this year. I have absolutely loved connecting with each and every one of you and have enjoyed blogging so much. I want to work on being a better blogger. Honestly, my goal is to get better at replying to comments and reading all of your lovely blogs. Sorry I’ve been slacking lately… I WILL get better this year:)

{Kona} There I said it. I really said the ‘K’ word. I’d be lying if I said this wasn’t my biggest goal of 2015.. because it is. The thing is, in reality, I’m not that far away either. I raced my first-ever IM last year at IMMT in 11:28:36. They took the top three in my AG to Kona… the 3rd place girl finished 36 minutes ahead of my time (12th place). I know I can’t go off of last year expecting this to happen at this year’s IMMT. I also realize you can NEVER expect Kona going into a race, because you NEVER know who is going to show up that day. When it comes to qualifying, I am HUNGRY… very hungry in fact… The fire is burning inside me and I am determined to get my KQ in 2015!

{Get bike strong} If I want to get to the big Island, improving my bike time will make all the difference. Biking is my weak link when it comes to triathlon and I am very determined to fix this! I realize I’m not a slow cyclist by any means, and I’ve done well in the past thanks to my athleticism and having great endurance. What I need to gain is power and speed on the bike. With the help of a coach, riding with others, and hopefully a power meter… I WILL get there! I need to get comfortable with being uncomfortable on two wheels and not just banking on the fact that ‘I’m a runner.’

{Learn bike mechanics} Speaking of biking… I am horrible with knowing ANYTHING about bike mechanics.  I am REALLLY embarrassed to admit this, but I’m still not confident switching out a flat. Horrible I know…. and risky! I NEED to get better at ALL things bike in 2015!

{Sleep more} I am one of those crazy people who survives just fine off little sleep, and still has tons of energy… The thing is, I know it’s not very good for my training and recovery.  I seriously can never get into bed before 10:00 PM.  During IM training last year I was averaging 5.5-6 hours of sleep a night… not good! I need more Zzz’s this year 🙂

{Be more of a social athlete} This goal will be challenging for me, as an introvert, but I am willing to give it a try! I trained for IMMT last year entirely ALONE. I would love to find local people who are training for triathlons and make new friends. I just joined a new local training team which should help with this! Training with others will be a win-win… making new friends and getting faster in the process!

{Hike more} Although it may seem liked I hiked a lot in 2014, I barely did ANY hiking while training for IMMT.  This year, I am changing up my training to accommodate hikes on weekends in the summer. Hiking is also a fantastic way to train for an Ironman!

Excited to see what the year brings:)

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my new favorite breakfast + a healthy recipe!

I’ve always been one of those people who loves to eat breakfast.  As a triathlete, I also take breakfast very seriously… especially for my recovery post training sessions!

I tend to get stuck in pattern where I eat the same breakfast literally every day for an entire year… then I get so sick of it that I can’t even look at it anymore. A few weeks ago, I was determined to find something different and I think I’ve come up with my new favorite breakfast creation. The great thing is, the recipe can be switched up and doesn’t have to be the same every single day!

This dish is loaded with healthy fats, green veggies and is packed with protein!

I present to you…my new favorite {healthy} breakfast:

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Ingredients:
I don’t really measure my ingredients for this, but this is an estimate for you:)
2 eggs, 1 egg white (cage free organic preferred)
1 large handful organic baby spinach (or kale), chopped
½ cup broccoli florets, steam cooked in advance then chopped
(you can add whatever veggies you like… I’ve also done onions, tomatoes, etc)
½ teaspoon Garlic Powder ( I add even more since I love garlic!)
1 tablespoon Tessemae’s Zesty Ranch Dressing
½ ripe avocado (save the other half for the next day, remember to keep the pit in the avocado to prevent it from going bad)
1 slice Eziekel sprouted grain bread
1 teaspoon hemp seeds (I love Manitoba Harvest Hemp Hearts)

Method:
Steam the broccoli in a small pan, so it’s cooked ahead of time. Heat a large skillet on medium heat then add 1 TBS of Tessemae’s Zesty Ranch to the pan. Once the pan is hot, add your spinach and saute for just a minute until wilted. Once the spinach is wilted, add your eggs + egg white to the pan, garlic powder and the cooked broccoli, mixing everything together. Once the eggs are cooked to your liking, drizzle everything with more Zesty Ranch (you can also add cheese if you eat dairy!). I usually sprinkle a little sea salt and black pepper at the end.

While this is cooking, toast your Ezekiel bread. Then mash ½ avocado in a small bowl with some salt and pepper. I think it’s best when it’s only slightly mashed. Once the avocado is mashed, spread on top of your sprouted toast and sprinkle hemp seeds on top!

*Sidenote: if you like a little ‘heat’ in your breakfast, add some hot sauce to the eggs! I add Tessemae’s Mild hot sauce to my scramble and it takes it to a whole new level*

The veggie scramble goes perfectly with the avocado toast.. trust me on this one!

Enjoy!!

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Turning the page to Ironman #2  

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Over the weekend, my new calendar was hung up on the wall, blank pages ready to be filled with events and races yet to come. Hard to believe a new year is here already, but I’m beyond ready for it! There’s something about a new year that excites me. While I was a tad bit nostalgic about leaving a {stellar} 2014 behind, there is something uplifting about having new pages to turn.

This year the BIG event on my calendar is Ironman Mont-Tremblant, Round TWO. As of this week, I am officially 32 weeks away from my second Ironman in two years. I’m approaching 2015 knowing SO much more than I did just one year ago.  Taking the whole ‘first timer’ element out of a race like an Ironman, is a game changer. This time around I know what to expect, in more ways than one.  This leaves me feeling very confident for the year ahead!

With 2015 in full swing… here’s an update on how I’m doing:

Hooray! My body is cooperating.

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The pesky knee pain I had, has subsided (big time).  After running my stupidly fast 10K on Thanksgiving, I thought my knee was in serious trouble. I honestly didn’t think I would be able to run the Boston Marathon in April. Seeing as it hurt even  just to walk and use the stairs, I was seriously concerned/devastated.  Well, after wallowing in my mistake for a few days, I decided to do something about it.  I went to my chiropractor and got some magical treatment called the ARP done on my quads… this helped BIG time.  I also went to a new physical therapist and got an evaluation and treatment.  The PT came to the conclusion that it’s not my actual knee that’s causing the pain, it’s the weaknesses I have in my hips and glutes.  It’s VERY common to have knee pain as a result of weak hips and glutes. Basically, my hip and glute muscles need to be ‘retrained’ to work when I’m running, so my knee doesn’t take all of the impact.  I have been working diligently at my rehab exercises (think clamshells and band exercises).  While the exercises seemed silly to me at first, I can tell that they are actually working.  I know I need to work on the little things before I start getting into the big things (i.e. plyometrics and high mileage runs). It’s all about building a FOUNDATION now before training really picks up!

Training at the moment looks like…

Swimming

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I have been swimming as much as five times per week.  Weekly swims include the following: Masters Swim practice Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays and working on technique drills on Tuesdays and Thursdays. Last week I logged over 10,000 yards in the pool.  The best part is, I am seeing some SERIOUS improvements in the water.  A few months ago, I would be the last person swimming in our lane at Masters during our sets (typically we have 5-6 people in a lane during practice).  Frustrated with the feeling I was always struggling to keep up, I decided to take action. This is when I took my swim clinic and started working on my technique. Fast forward to now, and I am LEADING sets in the pool. Teammates that used to pass me, I am now in front of by a decent margin.  It’s not just the short sets either… I’m talking 500’s, 400’s and so on… I also swam 100 yards freestyle in 1:19 last week, which is smoking fast for me! I can’t help but feel anything but proud about my progress.  Swimming is started to feel easier and less of a struggle, it’s amazing.  My teammates are even noticing that I’m getting faster and keep telling me how speedy I’m getting. Hard work pays off!

Biking

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Now that the knee has improved substantially, I’m back in the saddle! Currently, I’m riding 3-4 x week at a steady state pace, nothing crazy. While I know I’m not starting from square one, it sort of feels that way.  Thinking back to where I was with my cycling this past summer, I can’t help but feel like I have a long way to go. I look forward to making progress on two wheels!

Cycling has always been the thorn in my side when it comes to triathlon races. When I get beat by girls in my age group 9 times out of 10, it’s because of the bike. I am determined to become a STRONGER and FASTER cyclist in 2015.  I know this is where I am going to make up time in my races and I am determined to see a difference from 2014. With this being said, the goal is to purchase a Power Meter (soon hopefully) and start to train with Power! Up until now, I have only trained with heart rate as the main metric on the bike.  Now it’s time to up the ante and get on the power train:) I know a power meter doesn’t necessarily make you a faster cyclist, but it will help me to push myself beyond my comfort zone with my training sessions.

“Heart-rate monitors, GPS, smartphone training apps and power meters are all there for the taking. But among them power stands out as the ‘future’ best friend for any cyclist that wishes to train to their full potential.”
Read more here

Running

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I’m extremely happy to report that I’m running again! Over the last couple of weeks, I have been going on short, easy runs and there have been no issues. I know the day will come where I will get to run long and hard again, but I need to be patient. I am still planning to run the Boston Marathon on April 20th, but I need to get healthy and strong before it becomes a true reality {fingers crossed!}. Taking care of my body and my knee is what’s most important right now. Once I am back to running pain free and staying pain free with even higher mileage, then I will start to think about April. Until then, I will be focusing on the here and now. This means 30 minute runs a few times week… for at least another week or so.  After that, I’ll ramp up the mileage with hopes that my PT work and strength training has paid off.

And life in general…

Lately I just feel EAGER.  Eager to train hard again and make gains.  I know these things take time and don’t happen overnight, but I am ready for the challenge ahead. I realize that all of my ‘easy pace’ training is going to pay off long term, but it’s really hard to do when you’re in the moment (and eating a lot during the holidays, woof). For now, I’m just going to try and enjoy the extra time that I have, because I know it’s not going to last for too much longer…

“Sometimes things aren’t clear right away. That’s where you need to be patient and persevere and see where things lead.”
~Mary Pierce

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a fresh start

I personally believe New Years is not about making resolutions, it’s about getting a fresh start. There is something exciting about a ‘new year.’  That feeling of being able to start again with new goals and dreams… it’s kind of like pressing a ‘reset’ button.

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While I do have BIG goals and dreams for 2015, I’m not sharing those just yet:) What I am sharing is, my number one goal: to stay HEALTHY and STRONG in 2015! I know no one is invincible, and injuries happen, but my goal is to stay ahead of the game.  I haven’t given an update on my training in a while (soon enough!), but truth be told, my knee is MUCH better than it was one month ago.  I have been given the ‘green light’ to run again by my PT and Chiro and that is the best news going into 2015!

Since I can’t predict the future… all I can do is {hope} and {dream} that 2015 is my best year yet! Thank you for following me on my journey this year… it has honestly  meant the world to me.

Cheers to chasing even BIGGER dreams in 2015!

“There are far, far better things ahead than any we leave behind.”

― C.S. Lewis

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looking back… 2014

Looking back on this year, it was probably one of my most exciting years ever! It was also, without a doubt, a year of growth and learning. A year where I learned more about myself and truly found out what I am capable of.  I can only look forward to the new year ahead, with the hope that it will be even better than 2014..

and with that… drumroll please…

Here is a recap of 2014 with some of my {favorite} moments:

The 2014 Boston Marathon

A day I will never forget.  I ran in 2013, the year of the bombings, and was only a few streets away when it all happened.  I got to finish the race that year, but I was emotionally hit really hard.  Running the race in 2014 was a day where runners came together to prove to the world that we won’t let anyone ruin our race.

Training ALL winter for Ironman Mont-Tremblant

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Training for my first Ironman was a HUGE learning process.  It was also a lot of fun! What I realized is, you need to LOVE training for an Ironman (well most of the time), or else it’s not worth it.  Good news for me is, I love it!

Multiple Podium Finishes

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2014 was a year of podium finishes and PR’s (yay!) Proud to say I stood on the podium at each one of my tri’s except for IMMT. Maybe this year I’ll be on the podium in Tremblant… you never know;)

Racing and Finishing Ironman Mont-Tremblant

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Without a doubt, my top moment of 2014! Finishing my first Ironman left me with the feeling that I can do anything in this world.  If there is one word I could use to describe finishing an Ironman, it would be: POWERFUL.  I finished in 11:28:36, a time I was very happy with for my first one ever!

Vacationing in Mont-Tremblant post race

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It was so much fun to explore Mont-Tremblant after my race! Such a great way to relax and decompress after the biggest race of my life. One of my favorite activities was kayaking down the River Rouge seen here.

Our Utah vacation in September

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This was one of my favorite vacations of all time.  Exploring the Wasatch Mountains, Zion and Bryce canyons was just breathtaking.  I can’t wait to go back there one day!

Hiking in the White Mountains

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Always one of my favorite things to do! We reached out 35th 4,000 foot mountain in New Hampshire this year!  We have 13 more to go to get to the coveted 48!

Visiting California for the first time ever

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Yes, it was a ‘work trip’ but I made every effort to get out and explore during my free time. Seeing the California coast and sunset for the first time was just amazing…

Looking back at each of these moments, I consider myself to be very lucky. Thanks for following my journey through this year!