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Courage.

“Passion is what drives us crazy, what makes us do extraordinary things, to discover, to challenge ourselves. Passion is and should always be the heart of courage.” ― Midori Komatsu

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When thinking of the name for this blog, I brainstormed… a lot.  I thought about all of the words that describe me, all of the things I like to do, etc… There is one word that just kept sticking out in my mind, and that is courage. I have always loved this word, for many reasons.  One being that when I am racing or training, it is when I feel my most courageous. I find that sweating can make you feel invincible, and when you reach a goal, you can feel unstoppable, like you can conquer anything in the world.  Those goose bumps you get at the beginning of a race, that pit in your stomach… and then overcoming all of that, heck ya, you better believe that’s courage. With courage, comes confidence.  If you have the courage to do something daring, something you have never done before, and then accomplish it, a gain in confidence comes with it. For example, someone who has never done a triathlon or a 5 K, they can be scared to death of racing.  But once they reach their goal and finish the race, they are left with a renewed sense of confidence!  As someone who has always had a personal struggle with confidence, exercising and competing has always been the ONE thing to counteract that struggle. Now if I could only be as confident in everyday life as I am when I’m racing in a road race or triathlon… I would be unstoppable.

Feel free to share your thoughts on fitness and how it made you gain confidence! Would love to hear from you.

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2014 Boston Marathon training has begun

Well… did it almost feels like training never ended… because really, it hasn’t.

I always am grateful for the fact that I’m a triathlete and a runner.  Being a triathlete allows me to cross-train and strengthen different muscles, that might otherwise be weak from running.  Since I am not just a runner, the swimming and biking creates a great balance and (knock on wood) delays the onset of overuse injury. Cycling strengthens my quads, hamstrings and is non impact, swimming strengthens my core and is also non impact.  I am the type of athlete that if I were just to run, I would be having all sorts of aches and pains.  I need BALANCE.

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Last year when I trained for the Boston Marathon (my very first Marathon) , I trained using the Runner’s World, Run Less, Run Faster/ FIRST Training Program. This program was recommended to me by a CrossFit friend, who had used it many times and had success.  Like me, she was confident with running 3 x week and cross-training on the other days.  I knew that with my overall fitness, I would be OK with running only 3 days a week.  Overall, I really liked the plan.  My weekly runs were all ‘quality runs’, consisting of a tempo run, track workout and a weekend long run.  I actually ran three 20 mile runs before Boston.  The plan had me well prepared and I hit my BQ (Boston Qualifying) time with 3:28:07.  It took a while for me to be proud of my accomplishments because of the horrific events that ensued that day (I finished about 30 minutes before tragedy stuck and was a few blocks away taking photos with my husband and my mom).

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For my 2014 plan, things are different.  I will be racing in my first Ironman in August, so I cannot afford to stop biking through the winter.  I also need to keep up with my swimming endurance, because that is something that you can lose quickly and takes work to get it back.   My training plan consists of biking at least 3 days/week, swimming 2-3 days/week and running 3-4 days/week.  Most days, I am doing workouts in the morning and in the evening after work.  I consider this to be my second job, since I work in an office full time.  I like the idea that my weekend long endurance workouts, aren’t just solely running.  For example, next weekend I am scheduled to do a long 3+ hour bike ride on Saturday, then a 30 minute run.  On Sunday I am doing a short bike ride, and an 1 hour and 10 minute run.  It’s all about variety here!  The good thing is, I know this type of plan works (I did initially have my doubts due to running less).  The reason I know it works is because I ran the Chicago Marathon in October, using a very similar plan, and I beat my Boston time by 8 minutes, running it in 3:20. I know Chicago is flatter than Boston, but I thought 8 minutes was significant!

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Chicago Marathon 2013

After qualifying at this year’s Boston Marathon for 2014’s race, and especially after all of the horrible things that happened on that day, I cannot wait for this year!  To prove to the world that Boston and the runners, spectators, volunteers, etc that were a part of 2013 are coming back bigger and stronger than ever.  Oh and I hope to set a new PR, breaking 3:20!

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Todd greets me after I finish last years Boston Marathon 

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I made the team!

 

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Last season I signed up with QT2 Systems for individualized programming and coaching as a ‘Mission Athlete’.  I was assigned to coach, Tim Snow, and I loved my training plans for 2013.  Having never had a coach before, I  was excited about that the season would bring!  In the past, figuring out all of the swimming, biking and running on my own, what days to do each workouts, when to do ‘brick’ workouts, when to actually rest…it was hard to know if I was doing the ‘right’ thing.  This is where a coach makes a big difference. They help you train smart and also tell you when to ‘take it easy’ … something I have a very difficult time doing. 

 

Coming out of the water at Tri Fest Half Ironman 2013

Coming out of the water at Tri Fest Half Ironman 

I signed on with QT2 when I knew an Ironman was on my radar for 2014, not wanting to go with just any random training program.  I had one Half Ironman under my belt, which to be honest, I was kind of ‘winging’ the training (and probably over-training).  I was doing really well in races, but knew I wanted to take it to the next level.  Since competing in Triathlons since 2010, each year I have seen PR’s from previous years, but nothing like the changes in 2013. Due to my success in 2013, I thought it would be a great idea to apply for the Age Group Elite Team through QT2 Systems.  I knew I had met the qualifying standards and that I would be a strong addition to the team.

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I was thrilled in excitement when I realized I made the Age Group Elite Team with QT2. Not only will I be sporting the new QT2 uniform in the 2014 Season, but the Team has some big-time amazing sponsors, including Rudy Project, Pearl Izumi and Quintana Roo. I have always seen QT2 athletes in my Triathlons, kicking some serious butt… now I am honored to be wearing the uniform and representing Team QT2! Here’s to taking things to the next level, starting with the Boston Marathon on April 21, 2014!

 

Looking forward to representing QT2 on the podium this year.

Looking forward to representing QT2 on the podium this year.

 

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It’s my Lifestyle, not a Resolution.

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Being healthy is not just a part of who I am, it defines me.  For as long as I can remember, I have understood what it is like to lead a healthy lifestyle.  I have never had a ‘resolution’ to be healthy and ‘stay in shape’ because it’s a part of me.  Love me or hate me for it, but I’ve never ‘fallen off the wagon’ or lost motivation.  I am inherently very self motivated, never lazy, and being healthy and in shape (as an athlete) has and always will be my lifestyle.  I strongly believe that if you make eating healthy and exercising part of your life, and not something that is considered a chore, it will become part of you too.  As I turn my calendar to a new year and think about what an exciting year 2013 was, I am excited to set new goals for myself!

GOALS

I plan to do big things in 2014… more on that later…

What are your goals for the new year?  Doesn’t the word ‘goal’ sound a lot better than ‘resolution’? I think so 🙂

 

Kristin

 

 

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the beginning.

Well, here I am.  This is the beginning of my blogging journey.  I have been wanting to do this for a long time… you might just say it’s been on my bucket list. I finally stirred up the *courage* to start typing away and start this new adventure.  I like to do a lot of cool things, and I thought it was about time to share these things with the rest of the world. I’m one of those people that likes to maximize every single day… living life to it’s fullest. I take my workouts and my training seriously… I love to cook (and eat) healthy, organic, and non- processed foods.  While I am a triathlete, I started my athletic career as a runner, and I’ve been running since age 14. This is part of who I am.  Oh and I can run like the wind….

Thanks for stopping by….  I hope to inspire you along the way….

Kristin's Camera- Personal 729

Kristin