Saturday, November 25, 2017

Black Friday Deals #3

So many deals, so little posting space!  I think this is my third installation in Black Friday Deals from some of my fave #supersupporters  Since Black Friday turns into all weekend long, these deals are still live and are THE BEST prices you will find on this gear.  Yes, these are all my sponsors, but earth to people...I wouldn't promote the product if I didn't absolutely LOVE it.  Feel free to ping me if you have questions on any specific product!  

1.  NormaTec- Best pricing of the year...$150 off right now & free shipping PLUS if you use my code COEUR100 for $100, that is ADDITIONAL.  Your legs will thank you, I promise!  Can you say wine in hand while legs are being compressed?  Pfft...who does that?!! #seriousathletesthatswho

2.  Inside Tracker- I've written a blog on this amazing service here if you use code THANKSCOEUR you'll get $200 off of their Ultimate test.  Use the link here to take you directly to their page- code is live through Monday the 27th.  Anyone who uses this code will be entered to win one of four Garmin Forerunner 935’s.  

Every blog needs at least 1 pic...

3.  Coeur Sports clothing...obviously!!  The best, the most fashionable and the LEAST chafing.  Leading to many happy kitties.  30% off through the weekend using code TURKEYDAZE  Tell your significant other what's on your list and have them BUY, this is the only discount we do each year!  

4.  BT Nutrition- Famous for using the amazing Dr. Stacy Sims' science, this is what I have been loving over the past year for hydration.  The pineapple flavor is my fave!  This is hydration in your pockets and is NOT sugary so none of that mid-race stomach bloat.  Use CYBER17 for free shipping on all orders over $75.  

5.  Enve Composites- These wheels have been on my bikes for the past 4 years and I couldn't be happier.  No getting blown over in cross winds, nope, these wheels are super stable and you can get cool decals in pretty much any color to match your bike&kit.  #priorities  These guys are offering a free kit with a wheel set purchase, and they have some pretty good looking kits right now.  They're also offering 20% off of soft goods- and they still have their Kona tee available, so if you missed out...

6. Roka- OK, too many deals here to list them all...but the Mav X wetty would be my recommendation if you need a new wetsuit and right now, it's 40% off!  A $900 wetsuit down to $540...and goggles are 25% off too, my jam is the F1 in cobalt.  No code needed, pricing is on the site right now!

7.  Barnana- Organic, non-GMO training fuel?  Yes, please!!  These guys have been fueling me (and Mark when he steals from my stash) for years and the coconut is still my fave.  All natural, and no sugar added.  These tasty bites will keep you moving on long rides and runs.  Use code CyberWeek25 for 25% off as well as free shipping.

8.  HoneyMoon Ice Cream- Fave flavor is coffee caramel.  YES.  And if you are a plain Jane fan, the vanilla is superb.  I like the mason jars that this scream comes in and I reuse for my cold brew and dream that I'm eating ice cream instead!  Use code IceCreamMakesItGood for 20% off.

9.  Aloha Collection Splash Proof Bags- These bags keep dirty laundry off of your clean clothes while traveling, exploding makeup during a flight from going everywhere, wet swimsuits contained post swim while it sits in your car all day long while you work and not make everything smelly, and most fun, keep sand out of your stuff while at the beach.  30% off right now using code HOLIDAY Spend more than $50 and shipping is on the house.  

10.  SBT Extreme- Suspension Training, done right.  These guys have been helping me keep my hammy right and I rely on this trainer heavily when I travel and have limited access to equipment.  40% off and free shipping this weekend using code black40

11.  Sound Probiotics- keep your gut healthy and perform better.  This has been a daily part of my routine this past year and my tummy is thanking me!  No code that I know for these guys, but it's worth it!  

12.  Hawaiian Spirulina- Yes, it's GREEN, which means it MUST be good for you!  Spirulina boosts your immune system and improves cardiovascular health.  Who doesn't need that?! I take it in pill form, as the taste of it blended into drinks is one I have yet to quire.  Free shipping on orders over $75

That's It!  Now go out and #treatyoself and have a great start to your Holiday's!

Friday, October 6, 2017

Blood Really Don't Lie

In my happy place, Kona!
I started working with Inside Tracker in 2015 (2nd year I got on the podium at Ironman World Championships) and have been testing with them ever since.  My initial reason to test was that in 2013, I had an AWFUL race at IMTX and could not figure out what happened.  Turned out, I had low iron, which is so common for women who run...did you know running physically breaks the iron in your body and that is how we lose some?, obviously I am not a Dr. and I am a big advocate of asking for help where I am not the expert.  And since I always want to get THE most out of myself, I turned to InsideTracker for help.  This year, they came on board as a team sponsor to Coeur. The results have been eye opening for some of our gals (gals- I don't find this term at ALL offensive...if you want to insert women, go for it), and we wanted to share it here.  I'm going to highlight my results as well as that of two of our other Kona qualifiers, Noga Ruttenberg and Leyla Porteous.

Hailey's Top Take Aways:

It was great to be able to track my iron progress as that was the one area I was honed in on since I had had an issue in the past.  i was able to see at what level I needed to supplement and even talk with the scientists at IT on when was OK to step my supplementation down a bit.  

I also always thought that I was a huge proponent of recovery, but my creatine kinase levels were high.  This is an indicator that we are training hard and it can lead to muscle breakdown.  So we want to train hard but recover so we can actually adapt to the hard training.  I have always focused on nailing a high amount of protein (75-100g) per day for my weight.  I was able to confirm with IT that on those tough days, I need to get to 100 for SURE to help my CK levels go down and my body really adapt and absorb that training.

There are many other markers to pay attention two, but these were my two AHA! moments with IT and I am so thankful for their help!

Leyla's Story:

The biggest thing that I got out of the testing is taking out the guess work on supplements, and really seeing how the training impacts on stress levels and then being able to actually take measures to manage this  - again without guessing.
Leyla Kicking Ass!

From the first test I picked up quite a few things that I have made permanent changes to in my diet which are:
* adding in a daily Omega 3&6 supplement and also having more fish and good fats in my diet
* no alcohol (eek - I know right)
* adding in a Vitamin B12 supplement  - really noticed my energy levels better due to this
* Adding Vitamin B
* Adding in Iron supplementation (but cycling that)

Leyla, can you cook for me?!
On another note the test helped identify that I have developed and now showing the symptoms of hereditary high HDL cholesterol which my own body creates (not dietary or due to weight and lifestyle etc) this is something I am doing a bit more homework on on how to manage as I don't want to be on cholesterol medications. I also picked up a bit of a hormonal issue that was affecting my ability to utilize testosterone for recovery - and again this one is a work in progress but second test showed improvements (thinking the addition of the healthy fats has helped this).

Noga's Story:

Noga at 70.3 Worlds
I began my testing with Inside Tracker in March of this year. I was very excited to see what would come back. Some of the results were as expected but I was amazed at some of the areas which showed I needed work:

For years, doctors have told me my B12, Calcium and Vitamin D levels were low and my cholesterol needed work. Inside Tracker confirmed those findings. What was surprising, however, was how low I was in testosterone, how inflated my marker was for inflammation throughout the body and how low my cortisol levels were. Knowing that improving these things would help improve my performance was motivating, but knowing my “internal age”, as suggested by Inside Tracker, was the kick I needed to heed my doctor’s and Inside Tracker’s advice. In March, my inner age was about 7 years younger than my chronological age. Shy of telling me that I actually looked like I was in my 30s, this was the best news! Additionally, InsideTracker gives an internal age rage within which you can fall (from the worst possible scenario to the optimal scenario). They gave me an optimal scenario that puts my inner age in the late 20s. Of course I was going to strive to achieve that.

Mmmmm, breakfast!
Despite having heard doctors tell me many times I should take a daily multivitamin as well as calcium plus vitamin D supplements, I finally began taking them when I thought they would improve my Inside Tracker results. I listened to the advice of Inside Tracker to get more sleep and rest (which would improve my cortisol levels) and I added, soy beans, chia and granola to my diet to help reduce inflammation. It seemed to have worked because my July test results revealed my inner age to be 32.7, an 11.4 year difference from my chronological age! Being the old lady in my age group (F40-44) at races doesn’t help my confidence, but having the knowledge that my internal body functions as well as a 32-year- old certainly helps me believe I can push harder and that I can compete with these crazy fast, young 40-year- olds. In fact, I
used that knowledge at the 70.3 World Championships to help me PR in the run portion of the
race. I couldn’t believe I could actually PR anything at 44. I ended up in 9th place and, while I had hoped for better, I couldn’t resist the urge to check the ages of all the finishers around me. I was the oldest finisher in the top 10 of my age-group (by at least a couple of years) and I do feel like I owe Inside Tracker for arming me with the knowledge that my age will not hold me back (to the extent I sometimes let it).

Be sure to track us in Kona and come say hi at the Coeur booth!!

Tuesday, January 31, 2017

One sport wonder

So if you've been following along with the #blogsquad themes, last week, we assigned a topic to another gal and this week, we are to chose one of those 7 questions and answer it ourselves.  I'm not sure if there's a rule against answering your own question, but if so, I'm about to break it.  Last week I asked Liz, "if you could do one (tri) sport for the rest of your life, which one would it be and why.  Also, what have been your fave event that you've done in that sport, and what is still on your list to do. Liz and I must be total opposites, as she had great reasons to love each sport and landed on jack of all trades, master of none.

Check out these lovely ladies' blogs and see what they chose! Erin Klegstad, Laurel RichardsonLizzie CullenChristine CoggerCaitlin ConstantineJennifer Ward and Elizabeth Rich

I've thought about this one a lot over the years, and hands down, it would be biking.  I think swimming is the easiest on your body and might have better longevity, but it's not that social, and my husband doesn't swim much, so it won't ever be something we can do together.  Running has always been my weakest link and is always the sport I will neglect the most in the off season.  It beats my body up the most (Achilles issues, hamstring, etc...), and it is the sport that honestly, gives me the least pleasure.  I have never run an open marathon in my life and have zip, zero, zilch itch to do one.  But what about seeing how "fast" I could run?  Doesn't really interest me.  I don't put much value on folks' open mary times, as they very rarely correlate to a post 112 mile ride marathon time.  I know there is value to running shorter races, but I will only do those in an effort to get faster overall in triathlon. 

This leaves us with biking.  I think there are lots of reasons it's my favorite.  It's the sport that we grew up doing as a family.  Riding a bike over long miles will inevitably bring out what is on your mind.  I've had some of my most meaningful and honest conversations on bikes, and I place a lot of value in that.  I've also had some big fights on bike rides, but they re usually long enough that there's time to make up ;). I dream about taking my bike all over the world with Mark and seeing beaches and countryside via two wheels.  I love my time spent both solo and with friends on the bike.  I'll always choose company, but sometimes a bit of alone time on the bike is just what you need to work out the brain. 

230k's of FUN!
I think my fave bike memories/routes can be whittled down to two trips.  When I was young, we used to go on TOSRV every year.  This is a 210 mile, 2 day event in Ohio and you sleep overnight in a gymnasium.  We would do this as a family, and I think my first ride was when I was 12.  I did it on the back of a tandem with my sis manning the front and my mom and dad along side.  It's a flat ride, and even then, I was competitive and we tried to hammer as best we could, while of course stopping at the many aid stations where you can consume more food that you were burning off!  The other bike ride that I would say is a must do, is the amateur Tour of Flanders.  This event takes place the day before the Spring Classic that the pro cyclists compete in and you can do the full course of 230k/142miles.  Mark and I did this in 2011

When in Belgium...waffles!
Pave and steep hills!
and it was amazing.  We got lucky with amazing weather, and the amount of cyclists was just awe inspiring.  Europe, really takes cycling seriously and I love that.  The route is challenging with the wind, hills and pavé and there are extra bragging rights for those who stay out of the smooth gutters and ride all of the pavé...I was making guttural noises by the last section of cobblestones, and Mark and I decided it might be a good time to ride with LESS pressure!  I was one of a small handful of women doing the whole route, so I got extra cheers, which made it extra fun.  The course is already lined with spectators on the famous climbs who are there in preparation of the next day.  The aid stations were filled with sweet Belgian waffles and frites at the end.  I would be remiss to not mention my back yard.  Although I don't really love climbing, I do enjoy the views it affords, and Northern California has some of the best riding in the world.

What is on my bucket list for cycling?  I would love to do a week in Italy or France and see some of the tour routes and even ride at the same time of the Tour de France and do a ride/spectate combo.  Also, the wine tasting wouldn't be bad, so I suppose I could be talked into that too!  I would also like to cycle parts of Australia and South East Asia. Both of these sections of the world have been high on my would love to visit list for a long time, so this would be a great way to see the world and get my bike on!

Friday, January 27, 2017


Our assignees
This week the #blogsquad decided to do something different and instead of all writing on the same topic, we each picked a topic for another gal.  No control, say what?!! Elizabeth gave me my question and asked "has there been a time in your life where you have failed {fallen flat on your face} and now you're thankful for the lessons you have learned? And what were those lessons? - my challenge for you is to pick something non tri related".  Ummmmmm, seriously, you throw this question at me and I can't use a tri example?!!  Elizabeth may get the award for hardest question this week.  

Writing about failure is hard? That can't be possible right?  It's not that I've never failed, but one of my superpowers is that I forget.  I mean I really forget bad experiences. You can remind me of them, and then I'll be like "oh yeah, that WAS terrible!" But then I just laugh about it and get back to whatever I'm doing.  This particular skill of mine (I say skill, you say shortcoming, same dif, right?) lands me in some hot water with my husband and coach, Mark.  Example:  
HM- what should I be doing for training, I really want to work on speed this year since I'm not doing an IM until Kona?!
MM: running races, the local Saturday ride...  Same things I've been telling you for years...I swear, I'm a broken record.  

Got it now?  Same things happens with crappy experiences.  I think it's because I like to see the sunny side of life.

This got me thinking about failure.  I don't think I like the word, failure.  I don't really think you fail if you gave whatever it is you were trying to do, your biggest and best effort.  How can that equate to failure?  It might mean you didn't hit the mark, and I'm not trying to give us all participation trophies here, but how is that failure?  If you give something your best, fall down and get back up again, I see that as success.  If you fall and can't be bothered to get back up, then yes, we can say that's a failure.  

What I'm about to say, please don't take the wrong way.  I can't remember a time that I have failed. Maybe others have seen me as failing, and maybe this is what it boils down to, is perspective.  I choose to keep a perspective on life that rolls with the punches.  I have had hiccups along the way, a few rough spots in my career early on, but thus far, life has been incredibly kind to me.   Maybe "remember" is the key word, but when Elizabeth asked me this question, I was like, how am I going to answer this?! Do I have days at work, in life and in training that absolutely suck?  Yes, of course, and sometimes I fail to hit intervals during a session, fail to get back to people in (what I consider) a timely manner, fail to be my 100% best.  But after that happens, I wrap up my day, tell myself the next time will be better and I move along.  That's one of the best things about life, you get to wake up every day and try again. 

What these things have taught me:
1. No one can do it all.  Full stop.  Maybe you can do a lot of things, but when I try to do it all, I can't do ALL THE THINGS to the level I expect from myself.  Something has to give.  
2. Just keep going.  Get up, brush yourself off, and say what's next?!
3. Figure out what is the root cause of your failure.  One of my tri related failures was IM Texas in 2013 I think?  I stopped for almost 40 min and had no idea what was wrong with me.  Turns out, I had super low iron.  I fixed it and got back to being my normal self.  
4. Failure can teach you a lot about what is important to you.  I believe that if you truly want to do something in life, you can do it if you value it enough.  The success may not come overnight, but if you stay the course, you will be successful.  Maybe sometimes when you fail, if you're really honest with yourself, it's. because the goal wasn't that important to you.  

How do you view failure?  Check out these lovely ladies' blogs for the rest of the theme from this weekErin Klegstad, Laurel RichardsonLizzie CullenChristine CoggerCaitlin ConstantineJennifer Ward and Elizabeth Rich

Monday, January 16, 2017

Number one scarcity...time

The "Blog Squad"...oh yes, we have a name, is at it again this week.  We're talking time management and I have not managed my time well this week and am LATE in posting this.  But that means that I've had the opportunity to catch up on all the other gals' takes on this topic and have taken some notes and laughed out loud at others.  Check out the other reports here LaurelErinChristineLizCaitlin, Jen and Elizabeth’s 

As I was reading all of these blogs, I got to thinking about time.  When we're little, it can't go by quickly want to be old enough to do X and a day takes FORever.  Then as we age, suddenly time seems to shift and all of the sudden, I can't slow it down.  I want to savor the moment longer, but alas, time waits for no triathlete.  So here are some of the things we do to keep doing what we like as often as possible.

  • Outsource.  Yes, outsource everything you can possibly afford.  Some things like grocery shopping are so commonly done now (Amazon Fresh, Instacart, and your local market) that they don't even cost anything.  When folks OPT to go to the store instead of freeing up an hour by having it done, I can't comprehend (again, it's free).  Yes, I like picking out my produce too, but not more than I value that hour.  The other night, I was on the trainer exchanging texts with my Instacart shopper and just feeling so damn happy that I use this service.  My dad always says do whatever puts a smile on your face. Triathlon does that, so I try to make sure I'm doing what makes me happy as often as possible.

  • Divide and Conquer.  This is where the "we" above comes in.  Mark and I don't do a lot of chores or house stuff together.  If I do want to go to the grocery store, he doesn't come...he stays home, works on house projects or maintains my bikes.  Or he goes and exercises on his own.  I would love it if we cooked dinner together more, but often, it's just me making dinner while he does X/Y/Z for us.  We're a total team and by doing tasks separately, we create more time for the things we really value like time together, time with friends, and training.

  • Always pack your gym/work/food bags, pump tires/lay out kit the night before. I've yet to end up after a masters practice with two discolored shoes/no pants, etc since I get it done the night before....although those posts make me laugh so much!  And kudos to those that can get it done in the morning, but I really like to sleep!  I wake up 10 minutes before i leave for the pool, so it's literally wake up, brush teeth, GO!  Most of the time, my bags are already in my car and I just grab my food and go.  

  • Find supportive co-workers.  I am incredibly lucky that my closest colleagues are BEYOND supportive of triathlon.  I have some that will run with me and others that will bring me back lunch from wherever they've gone so that I can get my lunch workout done AND eat when I get back :)  While I'm good about packing breakfast, I do rely on lunch out nearly every day.  

  • Socialize in training.  I'm lucky that most of my closest friends, also do triathlon.  This means I never feel "cheated" because we don't go out often, because I likely have just spent all day long with my buddies on the bike, or just did a tempo run with them.  Yes, we lead what most would consider "boring" night lives, but I'd rather be swim/bike/running than out on the town most of the time, so it's worth it.

  • Try to become OK when shit doesn't go to plan.  You miss a workout, you had a meeting, whatever comes up, sometimes life just doesn't go to schedule.  I've tried to become more OK with that, and that can create- less worrying/stress, which can create more time, right?
That's it...hoping this is somewhat helpful!  Onto the next topic...what will we think of next?!!  

Friday, January 6, 2017

7 in '17

Wow, twice in two weeks, right?  We'll see how long I can keep this (regular) blog thing going.  Our little group of bloggers has me inspired and also gave me a due date so this week, we're moving on from 2016 and jumping into 2017 with 7 things we're looking forward to.  If you haven't already, check out these other ladies' blogs, it's great to see how we all put our individual spin on the different topics.  There's Erin, Jen, Christine, Liz, Caitlin, Elizabeth and Laurel.

Now 7 things...doesn't seem like a lot, but it took me a while!

These are 7 things I'm looking forward to in 2017...

My only impressive yoga pose
Beach yoga!
1.  More yoga.  I've always loved yoga and did it a lot before getting into triathlon, but it's time for a come back.  I had a lot of problems with my back and hamstring last year, so I am hoping to manage it with yoga, strength and daily mobility.  My fave type of yoga is HOT (of course) power yoga.  I got a flashy new mat and everything, so I better stick with it!

2.  Less racing.  What?!! Over the last 13 months, I raced 5 Ironman races, as well as 3 (maybe more) halfs as well as other smaller, local races.  That's a LOT.  For the mind and the body.  I'm not planning on racing an IM until Kona, and will race shorter races to build speed, but am looking forward to a few less races this year.  I've been exercising for the last 6 weeks since Arizona, but I'm still not really ready to TRAIN.  And for now, I'm OK with that.  It's not time yet and I think after LY, a bigger rest is A-OK.  Does it suck not being race fit?  Absolutely, but it's not time to be race fit.  Do I get grumpy on group rides when I am the lanterne rouge?  For sure, but again, it's not race day, is it?

Experiences AND Hawaii!
Can you see "Aloha"?
3. More trips to Hawaii.  This place feeds my soul, and my sister also happens to live on Kauai.  And being with her and her family also feeds my soul, so I plan on heading to the islands more this year than I did last.

4. More experiences and less things.  This year, when Christmas rolled around, I couldn't think of anything I wanted save one pair of shoes.  Thankfully and luckily, we have everything we want, material wise.  So now, it's time to seek how to carve out more time for experiences with those I love the most.  Whether it's long rides or runs with friends or trips to see family, I'd rather spend my discretionary $$ on being with those I love than a material possession. Editor's note...not that I don't enjoy shiny, new things...I CERTAINLY do.

Ohio and my parents
5. Two trips to Ohio in 2017 to see two of my longest standing and best friends get married.  Brandy and I used to roll around our small town BUMPIN' Biggie Smalls and The Fugees and were lifeguards t.  She's come to see me race in Hawaii and now it's time for me to see her on her biggest day.  And Sam, my college BF (yes, we're still good friends).  He came to a remote island in the Caribbean to see me get married and now I will trek to the great land of Ohio to see him wed his amazing bride.

Riding down the coast w/these two
6. The Coast Ride.  It's looking like rain next weekend...thank the good lord, as asking this butt to ride 375 miles next(!) weekend, would be a major ask right now...see #2.  However, we will arrange a summer coast ride like we did last year to make up for the rained out/cold version.  This is always a highlight of the year, endless (almost) hours of gal-pal talk time and views of the California Coast.

Smiles on Alii Drive
7. Ironman Kona.  You had to know this would be on the list, right? This will be my 8th one, and I already dream about it!  Whenever I'm feeling blue, I just whip out my phone and scroll through pics of Hawaii.  Acai bowls, swimming with friends and dolphins, hot sun, and RACING!  What's not to look forward to about all that?

And there you have it.  Here's to your more's and even your less's...let's enjoy 2017!

Friday, December 30, 2016

16 in '16

When Jen first mentioned doing an end of year blog, sort of along the trend of 100 Things About Me (how was that nearly two years ago?!), I was immediately IN.  It's fun to look back over the year, combing through pics of memories created, and taking some time to, in a society where we just get to a place and then say "what's next?!", reflect and be grateful for the past 12 months.  This is a mix of things that happened in 2016 as well as the highlights...with pics of course to make it much more fun!

Happy New Year!! 2016 UK
  • the first fun thing of 2016 was spending New Years Eve and New Years Day with friends and family in the UK.  It was cold and dreary, but seeing Mark's friends and family always makes me wish we all lived a much sunnier and warm environment ;)

  • Throttling around the English Countryside in Mark's other wife, a 1974 Min Cooper that he restored with his mate Duncan.  Her name is Polly and he goes to visit her in the UK as often as possible under the guise of business trips to Europe!
Her name is Polly

Rally bar and seat belts...

    Kona Finish #7
    Kona waters with my sis and bestie
  • Ironman Kona...duh, of course this would be close to the top ;)  This year was my 7th Kona and it was my third year of swim, bike, running myself onto the Kona podium. From swims in the ocean with friends and family, to getting blown on the Queen K, Kona remains one of my most beloved places to be.  

Ending the year as the #1 ranked All World Athlete by Ironman for the 2nd year in a row :) I know it's based on how much you race, but I am pretty proud of it.  
Overall AWA Ranking
  • Qualifying for my 8th Kona this past November at Ironman Arizona.

Focus on Sonja's words...GO!
  • Taking the 35-39 North American Champion Title at Ironman Texas in May.  Ironman Texas has been on my list for a long time, with me racing it all but one of the years it's been in existence.  
Just missed the downpour and now we have shakes!
    Sherpa's gotta EAT, and me too...
  • Claiming my VERY FIRST overall amateur win at Escape From Alcatraz.  This is not my typically jam as it's COLD and SHORT, which makes it an even more awesome moment of 2016 for me.  
Weird arms that I do post race...TGI OVER!
  • Celebrating 7 years of marriage to Mark.  No one tells you that being married is different to living together and that it isn't always easy.  You've been warned!  But it is awesome, and I can't wait to continue this life we've created together.

Does he look aero?
  • Swimming 100x100's...OK, so I'm doing that tomorrow, but 100x100's is always an EPIC event.  Pic to follow tomorrow morning...

just this.
  • Swimming. With. Dolphins....TWICE in one trip. This was something that I had been gagging to do every time I've been in Kona.  I was only ever going to swim with them if it happened in the wild as I don't believe in paying to swim with them.  And it finally happened.  Thankfully the first time was by myself of of the Kona pier as when I saw them, I literally couldn't stop laughing with excitement.

  • Taking a helicopter tour of the Big Island.  It more than solidified that it's my favorite place on Earth and was just awe inspiring.

The other side of the Big Island...lush
  • Getting to race in my home town of Delaware, Ohio at the Ironman 70.3 Ohio.  There's something about KNOWING a course and being back home on the race course with friends and family.  I got cheered on by my BIGGEST fans and longest time friends and family and it was just awesome. My dad has never gotten to see me race as traveling is tough in a wheel chair, so having him out on the course was the cherry on top.

Hometown goodness and another 2nd place :)
  • I celebrated my 5 year anniversary at my job.  I can't imagine working anywhere else and my team mates and colleagues are beyond supportive of my outside of work pursuits and I cant explain how grateful I am for that.
The support I get from my colleagues post IM...just WOW

Coastal Bliss
  • Riding down the California Coast for two days with three amazing friends, Pia, Kayla and Erin. We missed the true Coast ride over MLK weekend due to rain so we made up for it with a GLORIOUS two days in June, complete with lots of mid-ride treats at Big Sur Bakery!

  • Christmas in Tahoe.  The cold may not be my jam, but my family is and the only thing missing was my dad.  But it was AWESOME to be with my sis, my nieces, my mom and the rest of our family over Christmas.  Baby girls even have #heartandcourage and can make a heart better than their Aunty.

Best Nieces evah
Good Friends and vino!
  • Last but not least and maybe not the most exciting, but it's always a highlight to spend another year doing what I love, and being surrounded by those I love.  So cheers to a sturdy (for the most part) body, and friends and family that I can't imagine being without.  
This was a group effort so please see these lovely ladies' blogs for the rest of the theme!  Erin Klegstad, Laurel Richardson, Lizzie Cullen, Christine Cogger, Caitlin Constantine, Jennifer Ward and Elizabeth Rich

Happy New Year's to you and yours and can't wait to see everyone on the course in 2017!