I am in a Facebook group that is about getting ahead of our 2016 New Year Resolutions.  I am in the place now where I am looking ahead to the new year and seeing what I want to put my energy into. 

So here are some of the goals I am putting my energy into achieving, as well as how I want to help others achieve their goals too!

THE GOALS: 2016 edition




GYM RAT
I have such a weak upper body, but some strong legs.  I can muscle through a lot but this year I need to be real about gym goals because I need to balance out this body!

A bonus to strength work is body composition change and more muscle = more ability to burn baby burn those calories.

GOALS:  Strength at least 2 times per week - core included - and workout at the gym on average 3 times per week over the course of the year.




RUN A RUN A DO RUN RUN, RUN A DO RUN

Since I am not planning on a solo long distance event this year, but rather relays events with my husband and some shorter traithlons, this gives me a chance to really focus on my run.

It is by far the weakest of the three sports for me and I am finding the love for running solo once again.

My outseason plan from EN includes a focus on run durability and run accountability so this is something that I am very very excited about!

GOAL: Put my run training on plan as priority over bike and swim this year since I am not going longer events require lots of cycling hours right now.








YOGA , MEDITATION, AND THE DRY SAUNA

I am really enjoying my yoga time and my meditation time.  It is helping with stress relief as well as provides the needed release of lactic acid and functional stretching to keep my body on the mend after the many workouts it endures.





GOALS:  Keep with Recovery Yoga at least 1 per week in class, Meditate daily, and dry sauna after every gym workout, at least 4 times per week. 







TEAM FATTY

My husband and I are competing in Ironman 70.3 OHIO next August as a kick off to our 4th wedding anniversary, and as such as have some goals for our legs of the relay we are doing under the name "TEAM FATTY" in honor of our fat pugs.  ;-)


GOALS: SWIM - Jenniferlyn - sub 45 minutes,  BIKE - Mike - sub 3:45, RUN - Jenniferlyn - 2:17







WOMEN FOR TRI, MAKE WAVES!

As an ambassador for Ironman's Women For Tri initiative, my goal is to inspire 3 women to get into some form of active lifestyle over the course of 2015.

Be it running their first 5k or even just for fun, getting someone into the gym to work out and build confidence in themselves, or try their first triathlon - I really want to encourage others to get out and make some waves, switch it up - go for it!

GOALS:  3 women. Are you one of them?
For those who have followed my journey, you know that I have at times had a struggle with self acceptance and achievement in the sport of triathlon.  I never really considered myself an athlete, however I have always felt that I could be one if I tried.  


I think now at this point in my life, I can stand behind my voice when I say that yes, I am an athlete.  I swim, I bike, I run, I paddle board, I enjoy the sport of it all and encouraging people, especially women, to give it a try and find their love of sport for themselves.

I am an athlete and an ambassador for people.

Along the way, my husband Mike has grown to be there cheering me on and supporting me in my training endeavors.  It was not always this way.  At the start, even though we were both runners when we met, I had continued on running while he was having more and more back issues and this was starting to become an issue for us.

I just could not stop being who I was because he had to change his activities.

Well thank goodness we got past all of that!  Fast forward to 2011 when talk of me signing up for the Ironman first came about.  I knew that there would be concern over my training schedule as well as my finishing up my Master's degree and our wedding all coinciding along the same 3-4 month span of time.  I chose a 2012 race schedule that met my requirements and would also include my husband in more ways than just spectator or sherpa - as well as it helped us not overthink the wedding or my graduation.  I knew that in order for him to understand me, he needed to see it and feel it for himself on his own terms. Not to have the same passion and drive in the sport that I do - but just to see me in my element, to understand where I am coming from.

I signed up for Ironman Florida because Florida is our home away from home.  I knew that if I raced in a location that had meaning to US, he would be more on board because he could find a meaning other than the race to be there.  How can you argue with the Gulf of Mexico and white sandy beaches in November, coming from the cold of Michigan?

For my June 70.3, I decided to return to one of my favorite courses, Welland Half Iron in Welland Ontario, Canada,  and asked Mike if he would be interested in doing the race as a relay with some members of my running club.  Mike is an avid cyclist, so this way he can do something during the day and participate in the event himself.  He agreed and by the end of the day he was HOOKED.

Fast forward past the graduation, past the wedding, the change in jobs and my second 70.3 event of the year to Ironman Florida and Mike was a totally different person, full of pride and attention on what I needed that weekend to accomplish my goals.  He realized that this sport was not about me doing something without him - it was me doing something for myself which allowed me to be a better wife for him and a better partner with him.
 
This day in 2012 still trumps any Ironman finish!
He is asking me "is there a wetsuit under your dress?
Because the ocean is right there if you need to get in some laps...."



After the race, when I crossed that finish line and made my way through the finishing area, I saw him standing there, tears in his eyes.  I ran over to him and he hugged me so tightly.  That is one of the most amazing moments of my life - not the Ironman finish, the pure love radiating from my husband.


Mike has done so much for me as both husband and supporter that I want to start enjoying the experiences of 70.3 and 140.6 races WITH him - side be side as the team we are.  I have done the solo events and love them and will continue to do them, but knowing that more companies are including relay options in their races, this is a great way to work together as a team to cross the finish line together!   Given that Ironman has decided to offer relay events in most of their 70.3 We decided that we will be racing the IRONMAN 70.3 OHIO race as a relay team next year!    GO TEAM FATTY!

We also are thinking of doing some non-branded 140.6 distances as a relay team in the future, I just need to be OK with that darn marathon without a bike warm up! ;-)

Mike and I as we set out for our 1/1/15 run to kick off the new year - of course in Florida!    

In order for us to succeed in our own dreams we need the support of those around us.  Sure we can still go for it without their support but the journey is only going to be that much more difficult.  I know that I am fortunate in that my husband and I were able to find common ground in the love of cycling, and that allows us to do things together.  

Ultimately, Mike's "Ironman" will be a 24 hour cycling race, in which I am more than happy to cheer him on, fuel him up, and sherpa him all day long.  <3


In health, 






That number holds a bit of heft.  When I see 100, I think immediately a short list of words:

  • Accomplishment
  • Perfection
  • All
  • Whole
  • Complete
Maybe this reveals a bit about me and my tendency to be results driven and very FIRE aspect dominant.  :-)  

One word that typically does not come to mind however is HAPPY.  That is until recently.  There is a challenge called 100 Happy Days and being that we just passed 100 days remaining in the year I thought that it would be the perfect way to end 2015.




I find this challenge very engaging since it enforces that happiness is a choice and that every day we have something to be happy about... you just have to look.

Since today is Day 3, I had some catching up to do but here are the first 3 days of my 100 Happy Days experiment:


Day 1 - I am happy to be starting over in my training.  Again. And not for the last time. ;-)

Day 2 - I am happy for my husband and his sense of humor.  He makes me laugh through my tears and always knows exactly what I need, when I need it. 

Day 3 - I am happy to have so many State Parks and Metroparks here in Michigan and Ohio, so close to me.  I love working out in the parks because it is fun and it gives you a chance to connect with the world, like the ACTUAL world; mother nature and all of the creatures and ecosystems which surround us that we may never see because we are too stuck in our phones and to do lists.



I know that there is a lot of negativity out there but I am choosing to find something every single day to be happy about and grateful for.  So what are you happy for today?  What are you happy for every day?   Can you be happy for 100 days straight?  It is not too late to join in the challenge!  





In health with a HAPPY heart, 



The Iron Seashell


Recently I have been thinking about heart and courage.  


Does winning a race or placing on the podium or setting a PR take heart and courage?  Absolutely - but not for the reasons why you may think.  Courage and Heart do not exist in a result.  Courage is born with a decision and dedication to follow a dream, and heart is earned in the darkest hours.   



I was once asked what the hardest part of Ironman was.  I responded "Signing up."


I realize how blessed I am to belong to some amazing communities and the one thing that really ties them all together is that their purpose is the same - lift up women and encourage them to go after their goals.

As a member of the endurance triathlon community for some time now I have seen many friends and teammates make valiant attempts and fall short of achieving their goals.  The amazing thing is that in the community to which we belong no one ever criticized, made fun of or ridiculed someone for making the attempt.  

In fact, the opposite is true.  It is in times of failure that we are often pushed to our absolute limits and show our heart.  The endurance community rallies around and lifts up in celebration of the courage one had to chase their dreams.  THIS is where the magic happens!   


Les Brown Said It best...


I guess the point is that sometimes it takes several attempts before we succeed. If we are afraid of the times where we fall short we will never know the growth we experience due to these attempts; we deny ourselves an opportunity for something amazing.  

"What if I cannot finish the race?"  Well, you will not know if you do not try! 

"What if I fall short of my goals?"  I ask you this - What if you succeed?  

There is NO shame in making an attempt that does not end up where we wanted.  

The COURAGE is when we decide to make our dreams realities. The HEART is when we keep getting back up on the horse every single time we fall off. 

So what will you do today that scares you?  As a wise friend once told me - BE BRAVE and go unto today with the intent of NOT denying yourself for an opportunity for something amazing to happen!  

In health and heart, 



The Iron Seashell   

Wow.

I started in on the training plan this week and getting back into running is much harder than I remember!  That goes to show you what total inactivity can do to the body.  I went from peak form to barely being able to run a mile non-stop in not very much time.

First day of 10k training is in the books and I ended it with a  nice visit to the Dry Sauna to sweat it out.


I realized this week, after an emergency with a family member that our future is not guaranteed.  I am not even speaking about our mortality - I am speaking about quality of life.  How quickly things have changed in my family over the course of not even 3 years.

I realized that my joking about "out running my genetics" is not so much a joke and there may be a genetic possibility that I could succumb to the same autoimmune diseases that plague my mother.  I now realize that I need to eat as if my life depends on it - because even though I may be healthy now, I may not always be.

These autoimmune diseases stem from inflammation, and what feeds inflammation?

Stress
Sugar
Nutritional Starvation/Hidden Hunger
Poor self care

These are all factors that we have some choice in.  We can choose how we manage the stressors in our life.  We can choose how we fuel ourselves each day, we can choose to manage ourselves as if we are worth it.  


I know that if I slip back into a bad eating pattern, inflammation will continue to thrive and whatever predisposition I have will most likely manifest.

I realize that I need to do this total makeover of my health  not for new clothes or to have a skinny body.  I need to do this quite literally for my quality of life.



I am signed up to run the Detroit Marathon Relay with a team of awesome co-workers for my company this coming October.  I decided to take the longest leg which is 6.4 miles.  I decided this weekend to actually load up a training plan since the whole "by the seat of my pants" training has not been going so well.

As luck would have we we are exactly 2 months out from the race, so I am just in time with my plan!  I decided to pull a Hal Higdon plan for a 10k distance and start in on that.  I am not too proud of a person to admit that I will be starting at the Novice level once again because that is where I am at right now.  It has been too long to jump into anything more mileage intensive and I am motivated to  hit the pavement in the morning!

Goals for this week:


  • Tuesday 2.5 mile run, Cardio Blast class at LTF
  • Wednesday 30 minutes cross training
  • Thursday 2 mile run plus strength
  • Saturday 5k walk with my #LT90DayChallenge team
  • Sunday 3 mile run

Keep on moving forward!

 - The Iron Seashell




As part of my personal 90 Day Challenge journey, I decided to start a D.Tox program for the first few weeks in order to help my wrangle in my appetite and reduce my sugar and carbohydrate cravings.


This past week I was in prep phase, reducing my caffeine intake and getting ready for the next 2 weeks of D.Tox, before reintroduction of certain foods.


I appreciate that Lifetime Fitness has gone to Thorne Research for it's supplements as I work with Thorne myself in my nutrition practice.  The D.Tox is not caloric restrictive, it is toxin/toxicant and allergen restrictive.


I am day week 2, day 3 now and feeling pretty good.  The biggest change is that I no longer crave sugars, which is nice.  I have removed gluten, dairy, eggs, corn, soy, and all added sugars. Here is to some success and the kick off to the start of my next Seashell journey!





Looking forward to graduation in 2016, I decided to go ahead and sign my name back on the dotted line come November, and toe the line at Ironman Florida, 2016.


I mean come on, look at all of this awesome!  


I will be approaching my training a little differently this time around, more whimsy, more play and more intuition.  I am also going to be more forgiving of myself.  

I love the sport, I love the Ironman journey and I love the person I have become during my time away from it over the past few years.  It is time to marry the two together in the way that only I could.  :-)

To kick off the journey to this Ironman, I signed up for the #LT90daychallenge where I am pledging my pounds for the sake of a healthier life. My goal is to drop about 12% of my body weight before I sign up for IM, and then to just keep on making and sustaining the lifestyle choices that support me in my quest to better health. 

I am going to pick back up here and be more active as I find the presence and accountability helps keep me on some path.  

I look forward to the next 455 days or so.  :-)  I love me a good journey!