Ironman in Pictures

So I thought this would be fun! ENJOY!!! I'm off to the Dominican Republic for 6 days because my husband freakin rocks, and made sure I was having a good long rest after the ironman. I CAN'T WAIT! 

Yall, I'm dying. HAHAH!

Yall, I'm dying. HAHAH!

Sorry serious riders for photobombing your cuteness! Notice I'm on the right as all day I just stayed over there on the right as everyone passed me on the left! LOLOL! #noshame 

Sorry serious riders for photobombing your cuteness! Notice I'm on the right as all day I just stayed over there on the right as everyone passed me on the left! LOLOL! #noshame 

At some point it has to stop being fun right? lol!!

At some point it has to stop being fun right? lol!!

The pictures make it look super casual right? No big deal! Only took me 9 hours! LOL! Oh, and I think I forgot to mention, I got 9th in my age group!!! YAY! I was stoked about that. Funny part: I was 22nd until the run! LOL! I got all those suckers ;) hehehe!

We don't believe in spam but only in infrequent emails we think will help you!

* indicates required

Ironman NC Race Recap

I'm going to do a couple of blogs on the ironman and the entire experience, but I don't want this one to be miles long, so I'm going to keep this blog to strictly the day of the race! :) I'm also going to be detailed oriented for people like my family who want to read this that may not understand "tri lingo". It was a wonderful day that I'll never EVER forget!

First things first, I sleep like a rock. I know this is going to sound weird, but I also don't get nervous for races. For some reason, the one area of my life that I'm able to control emotions is with race day. The anxiety and butterflies of race days in the past makes me SUPER anxious, so I don't like it so I don't do it. Therefore, I sleep really well. In 4 years of marriage, my husband was snoring the night before, so I woke up and then couldn't go back to sleep at 12am off and on until 4am when my clock was set. HAA!!!

I wrote a post about all of the different things that you have to prepare for in a half ironman, but the same applies in a full ironman. You can find that post HERE. There are SO many details that have to come! And I don't do details. I'm bad at those. On race morning, I knew I had forgotten something and realized it was a towel coming into T1 (transition 1 from the swim to the bike) and it was SO cold. I didn't change in T1 like a lot of people because I like to wear my tri kit the entire day from under my wetsuit to the run! So we frantically went to our car to find something for me to use. I used a shirt and scarf of Tanner's. After dropping off a peanut butter sandwich at my bag because I wanted at least solid food at that moment, I got my body markings (tattoos for your arms and legs that show your number) and then I got on the bus that would take us from Transition 1 to the swim start. 

[Note for those considering IMNC: There is about a 0.25 mile run/jog from the water to T1. I heard people complaining about that. I choose to not let that stuff get to me, but it's on like asphalt so you have to do the little jog dance as you are barefoot coming out of the water. You also have to walk about 5-6 blocks from where the bus drops you off (on asphalt and I wore no shoes on the bus) to the actual start. However, that's also my fault that I didn't bring disposable flipflops. You CAN bring stuff to the swim start and they have bags there to get the stuff back to you but of course they "don't guarantee that" so I don't risk it.]

Once we got to the swim start, we had about an hour before go time. That went by surprisingly really fast. I talked with some people that I met on the bus and then ran into George who is racing from my town (couldn't believe I found him) and then 2 girls that knew me from the Women for Tri facebook group. This start is not a rolling start by age group or gender. It's a mass hysteria (okay that's dramatic but really). They sing the National Anthem, blow the horn and then everyone dives in. I was so excited that I squealed and ran into the water with George as we side hugged and talked about how it was "finally our time" and off we went.

NUTRITION THAT MORNING: I was at an airbnb and didn't want to cook so I got those little cups that you just add water. I got the one with buttered grits (32g Carb) with 3 eggs and a fast break Reese bar (ha). Then I had a cliff bar, and a banana before start so I had right around 100g Carb before the start and around 660 calories total (I had a large meal around 4:30pm the night before as well) and the start time was 7:30am. 

George and I at the expo the day before!

George and I at the expo the day before!


Many people fear the open water swim. I'm not one of those people. So, when I started getting kicked by grown men and smacked in the face, I was like KATIE YOU KNEW BETTER!! I knew better than to jump in that water all excited. I knew better than to not just let everyone go out first and then get in. Much to my surprise, I had my first panic attack in the water literally minutes after we started. I could NOT get a good stroke going. Everything felt so labored, and then I started panicking. Everyone was kicking me and I started floundering because like their arms when they would try to stroke as I was treading water would like pull my feet down and dunk me. OMG Yall, I freaked. I started thinking stupid thoughts immediately "omg omg I'm gonna drown. I'm seriously going to drown" as my heart rate shot up and then I started coaching myself "Breatheeeeeee. Just breathe." I rolled onto my back and did the back stroke to allow myself to openly breathe. I went SUPER slow to allow everyone to just pass me.

I finally rolled back over and started my swim legit. I just kept it consistent and easy. I certainly never pushed pace, and I would use the big buoys as guide posts to just get to that point...then the next..then the next. I actually was able to relax and started really enjoying myself. My wetsuit however was chafing my neck on both sides which now I have huge hickey marks, but I just ignored it. I was so excited when I could see the landing dock and people being pulled out. The swim to bike transition I'm always SO JACKED UP! I'm not really tired and I'm just so excited that one leg of the race is done so I was the crazy girl hollering and high fiving everyone. 

Transition 1

I didn't change. I went straight to get my bag, and ate my sandwich and put on all my bike gear, and headed out. It still took me 9 minutes. My transitions are hilariously long, but who cares? I don't actually do these for time. 

The official ironman camera man comes up to me because I was by myself and he has the camera up and he's like "SO TELL US YOUR STORY!" I was like "Uh uh uh, I don't have a story." Hahahaha! i couldn't think of anything, so I could have made the dang ironman film but was silly and just like stared at him until he realized I was awkward and left. LOL!!!

Do you see him video taping me? LOL!

Do you see him video taping me? LOL!

I wore this long sleeves the entire ride, and was so glad I did! It kept me warm! I probably wouldn't have been so happy if I knew the wind to come! ;) 

I wore this long sleeves the entire ride, and was so glad I did! It kept me warm! I probably wouldn't have been so happy if I knew the wind to come! ;) 


Okay, I'm going to try to keep this as brief as possible. The first 15 miles flew by. I was having a great time, and it was really windy but whatever. I thought how I was much better or a cyclist this year and yet I had to go the same distance (with the bike course being cut to the half distance). I feel like I'm going to sound like a diva when I say this but that course is proclaimed to be flat, and it is in fact not flat at all. It is one continuous uphill with only 15 miles at the end that are flat/downhill. My Garmin says that I did 1100ft of elevation gain from miles 10-40, so I know that's 30 miles to increase that much, but there was ZERO downhill. It was just one continuous tiny little climb. Most people who even did the race say it's flat, but I disagree. haha! 

Miles 20-40 

This is when the wind situation was really bad. We were going over big bridges, and the gusts apparently were up to 31mph. When they would come through, they would literally move me. When people pass you on the bike, they always say "to your left!!" and they would yell that at me as I'm trying to steer right but my bike is going left due to wind. It was very scary. I felt out of control a lot, and didn't go down into aero much at all due to just gripping the handlebars for my life. The weather reported a continuous headwind of 23-27mph. It never let up. I typically do 15-16mph on the bike, and I was averaging 10-12mph. I could NOT get my bike moving, and because it was that tiny constant incline it was just bad. If I had forced myself into aero, I wouldn't have trashed my quads, but I was too scared so I burnt up my quads really bad just to fight the wind. I didn't stop ever because I was nervous that if I stopped with this wind, it would be really scary to get the momentum going again, so I rode for 3 hours and 45 minutes with the death grip! LOL! 

My traps and neck have never been so sore. omg!

One time a tear fell down my cheek because if I'm being honest, everyone was passing me constantly. I felt like I was so terrible at tri and didn't even know why I bothered coming out here with all of these people that are so legit. Clearly, I was in a funk. This lady gave me encouragement when she saw my face and was like "OH SWEETIE! ALMOST THERE! WE GOT THIS. THIS WIND IS AWFUL! GO GIRL!" That kind of thing in a race is a God send. 

Miles 40-56

At mile 40, we got the sweet sweet release of the turn around point. I've never been so happy in my entire life. FINALLYYYYY we were on the downhill, and headed back into town. 16 miles on the downhill with the tailwind was about the best gift we could have received going into the marathon. I started averaging around 17-20mph at that point so that my final average was around 14.7mph, which is SO SLOW for me, but I know the wind affected everyone by 2-4mph on average. 

NUTRITION ON THE BIKE: I had two bottles-One had Lemon Lime Tailwind (50g C) and the other had Strawberry Lemonade of some brand I haven't tried before (oopsies I forgot) and it was the same nutrition (55g C ~220calories). I planned on drinking both but with the wind fear, I only got down one full bottle. Tanner said when he got my bike, he was worried when he noticed one full bottle, but I really was fine all day on nutrition. And clearly, I was behind on nutrition. My plan was 150calories/hour, and I had been 5 hours with only 340 calories. Yikes! 

Coming off the bike! YAY! :) 

Coming off the bike! YAY! :) 

TRANSITION 2 (Bike to Run) 

For those considering this race, the stopping point is on this tiny declined hill going into a gravel area so it was kinda odd with them having to yell at us to slow down as we were finishing so we didn't all have a big pile up then you jog on this little strip, and hand your bike off to a volunteer on your left. From there, you go into the changing tents. The volunteers were absolutely amazing!!! They were so helpful, and we all were changing into our running shoes, and then I exited out of the tent after I ate another cliff bar as quickly as I could thinking that put me right at 500 calories for the 5 hours I'd been working out, and that would have to do. I knew there were aid stations along the way a lot on the run so I wasn't concerned. 

The transition into the run was unclear where the marathon started, but I was like "Wait, I need to start my garmin!" I was about 0.25 miles late on my Garmin start. I'm going to tell you my Garmin splits, because the tracker on the run was SO false. One time it tracked me at 5:39/mile for a 3 mile section. HA! I wish I became a Kenyan out there! 


As I got off the bike, my legs literally became complete jello. It was hilarious as that's not happened to me before, but my knees were buckling and the girl behind me was like "Woah, are you okay?" HA! I was like "Oh yea I'm good...just casually about to go run a marathon!" LOLZZ! Not. 

I got so so excited coming out into running. I saw my family, and I went in for a hug for Tanner. He does far more than I can ever explain, and is my biggest cheerleader always. I asked him what it felt like being there on Saturday as a spectator and he said that he can't describe the amount of joy he feels inside as he sees me go through the finisher chute. He said he knew how much time and passion I had put into this journey and how much it meant to me, and in those moments, he couldn't be any happier, so it makes him emotional.

Miles 1-3, I was FLYING as indicated by my split of 7:05/mile which was correct. WOAHHH KATIE SLOW IT DOWN! I could literally hear Bethany and Tanner fussing at me in those moments as they got the update on their phones. HA!!! I wanted to aim for 7:45-8 the entire marathon, but I genuinely had no clue what to expect after everything else, so I just was going to do whatever effort told me to do in each moment. 

Miles 4-6 splits were 7:36, 7:43, 7:47 so I was proud to be doing a little better as I was purposely having to slow myself down but I knew my energy wouldn't last. I got to mile 8 and thought of mile 8 of Boston this year, and how I felt so awful at that race, and how I felt so great after doing so much more before on Saturday. That's the beauty of running. Some days are good. Some days are bad, so never give up on the bad. Take the highs with the lows. 

Miles 7-10 splits were 7:52, 7:38, 7:53, 7:44! 

This run on the Ironman NC course is one of my favorites of all time. You go up a tiny hill out of the town and into this beautiful park. It's completely flat, with a turn around point at 6.5 miles that you do a loop twice! There are aid stations at every single mile marker, and loud music playing and cheering. When I came through at mile 8, the beat of the song was my exact step so I was dancing with the volunteers which they absolutely loved. I was having a BALL! I was seeing so many people that I knew from facebook and instagram the way that the course is looped so I was hugging people left and right and people yelling my name. It was great! At mile 11, I thought "Eh, I'm okay but I don't need to be making a good time and I can tell my legs are throbbing so bad so I need to just start slowing down to a reasonable pace that my body feels is right! 

Miles 11-14 were 7:51, 8:02, 8:04, 8:18 

At mile 15, I felt this twinge in my calf. I've been struggling with my calves since I began endurance training. It's just something I kind of live with on a baseline. The way that my body is shaped, I have really long calf muscles, but they aren't developed. I've tried to build the muscle, but they don't hold up well, so I thought it was normal and it was so I kept running! 

Miles 15-18 7:55, 8:02, 7:55, 9:10

At mile 18, I got a calf cramp. I was like "Oh boy!" I stopped to stretch it out, but it would not let up. I knew I had to continue forward and just do what I could. The wheels came off the school bus though. When I stopped, all of the toxins that had been building up like released into my legs and I got this at Grandfather Mountain Marathon, but it feels like I'm going to crawl out of my skin in pain. My legs were finally DONE, and it hit me like a brick ... to the face... with a chair attached. 

I had been eating every single mile marker with the aid stations. I would grab handfuls of grapes and pretzels and cliff bars and I was stuffing in as many calories as I could. I started having stomach pains around mile 12, but it wasn't intolerable, but I did ease up at that point and not eat so much quantity of solid foods, and started taking the gels and chomps. I didn't personally take anything because I knew they'd have it out on the course and I don't like carrying it. 

I probably got in a solid 200 calories/hour on the first 3 hours of the marathon so nutrition wise and gut wise and hydration wise, I actually felt great the entire race. 

At mile 18, I knew I just had to shuffle step to keep that one foot in front of the other motion going. Mile 19-22, the splits were 9:46, 8:49, 8:50, 9:47. The 9minute/mile ones are those that I was genuinely walking just to try to ease that calf pain then would pick back up again to just try to move forward. I knew I was almost there, and of course there was nothing that would stop me, but I just knew it was going to be the longest 4 miles of my life...and it was. haha! 

At mile 24, I saw George. He was walking and I kinda panicked for him like OH NO! WHAT HAPPENED?! He explained that his wheels came off as well around mile 16 and that he was struggling. We encouraged one another, shuffle stepped for a little bit, and then he said he was going to have to walk and for me to go on out ahead. 

Miles 24-26 were the hardest miles I think I've done. My legs were hurting so bad, but I knew I was so close and to just shuffle shuffle. The energy was insane. The crowd was going wild, and I was loving their encouragement. It was so needed in those moments. At mile 25, I knew I had one mile left, and that it didn't matter about anything at that point but that finisher chute. People started yelling that I was about to be an ironman, and I started crying. Crying while running is very hard to breathe so I kept coaching myself to not cry just yet. I rounded the corner and saw my mom. She was screaming and jumping up and down OMG OMG GO KATIE!!! OMG UGLY CRY TIME! I came into the finisher chute. It's a red carpet, and everyone could see my name on my bib and were yelling my name. I looked to my left and saw Tanner. He was yelling, and smiling so big. 

I took in every single moment and second knowing I'd never get that feeling again. I put my hands up as I shuffle stepped across that finish line, and then starting sobbing. As per usual, the volunteers think I'm hurt and start asking if I need a med tent. I'm like "No no! I'm just a finish line cryer!" I immediately thought how long it would take to find my mom and Tanner and then all of a sudden, Tanner's there at the end of the chute. I got my medal, my PJ pants (tradition in NC), and I just sobbed into his chest. He kept saying "I'm so proud. I'm just so proud." 

There is nothing in my past, and nothing in my future that will ever be like the moment I had in that finisher chute and I'm tearing up typing this. When you put your entire heart and soul into a dream that you've had your entire life, and watch it come to fruition (even if it's not how you originally intended), the feeling is indescribable. You feel on top of the world and I'm still on cloud 9! 

I know during the process, my family thought I was crazy. I fought so hard for cycling. I had so many knee scraps learning those clip ins. I spent countless hours learning to bike. I watched hours of inspirational videos on youtube to get me through. I wanted to give up so many times, but I just kept telling myself that just like a race, it's just one more step. It's just one more mile, and then you make it. You dig so deep, and learn something new about your limitations every single time. The truth is, as I always say, the limitations that we place on ourselves are only there due to societal norms and our inability to open our minds up to the possibility of what we are capable. Every time you break down that barrier, you know that anything is possible. I look up and think how this must be what heaven is like. For the first time in your life, you aren't your worst critic. You cry because of all the doubt you had in yourself, you broke down those walls with just one more step forward, and you know that no one can take that from you. 

If you'd like to see my other race reports, you can find those HERE.





We don't believe in spam but only in infrequent emails we think will help you!

* indicates required

Humility and Joy in Change

Let's lighten this blog reading up a bit, shall we? Things have gotten too stiff around here! ;)

I was reading in my bible yesterday when I had a spare moment like around lunch (random I know) and I thought to myself "Wow, Where have you been?" It's crazy how sometimes it just snaps you back into reality. I came across this verse: 

"For his anger lasts only for a moment, but His favor lasts a lifetime; sadness may stay for the night but rejoicing comes in the morning." Psalm 30:5

Amen to that.

Yesterday in the heat of the moment, I was crying (OKAY I WAS SOBBING) and I kept saying "This training changed me. It made me this person that I'm not. It made me so isolated and now it's for nothing." Transparency for you right there folks! As I'm sitting there reading my bible, I think to myself, "Katie, seriously?" {Tanner's sweet as he just listened and let me cry-Side note he never just listens because he likes to fix things and sometimes I'm like YO DUDE I JUST WANNA CRY MMKAY?}

Every single day we wake up with a decision to make. Are we going to let the day rule us or are we going to rule the day? Do we let our circumstances define us or do we have joy regardless? For me personally, am I going to let the light of Christ that I have in my heart guide me or am I going to sink back into this human righteousness of what I think I deserve? I was so rocked by these thoughts that I was having. We all have a light that we can shine to everyone if we choose to or we can choose to not. 

I can go to this race and high five EVERY volunteer (because they have nothing to do with this) and I can stand my ground with how I feel about Ironman greed, and I can do it with a big smile on my face. The only thing that harnesses negative energy does is it hurts yourself. Every race that I've done, I legit love them all. I am just always so thankful for the opportunity and it makes the miles fly by and the memories so sweet. Those are the only memories I want to carry from this ironman. 

I was talking with a client on the phone yesterday. I don't do this often, but I really wanted to be able to discuss with her some things, and sometimes when I get that opportunity, I just smile. I smile at getting to put a voice to the names of the people that I've come to love over 6+ months of coaching. I smile at how they speak wisdom into my life even when I'm coaching them. She read me an excerpt from a book that she was addressing her own lack of humility and I thought, "Girllllll, you are speaking right to my soul." 

This won't be a direct exact quote from Humble Roots, but nevertheless, I have went to grab up this book as quickly as possible from Amazon to read it cover to cover.

When we see what others have, we covet it because deep down we think that’s what we deserve. At it’s root, pride confuses our identity with God’s and makes us think of ourselves as larger than we really are. But when we think of ourselves this way, we expect other people to think of us like this too. Without realizing it, we begin to expect more glory and honor because we actually believe ourselves to be better than they are.
— Humble Roots


Her example had to do with the fact that she feels like everyone can lose weight but her, and my thought process went to "Why do all of these other people get a perfect race and mine isn't?" We can all find our thing right now that I think that we can relate this to and that's where the comparison trap comes in. We don't compare because we think that we are less than even though for so long, that's what I've thought. I think that we compare because deep down we all have this deep seeded lack of humility that we think we deserve MORE than. How amazing to look at others separate from your situation and be joyful for them for the things that they deserve, right? Why do we always have to make it about us? ;)

I can't wait to get out there and race leaving all of the variables aside! The plan right now is that we are going to do the full race with Ironman, and then Base Salts Performance has set up an entire room in the convention center where we can bring in our bike trainers and get in the final 3-4ish hours of riding after the race. Some will think this is absolutely ridiculous, and while I get that notion, I want to do the entire 140.6 miles in one day and be done. I know there are many that will say "Just do the next!" or "It's okay. You're still an ironman!" and that's awesome, but I just have to do this for myself. I also think about all of the wonderful memories that are going to be made with a room full of people on their trainers for 4 hours. There's nothing quite as special as endurance athletes who just won't freakin give up! LOL! We are lunatics, I know! ;) 

I'm leaving on in the morning for Wilmington! I can't wait to share this journey!

We don't believe in spam but only in infrequent emails we think will help you!

* indicates required

Emotional Stages of a shortened Ironman NC Course

So if you were anywhere on the tri sphere on facebook last night, you saw the eruption that happened... 

Ironman NC has been shortened on the bike course by 62 miles, due to the large amounts of flooding that still remains after Hurricane Matthew 10 days ago. It's kind of crazy because while everyone was stressing out this week, I was like "Oh it will be fine." As they always say, anxiety doesn't ever fix anything, and I guess that's the case because whatever happens will happen..and guess what? It happened. Lol.

So of course I have to write a blog on it ;) 

First, we all stare at the email that they sent. We all didn't ACTUALLY think that they would do this, so it reads "The full ironman course will now be 2.4 mile swim, an altered course of approximately 50 miles, and 26.2 mile run. We all think "an altered course of 50 miles?" Does that mean that 50 miles are altered or that it's only 50 miles?  Surely, it's just altered. Let's take to facebook groups. 

Of course there's already posts. "DID Y'ALL GET THE EMAIL? IS IT SHORTENED?" 

The emotions start flying in. I don't even know what to feel. I felt kind of numb. Tanner was at work, and I was just reading the comments. Tanner got home, and then when someone hugged me and said "Oh my gosh, I don't even know what to say right now. I am so sorry. You've worked so hard" and then I just lost it. I just sobbed in his hug. You might think I'm dramatic, but maybe you haven't ever sacrificed as much as Ironman athletes do to get to this point...especially when it's our first one (and for me my only one). I knew what was done was done, and I didn't want to really even comment on facebook groups/status posts in the heat of my moment. I've at least learned my lesson about that. 

Of course immediately the sides divided.



All of those comments are true, but they also aren't mutually exclusive. It's like when someone says "I wish my husband and I didn't argue that much" and someone fires back "well at least he doesn't beat you!" Like, it's just unnecessary. Especially at the very heat of the moments of figuring this out, we aren't even allowed to be upset. Also, yes it's facebook but we all know that human connection is something that we all crave and when the people that are within your circle tell you that it's not okay for you to be upset, it hurts. 

I went from sad into whining mode. I just was like "Uhhh why did I even do this? Why did I waste all this time and energy and now I can't even really do an ironman? Uhhhh poor pitiful me!" Blah blah blah-we won't waste much time on that stage as it's annoying. lol! 

From there, I went into anger. I'm not still angry because I've come down from that ledge, but I do want to express my frustrations. 

Ironman-WHY? I'm not asking why you changed the event. I have zero problems with you being cognizant of the victims of the hurricane. I can only imagine what they are going through, and I do not want to take that lightly. Many of us have emailed you expressing concern, and we have gotten this exact same canned email.

The end of the email says if you have any additional questions, then ask them. So, here are mine: 

Why would you ignore all of our requests for transfers just upsetting everyone? 

Why would you not just offer us something to keep your reputation and your brand? 

Why would you continue to be so money hungry that you make so many valuable customers turn away and say that they will never participate in your events again? 

Where is the money going that you are making? We know that you gave $10,000 to local relief, but we also know that in 2015 you made 183 million and plan to only grow from there in 2016. We know that you have a lot more gained on this little "short cut" then the $10,000 that you put up to probably silence us.

How can we help the victims? If we are all going to be there, and ironman has enough power to just do this, then why can't we do something beneficial for the community? Think Chickfila business model here, they ACTUALLY know how to run a good company with ACTUAL customer service.

We all know it's more complicated than what the eye sees. We all know that the race directors have went over all the options of how to keep the course, and have found that it's not doable and that's fine, but WHY do you keep ignoring our requests for more answers? Why do you give us zero options for transfer or partial refunds? Why do you ignore emails of those coming from 800 miles away until they decide they have to make the decision, and they travel the distance only to THAT DAY find out it's a no go. 

There are going to be people that say "You're an ironman" but you're not until you go 140.6, but honestly it makes me sad that even the local races feel like they can't call themselves an ironman unless they do your branded event. Heck, you've got people that tattoo your brand on their calves, chests, and shoulders. I mean, that's huge. And you know it, ironman. You know it. You know that you have us by the balls, and that nothing that we say or do or write blog posts about is going to change anything about the fact that you are all about the money. 

If you answered our emails, our concerns, or our heartache and gave us some answers and communicated with us, then none of this would be happening. It's like dating a guy for 10 years, and he pulls the rug out from under you and says "I can't date you anymore." and you say "Why?" and he ignores you and you never hear from him again. WE DESERVE ANSWERS AND OPTIONS IRONMAN. You are a company and if I was one of those people, I might would report you to the better business bureau because you took my $750 and you didn't deliver, and then you don't even give us options otherwise. 

There was an update this morning that states that they tried. They tried to extend the course, and 421 wouldn't allow them, then they tried again and they couldn't get enough officers/etc. I understand and appreciate the efforts that we would have hoped you would put in regardless, but would love to know why we can't transfer or get a refund? 

It's no longer about the victims. It's just about business, so I get that. Because you are about money, I will be too. I'll never give you another dime. And I'm sure you don't care about me, and that's fine, but I know I'm not alone, and it's 2016...the year of social media. The year that social media can destroy people and companies, so it's worth looking into. 

From anger, I went into "whatever" mode. I really don't care anymore. I'm over the initial feelings. It is what it is, and that's what it will be. I'm not one to stay upset about much of anything for too long because the truth is, I am happy for my health. I am thankful to be able to race period. But I do think we all deserve a grieving period, and there are some that it might extend into the remainder of this week, and that's okay because everyone processes differently. We can all decide our attitudes in our circumstances, but sometimes it takes time to get there. Sometimes we yell and kick and scream and cry and then we take a deep breath and realize it's's all okay. I won't support ironman until we get further answers and options, but I also will go out there and do the best that I can with focus like I would any race. I'm going to try my best and I'm going to give it my all, because that's what endurance athletes do. We don't quit. We never will. 

If you'd like to track me, you can do so by downloading "IMTracker" on your phone and my bib number is 

I also would like to say that I know ahead of time that not everyone agrees on this topic or the things that I said in this post. I just hope that we can recognize that this is my blog, so obviously it's going to be my opinions and just to take that at face value and stay civil! K thanks! ;) 

I love witty humans on the internet ;) 

I love witty humans on the internet ;) 






We don't believe in spam but only in infrequent emails we think will help you!

* indicates required

GIVEAWAY + Photoshoot!

Okay, so I'm SUPER excited about the giveaway that I'm getting to do for you guys today! I'm collaborating with The Belong Tour to offer you guys 2 free tickets to a show of your choice. If you are coming to the Atlanta conference then I will be there with my mom, so if that is your location of choice then the giveaway will include getting to meet me and we will arrange that as well! :) The cheapest these tickets run are $79 and most are much higher than that. It's a 2 day women's conference, and I want to quote what they have on their website, so you can hear how awesome that it is! 

"BELONG is a Friday night – Saturday live event bringing women together in arenas across the country. Thousands of women will gather to hear remarkable communicators Jen Hatmaker, Shauna Niequist, Nichole Nordeman, Sharon Irving, Angela Davis, Patsy Clairmont hone in on how to live a fun, faith-filled, purposeful life.

There will be plenty of personal stories, music, laughter and maybe even some tears in this open space where women can connect to one another, to see and know each other, and carry each other’s burdens." 

BUT LET ME TELL YOU HOW THIS TIES INTO FITNESS! ;) Angela Davis is one of the speakers, and she is a 5X USA Track and Field athlete who is living her life for Jesus and wanting to share that inspiration with others. To say that I'm excited to hear her speak is like an understatement. She literally gives me chills just with excitement to hear her in person!!! WOOOO!!!! WOOOOO WOOOOO!! Seriously, she inspires me so much with her confidence in who she is and the Lord and fitness.  

All you have to do is subscribe to my email list. I promise you that I do not send frequent emails. Actually, I've never emailed this list as of yet! ;) haha! So I promise not to bother you! :)

Subscribe to get fun updates

* indicates required

As I told Tanner, I want to really spend the next season of my life doing some other things that I love. I've felt a little "stir crazy" in fitness and as much as I love it, I need a little break!! ;) So, I'm so excited to go on this mommy/daughter date in Atlanta in November! The three choices are 

Charlotte-Nov 4-5

Hartford, CT-Nov 11-12

Atlanta, GA-Nov 17-18 

My mom and I are going to go up on Friday and stay for the weekend. I live about 2.5 hours from Atlanta, but I'm going to be in NYC for the marathon during the Charlotte showing, which another one of my best friends (the photographer of these pictures) is going to be at so I hate the timing was a little off. 


Awkward flamingo pose ;) 

Awkward flamingo pose ;) 

We don't believe in spam but only in infrequent emails we think will help you!

* indicates required

Ironman One and Done Decision (For Sure)

I feel as if I've said this enough times that everyone already knows this, but I wanted to write out an entire full blog about the reasoning behind it. The original plan was to do a video which I recorded on my DSLR camera only to find out that update for iMovie10.2 doesn't work with my camera anymore and crashes it every time. AH! Gotta figure that out! 

So, I first want to say that I am SO excited for this. I cannot believe that it's finally here, and I couldn't be more thrilled that I get to hold in my heart that I've done this forever. I want to speak these truths now so that someone (most likely my husband) can let me review them if I ever get crazy ideas in my head again. 

I am someone that decides that I have a dream and what I want my life to look like, and then after the fact I decide if that's really something that makes sense for my life. Pharmacy school is a great example of this. I wasn't good at science in elementary, middle or high school but when I graduated from high school, I knew that I was going to go into the medical field. The journey was really really hard, and I attribute that to the fact that I didn't listen to my heart. I just did what I thought was this idea of success and what I needed to achieve and that when I got into it, I would like it. 

I think that we all have a tendency to live our life and look at it through this looking glass of like what makes us successful without even realizing it. Our entire society is structured off of it as we climb the ladder in school, and then start off into the "real world." Stay at home moms will discuss all the time how they feel they have lost their identity because we all just want to BE somebody. I think even deeper down we want to be successful so that we can feel needed and loved and like we belong to something. 

Since I began in the endurance world, my mantra has been that. I have continually climbed the endurance ladder with things getting harder and harder. Each milestone that I would reach I would think how it just keeps getting better and then I would sign up for more and more and more...until I finally got to the pinnacle of endurance, The Ironman. 

I had no idea what I was getting myself into or how much it would change me in good and not so great ways. However, here are some things to consider: 


Finishing an ironman has been on my bucket list for as long as I can remember. Enjoying the steps to get to an ironman is never even something that I considered. I just knew that I would put in the work and get it done. The older I get, the more silly this becomes. As I was on this journey, I found myself retracting more and more of not even wanting to talk about it because I knew that so many others are able to do this well and enjoy it, so what was wrong with me? 

I am someone that runs with so much passion. I love running so much, and we all know that biking is the part that I've struggled with, but I got to thinking about those people in my life who say they wish that they could run like I do and I would always just like "well just try. Just give it more than one mile" and while I do believe that, I think that there also just needs to be an element of acceptance. If you try something and you just don't enjoy it, then that's okay. That doesn't mean that you are "less than" because you don't do a full marathon or if 5K is your stopping place. Social media makes us believe that we just have to do more more more. We all know this, but yet we still let it get to us and make us believe lies about ourselves. 


Reaching goals is one thing, but you need to enjoy the journey. I have realized that this is a journey that I honestly didn't love and it made me feel really alone. I felt as if the people doing ironmans were enjoying them, and the people that weren't doing it were thinking "Yea you're crazy AF and should have known this was stupid." When you run marathons, you become friends with marathoners and you rally together to make one another feel good. There are few people in the ironman boat that I could say "I don't know what to do because I kind of want to quit, but I'll never quit, so I'm just gonna keep going." I would talk to Tanner and of course he was super encouraging, but he doesn't understand endurance. I would point blank tell him that I needed words of encouragement more than anything so when I would come in from 2-2.5 hours of exercise every single day sometimes ending at 9pm, he would say "I'm so proud of you. You have no idea." and it kept me going. I know no one cares, but like that's why I don't post as much. I just haven't felt like myself for so long, and it all started 6 months ago when I began this journey.


This is the weird part about me is that I kind of enjoyed this. I knew that I was working so hard, and my body was like YEP YOU SURE ARE. But it was like satisfying and I was just so proud each week that I would do these huge workouts. The CRAZIEST part is that my peak weekend, I didn't feel that. It was like I really had trained my body to reach that pinnacle, and that felt the best of all. I had done it. I had made it. 


I used to do volunteer work. I used to be really in touch with everyone at my church. I just can't do anything. It's work and training. I have literally zero balance, and it's not because I don't want it. I'm constantly fighting for it, but there are only so many hours in the day. I used to see my family more, and I just keep saying "It's almost done y'all. It's almost here!" but I feel like I've been saying that for half of my life in everything. 

If I can just reach this point, I'll relax. If I can just reach HERE, I'll be the girl that I know I am deep down and be able to have the time to cook my husband dinner or just hang out on the couch. Ironman allows for none of that. I wasn't over training. I honestly was under training in comparison to every training program I found online, but it's still at least 15-20 hours per week of training. Every Saturday is taken. I couldn't go on weekend trips without feeling super behind. I couldn't go to my cousins soccer games on Saturday mornings because even if I start at 5am on the trainer, I'm still going to be training until like 2pm. Like WHAT?


I think this one kind of summarizes where my head space is at. Marathons are so manageable for me. It takes me at most 2 hours on a Saturday morning to knock at a long run, and I'm good to go for the rest of the weekend. I just simply became REALLY burnt out, and it turned me off from fitness entirely. I began to hate training. I began to resent it for the time that I was spending away from family and friends. I started to have a poor attitude during training thinking "This is so silly. It's just too much."

I hope you're not a new follower reading this because then you are going to think that I'm just a really negative person. I PROMISE you that's not the case. I guess that's my entire point is that it's made me feel that way and I'm like WHO IS THIS GIRL!?


I went to Chicago last week, and as I was observing the runners I was like "Yes. THIS IS WHERE I BELONG!" I felt at home. I felt at peace with who I was as an athlete. I am a runner. I want to qualify for NYC. I want to run Chicago and London and Berlin and Twin Cities and Charleston and Savannah and NYC! WOO!! I have so many marathons to run!

My point of all of this is to say that if you evaluate where you're at, and you decide that it's not the person that you wanted to be and you find that you really aren't enjoying the course that your life is taking, it's okay to hang up the shoes and say "I'm sorry, but I just can't anymore." That's how I feel about tri. It's just not me, so I'm going to stop forcing it. 

This is the CRAZIEST blog to write one week out from an ironman because while I feel all of these things, I'm about to jump for joy that I get to participate in this. I am envisioning myself swimming in that open water which I absolutely LOVE, and riding the bike down those beautiful roads, and then getting to my love at the end!! AHHH IT'S SO DANG EXCITING!!! 

I'M SO PROUD OF MYSELF!!! I'm probably more proud of myself than I've ever been before. 






We don't believe in spam but only in infrequent emails we think will help you!

* indicates required

Ironman Taper (FINALLY)

I have been waiting for you for oh so long taper! :) 

I'm officially 1 week and 2 days away from ironman. THE TIME HAS FLOWN BY! Jk, that's like the biggest lie of the century. It's been a LONGGGG training season. ha! 

I'm just going to give you all of the details leading up until race day since this is basically one week out! I will say that going to Chicago was like ehhh maybe not the best idea, but it was fun so whatever. I had to take two rest days, and I won't say I "had to" but Kelly and I were hanging out on Monday and I wasn't going to like split off just to run or bike or something. Not my style. I was like "Eh tapering right?" HA! 

Tuesday, I ran 8 miles and cycled 25 miles! That felt AWESOME after 2 rest days. Man, it felt so good! 

Yesterday-Running 3 miles, biking 1 hour, Swim 3000m (I haven't swam in 1.5 weeks-like do I even tri-I don't even know-I've been so bad eek)

Thursday-Run 6 miles + Lift 

Friday - Cycle 50 miles + 3000m swim 

Saturday- 9 mile run 

Sunday - REST 

Monday - 8 miles + 60 min cycle 

Tuesday- 3 miles running + 2000m swim 

Wednesday -Run 4 miles + 25 mile bike

Thursday-Swim 3000m

Friday-30 min cycle to 2 mile run shake out

Saturday-RACE DAY!!

I literally just wrote that out while writing this. I don't know if that's a good plan, but I think it will work for me! :) I really have just made my own plans as I've gone along this entire time, so I'm hopeful that it will serve me well on the big day. Tonight I'm going to sit down and write out everything that I need to make for a successful race and make sure that I have everything packed early and ready to go. I'm going to take my bike to the local bike shop to have it looked over, and I'm going to make sure I have a plan for food on the day of. I'm going to check on the details of checking in my bike, and all of my race day bags, and I'm going to make sure that our airbnb is good to go! We got a house about 5 minutes away from the start. I'm going to plan out the travel plan for the Friday before, and then I'm going to rest in all of the work that I've put in to make this day a reality. 

Mark my words on this one guys, and you know that I NEVER say this kind of thing, but I'm a one and done. For sure. I'm a marathoner, and I think I'm going to hang up tri at this point. Video to come tomorrow of all of the emotions behind this and why I've decided that this is what is best for me long term. I want to go ahead and speak these truths NOW so that my clarity isn't blinded on post race excitement! HAHA! 

We don't believe in spam but only in infrequent emails we think will help you!

* indicates required

Chicago Marathon Weekend Recap

First, I just want to say that I LOVE Chicago. It was such a fun city and reminds me SO much of New York City that of course I fell immediately in love. It's just a little bit cleaner than NYC and has  a lake at the end of it which is just absolutely beautiful. So, if you get the chance to go to Chicago then you should do it. The reason I even went is because I randomly look up flights on weekends that I think that I can go places and sometimes I hop on a plane if it's cheap enough. I found a flight for $95 and was like DONE. 

I texted one of my clients that I'm close with who has invited me countless times to Chicago and told her that I was FINALLY coming. She was happy to host me and I am so thankful for her friendship and a really amazing beautiful home to stay in. I arrived the first night and she told me to take uber to her house. I looked it up and it was about an hour and with traffic like 1.5 hours and I panicked. I had never done uber and I had just read this story on facebook about how this man like abducted this girl through uber so I texted some other friends I knew to see if they could pick me up. I know I's not a big deal but I was a girl alone at 10pm in a new city! haha! 

Steph was free to come if I would just stay at her house and ignore the mess (which by the way was not messy at all and I absolutely LOVED getting to stay up and chat with her). We stayed up late and then got up at 5am to head down to the lake front for our runs. I told her that I needed to eat and she was like BUT NO YOU CAN'T MISS SUNRISE! haha! I'm SO glad I listened and didn't even walk to Starbucks so that I could experience that run on the lake. It was unreal. I decided that with my time frame it was going to be too far to walk to get breakfast so I was just going to complete my run. Yall, I don't do fasted. That's not my gig. I get really grumpy. haha!!! So, I was STARVING by the end of 16 miles where I quickly went to 7-11 and got like 5 different things for breakfast! ha! Breakfast sandwich, banana, veggie chips, and cliff bar! I feasted on all! 

I headed to the shake out run that Kelly was hosting with Westin and Oiselle where she was staying, and it was so much fun. We had a blast just chatting it up with people and I ran another 2.3 miles to complete my 18 for my final long run before the ironman. I actually started feeling some major pain in my left calf and was like "oh please no!" but it's pretty much gone now so I think we are all good. Kelly and I headed off to lunch after and to the expo! The expo was so crowded so we just grabbed her bib and headed back out! 

I caught up with my client outside of the convention center and we went back to her place where I spent a little bit of time settling in there before I headed off to dinner with Bethany and her family for her pre race meal. She picked the place and it was hilariously uppidy and we laughed the entire time that we didn't fit in. I got the specialty fish and they legit brought it to me uncooked on a platter, and I didn't know what to say other than "I'm a wannabe vegan and this is very disturbing" so I sufficed it with "Nice." We laughed all weekend about my awkward "nice!" It's so funny how beth and I have only hung out at boston but we talk all day every day so when I met up with her family, it was just seamless and like we were all family. haha! Her dad is a HOOT! 

I knew everyone would be knocking out early for the race morning so I headed back to watch a movie with my friend, Annabel at her place!!! 


Can I just say how weird it was being on the other side of the marathon? I don't know how I feel about it. haha! I enjoyed the fact that I didn't have to run 26.2 miles, but once the marathon was over, I was jealous of the pride I knew they all had on that day. I LOVE that post marathon happiness and hunger! It's just the best. 

Annabel and I headed out and grabbed breakfast downtown then met up with Steph again. We had missed the start (oops #foodmatters) and then headed to the spot where we would camp out at which was mile 17. It was actually really empty there so we were able to really see all the runners go through. I knew when Bethany and Kelly would come through and I jumped in with both of them and ran for like 0.25 of a mile! It was so fun! 

After that, I knew I had to walk back to Bethany's hotel so I split off and put it into google maps and I was an hour away. WHAT?! How did that happen? So, I got to walking. haha! I ended up literally running into them when I finally made my way back right at the finish and she had just got done. I got to scream and jump up and down for her PR (3:14:32) and just was so happy to be there for her on that day. I know how hard she works, and how much she wanted it and that was HER day. I was so happy to be there. 

We headed back for her and Melissa to clean up and then we headed down for some FOOD and cake for Bethany's birthday!!! We sang to her awkwardly in a quiet restaurant. hahaha! 

I headed back to do my client check ins and run coaching updates!!! I couldn't believe it was Sunday because marathons are normally on Saturday's so I was like AH! haha! But I got that done, and then had dinner with Annabel. It was a quiet dinner at home that she made, and it was delicious. Her and her boyfriend Ross are so precious and me and Annabel just connect on a really deep level so I just loved talking with her tons this weekend. I wish that she lived closer to me, but I know I'm going back to Chicago next year for the marathon (yep already decided that one haha). 

From there, I headed back out to hang out with Kelly at her hotel. Once I got there, she was like "just stay" so I ended up sleeping there for the night and then we explored all over Chicago the next day. Kelly is just as crazy in person as she appears, and so we had so much fun laughing together alot. 

After I split off from Kelly on Monday, I had to rush to get back and get everything ready to get to the airport. I ended up waiting WAY too late to get my uber so I was a wee bit stressed upon arrival at the airport when the entire world was there leaving the marathon. However, kudos to the Chicago airport because they knew about all of this and they were ROCKING with getting us all through. It only took me like 10 minutes when the line was like forever long for security and I was to my terminal just in time for boarding (shew-that's always scary haha). 

Well, of course I had time to grab food too because #duh I was REAL hungry by then. I end up eating so much less on weekends like this because I eat 3 square meals per day and I'm just running around everywhere. 

It was such a beautiful weekend and memories that I'll get to keep with me forever. I truly believe that experiences are what life is all about. I would sacrifice so much just to be able to travel. It's so worth it, so I will keep searching for random flights to random places. 

This was the back of the Happy Birthday Bethany shirt! I had so much fun making this shirt and surprising them!

This was the back of the Happy Birthday Bethany shirt! I had so much fun making this shirt and surprising them!

I'm really excited to travel in the upcoming months. After my ironman, Tanner and I are headed to the Dominican Republic for 6 days, then right when I get back I fly out to New York for 4 days for the marathon. I'm so incredibly excited to be there for the marathon as that's my favorite city in the entire world and there is NOTHING like that marathon. I've never ran it and my goal is to run it through qualification (the time for me would have to be a 3:12- so close!), so I'm hoping that NYC 2018 marathon I'll make it there! Until then, I'll cheer my heart out for my friends. 

After NYC is San Fran where I'm signed up for the 50k. I'm contemplating dropping to the half marathon because I have friends coming into town from NYC for us all to hang out in San Fran, and I'll be honest that I just don't know if I'm mentally prepared to run a 50K so close after my ironman. This ironman has beat me into the ground and that's a youtube video that I plan to do this week. It's something that I never expected to happen, but it has and I think I need a resurgence of mojo juice by not doing crazy things for at least a month. I've been going SOLID for 2.5 years now. To be continued on that... 

We don't believe in spam but only in infrequent emails we think will help you!

* indicates required

Feelings leaving Chicago-Listen to their stories!

So, Chicago has been a whirlwind of a weekend and the most fun ever! It's all so crazy how I get so hype for these times and then they are gone in a flash. SO SAD! But this is the kind of stuff that I live for! My next trip is going to be to Wilmington in 2 weeks for the ironman!!!! After the ironman, we are leaving for the Dominican Republic for 6 days then 3 days later I turn around and am flying out to the NYC marathon and New York for 4 days (which I'm so dang thrilled about as I miss my friends there so so much)!

I'll start this by saying that this is that female emotional time of the month and Katiesfitscript wears her heart on her sleeve pretty much like 99.67% of the time so might as well just bump that up to 100% for today. Ha! I get overwhelmed with gratitude for the girls that I saw out there and the friends that I have that are reaching for their goals. I told Bethany I want to write a blog specifically about her because she trains really well and structured and I think that anyone could benefit from knowing all the things that she does that helps her to get to her A goals and PR's so that is to come this week.

Kelly was doing her series on BQ or bust recording her journey on youtube and instagram. There were elements during this race for her that were so different than anything she had ever experienced similar to how I felt in Boston this past year, and so she was thrilled with the performance that she was able to do in spite of all of that. I love to ask questions to all of my friends and just listen to them talk. I have realized more and more how much I can learn from them. Kelly inspired me so much just hearing her joy of working through the suffering of the race when she was feeling down and hurting.

I stayed with Steph the first night and she gave me so much advice going into my ironman. She kept saying "I don't have anything on my walls or in my house. I just collect memories" and I just LOVED that. Pictures fill Steph's house and not things from the memories that she makes and the way that she fiercely loves life. Because of this, we went on 5 hours sleep just to be able to catch a sunrise. That's how much Steph believes in grabbing the most of life. Sunrises MATTER. She has such a powerful story and I love her heart and spirit so much!

I stayed the rest of the time with my client and friend, Annabel. I cannot explain how much of a gem this girl in. She's such a rockstar living this amazing life in Chicago. She cooks these chef inspired meals almost every night and taught me all kinds of tricks to easily fit that into the day. I'm so glad I got to stay with her and hoping for a round 2 when I come back to Chicago to run the marathon next year because I'm convinced I'm doing it if I can get in!!!

I have so many feelings of gratitude around this trip. I think that many times we forget about all the different types of people around the world that we can get to know with all the hustle that we get into our daily lives. We get complacent with our jobs and the election and it's so refreshing to come and just LISTEN. I didn't want to do tons of talking. I just like to listen to people, and see what they think and what they believe. I feel there is so much to learn from people and cultures and cities. All of this kind of pieces together who you are as the years go forward. I realized this weekend actually that one of my spiritual love languages is productive quality time. I don't like to not be productive basically ever (which I know can present problems) so I love to be in new cities and being able to explore while spending time with friends and trying new restaurants and new fun things! I love to hear about what people do for their jobs and what led them to that position. I love hearing people's stories.

I love looking up at buildings and seeing all the lights in the buildings at night and asking myself their stories. Have they been there all day? I wonder what they will get for dinner and what they do. I wonder if they are millionaires that I'm walking beside and where they came from. I see a homeless man and wonder the same. How did he get there? What is his story?

Last night and this morning I found myself on facebook and of course, the only thing that anyone is talking about is the election. I realize as I'm reading through that the experiences that people have gone through shape 10000% how they feel on this election. The geographical location that they were born into establishes so much of their belief system, and let me tell you not one person cares about the other person's story that doesn't agree with them. They just think they are blatantly wrong.

But we can't stand to just accept that we all have these different backgrounds and experiences that lead us to our belief systems. We thrive on connectivity and relationships. We WANT those people to feel the way that we feel. It drives us mad that no one (in those moments) understands what we are trying to say which ends up many times in anger. 

So, I think the feeling that I'm leaving Chicago with is just that it's so important to listen. It's so important to look at culture and the buildings and the lights and ask the people around you their stories. It might not seem like it's teaching you anything and it might be so dumb, but I think that we always are thinking of what we want to say next in conversations versus just letting someone else speak and I have loved just soaking up other people this weekend and THEIR stories. This weekend was about THEM and their race...not mine. And I loved it.

Full details of what I did tomorrow! :)

We don't believe in spam but only in infrequent emails we think will help you!

* indicates required

A Typical Grocery List

So, I know that I haven't shared about my diet in a long time and that's because it just simply hasn't been my focus. I've been eating anything and everything and just training a lot. Obviously, you can imagine the amount of calories needed for ironman. I am a huge fan of tracking your intake when you are first getting into endurance training just because too much or too little is really easy to do and finding that happy medium is a really great spot to be to make sure that you aren't gaining weight (which happens so many times) and you obviously don't want to be losing weight too much because you could be sacrificing muscle.

There are a lot of thoughts of counting nutrients not calories, and they don't mean like actually counting nutrients but rather just eating whole foods and then not worrying about calories and that your body will take care of itself. However, I think that because of the damaging things that many women have done to their bodies, they don't have the hunger cues for this. Vegetables and fruits are low calorie therefore if they were to only eat this, then they might not be getting ENOUGH calories and I think it's important to track to be able to know this. That's just my two cents though and everyone has their approach that works well for them.

However, after I have been through an entire journey of getting my calories higher through a reverse diet, and then I got to a place that I didn't want to track anymore so I believe that I'm able to just eat whole foods in abundance and listen to my hunger signals for guidance on that. However, on long run/ride days, I track more just to make sure that I am getting enough because I have to force feed a bit on those days with burning so many calories but when I do big workouts, I feel the opposite of hunger. My appetite disappears.

Our grocery list doesn't really change as of lately, and so I thought I'd share. I'm not sure if you watched my video at the beginning of this year about giving up meat, but since we did that, we really haven't turned back. We haven't bought meat since. This isn't something that we are super duper strict about if someone prepares something/we go out to eat with others but in our own home, this is what we have chosen and it's been SUCH a beautiful journey. Tanner is seriously the best about stuff like this, and he can just easily make switches and gets excited about them and then it's not just phases...he genuinely sticks with it. So homebody is like 100% vegan at home. He also has been able to put 10lbs of muscle on in the past 2 years and for a year of that, he has had very minimal protein, so let's get to the list! (He does typically have one scoop of vegan protein powder daily and that specific brand switches based on whatever he can find online for sale!) 


  • Bananas
  • Apples (Golden Delicious)
  • Strawberries
  • Blackberries
  • Mangos


  • Spinach (both freezer and regular for smoothies vs salads)
  • Onions
  • Mushrooms
  • Carrots
  • Peppers (all colors)
  • Potatoes (just white)
  • zucchini
  • Squash
  • eggplant
  • tomatoes
  • cucumbers


  • Tofu
  • Tempeh
  • Vegan protein powder
  • Beyond Meat Beef Crumbles
  • Seitan


  • Tofu noodles
  • Oats & Honey Bars
  • Cliff Bars
  • Pasta Sauce
  • Pasta
  • Rice
  • Coconut Cream "Ice Cream"
  • Almond Milk

Honestly, that's about it. We create tons of just big bowls of different combinations. We typically do a big batch at the beginning of the week where we cut up all veggies and put them in multiple 9x13 dishes and roast them in the oven so that we can grab those and add some tofu, tempeh, or seitan. We both typically have one large green smoothie per day. Mine is typically banana, strawberries, blackberries, spinach, almond milk, chia and this powder that I have that is like a multivitamin powder. Tanner creates a new shake every morning just throwing random stuff in his. He's seriously going to live until he's 110! lol! 

We have fun nights of creating new plant based dishes and we love going to plant based restaurants. I should do a full day of eating type post, but it really does vary day to day depending on if we go out to eat with friends, family or just us. Typically we just have huge bowls with a starchy vegetables (potatoes, rice, butternut squash) with tons of fibrous veggies along with some form of "protein" being tofu or tempeh. We don't really season them, but we do buy those packets of either pesto powder or like garlic salt just to give it a little flavor. During the week, we aren't that picky about our food and are just living life..nothing too exciting! :)

 I am headed to Chicago tonight (flight leaves at 850) and I couldn't be more excited! It's going to be such a fun filled weekend with everyone and I kind of am more excited that I'm NOT running the race so that I can focus on spoiling my friends with carbs and love, and just get to hang out. When I did Boston, it's hard to meet people just because I was focused on my own race, so this is a fun switch! I am getting to do that in NYC this year too! I'll be all over instagram with updates I'm sure ;) If you don't follow my lifestyle on @_katieamelia, I've gotten much more active on that media especially for weekends like this!!




We don't believe in spam but only in infrequent emails we think will help you!

* indicates required

The Cleveland County Fair is in town!!!

So, in Shelby, we like to pride ourselves on having the biggest fair in North Carolina aside from the state fair in Raleigh. I have so many memories at the fair, and there's only been one year of my life that I haven't been able to go. I have to say it doesn't feel the same now that I'm an adult, and there are tons of things that have changed, but it still gives me this nostalgic comfort while being there. Rachel is also an absolute gem for taking these pictures. She is trying to learn photography better, and I think she has an amazing talent. She also put up with my awkwardness. Now time for no words and just a bunch of pictures! :)

Such a good sport hahaha!

Such a good sport hahaha!

And last but not least, my beautiful friend!! You know those people that you feel like you are even lucky to get to be so close to...that's how I feel about Rachel. Her and her husband Wes have become some of our best friends over the past year. She's such a good, fun person and I love her to pieces. I could go into all of her spiritual gifts, but just know she's awesome! lol!

We don't believe in spam but only in infrequent emails we think will help you!

* indicates required

Tater Tot Taper Tuesday

I'm so excited to be writing the words TAPER, but ironman taper in the first week is still a lot however not as much as before and for that, I am a thankful girl.

First, I'm doing a STEPBET! WOOO!!! I have been trying to get a challenge going for quite some time that is related to running, and I wasn't sure exactly what to do, and Step Bet contacted me. Here's how it works, and it's just like Diet Bet: 

-You pay entry of $40 ( ) and download the FREE stepbet app

-They assign you a step count (that includes running) that is a goal set based on what you are currently doing and how to do better than that (there is an active goal and a stretch goal which "stretches you to do more")

-If you do this for the 6 weeks then you get your money back and then you split the rest with all of the other people that finish! 

It's super fun, low key easy, and is connected with Fitbit, Apple Watch, and the Health app on apple and droid phones. It is not with Garmin as of right now, but my phone Health app is what I'm using. Here's the link again! :) SUPER PUMPED!!!

Last week, I did the same structure as always during the week (which is basically the same structure as this week that you'll see below) other than the fact that my brother asked me to come over on Thursday night, and I had to work all day at the pharmacy so I decided to make that my rest day. Let me just insert here that again, things can be changed around. There's always adjustments that can be made. If it's key workouts then you need to get them in, but this was an easy 6 miles. I also was planning a swim in Moss Lake with friends on Sunday which is normally my rest day so I just shifted.

Here's what happened though. I woke up Sunday and realized how cold it was outside and freaked out. I started doing research because I don't have a wet suit. I rented one last year and doing the same this year. I didn't see the point in purchasing as I don't plan on continuing to need one. Anyway, I bailed. I biked for 80 miles, which was the plan there too and then I ran 5 miles off the bike however I only swam a small distance last week. Again, that never bothers me. I just readjust, so I swam yesterday after my 8 miler. Someone once asked me if I was addicted to exercise (gotta love the internet). I GLADLY welcome rest days, I absolutely LOVE a taper, and if I go on a trip I always pretend I'm gonna run the entire time (like when we went to Europe) and I legit ran like maybe 3 miles the entire trip! LOL! I like to be intense and accomplish huge goals, but I like to do other fun stuff too. 

On Friday, I ran 14 miles @ 7:35 pace which felt AMAZING in the fall air! A-Mazing! I knew that I was volunteering at a 5K and I assumed I would just jog it to total 17ish miles for the day. I get to the race, and there are two churches involved. My church friends were all like "Sooo, you're going to win this right?" and I was all like "No yall, I ran 14 miles this morning" and they were like "OH COME ON!" I genuinely didn't want to race it, as racing scares me this close to an ironman. Knowing me, I'd pop something and be down for the count. LOL.

Right at the start, I was like "Oh whatever, I guess I'm racing this" as the gun goes off. It had two AWFUL hills and I was thinking "This is terrible. I'll stick to going long and slow! HAHA!!!" I ended up at 20 minutes on the dot (20:00:04 which is 6:28/mile). My PR is 18:20 from a few years ago and I'd love to beat that on a day I didn't run long before and when I've actually been doing speed work and I think I have it in me so I might have to race another 5K forreal and planned in Nov/Dec!

So, this week:

Monday-8 miles+2000m swim

Tuesday-2 hour cycle (probably outside) + 6 miles

Wednesday-8 mile run

Thursday-70 mile bike

Friday-4200yard swim

Saturday or Sunday-18-20 mile long run

I have no idea what I'm going to be doing in Chicago. I know I'm going to the shake out run before the marathon with Kelly (Run Selfie Repeat) and I know that I'll be with Bethany (@babfitrunlife) and Steph (@runtrimom) for a lot of the time as well. I'm running portions of the marathon with Bethany and Kelly as a pacer, which is Sunday so basically I'm just leaving my long run in the air and I'm sure I'll get it done at some point. If I don't, then I'm staying Monday until 430pm which is late enough to get in 20 miles when I wake up.

Saturday will be two weeks out, and at that point, I'm going to really scale back and taper at that point. I have felt as if I wasn't as prepared as some other people that are doing their first ironman or according to plans that you find online. I'm not worried about that as I know that I'm still prepared, but that's why I'm doing a two week aggressive taper versus a slow and drawn out three weeks. That's what I prefer anyway. I get lethargic with a three week taper.

And if you're wondering about tater tots, I just like to eat them so we keep a bag in the freezer to put in the oven with seasoned salt #allnatural #plantbased #jksoprocessed.

After my final long ride-Tanner pointed out that the one thing on my quads that has grown in muscle is that place right above my knee cap like at the very base of my quad. I would never have noticed but I thought that was cool to see! :)

After my final long ride-Tanner pointed out that the one thing on my quads that has grown in muscle is that place right above my knee cap like at the very base of my quad. I would never have noticed but I thought that was cool to see! :)


We don't believe in spam but only in infrequent emails we think will help you!

* indicates required


I feel as if I might ruffle some feathers today, but we all have our own opinions so I hope that we can all be respectful of one another like mature adults, and have genuine conversations about this vs defensiveness.


Let me explain. I'm not some high and mighty Christian girl that wants to tell you how to live your life. I'm not trying to tell you to not be body confident and not show what you are proud that you have done. I'm not saying that it's okay that women's bodies are made into sexual objects, and that we have to placate the arousal of men. I'm not saying any of that, so do NOT hear me wrong on this.

But, the fact of the matter is, our naked bodies are sexual. Point blank. And yea we can buck the system and be all I'LL DO WHAT I WANT and that's fine, but it's unfair to other women who have to deal with their men looking at your bare ass with the click of a button opening their instagram (Sorry). When people say that it's society's fault for sexualizing women, I'm like "that's like blaming an apple for being edible." It is what it is. That's just a fact. A butt and boobs are sexual things and that's not going to change. Yes, boobs provide nutrition and I'm all for breast feeding, so lord, let us not even go there, but when Eve ate the apple, being naked became indecent exposure to which in public, you can be arrested because...they these parts of our bodies are sexual. But it's not the full thing? Well no, but it's a peep show of what could be there so it's a tease and makes men (and women) want to go further.

Let me just tell you a little story. Tanner comes home from church today (I'm a heathen and skipped due to training) and he was like "I've decided to delete instagram off my phone."

I would first like to pause and say that I'm VERY thankful for a very communicative and healthy marriage. Like forreal, I'm not just acting like we are secure and rosy on the internet when really we struggle at home. No. Like we are genuinely a very happy, secure, couple. We don't do jealousy and all that silliness. AINT NOBODY GOT TIME FOR THAT!

So, when he says he's deleting instagram, I'm like "oh okay whatever, you don't use it anyway." I think the last time he posted was over a month ago (August 7th actually). He says that he literally logs on like every week maybe, goes to his favorite pages and he will go to my page, like all of my pictures (ha) and then doesn't touch instagram again. But in order to find his favorite pages, he doesn't scroll. He goes to the search tab to search them. What's on the search tab? The explore page. And what do you find on the explore page? Pages that are customized to what they think that you will like.

Reminder-my husband ONLY follows fitness GUYS not girls but I guess they assume he will be interested in fitness girls

Reminder-my husband ONLY follows fitness GUYS not girls but I guess they assume he will be interested in fitness girls

My husband follows NO SEXUAL accounts. He follows ZERO fitness girls other than me. The only people in that realm that he follows are bodybuilder guys. He tells me that when he goes to that search page, his entire explore page is women and their half naked bodies and he feels immediate weird guilt like "oh my gosh, I'm seeing something that I shouldn't!" Praise Jesus for holy men!! I'm very lucky, I know, and maybe you are thinking my husband is a prude, but whatever, I'll take it.

I log onto his account to see what he's talking about as we are talking. And yall, please look at what it has.

And somehow it's the men's fault for sexualizing her body VS any responsibility on the party posting it???

And somehow it's the men's fault for sexualizing her body VS any responsibility on the party posting it???

So, I'm just like getting mad, not for me, not for my marriage and my husband seeing this because like forreal, who cares THAT much about one time? We see sexual images constantly. I'm not that insecure however I think about the marriages that aren't as secure. I think about the women that I know that are dating men and their explore pages look this way and they certainly aren't saying 'oh my gosh, I shouldn't be looking at this. I'm going to delete my instagram.' NOPE. NOT ONE BIT. They are clicking on those images in their spare time. I thought "I'll just click on one and see where this takes me." And look what the first one is!

HOTTEST GIRLS ON INSTAGRAM-GYM GIRLS CERTIFIED. OOOO LOOK AT ALL THE HALF NAKED BODIES. I honestly was disgusted just thinking about how easily in ONE click I was on a basically porn instagram. You are going to tell me it's not porn so I decided to look up a defintion.

Porn- television programs, magazine, books, etc. that are regarded as emphasizing the sensuous or sensational aspects of a nonsexual subject and stimulating a compulsive interest in their audience.

HMMM?? Yea....

I totally understand the fitness industry, and I've actually gotten less hyper aware of the booty shots because it's just like, "whatever, everyone does it" and they are just part of the "fitfam in crowd" but the truth is that there are men, husbands, sons, wives, daughters, boyfriends, girlfriends all of the world who are looking at these images and are aroused (I'm NOT saying this is okay because what they are doing is NOT okay but again, it's just what happens). It's just human nature, and it takes a serious effort to be able to know deep down that what you are doing is not right as a husband or wife to click away once you are there.

I really do not want this to be an article that is just putting down women for being proud of themselves. I'm not saying they have to cover their bodies to appease naughty men. It gets me all worked up when people act like that's the reasoning. NO JUST NO. It's not about that. Every single person knows that these are provocative images and for some reason, in today's day and age, I have to write a blog post about how these ARE sexual images (what a time to be alive). They KNOWWWW they look sexual and good, and they want the influx of likes, followers, and attention that comes along with that. Post a picture of your body one time and see the engagement that it gets. I've been there. It's VERY real. Be confident enough in your sexual being and your body that you don't freakin need to post it.

Anonymously, I want to share a story of a friend of mine who is dating a guy who literally follows chicks and pages that just show that all day long. I mean they are genuinely porn pages from what I understand, and he literally doesn't even see the harm. It's just like not even a big deal when he opens his phone and instagram and those images are on his newsfeed. It's not like he jumps back and wants to hide it. Nope. We have become so numb to the female body sexualized that it's not even special anymore. It's not even something that we have to wait for, crave for, marry a woman for. Nope. We don't have to pursue her because she will give it all up right there on the instagram feed so why even bother? And then we want to be mad that we are treated like objects? We objectify ourselves.

You are worth SO much. You have so much to offer that isn't your body. Don't give into the pressures of the new age of social media in which guys are "sliding into your DM." I hate that term so much and I know it's a joke but it's not when it's a 14 year old girl who doesn't have the maturity to understand what's going on. I literally vividly remember being 14 and going into a chat room and all these men were like asking me questions one time. I knew what I was doing was wrong, but I was like weirdly excited but then I got scared so I signed off. Some girls don't get scared. Some girls continue the conversations, and they are taught that it's okay by their "idols" on instagram who show their bare cheeks to the world wide web. God bless you women raising teenage daughters in today's world. I just can't even imagine.

The longer this rant has continued, the more I've become less politically correct, and I genuinely am not trying to upset anyone who may do this. I just genuinely want women to just think before they post. Think about the young girls that you are influencing. Think about the men who ARE looking at you like a piece of meat whether you want to be or think that's okay because THEY ARE. (I'm NOT saying this is okay and that we should not hold them to standards because they ARE held to standards but just that it does happen). Think about how you are just giving yourself for free right there on your feed. Your body is meant to be adored and cherished and not objectified so don't let it.

Girls in the fitness industry are not only giving up images, but they are giving up genuine real life sex to judges in bikini competitions, owners of big companies, and taking low doses of steroids to look the way that they look then preach balance. They post about Jesus under a shot of their boobs, and I just literally get emotional about the message that it spreads. I'm not saying everyone does it, because of course not, but it's a problem and it needs to be talked about instead of ignored.

I wish I wasn't just spewing judge-y blog posts and I wish there was something that I knew to be proactive to help change this, but I guess conversations are where it starts.

We don't believe in spam but only in infrequent emails we think will help you!

* indicates required

Ironman Goals

So as you all know, my goal is just to finish but I do have some goals within that, so I thought I'd share! 

First, I feel really great about my training but I also haven't trained even close to what most do I feel like. I'm not questioning my training, but I just have had a rough last 3 weeks of like "Is this over yet?" I've never felt burn out...ever...but I haven't been able to get over that hump. I woke up this morning for my long weekend runs/swims/bikes and I feel great this morning so that's encouraging. haha! I think that if I can get through this last weekend then we go into the taper and then it's all smooth sailing from there. As Tanner keeps telling me, we are SO SO close so I can't back down now and so I've had a lot of days of just going through the motions. That's okay though. Motions are what get us there, and I know that on that day, it's going to be all worth it.

The blood, the sweat, the tears. All of those quite literal. haha! 


So, as far as goals, I would like to keep a 2:00/100m split for the swim unless there is something going on in the water. That's what I always hit, and it's tricky in the open water to keep this time. Sometimes there are waves like last year and I was doing back stroke, and then who even cares about time at that point? I got out of the water at 39 minutes for the half, but I'd love to do around 1:20-1:25 for the full which as you can see is not double, but I have been swimming twice weekly for a year now and I feel that I've gained a little bit of speed. I find the swim very hard to gain speed in. The place to make up the most time is not the swim though so really, I don't care. 


If I can get through this, then we are good to go, but this is the longest part of the day of course. I've done A LOT of biking to get where I am, so I'm confident in that. We had a century bike ride at my graduate school, and I never did it but tons would just up and do it one day without any training. I keep telling myself that if those people can do it, then I most certainly can. I just have to stay focused and aware because that's my biggest stumbling block. Last year, I took my focus off the road for 5 seconds and didn't see the cone that was left to center and ended up crashing. The bike course is completely flat, which I prefer. Some say they don't like completely flat because they get bored but I like it. I'm hoping to keep around 16mph because of the constant flat. If I can get my cadence going and just hold it then I'll be good to go. Again, I'm a much stronger cyclist than I was last year doing the half with no clip ins. HA! 

At an average of 16mph for 112 miles, that's 7 hours even on the bike. I plan on stopping every hour to stretch out my arms (I still get really bad pains in my traps for those that have followed my entire cycling journey), and to eat. This helps me to clear my mind. I expect that all of that stopping will add up to about 30 minutes total (average 4 minutes per stop so maybe shorter). I don't plan on rushing these stops either. Slow and steady is my game plan. 

I plan on going the speed that my body naturally falls into. If I'm only going 14mph the entire ride, that's fine by me. I just want to keep it consistent and easy. I do not want to burn my legs out on the bike, because obviously I have a marathon at the end. I just want to continuously keep pedaling. 

If I complete this in 7.5 hours, then I'm at around 9 hours this point. I plan on running a sub 3 marathon, so I'll be done right at 12 hours. HAHAHA JK JK! 


So many say that they walk the marathon, and I might be totally overestimating what I'm capable of, but I've trained so much that I would hate to walk the marathon. The way that the half marathon is set up is that there is an aid station at every mile. It's nice and in the shade, and there was a breeze going last year that I completed my half marathon at the end of the half ironman in 1:40. My goal is to get at least 4 hours because I just have no idea how my body will feel at the end of biking 112 miles. I plan on walking through every aid station just for a few seconds then picking it back up. I'm the type of person that when it nears the end of something, I'd rather shuffle my feet than stop. If I stop, I'm going to want to be done with the thing, so I'd rather just pretend I'm moving well. 

If I finish the marathon in 4 hours (which I have no idea if this is aiming high or low to be honest with you), then that will put me at 13 hours. For some reason I want to break that 13 hour mark but I feel that's stretching it. If anything, I've realized with cycling and my stops that I take, it ends up taking way longer than I think so it'll probably be around 14 hours. haha! 

The truth is... I have no clue. I don't ACTUALLY have time goals. I don't plan really to even look at my watch other than just curiosity. If the race starts at 7am and it takes me 13-14 hours, that means that I won't be done with the race until 8-9pm. HOW CRAZY IS THAT RIGHT?! haha! 

I do know that my BIGGEST goal is to have fun and not to stress. I'm not stressed currently. I "respect" the race as so many tell me to do, but I'm confident in the shape that I'm in and the preparation that I've done. I know that if I keep my heart rate in zone 2 and the food and hydration going, then I'll make it to the end no problem. The one thing that I'm not looking forward to is how much my arms start to hurt at mile 70+ on the bike. Isn't that the silliest thing? The one thing I'm afraid of is my traps. RIDICULOUS. I wish I knew how to make that not happen, but I've tried about 100000 million things and nothing works. I try SO hard to relax. I do notice it's worse when I'm doing hills in my hometown so I'm hopeful with the flats, I won't be pushing on them as much. I've had my bike fit to me. And yes, I've tried different positioning. 

So there you have it! I'm three weeks out as of tomorrow. I know these weeks will fly by especially with me going to Chicago Thursday through Monday this coming week for the marathon (not running but cheering for friends). And yes, I'm the crazy girl that plans a trip to Chicago two weeks out. I knew it wasn't the best idea I've ever had, but when have I ever been sane? ;) 






We don't believe in spam but only in infrequent emails we think will help you!

* indicates required

Boston 2017 Cutoff

So yesterday it became official that the Boston Marathon Association had to draw the line for those entering at 2 minutes and 9 seconds. If you aren't familiar with what I mean by that, essentially if you qualified for Boston but did not do this in greater than 2 minutes and 9 seconds, then you still don't get to go. For my age, the time is 3:35 so a time of 3:32 would have been safe. Last year when this happened, there was a cut off of around 2 minutes then as well, and the only thought that I had was "Shew, I got in!" but this year brings up a whole different set of emotions. 

I most likely will not do it next year even though I do plan on aiming for a PR in 2017 (my current is 3:15) because I just want to give as many people a chance that can possibly do it. I know that you might think that my one slot might not make a difference, but I know someone who missed the cut off by 1 second and that could make the difference. I will have experienced it twice at that point, and while I do want to be able to go every year, I also want to give others the opportunity. 

I know how much I watch people pour their heart and soul into qualifying for Boston for years and years. I qualified on my first marathon so I feel bad about that sometimes like I didn't deserve it because I didn't sacrifice the way they did to get that time. I'm not trying to be silly, but I just know what it means to so many. 

I totally understand why they have to do this. There are over 30,000 people that are running this marathon and while they keep it amazingly organized while you are there, it still is a LOT of people and while you are running, it is like a mad house trying to fight through everyone so sometimes in the beginning, we found ourselves just shuffling forward. So, there has to be a line somewhere to say "Okay, this is too many people." Every few years, the times get harder to hit. For the males, I feel like you have to be REALLY good to be able to get in. I'm pretty sure the time is 3:05 for my age group which is right around 7 minutes per mile, and according to the info we got yesterday, you will still need a 3:03! That's ROUGH. 

Someone commented on a status post that I made about it that maybe charity spots should be limited, but then someone commented under that that this is the way that the association is able to afford the things they do for the marathon. I mean I would think $185 from 30,000 (5.5 million) for the entry fee alone would be a lot of money but I know it takes a lot to run this gig. I guess I'm just sad. I'm sad for those that were let down yesterday. Keep pushing y'all. It's worth it and this race is an absolutely beautiful experience. 

I posted a few weeks back that I wasn't sure I was going to run it this year because of expense and mostly also because I have so many races that I want to do and PR and Boston isn't a PR course. I plan on starting to have kids at some point and while I know that I can continue running after, I just keep pushing back my goals further and further. My biggest goal is to qualify for NYC which requires a 3:12 (PR is 3:15). I'm so close, but with ironman training this entire year, I feel it's set me back big time and if I'm running Boston then that means I technically should start training in January and I'm doing the North Face Endurance 50K in December so when does that leave time for another marathon training cycle? 

The point of all of that to say that I feel bad that I was just like "Should I or should I not do Boston?" as if it's no big deal. It IS a big deal, and it's an honor and I'm so happy for the opportunity to redeem myself from last year's heat exhaustion.  I'm so THANKFUL. 

I'll leave you with a blog post from one of my best friends, Maury who is the reason that I don't want to be too quick to jump and say 'KEEP FIGHTING! NEVER GIVE UP!' to those that are trying. I do want that, but I also COMPLETELY understand her viewpoint as well after fighting for Boston for so long. HERE is that.

Lastly, I can't wait to see and meet those that did get in and we are going to have an amazing time!!! Let me know if you're coming!!! 

We don't believe in spam but only in infrequent emails we think will help you!

* indicates required

I'm in a Research Study!

The reason that this blog is coming to you a little later than usual is because this morning I traveled to Kannapolis, NC to do the initial blood work for a study that I'm going to be participating in. This is through my undergraduate college, Appalachian State in Boone, NC. They have always had a great research program, and I have always tried to participate when I can. I'm in an ongoing genome study from YEARS ago and it's pretty cool. 

This one is a coffee and cycling study. They are trying to prove that the chlorogenic acids in coffee enhance endurance performance. There are a lot of inclusion and exclusion factors, but I had to be someone that is in good cycling shape (thanks ironman), will drink coffee (I had no idea I had to do it black because creamer interferes with the absorption of chlorogenic acids-TEARS FOR PUMPKIN SPICE UH!), and that I could go into their office 4-5 times for lab work and cycling on a trainer while they record data on me. 

The coffee is prepared with a Turkish prep where we have to weigh out the coffee grounds and measure the amount of water so that we are getting the exact same amount of caffeine and coffee each day. I'm going to Chicago for the marathon and I'm a little concerned about taking this whole set up because I wasn't planning on checking a bag (honestly this is a huge concern so I'm going to see if I can come up with something haha). I am supposed to drink this every day until October 12 when I will go in for a 50K ride on the bike trainer. They hook  me up while I'm riding to test my heart rate. After I finish this, I have a two week wash out, and they give me new coffee. I drink this coffee for another 2 weeks, then come in and do another 50K ride on the trainer. That's the end of the study, and I would really love to make it to the end, but they also said you have to drink this coffee black. I haven't had it yet, but I genuinely am the biggest diva on liquids. I really don't mean to be silly but if it's disgusting, I won't be able to do it. HAAA ! Tanner quite literally just told me to "Man Up" and I don't back down easily from a challenge! LOL! 

Today, I went to have the intro lab work done, and they assessed my VO2max as well as getting my information in a bodpod. I have to agree to maintain my same level of fitness and body weight during the extend of the study which isn't something that really changes much for me other than after the ironman when I'm going to be in the Dominican Republic sitting on my butt. HA!!! They gave me my VO2max at 49 which is pretty good. I felt it was a very short test, and I didn't push to my max, so honestly I think it's higher, but they told me to stop. haha! It's cool to see though that I'm in the best shape of my life through data! :) #Shocker #Not #ThanksIronman 

It should be super interesting to see how this all pans out, and I'll be curious to see what they find on this study! :) I love being a lab rat! Have you guys ever done a study? If so, what were they testing? 



We don't believe in spam but only in infrequent emails we think will help you!

* indicates required

The Mind of A Dreamer

In the past month, I've kind of just been thinking about myself and who I am, and what I want to become of my life. I wanted to share with you some encouraging thoughts today about how much of a dreamer I am, and how I have realized that through all of those dreams, I have to also have focus within those dreams to have them come to fruition because I really like for my dreams to happen and not just stay in my head. 

I'm a super passionate person. I don't even talk about it much out loud, but this blog allows me to express that. I think everyone who comes to this blog will find that out quickly. I want the absolute best for everyone, and that they reach for the stars in everything that they do, and I feel that so deep down. When I have someone close to me that is not dreaming or is letting something happen to them because they won't take necessary steps to get to the endpoints, I want to shake them in love. It like gets me worked up inside like COME ON!!! YOU'RE RIGHT THERE! YOU CAN DO THIS!! 

Have I mentioned I'm glad I cut my hair? Yuck. haha!!!

Have I mentioned I'm glad I cut my hair? Yuck. haha!!!

Maybe that's why I became a coach so that I could be a cheerleader for others for their dreams. I love to encourage others. It gives me so much joy to see others swell with pride for what they can do and then go out and do it. Dreams coming to fruition takes so much planning, so much effort, and so much time. There are small dreams of course, but I feel as if dreams are called dreams for a reason, and we think of them as these insurmountable tasks that we can only keep in our heads. 

I know what others are thinking. Girl, can you not just relax in life and not go after your dreams? Well no, I feel sometimes as if I quite literally can't. I'm just not wired that way. I had a client describe it perfectly this week when on a run, someone asked her if she wasn't exhausted from having to always conquer something and she could never just "be". She explained to me that she felt just "being" was not living, and that is what LIFE is all about. YES. Nailed it right on the head. 

I love to follow LoveTaza's blog, and one of the most FAQ on her site is "Is life really that fun?" and her answer is that Yes, yes it is. None of us have perfect lives but finding happiness in every day is so important. 

Why do we allow ourselves to become so complacent? Why is there this societal norm that you continue this forward motion until you get to real working life then you settle down and just come home after work each day, watch some TV, and that's about it. I know I'm stretching the truth of what most people do as there is so much that we all do, but I think it's called "settling down" for a reason. 

I have also realized that this is sometimes just me and my personality. I exhaust my brother. He DOES NOT flourish in going after dreams. He quite simply does not care about all that. He doesn't want to travel, ever (literally has said he will never get on a plane again). He doesn't want to live near people. He has acres of land in a town outside of mine called Waco and he likes to sit in his chair and drink beer and watch the Panthers game. HA! We are very VERY different, so if you are like him, then maybe read my next blog! ;) 

I know what you're thinking too. Well, she has no kids, and I have responsibilities, and I don't have money and I don't have choices out of my current situation. I want to travel but I can't because I can't even afford it. I want to go after my dreams but I can't...I can't...I can't. 

Yes, you CAN! I feel as if I need a foam finger right now. 

I promise you that if I didn't have money to do something then I would sell everything to make it happen if it meant enough to me. I would sell my iphone for a flip phone. I would sell my house to downsize. I would sell my car for a cheaper one to have no payment. I would start couponing. Recently, we have realized that we have tons of stuff around the house that we don't actually need, so we made stacks of Goodwill, yard sale (this Saturday) and selling online. Since the start of last week, we have made $500. We don't even buy that nice of stuff, but we ALL have stuff that we can sell and that's one way to make a dream happen because a lot of times it does take money. 

The other thing holding many back is the responsibilities they hold. I know that there are certain situations where you are busy around the clock and nothing that you are doing is negotiable and you can't trim the edges of what you are committed to, but many times we commit to things that maybe the next season we could step down from that would allow us to go after a dream that we have had for a long time. (Did I mention dreams take patience and time?) 

You don't have to be PTO president, and manager of the soccer team. You don't have to agree to organize VBS at church and craft your son's costume for Halloween. You really just don't have to do all that. If you are in college, your dream might be what you are currently pursuing, and it really is okay to tell people you can't come to things because you need to focus. 

Fear. That's the only thing that holds us back from going after that thing that we have always wanted to do. We are scared to take the leap. We are scared that if we jump out of the plane then the parachute will not engage and then we will fall to our death flat on our faces, but the truth is you will NEVER feel that parachute for sure if you never jump. You HAVE to jump. Do you think I wasn't scared to quit the world of pharmacy and start this? Uhhh.... 

Do you think that I wasn't scared to death to move to New York City after pharmacy school instead of moving to the safe box that was home? I was scared when I went to Belize for a month long mission trip. I was scared when I ran my first marathon. I was scared when I was at the start line of my first half ironman, and I'll be scared in a month at my full ironman. Dreams cause fear because they are a big deal, but with focus and determination and the resolve to never give up, you WILL get to the other side. 

I have a list of dreams. I have a dreamer book. I didn't intend for it to become a dreamer book, but it just did. One of the things in the dreamer book from 3 years ago is all the things that I was going to start in my fitness business. Some other things in that book are owning teacup yorkies, graduating pharmacy school, getting married in the church I grew up in, moving to somewhere cool, and running a marathon.

These all happened. I'm NOT saying I have it all figured out. 

I'm just saying that there is NO reason that you should just sit on your dreams and not work towards them. Write out your dreams, write out the steps that it will take to get you there, write out what you are going to do RIGHT NOW to help you achieve this goal. 

I have quite a few up my sleeve right now that I'm going to keep tucked until it's more appropriate to share, but ironman is definitely not the only thing on my dream radar right now. haha! What else is new right? ;)

Maybe the actionable steps that you have to take right now don't even involve your dream at all, but rather involve getting yourself out of the messiness that life creates sometimes. Maybe right now the forward motion towards your dream of moving to Los Angeles is that you first have to finish college in South Dakota, so your dream is the furthest thing from your mind. It's STILL forward motion, so don't ever forget that. Be present in your current moments knowing that you are working towards that bigger goal. Allow yourself to seek new opportunities that will open new doors. 


I've become very adamant about this in my life and my marriage, so a few months ago I asked Tanner what his 5,10,20 year plan was in pharmacy? He was like ... 'Hm, I don't even know.' WELL BOI, YOU BETTER GET TO THINKING. haha! It's not that you always need to have a plan, but I think that unless you exercise creative thinking to dream of what could be, then you will become complacent and never keep that forward motion. So, I've been so proud of him. It has rejuvenated a new spirit in him for oncology (he's the clinical coordinator pharmacist for the outpatient chemo center here). He is going to get board certified in oncology next year, and started studying a month ago after we had these conversations. Becoming board certified is a HUGE deal, but because he didn't allow himself to just idly sit, he will have so many opportunities afforded to him by becoming more specialized. This is going to take time. This is going to take ENERGY and the resolve to never give up when he's 28 and just doesn't want to study, but the end is worth it. It's ALWAYS worth it. 

So, sisters (and the minimal brothers that read my blog hehe), I encourage you to seriously go after your dreams today no matter what they may be. I encourage you to create a dreamer book and start working towards the smallest of things that you can do RIGHT now TODAY that helps you to get there. 

Wanna know what has helped me with getting back to my dreamer mindset? GETTING ORGANIZED!! I'll update you guys soon on how that's going for those that read that blog that I'm linking up HERE!

Happy Random Tuesday of Dreams!!! 



We don't believe in spam but only in infrequent emails we think will help you!

* indicates required

Peak Week Training, Biking + Weekend

I can't believe last week is behind me...thank you Lord. haha! 

The weirdest part about all of it... I was never sore?? I'm so confused, and maybe I just honestly have trained that well, but I was almost annoyed because I worked so hard and wanted to like feel the burn that gave me that deep hunger. HAHA!! Is that weird? It's like when I used to play soccer, and every now and then I'd get hit right in the face with a ball. I like WANTED my entire face to bruise so that I could have war wounds and people would be like "omg what happened?" and I'd be like "ya know, I'm just so tough and all" hahaha!! Of course that never happens though! ;) 

Either way, it makes me feel super confident going into the ironman that things are going well! Honestly, I was STRUGGLING to want to do it, but like I always tell myself, I knew I had to just put one foot in front of the other and just get started and then I'd be okay. There were SO many times on my 20 mile run, 4200 yard swim, and 100 mile cycle that I said "its fine, I can just not go this far and I'll still make it on race day" but I knew that this weekend was crucial and that I had to just stick it out. I'm glad I did the 20 miles first because it gave me confidence like "okay that huge workout is done." But I have a confession to make that I think you all know already but I'm just gonna be forward about it... 

I've officially decided biking is not for me. HA! I'll OBVIOUSLY be biking hard core for the next 4 weeks, but I have tried and tried and tried, and now I'm actually pretty good at it and I still just don't like it. I want to like it. I want to love it. I have days where I fall in love as the wind is going through my face down a hill, and then I start the climb on the other side and I'm like "yea no." hahaha! I think I want to make this point...

Sometimes, in our lives, we have dreams that once we get knee deep in them, we think "Wow, this really isn't something that I love." I have struggled with that so much because I've felt like I've "failed" as an endurance athlete or triathlete, but the truth is that we all have different passions and strengths and that's what makes the world go round and THAT'S OKAY. Y'all know how I feel about running. We share a deep love, but I've found myself so tired from biking that I can't even enjoy running. I find the long runs I have to go so much slower than normal to be able to make it through without having to stop and walk (2 weeks ago I had to walk on an 18 miler and I was like 'AH HECK NO!').

The other point is: I believe in 100% commitment that once you are IN, you are IN. You give your all and a year ago I decided that this was something that I wanted to do which is why all along this journey when I've fallen on the bike, hated the bike, etc etc, I have KEPT pedaling because I just refuse. I'm not trying to act like I'm superwoman or something, but just that I never want to look back and say "What if I had tried harder? Maybe I would have fallen in love with the bike." NOWWWWW, I can say that I did it. I gave it everything that I had, and it wasn't as much my thing. 

Here's the last thing: I am doing some LONGGGG biking. Who does like riding 100 miles? Probably not many people. I could do a half ironman tomorrow no problem, and the bike would feel easy and a year ago it felt as awful as awful can be. It's all perspective, and I can't expect to go from hardly knowing how to switch gears to riding 100 miles comfortably. It takes time and I get that, so I encourage you that if you are someone that doesn't like to run, STICK IT OUT. Give it time and see if you could fall in love. You might, and you might not. And if you get to the end of your journey and think "I still don't like this!" then that's okay too but at least you gave it your all. 

This weekend, my mother in law came to visit. I told Tanner that I was so sorry but that I really couldn't hang out because I had to train so much and this was my peak weekend. I honestly get upset when training interferes with spending time with the ones I love, but I digress. haha! Either way, she came and they hung out most of the time until Saturday evening and we went to dinner in town. I seriously forgot she was coming (peak week brain-hahahaha-I kinda say that picking on bodybuilding competitors hehe), and so I didn't have any food in the house and my house was not clean. SCORE for me, right? haha! We took her to the Mcdonalds drive-through on Sunday morning for breakfast because we are classy like that.

Tanner's from Bristol TN if anyone is from around that area! :) 

Tanner's from Bristol TN if anyone is from around that area! :) 

We went to church on Sunday, and I'm so blessed by such a beautiful community of believers at my church. Seriously, they are amazing and the entire church is volunteer based but yet we have such amazing speakers and worship. It's cool to see the Lord work through that. (And yes you heard that right-we have no established pastor, no positions, we don't pass the offering around and our church is modeled after the early church where people just basically gather almost like a spiffed up bible study and we believe that as a team we can all contribute and make it all work. It's very special.)

I'm loving this jumper from Ann Taylor that a friend actually gave me!! :) YAY!I also am SO glad I cut my hair. It makes training so much easier. I know that seems dumb to say but I truly mean that. It was about to drive me nuts.

I'm loving this jumper from Ann Taylor that a friend actually gave me!! :) YAY!I also am SO glad I cut my hair. It makes training so much easier. I know that seems dumb to say but I truly mean that. It was about to drive me nuts.

Wrapping up this super scattered blog about my weekend, I just want to say PUMPKIN SPICE. In my coffee. Right now. And I'm pretty much pumped about it. I think I'll have 47 cups today. 


He hates me but HOW CUTE IS THIS PUMPKIN? I MEAN COME ON!!! He was frozen like a statue like "get this off of me now!" HAHA!

He hates me but HOW CUTE IS THIS PUMPKIN? I MEAN COME ON!!! He was frozen like a statue like "get this off of me now!" HAHA!

We don't believe in spam but only in infrequent emails we think will help you!

* indicates required

How to Create Your Running Program

So, I know that we can always find a running program online, but what about when you want to make one for yourself that matches your schedule and your desires. How do you do that? There are a few things to take into consideration, and how to go about that so I thought I'd share. 


Obviously, this is going to be the first thing that you have to decide. Do you want to do a 5K, 10K, half marathon or full marathon? 


Do you have enough time to prepare? If you are brand new at this, then you want to give yourself (depending on the distance) at least 12 weeks to prepare. If it's a marathon and you are coming from nothing then more like 16-20 weeks to make sure you have time to get some base miles in. 


 I mentioned some of these points in another blog that I did (Marathons on Minimal Mileage) but you first have to look at the lifestyle that you live and your schedule. The most common one that I find to be difficult is if you are a nurse. There was a topic on the Women for Tri group tonight about how women train that are nurses with 12 hour shifts, and the most resounding answer is that they do more on their days off. If you work 3-12 hour shifts, then it really is easily doable to run 4X per week and be just fine whatever race you want to do. 


Do you want to win this 5K or do you just want to complete this half marathon? It all depends when you are making your schedule, and this will determine if you want to add more days in as well. Typically, you want to run at least 5 days per week (3-4 is fine, and 6 is great) but I think 5 is a great number. Seven days per week is too much! You NEED a rest day. There are many that count their individual runs as "sessions" and some of them may have 12 sessions per week meaning that they double up on some days, however they would still take a rest day. Some prefer a cross training day in the pool or yoga, but this is not 100% necessary and more about preference. 


I could go into a lot of runner vocab and science in this section, but I'm going to assume for now that everyone knows the words and not going to keep very deep into the "why" of things. First, you want to make sure that you've built some sort of base before you start adding in tempo or interval runs. You don't want to get hurt, and it doesn't benefit you much more. The guidelines recommend 500 miles, but as I've said, that's unrealistic, so it's better to just shoot for a few weeks where you are just running miles on your feet on the days that you want to run.  without any certain plan. 

You want to count back the weeks from your race, and the first thing that I do is plan the peak and the taper. For me personally in marathon training, I want to do my last 18 miler at two weeks out, then I do 9 miles the following week and then the marathon. That kind of taper doesn't work for many, so you have to decide if you want a short or long taper (I linked up a blog I wrote on tapering so it can maybe help with deciding what's right for you). Many do a three week taper, but I've found I get sluggish. 

I always put my long runs in first, and recommend that. You can go from the date that you are at looking at a full calendar and when your race is and plan out all of your long runs. The next thing that I like to do is to take the current mileage that I'm at that day, and then each week that I'm dialing up mileage, I want to increase by 10%. That's my rule of thumb, but if you are already running fairly high mileage, I personally am not someone that wants to run more than 50-60 miles in one week, so I'm not going to go above that, but for some they will. Even with going higher than that, you want to still do 10% per week increases.

((I didn't note that I would put out a calendar that has just the months and is going to be your training calendar. Many use Training Peaks, but I just use a good ole fashioned written one.)

After you get your weekly mileage set is typically when I start planning the interval and tempo days. You typically just want to have one of each, and then easy runs in between with your long run on the weekend. This mileage will slowly build as the weeks progress. Does the mileage matter that much exactly how you dial it up? No. But, if you are training for a marathon then you may start with 5 mile speed work and move up to 8 miles. You never want to do a tempo that's 10 miles long. That's just too far, as in you don't want to do 12 miles (1 mile warm up 10 mile at tempo 1 mile cool down), but maybe you could do 8 miles tempo to cap (1 mile WU 6 miles at tempo 1 mile CD).

When you get done with dialing up your interval and tempo runs (I don't actually PLAN those runs at that time but just put in "tempo/interval"), I add in the easy miles to make up the established 10% increase each week. For example, if I need to hit 38 miles that week, my long run is 14 miles with 6 miles of speed, 8 mile tempo then that leaves 10 miles for the week. I'll break that up into two days (and it varies). Sometimes I'll do 6 & 4. Some weeks 5 & 5, but just making sure to get in the mileage at easy paces. 

After I get done planning out all of the mileage, then I go back and plan out the actual workouts for the actual week that I'm on. You can plan out every workout at that time, but I like to save the individual workouts for the week that I'm currently doing so that I can make sure that it's appropriate for me for whatever life throws at me that week, and how well I'm doing with training. I might want to really push myself on pace that I wouldn't do just by sitting down with that program. 

I did this exact same thing for my ironman. I honestly didn't even look at many programs, but just knew that I wanted to have the same general structure each week and dial up my weekends! :) There is no right way to do training, but there are reasons to do certain things, and skeletons that you should follow that will get you to the race day the best that you can! 

Last, but not least, we always want to keep that life balance, and remember that missing one run or even a couple of runs here and there is NOT going to affect you in the long run (haha see what I did there). You want your plan to be realistic for you. If you can only run 4 days per week, then that's okay...stick with that. If you can run 6 days though and want to do a training cycle where you are getting a lot better, then that's great as well. 

I hope this helps to show how I design my scheduling. I'm almost full on run coaching right now, but if you have a race you want to prepare for and don't want to do this for yourself, then I'd love to help you with that. 





We don't believe in spam but only in infrequent emails we think will help you!

* indicates required

When Your Mind Can't Shut Off

I've never had instances where I can't sleep and I'm just up thinking until the past 6 months probably. I think it's because this is probably the least "crazy" my life has ever been. I really scaled back from a lot of responsibilities to be able to focus on just ironman for this season, which has been great and honestly I might keep up this lack of extra stuff once it's over. However, it normally makes me CRASH at night and now I have a little extra pent up energy. 

I went tonight to see To Joey, With Love. I'm not sure if you are familiar but this blog will be worth reading even if you aren't, I promise. It's only because of Vlogging & blogging that I believe this is one of the most special documentaries that has ever been made.

Joey and Rory Feek rose to country music fame, and decided to take a year off to have a baby. He said that something told him to start filming their lives (and started a blog) because they would have a good story to tell. And they did. When the baby was born, she had Downs syndrome, and she was literally the cutest baby EVER. Also, when she was born, the check up appointment helped to find cervical cancer on her mom (Joey). The documentary takes you through the next two years of her life, fighting cancer until she dies in March of this year. You definitely want to take some tissues. I was like trying to hold back the ugly, making noises, cry. 

I can't help but think that it could happen to all of us. And yes, live life to the fullest never felt more real during that documentary but for some reason, this film SPOKE to me. It legit felt life changing (until of course the newness wears off and I get back to being selfish. LOL! Don't you wish newness wouldn't fade?) 

He was Vlogging every day but it wasn't your typical Vlog that you see where the girls are able to be a personality figure that they want you to believe that they are. He filmed so much of their lives that you knew that none of their personalities were fake. They were the most gentle, most humble, most God loving people that I've ever witnessed, and through it all, all they could do was fix their eyes on Jesus plan. When they ask for prayers in the end, they said that they wanted people to pray for a miracle but accept God's plan in this. Rory now is raising their little girl with Down's Syndrome by himself. He's still looking to Jesus for the bigger picture, but yet his faith NEVER EVER wavered.

How quick are we to say that things aren't fair in life? How quick are we to wonder why certain things happen to us and not others and how we can change our situations? How quick are we to never take time off (like they did for that year) and just truly be one with our friends, family and place that we live. We MUST be on the go constantly. We MUST always be stressed. Stress is almost a badge of honor. Busyness means productivity right?

This movie didn't teach me to rest, but it just taught me that every day DOES matter. I don't mean YOLO-let's do all the fun things, but sometimes to even let down that wall. It's in the way that we talk to people. It's in the way that we treat people, and love people. It's leaving a mark on someone after just one conversation that the world is DEEPLY saddened by your loss never filling that hole the way that it is with Joey. She was a beautiful woman inside and out...truly. I've never seen anything like it. The amount of faith this couple had touched me so deeply, and with it being late at night, I just can't get it off my mind. The amount of love that they had for one just makes me cry and have chills even thinking about how Rory (the husband) is a real man in a real town now raising a daughter on his own. 

I got a comment last week on my instagram that was mean, but also I really do try to objectively take what the feelings and how something might look and take what I can from that. They said that everything that I do is focused on my own goals and how selfish I am basically. I really do try to keep balance, but as yall know, ironman is HARD HARD HARD to have balance. I'm excited after the ironman for my goals to be about how well I can love people to the fullest not about my individual goals. That's the goal in and of itself. Loving and giving and just being with people and having deep connections. (Yes I know not to take comments to heart, but I truly could see how I'm perceived as that way and never want that).

Life, love, and faith is such a beautiful thing. Being simple is such a beautiful thing. I'm inspired. I'm inspired to start Vlogging my life because of the beautiful things that he will be able to have in footage now to remember her and their lives together. I'm inspired to really focus on my faith, and the people in my life. I hope you are, and if you haven't seen the movie, you absolutely should. 

We don't believe in spam but only in infrequent emails we think will help you!

* indicates required