Let’s Try This Again… Hi, My Name is Kathryn

Hi! Wow, how has more than 2 years gone by since I last post!? Yikes! I have to say, I have certainly missed writing. So with this [ridiculously] long delay since my last post, please allow me to reintroduce myself, or should I say, introduce my NEW self! Just kidding, still the same me, just a new last name….

Hi, my name is Kathryn Meadley. I married the LOVE of my life, Tyler, on 10.31.2020. With the marriage I also got the best puppy son in the ENTIRE world, Ash. He is my shadow, snuggle buddy, and is 100% a mama’s boy. Tyler said he lost him to me while we were dating but being married is a whole new ball game. Don’t worry, you will hear more about both my boys frequently if you continue to follow along through this journey.

And yes, my gray fur baby kitties are also still around. We are a happy family of five. The kitty cats are still just as cute and needy as ever. Debra is my sassy, little girl and Dexter, Debra’s son (we think), is still just as scared of life as ever before. He trusts his people and his mom (Debra) ONLY! But hey, even though he is always in his constant state of hiding, Debra takes great care of him and makes sure neither of them EVER miss a meal.

I also still work as a Registered Nurse. I work for an outpatient cardiology clinic… yep, I left the 12 hour shifts and back breaking work of the bedside for the 8-5 Monday – Friday life. It certainly has its perks but sometimes I do miss those mid week days off. Hard to say no to weekly routine and a consistent sleep schedule though. I have been with this clinic for almost a year and it has treated me well. I even get to work from home from time to time… certainly nice during a pandemic.

Exercise …. well that’s been a bit all over the place. I MISS RACES and EXERCISE CLASSES (without masks)! They gave my TRAINing purpose but I am navigating the online fitness world and am slowly finding a love for BeachBody on Demand. Maybe one day I will follow a program from start to finish but for now I am enjoying the ability to change it up most everyday. As for running, I am finally finding my stride. I had an injury shortly before the wedding (just another obstacle to juggle as a COVID bride! Insert full sass eye roll! haha) that kept me off the pavement for about 3months but over the last few weeks I have started to run more consistently and its starting to feel less like torture.

Food…. this has been a HUGE perk of getting married. Tyler is a GREAT cook and LOVES to cook! #winning!!!! Tyler does about 90% of all the cooking in our house and it is AMAZING!! Yes, I still hate cooking so I have become a great dishwasher while he creates fantastic meals. Slowly, I will transition him to cooking healthier meals but for now I am enjoying not picking up a pot or pan or planning a single meal. It sure is nice to actually EAT at least one good, home cooked meal a day. Oh, how I love this man! (PS this no cooking thing has had its trade off… I am now the Laundry Queen!)

I think that about sums up an introduction/where I am at in life now. I cannot wait to connect with each of you in the coming weeks and months!

XO, Kathryn

Welcome Back

Hello Y’all! I feel like I am starting this whole blog over again after being away for so long. Things have been crazy on my end. I seem to always be on the go with one thing or another …. And for a while there I even worked 42 days in a row! Crazy right?! Well, now that things have gotten to the point of a more manageable schedule, I am back and ready to fill you in, cause trust me, I’ve got some big news! But first let me catch you up on the basics…training, work, and the love life 🙂

Training —

Post Ironman training is rough! …well really I should say, getting back into it is rough. After taking some time off to recover, I have more than struggled to get back into it the way I need to for my next race. A few aches and pains, illness, lack of sleep, and tons of work and what do you have?! …a big struggle-bus on the training front. Thankfully, in the last couple weeks training has started to become more consistent and nearly ache free! Hopefully this trend can continue in the coming weeks as I gear up for my big races in June and October, Raleigh 70.3 and Ironman NC.

  
Work —

Jenny Craig is good, nothing too exciting to speak of on that front. I am now up to working 5 days a week there and still hating the weekend portion of it. Thankful for the extra hours though. The Y is much slower these days. I only have two clients at the moment which is plenty. I love training people but training myself is much better with the extra free time. However, in addition to personal training, I am coaching the triathlon team again this season. We have a great group of athletes from all levels and it is fun to watch them grow into new and seasoned triathletes. This is one “job” that I always look forward to!

  
And for the start of big news….!!! I picked up another job….hints why time has been tight with my training schedule. Since January, I have been working as a certified nurses aide at one of the local assisted living facilities. Y’all, whoever said old people were cute and sweet, well they are big, fat liars! haha JK JK… well sort of kidding…. I really do have some residents who are the sweetest people you’d ever meet but I have others who, OMG it is like they are possessed! Seriously some of the craziest, most stubborn people I have ever met! But hey when I’m pushing 90, I am already giving myself permission to say and do whatever it is I want… sorry one day maybe future children! 😀

Really though, the assisted living home is teaching me a ton. I love working with my patients, they make me feel like I am important and valuable every single time I walk into the building. And hey, I also get to come home with some great stories every time I work. Sometimes these stories consist of me getting peed on and other times they are giving me kisses and tell me how much they love me. You just never know what you’ll get which is one of the many reasons why I like it so much…. even if it is absolutely exhausting!

  
Love Life —

haha it doesn’t exist! I bet this is where y’all thought you were going to get some big news, didn’t ya?! Jokes on you 😉 Anyways, I am happily single at the moment. I have been on a few dates but nothing really to talk about these days.

So onto the BIG news!!! You ready for this?! —

….I AM A HOMEOWNER!!! As of March 30th, I have purchased my very first home! It is still a bit surreal but I couldn’t be happier. So if you were wondering what I was doing amongst work and my non-existent love life that was keeping me from training on a regular basis?…I was house hunting! Or should I say, condo / townhouse hunting? I looked at sooo many I lost count but I ended up finding the perfect little condo for me here in Charlotte. I love it! I have been moved in for almost two weeks and to say that I couldn’t have done it without my family would be stretch {{this should really be read as OMG THANK YOU THANK YOU THANK YOU MOM AND DAD}}. Although it was my purchase, mom and dad have been so helpful along the way, from one, being my realtors, to two being my movers, and to three, my unpackers and furniture builders. I didn’t take much time off from work and I really just can’t say enough about how much they have helped me out with just their time and energy alone! 

 

doesn’t he look so happy!!? thanks dad!
 
So yes, my big news is that I am a homeowner! I won’t share any details now but be on the lookout for a future post all about my experience and what I have learned from going through the mortgage process to signing my life away to getting settled in my new place. 

I can’t wait to keep you all in the loop as I make this condo my home and training takes a leap into a new gear in the coming weeks! 

Have a great day! 
 

first project complete! 😉
 
 

Ironman Cozumel Part 4

Continued from Ironman Cozumel, Part 2, and Part 3….

I had done it! I had crossed the finish line. I had accomplished my goal of finishing an Ironman before aging up to the big girls league. I can’t help but to smile when I think about it even now, a month after the fact.

  

….After crossing the finish line, a volunteer immediately grabbed ahold of me to walk me through the finishers chute. She kept asking “Are you alright?! Are you alright?!” All I could think to say was “Yes, can someone please take my shoes off??” I was tired and hungry but thankfully all that hurt on me was my extremely swollen feet. I guess I looked worse than I felt?! Regardless, I made it through the line, had a medal put around my neck, was given a finishers shirt, and someone eventually helped me take my shoes off. Then it was time for pizza and pepsi.

  
My family met me just outside of the finishers area for hugs and pictures. Y’all they must really love me to hug me at this point… I was gross! Pretty sure my hair could have stood straight up without any products!! 

  
Once the pictures were done and Dad had taken care of getting all my gear to the right places, mainly Stanley back to TriBike Transport we grabbed a cab to head back to the hotel so I could have my much deserved beer! Priorities right?! Before the race that was what I had told my brother I wanted at the finish line. 

Upon arriving back at the hotel, having about three sips of my beer, half a hot dog, and maybe half a margarita, I was done for the night. Unfortunately I was too restless to get much sleep but it sure did feel good to lay down and be clean.

The next day, for as good as I felt at the finish line, I was exhausted so naturally drinks and naps on the beach were most of the day’s work. 

  

 

By evening, it was time to pack our bags and check out of the hotel before heading to the slot allocation and the awards ceremony. Going into this race, my age group was slotted for two Ironman World Championships slots, aka two slots to Kona, Hawaii!! 

Upon arriving at the very disorganized slot allocation, we got the pleasure of standing on line with some of my previous day’s competitors. It was interesting to hear everyone talk about their race experience; everyone had very different thoughts and experiences on the race course. Finally the doors were opened and we took our seats in a big open air pavilion. 

I had finished 2nd in my age group so I knew there was a chance I was headed to Kona. I also knew that only a few people from my age group toed the line the previous day so there was also a chance that I may not be. Regardless, I was ready if the opportunity came my way! 

Lucky for me, being the youngest age group, I quickly got my answer to the lingering question….

 Unfortunately it wasn’t the answer I was looking for, I wasn’t going to be packing my bags for Hawaii this coming October as the final slot allocation only gave the 18-24 year old females one. However, I couldn’t be mad, the girl that edged me out absolutely killed it and I did get to step up on the podium and was handed a huge m-dot trophy. That was pretty awesome! 

  
Worst part of this trophy was that it weighed about 10lbs and I had to carry it for the remainder of that evening on the ferry and in the long cab ride to the hotel in Cancun by the airport.  Then after a quick nights sleep, it was time to continue the travel the rest of the way back to Charlotte. Lots of congratulations came my way while carrying it which made the trophy a little more fun to be carrying the large piece of wood all day long. 

  
Finally after an exhausting trip, we had made it back to the Queen City. The city in which made it so I was now officially in recovery mode for atleast a couple of weeks. 

  

Ironman Cozumel Part 3

Continued from Ironman Cozumel and Ironman Cozumel Part 2….

Transition 2 – A welcomed separation from Stanley. Although we are buds, 7hrs got the best of us. He was handed off to a volunteer to go rack and I grabbed my run bag and headed into the changing tent. Applied a little more body glide and sunscreen, switched out my shoes, and I was on my way, 5:12 later.

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Heading into T2! Bye Bye Stanley!
Run — It felt so good to walk that I took the first 20-30yards to just walk and stretch out my legs before finding my stride. Similar to the bike, it was a three loop course that consisted of running down the street away from the finish line a little over 4 miles then running back towards the finish line a little over 4miles. It sounds like a boring course but for an ironman when you want support, it was great! And my family took full advantage of this; they spread out over the 4 mile stretch to cheer me on the entire way. The course was relatively flat with a few gradual hills. The best part of the course, aside from the spectators, was that the aid stations were every kilometer (.6 miles). Something about them being every kilometer made them that much easier to stay focused and running in between them.

Lap 1…Sun high and still hot!

I was able to keep that focus and get through 10miles strong, just walking though the aid stations. At about mile 11, I started to struggle a little bit. I was STARVING!! And I couldn’t stomach any more Gu or gummies so I had to turn to the food on the course to get me through. From mile 11 – 16, the aid stations became Kathryn feeding stations. Pretzels and peanuts did the trick. During this time, my walks through the aid stations became a little more leisurely and my focus in between stations had dwindled. I was running 2min, walking 30seconds. Alex even briefly walked with me during this, I’m pitiful, I’m going to starve stretch. Eventually, I was able to build back up to about a 3-4min run 30sec walk.

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Still smiling!
By mile 17 I had found my stride again and was moving pretty good. Still keeping to about 3min run, 30sec walk. Somewhere close to this point, maybe a little before, I passed my mom and I told her “I got this.” My strong stride continued though mile 20, a 10k to go. Although my legs were doing okay, I was just all over getting tired and losing focus.

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Maybe a little pain but staying strong as the sun sets!
This is when I took a new approach and really started playing the mind game. The street was divided with cones so I took to counting cones. This was entertaining because they weren’t evenly spread out. I would run 10 cones then walk 2. This mind game plus a little encouragement from the guys from England I met during bike drop off worked till about a mile to go. Funny thing is, I am sure people thought I was some kind of crazy chick out there, I was counting out loud for all to hear. I didn’t realize it for the longest time though; I was just focused on my cones.

With a mile to go, it felt like I picked it up and was killing it to the finish line but really, that wasn’t quite the case at all. Regardless, I felt strong and I was determined to get there. The smile was still plastered on my face like it had been all day and I could feel my heart beating in my chest, I was about to be an Ironman!

Coming back up the street towards the finish line, I got to stay to the right at the split, as opposed to the left like I had the last two times. I could hear the cheering crowd and the announcer over the loud speakers. I was close. As I made the split, I spotted my parents straight ahead. I bee lined it for them, high fives all around before making my way up the ramp for the final stretch to the finish line. My hands held high, tears in my eyes; I was steps away from being an IRONMAN!!

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The final approach!
There was this huge sense of relief that rushed through my body as I crossed that finish line. It was unreal. I, Kathryn Leach, was officially an IRONMAN!!! Although, I felt confident all day, even during my low points, I had now, really done it! I had completed the 2.4mile swim, the 112mile bike ride, and the 26.2mile run with time to spare before the cut offs.

My run time was 4:48:31, making total time for the day, 13:20:51!!

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I did it!
To be continued….

 

Ironman Cozumel Part 2

Continued from Ironman Cozumel….

Swim – 7am the pro division heads into the water, that was my 30min till go time mark. I lined up with the 1:20 – 1:30 wave since it was a rolling start as opposed to the normal mass start of an Ironman event. Little did we know that 7:30 start would quickly turn into a 7:45, almost 8 o’clock start time. The announcer wasn’t doing a great job of keeping the athletes or the spectators informed and you could sense the frustration amongst the athletes as we stood waiting. Turns out the dock broke, luckily no one was hurt but it made it so they were only allowing about 4 people to start at a time. And what was supposed to be a ramp into the water turned into a jump in the roughly 4 feet of water. I fortunately didn’t have any issues but I did hear of others complaining about hitting their feet hard on the bottom and jarring themselves a bit.

Immediately into the swim I had a little bit of a panic. All along, I was told the swim was with the current but I felt like I wasn’t going anywhere. I kept thinking to myself, if this is with the current, I am in trouble!! This went on for about the first 10(ish) minutes before making a slight turn around the island to where you could feel the difference. Immediately, the swim got easier and you were able to watch the fish swim below you and cruise…. Kind of like an intense snorkeling session. 😉 This went on for a while before the seaweed and jellyfish became a bit of an issue. The seaweed was more so gross but the jellyfish (which you couldn’t actually see) did become a problem. I ended up being stung twice. Lucky for me neither was bad but still irritating (and still scarring…literally) nonetheless. By about the last 15min of the swim, even though I was feeling good, I was about over the salt water. I happily welcomed the swim exit. I ended up finishing the swim in 1:17:00.

Transition 1 – It felt so good to be on land and to run through some fresh, NON SALTY, water. This was the first place I saw my team, Team Kat! Remember how I said my family had an awesome surprise for me the night before the race, well they made Team Kat shirts to support me! They were easy to pick out and I welcomed their smiling faces on the dock. After passing them, I grabbed my transition bag and headed for the changing tent. Y’all, take my word for it, if you’re doing an Ironman in salt water, change your clothes, you won’t regret it, plus it only takes about 2min! I wore my speed suit with a swimsuit underneath then changed into my tri kit for the rest of the day. It felt so good to start in dry, non-salty clothes for the 112mile bike ride. Another piece of advice, take advantage of the help the volunteers are willing to give you. As soon as I walked into the tent they had water in hand and were rinsing off my sandy feet then were quickly helping spray my sunscreen on my back. Thank you Thank you Thank you volunteers! Then it was an easy jog to my man Stanley and out the bike exit as I waved to Team Kat. Total time, 9:53.

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Stanley and I heading out for the next 112miles!!
Bike – The longest part of the day. Initially I felt a little iffy. My legs were great but all the salt water and the waves during the swim had my stomach a little uneasy. I drank a fair amount of water and Gatorade in those first few miles and quickly came back to life. The bike course was a three loop course that could easily be divided up into 4 sections. The first part, the long never ending straight, flat part. This section felt like it went on forever but you could cruise. It was well protected from the sun and wind. Part two, the windy, slightly uphill, sunny section. And calling it the windy section might be a bit of an understatement; I should really call it tornado ally. The wind was something between a head and cross wind coming off of the ocean. It was beautiful but lets just say it was a success to keep moving above about 12mph. The next section was the tail wind. Coming out tornado ally this was welcomed. Easy to gain some extra speed and allow your legs to recover a bit from the last torturous hour in part two. Part four was the fun section. This part went through downtown Cozumel and was lined with loud, cheering spectators. Also this was slightly downhill and with the wind still at your back, by far my favorite section of the course.

Lap one, after getting over my uneasy stomach was smooth sailing. I was on top of my fuel, drinking plenty of fluids and cruising. I am pretty sure I had a huge smile on my face the entire way.

Lap two, was a little more tough, the winds in tornado ally had picked up slightly and the sun was high and hot. This lap took a little out of me and I struggled with my fuel for about an hour, but overall, another strong lap with one big exception. There was a FIRE on the course in part three. A building had caught on fire and there was a huge black cloud of smoke that we had to ride through. Before entering the cloud I took a big breath and held my breath till I got through to the other side. Obviously, not ideal, but it didn’t end up being as bad as it could have been. And major plus…. Team Kat was everywhere on this lap! They were racing me on their mopeds! 

Lap three, at the start of part one, I made my first and only potty stop for the day. It felt so good to get off the bike that I almost didn’t want to get back on again but I knew I had a goal to get across that finish line so I hopped back on and got going. I did great through part one but tornado ally did get me. I remember looking down at my watch shortly after making the turn to tornado ally and seeing that I was only going 11mph. It was so defeating. I felt like I was working soooo hard but was hardly moving. This section was a little over 13miles, so I knew I had at least an hour to push through. Obviously, I wasn’t the only one with those same defeating thoughts though. As I passed one man, he jokingly (but totally dead serious) said, “Will someone please turn off the wind?!” Finally, I made it through the ally and was on my way to the nice tail wind. The tail wind was great but by now, my neck and shoulder were hurting pretty badly making it tough to stay tucked in aero position. This was annoying but overall, no big deal. Thankfully the smoke had cleared on part three and I had clear visual of the city ahead. I knew the city meant ditching he bike and heading for the running shoes, something I happily welcomed!

Total time on the bike: 7:00:15. I was 8:27 into my ironman journey.

To be continued…

Ironman Cozumel

I know I know I know….it has taken me forever to get this series (yes, it is a series) posted! This was such a big event that it has made it hard to wrap my mind around it to write about… so here it goes!

What an overwhelmingly amazing experience. Becoming an ironman is unlike any other experience I have ever had. I think its because of all the many months of training that lead to this one day, that no matter how conditioned you are, you never really know if you will make it across that finish line. A million things can happen from jellyfish stings, to bike malfunctions, to unbearable weather conditions over those 140.6miles. Some of these bumps are inevitable to happen and most you are able to overcome but at the end of the day, you just never know what the outcome will be. All I can say is coming out of this race, crossing the finish line, feeling good and all in one piece, I feel blessed.

Before I get too far ahead of myself though; let me back up a bit to give the whole recap on my Ironman experience….

Wednesday — Mom, Dad, Alex, and I got up bright and early for a day of travel. First stop the Charlotte airport, then the Atlanta airport, and then the Cancun airport. You’d think we would be done traveling by then, but no, the fun had just begun. Once arriving in the Cancun airport, going through customs, and picking up our luggage….which I should really rephrase as my luggage with a few pieces of clothing for everyone else (dang there is a lot of gear for this silly sport), we were off to stand in a giant line to take a taxi to Playa de Carmen. This was about an hour ride where I was sure I would get sick as the driver zipped through the streets of Mexico. Once there, I completely understood why everyone told me to send my bike with TriBike Transport, we had to lug all of our bags through the cobblestone streets, wait in another line, and then take a ferryboat to Cozumel. I felt bad for all those who were trying to pull their massive bike boxes and load them onto the boat. You could see the fear in their eyes as their bikes were passed over the water onto the boat as the ocean was super rough that day. I will say though, this is when the Ironman became real for me. Seeing all the Ironman tattoos and bike boxes made the event become a reality. Finally, after a nauseating boat ride to Cozumel and a quick taxi ride to the hotel, we had made it! Only a mere 14 hours of travel!!!

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On the ferry to Cozumel trying not to toss our cookies! 

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We made it!! The hotel even welcomed me! 😉

Thursday – Happy Thanksgiving! It certainly didn’t feel like Thanksgiving but it was a nice and relaxing day to recover from the previous day of travel. I did get in a short run followed by a quick swim in the beautiful blue water. It was so cool to be able to see the ocean floor and all the fish swimming about. Then a few hours on the beach (in the shade with 50spf on of course) and we were ready to watch the Panthers game. Yes, in Mexico, the crazy people from Dallas and my family did find a way to get the game projected on a wall of one of the bars at the hotel. The night closed with a traditional Mexican buffet and show.

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Typical beach attire right?! Cap, googles, and a speed suit for me! 

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And the family made sure to enjoy all of what the resort had to offer! Drinks all around! (water for me!)

Friday – The Ironman crazy festivities began. First thing was swim practice. They opened up the end of the swim course for all the athletes to get a feel for what race day would be like. It was really cool to meet so many other athletes who were also about to embark on this big adventure. You could quickly distinguish between the seasoned athletes and the newbies.

Next stop was packet pick-up. Here was the first time I realized that the language barrier was going to be a real thing. Going through the lines trying to communicate was quite the challenge. Also, since you cannot fly with the CO2 cartridges (used in the case that you get a flat on race day), my dad and I were on the hunt to find those at expo. We did manage to find them but then the question of where to pick up my bike became our next struggle. My bike, Mister Stanley, was only a couple blocks away but finding someone who spoke English to communicate that to us was nothing short of a miracle. Once finding the TriBike Transport bike lot, we headed back to the hotel for the remainder of the day where I was able to get in quick bike tune up and go for a smooth 10mile ride.

Saturday – Busy busy busy! I got up early to get in a quick brick workout. 20min on the bike followed by a 10min run. Then I packed up all my transition and special needs bags for the next day, had a good, hearty breakfast, and jumped on my bike again to go deliver all my gear for the next day. The ride to transition 1 was the moment I realized I was really going to do this. As I took the 2mile ride nice and easy, soaking up the beautiful views along the ocean all I could think about was how awesome, it was going to be to see that finish line and hear my name, “KATHRYN LEACH, YOU ARE AN IRONMAN” the next day.

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All the gear! Yikes!

Transition 1 was hectic to say the least but I was very impressed with the security. When you first got there, you were corralled to where you got your first piece of body marking done then they took a picture of everyone with their number and bike, then you individually went to another station where they recorded your number and a description of your bike before they let you into the bike drop area. Once in the most massive transition I have ever seen it was time to find my bike spot. It was exciting to see my name and USA on the spot reserved for Stanley surrounded by a multitude of people from other countries. After racking my bike, I hung my transition bag with all the others and continued on with more body marking and a quick walk down to the water where I met a couple guys from England who where about to take on their first ever triathlon!!! They were funny but you could sense their nerves, they were asking tons of questions and definitely got my confidence up a bit since I had some answers for once (HAHA).

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Bye Bye Mister Stanley! Enjoy your bike sleepover!

Next, it was time to head to transition 2, in downtown. I hopped on a bus and was there in no time. I dropped my bag, saw where the changing tents and run out would be, and walked past the finish line. All I could think about as I saw the bleachers and massive finish line was OMG THIS IS REALLY HAPPENING! After aimlessly wondering the city for what seemed to be forever to find the bus again, I managed to find the hotel where the busses picked up and headed back towards my hotel. I was officially all checked in and ready to race the next day.

Finally a little R&R on the beach before the night closed with a moped pick-up and an early dinner before and a super awesome surprise from my family.

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Is my beach attire improving?! 

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Boys and there toys! The mopeds used to get around on all the closed roads come race day!

Sunday – The day to become an IRONMAN!!! That 4:30 alarm sounded and I was quickly awaken… well, lets be real, I was awake almost all night anyways so I happily welcomed the alarm saying that, YES YOU CAN FINALLY GET UP NOW. First thing I saw when walking into the bathroom was a sweet, pump up note from my brother. I couldn’t help by smile since I could really sense how excited he was for me. Then it was time to choke down breakfast. I don’t know about you but eating a substantial amount of calories at what seems like the middle of the night is rough. The pump up music Alex was playing (Yes, we were jamming at 4:30 in the morning) and all the sweet messages from friends and family made it a little easier though. Before I knew it, 5am had rolled around and it was time to hit the road via moped to transition 1. Alex and I giggled a little as we were driving this little scooter through the dark, rainy morning.

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Headed to the race start!! 

Once arriving at T1, I got Stanley ready and did one final walk through before loading the bus to head to the start line. While in line for the bus, I met a nice girl from New York. This was her second Ironman and she was looking for redemption. We rode the bus together and she told me all about her first Ironman experience. I loved hearing all about it as it got me that much more excited for the gun to go off. By the time I stepped off the bus, the sun was finally starting to rise.

Stepping off the bus there was this sense of calm. It was almost only athletes at the start, very few spectators due to logistics of the race. People were dropping there morning clothes, eating a last minute snack, and helping one another apply sunscreen and body glide, as well as zip each other into our respective speed suits. This is when you could really feel the community of the sport. Everyone was happy and ready to help cheer each other on to having a great race.

To be continued….

Becoming a Morning Person

Good Morning! Or should I say good afternoon? I have been up since 5am so as I type this I am a little over 5hrs into my day already. Sometimes when I think about that I can’t help my give a little grin knowing that I have already accomplished so much as others are hitting the snooze button and rolling over. So for today’s post I am going to give you some tips and tricks towards becoming a morning person….

1. Consistency is key. Getting in the habit of getting up at the same time or close to the same time everyday overtime will make getting out of your cozy bed that much easier.

2. Allow yourself enough time to sleep. This is personally my biggest problem. Not allowing yourself enough time to sleep makes for tough mornings full of little will power. The average adult needs 7 – 9 hours a night.

3. Plan ahead. Have your clothes and anything you need laid out for the next day. When you don’t have to think in the morning (especially when you’re exercising) it makes you that much more likely to get up and out the door.

4. Put your alarm clock across the room. Make yourself get up to turn it off.

5. Have someone you’re accountable to in the morning. You may cancel on yourself but you’re much less likely to cancel on someone else.

6. Drink a glass of water when you first get up. This will help wake up your brain and other organs.

7. Make your bed. This one sounds silly but my making your bed, you are telling yourself you are up for the morning and it makes crawling back in bed that much more less likely.

8. Open the blinds. Seeing natural light in the morning helps our internal clock to know its time to wake up.

I hope this helps all of you who are working on finding those extra few hours in the morning! Have a great weekend!

Six Things Sunday 4

Hey hey hey! How are y’all doing this beautiful Sunday? Things have been a bit crazy on my end these days. 

1. Woohoo! Team Whitney! Who all is happy with that? Also what do you think of the double bachelorettes?! I’m not so sure about it. But should make for some good crappy reality TV! 

2. First double digits run of the year is in the books! 10miles and it was great but dang I am feeling it this evening! 



3. 31day detox is coming along well. I am definitely missing cheese and chips and really any snacky foods. As a whole I am feeling much better and headaches are going away significantly. Lara bars are my saving grace. 

4. First Boone day of the year today and it was a pretty one. Unfortunately the app baseball boys weren’t able to pull out the W but loved the day trip. 



5. I made califlower AND it was actually good. Y’all I know I mention Dylan making it a few weeks ago and me actually liking it but I have to say my cooking skills….well they are definitely on the low end so this was a big accomplishment. It’s the little things right?!



6. Who else can say they can make a 4mile run a 6mile run?!… This girl! Tuesday night I went on a little adventure around charlotte. Started out with running into a rose bush and ended about 2miles longer than planned after missing a turn. Not my best moment. 

That’s it for this week! What have y’all been up to? Have a great week!! 

Super Bowl Yummies

Hey Y’all! How are you doing? Even though its already Wednesday night, lets back it up to Super Bowl Sunday when Alexie and I headed over to my parents house for a relaxing evening of food, drinks, laughing, and football watching. The commercials were good, the game was great, the company was awesome, and the food was fantastic! So in today’s post I want to take you through a few of the yummy highlights…. (PS just so we are clear, I can’t take credit for any of these, they were all chef mama bear and papa bear’s)

1. Barbecue Chicken Bites.

Basically healthier boneless BBQ chicken wings. We all loved the chicken but weren’t so sure about the dipping sauce. The sauce was much hotter than we had all anticipated.

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4 pounds boneless, skinless chicken thighs {They used only the white meat to further reduce the calories and fat} 18-ounce bottle barbecue sauce 4 tablespoons (1/2 stick) butter 1 teaspoon smoked paprika 1 cup panko breadcrumbs Kosher salt and ground black pepper For the dressing: 1 cup sour cream 1/4 cup chopped pickled jalapenos 2 tablespoons chopped fresh chives 1/2 teaspoon garlic powder 1/2 teaspoon onion powder Hot sauce, to taste Kosher salt and ground black pepper. TRIM any visible fat from the chicken thighs, then cut each into 2-inch pieces. Place in a large bowl and stir in 1 cup of the barbecue sauce. Cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate for 24 hours. WHEN ready to cook, melt the butter in a medium skillet over medium-high heat. Add the smoked paprika and breadcrumbs and cook until the breadcrumbs are toasted, stirring continuously, 3 to 4 minutes. Season with salt and pepper. Set aside. MAKE dressing: In a small bowl whisk together the sour cream, jalapenos, chives, garlic powder and onion powder. Season with hot sauce, salt and pepper, to taste. Set aside. HEAT broiler. Line a rimmed baking sheet with foil and mist with cooking spray.USE a slotted spoon to remove the chicken from the barbecue sauce, allowing any extra sauce to drain away. Discard the excess marinade. Arrange the chicken pieces on the prepared baking sheet. BROIL chicken about 6 inches from the heat for 8 to 10 minutes, or until browned and cooked through. Brush the remaining barbecue sauce over the tops of the chicken bites, then sprinkle all over with the toasted crumbs. Serve with the dressing for dipping.

2. Baked Parmesan Zucchini

This was probably my favorite of the night. I don’t know what to compare it to but I promise it was really good. And according to chef papa bear it was super easy to make.

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Ingredients – 4 zucchini, quartered lengthwise, 1/2 cup grated Parmesan, 1/2 teaspoon dried thyme, 1/2 teaspoon dried oregano, 1/2 teaspoon dried basil, 1/4 teaspoon garlic powder, Himalayan salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste, 2 tablespoons virgin olive oil, 2 tablespoon chopped fresh parsley leaves. Instructions – Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Coat a cooling rack with nonstick spray and place on a baking sheet; set aside. In a small bowl, combine Parmesan, thyme, oregano, basil, garlic powder, salt and pepper, to taste. Place zucchini onto prepared baking sheet. Drizzle with olive oil and sprinkle with Parmesan mixture. Place into oven and bake until tender, about 15 minutes. Then broil for 2-3 minutes, or until the crisp and golden brown. Serve immediately, garnished with parsley, if desired. This recipe is from damndelicious.net.

3. Cilantro Lime Shrimp

If you like shrimp, lime, and cilantro, you will like this. It had me going back for seconds which is saying a lot since I am typically a plain jane, just give me boiled shrimp kind of girl so I was pleasantly surprised.

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Ingredients: 1 1/2 pounds peeled and deveined jumbo shrimp, 1/4 teaspoon plus 1/8 teaspoon ground cumin, Kosher Salt and freshly ground black pepper, 2 teaspoons extra-virgin olive oil, 5 garlic cloves, crushed, 2 tablespoons lime juice (from 1 medium lime), 3 to 4 tablespoons chopped fresh cilantro. Directions: Season the shrimp with cumin, and salt and pepper to taste. Heat a large nonstick skillet over medium-high heat. Add 1 teaspoon of the oil to the pan, then add half of the shrimp. Cook them undisturbed for about 2 minutes. Turn the shrimp over and cook until opaque throughout, about 1 minute.  Transfer to a plate. Add the remaining 1 teaspoon oil and the remaining shrimp to the pan and cook, undisturbed, for about 2 minutes. Turn the shrimp over, add the garlic, and cook until the shrimp is opaque throughout, about 1 minute.{cooking time was a bit longer than this, maybe a total of 7-8minutes according to chef papa bear} Return the first batch of shrimp to the skillet, mix well so that the garlic is evenly incorporated and remove the pan from the heat. Squeeze the lime juice over all the shrimp. Add the cilantro, toss well, and serve. This recipe is from skinnytaste.com.

There you have it, the yummies of my Super Bowl Sunday. What were your Super Bowl favorites? Let me know in the comments below.

Happy Eating! 

Exercising Under the Weather

From a few of my new to running/exercising friends I have been receiving the same question over and over again… I have a (insert small sickness…cold, sore throat, etc) should I still workout? 

Unfortunately the answer isn’t straight forward and depends on you body but here are some guidelines to consider… 
– Are you achy? Is it hard to get out of bed? Are you absolutely drained? — if this is the case, a day of rest is probably for the best. 
– I’m starting to feel some symptoms but I’m fuctional — this is kinda the gray zone. My recommendation is to still workout but take it down a notch. If you were supposed to do a hard run, maybe go for an easy walk/jog instead. You’ll still get the endorphins boost but you won’t be draining yourself.  
– I’m not feeling absolutely terrible but this cold, cough, etc is lingering forever — this is another gray zone but I tend to say if something has lingered for more an 3-5 days it may be time for a rest day. 
Regardless of if you decide an off day is beneficial to you, when you’re feeling a little under the weather, be sure you are eating (getting protein), drinking plenty of water and getting extra sleep. 
Also, if you do take the off day, don’t guilt trip yourself. Remember, you are exercising to be a healthier person. Listening to what your body needs is important in being the healthiest you can be. 
Wishing you all a healthy Tuesday!