Meet Kecia Place-Fencl, wife, mother of two black Labradors, 8th grade science teacher, triathlete, yogi and lover of fitness and outdoor adventures. She’s also a fellow Coeur Sports ambassador, which is how we first met (well, virtually…although we hope to get the Coeur crew together someday) and have been rooting each other along via our respective blogs ever since (check hers out here for some inspiration!).
What I love most about Kecia, though, is that no matter how jam-packed her schedule is between training and teaching, she’s never too busy to lift others up with a few encouraging words or offer support when someone’s in need (i.e. she’s talked me down from the ledge after my open water swim meltdowns). She’s a true team player, and in the world of solo endurance sports people like that are few and far between.
What’s also admirable about Kecia is the way in which she trains using SMART goals to set clear objectives and hold herself accountable. It’s changed the way I approach my own personal planning for the year, be it training or life in general, and I’d highly recommend trying out her technique.
But don’t let this lady’s kind demeanor and thoughtful approach to life fool you; inside Kecia also beats the heart of a competitive athlete. She’s set her 2016 race calendar and will be ramping up to her “A” event for the season: Ironman Wisconsin in September, her fourth time tackling the 140.6 distance.
Here she gives us a peek at how she’s prepping to make 2016 her best year yet…
1. What’s your favorite route or workout? Riding my bicycle in the fresh open air with my main squeeze beside me makes my heart happy! But honestly, I even love to ride my bike on the trainer! Insane??? Maybe!! But the trainer gives me safety, better time management and provides me with a more controlled environment for riding. There is a reason I refer to any bike ride I do as #bikelove…I truly LOVE to ride my bicycle!!
2. What shoes do you wear — both on the bike and on the roads? When running, I rotate between the Newton Kismet (which I LOVE) and the Asics Gel-Nimbus. On the bike, I wear my Specialized Ember.
3. What other training gear can’t you live without? Swim Gear: My Roka X1 swim goggles are da bomb! They don’t cut into my eye sockets and allow me to focus on my swim stroke instead of the pain my face is enduring, which I have experienced with other brands. I know they were designed for open water swimming, but I use them for every swim I do…even in the pool.
Bike Gear: My Coeur Sports tri shorts. Hello seamless chamois and no angry kitty!! I have zero chaffing and can’t imagine my 120 mile rides without them.
Run Gear: My Coeur Sports tri top. Before I started running in these amazing tops, my chest would chafe until it bled. Since running in these amazing tops, I have experienced no chafing. It no longer looks like someone shot me in the chest after a run…that is a definite WIN!!
4. What’s your best time-saver or “workout-hack?” My situation is unique. Both my husband and I train and race most of the same events throughout the year, especially Ironman races. This requires a lot of communication, planning and preparation. Each weekend, we plan and make meals (almost always homemade and healthy options), set out workout and work clothes, and coordinate who will tend to the dogs and when.
5. What part of each discipline (swim/bike/run) are you better at than anyone else? Swim: I grew up swimming in Lake Okoboji, so open water swimming does not cause me to panic like it does some people. My parents often called me “a fish” growing up…while I may not be a fast fish, I can swim at my endurance pace All. Day. Long. I often find myself singing “Just keep swimming” as Dory does 😉
Bike: Living in Iowa, I spend a great deal of time on the trainer. It provides me with safety and allows me to save time while completing my workouts. For many people, a trainer workout can give them too much time in their own brain, but that is not the case for me. The trainer gives me focus, structure and allows me to feel completely in control of my workout. It allows me to get physically and mentally stronger on the bike by teaching me about focus, strength and fortitude.
Run: I started my endurance lifestyle as a runner. I may not be fast, but I am very comfortable running and often control my pace quite well. I typically set myself up for a pretty successful run coming off the bike!
6. What do you listen to while training? Swim: Growing up on the lake has instilled water as a calming agent in me. I love listening to the water move past my ears…it calms me.
Bike: During power work on the trainer, I listen to music with a good beat to keep my cadence up and help me push more watts. While riding on the open roads, I am always listening for traffic, animals and any commands from my main squeeze and other friends who ride with us.
Run: I typically listen to my husband and friends converse, my breathing and our feet striking the pavement. I have never listened to music while I run and enjoy listening to the natural sounds around me as I pound the pavement. I love the peace that comes with the sounds of nature that surround me.
7. What are you currently training for? My “A” race for 2016 is Ironman Wisconsin on September 11, 2016. I am excited to go back to my home course in the Midwest and push myself to new limits at Ironman no. 4!
8. What are your recovery and sleep routines like? I definitely have my sleep routine down! I am typically in bed by 7:30 pm with a book in hand…this is my way to decompress before lights out shortly before 8 pm to guarantee at least eight hours of sleep. The alarm clock wakes me at 4 am for my “rise and grind” morning workout.
As for recovery, I consume chocolate almond milk with Osmo recovery after every workout to immediately start the refueling process. I also take an Epsom salt bath every week and get a massage every 2-3 weeks. I love hot yoga, but definitely need to incorporate more of it my training plan, especially during peak training. According to my massage therapist, I also need to spend more time with my foam roller 😉
9. What’s the best athletic advice you’ve ever received? To measure my success by the size of my smile. This came from Jim, a blogger friend. Definitely advice that will stick with me for years to come!
10. What’s your favorite racing-related memory? Definitely Ironman Boulder 2015…I had the time of my life with lots of family and friends cheering me on and racing alongside of me. I raced to a PR of almost 72 minutes and finished before both my husband and a male friend who were also racing. Girls rule!!
11. Fill in the blank: I’d love to grab a workout with _________. All of my Coeur teammates! I would love to be able to workout with all of these amazing ladies at the same time. The amount of inspiration and awesomeness that these ladies exude is astounding!!
Thanks, Kecia! Looking forward to following along on all the adventures to come this year…
Fit friends, please give me a shout (info (at) kineticfix.com) if you’d like to be featured!