How I (Swim, Bike &) Run: Aussie “Ironmum” Rachel Gorrie

RachelGorrie1

Rachel Gorrie is no stranger to persevering through adversity, so it should come as no surprise that this Aussie “Ironmum” tackles the physical challenge of 70.3-distance triathlons with the same kind of determination she’s used to overcome the other curve-balls life has thrown at her.

Rachel’s first victory was delivering her son safely despite myriad complications for both her and baby, but it’s been a marathon of a journey ever since. Her son, Lachlan, was born at 31 weeks weighing 1300 grams, and the family has since discovered he has left Hemiplegic Cerebral Palsy and permanent brain damage to the right frontal lobe.

So when Rachel decided to do the Ironman 70.3 Western Sydney last year, she had a lot on the line — but not only did she finish the race, she also managed to raise awareness for children who have Cerebral Palsy. And in the process, she was able to collect more than $5000 in donations towards the cause, which will help provide funding to support their needs with things like access to yearly checkups, regular Physio, Speech and OT assessments, as well as social worker support.

Once again, I’m honored to share the story of another incredible Coeur Sports ambassador. It just goes to show you that heart, courage and all-around baddassery know no geographical bounds!

1. What’s your favorite route or workout? I actually like them all. I love a cruising ride, a long run and also a relaxing swim. But then I love a great tough strength session. I do enjoy riding with friends on the M7 and on the path around Lake Illawarra. I just need to do something to keep active and my mind clear.

RachelGorrie3

2. What shoes do you wear — both on the bike and on the roads? I just updated my bike shoes. I switched to a men’s pair of Shimano as they are a wider fit. So far so good, as the numbness has gone. Also love that they are black.

For running I wear Nike Luna Glide. I over-pronate, and these have been a great shoe for me with enough support yet light, too.

3. What other training gear can’t you live without? Can’t live without my Coeur tri shorts, bike jersey and visor! The jerseys are not as heavy as other jerseys I have had previously. The fabric is lighter and keeps you so much cooler. Feels great against your skin. And I have also found that the Coeur visors fit perfectly. Not too tight around your head and full elastic for a quick transition.

4. What’s your best time-saver or “workout-hack?” As a mum, I am very time-poor and need to be very organized with my training. I have found that switching from distance training to time is working best for me. Allowing that one hour or two hours instead of how many kilometers I need to do is a great approach and easier to commit to.

RachelGorrie4

5. What part of each discipline (swim/bike/run) are you better at than anyone else? Swim: I am natural at breaststroke! You know that one person who is doing breaststroke during the race overtaking you? Yep, that’s me!

Bike: I am awesome on downhill and on the flat. I can hold a good speed for a long time but as soon as a hill hits you are guaranteed to overtake me.

Run: I am great at pacing myself, I do like a good chat along the way when racing especially if there is a no headphone rule. It’s amazing the inspiring stories you hear during a race if you have the time to talk and encourage others.

6. What do you listen to while training? I have a 70.3 mix at the moment. Good old Aussie music in there like INXS and Divinyls, as well as Fleetwood Mac and Guns n Roses. I like all music, but it has to have a good tempo to keep me moving.

7. What are you currently training for? Training has started for IM70.3 Cairns. I got the 70.3 bug after I completed my first one last November. I can’t wait to get there and tie in a family holiday, too. My son Lachlan loves Ironman and is eager to watch it again.

RachelGorrie5

8. What are your recovery and sleep routines like? I love naps!! Really, really love naps! I nap as much as I can. I seriously could sleep now if you told me to, LOL! If sleep is the 5th discipline I can’t say I’m not great at that.

9. What’s the best athletic advice you’ve ever received? Would be from my girlfriend before my first 70.3: “You know these entry fees are expensive, you really need to take your time and get your money’s worth!”

Enjoy it, take your time, soak up the atmosphere and eat all the snacks provided, enjoy the recovery area and thank the volunteers. After all it’s a hobby for the majority of us, it’s not the Olympics.

10. What’s your favorite racing-related memory? Hands-down has to be my first 70.3 last November in Western Sydney. The reasons why I did it (see links below for details) and my son presenting my medal.

Rachel Gorrie2

11. Fill in the blank: I’d love to grab a workout with _________. Katherine Kelly Lang (Brooke from The Bold and the Beautiful), I met both her and Dom at Western Sydney. She was so supportive and really took the time to have a chat before the race to settle my nerves. I think she does fabulous work for Breakaway from Cancer and is also doing wonderful things for Women For Tri. I would love to meet her again and train with her.

12. Anything else you’d like to add? If you want to know “why I tri,” you can read more here, here and here.

RachelGorrie6

Thanks, Rachel! I can’t wait to see you cross another finish line at IM70.3 Cairns and am thrilled for what that will mean for both you and Lachlan this year. 

Friends, if you’re interested in being featured here (all levels & abilities welcome!), please drop me a line at info(at)kineticfix(dot)com.

How I (Swim, Bike &) Run: Athena National Champ Sarah Girven

10407919_10153080134495991_7370682337100070041_n

Meet Sarah Girven, a wife, mother, triathlete, animal lover, hiker, runner and all-around adventurer. She’s another fellow Coeur Sports ambassador — new to the team for 2016 — so I was excited to get to know her better after reading about some of her adventures via her blog.

What I find particularly inspiring about Sarah, however, is that she began working out in February 2012 and has been going strong ever since. And by “going strong,” I mean that she’s since trained for and competed in all kinds of events, ranging from 5k’s and half marathons to sprint-distance and 70.3-mile triathlons.

Not too shabby of a race resume — especially since it’s a mere four years old, right?! 

Although Sarah’s currently sidelined due to injury (but on the mend, thank goodness), she usually spends her time racing in triathlons, duathlons, aqua-bikes, bike, road and trail races. And when she’s not working with her local triathlon club or as a board member, she’s busy running her house, shuttling her kids and volunteering.

Sarah seems like the consummate multitask-er, to say the least, so I was excited to pick her brain about tales from training, as well as get the low-down on her favorite gear and the best advice she’s received as an athlete.

1. What’s your favorite route or workout? My favorite route and workout is riding my bike on HWY 159 from Las Vegas towards Red Rock Canyon National Conservation Area. I do about a 50-mile ride with more than 3300 feet of elevation gain. The backdrop is amazing, and makes the ride totally worth it.

1373700_10151924186930991_417975268_o

2. What shoes do you wear — both on the bike and on the roads? I currently wear Brooks Glycerin 13. I am on my third pair and really like how they immediately fit my feet when I put them on. All three pairs have had a long run as their break-in and have never caused any issues. I bike in Shimano SPD SL SH-WR41. They are dirty and beat up, but I love them. They fit great and are tough!

3. What other training gear can’t you live without? I have a few things that I love to train with. I always wear a hat or a visor. I live in Las Vegas and need it to protect my face and catch my sweat. My favorite visors are Headsweats. I love the elastic back strap because it is so easy and quick to get on during a race. I also usually run with my Nathan Hydration Pack HPL #020 on training runs. It carries a 2-liter bladder and is fit for running, so it does not bounce. It also has enough storage for my phone, a small first aid kit and some snacks.

I never leave home without my Garmin 910XT. I’m able to use it for lap swimming, open water swimming, biking, running and hiking. I enjoy looking at the stats when I’m done with a workout. Finally, I’m always wearing sunglasses. I have two types that I wear, XX2i France1 and Rudy Project Rydon or Stratofly SX. I like the XX2i for running because they really grip my nose and do not move when I run no matter how sweaty I get. I like the Rudy for biking; they have transition lenses so they adjust to whatever lighting I am in.

4. What’s your best time-saver or “workout-hack?” I have two tips or hacks I use: One, I set my workout clothes in the bathroom so I get dressed in my gear as soon as I get up and go to the workout as soon as I drop my kids off to school. That way I am already out of the house and ready because if I go back home I might not leave again. Two, I try to pick things close to my house or from my house. If I have to drive a long distance to do a workout, I am less likely to go but if I can walk out my door and start, I am more likely to do it.

11696313_10153407019955991_2434149925843127374_o

5. What part of each discipline (swim/bike/run) are you better at than anyone else? Swim: I grew up around the water, so I am very comfortable in it. I have a good, steady pace and have no anxiety about training or racing in it. I am tall with a long torso and arm span so I tend to be a smooth, quick swimmer. My friends enjoy swimming with me because they say I push them to go harder.

Bike: I am a rocket when going downhill! I can make a steady climb but I will fly by you on the down-side. I can definitely use my larger frame to my advantage.

Run: I have a pretty accurate internal pace setter. I can set a pace and hold it for a long period of time.

6. What do you listen to while training? I do not listen to anything while swimming or biking. I do occasionally run with an iPod Shuffle. I put one ear bud in and leave the other out so I can hear and am aware of my surroundings. The playlists are just songs I enjoy and are not selected for pace or tempo. I use it as a tool to take my mind off my run.

IMG_4041-S

7. What are you currently training for? This is a hard question to answer. This past October, I tore my ACL and meniscus in my right knee, and I had the surgery to replace the ACL and clean up the meniscus in December. Currently, I am in physical therapy to regain my strength and flexibility.

I am not training at the moment but I do have a few races on my schedule, though: I have one sprint, two sprint relays where I am the swim leg, two Olympics, a 70.3 half triathlon, Ironman Arizona and a few running races on the calendar.

My “A” race is Ironman Arizona on November 20, 2016. I am not sure if I will be able to compete in this race, though. It will all depend on my recovery, healing and training. I am staying hopeful but am also realistic and do not want to do anything to jeopardize my health.

8. What are your recovery and sleep routines like? What are those? LOL! I would sometimes do ice baths or Epsom salt baths after long runs or extra intense workouts/races. I occasionally foam roll. I also try to do a light swim, bike or run to loosen up a day or two after a hard race. I try to get to sleep by 11 p.m. and am up at about 6:30 a.m. on a normal night.

If I am training, I wake up between 4:30-6:30 a.m., depending on the activity. Since the summer heat is so intense in Las Vegas, I tend to wake up at 4:30 a.m. to get my workouts in before the heat gets too bad.

11063492_10153080133880991_1597278083809513959_n

9. What’s the best athletic advice you’ve ever received? The best advice I have received is to enjoy the journey. I have had it delivered to me in several ways. One story I often tell others is when I was about to race my first 70.3 (actually 70.4 because the swim was 1.3 miles), and a friend told me that when I am hurting to take a minute to look up and enjoy the beautiful scenery.

The race was in Long Beach, Calif., and as it turned out, the run was hurting. I reminded myself of her words, so I looked up and took in the sights. It truly was amazing. The ability to do this sport is a gift! Our bodies are able to do amazing things and we are blessed to be able to do it. Another friend recently said that we get to spend an entire day doing what we love. How blessed are we?

10. What’s your favorite racing-related memory? There are so many! If I have to pick one it would be from the Athena National Championship race at the Grand Rapids Triathlon on June 16, 2015. I was racing for the 70.3 title, and I was in the 40-54 age group. I had a goal of finishing in 6:15 going off of my previous times. It was raining that day and since I have zero experience training in the rain, I was not too optimistic of my results.

I had a strong swim, and it appeared that I was the first Athena at the bike rack in the transition area. My ride was solid and even with the rain, I was hitting my time goals. I made it back to T2 fourteen minutes ahead of my goal time. Once again, I was the first Athena to the bike rack. I hit the run and was able to hold steady. I knew that this is where I would win or lose the race.

IMG_8330

At mile 7, my husband saw me and told me that I was crushing my times. He said that I was about six minutes ahead of another Athena. As expected, I was passed at mile 10 but I was ok with that because she is one of my best friends so I was extremely happy for her. As I approached the finish line, I gave it my all. I crossed the finish line and found my husband. He wrapped his arms around me, kissed me and told me how proud he was of me.

We found out that I finished in 5:53:29! I placed 2nd overall and 1st in the 40-54 age group becoming the National Champion for that division. I loved racing with my friend and seeing her win 1st place overall, but I will never forget the pride I saw in my husband’s face when I crossed the finish line.

11. Fill in the blank: I’d love to grab a workout with _________. I would love to workout with all the girls from my Athena Facebook group and my Coeur Sports ambassador team. There are so many ladies that I am inspired by, and I would love to meet them in person. They are encouraging and are a wonderful support network. I also wouldn’t mind working out with Andy Potts or Ryan Lochte!

12. Anything else you’d like to add? I love to trail run and hike. I could spend days out on the trails. It is my happy place. I love the fresh air, quietness and beauty of it all.

I write about my adventures in racing, training, and hiking here. You can find me on Facebook and Instagram, too. I’m also a proud ambassador for Coeur Sports, Pierce Footwear, FitFluential, Fusion Sports USA and RACEPLACE.

11902399_10153478565445991_2696628545291424901_n

Thanks, Sarah! Here’s hoping that your recovery goes well so you can be in tip-top shape for training this season. 

Friends, please give me a shout (info (at) kineticfix.com) if you’d like to be featured!

February Goal Check-In

FebJH2

And, just like that, my last month before baby is a distant memory…

Despite the desire to squeeze as much as I possibly could into the past four weeks, my body (thankfully) kept me in check. Waking up at two-hour intervals to pee pretty much every night and getting contractions when you exert yourself with more than a gentle stroll will tend to do that to a person.

So, yet again, we are adjusting goals, resetting expectations and wading into what appears to be the “new normal” — at least for the foreseeable future. And this is all pre-baby, so I can’t imagine what March’s recap will be like!

Read more about the five goals toward which I’m working in 2016.

Here’s where things stand currently:

1. Health & Fitness

February was all about listening to my body. And, boy, did it have a lot to say. 

FebJH3

This extra 30 pounds I’ve gained earned over the past 10 months really started to take their toll (in the form of back pain, hip pain, foot pain…see a theme here?), and I could tell my body was getting prepped for the main event (contractions!). So while workouts remained consistent, I’ve definitely tapered things off in the past two weeks.

I credit regular movement, however, for helping me stave off a host of other pregnancy-related conditions (swelling, and other random maladies, etc.), so I’m thrilled to have been able to be active well into the home stretch. Especially since it’ll be a while before I can resume my usual activity levels…

2. Training

Nada at the moment, but I am making tentative plans for a half-marathon relay with a mama runner friend, Tiffany, later this summer. We may not be the fittest or fastest out there, but we’re determined to put one foot in front of the other and just keep moving.

Getting my 2016 Coeur Sports team kit in the mail was another major highlight this month. It got me super excited for when I can ease back into some kind of training schedule. Eventually.

FebJH1

In the meantime, I’m so thankful to be working with a company who supports women of all levels, abilities and stages of life! This really is the year of the #coeurbaby, and I love how we can show that healthy mamas = healthy babes.

3. Community

While our Team LUNA Chix Portland Run season hasn’t officially kicked off (stay tuned — April!), our planning sure has. The team’s 10 leaders gathered on February 20 for a retreat, which included some movement and food in addition to the business at hand.

FebJH4

We’re really excited about going bigger and bolder this year, so keep an eye out for all kinds of great sweat sessions, events and activities. We’ll be resuming our FREE Monday night workouts (6:30 – 7:30 pm) in April, so follow our Facebook, Instagram and Twitter accounts for details.

4. Career

After a bustling January at Pulse Creative, February was all about wrapping up open projects and getting everything set for maternity leave (always a double-edged sword when you work for yourself!). My tentative plan is to step back for two months (March and April), which makes me nervous in the short-term, but I know it’s what’s best for our family in the long run.

As a girlfriend put it, there’s no use in half-assing work, baby, family and self-care during such a tumultuous time. No one will win in the end. And sometimes a step back helps you take a leap forward, so I know a little time off will further inspire me when I resume my work with clients later this spring.

5. Life

My grand plans for Kondo-izing our apartment before baby were a big, fat fail this month. While nesting instincts were in overdrive, I simply didn’t have the energy to tear everything apart and do a big purge.

IMG_2016

So instead of following the guidelines in “The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up: The Japanese Art of Decluttering and Organizing” to the letter, I settled for a weekend closet clean-out. I ended up with one bag for Goodwill and another for eBay, and I’m happy with that for the time being.

After all, we’ve got the rest of our lives to clean — and our last month as non-parents had to take precedence, right?!

How are your 2016 goals coming along? 

How I (Swim, Bike &) Run: Ironman athlete Kecia Place-Fencl

IMG_3379

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!!

IMG_5064

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!!

IMG_3669

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!

IMG_4634

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!

IMG_4228

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!

IMG_0145

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!!

IMG_4282

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!

January Goal Check-In

IMG_1218

Ok, 2016 — ready or not, here you are. Although it feels like we’ve just begun the year, we’re already a month in.

I’ll admit, pregnancy has given me a more leisurely attitude to this year’s goals…well, at least at this point in the game. And purposefully so.

Not only do I want to be kind to my body right now, but I’m also trying to stay present, cut down on unnecessary stress and enjoy the final weeks of Ben and I being responsible for no one but ourselves. All that’s about to change, and I know we’ll get back on track and into our competitive pursuits again eventually…but until then I’m making a concerted effort to keep things casual.

Read more about the five goals toward which I’m working in 2016.

Here’s where things stand at the moment:

1. Health & Fitness

Until Baby H’s arrival, I’ve been hoping to be able to stay active. That means continuing regular workouts with a mix of cardio, strength and flexiblity work throughout the week with one day off to allow my body to rest.

IMG_1117

Fortunately, my doctor’s fully in support of this plan. Despite some minor aches, pains and first-time-mom freak-outs (Me: “There’s a bruise around my belly button; what did I do wrong, and should I stop working out?!” My doctor: “Nope, that’s just pregnancy.”), she’s great with the fact that I keep moving so the baby will keep moving…ideally into the correct head-down birth position.

2. Training

As I mentioned in my initial post on 2016’s goals, I’m signed up for the Portland Marathon and am considering a few smaller races leading up to that (recovery permitting, of course). Since then, I’ve further revised this goal so it’s more about completion than competition; meaning, I’m going to train to be able to finish events without any expectations of times, PR’s or age-group placements.

IMG_1062

While that’s the stuff that typically gets my juices flowing when it comes to training, it’s been a relief to let it go and give myself permission to not feel like I have to push so hard to prove something. And in the meantime, I’m working on maintaining a solid foundation on which I can build post-baby with an ultimate goal of remaining injury-free.

3. Community

Earlier this month, we officially announced the new roster for 2016’s Team LUNA Chix Portland Run. It’s a fantastic group of women of all ages, abilities and interests…but the one thing they all have in common is that they’re stoked to be able to once again connect with the community, promote the sport of running among women and raise money for our charity partner, the Breast Cancer Fund.

TLCPortlandRun2016

Next up is our team leader retreat next month where we’re setting some goals and doing a little bonding before the season officially starts in April. Mark your calendar! We’ll be resuming our FREE Monday night workouts (6:30 – 7:30 pm), and you can find up-to-the-minute details via our Facebook, Instagram and Twitter accounts.

4. Career

Now that the holidays are over, things have been ramping up again work-wise at Pulse Creative. I’ve got several projects in-progress with clients, including website audits, messaging workshops and content creation, along with ghostwriting articles for Forbes and other outlets on behalf of C-level execs — flexing my old journalism muscles has been especially fun!

PulseCreative

But as I attempt to wind things down for my maternity leave, I’m already contemplating the direction I want to take my business when I return. In other words, what really lights my fire, work-wise, and how can I do more of that? 

It’s been something I’ve been thinking about a lot lately — not only in terms of where I can make the most impact for clients, but also how I can continue to create a sustainable career that allows me to find fulfillment yet maintain a healthy work/life balance. I want to continue to do this same type of project work, but I’m also exploring how to package up my favorite services for clients so I can serve them even better in the long run.

5. Life

Despite being proudly Type-A-organized, I will admit to having what I jokingly call a “Monica’s closet.” Look closely and you’ll see a bike helmet hung next to blazers and a hydration pack mingling among my purses. Yep, #fitpeopleprobs + #cityliving = interesting storage solutions.

IMG_1467

While my original goal was to finish  Marie Kondo’s book “The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up: The Japanese Art of Decluttering and Organizing” by mid-month so I’d have an update on it being in action for two weeks now, I’m behind schedule. I finished the book, but I know that one month isn’t realistic to be able to follow all the instructions laid out in it.

So I’m revising my timeline — this is about year-long goals, after all — and am aiming to tackle step no. 1 (my clothing) by the end of February. So if you don’t see me for the next few weeks, you know where I am…or what I might quite possibly be buried under!

How are your 2016 goals coming along? 

How I (Swim, Bike &) Run: Ironman triathlete Barbara Perkins

Courtesy of Barbara Perkins

There’s only one thing you need to know about Barbara Perkins: Some girls chase boys. She passes them. As in, if you’re racing against her, you better be prepared to get your butt kicked.

“Tenacious” doesn’t even begin to describe this lady; not only is she a fellow member of the 2016 Coeur Sports team, but I was blown away when I heard about her racing resume and plans for this year.

She started her Ironman journey back in 2012, preparing to race IM Lake Tahoe in 2013 with a group of friends from Team in Training. All she knew is that she wanted to finish. But when she crossed the finish line in 4th place and missed a Kona world championship slot by a mere eight minutes, she was hooked.

At IM New Zealand in 2014, she managed to shave an hour and a half off her previous time, was the first amateur female out of the water in the swim and ran a best time of 3:47 in the marathon — yet still fell short of the coveted Kona slots amid stiff competition. Undeterred, Barbara set her sights on IM Lake Tahoe only to have the race cancelled three minutes before the starting gun went off.

Not one to back down from a challenge, IM Coeur d’Alene in 2015 became Plan B. The season started off better than ever, with an age group win at IM New Orleans 70.3, but then things took a turn for the worse. Last May at Challenge Knoxville, she took a spill on the course and lacerated her liver.

Barbara’s Plan C is now IM Texas in May, which has a reputation for being flat, fast and sometimes unbearably hot. It’s only a few months away, yet she’s determined to do everything in her power to make this THE race in which she once again tempts fate and makes a bid for her spot at Kona.

1. What’s your favorite route or workout? My favorite workout of the week would probably be my long runs with Team Brilliant on Sunday mornings. These people are the definition of endorphin junkies. Most of them are triathletes, but there are also quite a few ultra marathoners and people who just enjoy running.

On the first day I went to a group run, three of them were planning on doing a marathon the following weekend, hadn’t trained at all and were going for a casual 20-mile run. One of them ended up qualifying for Boston. That tells you what kind of people these guys are.

As far as bike rides, there is a route in Bloomington on the Old 37 that goes out to the Morgan Monroe State Forest. No matter what time of year it is, this ride is always breathtaking and inspiring. It is also secretly very hilly and a great training ride.

2. What shoes do you wear — both on the bike and on the roads? For the run, I just switched over to Brooks Glycerin 13’s. I used to swear by Mizunos, but they changed their design so I have been searching for a new pair. I am very happy with these new kicks so far!

On the bike, I wear Louis Garneau Women’s Tri X-Speed shoes. These trusty bike shoes have been with me since the beginning of clipping in. They are so easy to use with just one strap and make for speedy transitions.

BP2

3. What other training gear can’t you live without? Swim gear: Finis Agility Paddles. I love pulling and doing drills with these bad boys.

Bike gear: I am so in love with my bright, neon pink Rudy Project helmet. I finally got one this past year. Also, my Coeur little black tri shorts are an absolute necessity. With all the riding I do, gotta have #noangrykitty.

Run gear: Trucker hat. I have fallen in love with running with a trucker hat on. This year I was sporting my #5Q hat. Also, Smith Optic sunglasses. They are so clear and also come in bright pink!

4. What’s your best time-saver or “workout-hack?” This one is tough. Probably doing rides indoors on my trainer and catching up on Netflix. Killing two birds with one stone!

5. What part of each discipline (swim/bike/run) are you better at than anyone else? Swim: Well I grew up as a swimmer, so this comes a bit more naturally to me than other triathletes. I sort of took it for granted when I first started racing triathlons, but have embraced my background again.

Bike: This is usually my weakest discipline, but I would have to say that I overcome it with my tenacity. When things get tough, I dig deep into the pain cave and am willing to go where others cannot.

Run: Can I say that one of my favorite things is chicking guys? Because people tend to pass me on the bike, I usually make up the time on the run. But really, I love encouraging people who look like they’re having a hard time. Just giving them a high five or saying a couple words goes a long way.

BP4

6. What do you listen to while training? My favorite Pandora station I listen to while working out is Krewella. Sometimes I’ll mix it up with 80’s rock or Jason Derulo. I love dance music with a fast tempo. It helps me stay motivated and I try to match the beat of the music.

7. What are you currently training for? Next year, I have my sights on grabbing a coveted Kona spot. First I’ll try at IM Texas. And if that doesn’t work out, then I will try at IM Lake Placid. Two very different and difficult courses, in very different ways.

8. What are your recovery and sleep routines like? I love having chocolate milk right after a work out!

By nature, I am a night owl, but this sort of contradicts the lifestyle of being a swim coach and getting up at 5:00 am. It’s still a work in progress but I try to be in bed by 10 and take naps when I can.

9. What’s the best athletic advice you’ve ever received? Before one of my races, my coach Craig Paiement told me, “To those of you who have prepared properly, I wish you good fortune. To those who haven’t…I wish you good luck.”

I didn’t know what it meant, so I asked one of my other friends I was with. It means, that if you have done the work and put in the time, then all you need on race day is good fortune. If you haven’t trained as much as you should have, then you need “good luck.” Trusting myself and knowing that I have done everything I could in order to have a successful race has helped me immensely.

BP3

10. What’s your favorite racing-related memory? Probably one of the most meaningful race memories I have had was this past year at the Ironman 70.3 World Championships. On the day of the race, I knew it wasn’t going to be exactly the race I had imagined.

I was still suffering from a lacerated liver due to a bike crash earlier in the year. Because of that, I had no expectations. Before the race, I was so relaxed and just wanted to have a fun race. Other people were freaking out, and I was having a blast.

When I came up to the finishing chute, I saw my mom and just lost it. It had been an incredibly hard race, with a lot of climbing on the bike. On the run, I was in so much pain and had to keep stopping. It was a very hot day on top of that, which didn’t help.

But I made it to the finish and was just so happy to be there in that moment. I’ve never cried at a finish line before. It was all very emotional.

11. Fill in the blank: I’d love to grab a workout with _________. Do I have to pick just one?? Paula Newby-Frasier, Chrissie Wellington, Mirinda Carfrae and Julie Moss. All of the Ironwomen greats.

12. Anything else you’d like to add? If I have learned anything over the past couple years in my journey, it is to just be grateful to be able to do something I love so much. Health, money and ability are not a given. I feel lucky every day I get to train!

Thanks, Barbara! Your perseverance is beyond inspiring; I’m excited to watch you crush IM Texas this year and finally conquer Kona. 

Fit friends, please give me a shout (info (at) kineticfix.com) if you’d like to be featured!

Introducing the 2016 LUNA Chix Portland Run Team!

TLCPortlandRun2016

We’re baaaack!

Well, not officially until the spring. But in the meantime, I’m thrilled to announce our team leaders for season two of Team LUNA Chix Portland Run, which runs April through October.

We had so many excellent applicants for just a few open spots, it was tough to narrow it down to just 10 people — but the good news is that, since this is a non-competitive, community-oriented team for runners (and walkers!) of ALL levels, we look forward to opening up our workouts to everyone who is interested in attending.

So mark your calendars! Our regular workouts will take place on Mondays from 6:30-7:30 p.m. We’re hoping to keep our usual location — Duniway Park Track — but will have to confirm that closer to the start of the season, pending Under Armour’s proposed renovations.

Here’s our official roster for the 2016 team:

  • Syreeta Abrams: Previously one of our most enthusiastic community members, she tackled trail races last year and has her eye on a 5k PR this season.
  • Megan Landrum: Our resident women’s nutrition expert is back for a second year, but you may not recognize her new (married) name!
  • Nicole Licking: Fresh off a strong showing at the Holiday Half Marathon last month, she’s rallying for another successful, race-filled season.
  • Kristin Minto: After completing her first marathon and captaining a Hood to Coast team last year, we can’t wait to see what she’s up to next!
  • Sharlene Murphy: Also back for round two next season, she’s got a new baby (congrats!) and is already plotting her comeback to the track.
  • Vanessa Peterson: Previously our speediest community member, she has been leading off-season workouts, so our goal is to just try to keep up with her!
  • Madeline Rhoades: A new addition for 2016, she started last season as a non-runner but all her hard work paid off when she RAN our final four-miler.
  • Ashly Robinson: Another community member success story who took to trail racing like a pro last season and is excited to inspire and welcome others!
  • Alex Schrimp: A former community member who nabbed a PR at the Holiday Half 5k last month; she’s all about sharing motivation and accountability.
  • Jennifer Hellickson: I’ll be heading up the group next season with a mini LUNA chick in tow (coming March), but I can’t wait to get back out there!

As you can see, it’s a pretty fantastic crew! We’re looking forward to getting out into the Portland running community again — recruiting new community members, logging miles, hosting clinics and events throughout the season and raising funds for our charity partner, the Breast Cancer Fund.

Stay tuned for updates, follow us on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter, and don’t forget to join us on Monday evenings for a workout when you’re in the Portland area!