Postpartum Triathlete: Getting Your Run Back

This is the 3rd article in a series I am writing for triathletes who have been out of the sport for whatever reason and working toward coming back.

Postpartum Triathlete: Getting Your Run Back

In case you missed the 2 previous, here they are…

Whether you were out by choice or forced out due to injury, surgery, etc, any time away makes coming back a challenge. I wanted to share what helped me in case you are struggling and looking for a way to get back into running.

Out of the 3 disciplines of triathlon, for me the run was the hardest to get back in to, but the easiest to get back to where I was before I stopped running.

As soon as I found out I was pregnant, about 2 months in, I made the choice to stop running. I had a “high risk” pregnancy and decided it wasn’t worth the risk. A week before I found out, however, I had run a marathon, so I was still in great running shape when I stopped.

I didn’t run for the remainder of my pregnancy (6 months), the 6 weeks following the birth of my baby, and then another 4 weeks after that. During the 4 weeks after I was cleared to begin exercising again,

I rode the bike and did the elliptical and stepmill every single day at the gym. So although I wasn’t building up my “running” muscles, I was definitely building up my cardio and fitness levels before I started actually running. This helped me a LOT once I started back up!

The first thing I did was during my walks with my mom, Coura, and the dogs, I would run ahead with the dogs a few minutes and then run back to my mom and the baby.

The first couple times I did this I totaled about 5 minutes of running, the next week I did 10, and the following I did 15.

In those few weeks I also started focusing more on my nutrition and started overall feeling better due to being able to exercise, so I started losing some of my unwanted baby weight as well. Running also became easier as the pounds started coming off.

At the end of the 4th week I decided to sign up for a 5K. I personally do better with my workouts when they are “training” runs and not just running for “exercise”. I also like having a place to start so I can see improvements. I had no expectations and I knew whatever my time, it would be a post-partum PR (personal record).

I had a blast at the 5k. It was about 5 minutes slower than what I was doing before I got pregnant, which is about 1:20 per mile slower, and my effort was much much higher than my time showed! My heart rate felt almost maxed and my body was tired. But my heart and soul were happy and I had a starting point for getting back into running shape.

Over the next 4 weeks I started running 2x a week. One was “longer” (typically 3-4 miles) and one was a few minutes here and there either during a walk w the fam or on the treadmill a few minutes before or after I taught class at the gym.

After that 4 weeks, I did another 5K and took a minute off my time. At this point I had also lost most of my baby weight and Coura had just turned 6 months old which meant I could run with her in the stroller. It was coming into winter so I only ran with her a couple times, but it gave me hope and excitement for the upcoming spring/summer!

At this time, I decided to do a monthly 10K time trial on the treadmill to chart my improvement as well.

My first one was about 10 minutes slower than my usual 10K, but again a post-partum PR. My monthly 10K TT was my “long” run and I continued with one other run each week of about 1-3 miles. I was still doing stepmill weekly and biking at the gym 5 times a week. This improved my overall cardio and fitness level.

At the end of 6 months was my big test, I signed up for a half marathon to start running longer because my “A” race for the year was the St George 70.3 which was 3 ½ months later. Since my longest run had been 6.2 miles, the 13.1 was a challenge but I just took it easy with a goal of just running the whole thing. And guess what? Yep! A post-partum PR!!!

I kept up with my monthly 10K, my other shorter run, threw in a couple 5Ks, and weekly stepmill and biking at the gym. I did another half marathon 3 months later and took off almost 15 minutes!!!

The hardest part about getting back into running was getting started. For me it helped giving myself time on other “easier” cardio equipment to get some fitness back and shed a few pounds before I started running again.

It also helped me to have a monthly goal like my time trial and a few races set up to “test” my fitness and running.

And lastly, it really did help when I lost my baby weight and got back down to my pre-pregnancy weight. Running, in my experience, is much harder when I have more weight on my body. Running never came naturally to me so every advantage helps!

I am now officially one year out from the birth of Coura (her birthday was yesterday) and I would say I am only a few months away from being back to my pre-pregnancy race times. If it takes longer for you, don’t get discouraged, just make everything about your best NOW, not your best then! All my new distances are post-partum PRs and I’m learning to navigate my training/racing with a baby which is always an adventure in itself.

Have fun with it, be kind to your amazing body, and love yourself NO MATTER WHAT!!!

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See you soon!

Love Your Body This Summer

Love Your Body This SummerAs a kid and young adult, I always hated my thighs. It seemed no matter how much weight I lost or how strong I was (even running 7 marathons in 7 days) my legs were always “chubby” compared with the rest of my body.

My thighs always rubbed (even chafed when I ran) and my butt, hips, and thighs never had any definition. I could see every rib in my midsection and still had absolutely no definition in my legs.

I chalked it up to genetics and just wore clothes that accentuated my positive physical attributes and strategically hid my upper thighs under skirts, shorts, and skorts.

Even at my lowest weight as an adult, which was less than I weight now, I still had thicker and bulkier thighs.

Four years ago, I changed some things about my diet, and not only did I feel healthier, recovered more quickly, and had more energy, I also started seeing a teeny tiny hint of definition on the back of my thighs. I could actually see a hamstring! Yay!!

About a year later, I made a few more changes, and low and behold, my inner thighs started slimming down a bit! They barely rubbed and I didn’t have to slather on silicone lube every time I did a long run!!

Another year later, I started a new Beachbody program called 2B Mindset. It taught most of what I believed anyway about nutrition and added an emotional component that I was constantly struggling with.

I started seeing even more changes in my body, especially my “hate zone” thighs!! And the culmination of my small changes in my nutrition resulted in definition in not only my legs, but my butt and hips as well!

I admittedly have always been obsessed with my body image, so this newfound discovery made me very very happy!

I decided to become a 2B Mindset and Plant-Based Nutrition coach to help others, like me, who felt like giving up on their bodies because they just assumed they were doomed by genetics.

I can’t guarantee that what worked for me will work for you, but I’ll do everything I can to help you figure out what DOES work for you! That is my goal as a coach!

I am starting a new group in July to make it most cost effective for you! You have 4 options for coaching:

1. Sign up for personal daily accountability/coaching which includes meal evaluation, meal suggestions based on your likes/dislikes, time avail for food prep, and finances, plus daily contact through text. You will also have access to our group through ‘My Challenge Tracker’ app. Cost is $99 for 2 months.

2. Purchase the 2B Mindset program and get all access to videos, recipes, a nutrition tracking app, and all the product that comes with the program including a journal, water bottle, recipe book, and a step by step success guide. Plus, of course, coaching for 60 days by me through ‘My Challenge Tracker’ app. Cost: $120 plus shipping.

3. Order the 2B Mindset ‘Challenge Pack’ which includes everything in package 1 and 2 PLUS a month of Shakeology, a protein superfood meal-replacement shake, and a year of Beachbody On Demand, which is a program that streams all of Beachbody‘s workout programs including P90X, Insanity, Turbofire, PiYo and 600 more videos. Cost: $200 (June 2019 only, regular price is $220) plus shipping.

4. Join our support group and get all the support you need daily plus learn steps you can take each day to help you lose weight, gain more energy, recover more quickly, and feel better about yourself on our ‘My Challenge Tracker’ app for FREE!!!

If you are ready to jump in and make yourself a priority this summer, email coachsmith@usa.com, text 970-214-7745, message me, or respond to this post and I will help you get started right away!

If you’re not sure of this is the right program for you, contact me and we can chat about it and figure it out!

I’m proud of my progress and want to spread that feeling to you! There’s nothing better than loving yourself!

Hope you join us!! See you soon!

Postpartum Triathlete: Getting Your Bike Back

This is my second article in a series of five articles for triathletes who are just getting back into training.

Postpartum Triathlete: Getting Your Bike Back

Whether you were injured, sick, off-season, took a break, or had a baby like me, it takes some time to get back to the shape you were in before you stopped training.

My goal for these articles is to share what has worked for me to give you some ideas to try for yourself. If you missed the other ones…

In my opinion, the bike was the easiest for me to get back on, but the hardest to get back to where I was, especially since I was training for an Ironman when I got pregnant and it is now winter here in Colorado.

My baby is almost 7 months old, and I have only been on my bike outside one time in over a year. It’s a lot easier for me mentally, physically, and schedule wise, to do my training either at the gym where there’s childcare and bikes with feedback, or on my trainer in my basement where I don’t have to leave the house, and can do it anytime.

For those reasons, I probably will stay primarily indoors for another few months.

My first race back is in May, which will be 11 months after Coura was born. I plan on biking indoors until March, which will give me two months to transfer my indoor skills to outside riding.

After my six-week check-up and I got the OK to start working out again, my first workout was on the bike. The first week I did 30 minutes, with no resistance, just spinning my legs and getting my butt back in saddle shape! I did most of the sessions at home, I wasn’t ready yet to leave the house and get to the gym or to take Coura to childcare.

My intention was to start a bike streak and bike 30 minutes a day minimum, but with my new mommy life, that didn’t always work. I still kept it as my intention, which usually got me on the bike five days a week. Some days it took me an hour to bike for 15 minutes because I was also taking care of a baby, but it was always my goal to get 30 minutes in!

For the first eight weeks, each week I just tried to add a little more time during one of my rides. For example, if I got on the bike five times, one time would be 40 minutes, and the next week that ride would be 50 minutes, and following week an hour.

I typically didn’t have time to go more than an hour so I would start adding time to a second ride of the week, working up to another ride of an hour.

By the end of the eight weeks, I was doing 2 to 3 60-minute rides and 2 to 3 30-minute rides, still at very little or no resistance.

After 8 weeks, I decided to start adding intensity to one of my weekly rides. I really like a challenge and working on improving, so I decided to do a weekly time trial on the bike at the gym.

The first week I started at level 1 and every 5 minutes went up a level. I ended up 12.0 miles in the hour. Each week I started at the next level (week 2=level 2, week 3=level 3, etc) so that I was progressively working harder each week and going longer in the hour.

I just did my week 13 time trial and have increased about 5 miles in the hour!!! I had a couple weeks where I was sick that went down, but in general I am getting better each week.

After about 8 weeks of one hard workout a week, I started adding one moderate intensity hour ride a week.
And that’s it for now! So in general I am doing my hour time trial, an hour moderate effort ride, and 3-5 30-minute easy rides.

My plan in another 4 weeks is to start increasing my moderate level ride by 30 minutes each week to train for the St George 70.3 I have coming up on May 4th.

I am finally feeling good on the bike! It will be interesting to see how my indoor fitness translates to riding outside. My goal is to get outside once a month!

Let me know if you have any questions about getting back into training after taking time off!

If you want to follow my training…

www.instagram.com/fitnessdivakir

For a weekly workout…

www.FoodFitnessFinanceFun.com/newsletter

And if you or anyone you know is looking for a coach for this upcoming triathlon season, I have room for 3 more clients this year!!

Call or text me to set up an appointment to see if we are the right fit for each other!!!

See you soon!

Postpartum Triathlete: Getting Your Swim Back

Five months after having my baby, I’m finally feeling like I can swim again! I wanted to share what I did to get back into swimming after taking some time off.

Postpartum Triathlete: Getting Your Swim Back

This is the 1st article in a series I am writing for triathletes who have been out of the sport for whatever reason and working toward coming back.

In case you missed the other ones, here they are…

Whether it is intentional (off-season, break, hate swimming) or unintentional (injury, illness, surgery, life change), it’s tough to get back in the pool when you’ve been out for a while.

I wanted to share the steps I took in hopes that it may help somebody else who is struggling to get back in swimming shape after being out of the pool for a while.

I want to start by saying when I found out I was pregnant, I was in really good shape. As in Kona Ironman shape. I took a break from swimming after the Ironman because I got 3 new tattoos. Before I had a chance to get back in the water, I found out I was pregnant. I always heard that swimming was the best thing to do while you’re pregnant.

When I was a personal trainer my clients who were pregnant loved being in the water. They said it took the weight off their joints and their back and they loved to feel light, cool, etc.

I swam a little at the beginning of my pregnancy, but by the time my belly started getting bigger, it was actually really uncomfortable for me to swim. I continued to swimming just to keep swimming, but it was typically 1 to 2 times a week 15 to 30 minutes at a time, at a very leisurely pace, and using all the equipment I could find!!

After Coura was born, I was antsy to get back into the pool, but had to wait 6 weeks for everything to heal. Once I was cleared to get into the pool, I jumped right in, only to discover that even 100 yards at a moderate pace got my heart rate up and my arms and legs felt uncoordinated and weak. I was also having a lot of shoulder pain from the way I was holding my baby when I breastfed her, so that flared up almost immediately after trying to swim freestyle.

Here is how I progressed…

Month 1: I swam 1-2 times a week for about 20 minutes using ALL my equipment (other than paddles). A typical swim looked like this:

  • 200 streamline kick on back w fins
  • 100 backstroke w fins
  • 200 kick on side with fins
  • 200 breastroke kick w board
  • 4×50 scull/swim w buoy and snorkel
  • 100 breastroke

Month 2: I swam 1-2 times a week for about 40 minutes still using lots of equipment, still not using paddles, only because my shoulder was still super sore after a swim. A typical swim looked like this:

  • 400 swim with fins, kick on back every 4th 25
  • 8×50 kick w board free/breast
  • 4×100 w buoy and snorkel 25 scull/75 swim
  • 3×75 kick/drill/swim IM order
  • 200 dolphin kick on back w fins
  • 200 breastroke

Month 3: I swam 2-3 times a week and tried to get an hour in for one of the swims. I started doing part of my set on an interval, and added back paddles. A typical swim looked like this:

  • 4×100 swim/kick w fins
  • 4×100 kick/drill w fins IM order
  • 8×50 kick w board free/breast on 1:10
  • 3×100 pull right paddle/left paddle/both paddles
  • 200 breast
  • 4×100 free on 1:45
  • 4×50 IM/free on 1:00
  • 200 breast
  • 300 dolphin kick w fins on back

Month 4: Sometimes I get in 3 swims a week, but usually still only 2. Swam my longest swim of the year this month at 3,600 yards. Here is what it looked like:

  • 8×100 w fins swim/kick by 100
  • 8×50 kick w board on 1:10
  • 8×50 swim w paddles on :50
  • 4×75 k/d/s IM order
  • 200 breast
  • 6×100 free on 1:40
  • 100 breast
  • 6×50 fast free/easy breast on 1:00
  • 200 IM easy
  • 300 back w fins
  • 100 breast

Over the weeks I am slowly adding a little distance (usually only 200 to my longest swim every 2 weeks) and a little speed (timing one more set each month). If something isn’t fun or hurts, I stop. There is no reason to hurt myself or get sick of swimming this early in my season.

If you are newer to swimming, I would also focus the majority of your workout on drills!

If you want a list of great drills (and lots of already written out workouts), join our facebook group here…

https://www.facebook.com/groups/IHeartSwimming

If you want a swim workout a day emailed to you for 30 days, click here…

www.FoodFitnessFinanceFun.com/dailyswim

If you want 10 great workouts for endurance training, go here…

https://www.etsy.com/listing/281141398/10-awesome-swim-workouts-for-long

And remember…Just Keep Swimming!

See you soon!

My 46th Birthday Workout

My 46th Birthday Workout.... Every year for my birthday, I do a birthday workout. I do this because I love my birthday and I want to celebrate me. I try to think of all the things I love to do and cram them all into one day! Every year for my birthday, I do a birthday workout. I do this because I love my birthday and I want to celebrate me. I try to think of all the things I love to do and cram them all into one day! Working out is one of my favorite things to do, and I love to challenge myself, so I always make my birthday workout a pretty big challenge.

This year was a little different. I don’t have as much time and freedom as I’ve had in the past, I was already teaching two classes at the gym, and of course I have Coura now. I still wanted to do something challenging, but doable, and like everything else in my life right now, I need it to be a little more flexible than in the past. I decided on a 46 minute swim, 46 minute bike, and a 46 minute run. Not all at once, not necessarily in that order, spread out throughout the day.

I got up early on November 6 to have enough time to pump after feeding Coura, as I’m not supposed to wear a sports bra unless my breasts are completely empty. I was planning on getting to the gym 15 minutes before my first class to drop Coura off at childcare and get started on my run. As with all my other plans over the past four months, I was running behind. I got to the gym five minutes before my class started, dropped Coura off, and went and taught class. I did however jump on a treadmill for 15 minutes after class to get the party started!

I visited childcare to feed myself and Coura, changed her, and played with her until it was time to teach my second class. After that class, I jumped on the treadmill for nine more minutes, before heading out to meet my mom at a different gym for part of my bike and leave Coura with her so I can finish my workout.

I biked 33 minutes with my mom, fed and changed Coura, and sent her to spend the afternoon with Grandma! Thank you Mom!

I then got back on the bike for another 13 minutes, jumped on the treadmill for my final 22 minutes, and then headed in to the pool for my 46 minutes swim!!

So yay! I got my entire birthday workout done! My total workout was a little over two hours and 15 minutes, which is my longest work out since I had Coura in June! So although it wasn’t a challenge like in the past (last year’s workout took 6 ½ hours), it was a challenge for me in my new life!

It felt amazing, and I had a blast! It was also the first time in a year that I actually felt like a triathlete! It got me super excited about my upcoming season, and I started thinking about what I want to do for training and racing this year.

After my birthday work out, Matt took me to eat at my favorite restaurant, Native Foods Café, and luckily they were fully stocked with oatmeal cream pies! The perfect end to my birthday workout!

How do you spend your birthday? What do you do to celebrate you?

And thanks for all the birthday messages, posts, and texts!

MY FRIENDS ROCK!

See you next year!

Plant Powered for Life: Coco Hydrate

Plant Powered for Life: Coco HydrateOf all the facets in my crazy unfocused “squirrel” life, the subject that I get asked the most questions about is being vegan. I am often asked specifically WHAT products (foods) I eat, drink, supplement, train, race, etc with. Instead of constantly running down my list of “the usuals”, I decided to start a list of my faves and write a quick summary of benefits and why I love the product for you to read and decide if it’s a product that will work for you in your life.

The first product I am highlighting is one of my newest additions for my health/pseudo-training/can-take-while-pregnant drinks I have during my workouts.

I have been wanting to like coconut water since it first became “mainstream” about 6 years ago. I tried every brand, flavor, even the real thing fresh in Kona, but hadn’t found one I could stomach. I didn’t like the flavor or the consistency of it. Now I’m all for health benefits, but I won’t stick with anything long term (or short term) that I don’t like the taste of!

I had been drinking a product called “Can’t Beet This” (beet powder) for health and training and LOVED it, but when I found out I was pregnant, I had to stop because it has caffeine and too many herbs in it that my doc said to stop until after I have my baby. So I was on the lookout for something else.

The same company that made the beet powder, Purium, had just come out with a coconut water
powder. I ordered some and crossed my fingers. I already believed in the benefits of the ingredients, just needed to make sure I liked the taste. And I did! PHEW!!

This product is called Coco Hydrate. It’s described as: Organic ecologically responsible Coco Hydrate!

Coconut water is amazing but most brands are not organic and are bad for the planet. Our coconut water is dehydrated on-site after harvesting to reduce our carbon footprint. Hydrate and reenergize with our blend of coconut water, mineral salts and rooibos. The concentration of balanced electrolytes can help promote hydration after a workout, elevation shift or just an afternoon thirst quencher.

It’s made by a company called Purium which is a company that goes back to the original purity standards. No artificial colors, flavors, sweeteners, binders, fillers, hormones, pesticides, irradiated or genetically-modified ingredients. Just real food. Super food. For super results. Purium offers a solution that benefits our bodies, as well as the Earth.

I like and support the company because the majority of their products are plant-based and they promote a plant-based lifestyle.

I drink this every day at the gym when I am working out. I have also mixed it in my smoothies if I am feeling a little dehydrated or fatigued, which is a common occurrence in my third trimester of pregnancy!

Retail cost of Coco Hydrate is $29.95. I have a $50 gift card you can use for any orders over $75.

To order go to…

www.iShopPurium.com
Use code: vegandivakir for $50 off your order

Join our plant-powered community…
www.facebook.com/groups/plantpoweredforlife

Check out my other fave products…
http://www.FoodFitnessFinanceFun.com

Stay connected here…
www.FoodFitnessFinanceFun.com/newsletter

See you soon!

Race Report: Ironman World Championships in Kona, HI 2017

Race Report: Ironman World Championships in Kona, HI 2017I was just going through my 2017 posts to put together my annual “top posts” post and I realized I never posted my race report from the biggest race of my life! WHAT??? I must have gotten distracted with the 900 changes that were going on in my life when I returned from Hawaii at the end of October.

I just wanted to send an extra shout out to my bf, Matt, who miraculously got me a hotel room near the race start the night before and after the race to make my life easier, my gf, Ashley, who turned her Hawaiian vaca into helping me have a successful pre-race week.

All the insanely generous peeps who contributed to my www.gofundme.com/kirtokona campaign, and everyone who took time out of their own busy lives to track me, text me, send me good vibes, and share their love and support with me through social media.

Anyhoo…here it is…

Without the never-ending love and support I get from those around me, I would have never had the amazing race and experience I did in Kona.

I am forever grateful!

Thanks for being part of my life!

To watch any of my other race reports…

www.youtube.com/fitnessdivakir

See you soon!

Winter Fun For Triathletes

Winter Fun For TriathletesAs an triathlete, it’s important to have an “off-season”.

This is a time where you forgo your structured training for a period of time, get caught up on all the work, family, household, business, vacations, chores you half-assed during your season, and restore a little balance in your life.

Most triathletes can do this very well…for about a week! And then we want to go back to the scheduled, rigorous training we did all season. Which is NOT a good idea. Without taking time off, most athletes can get burned out, over train, or worse, injured.

In Colorado we can’t compete year round in triathlon without traveling to warmer, drier climates, so for most Coloradans, our off-season is the Winter months.

But don’t let Winter get you down! There are a ton of fun things we can do to give our minds and bodies a break while still challenging ourselves in our sport.

Winter Fun - Cycle CrossCyclocross:

Cyclocross is sport that is a cross between mountain biking, obstacle course racing, and cross-country running. The bike courses combine riding on pavement, wooded trails, grass, steep hills with obstacles that require the rider to dismount, carry the bike, and remount often.

Cyclocross is very hard and will help with sprinting, bike handling, and maxing out your heart rate. They do make cyclocross specific bikes, but as a beginner, you could use a mountain bike. I am actually trying this out for the first time this year and have my first race THIS weekend! YIKES!

Swim Meets:

Masters Swim Meets are a fun way to challenge yourself while becoming a better swimmer. Since you already swim as a triathlete, you don’t need to get any new equipment. Learning all 4 strokes will help your technique and feel for the water. Swimming in a Masters meet is low key and anyone can join.

You’ll find all levels from past Olympians to those who need to rest for a breath at each turn. And as an adult you can swim as short as a 50 yard race! It’s harder than it sounds!

Road Running Races:

In Colorado, there is a 5K pretty much every weekend throughout the year. You can also find several 10Ks and half marathons each month, as well as at least one marathon each month.

This is a great time to work on speed since your legs won’t be as tired from your bike miles you put on while triathlon training. If you want to move up to the next distance in triathlon, incorporating longer runs is a great off-season goal.

Strength Training, Core Work, Yoga, Meditation:

All the important components that make up a well-rounded athlete that we tend to minimize or skip all together during our season because let’s face it, we all only have 24 hours in a day!

Get back to the basics. Make these activities a habit now so that when you start adding back in your swim, bike, and run next season, you can continue to practice them. You may not be able to spend the same amount of time on them as you do during your off-season, but you can find ways to incorporate them in smaller increments throughout your training week. I am actually doing a yoga streak this month!

Plan Next Season:

This is my favorite off-season activities. Set goals, choose your races and prioritize them. Register for as many as you can and for the ones that aren’t open yet or you don’t have money for, put them on a list in order of importance with the registration opening date and price and put the list where you can see it daily. Post your goals and tell a trusted friend or two to keep you motivated throughout the winter.

Hope your Winter is super duper fun and you come back next season refreshed, rejuvenated and ready to ROCK!!!

Stay in touch!
www.FoodFitnessFinanceFun.com

If you want help planning your season, reach out! I LOVE PLANNING!

See you soon!
Brrrrrr!!!

Just. Do. It.

Just Do It... I always hear people talk about how hard they work to get to a certain place in their life, whether it's business, financial, relationships, fitness, health, spiritual, etc.I hear people talk about how hard they work to get to a certain place in their life, whether it’s business, financial, relationships, fitness, health, spiritual, etc.

I always feel bad when I hear this because I really don’t feel like I work that hard to make my goals. Today as I was doing intervals on the treadmill, I was thinking about this because, for once, I actually was working pretty hard!!

Since I was working really hard on my intervals, it got me thinking how often do I work hard in my life? And I came up with an answer that kind of surprised me. I don’t think I work hard very often, but what I do is no matter what, I do SOMETHING! No matter how I am feeling that week or day or moment, I just do it!

I know that sounds cheesy like a Nike slogan or something but it’s the truth.

For example, today I had no interest (or motivation) to run at all, but I wanted to get in a short interval run before my massage because I’m racing this weekend and I want to be slightly recovered. PLUS (let’s be honest here) I am trying to stay under myfitnesspal calorie goal and it’s been tough lately…like impossible, so I made myself get on the treadmill. I ran at a super easy pace for a few minutes which got my heart rate up, got the blood flowing through my body and brain, and the endorphins kicked in and I started feeling good! So I actually finished my interval run and here I am!

So I don’t feel like I necessarily work hard for the things that I want, for the things I accomplish in my life, and for my successes, but I do feel like I always do what needs to be done.

Now that I think about it, this is actually in alignment with how I do everything in my life, baby steps. I talk about baby steps all the time, how I take small incremental teeny tiny little steps toward what I want in my life, but I do them over and over and over again and it ends up looking like a success, that I’ve accomplished a goal, that I’ve done something big!!

And what I did today with my intervals is no different.

Last weekend I had a race. On the way there I had told a friend that I didn’t feel like I was ready for this race, that I didn’t feel like I’ve been training enough and that I hadn’t put in the hard work. When all was said and done, I did extremely well on the race. Looking back, I didn’t work hard to train for the race, I just did something every single day toward my goal of doing well in the race.

I have a big race coming up next week and people keep asking me if I am ready for the race. When I think about it, I think no, I’m not ready, I haven’t done hard enough workouts, I haven’t done many long rides or long runs, so no, I don’t feel like I’m ready.

BUT! In reality, I’m ready! I’ve put in the hours. I’ve put in time for the past 19 seasons that I’ve been a triathlete and for the past two years that I’ve been working toward this goal of qualifying and racing at the Ironman World Championships in Kona.

So yes! YES I am ready, whether I feel like it or not, I know I am ready!!

So I guess what I’m saying is that you don’t necessarily have to work hard all the time. Working hard is exhausting, it’s time-consuming, it’s mentally draining, and it’s often frustrating. So don’t do it, don’t work hard ALL the time, just do something, do something every single day. Do something every single day that moves you toward your goal. Do something every single day that move you toward your ideal life.

You will get there before you know it! Trust me!

Check out my updates on my journey to Kona…
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And follow my journey when I’m there right here…
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And please please please whether you feel like it or not, do something every single day to create your ideal life.

Just. Do. It.

See you soon!

How I Became A Faster Runner

How I Became A Faster Runner | Kirsten McCayI wanted to share this for those of you who are new to running or struggle with it. It gets easier and you will get faster!!! I started running in 1999 when I decided to try a triathlon. I hated it, it was hard, and I was slow. The worst part was that I was an aerobics instructor so I was actually in good shape, at a normal weight, and in my late 20s. Running should have been easy for me, or so I thought.

After my first tri (the run was 2 miles) I was hooked on triathlon, but still rarely ran because I didn’t enjoy it. In 2001 I decided to sign up for an ironman distance triathlon where I would have to run a marathon. I decided I better start running!!!

After 10 years of racing I still didn’t like running, but I was slowly (emphasis on slowly) getting faster. Some seasons I did a little speed work, some seasons I ran more miles per week, some seasons I did stepmill and hills, some seasons I ran mostly on the treadmill, but all seasons I kept running. Other than a 2 year break, I have been consistently running between 10-60 miles a week. My average I would say is 25 a week over the past 19 seasons of triathlon.

This year I have PRd my 5k, 10k, half marathon, and ironman marathon. And last night I just PRd the mile. Before last night my fastest mile was 6:04 in 2005. Last night, 12 years later at the same race, I ran. 5:52. I am 44 years old and am still getting faster. And I can finally say, after 19 years of running, that I finally like running.

The 4 things in my opinion that have helped me get faster this year are:

1. Last year I lost 10 pounds and this year I lost an additional 5.

2. 3 years ago I became 100% plant based so my body recovers more quickly so I can train longer and harder more consistently. This year I am eating more raw foods which are nutrient dense and low on inflammation.

3. I race as much as possible to learn how hard I can push my body before I crack.

4. I now have confidence as a runner so I can start a race a little harder and with a faster group pushing me to go faster to keep up.

So if you’re struggling, if it’s hard, if you hate it but want to like it, stick with it. Once it’s easier for you, you will enjoy it more. Once you enjoy it more, you will do it more often, and in return get faster!!!

One last thing…

You need a good reason to want to run or you won’t lace up or get out of bed at the crack of dawn or head outside after a long work day. Why do you run? Why do you want to be a runner? Figure it out and make sure it’s a compelling reason, like at least an 8 on a scale from 1-10.

I want to be able to compete at a high level in my age group in triathlon. On a scale from 1-10 that’s a 10 on importance to me. So I get up and get running so that I can accomplish that!!

What is your reason to run????

Hope this helps any of you struggling today!

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See you soon!