The Body of a Female Athlete – in the Raw

Posted in Uncategorized on August 9, 2014 by Kel

 

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Have you ever looked at the body of a female athlete? I have. They come in all different sizes, shapes and colors. They are all beautiful. They are all pieces of art. They all tell a story.

I remember when I was little and would stare at the pictures of my Grammy in a bikini with a huge smile on her face as she flirted with the camera at Jones Beach. I admired her strength, beauty and how her smile covered in hot pink lipstick lit up the world. I wanted to be like her.

My body is compact and my skin has been destroyed by the sun. My smile shines bright through my freckles that have merged into one big sunspot on my face. My boobs are as white as a ghost and could probably glow in the dark if I had even the slightest of super-powers J

I love to see woman that train their bodies to be these machines that are majestically beautiful in ways that can’t be described. It exudes confidence, power, strength, courage, intelligence and a fierce independence.

I have always been comfortable in my own skin. I wish everyone could look in the mirror and see something they are proud of. But for me the inner beauty is what makes the outside shine in ways that are so unexpected.

I am proud to be part of an effort to raise money for a good cause and joining some of Jacksonville’s female athletes who are herculean in inner and outer beauty. We did our own hair and makeup. Our bodies are not manipulated by post processing software. Our personalities shout in the final selected photos. We are athletes, mothers, entrepreneurs and role models.

A creative and very talented local photographer was brave enough to photograph stunning images of our local female athletes. We are only to post our own photo but I can tell you that the 11 others are PHENOMINAL!!  

More to come on how to pre-order the 2015 calendar that will boast these images and where the money will be donated.

Mizuno and Hüma and OSMO oh my!

Posted in Uncategorized on January 1, 2014 by Kel

It has been a while since I have done a product review! The last 2 weeks I have had some major training for a big race I have coming up. The last 2 weeks I put in 185 miles of running and 111 miles on the bike trainer so I put these products through the ringer!!

I was lucky enough to have a friend that has access to many products and knew I was going to be going through some crazy build weeks so he introduced me to 3 products to try out in hopes that they may get me though Brazil 135. I am always up for trying new products but it is rare that I truly love them! I am a huge fan of 110%.Play Harder., Mila (high quality chia seed), Organic Sulfer and Bragg Organic Apple Cider Vinegar. These are staples in my training/diet. But here are 3 other items I am adding to that list!

Mizuno Wave Prophecy 3 

prophacy whiteprophacy blue

These running sneakers really surprised me! I was a huge Hoka fan and did not think these would compare. WOW! I put all 185 miles on these sneaks in 2 weeks and not once had issues. No hot spots, no missing toe nails, VERY LITTLE fatigue in my legs (this I was excited about) and they fit like a soft cocoon around your foot. My run form was perfect in these sneakers and even when I was on my feet for 6 hours running my form continued to stay solid. The one thing I will continue to track is the mileage. In some tests they have been known to get 1200 miles on them.

Hüma Gel

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I personally am a proponent of getting nutrition via solid foods vs. liquid. But the issue is that gels normally kill my stomach after a while. There also comes a point where I just struggle getting any solid food in. When running 40+ hours at a single time means you HAVE to get nutrition in PERIOD. The Hüma Gel goes down so smooth! I had the Apple Cinnamon and Mango and they both have a great taste and they go down with no effort at all! The Chia provides needed energy and my stomach never had issues in any of my runs. Very, very pleased with this product! Learn the science.

OSMO Active Hydration

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Women are not small men™  – how could you not love this tag line! We AREN’T men! Brazil will be 80-90 degrees and that will pose a challenge with ensuring you are getting enough hydration in through the 2 days of running. Some of my long training runs where in the mid-80s and I had this in my hydration pack and my body never felt dehydrated, always had energy, and for me the most important was my mental state. I never felt like ending my runs even the 5-6 hour runs and I don’t listen to music. And to get personal we have a cycle that messes us up! For the ladies…see below.

During our menstrual cycle our internal temperature varies by 0.5°C, while our sodium losses increase and plasma volume drops. Dr. Stacy Sims developed Active Hydration for Women to address these physiological realities to help female athletes:

  • Increase Power Output
  • Improve Endurance
  • Avoid Premenstrual-Related Performance Decline

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All of these products can be found at Jacksonville Running Company and everyone is helpful, knowledgeable and friendly!! Go in and try on the Mizuno Wave Prophecy 3 and thank me later :)  HAPPY RUNNING!

The Story of the Koi Dragon

Posted in Uncategorized on August 11, 2013 by Kel

The legend says that a certain koi had the strength and courage to climb a certain waterfall. When the koi reached the top exhausted, yet having reached its goal, the koi was transformed into a dragon. The koi dragon is one of the mythical characters in the Japanese culture which is not actually a dragon. It is a Japanese fish (Koi fish), which has the power to turn into a dragon. The koi dragon starts to swim off as a fish up a river and then when it reaches a certain waterfall, tries to cross it. If it is able to cross the waterfall, then it transforms itself into a dragon and thus it is known as the koi dragon.

The tattoo stands for overcoming obstacles through courage and perseverance. As the koi fish swims up the waterfall and transforms itself to a dragon, it symbolizes that nothing is impossible when you believe. If you work hard and put yourself to tests, you will eventually rise above your fears and become the ruler of your destiny.

The Daffodils (which are a year old) represents my sisters and their unconditional and unselfish support and encouragement they provide through each journey. I love this tattoo as it is something I feel everyone can relate to throughout their own journey through life.side_front

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Your Vulnerability May Truly Be Your Strength

Posted in Uncategorized on May 11, 2013 by Kel
Last month I had the utmost pleasure of speaking to an amazing group of hard working, athletic, goal driven people that work for a company that is headquarters right here in Jacksonville Beach, Florida. The CEO and founder of the company picked up a copy of VOID magazine and read my article. He then tasked my now awesome friend, Aaron, to find a way to contact me and have me speak at their Monday “All Hands” meeting. I put “All Hands” in quotes as they have much cooler and imaginative names and times for their meetings and traditions that are very inspirational and uplifting!  
 
I went into this speaking engagement thinking it would be 15 people max but to my pleasant surprise not only were there 40 or 50 associates but the CEO pulled his 10 year old twin son and daughter out of school to hear me speak. No pressure :)
 
When I am lucky enough to do speaking engagements I speak from my heart, love humor and tell the audience what my sport means to me. But when I get to a certain part of my story and talk about my family finishing Ultraman Canada hand in hand I start to tear, choke up and apologize for my pause. I feel embarrassed that I get so emotional in front of people I just met. 
 
At the end I was so happy to be able to talk to some of the amazing associates who in my book are so much more accomplished and driven than I am! I met a woman named Maggie that is about to start training for IMFL, her first Ironman. I met a young lady named Tay who is all of 22 years old. She talked to me about wanting to run her 1st 5k while pushing her mother as she had lost her leg. Come to find out she is a childhood cancer survivor and started up a charity, WithLove. The mission and heart of WithLove is to give children battling cancer the opportunity to simply be kids. She should have been up on the podium speaking :) 
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After the speaking engagement I was so elated to get an amazing Thank You card that literally had me smiling ear to ear for hours! Then I received an email from the CEO and from each speaking engagement comes not only meeting new friends but also a lesson. My lesson came from this note:

Hi Kellie,

I too would like to thank you for sharing your amazing story with our team – They loved it!

I also wanted to share what an influence you had on my children, especially Jordan. Since seeing you speak she has stepped up her training and desire to compete.  I think Aaron mentioned to you that she had amazing results in a recent small 5k. She was the first finisher under 15, she was 6th amongst all women and 20th overall in a field of 90.  Pretty good for a 10 year old. She loves to compete (maybe too much).

She told me that she remembered you talking about everyone starting out in front of you or faster than you and how you love to real them in.  In her last race she displayed great patience. She passed 15 or 20 runners along the course and was passed by no one.  I road my bike behind her (I could never keep up with her running).  When asked what their favorite part of your talk was both Logan and Jordan said when you got emotional talking about your family.

Keep telling your story and being vulnerable with your audience. It changes lives!

Challenge Wanaka – Good on Ya, Mate!

Posted in Uncategorized on February 3, 2013 by Kel

Challenge Wanaka We Are Triathlon
Purgatory: A place or condition of temporary suffering.

From the outside looking in there is nothing but absolute stunning views and warm skies. From the inside looking out the challenges this course afforded me was insurmountable. When I looked up I saw heaven, pure beauty. When I looked down I went inside myself and I saw demons. Crossing the finish line of this race truly made me realize what I was made of and how I was much stronger mentally than I ever will be physically. They say “As an athlete it is essential you are prepared for this very special event. It is an iron distance with an ‘adventure edge’ and there are several compulsory elements that you may not encounter at other events.”  I now know what they mean. It was the most difficult race of my athletic career. At the end 19% of the athletes withdrew while on the course.

Wanaka has got to be the most quaint and friendly place on earth. With a population of 2,000 there were over 600 volunteers. That is 1/3rd of the population out supporting the athlete’s. They are not there to sign up for the following year, they were there to show their support and love of a non-profit organization run by a volunteer board of trustees that encourage an active and healthy lifestyle.

Race morning was beautiful but the wind was daunting. Water temp. was at 58 degrees and the wind caused massive swells bringing in a level of difficulty right from the start and draining much of my energy. But a time came where I looked up and there was the most beautiful rainbow. It actually warmed me up a bit which was nice since I could only pee twice in my wetsuit :)

Swim StartChallenge Wanaka_Race MorningMarison_Kellie Swim Start

The wind picked up and the swells were harder to battle on the second loop. I could not take a breath without swallowing water and choking. I was thrilled to finally be out of the water until I realized walking to T1 that I had a nice bout of sea sickness.

After a long transition I mounted my bike and after 5 min on the bike I pulled over, got off my bike and for the first time ever in a race did not want to go on. My hamstring was cramping, the sea sickness meant I was not going to take in any hydration or nutrition for quite a while and the thought of the wind that I would be facing along with some nice climbs was wrecking havoc with my head. I had to make a decision to continue or DNF and I would have to live with that decision. I thought about my Dad after we crossed the finish line of Ultraman Canada giving me a hug and saying, “I am proud of you, baby.”  That is what got me back on my bike. 10 minutes later I blew my back tire. Nice :)  Someone was really testing my mental state. I took 12 min to change it and I decided to take my Garmin and put it in my back pocket and not care about my time or watts. All I needed to worry about was the self-doubt that never seemed to dissipate.

There were parts of the course that were just majestic! Lake Hawea was the most beautiful site and I made sure to just absorb the beauty as we circled around a small part of it.

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The beauty was balanced out by the beast that was faced when heading out to Luggate and the out and back to Cromwell. The wind was a monster, much of the 4,500 feet of climbs was upon us and riding on the chip seal road easily dropped your speed 1-2 kph and allowed you to only inflate your tires to 90 psi with and intense vibration was all starting to take a toll on the body.  I was in my easiest gear on flat road and pushing 9 mph for long periods of time and on the second loop when the winds picked up even more I had to dismount my bike and walk a hill for 8 min but I was not alone as others in front of me were doing the same.

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Chip Seal Road

I had passed some volunteers towards the end of the bike who screamed to me, “5K to the bike finish. Good on ya, mate!”  I looked at my watch and realized I was just going to miss the bike cutoff. I did all I could to push myself to the transition and part of me wanted them to pull me from the course but another part wanted to go on. I dismounted right when my time hit 5:01pm, one minute past the cutoff. The volunteers looked at me and said, “Enjoy the run!”  I wanted to cry :)

Off on the run

I know I would have not gone on if my friend Marison had not been in T2 waiting for me and telling me that the run was what I loved and that was my strength and that I needed to go out and conquer it. Marison, you are my angel! It was a two loop run and the first loop I was pacing off a 65 year old man, John. He was on his second loop and he kept me going along with his support, Harlan, who was riding along the road and cheering us both on. Well, part cheering and part making fun of me stopping at every aid station to talk, eat and drink :)

As John went to the left to the finish line I headed right to start my second loop. Thanks to my family and friends for being there to cheer me on! When I started the 2nd loop I got my mojo back. I walked all the hills on the first loop but the second loop I was able to keep my stride and run most of the hills. It finally hit me that I was going to finish. It may not have been pretty but I WAS going to finish! When I was running along Lake Wanaka and about to hit the descent to the finish I could hear the announcer, I could see the finishing lights and hear the crowds cheering. It was dark at this point and I could hear people cheering me on from the hotel balconies. I finally hit the town of Wanaka and my heart started to feel the joy I had been so desperately waiting for. As I ran by the crowds outside eating, drinking, clapping and cheering I started to tear up. This is only the second time I teared up at the end of a race. Ultraman Canada was an all out cry fest and will always rank #1 but Wanaka, you turned my water works on. As I ran through the corral of people they were clapping my hands and screaming loud for the “girl in the skirt” and I could not stop smiling.

15 hours and 12 minutes of battling the demons in my head and I finally moved from purgatory to heaven. It was an amazing felling crossing the finish.

Kel_Glenorchy

Body Art – The Meaning of the Daffodil

Posted in Uncategorized on July 30, 2012 by Kel

The Daffodil is the March birth flower. The three Daffodils represent myself and my two sisters, Carrie and Heather (all March babies). My sisters are always with me and I love when I look in the mirror and see them. It brings me a sense of calm. It warms my heart. It makes me feel like I am never alone. The meaning of the Daffodil is beautiful and represents many traits that we carry with us. Daffodils have the meaning of faith, honesty, truth, forgiveness, and forthrightness.

The meaning I most love is represented in this quote, “They are ever vigilant in returning each spring, and with their return we are reminded that their beauty is capable of following on the shirttails of even the harshest winters (or tribulations).” We all face difficult times. How we face “tribulations” and overcome those difficult times tells us a lot about who we are. We always come out more knowledgeable and beautiful at the end. It is who we are. It is how we choose to be. Symbolizing rebirth and new beginnings. We never look back at the past, we always look forward to the future.

The daffodil is symbolic of the power of inner beauty and the clarity of thought. It reminds us that clarity of thought makes our whole world change and it makes many decisions easier if they are not over analyzed but instead clarified and soundly resolved. The Daffodil is a symbol of wealth and good fortune and a symbol of beautiful eyes. A gift of daffodils is said to ensure happiness. We love to see people happy :)

I have to give all the thanks to my twin who was the brainchild behind this body art. I love the beauty, the meaning and that we share in the symbolism. I also love that we have the art on different shoulders, have it is positioned differently and how Carries is shaded more subtle and delicate and mine is more bold and daring, it represents our personalities. I guess Heather needs to step up :)

in time of daffodils (E.E. Cummings)

in time of daffodils (who know
the goal of living is to grow)
forgetting why, remember how

What I Love

Posted in Uncategorized on June 29, 2012 by Kel

I love my smile. I love that my smile makes others smile. I love that smiles are contagious.

I love my family. I love that my family supports and inspires me. I love to support and inspire my family.

I love long, slow runs. I love not remembering how I got from mile 9 to mile 17. I love that from mile 9 to 17 I was in a happy place.

I love my friends. I love that we are all different. I love that we are all the same.

I love that I swim slow. I love that I don’t want to get faster. I love that there are things in life that are perfect the way they are.

I love to work in an environment that appreciates me. I love that I have to work hard for them to appreciate me. I love to work hard. I love that I can retire young because I work hard.

I love that I am horrible at spelling and grammar. I love that nobody is perfect. I love that we all have things we can work on.

I love my tattoos. I love that I don’t care what others think of my tattoos. I love that I am excited to get another on that has a lot of meaning.

I love photography. I love that we can express emotions without words. I love that everyone has their own interpretation of a photo. I love my interpretations.

I love looking out my sliding glass door and seeing the ocean. I love when the ocean is calm. I love when the ocean is fierce. I love variety.

I love to be out of my comfort zone at work. I love to be in my comfort zone in my sport. I love that I found balance.

I love my family. I love that I can say that twice. I love that I am the luckiest girl in the world because of them.

I love my life…

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