Jen Rulon

About six weeks ago, my athlete April Ancira contact to me and asked me if I would be interested in going to Ironman 70.3 in Racine from July 13th through the 17th. While I was extremely interested, I was a bit worried considering I was 5 weeks away from Ironman Mont-Tremblant.

I reached out to my coach, and we figured out that it was going to be a down week. I was able to get my longer bike in before I leave on the Tacx Neo and then get my longer run in on the Ironman 70.3 Racine Run course. I told April, “ Let’s DO THIS!”

I do hesitate to add more to my plate with being very close to a major race but something I have learned in the Ironman Triathlon journey is to trust in the process and it will work out just fine.

My goal was to step away from my heavy training schedule, rest, be a friend, a Sherpa and take some time for me in Wisconsin. Sometimes, it is better to take care of “me” outside of the norm.

The last month, I have been really pushing it hard since Ironman 70.3 Lubbock. I feel that this has been the hardest I have pushed for an Ironman Triathlon in a really long. I went to Ironman 70.3 Racine exhausted: body, mind and soul.

I was born in Detroit but moved to Wisconsin, when I was 7 years old and lived there for over 15 years. I love the Michigan/Wisconsin summers and missed the smell of the Great Lakes. Every year, my Grandma and Grandpa Gaskin (Moms parents) had a cottage on Mullet Lake, close to Mackinaw City and Mackinac Island in Michigan. Click HERE for the Northern Lights this past weekend at Mackinaw Bridge.  The Great Lakes that come together under Mackinac Bridge is Lake Michigan and Lake Huron.

My Grandpa (“Flying with the Butterflies”) is the one of the many reasons that inspires me to keep trying to achieve those goals that I set out in 1989, Ironman Triathlon World Championship in Kona Hawaii.

As I ran down Lake Michigan this weekend numerous times as a coach, runner, Sherpa, spectator and “me”, I started listening to my body, my mind and my soul again.

During my runs, I started thinking back to my triathlon journey. Where I have come from, when I saw that TV show in 1989 to where I am today and I broke it down by three thoughts:  Body, Mind and Soul.

My Body:

  • Swimming came easy to me but now that I am putting more time in the pool these days, it has gotten harder.
  • Riding my mountain bike for my first triathlon was so fun! Now, I get to ride fast with my beautiful Cervelo, her name is “So Fresh and So Clean, Clean.”
  • Running that first mile in my journey was HARD. Now, there are still days that running that first mile is still hard. I really didn’t like running. Now I LOVE it.
  • Strength training was fun with the college boyfriend. Now, it is a necessity as I age.
  • Overall Thought: I had a “HATE” relationship with my body back in 1989. Now, I LOVE my body in 2017!

My Mind:

  • I said “YES” to one Ironman Triathlon. My mind said “YES” to 11 Ironman Triathlons.
  • I said “I can run a 10:22 minute/mile marathon in 1992.” My mind said “I can run a 9:00/mile marathon in 2016 AFTER a 2.4 mile swim and a 112 mile bike.”
  • I said “I can’t leave my “Dream Job” at Sea World in 1997”. My mind said “Yes, I can as I was walking out that door in 2009.”
  • I  said “I can’t go back to school after 40 years old.” My mind said “Yes, I can as I graduated with your Masters Degree in Kinesiology” in 2012.
  • I said “I can’t run my own coaching company.” My mind said “F$%K YES,” I can, as I have been going strong since 20012.
  • Overall thought: I “thought” I couldn’t do a lot in 1989. Now, I KNOW “YES, I CAN.” The mind is an AMZING tool.

My Soul:

  • After my Grandpa passed in 2001, seeing butterflies will ALWAYS remind me of my Grandpa Gaskin. My soul will ALWAYS be “Flying with the Butterflies.”
  • The love of water (From Mullet Lake to Lake Michigan to the Pacific ocean) started at a young age but grew  as I got older. My soul will ALWAYS be filled with calmness near water, sun and sand.
  • Hanging with your athletes, who became your friends in return, is truly the way to become a coach. My soul will be happy.
  • Belly laughing with your athlete, who became a friend, before an Ironman 70.3 is truly priceless. My soul will smile.
  • Spending time away from the norm, but realizing how much greatness you have in your life. My soul is complete with the husband, furbabies, my family and friends.
  • Overall Thought: I didn’t want to grow up because I was scared. Now, I can’t wait to grow older and be me.

As I said before, this last month, I have been really pushing it hard since Ironman 70.3 Lubbock. I feel that this has been the hardest I have pushed for an Ironman Triathlon in a really long.

I went to Ironman 70.3 Racine exhausted: body, mind and soul.

I left Ironman 70.3 Racine refreshed: body, mind and soul.

AUTHOR: Jen Rulon

I have been coaching triathletes, runners, and cyclists for over 21+ years; I received my Master's Degree in Kinesiology with an emphasis in Exercise Science. And as you may have learned, there is more to life than swimming, biking, and running. It is a lifestyle, and I am here to help you cross that finish line with a smile, whether it is an Ironman Triathlon or the Ironman of Life. You can find my knowledge shared in Triathlete Magazine, Runners World, on the TEDx Stage, the Health and Wellness Expo in San Antonio, TX, Southwest Research Institute Human Performance Summit, Training Peaks Workshops, "Self Motivation Strategies for Women" on Amazon, Men's Journal Online, and the New York Times. I also practice what I preach—she's a 15x Ironman Triathlete who participated in the Ironman World Championship in Kona, Hawaii, on October 14, 2017.

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