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      Meredith Kessler Mother's Day

      Meredith Kessler Mother's Day

      We Get to Be

      Over the course of an incredibly storied athletic career, Meredith Kessler has earned 11 Ironman titles and 21 Ironman 70.3 titles. She started competing in the sport in 2000 and has dominated year after year. But more than all of those accomplishments, for Meredith it is more important “..to be known as Meredith, the person, rather than Meredith, the athlete.”

      Letters to Mak

      Meredith and husband Aaron, welcomed their son Mak into the world in late 2017 and she began writing letters to him, letters that she shared with the world. In a recent interview with Meredith I asked her why: “Writing letters to Mak is my cathartic outlet to something that I invest so much time and effort to achieve...A significant portion of time is spent planning and training for a single event. When that moment finally comes, there are a lot of things that go right and also, wrong over the day. We learn from these specific instances, and they make us stronger.

      “After the shine goes away and it is Monday morning, back in the office, there is a sort of emptiness that sets in because what we worked so hard for is over, and the moment has passed. We need a way to express the lessons learned and the emotions of the day, so my creative juices latched onto synthesizing a journal for Mak of rawness that he can learn from when he is older. Hopefully? HA! We'll see! Mak, this is your mom in her most vulnerable state, reflecting on what just transpired in her life.”

      That’s life though isn’t it? Constant effort and build up to something and then it’s over. Maybe it’s a life goal, career achievement, or our own athletic pursuits, but we are all constantly striving towards that next thing. Plan, practice, do. But once we get there, accomplish it or fail, it is so much easier to rinse and repeat. To learn and grow however, is work. To share that with a child so they can learn from you, that is exemplary.

      The training required for this consistent level of success means Meredith will spend about 30 hours a week in training, usually spending time in all three sports on a given day. Then there is the strength training, PT, recovery, hydration, and eating to stay healthy and strong year after year. It would be easy to complain or use this level of day in and day out effort as an excuse not to be entirely present. Yet, Meredith doesn’t.

      BALANCE

      “One of my consistent mindsets is to always recognize the privilege of GETTING to do what we GET to do. There is no HAVE to in this equation. Whenever life is challenging, it is important to continually remind myself that ‘I get to spend time with my son’ or ‘I get to bike on the trainer for a couple of hours.’ This is a stark contradiction to when I hear someone say, ‘I HAVE to get this morning workout in’ or ‘I have to read to my child every night.’”

      It is because of this mindset Meredith can be an incredibly present mom, wife, and friend. Remembering that our lives are filled with choices, shifts the attention away from “me” to joy and gratitude. It also allows for balance.

      “People talk about that coveted ‘balance,’ yet it takes a lot of effort to attempt to balance your life and somewhat achieve the true nature of the word. Balance, to me, is not having something consume my life to the detriment of the essential things such as family and friends. I will never miss that important girl's dinner date or being there for a friend at the expense of training, business, or frivolous activities. I would never sacrifice those precious life luxuries to win. It's more important for me to win at life, than on the race courses.” Though she does win often, it’s clear Meredith places just as much regard and effort on her personal life as her professional life.

      BREATHE

      Yet even in those early days with a newborn and a drive to come back to her sport just as successfully, Meredith maintained a positive mindset that can help guide us today. “I distinctly remember Ironman Mount Tremblant in 2019, and Mak decided not to sleep from 2 am to 5 am the nights before the race, the most important nights of sleep for a triathlete. With blurry eyes, my husband and I took turns in the cramped hotel room to try to get Mak asleep to no avail...We realized that all lead-ins to race day would never be perfect, so we have to be good at taking the curveballs that life and raising a child throw out to you daily.” By the way she took 6th at that race.

      This Mother’s Day, let’s breathe in a little deeper and remember so much of what we get to be and do in life is right now, and it is good. Take that breath, recharge, and let’s tackle it all by remembering we get to do it. As Meredith shared, “There will always be challenges, and you are the captain of your own ship, so take a deep breath and try to hit that curveball that life threw at you, out of the park; or at least get a single!”

      See more Meredith.


      JOIN MEREDITH

      On May 9th, 2020, at 10:30am EST, IRONMAN champions Mirinda Carfrae and Meredith Kessler are going to swim, bike, and run in a unique virtual event to encourage the triathlon community.

      SPECTATE • PARTICIPATE • WIN

      This amazing broadcast event will feature live interviews, giveaways, and chance to support the Challenged Athletes Foundation.

      Register here.

      MEREDITH'S GO TO GEAR

      The Road to Victory: Aliphine Tuliamuk Breaks the Tape at the U.S. Olympic Trials

      The Road to Victory: Aliphine Tuliamuk Breaks the Tape at the U.S. Olympic Trials

      Many didn’t expect her to win, but she did. Aliphine Tuliamuk’s remarkable win at the US Olympic Trials isn’t as surprising when you look at all she did to get to that starting line.

      To many it may have seemed that Aliphine Tuliamuk’s victory at the trials was a complete surprise, but if you knew her, you knew she was right where she should be. She won the trials, to earn top spot for the U.S. Olympic team with a personal record and well under the Olympic standard with a time of 2:27: 23. Though the past two years have been plagued with injury, Aliphine’s career and training led her to this moment. Her personal bests include: 5,000m – 15:18.86 (2013), 10,000m – 31:54.20 (2016), Half Marathon – 1:09:49 (2015 and 2020).

      Tuliamuk was born in Kenya, and grew up in a family of thirty-one children. Her dad had four wives. Running was a dream, but competing seemed out of reach. In her remote village, running was also part of life, running to school, to get water; hardship was all around. As a child she also endured seeing two of her brothers die to illness, and much suffering around her due to inadequate access to healthcare.  

      Kenyan marathoner Tegla Loroupe happened to visit Tuliamuk's school one day. Tegla was the current marathon world record-holder and came to speak and hand out gear to the children. On that day she gave Aliphine a pair of shoes.

      Those shoes changed the direction of Tuliamuk’s life. They enabled her to compete in a local 10k and eventually move on to the national championship where she placed second. She was able to compete, train, and chase her dream. After high school, Aliphine was recruited to run for Iowa State, and later transferred to Wichita where she would major in public health. Her studies were a passion borne out of childhood in Kenya

      Post collegiately, Aliphine saw some success, but was also not seeing the results she wanted in races. She placed a disappointing 13th in the 2017 New York City marathon and questioned whether she'd ever figure out the marathon distance. But she showed up to practice, and kept showing up. Her drive and tenacity are what has continued to propel her to where she is now.

      Aliphine became an American citizen in 2016, the same year she won the USA Track & Field 25K, 5K, and 20K titles. In 2017 she further improved her performance from the year before by winning three USATF titles: the 25K, 10K and 7 miles and placing first at the USA Cross Country Championships in Bend, Oregon. In 2018 she won her 3rd 25K in a row.

      Aliphine currently trains with Northern Arizona (NAZ) Elite in Flagstaff with Stephanie Bruce and Kellyn Taylor. The trio train together, pushing and motivating each other to the results like we saw at the Olympic Trials marathon in Atlanta.

      One of the unique things about NAZ Elite is their transparency. This is great for the sport and gives us the inside scoop on what Aliphine did to get to this moment. Take a look at her workouts a month out from the Trials:

      Lactate Threshold - 5 x 2 miles + 8 x 30/45
      Lake Mary. 5 x 2 miles at 5:30 pace with 1/2 mile jog recovery (including the final repeat). Then straight into 8 x 30 seconds fast, 45 seconds easy.

      3up and 2down.

      Run - Long Run - Tempo/Long/Tempo
      Lake Mary. 4mi Tempo/10 miles/4mi Tempo

      Mile Marks= 0-4, 4-9 and 9-4, 4-0.

      4 miles at 5:40
      10 miles at 6:30 with miles 3, 6, and 9 at 5:40.
      4 miles at 5:40

      2up and 2down.

      These two killer workouts were part of a 110+ mile week. Most of her miles outside of these workouts were easy. Those big workouts matter, those easy miles matter. Aliphine put in the work to get her to that starting line ready to perform and to break the tape in Atlanta.

      Beyond running, Aliphine knew she wanted to use her opportunity in the U.S. to help those at home in Kenya. She has worked as a caregiver and also wants to pursue her masters in healthcare to hopefully create a foundation and open a free clinic in Kenya. She also makes hats that she sells to help support her family and community. Aliphine Tuliamuk is an incredible human, and athlete. The best part: she’s just getting started.

      ALIPHINE'S EYEWEAR

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      HOKA NAZ Elite to Partner with Rudy Project as Official Eyewear Partner

      HOKA NAZ Elite to Partner with Rudy Project as Official Eyewear Partner

       

      FLAGSTAFF, (AZ) – January 14, 2020 – HOKA ONE ONE Northern Arizona Elite has announced a partnership with Rudy Project, one of the world’s leading sports eyewear companies. The deal, signed January 1 of 2020, ensures HOKA NAZ Elite athletes will wear Rudy Project performance sunglasses exclusively in both training and racing.

      Rudy Project, founded in 1985 in Treviso, Italy, has been worn by some of the world’s greatest endurance athletes including Tour de France Winners and Ironman® World Champions.

      HOKA NAZ Elite, launched in 2014, has quickly become one of the most successful, and most popular, professional distance running teams in the United States and across the globe. The team’s athletes have won 10 National Titles, produced eight top-ten finishes at World Marathon Majors, taken home five international medals and won a grand total of 62 races.

      HOKA NAZ Elite head coach Ben Rosario said Rudy Project is exactly the type of partner the team was looking for.

      “Rudy Project has been, and continues to be, a leader in performance eyewear because they are relentless with their innovation,” Rosario said. “That relentlessness, we feel, mirrors our own and we are thrilled to be able to wear Rudy Project sunglasses in training, in racing, and to share the product with our fans all over the world.”

      Rudy Project Director of Sports Marketing, Chris Lupo, echoed Ben’s thoughts.

      “We, at Rudy Project, are so excited to partner with Northern Arizona Elite. This is a world-class running team, comprised of extraordinary people. Rudy Project is proud to support the Team with the most technologically advanced sports eyewear in the world.”

      The HOKA NAZ Elite roster currently includes six athletes who will compete at the upcoming United States Olympic Marathon Trials; Stephanie Bruce, Scott Fauble, Scott Smith, Aliphine Tuliamuk, Kellyn Taylor and Sid Vaughn. Nick Hauger, Lauren Paquette and Danielle Shanahan will focus on the U.S. Olympic Track and Field Trials. The team also features three international athletes hoping to represent their respective countries in Tokyo; Matt Baxter from New Zealand, Canadian Rory Linkletter and Great Britain’s Alice Wright.

       

      About Northern Arizona Elite
      HOKA ONE ONE Northern Arizona Elite is a professional sports organization whose mission is to recruit, develop and produce distance runners to compete at the very highest level of international athletics and operate as a successful business by building a global fan base for the team and its athletes through comprehensive and ongoing marketing efforts on a local, national and international level.

      Rudy Project Partner Spotlight: United States Military Endurance Sports

      Rudy Project Partner Spotlight: United States Military Endurance Sports

      USMES Team

      Rudy Project is the proud supplier of helmets and eyewear to the riders, runners and triathletes of United States Military Endurance Sports.

      USMES is a 501(c)3 ​organization chartered to support endurance sports education and activities for current, retired, and veteran members of the United States Armed Forces. What began in 2009 as an elite cycling team has grown into a thriving multi-sport recreational, club, development, and elite athletic program.

      USMES supports Cycling, Triathlon, Running, and Adventure Racing teams for amateur athletes of all abilities, including special programs for wounded veteran and adaptive athletes. USMES provides athletes incredible opportunities including camps, clinics, focus events, team competitions, and non-competitive gatherings.  

      Beyond the national level Elite Team, USMES offers members a unique mentoring program helping athletes, regardless of ability, by offering discounted coaching, skill development opportunities, and a growing library of education materials supporting beginner and intermediate athletes. Over 15 Regional Clubs across the USA and overseas provide localized support, mentoring and team organization.

      Finally, USMES improves access to competitions for athletes of all levels and lowers the cost of athlete participation through discounts on competition gear, targeted event reimbursement, and limited athlete competition grants.  

      Rudy Project is proud to support the efforts of the active and veteran military members of the United States Military Endurance Sports programs.

      Even if you're not a member of the USMES, you can still show your patriotic spirit in some of these Rudy Project Red, White and Blue glasses or helmets:

      Perfect Fit | Finding the Best Glasses for Your Face

      Perfect Fit | Finding the Best Glasses for Your Face

      Let’s face it, choosing the right eyewear with a functional, comfortable fit can be challenging. There are fit guides out there but they may only add to the confusion for most people as they try to categorize face shape and styling based on face size (typically male versus female) and face shape. Determining whether you have a round, oval, heart-shaped, square, or triangle face isn’t very cut and dry. The reality is most people are a combination of two or three of the options and, in the end, the guide spits out a list of one-size-fits-all eyewear, anyway.

      The best way to get a functional, comfortable fit starts with the proper frame size that offers adjustability. Different frame sizes help match to different face sizes and adjustable touch points at the nose pieces and temples allow users to tailor the fit exactly to their face shape.

      Not only are properly fitting eyewear pieces more comfortable, they also protect your eyes better and enhance your vision. In most sports, vision drives performance. Having great-fitting eyewear can boost performance by reducing glare and enhancing contrast while being less distracting by staying in place and feeling comfortable.


      TOTAL COMFORT

      All of Rudy Project sunglasses are designed to offer unparalleled comfort and a perfect fit - Total Comfort. Shaped by bio-metric engineers and tested by professional athletes, our eyewear incorporates phenomenal comfort solutions, complete adjustability, and full customization.

      Several models – like the Rydon and Spinhawk – offer Standard and Slim fit frame sizes. The Tralyx model takes it a step further with Standard, Slim, and XL frame options. As you probably guessed, the Slim Fit models are designed for people with slimmer face profiles while the XL frame is for larger faces.

      Tralyx Slim inside Tralyx XL

      All of Rudy Project’s sport and some casual eyewear feature fully adjustable temple tips and nose pieces. The tips can be adapted in any direction by applying light pressure, and thanks to our innovative T-Lock system, they can be replaced when worn to maintain a completely customized fit and perfect grip.

      The adjustable nose pieces provide outstanding comfort and offer an exceptional fit for any shape face and cheek structure.The nose pieces can be used to adjust the glasses' height and distance from the face, which also helps prevent fogging. These adjustments allow users to customize their fit to perfectly match their needs and will accommodate people looking for Asian, alternate, or low-bridge fit glasses.


      RX-ABLE

      Not only does Rudy Project offer customizable eyewear, they have five ways to adapt prescription lenses to their glasses: Directly into the lens, with an optical dock, Rx direct clips, Rx insert adapter, and flip up design. Athletes with prescription requirements can benefit from the comfort and the wide field of vision of numerous models. Whatever your prescription needs, Rudy Project has you covered.


      PERFECT FIT

      Like any high performance piece of equipment, you need a level of customization for it to perform its best. With eyewear, you want to improve your vision and protect your eyes, and it all starts with getting a great fit. It doesn’t matter how well the lens works if the glasses are uncomfortable or won’t stay in place. With Rudy Project’s Total Comfort system, you get a custom fit every time.