8 weeks ’til #IMMT: find a way

With some storms last week, I had to juggle a few things around to get my training in…especially for swimming since it is an outdoor pool that closes with thunder and lightening in the area. If it is important to you, you’ll find a way to make it happen and last week I made it happen!

Swim: 7703 yards

I had to swim short course later in the day a couple of times last week because of morning storms, but was blessed to get to swim long course on Friday morning! Friday morning’s swim was a true testament to how much stronger + faster I am getting in the water! Thank you to Coach Kelly for helping me make these HUGE improvements in the water this year! #trackcatstrong

This is what grateful looks like post swimming Tuesday. It was a full contact kind of swim…good practice for #IMMT in less than 9 weeks!
Swimming with my fave was a great way to end my #workforitwednesday!
Happy Fri-yay morning!

Bike: 136 miles

First century ride of 2017 is in the books and I set a new PR for 100 miles! Thank you Coach Kelly for helping me to become #trackcatstrong on the bike this year also! 🙂

What a great day for some #bikelove intervals!
Easy spin day!
My fastest 100 miles ever in the saddle with these two!
“Guilty easy ride” to end the week!

Run: 25.3 miles

My longest run of 2017 is also in the books…16 miles! It wasn’t easy and it wasn’t pretty, but I did it and am stronger for it!

Some days you’re the bug and some days you’re the windshield. Today I was the bug. SPLAT!
20 minute run off the bike after 100 miles in the saddle…BOOM!
Sunday run day was full of hills for breakfast with my favorite girl!

Strength Training: 45 minute + 10 minutes of core daily

Weekly Totals: 16 hours & 59 minutes

Weekly Positives:

Going Ginkgo! My Coeur Sports delivery makes my heart happy! I LOVE this design!
Thank you Nick at Vitality Massage for keeping me injury free so I can do what I love!

Quote of the Week:

“If it is important to you, you will find a way.” ~Ryan Blair

10 minutes of core!

You’ve been asking for it, so I’m delivering! Sorry it has taken me so long to deliver. I am not technologically savvy, so my original plan for videos…well, let’s just say photos will have to do! I couldn’t figure out the whole video thing!

The following are some of my go to 10 minute core workouts, but I do add variety and mix things up (by combining bits and pieces from different sets and some things that aren’t even shown here) from time to time to keep it fun and challenging! I’ve been asked how I “find time” to do this everyday. The simple answer: I don’t…I make time! Core strength is so important for every motion that we do, so I make the time for it! My 10 minutes of core is typically the first thing I do after rolling out of bed. If I do it before my mind wakes up, that way it is done and my mind can’t try to get me to procrastinate or skip it! Sure there are days when I miss, but I try to keep them to a minimum.

So here are a few tools for your core arsenal!

Core strength option 1: Planks (I try to do this strength workout at least twice a week)
10 minute plank set:
1 minute plank, 1 minute right side plank, 1 minute plank, 1 minute left side plank, 1 minute plank, 45 seconds right side plank, 45 seconds plank, 45 seconds left side plank, 45 seconds plank, 30 seconds right side plank, 30 seconds plank, 30 seconds left side plank, 30 seconds plank

Plank
Side Plank
Side Plank

Core strength option 2: SBT Extreme Suspension Trainer (enter code COEUR10 for 10% off!)
1 minute standing hip drops right side

Starting position for standing hip drops
Drop the right hip toward the floor and then use your obliques to pull yourself back up to standing (you will need to use your arms a bit, but try to focus on the core)!

1 minute standing hip drops left side

Starting position for standing hip drops
Drop the left hip toward the floor and then use your obliques to pull yourself back up to standing (you will need to use your arms a bit, but try to focus on the core)!

1 minute plank with feet in straps

Plank with feet in the straps

1 minute right side plank with feet in straps

Right side plank with feet in the straps

1 minute left side plank with feet in straps

Left side plank with feet in the straps.

1 minute rainbow plank

Start in plank position with feet in the straps.
Drop the right hip toward the floor and return to plank position.
Drop the left hip toward the floor and return to plank position. Continue this for one full minute.

1 minute saw

Starting plank position with feet in the straps.
Push your body back toward your feet and then return to starting plank position.
Pull your body toward your head and return to starting plank position. Continue this back and forth motion for 1 minute.

1 minute pike

Plank with feet in the straps
Use the low abs to lift the hips and glutes straight up to the ceiling and then return to starting plank position. Continue this for one full minute.

1 minute right side plank with hip drops

Starting right side plank position.
Lower the right hip toward the floor without letting it touch the floor and then return to starting side plank position. Continue this up/down motion for 1 minute.

1 minute left side plank with hip drops

Starting left side plank position.
Lower the left hip toward the floor without letting it touch the floor and then return to starting side plank position. Continue this up/down motion for 1 minute.

Additional Options:

1 minute right side thread the needle

Starting right side plank position.
Rotate forward moving the left arm through the open area under the chest and return to right side starting plank position. Continue threading the needle for 1 minute.

1 minute left side thread the needle

Starting left side plank position.
Rotate forward moving the right arm through the open area under the chest and return to left side starting plank position. Continue threading the needle for 1 minute.

Core strength option 3: Stability Ball
2 times through each exercise:
1 minute plank with elbows on the ball and crunching left knee up to left elbow, then back, and right knee up to right elbow and back

Starting plank position with elbows on the stability ball (feet closer together will be harder and feet farther apart easier).
Holding plank position with your elbows on the ball, lift the right leg and bring the right knee up toward the right elbow. Then return to the starting plank position.
Holding plank position with your elbows on the ball, lift the left leg and bring the left knee up toward the left elbow. Then return to the starting plank position. Repeat this for 1 minute.

1 minute with elbows on the ball in plank position rolling forward and backward on the ball

Starting plank position with elbows on the stability ball (feet closer together will be harder and feet farther apart easier).
Holding plank position with elbows on the ball, push the ball away from you toward your head. Return to starting plank position and continue for 1 minute.

1 minute crunching up to pass the ball between my hands and feet (back and forth) while laying on my back

Crunch the ball up to pass the ball to your feet.
Pass the ball between the hands and feet.
Squeeze the ball with your feet and crunch the ball up to pass the ball to your hands. Continue crunching and passing the ball back and forth between your hands and feet.

1 minute with elbows on the ball in plank position spelling my full name (letters correct and backwards each minute)

Starting plank position with elbows on the stability ball (feet closer together will be harder and feet farther apart easier). Use your elbows to spell your full name with correct letters and then letters backwards for 1 full minute.

1 minute laying on my side with the ball between my feet lifting and lowering the ball using my obliques (30 seconds each side each minute)

Lay on side, squeeze the ball, and lift the ball off the floor using your obliques. Repeat this for 30 seconds and then switch sides.

Additional Option:

1 minute hamstring curls

Start with feet on the ball and hips lifted up off the floor.
Keeping your hips off the floor, pull your feet back toward your glutes and then extend the legs long again. Repeat this for 1 minute.

Core strength option 4: Free weights

1 minute slow crunches with 12 pound dumbbells + left leg on top

Starting slow crunch position with left leg on top.
Slowly lower the dumbbell to the legs as you crunch upward.
Try to hold the crunched position as the arms come back up toward the ceiling and then slowly lower back to starting position. Repeat for 1 minute.

1 minute slow crunches with 12 pound dumbbells + right leg on top

Starting slow crunch position with right leg on top.
Slowly lower the dumbbell to the legs as you crunch upward.
Try to hold the crunched position as the arms come back up toward the ceiling and then slowly lower back to starting position. Repeat for 1 minute.

1 minute right side plank with hip drop using 12 pound dumbbell on hip

Start in right side plank with the dumbbell balanced on your hip.
Drop the right hip toward the floor (without letting it touch the floor) before bringing it back up to the starting position. Repeat for 1 minute.

1 minute left side plank with hip drop using 12 pound dumbbell on hip

Start in left side plank with the dumbbell balanced on your hip.
Drop the left hip toward the floor (without letting it touch the floor) before bringing it back up to the starting position. Repeat for 1 minute.

1 minute v-sit with Russian twist using 12 pound dumbbell

Holding the dumbbell, sit in a reclined position.
Twist and lower the dumbbell toward the floor on the right side of the hip. Return back to center.
Twist and lower the dumbbell toward the floor on the left side of the hip. Return back to center. Repeat for 1 minute.

1 minute standing teapot with 24 pound dumbbells right side

Standing tall, hold the dumbbell in the right hand.
Tipping at the waist, lower the dumbbell down the right side of the body. Then stand back tall. Repeat for 1 minute.

1 minute standing teapot with 24 pound dumbbells left side

Standing tall, hold the dumbbell in the left hand.
Tipping at the waist, lower the dumbbell down the left side of the body. Then stand back tall. Repeat for 1 minute.

1 minute seated rocking chair with 12 pound dumbbell

Start seated up tall with the dumbbell off to the right of the knees.
Bring the dumbbell with you as you recline back.
Return to sitting up tall but, this time with the dumbbell off to the left of the knees. Bring the dumbbell with you as you recline back and continue this back and forth motion for 1 minute.

1 minute right side plank thread the needle with 8 pound dumbbell

Start in right side plank
Lower the weight and thread it under your chest.
As you thread the weight, twist so the torso is near parallel to the floor. Return to side plank and continue threading the needle for 1 minute.

1 minute left side plank thread the needle with 8 pound dumbbell

Start in right side plank
Lower the weight and thread it under your chest.
As you thread the weight, twist so the torso is near parallel to the floor. Return to side plank and continue threading the needle for 1 minute.

Core strength option 5: Paper plates or rags

2 times through the following:

1 minute rainbow plank

Starting plank position with feet on paper plates or rags.
Twist and lower the right hip toward the floor and then return to plank position.
Twist and lower the left hip toward the floor and then return to plank position. Continue this motion for 1 minute.

1 minute pike

Starting plank position with feet on paper plates or rags.
Use your abs to pull your feet toward your chest so your hips are go up to the ceiling. Then return to plank position. Continue for 1 minute.

1 minute saw

Starting plank position with feet on paper plates or rags.
Push your body backward toward your feet keeping a neutral spine. Then return to starting plank position.
Pull your body toward your head keeping a neutral spine position. Then return to plank position. Continue for 1 minute.

1 minute swimmers arms (think breast stroke)…keeping your feet off the floor will work you lower back throughout this motion.

Start with hands on rags or paper plates while laying on your belly.
Think breast stroke…move the arms out and around.
Bringing the arms together, push them back up to the starting position.

Additional option:
1 minute reverse swimmers arms (think breast stroke in reverse)…keeping your feet off the floor will work you lower back throughout this motion.

Start with hands on rags or paper plates while laying on your belly.
Slide the hands straight down the center.
Move the arms out and around returning them to the starting position.

Core strength option 6: Body weight with variety

10 minutes included the following 2x through each of these:
1 minute scissor kicks

Laying with legs + head, neck, and shoulders elevated off the floor, do scissor kicks (I typically do side to side kicks for first 30 seconds and then up/down kicks for the last 30 seconds).
Continue with scissor kicks for 1 full minute.

1 minute mountain climbers

Starting plank position with hands directly under your shoulders.
Lift your right foot off the floor and bring your right knee to your right elbow. Then return to starting plank position.
Lift your left foot off the floor and bring your left knee to your left elbow. Then return to starting plank position. Continue for 1 full minute.

1 minute v-crunch into boat pose

Starting crunch position.
Crunch up to v-pose and hold for 3 seconds before returning to the starting position. Continue these for 1 full minute.

1 minute windshield wipers (laying on my back lowering legs to the floor toward right, bringing them straight up the middle, lowering legs to the floor toward the left, and bringing them straight up he middle)

Start with legs lifted straight up the center and arms spread wide.
Lower the legs toward the floor to the right, but keep the low back in contact with the floor. Return to the starting position with the legs straight up the center.
Lower the legs toward the floor to the left, but keep the low back in contact with the floor. Return to the starting position with the legs straight up the center. Continue this back and forth motion for 1 minute.

1 minute single leg bridge pushing elevated knee out with opposite hand (right hand pushing out on left knee and then switch) and dropping hips toward floor and pushing back up to the ceiling (30 seconds each side each minute)

Starting position for the right knee.
With hips elevated off the floor, push your right knee outward with your left hand, but don’t let your knee move out of the center position.
As you continue to push on the knee, lower the hips toward the floor without letting the glutes touch the floor and then push the pelvis back up to the ceiling. Continue this for 30 seconds before switching sides.
Starting position for the left knee.
With hips elevated off the floor, push your left knee outward with your right hand, but don’t let your knee move out of the center position.
As you continue to push on the knee, lower the hips toward the floor without letting the glutes touch the floor and then push the pelvis back up to the ceiling. Continue this for 30 seconds before switching sides.

Additional options:

1 minute leg lowers and lifts

Start with legs lifted straight up the center and arms by the hips.
Slowly lower the legs straight down the middle and then lift them back up to the starting position. Keep the low back in contact with the floor throughout this motion. Repeat for 1 minute.

1 minute plank up/downs

Starting plank position.
Drop the right arm down to the floor for forearm plank.
Drop the left arm down to forearm plank.
Place the right hand back on the floor building back into starting plank position.
Place the left hand back on the floor building back into starting plank position. Repeat for 1 minute alternating the arm that goes to forearm plank first with each repetition.

Core strength option 7: Body weight with variety

25 dead bugs

Dead bug starting position (brace your abs like someone is going to punch you in the gut and keep them braced throughout the entire workout).
Extend left leg and right arm long, then return to dead bug starting position (keep those abs braced).
Extend right leg and left arm long, then return to dead bug starting position and repeat for 25 repetitions (keep those abs braced).

50 crunches with right arm reaching to left knee

Starting crunch position
Bring left elbow toward right knee and then return to starting crunch position.
Extend right arm long reaching to the outside of the left knee and then return to starting crunch position. Repeat for 50 repetitions.

50 crunches with left arm reaching to right knee

Starting crunch position
Bring right elbow toward left knee and then return to starting crunch position.
Extend left arm long reaching to the outside of the right knee and then return to starting crunch position. Repeat for 50 repetitions.

25 bridges with marching legs

Starting bridge position with both feet on the floor.
Keeping the knees bent, raise the right knee up (like you are marching) and then place it back on the floor in starting bridge position.
Keeping the knees bent, raise the left knee up (like you are marching) and then place it back on the floor in starting bridge position. Repeat for 25 repetitions.

50 reverse crunches

Starting position for reverse crunches.
Keeping the legs in chair position, pull the knees back toward the chest, using the abs to lift the glutes off the floor and then return to the starting position for the reverse crunch. Repeat for 50 repetitions.

50 crunches

Starting position for crunches.
Crunch head, neck, and shoulders up off the floor and then return to starting crunch position. Repeat for 50 repetitions.

25 bridges with leg kicks

Starting bridge position with both feet on the floor.
Extend the right leg long and then place it back on the floor in starting bridge position.
Extend the right leg long and then place it back on the floor in starting bridge position. Repeat for 25 repetitions.

What are your favorite core exercises?

9 weeks ’til #IMMT: Balance

Last week was my first full week of summer break and it FLEW by! Here’s a quick look at my week!

Swim: 8093 yards

It has been AWESOME swimming in the 50 meter outdoor pool! I love this pool and am so lucky to get to swim in it all summer!

Jumping back into my happy place!
Thank you SBR Sports Inc for allowing me to enjoy some morning chlorine therapy and leave the chlorine at the pool!
When you finish your swim MUCH stronger + faster than you started, you experience major #swimlove

Bike: 90.5 miles

I had a couple of trainer rides, but also got to spend 70 glorious miles outdoors on two wheels with very little wind on Friday! It was SO AWESOME!

An easy ride to test the legs post race with some Ironman Tri motivation on the wall. “Anything is possible!”
While it may not look like it, I LOVED this ride getting to push it again!
Major #bikelove on the trails today with very little wind for 70 miles!!

Run: 25.5 miles

With a few shorter runs throughout the week, I had a split long run on Sunday that I was so excited about…I crushed my goal pace and and averaged a sub 8:30 minute/mile pace for 14 total miles!

That was a hot, humid, and windy run! I think I’ll just lay here for a while to cool down!
Jumping for joy because the heat index is much lower today and my run was amazing as a result!
Morning miles with my favorite girl!
Morning Run split on Sunday with the afternoon one being even faster on the exact same route!
So giddy with today’s split run! 2×7 miles at sub 8:30 minute/mile pace left a HUGE smile on my face for run #2 today as I crushed my goal!!

Strength Training: 45 minute + 10 minutes of core daily

Weekly Totals: 14 hours & 12 minutes

Weekly Positives:

Post race massage on Monday was not nearly as painful as my massages typically are. Thanks Nick!

Post race massage thanks to Nick at Vitality Massage!

Our twin nieces came and stayed with us for a couple of nights! We had so much fun and didn’t even get it all documented!

Meeting my mother in the middle of no where Iowa to pick up the twins for a couple of nights!
Helping to make dinner!
Cleaning all the fruit!
Playing games!
Helping to prepare breakfast!
Visiting Iowa State University’s campus
Visiting Iowa State University’s campus
Eating Tropical Snow

Quote of the Week:

“Extremes are easy. Strive for balance.” ~Colin Wright

Liberty Triathlon “70.3” Race Report: Adversity Adventure

Hmmm…I have so many thoughts about this race, but I should probably start at the beginning. Be prepared for a LONG report about the sh*t show…errrr…adversity adventure that was the Liberty Triathlon “70.3” race! Grab your favorite beverage and dessert to enjoy while you get a feel for my experience.

When the Iron Hippie and I decided to sign up for the Liberty Triathlon 70.3 race, we were waffling back and forth between the Liberty Triathlon 70.3 and Ironman Wisconsin 70.3. We raced Ironman Wisconsin 70.3 last year (when it was non-branded) and knew it was a GREAT race, but had heard good things about Liberty Triathlon as well. We opted for the cheaper race…Liberty Triathlon 70.3 (remember this for later…you get what you pay for).

Pre-Race:

We finally received an email from the race director Thursday (our race was Saturday). This was rather late correspondence in my opinion, but at least I knew I was actually registered!

Liberty Triathlon – It’s getting hot in here!
Race day is coming up and it’s looking to be a hot one! Due to the expected temp on Saturday, we are allowing participants to transfer from the Long course to the Olympic course free of charge. Please email us at info@finalstretch to transfer your distance.

We will also have ice water and towels at the waters stops for participants to cool off.”

I had no intentions of transferring to the Olympic distance event, so I ignored it, packed my bags and was ready to leave Friday morning. I checked my email Friday morning before packing up All. The. Gear. for two athletes into the vehicle. We had an updated message from the race director:

Liberty Triathlon – Note from the Race Director
Changes due to Weather for Liberty Triathlon

Do to the 103 plus extreme heat index for Saturday there is going to be changes to the timetable for the Long Course participants. This change is not only for the athletes but all the volunteers that will be out on the course helping direct runners and manning the water stops.

Olympic will stay the same.

Long Course

1. Swim will be the same
2. Bike will be the same
3. You must be in from the bike no later than 12:30 pm to continue on the run
4. If you get in from the bike from 11:30 am to 12:30 pm, you will be required to run the 6.2 mile (10K) run course. This is so that all runners are in from the run by no later than 2:00 pm when the heat index gets very high.

Thank you everyone for your understanding with this difficult weather situation.

Questions: email info@finalstretch.com

What?! NOOOO!! With wave starts, this did not offer an equal opportunity for ALL athletes! Since my swim wave was not scheduled to go off until 7:45 am, I would have to finish the 1.2 mile swim + 56 mile bike in 3:45…doable, but with the extreme heat we should be conserving energy to avoid dehydration, heat exhaustion, or heat stroke. I immediately emailed the race director and asked them to consider starting the race earlier (even 7 am would give us an additional 30 minutes) to allow more time for all athletes to have a fair shake at meeting this 11:30 am cut off. Here was their response:

“We’ve considered it. Due to other factors including permits, set up, police, volunteers, medical staff, and out of town athletes, we are not able to start the race any earlier.”

In actuality, they could have applied for an emergency change in the permits, but they didn’t want to mess with it. I get it (not really)…so I emailed them again and asked them if they would consider combining swim waves since they were encouraging people to switch from the long course to the Olympic course. Nope…not happening:

“We will not be combining swim waves. If enough people switch to the Olympic course, we will shorten the time between waves from 3 minutes to 2 or 2.5 minutes between waves to get people in the water sooner.”

Ok, so they are not willing to make accommodations for athletes to make this a fair experience for ALL athletes. Now the question is do I stick to my race plan knowing I will likely miss this time cut-off, or do I put the hammer down and try to make the time cut-off?! I decided to wait to talk to Coach Kelly about this until after I had checked in at packet pick-up to make sure there weren’t any more changes being made (good thing I waited…more changes to come).

The 3+ hour commute to the race site was uneventful. After checking out the lake and checking into our hotel, it was time to go to packet pick-up (which was at our hotel). While waiting in line, the first lady said there was another change to the 11:30 time cut-off. We now had to finish the 1.2 mile swim, the 56 mile bike, and get to 3.1 miles on the run by 11:30 in order to be able to continue for the full 13.1 miles. I IMMEDIATELY spoke up! “This is not what the email said and they have NOT communicated this with the athletes in any email. This is not acceptable!” The lady at the 2nd table knew many of the athletes in the line were frustrated. She called the race director for clarification and relayed his new decision to us:

We actually had until 3.1 miles on the run to catch the sag bike that would leave transition with the last cyclist to arrive into T2 at 11:30. If you are a strong runner, this will give you an opportunity to continue even if you get into T2 after the 11:30 time. This also meant if you were not a strong runner, you may get passed by the sag bike even if you made the 11:30 time cut into T2…HELLO SH*T SHOW!!!

Grrr…now it is time to call Coach Kelly! After eating Mexican food at El Azteca in Plymouth, MN, I relayed all of this information to Coach Kelly and said, “What do I do? Do I put the hammer down and try to make the time cut-off, or do I stick to my race plan?” Coach was LIVID with the decisions the race director had made. This was not only unfair to all athletes, it encouraged athletes to push harder and risk dehydration, heat exhaustion, or heat stroke on a day when we should be conserving a bit more than normal. Since this was not my “A” race for 2017, I was told to stick to the race plan and if I didn’t make the 11:30 time cut-off or catch the bike, it would still be a good training day…hello 97F heat index and 20-25 mph sustained winds with gusts up to 35 mph from the SSW.

Ok…I have a plan and know what I need to do.

I received the BEST email from my Coeur Sports tribe:

“WISHING YOU ALL KINDS OF GOODNESS ON RACE DAY!!
Rumor has it you have a race coming up.
Well, the Coeur Cowbell Team is ringing their bell (virtually, because otherwise the neighbors get annoyed) for you!
We hope your race is all that you wished for and more.
Heart and Courage my friend!
Let us know how it went!”

I told you this would be a long post, but I’m finally to race day! 🙂

Race Day:

The alarm went off at 3:45 am. After eating my typical pre-race breakfast (muesli + peanut butter + Pure Clean Beet Powder and Karma Kombucha), donning my beautiful Coeur Sports race kit, and loading the car with all the gear, it was time to travel the 30 minutes to Lake Rebecca.

The sh*t show continued when we got to the race site…we could set up our transition area where ever we wanted, no one was making announcements, (What was the water temperature? Was the water wetsuit legal?), and no one seemed to know where body marking was. There was no one working the entrances to the transition area, so anyone could enter (including spectators). I’ve experienced this at smaller local races, but NEVER at a 70.3 event!

Mojo is ready for a fun day on a new playground!

After setting up our transition area and relaxing at the car for a bit, it was time to put on the wetsuit (I had found the one and only USAT referee earlier who said the water was wetsuit legal) and head to the lake for a short pre-race swim and the pre-race informational meeting on the shore at 7:15 am. Thankfully I saw my Coeur sister, Megan, before the race and she gave me a quick hug. This is just what I needed to calm the climbing nerves. We were reminded of the changes to the time cut-offs, told there would be ice, wet rags, water, and heed at every aid station on the run. We were also informed that there would be 2 minutes between wave starts instead of the original 3 minutes. After the National Anthem, it was time to line up on the beach for the race start. One more quick hug on the beach from Megan and we were ready for the swim!

These waters look much calmer than they actually were when we got into them!

Swim: 51:10 for 1.2 miles at 2:26/100 yard pace

The first wave (Elites/Athenas/Clydesdales) was supposed to start at 7:30 am, but it was delayed because of other athletes swimming back to shore from their warm-up. So…my swim wave (women 40+) started at 7:42 am (3 minutes before the originally scheduled time). With the winds already at 20 mph, the lake was very choppy, and we were swimming straight into the chop on the way to the turn around buoys. It was rough! Hello first open water swim of the year…yep…on race day! I started out trying to swim with bilateral breathing, but that was short lived. I couldn’t get in a rhythm that allowed me to breathe and not consume 1/2 of the lake water because of the waves crashing back into my face. Like all of the other swimmers, I fought my way to the turn around buoys, and then got a free ride on the waves back to transition. Throughout the entire swim, I just kept telling myself to enjoy the adversity adventure that was just beginning! Learn from it, grow from it, and keep moving forward! This was officially my slowest swim time on a 1.2 mile distance EVER!

T1: 2:27

After quickly making my way to my bike, getting a random stranger out of the way of my bike (he was just hanging out in the transition right in front of my transition area…not sure what he was doing in there), stripping out of my wetsuit, throwing on my helmet, socks, and bike shoes, I was out of the transition area and on the bike!

Bike: 3:16:09 for 56 miles at 17.1 mph average speed

The first 10-12 miles were straight SSW into the headwind that had picked up since the swim start. The winds were now closer to 22-25 mph sustained winds, with gusts up to 35 mph and boy could we feel it! Let the adversity adventure continue! Mojo and I just buckled down, found our groove, and sang our way to the turn. Once we turned, the cross wind was SO strong that I got blown off the road twice! I screamed out loud that I wish I weighed about 100 pounds more so I would stay on the road (but later found out from the Iron Hippie that the extra weight didn’t help him either…). Only a few short miles to the turn and a tailwind! Hello 25+ mph speeds climbing up a hill in my most challenging gear…you are a VERY welcome sight! Unfortunately we had to do the loop again, so back into the headwind we went! Let the singing commence…

  • “I feel good”
  • “What doesn’t kill you makes you stronger”
  • “Full throttle, wide open, you get tired and you don’t show it, dig a little deeper when you think you can’t dig no more, that’s the only way I know”
  • “Vanilla ice ice baby”…I was dreaming of ice and cold temperatures at this point as the outdoor temps were really climbing
  • “I saw the sign”…HELLO HWY 10 sign + tailwind all the way back to transition! What a welcome sign!

I also may have startled other athletes by screaming “Wahoo! St. Bonifacius you are a welcome sight! No more headwind!” Hee!! Hee!! Let the adversity adventure continue!

T2: 1:41

After cruising into transition and learning that I was between 1 and 2 miles behind the sag bike (it was after 11:50 am), I decided to leave my hydration bottle in transition and run hard for the 10K that I was going to be forced to run.

Run: 1:01:17 for a 10K at an average pace of 9:53/mile

As I exited transition, I ran into my Coeur sister Megan! She stopped at the loo, and I continued on my way! I was pushing a bit harder than I should have been. My heart rate was high…too high! I periodically walked to get my HR back to a respectable beat. I took in Base Salt and water at every aid station, but there was NO ice or rags at any of the aid stations on the run like the race director said there would be. Let the adversity adventure continue! Then at mile 2, I caught the sag bike. What?! How did I catch him? I decided to walk for a minute and ask the athlete how I had caught up with him. In briefly chatting with him, I learned that he had decided to walk the entire first 5K to give as many of the women an opportunity to make the decision to run the 1/2 marathon if they wanted to since our swim waves started so late. I thanked him for allowing me to make this decision and ran on. Shortly after this, I saw the Iron Hippie heading back and quickly learned he was only doing the 10K by choice. As I ran to the 5K mark, I did some thinking and data analysis…could I run the full 1/2 marathon? Yes, but I had no hydration with me (I left it in transition remember?!), there was no ice or rags at the aid stations, it was HOT and only getting hotter, and this was not my “A” race. Coach Kelly told me to not end up dehydrated, with heat stroke, with heat exhaustion, or hyponatremic…it would prolong my recovery. Based on all of the data I had in my arsenal, I opted to turn around and only do the 10K run. As I crossed the finish line, I was happy with my decision to turn around, but was immediately disappointed because there was no water at the finish line for the athletes. SERIOUSLY?! What an adversity adventure…or is it a sh*t show?!

Since it doesn’t say “70.3” on it, I guess I can keep it.

Overall: 5:12:43 for 63.4 miles

I set a PR on a new distance (since I didn’t do the official 70.3)…63.4 miles. I got to meet some amazing new athletes and ladies decked out in Coeur tri kits. I overcame a lot of adversity that was mostly out of my control. I learned that you get what you pay for! I’m disappointed that the race director did not make the time cut-offs equal for all participants and I’m very disappointed in the lack of care for the athletes at this race. Many athletes were in the med tent at the end of the race…likely because they pushed too hard in the heat and wind to make time cut-offs, but not having ice and rags/sponges at the aid stations on the run definitely didn’t help. I wasn’t the only one who was disappointed. The timing company was separate from the racing company. They were very angry with how things were handled as well. All athletes who ran the 10K were disqualified…whether they were forced to only run the 10K (because of the rule the race director implemented) or because they chose to. I ended up spending about 30 minutes helping the timing company figure out who had actually run the full 1/2 marathon in all of the age groups before the award ceremony, because the man in charge of the timing was VERY frustrated! If someone were to pay for my entry into this race in the future, I would turn it down. I want to support smaller, local races, but not at the expense of the athletes and their safety!

The heat index was 97F with sustained winds of 22-25 mph and gusts up to 35 mph. It was a rough day! Not what we’ve trained for, but we each set a new PR since we did a new distance…

Well, that’s a wrap! My adversity adventure or sh*t show…

10 weeks ’til #IMMT: Race week

Last week I finally got to enjoy the first few days of my summer break and prepared for my “70.3” race that was on Saturday! To say I’m looking forward to many more days of summer break is an understatement!

Swim: 4846 yards

Hello 50 meter pool!!!!!!! I’ve sure missed you over the last 9 months! I’m glad we can finally meet again! I’m looking forward to the little time we get to spend together…3 short months isn’t long enough!

Morning meters in my favorite pool!

Bike: 77.4 miles

I had a couple of rides on the trainer last week in preparation for Saturday’s race.

Finding calm amongst the chaos on this #timetrialtuesday during #raceweek
Brick day! #bikelove before the run!

Run: 8.9 miles

I only had one run last week and it was Wednesday off the bike…perfect for #globalrunningday 🙂

Celebrating #globalrunningday with a short run off the bike! I’m so blessed to have a healthy body that allows me to do what I love!

Strength Training: 45 minutes + 10 minutes of core almost daily 

Weekly Totals: 9 hours & 32 minutes

Weekly Positives: 

The number one positive last week was finishing my 2016/2017 school year and starting my summer break! Mother Nature cranked up the summer temps and winds just in time for Saturday’s race, which challenged me to overcome adversity, but you can hear more about that in my race report later this week.

I’m so grateful to Kyle at Kyle’s Bikes for taking such amazing care of my baby! He is the best bike mechanic EVER!

Mojo has been blessed for Saturday’s race by Kyle…the best bike mechanic on the planet!

I got to race on Saturday! It wasn’t ideal, but I overcame adversity! More on that later 😉

Mojo is ready for a fun day on a new playground!

Sound Probiotics delivery came!! So grateful to have these amazing peeps keeping me healthy and active!!

Quote of the Week:

“Strength doesn’t come from what you can do. It comes from overcoming the things you once thought you couldn’t.” ~Rikki Rogers

11 weeks ’til #IMMT: “Just one more”

Last week had a theme of “just one more” and was the last week of school with students for the year! Hello summer!

Swim: 6100 yards

Wednesday’s swim = BOOM! I nailed it!

“Just one more” was the theme of this swim and it resulted in a few fist bumps and a little happy dance in the water at the end!

Thursday’s endurance swim was full of quiet + happy!

Rounding out the last day of the school year with students with some #swimlove + quiet time!

Bike: 130 miles

Last week started with a RIDICULOUSLY windy, long, solo bike ride (after doing something very similar the day before, it was tough physically, but even more tough mentally. With sustained winds over 20 mph and gusts close to 30 mph, this was a HUGE confidence builder! Just one more…mile!

Hello wind! Thanks for making my workout so challenging!
“This is HUGE! Congrats. A back to back 4 hour ride is a great prep session for the Ironman build up. I’m so happy it went well and glad you do not back down in the face of adversity. You’ve evolved a lot as an athlete this year. I’m proud of you today. Good work.” ~Coach Kelly

Since I only had to work until noon on Friday, I rode my 2nd longer bike ride of the week Friday afternoon. It was a great day to be outside on two wheels!

60 miles of quiet time with Mojo, Mother Nature, and a few random strangers who wanted to chat while riding on the trail or needed help. #midwesthospitality #bikelove

Run: 29.3 miles

Last week also started with a tough run off the bike. The wind was brutal!

The run off the bike was just as tough thanks to the wind!

Wednesday started with another long run before work! I’m really lovin’ the long run mid week!

13+ morning miles! So grateful to have my favorite girl with me for the first 7 miles!

Saturday was a short EASY run! Hot + humid = Midwest summer is here!

Heat + humidity = race acclimating! Hello summer!

Sunday I had a double run day…this was a first for me! Until now, I’ve never done a longer run that was split into a morning run and an afternoon run. I ran in the morning with my main squeeze, and then ran in the heat of the day. Hello summer! Our morning run = hot + humid! My afternoon run was very hot, but the humidity had dropped and thankfully didn’t feel nearly as oppressive as the morning run especially since I had intervals during this run…just one more!

What a warm + HUMID morning run!
92F afternoon run = good race day acclimatization!

Strength Training: 45 minutes + 10 minutes of core strength daily

Weekly Totals: 16 hours & 12 minutes

Weekly Positives: 

I started the week with a TOUGH brick (thank you Mother Nature) and was so happy to have that workout done! #trackcatstrong

I’m SO glad my back to back long bricks are done! All that wind made it VERY challenging!!

The kids are done with school and I only have one day left! Summer is ALMOST here! Whoop! Whoop! One of my students made our girls some homemade rope toys as a “thank you” and they LOVE them!

Mya loves her homemade rope toy that one of my students made her!
Basil also loves her homemade rope toy that one of my students made her!

I had a massage between my two runs on Sunday! Thanks to Nick at Vitality Massage for taking such good care of us!

Pre-race massage between my Sunday runs. Thanks Nick for taking such good care of us!
Enjoying a quiet outdoor lunch while Tim got his massage!

Quote of the Week: 

“Our greatest weakness lies in giving up. The most certain way to succeed is always to try just one more time.” ~Thomas A. Edison

What’s Up?! – May 2017

Thankfully the month of May flew by and I am only a couple of days away from summer break!! Here’s a look at what I’ve been up to…

Training:

This month has been full of ups and downs as it relates to training. The month started off strong, but took a nose dive in the middle. Thankfully I was able to pull myself back out of a mental slump after some life stress and get back on track to finish strong at the end of the month.

I’ve been working on flip turns in the pool, but they aren’t progressing as well as I’d like. Now that school is almost out, I can spend more time at the pool to master this skill.

Sometimes I flip straight, but most of the time my flips are all sorts of twisted!

I’ve gotten outside on two wheels with the wind in my face! I LOVE the open road on two wheels! Over Memorial Day weekend, I had two back-to-back 70 mile training rides in VERY WINDY conditions! I had some choice words for Mother Nature, but I know I will be stronger because of rides like these!

Mojo, Mother Nature (hello wind), and I bonded a lot the last 2 days…140 miles to be exact!

Coach Kelly has moved my long run to the middle of the week, and I love it! I’m so glad to have made this switch…sometimes change is good!

13.5 miles with my fave is the perfect start to the day!

HUGE hugs to Coach Kelly, with Track Cat Fitness, for challenging me on so many levels, pushing me WAY out of my comfort zone, and making me #trackcatstrong this year! I am forever grateful for her guidance + support this year!

Swim Totals: 18.4 miles
Bike Totals: 369 miles
Run Totals: 83 miles

Reading:

Carrie Cheadle’s blog post “How to be Resilient when Sh*t Happens” really makes you think…do you wear “rose-colored glasses,” or “shit-colored” glasses? How do you view your life and the situations that surround you? Do you lift others up, or tear them down? Are you willing to roll with the punches, or do you spread your shit everywhere?

Carrie Cheadle had another GREAT post…Reduce Stress & Recharge! Declutter, unbook yourself, and make a “To Don’t List” to give yourself time to recharge! I LOVE this idea! Carrie even recommends scheduling this down time in your planner/iCalendar to force yourself to take some time to yourself to recharge your batteries!

Marni Sumbal has some great posts! This month, her post “Stop trying to fit in – be YOU!” really hit home with me! I’ve been working to embrace more of who I am and worry less about what others think of me, so this post was spot on!

Listening to:

A podcast on being Resilient with Mallory Weggemann…WOW! This amazing woman has a perspective on life that everyone should have!

Turia Pitt is an amazing individual who has overcome severe burns on 65% of her body that she endured when she got caught in a brush fire during an ultramarathon. Her spirit, determination, and resilience are something we can all learn from! She overcame so many odds to become an Ironman World Champion!

A No Bullsh*t Look at Sports Nutrition with Breakthrough Nutrition is a must listen to if you race and train with sports nutrition. They talk about the doping pandemic that is flooding the triathlon + running racing scene.

How badly do you want it by Kelly Roberts really struck home with me this month! It brought me focus after some life stress this month and grounded me for the coming build into IMWT!

“Women Who Tri” Author Alicia DiFabio didn’t dive headfirst into triathlon, but got into triathlon more as a psychology experiment. She is part of a 900+ women only triathlon club that has taken off, encourages women in sport, and continues to grow!

Look Forward To:

Summer break! With only a couple of days left of my school year (my last day is Monday, June 5), I am looking forward to having time to train, do house chores, and enjoy my time away from work for a few months!

Swimming in the outdoor 50 meter pool! I absolutely love this pool and wish we had an indoor pool just like it!

I’m so excited for some outdoor #swimlove

#Fearless check-in:

My intention for 2017 is to become more fearless! So…how have I been doing with this? I’ve continued to make progress on becoming more fearless. Some areas of my life I’ve made more progress than in others, but that’s part of life. In my personal life, I am still working on facing those things that truly scare me, but with some regression this month, it has slowed to the pace of a three-toed sloth (that can only move with a maximum speed of 0.003 miles per hour). I am NOT giving up and I WILL overcome these scary things! I am also really working on not letting others opinions of me bother me and I think I’ve gotten much better at this in the last month…I’ve even started doing more runs in shorts and a sports bra (when the temperature has been warm enough) and wearing bikinis at the pool for lap swimming. Am I comfortable…not yet, but I’m facing the fear head on! At work, there have been a lot of changes taking place in preparation for next year. Change can be scary, but it can also be a good thing. I am remaining very hopeful that these coming changes lead to great things! I have made some BIG gains while training this month! This has caused me to have to stare fear in the face and stretch WAY out of my comfort zone! I have been working on flip turns in the pool and I am SO fearful of cracking my heels on the edge of the pool that I’m not getting close enough to the wall to actually push off of it. I have more work to do in this area, but I will get there! I also stared fear in the face by going out for a solo, long ride for the first time ever! In the past I’ve always had company for rides over 2 hours, but after spending 4 solo hours in the saddle on the open roads, I’m happy to say that I’m getting more comfortable with the uncomfortable = progress!

First long solo ride on Saturday! HUGE confidence builder!

While I’ve made some progress on becoming more fearless in different parts of my life, I still have a LOT more progress to make, but don’t we all?! I’m a continuous work in progress!

How was your month of May? What were your May highlights? What are you excited for?