What’s Up?! – April 2017

The month of April seemed to drag on forever, but overall, it was a pretty good month!! Here’s a look at what I’ve been up to…

Training:

I’ve been working on flip turns in the water to help me be more consistent with my pacing in the water. I’m looking forward to have this flip turning down, so I can really focus on getting faster in the water! May will be the month I master the flip!

Flippin’ Friday night!

I had a BIG month of building strength on the bike, and it REALLY showed on my most recent FTP challenge…hello 16 watt increase and crossing over the 200 watt barrier!! Wahoo!!

So giddy! 16 watt improvement in my FTP test today means I’m over the 200 watt threshold! I never imagined I would see this day! So grateful for Coach Kelly to push me WAY out of my comfort zone and help me get stronger this season!

I ran my first 1/2 marathon of the year at the Drake Road Relays on Saturday. It was cold + windy, but perfect running weather! I was hoping for a much better outcome to my race, but it just wasn’t in the cards for me on this day. I’m still very happy with my overall finish time and have lots to be thankful for!

Not quite the race I was hoping for, but I pushed as hard as I could all the way through! Grateful the rain held off until after I finished! Another Drake 1/2 is in the books!

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: 13.15 miles
Bike Totals: 226.7 miles
Run Totals: 66.6 miles

Reading:

After You by Jojo Moyes is an inspiring book for those trying to move on after a loss. “Louisa Clark is no longer just an ordinary girl living an ordinary life. After the transformative six months spent with Will Traynor, she is struggling without him. When an extraordinary accident forces Lou to return home to her family, she can’t help but feel she’s right back where she started. Her body heals, but Lou herself knows that she needs to be kick-started back to life. Which is how she ends up in a church basement with the members of the Moving On support group, who share insights, laughter, frustrations, and terrible cookies. They will also lead her to the strong, capable Sam Fielding—the paramedic, whose business is life and death, and the one man who might be able to understand her. Then a figure from Will’s past appears and hijacks all her plans, propelling her into a very different future. ”

Mind Gym: An Athlete’s Guide to Inner Excellence by Gary Mack is an easy read that focuses on your mind’s ability to influence your performance just as much (or more) than your physical ability.

Listening to:

Running Man Charlie Engle is an ultra endurance runner, who has overcome alcohol + cocaine addiction that plagued him in his early 20s. He shares his adventures and accomplishments in life, how he stays motivated, and his upcoming plans of running from the lowest place on Earth (the Dead Sea) to the highest place on Earth (Mt. Everest). Charlie Engle gives a whole new definition to the word CRAZY!

Q&A with Mental Skills Expert, Carrie Cheadle…Carrie is incredibly knowledgeable about all things mental training. I LOVE her book On Top of Your Game: Mental Skills to Maximize Your Athletic Performance and it is always so awesome to get the opportunity to listen to Carrie share more about all things mental training. “Relax your hands, relax your face, and breathe.”

Louis Cole is CRAZY! He gave up a job + living in a house to live an adventurous life. He started filming his adventures and posting them on YouTube. This became his career…doing what he loves and sharing it with others. “Everyone benefits from being put in situations where you are challenged and all of those kinds of things. You don’t get anything from staying in a comfortable bubble.”

Mind Power Training:

I had a 6 week bike block that I was immersed in for most of April. This required a LOT of mental strength and fortitude. During this block, Coach Kelly has also immersed me in a mind power block. The focus of those 6 weeks…to make me #trackcatstrong both physically and mentally this season! I had a homework assignment every day. While I didn’t provide all of the homework assignments I completed, I have laid out the basics of 16 assignments and my responses to these assignments from this block. I feel these 16 assignments were key to helping me build my mind power.

My view during my FTP challenge…Lots of encouragement + motivation! #trackcatstrong

#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 have remained alcohol free in 2017 = WIN! I am still working on facing those things that truly scare me, but this is going at a turtle’s pace…ok…maybe a snail’s pace. 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. 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’m determined that the month of May will be full of progress as I learn to flip in the pool so I am able to push off the wall without drowning or ending up in another lane. I also pushed myself HARD during my FTP challenge, while keeping my mental focus STRONG! This was very uncomfortable, but it helped me achieve my goal of reaching the 200+ watt threshold! Getting comfortable with the uncomfortable = progress! My 1/2 marathon road race…SO hard!! From the very beginning, my legs felt as though they had been loaded down with lead. They were SO heavy! (Side Note: I think I got my pre-race massage too close to the actual race. Lesson learned for the future!) At about mile 6, the uphill battle began. I was climbing and climbing and climbing some more! I’m so proud of myself for changing the negative channel in my head and pushing myself hard all the way through the finish chute! I was literally talking to my legs while running… “Come on legs, you can do this! You are light as feathers! Don’t quit on me now legs! Just one more mile! Just one more mile!” People around me probably thought I was going crazy…if they were even listening. 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!

The gray line is the elevation profile for my 1/2 marathon race. Yep…that’s one LONG hill with lots of rolling hills along the way. I really started to feel it at about mile 6…that’s when the wheels fell off!

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

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2 thoughts on “What’s Up?! – April 2017

  1. Awesome job!! Keep up the hard work!! You are so focused and motivated!! It is so funny you are so worried about your heels with the flip turns. Don’t worry so much about it…I don’t think they will ever hit. Even if I get too close to the wall, i’ve never hit my heels! 🙂 Keep practicing!!! 😉
    My April was great. (except for our crap weather) Some fitness gains. Trucking right along. Looking forward to summer and racing!!

    1. Thanks Leslie! Everyone says not to worry about my heels hitting the wall, but that’s way I haven’t learned until now. Some of the stupidest fears hold us back. I to am looking forward to summer and racing! Only 20 more school days left, but who’s counting?! 😳

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