I am an endurance athlete who loves fitness, exercise and new challenges. My greatest endurance achievement is a tie between finishing Ironman Wisconsin in 2011 and finishing the Milwaukee Lakefront Marathon in a Boston qualifying time. Through both of these experiences, my husband was by my side supporting me, cheering for me and racing with me. I couldn't ask for a better fan!!
Last week was a HARD week…I reached to complete fatigue! Lots of training, lots of emotions, lots of food, lots of exhaustion, lots of naps, lots of laundry, lots of balance…lots of imperfection, lots of lessons learned! Thanks to Coach Kelly for helping me get #trackcatstrong and pulling me out of the “quicksand” right before I sink.
Swim: 13,345 yards
Bike: 133 miles
Run: 36.4 miles
Strength Training: 10 minutes of core strength daily
Weekly Totals: 20 hours & 22 minutes
Quote of the Week:
“There is no perfect time. No perfect opportunity. No perfect situation. No perfect moment. You either make it happen, or you don’t.” ~Melissa Stockwell
How is it already July?! The month of June seems to have flown by MUCH faster than I’d like, but I guess that means I’m having fun! Here is a look at what I’ve been up to:
Hello outdoor swimming in the 50 meter pool! I sure have missed you and am glad we’ve gotten to spend some time together! I have found that I am becoming a stronger swimmer…putting up swim times that I didn’t think were possible + reflecting on the progress I’ve made! Serious #swimlove
Hello first century ride of 2017 + a new 100 mile PR! It was an AMAZING day on 2 wheels and the open roads (with some trail riding)! I felt incredibly strong and felt like I could have easily continued to ride! Serious #bikelove
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! Another thing I’m loving is the split long run! I have found that splitting my long run into an AM and PM run allows me to recover a bit between the two runs and I’m able to run both of these distances at a faster pace. Don’t worry…I’m also getting some long runs in that are done all at once as well…they aren’t always pretty, but I’m doing the work! 😉
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: 16.7 miles
Bike Totals: 392 miles
Run Totals: 94 miles
I did the Liberty Triathlon early in the month, but it didn’t exactly go as planned and wasn’t something I care to repeat. I finished, but not the distance I had trained for.
This Road I Ride: Sometimes it Takes Losing Everything to Find Yourself by Juliana Buhring is an amazing ride…errrr…read! Juliana lost the love of her life and decided to cycle around the world having never seriously ridden a bicycle before. Over 152 days, Juliana’s ride spanned four continents and 18,060 miles. She became the fastest woman to cycle the world and beat prior men’s records as well! This inspirational story takes you through her trials and tribulations as she accomplishes a goal she once thought was impossible.
The Brave Athlete: Calm the F*ck Down and Rise to the Occasion by Simon Marshall PhD and Lesley Paterson is a practical guide to help athletes with their mental training. I love that this book gives you “homework” to do to help you improve your mental performance. It isn’t just a book you read, but if you use this amazing tool correctly, it is also a hands-on approach for you to overcome negative thinking, feelings, and acting that have the potential to sabotage your potential and love for sport. This book has helped keep the fun in triathlon!
Re-Defining Our “Weaknesses” by Kara LaPoint is spot on! “In sport, as in life, it’s good to identify our weaknesses; to know them and confront them. But it’s not so good to continually identify ourselves by those weaknesses…” She has changed her mindset…”I now see my “weaknesses” merely as opportunities to become stronger.” We should all view our weaknesses as an opportunity to become stronger!
The Brave Athlete with Dr. Simon Marshall and Lesley Paterson is also one of the books I am currently reading. For most athletes, the “textbook” approaches to mental performance may not work as advertised. Dr. Simon Marshall provides performance psychology support for the BMC Pro Cycling Team. When you combine his knowledge with Lesley Paterson’s impressive triathlon record (hello three-time off road triathlon champion + Ironman champion + coach), you get a dynamic duo who share some of their unique approaches to improve mental performance in athletes.
Triathlete Turned Marathon Swimmer Jamie Ann Phillips is currently training for a 28.5 mile open water swim around New York City known as the 20 Bridges Swim. Her commitment and dedication to swimming this race has her currently swimming 37,000 yards (just over 21 miles) each week in preparation for this event. Become inspired by Jamie Ann Phillips and cheer her on as she swims one of the “Triple Crown” open water swim events this August!
Time with family + friends! We’ve been so lucky to have our twin nieces come visit us and spend some time with friends!
Sarah Cooper and Janie Hayes! These two women are strong, inspirational, and amazing! Sarah finished 1st woman in the individual Race Across America (RAAM) in 11 hours 18 hours 56 minutes. When asked “Why?” her response, “Why not?!” Janie finished 1st woman and 3rd overall in the Trans Am bike self supported bike race across America in 19 days 7 hours 50 minutes. This was Janie’s 2nd time doing this race!
Looking Forward To:
Our 4 week vacation in Vermont, New York, and Canada! While I don’t want to wish summer away (and we’ll be back to work the day we return from our vacation), I am looking forward to exploring new territory, connecting with family + friends, training on new terrain, relaxing, and racing Ironman Mont Tremblant!
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. I am also really working on not letting others opinions of me bother me and I think I’ve gotten much better at this…hello #sportsbrasquad and wearing bikinis at the pool for lap swimming. Am I comfortable…not yet, but I’m facing the fear head on! Since I’m on summer break, work is on the back burner. I will be back at it soon enough! 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 stared fear in the face by going out for many solo, long rides! In the past I’ve always had company for rides over 2 hours, but after spending multiple 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! I have also learned which roads I prefer to ride on by myself and which ones to completely avoid!
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 June? What were your June highlights? What are you looking forward to?
I honestly can’t believe how quickly the summer is flying by! How is it possible that we are down to 7 weeks from race day and leave for our long summer vacation in just 3 weeks?!?! Here is a snapshot of last week:
Swim: 5455 yards
Bike: 101 miles
Run: 30.8 miles
Strength Training: 45 minutes + 10 minutes of core daily
Weekly Totals: 14 hours & 58 minutes
Quote of the Week:
“What doesn’t kill you makes you stronger!” ~my mama
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
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! 🙂
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!
Strength Training: 45 minute + 10 minutes of core daily
Weekly Totals: 16 hours & 59 minutes
Quote of the Week:
“If it is important to you, you will find a way.” ~Ryan Blair
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
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
1 minute with elbows on the ball in plank position rolling forward and backward on the ball
1 minute crunching up to pass the ball between my hands and feet (back and forth) while laying on my back
1 minute with elbows on the ball in plank position spelling my full name (letters correct and backwards each 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)
1 minute hamstring curls
Core strength option 4: Free weights
1 minute slow crunches with 12 pound dumbbells + left leg on top
1 minute slow crunches with 12 pound dumbbells + right leg on top
1 minute right side plank with hip drop using 12 pound dumbbell on hip
1 minute left side plank with hip drop using 12 pound dumbbell on hip
1 minute v-sit with Russian twist using 12 pound dumbbell
1 minute standing teapot with 24 pound dumbbells right side
1 minute standing teapot with 24 pound dumbbells left side
1 minute seated rocking chair with 12 pound dumbbell
1 minute right side plank thread the needle with 8 pound dumbbell
1 minute left side plank thread the needle with 8 pound dumbbell
Core strength option 5: Paper plates or rags
2 times through the following:
1 minute rainbow plank
1 minute pike
1 minute saw
1 minute swimmers arms (think breast stroke)…keeping your feet off the floor will work you lower back throughout this motion.
1 minute reverse swimmers arms (think breast stroke in reverse)…keeping your feet off the floor will work you lower back throughout this motion.
Core strength option 6: Body weight with variety
10 minutes included the following 2x through each of these:
1 minute scissor kicks
1 minute mountain climbers
1 minute v-crunch into boat pose
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)
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)