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!!
I was inspired by Steena to share how I find/make the training/work/life balance work…especially as we are in peak IM training these next few weeks. This is what last Thursday looked like for me:
4:00 am – alarm (roll over and grab my phone to input my HRV data)
4:03 am – hit the mats in the basement for 10 minutes of core strength followed by 3 minutes of meditation and some stretching
4:25 am – brush my teeth, change into my swim gear, grab my swim bag + smoothie from the fridge (we make our smoothies the night before so we can grab and go)
4:40 am – leave the house for the gym
4:55 am – walk into the gym (the awesome lady working the desk opened 5 minutes early this morning)
5:00 am – start swimming
6:00 am – finish swimming and drive back home while drinking my smoothie on the road
6:20 am – unpack swim bag, shower, pack lunch, feed dogs, take them potty, load all of the bags in the car
7:00 am – leave house for work
7:18 am – park on campus (hello new job!!) and walk to my building
7:25 am to 4:00 pm – work day
4:13 pm – take dogs potty, start a load of laundry, change clothes, and head out the door
4:30 pm – rolling hilly run
5:15 to 5:50 pm – let dogs go potty, shower, put laundry in dryer and start another load, inhale leftovers and head out the door
6:00 to 7:30 pm – Attend a meeting for the proposed Healthy Life Center by the City of Ames Parks and Rec…voting will be Tuesday, September 10
7:45 to 8:20 pm – make smoothies for morning, do dishes, fold laundry, and get ready for bed
8:20 to 8:30 pm – read in bed
8:30 pm – lights out
As you can see, there isn’t much wiggle room to fit it all in being only 6 weeks away from Ironman Lake Placid. What does your typical day look like?
One of my favorite bike rides is along the Iowa/Minnesota boarder in NW Iowa/SW Minnesota. I don’t get to ride here often because we can only do this ride from my parents house. Thankfully I got to squeeze in this joy filled ride into a busy weekend recently. What do I ❤ about this route?
I get to ride in Iowa and Minnesota + one of the roads is on the boarder, so when I ride this with my fave, one of us can be in Iowa and the other in Minnesota at the same time 🙂
There is not a lot of traffic on the roads, so I feel safe
The road surfaces are in good condition
I get to ride by lakes…I ❤ the water 🙂
The terrain is rolling, so it provides a good challenge
I always seem to smile and giggle for this entire ride, no matter how much headwind I’m fighting (and it is usually very windy)
Do you have a favorite bike route? If so, what do you ❤ about it?
And with that, I am officially done teaching 8th graders!! I still have multiple days of professional development ahead of me, but the students are gone. It is bitter sweet!! You can read more about that here. It is time to start my next new adventure soon, but first, here is a look at what the month of May had in store for me.
I had another SOLID month of training!! I completed 10 minutes of core strength daily + 3 minutes of meditation daily + I’m still on the green streak in Training Peaks!! I have not missed one workout so far this year…22 weeks and counting!! BOOM!!
Swim: 28,725 yards (16.3 miles)
Bike: 357 miles
Run: 83.6 miles
Strength: 10 minutes of core daily + various full body strength
Meditation: 3 minutes daily since January 1
Monthly Totals: 53 hours & 5 minutes
Explore is my focus word in 2019 and I’m happy to be incorporating it into all areas of my life…including racing!! I’ve been talking with Coach Kelly about racing two IRONMAN races in one year and she was just as excited for me to give it a go as I am. So, on May 1, I decided to #explore with racing TWO IRONMAN races 10 weeks apart in 2019. I have officially registered for Ironman Lake Placid on July 28 AND Ironman Louisville on October 13. This will be my first ever experience in doing two Ironman races so close together. Am I nervous? Sure! Am I scared? A bit! Am I excited? MOST DEFINITELY! I am ready to push my limits and see what my body + mind can handle.
KonaKamps always has me inspired by some amazing peeps!! Megan Anley won Ironman South Africa in the W18-24 age group at her first Ironman. Congrats Megan!!
Rich Roll brought Jesse Thomas to his podcast recently. Jesse is not only an amazing professional triathlete, but he balances his pro triathlon career with a wife, kids, his own business, and fun. He is quite the inspiration and so down to Earth!!
Finding my Voice by Mike Reilly is so inspirational!! “Finding My Voice is a series of deeply personal vignettes illuminating how profoundly the sport of IRONMAN touches both its participants and its fans. Written from Reilly’s unique insider’s perspective as the long-time World Championship race announcer and one of the most prominent personalities in the endurance sports field, it provides an intimate, revealing and entertaining glimpse into a fascinating corner of the world of endurance sports.”
Can’t Hurt Me: Master Your Mind and Defy the Odds by David Goggins is a great read. He overcame so many obstacles in life and eventually became “the only man in history to complete elite training as a Navy SEAL, Army Ranger, and Air Force Tactical Air Controller. He went on to set records in numerous endurance events, inspiring Outside magazine to name him “The Fittest (Real) Man in America.” Through self-discipline, mental toughness, and hard work, Goggins transformed himself from a depressed, overweight young man with no future into a U.S. Armed Forces icon and one of the world’s top endurance athletes.”
Our new Sleep Number bed!! While we have only slept in it for 3 nights, it has been three of the best nights’ of sleep in a LONG time!! As we continue to dial in our numbers, I can only imagine that out sleep will continue to improve!!
My last week of my middle school teaching career. This change feels scary, but right!! I’m super excited to embark on this new career as a Teaching Laboratory Coordinator with the Physics and Astronomy Department at Iowa State University starting next week. After all, stepping outside of your comfort zone is where the magic happens!
Attitude of Gratitude:
How was your month of May?! What were you grateful for last month?!
Goodbyes are hard, change is scary, and new beginnings are exciting! Anytime you start a new chapter, it is often bitter sweet.
After 16 years of teaching 8th grade science (as well as physics, anatomy and physiology, Earth science, and chemistry during my first 7 years), I am saying goodbye to my classroom, my colleagues, and the thousands of students I have taught over the years. It is time to embark on my last week as an 8th grade science teacher (with kids).
Change is scary and uncomfortable. It makes us feel out of control, which can make us even more scared and uncomfortable. When change keeps you stuck and feeling unhappy, it is time to take the reins and turn the horse in a different direction. Making a choice to change and get out of your rut is a braver move than being afraid to change. I’m choosing courage over fear as I unstuck myself! Change can be magical and I’m ready to experience the magic!
This is an opportunity for me to try something new and start fresh. Life is a journey. Throughout the entire process, we are evolving. I am excited for my fresh start as I embark on my new career as the Teaching Laboratory Coordinator with the Physics and Astronomy Department at Iowa State University! Cheers to new beginnings!
Monday morning I had the swim of my life!! I’ve been working so hard for years and all of my hard work is paying off!! Seriously!! For the main set, I had 5×100 ALL OUT EFFORT with 4 minutes of recovery between intervals. The last time I did this swim, my times were 1:31-1:33/100 yards, so my goal was to break 1:30/100 yards for most of them. I didn’t know if it was possible, but I was going to do my best to give it a go!!
After my first 100 yards, I was STOKED!! Not only was I sub 1:30/100 yards, but I was more than a couple of seconds under. BOOM!! Let’s keep this momentum going!! 4 minutes rest and my second one was even faster!! WHAT?! Who am I?! Have I grown gills and fins?! 4 minutes rest and consistency…same time as my 2nd interval. I’m good with that!! 4 minutes rest and BOOM…5 seconds faster than the 1:30/100 yard goal!! WHAT?! I must be in someone else’s body this morning!! 4 minutes rest and let’s do this last one. SOLID!!
I am super pleased with this swim. Not because I surpassed my wildest expectations. Not because I had super fast (for me) swim times. Not because I fought hard for every second. Not because I stayed physically strong throughout this swim. Not because I was efficient in the water. Not because I was determined and disciplined during this swim. Not because I was focused mentally throughout this swim.
I am super pleased with this swim BECAUSE I never gave up!! I have been consistently showing up and working SO HARD to get to this point. My first 100 yard time trial effort in January of 2010 was 1:57/100 yards and in reading my notes about that swim, it was SUCH a struggle to achieve. I could have settled with the 1:57/100 yard pace and continued to swim at this *fast* speed for the next 9+ years; instead I decided to work hard and push myself out of my comfort zone to achieve great things. Consistently show up!! Never give up!! Work works!!
Accomplishing this goal has not been a solo endeavor.
Thank you to the Iron Hippie for always believing in me, always pushing me to be the best I can be, and being my rock. ❤
Thank you to Coach Kelly for believing in me, challenging me, and building a program that has allowed me to get stronger and faster.
Thank you to my parents for teaching me to chase my dreams, that hard work pays off, and always supporting me no matter what! ❤
Thank you to my Coeur teammates for your motivation, inspiration, support, and encouragement to always strive for the best from myself.
** Special thanks to Steena for the title of this post!!
If you’ve been following my blog this year, you know that #explore is my word for 2019. I have been exploring in all areas of my life…training, racing, work, and my personal life. I have been healthy and strong so far this year, so after conferring with the Iron Hippie and Coach Kelly, I have decided to #explore x2 in 2019!
What does #explore x2 mean?! Well…2x the Ironman journey, 2x the learning + growing, 2x the fun! On July 28, 2019 I will be tackling Ironman Lake Placid and on October 13, 2019 I will be tackling Ironman Louisville. Until now, the closest I have raced two Ironman competitions is 10 months apart, but in 2019 I am going to #explore and see what my body + mind can do with two Ironman races 10 WEEKS apart. Eeeekkkkk!!! Like any new thing, I am full of mixed emotions; one minute I doubt my decision and abilities, and the next I am confident in my decision and my abilities. Overall, I am very excited and looking forward to the challenge.
Ironman teaches me something during every journey to the start line and on every race day. I learn things about myself; things I didn’t know before. I ❤ to learn! As a result, I am looking forward to learning and growing on my journey to Ironman Lake Placid, on my journey to Ironman Louisville, during Ironman Lake Placid, and during Ironman Louisville this year.
“Adversity is what introduces you to yourself, so I am discovering myself anew on a daily basis, and everyday I get stronger.” ~Mike Reilly
For those of you who have done 2 Ironman races ~10 weeks apart, what advice do you have?!
I recently received feedback from Coach Kelly on a couple of workouts that I’ve completed. They got me thinking about what I think her expectations are of me as an athlete. As athletes, we have expectations of our coaches, so wouldn’t it be true that our coaches have expectations of us as athletes?! I believe our coaches have expectations of us as athletes. I believe the following are some of Coach Kelly’s expectations of me.
Communicate openly and honestly with her. I am paying her to help me. If I hold things back from her, I limit the amount of help she can provide me and limit my own success.
Be open and responsive to feedback. I hired her to help me get stronger and improve my fitness. I want her feedback and I am grateful when she helps me reframe my mindset to be more positive and realistic.
Be realistic about the time that I have to commit to training. Keeping her informed from week to week of engagements and appointments so that I can minimize my stress + maximize my success is key. With my career changing, I may find that my work hours change a bit as well, so being realistic with the amount of time I have to train and the time of day that I can do so will also be key.
Stay healthy; this does not only mean staying injury free, but also remaining healthy mentally. Fueling my body with healthy foods, getting plenty of sleep so it is ready for the next session, and getting massages + ART as needed are key in staying physically + mentally healthy.
Be engaged and focused during my training sessions. The mind will wander…that’s a given, but when I notice the mind has wandered, pull it back to the task at hand and keep the focus.
Adjust to adversity…life isn’t always full of rainbows and unicorns. There are challenges that we have to face. As an athlete, it is important to face adversity head on, problem solve, and make adjustments on the fly to make the challenging situation as easy as possible. How can I get past this struggle?!
Believe in myself…know that I won’t hit every target that is set. Having targets to chase is how I will get stronger and become a better athlete. Even when I don’t hit the targets, believe that I will one day and keep fighting with everything I have in me.
Trust my coach…if I go into workouts questioning why I’m doing this workout or doubting what she has put in place to help me be successful, I will not be successful. It is just as important for me to believe in my coach as it is to believe in myself!
Do and be my best! Not just in training and racing, but in life. Be a positive ambassador for the sport. If it isn’t my day, that’s ok. I can still be positive, encouraging, and uplifting for others around me. Knowing I gave the best I had for that day.
Have fun! If we aren’t having fun, what is the point of training and racing?! Fun should always be the top reason for doing what we love!!
Am I missing any expectations that you think a coach might have for their athlete?! If so, what are they?