29 weeks ’til #IMMT: Not as planned

This week did not go as planned. I guess that’s what happens as a result of working in a Petri dish. The entire school district made the news for all of the illnesses going around…not really the way I’d like to make the news. We even received an email from our Principal that our entire building was going to be disinfected. I’m seriously hoping this is the last time that I’m sick this school year…I want to be training for Ironman Mont Tremblant!

Swimming: None…

Biking: 28.5 miles

Tuesday I had a great hilly trainer ride! It felt good to go hard, but I didn’t feel as though I was going as hard as I might normally. Little did I know I was coming down with the crud that is going around. Wednesday I had an easy recovery ride with friends. Sadly, that was the end of my training for the week.



Running: None…

Strength Training: 35 minutes

Weekly Totals: 2 hours & 50 minutes


The last half of this week included a LOT of rest + dog snuggles + reading + getting some sunshine + fresh air when I could.

Sunshine!! First time in 27 days according to our local meteorologist!
Rest + reading + dog snuggles
Fresh air!

Quote of the Week:

“Sometimes you have to stop worrying, wondering, and doubting. Have faith that things will work out, maybe not how you planned, but just how it’s meant to be.” ~Unknown

How I (Swim, Bike &) Run: Ironman athlete Kecia Place-Fencl

Jennifer Hellickson is an inspirational and motivational Coeur Sports teammate! She is an amazing writer and I was blessed to have her feature me last week on her blog. Check it out!

Kinetic Fix


Meet Kecia Place-Fencl, wife, mother of two black Labradors, 8th grade science teacher, triathlete, yogi and lover of fitness and outdoor adventures. She’s also a fellow Coeur Sports ambassador, which is how we first met (well, virtually…although we hope to get the Coeur crew together someday) and have been rooting each other along via our respective blogs ever since (check hers out here for some inspiration!).

What I love most about Kecia, though, is that no matter how jam-packed her schedule is between training and teaching, she’s never too busy to lift others up with a few encouraging words or offer support when someone’s in need (i.e. she’s talked me down from the ledge after my open water swim meltdowns). She’s a true team player, and in the world of solo endurance sports people like that are few and far between.

What’s also admirable about Kecia is…

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2015 Goal Check In #2

I was suppose to have posted this on June 30, but time has gotten away from me! Ironman Boulder training, proper fueling, sleeping and family/friend time have taken priority in the last few weeks.

I decided to take a break from packing for our trip to Colorado and take some time to reflect on the intentions that I set for myself back in January for 2015.

  1. Believe…I am happy to say that I have had some really big break throughs with this goal. I am feeling much more confident in my own skin, I am more confident in my race preparation, and I believe I can achieve great things at Ironman Boulder in just over 3 weeks!!  she believed
  2. Break down barriers…I haven’t given up hope for an organized women’s only ride in Ames, but summer has gotten away from me and it didn’t come together in time for me to make it go. I am hoping that when we get home from vacation, we might be able to get a couple of rides in yet to get a feel for what is to come for next year. I have a lot of awesome ideas for this…now I just need women who want to branch out of their comfort zone and ride 🙂
  3. Be Present…I am going to be honest…I continue to struggle with this. I am always thinking about what is next and planning for the future. I need to slow down and be more mindful of the here and now. This is something I will continue to try to work toward…maybe by December 31 I will have it down. One can hope 😉be present

Did you set intentions for yourself for 2015? Have you checked in lately to see where you are at with your intentions? What is going well? What do you still need to improve upon?

My #FaveWorkout – Week 22

This week I had many #FaveWorkouts this week…it was full of #sbrlove. I decided to go with Tuesday morning’s run. The Iron Hippie, Basil and I set out at 4:30 am for our 90 minute run that included 6 x 0.3 mile hill repeats. It was a VERY cool morning for April in Iowa, but thankfully we hadn’t put our winter running gear away just yet. We ran ~20 minutes to warm up before beginning the hill repeats. While running down and up our 0.3 mile long hill, we saw a fox, multiple birds, many rabbits and a couple of squirrels. Basil was in retriever heaven…if only she were off leash, then she would have been even happier. After running our 6 hill repeats, we finished off our run by running around town. Finishing as the sun comes up is the #perfectstarttotheday 🙂


What was your #FaveWorkout this week?

15 Weeks ’til Ironman Boulder

How did we get to be only 15 weeks away from race day?!?!?! Race day is going to be here before we know it!!!! Last week was a recovery week and I took full advantage of it…maybe more than I should have 😉

Swim: 0 yards

I didn’t swim 1 yard this week and my body was just fine with it.

Bike: 44.4 miles

I only rode twice this week. The first ride was a FTP test…it didn’t go quite as well as I had hoped, but at least I haven’t lost any power.



Run: 0 miles

I didn’t run one step this week and it felt good. Basil isn’t as happy about this, but she’ll get plenty of miles this week 😉

Strength Training: 1:15:00


Workout Totals: 4 hours & 15 minutes


I got lots of sleep this week, ate good food, watched the movie Wild for the first time and graded LOTS of papers. With all of the planning time I put in this week, it helped set me up for the last 5 weeks of school. WAHOO…Only 5 more weeks until summer break, but who’s counting 😉



We were supposed to do our 5 hour trainer ride last Saturday to raise money for the Tour de Cure, but Mother Nature had other plans…I was very disappointed. The good news…we have rescheduled the event for this coming Saturday. If you would like to donate to help improve the lives of people with diabetes, please click here.




I’ve been lucky to help a few friends with bike fun this week. From changing tubes to helping with a “new” bike rack…I really enjoy helping others find the love for endurance sport!!



I am feeling mentally and physically recovered and ready to rock the next few weeks of training!!


How was your week? Do you ever take more of a break from something than you had planned? How does it make you feel?


My #FaveWorkout – Week 10

This week has been void of many workouts, so I didn’t have as many workouts to choose from. I am undergoing some medical testing, but more on that later…

My #FaveWorkout this week was the 45 minute TRX class that I teach on Thursday evenings. Here is what our workout consisted of this week:

  1. Warm-up with simple squats and cross lunges
  2. Single-leg side squat with foot in stirup (2×15 each leg)
  3. Single-leg lunge with jumps (2×15 each leg)…video starts this maneuver at about 5:30
  4. Single-arm row (15 each arm)
  5. Standing hip drop (18 each side)
  6. Plank (1 minute)
  7. Side planks (1 minute each side)
  8. Crunch combination (in plank position on your hands crunch both knees to the left elbow, back to plank, crunch both knees up the center, back to plank, crunch both knees to the right elbow, back to plank, crunch both knees up the center, back to plank and repeat for 6 full cycles)…the video does not do the combination move, but shows both exercises separately
  9. Saw (30 seconds)
  10. Single leg squat (12 each leg)
  11. Curtsy lunge (12 each leg)
  12. Side lateral lunge (12 each leg)
  13. Bicep curls (18)
  14. Swimmers Pull (18)
  15. Single leg squat, curtsey lunge, side lateral lunge combination (10 each leg)
  16. Tricep extension (18)
  17. Chest press (18)
  18. Standing plank (with elbows on the loops of the straps) (30 seconds)…the type we did goes from 1:45-1:55 in this video


What was your favorite workout this week?

29 Weeks ’til Ironman Boulder

Last week wrapped up 29 weeks until Ironman Boulder and with it came the start of semester 2 and ridiculously COLD temperatures…school was even cancelled on Wednesday due to the bitterly cold windchill temperatures (-42F). I didn’t let the cold keep me from having a successful week of workouts. The theme for this week was, “I have some work to do.”


AM: One hour of strength training that included 20 minutes of core work (I’m still pushing for at least 5 minutes of core work everyday for 30 days)


PM: LOTS of shoveling thanks to an 8 inch snow fall 😉


AM: More shoveling before the Lucky 7s Treadmill Run…this run is all hill work at varying inclines, but every segment needs to add up to “7” = 1 min at 6% incline, 6 min at 1% incline, 2 min at 5% incline, 5 min at 2% incline, etc. The key is not adjusting the pace at which you run…lock the treadmill at one pace and go. I ran 5.64 miles in 55 minutes. I was hoping to be able to maintain a 9:30 pace for this run, but I just didn’t have it in me this morning, so I ran closer to a 10 minute pace. This gives me something to work toward for next time I do this run!


PM: 2600 yard swim with steady 200s…this was a one hour swim and my calves were SO TIGHT (from the jump squats I did yesterday morning) that it almost hurt to push off the wall. Thankfully they loosened up toward the end of the workout. I followed this up with 5 minutes of core work.



AM: Trainer ride of 1 on/1 off for 75 minutes…This was a tough workout, but that is how I will get stronger and faster on the bike 😉 I covered 16.2 miles in the 75 minutes while on the bike and followed this up with 20 minutes of core work.


Later in the AM: 500 TT swim workout…this was my #FaveWorkout of the week, mostly because I had the pool ENTIRELY to myself. This was a 45 minute swim with a 500 TT included in it. My TT wasn’t as fast as I would have liked, but with the tough ride prior to it, this was the best I could do today. My 500 TT was 9:11.77 with my 2nd half being 6 seconds faster than the first half. This gives me something to work toward for next time I do a 500 TT. I’m starting to see a theme for the week 😉


PM: Active Release Therapy (ART) on my left leg trying to get it to release all of the tension it holds…


AM: No morning workout after yesterday afternoon’s ART session.

PM: 45 minutes of TRX with about 20 minutes of core work.


AM: 7.33 mile treadmill run in 70 minutes…The first 40 minutes were run at a 10 minute pace and the last 30 minutes were run at an 8:57 pace

PM: 2400 yard swim with 2 x ladder to 300 in 1 hour…I felt like my form was struggling a bit, but I pushed through and finished strong. I followed this up with 10 minutes of core work.



AM: 10.55 mile treadmill run in 1:40 with a 9:29 average pace…I have some work to do to get my runs faster. I followed this up with 30 minutes of core work.


PM: Made lots of soup to put in the freezer for ready to eat meals…Homemade Carrot Ginger Soup and Homemade Tomato Soup.

Homemade Carrot Ginger Soup
Homemade Tomato Soup



AM: Trainer ride of 3 x up/down hills covering 28.6 miles in 2 hours…this might just be next week’s #FaveWorkout. This was tough, but I LOVED IT!! It kept me focused and really made me work hard.  This was true #bikelove!! I followed this up with 5 minutes of core work.


PM: Homemade Grapefruit Juice…YUMMY!!

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Bonus 5 minutes of abs followed by 90 minutes of Hot Yoga…


Weekly Totals:

Swim: 3.92 miles
Bike: 44.8 miles
Run: 23.5 miles
Strength Training: 4 hours (including all of my core work)
Hot Yoga: 90 minutes

That's a wrap...a #successfultrainingweek all documented in my #believetrainingjournal
That’s a wrap…a #successfultrainingweek all documented in my #believetrainingjournal

Quote of the week:

“Time fixes nothing. Time is a facilitator but you still have to do the fixing; dig into the difficult conversations; look hard at yourself in the mirror and ask if you’re doing everything you can do to get healthy. If you aren’t currently living the life you want, there is no other way to get there. Time won’t make it happen. So you can either adjust the goal, or give yourself a swift kick in the ass. Those are your only two options unless you enjoy the feeling of eternal tug of war.”
~Lauren Fleshman

**Thanks to Erin for sharing this quote with me.

How was your week of workouts? 


Ironman Wisconsin was 7 weeks ago.  The post-Ironman blues hit HARD.  I went from training 20+ hours a week before the race to basically not at all.  I thrive off of having workouts in training peaks that need to be completed and races on the calendar to train for.  I think it is fairly obvious that I don’t do well with down time.

So what have I done with all of this down time in the last few weeks?

Ran my First Trail Race:

Approaching the first aid station
Approaching the first aid station
Part of the 10 mile trail run course (photo courtesy of The Runner's Flat 50K Trail Run)
Part of the 10 mile trail run course (photo courtesy of The Runner’s Flat 50K Trail Run)
It wouldn't be a trail race if someone didn't eat dirt ;)
It wouldn’t be a trail race if someone didn’t eat dirt 😉

Walk the Dogs:

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Hike at Ledges:


Visit Breweries:

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Ride Bikes for Fun with Friends:

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Long shadows with the setting sun.
Long shadows with the setting sun.
Chasing the sun on our bikes.
Chasing the sun on our bikes.

Hayrides at the Berry Patch:

IMG_0311 IMG_0310 Playing Frisbee with Basil:


Being a competitive, determined, driven person is amazing (although the Iron Hippie may disagree with that).  It is the firework that motivates me to train in early hours, to train when it is dark and dreary, to train when it is cold and windy, to train when it is hot and muggy.  It compels me to test myself, to improve and be better than I was yesterday.

Because of my “type A personality,” it is time to get back into a more regular workout routine.  Nothing super strenuous, but a routine with some structure.

How long does your off-season last?  How do you enjoy your off-season?

What’s Up?!?!?!?!

I thought I’d give you a quick update on where we are at with our training and what is happening in our everyday lives…

Training Update:

4 weeks from today is Ironman Wisconsin 2014…crazy how time has flown by!!  We have been training hard, putting in lots of hours and preparing our bodies and minds for what is to come in a few short weeks.

With 5 weeks out, we successfully completed 15+ hours of training with a 3.5 mile open water swim event.  This last week, we successfully completed 20+ hours of training and are looking forward to the last big push before the taper.

Photo courtesy of L. Bierbaum:  The Iron Hippie and I successfully finished our 3.5 mile swim "race"
Photo courtesy of L. Bierbaum: The Iron Hippie and I successfully finished our 3.5 mile swim “race”
Having the pool to myself is priceless!!
Having the pool to myself is priceless!!
We successfully completed hill repeats...2 bonus repeats were done in memory and honor of an amazing kid never to be forgotten.
We successfully completed hill repeats…2 bonus repeats were done in memory and honor of an amazing kid never to be forgotten.
2500 yard swim followed by a challenging brick.  3x(60 min ride + 20 min run) with each brick repeat at a higher power zone on the bike and faster pace on the run than the last.
2500 yard swim followed by a challenging brick. 3x(60 min ride + 20 min run) with each brick repeat at a higher power zone on the bike and faster pace on the run than the last.
Completing a 9+ mile run with friends after a 1 hour power session on the trainer...priceless!!
Completing a 9+ mile run with friends after a 1 hour power interval bike session on the trainer…priceless!!

Life Update:

Lately our lives have revolved around our training, but we have managed to find some time to spend with friends, make sure the laundry gets done and that we have healthy foods in our bellies.  Snuggling up with my two favorite furry friends and spending time with our twin nieces has also been enjoyable!!  Every night I try to read a bit before going to bed (I’m reading the Divergent series since the 4th book came out), but lately I’ve been so tired, that I think I’ve reread the same page multiple times 😉

Grill out with my sole sista...love this girl!!
Grill out with my sole sista…love this girl!!
After our 3.5 mile swim, we took the nieces to the amusement park and then stopped off for a few snow cones on our way home...sure hit the spot on a warm August day.
After our 3.5 mile swim, we took the nieces to the amusement park and then stopped off for a few snow cones on our way home…sure hit the spot on a warm August day.

Starting tomorrow, I’ll be back at school with inservice days on Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday and students starting on Thursday.  With a 24 hour training week this coming week on top of going back to work and balancing chores at home, this will likely be my most challenging week of the 2014 calendar year.  I know what I need to do and will get it done…it is only one week after all 😉

What have you been up to lately?  How is your training going?


I LOVE to travel, but don’t travel nearly enough…at least not to all of the places I would love to visit one day.  So…what are these places I’d love to visit?????  Well, this edition of the Ten Day You Challenge allows me to share them with you 🙂


In no particular order they are…

  1. Thailand…How stunningly beautiful!!  I definitely want to spend a few weeks relaxing and eating Thai food…Yummy!!  phuket-island-3
  2. Hawaii…Maybe someday we’ll even go during Ironman 😉   view_from_diamond_head_oahu_hawaii1
  3. The Pacific Northwest…The outdoor adventure opportunities are endless and I would LOVE to spend a few weeks (or a lifetime…if we got jobs and could move even better) exploring all there is to explore.  bend-scenic
  4. The Great Barrier Reef…I would LOVE to swim with all of this amazing sea life 🙂  Clouds of reef fish and corals, French frigate shoals, NWHI
  5. Alaska…Who doesn’t want to kayak with the glaciers?!?!?!  Kayaking_Glacier_Bay_Alaska
  6. Bora Bora…How amazing is this…  thBonus:  I really only want to go to Chile to swim in the World’s Largest Swimming Pool…over 1000 yards long, covers 20 acres, the deep end is 115 feet deep and holds 66 million gallons of water.  This is any swimmers dream come true!!slide_227662_1000879_free


Where would you like to travel?  What recommendations do you have of places I should add to my list?