22 weeks ’til #IMMT: Spring Break

This week I was on spring break! That means only 11 more weeks until summer break…but who’s counting?! I had a lot of training + life balance + no stress this week. And. It. Was. SUPER FANTABULOUS!

Swim: 6200 yards

Monday I had a long swim and I was intimidated by it. Not only was it a long workout, but there was a lot of intensity built into it. I had self-doubt before the swim, but I stood at the edge of the pool and washed the self-doubt away. I changed the negative thoughts into positive ones. I went faster than expected, and CRUSHED this workout!

Erasing self-doubt before + during my swim!

Wednesday I had a tough swim. 3 x (8 x 50) with a goal speed of 46 seconds/50 and 23 seconds rest between. I hit my target for the first 2 x (8 x 50), but started to fall off during the last set. The 1st 50 of the 3rd set was slower than 46 seconds, but I nailed the 2nd one. 3 & 4 were slower than 46 seconds, so I swam the last 4 at a comfortable pace. After my power test on Tuesday, I was super happy to be able to hold onto the 46 second pace for as long as I could. Coach Kelly was happy too! “Wow! Oh, you’re going to crush that swim CSS test coming up. Wow!”

Pesky little tempo trainer!

Bike: 75.5 miles

WOW! I don’t even know how to describe how happy I am about the progress I have made on the bike and this week proved it! #TimeTrialTuesday proved to be a day of HUGE gains for me on the bike! I had an FTP challenge and I CRUSHED it! Going into the first 5 minute all out session, I was hoping to hold my power at or above 215 watts (this is the top end of my z5). I surpassed my expectations by holding 222 watts during that first 5 minutes. After a 10 minute easy spin, I then had a 20 minute FTP, where I was hoping to maintain 195 watts. I ended up pushing 197 watts for the duration and was so excited! This was the first time that I can truly say I left everything I had on the bike…so much so that when I was done, my legs were trashed! I worked so hard! I overcame self-doubt, the “pain” in my legs, and the negative thoughts that would creep into my mind. And. It. Feels. SUPER FANTABULOUS!

#TimeTrialTuesday resulted in a 10 watt improvement in my FTP!

I had an easy ride on Wednesday and followed this up with a high intensity ride on Thursday. Since I was working off of my new power numbers, this was a tough ride, but I successfully achieved each of my interval goals and that is something to smile about!

When your power numbers improve, it means you have to lower your head and work harder than you’re used to!

Saturday I had a 2 hour ride with a variety of pace changes throughout. And. It. Was. Tough! With an increase in my FTP earlier this week, it meant I had to work even harder. My mind was all in, but my legs just wouldn’t turn over and it didn’t matter how much I tried to convince them otherwise. I am INCREDIBLY grateful to Coach Kelly for understanding me, challenging me, supporting me, believing in me, and reminding me of the following: “You WILL inevitably “fail” some sessions.  You must.  If you don’t, you won’t know your limits.  What you can handle…and then go to them to expand them out further. I take your long term goals seriously, so expect to be pushed.  You’re going to need a series of mini breakthroughs to progress to high levels. Part of that will be days like this. If I give you an easier program you’ll feel good all the time for sure “crushing” every session…but as I once said to a coach… “I want to BE better, not feel better!”  :-)” I agree with Coach Kelly! I don’t want the easy road! I WANT to be challenged! I WANT to be pushed out of my comfort zone! I WANT to push my limits to find new ones! I expect to fail…that is part of the learning + growing process! I want to BE better, not just feel better!

Sometimes you ride the struggle bus, but you always grow, learn, and get stronger in the process!

Run: 18.8 miles

I am have been working on increasing my run volume this week, by running 5 days this week. Nothing super long, but running more to increase my run volume. The week started with some really cold temperatures, but thankfully warmed up a bit by the weekend! From snow on Monday to shorts and a tank top on Sunday??? Yep! Welcome to Iowa! 😉

Found the worlds smallest snowman while running Tuesday!

Running with the sunrise on Wednesday morning…so cold my eyelashes froze!

This was one of my longest run in a while!

New Newton Kismets! YES! Like butter on my feet!

Trying to get some color on this pasty white body + soak up some vitamin D!

Strength Training: 2 hours & 45 minutes + 10 minutes of core strength daily

I had some good variety in strength training this week. Tuesday was mostly core work after my FTP challenge, Thursday was full body strength and core while I taught TRX and Sunday I reconnected with my mat at yoga…MUCH NEEDED!

Reconnecting with my mat was MUCH NEEDED!

Weekly Totals: 13 hours & 36 minutes

Weekly Positives:

It was spring break week, so I got to load up on the training, get some appointments taken care of, take the occasional afternoon nap, and enjoy some downtime.

Thanks to Coach Kelly’s guidance, I have made some HUGE mental gains this week in overcoming self-doubt, changing the negative channel in my head to a positive one, and that has translated quite well to my training…HELLO 10 watt increase in my FTP + swim gains!!

This is my vision for Ironman Mont Tremblant!

Sushi with friends = perfection!

I had some amazing deliveries this week! Thanks to Breakthrough Nutrition, Karma Kombucha, and Sound Probiotics for keeping us happy + healthy!

Breakthrough Nutrition FTW!

Sound Probiotics = FTW DOUBLE WIN!

I had a massage! Thanks Nick at Vitality Massage for keeping my muscles happy + healthy!

When your massage therapist says, “You have dense muscles, which is awesome! That means you’re strong!” Thanks Nick for making a girl feel good!

Mom and Dad came to visit for the weekend. The four of us enjoyed Jersey Boys…such an AMAZING show!

Quote of the Week:

“You WILL inevitably “fail” some sessions.  You must.  If you don’t, you won’t know your limits.” ~Coach Kelly Hadiaris

23 weeks ’til #IMMT: survival

Last week I was in survival mode. It was parent teacher conference week. I LOVE meeting and talking with parents about the progress their child(ren) is/are making, but with this comes INCREDIBLY LONG work days…3×13 hour work days + an additional 4 hours on the 4th day. With these long days, often comes a SERIOUS drop off in training…AKA forced recovery week. So here is what the week had in store for training:

Swim: 2300 yards

I finally got to swim on Saturday while visiting my parents. It was fun to swim in a new pool. I also crushed my interval time goals, which was a HUGE confidence booster! Later in the day, I enjoyed a few additional laps while playing with my twin nieces at the pool…sometimes I needed to do a quick 100 or two to warm back up!

Swimming next to my fave while crushing intervals in a different pool = #swimlove

Bike: 23.8 miles

I had a good ride on Monday with intervals + friend time, and finished out the week with an easy ride on Sunday after a 3 hour car ride home.

Intervals with friends!

Birthday miles = Birthday smiles!

Run: 9.48 miles

I got a couple of short, but good runs in this week with my faves! Nothing fast or far, but they were cold + fun!

Running with my faves on the last day of work for the week!

Birthday miles = Birthday smiles!

Strength Training: 30 minutes + 10 minutes core strength daily

I had one day of full body strength and that was on Monday after my bike intervals.

Weekly Totals: 4 hours & 46 minutes

Weekly Positives:

We took a short trip home home to visit my parents, see my nieces, relax, and celebrate turning 40!

Lunch date at the elementary school with the twins!

Swimming with Laylah on my back isn’t easy, but it is fun!

Family fun in the water!

Love this family!


I got my Coeur Sports team kit in the mail this week and took pics on the FREEZING cold temps along the lake back home home! Love Okoboji!

I love this company, these women, and everything we stand for as we encourage others in sport!

Pure love!

Sporting the team kit with my girl! Basil was a bit distracted by the water…she just wanted to go swimming despite the barely above freezing temps!

Snuggles with my favorite girl!

Basil just wanted to climb into my lap while traveling home.

Birthday dinner with my fave curtesy of my amazing sis! Thanks Abs!

Looking forward to the 40s!

Quote of the Week:

“Survival is the ability to swim in strange water.” ~Frank Herbert

How do you survive busy weeks?


After another trip around the sun, I GET to age up this year! Starting TODAY, I am officially one of the youngest ones in my age group at endurance races! Wahoo! Don’t get me wrong, this is a strong, fast, badass, hardcoeur age group of women, so it won’t be easy competing against them, but I look forward to embracing the challenge that faces me!

Looking back on the last 40 years, I have so many things to be grateful for as I start my next trip around the sun!

  1. I am surrounded by an amazing tribe of people who encourage, support, and inspire me on a daily basis! Thank you to my family, my friends, my Coeur Sports sisters, Kyle at Kyle’s Bikes, Nick at Vitality Massage, Chris at Team Chriopractic and Rehabilitation, my Sound Probiotics fam, my social media friends, my blog world…the list goes on and on!

    My cheer squad…Love them all!!

  2. I have a good job that pays the bills and gives me extra funds to travel + do what I love…hello swim, bike, run!
  3. I GET to light my fire with some swim, bike, run almost every day!

    Just keep swimming!

    Ironman Wisconsin #bikelove Photo credit: Erin Klegstad

  4. My body allows me to push it to limits that used to seem impossible. Thank you body!
  5. I have two amazing fur babies that love to snuggle and smother me with their unconditional love!

    These two hold keys to my heart!

  6. I have an incredibly amazing, supportive, encouraging, and loving husband!

    So blessed and grateful he holds a key to my heart!

    I’m incredibly grateful for all I have in my life! Cheers to another year older, wiser, stronger, happier, and more driven!

I’m the Ginkgo!

We had a severe storm on Monday evening and I watched as the wind blew the rain and the trees sideways. When I went outside, guess what I saw?!?! The hardwood trees were still standing. They endured a NASTY storm! It got me thinking about my recent injury and how I’ve weathered that “storm” as well. I am a hardwood tree…more specifically the Ginkgo tree. It is my favorite tree and we have two of them in our front yard! I have weathered so many different storms and I always stand tall and strong after the storm has passed. Ginkgo trees are strong, resilient, they weather the storm by bending in the wind, they have deep roots, grow toward the light, and have survived 3 mass extinctions throughout history. I resemble each of these characteristics as well.

Strong: I am strong. I am able to withstand great force and pressure in my personal life, at work, and while I train and race endurance sports.

Resilient: I am resilient. I am able to recover quickly (sometimes more quickly than others) from difficult conditions. When I am faced with difficulty, I meet it head on, accept how it is challenging me, learn from it, and bounce back as quickly as possible.

Bend in the wind: When life throws challenges my way, I don’t allow them to break me. Instead, I bend like a Ginkgo in the wind. I learn and grow from these challenges, just like a Ginkgo tree continues to grow despite the harsh conditions it may be exposed to.

Deep roots: I am rooted in my values and check-in with these values often to see if I am being my best authentic self…especially when things get tough.

Grow toward the light: The sunlight sustains all life on the planet and gives plants (and animals) energy go grow and flourish. Like the sunlight, I try to surround myself with positivity…people who warm my heart + make me smile, environments that bring me joy, and adventures that light my fire.

Survived 3 mass extinctions: While I obviously haven’t survived a mass extinction, I have survived a divorce, multiple injuries that have tried to knock me down, and various other challenges that have been thrown my way. But as I mentioned above, I am strong, resilient and will keep bending in the wind to weather whatever storm comes my way.

What object best represents you? What characteristics of that object do you resemble?

24 weeks ’til #IMMT: Focusing on the Positives

I had a full week that included workouts in all areas…swim, bike, run, and strength training! Wahoo!

Swim: 6600 yards

I had a couple of good swims this week, but the best one was on Saturday. I was swimming faster than expected. And. It. Was. AWESOME! I felt fluid in the water and amazing!


Swimming with Maggie is always a great way to start the week!


Follow the path that your heart leads you on! Share your passion with others! Stay true to yourself! Believe in you!


Doing a little dance in the pool post swimming to celebrate going faster than expected!

Bike: 50.1 miles

I finally got a good sweat in on the bike this week! Due to my back injury, I hadn’t been able to go hard on the bike for a while, but that all changed this week! After Saturday’s ride, I actually saw pools of sweat on the floor under Mojo again! YIPPEE!!


So grateful to get to go harder on the bike without pain! THANK YOU BODY!


Doing that thing I love!


Gettin’ my sweat on!

Run: 11.6 miles

Not only was I able to sweat it out more on the bike this week, but I was also able to eventually take my run outside! Hello SERIOUS #runlove + fresh air does the body and soul good! I even got to enjoy one run in shorts…in March! Wahoo!


Starting the week still on the treadmill.


Getting to finally run outside in the fresh air wtih Basil = bliss!

Running in shorts in March!

Running in shorts in March!

Strength Training: 1 hour & 50 minutes + 10 minutes of core strength daily

I’m back into strength training and daily core strength too! I had to start off easy with the weights and am still not back up to the weight I was at before my injury, but I’m rebuilding my strength in a progressive way that will hopefully keep my healthy and injury free!

Weekly Totals: 10 hours & 14 minutes

Weekly Positives:

Because I have been adding some intensity to my workouts and have been running outside again, I decided I need to spend more time on recovery. This week, I spent a lot of time stretching post workouts to make sure that my body stays healthy and fit! Multiple epsom salt + lavender soaks has also helped with my recovery this week!

Legs up a wall post bike workout

Legs up a wall post bike workout

I got to run outside with my sole sister! It is been far too long since we have last run together…hopefully this is something we get to do much more frequently in the future!

#solesister + #runlove = #happyheart

#solesister + #runlove = #happyheart

Quote of the Week:

“Once you replace negative thoughts with positive ones, you’ll start having positive results.” ~Willie Nelson

What’s Up?! – February 2017

The month of February was a struggle in so many ways…it tested my patience, my sanity, and my ability to focus on the present. I’m ok that the month is behind me and I can move forward into my birthday month! Onward and Upward!


My training wasn’t as productive as I had hoped it would be thanks to a minor back injury that plagued me while carrying laundry up the stairs the first full week in February. Moral of the story…don’t do house chores…they are dangerous!! Despite being knocked down, I was still able to be active on a very limited basis…easy swim, easy bike, walk. One more positive…before my injury, I had a 100 yard PR in the pool! Thankfully I was able to start incorporating running into my plan on February 26, strength training back into my plan on February 28, and intensity back into my workouts in the last couple of days…just in time for March!

Swim Totals: 8.5 miles
Bike Totals: 159 miles
Run Totals: 15 miles

New 100 yard PR!

New 100 yard PR!

Every second counts when you go down the rabbit hole! "Alice: How long is forever? White Rabbit: Sometimes just one second!" ~Lewis Carroll, Alice in Wonderland

Every second counts when you go down the rabbit hole! “Alice: How long is forever? White Rabbit: Sometimes just one second!” ~Lewis Carroll, Alice in Wonderland

Running when it is cold out can sometimes turn you blue!

Running when it is cold out can sometimes turn you blue!


Dr. Gloria Petruzzelli talks feedback in her recent blog post…7 Tips for Effective Athlete Feedback. While this is written for the coach to give feedback to the athlete, I can also relate it to being a teacher. It is essential to give effective feedback that is constructive + challenging rather than general + criticizing. If we want to bring out the best in others, constructive + challenging feedback is the way to do it!

Iron War: Dave Scott, Mark Allen, and the Greatest Race Ever Run by Matt Fitzgerald is a story about two of the best Ironman athletes racing shoulder to shoulder during the 1989 Ironman World Championship at a world-record pace. The war between these two men started long before the cannon fired for the start of the 1989 Ironman World Championship race, but this is where the war finally ended. Matt Fitzgerald takes you through the highs and lows both men experienced throughout this Iron War.

Listening to:

Mark Allen Podcast…Mark shares his struggles to overcome so many obstacles to finally win the Ironman World Championship in 1989 for the first time. Beating the odds required him to take a look at his inner spirituality and happiness, while learning life lessons that had nothing to do with triathlon to become the champion he knew he could be.

Kim Chambers Podcast…Kim overcomes her fears by facing them head on, something I’m working hard to do myself. This Kiwi born former ballerina and rower became a software executive in San Francisco. She was in a horrible accident in her apartment building on her way to work one morning. She was later faced with a choice: accept permanent disability or prove the doctors wrong. She not only proved the doctors wrong, she went on to become the 6th person in history to complete the Oceans Seven, which is the marathon swimming equivalent of the Seven Summits mountaineering challenge. Each of the 7 swims has been chosen for their treacherous water conditions and potential wildlife risks. “I can guarantee that when you face your fears and break through your fears, you will get closer to being the best you can ever be.” ~Kim Chambers

Excited for:

Spring break! We don’t have huge plans for spring break…mostly because our summer vacation has been extended from 2 weeks to 4 weeks, which doesn’t leave much additional vacation time for the Iron Hippie to use over spring break. I’m looking forward to having a break from work, time with family, time to spring clean the house (oh wait…I’m not supposed to do house chores, right?!), time to relax at home, time to read some books, and time to train during the middle of the day if I want to. Oh yeah…I also get to celebrate turning the big 4-0 over spring break…BONUS! How can you not be excited about aging up and being one of the youngest ones in your age group?!

#Fearless check-in:

My intention for 2017 is to become more fearless! So…how have I been doing with this? I feel like I was much more successful during January, but still made some progress on becoming more fearless in February. In my personal life, I have not had a drop of alcohol in 2017 = WIN! I am still working on facing those things that truly scare me, but this has required me to take baby steps because some of these things have a REALLY TIGHT hold on me. I am also really working on not letting others opinions of me bother me, but this is challenging since it too has a TIGHT hold on me. How do you get those tight holds to let you go?!?! At work, the students have been working on a big project, so it has been much easier to be my introverted self during this time, which hasn’t forced me to become more #fearless at work. Because of my injury, I wasn’t able to push myself as hard as I’d like during my training, so I haven’t made as many gains on being fearless in training as I was hoping for. However, once I was released to try running again, I had to stare fear in the face as I stood on the treadmill. There were a lot of “what ifs” floating around in my head…what if I’m not fully healed? What if this sets me back farther? What if this hurts? What if…what if…what if?! After staring fear in the face, I pushed that start button and was pleasantly surprised with the pain free run that I was able to enjoy! While I’ve made some progress, I still have a LOT more progress to make, but don’t we all?! I’m a continuous work in progress!

Staring fear in the face!

Staring fear in the face!

How was your second month of 2017? What were your February highlights? What are you excited for?

25 weeks ’til #IMMT: looking fear in the face

I’m not 100% yet, but I have made #progress with my recovery and being #fearless this week!

Swim: 5200 yards

I had two really good swims this week. During my second swim, I was able to put some intensity into my swim without any issues with my back. It felt SO good to finally be getting a good workout in! #progress

Not fast, not far, and my form still needs work, but I was swimming pain free!

Not fast, not far, and my form still needs work, but I was swimming pain free!

Diving into the unknown by incorporating some speed work into my swim so I can #findfaster

Diving into the unknown by incorporating some speed work into my swim so I can #findfaster

Bike: 25.9 miles

I had 3 bike rides this week with 2 adding some intensity again…z3, but it was still some intensity! The good news is they were all pain free!

Incorporated some intensity into this ride...5x1 minute in Z3 was pain free!

Incorporated some intensity into this ride…5×1 minute in Z3 was pain free!

Recovery spin post swim...2 workouts in one day with no pain = BLISS!

Recovery spin post swim…2 workouts in one day with no pain = BLISS!

Workout #2 for the day with more intensity + pain free! :)

Workout #2 for the day with more z3 intensity + pain free! 🙂

Run: 2 miles

I was finally able to run on Sunday for the first time in over 2 weeks. It wasn’t far, it wasn’t fast, but it was pain free and I was running! I had to stare at the treadmill for a while to build up the courage to finally press the start button, but I’m so glad I did!

Staring fear in the face!

Staring fear in the face! #fearless

Strength Training:

I haven’t had much strength training other than the exercise Dr. Chris has given me and rebuilding some core strength. I am hopeful that this coming week will change all of that and I’ll be able to slowly build my strength training back up again.

Weekly Totals: 5 hours & 15 minutes

Weekly Positives:

Dr. Chris Feil with Team Chiropractic and Rehabilitation and Nick Morton with Vitality Massage worked wonders on me this week! I was finally able to run after more than 2 weeks sans running!

Dry needling + electric shock to get my back to cooperate!

Dry needling + electric shock to get my back to cooperate!

Thanks to the 70+F weather early in the week, I got to dream with my girls about spring/summer!

Lots of dreaming of spring swims on our walk Tuesday!

Lots of dreaming of spring swims on our walk Tuesday!

We had a very special delivery this week…Barnana! Hello #potassiumboost + whole food nutrition!

Barnana deliver!

Barnana deliver!

Tuesday was twin day at school and who better to be my twin, than my #solesister?!?!?!

Twin Tuesday at school...Love my sole sister!

Twin Tuesday at school…Love my sole sister!

Quote of the Week:

“You gain strength, courage, and confidence by every experience in which you really stop to look fear in the face. You must do the thing you think you cannot do.” ~Eleanor Roosevelt