Vermont Track Cat Training Camp

Last weekend was spent exploring Stowe, Vermont and surrounding areas thanks to Coach Kelly with Track Cat Fitness. This experience was beyond my wildest expectations! It was challenging, beautiful, full of laughs, and loads of fun!

Thursday:

We arrived in Stowe around 3 pm and unloaded All. The. Gear! It was SO amazing to get to meet Coach Kelly in person and I am so grateful that we all had the opportunity to stay at her house…this allowed for bonding among the athletes that were at camp! After everyone arrived, we had an amazing home cooked meal and Coach Kelly talked bike handling skills + bike technology.

Friday:

We had all of the gear loaded and ready to roll out at 7 am for a long ride followed by a short swim. The Iron Hippie and I had a 5 hour ride and it was FULL of climbing! These views…we have NOTHING like them in Iowa and while it was challenging, it was absolutely stunning! I set new power and heart rate thresholds climbing up Smuggler’s Notch and the descent was just as spectacular! The sag support during this training camp was the best ever! Nick (Coach Kelly’s husband), Dave (Coach Kelly’s father), and Dianne (Coach Kelly’s mother) went above and beyond to make this training camp experience like none other! As athletes, we saw sag support roughly every 3-5 miles. The Iron Hippie and I got lost three times on the ride, but were quickly tracked down by our sag support and set straight on the course again. When we got to the top of Smuggler’s Notch, we had some lunch food, regrouped, and set off for the descent. Instead of ending where we started, the Iron Hippie and I set off for route 12 to add a couple of hours of ride time. At 2 pm, Nick met us and picked us up to take us to the pond for some open water swim skills practice.

Riding in Vermont up to Smuggler’s Notch! Epic climbs and views!
Ready to roll!
Now for the fun part!
Lots of climbing!
We made it to the top of Smuggler’s Notch!
The top of Smuggler’s Notch is beautiful!
Potty break!
Meeting new friends at the top of Smuggler’s Notch!
Getting photo bombed by Coach Kelly!
Figuring out who is going where and doing what for the next couple of hours while the Iron Hippie and I finish our ride.
Beautiful views of Vermont along our ride!

After almost 80 miles of riding LOTS of hills, we hopped in the lake for some skills work! We practiced fast swim starts, swimming without goggles, and getting beat up by others while swimming.

Coach watched us all swim and gave us all suggestions on our form and comfort level in the water!

When we arrived back at Coach Kelly’s house, everyone unloaded all the gear, showered, and re-fueled with an amazing home cooked pasta dinner thanks to Dave and Dianne’s spectacular cooking, we called it a night and slept peacefully after a full day of exercise!

This is what it looks like when 7 athletes dry all their gear after a full day of training!
So grateful for Dave and Dianne! Yummy food and AMAZING sag support!
Yummy home cooked food!

Saturday:

We were ready to roll out for a long endurance swim followed by a shorter (yet equally as challenging) bike ride by 7 am. We arrived at the Waterbury Reservoir, donned our wetsuits and hopped into the water blanketed with a dense layer of fog.

A blanket of fog sat on top of the water at the Waterbury Reservoir.
Open water endurance swim at the Waterbury Reservoir. Thanks to Nick and Dave for kayaking next to us while we swam.

After the swim, we changed clothes, refueled, and loaded up to head to the start of the App Gap climbing day.

Refueling post endurance swim.
Loaded up and ready to get to the start of day 2 climbing.

When we got to the start of the ride, we had a few mechanical issues that needed to be tended to…2 bikes had flat tires that needed to be changed.

The Iron Hippie changed Coach Kelly’s flat tire.
All ready to ride and then…

We were all ready to roll out and I noticed something rubbing on my bike…it was the derailleur. Nick tried to make some adjustments, but the problem was bigger than his scope, so we loaded Mojo onto the back of one of the sag vehicles and Nick drove Mojo and me to Fit Werks in Waitsfield, Vermont to have them take a look at the derailleur. I’m so grateful for their flexibility in getting me in right away, putting a new derailleur on Mojo, adding a link to her chain, and making sure she shifts well before getting dropped off with the rest of our group to ride up App Gap. Nick dropped Mojo and me off at the base of App Gap and Mojo and I began our climb STRAIGHT UP right out of the gate! Immediately after I started, I realized my bike technology wasn’t working…no power, no cadence, no speed, no distance, no heart rate…basically I just had the time it took me to ride the 5 miles up App Gap from where Nick dropped us off. I was bummed that I didn’t have any stats for this ride as I felt it was much harder than Friday’s ride and really wanted stats, but was glad I was able to ride on RPE. If my bike technology doesn’t work on race day, I know I can successfully finish the bike by listening to my body.

So grateful to the men at Fit Werks for fixing Mojo and getting us back out riding!
Climbing App Gap…5 miles of continuous climbing.
Just keep climbing!
Getting to the top of App Gap was tough, but these view were worth the climb!
Views from the top of App Gap!
Refueling at the top of App Gap and chatting with Coach Kelly about the climb.
Meeting new friends at the top of App Gap!

With the steepness of this terrain and the less than ideal road conditions I opted to not descend this road. I didn’t want to risk anything being only 3 weeks out from race day. A few of the campers rode down App Gap and then we all met at a coffee shop to regroup and head back to Coach Kelly’s house.

Regrouping at the coffee shop

After unloading all the gear, showering, and dinner, we were lucky to have Carol do an educational session on orthopedic medicine.

Carol talking knees 😉

We followed this up with s’mores by the campfire before heading to bed.

Sunday:

We woke up with the sun, ate some breakfast, and headed out for our last long run before race day! We ran 2.5 hours along the trail through Stowe along the river. It was a beautiful morning for a run!

Running with my Fave in Stowe!
The trail is beautiful!
Views from our run
That is a wrap!

We met up with the rest of the campers at the local coffee shop and then headed back to Coach Kelly’s to pack up and continue on our NE adventures!

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Okoboji Triathlon 2017 Race Report

This is just a few weeks late, but better late than never! I raced the Okoboji Triathlon on July 15 and it was so much fun to go short, fast, hard, and have my family cheering for me on bike and run course! This race has a special place in my heart as I get to go home, home to race! It is unique, because it is between the sprint and Olympic distance.

Who’s ready to race?! We are!

Swim: 960 yards in 17:37 (1:50/100 yards average pace)

The women 40+ were in the last swim wave, so I had lots of people to pass during the entire event. Once I settled into my swim pace, I started pacing many people in the previous waves. This swim was about 1 minute faster than last year without a wetsuit this year.

Gear: Coeur Sports tri kit, Roka Viper Elite swim skin, Roka X1 Light Vermilion goggles, SBR tri slide

T1: 2:57

After exiting the swim, there is about a 200 yard run up to transition. I thought I was being super speedy in transition, but apparently I wasn’t as fast as I thought I was! My transition time was a bit slower than last year.

Bike: 18 miles in 54:10 (19.9 mph average speed)

I quickly settled in on the bike and began to climb right away. I was very aware of surrounding athletes and was SUPER pumped that not one athlete passed me on the bike! The last 6 miles of the bike is full of short, punchy hill climbs, and I was ready to punch back! With about 1.5 miles left to ride, I saw my sisters, nieces, and Dad on the course cheering me on!

Gear: Coeur Sports tri kit, Specialized Transition bike, Specialized Evade bike helmet, Specialized bike shoes

Nutrition: Breakthrough Nutrition – NBS Hydration

T2: 1:11

I quickly racked my bike, changed my shoes, and took off on the run!

Run: 4.5 miles in 38:48 (8:37 min/mile average pace)

I’ve run this course many times and knew there were many rolling hills, so I didn’t push as hard out of T2 as I probably should have and could have. About 1 mile into the run I was passed by the only female who passed me for the entire run (this cost me 1st in my age group and 10th overall female). I should have hung onto her to see what my body was capable of, but I let her go. With about 1.5 miles to the finish line, I again saw my sisters, nieces, and Dad. I was revived with their high-5s and cheers! I allowed that to carry me all the way to the finish line!

Gear:Coeur Sports tri kit, Newton Kismets

Nutrition: Motts fruit snacks

Overall: 1:54:40 2nd age group (F40-49) and 11th overall female finish

2nd place AG at the Okoboji Triathlon!

I am super grateful to my amazing family and husband, to Coach Kelly at Track Cat Fitness for helping be come #trackcatstrong this year, to my sponsors Coeur Sports, Roka Sports, Sound Probiotics, Breakthrough Nutrition, and Kyle’s Bikes, and to Dr. Chris Feil with Team Chiropractic and Nick at Vitality Massage for keeping me healthy! It takes a village and I’m incredibly grateful for mine!

3 weeks ’til #IMMT: Northeast + Canada Trication Part 1

What a week! Full of travel, fun, laughs, training camp, and adventures! Other than traveling over 1500 miles by car, this is brief rundown of my week…

Swim: 6976 yards

Starting the day off right! #swimlove with my fave for some #mondaymotivation
Morning swim in 86*F water in La Porte, Indiana with my fave! #toohotforlapswimming
Open water endurance swim at Track Cat Training Camp!

Bike: 98.4 miles

Last workout in Iowa for a while! #tuesdaytimetrial with my fave!
Long ride in Vermont at the Track Cat Training Camp on Friday up to Smuggler’s Notch! Epic climbs and views!
Climbing my way up App Gap in Vermont at the Track Cat Training Camp on Saturday…That. Was. HARD! So much fun at the top!

Run: 16.7 miles

Last long run before #IMMT in Stowe, Vermont…now it is time to taper and soak up all this training!

Strength Training: 10 minutes of core strength almost daily

Weekly Totals: 12 hours & 46 minutes

Weekly Positives:

I will have a separate post on the Track Cat Training Camp later this week, but it was SO much fun, challenging, beautiful, and a truly amazing experience!

#trackcatstrong

Stopping at Niagara Falls on our way out to Vermont…We have never been here before and it was beautiful!

Riding a ferry across Lake Champlain from Vermont into New York…that was the first time I’ve ever driven a car onto a boat and taken a fairy ride! It felt good to get out and stretch the legs a bit!

Arriving in Lake Placid…This is where we will spend the next week of our trication!

Getting our bib numbers for Ironman Mont Tremblant!! It is getting so close to race day!! I can’t believe it!!

Quote of the Week:

“Blessed are the curious for they shall have adventures!” ~Lovelle Drachman

4 weeks ’til #IMMT: Hot + Humid + Hell

Last week was HOT + HUMID + STICKY + GROSS! I think we got a taste of what hell is like!

Yep…Last week was VERY hot + humid! Good thing we leave soon for some cooler temps in the New England states and Canada!
Ha Ha! This doesn’t show the heat index, which was even higher…

Swim:

Monday morning meters!
Pushing myself to new limits in the pool Tuesday morning left me with a HUGE smile on my face!

Bike:

Pushing myself to new limits on this #timetrialtuesday of #triweek
We rode inside on Thursday because of an excessive heat advisory! Looking forward to cooler temps in the Northeast!
Last long ride (107+ miles) in Iowa done before leaving for the NE! With an excessive heat advisory Saturday, there were a few times I felt like I was in hell, but I kept on going!

Run:

“Never give up, and be confident in what you do. There may be tough times, but the difficulties which you face will make you more determined to achieve your objectives and to win against all the odds.” ~Marta
Wednesday’s 18 mile run was a sufferfest, but I was determined to #nevergiveup and was SO happy to be done!
Run off the bike in the excessive heat advisory on Saturday was tough, but I finished strong!
Helping my fave get some birthday miles in Sunday morning! Happy Birthday to the Iron Hippie!

Strength Training: 10 minutes of core strength daily

Weekly Totals: 17 hours & 8 minutes

Weekly Positives:

With a really tight calf comes dry needling. Thanks to Dr. Chris at Team Chiropractic for keeping me healthy and getting me in to see him right away!
Thank you Kyle for getting Mojo ready for my last big push to Ironman Mont Tremblant! You are the BEST! Kyle’s Bikes all the way!
Basil says, “#winningtakesguts I’m so glad Sound Probiotics keeps you healthy mama!”
So grateful to have Nick with Vitality Massage as part of my tribe!

Quote of the Week:

“If you’re going through hell, keep going!” ~Winston Churchill

5 weeks ’til #IMMT: Recovery + Racing

Last week flew by in the blink of an eye! So much fun, lots of recovery time, family time, and a race to cap off the week!

Swim: 1574 yards

I love swimming at home home! So awesome with the New Wave Swim Buoy in Lake Okoboji!
#swimlove with my fave at home home!

Bike: 45.7 miles

Pure joy comes when you learn new skills! Congratulations to Maggie! She stared fear in the face and won! So proud of you Maggie!
“Mama, you say recovery ride. We say recovery is sleeping!” ~Basil and Mya

Run: 7.71 miles

Sweaty, nasty race prep miles.

Strength Training: 10 minutes of core almost daily (I did miss a couple of days)

Getting some help with my core work…holding plank with 3 of my nieces on my back!

Weekly Totals: 5 hours & 44 minutes

Weekly Positives:

So grateful to CEP Compression for my Tour prize! I will recover like a champ! THANK YOU!
Tubing is part of the pre-race training plan, right?!
4 of my favorite girls swimming in the lake off the boat!
Family + Lake Okoboji = #happyheart
Cheering on the participants at the start of the Okoboji Marathon.
2nd place AG at the Okoboji Triathlon! I’ll have a race report on the blog later this week!
Enjoying Indian cuisine with our friends + being blessed with these gifts from India = #happyheart

Quote of the Week:

“Rest. It’s part of the plan. Muscles are torn in training, fed in the kitchen, and built in bed.”

I’m mentally and physically ready for this last big push to Ironman Mont Tremblant! Only 5 more weeks?! CRAZY!!

6 weeks ’til #IMMT: imperfection

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

Monday Morning Meters! What a beautiful morning for some #swimlove
Thursday morning meters!
4100 morning meters to start my BIG training Friday!
Pool shenanigans after a long Saturday!

Bike: 133 miles

Easy spin on the bike Monday!
All the Watts Thursday
I’m in a big build…today (Friday) adversity had me sitting on the side of the road in tears with 10 miles to go. I had lots of thoughts and choices while sitting under the tree. I chose to get back on Mojo and continue to chase my dreams! As Coach Kelly says, “it is supposed to feel like that and that this is what it takes. :)” First solo century is in the books!
While the Iron Hippie races Saturday, I do my recovery ride and finish just in time to see him come in off the bike!

Run: 36.4 miles

So happy + #grateful to finally put together a pretty solid long run despite the full sun, warm temps, + high dew point. Mother Nature put up a fight, but I won Wednesday!
Thursday’s miles off the bike
Put a fork in me! I’m done! Friday’s run off the bike did me in!
Sunday’s split long run:
AM 10 mile run + PM 8 mile run = most running miles in one day so far this year!
Thank you WTForecast for this! With the heat index at 99*F, my split long run on Sunday was exactly as you predicted!
My weather app was right! This split long run on Sunday gave me a “Sriracha enema” and it wasn’t pleasant, but it’s done! Bring on the recovery week!

Strength Training: 10 minutes of core strength daily

Weekly Totals: 20 hours & 22 minutes

Weekly Positives:

So much fun to watch dog jumping downtown this July 4th weekend!
A much needed massage Wednesday to get everything ready for a BIG training weekend! Thanks Nick at Vitality Massage for keeping me healthy + injury free!
So much fun to meet my Coeur Sports teammate, Michelle, Saturday and cheer her on to 1st place AG as she raced in Iowa last weekend!
Spectating while the Iron Hippie races himself to a HUGE PR at the Accel Olympic-distance Triathlon! 2nd out of the water in his AG is AMAZING…he learned to swim 8 years ago!
Turning social media friends into real friends is so much fun! So glad Jen and I connected in real life!

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

What’s Up?! – June 2017

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:

Training:

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

Morning meters in my favorite pool!

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

My fastest 100 miles ever in the saddle with these two!

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! 😉

Long run done! Not pretty, but done!

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

Racing:

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.

Reading:

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!

Listening to:

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!

Enjoying:

Time with family + friends! We’ve been so lucky to have our twin nieces come visit us and spend some time with friends!

Playing games!
Visiting Iowa State University’s campus
Strong, athletic women are the best! Summer doesn’t get much better than this!

Following:

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!

#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. 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!

Hello #sportsbrasquad running!

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?