2017 Season Review

If I had to sum up my 2017 season in one word, it would be FANTABULOUS! Sure it was full of ups and downs, but overall, it was SO. MUCH. FUN! Here are some of the ups and downs of my 2017 season:

Ran my way to 3rd on a hilly 10K course with a finish time of 50:32…only 1:41 off my PR (on the same course)!
So giddy! 16 watt improvement in my FTP test today means I’m over the 200 watt threshold! I never imagined I would see this day! So grateful for Coach Kelly to push me WAY out of my comfort zone and help me get stronger this season!
Not quite the race I was hoping for, but I pushed as hard as I could all the way through! Grateful the rain held off until after I finished! Another Drake 1/2 is in the books!
First long solo ride on Saturday! HUGE confidence builder!
“This is HUGE! Congrats. A back to back 4 hour ride is a great prep session for the Ironman build up. I’m so happy it went well and glad you do not back down in the face of adversity. You’ve evolved a lot as an athlete this year. I’m proud of you today. Good work.” ~Coach Kelly
The heat index was 97F with sustained winds of 22-25 mph and gusts up to 35 mph. It was a rough day! Not what we’ve trained for, but we each set a new PR since we did a new distance…
So giddy with today’s split run! 2×7 miles at sub 8:30 minute/mile pace left a HUGE smile on my face for run #2 today as I crushed my goal!!
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!
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!
So much fun to meet my Coeur Sports teammate Saturday and cheer her on to 1st place AG as she raced in Iowa last weekend!
Turning social media friends into real friends is so much fun!
Pure joy comes when you learn new skills! Congratulations to Maggie! She stared fear in the face and won! So proud of you Maggie!
2nd place AG at the Okoboji Triathlon!
Loved meeting Coach Kelly + spending time with her and other amazing athletes at the Vermont Training Camp put on by Track Cat Fitness!
Climbing my way up App Gap in Vermont at the Track Cat Training Camp…That. Was. HARD!
Last long run before #IMMT in Stowe, Vermont…now it is time to taper and soak up all this training!
Swimming in Mirror Lake in Lake Placid, NY
This lady is AMAZING! Meeting my Coeur Sports Teammate, Amy Farrell!
Let’s get this party started! #IMMT
So much coeur on this #IMMT course! #bikelove
Love you Ericka! Thanks for the run photo at #IMMT!
CyMan Sprint Triathlon…running my way to the finish!
Running the Hillbilly 1/2 Marathon with these two crazy kids was so much fun!

Thanks to Coach Kelly with Track Cat Fitness for helping me become #trackcatstrong this year both mentally and physically! I’m super excited to see what is in store for us in 2018!

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Hillbilly 1/2 Marathon Race Report

Saturday we ran the Hillbilly 1/2 Marathon from Indianola to Carlisle. We drove down to Carlisle, picked up our race bib and t-shirt, then loaded onto a bus that would shuttle us to Indianola where we would start the race. Thankfully, the bus stayed at the race start so we could hang out on the bus to keep warm as it was perfect weather to run, but too cool, damp, and breezy to hang around outside waiting to start.

Trying to stay warm before the start of the race!

I had some decisions to make on race morning in terms of how I was going to run. Was I going to race? Take it easy? Try for consistent pacing? After a full week of teaching + parent teacher conferences, I came down with a sore throat Friday. I loaded up on all of the vitamin C, Sound Probiotics, lysine, fluids, and healthy foods I could find. I really wanted to stave off whatever was taking residence in my body. On race morning, I felt good and ready to race, but decided it would be better for me to run with the Iron Hippie and our friend, Robin. She is diabetic and her blood sugar was higher than it should have been, so I took it upon myself to be on #bloodsugarpatrol for the rest of the morning.

We started off with what felt like an easy pace checking in occasionally with Robin to see where her blood sugar levels were at. By about mile 4, her blood sugar levels were still high, but had dropped over 100 units and were trending downward, which was excellent news! At this point, I still felt good and really strong, but I took in nutrition to stay proactive instead of potentially having to be reactive later in the race.

Getting closer to the finish with every step! If you look VERY closely, you can see Robin’s pink shirt and shoes behind the Iron Hippie!

By the 10K point of the run, Robin’s blood sugar eventually flatlined in a safe range, so she took in some nutrition. We saw what appeared to be a “petting zoo” at a farm along the trail. Shortly after this, we were “cheered” on by some cows along the side of the trail. By about mile 8 our pace started to slow a bit, I took in more nutrition, and we kept pushing on! The miles kept ticking by and went by faster than I anticipated.

Running along between miles 7 and 8 with the Iron Hippie.

By mile 10, I was starting to feel it. I’m sure the bug that had taken up residence in my body wasn’t helping, but I know the other part was the distance…this was the farthest I’d run since Ironman Mont Tremblant. This is where mind over matter really kicked in. We pushed on, all of the way to the finish line and all 3 of us crossed together. Thankfully Robin’s blood sugar was on point at the finish line!

Running the Hillbilly 1/2 Marathon with these two crazy kids was so much fun!

We finished in 2:05:40, which was a long way off from a PR, but it was well worth the fun with friends! This is a race that I can see us doing year after year and maybe one year setting a PR!

Who wants to be a hillbilly?!?!

2017 Racing Season

Mother Nature (errr…Global Warming) has blessed us with BEAUTIFUL weather this “winter”…weather we typically see in April and May here in Central Iowa. This beautiful weather + back rehabilitation got me thinking about my 2017 racing season. I have had WAY MORE downtime than is typical for me during this rehab process, so…I had plenty of time to plan for my 2017 racing season and register for some races. Thanks to this downtime, my 2017 racing season is taking shape! I have registered for the following races:

  1. Drake 1/2 Marathon (4/29/17)
  2. Hickory Grove Sprint Triathlon (5/21/17)
  3. Liberty Tri 70.3 (6/10/17)
  4. Okoboji Triathlon (7/15/17)
  5. Ironman Mont Tremblant (8/20/17)

I am super pumped about these races! This schedule will provide me with some opportunities to test my race day plan for long distances, but also give me some opportunities to go hard, fast, and have fun at some shorter distances!

I have also registered for a 3 day training camp in Vermont on July 27-30 with Track Cat Fitness! This training camp is 3 weeks before Ironman Mont Tremblant, so we will be extending our vacation to 4 weeks! We will be heading to the New England States before going to Mont Tremblant, Canada…visiting new places, training in new places, and having even more fun!

How is your 2017 season shaping up?

19 Weeks ’til #IMWI: Recovery + Race Time

How are we all of a sudden only 19 weeks away from Ironman Wisconsin?!?! This was not a typical week for us. We had 2 full rest days, lots of recovery, and a 1/2 marathon race to cap off the week.

Monday:

After waking up with an upset stomach, I decided to stay home from work. I think it might have been the yummy, yet excessive roasted garlic on the amazing pizza from last night. I knew I had a lot of work that could be done from home, so I did that for most of the morning. Around lunch time, I started to feel much better, so I took my strength training outside to sweat out the remaining garlic. It was a beautiful afternoon and I should have been working outside, but I stayed indoors for my afternoon work session. When the Iron Hippie got home, we rode our bikes outside in the sun for an easy recovery ride. It was a great snail mail day! I received goodies from both Coeur Sports and Sound Probiotics today…WAHOO!!

Strength training in the sun!
Strength training in the sun!
Recovery ride in the sun!
Recovery ride in the sun!
Snail mail delivery from Coeur Sports + Sound Probiotics = LOVE!!
Snail mail delivery from Coeur Sports + Sound Probiotics = LOVE!! #noangrykitty #stylishspeed #soundathlete

Tuesday:

Since it was a recovery week, we opted to have Tuesday be a rest day. We slept in, had a full day of work, I had a personal training client, and then went out for an amazing sushi dinner. Why didn’t I take a picture of the amazing sushi?! We ran a few errands after dinner and were ready for bed by 7 pm.

Wednesday:

We slept in Wednesday morning, so we got a LOT of sleep, which felt really good! After a full day of work, I hopped on the trainer for some sweaty, #bikelove intervals. It was definitely a #workforitwednesday with that workout! In looking at my normalized power from various rides lately, I think I’ve lost some bike fitness over the last month. Although I haven’t done an FTP test in a while, so I don’t know if it really has dropped or not…I think it might be time to test this and see where I’m at.

Sweaty #bikelove intervals with a little Ironman motivation in the background.
Sweaty #bikelove intervals with a little Ironman motivation in the background.

Thursday:

We always sleep in on Thursday mornings, but we actually had planned to get up and swim this morning. I decided against this when I woke up, since I had been up 3 times throughout the night with cramps in the arch of my left foot. Boy do those hurt!! This is not typical for me, so what was causing them?! I even had them a couple of times throughout the work day. After work, I met a personal training client, completed a 60 minute cadence ladder ride, and then went to teach TRX…guess what?! MORE CRAMPS in the left foot. UGH! 😦

Recovery ride on a cold and dreary day!
Recovery ride on a cold and dreary day!

Friday:

Today was another rest day. After work I had a massage, which was poor planning on my part since I am racing a 1/2 marathon tomorrow. We’ll test this tomorrow and see how it impacts me! After my massage, we made a trip to Des Moines to pick up our race packets for the Drake 1/2 Marathon in the morning. In looking at the weather for the race, I couldn’t decide what to wear. What do you wear when it is going to be 46F, 22 mph winds, and 90% chance of rain?! I knew I’d need a lot of warm clothes for after the race, so I started by picking those out first. I decided to wait until morning to decide what to wear. After picking up our packets, we had Mexican food for dinner and were in bed by 9 pm.

Massage...the day before a 1/2 marathon. We'll find out tomorrow if this was a good idea or not!
Massage…the day before a 1/2 marathon. We’ll find out tomorrow if this was a good idea or not!

Saturday:

4 am wake-up followed by cream of rice with Pure Clean Beet Powder and frozen blueberries + Karma Kombucha prepped my engine for what was looking to be a cold, wet, windy race. Now to decide what to wear…I decided to wear my Coeur Sports racing tri kit with arm warmers. I was hoping this would be a good decision. We arrived in Des Moines about 90 minutes before the race. We figured we wouldn’t have problems finding a place to park since the weather was so crappy and we were right. We had our pick of parking spots! At about 7:00 am, we started getting ready for our race and headed to the race start at 7:15. When they started the race at 7:30 am, it was 44F, 17 mph winds, and raining on us. I decided to run with my trash bag on until I warmed up a bit, which really only lasted about 1 mile. I met a friend that I’ve known through social media at about mile 1 and ran with her for a few miles. Kristen was pushing her 13 year old cousin with Rett Syndrome in a running bob for the first time ever during the 1/2 marathon. Can you say #heartandcourage?! She is so inspiring and motivated to do what she can to help find a cure for Rett Syndrome. Eventually we got separated on the hills, but Mother Nature continued to challenge us with the weather she threw our way. I quickly realized that a massage the day before a 1/2 marathon was not my best decision, but pushed as hard as I could for the whole race. My official finish time was 1:54:23, which was an 8:44/mile average pace. I was pretty pleased with this considering my legs did NOT want to move after about mile 5 + I was freezing + I was soaked like a drowned rat! Post run, we quickly changed and ate delicious post race food at the Drake Diner before heading back home. It was time for a REALLY HOT shower and a nap, followed by chili and cornbread with friends for dinner and an early to bed.

Who's ready to run a cold + soaking wet + windy 1/2 marathon? We are!
Who’s ready to run a cold + soaking wet + windy 1/2 marathon? We are!
Are we really going to do this?!
Are we really going to do this?!
Unofficial stats...I guess I tried to dodge a LOT of puddles ;)
Unofficial stats…I guess I tried to dodge a LOT of puddles since I was only supposed to have run 13.1 miles 😉
Drake 1/2 marathon is in the books! Official finish time = 1:54:23
Drake 1/2 marathon is in the books! Official finish time = 1:54:23

Sunday:

I woke up with VERY stiff and sore legs, so I hopped on the bike for an easy hour to spin out the legs a bit, followed by breakfast, and an epsom salt bath. I did a few house chores to get ready for the coming week and then met Coach Hansen at the pool for more swim analyzing and coaching. I have A LOT to work on this week in the pool!! Later in the day, we went to Ankeny to visit the bike shop and meet an amazing friend for dinner. He came into town for the Drake 1/2 marathon from the Gulf Coast. I don’t think he was quite prepared for the cold, wet, windy weather we experienced. Since he and his wife retired down south, I’ve really missed having them around, so it was super fun to catch up with him!

Basil says, "Mama, will you please get off your bike and come cuddle with me?"
Basil says, “Mama, will you please get off your bike and come cuddle with me?”
LOTS to work on this week in the pool! Thanks Coach for the stroke analysis and guidance!!
LOTS to work on this week in the pool! Thanks Coach for the stroke analysis and guidance!!

Weekly Totals: 8 hours & 44 minutes

Swim: 550 yards
Bike: 65.8 miles
Run: 13.1 miles
Strength Training: 1:45:00

Quote of the Week:

“Be who you are and say what you feel because those who mind don’t matter and those who matter don’t mind.” ~Dr. Seuss

Racing with Heart and Courage in 2016

Wow, just WOW!! I am honored to be representing Coeur Sports again in 2016 as part of their ambassador team!!

I found out that I made the Coeur Sports 2016 Ambassador Team...Such a badass group of women that I'm overjoyed to be a part of!!

I am overjoyed to be a part of this badass group of strong, courageous women who encourage women in sport and inspire me to be the best version of myself everyday!! They challenge me to #dreambig, #pushmylimits and to even push past them on occasion 🙂

Not only do I love Coeur Sports’s apparel (hello #stylishspeed, seamless chamois and #noangrykitty), but I love what this amazing company and the people behind it stand for: community, kindness, strength, positive sportsmanship, giving back (1% of sales go to the Challenged Athlete Foundation), #heartandcourage, and encouraging more women to lead a life of health and fitness.

Coeur Sports, founder Kebby Holden, and co-founder Hailey Manning stand for these Coeur values and aren’t afraid to #dreambig, while positively impacting the world around them. They put #heartandcourage into everything they do – while racing, training and behind the scenes.

I am beyond excited to represent a brand that embraces strong women and be a part of this badass group of courageous women who are full of #heartandcourage!

And Now…My tentative race schedule for 2016:

St. Louis 1/2 Marathon – April 10, 2016

Drake 1/2 Marathon – April 30, 2016

Tour de Cure Central Iowa 75 mile ride – June 11, 2016

Wisconsin Milkman Triathlon – June 19, 2016

Okoboji Triathlon – July 16, 2016

My “A” Race is: Ironman Wisconsin – September 11, 2016

2016 is going to be an FANTABULOUS year!!

14 Weeks ’til Ironman Boulder

WOW!! What an awesome week of workouts!! I felt strong both mentally and physically all week long, which is good since I’m not feeling that way at work. Only 4 more weeks of school before summer break, but who’s counting 😉

Monday:

AM: 1 hour strength training session, which was the perfect start to my week.

PM: 1 hour trainer ride…alternating between Zone 2 and Zone 3/4

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Tuesday:

AM: 90 minute run with 6 x 0.3 mile hill repeats. This was my #FaveWorkout of the week

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PM: 65 minute swim covering 3000 yards…I felt slow in this swim, but felt as though I had really good form.

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Basil spending some time watching the birds. #sucharetriever
Basil spending some time watching the birds. #sucharetriever

Wednesday:

AM: 90 minute trainer ride…we did fartleks on the bike where each person picked something different to do for 2-4 minutes every 10 minutes after the 30 minute warm-up. It was fun to have variety and not know what was coming next 😉

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PM: 2500 yard swim in 55 minute that included a 1500 TT…my time trial was not where I had hoped it would be. Since I couldn’t seem to get my form down and felt like I was a fish out of water, I’ll take the sub 2:00/100 time though.

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Basil helping me make dinner...she loves veggies
Basil helping me make dinner…she loves veggies

Thursday:

PM: 1 hour brick followed by 45 minutes of TRX…the brick felt AWESOME!! I felt like I was flying on the run!! I love it when a workout falls together so smoothly and feels so amazing!! TRX was a good mix of strength, where we incorporated 2×1 minute of plank (both regular plank and side planks), which challenged a lot of the people in my class 🙂

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Friday:

100 days away from Ironman Boulder and it was a rest day…It felt really good to take it easy today.

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PM: We went to the Drake 1/2 Marathon packet pick-up for Sunday’s race and then started carb loading with breakfast for dinner…French Toast and Turkey Bacon…YUMMY 🙂

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Saturday:

AM: WHY IS IT RAINING AGAIN?!?!?!?!?!?! We were suppose to do our 5 hour trainer ride to raise funds for the Tour de Cure/American Diabetes Association, but the weather was COLD AND WET (mid 30s), so we opted to postpone yet again. I don’t know when we will reschedule this fundraiser to, but we haven’t given up hope yet. Instead, we rode on the trainer in the basement. 4 hours was the goal, but I was so close to 60 miles at the end of my 4 hour ride that I continued to ride to 60 miles. I was mentally and physically feeling really strong. I had #noangrykitty thanks to Coeur Sports. I stayed hydrated thanks to Osmo Nutrition Active and my nutrition was spot on thanks to goldfish crackers and Barnana 🙂

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PM: 30 minutes of core work followed by a pasta dinner with friends that we would be running the Drake 1/2 Marathon with on Sunday morning. Good times and great eats!!

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Race ready!!

Sunday:

AM: The Drake 1/2 Marathon started at 7:30 am. My goal was to run a 2 hour race, relax and have fun. I crossed the finish line in 1:56:10 with a HUGE smile after having managed to run the entire race (including Bulldog Hill and quite a few others). I was ready to walk the hills if needed, but I just slowed my pace a bit and plowed through the hundreds of walking athletes. This course is not designed for a PR as it has some substantial hills in it, most of which are in the last 5K of the race, but I was only 3:30 slower than my PR, so I’ll take it!! With the Legend Tri 100 only 6 short weeks away, I’m glad I didn’t push harder, even though I had it in me to do so.

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PM: 2100 yard swim…most of this workout was drills and 100s, so it was a nice and easy recovery swim after this morning’s race.

Weekly Totals: 16:08

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Another week in the green 🙂

Swim: 7600 yards

Bike: 106 miles

Run: 24.5 miles

Strength Training: 2:15:00

How was your week? Did you have any races last week? If so, tell me about them 🙂

Racing in 2015

It has taken me a bit of time to solidify my 2015 racing calendar, but this is what I’ve decided on…

Elkhart Time Trial Series – April, May, June, July and August (one Thursday evening each month) in 2015

  • I did race the Elkhart Time Trial once in 2014, but I am looking forward to racing the Time Trial Series more consistently this year.   IMG_3713

Drake 1/2 Marathon – April 26, 2015

  • I’ve raced this many times in the past and am not super thrilled with the new route, but it is close to home and gives me a running race to test my run strength before my tri season really starts up.

Legend Tri 100 – June 7, 2015

  • This will be an automatic PR for me when I cross the finish line. I have not finished a 100 mile triathlon before. I am really looking forward to this event since I have raced the 70.3 mile distance at this venue twice and loved it!!

Accel Olympic Triathlon – June 14, 2015

  • This will be a new event for me. I am excited to get the opportunity to race an Olympic distance triathlon before Ironman Boulder. I love the distance and am thrilled to have the opportunity to go fast 🙂

Eastern Iowa Tour de CURE – June 27, 2015

  • This will also be a new event for me this year. While it is not a race, it will be a great training day and opportunity to ride 75 miles on relatively protected streets and for a great cause!!

Ironman Boulder – August 2, 2015

  • This will be my 3rd Ironman race, but the first time I’ll be racing in Boulder. I am pumped to be taking a 3 week vacation out in Colorado prior to the race to acclimate, relax and train a little.

Des Moines Triathlon – September 6, 2015

  • Since the Hy Vee Triathlon is no more, I will be participating in the first ever Des Moines Triathlon on Labor Day weekend. I am planning on doing the Olympic distance race and seeing what my body has left with only a few weeks post #IMBoulder 😉

Runner’s Flat 50K – October 10, 2015

  • Last year we participated in this event for its inaugural year, but only ran the 10 mile distance. This year I am going to attempt my first ever 50k and am looking forward to having something a bit more challenging to train for post #IMBoulder.

    Approaching the first aid station
    Approaching the first aid station on the 10 mile course

While I am sad to be missing some of my favorite local events this summer, I am super pumped to attempt some new events and challenges in 2015!!

What fun races do you have planned for 2015?