I’ve intentionally held off giving weekly updates for Ironman Louisville until this week, but I do love weekly updates. Thirty seems like a good number to start counting down from! Last week I hit the “reset button” in so many different places in my life. I was able to ease back into a training routine (after being sick), put some life stresses to rest, celebrate turning 41, enjoy spring break with a relaxing week at home sans work, spring clean the house (we even moved the fridge and stove to clean behind them), and adjust to daylight savings time. Now begins the final push to the end of the school year. Only 11 more weeks, but who’s counting?! 😉
Last week was an easy week in preparation for my 1/2 marathon on Saturday.
Swim: 4950 yards
I had 2 swims last week where I spent some time working on my flip turns. They are far more complicated than I think they should be! My goal is to get them mostly under control this month so I can use them more frequently when we get outside in the 50 meter pool!
Bike: 27.1 miles
I had some good bike rides last week, but nothing with a lot of intensity as I was preparing for the Drake 1/2 Marathon on Saturday. I even had a scheduled run off the bike this week! First brick of the season! 🙂
Run: 15.9 miles
I had a short run off the bike on Thursday to shake out the legs before Saturday’s race. My race didn’t go quite as planned, but I’m still very happy with my official finish time of 1:51:43 on a VERY hilly course! Lesson learned: I think my pre-race massage on Wednesday was too close to my race. My legs felt like lead…even during my shake out run for about 10 minutes on my way to the race start. Unfortunately that lead feeling didn’t go away once the race started. I started off at a pace that I wanted to maintain for the entire race, but at about mile 6, the wheels fell off. I kept talking out loud to my legs hoping they would start to feel light as feathers, but they just wouldn’t listen to all the self talk in the world! I kept pushing as hard as I could throughout the entire race and finished about 3 minutes faster than last year…positive! The rain also held off until after we were done…another positive! While it wasn’t the race I was hoping for, there are still positives and lessons learned for the future. I have already scheduled my pre-race massage for my 70.3 a full week out from the race…lesson learned! 😉
I had a couple of good strength training sessions this week. I really want to get back to yoga, but my left knee is still deeply bruised from my fall a couple of weeks ago. It isn’t ready for me to kneel on it yet!
Weekly Totals: 7 hours & 4 minutes
We had some special deliveries this week from Sound Probiotics and Barnana…SO awesome to have these amazing sponsors supporting us this year!
I had a pre-race massage this week and Nick really worked out some tension from my tight muscles! While it was a little too close to my race, it was a lesson learned and I’ve scheduled my next pre-race massage to hopefully avoid the same outcome!
I ended the week with puppy snuggles with my favorite girl! She makes the best pillow!
Quote of the Week:
“Never regret anything that has happened in your life, it cannot be changed, undone, or forgotten. So take it as a lesson learned and move on.” ~Author Unknown
Last week my focus was on building self-confidence. Confidence as an athlete is all about believing in your abilities to achieve your athletic goals. With Coach Kelly’s help, last week I focused on more self-confidence…more believing in my abilities…more believing in me! The week started a bit rocky as I was lacking motivation and I’m not sure why, but it sure turned around quickly! I had many workouts in each discipline that boosted my self-confidence throughout the week!
Swim: 9100 yards
I finally started to see some swim pacing consistency last week! I’ve struggled with pacing in the water probably since I was a baby. I always start off too fast and then end up slowing down and finding a pace that I can swim all day long. It is good to finally get some consistency with my pacing in the water! Pacing in the water is a great way to build my confidence for race day.
Bike: 66.4 miles
I saw HUGE gains last week on the bike! I don’t think I have EVER seen watts above 350 on the bike (even for 1 second), but last week I had multiple bike interval sessions that pushed me WAY out of my comfort zone and on Thursday, I was able to hold 412 watts for 15 seconds. Say what?!?! That’s unheard of!! I’ve had to overcome some mental challenges to get stronger physically, but it is totally worth it!! I’m incredibly proud of myself for digging deep during this bike block and pushing myself to new limits. I’m also incredibly grateful to Coach Kelly for challenging me…she saw potential in me that I hadn’t yet seen in myself and I’m forever grateful to her for helping me achieve this potential! I’m getting more #trackcatstrong + confident everyday!
Run: 17.5 miles
I was blessed to get to run with a friend twice last week! It is so nice to get to share my #runlove with others! I am also super excited to have built confidence on my run! Sunday I had a 10 mile run. The first 5 miles were at a pretty comfortable pace, but then I decided to pick up the pace and see what I had left in my legs (they were already completely EXHAUSTED from the week) to see what pace I could hold for the end of my run. Not only did I negative split the last 5 miles, but I also clocked some pretty speedy times (for me) this late in a run. My last 5 run splits = 9:28, 9:04, 8:56, 8:43, and 8:20. Say what?!?! I finished my 10 mile run on completely EXHAUSTED legs with an 8:20 min/mile pace…I’m still in shock!
I had some good strength training sessions this week that helped me identify muscle imbalances in my body…guess that means it is time to get to work to overcome these imbalances!
Weekly Totals: 13 hours & 1 minute
I got educated on everything NBS during a conference call on Monday night! I’m so grateful to Breakthrough Nutrition for keeping me hydrated and recovered this year! If you are looking to try a new sports hydration, give Breakthrough Nutrition a try and use code WELOVESNBS at check out for 10% off your order!
I received snail mail…the best snail mail!!
The 2017 Coeur Team was updated to their website! I’m so pumped to be part of this amazing team in 2017! This team of ladies has heart! If you see us at a race, come and get a hi-5 or a hug!
I had some quiet time…salt + bubble baths are the best!!
Snuggles with my baby girl! I’m so lucky to have the best fur babies!
Quote of the Week:
“The quickest way to acquire self-confidence is to do exactly what you are afraid to do.”
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
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!
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!
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.
Sunday, April 10 I had a swim analysis with Coach Hansen. I learned that I had lost my “catch” and I wasn’t pushing water to the back wall, I was instead pushing it to the bottom of the pool. I was creating more resistance and making it more challenging for myself to move forward, but was doing a great job of moving myself up toward the water’s surface…GRRR!!
After changing up some things and seeing some slight improvements in my time per 50 yards, I made the comment, “I’ve never been a fast swimmer; just consistent. No matter how hard I try, I almost always swim 1:50/100 yards.” BAD MISTAKE!!
Coach Hansen immediately responded with, “Well, then it is time to make you a swimmer.” What does that mean?! It means there are no more “easy” swim workouts. It means that every swim I do, I should be pushing my limits and trying to get faster and more efficient at the same time. It means that I’m dying at the end of my 25s, 50s, 100s, and 200s. It means that I’m working REALLY hard. It means that it is tough. It means it is uncomfortable.
It means I need to overcome a mental hurdle and start believing in myself in the pool. I CAN get faster in the water. I WILL get faster in the water. It will be uncomfortable and it may hurt, but it will be worth it! After all, I GET to go swim! I GET to do what I LOVE! I GET to race triathlon!
Fast forward to my swim on Wednesday, April 13th…
After finishing the 8x50s on the minute, I was so hungry! I got out of the pool, grabbed my Barnanas and sat on the edge of the pool eating and crying in my goggles. After consuming some calories, I got back in the pool and finished my workout. It was TOUGH! It was CHALLENGING! I was working SO HARD! I was supposed to see faster times…I didn’t. I was supposed to feel like I wasn’t working as hard…I didn’t. I was supposed to be working on my form…I forgot about it.
My arms were SO tired on Thursday! I was so frustrated that I spent all of my free time (which wasn’t much) watching videos of Michael Phelps and hoping for osmosis to allow his swim form to seep into my body.
Friday morning I decided to give myself a break and not focus on times while swimming. It was the perfect decision! This swim still wasn’t easy (my arms were still tired from Wednesday), but I felt much more relaxed in the pool and actually enjoyed my swim!
Fast forward again to Tuesday, April 19th…
I repeated the 2800 yard swim of 150s, 50s, and 25s at 5 am and talked to myself. I said, “I am Michael Phelps” over and over and over again throughout this swim. I did see slightly faster times, and didn’t feel like I was working nearly as hard as I did last week on this swim, but I still am not seeing the times that I was hoping for, and I’m sure my form was not getting better. The good thing about this swim…I didn’t cry in my goggles this time 🙂
My swimming continued to be on and off for the next week. Some days were better than others, but I always focused on #courageovercomfort because eventually this uncomfortableness in the water has to become comfortable and eventually I will #findfaster!
Fast forward to Sunday, May 1…
We had another swim analysis with Coach Hansen. This time, he took underwater video of our swim form, analyzed it and gave us specific things to focus on for the next week or two before we meet again. Things for me to focus on include:
Push my nose to the floor of the pool to bring my butt up/bring my chin toward my chest
Fingertips down and elbow bent throughout the catch and pull (do not let elbow drop and fingertips point to the ceiling…grrr)
Push water to the back wall, not my hip
Fast forward to Wednesday, May 4…
I found a trick to get my fingertips pointing down toward the bottom of the pool, but I still have to get my elbow high, reach forward, and get my chin tucked back toward my chest. I looped a hair tie around my wrist and middle finger on each hand to pull my fingertips toward my wrists. It seemed to work based on the videos and pictures we took. As for the reach, I feel like when I reach my arm forward this is when my elbow drops and my fingertips point up (as shown above). This may not be the case, but that is how it feels. I also found a way to get my chin closer to my chest, but didn’t seem to be doing it here:
Changing up my swim stroke is hard. It is tough. It is uncomfortable. It is difficult to know if the changes that I feel I am making are actually changing anything at all. I guess I’ll have to wait until we meet with Coach Hansen again next week! Until then, it is time to get comfortable with the uncomfortable and focus on #courageovercomfort in the water to #findfaster!
What tips do you have for me to remember to keep my nose to the floor, keep my arm in the “catch” position (elbow high/fingertips down), and push the water to the back wall?
After lots of resistance last week, I was determined get my train back on its tracks this week…life, stress, work, training…everything fell together wonderfully!! By the middle of the week, we finally had BEAUTIFUL weather for outdoor activities. I was so excited to be outside in shorts and tanks!! Thank you Mother Nature!!
We woke up at 4 am, planted our feet on the floor, and then crawled back in bed. The Iron Hippie needed more sleep. We did agree we would complete both of our workouts after work to get 2 more hours of shut eye. After a full day of work, I met a personal training client, buzzed home for an easy 1 hour ride, and ended the day with 1 hour of strength work at the gym. We were in bed a little later than normal, but we made it work.
We woke up at 4:30 am and headed to the pool to get in 3000 yards before work. After a full day of work, I met with another personal training client before going to campus for an hour run. We were supposed to do a track workout, but all of the local tracks were occupied with track practice so we opted to run fartleks instead.
We woke up at 4 am and had a great 90 minute bike session before work. I love waking up to intervals on the bike! It usually means lots of sweat 🙂 After a full day of work, I headed to the pool for a VERY challenging 2800 yard swim. I completed the 8x150s and 8x50s, but I seriously struggled with every stroke. It was at this point that I was SO hungry I didn’t know if I could finish the swim. Thankfully my dark chocolate covered Barnanas saved me. As I sat on the edge of the pool eating these delicious bites, I began to cry in my goggles. Why have my swims been so hard lately? Why am I not getting faster? I think I’m doing what Coach Hansen told me to. I got back in the water and completed my swim. It wasn’t pretty, but it was done. When I got home, I texted Coach Hansen and told him about my meltdown on the edge of the pool. He responded with, “We WILL get this down. Don’t get frustrated. It will all be good!”
Thursday mornings we typically get to sleep in, which is AWESOME! After a full day of work, I met a personal training client, before heading home for a quick easy hour on the bike before teaching TRX. It was a beautiful day…one where I wish we could have ridden on the open roads, but we took advantage of the weather as best we could by riding on the trainer in the backyard.
Typically we do our Friday recovery swim after work, but I had a massage scheduled for after work, so it was another early morning swim today. I decided not to fight the water this morning, not focus on my times, and just swim. It was the best swim I had all week, but that isn’t saying much 😉 I was really looking forward to my massage after work, but unfortunately my massage therapist came down with the flu and had to cancel 😦 I used this time to run errands that we typically do on Saturday, Friday after work instead. The Iron Hippie and I enjoyed a yummy meal out at one of our favorite Mexican restaurants and hit the hay early. We even commented that most of the college students probably weren’t going to get to the bars for another hour or two, and here we were going to bed. Ha!! Ha!!
It felt amazing to sleep in on a Saturday morning! When we finally did get up, we did some food prep for the week, cleaned up the house, did some laundry, and changed our bike tires for outdoor riding before heading to the pool at 11 am. We were supposed to have another swim analysis with Coach Hansen, but we had a miscommunication on the time, so it has been rescheduled for this coming week. It was just enough time for the Iron Hippie and me to get a short swim in and play in the water. We headed home, refueled, changed and headed out on the open roads for an awesome 50 mile ride! We fought the 26 mph headwinds for the first 23 miles, but when we turned around, it was totally worth the hard effort at the beginning of the ride! When we wheeled into the driveway, I quickly transitioned to a 30 minute run. I had a lot of motivating thoughts running through my head on this run, and knocked out one of my fastest runs so far this year…I was super stoked about this!! This also made my first “triathlon” of the season, even if there were some REALLY long transition times between swimming and cycling 😉
We woke up early to complete 30 minutes of core strengthening before our brick workout. We had a tough 90 minutes of climbing in and out of the saddle before transitioning to a 13 mile run. My legs were trashed by the end of this workout. Thankfully we had all afternoon to recover…refueling, epsom salt bath, compression sleeves, legs up a wall, a little shut eye, and then some froyo 😉
Weekly Totals: 17 hours and 15 minutes…YES!! My train is back on its tracks!!
Swim: 8400 yards Bike: 117 miles Run: 23.2 miles Strength Training: 2 hours and 15 minutes
Quote of the week:
“Follow your heart and don’t get influenced by external factors.” ~unknown
How was your week? Has Mother Nature blessed you with good weather for outdoor activities?
When you and your spouse are both juggling full time jobs (40+ hour work weeks), Ironman athletes (who train 15-24 hours each week, depending on the time of year), enjoy spending time with family and friends, and still have a home life to balance and maintain, life can get hard…if you let it. Triathlete Magazine recently posted a great article on couples that train and race “together,” how it impacts their lives, and how they make it work. The irony is that the week before this article was published, the Iron Hippie and I were generating our own list of things we do each week to make our lives run more smoothly. Every couple has to find their own way and what works best for them, but these are some of the ways we make it work:
Communication is key…We review our schedule daily for the next day, even though every Monday looks nearly the same as every other Monday, we take time to communicate what it will look like this week. What time will we be home? Are we working out together or separate? Who will be home at feeding time to feed the dogs? What leftovers are we having for dinner?
Food preparation happens on the weekends…After our long workouts on Saturday and Sunday, we take the time to prepare food for the coming week, making sure to have plenty of leftovers so we don’t have to worry about preparing a meal after a long day of work and a tiring workout. We often freeze a lot of our meals and pull them out as we need them. Salads are one of our summertime favorites and super easy to make after an evening workout.
Laundry, laundry and more laundry…With each of us producing mountains of laundry each week, it is critical that we stay on top of this. The best time saving hack we’ve found for laundry…drum roll…wash and dry laundry while we are on the trainer riding. During recovery sections of a workout, we can put the clothes in the drier and start a new load…now if we could just find a magic fairy to fold all of it and put it away…
Post workout smoothie…The Vitamix is one of the BEST inventions and time savers that we have experienced!! In the morning we throw all the fruits and veggies into the Vitamix with some Pure Clean Beet Powder and Osmo Recovery Powder. This is the perfect way to refuel post workout and it is quick and easy to prepare and clean!
Prepare for the coming day the night before…The Iron Hippie and I both set out our work clothes and workout clothes for the next day the night before. We also pack our lunches and all the bags that we will need the next day. Some days I get referred to as the “bag lady” as I’m walking into or out of school by students and colleagues. It is part of what comes with this lifestyle 😉
Piggy backing workouts…When time permits, it is great to complete workouts one after the other. This often occurs for us more on the weekends than during the weekdays, but it allows us to take fewer showers, saves us time, and often produces less laundry…BONUS!!
Shop once a week for groceries and goods…Typically after our long brick on Saturdays, we run errands around town purchasing groceries and any additional supplies we will need for the coming week(s). If we go to the grocery store during the week, it is usually immediately after a workout when our stomachs are ravenous. This is NEVER good for our pocket book or diet!
Riding the trainer…Living in central Iowa, we spend all winter on the trainer, but even in the summer, we choose to ride on the trainer at least twice a week. It is safer since we are not on the roads with vehicles during prime times of work commuters. We don’t have to wait at stop lights, which saves time. We are in a controlled environment so we can compare our results from one workout to another. I personally love a good trainer workout! It allows me to get physically and mentally stronger on the bike by teaching me about focus, strength, and fortitude.
Take workout gear to work with us…Sometimes we go straight from work to the gym for a workout, or ride our bikes from the school when the weather is nice. By packing up all of the gear we will need before work, we can experience a smooth transition to our workout without having to make the extra trip home for workout gear.
Extra food is stashed everywhere…We keep extra food all over the place! We typically have Barnana bites, goldfish crackers, or Honey Stinger Chews in our swim bag, gym bag, desk drawer, car, yoga bag, on the table next to our trainers…you name it, we have probably stashed food there. Since we both workout between 15 and 24 hours a week (depending on how close race day is), we both burn through A LOT of calories! When I get hungry, there is a VERY short window before it turns hangry. Keeping food everywhere helps me prevent the hangry feeling as best as possible.
We both share responsibilities…I am SUPER lucky to have a husband who can do it all (and is willing to)!! We both cook our meals, wash dishes, clean the house, do laundry, mow the lawn, shovel snow, tend to the dogs, take out the trash…there isn’t one task I can think of that we both don’t do. I’m truly blessed!!
How do you balance life and training/racing? What tricks or time saving hacks do you have to help keep you sane and on track?