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

“It is time to make you a swimmer”

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!!

Swim Analysis

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…

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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…

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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
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I have no catch, my hand is higher than my elbow, and my chin needs to be closer to my chest.

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:

REACH!! LOOK DOWN!!!

REACH!!! LOOK DOWN/BACK!!! ELBOW UP!!!

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?

21 weeks ’til #IMWI: Thank you Mother Nature

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!!

Monday:

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.

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My Coeur Sports gear arrived and Basil DEFINITELY approves!!

Tuesday:

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.

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Who’s that sea turtle in the background?!

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Nearly stride for stride through campus.

Wednesday:

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!”

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Thursday:

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.

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Friday:

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!!

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Saturday:

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 😉

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Sunday:

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 😉

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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?

How we make it work

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:

  1. 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?
  2. 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.
  3. 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…

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    All the Coeur gear!!

  4. 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!
  5. 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 😉
  6. 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!!
  7. 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! This isn't even all of it!!
  8. 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.
  9. 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.
  10. 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.
  11. 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?

Ironman Boulder – Gratitude 

Sorry I’ve been off the grid for a little bit, after Ironman Boulder, I visited family on the West Coast and am finally back in the Midwest, with no travel plans in the near future.

I have already posted about our 3+ week trication in Colorado in multiple parts and my Ironman Boulder race experience. In case you missed them, here they are:

Red Feather Lakes

Estes Park – The Beginning

Estes Park – The Middle

Estes Park – The End

Denver Metro

Boulder

Ironman Boulder Race Report

I want to take a few minutes and thank those who have supported me in this amazing journey:

My Family

I am so blessed to have the most amazing and supportive family! Mom, Dad, Laylah, Isabella, Aunt Linda, Neal, Kathy, Elizabeth, Justin, Jennifer, Jacob, Sarah, Lora, Sam and Sara all made the trip to Boulder…some had a much longer way to travel than others, but I was VERY grateful that they were all there to support us on race day. I am also blessed to have a supportive family not only on race day, but throughout the training. Dad has kayaked beside me while I swim and my whole family is always inquiring about how my training is going and what race I am doing next. I am a lucky girl!!

Dad and I race morning.

Dad and I race morning.

My aunt, cousins and Dad came out to the Rez for the swim

My aunt, cousins and Dad came out to the Rez for the swim

My cheer squad...Love them all!!

My cheer squad…Love them all!!

My Sponsors

Coeur Sports is the best women’s triathlon brand on the market! They have created #stylishspeed that keeps my girly bits happy…even while covering 140.6 miles. #noangrykitty here!! As a Coeur Sports ambassador, I get the privilege of being a part of an amazing team of women who are supportive, inspirational and genuinely full of #heartandcourage! I am so lucky to get the opportunity to enCOEURage more women in endurance sport, experience the ups and downs they encounter while on their journey and witness their joy when they reach new finish lines!!

One of the many perks of being a Coeur Sports ambassador is getting support from other amazing companies as well. Osmo NutritionRoka Sports and Barnana have kept me going throughout my training and racing this year. Osmo Nutrition is the best sports hydration on the market. Dr. Stacy Sims knows that #womenarenotsmallmen and has formulated both active hydration and recovery products to meet the needs of men and women separately. When I use the Osmo Nutrition products as they were intended, I stay properly hydrated and recovered 🙂 With Ironman Boulder not being a wetsuit swim, the only Roka gear I wore were my X1 goggles, which I absolutely LOVE!! If you haven’t tried Roka’s goggles, you definitely should…they are the BEST!! Barnana makes using real food on the bike so much easier with the bite sized pieces. The #superpotassium is an added bonus for endurance activity to keep the muscles working properly 🙂

Sound Probiotics is a recent sponsorship that actually came about after Ironman Boulder, but they have been keeping me healthy and on track throughout my entire Ironman Boulder training. I usually get sick during the taper and often times once or twice during training…especially since I teach middle schoolers and am always surrounded by germs. Thanks to Sound Probiotics for my #happygut, #enhancedimmunity and #betterrecovery throughout my training and racing experience!!

Nick and Chris…

Nick has been keeping my body well recovered through massage for almost 2 years. He knows all of my problem areas and knows just what to do to keep my body (and ultimately my mind) happy and healthy!

Dr. Chris has been using ART (active release therapy) and dry needling on various parts of my body at different times throughout my training as issues arise. He has been amazing to keep me moving forward while staying happy and healthy.

I am so lucky to have both of these men keeping me happy and healthy throughout this amazing journey!!

My Triathlon Peeps

I am so lucky to be surrounded by amazing triathlon people…both in person and virtually. Thank you Allen for your support throughout our training…you provided good balance in our household 😉 Thank you Kyle for all of your support in keeping Mojo happy throughout my training and on race day. A special thanks for taking all of my frantic calls leading up to the race to answer questions and problem solve issues with Allen and the Iron Hippie’s bikes. Thank you to all of the people who called, texted, emailed, Facebook messaged me, tweeted me, commented on my blog posts, commented on my Instagram pictures and tracked my progress both while training and on race day! You all ROCK!!

The Iron Hippie

You are my #1 cheerleader and have supported me on this crazy journey of life and the even crazier journey of triathlon. I love you and am forever grateful for your love and support. What crazy journey should we take on next?!?!?!?

We are ready to swim...not a wetsuit legal swim.

We are ready to swim…not a wetsuit legal swim.

Ironman Boulder Race Report: I did it again!

Sunday was an epic day!! I absolutely LOVE race day!! It doesn’t matter if I’m racing or spectating…the energy in the air is AMAZING and unlike anything you’ll experience anywhere else!!

I’ll try to keep this post relatively short, although it is a race report 😉 I had great hopes of breaking 14 hours for my overall finish time, but knew that my ultimate goals were to smile, have fun, embrace the entire day and push my limits for this race on this day. Here is how the day went down:

Pre-Race:

Sunday morning the alarm clock went off at 2:30 am for the start of a long and glorious day!! I quickly jumped in the shower (yes, I know I was going to race and get all stinky, but a shower wakes me up and helps get me ready for racing), ate my cream of rice cereal (with fresh blueberries and Pure Clean Beet Powder), drank my Karma Kombucha and read my pre-race visualization/mantras/quotes before heading out the door to the Boulder High School where I would drop my special needs bags and board a bus to the Boulder Rez with all other athletes and spectators.

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“Be calm; focus on what you are going to do. Don’t get distracted, don’t get overwhelmed, take it all as it comes. You are ready for this; you’ve prepared for years. This is it, your time to shine. Go forth with all your powers. Go forth with everything in you. Make it work.” ~Lynne Cox

We were on the first bus to the Boulder Rez, which gave us plenty of time for body marking, filling water bottles on the bike, adding to my T1 bag and hitting the loo before getting ready for the swim. We did find out that the water temperature was 78.1F, so it was not a wetsuit legal swim, but it was wetsuit optional. This meant it was time to make decisions…Should I wear my wetsuit knowing the water temp was a bit warm for it, that I would have to start at the back of the pack and that I wouldn’t be eligible for Age Group Awards or Kona Qualification? Should I go without the wetsuit knowing that there would be a lot of people wearing wetsuits that would probably catch and pass me on the swim and I would probably be more comfortable temperature wise? Hmmm…No wetsuit it is!

Body marking complete...time to race!!

Body marking complete…time to race!!

We are ready to swim...not a wetsuit legal swim.

We are ready to swim…not a wetsuit legal swim.

Eventually Dad, my aunt Linda, my cousin Neal and his wife Kathy and Lora, Sam and Sara (Allen’s wife and 2 daughters) showed up at the Boulder Rez. This was a good distraction from what was to come…

My aunt, cousins and Dad came out to the Rez for the swim

My aunt Linda, cousin Neal and his wife Kathy and Dad came out to the Rez for the swim

Dad and I race morning.

Dad and I race morning.

Eventually, I lined up in the middle of the people hoping to swim between 1:16:00 and 1:30:00. I knew that if I were wearing my wetsuit I could easily swim 1:20:00 (which was my swim goal), but wasn’t sure how not wearing my wetsuit would impact my swim.

After the Star Spangled Banner was played, the cannon went off and we all rolled into the water and the swim began.

Swim:

HOLY PHYSICAL CONTACT!!!! This swim had the most physical contact I’ve ever had in a swim before. It resembled a washing machine full of clothes, where the people were the clothes. I was hoping that after the first turn buoy the physical contact would dissipate, but unfortunately that didn’t happen. I just kept reminding myself to “just keep swimming” and to stay “straight, fluid and relax” throughout the swim. This worked in my favor…I never had a moment of panic during the swim and when someone would grab my leg, I would just kick really hard and get away from them and then find my groove again. Eventually I was on my return to dry land and it was a very welcome sight 🙂

Swim exit...I am the one in the red swimsuit.

Swim exit…I am the one in the red swimsuit under the arch.

Swim Time: 1:32:21 (2:23/100 m)…This 12 minutes slower than my goal swim time and was my slowest Ironman swim. I am certain my swim time would have been faster with a wetsuit

Division Rank: 83/142

Gender Rank: 361/558 (women finishers)

Overall Rank: 1479/2010 (total finishers)

Gear: TYR swimsuit, Roka X1 Goggles (Dark Amber/Gold Mirror)

Nutrition: Goldfish crackers, Osmo Nutrition Preload and 6 Chocolate covered Barnanas before the swim

T1: 

I was able to run past the wetsuit strippers, grab my gear bag and run into the women’s change tent, where Melissa (who also happened to have the Coeur Sports Courage design tri kit) helped me change and get on my way. It was quite a long run from the women’s change tent to our bikes and then to the mount line.

Time to go ride my bicycle!

Time to go ride my bicycle!

T1 Time: 9:02…this was almost 6 minutes faster than my goal T1 time

Bike:

I decided to start my ride nice and easy since the first 7 miles are a gradual uphill climb. Lots of people passed me in this section, but I just let them go. I knew that if they went out too hard, I would catch them. This bike course is two loops with the first loop being done twice before going onto the second loop. I found my groove and just rode my heart out, but kept my watts in check so that I would have energy left for the next 2 loops. I backed off the power just a bit on Nelson Road, since it is a gradual climb. Anytime we went west (toward the mountains), we were climbing…even when it didn’t look like it. As I entered Hygiene, I didn’t expect to see anyone I knew because my Dad, aunt Linda, cousin Neal and his wife Kathy as well as Lora, Sam and Sara had waited until we exited the water out at the Boulder Rez before boarding a bus and heading back to town. I was pleasantly surprised to see my cousin Justin, his wife Jennifer, their son Jacob and Neal and Kathy’s daughter Elizabeth in Hygiene waiting for us. I zipped right past them because I wasn’t expecting to see anyone I knew on this loop. I continued on and saw Mike and Stacey, friends of ours, on Nelson Road before eventually starting the second loop.

Whizzing through Hygiene on the first loop...Serious #bikelove on this course!!

Whizzing through Hygiene on the first loop…Serious #bikelove on this course!!

 

I took it nice and easy the first few miles of the second loop…again that gradual climb. I also took it easy on Nelson Road and stopped at the bike special needs station on Nelson to restock my stores before moving my way into Hygiene. This time I knew I was going to stop and chat with my family, since they should all be there. And they were!!

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“Hey” How’s your day?!?!?!?!

Stopping to say "Hi" in Hygiened :)

Stopping to say “Hi” in Hygiened 🙂

Chatting it up with the family in Hygiene

Chatting it up with the family in Hygiene

Wetting down my arm coolers while I update the fam on my day.

Wetting down my arm coolers while I update the fam on my day.

Smiles for all...even at mile 70 on the bike.

Smiles for all…even at mile 70 on the bike.

Hello Justin! Thanks for taking pictures :)

Hello Justin! Thanks for taking pictures 🙂

I'm still leading the boys and I have to keep my lead, so I'm off!!

I’m still leading the boys and I have to keep my lead, so I’m off!!

Getting some speed and power as I roll out of Hygiene!!

Getting some speed and power as I roll out of Hygiene!!

Getting back into the groove after my stop in Hygiene.

Getting back into the groove after my stop in Hygiene.

Mom and Dad on the bike course in Hygiene

Mom and Dad on the bike course in Hygiene

I continued on my way, saw Mike and Stacey on Nelson Road again and then made my way to the third and final loop on the bike course. I knew there were a few longer and steeper climbs on this loop, which I took nice and easy before making my way back into Boulder. I knew my family would be on the side of the road at about mile 110, so I decided to stop again. They informed me that I was leading the boys and that I should “Go, Go, Go!” They told me to beat them and sent me on my way. It was all downhill into T2!

Riding away from the family at mile 110...time to get on to the run!

Riding away from the family at mile 110…time to get on to the run!

Mom and the twins are cheering me on to the run!

Mom and the twins are cheering me on to the run!

Riding away from the family at mile 110

Riding away from the family at mile 110

Riding away from the family at mile 110

Riding away from the family at mile 110

Bike Time: 6:46:12 (16.54 mph)…I was almost 15 minutes faster than my goal pace.

Division Rank: 77/142

Gender Rank: 326/558 (women finishers)

Overall Rank: 1514/2010 (total finishers)

Stops on the bike: I stopped twice on the bike to chat with my family, I stopped at every aid station to refill my bike bottles and spray down my arm coolers and I stopped once to pee at mile 100.

Gear: Coeur Sports Ambassador tri kit, Coeur Sports SuperNova Cycling Jersey, Coeur Sports Arm Coolers, Specialized bike shoes, Specialized Transition Bike, Bell Helmet, Tifosi Sunglasses, Garmin 910XT

Nutrition: 3.5 bottles of Osmo Active Hydration, lots of goldfish crackers, 1 package of Honey Stinger Chews

T2:

It was a really long run from bike dismount until when the volunteers took my bike and I got my bag to change. As soon as I entered the change tent, Erin, my Coeur Sports teammate, grabbed me and helped me change. It was so amazing to get to meet her in person!! She is an amazing woman and I truly wish we lived closer…I know we would become such great friends!! She filled my water bottle with water and ice (which was the best. thing. ever.) and sent me out on the run.

T2 Time: 8:57

Run:

The run starts with a gradual descent, which made it easy to start out a little faster, but what goes down, must go up. Just like the bike course, anytime we were running west (toward the mountains), we had a gradual uphill climb and anytime we were going east we had a gradual descent. When you look at my run splits, you can see where these transitions occur. I had a run goal in mind, but decided to throw it out the window and just have fun, but push myself a little bit so that it wasn’t a walk. I decided I’d only walk the aid stations and the uphills (not the false flats, but the short, steeper climbs that were a part of the course). I took in nutrition at every aid station…sometimes it was grapes, sometimes oranges…sometimes coke, sometimes no coke, but ALWAYS water. I was so lucky to have family and many friends out there to check in with. Every time I stopped near my family, they would tell me I was still in front of the boys and that I should “Go, Go, Go!!”

Erin...one of my Coeur Sports teammates and my angel on race day!!

Erin…one of my Coeur Sports teammates and my angel on race day!!

You want me to pose with my peeps :)

You want me to pose with my peeps 🙂

This smile sums up my race day experience!!

This smile sums up my race day experience!!

My cheer squad...Love them all!!

My cheer squad…Love them all!!

Pulling a Michael Jordan while I run :)

Pulling a Michael Jordan while I run 🙂

Run focus!!

Run focus!!

Having fun on the run!!

Having fun on the run!!

I stopped at the run special needs at the half way point so I could change my socks and shoes to keep my feet happy. I knew I could make a daylight finish if I just kept moving forward…it would be close, but I could do it!

Run Time: 5:28:05 (12:31/mi average pace)…I missed my goal by an hour, but had fun along the way

Division Rank: 67/142

Gender Rank: 272/558 (women finishers)

Overall Rank: 1234/2010 (total finishers)

Gear: Coeur Sports Ambassador tri kit, Coeur Sports Visor, Road Runner Socks, Newton Kismets, Asics Gel-Nimbus 16s, Tifosi Sunglasses, Garmin 910XT

Nutrition: grapes, oranges, coke, water

Finish Line:

I did make a daylight finish, although the finish photos don’t really show that. I was so ecstatic…I was done.

Dad and Sam cheering me on down the finish shoot...yes, that blur is me :)

Dad and Sam cheering me on down the finish shoot…yes, that blur is me 🙂

Coming into the finish shoot all smiles...it was a daylight finish, but these photos don't represent that.

Coming into the finish shoot all smiles…it was a daylight finish, but these photos don’t represent that.

A strong finish down the finish shoot.

A strong finish down the finish shoot.

Finished...official time was 14:04:37

Finished…official time was 14:04:37

I finished my day with #heartandcourage

I finished my day with #heartandcourage

Finish Time: 14:04:37…I missed my goal by 4:38, but I had fun and set a new PR by 1:11:19

Post Race:

I was so blessed to have Erin catch me at the finish line and escort me through everything…finisher medal, finisher hat and cap collection, timing chip removed, finisher photo, food and then to my family. She was my angel for sure!!

I didn't eat any of the food in my hands.

I didn’t eat any of the food in my hands.

I'm so thankful to have such an amazing support system!!

I’m so thankful to have such an amazing support system!!

About 20 minutes after finishing, I became really light headed and dizzy. My mother told me to go to the medical tent, so I listened to her. They took my vitals and made me drink a NASTY salty liquid and a bottle of water. Shortly after that, my muscles started contracting like I had Parkinson’s Disease. They moved me to a room with beds and wrapped me in a mylar blanket. This is when my angel showed up…ERIN 🙂 My nurse showed back up and told me to eat 2 small packages of gummy bears…my taste buds DID NOT want them!! Erin told me to swallow them like pills, so I did. Eventually my muscles stopped contracting and a doctor showed up to check on me. He told me I was hyponatremic and asked if I had experience with this…HERE WE GO AGAIN!! I was hyponatremic after my Ironman Wisconsin 2011 race…I DID IT AGAIN!! He eventually released me and I laid in the grass for quite a while before Lora walked me to the car.

This is post medical tent...I didn't feel so good.

This is post medical tent…I didn’t feel so good.

Photo Credit: Cousin Neal and his wife Kathy, Cousin Justin, Lora, Finisher Pix

At this point, I REALLY had to pee, but decided I could make it back to our home stay. Thankfully the Iron Hippie was in a good state and could drive us back to our home stay.My stomach had shutdown and did not absorb any of the liquid the medical tent told me to drink, so when I got out of the car, EVERY liquid I had in my body left…I projectile vomited ALL. THE. LIQUID. Did you know that when your muscles contract to vomit they also contract and cause you to pee yourself?!?!?! Yes, you read that correctly, as I projectile vomited I also peed myself. Thankfully I was in the driveway and NOT indoors. When I was done, the Iron Hippie said, “That. Was. Awesome.” Despite the post race medical issues, this was one of the best days of my life!! I met most of my goals:

  1. Have fun! I definitely had a LOT of fun!!
  2. Smile…I think the photos do a great job of showing the continuous smile on my face 🙂
  3. Embrace the entire day…I did a great job of this! Even when things got dark (which surprisingly didn’t happen too often) I embraced it and continued to move forward.
  4. Go sub 14 hours on the day…I missed this goal by 4:38. If I wouldn’t have stopped to chat with family and friends, go to the restroom and change my socks/shoes at run special needs, I probably would have met this goal. This small time difference wasn’t worth not having fun, so I would say it was a successful day.

Overall Thoughts on the Day:

This was a PR by 1:11:19 and I had a BLAST!! I’m already thinking about the next one, but I promised the Iron Hippie that I wouldn’t do an Ironman in 2016 😉

Oh…the Iron Hippie cut his hair…You won’t even recognize him. I may have to come up with a new name for him…

So much for keeping this race report short…

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I have many thank yous, which will be in the next blog post 🙂

10 weeks ’til Ironman Boulder

It is more like 9.5 weeks away, but the last 1.5 weeks have been extremely busy!! I typically try to post on Mondays for the previous week, but due to my busy schedule lately this blog post got delayed a bit.

What was it that kept me so busy? LOTS of training and my last full week of school this year…yes, I am done with students and only have one more day of professional development (i.e. meetings) until my summer break officially starts 🙂

Swim: 3100 yards

My 3100 yard swim went really well…I felt good and strong 🙂 This week I only missed a 4700 yard swim. It was scheduled for Sunday. By the time Sunday rolled around, I. Was. Tired. Exhausted. I felt that if I went to swim, it would be just to complete it. There wouldn’t be any quality with it…I wasn’t even sure my legs would be able to kick and keep me afloat.

Bike: 212 miles

I made HUGE strides this week with my cycling. I had some rides that were short and high intensity…

The dogs wanted to be outside coaching us through our 2x(1-2-3-2-1 ladder) on Monday afternoon

The dogs wanted to be outside coaching us through our 2x(1-2-3-2-1 ladder) on Monday afternoon

and some longer endurance rides…one of these was our century ride on Saturday. Hello, PR…can you say #bikelove?!?!?!?!?!?!

We hit 100 mile in 5:43:00 for an average speed of 17.5 mph. This was almost a 45 minute PR for 100 miles :)

We hit 100 mile in 5:43:00 for an average speed of 17.5 mph. This was almost a 45 minute PR for 100 miles 🙂

Basil wanted to coach me through my 3 hour endurance ride on Sunday...thanks to the rainy weather, it was done in our living room while watching NCIS season 11

Basil wanted to coach me through my 3 hour endurance ride on Sunday…thanks to the rainy weather, it was done in our living room while watching NCIS season 11

Almost every ride this week had a short brick run after it, but I like to keep these numbers separate to get a more accurate representation of my cycling mileage and running mileage.

Run: 31.1 miles

Tuesday morning’s hill repeats were a challenge, but not as challenging as our weekend LONG run…hello humidity and summer weather in Iowa. I looked like I had been swimming instead of running by the time I was done…it is amazing the temperature swings we encountered this week while training!!

Mother Nature decided to remind us that it wasn't summer yet...Brr!!

Mother Nature decided to remind us that it wasn’t summer yet…Brr!!

I was so full of sweat, that I could have wrung my clothes out...GROSS!!

I was so full of sweat after our long run, that I could have wrung my clothes out…GROSS!!

30 minute brick run after the century ride...I felt GREAT!!

30 minute brick run after the century ride…I felt GREAT!!

Strength Training: 2 hours & 5 minutes

Weekly Totals: 245 miles in 22 hours & 21 minutes

Thanks to Coeur Sports for #stylishspeed and #noangrykitty…even for 100+ miles in the saddle!! Thanks to Osmo NutritionBarnana and Pure Clean Powder for making training nutrition and recovery easy during all of these hours of exercise!! Thanks to Sound Probiotics for keeping me healthy…even while training hard and working with 8th graders on a daily basis!!

Weekly Highlights:

  1. Completing my school year (with the exception of these meetings I need to attend tomorrow)… IMG_3225
  2. Definitely our century ride PR…I was SUPER stoked to see the improvements I’ve made on the bike this year!! I think the shorter, high intensity rides done twice a week on the trainer really help with that 🙂
  3. I FINALLY received my Undress that I purchased through Kickstarter back in November 🙂 I can now change in public without having to expose myself. There will be a full blog post on The Undress soon!!IMG_3156
  4. Happy to be tapering for the Legend 100 Triathlon…only 10 days away…eek!! This will be a good test for IMBoulder to see where I’m at 🙂

How was your week? What were the highlights of your week? What are you looking forward to?