What’s Up?! – October 2017

October has come and gone and I’m so ready for November! Here’s a snapshot of what I’ve been up to:

Training:

My training this month was a bit hit or miss. I did get some good training sessions in and am very grateful to Coach Hansen for taking some time to help me work on my swim stroke.

All you need is love…and a good run!
Early Friday morning brick! 45 minute run + 45 minute bike + 45 minute run!
Swim stroke refinement thanks to Coach Hansen!
Running with girlfriends is always fun…even when Mother Nature has decided that winter would show up a few months early!

Swim: 3.98 miles
Bike: 79.9 miles
Run: 61.4 miles

Work:

I’m not sugar coating things…this school year has been tough. This has been the most stressful year of teaching I’ve had in my 14 years. I’m grateful that the first quarter is behind us! Only 3 more to go!

Trying to multitask by grading and riding my bike at the same time! 70+ hours of grading, on top of teaching, in just over a week was so exhausting!

Family:

We went home and saw family at the beginning of October. It was so nice to get to spend time with family, get snuggles, and get some lake lovin’!

You’re never too old to sit on your mama’s lap!
One of my nieces is making me a bracelet.
One of my nieces is snuggling with Basil.
Watching Iowa State beat Oklahoma!
The dogs love swimming in the lake!
Snuggles with 3 of my most favorite ladies!
Dreaming of warmer days and lots of swimming (by both of us)!

Reading:

Just not now…really struck home with me! I have had a lot of the “just not now” moments this month and am reminding myself that these moments won’t last. Thankfully!

Lauren Parker Update: Resilience Personified…Wow, just wow! Lauren was in a bicycle accident just weeks before she was to race Ironman Australia, which caused her to break her back, leaving her with a 1% chance of ever walking again.Β She is full of determination, drive, and commitment!

Run the World: My 3,500-Mile Journey Through Running Cultures Around the Globe by Becky Wade…Becky was the recipient of the Watson Fellowship in 2012. After a successful college running career, she packed four pairs of running shoes and took off on a one year journey to learn from diverse running communities around the world.

Listening to:

IronWomen Podcasts…I have listened to so many of these amazing + inspirational podcasts lately that I can’t pick just one! You should do as I have and listen to them all!

Find Your Awesome Podcasts…I have listened to most of these and am very grateful to Kelsey for the inspiration + awesomeness!

What to do after triathlon season ends by Lost in Transition…I love that they refer to the “off season” as the “out season.” Just because we aren’t racing, doesn’t mean we shouldn’t be training. The “out season” refers to being out of the racing season, but still training. Lana talks about things we can do in the out season to prepare us for the coming season.

Organizing:

A recovery clinic for women! Thanks so much to Ignite Yoga, Coeur Sports, and Dr. Chris Feil with Team Chiropractic for co-sponsoring this amazing event of education, practice, and community!

Planning for:

Some winter challenges + the 2018 season! I’m SO excited for a few challenges I have in November, a swim challenge I am going to do in December and my race plan in 2018!

How was your month of October?! What are you looking forward to?!

Advertisements

Benchmarks established!

I recently had time trials during the swim, on the bike, and at the track while running to establish benchmarks for this next segment of training. It is clear that the “flexible season” (as coach likes to call it) has done its job! I am rested, recovered from IMMT, and ready to get back to consistent training so that I can eventually surpass my peak fitness levels from this year as I prepare for a fun + exciting 2018 season!

Swim time trial day!
Bike power challenge!
Run time trial at the track!

I’m so ready for new challenges and very excited for what’s to come in 2018!

What’s Up?! – September 2017

I can’t believe summer is in the review mirror! Where has time gone?!?!?! Here’s a glimpse of what I’ve been up to in September!

Racing:

The CyMan Sprint Triathlon was hard! I was definitely not fully recovered post Ironman Mont Tremblant and I definitely felt it! Thankfully I still put together a decent race and HAD FUN doing it!

Listening to:

My Coeur Sports teammate…Amy Farrell on running a marathon during Ironman training. Thanks to Brad Brown with the Kona Edge for this interview!

Amy Dixon is a blind triathlete who has taken on the challenge of Xterra triathlon racing! Holy inspirational! Thanks Kelsey Abbott for helping Amy share her story!

Feeling:

Stressed and overwhelmed. Work is a struggle right now. I’m grateful to work with some amazing people and have the support of an amazing husband to help get me through. I am strong. I will overcome this obstacle. It may be time for change. For now…one day at a time.

Returning to:

Normal life. After a month of vacation, we finally returned home to see our girls, return to work, and return to reality. Daily walks with our girls make us all happy!

Helping + Volunteering:

I’m so lucky to have ladies who ask me for help! I got to teach a friend (doing her first Ironman next Sunday) how to change her tire. It is so much fun to help others!

I was also lucky to get to be one of the Captains for the Women’s change at Ironman Wisconsin this year! It is always so fun to get to work with amazing volunteers + support athletes to help them achieve their dreams on race day!

Combatting:

Post Ironman Blues! I know I’ve posted about the reality of the post Ironman blues, but I am finally combatting them and back to a more normal routine that includes working out on a regular basis!

Working on my swim efficiency!
Children of the corn πŸ˜‰ This bike was definitely my favorite workout of the month!
Running with my faves on a beautiful morning!

Overcoming Fears:

Yes…I am still working on overcoming my fear of heights. I didn’t make it to the top of the wall during this climbing session. Between lack of recovery post Ironman + my fear ruling the roost, I made it 3/4 of the way up the wall most of the times I climbed. I think it’s time to go climb again and make it to the top of the wall!

How was your month of September?! What was your favorite part of the month?!

Seeing Green

Ladies and Gentlemen…I am finding myself again and seeing in green! I love to see green in Training Peaks! It gives me a sense of accomplishment, it gives me consistency, it gives me a stress release, it gives me joy! It means I am finding my rhythm again! I am making my heart happy, and I am less of a bear to be around. Just ask the Iron Hippie…or maybe don’t πŸ˜‰

Spending time with Mojo again!
Working on my swim efficiency!
First intervals since before Ironman Mont Tremblant
Pounding the pavement
Just keep swimming
Fall #bikelove in Iowa!
Children of the corn πŸ˜‰
Running makes most of us happy! πŸ˜‰
Reconnecting with my mat!
Washing away the stresses of life!
Run form focus
Sweating away the chaos, challenges, and frustrations.
“All you need is love” and a shower!
Running in the rain is so cleansing and peaceful!
Focus, focus, focus!
Brick…45 minute run, 45 minute bike, 45 minute run all before work…in the rain!
Rainy morning for a brick!

It feels good to be combatting the post Ironman blues! How do you combat the post Ironman blues?!

CyMan Triathlon Race Report

Five weeks post Ironman Mont Tremblant, I tackled the CyMan Sprint Triathlon. There is a HUGE difference in pain level between Ironman racing and Sprint Triathlon racing! The sprint hurt…a LOT! Way more than Ironman!

We arrived early, set up transition, and then waited for over 2 hours for the start of the sprint race.

Mojo and I are ready to race! Where is everyone else?!?!

Since the race was in small town Iowa, one of my colleagues (who is also a dear friend) came to cheer us on. It was so nice to have her spectating! She was in all of the right places! πŸ™‚

So grateful to have Rachel cheering us on!

Swim: 16:45 for 750 yards

This was the most DISGUSTING water I’ve EVER swam in! It was so thick and dark that I couldn’t see anything. The water was wetsuit legal, but only by a few degrees, so I opted to swim in my Roka Viper Elite Swim SkinΒ which was the prefect decision for this water.

We are ready to swim despite the NASTY water!

We started with a floating start. There was no real place to “start” so all of the ladies in the water were chatting (as we waited for the air horn to go off) about moving closer and closer to the first turn buoy and see just when the announcers called us back, but no one was brave enough to lead the way. πŸ˜‰ There were very few ladies, so I had zero physical contact in the water. I got in a groove and just kept swimming. My swim time was slower than I’d hoped for, but I also think the swim distance may have been longer than the advertised 750 yards.

T1: 1:06

I quickly transitioned to the bike. Mojo and I were off before I knew it!

Out of the water!
Getting ready for the bike!
Time to ride!

Bike: 46:51 for 12 miles (my Garmin said 13.9 miles for actual distance)

Uh Oh! My legs decided to not show up for the party right from the beginning. This was going to be a challenge, but thankfully it would be a short challenge! I had made the decision to go as hard as I could and hold on for as long as I could. Since my legs weren’t having it, going hard wasn’t as hard as I’d hoped. The plus side…my Coeur Sports one pice racing suit was SO comfortable! Smooth as butter + #noangrykitty = WIN!

As the temperatures climbed, I drank my NBS hydration, thanked all of the volunteers, pushed past people, and just kept riding as hard as I could!

T2: 52 seconds

I quickly changed into my run shoes and was out on the run.

Run: 29:13 for a 5K run

Yep! The legs decided they weren’t showing up for the run either. It was already close to 90*F heat index when I started the run, and I just couldn’t get the legs to turn over like I wanted. I kept running and doing what I could to keep moving forward, but my legs were in full on protest mode! At about 1.5 miles into the run, I saw a friend in passing who should have been in front of me, so I asked him how it was going only to learn he had been stung by a bee and had to sit in the ditch on the bike waiting for an epipen (the one triathlon he didn’t carry his own with him). Grateful he was ok!

Shortly before mile 2, I saw Rachel and was so happy to be that much closer to done! Now to get back around the lake and to the finish line!

Overall: 1:34:49

This was not the performance I had hoped for, but any day I *get* to swim/bike/run is a great day! I’m grateful this was a short distance event so I didn’t have to feel *off* all day long! Apparently my body needed a bit more time to recover from Ironman Mont Tremblant before trying to go hard at the sprint distance!

Post Ironman Blues

The post Ironman blues are REAL and they are awful! I had a big goal on the horizon…one that I put lots of time, energy, focus, passion, heart, and courage into. I achieved that goal. I crossed the finish line of Ironman Mont Tremblant and I did so setting a shiny new PR! It is natural to feel a loss…to feel depressed with that goal no longer on the horizon and nothing to take its place.

Chasing down dreams on the Ironman Mont Tremblant course!

Sure it didn’t help that post Ironman Mont Tremblant we IMMEDIATELY drove 1200+ miles home and then I started back to work IMMEDIATELY with kids. It doesn’t help that this year has been and will continue to be a bit of a challenge in comparison to previous years, but the let down that comes with crossing the finish line of an Ironman is real. Yes, I rode cloud nine for about a week…who wouldn’t…I had a great race day and a PR on top of it! But then the blues set in and the last 9 months of focus went down the drain…I don’t have that big goal on the horizon staring me in the face forcing me to workout. I know it sounds crazy, especially since I truly LOVE swim/bike/run, but post Ironman the body needs a break…both physically and mentally. So…I listen and give my body the rest it needs. With that rest comes some depression…the post Ironman blues.

The last 5 weeks have gone by pretty quickly and I can’t believe I have swam a few times, ran ran a few times, and biked a few times…nothing consistent, nothing routine. Last Saturday, I finally felt like I was finding myself again…I let the water wash away the post Ironman blues and reconnected with Mojo! It felt amazing to be moving again! It wasn’t easy, but it was good to be moving again!

Washing away the post Ironman blues!
Reconnecting with Mojo after 4 weeks away from each other. My new Coeur Sports tri kit definitely helped motivate me to ride my bike!

Not only did I complete 2 workouts on Saturday, I also completed 3 workouts on Sunday! A run with my two faves, a trainer ride with some intensity, and a short strength training session.

Running with my faves on a beautiful morning!
Finally adding a little intensity back to the training! It felt SO GOOD!!

Then this last week, I was sidelined with unexpected craziness with work. Sure, I got in a few workouts. Not at all what I was hoping for, but some people and things are WAY more important that completing a workout.

I’ve overcome the post Ironman blues 4 times before. How? I’m not really sure. Signing up for future races has helped in the past, but I typically sign up for those races later in the year when I’m actually ready to train again. Sure I’ve signed up for a race or two for next year, but they are so far away that I don’t feel the need to be training for them just yet. So…for now, I just put one foot in front of the other and take it one day at a time. I know the post Ironman blues will subside yet again…with time!

Have you experienced the post Ironman blues? If so, how did you combat them?

What’s Up?! – August 2017

Wow! What a month! What a truly AMAZING month! It filled my coeur (heart) with pure love, joy, and happiness!

Racing:

Ironman Mont Tremblant was so much fun! A great venue, a great day, beautiful weather, patience, and following my coeur lead me to a near perfect race execution and a shiny new PR. You can experience my day via my race report.

So much coeur on this course! #bikelove

Training:

Due to racing Ironman Mont Tremblant, there wasn’t much training done in August. The little training we did do was in beautiful places…Lake Placid, NY and Mont Tremblant, Quebec!

Swimming in Mirror Lake in Lake Placid, NY
Riding Chemin Duplessis in Mont Tremblant…such a beautiful bike course!
Running on the IM Mont Tremblant course…SO BEAUTIFUL!

Swim: 12.5 miles
Bike: 260 miles
Run: 51 miles

Loving:

Family + spending the majority of August on vacation (we left July 25 and didn’t return home until August 22) = #happyheart

Swimming with my fave in Lake Placid!
My family from California came came for a few days! #happyheart
Love these three monkeys!
Family snuggles
We went to the top on the gondola again!
Getting ready to ride the luge in the summer!
These peeps hold 4 keys to my heart!
Love these peeps!
So grateful to have Dad and Aunt Linda come spend time with us in Mont Tremblant and cheer us on to PRs on race day!
So grateful to have Dad come on crazy adventures with us!

Feeling:

Rejuvenated! Spending a month on vacation was a great way to see new places, refill my heart, and prepare for the coming school year.

Listening to:

The Voice of Ironman Mike Reilly is an incredible podcast! It is so amazing to hear about Ironman from his perspective. The finish lines, the atmosphere, the energy!

Ideal Racing Weight with Matt Fitzgerald is full of all the things I love…nutrition, mental training, and chasing dreams. It is a must listen to!

Own Your Awesome Podcast with Amy Dixon is so inspirational! Amy lost her sight, but gained so much more as a result. Amy is a blind triathlete who recently became the first women to complete an Xterra triathlon. She is a paratriathlete who will be competing at Worlds in Rotterdam in September and has her heart set on on the 2020 Tokyo Paralympics. She is a motivational speaker and when you listen to her, you will know why!

Returning to:

Work…yes, the dreaded 4 letter word for a teacher at the end of summer vacation! I am very grateful to have such a good job with summers off to enjoy time with family and friends! The beginning of the year is so exhausting, but I will be back into a consistent routine soon enough!

Looking forward to:

The changing seasons…I love summer, but I also love the beautiful fall colors and adventures with my fave and our girls in the snow! I’m looking forward to the opportunities that fall and winter bless us with (remind me of this in February when I’m ready for it to be summer again)! I am also looking forward to returning to a consistent routine. It has been fun to have a break from this routine, but I am definitely ready to have routine and normalcy (for us) back in our lives!

How was your month of August? What were your August highlights? What are you looking forward to?