2021 week 46: race week

Last week was Ironman Arizona race week! It started with traveling 1500 miles across the country to Arizona and exploring places we have never been before and it ended with me running down that red carpet and creating an experience I’ve never had before. I am so incredibly grateful to have these epic experiences!

Quote of the week:

“Race week anticipation is having belief in your race and trust in your training.”

~Vanessa Faye Foerster

Swim: 7224 yards

Swimming in an outdoor pool under the Arizona sun at Arizona State University was AMAZING!

  • Warm up:
    • 300
  • Main Set:
    • 6×25 moderate/hard (20 sec rest)
    • 100 easy
    • 6×25 moderate/hard (20 sec rest)
  • Cool Down:
    • 300 any stroke
Swimming with the sun on my back felt SO amazing!

Bike: 165 miles

Getting to bike easy with Olivia along the lake path was SO amazing! Oh…and the hugs, conversation, and tour was icing on the cake!

This AMAZING human has always been a light that shines bright! I’m so blessed and grateful that she made time in her busy day to be my personal tour guide in Tempe Friday morning!

Run: 33.4 miles

I love exploring new places by foot! Climbing up over Holbrook and looking out over the city at sunrise was magnificent!

This sunrise run in Holbrook, Arizona at ~5000 feet was STUNNING!

Strength Training: 15 minutes of core strength daily

Weekly Totals: 19 hours & 19 minutes

Attitude of Gratitude:

Visiting the OKC Memorial was so somber.
Each of these chairs represents a life lost in the OKC bombing.
Visiting the National Petrified Forest was so cool!
The Arizona sky was so AMAZING at the National Petrified Forest.
The Arizona sky was ON FIRE!
It has been a LONG time since I played Pac Man. I’m almost as good as I remember! 🤪🤣
Standing on the corner in Winslow, Arizona!
Getting to swim at ~7000 feet in Flagstaff, Arizona was AMAZING!
We arrived in Tempe, Arizona
R E A D Y to create an experience I’ve never had on Sunday! #LFG ⚡️⚡️⚡️
SO glad I get to race with Leslie again! 2016 was the last time we saw each other in person, so it was great to catch up and hug her in person!
Coeur Sports meet up! Meeting new friends is always fun!
Mojo is racked and resting peacefully until we can spend LOTS of time together!
Getting my pre-race Normatec squeeze on!
I got one of the absolute BEST surprises the day before race day! My dear friend Erika Olson Myers flew down to surprise me and support me at #IronmanArizona tomorrow. I’m so blessed and grateful to have the best people in my life! Thank you to Tim Fencl for helping coordinate this wonderful surprise! 🥰

1 day to #IronmanArizona #LFG ⚡️⚡️⚡️

What were your highlights from week 46 of 2021?!

2021 week 45: taper time

I’m a bit behind in posting. Last week was my first official week of the taper. It was great to back off the training, get everything packed for our trip to Arizona, and have more time for prioritizing recovery. There were a few bumps along the way last week, but these were great bumps to overcome in preparation for race day!

Quote of the week:

“I am not afraid of storms, for I am learning how to sail my ship.”

~Louisa May Alcott

Swim: 10,200 yards

Sometimes you have to be determined to persevere NO MATTER WHAT!

Determination, adaptability, commitment, resilience, fortitude, perseverance, self belief…

This is what it took to get through my last big swim before race day. About half way through, the fire alarm went off and we had to evacuate the building. I stood outside in my wet swimsuit, towel, swim cap, flip flops, and a sweatshirt in 45F temps with 40 mph winds waiting to jump back in the pool to finish my workout. Thankfully I didn’t have to wait too long!

Oh…and the workout…let’s just say I’m ready for #IronmanArizona in 10 days! #LFG ⚡️⚡️⚡️
  • Warm up:
    • 200 swim
    • 100 kick with fins
    • 200 drills
    • 200 pull
  • Main Set:
    • Each set of intervals should get slightly faster as more effort is added:
      • 500 (10 sec rest)
      • 2×400 (15 sec rest)
      • 3×300 (20 sec rest)
      • 4×200 (25 sec rest)
      • 5×100 (30 sec rest)
      • 6×50 on 1:00
      • 8×25 sprints (10 sec rest)
  • Cool Down:
    • 300 any stroke

Bike: 84.3 miles

I had some great bike workouts to keep the legs fresh and ready for race week!

“I am a 1 in 7 billion athlete. My process doesn’t have to look like anyone else’s.” And it doesn’t!

My process appears to be “just right” as #IronmanArizona is in 8 days and I’m feeling GOOOOD! #LFG ⚡️⚡️⚡️

Run: 12.3 miles

Just the right amount to feel AMAZING and READY for race week!

“Life isn’t about finding yourself. Life is about creating yourself.” ~George Bernard Shaw

I have been working on moving away from who I think I’m supposed to be and instead creating who I WANT to be and it is magical! Own your power! Be bold! Be courageously, authentically, unapologetically YOU!

11 days to #IronmanArizona #LFG ⚡️⚡️⚡️

Strength Training: 15 minutes of core strength daily

Weekly Totals: 11 hours & 57 minutes
30 minutes of full body strength training
30 minutes of yoga

Attitude of Gratitude:

Getting to swim, bike, and run in the same day is such a blessing!
Thank you Kyle, with Kyle’s Bikes, for blessing Mojo before the big dance!
Jersey LOVES to be wherever I am…even on my yoga mat to “help” me. 🐶🥰
Waiting out the fire alarm with determination to complete the workout!
Thank you Nick, with Vitality Massage, for keeping me healthy and ready to race!
Have I mentioned that Jersey LOVES to be where I am…even if it means “helping” me at work?! 🐶🥰
Oh yeah! Soaking up all the recovery and snuggles before we leave for Arizona. 🐶🥰
Her snuggles are my fav! 🐶🥰

What were your highlights from week 45 of 2021?!

2021 week 44: peak training + race week

Last week was my last peak training week and I got to cap it off with one of my favorite local 1/2 marathon races followed by my last big training day. Who’s ready to taper?! THIS GIRL!!

Quote of the week:

“The race always hurts. Expect it to hurt. You don’t train so it doesn’t hurt. You train so you can tolerate it.”

~unknown

Swim: 9700 yards

I had some good swims last week. Here is my Friday happy hour swim workout.

  • Warm up:
    • 200 swim
    • 200 drills
  • Main Set:
    • 4×50 descending times/increasing effort (10 sec rest)
    • 2 times through the following (second set should be harder/faster than the first set):
      • 100 (10 sec rest)
      • 200 (15 sec rest)
      • 300 (20 sec rest)
    • 100 kick with fins
    • 300 pull
  • Cool Down:
    • 200 any stroke
Got my eye on some weekend fun! ⚡️⚡️⚡️

Bike: 119 miles

Sunday I took my last long ride outside. How could I not since it was 65F in Iowa in November?! It may have been windy AF, but that meant I had an AMAZING tailwind when I turned around to head home.

You have very little control over where a smooth golf ball travels. Dimpled and dented golf balls travel farther and straighter than smooth golf balls. The dimples and dents are more aerodynamic, creating less drag and more lift.

Challenges give us dimples and dents, allowing us to travel farther and straighter in future storms. So when given the opportunity to be smooth or dimpled and dented, always choose the dimples and dents!

It was windy AF Sunday, but I couldn’t resist riding outside in shorts and a short sleeved jersey when the temps were in the mid 60s in November in Iowa. The challenge the wind provided was just what I needed to add more dimples and dents so I can travel better on race day! #thisismykindofchallenge

14 days to #IronmanArizona #LFG ⚡️⚡️⚡️

Run: 34.6 miles

Saturday I got to race one of my FAVORITE local 1/2 marathons…the Hillbilly Hike 1/2 Marathon. This course is flat, fast, and fun! I started off easing into the run with a very comfortable 9:00/mile pace for the first couple of miles before kicking it up a notch to see what I could do. And what I did was absolutely AMAZING!! It “hurt” but this is exactly what I’ve been training for!! I’ll get a more detailed race report up soon!!

Turn up the volume! It was race day today! ⚡️⚡️⚡️

Saturday was my 4th time running the Hillbilly Hike 1/2 marathon and I beat my previous course PR by almost 7 minutes! Say WUT?! Racing with joy + gratitude is definitely the way to race!

#IronmanArizona is in 15 days! #LFG ⚡️⚡️⚡️

Strength Training: 15 minutes of core strength daily

Weekly Totals: 17 hours & 13 minutes
30 minutes of full body strength training
30 minutes of yoga

Attitude of Gratitude:

Thank you Nick, with Vitality Massage, for keeping me in tip top shape!
Getting my recovery on with my Normatec boots.
All the snuggles! Such a great way to recover!
The fire in the sky was so gorgeous Sunday morning!
Any day I get to swim + bike + run in the same day is a good day. Any day I get to do it all staring the taper in the face is even better! Bring on the taper!

What were your highlights from week 44 of 2021?!

2021 week 43: peak training

Last week was peak training for IMAZ which is less than three weeks away. Say WUT?! Last week I was carrying a lot of fatigue (because hello…peak training), but my body + mind were on point! This has definitely given me HUGE amounts of confidence going into IMAZ. I feel like I am peaking at JUST THE RIGHT TIME!

Quote of the week:

“I feel that I am in peak condition. I know that I am ready for action.”

~David Ginola

Swim: 8900 yards

Thursday I took my swim workout to a different pool than I normally swim in as I had a long swim and needed more lane time. I had some doubts about how “hard” I’d be able to swim with all of the fatigue I was carrying, but “doubt is not a problem” and I didn’t let it be one. I showed up. I worked hard. I stayed in the moment. And I tapped into my intentional thoughts + body check questions. And *drum roll*……..I crushed those 10x300s!

  • Warm up:
    • 300 swim
    • 4×50 descend (faster with each one) (20 sec rest)
    • 200 pull
    • 100 easy
  • Main Set:
    • 5×300 HARD (20 sec rest)
    • 100 easy
    • 1 minute rest
    • 5×300 HARD (20 sec rest)
  • Cool Down:
    • 100 easy
You are a unique individual! There is no one else like you! Your process doesn’t have to look like anyone else’s. You are exactly right where you need to be in this moment, so stop comparing yourself to others. ⚡️⚡️⚡️

Bike: 171 miles

Saturday I bundled up and headed out the door for my last super long ride (+ brick run). I may regret saying this, but I’m looking forward to not having to put on all the layers for IMAZ in about 2.5 weeks.

110+ miles is a long time to be in your own head. Good thing I know the words to a lot of songs or make up my own words and can sing at the top of my lungs because Mother Nature doesn’t care what I sound like! 🤣🤪

Seriously though…looking forward to feeling as good (or better) on race day as I did for my last big brick workout. ⚡️⚡️⚡️

Run: 42.1 miles

Wednesday morning I ran my biggest mileage in preparation for IMAZ race day. I knew there were storms rolling in and I wanted to complete my run before they showed up, so I headed out early.

S O M U C H J O Y!!! 💛

In the last 6 days I’ve covered 276 miles of swim/bike/run love with multiple workouts that have challenged me in ways I’ve never been challenged before. Feeling strong and confident in those final miles of this 20 mile run on exhausted legs was such an amazingly awesome feeling! I’m honestly at a loss for words to accurately describe the joy I felt. I’ve been cultivating joy in the process and visualizing myself with that same joy at #IronmanArizona! This girl is so excited to test her mental and physical endurance + fitness on race day! #LFG ⚡️⚡️⚡️

Strength Training: 15 minutes of core strength daily

Weekly Totals: 21 hours & 21 minutes
2×30 minutes of full body strength training
30 minutes of yoga

Attitude of Gratitude:

I love my snuggles! 🐶🥰
Get in my belly! This was the perfect way to cap off my last big brick workout!

What were your highlights from week 43 of 2021?!

2021 week 42:mixtape

Last week I had to deviate a bit from my “normal” weekly schedule and mix things up as there were some family and work commitments that required some juggling. Thankfully I am self coached so it is relatively easy to move my workouts around to help balance training with family, work, and life in general. It’s like creating a mixtape to get all of your favorite songs from mixed genres on one tape! Ah…those were the days! Spotify tackles the task so much easier and much more streamlined these days. 🤣

Quote of the week:

“Life is a mixtape.”

~Unknown

Swim: 10,100 yards

Thursday I mixed up my effort in the water with one of my favorite swim workouts.

  • Warm up:
    • 300 swim with fins
  • Main Set:
    • 10×125 as 50 easy, 25 sprint, 50 moderate (20 sec rest)
    • 100 pull with buoy and ankle strap (no paddles)
    • 10×125 as 50 easy, 25 sprint, 50 moderate (20 sec rest)
  • Cool Down:
    • 100 any stroke
Keeping my eye on effort this morning! (See what eye did there?! 👁 🤣)

Mixing up the effort helps me dial it in for race day…sprinting past another swimmer, knowing what the “too easy” effort feels like, and kicking it up a notch to maintain that moderate/harder effort for the majority of the swim portion.

Working on those mental cues: -How is my effort? -Am I extending? -Are my elbows high? -Am I kicking with purpose?

#IronmanArizona is one month away! #LFG ⚡️⚡️⚡️

Bike: 253 miles

Friday I took the day off work to ride my bike and attempt to get my 100 mile ride in as it appeared to be the best weather day of the weekend. I watched the weather Friday morning as I waited for the temps to climb a bit before rolling out. It was chilly (hello late October in Central Iowa), cloudy, and calm (very little winds). I got about 45 miles from home and a light drizzle started. Where was this coming from?! There was no mention of any precipitation when watching the weather this morning. By mile 50 it was no longer drizzling, but raining. I knew there would be a gas station about 7 miles up the road, so I pedaled on. I was wearing the perfect gear for the chilly temps, but not for the rain. By the time I got to the gas station, I was soaked from head to toe. My feet were SO wet + numb from the freezing temps (not only was it pouring rain on me the last 7 miles, but the temps also dropped). I knew I needed to find a way to dry them out and warm them up if I had any chance of continuing. When I got to the gas station, I looked at the radar and it was not going to let up anytime soon + I was going to be riding back into this mess the whole 50 miles home. I opted to call for a ride home and decided that I would attempt the 100 miles again on Saturday.

100 mile ride…take 1

Mother Nature = 1, Kecia = 0

Made it to mile 50 before Mother Nature unleashed her wrath. Hopefully this means she took her aggression out on me today so she will bless all the athletes racing this weekend with a much better attitude. 🤞🏻 (FYI…that didn’t happen. She caused IMCA to cancel.)
#tryagaintomorrow
📸 #calmbeforethestorm

So on Saturday, I bundled up again and headed out to knock out those 100 miles. It was a much windier day, but it was dry, sunny, and warmer. This turned out to be a great decision!

100 miles…take 2

Kecia = 1, Mother Nature = 0

Decide…I decided 100+ miles on the bike (+ 1 hour run off the bike) was going to be MUCH better today! I was determined to keep a positive attitude, be gritty, and to persevere! I wasn’t going to let Mother Nature win. She tried to push me around a bit (hello wind), but I won this round!

I GET to do this! So much gratitude for the strength of my body + mind, the support from my #1, my safety on the open roads, the beautiful fall day, and the gorgeous fall foliage.

#IronmanArizona is 4 weeks from tomorrow! #LFG ⚡️⚡️⚡️

Run: 32.3 miles

I had a solid week of running, but the run that I’m the most proud of happened on Sunday after a 4000 yard swim + 27 mile bike ride with some tough intervals. My legs were already fatigued from the big workout on Saturday, so the added morning workouts put a bit more fatigue into the legs before my 14 mile run directly off the bike. Mother Nature was reminding us just how unhappy she was with how we are treating her planet (hello storms with strong winds, pouring rain, thunder + lightening), so I hopped on the treadmill. I decided to mix things up for this workout as 14 miles can be a LONG time to be on the treadmill, so after a 1 mile easy warm up, I increased the pace from low Z2 to low Z3 each mile for the next 3 miles. At mile 5, I had an easy recovery mile and then increased my pace from low Z2 to high Z3 each mile for the next 4 miles. At mile 10, I had an easy recovery mile and then increased my pace from low Z2 to high Z3 each mile for the last 4 miles, finishing strong! I felt amazing! I know I could have run many more miles mixing up the pace like this. Maybe this is something I need to remember to do on race day…

The treadmill and I became besties Sunday for my 14 mile brick run because…Mother Nature. ⛈ ⚡️

#IronmanArizona is 4 weeks away! #LFG ⚡️⚡️⚡️

Strength Training: 15 minutes of core strength daily

Weekly Totals: 25 hours & 14 minutes
2×30 minutes of full body strength training
30 minutes of yoga

Attitude of Gratitude:

Thank you Nick, with Vitality Massagehttps://www.vitalityames.com/, for working out the kinks!
When a former student (who is now a principal) posts that you were her favorite teacher… #mycuprunnethover
Mixing things up this week…moved my double run day to Tuesday instead of Wednesday. Easy am miles with the sunrise…5 weeks to race day! #LFG ⚡️⚡️⚡️
Mixing things up this week…moved my double run day to Tuesday instead of Wednesday. Fast/hard pm miles…5 weeks to race day! #LFG ⚡️⚡️⚡️
So grateful for the support of my #1! He’s the best!
Solid day of swim/bike/run!

What were your highlights from week 42 of 2021?! Do you remember making mixtapes?!

2021 week 41: flexible

If you remember from week 40, I ended the week sleeping on the couch with Jersey right off the bike…I needed sleep. Well, that carried over to start the week last week. I needed sleep, so I took some time off work early in the week and slept (nearly 12 hours on Monday night and nearly 11 hours on Tuesday night), which set me up great for workouts later in the week. I know that if I continue to push myself instead of rest + sleep, I am setting myself up for failure (injury, not hitting intervals, risking over training, etc.), so I almost always listen to my body and give it the sleep it craves. I decided to be flexible in my process and re work my plan for the week to give my body the rest it was craving.

Quote of the week:

“Be clear about your goal, but be flexible about the process of achieving it.”

~Brian Tracy

Swim: 11,000 yards

Friday I had a GREAT swim after work! Not only did I put up some AMAZING paces, but I also took time to play in the water (which is something I haven’t done nearly enough of lately).

  • Warm up:
    • 200 swim
    • 200 drills
    • 4×50 descending (10 sec rest)
  • Main Set:
    • 3 times through (start hard and make each set harder/faster/stronger than the last set)
      • 100 (10 sec rest)
      • 200 (15 sec rest)
      • 300 (20 sec rest)
    • 100 kick (with fins)
    • 300 pull (with buoy, paddles, and ankle band)
  • Cool Down:
    • 200 any stroke
Lately my swims have been all business, so it was WAY past time to bring the fun factor back! Oh don’t worry…I took care of business before playing Friday! ⚡️🔥

Bike: 48.9 miles

I stayed on the trainer last week for all of my bike workouts. I nailed some workouts and struggled with others, but I showed up, gave my best, and learned along the way.

Endurance efforts with surges in power to wake the legs up and fatigue them a bit before a 10 mile run off the bike! ⚡️

Run: 33.5 miles

Being just under 5 weeks to race day, I am ramping up the mileage and had some great runs last week. Some solo, some with my #1, and some with my favorite girls.

I GET to challenge myself and push my limits as I enter into peak training! Enjoying the process and excited to see what I can do on race day! #LFG ⚡️⚡️⚡️

Strength Training: 15 minutes of core strength daily

Weekly Totals: 14 hours & 7 minutes
2×30 minutes of full body strength training
30 minutes of yoga

Attitude of Gratitude:

Petting horses after running…Why not?!
Getting all the sleep!
“Mom, make room for me!” ~Jersey
Jersey loves the Normatec Recovery boots
Doing my civic duty by voting for city council + school board at a satellite site.
I have been at a loss for words on how to accurately describe how grateful I am to represent Coeur Sports for year 8 in 2022. This is more than a team. It’s a family! 🥰
Getting to swim/bike/run all in one day… #happyheart 🥰
So grateful that Basil loves to run and shared a few miles with me Saturday! 🐶🥰
So grateful that Jersey loves to run and shared a few miles with me Saturday! 🐶🥰
#SundayFunday included a farm ninja obstacle course, zip lines, hay rides, a corn maze, and quality time with some of my favorite peeps! 💙💛
The farm ninja obstacle course was a fun challenge on Sunday!

What were your highlights from week 41 of 2021?! When you find yourself exhausted, do you give your body the sleep, rest, and recovery it needs?!

2021 week 40: not according to plan

Last week I had multiple workouts that didn’t quite go according to plan. I showed up, I gave my best, but my best didn’t allow me to “achieve success” on that day. But you know what?! That is ok! I learned a lot in the process and that learning means I didn’t fail…It actually means I succeeded…just in a different way!

Quote of the week:

“Most things don’t go exactly as planned. That’s why it is a plan…not a certainty”

~unknown

Swim: 5700 yards

Friday I did a swim that I’ve done before and is one of my favorite workouts, but it didn’t go according to plan. This is what the workout looked like:

  • Warm up:
    • 100 kick with fins
    • 100 pull with buoy, strap, and paddles
    • 100 swim
    • 4×100 descend (times should descend as effort increases) (20 sec rest)
  • Main Set:
    • 3 x 800 (30 sec rest) – start fast and make each 800 faster than the last
  • Cool Down:
    • 200 any stroke

I started my 800s strong and focused my mind on the following intentional thoughts that keep me strong throughout:

  • I set goals on purpose and with purpose.
  • I will always fight until I achieve my goal.
  • I achieve every goal I set for myself.
  • I am a strong and confident endurance swimmer.

My first 800 was strong! My second 800 was faster (averaging 2 sec/100 yards faster than the first 800)! I was super pumped to crush the third 800, but I changed my thinking before starting the third 800. Instead of focusing on those intentional thoughts that kept me strong during the first 2x800s, I focused on key body questions for each 100 yards (I focused on one question per 100 yards for each of the first 400 yards and then repeated them for the second 400 yards):

  • Am I extending my arms?
  • Are my elbows high?
  • Am I rotating?
  • Am I kicking with purpose?

Focusing on the key body questions turned out to not be the best decision as my third 800 was 6 seconds slower than my second 800. What I learned for next time is that I will keep my focus on the intentional thoughts as those definitely served me better.

While some people have entered their off season, I am in peak training…not only putting in the physical work, but doing the mental endurance work too! #LFG ⚡️⚡️⚡️

Bike: 211 miles

Thursday I got to ride outside after work. It was such a glorious day! So grateful for the opportunity to still be riding outside!

Living my best life!

The end 💙💛

Over the weekend, I had a double brick planned…4 hour ride + 40 minute run off the bike on both Saturday and Sunday. I took these workouts to the trainer/treadmill as I had to start early on Saturday to get to Isabella’s swim meet during early afternoon and Sunday there were rain chances on and off all day that I wanted to avoid. Saturday was a great workout, but I didn’t do the best of refueling/rehydrating/recovering afterwards as I went directly to the swim meet. This may have impacted the poor workout on Sunday. During hour 3 on the bike, my legs completely quit turning over. I tried riding in zone 1 for a bit, but just couldn’t get the legs to turn over no matter how much mental focus/energy I gave. So…instead of trying to force my legs to move when they wouldn’t, I hopped off the bike at 3 hours and 13 minutes, changed into dry clothes, downed a protein smoothie, laid down with Jersey, and immediately fell asleep.

Not all workouts go according to plan. Sometimes the legs stop turning over and no amount of mental “pushing” can change it…so sleep + snuggles while still sweaty will make the legs stronger for tomorrow. 💙💛

Run: 28.2 miles

Wednesday I had a split run day, with 7 am miles and 8 pm miles. My #1 and I ran together in the morning at an endurance pace (so proud of him for running his longest distance since December) and I ran solo in the afternoon. While it was super humid in the morning, it was also cool with no wind, very few hills, and I was not very focused mentally. The afternoon was much the opposite…it was still humid (though less than those early am hours), but much warmer with strong winds, lots of hills, and my mental focus was on 🔥! I was super pumped to have a much stronger run in the more challenging afternoon conditions!

Celebrating because my 8 mile pm run averaged 34 seconds per mile faster than my 7 mile am run. #LFG ⚡️⚡️⚡️

Strength Training: 15 minutes of core strength daily

Weekly Totals: 20 hours & 10 minutes
30 minutes of full body strength training
30 minutes of yoga

Attitude of Gratitude:

Getting to run in areas I haven’t run in a LONG time kept things fun and fresh!
Thank you Nick, with Vitality Massage Ames, for keeping me healthy so I can continue to do what I love!
Awww yeah!! Any day I get to swim/bike/run in the same day is an amazing day!
So grateful I got the opportunity to watch Isabella crush it at her swim meet!
This girl! I love her so much! Even when she kills critters and brings them to us.
So grateful for an opportunity to see + chat with friends on Saturday morning while riding!
Getting my Normatec Recovery squeeze on!

What were your highlights from week 40 of 2021?! What do you do when things don’t go according to plan?!

2021 week 39: try something new

Last week I started to dial in the final preparations for Ironman Arizona and I’m feeling confident going into this last big block of training.

Quote of the week:

“Never be afraid to try something new, because life gets boring when you stay within the limits of what you already know.”

~Unknown

Swim: 6800 yards

Sunday I did a new swim workout that challenged me in a different way and it was awesome! I loved it! It’s fun to mix things up and try something new!

“If you always do what you’ve always done, you’ll always get what you’ve always got.” ~Henry Ford ⚡️
  • Warm up:
    • 400 swim (20 sec rest)
    • 300 pull (20 sec rest)
    • 300 as 25 drill/25 swim (20 sec rest)
    • 300 build by 100s (20 sec rest)
  • Main Set:
    • 4 times through:
      • 200 100% effort (20 sec rest)
      • 150 85-90% effort (20 sec rest)
      • 100 100% effort (20 sec rest)
      • 50 85-90% effort (20 sec rest)
      • 100 50-60% effort (20 sec rest)
  • Cool Down:
    • 100 any stroke

Bike: 124 miles

Saturday we got out for 100+ miles on the open roads. When we set out at 8 am, it was cloudy, calm, and cool. As we rode north, the fog REALLY built in making the visibility far less than 1.0 mile. We decided to change our route so we would ride out of the fog and make it safer for drivers to better see us.

Sometimes the route you plan has an unexpected detour.

How do you handle the detour? Do you let it mentally tear you apart and throw in the towel? Do you roll with it and do some creative route adjustments?

Saturday we did some creative route adjustments on our 100+ mile ride, which turned out to be absolutely wonderful!

As Vanessa Faye Foerster says, “How might a different choice propel your performance?
What would be possible long term if you trained for adversity now?”

Train for adversity! Don’t let the detour derail you! Roll with it! You just may find out how wonderful it really was!

Run: 23.5 miles

I had some good runs with the family early in the mornings last week, but the run I’m most proud of was my 5 mile run off the bike on Saturday. I kept a strong pace off the bike and honestly felt like I could have run that pace for many more miles. It was such a great feeling!

Yay for miles with one of my favorite running buddies! She had so much fun chasing squirrels on our run!

Strength Training: 15 minutes of core strength daily

Weekly Totals: 15 hours & 13 minutes
30 minutes of full body strength training
30 minutes of yoga

Attitude of Gratitude:

So happy to get to support our niece, Isabella, at her cross country meet.
Any day I get to swim, bike, and run its a great day!
So grateful to get to support our niece, Laylah, at her volleyball game.
Getting my recovery on right with the Normatec Recovery boots!
I love me all the puppy snuggles!

What were your highlights from week 39 of 2021?! Do you like trying new things?!

2021 week 38: snuggles

Last week was a super easy week to recover from the Ironman 70.3 World Championship and get back into routines at home. Oh…and how is it that I’m only 8 weeks away from Ironman Arizona?! We had an amazing trip to Utah, but it sure feels good to be home and snuggling with our girls again! We missed them and I think they missed us.

Quote of the week:

“Dog: World’s best cuddle buddy.”

~Unknown

Swim: 1200 yards

Monday we swam in Glenwood Springs, Colorado on our way home from St. George, Utah. The pool was SO big, but WAY TOO WARM for lap swimming, but it was a great travel break to get out and move a bit. The pool is fed by a natural hot spring, hence the warmer water.

1200 yards in 1,078,000 gallons of 91F water at 5761 feet elevation.

Bike: 21.9 miles

Sunday I did some intervals on the bike. It felt good to be back on the bike and in a training routine again!

Time to put the head down and dial in the Ironman training. How are we only 8 weeks out from Ironman Arizona?! #LFG ⚡️🔥

Run: 4.05 miles

We have so much to learn from dogs!
🐶 They are always in this moment.
🐶 They always have fun.
🐶 They are so happy.
🐶 They play hard and rest hard.
🐶 Their unconditional love is endless.

4 family recovery miles on a beautiful morning!

Strength Training: 15 minutes of core strength daily

Weekly Totals: 3 hours & 59 minutes
30 minutes of yoga

Attitude of Gratitude:

I definitely needed this flush of the body after that epic Ironman 70.3 World Championship race in St. George! Thanks Nick, with Vitality Massage, for getting me ready to crush this next 8 weeks going into IMAZ. Oh…and I love the new bed!
All the snuggles! I’ve missed this so much! 🥰
The fire in the sky was gorgeous!
Love these two…even if I have to share my pillow with Jersey and they sometimes make it impossible to sleep. 🤪
This girl missed me! 🥰

What were your highlights from week 38 of 2021?!

rise to it

“The land of endurance is calling – rise to it.”

~Ironman 70.3 World Championship marketing

Cliff Notes Version: I GOT to race Ironman 70.3 World Championships on Saturday, September 18! 💙💛

  • I had the will to try and the belief it was possible so I got to achieve my dreams by racing in the Ironman 70.3 World Championships
  • this is a two transition race
  • ALL gear (bike, bike bag/gear, run bag/gear) was dropped off on Friday
  • shuttle buses shuttled all athletes and spectators out to Sand Hollow Reservoir on race morning
  • the water temp was 78.3F (non-wetsuit race…I wore my Roka swimskin)
  • the pro men, pro women, and para athletes started first, followed by all of the age group men by age group waves, and then the age group women by age group waves
  • I was in the first women’s wave and started that started at 8:58 am MT
  • the swim start was a self seeded within our age group 10 athletes sent off every 15 seconds
  • the swim was the beautiful and the calm before the storm…quite literally
  • there were no volunteers to help change in T1
  • you had to put all of your stuff in your T1 bag and give it to a volunteer so your gear would be transported to T2
  • the bike was interesting…lightening, dust storm, hail, rain, wind (gusting up to 40 mph), cloudy, torrential downpour
  • there were four water/aid stations on the bike
  • there were no volunteers to help change in T2
  • the sun came out on the run and got HOT AF…we were in the desert after all
  • there were aid stations on the run nearly every mile with water, gatorade, gels, ice, bananas, oranges, Coke, Red Bull, etc.
  • there was a buffet line with pizza or a chicken salad, chips, bananas, and a few beverage options

Longer Version: I GOT to race Ironman 70.3 World Championships on Saturday, September 18 in St. George, Utah! 💙💛

Reminders for the day!

We got on a shuttle at about 6:45 am from near the finish area to Sand Hollow Reservoir. Once we arrived at the Reservoir, I had plenty of time to go potty, get my tires aired up, and my bike bottles on Mojo. I helped a fellow Coeur Sports sister air up her tires and then consumed some extra calories while waiting for my swim wave. At about 8:10 am, I noticed our swim sign was moving toward the front of the swim line, so I put my Roka swimskin on and made my way into the starting coral with the other F40-44 athletes. I was a bit worried as I didn’t see Steena, but knew that our wave was moving, so I needed to move also. Eventually Steena made her way to me and we chatted while we waited for our swim wave to actually start the swim. We commented that it was a bit warm standing in the sun waiting…hind sight is 20/20 for what was to come! 😜

Swim: (42:36 for 1.2 miles at 2:12/100 m average pace…146/225 F40-44, 789/1254 F, 2434/3441 overall)

I entered the water on the far left, instead of along the buoy line. As I dived into the water, I immediately thought, “WOW! This water is clear and cool!” It wasn’t actually as cool as I prefer, but it felt cool after standing in the sun waiting to start the swim. I found my rhythm and made my way toward the line of buoys by the 5th buoy. There wasn’t much contact (if any) as I swam past slower swimmers in front of me. When I turned to breathe, I soaked in the absolutely gorgeous views. When I rounded the first turn buoy, I started passing slower athletes in different colored swim caps from the waves before me. I made my way through the swim arch (timing device), rounded turn buoy #2, and headed for the shore. With about 500 meters to go, I started getting passed by faster athletes in swim waves behind me. I tried to jump on the feet of a few of them to get as much free speed as possible, but they were much faster and I was unable to stick with them. I felt strong + solid during the swim giving my best on this day! “I GET to race in the Ironman 70.3 World Championships!”

📸 Finisher Pix

T1: (5:38)

As I exited the water, I noticed the black sky off in the distance and said, “Oh shit!” I got my swimskin off just below my hips, removed my goggles + swim cap, and ran to my gear bag. I quickly stripped off my swimskin, put on my socks + bike shoes, stuffed all my swim gear in my bag, grabbed my helmet and sunnies and started running to meet Mojo at her spot. I dropped my gear bag off to some wonderful volunteers and donned my helmet and sunnies as I ran to get Mojo. I quickly grabbed Mojo, and ran a REALLY long way to the bike exit. Once at the mount line, we were off!

I may have drank too much water during the swim. 🤪
📸 John Cirves

Bike: (3:39:25 for 56 miles at 15.3 mph average speed…200/225 F40-44, 1142/1254 F, 3290/3441 overall)

I was excited to get on the bike and rise to the challenge that the Ironman 70.3 St. George terrain would provide. It is notoriously hilly including a 4 mile climb up Snow Canyon National Park at mile 40ish of the 56 mile bike course, but I was excited for the challenge! “I GET to race in the Ironman 70.3 World Championships!”

At about mile 6, I noticed lightening off in the distance + those black skies getting closer and closer to me. I thought, “Oh no! That’s not good! What is going to happen to those poor ladies in the water swimming right now?!” I put my head down and pushed on reminding myself that I GET to race in the Ironman 70.3 World Championships! At about mile 8, the winds picked up out of no where blowing tumble weeds across the road and creating a big dust storm. The next thing I knew, ladies in front of me were getting blown right off the road on their bikes into the ditch. I held on to Mojo for dear life and continued to move forward. “I GET to race in the Ironman 70.3 World Championships!”

📸 Finisher Pix

At about mile 10, the rain + hail started and the winds weren’t letting up. I laughed a bit, as I remembered the slogan for this race was “rise to it” and Mother Nature was giving us a bit more to rise to. I was a bit nervous about the speed with which other athletes were flying past me in aero on these slick roads with the wind blowing us sideways, but I kept focusing on myself and what I could control as I pushed on. My biceps, triceps, and forearms were SO tired and sore from the death grip I was giving Mojo. “I GET to race in the Ironman 70.3 World Championships!”

Eventually Mother Nature adjusted her attitude a bit to give us a temporary break before I started climbing Snow Canyon. While climbing the 4 miles up Snow Canyon, I just kept soaking up the views! It was so gorgeous! I anticipated the climb up Snow Canyon to be more challenging than it actually was. The whole climb, I just kept repeating… “Rise to it! I GET to race in the Ironman 70.3 World Championships!” When I crested the top of Snow Canyon, I knew I could have pushed a little harder up that climb, so I decided to really hammer on the 8% descent back into town and to transition. “I GET to race in the Ironman 70.3 World Championships!”

📸 Finisher Pix

With about 2 miles to go, Mother Nature threw another challenge our way. She turned the faucet on full speed creating a torrential downpour. I couldn’t see much of anything, so all I could do was laugh out loud and ask, “What is next?!” as I wheeled into transition. “I GET to race in the Ironman 70.3 World Championships!”

📸 The Iron Hippie

T2: (3:22)

I was SOOOOO glad to be on two feet! Just getting through that bike in one piece was a HUGE WIN! I handed Mojo off to an amazing volunteer who put her in her new spot in T2. I grabbed my gear bag + took off my helmet on my way to the changing area. During this time, the torrential downpour quit and a nice steady rain persisted. I quickly took off my shoes and socks…I was SO grateful I put a dry pair of socks in my run bag. I pulled my visor, race belt, and handheld water bottle out of my gear bag, then shoved my helmet bike shoes, and soaked socks in the bag. I handed my gear bag off to a wonderful volunteer who took it to be with Mojo and put my race belt + visor on while running out of T2.

📸 The Iron Hippie

Run: (2:19:54 for 13.1 miles at 10:50/mile average pace…179/225 F40-44, 955/1254 F, 3010/3441 overall)

📸 Finisher Pix

As I exited T2, the Iron Hippie told me I was 6 minutes down from Laura (a friend of mine from back home that I often see at the races). After looking at the run profile, I knew the first 4 miles of the run would be a continuous climb, so I settled in…hello glutes and hammies! By about mile 2 the skies opened up and the sun came out in full force and got HOT AF…welcome to the desert! This is what I had trained for…full sun + heat! “I GET to race in the Ironman 70.3 World Championships!”

📸 Finisher Pix

I focused on monitoring my HR for the duration of the run. When it jumped above 160 bpm, I would take a short walk break until it fell back below 140 bpm. When I got to mile 4, I was feeling strong and ready for the descent back into town. I had no idea just how steep of a descent it would be…hello quad burner! “I GET to race in the Ironman 70.3 World Championships!”

📸 The Iron Hippie

As I made my way to the roundabout for lap two, the Iron Hippie updated me that I was now 3 minutes behind Laura and that I could totally catch her. I felt so strong heading into that second lap, so I knew I could catch her. I continued monitoring my HR following my run/walk strategy, which worked beautifully because at about mile 9, I finally caught up with Laura. I walked with her for a minute so we could chat. I told her to finish strong and continued on. At about mile 10.5 I quit monitoring my HR and left it all out there pushing myself to the limit all the way to the finish line.

📸 Finisher Pix

Overall: (6:50:54…192/225 F40-44, 1051/1254 F, 3148/3441 overall)

📸 Finisher Pix

This race was a celebration! I was so grateful to be racing on the Ironman 70.3 World stage with some of the best athletes in the world. This race challenged me in SO many ways forcing me to “rise to it!” I am beginning to learn that I am strongest when given the most challenging circumstances…hello IMLou 2018 AND I preform my best when I remove internal pressure + expectations while focusing on the present moment. What doesn’t kill you makes you stronger! I am beyond grateful that my body + mind showed up to play at the Ironman 70.3 World Championships! Oh…and when can we do this again (with the EXACT same conditions)?! 😜

📸 Finisher Pix

Gear: Coeur Sports triathlon shorts, Coeur Sports sports bra, Coeur Sports aero top, Roka X-1 Goggles, Roka Viper x2 Short Sleeve Swimskin, Specialized Transition tri bike, Specialized S-works Evade helmet, Specialized Torch 2.0 Road Shoes, Coeur Sports visor, Newton Kismet running shoes, Roka SL-1X sunnies, Orange Mud hand held water bottle