Last week’s focus: getting out of my own way by not allowing fear to hold me back!
Swim: 2800 yards + 1 hour of flip turns
The focus last week in the water was to get out of my own way and learn how to flip turn. I have a lot of work to do, but thanks to Coach Tim’s help, I made some progress on Sunday! I spent nearly an entire hour getting instructions from Coach Tim and practicing my flips. I’m excited for the day when I can flip people off without drowning myself by drinking half the pool!
Bike: 42.7 miles
Last week I tested my bike fitness with an FTP challenge on Saturday morning. I got out of my own way and achieved new levels! How could I possibly be disappointed with a 16 watt increase in the last 6 weeks?! I guess that means I’m going to have to work even harder on the bike now 😉
I didn’t run much last week as I’m still trying to heal up my knees from my fall almost two weeks ago. I did have an easy short run on Saturday to test my knees. I followed this up with a nice long run on Sunday with a good friend. Running is always better with friends!
Strength Training: 1 hour & 25 minutes + 10 minutes of core almost daily
I had 2 great full body strength sessions last week and 10 minutes of core strength almost every day (I did manage to miss a few days thanks to some work stress).
Weekly Totals: 7 hours & 35 minutes
I saw HUGE gains on my FTP challenge last week! I am still riding on cloud nine with this progress! I am forever grateful to Coach Kelly for her support, guidance, and believing in me, even when I had some self-doubt. She is determined to make me #trackcatstrong this season, and so far it is working! 🙂
A good friend of ours made us some boxes for plyometrics! I’m so excited to get to use them. I’m waiting for my knees to heal before I test them on the box jumps! Basil loves them though…
Quote of the Week:
“To achieve anything you want in life you must first start by getting out of your own way.” ~Rafael Colon
December has been a great month, full of lots of fun and changes as I prepare for 2017! Here is what I’ve been up to:
The first month of training with Coach Kelly at Track Cat Fitness is in the books. It has been AWESOME! I have already seen improvements in my fitness in just one month! Granted…after taking about 9 weeks off after Ironman Wisconsin, I was hoping to see my fitness start to bounce back quickly and it has. I’m grateful that my body is responding so well to the time off and my month back to training!
Winter break! I have had the opportunity to read, exercise, help friends, spend time with family and friends, and relax…it has been GREAT! While I’m enjoying the time away from school over the winter break, I am looking forward to getting back to school and starting semester #2!
Not only has Coach Kelly challenged me to be a stronger athlete, but she has also challenged me in other aspects of my life as well (probably without even knowing it). By coming up with my focus word for 2017, I was inspired to step COMPLETELY out of my comfort zone and climb to new heights…literally! When you are afraid of heights, this is a HUGE deal!
How was your month of December? What were your highlights? Who’s ready for 2017?!
After Ironman Wisconsin (9/11/16), I took a lot of time off…both physically and mentally. During this time I decided to hire Kelly as my coach to help me achieve big goals at Ironman Mont Tremblant in 2017. This was week 1 of a new chapter in my book as I started training with Coach Kelly!! After having my training train derailed for the last couple of months, it felt great to have the train stop, pick me up, get back on its tracks, and move in the forward direction. The best part…having someone else tell me what to do!! Thanks Coach!! So what did my first week of this new chapter look like?! Here’s a snapshot of my week…
I had every intention of getting up and working out Monday morning, but I had a Thanksgiving hangover, and I don’t mean from alcohol…it was a family hang over. I LOVE my family and am SO grateful and happy they came to visit us over Thanksgiving break, but I was exhausted on Monday morning. As a result, Monday morning was a sleep in. After a full day of work, I hit the gym for my strength training session.
The day started with morning miles with my girl! I love running with her and am so lucky to have an early morning running partner who is reliable, dependable, and keeps me safe! When we got home, I quickly vacuumed the house before getting ready for work. After a full day of teaching, I hit the pool for some chlorine therapy.
The Iron Hippie and I both had swims, so we decided to go in the morning and see just how busy the pool is on a Wednesday morning. Surprisingly, it wasn’t as busy as we thought it would be 🙂 After a full day of teaching, I came home to intervals on Mojo! This was the first time I’ve REALLY ridden her since Ironman Wisconsin and it took a lot of self talk…#courageovercomfort and #nevergiveup!!
It was another early morning run with my girl! I’m so grateful to have her to keep me company, push me to run faster, and keep me safe! After we returned home, I vacuumed the house before getting ready for a full day of science education meetings with my colleagues. My brain was complete MUSH by the end of the day! I met with two different personal training clients after work and then rounded out my day with teaching TRX.
Today was a rest day! After yesterday’s brain mushing session, I needed this rest day today! After a full day of teaching, I ran a couple of errands, prepared dinner, and cleaned fresh produce for the coming week. After dinner and cleaning up the kitchen, I was in bed reading by 7:30 pm with lights out at 8:15 pm. I was exhausted!
I was so tired that I slept until 6:10 am! I guess my body needed it 😉 After eating a quick snack I went to the Iowa State outdoor track for my 2 mile time trial run. I have a mental block when I am at the track…it is a GREAT facility, but this is where I ran for week after week after week after week about 2 years ago when I was injured. After running circles with the white line between my feet for about 2 months, this beautiful track left a negative taste in my mouth. Today I had doubts in my head, but I immediately went into self talk mode…courage over comfort! Never give up! I am strong! I am tough! I am FAST! So the best part about this run?! I had the track to myself for the entire hour I was there! Ha ha! I know what you’re thinking…NO, it didn’t take me an hour to run 2 miles! I was hoping to run each mile at 8:00/mile or faster, but I’m just not quite there yet and that’s OK! I’m happy to be where I’m at! After all, I’ve taken nearly 3 months off of training. After a 20 minute warm up, my first mile was at 8:10/mile and my second mile was 8:05/mile. Hello negative splits!! After cooling down until I had ran an hour, I went to the gym for some strength training. After eating all the food I could find (not really…just muesli) when I got home, we did some house work before I went to the gym for some chlorine therapy! Guess what?! I had the pool to myself for my entire swim! I think that was the theme of the day…first the track to myself, then the pool to myself (no…I didn’t have the gym to myself for strength training, but the room I was in I had to myself for a good portion of my workout). After eating all the food I could find (this time, it was true!), we spent the evening relaxing with friends.
We woke up to snow…on the ground…for the first time this season! Thankfully the ground was still warm enough that the roads and sidewalks weren’t ice covered…just slushy. After an easy 75 minute ride, I ate some food, got ready for the coming week, chatted with Coach Kelly on the phone for almost an hour, and then went for a short and easy afternoon run in our winter wonderland. I rounded out the week with an epsom salt soak, laundry, and relaxing to soak up all of my hard work this week and get ready for more testing this coming week…bike FTP and swim tests are scheduled for the coming week…eek! I’m so happy and grateful to have Coach Kelly write this new chapter with me!
Weekly Totals: 9 hours & 25 minutes
Swim: 5100 yards Bike: 31.5 miles Run: 17.1 miles Strength Training: 2 hours & 30 minutes + 10 minutes of core work daily
Quote of the Week:
“Today I close the door on the past, open the door to the future, take a deep breath, step on through and start a new chapter in my life.” ~Anonymous
I have so much to be grateful for!! I am beyond grateful that my body is healthy and allows me to push it to limits I would have never thought possible 5 years ago, but I can’t do it alone!! People often think of Ironman racing as an individual sport, but there are SO many people who have helped me on my journey and I couldn’t do it without their support!!
Family and Friends…
I am so blessed to have the most amazing and supportive family! Dad made the trip to Madison to cheer us on since he was in the area for work earlier in the week. He has kayaked beside me while I swim (both in training and swim racing), keeping me safe and on track. My sister and twin nieces cheered me on at the finish line of the Okoboji Triathlon earlier this year as well. Mom has had many tasty meals ready for us to consume after workouts and has cheered me on to 2 Ironman finish lines over the years. My sole sister has joined me on bike rides and runs throughout my training and has encouraged and motivated me to do and be my best! Our girlfriends Sue and Michele are amazing! I’m so grateful for their support and encouragement of us and our crazy lifestyle! My Coeur Sports Teammies have been inspiring and motivating me virtually for 2 years now. I was super lucky to have a few of them out on the course cheering me on (and many others on) in person…so much fun to see them all over the course! My family and friends are always inquiring about how my training is going and what race I am doing next. I am a lucky girl to have their support!!
Coeur Sports is hands down the best women’s SBR (swim/bike/run) 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!! Thank you, Thank You, THANK YOU!!
I am forever grateful for Kyle and the Kyle’s Bikes crew, who have kept Mojo happy throughout training and on race day! You are always there for me when I frantically call or text, so thank you for talking me off a ledge and immediately getting Mojo fixed up when she has a mechanical issue!! Thank you, Thank You, THANK YOU!!
Sound Probiotics has been keeping me healthy and on track for almost 2 years. Before taking Sound Probiotics, I would end up 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, enhanced immunity and better recovery throughout my training and racing experience!! After all, #winningtakesguts!
Karma Kombucha has been a daily staple in my diet since it’s birth…5 years now! They help keep my gut happy and healthy everyday! Drinking my booch before starting the marathon during Ironman Wisconsin definitely helped set me up for a great run!
One of the many perks of being a Coeur Sports ambassador is getting support from other amazing companies as well. Roka Sports, Smith Optics and Base Performance are three of the companies that have helped make my training and race experience so awesome!! Ironman Wisconsin was a wetsuit legal swim, so I donned my Maverick Elite wetsuit and my X1 goggles!! The Roka wetsuit works with my body instead of against it, making each swim stroke feel easy!! I absolutely LOVE the Roka goggles!! If you haven’t tried them, you definitely should…they are the BEST!! This year I tried the Smith Optics PivLock Arena sunnies and ABSOLUTELY love them!! What a game changer on the bike and run!! Speaking of game changer…Base Salt has definitely helped me better prevent hyponatremia (which I’ve experienced during 2 of my 5 Ironman races). Thank you, Thank You, THANK YOU to you all!!
I am one of the luckiest ladies around! I have a slew of support, inspiration, and motivation from my triathlon people…both in person and virtually! 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!!
Nick has been keeping my body well recovered through massage for almost 3 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! Thank you Nick for restoring the damage I do as I swim/bike/run my way to countless finish lines! Vitality Massage is definitely where recovery is at!!
The Iron Hippie…
My fave has been by my side for millions of swim strokes and the countless views as we’ve covered thousands and thousands of miles on two wheels and pounding the pavement. 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?!?!?!?
Most of Monday was spent traveling home from Madison and eating all the food! I don’t know what it is about a race that makes me crave potato skins (not the chips in a bag, but real potato skins that are found on the appetizer menu in some restaurants), but it happened again today! On our way home from Madison, we stopped in Cedar Falls for some potato skins to satisfy my craving. We got home at about 2 pm, unloaded the car, and took an hour nap before gearing up for our Ladies only bike ride. I was so grateful to Coeur Sports and Kyle’s Bikes for their support to make this event so successful!! Yay for encouraging more women in cycling, helping them gain confidence on their bike and on the roads, and helping them learn basic bike maintenance!!
Tuesday was a complete day of rest (in terms of workouts), but full of lots of errands, house chores, grocery shopping, paying bills, etc.
Wednesday was another complete day of rest. After working with a personal training client in the morning, I went for a walk with a friend and the dogs, and then spent the afternoon updating Training Peaks for the next build period of our training and blogging. It was a great day and finally felt like I was on summer break 😉
After meeting with two personal training clients in the morning, I spent most of my afternoon on the Team Vardo training calendar for the coming year. I did take a break to walk the dogs and clear my mind. When the Iron Hippie came home from work, we had an easy hour ride before going to TRX.
I taught two group fitness classes and met a personal training client in the morning and then spent my afternoon finishing the Team Vardo training calendar for the coming year. When the Iron Hippie came home from work, we got ready for Saturday’s brick workout and went to bed early so we could get up early to hit the roads before the heat of the day on Saturday.
We woke at 4:30 am to start riding at 5:30. Our plan was to ride a 30+ mile loop and end up back home to feed and potty the dogs, and have our friend Allen join us for the last 50 miles. As we came back into Ames after the first 30 miles, the sky looked a bit ominous, so we checked the radar. Lucky for us, it appeared to be going north of us and would miss us, so we rolled out for our second loop. 83 miles of #bikelove done before noon was awesome, especially since it was a hot and humid day. After eating lots of food, showering, and napping, we relaxed in the air condition. We went to one of our favorite Mexican restaurants for dinner, and spent the evening relaxing in the a/c.
After an amazing night of sleep, we took the dogs for a walk and then relaxed most of the day. It was a VERY hot and humid day, so staying in the a/c was a necessity for most of the day. We made homemade pizza for lunch, I tracked friends racing at different Ironman races, caught up on some blogs, and went to hot yoga at 4 pm. It felt SO AMAZING to reconnect with my long lost boyfriend…mat!!
Weekly Totals: 10 hours & 16 minutes
Swim: Nothing, Zilch, Nada Bike: 113 miles Run: Nothing, Zilch, Nada Strength Training: 1:30:00
Hot Yoga: 1:30:00
Quote of the Week:
“I think recovery from anything is honestly the most badass thing a person can do.” ~Anonymous
Not sure how this happened, but we are inside of 100 days until Ironman Wisconsin. I guess time flies when you’re having fun!!
Since we both had the day off work and we weren’t on a rigid schedule, we slept in and completed our workouts at different times throughout the day. We went to the gym at about 9:20 am for an hour strength training session. It was nice not to have many people at the gym since they weren’t officially open. We have a 24/7 key and can go to the gym anytime we want to do strength training and use the cardio equipment. This does not give us access to the pool anytime we want, so after our strength training, we went to the outdoor pool for our swim. It was SO AWESOME to get to finally swim outdoors!! After refueling, we hopped on the bike for 75 minutes of saddle time. We knew there were storms coming, so we opted for the trainer so we could get some yard work and house work done after our workout. With a couple more days of work, we prepared for the coming week, went to shower at our friends’ house (since we still didn’t have a working hot water heater) and then it was early to bed.
We took today as a rest day since we had put in lots of hours last week and knew we were getting a new hot water heater after work. On my way home from work, I met a client for a personal training session, picked up our CSA, stopped at the pharmacy, and picked up a gift card for the person who was installing our hot water heater. It took longer than I imagined to install the hot water heater, but it felt so amazing to shower at home and not have to heat water on the stove to do dishes!!
Last day of work!! And to celebrate, I went for a bike ride!! It was an ABSOLUTELY PERFECT day to be in the saddle and on the open road/trail!!
Happy first day of summer break!! We woke up at 4:30 am (yes, you read that correctly, I still got up early to workout with the Iron Hippie) and ran hill repeats with the sunrise + my two faves!! It was the perfect start to my day!! I spent most of the morning doing house work (vacuuming, laundry, and dishes) before going to the outdoor pool to swim at 11 am. There were a lot of people in the pool, but it was so peaceful to have my head in the water, the sun shining on my back, and not a care in the world about trying to rush off to whatever is next. After my swim, I made lunch, cleaned our veggies from our CSA, took an epsom salt bath, and did more laundry before the Iron Hippie came home from work. We capped the night off with TRX and refueling before bed.
It was another early morning and so peaceful to start my day in the 50 meter pool!! The long course + sunrise + quiet morning = #happyheart I consumed my breakfast smoothie on the way home from the pool. I had just enough time to get an easy hour in on the bike (trainer style) and shower before meeting a client for a personal training session. I went grocery shopping for the coming week on my way home…it is so nice to go during the week and not have to fight the crowds of people on the weekends. After eating lunch, I took the dogs for a walk and spent the afternoon relaxing, catching up on email and blogging. The Iron Hippie and I went downtown in the evening for the local “Art Walk,” where each downtown business sponsors a local artist for 3 hours. It is crazy how many different artists there are in our area!!
We started the day with a 10 mile run, which I was hoping to average a 9:00/mile pace for…nailed it!! After making a quick smoothie with whey protein, for recovery, we rode our bikes to yoga in the park. Every Saturday from now until the first weekend in August (except July 4th weekend), Ames offers free yoga at Bandshell Park from 10-11 am. It is a great opportunity for people new to yoga to try it for free! For those who love yoga, it is a great opportunity to practice yoga outdoors with others! When we came home, we devoured food, did yard work, cleaned the house, did laundry, and then it was nap time!! It has been a while since I took an afternoon nap on the weekends, but my body loved it!! After my nap it was time for dinner and froyo before bed. It was great to meet my #solesister and her kids for some froyo!!
I was a bit tired, so I slept in and then completed the 3x(60 min bike + 20 min run) by myself. I set up the trainer in the driveway since each brick was supposed to be slightly harder (higher zone) and faster. This would allow me consistency and not have to worry about traffic/traffic lights/wind speeds to go harder with each one. I also ran the same route off the bike each time to try to go a bit farther with each run. “What doesn’t kill you makes you stronger” was the theme for this workout. In the middle of brick #2, the wheels fell off…it became REALLY hard and I wasn’t sure if I could do brick #3. When I came back from run #2, I climbed back on the bike and reached out to multiple friends to encourage and motivate me to #nevergiveup on this workout, even though it wasn’t going as planned. With their encouragement and support, I pushed through and finished this workout. I seriously hope that our 70.3 race in 2 weeks is much easier than this workout!! After refueling and spending over an hour just laying in the recliner, I decided to move and take an epsom salt bath. We then did a little shopping for the coming week, took the dogs to Peterson Pits so they could swim, gave them baths in the driveway to wash the fishy water away, grabbed some leftovers for dinner, and met some friends for froyo. It was great to sit outside and chat with them while enjoying some froyo!!
Weekly Totals: 18 hours and 1 minute
Swim: 7907 yards (the 50 meter pool throws my yardage off during the summer) Bike: 122 miles Run: 24.8 miles Strength Training: 2 hours & 15 minutes Yoga: 1 hour
Quote of the Week:
“That which does not kill us, makes us stronger. ” ~Friedrich Nietzsche