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?

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Racing Ironman Mont Tremblant with Coeur

“Racing teaches us to challenge ourselves. It teaches us to push beyond where we thought we could go. It helps us to find out what we are made of. This is what we do – this is what it’s all about.” ~PattiSue Plummer, US Olympian

Grab your favorite beverage, kick up your feet, and enjoy what is a really long race report! 🙂

Pre-Race:

The alarm went off at 3 am, but I was already laying awake. I didn’t sleep well at all, which was a first for me, but thankfully it didn’t seem to impact my day. After eating my pre-race breakfast of muesli + peanut butter + Pure Clean Beet Powder + frozen mixed berries with a Karma Kombucha, I donned my Coeur Sports race kit and prepared for the day by reading my pre-race quote from Swimming to Antarctica by Lynne Cox before heading to the race start.

My pre-race ritual…read Swimming to Antarctica while drinking my Karma Kombucha!

We arrived at parking lot #2 by 4:30 am, which made it easy to find a place to park that would be convenient for after the race to get all of our gear loaded up. We walked to the transition area, dropped off our bike and run special needs bags, and waited until 5 am for body marking and the transition area to open. After body marking, I had bike support fill my tires, lubed up the chain (it had rained on Saturday after Mojo was racked for the night and I wanted to make sure my chain was greased back up), filled my water bottle, put my bike bottles on my bike, got my Garmin on my bike and started, saw Erika and gave her a pre-race hug, put my salty balls in my T1 bag, and hit the kybo up one more time before heading to the swim start.

Ready to race!

At the swim start, I got into my Roka wetsuit, ate part of a granola bar and two Pure Clean Beet’ums, drank down some water, dropped off my morning clothes bag, got another hug from Erika, and made my way to the water for the swim warm-up. As I was exiting the water from the swim warm-up, a lady came up to me and gave me a hug and we shared good luck wishes to each other. I have no idea who this lady was because we were both wearing wetsuits, swim caps, and goggles, but I am grateful for the pre-race hug, so thank you to whomever you were! It was this point that I decided it didn’t matter what the day brought me, I was going to race with Coeur (French for heart) for the entire day! I am going to share my coeur, but also fill my coeur up throughout the entire day!

The Iron Hippie and I making our way to the water.

After the Canada National Anthem and fly over, the fireworks went off and the male pros were off, followed by the female pros and then the age group athletes.

Lined up and ready to start!

Swim: 1:24:16 (average pace of 2:11/100 meters)

We lined up by the 1:15-1:20 pace sign for the swim and were soon moving into separate corrals waiting for the beep every 5 seconds to send the next group of swimmers into the water. This was the cleanest swim start I’ve ever experienced! As I entered the water, a calm came over me like I’ve never experienced before and I set out at comfortable pace. I felt solid and strong. The water temperature of 66*F was perfect…I much prefer the colder water! I had very little contact with other swimmers until buoy #6 when I swam up on a guy who couldn’t hold a straight line for nothing. He was definitely a faster swimmer than I was, but because he was zig-zagging back and forth all over the course, he swam a lot farther than he needed to. Every time I tried to pass him, I would get cut off by him again. This continued for about 3 more buoys before I finally passed him. The rest of the swim was pretty uneventful as I had very little contact with other swimmers. I had a slower swim than I’d hoped for, but also didn’t leave everything in the water. I was trying to pace myself well for the long bike + run ahead. So much coeur during the swim!

Let’s get this party started! #swimlove

T1: 10:09

There is a rather long run (300 meters) from the swim exit to transition. When I got to the transition area, I grabbed my T1 bag and quickly made my way into the women’s change tent. I was shocked at the lack of volunteers in the change tent to help the athletes. I am very self sufficient and don’t change, but for those ladies who do a full change and need help getting a dry sports bra on a wet body, they would have had to get help from other female athletes. I quickly put on my socks, bike shoes, and helmet. I loaded my pockets and put on my arm coolers and sunglasses as I ran to my bike.

Long run on the red carpet from the swim exit to transition!

Bike: 7:05:08 (average speed of 15.81 mph)

As I left transition on my bike, I saw Dad and my Aunt Linda cheering me on! I quickly mounted Mojo after the mount line and set off on the bike. Coach Kelly instructed me to dial it back and go out conservatively for the first 56 miles. I was feeling good and really wanted to hammer, but I knew I had a long day in the saddle, so I sat back and tried to keep my watts near the 130 mark. I consumed 2 salty ball every 30 minutes on the bike and NBS hydration every 20 minutes while sipping water the rest of the ride, which is exactly what I’d done in training and it worked beautifully.

Let’s go ride!

This course is essentially 2 x 2 different out and back sections. The first out and back is from the village on Montee Ryan to 117 out to Labelle, back on 117 to St. Jovite, from St. Jovite back on 117 to Montee Ryan and back to the village. There is a “no passing zone” on Montee Ryan in each direction (away from the village and toward the village). The second out and back is 10K out and 10K back on Chemin Duplessis. There is another “no passing zone” on one of the big descents on this section as we return to the village. If an athlete passes another athlete in any of these “zones,” the athlete doing the passing is automatically disqualified and removed from the course. There is plenty of climbing on this course, but in my opinion, this is much easier than Ironman Wisconsin’s bike course.

Loving this course and enjoying the beautiful views!

I felt great during the first 56 miles as I consumed my nutrition according to plan and held back my power so I could open it up during the next 56 miles (or so I thought). My only two goals were to keep my power at 130 watts or less and not get lapped by the professional triathletes racing. I had to remind another athlete of the “no passing zone” leaving the village on Montee Ryan as we were headed to 117, since he attempted to start passing me, but backed off when I reminding him of the no passing zone. I also wanted to go faster in this section, but there was an athlete in front of me that I had to stay behind on the descent to avoid a DQ. As I made my way out to Labelle, I was in awe of the beautiful scenery around me. Sure there were hills to climb,  but there were also some amazing descents to enjoy. As I made my way to St. Jovite, I just soaked it all in…the beauty, the spectators out cheering, and the feelings of pure joy that I was getting to ride my bicycle! I was also super pumped to have achieved both of my goals for the first 56 miles!

Two of the best spectators EVER! Thanks to Dad and Aunt Linda for cheering us on all day long! Love you both!

Each of these out and back sections is done twice. So during the second 56 miles I was ready to cruise, but Mother Nature had increased the winds a bit. I stopped at the first aid station to refill my NBS hydration bottles before fighting some headwinds on the way out to Labelle. Thankfully it was only about 12 miles of fighting the headwind while climbing to Labelle…riding in Iowa means a LOT of windy training rides, so I was ready for this! Mentally I got into a bit of a negative funk as I was struggling physically…not just with the headwinds while climbing, but I felt a bit depleted nutritionally despite nailing my nutrition plan to this point. Once I turned around in Labelle, the tail wind was a blessing and I stopped at the aid station just outside of Labelle to eat a banana and use the kybo…I just can’t make myself pee on the bike while riding. I felt good and strong as I made my way to St. Jovite and was rejuvenated by the crowds and the fact that I was heading back to the village for the final push on the bike course. The 10K out on Chemin Duplessis was tough, but I settled into my easiest gear and steadily climbed my way to the turn around. I was so happy to have ridden the whole course (there were some people who walked their bikes up some of the steeper hills) while staying in my saddle (I never climbed out of the saddle…wahoo). I kept my power and heart rate in check, which would hopefully benefit me on the run! Lots of coeur on the bike!

So much coeur on this course! #bikelove

T2: 5:47

I quickly handed Mojo over to an amazing volunteer who returned her to her spot and removed my helmet on my way to the change tent. I also unzipped my speed top as I knew I wanted to run in the tri top I was wearing under my speed top. I grabbed my T2 bag, stripped my top, changed my socks and shoes, grabbed my nutrition visor, and race belt. I put my race belt and visor on while exiting T2. I made my way to the kybo to pee one more time before starting the run.

Run: 4:51:26 (average pace of 11:07 min/mile)

I felt so strong at the beginning of my run, but having run countless stand alone marathons and 4 marathons at the end of Ironman races, I knew it may not last, so I decided to ride this wave for as long as I could while keeping my pace in check. I broke the marathon into ~8 x 5K segments. I started off easy as I made my way through the first 5K of the run, which is rolling hills. I was so pumped to see one of my Coeur Sports teammates, cheering me on during this section of the run! Thanks for the love Ericka!

Love you Ericka! Thanks for the photo! #runlove

Once I hit the bike path, I knew I had just over a 5K to the turn around. We had done some training runs on this section of the course, so I knew it would be flat and very quiet with few spectators…mostly other athletes + the sounds of our own footfalls. I was still feeling good, so I just kept ticking away the kilometers (everything is in kilometers in Canada). I was taking in water at every aid station, bananas and oranges at nearly every aid station, and my Motts fruit chews every 30 minutes. At mile 4, I HAD to visit the kybo…well, this was a first! I’ve never had this problem during a race before! After a quick stop, I was back to running and spreading all the coeur I could on the course…I hope this lifted others up as much as it lifts me up to spread the love! On my way to the turn around, I saw another Coeur Sports Teammate, Erika, and the Iron Hippie, both running strong! I made it to the turn around, knocking out just over another 5K and was still feeling strong, which I was super stoked about. The only walking I had done to this point was through the aid stations to eat and drink and up the big hills. I decided at this point that I would continue to run (with the exceptions of the aid stations and the bigger hills) at least through the half marathon and re-evaluate how I was feeling. I had never had an IM marathon feel this good, so I just rode the wave and went with it! At about mile 8, I needed to visit the kybo again…ugh! Feeling much lighter, I was still running strong! 😉 Onward…to the end of the bike path and through the rolling hills back to the village! It was so much fun to see Dad and Aunt Linda in the village (as well as all of the other spectators) and know that I was still feeling strong and ready to rock the second half of the marathon!

Yep…Still running strong!

With 4 of my 5Ks behind me, it was time to buckle down! The new goal…make it through the next 2 x 5K distances while still running and feeling strong and then re-evaluate. I continued to knock of the kilometers, spread coeur, see Erika and the Iron Hippie on the run, and made my way to the 19 mile point before needing to visit the kybo again…this time I had to wait a bit for an open one, but I knew I COULD NOT make it to the next one without a mess down my legs, so I waited just a few minutes. After lots of relief, I was back to running strong! I was starting to feel the fatigue, but with just over 6 miles this is where I knew I needed to kick in the mental game, stay focused, continue to run as long as I could, spread more coeur, and enjoy the ride to the finish line! As I made my way to mile 24, I could hear Mike Reilly bringing people home to the Ironman Mont Tremblant finish line and I was so excited to hear him call me across that finish line!

Thanks to Beth, my Track Cat teammate, for capturing this finish line photo from the live feed!

Overall: 13:36:44 = 43 of 86 F40-44, 237 of 461 Females, and 1169 of 1816 Overall

It was a beautiful day for racing in Mont Tremblant! The weather was near perfect…a high of 77*F on race day with winds picking up later in the day. This is the first Ironman race that I feel like I executed it the way it should be executed! I finally nailed my nutrition (despite the kybo visits), I was mentally and physically strong, and I had a PR on the distance by almost 30 minutes! I set myself up for a run that I was FINALLY able to actually run and It. Felt. Amazing! Moving up 514 places on the run was a dream! I left some of my coeur on that course, but I took so much more with me! For this, I am very grateful!

Gratitude:

I am SO grateful to my tribe for helping me get to the finish line! My parents, Aunt Linda, my sisters and their families, my friends and family, Jeff & Deb, Nick with Vitality Massage (my massage therapist), Melanie with Massotherapie Sportive (my massage therapist in Mont Tremblant), Chris with Team Chiropractic (my ART Chiropractor), Kyle at Kyle’s Bikes, Coeur Sports + my Coeur teammates, Sound Probiotics, Roka Sports, and Newton Running. A special thanks to Coach Kelly at Track Cat Fitness for setting me up for success, making me #trackcatstrong, and helping me achieve a new PR. To my fave, my #1…the Iron Hippie…you are my rock and I’m so grateful that we are on this crazy journey together! Thank you!

What’s Up?! – June 2017

How is it already July?! The month of June seems to have flown by MUCH faster than I’d like, but I guess that means I’m having fun! Here is a look at what I’ve been up to:

Training:

Hello outdoor swimming in the 50 meter pool! I sure have missed you and am glad we’ve gotten to spend some time together! I have found that I am becoming a stronger swimmer…putting up swim times that I didn’t think were possible + reflecting on the progress I’ve made! Serious #swimlove

Morning meters in my favorite pool!

Hello first century ride of 2017 + a new 100 mile PR! It was an AMAZING day on 2 wheels and the open roads (with some trail riding)! I felt incredibly strong and felt like I could have easily continued to ride! Serious #bikelove

My fastest 100 miles ever in the saddle with these two!

Coach Kelly has moved my long run to the middle of the week, and I love it! I’m so glad to have made this switch…sometimes change is good! Another thing I’m loving is the split long run! I have found that splitting my long run into an AM and PM run allows me to recover a bit between the two runs and I’m able to run both of these distances at a faster pace. Don’t worry…I’m also getting some long runs in that are done all at once as well…they aren’t always pretty, but I’m doing the work! 😉

Long run done! Not pretty, but done!

HUGE hugs to Coach Kelly, with Track Cat Fitness, for challenging me on so many levels, pushing me WAY out of my comfort zone, and making me #trackcatstrong this year! I am forever grateful for her guidance + support this year!

Swim Totals: 16.7 miles
Bike Totals: 392 miles
Run Totals: 94 miles

Racing:

I did the Liberty Triathlon early in the month, but it didn’t exactly go as planned and wasn’t something I care to repeat. I finished, but not the distance I had trained for.

Reading:

This Road I Ride: Sometimes it Takes Losing Everything to Find Yourself by Juliana Buhring is an amazing ride…errrr…read! Juliana lost the love of her life and decided to cycle around the world having never seriously ridden a bicycle before. Over 152 days, Juliana’s ride spanned four continents and 18,060 miles. She became the fastest woman to cycle the world and beat prior men’s records as well! This inspirational story takes you through her trials and tribulations as she accomplishes a goal she once thought was impossible.

The Brave Athlete: Calm the F*ck Down and Rise to the Occasion by Simon Marshall PhD and Lesley Paterson is a practical guide to help athletes with their mental training. I love that this book gives you “homework” to do to help you improve your mental performance. It isn’t just a book you read, but if you use this amazing tool correctly, it is also a hands-on approach for you to overcome negative thinking, feelings, and acting that have the potential to sabotage your potential and love for sport. This book has helped keep the fun in triathlon!

Re-Defining Our “Weaknesses” by Kara LaPoint is spot on! “In sport, as in life, it’s good to identify our weaknesses; to know them and confront them. But it’s not so good to continually identify ourselves by those weaknesses…” She has changed her mindset…”I now see my “weaknesses” merely as opportunities to become stronger.” We should all view our weaknesses as an opportunity to become stronger!

Listening to:

The Brave Athlete with Dr. Simon Marshall and Lesley Paterson is also one of the books I am currently reading. For most athletes, the “textbook” approaches to mental performance may not work as advertised. Dr. Simon Marshall provides performance psychology support for the BMC Pro Cycling Team. When you combine his knowledge with Lesley Paterson’s impressive triathlon record (hello three-time off road triathlon champion + Ironman champion + coach), you get a dynamic duo who share some of their unique approaches to improve mental performance in athletes.

Triathlete Turned Marathon Swimmer Jamie Ann Phillips is currently training for a 28.5 mile open water swim around New York City known as the 20 Bridges Swim. Her commitment and dedication to swimming this race has her currently swimming 37,000 yards (just over 21 miles) each week in preparation for this event. Become inspired by Jamie Ann Phillips and cheer her on as she swims one of the “Triple Crown” open water swim events this August!

Enjoying:

Time with family + friends! We’ve been so lucky to have our twin nieces come visit us and spend some time with friends!

Playing games!
Visiting Iowa State University’s campus
Strong, athletic women are the best! Summer doesn’t get much better than this!

Following:

Sarah Cooper and Janie Hayes! These two women are strong, inspirational, and amazing! Sarah finished 1st woman  in the individual Race Across America (RAAM) in 11 hours 18 hours 56 minutes. When asked “Why?” her response, “Why not?!” Janie finished 1st woman and 3rd overall in the Trans Am bike self supported bike race across America in 19 days 7 hours 50 minutes. This was Janie’s 2nd time doing this race!

Looking Forward To:

Our 4 week vacation in Vermont, New York, and Canada! While I don’t want to wish summer away (and we’ll be back to work the day we return from our vacation), I am looking forward to exploring new territory, connecting with family + friends, training on new terrain, relaxing, and racing Ironman Mont Tremblant!

#Fearless check-in:

My intention for 2017 is to become more fearless! So…how have I been doing with this? I’ve continued to make progress on becoming more fearless. I am also really working on not letting others opinions of me bother me and I think I’ve gotten much better at this…hello #sportsbrasquad and wearing bikinis at the pool for lap swimming. Am I comfortable…not yet, but I’m facing the fear head on! Since I’m on summer break, work is on the back burner. I will be back at it soon enough! I have made some BIG gains while training this month! This has caused me to have to stare fear in the face and stretch WAY out of my comfort zone! I have stared fear in the face by going out for many solo, long rides! In the past I’ve always had company for rides over 2 hours, but after spending multiple 4+ solo hours in the saddle on the open roads, I’m happy to say that I’m getting more comfortable with the uncomfortable = progress! I have also learned which roads I prefer to ride on by myself and which ones to completely avoid!

Hello #sportsbrasquad running!

While I’ve made some progress on becoming more fearless in different parts of my life, I still have a LOT more progress to make, but don’t we all?! I’m a continuous work in progress!

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

17 weeks ’til #IMMT: getting out of my own way

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!

Teaching myself to flip turn…this isn’t pretty, but it’s a work in progress.

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 😉

Power test prep on this #timetrialtuesday
Getting in some #bikelove
Spending time with Mojo in preparation for my FTP challenge
My view during my FTP challenge…Lots of encouragement + motivation!
So giddy! 16 watt improvement in my FTP test today means I’m over the 200 watt threshold! I never imagined I would see this day! So grateful for Coach Kelly to push me WAY out of my comfort zone and help me get stronger this season!

Run:

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!

Nice easy 30 minute run to test the knees.
Running is always better with friends!! Thanks for the company Robin!!

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

Weekly Positives:

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! 🙂

Lots of mental training and focus last week to prepare me for my FTP challenge!

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…

Aren’t I the “Best in Show”?!

Quote of the Week:

“To achieve anything you want in life you must first start by getting out of your own way.” ~Rafael Colon

My 2016 Year in Review via Photos

January:

My first ever MRI
My first ever MRI…thankfully it was nothing serious!
Basil loves to help me foam roller after a sweaty workout!
Basil is a good helper after a sweaty workout!
I can finally reach my toes...yoga is working :)
Spending lots of time with my boyfriend…mat 🙂

February:

Some serious #runlove with my 2 faves!! Bonus = running in SHORTS in Iowa...see the snow on the ground ;)
Some serious #runlove with my 2 faves!! Bonus = running in SHORTS in Iowa…see the snow on the ground 😉
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More #yogalove this month
Who's ready to race?!
Who’s ready to race?! I’m so excited to be on the Coeur Sports Ambassador Team again for 2016!!

March:

Basil and Mya are dreaming of chasing the geese and swimming!
Basil and Mya are dreaming of chasing the geese and swimming!
Family run off the bike!
Family run off the bike!
"Just one more" hill for TRJ!!
“Just one more” hill for TRJ!!
Easy recovery ride with the boys!
Easy recovery ride in the courage cave with the boys!
Starting my day with my main squeeze and a new friend in the burbs of Chicago!
Starting my day with my main squeeze and a new friend in the burbs of Chicago!

April:

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Lots of swim analyses done this month!
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Outdoor #runlove in shorts!
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First century ride in 2016!!
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#runlove with friends is the best!
Drake 1/2 marathon is in the books! Official finish time = 1:54:23
Drake 1/2 marathon is in the books! Official finish time = 1:54:23

May:

LOTS to work on this week in the pool! Thanks Coach for the stroke analysis and guidance!!
Thanks Coach Hansen for the stroke analysis and guidance!!
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Market to Market Relay fun!
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Market to Market Relay Fun!
#solesistersweat and a podium finish at my first ever duathlon
#solesistersweat and a podium finish at my first ever duathlon
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Challenging our principal to an inflatable race on the last day of school.
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Riding the open roads!

June:

Yoga in the park!
Yoga in the park!
#solesister + #bikelove = #perfectworld
#solesister + #bikelove = #perfectworld
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DC trip with about 20 eighth graders
Swimming with the nieces between storms.
Swimming with the nieces between storms.
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Milkman 70.3 race in Madison on a hot day!
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Our first women’s only ride…SO MUCH FUN and amazing courage in these women!!

July:

4th of July Century ride
4th of July Century ride
#bikelove with amazing people!
#bikelove with amazing people!
Outdoor #swimlove
Outdoor #swimlove
Women's only ride #2 for the year!
Women’s only ride #2 for the year!
Teaching the twins how to ride their bikes without training wheels!
Teaching the twins how to ride their bikes without training wheels!
Swimming with 2 of my favorite girls!
Swimming with 2 of my favorite girls!
Getting low fives from my nieces at the Okoboji Triathlon. Photo by Sarah Riley
Getting low fives from my nieces at the Okoboji Triathlon. Photo by Sarah Riley
The Iron Hippie's Birthday Century Ride
The Iron Hippie’s Birthday Century Ride
Pool Shenanigans post birthday century ride!
Pool Shenanigans post birthday century ride!
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128 miles on the Ironman Wisconsin bike course…EXCELLENT training weekend!
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2.4 mile open water swim event in Madison
This is what happy looks like after a successful Ironman Wisconsin training camp!
This is what happy looks like after a successful Ironman Wisconsin training camp!

August:

Running through the jungle on a sweltering day!
Running through the jungle on a sweltering day!
3.5 mile Okoboji Swim with Dad kayaking next to me
Okoboji 3.5 mile Swim with Dad kayaking next to me
Outdoor pool swimming is coming to an end.
Outdoor 50 meter pool swimming is coming to an end.
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Running with friends is always best!
Outdoor #bikelove
Outdoor #bikelove
Taking a trip down the slide at the pool!
Taking a trip down the slide at the pool!
#runlove with my faves!
#runlove with my faves!
Date night!
Date night!

September:

Countless laps next to my fave!
Countless laps next to my fave!
Race prep while I watch the Ironman 70.3 Worlds Championship!
Race prep while I watch the Ironman 70.3 Worlds Championship!
Swimming with family in Lake Monona
Swimming with family in Lake Monona
Meeting my Coeur Sports teammies
Meeting my Coeur Sports teammies
Ironman Wisconsin race day! Photo credit: Doree Harding
Ironman Wisconsin race day! Photo credit: Doree Harding
Ironman Wisconsin #bikelove Photo credit: Erin Klegstad
Ironman Wisconsin #bikelove Photo credit: Erin Klegstad
Running strong! Photo Credit: Erin Klegstad
Running strong at Ironman Wisconsin! Photo Credit: Erin Klegstad

October:

Mom came to visit for a weekend! It was fun to spend quality time with her!
Mom came to visit for a weekend! It was fun to spend quality time with her!
Run for the Roses fun!
Run for the Roses fun!
Love this little family of mine!
Love this little family of mine!
Spectating the IMT Des Moines Marathon!
Spectating the IMT Des Moines Marathon!
The Iron Hippie getting close to the finish of the IMT Des Moines Marathon...I'm so proud of him only 5 weeks post Ironman Wisconsin
The Iron Hippie getting close to the finish of the IMT Des Moines Marathon…I’m so proud of him only 5 weeks post Ironman Wisconsin
#bikelove in my fall playground!
#bikelove in my fall playground!
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I registered for Ironman Mont Tremblant for 2017!!
These ladies not only inspire me, but encourage me and light my fire! <3
So happy to cheer on my Coeur Sports Teammates as they take on Ironman World Championships in Kona. These ladies not only inspire me, but encourage me and light my fire! ❤

November:

I found out that I made the Coeur Sports 2017 Ambassador Team...Such a #hardcoeur group of women that I'm overjoyed to be a part of!!
I found out that I made the Coeur Sports 2017 Ambassador Team…Such a #hardcoeur group of women that I’m overjoyed to be a part of!!
I'm excited to have hired Kelly Hardiaris with Track Cat Fitness as my new coach!!
I’m excited to have hired Kelly Hardiaris with Track Cat Fitness as my new coach!!
Hot yoga...a date with my mat is always better with friends!!
Hot yoga…a date with my mat is always better with friends!! #yogalove
Washing away the negativity of the month.
Washing away the negativity of the month. #swimlove
Running with friends and THIS. BEAUTIFUL. SUNRISE!
Running with friends and THIS. BEAUTIFUL. SUNRISE! #runlove
Running with my sole sister and Basil makes the world a better place!
Running with my #solesister and Basil makes the world a better place! #runlove
My twin nieces had their first swim meet this month!
My twin nieces had their first swim meet this month!
Proud Aunt!
Proud Aunt!
We are Godparents! Baptism for the twins.
We are Godparents! Baptism for the twins.
Ice skating with our nieces!
Ice skating with our nieces!
Starting Thanksgiving with friends and morning miles!
Starting Thanksgiving with friends and morning miles!
Thankful for this tribe!
Thankful for this tribe!
4 generations of #strongwomen
4 generations of #strongwomen
Jumping on trampolines is a much tougher workout than I thought it would be!
Jumping on trampolines is a much tougher workout than I thought it would be!
Yay!! Mojo is home after surgery!! Now it is time to get to work!!
Yay!! Mojo is home after surgery!! Now it is time to get to work!!

December:

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#chlorinetherapy + #swimlove with the Iron Hippie!!
2 mile time trial with the track all to myself!!
2 mile time trial with the track all to myself!!
FTP test...not where I want to be, but better than where I thought I was.
FTP test…I’m not where I once was, but I’m recovered and ready to work hard to surpass where I once was!!
Working hard to turn my dreams into a reality with some #chlorinetherapy
When you wask up to negative wind chills and want to stay in bed with your dreams, but get up and work hard during your swim time trial to turn those dreams into a reality instead! #swimlove #chlorinetherapy
Running on trails along the river = #runlove
Running on trails along the river = #runlove
Z5 intervals on the bike were super tough, but it felt good to push my limits in a new way and come out stronger as a result!
Z5 intervals on the bike were super tough, but it felt good to push my limits in a new way and come out stronger as a result!
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When it is FREEZING cold outside, it is time to run on the mill and dream of the tropics in my Coeur Sports Tropical Punch kit!
Running the golf course with my girl + bonus #puppylove
Running the golf course with my girl + bonus #puppylove
I did make it all the way to the top and then didn't want to let go...but I did! #fearless
Climbing to new heights is VERY scary for someone who is afraid of heights…but I did! #fearless
Tree pose on a tree trunk...this is much harder in jeans than yoga pants!
Tree pose on a tree trunk…this is much harder in jeans than yoga pants!

I’m thankful for all of the great experiences, adventures, and joy in 2016! Cheers to an even better 2017!

What’s Up?! – December 2016

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:

Training:

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!

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Working on my swim stroke = #swimlove
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Sprinting in my new Coeur Sports Island Vibe tri kit = #bikelove
Running on trails along the river = #runlove
Running on trails along the river = #runlove

Reading:

Surfacing: From the Depths of Self-Doubt to Winning Big and Living Fearlessly” by Siri Lindley…WOW, just WOW!! Inspiration overload here!! Siri overcame SO many challenges in her life to become the amazing athlete and coach that she is today!!

How Bad Do You Want It?: Mastering the Psychology of Mind over Muscle” by Matt Fitzgerald…This is a great read to give insight into the mental toughness of elite athletes from a variety of sports. “Strong mental fitness lets us approach our true physical limits, giving us an edge over physically stronger competitors.”

Enjoying:

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!

Challenged by:

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!

I did make it all the way to the top and then didn't want to let go...but I did! #fearless
I did make it all the way to the top and then didn’t want to let go…but I did! #fearless

How was your month of December? What were your highlights? Who’s ready for 2017?!

Week 1 with Coach Kelly: starting a new chapter

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…

Monday:

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.

Getting my strong on makes me happy!!
Getting my strong on makes me happy!!

Tuesday:

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.

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Love this girl! #morningmileswithBasil
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#swimlove is the perfect way to end the day!

Wednesday:

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!!

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Sharing a lane with my fave! He’s at the other end of the lane…see the high elbow off in the distance?!
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Full of smiles after those tough bike intervals! Finding my #bikelove again!

Thursday:

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.

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#morningmileswithBasil are the best!
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TRX FTW!!

Friday:

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!

Saturday:

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.

2 mile time trial with the track all to myself!!
2 mile time trial with the track all to myself!!
Look...I'm flying!! Airplanes on an inverted Bosu as part of my strength session today.
Look…I’m flying!! Airplanes on an inverted Bosu as part of my strength session today.
Chlorine therapy...Serious #swimlove in a pool all to myself as I work to #findfaster today!
Chlorine therapy…Serious #swimlove in a pool all to myself as I work to #findfaster today!

Sunday:

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!

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My view on my ride today.
#runlove with the first snowfall of the season
#runlove with the first snowfall of the season

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