I’m thankful for all of the great experiences, adventures, and joy in 2016! Cheers to an even better 2017!
I’m thankful for all of the great experiences, adventures, and joy in 2016! Cheers to an even better 2017!
The theme from last week: GRIT! Grit to push through the last week of school with kids. Grit to get up in the morning and work for my dreams. Grit to push through tough workouts and do my best.
I only have two more days of school to wrap up this school year, but the kids are already done. I will be spending those days cleaning my room, sitting through a few meetings, and then the sweet sound of freedom for 11 weeks.
When I woke up at 4 am, I REALLY wanted to roll over and go back to sleep, but dreams don’t come true with my head on the pillow! Grit won! I planted my feet on the floor and went to the gym for an hour strength training session. It ended up being a great way to start the day!
After work, I met a client for personal training and followed this up with some #bikelove intervals. We are so blessed to have some AMAZING neighbors. During the middle of our intervals, we had a fresh baked loaf of sourdough bread delivered to us. That meant homemade tomato soup and grilled cheese sandwiches for dinner. It was so DELISH!! The perfect meal post #bikelove intervals!!
When I woke up at 4 am, it was raining. We had speed work to do while running, so we decided to go to the gym and do this work on the treadmill. This ended up being the perfect decision for this workout! I’m not sure I would have successfully hit the target paces that I did if I were outside on the open roads. Minute ladders for 55 minutes looks like this:
For the zone 5 intervals, I set the treadmill to a 7:03/mile pace (8.5 speed) and for the zone 2 recovery portions, I set the treadmill to an 8:57/mile pace (6.7 speed). Looking back on this, I think I could have run my zone 5 intervals one or two clicks faster, but I didn’t want to be overzealous and not be able to maintain this pace for every interval of the workout. This was a very challenging workout…much more so mentally than physically. #courageovercomfort
After a CRAZY day with students, I went to the pool for a 2400 yard swim. I needed to wash away the negativity from the day. Once I got moving, I could definitely tell I was tired from the morning run. I am working to find my catch in the water, so this means lots of #heartandcourage while I #findfaster. After my swim, I had a VERY productive evening…prepping for Wednesday, cleaning produce from our CSA, preparing lunches for the rest of the week, doing laundry, and dishes before bed.
When I woke up at 4 am, I really, Really, REALLY wanted to roll over and go back to sleep, but grit won this morning. It took me a bit longer than usual to warm up on the bike and not feel like my head should be on my pillow. Once I got into the working set, I finally felt wide awake…the incredibly loud thunder and bright sky from the lightening could have had something to do with it as well. With storms in the area capable of producing hail, we left the car in the garage, which meant cramped quarters while riding. I’m so glad I got up and worked to make my dreams become a reality instead of allowing myself to stay with my dreams while my head was on the pillow. #workforitwednesday
I did some more laundry and vacuumed the house before heading out the door to work.
After another CRAZY day with students, I went back to the pool for 2300 yards of #swimlove. I was tired, but thankfully I had a much better swim than Tuesday. I’m not sure my form was any better, but I did #findfaster in the water!! I had fun in the water, while washing away the negativity from the week.
Thursday’s we typically sleep in and this week was one of those days. It felt really good to sleep in and rest…10 hours of sleep = happy body. After a full day of work, I ran an errand on my home. Our evening consisted of a 1 hour trainer ride in the driveway on a very warm day, 45 minutes of TRX class, and gearing up for my last day of school with students.
We slept in again this morning!! The last day of school is always a fun day for the students and we did our best to make it a fun day for the teachers as well. I challenged our principal to a race through the obstacle course inflatable. We had fun, but both got hurt in the process. Thankfully nothing too serious.
Cue song: “School’s Out For Summer”…well, not quite. I still have 2 professional development days, but no more students until August! After work, I went to the pool to swim and wash away all of the stress from the school year. This was definitely my best swim of the week. I’m certain my form wasn’t much better, but my stroke felt more effortless than it has felt all week. I followed this up with a massage, grocery shopping for the coming week on my way home, and trying to help the Iron Hippie figure out how to get our hot water heater working. Unfortunately the hot water heater went kaput and we can’t get it replaced until Tuesday. I guess that means boiling water to wash dishes and driving to the gym to shower this weekend.
With the rainy early morning forecast, we decided to start our long run at 8 am. This meant we could sleep in! As we set out on our run, I knew it was going to be a challenging run…Holy Humidity Batman! With only one mile under our feet, I already had massive amounts of sweat running off of me! My goal was to start off easy, eventually pick up the pace, and finish with an overall average pace of 9:00/mile for 2 hours of run time. By the end of the run, I had sweat enough to look as though I had gone swimming instead of running. I had completely saturated my shoes…to the point that with every footfall, I could feel and hear the sweat squish in them. Gross 😉 I was grateful that my body held up during this humid run and was able to maintain an average pace of 8:55/mile for the entire 2 hours.
After refueling and changing clothes, we went to the gym for 30 minutes of core work and a hot shower. Since we don’t have a working hot water heater, and we had sweat enough to fill a kiddy pool, it was essential we take a hot shower! After spending about an hour at the gym, we came home, vacuumed the house, did some laundry, washed dishes (heating water on the stove to do dishes makes me feel like I live in the caveman era), got ourselves and bikes ready for a long brick tomorrow, and had a snack.
I spent the rest of the afternoon and early evening relaxing in my compression gear while I blogged, planned out the coming week, and reflected on last week.
We woke up at 6 am so that we could be wheels on by 7:15 am for our long brick. We had a hilly century ride planned with a 30 minute run off the bike. We got through the first 2 hours on our own and then Allen got a ride out to met up with us and ride with us for the next 40 miles. The last 30 miles were again on our own with the open roads. I was pleasantly surprised with the traffic. Almost everyone who passed us did so by going into the left lane, most waited until they were win a passing zone (although some didn’t), and some even honked from a long ways back letting us know they were approaching. If any of you who passed us are reading this, THANK YOU for safely passing us, respecting our choice to be on the open roads, and “passing us like you love us.” We ended up with 103 miles as we rolled into the driveway on a great day! We transitioned into running gear and set out for our 30 minute run. The first 0.5 miles my legs were screaming at me…”What the hell are you doing to me?!” But then I got into a great groove and found myself cruising. The last 4 minutes of the run, I had to really convince myself that I wasn’t as hungry as my belly and body were telling me I was.
We devoured all the food we could find, went to the gym to shower, cleaned and sliced 8 pounds of fresh strawberries (I probably ate a whole pound by myself while I was cleaning them), and then went to our friends’ house for dinner. Great company + awesome grilled food = PERFECT!! We capped off the night with some homemade dessert and blood donating (the mosquitoes were obnoxious) in our neighbors’ back patio.
Weekly Totals: 18 hours & 24 minutes
Swim: 6800 yards
Bike: 157 miles
Run: 23.5 miles
Strength Training: 2 hours & 15 minutes
Quote of the Week:
“Your dreams are on the other side of your grit!” ~Unknown
It is hard to believe that we only have 4 more weeks of school before summer break! Where has the time gone?! April has been a whirlwind, but here is what I’ve been up to:
Hello Spring!! I’ve missed you!! I’m so glad you’ve shown up so I can FINALLY get outside for more of my workouts!! Although today, the weather has turned back to cold, rainy, and gloomy for the weekend. As a matter of fact, the predicted weather for tomorrow morning’s Drake 1/2 Marathon race is 44F with 25 mph winds and 95% chance of rain. Oh…what to wear?! I have had some good training weeks (here and here) and lots of fun in the process!! We recently did a century ride. Why?! Because we could…no other reason. It wasn’t planned, it wasn’t on the calendar, it just kind of happened. It definitely wasn’t our fastest century ride, but the first century ride of 2016 is in the books!
Running has been going well. Little by little, I have been seeing improvements in my run times off of the bike. I am hoping this continues.
Training hasn’t been all peaches and cream. I have been getting some swim coaching, and it has been challenging. Tough. Uncomfortable. I am hoping that one day soon the uncomfortable becomes comfortable, but until then, I will keep working hard and hope that one day (hopefully soon) I will have a swim stroke as beautiful and efficient as Michael Phelps.
Elite Minds: Creating the Competitive Advantage by Stan Beecham is a really easy read that gives insight into the process of developing a world-class mind in business and sport. I’m learning how fear is holding me back, what I can do to overcome this fear, and that I can’t do it on my own. I consider myself to be a very independent person and often try to achieve success on my own. I’m learning that I can’t achieve success without the help and support of others. It is good to ask for and receive help! It is not a sign of weakness. It is time for me to change my mindset! Success is also important on overcoming my fears. It is time to figure out why those fears exist and overcome those fears aside to achieve dreams and success!
Brene Brown is a researcher + storyteller who studies vulnerability, courage, authenticity, and shame. I’ve been taking her Living Brave Semester coursework since January. I can’t even begin to share how much I’ve learned, how much I’ve grown, and how sad I am going to be when this class is over. If you haven’t been exposed to Brene’s work, I highly recommend you watch this Ted Talk or read this article.
All of the fun new Coeur Sports designs in the triathlon and cycling gear! Hello #stylishspeed and #noangrykitty in amazing and fun designs!!
Looking Forward To:
With only 4 more weeks of school, I am definitely looking forward to summer break. Being a school teacher doesn’t have many perks, but the summer off is a definite perk that I look forward to every year!
What new reads do you recommend? What are you loving right now? What are you looking forward to?
This week’s theme is Bouncing Back…just like Tigger! I finally feel like I have my mojo back and am on cruise control in the right direction. The warmer temperatures and sunshine are definitely helping 🙂
The 4 am alarm clock went off, feet planted to the floor, and off we went to the gym for 1 hour of strength training. With it being Boston Marathon Monday, I was very motivated to get out the door and workout while reminiscing my 2010 Boston Marathon experience! After a full day of work, I met with a personal training client, and then had an easy hour recovery ride before getting ready for the rest of my week. When I arrived home today, we had the *joy* of having our street torn up, so we have to park a block away and *commute* to our vehicles this week.
The day started with a 4:30 am alarm clock followed by the 2800 yard swim workout from last week that had me crying in my goggles. This week it went SO much better! I kept telling myself “I am Michael Phelps” over and over again. I’m not sure my form was ANYWHERE close to Michael Phelps, but it sure felt much better than last week! #courageovercomfort After work, I went and picked up our CSA from a local producer and then we went out for an evening run. I really struggled with this run for the first 15 minutes. Once I started to do the interval work, I immediately started to think of all those people I know who can’t run and reminded myself that I *get* to run. I started running for them. This run ended up being one of the best runs I’ve had in a long time!
After a 4 am alarm clock, we hopped on the bikes in the garage for a 90 minute sweat session before work. I looked like the bag lady carrying All. The. Bags. Down the block to my car. I had my purse, lunch pail, backpack, shower caddy, and swim bag. After work, it was back to the pool for 2600 yards of more #swimlove in a cold pool! Loved the temperature, even though most of the kids in swim lessons had blue lips!
6 am alarm clock meant 10 hours of sleep! It felt GLORIOUS! After a full day of work, I had an eye brow wax and then we rode for an easy hour on the bike before teaching TRX at 6:15 pm.
Another sleep in day, which meant 9 more hours of sleep! YIPPEE!! After work, it was an easy recovery swim, followed by running a couple of errands and doing our grocery shopping for the week…NEVER go to the grocery store right after swimming without a grocery list! While everything I purchased was healthy, it was not good on the budget 😉 We had some down time and dog snuggles before an early bedtime to cap of the evening.
We woke up at 6 am so we could go on a long ride, but unfortunately it was very foggy and was only in the mid 40sF. We decided we weren’t going to start our ride until after 10 am to let the fog burn off and the temperatures rise; this gave me time to do some core work, make cream of rice with fresh strawberries and beet powder for breakfast, clean up the kitchen, and do some laundry. We ended up rolling out of our driveway (they opened up our street at about 9 am this morning) at about 10:30 am for a long ride. We didn’t really know how far we would ride, but did know that we wanted to get in at least 3 hours in the saddle. The first 41 miles were all head and cross wind at ~20 mph…It. Was. Tough. More mentally, than physically. At mile 47, we had a decision to make…go straight home with the wind at our backs for a total of 70 miles, or endure more cross wind to add on some mileage and get to the trail system. We opted for the cross wind and trail. When we got to mile 61, we had another decision to make…go straight home for a total of 77 miles, or endure more cross winds and add on some mileage so we could end up with 100 miles for the day. We opted for the cross wind and 100 mile day. It didn’t set any speed records for this century ride, but we did set a record for the earliest century ride in the calendar year. Memorial Day weekend was our earliest century ride before today. When we got home, we refueled, cleaned up, and relaxed.
We woke up at 5:30 am to get our long run done. We finished just shy of 10 miles and it is always so much fun with friends! After our run, we refueled, cleaned house, did laundry, and got ready for the week before having breakfast for lunch with our neighbors at 1 pm. Shortly before 2 pm, we walked downtown with the dogs for Healthy Streets Ames. The dogs had a blast! There were so many kids downtown and lots of them wanted to pet the girls, which meant dog kisses! We got home shortly before 4 pm and relaxed for a bit while the dogs napped. Then it was time for pizza and fro-yo before an early bedtime!
Weekly Totals: 17 hours & 47 minutes
Swim: 7500 yards
Bike: 150 miles
Run: 17.3 miles
Strength Training: 2 hours & 15 minutes
Quote of the Week:
“Once you replace negative thoughts with positive ones, you’ll start having positive results.” ~Willie Nelson
I got to spend the day on two wheels with my fave and LOTS of wind. We definitely didn’t break any speed records, but we did break a record for the earliest century in a calendar year…April 23 and 100 miles is in the books!!
What is the earliest time of year you’ve completed an outdoor century ride?
Yesterday we hopped on the bikes at 8:15 am and set out on an adventure. Our goal was 100 miles of saddle time…and to have a little fun along the way 🙂 We weren’t concerned about pacing. We weren’t concerned about keeping our stop breaks to a minimum. We weren’t concerned about taking our time to finish the ride.
The farthest we had gone so far this spring prior to this ride was 52 miles, so we knew this would be a big jump in distance and saddle time for us, but we had all day to get it done.
The first 40 miles were really fun. Sure it rained on us for a bit, but we were just getting started, so we were feeling good and we had the winds at our backs for the most part.
Shortly before mile 40, we saw a sign that looked like this:
This would be the first of many (I lost count after #4)…”Twister Hill” was the first BIG hill that we would encounter on this route. Unfortunately in central Iowa, we always go down the big hills first and then have to climb back out of the river valley. “Twister Hill” is where some of the filming took place in the movie “Twister.” What goes down, must come up…225 feet of climbing over 1 mile. For central Iowa, this is a fairly big hill 😉
We had a few more of these big hills to descend and climb before we got to mile 50 where we would take our 2nd longer break to refill the water bottles. We finished the first 50 miles in just under 3 hours.
Once we were back in the saddle, we knew we were going to have some headwinds to fight, a couple more of those big hills to climb and lots of rolling hills to overcome. As a result, we decided to start off a bit easier than what we had been riding for the first 50 miles.
At mile 80, we knew we only had 7 more miles of suck until we could turn around and have the tailwind for the last 15 miles home. These next 7 miles would prove to be VERY challenging…more mentally than physically, but we conquered them!!
We easily averaged over 20 mph on the return trip to Ames, without even trying. It was awesome!! When we pulled into our driveway, we were super excited to get off our bikes, relax in the lawn chairs and eat the homemade beef stew that had been cooking all day in the crock pot 🙂
Total Ride Time: 6:33:08
Total Distance: 102 miles
Average Speed: 15.6 mph
Total Elevation Gain: 2,956 feet (the Ironman Wisconsin bike course is 2,890 feet of climbing over 112 miles)
Average Power: 121 Watts (upper Zone 1…I need to work on getting more solidly into Zone 2)
This morning I received a text message from Allen with the following quote that I feel sums up our century ride almost perfectly:
“I was thinking about our ride yesterday and it was rather sadistic. Let’s start with 40 miles in the rain to get soaked and going, then throw in 35 miles of climbing in and out of the Des Moines river valley because we are bored, then for more fun lets finish up by riding straight into a headwind for a bit more enjoyment. I am not sure we could have chosen a harder 100 around here and still end up in Ames. Good work 🙂 “
Knee Update…I am still unable to run, but cycling does not bother my knee at all. I am going through active release therapy and am still holding out some hope that I will be able to run some at our upcoming 70.3 race on June 8.
As a very independent woman (sometimes this causes some scuttle in our household), I enjoy celebrating Independence Day!! In honor of Independence Day falling on Thursday of this last week, I decided to do a week long celebration and document my Red, White and Blue week through photography.
Monday, July 1, 2013: Today was a day in red…
Tuesday, July 2, 2013: I went for white and blue today…
Wednesday, July 3, 2013: My day in Blue
Thursday, July 4, 2013: Today was a rest day…we had a very fun and busy day to celebrate Independence Day!!
Friday, July 5, 2013: Our Century Ride…I’m in white and blue today
Saturday, July 6, 2013: Today was a day in blue (and black) while donning my red and white Mojo…
Sunday, July 7, 2013: Another day in blue…