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 😉

IMG_7600

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:

IMG_9177

Lots of swim analyses done this month!

DCIM100GOPROG0030986.

Outdoor #runlove in shorts!

IMG_0348

First century ride in 2016!!

IMG_0351

#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!!

IMG_0854

Market to Market Relay fun!

IMG_0866

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

IMG_1853

Challenging our principal to an inflatable race on the last day of school.

DCIM100GOPROGOPR3329.

Riding the open roads!

June:

Yoga in the park!

Yoga in the park!

#solesister + #bikelove = #perfectworld

#solesister + #bikelove = #perfectworld

IMG_2878

DC trip with about 20 eighth graders

Swimming with the nieces between storms.

Swimming with the nieces between storms.

_DFR4611

Milkman 70.3 race in Madison on a hot day!

IMG_3720

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!

DCIM100GOPROGOPR5804.

128 miles on the Ironman Wisconsin bike course…EXCELLENT training weekend!

DCIM100GOPROGOPR5812.

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.

IMG_5574

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!

img_6322

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:

img_6617

#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!

DCIM100GOPROG0018704.

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!

15 weeks ’til #IMWI: Grit

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.

Monday:

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!

IMG_1518

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!!

IMG_1528

Tuesday:

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:

  • 15 minute warm up
  • 1 minute Zone 5/1 minute Zone 2
  • 2 minutes Zone 5/2 minutes Zone 2
  • 3 minutes Zone 5/3 minutes Zone 2
  • 4 minutes Zone 5/4 minutes Zone 2
  • 3 minutes Zone 5/3 minutes Zone 2
  • 2 minutes Zone 5/2 minutes Zone 2
  • 1 minute Zone 5/1 minute Zone 2
  • 8 minute cool down

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

DCIM100GOPROG0012915.

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.

IMG_1597

Wednesday:

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.

DCIM100GOPROG0033038.

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.

DCIM100GOPROG0033130.

Thursday:

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.

DCIM100GOPROG0013160.

DCIM100GOPROG0013170.

Friday:

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.

IMG_1853

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.

DCIM100GOPROG0023250.

IMG_1946

Saturday:

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.

DCIM100GOPROG0013304.

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.

"Mom, I just want to try a piece, or all of the pieces, of your pineapple." ~Basil

“Mom, I just want to try a piece, or all of the pieces, of your pineapple.” ~Basil

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.

Sunday:

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.

DCIM100GOPROGOPR3329.

103 miles of #bikelove on a BEAUTIFUL day!

IMG_1980

30 minute run at an 8:39/mile average pace off of a century ride…I’ll take that!!

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

What’s Up?! – April 2016

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:

Training:

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!

IMG_0348

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.

DCIM100GOPROG0030986.

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.

Swim Analysis

Where is my catch?!

DCIM100GOPROG0051473.

Playing in the pool…trying to keep things fun!

Reading:

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!

Inspired By:

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.

Courage

Loving:

All of the fun new Coeur Sports designs in the triathlon and cycling gear! Hello #stylishspeed and #noangrykitty in amazing and fun designs!!

IMG_9862

Crew Design

DCIM100GOPROG0021232.

Mixed Tape Design

DCIM100GOPROG0051685.

Hapuna Design

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?

20 weeks ’til #IMWI: Bouncing Back

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 🙂

Monday:

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.

IMG_0030

IMG_0159

Tuesday:

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!

DCIM100GOPROG0011798.

“I am Michael Phelps!”

IMG_0166

CSA produce is a sure sign of spring!

IMG_0174

#heartandcourage

Wednesday:

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!

DCIM100GOPROGOPR1835.

DCIM100GOPROG0021882.

Thursday:

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.

IMG_0271

Friday:

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.

DCIM100GOPROG0011900.

I was told by another swimmer that I looked “like candy” in my suit. I told her I’d be much sweeter after swimming and washing away the stress and drama from the week. It worked!

IMG_0239

Reading + dog snuggles = LOVE

Saturday:

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.

DCIM100GOPROGOPR1958.

Still smilin’ at mile 89 = serious #bikelove

DCIM100GOPROGOPR1965.

Our shadows were growing longer as we got closer to home.

IMG_0333

No speed records here, but 100 miles in the saddle on April 23 in central Iowa…we’ll take it!!

Sunday:

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!

IMG_0352

IMG_0351

#runlove with Robin!

IMG_0353

Breakfast burritos for lunch!

IMG_0359

Healthy Streets Ames has some new mascots!

IMG_0364

Walking with our dog friends!

IMG_0365

IMG_0366

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

100 miles…Why? WHY NOT?!

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!!

DCIM100GOPROGOPR1958.

Still smiling at 89 miles in 😉

DCIM100GOPROGOPR1965.

Shadows are growing…

IMG_0333

No speed records, but a fun day on two wheels!

What is the earliest time of year you’ve completed an outdoor century ride?

Century Ride in the Books

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.

IMG_3487

The Iron Hippie and Dr. Chris taking a quick break to refill our water bottles.

IMG_3488

Allen taking a quick break to refill water bottles.

Shortly before mile 40, we saw a sign that looked like this:

IMG_1475This 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.

IMG_3499

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!!

IMG_3498

We finally made it to mile 87…now it is time for the tailwind.

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.

Celebrating my Independence

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…

I went to Furman Aquatic Center and swam 2660 yards on the short end of the pool (23.75 yard distance for one length).  When I got done with my swim, I decided to try water walking.   The Lazy River was open for water walking and while some people were walking with the current, I wanted more of a challenge and instead walked with those people walking against the current for 30 minutes.  I really enjoyed the water walking as a different way to keep moving!!

I went to Furman Aquatic Center and swam 2660 yards on the short end of the pool (23.75 yard distance for one length). When I got done with my swim, I decided to try water walking. The Lazy River was open for water walking and while some people were walking with the current, I wanted more of a challenge and instead walked with those people walking against the current for 30 minutes. I really enjoyed the water walking as a different way to keep moving!!

Monday afternoon, my husband and I went for a leisure bike ride on our cross bikes through the woods near our house.  We had fun covering 4 miles in 30 minutes on very uneven terrain, while enjoying the picture Mother Nature has so beautifully painted.  It was also fun to get out on Molly the Raleigh.  We definitely don't get to spend enough time together during triathlon training!!

Monday afternoon, my husband and I went for a leisure bike ride on our cross bikes through the woods near our house. We had fun covering 4 miles in 30 minutes, while enjoying the picture Mother Nature has so beautifully painted. It was also fun to get out on Molly the Raleigh…we definitely don’t get to spend enough time together during triathlon training!!

Tuesday, July 2, 2013:  I went for white and blue today…

Tuesday morning we woke up to a BEAUTIFUL July morning.  It was 61 degrees at 5:15 am when we started our 8 mile run.  It is mornings like these that make me feel like I could run forever!!

Tuesday morning we woke up to a BEAUTIFUL July morning!! It was 61 degrees at 5:15 am when we started our 8 mile run. It is mornings like these that make me feel like I could run forever…covering 8 miles in 1:12:29…what fun!!  I got to see a gorgeous sunrise with wonderful company doing what I love!!  What an amazing way to start the day!!

After running, I went to the gym to complete a one hour strength training session.

After running, I went to the gym to complete a one hour strength training session.

Wednesday, July 3, 2013:  My day in Blue

While 58 degrees at 6 am may feel a bit chilly to most people...especially when getting into the pool for an outdoor swim, it was a BEAUTIFUL morning!!  I got to enjoy swimming in the 50 meter pool, which included a 1000 meter straight swim.  I swam this 1000 meters in 20:40, which gave me an average pace of 1:53 per 100 yards.  I was pretty happy with this!!

While 58 degrees at 6 am may feel a bit chilly to most people…especially when getting into the pool for an outdoor swim, I thought it was a BEAUTIFUL morning!! I got to enjoy swimming in the 50 meter pool, which included a 1000 meter straight swim. I swam this 1000 meters in 20:40, which gave me an average pace of 1:53 per 100 yards. I’ll take that!!

I went for a 37 mile bike ride on the High Tressel Trail system at 2 pm.  It was a BEAUTIFUL day to be outside and enjoy Mother Nature!!

I went for a 37 mile bike ride on the High Tressel Trail system at 2 pm. It was a BEAUTIFUL day to be outside and enjoy Mother Nature!!

Thursday, July 4, 2013:  Today was a rest day…we had a very fun and busy day to celebrate Independence Day!!

We started the day by sleeping in and then heading downtown on our cross bikes for free buttermilk pancakes served at City Hall by the City of Ames employees.  It was a fun way to start our day!!

We started the day by sleeping in and then headed downtown on our cross bikes for free buttermilk pancakes served at City Hall by the City of Ames employees. It was a fun way to start our day!!

The dogs loving the water on a beautiful day!!

We took the dogs to the local watering hole for a great afternoon swim!!

We finished off the great day with some amazing friends, a campfire and smores.  What a great day!!!

We finished off the great day with some amazing friends, a campfire and smores. What a great day!!!

Friday, July 5, 2013:  Our Century Ride…I’m in white and blue today

Our Century Ride route..

Our Century Ride route through Central Iowa..

What a great way to spend the day...with great friends, doing what I love...riding bikes!!

What a great way to spend the day…with great friends, doing what I love…riding bikes…both on the roads and trails in Central Iowa!!  Our goal for the day was just to complete 100 miles (not aiming for a certain speed/pace), enjoy each other’s company and enjoy what started out as a beautiful Iowa day!!

On our way to the High Tressel Trail (top), a few of the men needed to relieve themselves (bottom)...

On our way to the High Tressel Trail (top), a few of the men needed to relieve themselves (bottom)…

A few awesome hill climbs scattered throughout the ride provided for some amazing scenery!!  We did have a train that we had to wait for as well as a flat tire (by my husband), but we finished our 100 miles in style!!

A few hill climbs scattered throughout the ride provided for some amazing scenery!! We did have a train that we had to wait for as well as a flat tire (by my husband), but we finished our 100 miles in style!!  Oh yeah…at about 11 am the furnace kicked on and that beautiful morning turned into a scorching afternoon…

Saturday, July 6, 2013:  Today was a day in blue (and black) while donning my red and white Mojo…

After yesterday's century ride, I was anticipating a sore bum when I donned Mojo for my brick workout, but I was pleasantly surprised...No sore bum, legs felt GREAT and I was strong and able to push forward at a surprising speed (especially into the headwind).  Bike:  average speed was 17.5 mph for 25 miles...Run: 9:18 average pace for 5 miles.

After yesterday’s century ride, I was anticipating a sore bum when I donned Mojo for my brick workout, but I was pleasantly surprised…No sore bum, legs felt GREAT and I was strong and able to push forward at a surprising speed (especially into the headwind). Bike: average speed was 17.5 mph for 25 miles…Run: 9:18 average pace for 5 miles.  The run was a bit of a challenge as we were running in the heat of the day (90+ degrees), but I finished strong!!  I was pleasantly surprised with how well this workout finished up.

Sunday, July 7, 2013:  Another day in blue…

Woke up early to go for a 2 hour run, which ended up being exactly 13 miles at an average pace of 9:16.  It was a very muggy morning...so muggy that during the last couple of miles, I had sweat so much that my shoes were squishy and squeaking water with every foot fall.

Woke up early for a 2 hour run, which ended up being exactly 13 miles at an average pace of 9:16. It was a VERY muggy morning…so muggy that during the last couple of miles, I had sweat so much that my shoes were squishy and squeaking sweat with every foot fall.  This was a challenging run after all of the other workouts that I completed this weekend…it wasn’t pretty, but I finished!

A great afternoon at The Pits with some friends

An awesome late morning swim at The Pits with some friends and all the dogs…what a great way to end the AMAZING Independence Week!!