25 Weeks ’til IMWI 2016: Spring Break!

Where has time gone?!?! It is hard to believe we are only 25 weeks out from Ironman Wisconsin 2016!! This will be Ironman #4 for me, and I am so excited to revisit one of my all time favorite races and enjoy the journey to IMWI finish line #3. For my past Ironman races, I have documented my journey in weekly posts. This has helped keep me accountable for completing my workouts, given me a place to reflect on every week…both the ups and downs, helped motivate and inspire others, and hopefully encouraged even one person (more would be awesome) to work hard to achieve their dreams. For these reasons (and maybe others I’m forgetting), I am going to include weekly posts starting today!

Last week I was on spring break, so I had plenty of time to complete workouts, clean house, grocery shop, do some work, relax and enjoy time with my faves, do some course work for my “Living Brave” class, and get a taste of what my summer break is like. Only 10 weeks until summer break BTW 😉

Monday:

Despite being on spring break, I woke up at 4 am for 1 hour of strength training, which I followed up with balancing the check book, paying bills, and heading to Kyle’s Bikes in Ankeny with Mojo for a bike fit and getting a new helmet with my birthday money. After getting my new Cobb V-Flow saddle in December, it was time to double check that my fit was keeping everything happy. Lucky for me, everything is happy and no adjustments were needed! After returning home, I took the dogs for a walk and decided to indulge and celebrate “National Napping Day” with some time for my head and pillow to reacquaint themselves with each other 😉 I finished out the day with an easy 1 hour recovery ride with the crew in the courage cave.

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Basil approves of my new helmet!!
Basil approves of my new helmet!!
Basil and Mya are dreaming of chasing the geese and swimming!
Basil and Mya are dreaming of chasing the geese and swimming!

Tuesday:

I was going to get up early and swim this morning, but decided to sleep in instead. This was just what the body needed!! I got my lists together for all of the purchases I was about to make and set off…3 hours later, the house was restocked and it was time for my workouts! I had a great 2800 yard swim and followed this up with the “Lucky 7s” run. Forty-two minutes of hill climbing at varying inclines is no joke…especially by the end!

This isn't even all of it!!
This isn’t even all of it!!
Swim time!
Swim time!
"Lucky 7s" includes 42 minutes of hill climbing at various inclines.
“Lucky 7s” includes 42 minutes of hill climbing at various inclines.

Wednesday:

I started the day with a 4 am wake-up call and a 90 minute sweatfest ride…hill repeats was on the docket! Yes, I know I ran hills yesterday, but there were more hills for today…this time on the bike. Later that morning, I had one of the best swims I’ve had in a LONG time!! It was only 2000 yards, but it was full of 100s on the 2:00 and 50s on the 1:00. By changing up my swim stroke over the last month + focusing on #courageovercomfort during this swim, I saw paces I’ve never seen before!! Hello progress!! I was on such a high from this workout, that when I got home I took the dogs for a walk before starting to deep cleaning the house 🙂

Hill repeats!!
Hill repeats!!
Our neighbors dinosaur yard ornament has laid eggs just in time for Easter!
While walking the dogs, we spotted our neighbor’s dinosaur yard ornament laid eggs just in time for Easter!

Thursday:

I spent most of my day finishing my #deepcleanthehouse project today. We’ll see how long this lasts…unfortunately never long enough 😉 After the Iron Hippie returned home from work, we celebrated St. Patrick’s Day with a nice and easy recovery ride for one hour and then spent about 45 minutes doing some functional strength training. Typically I teach TRX on Thursday’s but because of spring break, there was no class this week, so I mixed it up by using the Bosu, stability ball, and hand weights today. It was fun to do something different for a change!

Recovery ride in my lucky Coeur Sports shorts!!
Recovery ride in my lucky Coeur Sports shorts!!

Friday:

After spending the last two days cleaning, cleaning, cleaning, today’s focus was relaxation…doing some work with my feet up!! I started the day with some “Living Brave” coursework, went to the pool for my recovery swim, followed all of this up with some more grocery/supply stock piling, and finished out the day with some work in preparation for going back to school on Monday.

Recovery swim, but I had more fun playing with my new GoPro after my swim!!
Recovery swim, but I had more fun playing with my new GoPro after my swim!!

Saturday:

After 30 minutes of core work, we hopped on the trainer for our nearly 3 hour ride, which we followed up with a 40 minute run off the bike. I sweat SO much on the bike, that changing into my run gear was incredibly difficult…SO MUCH STICKING!! Old Man Winter held on and “blessed” us with more snow on this last day of winter. After refueling, napping and prepping food for the week, we went to visit friends and watch the ISU Cyclones win and make it to the Sweet Sixteen in the NCAA tournament.

2 hours & 45 minutes in the saddle = LOTS of sweat!!
2 hours & 45 minutes in the saddle = LOTS of sweat!!
Family run off the bike!
Family run off the bike as the snow starts to fly!

Sunday:

We started the morning with 75 minutes of intervals on the bike and transitioned to an 80 minute run. There were more times than not that I wanted to walk on this run, but I did not surrender. I held strong and pushed forward. One foot in front of the other. My legs were trashed by the end; legs up a wall and an epsom salt bath were just what was needed to promote recovery. After an early afternoon nap, we relaxed for a bit, watching some of the NCAA tournament and gearing up for the coming week.

75 minutes of tough intervals before the long run.
75 minutes of tough intervals before the long run.
Legs up the wall post long run is the best recovery!!
Legs up the wall post long run is the best recovery!!

Weekly Totals:

Swim: 6,900 yards
Bike: 103 miles
Run: 19.2 miles
Strength Training: 2:15:00

Total: 15:20:00

Weekly Quote: 

“Strength does not come from winning. Your struggles develop your strengths. When you go through hardships and decide not to surrender, that is strength.”  ~Arnold Schwarzenegger

How was your week of training? Do you get time off for “spring break?” If so, what did you do?

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Back on the Train

You may recall that I fell off the train in December, but I am pleased as punch to say that the train picked me back up when it came back through in January!

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Look at all of the green in Training Peaks! We have started our Ironman Wisconsin 2016 journey with a #bikeblocktraining focus for the month of January. What does this mean for each discipline?!?!?!

Swim:

I have only visited the pool one day a week for the month of January. This was somewhat intentional. In January there tends to be more people at the pool (which is awesome), but with such limited hours for lap swimming at the local pool, it makes more sense for me to go only one day per week in January. I must say, I am looking forward to increasing my time in the water and super excited to try out my new swim caps…hello swim motivation!!

Fun new swim caps for swim motivation and more #swimlove
Fun new swim caps for swim motivation and more #swimlove

Bike:

I have been doing LOTS of cycling so far in the month of January…7 rides a week with one rest day each week, means every Wednesday I get a double dose of #bikelove! I’m working on bike strength and trying to improve my power output. Wow…what a slow process that is! It has given me a lot of time to spend with my new Cobb Cycling saddle, and bike fit, which I am lovin’!

My new Cobb Cycling V-Flow saddle :)
My new Cobb Cycling V-Flow saddle 🙂

Run:

I am finally getting some run miles in…not many, but it is a start 🙂 I have only ran a few times in the last 3+ months and so far, it is feeling good! I am excited to get back to a more regular training schedule so that I can run more and find that #runlove that feeds me!

30 easy minutes is a start!
30 easy minutes is a start!

Strength:

I have been doing strength training 3 days a week and just recently increased my weights…hello DOMS!! It feels good to be getting stronger 🙂

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Yoga:

Reacquainting myself with my mat has been AH-MAZ-ING!! I definitely missed my dates with mat 😉 I need to incorporate more stretching into my workout routine and hot yoga has felt so awesome since our wind chill temperatures have been -31F lately!! A hot room, a good stretch and lots of sweat on a COLD winter day = motivation to go outdoors to get to the yoga studio 🙂

Rekindling my relationship with my mat! #yogalove
Rekindling my relationship with my mat! #yogalove

How has your training been since the start of 2016? What keeps you motivated to complete your workouts through the winter months?

My 2015 Year in Review via Photos

January:

Running with the family
Running with the family
#solesistasweat
#solesistasweat
Getting some #runlove with my favorite four-legged baby girl!
Getting some #runlove with my favorite four-legged baby girl!
One of my favorite trainer workouts
One of my favorite trainer workouts

February:

#solesistasweat
#solesistasweat
Getting my Coeur Sports Ambassador gear :)
Getting my Coeur Sports Ambassador gear 🙂
Swim clinic...love to learn
Swim clinic…love to learn
#solesistasweat
#solesistasweat
#heartandcourage strong
#heartandcourage strong
Conquering Mountains
Conquering Mountains

March:

#Yogalove
#Yogalove
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Fun times with my #solesista
Birthday funday!
Birthday funday!
Bike fit love
Bike fit love
Spring break with my #solesister
Spring break with my #solesister
Fun with my nieces at the park
Fun with my nieces at the park
Playing tag with the family
Playing tag with the family
Running a 5K with my sister
Running a 5K with my sister

April:

Our own 70.3 workout day
Our own 70.3 workout day
Teaching women how to do bike maintenance
Teaching women how to do bike maintenance
#runlove with the family
#runlove with the family
Drake 1/2 Marathon fun!
Drake 1/2 Marathon fun!
Drake 1/2 Marathon fun
Drake 1/2 Marathon fun
Niece #5 was born!
Niece #5 was born!

May:

Outdoor training :)
Outdoor training 🙂
I love to ride my bicycle!
I love to ride my bicycle!
Oops...learning lessons
Oops…learning lessons
Visiting the Aerospace Engineering Department at Iowa State University
Visiting the Aerospace Engineering Department at Iowa State University
Changing a flat while the Iron Hippie watches...I'm sure many people who passed us had some thoughts about his "supervision" duties ;)
Changing a flat while the Iron Hippie watches…I’m sure many people who passed us had some thoughts about his “supervision” duties 😉
Last day of school!!
Last day of school!!
Getting my Undress in the mail and loving it!!
Getting my Undress in the mail and loving it!!

June:

First outdoor swim in 2015
First outdoor swim in 2015
Finishing the Legend 100 hand-in-hand with the Iron Hippie. Photo courtesy of Legend Endurance
Finishing the Legend 100 hand-in-hand with the Iron Hippie. Photo courtesy of Legend Endurance
Who's ready to race?!?!?!
Who’s ready to race?!?!?!
Dad (blue) and Tom (gray) figuring out how to get into their kayaks to escort me on an open water swim
Dad (blue) and Tom (gray) figuring out how to get into their kayaks to escort me on an open water swim
We are ready to ride the Tour de Cure Cedar Rapids!!
We are ready to ride the Tour de Cure Cedar Rapids!!

July:

30 miles into our 115 mile bike ride. Last big ride before Ironman Boulder
30 miles into our 115 mile bike ride. Last big ride before Ironman Boulder
Last big swim before Ironman Boulder
Last big swim before Ironman Boulder
Last long run before Ironman Boulder
Last long run before Ironman Boulder
Meeting my blog friend, Kelli, and her family :)
Meeting my blog friend, Kelli, and her family 🙂
The view off of the deck overlooking the lake in Red Feather Lakes, CO.
The view off of the deck overlooking the lake in Red Feather Lakes, CO.
The morning sunrise on the mountains at Red Feather Lakes, CO.
The morning sunrise on the mountains at Red Feather Lakes, CO.
Taking a boat ride in Red Feather Lakes, CO
Taking a boat ride in Red Feather Lakes, CO
Sunset with a double rainbow in the background (this photo does not do the real beauty justice) in Red Feather Lakes, CO
Sunset with a double rainbow in the background (this photo does not do the real beauty justice) in Red Feather Lakes, CO
We made it to Estes Park, CO!!
We made it to Estes Park, CO!!
The view of Longs Peak from our patio in Estes Park, CO.
The view of Longs Peak from our patio in Estes Park, CO.
Happy Anniversary to the Iron Hippie...what a great way to celebrate 5 years in Grand Lakes, CO ;)
Happy Anniversary to the Iron Hippie…what a great way to celebrate 5 years in Grand Lakes, CO 😉
We made it to Adam's Falls...with Allen and the Iron Hippie.
We made it to Adam’s Falls…with Allen and the Iron Hippie.
We all survived our first run at altitude :)
We all survived our first run at altitude 🙂
Three athletes ready to ride in Boulder, CO!
Three athletes ready to ride in Boulder, CO!
The view from the path around Lake Estes, CO.
The view from the path around Lake Estes, CO.
Ward, Colorado was our turn around point for the Peak to Peak Highway ride.
Ward, Colorado was our turn around point for the Peak to Peak Highway ride.
People lining the shore getting ready for the BAM OWS in Boulder, CO.
People lining the shore getting ready for the BAM OWS in Boulder, CO.
BAM OWS in Boulder, CO complete...I felt GREAT!!
BAM OWS in Boulder, CO complete…I felt GREAT!!
Stand-up paddle boarding in Lake Estes, CO :)
Stand-up paddle boarding in Lake Estes, CO 🙂
Taking a break from the riding and doing a little core work in Ward!!
Taking a break from the riding and doing a little core work in Ward!!
Riding the Peak to Peak Highway in Colorado
#bikelove on the Peak to Peak Highway in Colorado
We found a "sign" of back home in downtown Denver!!
We found a “sign” of back home in downtown Denver!!
Loch Lake, CO...Loving the hike!
Loch Lake, CO…Loving the hike!
Having a little fun throwing snowballs in July on our way up to Loch Vale.
Having a little fun throwing snowballs in July on our way up to Loch Vale.
"Riding" tandem in Estes Park, CO
“Riding” tandem in Estes Park, CO
Ironman Boulder...here I come!
Ironman Boulder…here I come!
Ready to race IMBoulder :)
Ready to race IMBoulder 🙂
Getting Registered for Ironman Boulder
Getting Registered for Ironman Boulder
I'm so lucky to have my family at IMBoulder to cheer me on!
I’m so lucky to have my family at IMBoulder to cheer me on!

August:

Mojo is all racked and getting a good night's rest at her temporary home so we can have fun at IMBoulder!!
Mojo is all racked and getting a good night’s rest at her temporary home so we can have fun at IMBoulder!!
My aunt, cousins and Dad came out to the Rez for the IMBoulder swim
My aunt, cousins and Dad came out to the Rez for the IMBoulder swim
Whizzing through Hygiene on the first loop...Serious #bikelove on this course!!
Whizzing through Hygiene on the first loop…Serious #bikelove on this course!!
Mom and the twins are cheering me on to the run!
Mom and the twins are cheering me on to the run!
This smile sums up my race day experience!!
This smile sums up my race day experience!!
Erin...one of my Coeur Sports teammates and my angel on race day!!
Erin…one of my Coeur Sports teammates and my angel on race day!!
My cheer squad...Love them all!!
My cheer squad…Love them all!!
Dad and Sam cheering me on down the finish shoot...yes, that blur is me :)
Dad and Sam cheering me on down the finish shoot…yes, that blur is me 🙂
Coming into the finish shoot all smiles...it was a daylight finish, but these photos don't represent that.
Coming into the finish shoot all smiles…it was a daylight finish, but these photos don’t represent that.
Visiting my sister and nieces in California
Visiting my sister and nieces in California
Sister time in Cali!
Sister time in Cali!
Running up Mt. Diablo in California
Running up Mt. Diablo in California
#solesistasweat
#solesistasweat
#bikelove with friends
#bikelove with friends

September:

Team Kecia crossed the finish line at the Des Moines Triathlon...job complete.
Team Kecia crossed the finish line at the Des Moines Triathlon…job complete.
Holy Crap! I think this is a sign that I left it all out on the bike course.
Holy Crap! I think this is a sign that I left it all out on the bike course.
Volunteering at Ironman Wisconsin...Race morning in front of the Capitol.
Volunteering at Ironman Wisconsin…Race morning in front of the Capitol.
Ironman Wisconsin Race morning...who is ready to swim?!?!?!
Ironman Wisconsin Race morning…who is ready to swim?!?!?!
The women volunteers in T1 at Ironman Wisconsin
The women volunteers in T1 at Ironman Wisconsin
Getting my Sound Probiotics Ambassador gear
Getting my Sound Probiotics Ambassador gear
Basil walking toward the Supermoon on a rural gravel road.
Basil walking toward the Supermoon on a rural gravel road.

October:

Signed up for Ironman Wisconsin 2016!
Signed up for Ironman Wisconsin 2016!
300+ 8th grade students ready for the AMS Spirit Run!
300+ 8th grade students ready for the AMS Spirit Run!
Fall #bikelove is the best :)
Fall #bikelove is the best 🙂
Date night with the Iron Hippie as we work on our strength training
Date night with the Iron Hippie as we work on our strength training
Finding some motivation with my #IMWI finisher medal and race bib on the wall next to me as I ride
Finding some motivation with my #IMWI finisher medal and race bib on the wall next to me as I ride
Lots of #heartandcourage as I heal up from bursitis of the my left knee
Lots of #heartandcourage as I heal up from bursitis of the my left knee
Taking the dogs for a swim
Taking the dogs for a swim
Nailing my intervals on the trainer! #bikelove
Nailing my intervals on the trainer! #bikelove
Dry needling to assist my healing...thanks to Dr. Chris at Team Chiropractic
Dry needling to assist my healing…thanks to Dr. Chris at Team Chiropractic
Getting our #solesista tattoos :)
Getting our #solesista tattoos 🙂
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This ink will be my constant reminder while training and racing to #believe in myself, my abilities and my training!!

November:

Enjoying some outdoor #bikelove in November in Iowa...short sleeves and shorts!
Enjoying some outdoor #bikelove in November in Iowa…short sleeves and shorts! WHAT?!?!?!
Century ride in November in Iowa...this amazing weather is unheard of!!
Century ride in November in Iowa…this amazing weather is unheard of!!
I found out that I made the Coeur Sports 2016 Ambassador Team...Such a badass group of women that I'm overjoyed to be a part of!!
I found out that I made the Coeur Sports 2016 Ambassador Team…Such a badass group of women that I’m overjoyed to be a part of!!
My fitness article on "Giving thanks in an active lifestyle" was a big hit this month ;)
My fitness article on “Giving thanks in an active lifestyle” was a big hit this month in our local magazine 😉
Girl's night out with some running friends...so much fun :)
Girl’s night out with some running friends…so much fun 🙂
Outdoor #bikelove lasted through November 14 this year!!
Outdoor #bikelove lasted through November 14 this year!!
Pleasantly surprised with a Passion Planner from one of my colleagues.
Pleasantly surprised with a Passion Planner from one of my colleagues.
Winter greeted us with a LOT of snow (7.6 inches) for the first snow fall of the season.
Winter greeted us with a LOT of snow (7.6 inches) for the first snow fall of the season.
Romping and snowshoeing with friends
Romping and snowshoeing with friends
Riding a motorized animal because I can :)
Riding a motorized animal just because I can 🙂
Spending an afternoon with Mom and Grandma.
Spending an afternoon with Mom and Grandma.

December:

"Believe, Endure, Achieve" will be my mantra for 2016. It will remind me to #believe in all that I am and to #endure and overcome challenges throughout my journey so I can #achieve big dreams! #dreambig #meaningfulmantras
Thank you to Simone for my wonderful bracelet!! “Believe, Endure, Achieve” will be my mantra for 2016. It will remind me to #believe in all that I am and to #endure and overcome challenges throughout my journey so I can #achieve big dreams! #dreambig #meaningfulmantras
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Looking back at 2015 to move forward in 2016 #goalsetting
Yahoo!! So pumped for my new Roka Sports wetsuit!!
Yahoo!! So pumped for my new Roka Sports wetsuit!!
Taking part in Rising Tide Triathlon Coaching's #rttc10dayroutine Challenge and developing a routine that has helped me #believe in myself deep underneath the surface at the very core of my being. 1. Start my "Believe" playlist...time to get down and jam! 2. Take a couple of swigs of Karma Kombucha Orange Ginger..."I #believe I can fly" 3. Listen to my pep talk (previously recorded) while I pull on my workout gear..."Don't stop believing" 4. Grab my lucky charm from Tonja and head out the door..."In a world of ordinary mortals, you are a Wonder Woman!" 5. Stand on the front step in power pose for 30 seconds because...I am Wonder Woman!
Taking part in Rising Tide Triathlon Coaching’s #rttc10dayroutine Challenge and developing a routine that has helped me #believe in myself deep underneath the surface at the very core of my being.
1. Start my “Believe” playlist…time to get down and jam!
2. Take a couple of swigs of Karma Kombucha Orange Ginger…”I #believe I can fly”
3. Listen to my pep talk (previously recorded) while I pull on my workout gear…”Don’t stop believing”
4. Grab my lucky charm from Tonja and head out the door…”In a world of ordinary mortals, you are a Wonder Woman!”
5. Stand on the front step in power pose for 30 seconds because…I am Wonder Woman!
Finally reconnecting with my mat after 9 months off.
Finally reconnecting with my mat after 9 months off…#yogalove
Running on a beautiful cold morning.
Running on a beautiful cold morning with 2 of my faves!
Grandma Annie continues to show up at Christmas and surprise us all with her awesomeness...Our hideous pajama pants were a family favorite this year!
Grandma Annie continues to show up at Christmas and surprise us all with her awesomeness…Our hideous pajama pants were a family favorite this year!
Snowshoeing in the offseason!!
Snowshoeing in the offseason!!
Basil loves playing in the snow!! #happyheart
Basil loves playing in the snow!! #happyheart
Love my sole sister!!
Love my sole sister!!
Girls night out!! Lots of laughs!! :)
Girls night out!! Lots of laughs!! 🙂
My new Cobb Cycling V-Flow saddle :)
My new Cobb Cycling V-Flow saddle 🙂
Fun times with family!!
Fun times with family!!

Happy New Year!! Cheers to an awesome 2016!! 

xoxo