15 weeks ’til #IMMT: stay focused

Last week’s theme was staying focused. Enjoy this week’s summary via pics!

Swim: 6700 yards

Some days you don’t want to do the work, but then you remember your dreams and you dive in!
New Coeur Sports swim suit day = motivation to go to the pool and work on chasing my dreams!
Flippin’ Friday evening with lots of #swimlove to #findfaster

Bike: 102 miles

#timetrialtuesday was an easy spin on the bike to shake out the race from Saturday.
#workforitwednesday with my fave in the #couragecave
More #bikelove + intervals with my fave!
Grateful to be on 2 wheels on the open roads! #bikelove
Very windy ride pulling these two along!

Run: 13.8 miles

Easy shake out run off the bike on Wednesday!
#runlove is the perfect way to start a Sunday!

Strength Training: 1 hour & 45 minutes + 10 minutes of core strength daily

Weekly Totals: 13 hours & 12 minutes

Weekly Positives:

I have 2 students who are committed to teaching me how to do my own race day braids! Each day gets easier!
Chaperoning the 8th grade dance with my #solesister Friday evening
New SBR Sports Inc. swim suit! I’m excited to try this out!
Legs up a wall is the perfect post long run recovery!

Quote of the Week:

“Stay focused, go after your dreams and keep moving toward your goals.” ~LL Cool J

19 weeks ’til #IMMT: confidence

Last week my focus was on building self-confidence. Confidence as an athlete is all about believing in your abilities to achieve your athletic goals. With Coach Kelly’s help, last week I focused on more self-confidence…more believing in my abilities…more believing in me! The week started a bit rocky as I was lacking motivation and I’m not sure why, but it sure turned around quickly! I had many workouts in each discipline that boosted my self-confidence throughout the week!

Swim: 9100 yards

I finally started to see some swim pacing consistency last week! I’ve struggled with pacing in the water probably since I was a baby. I always start off too fast and then end up slowing down and finding a pace that I can swim all day long. It is good to finally get some consistency with my pacing in the water! Pacing in the water is a great way to build my confidence for race day.

Work for it Wednesday started with #swimlove as I continue to #findfaster in the water!
“Celebrate good times…come on!” Some #swimlove Thursday morning!
More #swimlove, that continued to work hard despite being exhausted

Bike: 66.4 miles

I saw HUGE gains last week on the bike! I don’t think I have EVER seen watts above 350 on the bike (even for 1 second), but last week I had multiple bike interval sessions that pushed me WAY out of my comfort zone and on Thursday, I was able to hold 412 watts for 15 seconds. Say what?!?! That’s unheard of!! I’ve had to overcome some mental challenges to get stronger physically, but it is totally worth it!! I’m incredibly proud of myself for digging deep during this bike block and pushing myself to new limits. I’m also incredibly grateful to Coach Kelly for challenging me…she saw potential in me that I hadn’t yet seen in myself and I’m forever grateful to her for helping me achieve this potential! I’m getting more #trackcatstrong + confident everyday!

Thanks to Coeur Sports for pushing me through some tough intervals! “the dream is free. the making it a reality costs extra. make it happen.”
Spinning it out with my fave after work…look hard and you might find the Iron Hippie in this photo 😉
Watts I’ve never seen before + bonus interval (oops!) = CONFIDENCE BOOSTER + SERIOUS #bikelove
When the challenge in front of you is bigger than you’re capable of today, you put your head down, work super hard to try to rise to the challenge, and leave a puddle of sweat the size of the Pacific Ocean on the floor under you!

Run: 17.5 miles

I was blessed to get to run with a friend twice last week! It is so nice to get to share my #runlove with others! I am also super excited to have built confidence on my run! Sunday I had a 10 mile run. The first 5 miles were at a pretty comfortable pace, but then I decided to pick up the pace and see what I had left in my legs (they were already completely EXHAUSTED from the week) to see what pace I could hold for the end of my run. Not only did I negative split the last 5 miles, but I also clocked some pretty speedy times (for me) this late in a run. My last 5 run splits = 9:28, 9:04, 8:56, 8:43, and 8:20. Say what?!?! I finished my 10 mile run on completely EXHAUSTED legs with an 8:20 min/mile pace…I’m still in shock!

My morning running buddy! Hill repeats this morning!
Got to run with my fave off the bike on Saturday. There was more in my legs than I thought!
Grateful to have company for the first 5 miles of my long run! Thanks Robin for joining me!

Strength Training: 1 hour & 50 minutes + 10 minutes of core strength daily

I had some good strength training sessions this week that helped me identify muscle imbalances in my body…guess that means it is time to get to work to overcome these imbalances!

Weekly Totals: 13 hours & 1 minute

Weekly Positives: 

I got educated on everything NBS during a conference call on Monday night! I’m so grateful to Breakthrough Nutrition for keeping me hydrated and recovered this year! If you are looking to try a new sports hydration, give Breakthrough Nutrition a try and use code WELOVESNBS at check out for 10% off your order!

I received snail mail…the best snail mail!!

Snail mail is the best when Coeur Sports and Barnana show up on my doorstep on the same day!

The 2017 Coeur Team was updated to their website! I’m so pumped to be part of this amazing team in 2017! This team of ladies has heart! If you see us at a race, come and get a hi-5 or a hug!

#heartandcourage

I had some quiet time…salt + bubble baths are the best!!

#recoveryisimportant

Snuggles with my baby girl! I’m so lucky to have the best fur babies!

#happyheart

Quote of the Week:

“The quickest way to acquire self-confidence is to do exactly what you are afraid to do.”

What’s Up?! – March 2017

The month of March was SO much better than February!! I wasn’t sick or injured at all! Whoop! Whoop! Here’s a look at what I’ve been up to…

Training:

My training was SO much more productive and focused than February! And that makes me happy! I had a swim time trial…my CSS (critical swim speed) increased 3 seconds per 100 yards! Hello small gains in the water! I had a FTP challenge on the bike this month, where I had an increase of 10 watts over my last challenge! Hello HUGE gains on the bike! I also finished the year with a 10K road race, where I came SO close to breaking my PR from 2008! The best part…I wasn’t even rested for this race, so I can only imagine what I could have done on rested legs! 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!

Swim Totals: 14.1 miles
Bike Totals: 234 miles
Run Totals: 54.2 miles

#TimeTrialTuesday resulted in a 10 watt improvement in my FTP!
That moment when you look up at the clock and realize you’ve beat your goal 200 yard time trial time by just over 3 seconds!
Ran my way to 3rd on a hilly 10K course with a finish time of 50:32…only 1:41 off my PR from 2008 (on the same course)!

Reading:

Me Before You by Jojo Moyes is a very moving book. Louisa Clark is living a simple and comfortable life when she loses her job. She takes a much needed job working for Will Traynor who was in an accident and is now wheelchair bound. He is bossy, crabby, and used to being the center of the universe. Louisa’s life changes on so many levels throughout this amazing story.

How Bad Do You Want It: Motivation vs. Commitment by Carrie Cheadle gets you thinking about the differences between motivation and commitment. Do you have desire + drive to stay motivated? Are you so committed that you have determination + dedication? Do you feel like you HAVE to complete your workout or do you feel lucky that you GET to complete your workout? If you want more insight on how motivation + commitment can help you achieve your goals, this is a must read!

Do This Now: Mental Training Homework on Getting Unstuck by Carrie Cheadle is great if you are seeking change! Maybe you’re seeking change in your personal life. Maybe it is time to make a change professionally. Maybe you want change in your sport. What ever it is, now is the time to change! Now is the time to “Do Something Different!”

Listening to:

Conor Dwyer is an Olympic gold medalist who talks about how hard work in swimming has gotten him so much farther than someone with talent who doesn’t work hard. A hard worker definitely trumps someone who wastes their talent! So inspiring!

Celebrating:

Turning 40! I’m super pumped about turning 40! I’ve heard this is one of the greatest decades of our lives and I’m excited to finally be here to experience it! I’m also super excited to be the youngest one in my age group as I race and push myself to new levels this year! 😉

40!

Getting my Coeur Sports 2017 Team gear…This kit! This Team! I absolutely LOVE EVERYTHING Coeur Sports stands for! As a Coeur Sports ambassador, I am a beacon of the Coeur mission: to inspire + encourage other women, to welcome questions from women + other athletes of all abilities + backgrounds, to be a good sport…even if my race didn’t go as planned, have fun…even if in pain, during bad weather, or when my spirit unicorn doesn’t show up to guide my way, and to give a hi-5! If you see me or one of my sisters in one of these amazing kits this year, PLEASE come chat with us! We’d LOVE to give you a hi-5 (or even a hug), answer questions, and cheer you on! I’ll even share my spirit unicorn with you! Cheers to an amazing 2017 full of lots of #heartandcourage + chasing dreams!

#Fearless check-in:

My intention for 2017 is to become more fearless! So…how have I been doing with this? I feel like I was much more successful during January, but I’ve still made some progress on becoming more fearless in March. In my personal life, I have not had a drop of alcohol in 2017 = WIN! I am still working on facing those things that truly scare me, but this has required me to take baby steps because some of these things have a REALLY TIGHT hold on me. I am also really working on not letting others opinions of me bother me, but this is very challenging since it too has a TIGHT hold on me. How do you get those tight holds to let you go?!?! At work, we have started a new unit that I have never taught before thanks to our newly adopted standards. As a result, I am much less knowledgable than I am comfortable with. This has challenged me to be more #fearless at work, because I have had to openly admit that I often “don’t know” all of the answers. SCARY! 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 also pushed myself HARD during my 10K road race…so hard that at about mile 4 self-doubt started to infiltrate my thoughts. How long can I keep pushing myself at this pace?! I’m feeling tired…what if the wheels fall off?! I can’t believe how hard this is…what if I work this hard and I don’t reach my goal?! I’m so proud of myself for changing the negative channel in my head and pushing myself hard all the way through the finish chute! While I’ve made some progress, I still have a LOT more progress to make, but don’t we all?! I’m a continuous work in progress!

My first ever trophy (when I’ve placed on the podium before, I’ve always earned a medal)!

How was your month of March? What were your March highlights? What are you excited for?

21 weeks ’til #IMMT: come back stronger

Such a good week to test my fitness in all three disciplines…swim + bike + run = fun!!

Swim: 5300 yards

Tuesday I had a CSS (critical swim speed) test. I was so excited to beat my goal time for the 200 yard swim (after already completing a 400 yard TT) by just over 3 seconds! Saturday’s swim was super challenging! I created a lot of training stress with my bike workouts last week and it showed in Saturday’s swim. While I wanted to throw my tempo trainer on the deck at the end of the pool and call it quits, I am a fighter. So instead, I kept pushing hard, trying to meet my goal swim times, and I didn’t quit!

That moment when you look up at the clock and realize you’ve beat your goal 200 yard time trial time by just over 3 seconds!
Sometimes you have to fight through the challenging workouts to achieve your dreams. This was one of those workouts!

Bike: 73.5 miles

I had 2 rides this week that took me WAY out of my comfort zone. And. It. Was. AWESOME! There were a few times when it was super tough and my mind ventured to the negative side, but I immediately changed the channel back to positive thoughts. I also had a couple of easier rides as well…one ride was in zone 1 and the second was in zone 2.

Incredibly grateful + lucky to have my sole sister pushing me through high intensity intervals even when she isn’t right beside me!
Bored on my recovery ride, but grateful for an easy spin on the bike!
“A ship in harbor is safe, but that’s not what ships are built for.” ~John A. Shedd
Took my ship WAY out of the harbor and into uncharted waters!
Steady zone 2 ride!

Run: 11.1 miles

I had an amazing run on Wednesday followed by a 10K road race on Sunday. On Sunday I did an easy warm up for about 1.4 miles and then decided to see what my body was capable of despite having gone hard this week on the bike. I decided on my way to the race that I was hoping for a sub 52 minute 10K with a secret goal of sub 50 minutes. This wouldn’t quite give me a PR (and even on the same course), but I have been in the middle of a bike block, so running hasn’t been the focus lately. I didn’t quite hit my secret goal, but I’ll definitely take 50:32 on a hilly course!

Grateful to feel like I was running on borrowed legs! Feeling light + fast = #runlove
Ran my way to 3rd on a hilly 10K course with a finish time of 50:32…only 1:41 off my PR (on the same course)! Love, Love, LOVE the new Coeur Sports kit! 🙂 #heartandcourage
My first ever trophy (when I’ve placed on the podium before, I’ve always earned a medal)! Thanks Coach Kelly for pushing me + believing in me! #trackcatstrong

Strength Training: 1 hour & 55 minutes + 10 minutes of core daily

I had some good variety in strength training throughout the week. My highlight though was doing yoga at home for the first time ever! I had some help…er…watchful eyes thanks to the dogs!

Yoga at home for the first time ever…the dogs are sleeping on the couch!

Weekly Totals: 10 hours & 59 minutes

Weekly Positives:

  1. I set a new CSS for my swim!
  2. I pushed myself WAY out of my comfort zone on the bike and met the goals of each workout!
  3. I crushed my 10K without resting for it and was only 1:41 off my 10K PR pace!
  4. My body worked so hard this week and allowed me to push it to new levels!
  5. I did yoga without going to a class! This is progress people!

Quote of the Week:

“How could you think you are weak, when every time you break, you come back stronger than before?” ~r.m. drake

26 weeks ’til #IMMT: setback + motivation

I had a setback this week that was quite literally a pain in the back! I carried laundry up the stairs and managed to tweak my back in such a way that I am undergoing treatment + active release therapy from Dr. Chris Feil at Team Chiropractic and Rehabilitation. Really?! Laundry?! Yep…I don’t even have a good story to go with this injury! Thankfully Dr. Chris thinks I should be close to 100% by the end of this week. I really hope he’s right! I have goals to achieve and dreams to chase! While this is killing me, I WILL heal before I jump back into training and risk re-injury. This is yet another lesson in patience! Thanks to Coach Kelly with Track Cat Fitness for keeping me mentally sane, adjusting my training plan, nad keeping me focused on doing what I can through this injury process!

Swim: 3800 yards

My first swim to test the back was Thursday after work. I swam 1500 yards (with about 500 being pull) and I found that my back was nagging through most of the swim. Sunday’s swim went much better! 2300 yards with very few niggles in my back 🙂

First swim to test the back
First swim to test the back
Swim #2 this week was SO much better than #1!
Swim #2 this week was SO much better than #1!

Bike: 41 miles

Wednesday I rode easy for 45 minutes with a nagging back. It was still pretty sore. Friday I rode 1 hour trying to stay mostly in z2. This felt much better than Wednesday, but I still had some issues with my back that started about 40 minutes into the ride. Sunday I rode for 90 minutes trying to keep in z2 for a full 60 minutes without having my back tighten up and I am so happy that I was able to achieve this! While my back is still not 100%, I have definitely made progress this week and am getting closer and closer to 100% every day!

First easy ride...smiling because I'm back in the saddle (even with a little pain)!
First easy ride…smiling because I’m back in the saddle (even with a little pain)!
Trying to stay in z2 without back pain
Trying to stay in z2 without back pain
Yes! Ended the week with a 90 minute ride with 1 full hour solidly in z2!
Yes! Ended the week with a 90 minute ride with 1 full hour solidly in z2!

Run: Zero, Zilch, Nada

Thanks to my recent pain in the back, I did no running last week. 😦

Strength Training: 

The only strength training I did was what Dr. Chris recommended, which wasn’t much, but it was something.

Weekly Totals: 4 hours + 35 minutes

Weekly Positives:

I had some special deliveries this week from some amazing companies that I LOVE! I heart my Coeur Sports gear and my Breakthrough Nutrition! If you want to try Stacy Sims sports nutrition, please use WELOVESNBS to enjoy 10% off Breakthrough Nutrition!

New Coeur Sports gear!
New Coeur Sports gear! Super happy heart!
Breakthrough Nutrition...serious love!
Breakthrough Nutrition…serious love!

Getting better slowly with the help of Dr. Chris Feil at Team Chiropractic and Rehabilitation.

Getting back on track with the help from Dr. Chris Feil...getting better every day = #progress!
Getting back on track with the help from Dr. Chris Feil…getting better every day = #progress!

I’m honored to be invited to share my Ironman journey with our community. It was so much fun to talk triathlon, inspire others, and be inspired by others at Mary Greeley Medical Center’s Motivational Morning on Saturday morning! Thanks to Coeur Sports, Sound Probiotics, and SBR Sports, Inc. for supplying some goodies to hand out to the participants!

I'm honored to be invited to share my Ironman journey with members of the community.
Talking triathlon
Goodies!
Goodies!
More Goodies!
More Goodies!

Quote of the Week:

“Your “job” as a serious athlete right now and my job as coach is for you to get healthy.” Coach Kelly…Thanks for the reminder Coach! 😉

How was your week? What positives made your week better?

What’s Up?! – January 2017

CRAZY to think that the first month of 2017 is already over! Where does time go?! I must say I am a bit happier to have longer daylight hours, so if that means saying “goodbye” to January, I’m ok that time has flown by!

Training:

My training had a few bumps this month as I was sick…twice. The most recent bout lasting longer than I had hoped. Despite these bumps, I have had some successful training sessions, including a FTP challenge on the bike, where my threshold power increased by 13 watts! I’m so grateful to see my fitness bouncing back after taking a few months off during the off season! I have also seen my 200 yard swim time trial times increase by 2 seconds. While this may not seem like much, if I can carry this over to long distance swimming, I should see huge improvements on my swim time for Ironman Mont Tremblant in August! My run time trial also went better than expected! I dropped my average time over a 5K from 8:08/mile to 7:42/mile. I not only achieved my goal, but also my secret goal on this time trial! BOOM!

Striving for progress, not perfection in the pool this week with a 2 second increase in my 200 yard time trial! :)
Striving for progress, not perfection in the pool this week with a 2 second increase in my 200 yard time trial! 🙂
Crushing my FTP challenge = HUGE smiles!
Crushing my FTP challenge = HUGE smiles!
So giddy since I crushed my 5K time trial secret goal!
So giddy since I crushed my 5K time trial secret goal!

Swim Totals: 12.3 miles
Bike Totals: 218 miles
Run Totals: 51.8 miles

Reading:

I have read two amazing blog posts by Carrie Cheadle. The first is on ways to get more grit…who doesn’t want more grit in their life?! The second is on gratitude. We should all be incredibly grateful everyday. Looking for the things to be grateful for everyday can give you a completely different mindset and attitude about every part of your day!

Roar by Stacy Sims is a serious GAME CHANGER for active women! Stacy is BRILLIANT! This is a MUST READ! Not is it full of helpful information on nutrition, strength training, and how each impact your training and racing, but it is also packed full of information on how your cycle impacts training, racing, and your everyday life. I’m so grateful to one of my Coeur Sports Teammies for putting this book in my hands!

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Running Man: A Memoir by Charlie Engle sucks you into his life. After a decade-long addiction to crack-cocaine and alcohol, Charlie hit rock bottom and was nearly killed during a 6 day binge. He turned his life around with the help of running. He started with marathons and when they weren’t long enough, he began to take on ultramarathons and adventure races in some very unforgiving locations around the globe. Running even helped him not just survive, but thrive in a federal prison because of an unjust conviction. Charlie Engle takes you on a few crazy adventures throughout his gripping, emotional, and inspiring life journey!!

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Listening to:

David Goggins Podcast…WOW!! Can you say inspiring?! He is probably the toughest athlete on the planet and full of great insights on mindset and why knowing your purpose will get you farther than motivation. I highly recommend this podcast. Prepare yourself to learn more about the fighter mindset and how it can take you anywhere! Note: he has no filter and there is some swearing throughout this podcast.

Kerri Walsh Jennings Podcast…Hello!! She has competed in the last 5 Olympic games, earning 4 medals (3 gold and 1 bronze) in beach volleyball. She is so “rad!” She shares her take on mindset and the importance of effective communication both in sport and relationships. She is super inspiring and so full of energy + passion! “I don’t want to be better than you or her or him – I want to be better than I am right now.” ~Kerri Walsh Jennings

Scared for:

The future of all people of the United States of America! I am deeply saddened by the departure of President Obama and the First Lady as well as the current state that our country is in. I believe that the basic value of not discriminating on the basis of religion and nationality is foundational to the fabric of American democracy. Most of our ancestors were immigrants. I believe diversity is not a weakness, but rather a strength that we should embrace. We the people are creating a serious dividing line between us, and I’m scared that history will repeat itself. I’m choosing to focus on all of the positives I can find during these dark days…some days I have to really look hard, but there are always positives!! “We the people” have to stay united!!

#Fearless check-in:

This is my intention for 2017 is to become more fearless! So…how have I been doing with this? Quite well I believe! In my personal life, I have not had a drop of alcohol all month = WIN! I am working on facing those things that truly scare me, but this has required me to take baby steps because some of these things have a REALLY TIGHT hold on me. I am also really working on not letting others opinions of me bother me, but this is also more challenging since it has a TIGHT hold on me as well. At work, I have openly admitted to students a couple of times (just this month) that I don’t have all of the answers. And. It. Feels. GREAT! Being an introvert, the human connection piece is something I still struggle with, but I am going to continue to work on this. Thanks to Coach Kelly with Track Cat Fitness, I have been pushing myself WAY outside of my comfort zone while training and finding I am capable of so much more than I think I am. And. It. Feels. AMAZING! As for racing, I haven’t had a chance to race in January, so I haven’t been able to truly go HARD and find out what I’m capable of on race day. As you can see, this is definitely a work in progress, and I’m happy to say that in the first month I’ve already made some progress!

How was your first month of 2017? What were your January highlights?

32 Weeks ’til #IMMT: FTP Challenge BOOM

Crazy to think we are only 32 weeks away from Ironman Mont Tremblant! Time sure flies by when you’re having fun! I’m so grateful I GET to have fun and swim/bike/run my way through each week!

Swim: 9700 yards

This week was lots of swimming, but nothing really stands out as super noteworthy. I have been using the tempo trainer…for someone who didn’t grow up swimming fast, just swimming for fun ALL.DAY.LONG, this tool is evil. It is forcing me to work harder and swim faster than I ever have. I know I’ll eventually learn to love it, but right now I have a love/hate relationship with it.

This swim cap makes me smile!
This swim cap makes me smile!
This little tool is evil! I currently have a love/hate relationship with it that I'm hoping will eventually turn to only love!
This little tool is evil! I currently have a love/hate relationship with it that I’m hoping will eventually turn to only love!

Bike: 63.5 miles

The highlight of the week was CRUSHING my FTP challenge! Thursday morning I had an FTP challenge (Coach Kelly calls them challenges instead of tests…tests are usually pass/fail, while a challenge is something to rise up and conquer). My previous power threshold was 163 watts. My goal for this test was to maintain 180 watts for my 20 minute challenge, which I crushed by maintaining 188 watts! BOOM! After my extensive offseason, I’m bouncing back to where I was before Ironman Wisconsin 2016 (196 watts).

Crushing my FTP challenge = HUGE smiles!
Crushing my FTP challenge = HUGE smiles!
That crazy spike in my cadence during my challenge didn't actually happen...Crazy Garmin!
That crazy spike in my cadence during my challenge didn’t actually happen…Crazy Garmin!

Run: 25.1 miles

I put in MANY miles on the mill this week as it has been a COLD week! The only run I did do outside was for 20 minutes and I ran more miles than what was the outdoor temperature. BRRR!!

Running ninja style when it is 2F outside!
Running ninja style with my Coeur Sports buff when it is 2F outside!

Strength Training: 1 hour & 55 minutes + 10 minutes of core daily

I had some good strength training sessions this week! Lots of functional strength and core, while incorporating lots of variety into each workout.

Recovery:

I spent most of the weekend (when I wasn’t training) taking Epsom salt baths, sitting with my feet up in my CEP compression tights, eating all the food, and sleeping like a baby! When we train hard, it is important to recover just as hard…or harder!

#CEPCompression tights are da bomb!
#CEPCompression tights are da bomb!

Weekly Totals: 14 hours & 38 minutes

Quote of the Week:

“Rise to the challenge of bringing your dreams to life! Do not be discouraged by resistance, be nourished by it. Success is the experience of rising to the level of your true greatness.” ~Steve Maraboli