#IMLou Race Week

Race week has come and gone, but I wanted to update you on the final days leading up to #IMLou!! Don’t worry, I’ll have a race report soon…I’m still trying to process it!! Teaser…it was the absolute hardest thing I have ever done!! It made my last 5 Ironman finishes feel like a walk in the park!! 😉

Swim: 2650 yards

Diving into race week!!
Swimming with my #1 supporter by my side!!

Bike: 4 miles

I forgot to get a pic of this bike ride…let’s just say I put on my race gear, took a cold shower, and went out on the bike in 38*F air temperature to test if my race gear would be warm enough. Brrrr!!

Run: 7.4 miles

Running with my fave by Churchill Downs after spending hours in the car to get to Louisville!!

The second run (that I also forgot to take a picture of) was after my bike ride that I mentioned above. Cold + wet = Brrrr!!!

Strength Training: 10 minutes of core strength the first half of the week

Weekly Totals: 2 hours & 23 minutes

Quote of the Week:

“There’s always a calm before every storm.” ~Saif Ali

Attitude of Gratitude:

Grateful to have Nick with Vitality Massage help keep me race ready!!
Getting to meet up with a few of my Coeur Sports teammates was so much fun!! This team of uplifting, encouraging, supportive women is where it’s at!!
Swinging in the sunshine with my fave on Saturday…the calm before the storm (quite literally)!!
Grateful that my Dad came to cheer me on at Ironman Louisville!!
Kicking the feet up, reading a good book, and hoping Mother Nature isn’t going to be as evil as predicted!!
Pre-race braids thanks to my sis!! So grateful she was able to come to Louisville from Cali to cheer me on!!
I’m so grateful to the Coeur founders and my teammates for the shoutouts, cheers, and encouragement to keep going when things got tough!!
These two!! I’m so grateful for my fave and sis!! It was so great to spend some time with them before race day!!

How was your week? What were you grateful for last week?! How do you enjoy the calm before the storm?

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1 week ’til #IMLou – taper crazies, packing crazies, and spectating crazies

What a crazy, yet fun week!! It was full of taper crazies, packing crazies, and spectating crazies…all of this crazy brings me joy (yes, even the packing…it means a vaca is in sight)!!

Swim: 4925 yards

While swimming today, there was a seahorse on the bottom of the pool in my lane. Was this a sign?! I believe it was!! The seahorse is considered to be a symbol of strength and power. Just what I needed today!!
You know it’s taper time when your swim + run workout combined are shorter than just your swim workouts the last couple of weeks!!

Bike: 25.4 miles

In 2018 we’ve been training for two completely different races, so we haven’t had many opportunities to get to ride together. I’m grateful for the “bike date” today after work + am looking forward to more saddle time with my fave in 2019!!
Staying sharp for #IMLou even when traveling. #hayisinthebarn

Run: 6.7 miles

You know it’s taper time when your swim + run workout combined are shorter than just your swim workouts the last couple of weeks!!
Definitely not ready for windchill temps of 35*F like I experienced today!!
Cycling around the Twin Cities on my cross bike chasing down my fave!! No idea how many miles I logged (so they aren’t included in the above total), but it was fun and challenging to stay ahead of him!!

Strength Training: 10 minutes of core strength almost daily  

Weekly Totals: 5 hours & 3 minutes (not including spectating the Twin Cities Marathon)

Quote of the Week:

“People say I’m crazy. I say HAH…I’m just fun with a twist.” ~Unknown

Attitude of Gratitude:

When you are a tapering Ironman athlete + middle school teacher in the Midwest with drastically changing temperatures, you load up on Sound Probiotics to keep healthy!!
So grateful to have this crazy group of colleagues to work with!!
So grateful for some downtime in my Normatec boots while getting sucked in to this AMAZING read!!
So grateful to briefly chat with my Coeur Sports teammate Kendra (and meet little Ralphie <3) at mile 8.5 of the Twin Cities Marathon!!
So grateful to briefly chat with Elaina at mile 26 of the Twin Cities Marathon!!
SO FREAKING PROUD of my FAVE!! HE CRUSHED IT!! Setting a new PR in a time of 3:33:05 at the Twin Cities Marathon!! 🙂

How was your week? What were you grateful for last week?! 

3 weeks ’til #IMLou – knocking out the workouts

With last week in the rear view mirror, I only have one more big week before the taper for #IMLou begins!!

Swim: 6500 yards

3K swim…what a great way to start the day!!
Capping off the week with more yards in the pool!

Bike: 74.4 miles

Easy recovery spin on the bike!
LONG, focused ride on the trainer…leg crusher!!
Recovery ride post long run!!

Run: 27.3 miles

Treadmill miles with speed work!
Starting Friday off right…with my fave by my side for some morning miles!!
Knocking out the workouts one at a time!
Running with such a #happydog makes me have a #happyheart!! #basillovesrunning
Following the run plan!!

Strength Training: 10 minutes of core strength almost daily  

Weekly Totals: 13 hours & 34 minutes

Quote of the Week:

“When it gets tough, put on your boxing gloves.” ~unknown

Attitude of Gratitude:

The sunrise was so stunning!!
Grateful to Nick at Vitality Massage for keeping me healthy!!
Love the Coeur Sports Kona kit design!!
Only one way to refuel post long workouts…SUSHI!!
Grateful to have my legs squeezed by my Normatec boots post long + tough workouts!
Race numbers are here for IMLou!! I’m so grateful my body and mind allow me to do this crazy + fun sport!!

How was your week? What were you grateful for last week?! 

What’s Up?! – August 2018

Where in the world does time go?! How is it possible that we are back in school, I’ve started my 15th year of teaching, and summer is in the rearview mirror?! I’ve been teaching longer than my students have been alive…AND…this year one of our new colleagues was a student of mine 15 years ago when she was in 8th grade!! I am officially old! LOL 😉 Here is a brief look at what August had in store for me…

Training:

Show up and do the work…you’ll always be glad you did!
I am grateful for my fave! He came out to check on me and take pics while I was riding on Saturday. Love my support crew + cheerleader!
Grateful to have these two motivate me for some #sundayrunday hill repeats!!

Swim: 46,260 yards (26.28 miles)
Bike: 381 miles
Run: 87.1 miles
Monthly Totals: 57 hours

Training Camp:

I went up to Madison for a solo training camp to put in miles on more hilly terrain. It definitely made me stronger + I got to spend Friday on two wheels with my Coeur Sports teammate, Steena!! Love this lady!! After cycling two loops of the IMWI bike course on Friday, I did a short 30 minute run off the bike. On Saturday, I rode 1 loop of the bike course + part of the stem and then did another 30 minute run off the bike. On Sunday I ran 1 loop of the IMWI run course. I didn’t get any swimming in as the lake wasn’t safe for swimming due to higher blue green algae + bacteria levels. During Saturday’s bike ride, I was tapped by a car. The driver was on her phone when her front right bumper tapped my left handlebar pushing me off the road as she was pulling out onto the road where I was riding straight. I’m still not sure how I stayed upright as I slid down the grassy ditch, but I did. There were thousands of riders out on the course that Saturday and others witnessed what happened. Thankfully both Mojo and I were unharmed. Unfortunately it isn’t illegal to be on your phone while driving in the state of Wisconsin, but it should be!! Be safe out there and stay off your phones while driving!! Regardless of Saturday’s mishap, I gained some great fitness and had fun!! I learned a lot about how strong + resilient I am and that when I show up and do the work, I never regret it!!

Hard work pays off!! Thanks to my #sub6orbust buddy Steena for pulling me up ALL. THE. HILLS On 2 loops of the #IMWI bike course!!

Reading:

Gratitude in Motion: A True Story of Hope, Determination, and the Everyday Heroes Around Us by Colleen Kelly Alexander is SO INSPIRING!! This women…her grit…her tenacity…her resilience…WOW!! Just WOW!! “It was a beautiful fall day in Connecticut when Colleen Kelly Alexander, a lifelong athlete, rode her bike home from work. She had survived both a diagnosis of lupus and brain surgery, had a fulfilling career, and was married at last to the love of her life. Everything was good as she coasted along, meeting the eyes of a truck driver as he approached the stop sign beside her. He didn’t stop. The truck hit Colleen, running over her lower body with front and back tires and dragging her across the pavement. As she bled out in the street, nearby strangers surrounded her and the driver attempted to get away. An EMT herself, Colleen knew she had to stay awake. “I’ve just been reconnected with my soulmate,” she told the medic. “We want to have a baby. I can’t die now. Please don’t let me die.” Five weeks in a coma and twenty-nine surgeries later, Colleen survived. Rather than let the trauma and PTSD control her life, she became determined to find a way to make something positive from her pain. She decided she’d run again and dedicate her race medals to the everyday heroes around us, including the medical staff and blood donors who saved her life. Since then Colleen has run fifty races and completed forty triathlons, including four half-Ironman events. Now a spokesperson for the Red Cross, Colleen shares her incredible inspirational story to encourage others to take that first step forward.”

Listening to:

I finally got caught up on Ironwomen Podcasts when I was driving home from my solo training camp in Madison. Jennifer Pharr Davis is so fun to listen to! She shared about “her record breaking experiences on the Appalachian Trail, the specific challenges she faced, and how she managed the lows and highs of her incredible efforts.” Sarah Thomas “holds the record for longest current neutral swim EVER! She shares the hardships and challenges of marathon swimming, her battle with cancer, and what drives her to do these long swims.”

I listened to Kona Kamps episodes with Kristin Louderback and Kiah Wheeler while cleaning the house. These women are SO inspiring!!

Grateful for:

Grateful that Kim showed up for my Women’s only triathlon clinic. Since she was the only one to show up, she got 2 hours of one-on-one attention and lots of gifts!! 🙂
Celebrating with Dad back at home home!
Snow cones with the twins!! Yummy!!
So grateful that I got to stay with my college friend, Christina, and her girl, Gracie, in Madison at my solo training camp!
Making fitness + pushing myself in Madison on the #IMWI bike course!
So many homegrown tomatoes from our garden! I am grateful to get to go outside and eat from the garden!
Today was my 15th first day of teaching!!
I have the best Coeur Sports teammates!! Thank you Ruth!!
90 miles of #bikelove and chasing Anne for 55 of those miles on a very hot + humid day = DONE!!
This! I am so grateful for my Normatec boots + home cooked meal that my fave made after a long day of swim + bike + run!

How was your month of August?! What were you grateful for last month?! Have you ever done a solo training camp?! If so, what did you learn?!

7 weeks ’til #IMLou – back to reality

Last week I was reintroduced to reality…it is apparently time to go back to school. This means reestablishing routines, balancing life and training, and figuring out the “new normal.”

Swim: 10,453 yards

Putting in some work during this tough #timetrialtuesday swim!!
My 15th first day of school started with a long early morning swim!!
#swimlove in the 50 meter pool = DONE!!

Bike: 116 miles

#timetrialtuesday helped me move my way off of the struggle bus and into a Rolls Roys!!
My 15th first day of school ended with some #bikelove + #basillove!!
90 miles of #bikelove and chasing Anne for 55 of those miles on a very hot + humid day = DONE!!

Run: 26 miles

Morning hill repeats with Basil!! Basil got compliments on her glow-in-the-dark collar this morning. Sad we are losing daylight, but grateful for the cooler temps so my running buddy can join me!!
Happy Friday!! Running in the mist with Robin was a great way to start the day!!
#sundayrunday was 16 soggy + gross miles thanks to the 72*F dew point!! Thanks for running 5 of those miles with me Robin!!

Strength Training: 10 minutes of core strength daily  

Weekly Totals: 16 hours & 22 minutes

Quote of the Week:

“Back to life. Back to reality.” ~Soul II Soul

Attitude of Gratitude:

Hanging with some colleagues…back to work!
Today was my 15th first day of teaching!!
I have the best Coeur Sports teammates!! Thank you Ruth!!
Grateful for recovery in my Normatec Recovery boots!!

How was your week? What were you grateful for last week?! Any tips for reestablishing routines after a vacation?!

8 weeks ’til #IMLou – struggle bus

Last week I rode the struggle bus…technically it started the week before, but it only got worse last week. I’m lacking motivation, lacking self confidence, feeling overweight, feeling overwhelmed, and I’m definitely not ready to start my first day back to school tomorrow. I want off the struggle bus…or maybe it is time to drive the bus instead of being a passenger on it!

Swim: 21,902 yards

Show up and do the work…you’ll always be glad you did!
The struggle bus is real…sometimes I ride it longer than I’d like, but I’m still putting in the work.
Saturday started with 4400 meters as a passenger on the struggle bus.

Bike: 87.5 miles

Easy spinning post run to loosen up the legs!
An hour easy spin…just moving the legs.
After riding the struggle bus in the pool Saturday morning, I got to ride 71.9 miles. This is where I started to transition from a passenger on the struggle bus to the captain…I’m not in full control of the bus just yet, but I’m getting closer!! This Coeur Sports kit is magical…complete 180 degrees from the morning swim!!

Run: 22.1 miles

Finding the sunshine among the storms during my long run!
Saturday’s run off the bike was HOT + HUMID, but I nailed the plan and was super happy to finish strong!!
Grateful to have these two motivate me for some #sundayrunday hill repeats!!

Strength Training: 10 minutes of core strength almost daily  

Weekly Totals: 14 hours & 11 minutes

Quote of the Week:

“I no longer want to be a passenger on the struggle bus. I want to drive the bus, so it is time to turn in my passenger card for the captain’s license!” ~ME

Attitude of Gratitude:

Much needed after a big training weekend. Thanks Nick at Vitality Massage for helping me stay healthy and active!
Grateful to spend the afternoon at the state fair with these fun peeps listening to Brett Eldredge live in concert!
A ray of sunshine during a rain storm!
So many homegrown tomatoes from our garden! I am grateful to get to go outside and eat from the garden!
Grateful that Dr. Chris Feil was able to get me in to see him. He thinks I’m not balanced…LOL!! (I think we already knew that!!)
A clean house! After spending my “rest day” deep cleaning the house in preparation for the start of a new school year, I am grateful it is done!
I am grateful for my fave! He came out to check on me and take pics while I was riding on Saturday. Love my support crew + cheerleader!
This! I am so grateful for my Normatec boots + home cooked meal that my fave made after a long day of swim + bike + run Saturday!
I sleep so much better after my Breakthrough Nutrition Goodnight drink!! Mmmmm

How was your week? What were you grateful for last week?! What tricks do you have for turning in your passenger card for a captain’s license of the struggle bus?!

What’s Up?! – July 2018

I want my July back!! August is flying by and I’m not ready to go back to school just yet!! I could definitely use a few more weeks of summer break before the daily grind begins back up, but alas, that isn’t going to happen. Thankfully I still have 12 days of summer break left and I’m going to soak up every moment that I can!!

Training:

Whatever you decide to do, make sure it makes you happy!!
My happy place!! Life on two wheels!!
Stride for stride! Side by side! So grateful to have Steena by my side throughout the 13.1 miles at Ironman Ohio 70.3!!

Swim: 34,332 yards (19.5 miles)
Bike: 320 miles
Run: 92.3 miles
Monthly Totals: 53 hours & 51 minutes

Racing:

Ironman Ohio 70.3 was nearly perfect! Incase you missed it, my goal was to go sub 6 hours. I’m happy to report that I FINALLY achieved this goal!! Thanks to Coach Kelly for designing a plan to help me achieve this. Thanks to Steena for running the 13.1 miles with me and pushing me the last 2 miles. Thanks to my fave for being the most supportive, encouraging, motivating, loving friend and life partner I could ask for!!

I’m riding cloud nine after setting a PR at Ironman Ohio 70.3 and finally breaking 6 hours, but I’m not sure it would have happened without Steena by my side. This girl is the definition of #heartandcourage and I’m so grateful for her!! Her strength, positivity, selflessness, and uplifting spirit are just a few of the wonderful things about her!! Thank you Steena for all you did to help me achieve my dream!! Love you girl!! “PRs are better with friends!!”

Reading:

Summit Lake by Charlie Donlea is a great mystery! I typically figure out the ending before I get there, but I really didn’t see this ending coming! “Becca Eckersley was a first-year law student and daughter of a powerful attorney was brutally murdered in Summit Lake. There are no suspects. No persons of interest. Just a girl who was alive one day and dead the next. Kelsey Castle is an investigative reporter who thinks this assignment is a fluff piece at first. As Kelsey digs deeper, despite danger and warnings, she feels a growing connection to the dead girl. And the more she learns about Becca’s friendships, her love life—and her secrets—the more convinced she becomes that walking in Becca’s footsteps could lead her out of her own dark past…”

The Girl Who was Taken by Charlie Donlea is another great mystery! “The night they go missing, high school seniors Nicole Cutty and Megan McDonald are at a beach party in their small town of Emerson Bay, North Carolina. Police launch a massive search, but hope is almost lost—until Megan escapes from a bunker deep in the woods. . . . A year later, the bestselling account of her ordeal has made Megan a celebrity. It’s a triumphant story, except for one inconvenient detail: Nicole is still missing. Nicole’s older sister, Livia, a fellow in forensic pathology, expects that one day soon Nicole’s body will be found and her sister’s fate determined. Instead, the first clue comes from another body—that of a young man connected to Nicole’s past. Livia reaches out to Megan to learn more about that fateful night. Other girls have disappeared, and she’s increasingly sure the cases are connected. Megan knows more than she revealed in her book. Flashes of memory are pointing to something more monstrous than she described. And the deeper she and Livia dig, the more they realize that sometimes true terror lies in finding exactly what you’ve been looking for . . .”

Listening to:

The Coeur Sports EarSplitz Podcast interviewed Kebby Holden, Founder of Coeur Sports. This company has my heart…not simply because of the amazing clothing, but because of what they represent. I love that they encourage us to try to get more women in sport!! ❤

Grateful for:

New Roka Sports wetsuit day!! So grateful to have Roka support this crazy journey and help us #findfaster!!
So grateful that I got to spend the morning with my colleague at the Accel Triathlon cheering on my fave and friends!!
Love these peeps!! So grateful to have them in my life!!
So grateful Dr. Feil pulls out all the stops to help me achieve my goals!! Dry needling + electrolysis + electric shock treatment = progress towards #sub6orbust next week!!
So grateful for Kyle at Kyle’s Bikes!! His race day blessing means Mojo is ready to roll!!
My Coeur runneth over!! I got to meet some of the most inspirational, determined, loving ladies today!! #happycoeur
These three ladies hold a special place in my heart!!
Our Air BNB hosts were spectacular!! I’m so grateful for their hospitality, openness, and friendship!!
This lady (and her friend) were two of the most AMAZING volunteers!! So grateful for the volunteers, meeting new people, and the triathlon community!!
This guy! There aren’t enough words! Thank you for your support! Thank you for believing in me! Thank you for encouraging me to chase my dreams! Thank you for motivating me when I lack self-motivation! Thank you for pushing me to do and be my best! Thank you for loving and choosing me! Thank you! I’m so blessed and grateful to have you by my side on this journey! Love you!
So grateful to have Steena by my side as I broke 6 hours, crushed goals, and achieved dreams at Ironman Ohio 70.3!! Thank you Steena for being such a strong, motivating, awesome BADASS!!

How was your month of July?! What were you grateful for last month?!