#batcapchallenge = exhilarating + exhausting

In October, I contacted Michelle about participating in the #batcapchallenge that she offers athletes. She decided that 30K yards of swimming in 7 days would be the perfect way to make my “eyes open wide.” I asked Coach Kelly if she thought this was an appropriate challenge for me (I wanted to remain injury free). I wanted her blessing + guidance on how to structure these 7 days before fully committing to it. Coach Kelly was on board, so I let Michelle know that we (the Iron Hippie decided to complete this challenge as well) would be completing this challenge on Tuesday, December 26 – Monday, January 1. What a way to close out 2017 and bring in the new year?!?!

To put this in perspective, I swam a total of 31,400 yards for the ENTIRE month of November. To say my eyes were open wide was an understatement. This challenge had me excited, nervous, eager, intimidated, anxious, and so much more!

Here is how Coach Kelly structured these 7 days:

Day 1: 5200 yards at the Bedell Family YMCA
I started the week off with a bang! This was a great swim for me since I felt fresh, charged, and ready to knock this swim challenge out of the park!

Day 2: 3200 yards at the Bedell Family YMCA
After yesterday’s long swim, I was expecting to feel a bit more fatigued than I actually felt, so I was very grateful for another strong swim day!

Day 3: 3300 yards at Ames Racquet and Fitness Center
I felt a bit more fatigued during this workout, but I was determined and focused. The fatigue was definitely something I could push through and finish strong.

Day 4: Double swim day! 2500 yards in the AM and 3500 yards in the PM at Ames Racquet and Fitness Center
This was my FIRST ever double swim day! The morning swim was short (in comparison to what I’ve been swimming lately) and full of recovery type of swimming. It was relatively easy, but my body was tired and I could tell.

The evening swim was to be more pace focused. I started out using my tempo trainer and tried so hard to stay with the beep, but my body just wouldn’t listen to my mind. That fatigue I was feeling earlier in the day was still lingering. After losing to my body’s fatigue (and not staying with the beep of the tempo trainer), I decided to put the tempo trainer on the pool deck and just swim to cover the yardage. Michelle did say that it is pretty common to feel the most fatigue on days 3 & 4. Yep…I was definitely feeling fatigue today!

Day 5: 5300 yards at the Ames Municipal Pool
After feeling really tired yesterday, I didn’t know what to expect of my body. Thankfully my body showed up to give some effort today! I managed to swim a 1:51/100 yard pace for a 500 yard effort. I was pretty happy with this since my body was so exhausted! My body is starting to “come through” the fatigue and feeling better and stronger. I can’t wait to see what it does for me in the next 2 swims and how this translates to future swimming!

Day 6: 3500 yards at Ames Racquet and Fitness Center
This swim had some good kick sets in it, which obviously take longer than simply swimming, but it was nice to have this break. The little swimming I did have went well! I was able to stay on the beep of my tempo trainer and felt strong…fatigued, but strong! Feeling grateful my body has allowed me to push it on this journey, but this triathlete is ready to be less of a swimmer and a more well rounded triathlete again!

Day 7: 3300 yards at the Boone YMCA
The final swim of the #batcapchallenge was rewarding! I swam one of my 100s at a 1:32/100 yard pace, which is a new swim PR for me! With all of the hours and swim mileage I’ve put in over the last 7 days, I still managed to have some speed in my swim on the last day of the challenge! Boom!

Grand Totals:
30,000 yards (17.045 miles) in 7 days!
11 hours & 35 minutes of swimming
8 swims in 7 days!
4 pools visited

This week of swimming was FULL of #swimlove + #chlorinetherapy! It was exhausting and exhilarating at the same time! It challenged me both mentally and physically. It pushed my limits. I surprised myself on so many levels with this challenge! It was all for the bat cap + some lessons learned:

  1. All the swimming helped me find my swim stroke and become stronger + more efficient + faster in the water.
  2. All the swimming is exhausting and allowed me sleep REALLY WELL (I even got a couple of naps in)!
  3. I can do anything I put my mind to…even swimming 17+ miles in 7 days.
  4. The final push is worth the sweet reward of success!
  5. Accomplishing new goals + PRs is exhilarating!
  6. Achievement is sweet when it is earned, not given!
  7. Stepping outside of your comfort zone is where all of the magic happens! #courageovercomfort is where it is at!
  8. I love triathlon! The balance of swimming, cycling, and running is so much better than simply swimming! 😉 Triathlon lights my fire!
  9. I can do hard things!
  10. I am grateful my body is healthy and allows me to do what I love + enjoy!

Thank you Michelle for creating the #batcapchallenge and setting a distance that pushed my limits, but was achievable! Thank you Coach Kelly for keeping me #trackcatstrong + believing in me + structuring my week in such a way that I was able to achieve what seemed a daunting feat at the start! Thank you to SBR Sports, Inc. for making amazing swim products to wash away the chlorine + keep me itch free all week! Thank you to Coeur Sports for the most comfortable + super cute swimsuits!

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Courage over Comfort

With the start of the New Year, so many people set New Year’s Resolutions. I prefer to set intentions instead of resolutions. I feel like resolutions set me up for failure the moment I “fall off the train,” whereas intentions make me more mindful + allow for success by not being so finite.

Only about 8% of people who make New Year’s resolutions keep them throughout the year, which might be why I view resolutions as negative.

Last year I adopted the phrase “courage over comfort” part of the way through 2017 and it served me very well. It fits in all areas of my life…personal, relationships, work, sport, financial, etc. When I’m more mindful of being courageous, growth happens. Change happens. When growth and change happen, I feel empowered.

Why change a good thing?! I’ve decided to keep this ball rolling! My intention for 2018:

COURAGE OVER COMFORT!

18 weeks ’til #IMMT: get back up

Last week took a downhill turn on Wednesday morning when I tripped on some concrete while running. It wasn’t really the week I was hoping for, but I’m choosing to focus on the positives of the week.

Swim: 3600 yards

I only had one swim last week. After my spill Wednesday morning, I didn’t want to get in the water Thursday morning and risk infection in my knees. I was looking forward to my Sunday swim, when I realized it was Easter Sunday and the gym was closed…bummed, but it gave my knees an extra day to heal before submerging myself for some chlorine therapy. I’m grateful for the swim I did have and looking forward to LOTS of chlorine therapy this week!

#findfaster with every stroke…even when the arms don’t want to turn over, I keep pushing!

Bike: 57 miles

One of the hardest bike workouts I had two weeks ago reappeared on my schedule this last week…AGAIN. It was a workout that filled me with doubt both times, but I CRUSHED it both times! I have become SO much stronger on the bike and have really learned to embrace courage over comfort. This week, I get to see just how much stronger I’ve become!

#tearsofjoy for finding a gear in my legs I didn’t think I had on this #timetrialtuesday
Easy recovery ride with my skinned knees
Putting more hay in the barn to make an explosion on race day!

Run: 11.8 miles

Wednesday morning I ran with the Iron Hippie and my favorite girl. Unfortunately I tripped on some raised concrete while running and went down HARD about 1.5 miles into my run, but I still managed to finish my 5 mile run at a pretty speedy pace! My only other run was Sunday with an hour run off the bike. After a pretty tough bike ride, I still managed to find some speed in my legs. My bike fitness is definitely translating nicely to my run as well! I’m excited to test this at my upcoming 1/2 marathon in a couple of weeks!

Sometimes you fall, but when you get up and keep moving, you get closer to achieving your dreams!
Some days you have it and some days you fight for every step! Fight for your dreams!

Strength Training: 30 minutes + 10 minutes of core most days (I did miss a couple of days this week)

I only completed one strength training session this week. Thanks to my tore up and bruised knees, I had a couple more rest days than planned this week, but that allowed me to recover properly and set me up nicely for what’s to come!

Weekly Totals: 8 hours

Weekly Positives:

Chatting with Coach Kelly! I am grateful that she takes time to chat with me on the phone. I’m excited that she has given me something to work on in the pool…FLIP TURNS! I’m nervous, scared, and super excited! Time to overcome some fears and play a little more in the water! I’m always striving to be #trackcatstrong as I work on #courageovercomfort!

Nick with Vitality Massage complimented me during my massage! He can tell I’m getting stronger because my muscles are more dense! I’m excited to see just how strong I’ve gotten…FTP test is coming up this week!

“I can tell you are getting stronger. Your muscles are much more dense.” So grateful my massage therapist knows my muscles so well and complimented my strength too!

Quote of the Week:

“It’s OK if you fall down and lose your spark. Just make sure that when you get back up, you rise as the whole damn fire.” ~Colette Werden

Last Week of 2016: #coeurcenturyswim

It is hard to believe that 2016 is behind us and 2017 has arrived!! CRAZY how time flies!! My last week of 2016 was busy…it always amazes me how I manage to completely fill my free time when I am on break!

Swim: 10,000 yards

The Coeur Sports ambassadors have set the #coeurcenturyswim challenge to complete before the end of 2016. The 100 x 100 yards/meters could be done all in one swim, or broken up over the course of a week. After proposing this idea to Coach Kelly, she thought it would be best to complete this challenge over the course of a week to prevent damage to my rotator cuffs since I am have not built up to this distance gradually over time. Coach put three structured workouts in for me to complete this challenge and by Friday morning, I had completed 100 x 100 yards for the week!

#coeurcenturyswim #1 = 3000 yards
#coeurcenturyswim #1 = 3000 yards
Playing in the water after #coeurcenturyswim #2 = 3500 yards
Playing in the water after #coeurcenturyswim #2 = 3500 yards
#coeurcenturyswim #3 = 3500 yards
#coeurcenturyswim #3 = 3500 yards

Bike: 70.6 miles

This week I had some z5 bike interval workouts and some easy recovery rides. I’m looking forward to a power test next week to see what kind of progress I’ve been making 😉 #courageovercomfort is definitely where it’s at to get stronger on the bike!

Recovery ride while reading "Surfacing" by Siri Lindley...this is a MUST read!!
Recovery ride while reading “Surfacing” by Siri Lindley…this is a MUST read!!
1 minute z5 intervals!!
1 minute z5 intervals!!
3 minute z5 intervals!!
3 minute z5 intervals!!
Sprinting out of 2016 on New Year's Eve!
Sprinting out of 2016 on New Year’s Eve in my new Island Vibe Coeur Sports tri kit!

Run: 18.8 miles

I had some short easy runs, a track workout with 800 repeats, and a longer progression run this week. It was nice to get outside for every single run this week!! I was very grateful for warmer temperatures 😉

800 repeats while I work on my mental game at the track!
800 repeats while I work on my mental game at the track!
Running with my favorite girl for a short, easy run!
Running with my favorite girl for a short, easy run!
20 minute run off the bike with my favorite girl!
20 minute run off the bike with my favorite girl!
Running into 2017 with my favorite girl!
Running into 2017 with my favorite girl!

Strength Training: 1 hour + 55 minutes

I had some great strength training sessions throughout the week! Strength training is a MUST for me to remain injury-free and healthy! I’m grateful that Mya decided to help me during one of my strength sessions!

Mya is such a good helper!
Mya is such a good helper!

Other:

I had to have a cyst at the base of my finger drained of fluid on Wednesday. Have you ever tried to swim with numb fingers?! Such a WEIRD feeling!!

Nice bruise post drainage!
Nice bruise post drainage!

I decided on my “power word” for 2017…

#fearless is my word for 2017 in all areas of my life...Thanks to Coach Kelly for this amazing reminder!!
#fearless is my word for 2017 in all areas of my life…Thanks to Coach Kelly for making this amazing reminder for me!!

I often hold myself back in multiple avenues of my life and it is time to become more #fearless in 2017!! What better way to start working toward being #fearless than to go to a climbing facility. Most people wouldn’t consider a climbing wall a challenge, but when you have a fear of heights, climbing the wall and then having to let go and trust the automatic belay takes a lot of courage!! I actually went rock climbing twice this week!!

I did make it all the way to the top and then didn't want to let go...but I did! #fearless
I did make it all the way to the top and then didn’t want to let go…but I did! Working on becoming #fearless

Weekly Totals: 14 hours & 9 minutes + 10 minutes of core each day

Quote of the Week:

“Everything you want is on the other side of fear.” ~Jack Canfield

Week 4 with Coach Kelly: #hardworkpaysoff

Swim: 5850 yards

My swims this week were uneventful, but that isn’t such a bad thing! I’m hopeful that this means I’m starting to feel more comfortable with the new swim stroke and that it is sticking…though I haven’t checked to see if my stroke has improved. Maybe I’ll do that this next week!

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Bike: 73.5 miles

I had HUGE success on the bike this week! I am starting to see my bike fitness bounce back, and it is a GREAT feeling!! On Tuesday I saw a new FTP threshold of 161 watts and then on Thursday, I upped that to 163 watts!! I’m not where I was before Ironman Wisconsin, but I’m getting closer to it with every workout!! #courageovercomfort + #hardworkpaysoff

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Run: 15.7 miles

Thankfully we saw some warmer temperatures this week and I was able to run outside twice! So awesome to see temperatures above 0F for a while!! I still had a treadmill run, but only because it was a prescribed workout.

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Strength Training: 1 hour & 37 minutes + 10 minutes of core strength daily

I had some good strength sessions at home and teaching TRX this week. I also got to teach 2.5 hours of tabata style workouts for the middle schoolers on their last day of school (Wednesday) before winter break. It was spirit day, and tabatas was one of the many options they had throughout the morning. There is a reason tabatas are only 4 minutes long and doing 2.5 hours of them is exhausting! 😉

Weekly Totals: 12 hours + 13 minutes

Quote of the Week:

“I believe in working for what you want. Nothing should be easily given. It has no value that way.” ~Unknown

Week 2 with Coach Kelly: Testing + Testing

I wrapped up last week with a run test, but that wasn’t the end of my testing…hello FTP test on the bike and swim time trial.

Monday:

I had planned to get up early to complete my run and strength training before work so that I could have a free evening, but sleep took precedence. When I woke up at 4 am and knew that I could complete both workouts after work in plenty of time, I decided to go back to sleep for 2 more hours. After a full day of work, I went home, ran and completed my strength training.

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Sunset #runlove
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Strength training with the Iron Hippie post running

Tuesday:

I had a FTP test on the bike to start my Tuesday! I was very excited, yet nervous to see how much bike fitness I’d lost since Ironman Wisconsin. The bad news…I lost more bike fitness than I’d hoped. The good news…I didn’t lose as much bike fitness as I thought I had. The even better news…Coach Kelly says that my power results for my 5 minute and 20 minute tests indicate that I am “well balanced in your abilities. This balance you already have is good news in my opinion! : )”

FTP test...not where I want to be, but better than where I thought I was.
FTP test…I am not where I once was, but I’m recovered and ready to work hard to surpass where I once was!! Lots of #courageovercomfort and #nevergiveup needed on this ride!!

After a full day of work, I met with a friend who is signing up for her first Ironman in 2017. She picked my brain about all things Ironman from a first timer’s perspective and it was so much fun! I’m super excited for her and her 2017 journey! It is so fun to share my passion with others!

Wearing my CEP Compression tights with my dress clothes all day long.
Wearing my CEP Compression tights with my dress clothes all day long.
This! Everyone should train + race + live clean!
This! Everyone should train + race + live clean! #cleansportco

Wednesday:

I started my day with some #swimlove. I love chlorine therapy in the morning! It is the perfect way to wake up 🙂

#chlorinetherapy
#chlorinetherapy

After a full day of work and running a few errands on my way home, I hopped on the bike for an easy recovery ride!

Easy spin!
Easy spin!

Thursday:

Good morning run on our first frigid morning of the season…hello -8F windchill! I think this means treadmill time!

"You aren't going to find anybody that's going to be successful without making a sacrifice and without perseverance." ~Lou Holtz
“You aren’t going to find anybody that’s going to be successful without making a sacrifice and without perseverance.” ~Lou Holtz

After a full day of work, I worked with two personal training clients and then taught TRX before eating dinner and crawling into bed for the last day of my work week.

TRX FTW!!
TRX FTW!!

Friday:

Good morning #chlorinetherapy on this cold morning (-3F windchill)! I really wanted to pull the covers up over my head when the alarm went off and stay in bed with my dreams, but I decided to get up and work hard during my swim time trial to turn my dreams into a reality instead!

Working hard to turn my dreams into a reality with some #chlorinetherapy
Working hard to turn my dreams into a reality with some #chlorinetherapy

After a run test last Saturday + bike test Tuesday + swim test this morning, I had a much needed massage after work! OUCH!

After a run test + bike test + swim test in a week's time, a massage was definitely needed! Thanks to Nick at Vitality Massage for keeping me injury free! #recoveryisimportant
After a run test + bike test + swim test in a week’s time, a massage was definitely needed! Thanks to Nick at Vitality Massage for keeping me injury free! #recoveryisimportant

Saturday:

I woke up to an endurance ride and strength session in my Coeur Sports Kona kit…after all, #IMKona is going to air on NBC this afternoon. #dreambelieveachieve

Dreaming of #IMKona on this snowy morning!
Dreaming of #IMKona on this snowy morning!
Dreaming of #IMKona on this snowy morning!
Dreaming of #IMKona on this snowy morning!

After getting a Karma Kombucha delivery (12 cases) to our house, I went for a 25 minute run in my new Hoka One One Claytons in the snow. I think I’ll be a Clifton girl as I felt some rubbing in the arches of both feet during such a short time. I’ve heard this is a common problem with this model.

Running in the snow on the golf course is the best!
Running in the snow on the golf course is the best!

I spent the afternoon watching #IMKona on NBC and then traveling to Kyle’s Bikes to pick up the Iron Hippie’s bike that was getting some TLC! We spent the evening relaxing and enjoying quality family time.

Sunday:

I woke up so grateful for a good night’s sleep and warm enough temps that I could run outside again today. After running to the grocery store before all the post church goers, I went to the pool and had a much better swim than I expected! It was fun to play in the pool afterwards also…this is what I do to keep my swims fun!

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Dive down and coast along the bottom!

After swimming, I came home with swim brain…yep, I tried to fill my water bottle with the lid still on it. It didn’t work very well! I ate a granola bar, changed clothes, and went out for my run. With the snow we’ve gotten in the last couple of days, I decided to take my run to the golf course to prevent slipping and to have fun running with my girl and our friends’ dog (the Golden).

Running the golf course with my girl + bonus #puppylove
Running the golf course with my girl + bonus #puppylove
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Some solo running along the rive path! #runlove

After running, it was time to Eat. All. The. Food. I was so hungry!! I enjoyed some quiet, relaxing time most of the afternoon as the Iron Hippie went to an ISU basketball game with a friend. At 4 pm, I joined my Coeur Sports Ambassadors for a conference call. These amazing women are so inspirational and enCOEURaging!! I’m so pumped for 2017!! After my conference call, we prepped food for the coming week and relaxed before bed.

Week 2 with Coach Kelly is in the books and a success!!

Weekly Totals: 10 hours & 16 minutes

Swim: 6700 yards
Bike: 42.9 miles
Run: 14.6 miles
Strength Training: 1 hour & 55 minutes + 10 minutes of core work daily

Quote of the Week:

“Small daily – seemingly insignificant – improvements and innovations lead to staggering achievements over time.” ~ Robin Sharma

Week 1 with Coach Kelly: starting a new chapter

After Ironman Wisconsin (9/11/16), I took a lot of time off…both physically and mentally. During this time I decided to hire Kelly as my coach to help me achieve big goals at Ironman Mont Tremblant in 2017. This was week 1 of a new chapter in my book as I started training with Coach Kelly!! After having my training train derailed for the last couple of months, it felt great to have the train stop, pick me up, get back on its tracks, and move in the forward direction. The best part…having someone else tell me what to do!! Thanks Coach!! So what did my first week of this new chapter look like?! Here’s a snapshot of my week…

Monday:

I had every intention of getting up and working out Monday morning, but I had a Thanksgiving hangover, and I don’t mean from alcohol…it was a family hang over. I LOVE my family and am SO grateful and happy they came to visit us over Thanksgiving break, but I was exhausted on Monday morning. As a result, Monday morning was a sleep in. After a full day of work, I hit the gym for my strength training session.

Getting my strong on makes me happy!!
Getting my strong on makes me happy!!

Tuesday:

The day started with morning miles with my girl! I love running with her and am so lucky to have an early morning running partner who is reliable, dependable, and keeps me safe! When we got home, I quickly vacuumed the house before getting ready for work. After a full day of teaching, I hit the pool for some chlorine therapy.

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Love this girl! #morningmileswithBasil
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#swimlove is the perfect way to end the day!

Wednesday:

The Iron Hippie and I both had swims, so we decided to go in the morning and see just how busy the pool is on a Wednesday morning. Surprisingly, it wasn’t as busy as we thought it would be 🙂 After a full day of teaching, I came home to intervals on Mojo! This was the first time I’ve REALLY ridden her since Ironman Wisconsin and it took a lot of self talk…#courageovercomfort and #nevergiveup!!

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Sharing a lane with my fave! He’s at the other end of the lane…see the high elbow off in the distance?!
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Full of smiles after those tough bike intervals! Finding my #bikelove again!

Thursday:

It was another early morning run with my girl! I’m so grateful to have her to keep me company, push me to run faster, and keep me safe! After we returned home, I vacuumed the house before getting ready for a full day of science education meetings with my colleagues. My brain was complete MUSH by the end of the day! I met with two different personal training clients after work and then rounded out my day with teaching TRX.

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#morningmileswithBasil are the best!
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TRX FTW!!

Friday:

Today was a rest day! After yesterday’s brain mushing session, I needed this rest day today! After a full day of teaching, I ran a couple of errands, prepared dinner, and cleaned fresh produce for the coming week. After dinner and cleaning up the kitchen, I was in bed reading by 7:30 pm with lights out at 8:15 pm. I was exhausted!

Saturday:

I was so tired that I slept until 6:10 am! I guess my body needed it 😉 After eating a quick snack I went to the Iowa State outdoor track for my 2 mile time trial run. I have a mental block when I am at the track…it is a GREAT facility, but this is where I ran for week after week after week after week about 2 years ago when I was injured. After running circles with the white line between my feet for about 2 months, this beautiful track left a negative taste in my mouth. Today I had doubts in my head, but I immediately went into self talk mode…courage over comfort! Never give up! I am strong! I am tough! I am FAST! So the best part about this run?! I had the track to myself for the entire hour I was there! Ha ha! I know what you’re thinking…NO, it didn’t take me an hour to run 2 miles! I was hoping to run each mile at 8:00/mile or faster, but I’m just not quite there yet and that’s OK! I’m happy to be where I’m at! After all, I’ve taken nearly 3 months off of training. After a 20 minute warm up, my first mile was at 8:10/mile and my second mile was 8:05/mile. Hello negative splits!! After cooling down until I had ran an hour, I went to the gym for some strength training. After eating all the food I could find (not really…just muesli) when I got home, we did some house work before I went to the gym for some chlorine therapy! Guess what?! I had the pool to myself for my entire swim! I think that was the theme of the day…first the track to myself, then the pool to myself (no…I didn’t have the gym to myself for strength training, but the room I was in I had to myself for a good portion of my workout). After eating all the food I could find (this time, it was true!), we spent the evening relaxing with friends.

2 mile time trial with the track all to myself!!
2 mile time trial with the track all to myself!!
Look...I'm flying!! Airplanes on an inverted Bosu as part of my strength session today.
Look…I’m flying!! Airplanes on an inverted Bosu as part of my strength session today.
Chlorine therapy...Serious #swimlove in a pool all to myself as I work to #findfaster today!
Chlorine therapy…Serious #swimlove in a pool all to myself as I work to #findfaster today!

Sunday:

We woke up to snow…on the ground…for the first time this season! Thankfully the ground was still warm enough that the roads and sidewalks weren’t ice covered…just slushy. After an easy 75 minute ride, I ate some food, got ready for the coming week, chatted with Coach Kelly on the phone for almost an hour, and then went for a short and easy afternoon run in our winter wonderland. I rounded out the week with an epsom salt soak, laundry, and relaxing to soak up all of my hard work this week and get ready for more testing this coming week…bike FTP and swim tests are scheduled for the coming week…eek! I’m so happy and grateful to have Coach Kelly write this new chapter with me!

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My view on my ride today.
#runlove with the first snowfall of the season
#runlove with the first snowfall of the season

Weekly Totals: 9 hours & 25 minutes

Swim: 5100 yards
Bike: 31.5 miles
Run: 17.1 miles
Strength Training: 2 hours & 30 minutes + 10 minutes of core work daily

Quote of the Week:

“Today I close the door on the past, open the door to the future, take a deep breath, step on through and start a new chapter in my life.” ~Anonymous