4 weeks ’til #IMWI: juggling

The theme for this week was…juggling our schedule around to get workouts in thanks to Mother Nature, visitors, and other scheduling conflicts.

Monday:

Following the 4 am alarm clock was a 90 minute run! It was a beautiful morning for a run, and I was so happy to be pounding the pavement. I was even more happy to know that my run was a negative split run, which I found out after my run 😉 I followed this up with making homemade spaghetti sauce, making 6.5 dozen zucchini muffins, cleaning up the kitchen, doing some laundry, and mowing the lawn. When the Iron Hippie came home from work, we hopped on the bike for a 60 minute ride that included a 20 minute time trial. I was dreading this FTP test…I don’t know why, but I was. I had to remind myself of “courage over comfort” and “go for the gold; don’t settle for silver” (inspired by the Olympics) multiple times throughout the test, but it worked! I was able to put out a normalized power of 194 watts. This is 6 watts higher than my last FTP test and it gets me a little closer to my goal…200 watts. #progress I am not trying to get there before IMWI, but it would be nice to see a normalized power of 200 watts before 2017! 😉

IMG_5279

IMG_5284

IMG_5288

IMG_5290

Tuesday:

We started the day with 2400 meters (2625 yards) of #swimlove with the sunrise. I could definitely feel the fatigue in my arms from the Okoboji 3.5 mile open water swim last Saturday, but it also felt good to get moving again. When I got home after swimming, I took the dogs for a walk, and did some strength training before lunch. After lunch, I cleaned up the house, did some laundry (this is NEVER. ENDING!) and cleaned some produce from our friend’s garden (she is on vacation for a week). I met a personal training client at 3 pm, picked up our CSA, and made homemade sweet potato and kale pizza for dinner with our neighbors.

IMG_5472

IMG_5478

IMG_5480

Wednesday:

This morning’s swim was a bit of a struggle. My arms were tired, so I finished 2800 meters (3062 yards) of swimming a bit slower than normal, but I pushed through and finished. After refueling, I took the dogs for a walk, cleaned up, ran to the grocery store, I finished the homemade spaghetti sauce by browning burger for each container before freezing them, made homemade beet pesto, cleaned all of the produce from yesterday’s CSA, made an Oriental cabbage salad for dinner, cleaned up the kitchen. It was a very busy day! Since school starts back up next week and the tropical weather has descended upon us yet again this summer, I am trying to get things done around the house so we are ready for the new school year…lots of food prep, deep clean the house, and make sure the cupboards are stocked with household essentials so we don’t have to go to the store for a while. When the Iron Hippie came home from work, we spent 90 minutes on the trainer for some really tough bike intervals before eating dinner, cleaning up, and preparing for the rest of the week.

DCIM100GOPROG0036039.

Long course swimming!

IMG_5513

Homemade beet pesto…I can’t wait to try this on pizza!

DCIM100GOPROG0016167.

IMG_5545

Coach Basil is sleeping on the job!

Thursday:

We woke up early, went to the gym for an hour of strength training before the Iron Hippie had to go to work. I followed this up with eating everything in sight, puppy snuggles, and a morning nap. When I woke up, it was time for laundry and running LOTS of errands…time to stock up on all of our goods and supplies before going back to school! This meant 2 trips to Sam’s Club, one trip to Target, one trip to Walmart, and LOTS of putting away of items! When the Iron Hippie came home from work, we did a lot of food prep for the freezer. It was nice to have an evening with no workout to get stuff done at home and start to prepare for reality to set in!

IMG_5550

One month from today, I will be toeing the line at Ironman #4!!

One month from today, I will be toeing the line at Ironman #4!!

Friday:

We woke up to swim, but there were severe storms that had passed through the area over night producing high winds and 4+ inches of rain in Ames. We opted for more sleep and not play the game of “will the pool be open, or won’t it?!” After the Iron Hippie went to work, I went to school for about an hour to start putting my classroom back together for the coming school year. After my eyebrow wax, I went home, snarfed down food for lunch, loaded the car, and met the Iron Hippie across town for our 5 hour ride followed by 30 minute run. When we finished, I ate all the food I could find, took an epsom salt bath, and showered before my sister and the twins showed up to spend some time with us since they are in town with friends. When they left, it was bedtime!

DCIM100GOPROGOPR6193.

IMG_5558

IMG_5566

Saturday:

We woke up at 5 am for our 18 mile run. It was VERY humid (97% humidity), but thankfully there were others who were able to join us for most of the run…we only had to run ~4 miles just the two of us. After the run, it was time for refueling, legs up the wall, and an epsom salt bath. We went to our friends’ house for brunch, took an afternoon nap, and then relaxed a bit while watching the Olympics. After dinner we got some froyo and then were in bed by 7:30…so tired!

IMG_5574

IMG_5571

IMG_5573

Sunday:

We started the day with a ride that was supposed to be 3 hours, but due to timing with family events, it was cut just a little short. We immediately came home and refueled just in enough time for my sister and the twins to come over. We went to the aquatic center and spent the afternoon playing on the slide, tube slide, lazy river, diving board, and just soaking up the fun. At 3 pm the Iron Hippie and I came home to quickly clean up before his parents arrived to our house. We unloaded pork meat from coolers into our freezer and then took the twins to Orange Leaf for some froyo…Isabella has been talking about this for a full year! After froyo, my sister and the twins left for home, the Iron Hippie, his parents, and I went to dinner. It was good food and good conversation. When his parents finally left, we were so exhausted that we just kind of fell in bed and melted into the sheets.

DCIM100GOPROGOPR6197.

DCIM100GOPROGOPR6205.

That’s me coming out of the slide with the big splash!! I finally made it down the slide 🙂

DCIM100GOPROGOPR6207.

IMG_5594

Weekly Totals: 19 hours & 30 minutes

Swim: 5687 yards
Bike: 166 miles
Run: 20.7 miles
Strength Training: 2 hours + 10 minutes of core everyday

Quote of the Week:

“I want to get more comfortable being uncomfortable. I want to get more confident being uncertain. I don’t want to shrink back just because something isn’t easy. I want to push back, and make more room in the area between I can and I can’t.” ~Kristin Armstrong

Courage over Comfort

“We can choose courage or we can choose comfort, but we can’t have both. Not at the same time.” ~Brene Brown

At the beginning of 2016, I thought “believe” would be my 2016 word. As 2016 has gotten underway, my 2016 word has evolved into the word “Courage,” which is the ability to do something that you know is difficult or dangerous. Believe is still an underlying theme of courage for me, but there are so many other areas of my life that require courage as well. Over the last couple of months, the word courage has evolved into the phrase “Courage Over Comfort,” which has gotten me through multiple challenges in all aspects of life so far in 2016.

Courage over Comfort in my relationships

The Iron Hippie and I have a great relationship, but like any couple, we do have our differences and disagreements. Being vulnerable by sharing my thoughts and feelings in a new and different way is hard and takes a lot of courage, but it will be worth it when this uncomfortable method becomes “comfortable” and less difficult one day. “Courage over comfort” is where the magic happens!!

comfortable with uncomfortable

Courage over Comfort at work

I am not an emotional person, so incorporating more Developmental Designs (a social-emotional approach to learning) into my lessons and classroom is uncomfortable and has definitely taken courage. I keep waiting for the day when this style of learning into my lessons and classrooms becomes more comfortable, but so far it just hasn’t happened…so…I guess I’ll just living the “courage over comfort” theme at work also.

Courage over Comfort in training

Leap day was full of “Courage over Comfort” in my training. An FTP test on the bike was staring me in the face from my Training Peaks calendar, and I was intimidated. I have done these many times, but have never had everything fall together so I could experience a “successful” test, and this was precisely why I was intimidated. Sure I’ve seen improvements with them, but there has always been something that has happened for me to think “it could have been better if…” when I was done. This time around, I was determined it would be different. I would conquer this FTP test and not let it conquer me! #believe

I picked a gear and cadence and was determined to stick with it! 5 minutes in, I felt good and was questioning if I should be going a little harder. I decided to stick with my plan and reevaluate later in the test. 10 minutes in, things were getting tougher, but it was still doable. 15 minutes in, I just wanted to take a break. This is when I started mentally telling myself “Courage over Comfort” over and over and over. I pushed through the last 5 minutes and walla…I had the most successful FTP test I’ve ever had!! Why was this test so “successful?” It wasn’t about the 12 watt increase in power output, although I am incredibly happy and proud of my improvements. It was about my execution of the FTP test. This was the first test that I put it all together…physically, mentally, emotionally, and nutritionally. I didn’t have any lingering “it could have been better if…” when I finished this FTP test, and it felt better than AWESOME!!

FTP test results...My normalized power was 189 watts...this was 12 watts higher than peak Ironman Boulder training in 2015!!

FTP test results…My normalized power was 189 watts…this was 12 watts higher than peak Ironman Boulder training in 2015!!

My run on March 1 was also FULL of “courage over comfort!” I had a 4×1 mile progressive repeats run staring at me from Training Peaks all day long!! I knew this would be a tough run, since my legs were exhausted from my FTP test on the bike the day before. It was a cold day with ice on the roads (thanks to an early morning freezing rain, snow mix…gotta love Iowa winters), so I opted to run on the treadmill at the gym after work. When I got to the gym, there was no cardio equipment!! What?! They got all new cardio equipment in that morning and were in the process of putting all of the machines together, but so far, no treadmills had been assembled. So it was time for plan B…back to school I went to run on OLD treadmills with no televisions, no people, nothing to distract me from my own potentially negative thoughts. Thankfully I did have music on my phone to jam to as I ran. After my 2 mile warm-up, I set the treadmill to just under a 9 minute/mile pace, which I estimated to be my current 1/2 marathon pace (although I haven’t been running consistently for long, so I had no idea how accurate this was). With each mile, I dropped ~15 seconds off per mile. The first couple of miles weren’t bad, but by the 4th mile repeat, I was running at an 8:13 minute/mile pace and thought I was going to die! Hello “courage over comfort” and goodbye negative thoughts!! I was so proud of myself for not quitting when it got tough…boy did I think REALLY hard about making the pace on the treadmill easier so I didn’t have to work so hard, but I just kept telling myself “courage over comfort” as I pushed on through that final mile. As I ran my cool down mile, mentally I was super strong and on cloud nine, but physically, my legs were TRASHED!! So this is what it feels like to REALLY push myself out of my comfort zone…

IMG_7950

Change is uncomfortable, but that is why I have been embracing #courageovercomfort as my theme and mantra in all aspects of my life in 2016. Strength doesn’t come from what we can do, it comes from overcoming the things we once thought we couldn’t do. If dreams come true when we step out of our comfort zone, then you can bet I will be tapping into a lot more courage and a lot less comfort this year!!

Do you stick with what is comfortable in your life, or do you rise to the challenge of trying to make the uncomfortable more comfortable? Where are you courageous in your life? What is your word/phrase for 2016?

Currently // November

Training

November was the month of #bikeblocktraining and cycling 7 times throughout the week really paid off. My FTP test was on Thanksgiving morning and found that #hardworkpaysoff 🙂 My previous FTP test was on October 5 where my normalized power was 160 watts for my 20 minute TT. In just under 8 weeks, my new FTP test results on November 26 produced a normalized power of 176 watts for my 20 minute TT. I’ll take the 16 watt improvement! The best part?!?!?!?! This is only 1 watt less than my FTP test during peak training before Ironman Boulder. I am pumped for what this might mean for the 2016 season!!

FTP test is the perfect start to Thanksgiving day!

FTP test is the perfect start to Thanksgiving day!

I have also been able to start running again just this last week. While I am not running long or far, I am running without pain. 🙂

Running with these 2 make my heart happy!!

Running with these 2 make my heart happy!!

Reading

Carrie Cheadle is an amazing mental skills coach. Her book On Top of Your Game helped me mentally prepare for Ironman Boulder. Her most recent blog post really hit home with me!! Setting a goal and figuring out why the goal is important…not the surface why, but the “why deep underneath the surface at your very core” can help keep you motivated and focused on what is really important to you.

Planning for

2016!!! I have spent time reflecting on my 2015 racing calendar and results. This has helped me develop S.M.A.R.T. goals for 2016 (more on these in a later post). I am so excited to work hard to achieve my dreams!!

IMG_6120

My new #believetrainingjournal arrived just in time for 2016 🙂

Pumped about

I believe 2016 is going to be an epic year!! I have been chosen to be part of the Coeur Sports 2016 Ambassador Team. I ABSOLUTELY love these women!! They are inspirational, motivational, enCOEURaging, supportive and full of #heartandcourage 🙂

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!!

Thankful for

Family and friends! My heart and soul were full this Thanksgiving as I was surrounded by so much love! #friendsgiving

IMG_6175

Love my #solesista

IMG_6179

Jenga war is on… concentration is needed here boys!

IMG_6180

Jenga…don’t mess up!!

Friday morning after our #friendsgiving I woke up with a sore throat and am headed to the doctor today. While I am not a fan of being sick, I am #grateful that it is the offseason and I am not sick during peak training and race season!!

Quote of the week

“Some people want it to happen, some wish it would happen, others make it happen.”       ~Michael Jordan

How was your month of November? How was your Thanksgiving?

15 Weeks ’til Ironman Boulder

How did we get to be only 15 weeks away from race day?!?!?! Race day is going to be here before we know it!!!! Last week was a recovery week and I took full advantage of it…maybe more than I should have 😉

Swim: 0 yards

I didn’t swim 1 yard this week and my body was just fine with it.

Bike: 44.4 miles

I only rode twice this week. The first ride was a FTP test…it didn’t go quite as well as I had hoped, but at least I haven’t lost any power.

IMG_2669

IMG_2725

Run: 0 miles

I didn’t run one step this week and it felt good. Basil isn’t as happy about this, but she’ll get plenty of miles this week 😉

Strength Training: 1:15:00

IMG_2704

Workout Totals: 4 hours & 15 minutes

Recovery:

I got lots of sleep this week, ate good food, watched the movie Wild for the first time and graded LOTS of papers. With all of the planning time I put in this week, it helped set me up for the last 5 weeks of school. WAHOO…Only 5 more weeks until summer break, but who’s counting 😉

IMG_2659

Disappointments:

We were supposed to do our 5 hour trainer ride last Saturday to raise money for the Tour de Cure, but Mother Nature had other plans…I was very disappointed. The good news…we have rescheduled the event for this coming Saturday. If you would like to donate to help improve the lives of people with diabetes, please click here.

IMG_2719

IMG_2727

Helping:

I’ve been lucky to help a few friends with bike fun this week. From changing tubes to helping with a “new” bike rack…I really enjoy helping others find the love for endurance sport!!

IMG_2673

Feeling:

I am feeling mentally and physically recovered and ready to rock the next few weeks of training!!

IMG_2655

How was your week? Do you ever take more of a break from something than you had planned? How does it make you feel?

 

22 Weeks ’til Ironman Boulder

This was a recovery week and was supposed to be a week of parent teacher conferences. Thanks to Mother Nature deciding to continue to force her bad attitude on us, we had an early dismissal from school and no parent teacher conferences on Wednesday. This was a nice reprieve, but it puts a kink into my training schedule for the coming week since we have to make up those conferences…

Monday:

Rest Day…While I had planned to get up early and complete an hour strength training session, I decided resting up for the coming week would be more advantageous due to the long days ahead of me. After a 13 hour work day, I came home to a very special delivery…my new Coeur Sports gear!! LOVE, LOVE, LOVE!! #heartandcourage #stylishspeed

Basil loves my new Coeur gear!!

Basil loves my new Coeur gear!!

Tuesday:

Rest Day #2…I intentionally took Tuesday and Wednesday off from working out since I had an FTP test on the calendar for Thursday afternoon. My 13 hour work day #2 is in the books…

Wednesday:

Rest Day #3…I did have to shovel some snow, but that was the only working out that I did in preparation for my FTP test tomorrow. Instead of leaving work at 7:30 pm, we were released at 1:30 pm due to the weather. What does one do with this extra down time?!?!?!?

IMG_1912

Relaxing with the dog and a good book.

Thursday:

This was a half day of work, so I was home by noon…just in time for a nap before my FTP test 😉

And now for the FTP test…after a 20 minute warm-up, I pushed hard for 20 minutes and sweat A LOT. The results??? I improved my FTP by 21 watts (up from 156 watts to 177 watts) from my last test 2 months ago. #progress 🙂 I still have LOTS of room for growth and will continue to work hard to continue to get stronger and faster on the bike!!

IMG_1917

IMG_1921

IMG_1923

I followed my FTP test up with TRX…this was my #FaveWorkout this week. OUCH!!

Full class!!

Full class!!

Friday:

HOLY COLD…BRR!! Going outside in this weather = #hardcoeur

IMG_1929

With the day off, I could go to the gym and complete my workouts whenever I wanted, so I opted for about 10:00 am…

3500 yard swim...in sets of 3x1000. Not my ideal pace, but it gives me room for improvement.

3500 yard swim…in sets of 3×1000. Not my ideal pace, but it gives me room for improvement.

I followed my swim up with 50 minutes of #runlove including 6×1 minute at faster than 5K pace. I ran these at a 7:03 pace…I’m not sure I could have gone much faster today. My legs were still REALLY tired from yesterday’s FTP test and TRX class.

IMG_1944

No…I didn’t pee myself, lots of sweating on this run!!

After refueling and cleaning up, it was time for a massage. Bad news…OUCH!!! Good news…Nick noticed that my muscles aren’t as tight as they have been in the past. Maybe my thyroid meds are slowly starting to work. 🙂

IMG_1951

I also had a very special delivery from Barnana today!! #realfoodfuel #potassiumboost

IMG_1931

Saturday:

We opted for an early morning run on the mill again due to the cold morning temps…it looks like we MIGHT have warmer weather in the next 7 days. We’ll see…

IMG_1966

9.9 miles of #solesistasweat is the best start to my Saturday…ignore the creepy guy in the background…

I followed this run up with 30 minutes of #hardcoeur work…

Yes...that is a weight on my glutes to make this plank a bit more challenging. This after a 3:30 plank, 1:00 plank and 1:00 plank. I was a planking fool this morning ;)

Yes…that is a weight on my glutes to make this plank a bit more challenging. This came after a 3:30 plank, 1:00 plank and 1:00 plank. I was a planking fool this morning 😉

After cleaning up, we did a little photo shoot for my Coeur Sports Ambassador Team photo 😉

IMG_1976

Sometimes you need to move mountains to accomplish dreams. ‪#‎hardcoeur‬‬ ‪#‎dreambig‬

IMG_2299

IMG_2322

IMG_1979

When you conquer the mountain of obstacles in your path, the victory is yours!!

Sunday:

I started my morning with the Z2, Z3 and wall sit workout lasting 2 hours…this was tough, but when you conquer the mountain of obstacles in your path, the victory is yours. I’m hoping the victory becomes mine on race day 🙂

IMG_1996

IMG_2011

I followed up this workout with good food, a little rest and 90 minutes of hot yoga with friends 🙂

Taking child's pose

Taking child’s pose before we got too sweaty

Weekly Totals:

Swim: 3500 yards

Bike: 42.7 miles

Run: 15.4 miles

Strength Training: 1:15:00

Hot Yoga: 1:30:00

Total Duration: 9:15:00

What were the highlights of your week?

My #FaveWorkout – Week 15

This week is a recovery week and has been VERY limited on workouts. With parent teacher conferences early in the week and resting up for my FTP test, I didn’t get many workouts in during the first half of the week.

So what was my #FaveWorkout this week????

Thursday night was full of exercise fun…I started with my FTP test on the bike. I’m excited to be making #progress on the bike 🙂 I immediately followed up my FTP test with TRX…this was my weekly #FaveWorkout. I think the reason it was my #FaveWorkout was because my legs were so fatigued that it made TRX even harder than normal. Here is what the workout consisted of:

  1. Warm-up with simple squats and cross lunges
  2. Single-leg squat with foot in stirrup (2×15 each leg)
  3. Single-leg lunge with foot in stirrup…no jumping with this one (2×15 each leg)…video starts at about 5:30
  4. Single-arm row (15 each arm)
  5. Standing hip-drop (20 each side)
  6. Plank (1 minute)
  7. Side Plank (1 minute each side)
  8. Hamstring curls (2×15)
  9. Glutes and Abductors Out and Ins (2×15)…video segment from 15-15 seconds
  10. Pike (15)…you can do this on your elbows or hands
  11. Mountain Climbers (1 minute)…this was killer!! I’d recommend starting with 30 seconds first.
  12. Side Plank with Hip Drop (15 each side)
  13. Atomic Push-Ups (10)
  14. Saw (3o seconds)
  15. Swimmers (18 each direction)…lay on the floor face down with hands on the loops of the straps and do the breaststroke motion. Once you’ve completed 18 breaststroke motions, reverse the motion and complete 18 more.
  16. Leg Drops side to side (10 each side)…holding onto the straps
  17. Leg Drops straight down the center (12)…holding onto the straps

IMG_1928

What was your #FaveWorkout this week?