There’s power in big TITS!

A few weeks ago, I mentioned that I had been streaking with more TITS. Before my streaking began, my FTP (functional threshold power) was 214 watts. Last Tuesday marked day 50 of my bike streak. I wanted to do a FTP test to see how big TITS translates to FTP. Guess what?! No surprise that the more time you spend in the saddle, the stronger you get. But what did surprise me was how MUCH stronger I have truly become.

I was expecting to see my power increase by a few watts, but certainly not by 15 watts. Yes, my FTP jumped from 214 watts to 229 watts. So proof in the pudding…there’s power in big TITS!

Moral of the story…the more you cycle, the more powerful you become. Since 2020 has been cancelled (personal opinion at this point), I’ve decided to really focus on my cycling this year. It translates well to run strength as well, so for me, it is a win-win! Gotta go hop on the saddle and grow my TITS!

perfectly imperfect

Since improving my FTP at the end of January, my bike workouts have gotten SO. MUCH. TOUGHER. I’ve been going into each bike workout wanting to have it completed perfectly and what I’m producing is a whole lot of imperfection. I’ve found myself getting frustrated that I’m not hitting targets and sh!t quitting on myself…closing out of that ride on Zwift in the middle of it and opening an endurance ride just so I can feel good about myself.

When the heart rate says, “let’s go,” but the legs give you the middle finger. My brain tried to convince my heart and legs to get along, but the legs weren’t having those intervals THIS TIME.

Sh!t quitting on myself is NOT helping me get stronger. It is NOT allowing me to grow. I recently had a come to Jesus meeting with myself about sh!t quitting on myself when I’m not hitting the desired targets. I have come to accept that if I didn’t hit the target watts for the last interval, I need to put my head down, and try again on the next interval. This is where the growth comes. This is where I get stronger. It’s time to change my thinking. Failure on intervals is a good thing! No really, it is! It means my FTP is accurately providing me a challenge…forcing me to do work! Forcing me to get stronger! Forcing me to grow! So I didn’t perfectly complete my workout. Imperfection is real. It is perfect to be imperfect! I’m choosing to keep it real. I’m choosing imperfection!

***Don’t worry, I’m giving myself grace during this pandemic, listening to my body, and taking rest/recovery days when needed.

Do you choose perfection or imperfection when trying to grow and get stronger?

January Celebrations

As we near the end of February, I realized I haven’t recapped January. I’ve decided to change up my monthly recap. What are the things I’m celebrating from the month of January?! In no particular order:

Lunch, girl talk, and hugs with my Coeur Sports teammates, Jess and Courtney!
The twins had a swim meet! Love seeing these two!
I kicked off 2020 with the #hcccyclingchallenge, which had me in the saddle for 40+ hours and 660 miles in January. It definitely pushed my limits and had me feeling like an athlete again!
2 sliver medals for our household at the Incydeman Triathlon!
Running away from the judgement and toward living my best life!
Kicking out the previous 198 watt FTP to make room for the new 214 watt FTP.

Training Totals:
Swim: 15,650 yards (8.89 miles)
Bike: 660 miles
Run: 66.6 miles
Total Hours: 63 hours & 32 minutes of swim/bike/run/strength/yoga

What were your January Celebrations?!

Breakthroughs without expectations

In the last couple of weeks, I have tapped into #SunnyMcGritty‘s energy. She has helped me have some breakthrough sessions! Ten days ago, I had a bike workout with a HUGE breakthrough! After a good warm-up, I was to ride 1 minute @120% FTP with 30 seconds @10% FTP and continue this until failure. I had done this workout a few times before, but always with expectations (“I want to get to 20 intervals before I reach failure,” or “I want to get to 25 intervals before I reach failure”). These expectations actually limited me. Once I achieved my expectation, I gave myself “permission” to back down and wouldn’t continue to really push to see just how far I could REALLY go. Thursday’s ride was different. I stayed present with each minute and focused only on that minute. Because I stayed present with each minute, after about 5 intervals, I lost track of how many intervals I had completed. This was probably the best thing that could have ever happened! From this point on I had no idea of how many intervals I had completed, so my only expectation was to give my best for the minute I was in. I didn’t give myself permission to back down…Sunny McGritty wouldn’t give herself permission to back down, so I wasn’t going to either! When I got to the 1 hour planned duration for this ride and was still doing intervals, I knew that I had surpassed previous stats for this ride. I hadn’t reached failure yet! I stayed present with each minute and pushed until my legs wouldn’t push any more. Breakthrough!

Head down giving it everything I have in this minute!

My 2nd breakthrough session was a week ago. After a 9+ mile run, I went to the pool to swim. I had zero expectations…after all, I was swimming after a long run. I had 5×100 as part of my main set with 2 minutes rest between each 100 to see just how far I could push myself. For comparison, my fastest 100 time ever is 1:31 and I’d only seen that once! On Saturday, my first 100 was 1:33. I was super happy with this since I knew I was swimming tired. My second 100 was 1:31 and so was my third! Boom! I was swimming as fast as my fastest 100 time AFTER my 9+ mile run! My fourth and fifth 100 times were 1:32. Hello breakthrough!

Soaring after a breakthrough swim session!

Sunny McGritty has helped me really fight to new levels and truly not back down. Sunny wouldn’t give herself permission to back down, so when I tap into Sunny’s personality, I don’t give myself permission to back down either!

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