The Best of 2016

After posting the Best of 2013, the Best of 2014, and the Best of 2015 I decided it would be fun to look back through 2016 and reminisce my faves🙂

Best race experience?

The Okoboji Triathlon was my favorite race this year! It was special to race with The Iron Hippie on our Anniversary and get cheered on by our twin nieces at the finish line!

Getting low fives from my nieces at the Okoboji Triathlon. Photo by Sarah Riley
Getting low fives from my twin nieces at the Okoboji Triathlon. Photo by Sarah Riley

Best run?

There weren’t many runs that stood out as belonging at the top of the pile this year, but the most fun I had while running was at the Market to Market Relay. I got to run with friends All. Day. Long!

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Best bike?

Riding 3 loops of the Ironman Wisconsin bike course…was a challenging day full of 6847 feet of climbing over 125 miles. This ride gave me a lot of confidence for Ironman Wisconsin race day!

Looking down Barlow...this doesn't do it justice since you can't see the bottom!
Looking down Barlow (a 21% climb)…this doesn’t do it justice since you can’t see the bottom!

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Best swim?

The Okoboji 3.5 mile swim was not wetsuit legal, but it was a great experience for me to swim LONG with my father kayaking beside me!! I love swimming in my playground…Lake Okoboji!!

3.5 mile Okoboji Swim with Dad kayaking next to me
3.5 mile Okoboji Swim with Dad kayaking next to me

Best NEW racing experience?

This was a tough one! I had two new race experiences this year…Market to Market Relay and the Hickory Grove Duathlon. While both experiences were new, fun, and challenging (in their own way), the duathlon rocked this category! I was challenged in ways I hadn’t experienced before, had a BLAST, and got to race with my #solesister!

#solesistersweat and a podium finish at my first ever duathlon
#solesistersweat and a podium finish at my first ever duathlon

Best encouraging moment?

This year I was blessed to have the support from Coeur Sports and Kyle’s Bikes to help me start a women’s only ride in central Iowa. It was fun to enCOEURage other women in sport and help them make gains on the bike and in their self confidence! #strongwomen #heartandcourage

Ladies Night!
Ladies Night!

Best recovery technique?

#recoveryisimportant and that is why I invest in the best recovery possible! Nick with Vitality Massage helps keep me injury free. I like to refer to myself as his insurance policy since Ironman racing looks to be in our future for the next few years😉

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Best offseason adventure?

Family time, which included:

Ice skating with our nieces!
Ice skating with our nieces!
Jumping on trampolines is a much tougher workout than I thought it would be!
Jumping on trampolines with family over Thanksgiving weekend!

Best new piece of gear?

This is SUPER EASY!! The Coeur Sports Zele Aero Triathlon Kit…it is the most comfortable, breathable, stylish, aerodynamic kit on the market!! I’m hopeful for more amazing designs in 2017!! #stylishspeed

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Best way to log my workouts?

This is another SUPER easy one…my #believetrainingjournal!! While I love to see green in Training Peaks, I much prefer writing things down by hand. I love looking back through my workouts and it is so much easier to do when they are written down. I don’t particularly like having to open up every box in Training Peaks to review my workouts, so the Believe Training Journal has been an absolute favorite this year! I love it so much that I ordered the Compete Training Journal for 2017!!
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Best way to stay healthy?

This was also SUPER easy…Sound Probiotics has been keeping me healthy since March 2015! As endurance athletes, we put ourselves at risk for a dysfunctional immune system because of the intensity and duration of our workouts. When stress, inadequate sleep, poor diet choices, cold weather, alcohol or travel are thrown into the mix, our immune system is even further suppressed. How has Sound Probiotics helped me? Sound Probiotics helps in nutrient production and absorption, helps fend off viruses, promotes the production of cytokines and mucin, and limits bad bacteria in the gut. I have experienced less fatigue and fewer sick days, which as a middle school teacher who is an endurance athlete speaks volumes! This has provided me with the opportunity for more training and better performance. I would highly recommend all endurance athletes use Sound Probiotics to stay healthy!!

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#soundathlete = #soundlife #winningtakesguts

Best piece of racing advice you received?

I read this before every big race. It is so motivating and reminds me to do and be my best as I embark on the race ahead:

“Be calm; focus on what you are going to do. Don’t get distracted, don’t get overwhelmed, take it all as it comes. You are ready for this; you’ve prepared for years. This is it, your time to shine. Go forth with all your powers. Go forth with everything in you. Make it work.” ~Lynne Cox, “Swimming to Antarctica: Tales of a Long-Distance Swimmer”

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Most inspirational athlete?

I can’t pick just one…so many of my Coeur Sports teammates have inspired me this year!! There were many Coeur women who raced with #heartandcourage in Kona at the Ironman World Championships, other ladies had podium finishes at various races they competed in, many ladies met goals, and all are working hard to achieve their dreams. My inspiration cup runneth over!! I am so pumped to be a part of this amazing team again in 2017!!

I found out that I made the Coeur Sports 2017 Ambassador Team...Such a #hardcoeur group of women that I'm overjoyed to be a part of!!
I found out that I made the Coeur Sports 2017 Ambassador Team…Such a #hardcoeur group of women that I’m overjoyed to be a part of!!
These ladies not only inspire me, but encourage me and light my fire! <3
These ladies not only inspire me, but encourage me and light my fire! ❤

If you could sum up your year in a couple of words, what would they be?

Courage over comfort, believe, fun!!

Tell me about your 2016 year!! What are your “bests” from 2016?!

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What’s Up?! – November 2016

November did not go as planned, but I guess that’s part of life. Right?! There were more struggles this month than I would like to admit, but there were some great things that did come from this month as well!! I’m choosing to focus on the positive and not the negative in this post!!

Training

Training this month has been VERY limited, which makes me VERY sad and adds to the my stress level, but it is the reality of our chaotic and stressful life this month. I haven’t had Mojo (my trusty steed…aka bike) this month since she has undergone extensive surgery (so much so that she had to be shipped back to Specialized so they could fix her). I’m grateful they were able to fix her and I was able to get her back in perfect working order just in time to start the month of December off right! I’ve REALLY missed her!! There’s nothing quite like #bikelove 😉 So without Mojo, I have gotten  in a few good swims, a couple of runs, a few strength sessions, and one date with my mat, but nothing like I’d hoped for this month. That’s ok though…it is the offseason right?! I’m sure my body will bounce back quickly!

Washing away the negativity of the month.
Washing away the negativity of the month.
Running with friends and THIS. BEAUTIFUL. SUNRISE!
Running with friends and THIS. BEAUTIFUL. SUNRISE!
Running with my sole sister and Basil makes the world a better place!
Running with my #solesister and Basil makes the world a better place!
Hot yoga...a date with my mat is always better with friends!!
Hot yoga…a date with my mat is always better with friends!!
Starting Thanksgiving with friends and morning miles!
Starting Thanksgiving with friends and morning miles!
Yay!! Mojo is home after surgery!! Now it is time to get to work!!
Yay!! Mojo is home after surgery!! Now it is time to get to work!!

Planning for

2017!! I’ve recently hired Kelly Hadiaris with Track Cat Fitness as my coach and am super excited to see where we go together in 2017!! It is so nice to see workouts in Training Peaks that I didn’t generate! 🙂 I’ve spent time reflecting on my 2016 racing season and am in the process of working on my S.M.A.R.T. goals for 2017. Be on the lookout for those in the coming weeks!

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Pumped about

I’m so excited to be part of the Coeur Sports Ambassador Team again for 2017!! 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 #hardcoeur group of women that I'm overjoyed to be a part of!!
I found out that I made the Coeur Sports 2017 Ambassador Team…Such a #hardcoeur group of women that I’m overjoyed to be a part of!!

Thankful for

Family!!

We are Godparents! Baptism for the twins.
We are Godparents! Baptism for the twins.
Ice skating with our nieces!
Ice skating with our nieces!
Time with the nieces!
Time with the nieces!
Thankful for this tribe!
Thankful for this tribe!
4 generations of #strongwomen
4 generations of #strongwomen
Jumping on trampolines is a much tougher workout than I thought it would be!
Jumping on trampolines is a much tougher workout than I thought it would be!

Encouraging

My nieces!! They have joined the swim team and had their first swim meet. It was SO MUCH FUN to go cheer them on and support them as they start their journey with endurance sport! I’m hopeful we get them to do a triathlon this summer 🙂

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Who’s ready to swim?!
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So proud of these two!!

How was your month of November? What were your highlights? Who’s ready for December?!

Dream Season

“The most powerful weapon on Earth is the human soul on fire.” ~Ferdinand Foch

The off season is the perfect time for dreaming! This is the time when I’m not exercising as much, so I have LOTS WAY TOO MUCH time to dream about what is to come! One thing is for sure…triathlon lights my fire! I’ve been dreaming of the coming year…2017 is the year I turn 40! The year I have my heart set on fun! The year I will push my limits to overcome challenges! The year I will push my limits to get closer to making my Kona qualifying dream come true! The year we go on another racecation! 40 is going to be my year! I’m excited to get this year started! It is time to start filling my barn with hay so that I can light a massive fire on race day!

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Ironman Mont Tremblant 2017…I’m coming for ya!

Dreaming is easy…how will I turn these dreams into reality? Believing in myself, my abilities, my training, and my new coach! Yes, that’s right! I’m super excited to have Kelly Hardiaris coaching me in 2017! With her expertise, guidance, support, and encouragement, I am hoping to have the best year ever! I’m ready to embark on this journey with Kelly and see where we can go together in 2017!

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I’m super pumped that I’ve been chosen to be part of the Coeur Sports Ambassador Team again in 2017!! I ABSOLUTELY love these ladies!! They are inspirational, motivational, enCOEURaging, supportive and full of #heartandcourage 🙂

I found out that I made the Coeur Sports 2016 Ambassador Team...Such a #hardcoeur group of women that I'm overjoyed to be a part of!!
Pumped to make the Coeur Sports 2017 Ambassador Team…Such a #hardcoeur group of ladies that I’m overjoyed to be a part of!!

Who’s excited for 2017?! What are you looking forward to in 2017?!

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?!?!?!?

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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!!

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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

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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.

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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. 🙂

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

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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…

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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 😉

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

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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 🙂

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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?