This is just a few weeks late, but better late than never! I raced the Okoboji Triathlon on July 15 and it was so much fun to go short, fast, hard, and have my family cheering for me on bike and run course! This race has a special place in my heart as I get to go home, home to race! It is unique, because it is between the sprint and Olympic distance.
Swim: 960 yards in 17:37 (1:50/100 yards average pace)
The women 40+ were in the last swim wave, so I had lots of people to pass during the entire event. Once I settled into my swim pace, I started pacing many people in the previous waves. This swim was about 1 minute faster than last year without a wetsuit this year.
After exiting the swim, there is about a 200 yard run up to transition. I thought I was being super speedy in transition, but apparently I wasn’t as fast as I thought I was! My transition time was a bit slower than last year.
Bike: 18 miles in 54:10 (19.9 mph average speed)
I quickly settled in on the bike and began to climb right away. I was very aware of surrounding athletes and was SUPER pumped that not one athlete passed me on the bike! The last 6 miles of the bike is full of short, punchy hill climbs, and I was ready to punch back! With about 1.5 miles left to ride, I saw my sisters, nieces, and Dad on the course cheering me on!
I quickly racked my bike, changed my shoes, and took off on the run!
Run: 4.5 miles in 38:48 (8:37 min/mile average pace)
I’ve run this course many times and knew there were many rolling hills, so I didn’t push as hard out of T2 as I probably should have and could have. About 1 mile into the run I was passed by the only female who passed me for the entire run (this cost me 1st in my age group and 10th overall female). I should have hung onto her to see what my body was capable of, but I let her go. With about 1.5 miles to the finish line, I again saw my sisters, nieces, and Dad. I was revived with their high-5s and cheers! I allowed that to carry me all the way to the finish line!
Last week my focus was on building self-confidence. Confidence as an athlete is all about believing in your abilities to achieve your athletic goals. With Coach Kelly’s help, last week I focused on more self-confidence…more believing in my abilities…more believing in me! The week started a bit rocky as I was lacking motivation and I’m not sure why, but it sure turned around quickly! I had many workouts in each discipline that boosted my self-confidence throughout the week!
Swim: 9100 yards
I finally started to see some swim pacing consistency last week! I’ve struggled with pacing in the water probably since I was a baby. I always start off too fast and then end up slowing down and finding a pace that I can swim all day long. It is good to finally get some consistency with my pacing in the water! Pacing in the water is a great way to build my confidence for race day.
Bike: 66.4 miles
I saw HUGE gains last week on the bike! I don’t think I have EVER seen watts above 350 on the bike (even for 1 second), but last week I had multiple bike interval sessions that pushed me WAY out of my comfort zone and on Thursday, I was able to hold 412 watts for 15 seconds. Say what?!?! That’s unheard of!! I’ve had to overcome some mental challenges to get stronger physically, but it is totally worth it!! I’m incredibly proud of myself for digging deep during this bike block and pushing myself to new limits. I’m also incredibly grateful to Coach Kelly for challenging me…she saw potential in me that I hadn’t yet seen in myself and I’m forever grateful to her for helping me achieve this potential! I’m getting more #trackcatstrong + confident everyday!
Run: 17.5 miles
I was blessed to get to run with a friend twice last week! It is so nice to get to share my #runlove with others! I am also super excited to have built confidence on my run! Sunday I had a 10 mile run. The first 5 miles were at a pretty comfortable pace, but then I decided to pick up the pace and see what I had left in my legs (they were already completely EXHAUSTED from the week) to see what pace I could hold for the end of my run. Not only did I negative split the last 5 miles, but I also clocked some pretty speedy times (for me) this late in a run. My last 5 run splits = 9:28, 9:04, 8:56, 8:43, and 8:20. Say what?!?! I finished my 10 mile run on completely EXHAUSTED legs with an 8:20 min/mile pace…I’m still in shock!
I had some good strength training sessions this week that helped me identify muscle imbalances in my body…guess that means it is time to get to work to overcome these imbalances!
Weekly Totals: 13 hours & 1 minute
I got educated on everything NBS during a conference call on Monday night! I’m so grateful to Breakthrough Nutrition for keeping me hydrated and recovered this year! If you are looking to try a new sports hydration, give Breakthrough Nutrition a try and use code WELOVESNBS at check out for 10% off your order!
I received snail mail…the best snail mail!!
The 2017 Coeur Team was updated to their website! I’m so pumped to be part of this amazing team in 2017! This team of ladies has heart! If you see us at a race, come and get a hi-5 or a hug!
I had some quiet time…salt + bubble baths are the best!!
Snuggles with my baby girl! I’m so lucky to have the best fur babies!
Quote of the Week:
“The quickest way to acquire self-confidence is to do exactly what you are afraid to do.”
The month of March was SO much better than February!! I wasn’t sick or injured at all! Whoop! Whoop! Here’s a look at what I’ve been up to…
My training was SO much more productive and focused than February! And that makes me happy! I had a swim time trial…my CSS (critical swim speed) increased 3 seconds per 100 yards! Hello small gains in the water! I had a FTP challenge on the bike this month, where I had an increase of 10 watts over my last challenge! Hello HUGE gains on the bike! I also finished the year with a 10K road race, where I came SO close to breaking my PR from 2008! The best part…I wasn’t even rested for this race, so I can only imagine what I could have done on rested legs! HUGE hugs to Coach Kelly, with Track Cat Fitness, for challenging me on so many levels, pushing me WAY out of my comfort zone, and making me #trackcatstrong this year!
Swim Totals: 14.1 miles
Bike Totals: 234 miles
Run Totals: 54.2 miles
Me Before You by Jojo Moyes is a very moving book. Louisa Clark is living a simple and comfortable life when she loses her job. She takes a much needed job working for Will Traynor who was in an accident and is now wheelchair bound. He is bossy, crabby, and used to being the center of the universe. Louisa’s life changes on so many levels throughout this amazing story.
How Bad Do You Want It: Motivation vs. Commitment by Carrie Cheadle gets you thinking about the differences between motivation and commitment. Do you have desire + drive to stay motivated? Are you so committed that you have determination + dedication? Do you feel like you HAVE to complete your workout or do you feel lucky that you GET to complete your workout? If you want more insight on how motivation + commitment can help you achieve your goals, this is a must read!
Do This Now: Mental Training Homework on Getting Unstuck by Carrie Cheadle is great if you are seeking change! Maybe you’re seeking change in your personal life. Maybe it is time to make a change professionally. Maybe you want change in your sport. What ever it is, now is the time to change! Now is the time to “Do Something Different!”
Conor Dwyer is an Olympic gold medalist who talks about how hard work in swimming has gotten him so much farther than someone with talent who doesn’t work hard. A hard worker definitely trumps someone who wastes their talent! So inspiring!
Turning 40! I’m super pumped about turning 40! I’ve heard this is one of the greatest decades of our lives and I’m excited to finally be here to experience it! I’m also super excited to be the youngest one in my age group as I race and push myself to new levels this year! 😉
Getting my Coeur Sports 2017 Team gear…This kit! This Team! I absolutely LOVE EVERYTHING Coeur Sports stands for! As a Coeur Sports ambassador, I am a beacon of the Coeur mission: to inspire + encourage other women, to welcome questions from women + other athletes of all abilities + backgrounds, to be a good sport…even if my race didn’t go as planned, have fun…even if in pain, during bad weather, or when my spirit unicorn doesn’t show up to guide my way, and to give a hi-5! If you see me or one of my sisters in one of these amazing kits this year, PLEASE come chat with us! We’d LOVE to give you a hi-5 (or even a hug), answer questions, and cheer you on! I’ll even share my spirit unicorn with you! Cheers to an amazing 2017 full of lots of #heartandcourage + chasing dreams!
My intention for 2017 is to become more fearless! So…how have I been doing with this? I feel like I was much more successful during January, but I’ve still made some progress on becoming more fearless in March. In my personal life, I have not had a drop of alcohol in 2017 = WIN! I am still working on facing those things that truly scare me, but this has required me to take baby steps because some of these things have a REALLY TIGHT hold on me. I am also really working on not letting others opinions of me bother me, but this is very challenging since it too has a TIGHT hold on me. How do you get those tight holds to let you go?!?! At work, we have started a new unit that I have never taught before thanks to our newly adopted standards. As a result, I am much less knowledgable than I am comfortable with. This has challenged me to be more #fearless at work, because I have had to openly admit that I often “don’t know” all of the answers. SCARY! I have made some BIG gains while training this month! This has caused me to have to stare fear in the face and stretch WAY out of my comfort zone! I also pushed myself HARD during my 10K road race…so hard that at about mile 4 self-doubt started to infiltrate my thoughts. How long can I keep pushing myself at this pace?! I’m feeling tired…what if the wheels fall off?! I can’t believe how hard this is…what if I work this hard and I don’t reach my goal?! I’m so proud of myself for changing the negative channel in my head and pushing myself hard all the way through the finish chute! While I’ve made some progress, I still have a LOT more progress to make, but don’t we all?! I’m a continuous work in progress!
How was your month of March? What were your March highlights? What are you excited for?
Such a good week to test my fitness in all three disciplines…swim + bike + run = fun!!
Swim: 5300 yards
Tuesday I had a CSS (critical swim speed) test. I was so excited to beat my goal time for the 200 yard swim (after already completing a 400 yard TT) by just over 3 seconds! Saturday’s swim was super challenging! I created a lot of training stress with my bike workouts last week and it showed in Saturday’s swim. While I wanted to throw my tempo trainer on the deck at the end of the pool and call it quits, I am a fighter. So instead, I kept pushing hard, trying to meet my goal swim times, and I didn’t quit!
Bike: 73.5 miles
I had 2 rides this week that took me WAY out of my comfort zone. And. It. Was. AWESOME! There were a few times when it was super tough and my mind ventured to the negative side, but I immediately changed the channel back to positive thoughts. I also had a couple of easier rides as well…one ride was in zone 1 and the second was in zone 2.
Run: 11.1 miles
I had an amazing run on Wednesday followed by a 10K road race on Sunday. On Sunday I did an easy warm up for about 1.4 miles and then decided to see what my body was capable of despite having gone hard this week on the bike. I decided on my way to the race that I was hoping for a sub 52 minute 10K with a secret goal of sub 50 minutes. This wouldn’t quite give me a PR (and even on the same course), but I have been in the middle of a bike block, so running hasn’t been the focus lately. I didn’t quite hit my secret goal, but I’ll definitely take 50:32 on a hilly course!
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!
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!
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!
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!!
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!
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
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😉
Best offseason adventure?
Family time, which included:
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
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!!
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!!
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”
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!!
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?!
“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!
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!
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 🙂
Who’s excited for 2017?! What are you looking forward to in 2017?!
I have so much to be grateful for!! I am beyond grateful that my body is healthy and allows me to push it to limits I would have never thought possible 5 years ago, but I can’t do it alone!! People often think of Ironman racing as an individual sport, but there are SO many people who have helped me on my journey and I couldn’t do it without their support!!
Family and Friends…
I am so blessed to have the most amazing and supportive family! Dad made the trip to Madison to cheer us on since he was in the area for work earlier in the week. He has kayaked beside me while I swim (both in training and swim racing), keeping me safe and on track. My sister and twin nieces cheered me on at the finish line of the Okoboji Triathlon earlier this year as well. Mom has had many tasty meals ready for us to consume after workouts and has cheered me on to 2 Ironman finish lines over the years. My sole sister has joined me on bike rides and runs throughout my training and has encouraged and motivated me to do and be my best! Our girlfriends Sue and Michele are amazing! I’m so grateful for their support and encouragement of us and our crazy lifestyle! My Coeur Sports Teammies have been inspiring and motivating me virtually for 2 years now. I was super lucky to have a few of them out on the course cheering me on (and many others on) in person…so much fun to see them all over the course! My family and friends are always inquiring about how my training is going and what race I am doing next. I am a lucky girl to have their support!!
Coeur Sports is hands down the best women’s SBR (swim/bike/run) brand on the market!! They have created #stylishspeed that keeps my girly bits happy…even while covering 140.6 miles. #noangrykitty here!! As a Coeur Sports ambassador, I get the privilege of being a part of an AMAZING team of women who are supportive, inspirational and genuinely full of #heartandcourage! I am so lucky to get the opportunity to enCOEURage more women in endurance sport, experience the ups and downs they encounter while on their journey and witness their joy when they reach new finish lines!! Thank you, Thank You, THANK YOU!!
I am forever grateful for Kyle and the Kyle’s Bikes crew, who have kept Mojo happy throughout training and on race day! You are always there for me when I frantically call or text, so thank you for talking me off a ledge and immediately getting Mojo fixed up when she has a mechanical issue!! Thank you, Thank You, THANK YOU!!
Sound Probiotics has been keeping me healthy and on track for almost 2 years. Before taking Sound Probiotics, I would end up sick during the taper and often times once or twice during training…especially since I teach middle schoolers and am always surrounded by germs. Thanks to Sound Probiotics for my #happygut, enhanced immunity and better recovery throughout my training and racing experience!! After all, #winningtakesguts!
Karma Kombucha has been a daily staple in my diet since it’s birth…5 years now! They help keep my gut happy and healthy everyday! Drinking my booch before starting the marathon during Ironman Wisconsin definitely helped set me up for a great run!
One of the many perks of being a Coeur Sports ambassador is getting support from other amazing companies as well. Roka Sports, Smith Optics and Base Performance are three of the companies that have helped make my training and race experience so awesome!! Ironman Wisconsin was a wetsuit legal swim, so I donned my Maverick Elite wetsuit and my X1 goggles!! The Roka wetsuit works with my body instead of against it, making each swim stroke feel easy!! I absolutely LOVE the Roka goggles!! If you haven’t tried them, you definitely should…they are the BEST!! This year I tried the Smith Optics PivLock Arena sunnies and ABSOLUTELY love them!! What a game changer on the bike and run!! Speaking of game changer…Base Salt has definitely helped me better prevent hyponatremia (which I’ve experienced during 2 of my 5 Ironman races). Thank you, Thank You, THANK YOU to you all!!
I am one of the luckiest ladies around! I have a slew of support, inspiration, and motivation from my triathlon people…both in person and virtually! Thank you to all of the people who called, texted, emailed, Facebook messaged me, tweeted me, commented on my blog posts, commented on my Instagram pictures and tracked my progress both while training and on race day! You all ROCK!!
Nick has been keeping my body well recovered through massage for almost 3 years. He knows all of my problem areas and knows just what to do to keep my body (and ultimately my mind) happy and healthy! Thank you Nick for restoring the damage I do as I swim/bike/run my way to countless finish lines! Vitality Massage is definitely where recovery is at!!
The Iron Hippie…
My fave has been by my side for millions of swim strokes and the countless views as we’ve covered thousands and thousands of miles on two wheels and pounding the pavement. You are my #1 cheerleader and have supported me on this crazy journey of life and the even crazier journey of triathlon. I love you and am forever grateful for your love and support. What crazy journey should we take on next?!?!?!?