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 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!
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!
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 🙂
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 🙂
How was your month of November? What were your highlights? Who’s ready for December?!
Most of Monday was spent traveling home from Madison and eating all the food! I don’t know what it is about a race that makes me crave potato skins (not the chips in a bag, but real potato skins that are found on the appetizer menu in some restaurants), but it happened again today! On our way home from Madison, we stopped in Cedar Falls for some potato skins to satisfy my craving. We got home at about 2 pm, unloaded the car, and took an hour nap before gearing up for our Ladies only bike ride. I was so grateful to Coeur Sports and Kyle’s Bikes for their support to make this event so successful!! Yay for encouraging more women in cycling, helping them gain confidence on their bike and on the roads, and helping them learn basic bike maintenance!!
Tuesday was a complete day of rest (in terms of workouts), but full of lots of errands, house chores, grocery shopping, paying bills, etc.
Wednesday was another complete day of rest. After working with a personal training client in the morning, I went for a walk with a friend and the dogs, and then spent the afternoon updating Training Peaks for the next build period of our training and blogging. It was a great day and finally felt like I was on summer break 😉
After meeting with two personal training clients in the morning, I spent most of my afternoon on the Team Vardo training calendar for the coming year. I did take a break to walk the dogs and clear my mind. When the Iron Hippie came home from work, we had an easy hour ride before going to TRX.
I taught two group fitness classes and met a personal training client in the morning and then spent my afternoon finishing the Team Vardo training calendar for the coming year. When the Iron Hippie came home from work, we got ready for Saturday’s brick workout and went to bed early so we could get up early to hit the roads before the heat of the day on Saturday.
We woke at 4:30 am to start riding at 5:30. Our plan was to ride a 30+ mile loop and end up back home to feed and potty the dogs, and have our friend Allen join us for the last 50 miles. As we came back into Ames after the first 30 miles, the sky looked a bit ominous, so we checked the radar. Lucky for us, it appeared to be going north of us and would miss us, so we rolled out for our second loop. 83 miles of #bikelove done before noon was awesome, especially since it was a hot and humid day. After eating lots of food, showering, and napping, we relaxed in the air condition. We went to one of our favorite Mexican restaurants for dinner, and spent the evening relaxing in the a/c.
After an amazing night of sleep, we took the dogs for a walk and then relaxed most of the day. It was a VERY hot and humid day, so staying in the a/c was a necessity for most of the day. We made homemade pizza for lunch, I tracked friends racing at different Ironman races, caught up on some blogs, and went to hot yoga at 4 pm. It felt SO AMAZING to reconnect with my long lost boyfriend…mat!!
Weekly Totals: 10 hours & 16 minutes
Swim: Nothing, Zilch, Nada Bike: 113 miles Run: Nothing, Zilch, Nada Strength Training: 1:30:00
Hot Yoga: 1:30:00
Quote of the Week:
“I think recovery from anything is honestly the most badass thing a person can do.” ~Anonymous
Where has time gone?!?! It is hard to believe we are only 25 weeks out from Ironman Wisconsin 2016!! This will be Ironman #4 for me, and I am so excited to revisit one of my all time favorite races and enjoy the journey to IMWI finish line #3. For my past Ironman races, I have documented my journey in weekly posts. This has helped keep me accountable for completing my workouts, given me a place to reflect on every week…both the ups and downs, helped motivate and inspire others, and hopefully encouraged even one person (more would be awesome) to work hard to achieve their dreams. For these reasons (and maybe others I’m forgetting), I am going to include weekly posts starting today!
Last week I was on spring break, so I had plenty of time to complete workouts, clean house, grocery shop, do some work, relax and enjoy time with my faves, do some course work for my “Living Brave” class, and get a taste of what my summer break is like. Only 10 weeks until summer break BTW 😉
Despite being on spring break, I woke up at 4 am for 1 hour of strength training, which I followed up with balancing the check book, paying bills, and heading to Kyle’s Bikes in Ankeny with Mojo for a bike fit and getting a new helmet with my birthday money. After getting my new Cobb V-Flow saddle in December, it was time to double check that my fit was keeping everything happy. Lucky for me, everything is happy and no adjustments were needed! After returning home, I took the dogs for a walk and decided to indulge and celebrate “National Napping Day” with some time for my head and pillow to reacquaint themselves with each other 😉 I finished out the day with an easy 1 hour recovery ride with the crew in the courage cave.
I was going to get up early and swim this morning, but decided to sleep in instead. This was just what the body needed!! I got my lists together for all of the purchases I was about to make and set off…3 hours later, the house was restocked and it was time for my workouts! I had a great 2800 yard swim and followed this up with the “Lucky 7s” run. Forty-two minutes of hill climbing at varying inclines is no joke…especially by the end!
I started the day with a 4 am wake-up call and a 90 minute sweatfest ride…hill repeats was on the docket! Yes, I know I ran hills yesterday, but there were more hills for today…this time on the bike. Later that morning, I had one of the best swims I’ve had in a LONG time!! It was only 2000 yards, but it was full of 100s on the 2:00 and 50s on the 1:00. By changing up my swim stroke over the last month + focusing on #courageovercomfort during this swim, I saw paces I’ve never seen before!! Hello progress!! I was on such a high from this workout, that when I got home I took the dogs for a walk before starting to deep cleaning the house 🙂
I spent most of my day finishing my #deepcleanthehouse project today. We’ll see how long this lasts…unfortunately never long enough 😉 After the Iron Hippie returned home from work, we celebrated St. Patrick’s Day with a nice and easy recovery ride for one hour and then spent about 45 minutes doing some functional strength training. Typically I teach TRX on Thursday’s but because of spring break, there was no class this week, so I mixed it up by using the Bosu, stability ball, and hand weights today. It was fun to do something different for a change!
After spending the last two days cleaning, cleaning, cleaning, today’s focus was relaxation…doing some work with my feet up!! I started the day with some “Living Brave” coursework, went to the pool for my recovery swim, followed all of this up with some more grocery/supply stock piling, and finished out the day with some work in preparation for going back to school on Monday.
After 30 minutes of core work, we hopped on the trainer for our nearly 3 hour ride, which we followed up with a 40 minute run off the bike. I sweat SO much on the bike, that changing into my run gear was incredibly difficult…SO MUCH STICKING!! Old Man Winter held on and “blessed” us with more snow on this last day of winter. After refueling, napping and prepping food for the week, we went to visit friends and watch the ISU Cyclones win and make it to the Sweet Sixteen in the NCAA tournament.
We started the morning with 75 minutes of intervals on the bike and transitioned to an 80 minute run. There were more times than not that I wanted to walk on this run, but I did not surrender. I held strong and pushed forward. One foot in front of the other. My legs were trashed by the end; legs up a wall and an epsom salt bath were just what was needed to promote recovery. After an early afternoon nap, we relaxed for a bit, watching some of the NCAA tournament and gearing up for the coming week.
Swim: 6,900 yards
Bike: 103 miles
Run: 19.2 miles
Strength Training: 2:15:00
“Strength does not come from winning. Your struggles develop your strengths. When you go through hardships and decide not to surrender, that is strength.” ~Arnold Schwarzenegger
How was your week of training? Do you get time off for “spring break?” If so, what did you do?
I have had some knee pain since September. After months of no running, lots of active release therapy, and a cortisone shot in my knee, Doctor Warme wanted to make sure we weren’t missing something before training for Ironman Wisconsin started up. Good news…everything looks healthy and happy, which means I have continued active release therapy and have been able to start running again! I am happy to say that the train I fell off of last month picked me back up and I am on cruise control!! Lots of green in Training Peaks this month 🙂 #happyheart
Dr. G recently wrote about why we need to Ditch the Psychological Safety Net. We need to stop making excuses and self-handicapping, which does us “no good when it comes to building a champion mindset for sport performance.” A great read for all athletes!
The Glass Castle: A Memoir by Jeannette Walls is a true story of triumph against all odds, but also a tender, moving tale of unconditional love in a family that despite its profound flaws gave her the fiery determination to carve out a successful life on her own terms. It is an outstanding read!
There has been lots of active release therapy this month to heal the leg and release the tension around the knee. I’ve incorporated hot yoga into my schedule every week, I take an epsom salt bath every week and foam roller like a crazy woman! All of this has allowed me to run the farthest I’ve run since September…4 whole pain-free miles on the treadmill 🙂
I am taking the Living Brave Semester with Brene Brown this semester, so I am also re-reading Daring Greatly and Rising Strong for this class. “Every day we experience the uncertainty, risks, and emotional exposure that define what it means to be vulnerable or to dare greatly. Based on twelve years of pioneering research, Dr. Brené Brown dispels the cultural myth that vulnerability is weakness and argues that it is, in truth, our most accurate measure of courage. Daring Greatly is not about winning or losing. It’s about courage. In a world where “never enough” dominates and feeling afraid has become second nature, vulnerability is subversive. Uncomfortable. It’s even a little dangerous at times. And, without question, putting ourselves out there means there’s a far greater risk of getting criticized or feeling hurt. But when we step back and examine our lives, we will find that nothing is as uncomfortable, dangerous, and hurtful as standing on the outside of our lives looking in and wondering what it would be like if we had the courage to step into the arena—whether it’s a new relationship, an important meeting, the creative process, or a difficult family conversation. Daring Greatly is a practice and a powerful new vision for letting ourselves be seen.”
I am learning how to be more vulnerable…remove my protective armor and expose my feelings, thoughts and emotions, even when I have zero control over the outcome. I am working on finding the courage to show up and be seen in different aspects of my life. This is challenging, but I know I will be a better person through this work. “Courage over comfort” is my mantra.
I’ve been spending a little less time on social media and a bit more time coloring. I can release stress and create a pretty picture at the same time 😉
Quote of the Week
“To uncover your true potential you must first find your own limits and then you have to have the courage to blow past them.” ~Picabo Street
How was your January? What is your favorite recovery technique? How do you keep balance in your life?
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…
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
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…
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?!?!?!?
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!!
I followed my FTP test up with TRX…this was my #FaveWorkout this week. OUCH!!
HOLY COLD…BRR!! Going outside in this weather = #hardcoeur
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…
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.
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. 🙂
I also had a very special delivery from Barnana today!! #realfoodfuel #potassiumboost
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…
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…
After cleaning up, we did a little photo shoot for my Coeur Sports Ambassador Team photo 😉
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 🙂
I followed up this workout with good food, a little rest and 90 minutes of hot yoga with friends 🙂
Last week wrapped up 29 weeks until Ironman Boulder and with it came the start of semester 2 and ridiculously COLD temperatures…school was even cancelled on Wednesday due to the bitterly cold windchill temperatures (-42F). I didn’t let the cold keep me from having a successful week of workouts. The theme for this week was, “I have some work to do.”
AM: One hour of strength training that included 20 minutes of core work (I’m still pushing for at least 5 minutes of core work everyday for 30 days)
PM: LOTS of shoveling thanks to an 8 inch snow fall 😉
AM: More shoveling before the Lucky 7s Treadmill Run…this run is all hill work at varying inclines, but every segment needs to add up to “7” = 1 min at 6% incline, 6 min at 1% incline, 2 min at 5% incline, 5 min at 2% incline, etc. The key is not adjusting the pace at which you run…lock the treadmill at one pace and go. I ran 5.64 miles in 55 minutes. I was hoping to be able to maintain a 9:30 pace for this run, but I just didn’t have it in me this morning, so I ran closer to a 10 minute pace. This gives me something to work toward for next time I do this run!
PM: 2600 yard swim with steady 200s…this was a one hour swim and my calves were SO TIGHT (from the jump squats I did yesterday morning) that it almost hurt to push off the wall. Thankfully they loosened up toward the end of the workout. I followed this up with 5 minutes of core work.
AM: Trainer ride of 1 on/1 off for 75 minutes…This was a tough workout, but that is how I will get stronger and faster on the bike 😉 I covered 16.2 miles in the 75 minutes while on the bike and followed this up with 20 minutes of core work.
Later in the AM: 500 TT swim workout…this was my #FaveWorkout of the week, mostly because I had the pool ENTIRELY to myself. This was a 45 minute swim with a 500 TT included in it. My TT wasn’t as fast as I would have liked, but with the tough ride prior to it, this was the best I could do today. My 500 TT was 9:11.77 with my 2nd half being 6 seconds faster than the first half. This gives me something to work toward for next time I do a 500 TT. I’m starting to see a theme for the week 😉
PM: Active Release Therapy (ART) on my left leg trying to get it to release all of the tension it holds…
AM: No morning workout after yesterday afternoon’s ART session.
PM: 45 minutes of TRX with about 20 minutes of core work.
AM: 7.33 mile treadmill run in 70 minutes…The first 40 minutes were run at a 10 minute pace and the last 30 minutes were run at an 8:57 pace
PM: 2400 yard swim with 2 x ladder to 300 in 1 hour…I felt like my form was struggling a bit, but I pushed through and finished strong. I followed this up with 10 minutes of core work.
AM: 10.55 mile treadmill run in 1:40 with a 9:29 average pace…I have some work to do to get my runs faster. I followed this up with 30 minutes of core work.
AM: Trainer ride of 3 x up/down hills covering 28.6 miles in 2 hours…this might just be next week’s #FaveWorkout. This was tough, but I LOVED IT!! It kept me focused and really made me work hard. This was true #bikelove!! I followed this up with 5 minutes of core work.
PM: Homemade Grapefruit Juice…YUMMY!!
Bonus 5 minutes of abs followed by 90 minutes of Hot Yoga…
Swim: 3.92 miles
Bike: 44.8 miles
Run: 23.5 miles
Strength Training: 4 hours (including all of my core work)
Hot Yoga: 90 minutes
Quote of the week:
“Time fixes nothing. Time is a facilitator but you still have to do the fixing; dig into the difficult conversations; look hard at yourself in the mirror and ask if you’re doing everything you can do to get healthy. If you aren’t currently living the life you want, there is no other way to get there. Time won’t make it happen. So you can either adjust the goal, or give yourself a swift kick in the ass. Those are your only two options unless you enjoy the feeling of eternal tug of war.”
This was a recovery week, so I didn’t do much in terms of workouts, but I did get to spend some quality time with my mother, my sister and my twin nieces. With all of the down time I had this last week, I am ready to ROCK this coming week (and my last week of school before winter break).
With 34 weeks to Ironman Boulder, this week wasn’t so successful in the category of working out. I had a cold most of the week and breathing was a bit of a challenge the first few days of the week, but I am starting to feel a bit better. I hope to be back in full workout mode this week.
Scheduled: 1 hour of strength training
What happened: 1 hour massage…I have really TIGHT calves that are causing problems with my plantar fascia. While I don’t have plantar fasciitis yet, there are signs that I could have it if I don’t get these calves loosened up.
Scheduled: 1 hour swim and 50 minute run
What happened: No exercise…I slept almost 11 hours
Scheduled: 1 hour trainer ride and 1 hour hot yoga
What happened: 1 hour hot yoga…this was fun to see lots of friends at class, but I struggled to breathe
Scheduled: 1 hour run and 45 min TRX class
What happened: 45 min TRX class…this turned out to be my #FaveWorkout for the week.
Scheduled: 55 minute swim
What happened: No exercise
Scheduled: 90 minute run and 1 hour strength training
What happened: 9.3 mile run (1:26:00) and 1 hour of strength training
Scheduled: 2 hour trainer ride and 90 minutes of hot yoga
What happened: 2 hour trainer ride for ~25 miles (my sensors weren’t working, so this is an estimate)
We are all writing our own book…the journey of life is different for each and everyone of us. I have many chapters in my book…races, work, family, friends, etc. Lately I feel as though my work chapter is overwhelming and uncomfortable. My family chapter has caused some frustrations lately (NOT with the Iron Hippie…) and I love my friends, but today I chose to focus on my race chapter (lucky for me it also incorporated friends). Each race is a new chapter and each workout is a page in that chapter. I have been fighting a head cold, which has made it a bit difficult to breathe while working out lately, so Monday and Tuesday I chose to leave my workout pages blank. Today, I turned the page. I wrote a page in this chapter by attending hot yoga tonight.and.it.was.AWESOME!! Spending time with friends while getting sweaty was a bonus 😉
What do you put on each of your pages? What do your chapters look like? What does your book reveal about you?