My 2015 Year in Review via Photos

January:

Running with the family
Running with the family
#solesistasweat
#solesistasweat
Getting some #runlove with my favorite four-legged baby girl!
Getting some #runlove with my favorite four-legged baby girl!
One of my favorite trainer workouts
One of my favorite trainer workouts

February:

#solesistasweat
#solesistasweat
Getting my Coeur Sports Ambassador gear :)
Getting my Coeur Sports Ambassador gear 🙂
Swim clinic...love to learn
Swim clinic…love to learn
#solesistasweat
#solesistasweat
#heartandcourage strong
#heartandcourage strong
Conquering Mountains
Conquering Mountains

March:

#Yogalove
#Yogalove
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Fun times with my #solesista
Birthday funday!
Birthday funday!
Bike fit love
Bike fit love
Spring break with my #solesister
Spring break with my #solesister
Fun with my nieces at the park
Fun with my nieces at the park
Playing tag with the family
Playing tag with the family
Running a 5K with my sister
Running a 5K with my sister

April:

Our own 70.3 workout day
Our own 70.3 workout day
Teaching women how to do bike maintenance
Teaching women how to do bike maintenance
#runlove with the family
#runlove with the family
Drake 1/2 Marathon fun!
Drake 1/2 Marathon fun!
Drake 1/2 Marathon fun
Drake 1/2 Marathon fun
Niece #5 was born!
Niece #5 was born!

May:

Outdoor training :)
Outdoor training 🙂
I love to ride my bicycle!
I love to ride my bicycle!
Oops...learning lessons
Oops…learning lessons
Visiting the Aerospace Engineering Department at Iowa State University
Visiting the Aerospace Engineering Department at Iowa State University
Changing a flat while the Iron Hippie watches...I'm sure many people who passed us had some thoughts about his "supervision" duties ;)
Changing a flat while the Iron Hippie watches…I’m sure many people who passed us had some thoughts about his “supervision” duties 😉
Last day of school!!
Last day of school!!
Getting my Undress in the mail and loving it!!
Getting my Undress in the mail and loving it!!

June:

First outdoor swim in 2015
First outdoor swim in 2015
Finishing the Legend 100 hand-in-hand with the Iron Hippie. Photo courtesy of Legend Endurance
Finishing the Legend 100 hand-in-hand with the Iron Hippie. Photo courtesy of Legend Endurance
Who's ready to race?!?!?!
Who’s ready to race?!?!?!
Dad (blue) and Tom (gray) figuring out how to get into their kayaks to escort me on an open water swim
Dad (blue) and Tom (gray) figuring out how to get into their kayaks to escort me on an open water swim
We are ready to ride the Tour de Cure Cedar Rapids!!
We are ready to ride the Tour de Cure Cedar Rapids!!

July:

30 miles into our 115 mile bike ride. Last big ride before Ironman Boulder
30 miles into our 115 mile bike ride. Last big ride before Ironman Boulder
Last big swim before Ironman Boulder
Last big swim before Ironman Boulder
Last long run before Ironman Boulder
Last long run before Ironman Boulder
Meeting my blog friend, Kelli, and her family :)
Meeting my blog friend, Kelli, and her family 🙂
The view off of the deck overlooking the lake in Red Feather Lakes, CO.
The view off of the deck overlooking the lake in Red Feather Lakes, CO.
The morning sunrise on the mountains at Red Feather Lakes, CO.
The morning sunrise on the mountains at Red Feather Lakes, CO.
Taking a boat ride in Red Feather Lakes, CO
Taking a boat ride in Red Feather Lakes, CO
Sunset with a double rainbow in the background (this photo does not do the real beauty justice) in Red Feather Lakes, CO
Sunset with a double rainbow in the background (this photo does not do the real beauty justice) in Red Feather Lakes, CO
We made it to Estes Park, CO!!
We made it to Estes Park, CO!!
The view of Longs Peak from our patio in Estes Park, CO.
The view of Longs Peak from our patio in Estes Park, CO.
Happy Anniversary to the Iron Hippie...what a great way to celebrate 5 years in Grand Lakes, CO ;)
Happy Anniversary to the Iron Hippie…what a great way to celebrate 5 years in Grand Lakes, CO 😉
We made it to Adam's Falls...with Allen and the Iron Hippie.
We made it to Adam’s Falls…with Allen and the Iron Hippie.
We all survived our first run at altitude :)
We all survived our first run at altitude 🙂
Three athletes ready to ride in Boulder, CO!
Three athletes ready to ride in Boulder, CO!
The view from the path around Lake Estes, CO.
The view from the path around Lake Estes, CO.
Ward, Colorado was our turn around point for the Peak to Peak Highway ride.
Ward, Colorado was our turn around point for the Peak to Peak Highway ride.
People lining the shore getting ready for the BAM OWS in Boulder, CO.
People lining the shore getting ready for the BAM OWS in Boulder, CO.
BAM OWS in Boulder, CO complete...I felt GREAT!!
BAM OWS in Boulder, CO complete…I felt GREAT!!
Stand-up paddle boarding in Lake Estes, CO :)
Stand-up paddle boarding in Lake Estes, CO 🙂
Taking a break from the riding and doing a little core work in Ward!!
Taking a break from the riding and doing a little core work in Ward!!
Riding the Peak to Peak Highway in Colorado
#bikelove on the Peak to Peak Highway in Colorado
We found a "sign" of back home in downtown Denver!!
We found a “sign” of back home in downtown Denver!!
Loch Lake, CO...Loving the hike!
Loch Lake, CO…Loving the hike!
Having a little fun throwing snowballs in July on our way up to Loch Vale.
Having a little fun throwing snowballs in July on our way up to Loch Vale.
"Riding" tandem in Estes Park, CO
“Riding” tandem in Estes Park, CO
Ironman Boulder...here I come!
Ironman Boulder…here I come!
Ready to race IMBoulder :)
Ready to race IMBoulder 🙂
Getting Registered for Ironman Boulder
Getting Registered for Ironman Boulder
I'm so lucky to have my family at IMBoulder to cheer me on!
I’m so lucky to have my family at IMBoulder to cheer me on!

August:

Mojo is all racked and getting a good night's rest at her temporary home so we can have fun at IMBoulder!!
Mojo is all racked and getting a good night’s rest at her temporary home so we can have fun at IMBoulder!!
My aunt, cousins and Dad came out to the Rez for the IMBoulder swim
My aunt, cousins and Dad came out to the Rez for the IMBoulder swim
Whizzing through Hygiene on the first loop...Serious #bikelove on this course!!
Whizzing through Hygiene on the first loop…Serious #bikelove on this course!!
Mom and the twins are cheering me on to the run!
Mom and the twins are cheering me on to the run!
This smile sums up my race day experience!!
This smile sums up my race day experience!!
Erin...one of my Coeur Sports teammates and my angel on race day!!
Erin…one of my Coeur Sports teammates and my angel on race day!!
My cheer squad...Love them all!!
My cheer squad…Love them all!!
Dad and Sam cheering me on down the finish shoot...yes, that blur is me :)
Dad and Sam cheering me on down the finish shoot…yes, that blur is me 🙂
Coming into the finish shoot all smiles...it was a daylight finish, but these photos don't represent that.
Coming into the finish shoot all smiles…it was a daylight finish, but these photos don’t represent that.
Visiting my sister and nieces in California
Visiting my sister and nieces in California
Sister time in Cali!
Sister time in Cali!
Running up Mt. Diablo in California
Running up Mt. Diablo in California
#solesistasweat
#solesistasweat
#bikelove with friends
#bikelove with friends

September:

Team Kecia crossed the finish line at the Des Moines Triathlon...job complete.
Team Kecia crossed the finish line at the Des Moines Triathlon…job complete.
Holy Crap! I think this is a sign that I left it all out on the bike course.
Holy Crap! I think this is a sign that I left it all out on the bike course.
Volunteering at Ironman Wisconsin...Race morning in front of the Capitol.
Volunteering at Ironman Wisconsin…Race morning in front of the Capitol.
Ironman Wisconsin Race morning...who is ready to swim?!?!?!
Ironman Wisconsin Race morning…who is ready to swim?!?!?!
The women volunteers in T1 at Ironman Wisconsin
The women volunteers in T1 at Ironman Wisconsin
Getting my Sound Probiotics Ambassador gear
Getting my Sound Probiotics Ambassador gear
Basil walking toward the Supermoon on a rural gravel road.
Basil walking toward the Supermoon on a rural gravel road.

October:

Signed up for Ironman Wisconsin 2016!
Signed up for Ironman Wisconsin 2016!
300+ 8th grade students ready for the AMS Spirit Run!
300+ 8th grade students ready for the AMS Spirit Run!
Fall #bikelove is the best :)
Fall #bikelove is the best 🙂
Date night with the Iron Hippie as we work on our strength training
Date night with the Iron Hippie as we work on our strength training
Finding some motivation with my #IMWI finisher medal and race bib on the wall next to me as I ride
Finding some motivation with my #IMWI finisher medal and race bib on the wall next to me as I ride
Lots of #heartandcourage as I heal up from bursitis of the my left knee
Lots of #heartandcourage as I heal up from bursitis of the my left knee
Taking the dogs for a swim
Taking the dogs for a swim
Nailing my intervals on the trainer! #bikelove
Nailing my intervals on the trainer! #bikelove
Dry needling to assist my healing...thanks to Dr. Chris at Team Chiropractic
Dry needling to assist my healing…thanks to Dr. Chris at Team Chiropractic
Getting our #solesista tattoos :)
Getting our #solesista tattoos 🙂
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This ink will be my constant reminder while training and racing to #believe in myself, my abilities and my training!!

November:

Enjoying some outdoor #bikelove in November in Iowa...short sleeves and shorts!
Enjoying some outdoor #bikelove in November in Iowa…short sleeves and shorts! WHAT?!?!?!
Century ride in November in Iowa...this amazing weather is unheard of!!
Century ride in November in Iowa…this amazing weather is unheard 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!!
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!!
My fitness article on "Giving thanks in an active lifestyle" was a big hit this month ;)
My fitness article on “Giving thanks in an active lifestyle” was a big hit this month in our local magazine 😉
Girl's night out with some running friends...so much fun :)
Girl’s night out with some running friends…so much fun 🙂
Outdoor #bikelove lasted through November 14 this year!!
Outdoor #bikelove lasted through November 14 this year!!
Pleasantly surprised with a Passion Planner from one of my colleagues.
Pleasantly surprised with a Passion Planner from one of my colleagues.
Winter greeted us with a LOT of snow (7.6 inches) for the first snow fall of the season.
Winter greeted us with a LOT of snow (7.6 inches) for the first snow fall of the season.
Romping and snowshoeing with friends
Romping and snowshoeing with friends
Riding a motorized animal because I can :)
Riding a motorized animal just because I can 🙂
Spending an afternoon with Mom and Grandma.
Spending an afternoon with Mom and Grandma.

December:

"Believe, Endure, Achieve" will be my mantra for 2016. It will remind me to #believe in all that I am and to #endure and overcome challenges throughout my journey so I can #achieve big dreams! #dreambig #meaningfulmantras
Thank you to Simone for my wonderful bracelet!! “Believe, Endure, Achieve” will be my mantra for 2016. It will remind me to #believe in all that I am and to #endure and overcome challenges throughout my journey so I can #achieve big dreams! #dreambig #meaningfulmantras
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Looking back at 2015 to move forward in 2016 #goalsetting
Yahoo!! So pumped for my new Roka Sports wetsuit!!
Yahoo!! So pumped for my new Roka Sports wetsuit!!
Taking part in Rising Tide Triathlon Coaching's #rttc10dayroutine Challenge and developing a routine that has helped me #believe in myself deep underneath the surface at the very core of my being. 1. Start my "Believe" playlist...time to get down and jam! 2. Take a couple of swigs of Karma Kombucha Orange Ginger..."I #believe I can fly" 3. Listen to my pep talk (previously recorded) while I pull on my workout gear..."Don't stop believing" 4. Grab my lucky charm from Tonja and head out the door..."In a world of ordinary mortals, you are a Wonder Woman!" 5. Stand on the front step in power pose for 30 seconds because...I am Wonder Woman!
Taking part in Rising Tide Triathlon Coaching’s #rttc10dayroutine Challenge and developing a routine that has helped me #believe in myself deep underneath the surface at the very core of my being.
1. Start my “Believe” playlist…time to get down and jam!
2. Take a couple of swigs of Karma Kombucha Orange Ginger…”I #believe I can fly”
3. Listen to my pep talk (previously recorded) while I pull on my workout gear…”Don’t stop believing”
4. Grab my lucky charm from Tonja and head out the door…”In a world of ordinary mortals, you are a Wonder Woman!”
5. Stand on the front step in power pose for 30 seconds because…I am Wonder Woman!
Finally reconnecting with my mat after 9 months off.
Finally reconnecting with my mat after 9 months off…#yogalove
Running on a beautiful cold morning.
Running on a beautiful cold morning with 2 of my faves!
Grandma Annie continues to show up at Christmas and surprise us all with her awesomeness...Our hideous pajama pants were a family favorite this year!
Grandma Annie continues to show up at Christmas and surprise us all with her awesomeness…Our hideous pajama pants were a family favorite this year!
Snowshoeing in the offseason!!
Snowshoeing in the offseason!!
Basil loves playing in the snow!! #happyheart
Basil loves playing in the snow!! #happyheart
Love my sole sister!!
Love my sole sister!!
Girls night out!! Lots of laughs!! :)
Girls night out!! Lots of laughs!! 🙂
My new Cobb Cycling V-Flow saddle :)
My new Cobb Cycling V-Flow saddle 🙂
Fun times with family!!
Fun times with family!!

Happy New Year!! Cheers to an awesome 2016!! 

xoxo

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Looking Back at 2015 to Move Forward in 2016

I can’t believe the first week of December has already came and went!! With less than 1 month to the start of 2016, it is time to reflect on 2015. It is good to look at the past (taking a look at what went well and what needs improvement) before planning for the future.  I have taken some time to reflect and evaluate my 2015 journey so I can set S.M.A.R.T. goals for 2016.

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USA Triathlon posted a great article that I used to help me evaluate my 2014 training and racing season before trying to plan for 2015. I found this reflection very beneficial and thought I would use the same questions to reflect on my 2015 season so I can better plan for 2016.

1. In hindsight, were your goals for the season clear and attainable?

-My goals were clear and attainable: smile and have fun at Ironman Boulder while pushing to break 14 hours.  I feel like I could have pushed a little bit harder to break 14 hours since my overall finish time was 14:04:37, but I did manage to smile and have fun all day long!! I love Ironman racing…it makes my heart happy 🙂

Coming into the finish shoot all smiles...it was a daylight finish, but these photos don't represent that.
Coming into the finish shoot all smiles…it was a daylight finish, but these photos don’t represent that. Photo courtesy of Finisherpix

2. What are you most proud of this season?

-I had a huge PR on the IM bike…granted Ironman Boulder was a much easier bike course than Ironman Wisconsin, but I still pulled out a bike PR!! I broke crushed my previous IM bike PR by 1:10:46. Despite a slower swim and run, I still ended up with a PR at #IMBoulder of over an hour (which obviously came mostly from my bike split). I am happy and confident that I could have aimed higher at #IMBoulder…especially on the swim and run.

Whizzing through Hygiene on the first loop...Serious #bikelove on this course!!
Whizzing through Hygiene on the first loop…Serious #bikelove on this course!! Photo courtesy of my cousin Justin

-I am happy that I conquered a new distance by racing the Legend 100 on a very challenging day. I didn’t let the rough waters, wind and hills, or brutal heat and humidity prevent me from crossing the finish line.

Finishing the Legend 100 hand-in-hand with the Iron Hippie. Photo courtesy of Legend Endurance
Finishing the Legend 100 hand-in-hand with the Iron Hippie. Photo courtesy of Legend Endurance

3. What would I like to duplicate next year?

-I would like to continue training without a coach for 2016. I think I will be looking to have a coach again sometime in the future, but through self-coaching, I have learned to listen to my body more…take breaks when I need them, push harder when I can, and recover more wisely than I once did. When I had a coach, I did whatever was in Training Peaks without listening to what my body wanted and needed. When/if I go back to having a coach, I will need to keep the balance of listening to my coach and my body.

-I would like to maintain my cycling fitness. I have gotten so much stronger and faster on the bike, which I would love to reap the benefits of in 2016. With Ironman Wisconsin’s bike course being more technical than Ironman Boulder’s I can definitely benefit from carrying this cycling fitness into 2016!

Nailing my intervals on the trainer! #bikelove
Nailing my intervals on the trainer! #bikelove

-I incorporated more mental training and focus into my training and racing this year. I reaped rewards from this on race day when tough moments arose. I definitely want to continue to focus on mental training in 2016 and incorporate it into my training plan everyday instead of only the last month of training before a big race.

4. What frustrated or disappointed you the most this season?

-Ending up with hypnatremia again post IMBoulder. I thought I had my nutrition dialed in, but I was obviously wrong in thinking this…

This is post medical tent...I didn't feel so good.
This is post medical tent…I didn’t feel so good. Photo courtesy of S. Bierbaum

5. What do you not want to happen again next year?

-I want to avoid nutritional failure again as was mentioned in the previous question. Race day is always so much more enjoyable and rewarding when your nutrition is spot on.

-I also want to avoid injuries. I have been trying to overcome some muscle stiffness and imbalances post IMBoulder. I want to get to the injury free zone and remain there for 2016. I would love to be able to race a 70.3 distance event…hard…prior to Ironman Wisconsin in 2016!!

Dry needling to assist my healing...thanks to Dr. Chris at Team Chiropractic
Dry needling to assist my healing…thanks to Dr. Chris at Team Chiropractic

6. What did you learn by going through these experiences?

-I need to figure out where I can have a sweat test done to determine what electrolytes and in what quantities I sweat them out (not just water loss). This will allow me to better prevent hyponatremia. Knowing the quantities of the electrolytes that I sweat out will help me take in the proper doses of electrolytes for my body needs.

-I need to be sure to incorporate proper strength training, stretching, and foam rollering into my weekly schedule and post workouts so I don’t get injured again. In getting reacquainted with my mat, I have found that hot yoga helps me stretch my muscles deeper. This means I need to incorporate more hot yoga into my weekly training plan. It is a good thing I love hot yoga!!

#Yogalove
#Yogalove

7. What decisions did you make that were empowering for you?

-I felt empowered by incorporating more mental training into my race preparation for IMBoulder this year. I laid out goals, reasons for each goal, a visualization plan, and mantra for each part of my Ironman race day experience. On race day when things got tough, I had the tools in my toolbox to help me through those tough moments. I definitely reaped rewards for my mental training and focus on race day!!

Pre race planning
Pre race planning

8. What habits seemed to hold you back from achieving your potential?

-I did not incorporate enough recovery into my training. I need to incorporate more recovery techniques into my everyday training/workout routine so that I remain healthy and injury free. Foam rollering, ART, massage, hot yoga, and stretching need to be a part of my everyday training post workout.

-I need to overcome the fear of being uncomfortable. I am always afraid to leave it all out there…whether it is a training session or during a race. Where is that balance between being uncomfortable and able to successfully finish and being uncomfortable and failing? It is time for me to find out. It is time for me to get really uncomfortable and learn to feel truly comfortable with the uncomfortable!

It is time to start living my dream instead of living my fear!
It is time to start living my dream instead of living my fear!

9. What decisions should you make in order to have your best triathlon year ahead?

-I need to incorporate more recovery techniques into my everyday training plan to keep me healthy and injury free. I need to train smarter…while incorporating speed and hill workouts on the bike is important, I also need to focus on balance and not pushing hard with every workout. I want to improve my bike split at Ironman Wisconsin from my previous 2 IMWI experiences (in 2011 and 2014) and I believe training smarter will help me achieve this. It is time to bring back the speed!! I want to get my run faster, so I’ll need to incorporate more speed work on the run and practice running some of my longer runs at a faster pace than I have in the last few years. I also need to focus on believing in myself and my training more…not just the superficial believing, but the deep underneath the surface at the very core of my being believing! 🙂

My 2016 S.M.A.R.T. goals will come in a few weeks time. Stay tuned…

Have you looked backward so you can plan for the future? What did you learn?

Currently

Teaching

This year I have a GREAT group of 8th graders and I am lucky to enjoy going to work everyday…well, let’s be honest…it is work and there are days that are not always full of rainbows and unicorns, but I do love it most days 😉

300+ 8th grade students ready for the AMS Spirit Run!
300+ 8th grade students ready for the AMS Spirit Run!

Reading

Daring Greatly by Brene Brown…Making yourself vulnerable is the “most accurate measure of courage.” While I have not finished this read, it is one I would HIGHLY recommend!! “…we realize that to live with courage, purpose, and connection – to be the person whom we long to be – we must again be vulnerable. We must take off the armor, put down the weapons, show up , and let ourselves be seen.”

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Balance

Post IMBoulder, we lost focus on our training for 9 weeks before we found ourselves again. Since getting back to training (which we LOVE), we have had to find that balance again between training, family time, friend time, cleaning/housework, work, blogging, etc. I do tend to thrive and be most efficient with my time when I have more on my plate. When there is less downtime, there is less time for distractions 😉

 

 

Training

I am SO excited to be training again! I love having a big goal on the calendar and something to work toward. Hello Ironman Wisconsin 2016…I am so happy to see you on my schedule and even happier to be seeing green in Training Peaks again 🙂

Yes, both my husband and I officially registered for Ironman Wisconsin 2016!!
Yes, both my husband and I officially registered for Ironman Wisconsin 2016!!

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Loving

The changing seasons…Autumn is my favorite season! The cooler temperatures, the changing colors and the fewer daylight hours…well that last one I can do without. I do prefer the longer daylight hours 😉 Fall is definitely in the air and I am finding joy in all it has to offer!

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The fall colors are magnificent!!
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Combining two of my favorite things…#bikelove and fall!

Reflecting

Looking back through my Believe Training Journal has been rewarding, inspiring and motivating for me. It gives me the desire to want to work hard and chase dreams 🙂

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Inspired

Lots of friends have been killing their fall races!! It has been so much fun to get to cheer them on in person and remotely!! They too have inspired me to work hard and chase dreams 🙂

Watching #IMKONA World Championships and grading student work at the same time. Multitasking at its finest :)
Watching #IMKONA World Championships and grading student work at the same time. Multitasking at its finest 🙂

Quote of the week

“We do not learn from experience…we learn from reflecting on experience.” ~John Dewey

What have you been up to lately? What is your favorite season and why? Any good reads lately? What/Who inspires you to do and be your best?

What a weekend!

This last weekend we had a VERY productive weekend! It made coming back to work so nice to know we were ready for our week!

Friday:

After work I went to the grocery store quick to get a couple of items for the weekend and stopped by the post office to mail a gift to a friend before arriving home at about 4:45 pm. We ate an early dinner and then started deep cleaning our house. This time around it was a “move everything” kind of cleaning so it takes us a lot longer than just your typical weekly cleaning. After cleaning the house for a couple of hours, I went to bed.

Saturday:

Saturday morning we woke up at 6:20 am to go to the gym. I decided to rekindle the fire for swimming. This was the first time back in the pool since #IMBoulder and it felt AMAZING! Definitely can’t wait to get back in the pool for some more #swimlove 🙂

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An easy 1500 yards in the pool. If I would have had more time, I would have kept going!! #swimlove

After my swim, we met friends for breakfast and then headed back home for more productivity. We finished cleaning the upstairs, washed the windows inside and out (even cleaned the screens) and then decided to get the courage cave ready for trainer season (I’ve changed the name of the trainer room to be more positive…thanks Kristen for the name change). We then cleaned up and went to a grill out/fire pit night with my sole sister…so much fun!

Basil was bummed when we blocked the dogs in the back half of the house so we could scrub the floors in the living room.
Basil was bummed when we blocked the dogs in the back half of the house so we could scrub the floors in the living room.
Clean house!!
Clean house!!
Windows so clean that we are waiting for a bird to fly through them.
Windows so clean that we are waiting for a bird to try to fly through them.

Sunday:

After breakfast, we filed all of the papers in the office and reorganized our lives again. We then hung some posters and decorated the courage cave a bit more before heading downtown for the Octagon Arts Festival. We were only downtown for about an hour, but the dogs loved walking around and meeting other dogs…they didn’t care much for all of the art displays, but I definitely enjoyed it 🙂

The courage cave is ready for riding with some new wall hangings :)
The courage cave is ready for riding with some new wall hangings 🙂

On our way home, we stopped and picked up a couple of bags of mulch and dirt to do some yard work. We had to move dirt around one of our basement window wells to prevent rain water from flowing into the basement through the window when it rains. Thankfully we don’t have a finished basement, but we still don’t want water in the basement, so hopefully this will help. We also put mulch around the trees in our front yard.

The trench is dug for the water to drain away from the window well.
The trench is dug for the water to drain away from the window well.
The trees are mulched
The trees are mulched

Finally it was time to clean up and do some food prep…I love taking time on the weekend to prepare healthy foods for the week. It is always nice to know what we are going to have for meals throughout the week and know that they are healthy choices.

Homemade tomato soup is the best!
Homemade tomato soup is the best!

After cleaning up the kitchen, we decided to go for a drive to the country to watch the #supermoon, but I just couldn’t stay up long enough to see the color change…

Basil walking toward the Supermoon on a rural gravel road.
Basil walking toward the Supermoon on a rural gravel road.

#productivityrocks and we are all set to have an amazing week!

How was your weekend? What did you do last weekend? Do you ever have weekends that are all about productivity?

Trication Part 4 – Boulder

Thursday:

We woke up early to head to Boulder for our last BAM OWS at 6 am in the Boulder Rez. I was so lucky to meet my Coeur Sports team mate Rebecca at this OWS and am super blessed that she delivered a special shirt for me to Boulder from Kebby and the gang at Coeur Sports. I am part of such an amazing team!!

Hello sun!! You are magnificent this morning!!
Hello sun!! You are magnificent this morning!!
Meeting up with Rebecca...turning virtual friends into real friends :)
Meeting up with Rebecca…turning virtual friends into real friends 🙂
Getting our game face on :)
Getting our game face on 🙂
Turning another virtual friend into a real friend...Susan McNamee
Turning another virtual friend into a real friend…Susan McNamee

After the swim, The Iron Hippie had some bike issues, so we went for an easy 20 minute shake our run. We then showered at the Rez before going to Ironman registration. It is always fun to get the Ironman wrist band and all of our race bags!!

Meeting DC at registration...our race director has been AWESOME!!
Meeting DC at registration…our race director has been AWESOME!!
Getting Registered for Ironman Boulder
Getting Registered for Ironman Boulder
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In line for registration…
Getting my stickers and swim cap
Getting my stickers and swim cap
All registered!!
All registered!!

After registration, we went to Louisville Cyclery to get the Iron Hippie’s bike fixed, checked into our host home in Boulder at about noon, grabbed a quick sandwich, went back to the Boulder High School for the the athlete meeting at 2 pm, got some ice cream to cool off and then went back to Louisville to pick up the Iron Hippie’s bike.

This is my room at my home stay.
This is my room at my home stay.
I even have the Ironman Boulder SBR flag up in my room :)
I even have the Ironman Boulder SBR flag up in my room 🙂
Yummy sandwiches...located on Pearl Street
Yummy sandwiches…located on Pearl Street
Allen and his wife and I are sitting in the shade at the athlete briefing.
Allen and his wife and I are sitting in the shade at the athlete briefing.
Allen's girls were so good at the athlete briefing!
Allen’s girls were so good at the athlete briefing!
Mango dairy-free ice cream
Mango dairy-free ice cream

We then went to the house that my parents have rented for their stay in Boulder and enjoyed some time with them before going to Pearl Street for dinner. We ate at the Cheesecake Factory for dinner since we had a large party and knew that we could get basic meals there.

Ironman athletes getting ready to eat lots of food!
Ironman athletes getting ready to eat lots of food!
Post Cheesecake Factory photo shoot...
Post Cheesecake Factory photo shoot…
My parents made the trip to Boulder to cheer us on!!
My parents made the trip to Boulder to cheer us on!!
My twin nieces even made the trip to cheer us on...
My twin nieces even made the trip to cheer us on…
I'm so lucky to have my family here to cheer me on!
I’m so lucky to have my family here to cheer me on!
The twins and Allen's daughter Sara posing with a stuffed bear.
The twins and Allen’s daughter Sara posing with a stuffed bear.

Friday:

We slept in and went to the Boulder Rez at about 10 am for an hour bike ride before getting groceries. We dropped off the groceries at my parents house before heading back to our home stay so we could shower and pack our gear bags.

Hour long ride went really well...Mojo and I are ready!!
Hour long ride went really well…Mojo and I are ready!!

After all was ready, we went over to my parents house and made a homemade pasta meal while we sat around chatting. It was a nice and relaxing evening, with an early to bed to end the day.

All the gear bags are ready!
All the gear bags are ready!
Mojo is ready for race day!!
Mojo is ready for race day!!

Saturday:

What a whirlwind of a day…we woke up to go swim at the Rez, but the line of traffic was too long and we couldn’t get to the gates before 8:15 (which was the time cutoff apparently, even though it was advertised until 9 am), so we weren’t allowed to swim until 9 am on the short course. We did a little swimming and then test rode our bikes to make sure everything was working well before we put our bikes and bike gear bags into T1 at the Boulder Reservoir.

Mojo is all racked and getting a good night's rest at her temporary home so we can have fun tomorrow!!
Mojo is all racked and getting a good night’s rest at her temporary home so we can have fun tomorrow!!
Giving Mojo a "good night" kiss.
Giving Mojo a “good night” kiss.
Bike gear bag is delivered.
Bike gear bag is delivered.
Swim buoys are set...this is just the first leg. That orange turn buoy is a long way out there!
Swim buoys are set…this is just the first leg. That orange turn buoy is a long way out there!

We then drove to the Boulder high school where we dropped our run gear bag at T2 and then grabbed some lunch at Lyfe Kitchen before going back to our home stay for a shower.

Run gear bag is delivered.
Run gear bag is delivered.

We went to my parents house to chat for a couple of hours before going back to our home stay, eating a plain meal (plain chicken and a plain baked potato) for dinner and then EARLY to bed. With a 2:30 am alarm, 6 pm bed time it was…

Sunday:

Sunday was race day. I’ll have a completely separate post for my race day.

Monday:

We woke up early to go down to Ironman Village to get some finisher gear.

I love my puffy finishers coat!!
I love my puffy Ironman Boulder finisher coat!!

We then went back to our home stay and took a nap before loading the car and leaving Boulder by 1 pm. We made it to Kearney, Nebraska where we stayed overnight at the Holiday Inn Express and grabbed a bite to eat. All I wanted for dinner was potato skins, so we went to Applebee’s thinking they would have them. Nope. I was so tired and hungry that I started to cry. I don’t think the poor server knew what to do with me. The Iron Hippie looked online for a place that served potato skins. Did you know that if you google potato skins in Kearney, Nebraska, you won’t get any results?!?!?!?! We ended up leaving Applebee’s (I did leave the server $2 for my meltdown) and going to the Chicken Coop where I was super happy with my potato skins!!

Tuesday:

We woke up at 5:30 am, ate some breakfast and went back to bed until almost 9 am. We were obviously tired…we showered, loaded up what little we took into our hotel room and hit the road at 10 am. We finally arrived home at 3:30 pm. I was so happy to see my girls!!

I've missed these two faces!! They were so excited to see us!!
I’ve missed these two faces!! They were so excited to see us!!

I guess this means it is time to come back to reality and normal…whatever that is!! I already miss Colorado and want to go back!!

IMBoulder Race Ready

I am all registered…

Meeting DC at registration...our race director has been AWESOME!!
Meeting DC at registration…our race director has been AWESOME!!
Getting Registered for Ironman Boulder
Getting Registered for Ironman Boulder
In line for registration...
In line for registration…
Getting my stickers and swim cap
Getting my stickers and swim cap
All registered!!
All registered!!

We attended the athlete briefing…

Allen and his wife and I are sitting in the shade at the athlete briefing.
Allen and his wife and I are sitting in the shade at the athlete briefing.
Allen's girls were so good at the athlete briefing!
Allen’s girls were so good at the athlete briefing!

The gear bags are packed and Mojo is ready to do some work…

All the gear bags are ready!
All the gear bags are ready!
Mojo is ready for race day!!
Mojo is ready for race day!!

Mojo and my gear are dropped off…

Mojo is all racked and getting a good night's rest at her temporary home so we can have fun tomorrow!!
Mojo is all racked and getting a good night’s rest at her temporary home so we can have fun tomorrow!!
Giving Mojo a "good night" kiss.
Giving Mojo a “good night” kiss.
Bike gear bag is delivered.
Bike gear bag is delivered.
Run gear bag is delivered.
Run gear bag is delivered.
Swim buoys are set...this is just the first leg. That orange turn buoy is a long way out there!
Swim buoys are set…this is just the first leg. That orange turn buoy is a long way out there!

And now we rest…2:30 am alarm clock tomorrow is early!! 🙂

I’m ready to race you tomorrow Ironman Boulder!!

IMG_3691

You can track me tomorrow at ironman.com and click the athlete tracker. I am race number 865…see you on the flip side!!

Trication Part 2 – Estes Park…The Middle

Monday:

We woke up early to head to the Estes Park pool for 2400 yards of #swimlove at an elevation of 7500+ feet. I was a little winded during this swim, but once I got into a rhythm it was great!!

Estes Park Swimming Pool
Estes Park Swimming Pool

After swimming, we drove to Rocky Mountain National Park and took a short walk around Sprague Lake…ABSOLUTELY Magnificent!!

We walked the 1/2 mile loop around Sprague Lake and ventured out off the trail in a few places.
We walked the 1/2 mile loop around Sprague Lake and ventured out off the trail in a few places.
I climbed a rock and took a picture of the boys below.
I climbed a rock and took a picture of the boys below.
The view of Sprague Lake from the top of my rock.
The view of Sprague Lake from the top of my rock.
Standing on top of my rock at Sprague Lake.
Standing on top of my rock at Sprague Lake.
Two men fishing in a canoe at Sprague Lake.
Two men fishing in a canoe at Sprague Lake.
A stream just off of Sprague Lake
A stream just off of Sprague Lake
The mountains and sky reflected beautifully off of Sprague Lake.
The mountains and sky reflected beautifully off of Sprague Lake.

When we returned to our cabin, we spent about 3 hours cleaning our bikes. Mojo is MUCH happier now that she is clean and shiny!! During this time, we also did laundry…everything dries so quickly in Colorado 🙂

We spent 3+ hours cleaning bikes.
We spent 3+ hours cleaning bikes.
This is how we dry laundry in Colorado.
This is how we dry laundry in Colorado.
"A clean bike is a happy bike."
“A clean bike is a happy bike.”

After lunch, we thought we were going to do some stand up paddle boarding, but the timing wasn’t in our favor, so we’ll have to go later this week. Instead, we walked down on the strip and got a late afternoon treat…I had a caramel apple covered in Snickers and it was delightful 🙂

Caramel apple with Snicker...YUMMY!!
Caramel apple with Snicker…YUMMY!!

For dinner, we had homemade pasta and garlic bread before heading to bed early so we could get to the Boulder Reservoir early in the morning for our first open water swim (OWS) in Colorado at altitude.

Tuesday:

We woke up EARLY to drive down to the Boulder Reservoir for a 6:10 am OWS with BAM (Boulder Aquatic Masters). LOTS of the swimmers are soon to be fellow Ironman Boulder finishers, since most were chatting about the upcoming race. There were LOTS of others who just swim or are training for other races as well. It was great to have kayakers/lifeguards surrounding the 1000 meter and 750 meter buoys watching out for us while we swam. The $15 was well worth it!! It would be nice to have something like this back home. 🙂

People lining the shore getting ready for the BAM OWS.
People lining the shore getting ready for the BAM OWS.
The Iron Hippie on the left getting his swim cap on and getting ready to swim.
The Iron Hippie on the left getting his swim cap on and getting ready to swim.

It was a perfect morning for a swim and I was VERY pleasantly surprised by how good I felt despite swimming at altitude.

OWS complete...I felt GREAT!!
OWS complete…I felt GREAT!!
OWS in the Boulder Res was faster than my IMWI pace last year...hmmm...maybe IMBoulder will be a PR swim.
OWS in the Boulder Res was faster than my IMWI pace last year…hmmm…maybe IMBoulder will be a PR swim.

After the swim, we had a short run, which we did around the Res checking out where we would be staged for IMBoulder. This was the fastest run I’ve had in quite a while and I was super happy about my pace…I started easy and picked it up to sub 8:00/mile pace near the end 🙂

Short run post swim. This is the fastest run I've had in quite a while and I was super happy to show this pace at altitude!! Acclimation is paying off :)
Short run post swim. This is the fastest run I’ve had in quite a while and I was super happy to show this pace at altitude!! Acclimation is paying off 🙂
Post swim/run high...with the mountains in the background and at altitude.
Post swim/run high…with the mountains in the background and at altitude.

After our run, we showered at the Res before driving Allen to the airport in Denver. He had to fly to Las Vegas for an overnight work trip. On our way back up to Estes Park, we stopped in Lafayette at Morning Glory Cafe for an amazing breakfast!!

I'm in love with their food...I wish they were closer to Estes Park :)
I’m in love with their food…I wish they were closer to Estes Park 🙂
Avocado toast with a side of bacon.
Avocado toast with a side of bacon.

Once back at the cabin, we put all of our swim gear out on the patio to dry (wetsuits, swim suits, tri kits, etc.) before laying down for a much needed nap. When I woke up, I went outside to bring in all of our swim gear and it was SOAKED! It had apparently poured during our nap and all of our gear was more wet than when we put it out there post trip to Boulder. We left it all outside, hoping it would dry.

We had an early dinner at Mama Rosa’s in Estes Park and then walked around the downtown area checking out the local shops and buying a few things.

Caprese Salad for an appetizer
Caprese Salad for an appetizer
Salad
Salad
Shrimp in marinara sauce over noodles and a side of garlic bread
Shrimp in marinara sauce over noodles and a side of garlic bread
Sitting on the patio next to the stream for dinner = perfect!!
Sitting on the patio next to the stream for dinner = perfect!!

It was early to bed to try and soak up the sleep during the taper 😉

Wednesday:

We woke up, went to the grocery store before everyone else did (that is definitely the way to go), came back to the cabin to make breakfast smoothies and then walked 2 miles down to the Estes Park Marina so I could rent a stand up paddle board and the Iron Hippie could rent a kayak. The last time I went stand up paddle (SUP) boarding was in Coeur d’Alene in 2012. I LOVE stand up paddle boarding…maybe it is time to invest in my own board 🙂 It was a very windy morning, which made for a rough ride…lots of whitecaps on the lake. It was still a lot of fun, but I think we need to go back and do this again when it is a calmer day…I’d love to be out there longer than 30 minutes!!

A snake slithered across the path right in front of us as we walked around Lake Estes to the marina.
A snake slithered across the path right in front of us as we walked around Lake Estes to the marina.
Lots of wind and whitecaps made stand up paddle boarding more like "kneel paddle boarding"
Lots of wind and whitecaps made stand up paddle boarding more like “kneel paddle boarding”
Finally able to stand...for a little bit :)
Finally able to stand…for a little bit 🙂

After our 2 mile walk back to the cabin, we made some lunch, did some laundry and cleaned up before heading down to Denver to meet the Iron Hippie’s sister for the afternoon and evening. We had US Thai for dinner and followed this up with a short stroll along Sloan’s Lake.

I LOVE Thai food!!
I LOVE Thai food!!
Thai curry = da bomb!!
Thai curry = da bomb!!
A walk along the path at Sloan's Lake.
A walk along the path at Sloan’s Lake.
The Iron Hippie and his sister look a lot alike!!
The Iron Hippie and his sister look a lot alike!!
Another view of our walk along Sloan's Lake.
Another view of our walk along Sloan’s Lake.
We found a "sign" of back home in downtown Denver!!
We found a “sign” of back home in downtown Denver!!

Then we picked Allen up from the airport at ~8:30. This made for a late night getting back to our cabin.

Thursday: (Happy Birthday to the Iron Hippie Today)

We slept in this morning, made some breakfast, loaded our bikes into the car and drove to Nederland (or Ned as the locals call it). Once in Nederland, we rode a different section of the Peak to Peak Highway up to Ward. You can check out my complete blog post on this section of the Peak to Peak Highway here.

Taking a break from the riding and doing a little core work in Ward!!
Taking a break from the riding and doing a little core work in Ward!!
High above the trees!!
High above the trees!!

We relaxed at the cabin for the remainder of the day, grilling dinner and enjoying some down time before turning in early for the night, since there are more adventures to be had tomorrow 🙂