Attitude of Gratitude

I’ve been working to harbor an “Attitude of Gratitude” in 2018, which is sometimes harder than it should be! There is SO much to be grateful for everyday and I reflect on that before bed every night. The hard part is finding gratitude in every moment throughout the day…especially when faced with challenges, struggles, and negativity.

Since November is typically the month of gratitude and we are embarking on Thanksgiving week, I decided to take some time to reflect on what I have done to include more gratitude in my life.

  1. You may have noticed during my monthly “What’s up?!” blog posts, a gratitude section this year. This is a great way to reflect on each month and be grateful for the things that have stood out as positive and uplifting!
  2. Each night before crawling into bed, I reflect on the day. Writing down all of the things I am grateful for that day in my gratitude journal. This is a great way to focus on all of the positives (even the little things) that happen throughout the day. It has also caused me to focus more on the positives and gratitude moments throughout the day as they occur.
  3. I am constantly reminding myself to be grateful even during the struggles. When I catch myself encountering a struggle, I try to shift my mindset and make myself much more aware of the positives that I’m experiencing in those moments.
  4. I am also working to be more mindful and present throughout each day. Focusing on the 5 senses + how I feel in the moment + what I think at different moments in time throughout each day.

All of these things have helped me harbor an “attitude of gratitude” this year. I truly believe we can not have enough gratitude for all of the amazing people, experiences, memories + things in our lives! I’ve chosen to embrace gratitude this year and find good in everything! Some moments are more of a struggle than others, but even when things are tough, there is something to be grateful for! Sometimes we just have to get out our magnifying glass and look a little harder for the good. ūüėČ

There have been so many amazing moments so far in 2018!! Here is just a snapshot of the things I am grateful for this year:

Supporting our twin nieces at their swim meet!
Home home with my fave!!
Snowshoeing adventures with my fam!
Birthday lunch date with my #solesister
3 of my favorite little bunnies!
Traci, we love you! So grateful to have amazing friends at work!
SO grateful for the best neighbor anyone could ask for! #lovemyneighbor
“Right now” was pure joy for 50 miles on two wheels with my fave! I was so happy to be outside riding on the open roads!
Meeting up with my Coeur Sports sister, Michelle at the Kansas City Triathlon!
Turning social friends into real friends!! So grateful to meet Beth in person!!
So grateful I got to meet up with Steena, my Coeur Sports sister!! Love this beautiful, badass lady!!
I did a thang! The #flatlander703 was the TOUGHEST race I’ve ever done, but I learned A LOT and got 1st place overall!! Thanks to my fave for the award ceremony and making me feel special!!
Incredibly grateful that my fave walked away from a solo bicycle accident with lots of road rash and NO head injury (despite cracking his helmet in 2 places). Wear your helmet people!! It saves lives!!
So grateful for my friend Robin!! She surprised me with the perfect motivational gift from Hawaii…an #IMWC visor (don’t worry…it doesn’t say finisher or have a date on it…she made sure of that)!! Thank you!! Thank you!! Thank you!!
So grateful that I got to spend the morning with my colleague at the Accel Triathlon cheering on my fave and friends!!
Love these peeps!! So grateful to have them in my life!!
So grateful for Kyle at Kyle’s Bikes!! His race day blessing means Mojo is ready to roll!!
My Coeur runneth over!! I got to meet some of the most inspirational, determined, loving ladies today!! #happycoeur
I’m riding cloud nine after setting a PR at Ironman Ohio 70.3 and finally breaking 6 hours, but I’m not sure it would have happened without Steena by my side. This girl is the definition of #heartandcourage and I’m so grateful for her!! Her strength, positivity, selflessness, and uplifting spirit are just a few of the wonderful things about her!! Thank you Steena for all you did to help me achieve my dream!! Love you girl!! “PRs are better with friends!!”
So grateful to have Steena by my side as I broke 6 hours, crushed goals, and achieved dreams at Ironman Ohio 70.3!! Thank you Steena for being such a strong, motivating, awesome BADASS!!
This guy! There aren’t enough words! Thank you for your support! Thank you for believing in me! Thank you for encouraging me to chase my dreams! Thank you for motivating me when I lack self-motivation! Thank you for pushing me to do and be my best! Thank you for loving and choosing me! Thank you! I’m so blessed and grateful to have you by my side on this journey! Love you!
Hard work pays off!! Thanks to my #sub6orbust buddy Steena for pulling me up ALL. THE. HILLS On 2 loops of the #IMWI bike course!!
Grateful to spend the afternoon at the state fair with these fun peeps listening to Brett Eldredge live in concert!
Basil turned 6 years old on Monday…I love these two SO MUCH!!
All of these amazing volunteers helped us keep T1 in check on #IMWI race morning. I’m so grateful for their help!!
Grateful for the OneBrainWellness Self Defense clinic to learn how to defend myself against an attacker!!
So grateful to have this crazy group of colleagues to work with!!
So grateful to briefly chat with Elaina at mile 26 of the Twin Cities Marathon!!
So grateful to briefly chat with my Coeur Sports sister, Kendra (and meet little Ralphie <3) at mile 8.5 of the Twin Cities Marathon!!
Getting to meet up with a few of my Coeur Sports¬†sisters in Louisville was so much fun!! This team of uplifting, encouraging, supportive women is where it’s at!!
My cheer squad on the second loop at #IMLou!! Tim, Abbie, and Dad (left to right) chasing me up the hill into LaGrange! I made it back to them!
The finish line is the best feeling after such a physically and mentally challenging day! #IMLou
LOVE these two smiling faces!!
Grateful to get to see my cousin and cheer on his wife at the Des Moines Marathon!!
Grateful for my colleagues!! The #7dwarfs #spookoutdrugs during Red Ribbon Week at school!!
The Coeur Sports 2019 ambassador team…I’m SO grateful to be representing the BEST brand + sisterhood in endurance sport!!
So thankful to have this guy by my side in life!!

How do you live with an attitude of gratitude?! How do you focus on gratitude in every moment…even when faced with challenges and struggles?!¬†

Recovery Post IMWI

It has been 6 weeks since Ironman Wisconsin!! During these 6 weeks, I have been giving my body some much needed TLC and recovery. I have done VERY little in the way of exercise…4 bike rides, 3 runs, 1 swim, and 2 strength training sessions to be exact.

Run for the Roses fun!
Run for the Roses fun!
Taking the plunge back into the pool nearly 6 weeks post IMWI!
Taking the plunge back into the pool nearly 6 weeks post IMWI!
#bikelove in my fall playground!
#bikelove in my fall playground!

I have had a couple of massages to help loosen up the body and get it ready for another Ironman beating and also taken some salt baths to relax and help me recover.

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I was hoping to get some hot yoga in and a few swims during this time, but other things have managed to take precedence over these two outings. We’ve spent a lot of time with friends and family during these 6 weeks.

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Mom came to visit for a weekend and we got to spend quality time together!

I’ve meet with¬†some personal training clients, managed to get some appointments taken care (haircut, dogs to the vet, Mojo into the shop to get a shifter cable fixed, etc.), had dinner get togethers with friends, and have managed to chew up all of the “free time” I thought I would have. It always amazes me how I can spend 20 hours a week training (on top of a 40+ hour a week job), but when I have down time to “relax,” my time always gets filled with miscellaneous things!

I’ve cheered my fave and many friends onto more 1/2 marathon and marathon finish lines…

The Iron Hippie getting close to the finish of the IMT Des Moines Marathon...I'm so proud of him only 5 weeks post Ironman Wisconsin
The Iron Hippie getting close to the finish of the IMT Des Moines Marathon…I’m so proud of him only 5 weeks post Ironman Wisconsin

We have made lots of yummy food and enjoyed our down time. My mind is definitely ready to start working out on a more regular basis again, and I think my body is ready as well! I’m looking forward to starting a swim focused block this week! I’m planning to¬†follow it up with a bike focused block to round out my off season.

What does your post BIG race look like for recovery? If you do Ironman races, how long do you take off before you ease back into training again?

Ironman Wisconsin 2016 Race Report

Wow! Just Wow! This pretty much sums up my race! It was exactly 5 years after my first Ironman race, which also happened to be 9/11 and at Wisconsin. The tribute to those first responders and military personnel who have sacrificed their lives and continue to risk their lives is always special at Ironman Wisconsin on 9/11. This year was no different, but the weather surely was…it was PR weather and that is just what I had on this course, by over 40 minutes! Here’s how my day unfolded…

Swim // 1:23:10

I made my way into the water with plenty of time to float in my wetsuit, listen to the sounds of race morning, and enjoy the sunrise over Lake Monona. While the National Anthem was being sung, a fire boat was spraying water in salute to the 9/11 victims + ¬†first responders and military personnel…both past and present.

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Let’s go swim! Photo Credit: Doree Harding
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Swimmers lined up to swim, the fire boat sprayed water, and the sun rose over Lake Monona…It must be Ironman Wisconsin race morning! Photo Credit: Sue Fink
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Those aren’t seagulls in the water…This is the Ironman Wisconsin swim start! Photo Credit: Erin Klegstad

When the canon went off, the most brutal swim I’ve ever participated in ensued. There was a lot of contact, there was some very unsportsmanlike conduct from participants, and many athletes who struggled to hold a straight line on the swim course. I got kicked so hard in the goggles at one point, that I was convinced I would have a black eye…I didn’t even know I was on anyone’s feet when I got hit. I saw many familiar sites while swimming that warm my heart…Monona Terrace, the condo we stay in 2 blocks from the Terrace, The Capitol Building, John Nolan Drive…so much love. As I rounded the first turn buoy, I could clearly hear lots of athletes “moo” as they rounded the corner. For those new to IMWI, this is a tradition. I was hoping the contact would subside after the first turn buoy, but it didn’t. It was present throughout the entire swim. As I eventually came into the swim finish, I was super happy to be leaving the rugby game behind me!

Swim Gear: Roka Sports Maverick Elite Wetsuit, Roka Sports X1 goggles in light vermilion, Coeur Sports triathlon shorts and top

Swim Nutrition: Motts fruit chews and water 40 minutes before the race start

T1 // 10:32

I quickly had my wetsuit down to my butt and two AMAZING volunteers pulled it off the rest of the way. Having done this race twice before, I knew to keep my heart rate low as I ran up the helix and into transition. It was SO AWESOME to see my tribe cheering for me as I ran up the helix and into transition…Doree at wetsuit stripping, Dad, our girlfriends Sue and Michele,¬†fellow Coeur Sports Ambassadors Erin, Kendra, and Megan, and Nick (Erin’s man)…so much love!! After quickly putting on my triathlon aero top, socks, bike shoes, helmet, and sunnies, and kissing our girlfriend Kari on the cheek, I was out the door and through transition to spend the next few hours with Mojo!

I'm SO happy to be out of that rugby game! Photo Credit: Erin Klegstad
I’m SO happy to be out of that rugby game! Photo Credit: Erin Klegstad
My Coeur Sports Tribe! Photo Credit: Erin Klegstad
My Coeur Sports Tribe! Photo Credit: Erin Klegstad

Bike // 7:28:31

The first few miles of the bike course at Ironman Wisconsin are always crowded…lots of turning, some rolling hills, and tons of spectators. I felt great as I left Madison and headed out on the stem toward Verona. I felt strong for the first loop of the bike course, but also knew I should conserve a bit as the IMWI is challenging and it can bite you on the run if you push too hard early on during the bike. I decided to ride slightly under my goal watts into Mt. Horeb and pick it up from there. I was very grateful for all of the spectators on the long climb¬†into Mt. Horeb!! They were cheering and partying as we climbed into town!! Leaving town meant riding on¬†Ribbon Road (Witte Road)…weeeeee!! I love this road!! So much fun!! After descending Garfoot, the course¬†changed a bit from the well known Ironman Wisconsin loop because of¬†road construction. This meant we missed a REALLY rough stretch of road, but we encountered a new challenge…Barlow hill. Thankfully we had climbed this in training and I knew what I was getting into. With the top of the hill tapping out at ~21% grade, I wasn’t sure if I would walk the hill because of the potential for falling off my bike due to other athletes walking/going slowly up the hill, or ride nice and STEADY up the hill to the top while trying not to let my power output get too high. With my Coeur Sports tribe hanging out on the hill and cheering us on, as well as lots of other spectators, I knew I would make it to the top sitting in my saddle and riding nice and SLOW to the top!

Kendra cheering on athletes on Barlow Hill! Photo Credit: Erin Klegstad
Kendra cheering on athletes on Barlow Hill! Photo Credit: Erin Klegstad
Riding up Barlow Hill with the cheers of Thing 1, Thing 2, and my Coeur Sports Tribe. Photo Credit: Erin Klegstad
Riding up Barlow Hill with the cheers of Thing 1, Thing 2, and my Coeur Sports Tribe. Photo Credit: Erin Klegstad

Shortly after Barlow, I dropped my chain on Mineral Point Road. I quickly fixed it and continued my ride through Pine Bluff and back into Verona.¬†I was lucky to high five Dad before stopping for my bike special needs at about mile 60 and making my way back into Mt. Horeb with some headwinds fighting me a bit. This was when I stopped to regroup and refill my bike nutrition bottles for the rest of the bike ride. Next up…Ribbon Road (Witte Road)…weeee…down, up, down, up, down, up!! The second loop was different from the first…thankfully we didn’t have to relive Barlow Hill on this loop. Aside from lots of athletes screaming too quickly down hills and crashing (many getting hauled off into ambulances), the second bike loop was uneventful…well, except for getting passed by the Iron Hippie at mile 87. This is a HUGE feat for me…two years ago he passed me at mile 35 and in 2011 he passed me at mile 58. I was super pumped to have held him off this long!! He is a much stronger climber than I and with over 6000 feet of climbing, this course is ideal for hims strengths!! Returning to Verona for the second time felt so good…it was time to return to Madison with a tailwind. WAHOO!! Climbing the helix back into transition is one of the best feelings…it is time to run!! Oh wait a minute…hello bike PR on this course…you are a welcome sight!

Bike Gear: Coeur Sports triathlon shorts, top, and aero top, Specialized Transition Bike (Mojo), Specialized S-Works Evade Helmet, Smith Optics PivLock Arena Sunnies, Specialized bike shoes

Bike Nutrition: Osmo Hydration (3 bottles with 210 calories per bottle), Chex only from Chex mix, Motts fruit Chews, water

T2 // 6:06

The volunteers in Madison are AMAZING!! Have I mentioned this already?! After hearing Dad cheer me on and handing Mojo over to a volunteer, I ran into transition to grab my run bag and then was blessed to get to hug our girlfriend Michele (she was directing men and women to different changing rooms) as I ran into T2. My blessings didn’t end here, our girlfriend Sue helped me quickly strip off my aero top, switch my socks and shoes, drink my Karma Kombucha Ginger Orange, and sent me out the door to run.

Run // 5:25:52

My run started off great! I felt good, strong, relaxed, and ready to rock this course! I love this run course and was so pumped to get to cheer my¬†Coeur Sports teammie on to 3rd place pro female as I was approaching mile 2. Way to go Katie…so proud of you!! As I entered Camp Randall shortly before mile 3, the Iron Hippie was leaving, so I knew I was only about 0.25 miles behind him. Could I catch him?! I have before! He also noticed I wasn’t far behind him and we both stepped on the gas…apparently his gas was a bit more than mine, because I didn’t catch him. Other than walking through the aid stations, I kept cruising to Observatory Hill, where I had intentionally planned to walk. I chatted with a few other athletes as we climbed to the top and then I started running again down the other side. I ran up State Street receiving lots of love from people I didn’t even know, and headed back out toward Lake Mendota. The Base Performance tent that was along the lake shore trail was loud and amazing!! So full of energy and kept me going strong!! At about mile 10, I was headed back toward the finish area (only to have to go back out for loop 2). This is when my stomach decided to start cramping up. I wished I had more¬†Karma Kombucha Ginger Orange to help settle my stomach, but I had to settle for Coca-Cola and orange slices to break up the mess. I gave Dad a quick hug on State Street, saw Erin and Nick by the Capitol, headed into the finish shoot, only to turn around a cone and head back out for loop #2.

Running strong! Photo Credit: Erin Klegstad
Running strong! Photo Credit: Erin Klegstad

I stopped briefly at my run special needs bag long enough to wipe my face off with a wet rag and then keep moving. Ahhh…it feels so good to wipe the salt and sweat from my face at the halfway point of the marathon!! It wasn’t nearly as fast as the first few miles, but I was still moving forward…running when I could and walking when I had to. Finally by about mile 17 my stomach started to come around and I finally felt like I could run a bit more than I had been the last 7 miles. That is the good part about Ironman…when things go bad, they will eventually turn around and become good again at some point….even if it happens when you cross the finish line. As I came back toward the Capitol for the last time, I knew my goal of breaking 14 hours was not going to happen, but I also knew I would PR this course and not just by a little bit!

Run Gear: Coeur Sports triathlon shorts, top, visor, and race belt, Brooks Pure Flow shoes

Run Nutrition: grapes, orange slices, Coca-Cola, chicken broth, water, Base Salt

Overall Finish // 14:34:11

Seeing Dad, our girlfriends Sue and Michele, and my college friend Chris at the finish line was priceless! I blew them all kisses and was in tears as I crossed the finish line of Ironman #4. Hello Ironman Wisconsin PR by 41:45 ūüôā Being caught by a good friend (thank you Doug) at the finish line, who escorted me through the finish area and made sure I found my family and friends made my day complete!

Blowing kisses to my tribe at the finish line! Photo Credit: Michele Dziaba
Blowing kisses to my tribe at the finish line! Photo Credit: Michele Dziaba

 

Ironman Wisconsin Pre Race Weekend

Ironman Wisconsin race weekend is here!

Thursday:

We arrived in Madison mid afternoon, checked into Ironman, went to the athlete meeting, checked into our condo guest suite, and unloaded All. The. Gear. Once we were settled in our condo and our girlfriends arrived, we went out to dinner at Salvatore’s Tomato Pies and had the most AMAZING pizza ever…Fig and Bacon with balsamic red wine reduction, Vegetarian with beet pesto, and El Mapache Loco…Delish!! We stopped by the grocery store on our way back to the condo.

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Madison bound!
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All checked in!
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The finish line is getting set!

Friday:

We woke up and swam with our girlfriends in Lake Monona. The water was a little warmer than I’d hoped for, but was still wetsuit legal. We did a short 10 minute shake out run before meeting our friend Kristen to help her with Ironman registration…Sunday is her first full Ironman…Go Kristen GO!! We got lunch at Ian’s pizza, cleaned up, loaded our gear bags and spent the afternoon relaxing. We made an amazing dinner with our girlfriends…fresh Alaskan fish, green beans from our CSA, salad from our CSA, and quinoa. It was the perfect relaxing evening!

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Beautiful morning for a swim!
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Lake Monona is pretty clear!
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Flat Kecia is ready to ride!
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Flat Kecia is ready to run!
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All the gear is ready!
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All the gear is packed!

Saturday:

We woke up and took the bikes for a quick spin to make sure everything was in working order before the rain started to fall. We did a short swim (in the rain) and then relaxed for the rest of the morning before taking our bikes and gear to transition at 11 am. We followed this up with some lunch from Ian’s Pizza and then took a short nap before I was blessed to meet some of my Coeur Sports teammies who were in Madison to race and spectate. After dinner, it was time to put the feet up, and let the head hit the pillow.

Rainy morning swim
Rainy morning swim
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Mojo is ready to rest peacefully for the night!
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So much fun to meet these ladies in person! Photo credit: Nick Weiler

I’ve done the work! I’m ready! It’s time to rock Ironman Wisconsin!

Race Week!

Hello race week! You’ve come by so quickly! It seems that we signed up for Ironman Wisconsin just yesterday and now we are heading to Madison for race weekend!

Monday:

Since it was Labor Day, we got to sleep in, although sleeping in for us is only 6:30 am…After breakfast, we took the dogs for a walk, followed it up with 30 minutes of core, and then really started packing for Ironman Wisconsin weekend! At 10:30 am, we took a break and went for our last outdoor pool swim this year…it is so sad that the pool is now closed ūüė¶ After lunch, it was time for more packing of ALL. THE. GEAR!!! I love racing long, but man alive it requires a lot of gear! We were mostly done packing by about 2:30 pm, so I spent the rest of the afternoon writing sub plans for my upcoming absences from work, while watching NCIS reruns…feet up, dog snuggles, and relaxing while getting some work done. After dinner, I vacuumed, cleaned up and prepared for a 2 day work week! While vacuuming, the vacuum canister did fall over on my bare foot and I now have a rather large bruise on the top of it. I think it will be ok come race day, but lots of pampering of my foot until then!

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Tuesday:

We slept in, got ready for work, and had a full day of work. After work, it was time for a pre race massage! Nick takes such good care of us…THANK YOU NICK!! I picked up our CSA, and then the Iron Hippie and I went out for our pre race meal of all. The. Sushi. YUM!! After taking the dogs for a walk, it was bed time!

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Wednesday:

We slept in again this morning, got ready for work, and enjoyed the last day of work for the week. I could get used to 2 day work weeks and 5 day weekends…what is wrong with that?! After work, I met two clients for personal training and then continued packing for our big dance! Oh…and our Sound Probiotics arrived! Thanks for keeping our guts and immune systems happy and healthy!! #winningtakesguts ūüôā

Thursday:

Time to travel to Madison!

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2016 Totals to get me to Ironman Wisconsin: 17 days, 19 hours, 3 minutes & 49 seconds

Swim: 80.75 miles
Bike: 3232 miles
Run: 476 miles
Strength Training: 63 hours

Quote of the week:

“Good things come to those who work their asses off and never give up.”

 

1 week ’til #IMWI: focus

The theme this week was focus…It took all I had to remain focused every day at work so that I wasn’t thinking about Ironman Wisconsin! This race is definitely occupying most of my mental energy ūüėČ

Monday:

We woke up early to ride and decided we would benefit from 2 extra hours of sleep, so we went back to bed. After the extra sleep, we got ready for our day and set off for a full day of work. After work was 30 minutes of core and an easy hour ride.

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Tuesday:

We woke up, got ready for work, and headed out the door. After a full day of work, we went to the pool for an easy swim. It was a beautiful evening for a swim!

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Wednesday:

We woke up early to do a short (30 minute) run before work. It was a great morning for a run! After a full day of work, we hopped on the trainer for a 90 minute trainer ride with 2×20 minutes in zone 3 to test ourselves for race day. I was also super pumped to have my new Coeur Sports gear show up in the mail…WAHOO!!

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Thursday:

Today was a rest day due to a crazy schedule. After a full day of work, I met with a personal training client before quickly eating dinner and heading back to school for “back to school night.” By the time I got home, I caught up with the Iron Hippie…we have big changes coming our way that we needed to discuss (more on this to come).

Friday:

Today was another rest day. This one wasn’t planned. I had an EXHAUSTING day at school. It was picture day, and all students get their pictures taken during science class, so I walked every class (6 of them) down to the auditorium for their pictures. I probably easily walked 2 miles within the building, but the management of students (most of which was 6th graders) was mentally taxing. I was supposed to swim after work, but my body said “eat and sleep,” so that is exactly what I did.

Saturday:

We woke up to swim for the last time on the 50 meter long course this summer. What a sad day! After our swim, we hopped on the trainer for an easy hour ride and followed this up with 30 minutes of core work. Basil thought I needed some “coaching” while I did my core work!! After eating lunch, we did dishes, laundry, grocery shopping (I really miss doing this during the week like I do all summer long), vacuumed the house, and then relaxed while watching the Ironman 70.3 World Championships!

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Sunday:

WOW!! Race day is only 1 week away!! How did it get here so quick?!?!?! We woke up to do our last brick before race day. After cleaning up and eating, it was time to get our bikes cleaned and race tires on. Unfortunately while cleaning Mojo, the wind blew my bike and the stand over. This caused my derailleur to shift into my wheel, so we had to make an unexpected trip to Kyle’s Bikes. Kyle was out of the shop today, but I am grateful that Anthony was able to fix my bike up and send us on our way! After finishing with both bikes, it was time to eat dinner, clean up the garage, and get ready for bed.

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Weekly Totals: 9 hours & 25 minutes

Swim: 4577 yards
Bike: 70.6 miles
Run: 10.3 miles
Strength Training: 1 hour

Quote of the Week:

“The sky is not my limit…I am.” ~T.F. Hodge

3 week ’til #IMWI: taper time

Hello TAPER! It is crazy that you are already here! It seems like yesterday we signed up for Ironman Wisconsin and now we are in the taper…where does time go?!?!

Monday:

We slept in this morning, and it felt SO good!! I started my day by walking the dogs and doing some laundry before teaching a fitness class at 9 am. After the fitness class, I did my own full body strength training before getting on the trainer for 75 minutes of interval work. After my trainer ride, I ate lunch, cleaned up, and continued to do laundry, before meeting with a personal training client at 3 pm. At 5 pm I had a much needed massage before eating dinner, finishing up some laundry, and heading to bed early.

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Tuesday:

Hello rest day! It’s been a while since we’ve last met! After taking the dogs for a walk, I did a little “back to school shopping” before eating lunch and spending the afternoon in my classroom getting ready for the coming year. At 4:30 pm, I picked up our CSA before the Iron Hippie and I went to sushi for dinner. We relaxed at home for the evening watching the Olympics before bed.

Wednesday:

We woke up this morning to swim, but it was storming, so we went back to bed. After waking up and getting ready for the day, I met with a personal training client at 8 am. I ran multiple errands, ate lunch with a friend, and spent the afternoon working in my classroom. I spent the evening crafting for bulletin boards in my classroom while watching the Olympics. I love the Olympics, but I’m ready for them to be over so I can get back to a normal schedule that doesn’t suck me into watching television all evening ūüėČ

Thursday:

With this being my last day of freedom¬†summer, we opted to sleep in this morning. When we got up, I went and picked up eggs from our local farmer, vacuumed the entire house, did laundry, met a personal training client at 9 am, and then¬†ran some errands. After lunch, I spent the afternoon at the hospital with my sole sister and her husband. She¬†was having surgery to have her meniscus repaired. I came home just in time to eat dinner and then go teach TRX. After TRX, I got sucked into more of the Olympics…good thing there are only a few more days of the Olympics this year!

Friday:

Hello first day of school! We had a full day of professional development today…lots of meetings! After work, I went home to let the dogs out and then the Iron Hippie and I met my colleagues for “Friday after class” even though we didn’t have students yet. When we came home, I got sucked into more of the Olympics…go figure ūüėČ

Saturday:

After waking up, we opted to watch the women’s Olympics triathlon and take care of some things at home…balance the checkbook, pay bills, run to the grocery store, make 15 dozen zucchini muffins, make homemade chicken noodle soup, and make peanut butter chicken with rice. After spending most of the morning and early afternoon in the kitchen, we ran a couple of errands, took the dogs for a walk, and biked downtown to the brewery with our neighbor for a couple of beers. We came home, enjoyed some dinner, and spent some time around the campfire with another neighbor.

Sunday:

This morning we ran to the grocery store for some ingredients we would need for this evening’s dinner that we were making for my sole sister and her family. We came home, made some breakfast and watched the mens Olympics marathon before cleaning our house and doing lots of laundry. We decided to take the dogs for a walk because it was such a BEAUTIFUL day!! The Iron Hippie had some wood to cut up, so I ran a couple of errands…lesson learned! DO NOT GO TO GET SUPPLIES THE DAY BEFORE IOWA STATE UNIVERSITY STARTS CLASSES FOR THE YEAR!! There were people EVERYWHERE…driving into concrete barriers, nearly hitting pedestrians in parking lots, and not paying any attention to others in the stores. After returning home, unloading the car, showering, preparing food, and blogging for a bit, we went to my sole sister’s home for dinner. It was the perfect relaxing evening!! We came home and prepared for the coming week. Next week is back to reality with a full work week, getting back to training a bit more than almost none, and learning to balance life, training, and work all over again!

Weekly Totals: 3 hours

Swim: Zero, Zilch, Nada!
Bike: 18.8 miles
Run: Zero, Zilch, Nada!
Strength Training: 1 hour & 45 minutes

Quote of the Week:

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4 weeks ’til #IMWI: juggling

The theme for this week was…juggling our schedule around to get workouts in thanks to Mother Nature, visitors, and other scheduling conflicts.

Monday:

Following the 4 am alarm clock was a 90 minute run! It was a beautiful morning for a run, and I was so happy to be pounding the pavement. I was even more happy to know that my run was a negative split run, which I found out after my run ūüėČ I followed this up with making homemade spaghetti sauce, making 6.5 dozen zucchini muffins, cleaning up the kitchen, doing some laundry, and mowing the lawn. When the Iron Hippie came home from work, we hopped on the bike for a 60 minute ride that included a 20 minute time trial. I was dreading this FTP test…I don’t know why, but I was. I had to remind myself of “courage over comfort” and “go for the gold; don’t settle for silver” (inspired by the Olympics) multiple times throughout the test, but it worked! I was able to put out a normalized power of 194 watts. This is 6 watts higher than my last FTP test and it gets me a little closer to my goal…200 watts. #progress I am not trying to get there before IMWI, but it would be nice to see a normalized power of 200 watts before 2017! ūüėČ

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Tuesday:

We started the day with 2400 meters (2625 yards) of #swimlove with the sunrise. I could definitely feel the fatigue in my arms from the Okoboji 3.5 mile open water swim last Saturday, but it also felt good to get moving again. When I got home after swimming, I took the dogs for a walk, and did some strength training before lunch. After lunch, I cleaned up the house, did some laundry (this is NEVER. ENDING!) and cleaned some produce from our friend’s garden (she is on vacation for a week). I met a personal training client at 3 pm, picked up our CSA, and made homemade sweet potato and kale pizza for dinner with our neighbors.

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Wednesday:

This morning’s swim was a bit of a struggle. My arms were tired, so I¬†finished 2800 meters (3062 yards) of swimming a bit slower than normal, but I pushed through and finished. After refueling, I took the dogs for a walk, cleaned up, ran to the grocery store, I finished¬†the homemade spaghetti sauce¬†by browning burger for each container before freezing them, made homemade beet pesto, cleaned all of the produce from yesterday’s CSA, made an Oriental cabbage salad for dinner, cleaned up the kitchen. It was a very busy day! Since school starts back up next week and the tropical weather has descended upon us yet again this summer, I am trying to get things done around the house so we are ready for the new school year…lots of food prep, deep clean the house, and make sure the cupboards are stocked with household essentials so we don’t have to go to the store for a while. When the Iron Hippie came home from work, we spent 90 minutes on the trainer for some really tough bike intervals before eating dinner, cleaning up, and preparing for the rest of the week.

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Long course swimming!
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Homemade beet pesto…I can’t wait to try this on pizza!

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Coach Basil is sleeping on the job!

Thursday:

We woke up early, went to the gym for an hour of strength training before the Iron Hippie had to go to work. I followed this up with eating everything in sight, puppy snuggles, and a morning nap. When I woke up, it was time for laundry and running LOTS of errands…time to stock up on all of our goods and supplies before going back to school! This meant 2 trips to Sam’s Club, one trip to Target, one trip to¬†Walmart, and LOTS of putting away of items! When the Iron Hippie came home from work, we did a lot of food prep for the freezer. It was nice to have an evening with no workout to get stuff done at home and start to prepare for reality to set in!

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One month from today, I will be toeing the line at Ironman #4!!
One month from today, I will be toeing the line at Ironman #4!!

Friday:

We woke up to swim, but there were severe storms that had passed through the area over night producing high winds and 4+ inches of rain in Ames. We opted for more sleep and not play the game of “will the pool be open, or won’t it?!” After the Iron Hippie went to work, I went to school for about an hour to start putting my classroom back together for the coming school year. After my eyebrow wax, I went home, snarfed down food for lunch, loaded the car, and met the Iron Hippie across town for our 5 hour ride followed by 30 minute run. When we finished, I ate all the food I could find, took an epsom salt bath, and showered before my sister and the twins showed up to spend some time with us since they are in town with friends. When they left, it was bedtime!

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Saturday:

We woke up at 5 am for our 18 mile run. It was VERY humid (97% humidity), but thankfully there were others who were able to join us for most of the run…we only had to run ~4 miles just the two of us. After the run, it was time for refueling, legs up the wall, and an epsom salt bath. We went to our friends’ house for brunch, took an afternoon nap, and then relaxed a bit while watching the Olympics. After dinner we got some froyo and then were in bed by 7:30…so tired!

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Sunday:

We started the day with a ride that was supposed to be 3 hours, but due to timing with family events, it was cut just a little short. We immediately came home and refueled just in enough time for my sister and the twins to come over. We went to the aquatic center and spent the afternoon playing on the slide, tube slide, lazy river, diving board, and just soaking up the fun. At 3 pm the Iron Hippie and I came home to quickly clean up before his parents arrived to our house. We unloaded pork meat from coolers into our freezer and then took the twins to Orange Leaf for some froyo…Isabella has been talking about this for a full year! After froyo, my sister and the twins left for home, the Iron Hippie, his parents, and I went to dinner. It was good food and good conversation. When his parents finally left, we were so exhausted that we just kind of fell in bed and melted into the sheets.

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That’s me coming out of the slide with the big splash!! I finally made it down the slide ūüôā

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Weekly Totals: 19 hours & 30 minutes

Swim: 5687 yards
Bike: 166 miles
Run: 20.7 miles
Strength Training: 2 hours + 10 minutes of core everyday

Quote of the Week:

“I want to get more comfortable being uncomfortable. I want to get more confident being uncertain. I don’t want to shrink back just because something isn’t easy. I want to push back, and make more room in the area between I can and I can’t.” ~Kristin Armstrong

5 weeks ’til #IMWI: recovery week + home

The theme for this week was recovery and lots of it! It was also awesome to go home and visit my parents for the weekend while getting in a REALLY. LONG. SWIM!

Monday:

After our amazing training camp in Madison last weekend, we opted for a rest day today. Our bodies and minds needed a break, so that is exactly what they got! I was so pumped to get my new shower caddy from the inspiring Rebecca! It holds all the Tri Swim essentials and is so awesome! We did celebrate The Swiss National Day with our neighbors with some amazing food and conversation Monday night.

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Tuesday:

The only workout I did today was full body strength and core work. It felt good to do something, but I could also still feel the fatigue in my body from the last couple of hard weeks of training.

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Wednesday:

Hello heat and humidity! I haven’t missed you! It looks like the tropics are back for a couple of days! I took the day off from working out to give myself some extra rest before this coming weekend and the last two tough weeks coming up before the taper. I figured my body would thank me for it later! We did get our new Roka Sports swimskins, which I was super excited to try out this coming weekend on our 3.5 mile open water swim in Okoboji.

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Thursday:

I decided to do my 70 minute run in the morning before it got too hot, but it was still incredibly humid (95% is humid right?!). When it feels like you are in the jungle, you might as well run there right?! I stayed in the air conditioning most of the day doing household projects and then taught TRX Thursday evening as a severe storm came through town and cooled everything off…as well as take out a lot of power around town.

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Friday:

I spent my morning teaching fitness classes and then spent the afternoon making basil pesto (thanks Susan for all the basil), packing for our trip home, vacuuming the house, and doing laundry before the Iron Hippie came home from work. After taking a quick shower and finalizing our travel details, we hit the road for my parents home for the weekend.

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Saturday:

It was an early morning start to the beautiful day with the Okoboji 3.5 mile open water swim event. Every swimmer swims the 3.5 miles from Gull Point State Park to Pikes Point State Park and each swimmer needs to have their own kayak/canoe/SUP support crew. Thankfully Dad kayaked next to me (for the 2nd year…last time was in 2014)! You can check out more about my swim here. After the swim event, we took the kayaks back, made some breakfast, showered, and napped before enjoying a peaceful and relaxing evening with my parents. It was a perfect day!

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Sunday:

We slept in and went to breakfast with my parents before loading up our stuff for the return trip home. After returning home, unloading the car, and preparing some food for our dinner, we spent the evening with my sole sister and her family. It was such a relaxing evening with yummy food!

Weekly Totals: 5 hours & 2 minutes

Swim: 6160 yards
Bike: Nada, Nothing, Zilch
Run: 7.24 miles
Strength Training: 1 hour & 45 minutes

Quote of the Week:

“I think recovery from anything is honestly the most badass thing a person can do.” ~Anonymous

Ironman Wisconsin Training Weekend

Thursday afternoon we set out for Madison, Wisconsin at about 1 pm for our own training camp weekend. We absolutely LOVE Madison and would move there in a heartbeat if we had good jobs…Maybe it is time to start working on making this dream become a reality!

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After arriving at our host home (thank you Chris for your wonderful hospitality and friendship!!), we grabbed dinner at the Great Dane in Fitchburg and prepared for a LONG day of exercising on Friday.

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Friday we set out to ride “the IMWI loop” 3 times. We parked at the Park and Ride on Old County Highway PB and were wheels on at 6:30 am. Our only goal was to finish the 3 loops, so we didn’t set any record breaking speeds. The first part of the loop was pretty uneventful. We made it through Mt. Horeb and out to Witte Road (which we refer to as ribbon road). After descending Garfoot, we encountered some light rain as we entered Cross Plains. This is where we encountered our first snafu…road construction. We stopped to look at a map and figure out how to get around the construction. During this time, a local man (out walking) told us we could “go through the construction. Bikes go through there all the time.” So, we decided to head that direction and we would turn back around if needed. It had stopped raining by the time we got to the construction site. We stopped and talked with the construction crew and told them we were from out of town and what the local man had told us. The crew leader told us we could get through this time, but we should take an alternative route the next two times through. She also told us there was a state trooper sitting farther up the road writing tickets to people who didn’t abide by the “Road Closed” signs, but we wouldn’t be going that direction. We thanked them and continued on. We made our way up the three bitches…Old Sauk Pass, Timberline (AKA…Cell Tower Hill), and Midtown, then back into Verona. Loop #1 was a success…41 miles done!!

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Ribbon Road!!
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The view at the top of Garfoot.
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Having fun on the first loop!!

This is when we learned of the new Ironman Wisconsin bike course because the road construction is supposed to continue through the middle of October. Thanks to SBR with Rocket Bikes in Verona for posting this information on Facebook for us to refer to!

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The new IMWI bike course

So loop#2 would be different from the first one. How different?! Let’s find out! The first part of the course is the same through Mt. Horeb, out to Witte Road and down Garfoot. This is where things change. Instead of going into Cross Plains, we now turn right on Observatory Road. I have experience with roads in Wisconsin labeled “Observatory Road” and none of them are easy climbs, but the views are usually spectacular!

No easy climb follows a sign that says "Observatory Road"!
No easy climb follows a sign that says “Observatory Road”!

We quickly turned off of Observatory Road and onto Barlow…this is where things got tough…real tough! Barlow is no joke! It is about 2 miles of hill climbs in a step format. This is when the rain started again…just in time for us to start climbing. It starts off gradual, and then builds to 17% and continues to build to about 21% at it’s steepest point. I wanted to get off my bike and walk up the hill and cry, but I saw my “Believe” tattoo on my arm and forged ahead. Thankfully we only do this hill one time for Ironman Wisconsin. I’m certain there will be people who walk this hill on race day and others who burn themselves up on this hill for the remainder of the day. As this loop continues, the road surfaces are decent (not like Stagecoach road for those of you familiar with that rough surface) and there are more hills on Maurer shortly before climbing Midtown…it is Wisconsin where hills are a expected! We then made our way back into Verona and to the Park and Ride so we could reload our bottles and fuel. Loop #2 was done and a success…about 86 miles done!

Looking down Barlow...this doesn't do it justice since you can't see the bottom!
Looking down Barlow…this doesn’t do it justice since you can’t see the bottom!

We set off for Loop #3, which would be a bit different from the first two. The first part of the loop is the same as the others, so we made our way to Mt. Horeb and out onto Witte Road, were we took a short break to get off the bike and refuel before continuing on our way.

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After leaving Witte Road, this time we turned right on Mineral Point Road and immediately climbed a decent sized hill. This loop meets up with the later part of loop #2 that we did today and continues on the same route as that loop. The same hills on Maurer lead into Midtown and back into Verona. We didn’t encounter any rain this loop, and arrived back to the car with 125 miles and 6847 feet of climbing. We quickly put the bikes in the car, changed our shoes and set off for an hour run around Verona (not on the IMWI race course).

125 miles and 6847 feet of climbing later...
125 miles and 6847 feet of climbing later…

We ran on some beautiful trails and had to loop back to the car for some nutrition part way through the run so we could continue on…HUNGRY!! When the hour was up, I was so happy to have 125 tough miles on the bike followed by 6 miles of running under my belt!! I loved running in my new Coeur Sports Zele kit!! #stylishspeed and super comfy!!

Happy to be done with a tough and awesome training day!
Happy to be done with a tough and awesome training day!

Saturday we started the day with the Shoreline 2.4 mile open water swim in Lake Monona. It was a small event, with lots of support. The race was a 1.2 mile loop (the original IMWI swim course) that the 2.4 mile swimmers did twice before exiting the water. The water was about 79F, so it was not wetsuit legal, but optional. The Iron Hippie and I opted for no wetsuit. If it were race day, we wouldn’t wear our wetsuit, so we might as well practice without it today. I was a bit worried about how my body would hold up today after such a BIG workout yesterday, but I was completely comfortable in the water! The back side of the rectangle was a bit choppy, but nothing that caused me to panic. This wasn’t my fastest swim, but it wasn’t my slowest either…with no wetsuit and a very tired body, I was pleased with my efforts. I finished at the EXACT same time as the Iron Hippie (we saw each other as we turned the last swim buoy and swam it in together) in a time of 1:42:27. That put me at 14/20 in my age group, 43/56 women, and 98/117 overall.

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We followed this swim up with running one loop of the IMWI run course (13.1 miles). It was a beautiful morning for a run! We had to make a few creative route adjustments because we can’t run in Camp Randall football stadium until race day since it is closed to the public and we opted to not run around the Capitol square on the return back to the car because of the VERY LARGE and amazing Farmer’s Market.

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IMWI run course

We did walk up Observatory Drive and we periodically walked to drink from our hand held water bottles, but otherwise we kept moving. It felt really good to have this run done and our own Ironman Training Camp complete! We had thought about riding one more loop of the bike course on Sunday, but we were so exhausted we decided sleep was much more important before driving back home.

This is what happy looks like after a successful Ironman Wisconsin training camp!
This is what happy looks like after a successful Ironman Wisconsin training camp!
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Love him!!
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Not our fastest run, but I definitely felt I could have kept going, and possibly even faster than this. Let’s put that to the test on race day!

It is always¬†awesome to get to train on the race course (even though we have done this race 2 other times before and have trained on it many times in years past). This was a huge confidence builder for race day in just over 5 weeks! I LOVE the challenge of the Wisconsin course…and it IS challenging!! Madison will always have my heart!!

Have you ever done a training camp? If so, what was your favorite part?