23 Weeks ’til IMWI: Seeing Green

This week was a completely different week than last week! I was ready to get back to work in the pool, on the saddle, and pounding the pavement. The theme this week was “seeing green” in Training Peaks!!

Seeing Green
Seeing Green

Monday:

The 4 am alarm clock got us to the gym for an hour strength training session, which was a great start to the week. After a full day of work, I met one of my personal training clients for an hour and then hopped on the bike for an easy hour ride.

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Tuesday:

I seem to have no trouble getting up and riding my bike, running, or strength training, but I always struggle with going to the pool early in the morning. After I get in the pool and swim a couple of hundred yards, I’m always glad I made it to the pool, but sometimes my mind tries to convince my body to go back to bed. Thankfully I didn’t listen to it this time. We started the day with an early morning 2700 yard swim. It ended up being the perfect start to my day. After a full day of work, I experienced some serious #runlove! We ran 10 miles around town and through campus. It was a beautiful evening and we were so lucky to have Mother Nature actually bless us with good weather!

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Wednesday:

We started the day with 90 minutes of sweaty bike intervals before a full day of work, followed by a work meeting, and then 2400 yards of swim torture. I couldn’t seem to get my arms to turn over and my stroke just wouldn’t come together smoothly. I plugged through, but it wasn’t a great swim for me. That smile is because I was finally done! 😉

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Thursday:

Thursdays we typically sleep in, but we got up early because I had a deadline to meet for work and this would give me a couple of extra hours to meet it. After a full day of work, I met with a personal training client, hopped on the bike for an hour recovery ride, and then headed back out the door to teach TRX.

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Friday:

Friday mornings we always sleep in. It felt good to get a few extra hours of shut eye! After a full day of work, I got to enjoy 2100 yards of pure #swimlove 🙂 This was the best swim of the week. I always love Friday swims after work! I’m not rushed to get here or there and I can fully relax and enjoy the water. We followed this up with dinner out with friends. It was fun to catch up and hear about life!!

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Saturday:

We woke up at 5 am…yes, I know it is Saturday…ate our standard cream of rice cereal with blueberries and beet powder before a long workout and hopped on the saddle at 6 am for 3 hours and 15 minutes. This bike workout had a lot of variety, so the time ticked by rather quickly! Then it was time to change into winter running gear…yes, it was COLD and WINDY for our 45 minute run off the bike!! Serious #triathleteproblems existed as I changed into winter compression gear because I was all sweaty from the long bike ride!! UGH!! This run was REALLY tough!! The winds were sustained at ~30 mph with gusts up to 50 mph, which made the wind chill temperature feel like ~20F. We pushed through and finished strong, but were exhausted when we were done. After grabbing food, an epsom salt bath, and a shower, we decided to take a 2 hour nap before grocery shopping, completing 30 minutes of core strength training, and prepping food for the week. This week’s meals include homemade red curry, homemade chicken noodle soup, homemade ham and bean soup, and homemade sweet potato with ground hamburger and pasta sauce. We added lots of meals to our freezer for future use as well!!

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Sunday:

We slept in until 6 am, ate our standard cream of rice cereal with blueberries and beet powder, and hopped on the bike for 90 minutes of tough hill climbs at 7 am. I really struggled to keep my cadence higher for this ride, especially on the second hill set. We quickly transitioned to a long run. The weather was completely different from yesterday. While it was still windy, it was near 50F when we started running and only got warmer throughout the 1 hour 45 minutes that we pounded the pavement. It was nice to have the sun shining on our skin…VITAMIN D 🙂 We were so lucky to have 2 girlfriends join us for the first 4 miles, before we ventured out to finish the last 70 minutes on our own. This was probably the best I’ve felt coming off the bike in a LONG time and was so happy to see close to a 9:00/mile pace for nearly 12 miles on tired legs!! So much #runlove 🙂 After refueling, an epsom salt bath, and a shower, I left for CPR/AED recertification. I was bummed to have to spend all afternoon indoors when it was supposed to be near 80F outside, but I was offered free recertification that I had to take advantage of. Thankfully the instructor also wanted to get outside and we got done in under 3 hours 🙂 I spent the rest of the afternoon doing some house chores, including moving the winter equipment into the shed and bringing the summer equipment to the garage. I hope this doesn’t jinx us…we are really looking forward to spring/summer!! We then went on a family outing to get some froyo…first of 2016 for us. This is definitely one of our favorite parts of the warmer weather!!

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Basil was tired after running 11.6 miles, but her nap didn’t last long and she was ready to play all afternoon!!
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Spending 3 hours with “Annie”

Weekly Totals: 17:19

Swim: 7200 yards in 2:45
Bike: 110 miles in 8:15
Run: 26.6 miles in 4:04
Strength Training: 2:15

Quote of the Week: 

“Don’t start your day with the broken pieces of yesterday.” ~anonymous

Rising Tide Routines for Inevitable Success 10 Day Challenge

Sonja at Rising Tide Triathlon Coaching provided a free 10 day challenge to kick off December. Routines for Inevitable Success has brought focus and meaning to my training and racing and I will be forever grateful to Sonja and the team of coaches at Rising Tide for their guidance and support!!

Day 1: Setting Intentions

As you probably guessed, day 1 was all about setting intentions. This is a part of the email I received from Sonja:

“Kecia, this is the dream big day…

What have you been wanting more of? What is lacking in your triathlon experience? What do you need a little magical boost of? Some fairy dust that bestows ______ on you? Think big, dream big, allow yourself to go there today, I give you permission. Don’t be shy with what you want!
So, with Sonja’s permission and Carrie Cheadle’s guidance, I sat down and started the process of setting my intention. What was my big dream? That was easy. The harder question was “Why do I have this dream? I mean, why do I REALLY have this dream?” Here is what I found out…
Goal: To qualify for Ironman World Championships in Kona
Why 1: I want to overcome the fear of really pushing myself to my limits.
Why 2: I want to feel successful and in control.
Why 3: I want to feel worthy of such an amazing accomplishment and eliminate all self doubt throughout this journey.
Why 4: I want to truly believe deep underneath the surface at the very core of my being that I am amazing inside and out!
Whoa!! I talk about believing in myself, my abilities, and my training all the time. I visualize success. I incorporate positive self talk into my training and racing. I have mantras to keep me focused. I have reasons for why I am deserving of success. But do I really, REALLY, truly believe deep underneath the surface at the very core of my being?!?!?!?! I guess not as much as I thought I did. I have work to do and am thankful that Sonja is going to guide me in this process to develop the kind of belief in myself that I am truly craving to help me achieve my goals and reach my dreams!!
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“Intentions are the starting point of every dream.” I’m committing to believing in myself deep underneath the surface at the very core of my being. #believe #rttc10dayroutine

Day 2: Rally the Troops

Today was about my community. This is a part of the email I received from Sonja:

“Looking back on the intention you set yesterday, I want you to select 3 PEOPLE in your life that either:

~~~ Expect you to “show up” in racing or training with that Day 1 intention

OR

~~~ Believe that you possess that Day 1 intention (even when you don’t think you do)

Now it’s time to get creative. My favorite part!!

I want you to think of 3 ACTIONS that incorporate one of these people into your routine.”

Coming up with 3 people who believe in me deep underneath the surface at the very core of my being was easy the easy part. I have MANY people in my community who believe in me and support my crazy dreams. But, Tonja (my #solesister), the Iron Hippie (my husband) and my dad are the 3 people I chose to focus on who believe in me deep at the core of my being. They are 3 of the many people I can lean on for support when I am struggling and need a pick me up. I decided to choose my #solesister for this part of the challenge. Why?

  1. I know she will be overjoyed to help me.
  2. She is a woman…a strong, brave, courageous, supportive, inspirational woman who knows what it is like to be a woman athlete.
  3. I want more than anything for her to not only be a part of my training journey, but to also be there in person for my race day journey.
My #solesister believes in me...deep underneath the surface at the very core of my being. She encourages, inspires and motivates me to always do and be my best. I can not wait for the day when she not only experiences my training journey, but also experiences race day with me.
My #solesister believes in me…deep underneath the surface at the very core of my being. She encourages, inspires and motivates me to always do and be my best. I can not wait for the day when she not only experiences my training journey, but also experiences race day with me. #rttc10dayroutine

Coming up with the actions made me think a bit longer. Three actions that I came up with to incorporate Tonja into my routine:

  1. A pep talk video to remind me to always believe in myself deep underneath the surface at the very core of my being, to get comfortable with the uncomfortable, and to #nevergiveup on my goals and dreams!
  2. Text self confidence and belief quotes to me just because, when I need a pick me up, to help me get out the door to train, and in the days leading up to a big race.
  3. Take my lucky charm with me (given to me by Tonja) on trainer rides, look at it before and after every workout, and continue to take it with me to all of my races.

Day 3: Functional Playlist

Today was about the tunes. Here is a part of the email I received from Sonja today:

“A functional playlist is a short list of 2-4 songs that gets you into a particular mood.

These aren’t necessarily your favorite songs of the moment, these songs tap you into your intention set on day one.

Function means that they serve a purpose, these songs are a step on the path to your intention…it’s a bit of a lifehack honestly!”

While I LOVE to listen to music, I don’t pay much attention to song titles and the artists who sing them. I just know a good song when I hear it and I can typically give you some of the lyrics to the song…although sometimes I have made up my own lyrics to the songs I like. What can I say…it has been known to happen 😉 To make it even more challenging, I was to come up with 2-4 tunes that help me #believe in myself deep underneath the surface at the very core of my being. Sooooo…my lack of knowledge for song titles and artists made this challenge take longer than it probably should have. A couple of songs came to mind immediately…”Perfect” by Pink and “Roar” by Katy Parry. “What Makes You Beautiful” by One Direction and “Soar” by Christina Aguilera took much longer to come up with, thanks to my lack of musical knowledge. The good news…I found the songs that help me #believe in myself and downloaded them so I don’t have to search any longer!! And without further adieu, I give you my “Believe Playlist”

#rttc10dayroutine Day 3 is all about the tunes that make me believe in myself deep underneath the surface at the very core of my being. #believe
#rttc10dayroutine Day 3 is all about the tunes that make me believe in myself deep underneath the surface at the very core of my being. #believe

Day 4: A Touch of Magic

Lucky charms and superstitions was the theme for today, and here is part of the email Sonja sent:

If you already have a good luck charm or superstition that you use I want you to shine the microscope on it today and ask yourself:

  • What successful moment in your life it connects you to?
  • When was the first time you used it?
  • Where did that superstition come from?
  • Is it in line with your day 1 intention?
  • Is it in harmony or dissonance with what you are trying to create your routine around?”
I do have a lucky charm and a superstition, so the next step was to reflect on each of the questions above.
  • Lucky Charm: a stone from my #solesister that says, “In a world of ordinary mortals you are a wonder woman!”
  • Superstition: Take a shower before all of my “A” races
  1. What successful moment in your life it connects you to?
    • Lucky Charm: This connects me to Tonja so she is with me on race day, even though she may not be there in person, she is with me in spirit.
    • Superstition: This connects me to great race experiences by washing away all bad race experiences from the past.
  2. When was the first time you used it?
    • Lucky Charm: When Tonja gave it to me before my USAT Age Group National Championships in 2013
    • Superstition: At Ironman Wisconsin 2014 when I washed away my bad IMWI race experience from 2011.
  3. Where did that lucky charm/superstition come from?
    • Lucky Charm: My stone came from Tonja, my #solesister
    • Superstition: This came from deciding to wash away my bad IMWI race experience from 2011 before starting my day at IMWI in 2014.
  4. Is it in line with your day 1 intention?
    • Lucky Charm: Absolutely! This helps me get into the mindset that I am wonder woman 🙂
    • Superstition: Absolutely! It helps me #believe in myself, my abilities and my training more by washing away all negativity and starting the day clean, fresh and positive.
  5. Is it in harmony or dissonance with what you are trying to create your routine around?
    • Lucky Charm: Harmony…this definitely ties in well with instilling more belief in myself
    • Superstition: Harmony…this definitely ties in well with instilling more belief in myself
#rttc10dayroutine Day4: my lucky charm was giving to me by my #solesister and I take it with me to all of my races, that way she is with me in spirit on race day. It is my reminder to #believe in myself deep underneath the surface at the very core of my being, because I am a "wonder woman!" I shower before every "A" race as a way to wash away all negativity and bad vibes from previous races. I know it sounds silly since I typically submerge myself in a lake to swim and proceed to get all sweaty and nasty, but I start my race clean and full of positive mojo so I can truly believe in myself, my abilities and my training as I race to the next finish line!!
#rttc10dayroutine Day4: my lucky charm was giving to me by my #solesister and I take it with me to all of my races, that way she is with me in spirit on race day. It is my reminder to #believe in myself deep underneath the surface at the very core of my being, because I am a “wonder woman!”
I shower before every “A” race as a way to wash away all negativity and bad vibes from previous races. I know it sounds silly since I typically submerge myself in a lake to swim and proceed to get all sweaty and nasty, but I start my race clean and full of positive mojo so I can truly believe in myself, my abilities and my training as I race to the next finish line!!
Day 5: Meaningful Mantras
Mantras are “instruments of thought” and are derived from the root word man-, which means “to think” and the suffix -tra, which means “tools or instruments.” I have always had mantras for different parts of my training and racing experiences so I am pumped Sonja has us focusing on creating a mantra that ties us to our day 1 intention!! Here are a few words from Sonja:

“They take many different forms and you can really get creative here, but to help you out, here are some guidelines to follow when creating a mantra for your routine for inevitable success:

~~~ Connect to your intention, you may even start with your intention and work from there
~~~ Use funky creative words. You can even use words that aren’t words, like funner, funning, relaxer, chillax, diggity, fliggity, radtastic
“Lighter, Softer, Faster, Relaxer” from Tara Anderson, a Boulder runner
~~~ Keep it short, and memorable
~~~ Stay positive, and whatever you do, don’t vocalize what you don’t want. Phrases like “No pain, no gain”, “clear your mind of can’t” or “pain is weakness leaving the body” highlight the feelings you don’t want. Don’t fall into this trap!
~~~ Use action words, especially ones that connect you to what it feels like to be at your best like: climb, fly, lead, leap, push, pull
~~~ Three words with the same first letter work really well, Bold, Brave, Boss, as do words with the same ending, Lighter, Faster, Stronger
When in doubt, think about what you will desperately need to hear when you are in a state that is NOT your day 1 intention. What will resonate deeply?
 My intention is to #believe in myself deep underneath the surface at the very core of my being, but I also want to achieve big dreams. Sooooo…with inspiration from a friend who recently gifted this bracelet to me, I have decided to combine my intention with my want to create my meaningful mantra.
"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
“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

Day 6: Productive Pep Talk

I talk to myself all the time while training and racing, constantly encouraging myself to keep pushing hard, while trying to change my mindset from the negative to the positive. Sonja’s email made creating a pep talk easy because she scripted what we should write to create a productive pep talk.

Grab a sheet of paper and follow along: 

WRITE DOWN: “Hi__________”
     —>> then add your name, your nickname, what your friends call you, what you wish your friends called you… make it personal!
WRITE DOWN: “I know you feel __________”
     —>> then add what the opposite of your Day 1 intention is, you know, that feeling of uug, or poor me, or I just want to sit on the couch, that one!
WRITE DOWN: “Your goal is to  __________”
     —>> now write a little about your intention and what you hope it brings you
WRITE DOWN: “and in order to do that you might have to  __________”
     —>> now write down all the things you need to do that you don’t want to, especially when you are feeling the opposite or you intention.
WRITE DOWN: “You have__________”
     —>> write as many support structures as you can think of
WRITE DOWN: “and here’s what you have to gain__________”
     —>> then add all you have to gain from racing/training/being in sync with your Day 1 intention
WRITE DOWN: “__________, I know you can do this”
     —>> Add back in your name, your nickname, what your friends call you, what you wish your friends called you.”
 So, I set to work and here is what I created for my productive pep talk:
#rttc10dayroutine Day 6: #productivepeptalk to myself! #believe
#rttc10dayroutine Day 6: #productivepeptalk to myself! #believe

Day 7: Wake Up That Brain

After yesterday’s more challenging task, today’s task was designed to be much simpler 🙂 Here is a snippet from Sonja’s email:

“Do you know which brain exercise to use for your intention?

Victory and Power Posing: Use this for intentions that require you to be strong, be tough, get through something challenging.
  • Belief in Self
  • Confidence
  • Courage
  • Bravery
  • Self love
  • Jumping off Things…

Now that you know which one, it’s time to practice, to TRAIN! 3×30 seconds will do! See, I promised it was QUICK!”

#rrtc10dayroutine Day 7: striking the power pose makes me feel strong and that I can conquer anything! The victory pose as I cross almost every finish line. I guess I should be doing them both more often to help me #believe in myself even more!
#rrtc10dayroutine Day 7: striking the power pose makes me feel strong and that I can conquer anything! The victory pose as I cross almost every finish line. I guess I should be doing them both more often to help me #believe in myself even more!

Day 8: Tapping into your Senses

Wow! This was one of the toughest days of the challenge yet. Did you know that sweet foods lead to satisfaction and salty foods lead to a zest for life?!?!?! Me neither!! Sonja had us tap into our senses, specifically taste and smell for today’s challenge.

“Smells and Tastes can connect us to a time, a place, a memory, a feeling or an emotion.

If you need to go from a low energetic state to a high energy state:
  • caffeine, or bright smells work well
If you need to go from a high energy state to a calmer more introspective place:
  • tea, or floral scents are the way to go.
Also helpful,
Think of foods or smells that link back to successful moments, memories, or instances in your life.
You are a PRO at connecting your challenge to you intention by now, use your creativity and incorporate something that’s going to tap you into either the success you are after, or the emotion you hope to feel.”
I had lots of options to choose from…but the one that REALLY stood out to me that screamed #believe was…
#rttc10dayroutine Day 8: a taste that means #believe is definitely my Karma Kombucha Orange Ginger. In 2014 at #IMWI I suffered from an upset stomach on the bike and didn't know if I would actually make it to the finish line. Enjoying my booch before starting the run helped settle my stomach and ran me to a PR of an hour. I #believe I can achieve with booch in my belly!!
#rttc10dayroutine Day 8: a taste that means #believe is definitely my Karma Kombucha Orange Ginger. In 2014 at #IMWI I suffered from an upset stomach on the bike and didn’t know if I would actually make it to the finish line. Enjoying my booch before starting the run helped settle my stomach and ran me to a PR of an hour. I #believe I can achieve with booch in my belly!!

Day 9: Pulling Things Together

The time is here to pull all of our hard work together and get our routine for inevitable success dialed in!! Here is an excerpt from Sonja’s email:

“Start off with reviewing your last 7 days of completed challenge exercises. Sit with each of them for about 30 seconds and make a mental note of your favorites.

NOW – Select 4-5 of the challenge days that either:
  • feel the most fun
  • feel easy and effortless
~~~ Remember, if you are using MOJO, or willpower you are headed in the WRONG direction. Back up the truck, put it in reverse, and look for EASY and/or FUN.
Some of your challenge days might need a little beefing up, or tweaking so that they start to come together in the right way. That watermelon you used for the senses might turn into a secret stash of watermelon Jolly Ranchers.
NEXT – think about FLOW.
~~~ I highly urge you start with either your playlist, or your senses. Those are both great for kicking off a routine. What task would keep it mojo free? For me, starting a playlist takes no mojo, but going downstairs and getting a handful of Espresso Beans does. Think easy!
~~~ Imagine the state you will be in when you are starting this routine….you are in a place of lack, a state that is the opposite of your Day 1 intention. Think of how you are going to use these challenges to build momentum into your Intention.
~~~ End with your brain warm up exercise. That is going to be money and the final straw to launch you into your Day 1 intention.”
So, I launched into it and this is what I came up with for the first draft of my personalized routine:
#rttc10dayroutine Day 9: time to pull things together and get a first draft of my personalized routine! 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! It is time to #believe in my journey!! Thanks Rising Tide Triathlon Coaching for this amazing experience!!
#rttc10dayroutine Day 9: time to pull things together and get a first draft of my personalized routine!
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!
It is time to #believe in my journey!! Thanks Rising Tide Triathlon Coaching for this amazing experience!!

Day 10: Celebrate!!

I’m sad to see this challenge come to completion! It has been so much fun and very beneficial! This last day is all about putting it all together and celebrating! Sonja said:

“TODAY we put your SFD into practice!

Can you see what a game changer this can be for you? Did you get excited just knowing you have a tool in your toolbox that you can pull out anytime to put yourself in the energy state that yields SUCCESS? I got excited for you!
Give that ritual a test drive today, see what needs tweaking! What took mojo to incorporate…ditch that…what was the most fun part? Add MORE of that! 
If you didn’t put together your routine yesterday, TODAY is that DAY! Like I said, when in doubt, slap your 5 favorite challenges on a piece of paper and call it good. It’s not about perfection, you have already done the heavy lifting. THEY ALL WORK!
It can be so easy to think that we have learned enough by doing 90%. I see this as a triathlon coach constantly. Athletes often stop just short of completion, when usually, that last 5% is literally easy as cake.
The moment you’re ready to quit, is usually the moment right before the miracle happens! Don’t give up!
 
At rising Tide Triathlon coaching, we ask our athletes to reach out if they are frustrated, confused, or STUCK, and I want you to do the same.”
With last week’s illness, my workout train got derailed. This week has been busy at work and have lacked the motivation to get my train moving forward. This was just the ticket I needed to get moving again and work hard to achieve my dreams!! I followed the first draft of my routine and found myself climbing tough hills for 21 minutes straight and loving it!!
#rttc10dayroutine Day10: I successfully accomplished my challenging hill climb workout thanks to my new routine!! Thank you Rising Tide Triathlon Coaching for an amazing experience!! #believe
#rttc10dayroutine Day10: I successfully accomplished my challenging hill climb workout thanks to my new routine!! Thank you Rising Tide Triathlon Coaching for an amazing experience!! #believe

Rising Tide is currently accepting new athletes for the 2016 season, so now is the time to capitalize and have a great coaching team support your journey!!

This 10 day challenge was absolutely amazing and so much fun!! If you missed out on the opportunity to participate in it, I would highly recommend you do it on your own time 😉 I think I’m going to go through this process for a couple of different aspects of both training and racing so I am completely set up for success!! Heck…why stop there?!?! I can use it to fit other areas of my life as well…work, family, home…and you can too 🙂

Thank you Sonja and Rising Tide Triathlon Coaching for this AWESOME and FUN opportunity to grow and learn!! xoxo

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?

Ironman Wisconsin Weekend

Sunday, September 13 was Ironman Wisconsin. We have been going to Madison for Ironman Wisconsin weekend since 2010…on the years we are not racing, we volunteer and help out the athletes racing. It is such an amazing experience…surrounded by inspiration, motivation, positive energy, like-minded people, drive, determination, passion, courage, bravery, fortitude and a multitude of other positive and uplifting feelings and emotions.

This year, our intentions were to volunteer at the “Morning Clothes Bags” area and then cheer on friends throughout the day. On Saturday, a friend of ours (Kari is the co-captain for the women’s change “tent”…both T1 and T2) asked me if I could help her out in T1 and T2. The captain of the women’s change tent is fighting stage 4 cancer and is in a LOT of pain. She made the decision not to come to the race venue on Sunday, so Kari needed help. I knew I had to step up and spend my whole day volunteering instead of going out on the course and cheering on friends. Kari needed me (since she was taking on the role of captain on race day) and I knew all of the women athletes would benefit from having me in T1 and T2. Sometimes being flexible is necessary.

Race morning in front of the Capitol.
Race morning in front of the Capitol.

When we volunteer, we wake up just as early as we do when we are racing. We made our way to the swim start area by 5 am on Sunday morning to help set up the “Morning Clothes Bags” area and get ready for all of the athletes to make their way to the swim start.

Morning clothes bags set up
Morning clothes bags set up
Swim start/exit arch
Swim start/exit arch
Race morning...who is ready to swim?!?!?!
Race morning…who is ready to swim?!?!?!

As the athletes came down the helix to the swim start, I was yelling, “Bag drop to your left.” Many athletes in the past have gotten down to the swim start and have not dropped off their morning clothes bag, so I was trying to prevent this from happening this year by letting them know they were passing the morning clothes bag area on their way to the swim start. Needless to say, I was nearly hoarse by the swim start, but I had MANY thankful athletes. Most even told me they could hear me as they were walking down the helix, so I guess my “teacher voice” paid off on race morning 🙂

At 6:45, I quickly made my way up the helix to view the swim start from the top of Monona Terrace and then made my way into the women’s change “tent” for T1.

A beautiful morning for an Ironman floating swim start
A beautiful morning for an Ironman floating swim start
Who's going to be an Ironman today?!?!?!?!
Who’s going to be an Ironman today?!?!?!?!

T1 is ALWAYS INSANE…so many athletes coming through at about the same time and all needing help changing and getting ready for the bike. This typically leads to one volunteer trying to help 5 (or more) athletes at a time. All athletes need to cross the timing mat into T1 by 9:20 am. This gives them 2 hours and 20 minutes to complete the 2.4 mile swim. For some athletes that do not make this time cut-off, the volunteers take on the role of counselor. Thankfully, this did not happen in the women’s change tent on Sunday morning.

The women volunteers in T1
The women volunteers in T1

After sending over a 1000 women out on the bike, we moved and organized their T1 bags putting them in numerical order so their T2 and morning clothes bags could be attached to them before athletes/sherpas could pick them up after 6 pm.

At 11 am, I grabbed a quick bite to eat at The Great Dane, went back to our home stay to shower and then made my way back to Monona Terrace by 1 pm to prepare for T2. The afternoon change is never as crazy as the morning change. The women are more spread out in the afternoon, so we typically have one volunteer to one athlete…on a rare occasion, 2 athletes to 1 volunteer.

The athletes are in a much different head space coming off of the bike than they are when they exit the water. Volunteers in T2 become cheerleaders, motivators and counselors more frequently than they do in T1. Some athletes are still in great shape (both physically and mentally) coming in off the bike and are ready to go run a marathon. This is when the volunteers take on the role of cheerleader and continue to feed positive energy to the athletes as they go out for their run. Some athletes come off their bike so exhausted that they don’t want to go on. This is when the volunteers take on the role of motivator, reminding the athletes why they are here and encouraging them to continue on. Other athletes don’t make the bike cut-off of 5:30 pm and are told their day is done before they come in to T2. This is when the volunteers take on the role of counselor, listening to their story, giving them a shoulder to cry on and reminding them that they are NOT a failure.

All athletes need to be off the bike (which is 112 miles) by 5:30 pm, and we had a few women who did not make this cut. As a result, I had to step into the role of counselor for a bit before getting their gear bags for them and directing them back to their bike for pick up. After all athletes left the change area, we tied all of the athlete’s T2 bags to the morning clothes and T1 bags so that athletes and/or sherpas could start picking up their gear shortly after 6 pm. Unfortunately we weren’t ready right at 6 pm…the men always have a MUCH bigger mess than the women, so we had to help them get organized. 😉

Once our shift was over, I had to run some lost and found items to the information tent near the finish shoot and return some timing chips to the finish line for athletes that withdrew or did not make the time cut-offs throughout the day. At about 7 pm, I finally made my way back to the condo we were staying at to eat some leftover Thai food for dinner. It was at this point that the Iron Hippie and I decided we would be driving home Sunday night instead of waiting until Monday morning. Our logic was…all of the athletes we had come to cheer on had already crossed the finish line, so if we stayed up until midnight, we might as well sleep in our own bed and have all day Monday to regroup at home instead of spending half of the day driving back. Without further thought, we loaded the Rav and hit the road, pulling into our driveway shortly after midnight.

I LOVE Ironman Wisconsin and plan to go there to race or volunteer/cheer every year that I am physically able! If you have not volunteered at an Ironman event, I HIGHLY recommend it! The energy is amazing 🙂

Do you have a race/event that you love to be a part of every year (racing and/or volunteering)? If so, what is it? Why do you take part in this event?

What is the furthest you’ve traveled to volunteer/spectate at a race?

My 2014 Year in Review

January:

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Attending an ISU basketball game with the Iron Hippie
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Lots of basement riding during the Polar Vortex
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Lots of hot yoga to keep me warm during the Polar Vortex

February:

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More basement riding
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Finding an amazing new nutrition plan that would keep me hydrated all year long.
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VO2 Max Test…OUCH!!

March:

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Lots of #swimlove focusing on bilateral breathing
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Running with my girl, Basil, on a warm March day with snow on the ground.
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Able to ride outside briefly before the Polar Vortex reappeared.
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Lots of hot yoga to keep me warm on those cold winter days.
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LOVING my Coeur Sports tri kit!! #heartandcourage

 April:

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#runlove with my favorite girl, Basil
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#bikelove with my main squeeze
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Training with heart (Coeur) and hydrating with the best (Osmo Nutrition)
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Playing with a 6 year old on the trampoline…#feelinglikeakidagain

 

May:

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#bikelove with the Iron Hippie
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Our CSA started providing AMAZING produce
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First #centuryride and #bikelove
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First outdoor swim = #swimlove
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First outdoor swim = #swimlove

 

June:

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Outdoor #swimlove
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#bikelove with my main squeeze
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Outdoor yoga in the park
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Acupuncture…OUCH!!
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First #bikelove time trial…OUCH!
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#swimlove in the 50 meter pool
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New #friendships with @CoeurSports girl, Kathy
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#IMWI #bikelove training
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Line running at the ISU track for injury prevention
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Rehabilitation strength training

July:

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Volunteering at a July 4th 5K run.
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#centuryride #bikelove on July 5
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More acupuncture treatments
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Lots of line running at the ISU track
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The color run with the family
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TRUE #heartandcourage racing!!
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Anniversary with the Iron Hippie and #bikelove
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Okoboji Triathlon…first race of the season for me
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@CoeurSports girl time with Kathy 🙂
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#IMWI #bikelove
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#IMWI #runlove

August:

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#swimlove and #IMWImotivation at the 50 meter pool
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#heartandcourage brick workout
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Running with my #solesister
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Painting wine bottles with friends
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Who’s ready for some 3.5 mile open water #swimlove
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3.5 mile open water #swimlove complete!!
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Snow cones with my twin nieces
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#runlove with friends

 

September:

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Who’s ready to race?!?!? #IMWI
TRJ
Racing with TRJ at #IMWI
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Who’s ready for an Ironman?!?!?! #IMWI
swim exit
#swimlove and a 9 minute PR…whoop whoop!! #IMWI

 

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#bikelove at #IMWI
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#bikelove at #IMWI

 

 

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#runlove at #IMWI
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#IMWI finish in 15:15:56
#IMWI finishers
#IMWI finishers
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#runlove at Ledge’s State Park

October:

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5K #runlove with #heartandcourage
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Basil is full of #runlove at our 5K
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1st in my age group at the 5K…#runlove
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#bikelove with friends
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#bikelove with my main squeeze and the open prairie
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Hiking with our girls and my main squeeze
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Early morning #runlove with my main squeeze
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Lots of TRX
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Reconnecting with #swimlove and #IronmanMotivation

November:

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Outdoor #runlove
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#runlove with my favorite girl!!
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5K #runlove for some chocolate 😉
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Playing in the little snow we’ve had this winter
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#swimlove
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#runlove with #heartandcourage…#womenarenotsmallmen
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#solesister love
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The Iron Hippie praying while playing Jenga

December:

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Reconnecting with my mat
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#runlove with friends
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I was accepted to be a part of the Coeur Sports Ambassador Team for 2015 #heartandcourage
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Reconnecting with Mojo and the trainer
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Planning for 2015 with the #believetrainingjournal

 

32 Weeks ’til Ironman Boulder

Last week was my final week of the semester, the last week before winter break, and full of holiday chaos. Thankfully, that did not stop me from having a great week!!

Monday:

AM: 1 hour strength training

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PM: I was announced to the 2015 Coeur Sports Ambassador Team, which I am SUPER stoked about!!

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Tuesday:

AM: 50 min 4×4 min Fast…this was my #FaveWorkout of the week 😉

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PM: 55 min swim focusing on drills and swim stroke

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Yes…that is the Iron Hippie in the water behind me 😉

Wednesday:

AM: 1 hour 3xLadder trainer ride

Thursday:

PM: 68 minute run with friends outside, followed by 45 minutes of TRX full body strength training

Friday: 

AM: 1 hour short ladder swim

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PM: A much needed massage…the whole hour was spent entirely on my legs. OUCH!!

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Saturday:

AM: 85 min run on icy roads with friends…I only fell once, but I have a bruised knee as a result.

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I followed the run up with a 30 minute core workout before spending the afternoon with family.

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A little Ironman motivation…wearing my IMWI finisher shirt

Sunday:

AM: 2 hour bike ride with a 20 minute TT…I was hoping to have an average speed of about 17.2 mph, but only maintained a 16.8 mph average. I guess that means I have some work to do!!

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Weekly Totals:

Swim: 2.67 miles

Bike: 42.5 miles

Run: 20.65 miles

Strength Training: 2:15:00

How was your week of workouts?

Looking Back to Move Foward

It is often a good idea to look back at what you did (both well and in need of improvement) before planning for the future.  A couple of weeks ago I took some time and evaluated my 2014 journey to help me set S.M.A.R.T. goals for 2015.

USA Triathlon posted a great article that I used to guide my evaluation of my 2014 training and racing season before trying to plan for my 2015 season.

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

-My goals were clear and attainable: not have nutrition failure at Ironman Wisconsin, remember my whole day at IMWI and smile throughout the race.  I feel like I could have been more successful with the nutrition since I had stomach issues on the bike, but the fact that a was able to adjust to these issues and continue to move forward, I’m very happy with.  I feel as though I successfully achieved remembering my whole day and smiling throughout IMWI, so that was a huge bonus.

Feeling good as I run down the finish shoot.  Photo courtesy of Finisherpix.
Feeling good as I run down the finish shoot. Photo courtesy of Finisherpix.

2. What are you most proud of this season?

-I had a huge PR on the IM swim (just shy of 10 minutes). I had a successful run at IMWI cutting almost 90 minutes off my run time. I was able to overcome the obstacle of a cramped stomach on the bike during IMWI and ended up with a PR at IMWI (just shy of 1 hour). I am happy and confident that I could have aimed higher at IMWI without having a coach for the last half of my training season.

Photo courtesy of Lora Bierbaum
Photo courtesy of Lora Bierbaum

-I am happy that I conquered the Okoboji 3.5 mile open water swim and set a new PR.

Photo courtesy of L. Bierbaum:  The Iron Hippie and I successfully finished our 3.5 mile swim "race"
Photo courtesy of L. Bierbaum: The Iron Hippie and I successfully finished our 3.5 mile swim “race”

-I am happy that I was able to consume solid foods on the bike this year (although I was more successful at this during training than on race day) and that Osmo Nutrition was able to help me successfully stay hydrated during training and racing. 🙂

3. What would I like to duplicate next year?

-I would like to continue training without a coach and incorporate the same 3 big brick days that we completed last year into this year’s training plan for Ironman Boulder.  I feel like the 3.5 mile swim helped my swim at IMWI and would like to do a LONG open water swim in mid June (maybe even going back up to Okoboji and having Dad kayak next to me while I swim the same route).  I would like to do more of the Elkhart Time Trial bike races to incorporate more speed work into my cycling.  I would also like to continue working on incorporating more solid foods into my nutrition plan while hydrating with Osmo Nutrition to try to prevent all nutrition failures at Ironman Boulder.

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

-Getting injured early in my racing season caused me to miss the Drake 1/2 Marathon in late April and Ironman Kansas 70.3 in early June. I’m glad I took the time to properly heal, but wish I would have backed down as soon as I started to feel injured instead of pushing through and making things worse. I am also disappointed that I did not work harder on the bike by incorporating more speed work and hills into my training. The bike was my biggest struggle on race day.

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

-I want to avoid injuries and actually complete a 70.3 race prior to Ironman Boulder in 2015. I also don’t want my bike split to get slower (as it did in 2014).

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

-I need to be sure to do proper strength training that impacts all areas so I don’t get injured again. I have also found that I respond best to having two weeks intense training followed by one recovery week (instead of the typical 3 weeks intense training and 1 week recovery), so I would like to continue with that training plan.  I also need to make sure that I have at least one rest day a week. I sometimes struggle with this as I just want to go, Go, GO.

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

-I felt empowered when we decided to drop coaching and self coach. This allowed me to figure out that my body responds best to 2 weeks of hard effort followed by a recovery week.  This realization also empowered me to do what I need instead of what works best for the general triathlete. By self-coaching, we were also empowered to keep Monday evenings free of workouts so we could focus on our relationship, things that needed to be done at home and spending time with friends.

-I felt empowered when I made the decision to detour on the IMWI bike course to get some orange juice from the gas station for my cramped stomach. I also felt empowered when I made the decision to use Osmo Nutrition for my hydration since it worked so magically for me.

Still Smiling...photo courtesy of Finisherpix
Still Smiling…photo courtesy of Finisherpix

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

-I definitely ate too many foods that were processed and fewer whole foods immediately post exercise. In doing so, this caused me to consume more calories than I needed. I have also found that my body responds best to less grains and dairy foods, but I ate these in larger quantities than I should have during the 2014 training season.

-My body responds best to going to bed at the same time every night and getting up at the same time every morning. I found myself sleeping in later on the weekends, which would throw off my sleep schedule and cause me to be more tired at different times of the day and days of the week.

-I definitely did not incorporate enough mental training into my 2014 season. In years past, I’ve spent about 5-10 minutes every night visualizing success at races, coming up with affirmations and positive self talk to get me through challenges I may face at different points during a race.

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

-I need to eat healthy, whole, unprocessed foods and keep a consistent sleep schedule…even on the weekends. I need to be sure to get a rest day every week, while maintaining 2 weeks of intense training followed by 1 week recovery as an overall training plan. I need to incorporate speed workouts and more hills on the bike, so I can improve my bike split at Ironman Boulder. I also need to focus on believing in myself and my training more. 🙂

Stay tuned for my 2015 goals…

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

Okoboji 3.5 Mile Open Water Swim

With Ironman Wisconsin just around the corner, the Iron Hippie and I decided that the Okoboji 3.5 Mile Open Water Swim event last Saturday would be a great practice, training and allow us to gauge where our swim is at for race day.

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Photo courtesy of L. Bierbaum

With the event being in Okoboji, I love that we can stay at Mom and Dad’s and have all of the amenities of home.  We arrived on Friday evening just in time for a home cooked meal.  After dinner, we unloaded our car, laid out our swim gear for morning and let the head hit the pillow.

The alarm clock went off at 5 am Saturday morning.  We ate breakfast, changed and then set out to drop off a car at Pikes Point State Park (the finish).  Since this is a point to point swim, we would need a vehicle to transport us back to the start (on the opposite side of the lake) to pick up the truck.

The sun is just starting to rise as we drop off a transport vehicle at Pike's Point State Park
The sun is just starting to rise as we drop off a transport vehicle at Pike’s Point State Park

We arrived at Gull Point State Park (the starting location) at about 6:30 am with just enough time to carry the kayak to the water, watch the sunrise over the water, check in at the registration table, get into our wetsuits and hear the race announcements before the start of the race.

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Beautiful sunrise at Gull Point State Park
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Photo courtesy of L. Bierbaum:  Getting my wetsuit on

Each swimmer needs to have their own kayak/canoe escort for this swim.  Some AMAZING friends (Allen and Lora) would be canoeing next to the Iron Hippie and my father would be kayaking next to me.  Our escorts were MUCH more nervous than we were 🙂

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Photo courtesy of L. Bierbaum:  Kayaks lined up ready for “Go” time
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Photo courtesy of L. Bierbaum: Allen and my father ready to escort us across the lake

We were not considering this to be a race, just an open water swim practice session.  When the horn blew, we hung back for a minute to allow all of the congestion in the water to sort itself out.  With 35 swimmers and their escorts, the water was a bit congested at the start.

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Photo courtesy of L. Bierbaum

Once we got moving, I had little contact with others.  It was a perfect morning…there was no wind, a hazy sky, air temps in the upper 60s, water temps were in the low 70s, the water was smooth as glass…we couldn’t have asked for a better morning!!

I set out with the hope of completing this 3.5 mile swim between 2:00:00 and 2:15:00.  I stopped swimming a couple of times along the way…the first time was to chat with the Iron Hippie, Allen and Lora as we caught them and the second was to drink some water (not from the lake) and eat a few Honey Stinger Chews.Screen Shot 2014-08-05 at 7.47.56 AM

I was pleasantly surprised at how quickly the time passed and how clear the water was.  I could see the bottom of the lake for nearly the first full mile and the last half mile.  I had lots of thoughts throughout the swim, but they were all happy.  I kept thinking about how lucky I am to get the opportunity to swim across the lake and have my dad at my side.  I’m not sure he was as happy…this was his first time in a kayak and he wasn’t super comfortable.

When I approached the shore at Pike’s Point State Park, I was shocked when they announced my swim time…1:49:33!!  After looking at the Garmin results, it wasn’t as impressive as I thought since it was only 3.1 miles instead of the 3.5 miles that was advertised.  I didn’t even care…it was a PR for me, since this was the longest I’d ever swam at one time.  I finished 17th out of 35 participants and was very pleased to have passed the 2.4 mile mark sub 1:30:00 (this was my swim time at IMWI in 2011).  We are definitely ready for the IMWI swim!!

Photo courtesy of L. Bierbaum:  The Iron Hippie and I successfully finished our "race"
Photo courtesy of L. Bierbaum: The Iron Hippie and I successfully finished our “race”

What is the farthest you have swam?  Have you ever participated in an event that was short of the advertised distance?  If so, how did you feel about it?

10 Weeks til IRONMAN Wisconsin

I just completed week 10 until IMWI…YIKES…single digits now 😉  Here is a quick review of my week:

Monday:

It rained.ALL.DAY.LONG.

AM:  2400 yard swim in 1 hour…10×100 working set

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This was done at the indoor pool because the outdoor pool was closed.

PM:  1 hour bike workout (15.89 miles)…6×2 min power zone 4 intervals.

Riding in the garage during a torrential downpour with thunder and lightening.  Our neighbors think we are crazy...
Riding in the garage during a torrential downpour with thunder and lightening. Our neighbors think we are crazy…Those are some good tan lines honey 😉
Our view of the neighborhood from the garage...
Our view of the neighborhood from the garage…

I immediately followed up my bike workout with 45 minutes of TRX strength training.

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Tuesday:

AM:  Easy line running at the track…6.01 miles in 54:13 (9:01 average pace)

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Feels good to be running again…even if it is running in circles around a track staring at the white line between my feet.

I followed the running up with acupuncture and the funeral for my 13 year-old student.  It was a tough day.

Wednesday:

AM:  2300 yard swim in just under 1 hour…100s & 200s fast with 4x50s on the minute

PM:  Brick workout…48.35 mile bike ride in 2:50:07 (17.1 mph average speed), followed by 1.16 miles in 10:33 (9:06 average pace)…Lots of rolling hills on the bike and no knee pain on the bike or run 😉

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Thursday:

AM:  Easy run around the track…3.48 miles in 32:35 (9:22 average pace)

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I had the track to myself and spent my run remembering an amazing young man who did not cut corners…I wanted to cut my run short by one lap, but I heard the voice of Tim (my 13 year-old student) in my head saying, “You won’t become number one if you cut corners. Finish strong.” So I listened to Timothy and finished the last lap 🙂

PM:  I taught TRX in the afternoon for 45 minutes, followed it up with 2185 yards (at the meter pool) in 45 minutes working on drill work, then mowed the lawn and went back to teach a second TRX class…1:30:00 of TRX strength training (total for the day)

Friday:

Rest day…We celebrated the 4th of July without having a workout 🙂

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Watching the sunrise out at Ada Hayden
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The beautiful morning skies reflecting off the water at Ada Hayden
The Iron Hippie and I registering all of the 5K participants.
The Iron Hippie and I registering all of the participants at a local 5K race.
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And they’re off…spectating briefly at a local 5K.
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We walked the dogs downtown after the 5K for free community pancakes to celebrate the 4th of July and 150 years of Ames.
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We followed the pancakes up with the 4th of July and Sesquicentennial Parade before walking home.

Saturday:

The original plan was to ride 100 miles today, but when we woke up to start riding, we had severe thunderstorms in central Iowa.  We decided to swap Saturday’s and Sunday’s workouts since we had late afternoon/early evening BBQ plans with friends on the calendar. 😉

Run:  I decided to try running on the roads to the local high school track to do some line running and then run the roads home.  This meant that the first 2 miles and the last 2 miles would be on the road (no line and varying terrain), with the rest of the workout on the track.  I was super excited to have NO PAIN!!  Thanks Dr. Chris for helping me get my running legs back under me 🙂

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I followed my run up with 30 minutes of core work before heading over to visit friends, grill food, chat and let the kids and dogs romp and play together.  What a fun evening!!

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Love this lady!!
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Mya would do anything the kids asked her to 🙂

Sunday:

With the temperature predicted to be above 90F with a heat index closer to 105F, we opted for a 5:30 am start time for our century ride.  We lucked out and had a hazy start to our day.  It was definitely humid, but at least the sun wasn’t blazing us until we neared the end of our ride.  Thankfully we were wheeling into the driveway by 1:30 pm and managed to avoid most of the jungle-like conditions that immediately followed our ride.  It wasn’t one of our faster rides, which is ok because the goal was to just cover the 100 miles…we did just that.

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Quick cat nap...or should I say dog nap...with my favorite girl :)
Quick cat nap…or should I say dog nap…with my favorite girl 🙂

Weekly Totals:  18 hours & 39 minutes

Swim:  6885 yards

Bike:  165 miles

Run:  18.2 miles

Strength Training:  2 hours & 45 minutes

How is your training going?  What did you do to celebrate the 4th of July?

Head vs. Heart…Who Will Win???

Yesterday I had made the decision to adjust my goals for this weekend’s race, but the more I thought about it, the more I realized this still might not be the best decision for my body, for successfully setting myself up for my “A race” and my mental state.

I went out to our local “swamp” to get one last open water swim in before heading to Lawrence and encountered one slight snag…without the wetsuit, the knee is VERY angry.  I didn’t even make it to the first buoy before I decided to be done.

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Since the water temperature in Clinton Lake can hover around 76.1F (the water temperature where the wetsuit is no longer allowed), this could pose a problem for the 1.2 mile swim.

I had a BIG decision to make.  Do I go to Lawrence hoping my knee isn’t so angry on race day so I can at least start the race?  Do I go to Lawrence without any gear so I can only spectate?  Do I stay at home and not put myself in a predicament where I might change my mind last minute and decide to give the race a try or worse…have a negative attitude because I’m not racing (this wouldn’t be good for the Iron Hippie and Allen who are racing)?  How will participating in this race help me get closer to the finish line at IRONMAN Wisconsin?

do today closer to tomorrow

This was all I needed to remind me that my A race is IMWI.  So in this battle, the head won.  I NEED to focus on getting 100% healthy.  I NEED to slowly ease back into run training, so I don’t set myself back further.  I NEED to make smart decisions to successfully toe the start line of IMWI.  I NEED to stay home and not put myself in a predicament where I might change my mind and start the race.  I NEED to stay home so I am not surrounding others who are racing with negative energy.

It sucks when the head and the heart don’t align.  What decisions have you had to make when the head and heart don’t align?

head vs heart