Two months ago today was August 2…I was racing Ironman Boulder and having the time of my life!!
Since Ironman Boulder, I have been lost. Lost without a big race on the calendar. Lost without a regular training routine. Lost because it hurt to run. Lost mentally. Lost physically. Lost. Just Lost.
I temporarily lost focus on my #1 dream and goal. While it is good to give the body a break from time to time, it is also good to find my focus again!
Ironman drives me, motivates me; it provides me with a structured routine and exercise that keeps me happy. In order for me to feel like I MUST be training, I need to have a big race or big goal…maybe that makes me weak, because I won’t just go workout for the sake of working out, but I know what drives me. Maybe I’m addicted to this sport…if so, there are far worse things that I could be addicted to 🙂 I have spent the last 2 years really building my Ironman fitness and want to continue to build that Ironman fitness…I want to see just how far I can go and continue to #pushmylimits at the Ironman distance.
So…Bring on Ironman Wisconsin 2016
The Iron Hippie and I are both excited to be racing Ironman Wisconsin again on September 11, 2016. This race will mark the 5 year anniversary of our first Ironman, which was on September 11, 2011 in Wisconsin. It will be fun to race again on our home course!!
What motivates you to get out the door and train/workout? Are you “addicted” to a particular form of fitness or an active lifestyle?
Sometimes the best laid plans don’t go according to plan…I am finding this out yet again. While this isn’t the first time this has happened, it is a good reminder that my body may not allow my brain to get what it wants. I had a great plan for post Ironman Boulder with a few fall races on the calendar. I am still planning to participate in these races, but I have had to make some modifications. I have been seeing Dr. Chris at Team Chiropractic for ART (Active Release Therapy) treatments on my left knee…running hasn’t been the best lately. I had no knee pain during Ironman Boulder and no knee pain during the first run post Ironman while in California, but when I came back to Iowa, my knee decided to vocalize how it really felt about me running. Let’s just say my mind and my knee are not in agreement right now. My knee screamed LOUD about how unhappy it was with me, so…
With the Des Moines Olympic-Distance Triathlon this Sunday, Allen, the Iron Hippie and I have decided to change our individual participant status to a team status. The Iron Hippie will swim, I will bike and Allen will run. This should be a fun way for all of us to find some motivation again and hopefully keep us from further injuring ourselves…yes, I am not the only one on the injury train. 😦
I am hopeful that Dr. Chris can help get me running soon enough so that I can still participate in my fall running races, but only time will tell. Cycling doesn’t bother the knee at all, so I will do LOTS of cycling this fall, but depending on how the knee is holding up, I may have to postpone my cyclocross races, which I am VERY upset about. Come. On. Body. Cooperate. With. Me! I am VERY grateful for what it has allowed me to do and I know I should give it a break…after all, I did give it a bit of a beating through Ironman Boulder. It is just so difficult when the head and body don’t agree on what is “best” for me!! My mind NEEDS exercise, but apparently my body thinks it needs a break. UGH!
For now, I will continue to do my strength training and bike my heart out with the hope that running and swimming will find their way back into my regular workout routine…sooner, rather than later would be nice 😉
What do you do when your body and mind are not in agreement? How do you overcome struggles and setbacks in your best laid plans?
I have spent the last 2 weeks recovering from Ironman Boulder, working out when I want, visiting family and enjoying life. Now it is time to get back to work…literally. Tomorrow marks the last day of summer vacation before I start the 2015-2016 school year on Wednesday. Here are some pictures of the last 2 weeks of my summer break/recovery time:
I decided today is a great day to get back into a consistent workout routine. After all, I have dreams and I am going to continue to work hard to fulfill my dreams 🙂
For now, I have the following races scheduled for the remainder of 2015:
This provides me with a good variety for the remainder of the year…a little bit of triathlon, a little bit of running and a little bit of cycling. Lots of fun to be had yet this year!
Do you fall out of a consistent routine during the summer months/post racing? How do you get back into a routine? How do you incorporate good variety in your training/racing while going into the off season?
I want to take a few minutes and thank those who have supported me in this amazing journey:
I am so blessed to have the most amazing and supportive family! Mom, Dad, Laylah, Isabella, Aunt Linda, Neal, Kathy, Elizabeth, Justin, Jennifer, Jacob, Sarah, Lora, Sam and Sara all made the trip to Boulder…some had a much longer way to travel than others, but I was VERY grateful that they were all there to support us on race day. I am also blessed to have a supportive family not only on race day, but throughout the training. Dad has kayaked beside me while I swim and my whole family is always inquiring about how my training is going and what race I am doing next. I am a lucky girl!!
Coeur Sports is the best women’s triathlon brand on the market! They have created #stylishspeed that keeps my girly bits happy…even while covering 140.6 miles. #noangrykitty here!! As a Coeur Sports ambassador, I get the privilege of being a part of an amazing team of women who are supportive, inspirational and genuinely full of #heartandcourage! I am so lucky to get the opportunity to enCOEURage more women in endurance sport, experience the ups and downs they encounter while on their journey and witness their joy when they reach new finish lines!!
One of the many perks of being a Coeur Sports ambassador is getting support from other amazing companies as well. Osmo Nutrition, Roka Sports and Barnana have kept me going throughout my training and racing this year. Osmo Nutrition is the best sports hydration on the market. Dr. Stacy Sims knows that #womenarenotsmallmen and has formulated both active hydration and recovery products to meet the needs of men and women separately. When I use the Osmo Nutrition products as they were intended, I stay properly hydrated and recovered 🙂 With Ironman Boulder not being a wetsuit swim, the only Roka gear I wore were my X1 goggles, which I absolutely LOVE!! If you haven’t tried Roka’s goggles, you definitely should…they are the BEST!! Barnana makes using real food on the bike so much easier with the bite sized pieces. The #superpotassium is an added bonus for endurance activity to keep the muscles working properly 🙂
Sound Probiotics is a recent sponsorship that actually came about after Ironman Boulder, but they have been keeping me healthy and on track throughout my entire Ironman Boulder training. I usually get sick during the taper and often times once or twice during training…especially since I teach middle schoolers and am always surrounded by germs. Thanks to Sound Probiotics for my #happygut, #enhancedimmunity and #betterrecovery throughout my training and racing experience!!
Nick and Chris…
Nick has been keeping my body well recovered through massage for almost 2 years. He knows all of my problem areas and knows just what to do to keep my body (and ultimately my mind) happy and healthy!
Dr. Chris has been using ART (active release therapy) and dry needling on various parts of my body at different times throughout my training as issues arise. He has been amazing to keep me moving forward while staying happy and healthy.
I am so lucky to have both of these men keeping me happy and healthy throughout this amazing journey!!
My Triathlon Peeps…
I am so lucky to be surrounded by amazing triathlon people…both in person and virtually. Thank you Allen for your support throughout our training…you provided good balance in our household 😉 Thank you Kyle for all of your support in keeping Mojo happy throughout my training and on race day. A special thanks for taking all of my frantic calls leading up to the race to answer questions and problem solve issues with Allen and the Iron Hippie’s bikes. Thank you to all of the people who called, texted, emailed, Facebook messaged me, tweeted me, commented on my blog posts, commented on my Instagram pictures and tracked my progress both while training and on race day! You all ROCK!!
The Iron Hippie…
You are my #1 cheerleader and have supported me on this crazy journey of life and the even crazier journey of triathlon. I love you and am forever grateful for your love and support. What crazy journey should we take on next?!?!?!?
Sunday was an epic day!! I absolutely LOVE race day!! It doesn’t matter if I’m racing or spectating…the energy in the air is AMAZING and unlike anything you’ll experience anywhere else!!
I’ll try to keep this post relatively short, although it is a race report 😉 I had great hopes of breaking 14 hours for my overall finish time, but knew that my ultimate goals were to smile, have fun, embrace the entire day and push my limits for this race on this day. Here is how the day went down:
Sunday morning the alarm clock went off at 2:30 am for the start of a long and glorious day!! I quickly jumped in the shower (yes, I know I was going to race and get all stinky, but a shower wakes me up and helps get me ready for racing), ate my cream of rice cereal (with fresh blueberries and Pure Clean Beet Powder), drank my Karma Kombucha and read my pre-race visualization/mantras/quotes before heading out the door to the Boulder High School where I would drop my special needs bags and board a bus to the Boulder Rez with all other athletes and spectators.
We were on the first bus to the Boulder Rez, which gave us plenty of time for body marking, filling water bottles on the bike, adding to my T1 bag and hitting the loo before getting ready for the swim. We did find out that the water temperature was 78.1F, so it was not a wetsuit legal swim, but it was wetsuit optional. This meant it was time to make decisions…Should I wear my wetsuit knowing the water temp was a bit warm for it, that I would have to start at the back of the pack and that I wouldn’t be eligible for Age Group Awards or Kona Qualification? Should I go without the wetsuit knowing that there would be a lot of people wearing wetsuits that would probably catch and pass me on the swim and I would probably be more comfortable temperature wise? Hmmm…No wetsuit it is!
Eventually Dad, my aunt Linda, my cousin Neal and his wife Kathy and Lora, Sam and Sara (Allen’s wife and 2 daughters) showed up at the Boulder Rez. This was a good distraction from what was to come…
Eventually, I lined up in the middle of the people hoping to swim between 1:16:00 and 1:30:00. I knew that if I were wearing my wetsuit I could easily swim 1:20:00 (which was my swim goal), but wasn’t sure how not wearing my wetsuit would impact my swim.
After the Star Spangled Banner was played, the cannon went off and we all rolled into the water and the swim began.
HOLY PHYSICAL CONTACT!!!! This swim had the most physical contact I’ve ever had in a swim before. It resembled a washing machine full of clothes, where the people were the clothes. I was hoping that after the first turn buoy the physical contact would dissipate, but unfortunately that didn’t happen. I just kept reminding myself to “just keep swimming” and to stay “straight, fluid and relax” throughout the swim. This worked in my favor…I never had a moment of panic during the swim and when someone would grab my leg, I would just kick really hard and get away from them and then find my groove again. Eventually I was on my return to dry land and it was a very welcome sight 🙂
Swim Time: 1:32:21 (2:23/100 m)…This 12 minutes slower than my goal swim time and was my slowest Ironman swim. I am certain my swim time would have been faster with a wetsuit
I was able to run past the wetsuit strippers, grab my gear bag and run into the women’s change tent, where Melissa (who also happened to have the Coeur Sports Courage design tri kit) helped me change and get on my way. It was quite a long run from the women’s change tent to our bikes and then to the mount line.
T1 Time: 9:02…this was almost 6 minutes faster than my goal T1 time
I decided to start my ride nice and easy since the first 7 miles are a gradual uphill climb. Lots of people passed me in this section, but I just let them go. I knew that if they went out too hard, I would catch them. This bike course is two loops with the first loop being done twice before going onto the second loop. I found my groove and just rode my heart out, but kept my watts in check so that I would have energy left for the next 2 loops. I backed off the power just a bit on Nelson Road, since it is a gradual climb. Anytime we went west (toward the mountains), we were climbing…even when it didn’t look like it. As I entered Hygiene, I didn’t expect to see anyone I knew because my Dad, aunt Linda, cousin Neal and his wife Kathy as well as Lora, Sam and Sara had waited until we exited the water out at the Boulder Rez before boarding a bus and heading back to town. I was pleasantly surprised to see my cousin Justin, his wife Jennifer, their son Jacob and Neal and Kathy’s daughter Elizabeth in Hygiene waiting for us. I zipped right past them because I wasn’t expecting to see anyone I knew on this loop. I continued on and saw Mike and Stacey, friends of ours, on Nelson Road before eventually starting the second loop.
I took it nice and easy the first few miles of the second loop…again that gradual climb. I also took it easy on Nelson Road and stopped at the bike special needs station on Nelson to restock my stores before moving my way into Hygiene. This time I knew I was going to stop and chat with my family, since they should all be there. And they were!!
I continued on my way, saw Mike and Stacey on Nelson Road again and then made my way to the third and final loop on the bike course. I knew there were a few longer and steeper climbs on this loop, which I took nice and easy before making my way back into Boulder. I knew my family would be on the side of the road at about mile 110, so I decided to stop again. They informed me that I was leading the boys and that I should “Go, Go, Go!” They told me to beat them and sent me on my way. It was all downhill into T2!
Bike Time: 6:46:12 (16.54 mph)…I was almost 15 minutes faster than my goal pace.
Division Rank: 77/142
Gender Rank: 326/558 (women finishers)
Overall Rank: 1514/2010 (total finishers)
Stops on the bike: I stopped twice on the bike to chat with my family, I stopped at every aid station to refill my bike bottles and spray down my arm coolers and I stopped once to pee at mile 100.
Gear:Coeur Sports Ambassador tri kit, Coeur Sports SuperNova Cycling Jersey, Coeur Sports Arm Coolers, Specialized bike shoes, Specialized Transition Bike, Bell Helmet, Tifosi Sunglasses, Garmin 910XT
Nutrition: 3.5 bottles of Osmo Active Hydration, lots of goldfish crackers, 1 package of Honey Stinger Chews
It was a really long run from bike dismount until when the volunteers took my bike and I got my bag to change. As soon as I entered the change tent, Erin, my Coeur Sports teammate, grabbed me and helped me change. It was so amazing to get to meet her in person!! She is an amazing woman and I truly wish we lived closer…I know we would become such great friends!! She filled my water bottle with water and ice (which was the best. thing. ever.) and sent me out on the run.
T2 Time: 8:57
The run starts with a gradual descent, which made it easy to start out a little faster, but what goes down, must go up. Just like the bike course, anytime we were running west (toward the mountains), we had a gradual uphill climb and anytime we were going east we had a gradual descent. When you look at my run splits, you can see where these transitions occur. I had a run goal in mind, but decided to throw it out the window and just have fun, but push myself a little bit so that it wasn’t a walk. I decided I’d only walk the aid stations and the uphills (not the false flats, but the short, steeper climbs that were a part of the course). I took in nutrition at every aid station…sometimes it was grapes, sometimes oranges…sometimes coke, sometimes no coke, but ALWAYS water. I was so lucky to have family and many friends out there to check in with. Every time I stopped near my family, they would tell me I was still in front of the boys and that I should “Go, Go, Go!!”
I stopped at the run special needs at the half way point so I could change my socks and shoes to keep my feet happy. I knew I could make a daylight finish if I just kept moving forward…it would be close, but I could do it!
Run Time: 5:28:05 (12:31/mi average pace)…I missed my goal by an hour, but had fun along the way
Division Rank: 67/142
Gender Rank: 272/558 (women finishers)
Overall Rank: 1234/2010 (total finishers)
Gear:Coeur Sports Ambassador tri kit, Coeur Sports Visor, Road Runner Socks, Newton Kismets, Asics Gel-Nimbus 16s, Tifosi Sunglasses, Garmin 910XT
Nutrition: grapes, oranges, coke, water
I did make a daylight finish, although the finish photos don’t really show that. I was so ecstatic…I was done.
Finish Time: 14:04:37…I missed my goal by 4:38, but I had fun and set a new PR by 1:11:19
I was so blessed to have Erin catch me at the finish line and escort me through everything…finisher medal, finisher hat and cap collection, timing chip removed, finisher photo, food and then to my family. She was my angel for sure!!
About 20 minutes after finishing, I became really light headed and dizzy. My mother told me to go to the medical tent, so I listened to her. They took my vitals and made me drink a NASTY salty liquid and a bottle of water. Shortly after that, my muscles started contracting like I had Parkinson’s Disease. They moved me to a room with beds and wrapped me in a mylar blanket. This is when my angel showed up…ERIN 🙂 My nurse showed back up and told me to eat 2 small packages of gummy bears…my taste buds DID NOT want them!! Erin told me to swallow them like pills, so I did. Eventually my muscles stopped contracting and a doctor showed up to check on me. He told me I was hyponatremic and asked if I had experience with this…HERE WE GO AGAIN!! I was hyponatremic after my Ironman Wisconsin 2011 race…I DID IT AGAIN!! He eventually released me and I laid in the grass for quite a while before Lora walked me to the car.
Photo Credit: Cousin Neal and his wife Kathy, Cousin Justin, Lora, Finisher Pix
At this point, I REALLY had to pee, but decided I could make it back to our home stay. Thankfully the Iron Hippie was in a good state and could drive us back to our home stay.My stomach had shutdown and did not absorb any of the liquid the medical tent told me to drink, so when I got out of the car, EVERY liquid I had in my body left…I projectile vomited ALL. THE. LIQUID. Did you know that when your muscles contract to vomit they also contract and cause you to pee yourself?!?!?! Yes, you read that correctly, as I projectile vomited I also peed myself. Thankfully I was in the driveway and NOT indoors. When I was done, the Iron Hippie said, “That. Was. Awesome.” Despite the post race medical issues, this was one of the best days of my life!! I met most of my goals:
Have fun! I definitely had a LOT of fun!!
Smile…I think the photos do a great job of showing the continuous smile on my face 🙂
Embrace the entire day…I did a great job of this! Even when things got dark (which surprisingly didn’t happen too often) I embraced it and continued to move forward.
Go sub 14 hours on the day…I missed this goal by 4:38. If I wouldn’t have stopped to chat with family and friends, go to the restroom and change my socks/shoes at run special needs, I probably would have met this goal. This small time difference wasn’t worth not having fun, so I would say it was a successful day.
Overall Thoughts on the Day:
This was a PR by 1:11:19 and I had a BLAST!! I’m already thinking about the next one, but I promised the Iron Hippie that I wouldn’t do an Ironman in 2016 😉
Oh…the Iron Hippie cut his hair…You won’t even recognize him. I may have to come up with a new name for him…
So much for keeping this race report short…
I have many thank yous, which will be in the next blog post 🙂
We woke up early to head to Boulder for our last BAM OWS at 6 am in the Boulder Rez. I was so lucky to meet my Coeur Sports team mate Rebecca at this OWS and am super blessed that she delivered a special shirt for me to Boulder from Kebby and the gang at Coeur Sports. I am part of such an amazing team!!
After the swim, The Iron Hippie had some bike issues, so we went for an easy 20 minute shake our run. We then showered at the Rez before going to Ironman registration. It is always fun to get the Ironman wrist band and all of our race bags!!
After registration, we went to Louisville Cyclery to get the Iron Hippie’s bike fixed, checked into our host home in Boulder at about noon, grabbed a quick sandwich, went back to the Boulder High School for the the athlete meeting at 2 pm, got some ice cream to cool off and then went back to Louisville to pick up the Iron Hippie’s bike.
We then went to the house that my parents have rented for their stay in Boulder and enjoyed some time with them before going to Pearl Street for dinner. We ate at the Cheesecake Factory for dinner since we had a large party and knew that we could get basic meals there.
We slept in and went to the Boulder Rez at about 10 am for an hour bike ride before getting groceries. We dropped off the groceries at my parents house before heading back to our home stay so we could shower and pack our gear bags.
After all was ready, we went over to my parents house and made a homemade pasta meal while we sat around chatting. It was a nice and relaxing evening, with an early to bed to end the day.
What a whirlwind of a day…we woke up to go swim at the Rez, but the line of traffic was too long and we couldn’t get to the gates before 8:15 (which was the time cutoff apparently, even though it was advertised until 9 am), so we weren’t allowed to swim until 9 am on the short course. We did a little swimming and then test rode our bikes to make sure everything was working well before we put our bikes and bike gear bags into T1 at the Boulder Reservoir.
We then drove to the Boulder high school where we dropped our run gear bag at T2 and then grabbed some lunch at Lyfe Kitchen before going back to our home stay for a shower.
We went to my parents house to chat for a couple of hours before going back to our home stay, eating a plain meal (plain chicken and a plain baked potato) for dinner and then EARLY to bed. With a 2:30 am alarm, 6 pm bed time it was…
Sunday was race day. I’ll have a completely separate post for my race day.
We woke up early to go down to Ironman Village to get some finisher gear.
We then went back to our home stay and took a nap before loading the car and leaving Boulder by 1 pm. We made it to Kearney, Nebraska where we stayed overnight at the Holiday Inn Express and grabbed a bite to eat. All I wanted for dinner was potato skins, so we went to Applebee’s thinking they would have them. Nope. I was so tired and hungry that I started to cry. I don’t think the poor server knew what to do with me. The Iron Hippie looked online for a place that served potato skins. Did you know that if you google potato skins in Kearney, Nebraska, you won’t get any results?!?!?!?! We ended up leaving Applebee’s (I did leave the server $2 for my meltdown) and going to the Chicken Coop where I was super happy with my potato skins!!
We woke up at 5:30 am, ate some breakfast and went back to bed until almost 9 am. We were obviously tired…we showered, loaded up what little we took into our hotel room and hit the road at 10 am. We finally arrived home at 3:30 pm. I was so happy to see my girls!!
I guess this means it is time to come back to reality and normal…whatever that is!! I already miss Colorado and want to go back!!