17 weeks to ??? and ??? weeks of solitude

And with that, we are on week ??? of solitude and it feels like Groundhog Day. IRONMAN Mont Tremblant has been cancelled for 2020. But I’m not letting that hold me back! As I’ve said before, I’m not training only for a race…it is a lifestyle. Training brings me joy, fills me up, and allows me to be the best version of myself. Sure racing is challenging and fun, but I enjoy the journey. I CAN and DO challenge myself and have fun in training! Here is what last week’s training looked like:

Monday:

  • 2 hour ride with 2 rounds of 3/2/1 during the first hour and then riding how I felt for the second hour after getting the cancellation email from IRONMAN Mont Tremblant.

    “Warrior…Be a warrior. Fight for what you believe in and never, ever hold back. Fiercely go towards your dreams with boldness and lust. Hold your ground in the face of conflict. Knock barriers down with courage and grace. Do not give up when when you find yourself face to face to an obstacle, instead continue forward with abandon. Keep the fire in your heart burning strong and do not let your flame fade away. Remind yourself that what you are fighting for is worth it. And remember that you will overcome everything that comes your way – because my beautiful friend, you are a warrior.” ~Nikki Banas

Tuesday:

  • 1 hour and 15 minutes easy ride
  • 30 minutes of yoga

Wednesday:

  • 30 minutes of strength training and MFR
  • 58+ mile ride OUTSIDE with my fave! We bucked 25 mph head/crosswinds, soaked up the sunshine, loved the 25 mph tailwinds, got a quick bath by the rain, and then collected all of the road grime.
    AND I SERIOUSLY LOVED EVERY MINUTE OF IT!!

    Time to ride into the rain!

Thursday:

  • 1 hour ride with power pops
  • 6 easy miles

    So grateful for warm temps, sunshine, sweat, pounding the pavement, and pure joy! Fingers crossed spring is finally here to stay!

Friday:

  • 1 hour and 15 minute easy ride
  • 30 minutes of yoga

Saturday:

Sunday:

  • 55 mile easy ride OUTSIDE with my fave!! I’m SO grateful that he suggested we ride outside today!! It is EXACTLY what my heart, body, mind, and soul needed!!

I also did 15 minutes of core strength + 5 minutes of meditation everyday last week.

Swim totals: Sadly none
Bike totals: 230 miles
Run totals: 14.1 miles
Weekly total: 19 hours & 6 minutes

Other weekly highlights:

Beautiful weather for long walks with our girls!
“LOVE COEUR” and love my Coeur Sports sistas!! Steena does such great editing work!!
Jersey thinks she’s “helping” me check my email…
Nature’s beauty!
Feels so good to get my Normatec Recovery squeeze on after my virtual race!

What were the highlights of your week last week?

#hcccyclingchallenge

Self coaching in 2020 will provide me with so many opportunities. I can do what lights my fire. I have the flexibility to change up my schedule based on how I am feeling in the moment/weather/appointments/socializing/emergencies that may come up. I can take part in challenges that interest me. I can do training camps that interest me. I have control over my training and schedule. I can do what I want, when I want to. Sure there are key workouts that I will have to make sure I complete to be successful on race day, but self coaching will provide me with some flexibility on when I complete them during the week.

Hardcoeur Coaching offered a cycling challenge for the month of January. The goal was to ride 30 hours in 31 days. I was intrigued! After IRONMAN Lake Placid, I kept my cycling volume up while it was still nice enough to ride outside, but once October hit, my cycling mileage dropped SUBSTANTIALLY!! By January 1, I was more than ready to improve my cycling fitness as a lead up to IRONMAN Mont Tremblant training and this challenge seemed like the perfect way to jumpstart my cycling fitness in 2020! A special thanks to Scott Batula for helping me get my Wahoo Kickr and Zwift ready to roll before the start of this challenge!

I did a FTP test using Zwift on December 31, so that I would have baseline data to start from. My FTP on December 31, 2019 was 198 watts. I used the first 3 days of January to attempt to figure out how Zwift works before starting the 4-week FTP Booster on January 4. Truth – I still don’t have Zwift figured out after using it everyday for a month.

This 4-week FTP Booster was either going to kill me or make me stronger. Did I mention this cycling challenge wasn’t the only exercising I was doing?! I was also registered for an indoor sprint triathlon on January 19 and a 1/2 marathon on February 1 (which I changed the day before to a 5K…see squirrel), so I had to keep showing up to swim and run. Trying to get my running mileage ready for the 1/2 marathon on tired legs was tougher than I imagined, but thankfully my body held up like a superstar!

Week 1 of the 4-week FTP booster:
I started the FTP booster on Saturday, January 4.

  • Day 1 = HIT 80% FTP #1: 😊 Total ride time = 2:05:38
  • Day 2 = HIT 45 sec #1: 😊 Total ride time = 1:13:45 followed by a 1 hour treadmill run
  • Day 3 = Tempo into Sprints: πŸ˜” I missed hitting the sprint wattage during this ride. Total ride time = 1:06:07 + some strength and yoga after the ride
  • Day 4 = Endurance: 😊 It was so nice to have an endurance ride today. Total ride time = 1:08:22 + 2,450 yards of swimming before the ride
  • Day 5 = 40/20s #1: 😊 Total ride time = 1:06:12 + 30 minute run off the bike

    Date night with my fave for our brick workout!
  • Day 6 = Tempo with accelerations #1: 😊Total ride time = 1:10:25 + a 90 minute (9.5 mile) run in the afternoon
  • Day 7 = Sweet Spot 12: 😊 Total ride time = 1:33:11 + 2300 yards of swimming after work
  • Overall…very tired legs, but I’m grateful my body is holding up nicely. Bike totals = 9:23:40 for 150 miles, Run totals = 2:50:00 for 19.1 miles, Swim totals = 1:20:00 for 4750 yards
FTP booster week 1…somehow the computer saved the dates incorrectly. It should be 1/4/20 – 1/10/20

Week 2 of the 4-week FTP booster:

  • Day 1 = HIT 80% FTP #2: 😊 Total ride time = 2:05:07 + 1 hour hilly and snow covered run + 30 minutes of yoga
  • Day 2 = HIT 45 sec #2: πŸ˜” I missed 4 of the 6 x 45 sec at 345 wattage intervals on this ride. Total ride time = 1:15:46 + 2700 yards of swimming
  • Day 3 = Tempo with Finale: 😊 Total ride time = 1:06:02
  • Day 4 = Endurance: 😊 Yay for endurance riding today! Total ride time = 1:13:27 + 2700 yards of swimming
  • Day 5 = 40/20s #2: 😊 I nailed all of the targets on this ride and felt stronger today than I have since this challenge started. Total ride time = 1:05:03 + 20 minute run off the bike
    Crushing those intervals!

    Speed work off the bike!
  • Day 6 = Tempo with accelerations #2: 😊 I nailed all of the targets on this ride and felt strong doing so. Total ride time = 1:24:36 + 10 mile treadmill run after work (we got freezing rain yesterday that has covered all the outdoor running surfaces in a sheet of ice…even though it was -3F today, I would have ran outside had the surfaces been safe for running)
  • Day 7 = Max Aerobic declining: 😊 I nailed all of the targets on this ride and while my legs were definitely fatigued, I still felt strong. Total ride time = 1:30:12
  • Overall…my body was extremely tired at the beginning of the week, but I reminded myself that it is OK to miss targets because it is too challenging in that moment. This is where I learn. This is where I grow. This is where I gain strength. This is what makes me fierce. AND when I nail these targets the next time, this is when I build confidence. Thankfully by the end of the week, I felt strong…definitely fatigued, but I finally felt strong while tired. Bike totals = 9:40:13 for 159 miles, Run totals = 3:00:37 for 19.3 miles, Swim totals = 1:34:35 for 5400 yards
FTP booster week 2…somehow the computer saved the dates incorrectly. It should be 1/11/20 – 1/17/20

Week 3 of the 4-week FTP booster:

  • Day 1 = Progressive 11s: 😊 Total ride time = 2:00:27
  • Day 2 = Sub-threshold xx #1: 😊 I nailed all of the targets on this ride and completely fatigued my legs before my indoor triathlon later this afternoon. Total ride time = 1:00:01 + a silver medal finish at the InCydeMan Triathlon (500 yard swim, 8 mile bike, and 2 mile run)

    2 sliver medals for our household!
  • Day 3 = Spiked Tempo: 😊 I nailed all of the targets on this ride on VERY fatigued legs. Total ride time = 1:07:42
  • Day 4 = Endurance: 😊 It felt so good to have an easy day on the bike today. Total ride time = 1:30:24 + 2300 yards of swimming
  • Day 5 = 40/20s into Threshold: 😊 Total ride time = 1:00:05 + 20 minute EASY run off the bike
  • Day 6 = Threshold block #1: 😊 Total ride time = 1:00:09 + 9 mile run off the bike with 2×3 miles at tempo pace
  • Day 7 = Max Aerobic Finale: 😊 I nailed the 4×2 minutes at 240 watts with 2 minutes at 120 watts between each and then averaged 222 watts for a 6 minute interval that I was to ride as hard as I could for the 6 minute duration. Pretty pleased with this as my legs aren’t fresh and I was well above my 198 watt threshold set on December 31. Total ride time = 1:30:08
  • Overall…All that learning and growing from the first 2 weeks is paying dividends. This week I noticed improvements in my stats and I FEEL SO STRONG! I’m not saying these workouts were easy. They definitely weren’t, but my body is responding to the work and it doesn’t feel as hard as it did during the first 2 weeks of the challenge. I’m gaining more confidence every day! I’m super excited to see just how much stronger I’ve become at the end of this challenge. Bike totals = 9:30:28 for 163 miles, Run totals = 1:57:31 for 13 miles, Swim totals = 49:02 for 2800 yards

    FTP booster week 3…1/18/20-1/24/20

Week 4 of the 4-week FTP booster:

  • Day 1 = Progressive 11s #2: 😊 Total ride time = 2:00:15 + 55 minute negative split run + 1 hour with the personal trainer

    Running away from the judgement and toward living my best life!
  • Day 2 = Endurance: 😊 Total ride time = 1:00:06 + 2700 yard swim
  • Day 3 = 10 min Best effort: 😊 My 10 minute best effort power output was 210 watts. I was pretty pumped about this since my legs weren’t fresh. Total ride time = 1:00:08
  • Day 4 = Sub-threshold xx#2: 😊 Total ride time = 1:00:05
  • Day 5 = Endurance: 😊 This endurance ride felt so good today! Total ride time = 1:00:12 + 30 minute easy treadmill run
  • Day 6 = Rest Day Easy Ride: 😊 I found myself really having to hold back because my legs wanted to GOOO today. Total ride time = 1:00:09
  • Day 7 = FTP test: 😊 Boo-yah!! My new FTP upon completion of this ride was 214 watts. That’s a 16 watt improvement in 1 month. I still have some work to do to get my FTP back up to where it was during peak training in 2019 (233 watts), but it gives me something to work towards. Total ride time = 1:30:29

    Kicking out the previous 198 watt FTP to make room for the new 214 watt FTP.
  • Overall…This week the workouts actually started to feel easy. I knew I’d have a higher FTP just on how strong I felt on all of these rides. I was very pleased to see a 16 watt improvement over the last 4 weeks. I may repeat the Zwift 4-week FTP booster again, but maybe not. I do need to start incorporating more balance between swim/bike/run as I move into triathlon season. Bike totals = 8:31:24 for 139 miles, Run totals = 1:25:16 for 9.16 miles, Swim totals = 48:12 for 2700 yards

    FTP Booster Week 4…somehow the computer saved the dates incorrectly. It should be 1/25/20 – 1/31/20

I’m SO grateful to the ladies at Hardcoeur Coaching for creating this challenge. It pushed me way out of my comfort zone and definitely into my growth zone! It built confidence, stamina, grit, and resilience, while making me stronger, both physically and mentally. With just over 40 hours (660 miles) in the saddle during January, I finally feel like an athlete again…what a great feeling! The #hcccyclingchallenge + Zwift 4-week FTP booster was a great way to boost my cycling power before officially kicking off the start to my IRONMAN Mont Tremblant training!

A look at 2020

2020 is filling up fast and I’m super excited to toe the line at some new + repeat race events, experience some big training weekends with others, and have so much fun as I swim/bike/run + #celebrate EVERYTHING in 2020!

Here is what my 2020 schedule looks like so far:

  1. InCydeman Triathlon – January 19
  2. PBR 1/2 Marathon – February 1
  3. Coeur Camp in California – March 12-16
  4. Drake 1/2 Marathon – April 19
  5. Des Moines Women’s 1/2 Marathon – May 3
  6. Tri Clear Lake – May 30
  7. IRONMAN Des Moines 70.3 – June 21
  8. Madison Training Weekend – July 3-5
  9. Okoboji Triathlon – July 18
  10. IRONMAN Ohio 70.3 – July 26
  11. Okoboji Point to Point Swim – August 1
  12. IRONMAN Mont Tremblant – August 23
  13. Hillbilly Hike 1/2 Marathon – November 7

I have some BIG goals for some of these races, which I’ll share with you in another post (or multiple posts). Ultimately, I plan to #CELEBRATE the highs and lows, the peaks and valleys, the successes and challenges of my journey to each finish line + life! Throughout 2020, I will be focusing on having more fun, more joy, more action, more play, more dancing, more laughter and #CELEBRATE every part of each chapter that I write this year!

The chapters at the end of 2020 have some gaps in it that I know will fill in, but it’s anyone’s guess as to what I’ll fill them in with. We’ll see what I can find to add to the months of September, October, November, and December as the year progresses.

Cheers to a fun 2020!! What does 2020 have in store for you?!

live your PASSION

“You can’t do passion halfway. Living your passion means you’re all in. You trust your heart and trust your gut wherever it takes you.” ~Joe Plumeri

My heart speaks swim/bike/run! It brings me calm, it brings me joy, it builds self confidence, it often teaches me something new, it breeds discipline, it connects me with others, it forces me to be more courageous, it allows me the freedom to mess up & still end up ok, it provides me an outlet, it makes me stronger (physically, mentally & emotionally), it fills me with gratitude, it helps me become a better version of myself, and SO much more!

“Follow your heart. Life is too short to be sidetracked by the things everyone else wants you to do.” ~Unknown

I believe the purpose of my life is to be fearlessly authentic and passionate, to empower others, and inspire others to LIVE + PLAY BIG so they can be their best self and chase their dreams with their whole heart. When I live my purpose and live my passion, I have more heart, energy, and enthusiasm for what I am doing and those around me. I feel ALIVE! I’m so grateful for this life!

Part of living my passion is to live with a FULL heart, and LOADS of PURE JOY + GRATITUDE! The joy doesn’t come from crossing the finish line…although it does feel good to finally put the breaks on at the end of the really long day of IRONMAN racing. The pure joy + full heart comes from the reflection on how I got there. The journey. All the chlorine therapy. Each pedal stroke. Every step. The strength developed. The challenging workouts and the easy ones. The hard work. The recovery/nutrition/training balance. The obstacles I overcame. Staring at the same walls. Whatever Mother Nature threw my way. The self doubt. The mental strength I created. The gratitude I discovered in the good times and the bad times. The determination. The early mornings. The risks. The long hours on the bike. The persistence. The Basil miles. The balancing of life + training. The sacrifices. The daily grind. The resilience in getting back up when I got knocked down. The lows that I survived and the highs that I reveled in. The failures I learned from. The courage to be me and share with others. The freedom to do it my way. The success I accomplished. The entire journey; not simply the destination.

I am going to continue to follow my heart and live my passion in 2020 as it leads me on a new + exciting IRONMAN journey!

Ironman Mont Tremblant has my heart, so I’m going back in 2020! Photo credit: Ericka Hachmeister

Ironman Louisville I’m coming for ya!

After Ironman Wisconsin 2011 (my first Ironman), I decided I would NEVER do another Ironman. That was one of the HARDEST things I’d ever done and I wanted to let it rest. I was certain I was one and done! These thoughts lasted about 2 years and then I decided I wanted to have a happier Ironman finish (not necessarily a faster finish time, but finishing in a better physical + medical state). So, in 2013 I signed up for Ironman Wisconsin 2014. I had so much FUN + finished HEALTHY! This is when I realized that Ironman could be a lifestyle for me. I have come to learn that I am better suited to long distance racing. I love testing my body physically + mentally and for me, there is a spiritual component to training and racing. It is one of those things that you have to “experience for yourself.”

Since Ironman Wisconsin 2014 (swim, bike, run race reports), I have raced Ironman Boulder 2015 (race report), Ironman Wisconsin 2016 (race report) and Ironman Mont Tremblant 2017 (race report). After Ironman Mont Tremblant, I thought I wanted to take a break from Ironman training + racing in 2018. I was WRONG! I thought I wanted to focus on getting faster at the shorter distances, including the 70.3 distance. And I do! I am excited to work on this goal in 2018! I want to get substantially faster at the 70.3 distance, but as I’ve sat with this idea for the last 5 months, I’ve come to realize that the Ironman lifestyle + race really makes me happy! I want to be true to myself + follow my heart + dream big + have fun in 2018! For me, that includes an Ironman in 2018! I find so much joy in the pursuit of the Ironman finish line!

So…after lots of thought, conversations with the Iron Hippie and Coach Kelly, I’ve followed my heart and signed up for Ironman Louisville in 2018!

 

There are many people that put Ironman on their “bucket list” and when they cross the finish line, they never do another one. In my opinion, they are missing out. Each finish line is a different journey with different lessons learned. The body and mind get challenged in new and different ways each time. The Ironman lifestyle allows you to experience so much more with each and every Ironman experience. I want to ride this wave and enjoy the Ironman lifestyle as long as my body + mind allow me to!

With that…cheers to another journey to an Ironman finish line with more chasing dreams + following my heart + having FUN in 2018!

The Best of 2017

I love looking back and thinking about all of the amazing things that I’ve accomplished and all of the challenges I’ve overcome! I’ve reflected for the last 4 years and want to keep this trend going! You can look back at my previous posts if you’d like:Β Best of 2013,Β the Best of 2014, the Best of 2015, and the Best of 2016. Now its time to reminisce my faves from 2017!Β πŸ™‚

 

My #2017bestnine on instagram is full of #heartandcourage

Best race experience?

Ironman Mont Tremblant! This was by far one of the best experiences of the year! I was blessed with a near perfect day + a PR on the day. I was so incredibly lucky to combine my race experience with an extended vacation with family + friends, which made for a really fun time!

So much coeur on this course! #bikelove

Best run?

I have been waiting to have a good run during an Ironman race for 6 years and this year, it finally happened at Ironman Mont Tremblant! I FINALLY pulled off a sub 5 hour marathon (and I know it could have been even faster without some visits to the kybo). I felt good, I felt strong, I was happy, I smiled the whole run, I really enjoyed myself, I spread coeur with others, and gave “hi-fives” to those who looked like they could use one. This run was a HUGE confidence builder for future races!

Love you Ericka! Thanks for the photo!

Best bike?

Sometimes the best rides aren’t the ones where we have the most fun, but where we learn the most. Yes, I had some seriously fun rides this summer…some solo rides, some with the Iron Hippie, some at the Track Cat Fitness Training Camp, and some on the Ironman Lake Placid + Ironman Mont Tremblant bike courses. For me, the ride that stands out the most this year is the one I learned the most from…my first solo century ride. It was a VERY tough day for me! Physically the wind BEAT. ME. UP! Mentally, I had to overcome a case of the “I can’t do this,” a case of the “I’m not strong enough,” a case of the “I’m not fast enough,” and a case of the “I’m not fueled enough” to finish. In this process, I learned so much about who I am and what I can do when staring adversity in the face!

I’m in a big build…today (Friday) adversity had me sitting on the side of the road in tears with 10 miles to go. I had lots of thoughts and choices while sitting under the tree. I chose to get back on Mojo and continue to chase my dreams! As Coach Kelly says, “it is supposed to feel like that and that this is what it takes. :)” First solo century is in the books!

Best Swim?

Swimming in Mirror Lake was probably one of the best experiences of the summer! It was so much fun to swim with an underwater guide wire! All lakes should be closed to motorized vehicles and have have an underwater guide wire available for swimmers!

Swimming in Mirror Lake in Lake Placid, NY

Best training weekend?

The Track Cat Fitness Training Camp in Stowe, Vermont at the end of July was CHALLENGING + SO. MUCH. FUN! I climbed Smuggler’s Notch. I climbed App Gap. I ran trails. I swam. In addition to all of the fun, there was community, riding, running, swimming, eating, learning, and growing as an athlete.

#trackcatstrong

Best training compass?

Coach Kelly with Track Cat Fitness has provided me with structure, focus, guidance, feedback, support, accountability, motivation + so much more! She has paved the yellow brick road for me this year and I am forever grateful! Standing beside me, believing in me, educating me, and helping me to become a better, #trackcatstrong athlete every day!

Loved meeting Coach Kelly + spending time with her and other amazing athletes at the Vermont Training Camp put on by Track Cat Fitness!

Best enCOEURaging moment?

Thanks to the support of Coeur Sports, Ignite Yoga, and Team Chiropractic for helping me provide a recovery clinic for women! The community! The learning! The practice! The enCOEURaging! The supporting! The love!

Learning!
Practicing!
Community!

Best recovery secret?

Wearing my CEP recovery tights as part of my work attire after a tough morning workout. Hello style + recovery! The best of both worlds!

Best tapering adventure?

Having my sister, brother-in-law, and 3 nieces vacation with us in Mont Tremblant for a few days was so much fun! We don’t get to see each other nearly enough (since they live in California and we live in Iowa), so this was a special treat!

My family from California came for a few days! #happyheart
These peeps hold 4 keys to my heart!

Best new piece of gear?

This was SUPER easy! We had some REALLY HOT + HUMID summer days this year, which forced me out of my comfort zone as I became a part of the #sportsbrasquad! I absolutely love the Coeur Sports sports bras! Not only are they super cute, functional, and comfortable, but they also have a hidden pocket that is perfect for carrying keys, nutrition, or ice!

So happy + #grateful to finally put together a pretty solid long run despite the full sun, warm temps, + high dew point. Mother Nature put up a fight, but I won Wednesday! #sportsbrasquad

Best way to stay healthy?

This was also SUPER easy…Sound ProbioticsΒ has been keeping me healthy since March 2015! As endurance athletes, we put ourselves at risk for a dysfunctional immune systemΒ because of the intensity and duration of our workouts. When stress (life, work, or otherwise), inadequate sleep, poor diet choices, cold weather, alcohol or travel are thrown into the mix, our immune system is even further suppressed. How has Sound Probiotics helped me? Sound Probiotics helps in nutrient production and absorption, helps fend off viruses, promotes the production of cytokines and mucin, and limits bad bacteria in the gut. I have experienced less fatigue and fewer sick days, which as a middle school teacher who is an endurance athlete speaks volumes! This has provided me with the opportunity for more training and better performance. I would highly recommend all endurance athletes use Sound Probiotics to stay healthy!!

IMG_5891
#soundathlete = #soundlife #winningtakesguts

Best piece of racing advice you received?

Hello race morning! Time to drink my Karma Kombucha, eat my muesli, and get inspired to do and be my best as I embark on the race ahead:

β€œBe calm; focus on what you are going to do. Don’t get distracted, don’t get overwhelmed, take it all as it comes. You are ready for this; you’ve prepared for years. This is it, your time to shine. Go forth with all your powers. Go forth with everything in you. Make it work.” ~Lynne Cox, β€œSwimming to Antarctica: Tales of a Long-Distance Swimmer”

IMG_3610

Most inspirational athlete?

There are so many that I can’t pick just one! My Coeur Sports sisters inspire me EVERY. SINGLE. DAY! I’ve also been SUPER inspired this year by friends who finished their first Ironman. By friends who attempted their first Ironman, but didn’t meet cutoffs. By people who fight disease and keep training + racing. By people who challenge themselves and try something new. By people I haven’t met yet and people I see everyday! There are far to many people who inspire me to pick just one!

Best support crew?

Hands down…Dad and my Aunt Linda! These two helped us load our car with ALL. THE. GEAR. from our 4 week vacation the day before our race. They were up EARLY on race morning to help us get to transition. They were patient with the process of all of the race morning shenanigans. They were in all of the right places at all of the right times during the race. They helped us get our gear after the race. They cheered, photographed, and spread love to us and other athletes throughout a REALLY long day! There are not enough hugs and kisses for each of you! Thank you! Thank you! Thank you! Love you both so much!

Two of the best spectators EVER! Thanks to Dad and Aunt Linda for cheering us on all day long! Love you both!

If you could sum up your year in a couple of words, what would they be?

Courage over comfort, believe, fun!!

Tell me about your 2017 year!! What are your β€œbests” from 2017?!

Boo-Yay!

Near the end of October I talked with Coach KellyΒ about where I was and where I wanted to be. We decided that setting a challenge for the month of November would be a great way to get back on the right track. So an entire month of:

  • 10 minutes of core daily
  • seeing green in Training Peaks for the entire month
  • no eating out
  • no alcohol consumption

It was beyond time to get back into my 10 minutes of daily core strength routine…plus I knew seeing green for a full month in Training Peaks would be just the kick in the shorts I needed to relieve stress, regain my confidence, and get that positivity train moving forward again! This was something that hadn’t happened since before Ironman Mont Tremblant…4 months to be exact! No eating out and no alcohol consumption would not only be better for us, but it would also save us money! Challenges make us stronger, so I’ve decided to set a challenge for myself each month for the rest of the school year to keep me motivated and on track.

I started out November with a bit of a head cold, so I was forced by Coach Kelly to skip the “optional” workouts to give myself a little extra rest. Thankfully my body responded beautifully to the extra sleep + TLC!

November 1-5, 2017
November 6-12, 2017
November 13-19, 2017
November 20-26, 2017
November 27-30, 2017

Monthly Totals: 51 hours & 7 minutes

  • Swim: 31,400 yards (17.84 miles)
  • Bike: 188 miles
  • Run: 75.9 miles
  • Strength Training: 13 hours & 5 minutes (this included my 10 minutes of core strength every day of the month)

Monthly accomplishments:

  • Finding faster in the pool! I have dropped my CSS by 3 seconds (on the 100 yard distance)!
  • Getting stronger on the bike! Hello bike intervals…I’ve missed you! You make me work, but you also make me stronger!
  • Running at varying paces…a mix of track work + hilly runs for speed development and sloooow runs have been a theme this month!
  • Rebuilding my strength…full body and core has been amazing for my swimming, cycling, and running!
  • Eating home cooked meals has been better for me nutritionally and saved us money! πŸ™‚
  • No alcohol has been better for my mental state, better for me nutritionally, and has saved us money! πŸ™‚
  • I’ve overcome a lot of adversity this month in many areas of my life.
  • I’m focusing on the positives!
  • I am healthier and happier…I’m finding myself again! Healthy + Happy is key! πŸ™‚

Successfully completing the November challenge will set me up perfectly for my December swim challenge at the end of the month…30K yards in 7 days?! Yep, I’m going for the BSC swim cap!! πŸ™‚

CyMan Triathlon Race Report

Five weeks post Ironman Mont Tremblant, I tackled the CyMan Sprint Triathlon. There is a HUGE difference in pain level between Ironman racing and Sprint Triathlon racing! The sprint hurt…a LOT! Way more than Ironman!

We arrived early, set up transition, and then waited for over 2 hours for the start of the sprint race.

Mojo and I are ready to race! Where is everyone else?!?!

Since the race was in small town Iowa, one of my colleagues (who is also a dear friend) came to cheer us on. It was so nice to have her spectating! She was in all of the right places! πŸ™‚

So grateful to have Rachel cheering us on!

Swim: 16:45 for 750 yards

This was the most DISGUSTING water I’ve EVER swam in! It was so thick and dark that I couldn’t see anything. The water was wetsuit legal, but only by a few degrees, so I opted to swim in my Roka Viper Elite Swim SkinΒ which was the prefect decision for this water.

We are ready to swim despite the NASTY water!

We started with a floating start. There was no real place to “start” so all of the ladies in the water were chatting (as we waited for the air horn to go off) about moving closer and closer to the first turn buoy and see just when the announcers called us back, but no one was brave enough to lead the way. πŸ˜‰ There were very few ladies, so I had zero physical contact in the water. I got in a groove and just kept swimming. My swim time was slower than I’d hoped for, but I also think the swim distance may have been longer than the advertised 750 yards.

T1: 1:06

I quickly transitioned to the bike. Mojo and I were off before I knew it!

Out of the water!
Getting ready for the bike!
Time to ride!

Bike: 46:51 for 12 miles (my Garmin said 13.9 miles for actual distance)

Uh Oh! My legs decided to not show up for the party right from the beginning. This was going to be a challenge, but thankfully it would be a short challenge! I had made the decision to go as hard as I could and hold on for as long as I could. Since my legs weren’t having it, going hard wasn’t as hard as I’d hoped. The plus side…my Coeur Sports one pice racing suit was SO comfortable! Smooth as butter + #noangrykitty = WIN!

As the temperatures climbed, I drank my NBS hydration, thanked all of the volunteers, pushed past people, and just kept riding as hard as I could!

T2: 52 seconds

I quickly changed into my run shoes and was out on the run.

Run: 29:13 for a 5K run

Yep! The legs decided they weren’t showing up for the run either. It was already close to 90*F heat index when I started the run, and I just couldn’t get the legs to turn over like I wanted. I kept running and doing what I could to keep moving forward, but my legs were in full on protest mode! At about 1.5 miles into the run, I saw a friend in passing who should have been in front of me, so I asked him how it was going only to learn he had been stung by a bee and had to sit in the ditch on the bike waiting for an epipen (the one triathlon he didn’t carry his own with him). Grateful he was ok!

Shortly before mile 2, I saw Rachel and was so happy to be that much closer to done! Now to get back around the lake and to the finish line!

Overall: 1:34:49

This was not the performance I had hoped for, but any day I *get* to swim/bike/run is a great day! I’m grateful this was a short distance event so I didn’t have to feel *off* all day long! Apparently my body needed a bit more time to recover from Ironman Mont Tremblant before trying to go hard at the sprint distance!

Post Ironman Blues

The post Ironman blues are REAL and they are awful! I had a big goal on the horizon…one that I put lots of time, energy, focus, passion, heart, and courage into. I achieved that goal. I crossed the finish line of Ironman Mont Tremblant and I did so setting a shiny new PR! It is natural to feel a loss…to feel depressed with that goal no longer on the horizon and nothing to take its place.

Chasing down dreams on the Ironman Mont Tremblant course!

Sure it didn’t help that post Ironman Mont Tremblant we IMMEDIATELY drove 1200+ miles home and then I started back to work IMMEDIATELY with kids. It doesn’t help that this year has been and will continue to be a bit of a challenge in comparison to previous years, but the let down that comes with crossing the finish line of an Ironman is real. Yes, I rode cloud nine for about a week…who wouldn’t…I had a great race day and a PR on top of it! But then the blues set in and the last 9 months of focus went down the drain…I don’t have that big goal on the horizon staring me in the face forcing me to workout. I know it sounds crazy, especially since I truly LOVE swim/bike/run, but post Ironman the body needs a break…both physically and mentally. So…I listen and give my body the rest it needs. With that rest comes some depression…the post Ironman blues.

The last 5 weeks have gone by pretty quickly and I can’t believe I have swam a few times, ran ran a few times, and biked a few times…nothing consistent, nothing routine. Last Saturday, I finally felt like I was finding myself again…I let the water wash away the post Ironman blues and reconnected with Mojo! It felt amazing to be moving again! It wasn’t easy, but it was good to be moving again!

Washing away the post Ironman blues!
Reconnecting with Mojo after 4 weeks away from each other. My new Coeur Sports tri kit definitely helped motivate me to ride my bike!

Not only did I complete 2 workouts on Saturday, I also completed 3 workouts on Sunday! A run with my two faves, a trainer ride with some intensity, and a short strength training session.

Running with my faves on a beautiful morning!
Finally adding a little intensity back to the training! It felt SO GOOD!!

Then this last week, I was sidelined with unexpected craziness with work. Sure, I got in a few workouts. Not at all what I was hoping for, but some people and things are WAY more important that completing a workout.

I’ve overcome the post Ironman blues 4 times before. How? I’m not really sure. Signing up for future races has helped in the past, but I typically sign up for those races later in the year when I’m actually ready to train again. Sure I’ve signed up for a race or two for next year, but they are so far away that I don’t feel the need to be training for them just yet. So…for now, I just put one foot in front of the other and take it one day at a time. I know the post Ironman blues will subside yet again…with time!

Have you experienced the post Ironman blues? If so, how did you combat them?

What’s Up?! – August 2017

Wow! What a month! What a truly AMAZING month! It filled my coeur (heart) with pure love, joy, and happiness!

Racing:

Ironman Mont Tremblant was so much fun! A great venue, a great day, beautiful weather, patience, and following my coeur lead me to a near perfect race execution and a shiny new PR. You can experience my day via my race report.

So much coeur on this course! #bikelove

Training:

Due to racing Ironman Mont Tremblant, there wasn’t much training done in August. The little training we did do was in beautiful places…Lake Placid, NY and Mont Tremblant, Quebec!

Swimming in Mirror Lake in Lake Placid, NY
Riding Chemin Duplessis in Mont Tremblant…such a beautiful bike course!
Running on the IM Mont Tremblant course…SO BEAUTIFUL!

Swim: 12.5 miles
Bike: 260 miles
Run: 51 miles

Loving:

Family + spending the majority of August on vacation (we left July 25 and didn’t return home until August 22) = #happyheart

Swimming with my fave in Lake Placid!
My family from California came came for a few days! #happyheart
Love these three monkeys!
Family snuggles
We went to the top on the gondola again!
Getting ready to ride the luge in the summer!
These peeps hold 4 keys to my heart!
Love these peeps!
So grateful to have Dad and Aunt Linda come spend time with us in Mont Tremblant and cheer us on to PRs on race day!
So grateful to have Dad come on crazy adventures with us!

Feeling:

Rejuvenated! Spending a month on vacation was a great way to see new places, refill my heart, and prepare for the coming school year.

Listening to:

The Voice of Ironman Mike Reilly is an incredible podcast! It is so amazing to hear about Ironman from his perspective. The finish lines, the atmosphere, the energy!

Ideal Racing Weight with Matt Fitzgerald is full of all the things I love…nutrition, mental training, and chasing dreams. It is a must listen to!

Own Your Awesome Podcast with Amy Dixon is so inspirational! Amy lost her sight, but gained so much more as a result. Amy is a blind triathlete who recently became the first women to complete an Xterra triathlon. She is a paratriathlete who will be competing at Worlds in Rotterdam in September and has her heart set on on the 2020 Tokyo Paralympics. She is a motivational speaker and when you listen to her, you will know why!

Returning to:

Work…yes, the dreaded 4 letter word for a teacher at the end of summer vacation! I am very grateful to have such a good job with summers off to enjoy time with family and friends! The beginning of the year is so exhausting, but I will be back into a consistent routine soon enough!

Looking forward to:

The changing seasons…I love summer, but I also love the beautiful fall colors and adventures with my fave and our girls in the snow! I’m looking forward to the opportunities that fall and winter bless us with (remind me of this in February when I’m ready for it to be summer again)! I am also looking forward to returning to a consistent routine. It has been fun to have a break from this routine, but I am definitely ready to have routine and normalcy (for us) back in our lives!

How was your month of August? What were your August highlights? What are you looking forward to?