Ironman Wisconsin 70.3 Race Goals

With Ironman Wisconsin 70.3 just a few days away, I decided to take a page from Becca’s book! With the prompting of Coach Kelly, I have come up with outcome and process goals for each discipline of the race and I’ve decided to share my goals and intentions publicly. Becca said it best, “I find that when I say it out loud, it makes it much harder to hide from your goal.” So here is my over arching goal for Sunday’s race:

I REALLY want to see a sub 6 hour finish time for the 70.3 distance! There I said it out loud! I BELIEVE I can achieve this! As Steena says #sub6orbust!!

Here is how I plan to make it happen:

Swim: 37 minutes (1:45/100 yards average pace)
I did this race in 2016 and had a swim time of 41 minutes on this course – this year the swim is a rolling start format instead of age group, so I can seed myself accordingly.
1. Remain calm, strong, and focused. If I feel like I’m anxious, change the channel in my mind (I didn’t do this at the Kansas City Olympic Distance Triathlon last month) to “long, strong, calm” with each stroke. Mentally speaking these words while swimming has helped me in training overcome different obstacles and I know it can help on race day too.
2. Site every 4-6 strokes to swim a straight line and close to the buoys to keep my distance shorter.

Bike: 3:15:00 or faster (17.2 mph average speed)
In 2016 my bike time was 3:25:14 (16.3 mph average) with about 2500 feet of climbing – this year the bike course is slightly different, but still has 2327 feet of climbing over the 56 miles with some BIG climbs…similar to the IMWI course where you can’t always take your momentum with you.
1. Keep my variability index (VI) as close to 1.00 as possible. With all of the hills this could be a challenge, but I am going to do my very best!
2. Keep my power output solidly in Z3 (152-182 watts) for the duration of the bike. Pick it up after the BIG hill climb on Whalen Road (about mile 47) all the way into transition.
3. Remain focused even on the rough road surfaces. There are parts of this course that have REALLY rough road surfaces. I need to keep my focus and continue to push hard through them instead of slowing my pace as I sometimes do without realizing it until I look back at my data.
4. Don’t get frustrated in the first few miles since a good part of it is on a paved path and very crowded.

Run: sub 2 hour run (9:00 min/mile average pace)
In 2016 my run time was 2:45:36 (12:38 min/mile average pace) on a REALLY HOT DAY where the heat index was +/- 100*F – there is a lot of shade early on with some rolling hills as we run around Lake Monona in some neighborhoods, but during the last 5K, I don’t remember much shade.
1. Keep my HR in the 160s for the first 10 miles.
2. During the last 5K, give it all I have…and leave it all out there in the last mile.

Transitions: sub 4 minute T1 and sub 3 minute T2
I remember a long run from the boat ramp to transition. My 2016 T1 time was 5:29 and my 2016 T2 time was 4:06.
1. Be fluid and efficient! Get and Go!
2. Keep HR in check so I don’t start the bike/run with a really spiked HR.

Overall: sub 6 hour race!!
1. Smile! When I smile I push harder and don’t focus on the “pain” as much. It also makes the “pain” much more enjoyable!!
2. Don’t focus on others…focus on ME! What do I need right now? How am I feeling right now?
3. Mantras!! Self-talk!! Focus!! How bad do you want it?!

If you want to follow me on Sunday, I’m number:

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What’s Up?! – May 2018

With the end of May came the end of the school year for the students (my last day was yesterday). There were MANY times throughout this year that I didn’t think this day was ever going to come. I’m not going to sugar coat anything…this was my most challenging year ever and I just completed my 14th year teaching. I’m incredibly happy to be facing summer and a much needed break!! Here is a small glimpse of what May had in store for me!!

Training:

Fist pump because I FINALLY went under 1:30/100 yards…even if it was only one time!
“Right now” was pure joy for 50 miles on two wheels with my fave! I was so happy to be outside riding on the open roads!
13 miles as the sun came up over the horizon Wednesday morning!

Swim: 22,953 yards (13 miles)
Bike: 274 miles
Run: 80.3 miles
Monthly Totals: 49 hours & 18 minutes

First triathlon of the season:

In case you missed it, I raced the Kansas City Olympic Distance Triathlon on Mother’s Day. This was a good test to dust off the cobwebs before Ironman Wisconsin 70.3 this coming Sunday. It was a super fun race and I’m very glad I decided to put this in my training plan this year. In case you missed my race recap and want to check it out, click here.

Pre-race with one of my Coeur Sports teammates, Michelle!

Reading:

How Goal Setting and Self-Talk Will Bring Your Success in Triathlon by Seth Rose hit home with me. Let’s face it…I love learning about mindset, mental training, and goal setting, so this article was right up my alley!! So often as athletes, we focus on the outcome goals (achieving a certain time, placing in your age group, etc.). Sometimes this is good, but to really achieve the outcome goals, we need to be focusing on the process goals (getting to the race site early, keeping your hydration and nutrition in check, keeping your heart rate in check, etc.). When things get tough, it is time to pull out the self-talk. “Our confidence is fueled by what we tell ourselves, and ultimately our thoughts have a direct influence on our emotions and actions.” Two of my favorite mantras are, “courage over comfort” and “I am strong. I am tough.” I also tend to ask myself “how bad do you want it?!” multiple times while training and racing. Find a mantra (or 2) that works for you and use it in training and racing!

The One Thing Every Athlete Wants: Confidence by Carrie Cheadle is spot on!! Even the best athlete isn’t 100% confident 100% of the time! One of her favorite quotes struck home with me: “The reason we struggle with insecurity is because we compare our behind-the-scenes with everyone else’s highlight reel.” – Steve Furtick
WOW!!! Truth!!! Most endurance athletes want to “feel” confident, but confidence isn’t simply a feeling, it is also an action! I’m definitely looking forward to part 2 of this blog post to learn ways to increase my own self confidence!! Aren’t you?!?!

Listening to:

The Lost in Transition Podcast Diet Trends, Nutrition Myth Busting and More with Andrea Kendrick, RD is full of valuable information around sport nutrition and everyday nutrition for athletes. As a triathlete, nutrition and mental training are the 4th and 5th disciplines that are often overlooked. Professionals can definitely set you up for success, by helping you feel better + more energetic + recover better after tough sessions!!

Playing:

Sherpa Extraordinaire!! The Iron Hippie raced a local sprint triathlon. It was a brisk morning, but he did awesome!! It was SO much fun to cheer on the athletes, take pics of friends racing, and support my super awesome fave while he got to play!!

Cheering on my fave at the Hickory Grove Triathlon was so much fun!! Cold, but fun!!

Grateful for:

First open water swim of the season! I remained wetsuit hicky free thanks to the #trislide by SBR Sports, Inc.! Get some today using code KEPL18 for 20% off your next order!!
So grateful + blessed to be part of this amazing Coeur Sports team! I have met so many incredible women in sport and am excited to meet even more!! #TeamCoeur2018 #CourageTeam18
So grateful to have my fave as Sherpa/spectator extraordinaire jimmy rigging Mojo for me on race morning so I could safely ride her!!
Thanks Kyle (with Kyle’s Bikes) for fixing up Mojo and making everything right again!! #bestbikemechanic
So grateful my sister-in-law came to visit briefly!
Recovery…the 4th (or is it the 5th) discipline of Ironman training. Thanks to Nick with Vitality Massage for keeping me on track to do what I love!!
So grateful for the hard work my fave has done to get us to the point where we could plant the garden!
How do you probiotic?! So grateful to have Sound Probiotics in my tribe!! #soundathlete #winningtakesguts #nogutsnoglory Get some today using code PUSHMYLIMITS for 10% off your next order!!

How was your month of May?! What is your favorite mantra?! What were you grateful for last month?!

First tri of the season – light my fire

On Mother’s Day, I had the privilege of getting to do what I love…swim/bike/run!! My fave and I went to Kansas City for a weekend getaway so I could shake off the cobwebs to start my season. Here is a brief rundown of how my race unfolded.

As I was getting ready to leave the hotel on race morning, my fave was tightening all of my bolts on Mojo when…one holding my seat to the seat post busted. So we did what we could and jimmy rigged it by putting the bolt in the hole and tying to my bike with a bread tie. The question became…how long will this hold???

So grateful to have my fave as Sherpa/spectator extraordinaire jimmy rigging Mojo for me!!

Pre-race:

I set up my transition area and then found Michelle, one of my Coeur Sports teammates for a morning hug! Morning hugs from fellow triathletes are always the best!

Pre-race with Michelle! #heartandcourage

There was a LOT of time to stand around on the beach and wait for our swim wave to begin.

Swim: 33:50 (2:16/100 yard average)

When the horn sounded, I entered the water and then…hyperventilated. I don’t ever recall hyperventilating in the water before, but there is a first time for everything. I couldn’t find my rhythm, I was swum over by the wave of elite men just starting their 2nd loop, I felt restricted in my wetsuit (this was only my 2nd time in it this year), I couldn’t see any of the buoys while swimming away from the beach…I was a mess! I took a quick break and tried to relax, then continued to swim. I made it to the first turn buoy and eventually back to the beach. At the start of the 2nd loop, I began to find my rhythm and finished much stronger than I began. I was so grateful to have the swim behind me.

Swim…lap #1 done! Photo credit my fave

T1: 2:58

I was a flustered mess in transition. I was frustrated by my swim performance. Instead of letting it go, I was thinking about how it could have gone better. This was NOT helpful in the moment! Instead of having a fluid transition, I was dropping things and a hot mess!

Swim…done! Photo credit: my fave
T1…fumble, fumble, fumble Photo credit: my fave

Bike: 1:23:51 (17.7 mph average)

Ok…FOCUS!! Leave the swim behind and move onto the bike!! As I left transition, there were a few packs of people that I had to maneuver my way around. On the first out and back stretch, I took in my nutrition and worked to pass as many people as I could. During the next out and back stretch, I passed people walking up hills and realized there are probably a lot of first time triathletes racing today! As I climbed hills, I would say, “On your left” only to follow it up with, “no, no, no. I’m on your left. Don’t move left!” Yep, you guessed it…the people I was trying to pass would move to the left when I told them I was on their left. I continued to the 3rd out and back stretch of the first loop where the biggest hill climb of the race was. I was ready to rocket down the hill, but was afraid to really let ‘er rip since there were some riders in front of me that I couldn’t get around because they were riding 2 and 3 abreast. Oh well…time to move onto the second loop!! This was pretty much a repeat of loop #1, but I found my groove. Let’s finish the bike strong!  I ate another round of nutrition shortly before pulling into T2.

Here we go! Time to ride! Photo credit: Kansas City Triathlon

T2: 2:15

This went much more smoothly than T1…bike racked, helmet off, shoes on, grab the visor + race belt and go!

Run: 1:01:31 (9:55 minutes/mile)

I started off on the run at a slower pace than I was hoping for. It was HOT…the temperatures had started to climb and were now in the mid 80s. This may not seem so bad, but we had not really had summer temperatures to this point, so it felt like I was in a steam room at the gym. Instead of dwelling on the pace, I decided to monitor my heart rate. Monitoring my pace for the duration of the run would only frustrate me…FOCUS on what I can control. This was the smartest thing I had done all day! By the time I had gotten to loop #2 of the run, I was melting and ready to be done. I pushed on all the way to the finish letting my heart rate creep higher and higher with each mile.

What a HOT run! Photo credit: my fave

Overall: 3:04:19 (6 out of 16 in my age group)

I finished strong and was super happy to get to swim/bike/run with my fave there cheering me on all the whole time. #grateful

Race done! Photo Credit: my fave

Things to work on:

-practice in my wetsuit more so I don’t hyperventilate
-have my fave practice swimming over me in the pool + in open water
-practice transitions so I am more seamless
-be more comfortable pushing HARD on the bike
-be more comfortable and confident getting around people on the bike who are slower than me
-be more comfortable with the uncomfortable…PUSH HARDER all around!!
-get into my race pace on the run right away
-believe more in myself and my abilities

Things that went well:

-I eventually found my groove on the swim
-I ran by monitoring my heart rate instead of by pace
-I had fun
-I got to swim/bike/run on Mother’s Day!
-One thing is for certain…this race really relit my fire for triathlon + working hard to chase my dreams

Photo credit: Kansas City Triathlon

22 weeks ’til #IMLou – focus

Last week was all about focus! Staying focused during training, on the process of chasing my dreams, while packing for a weekend getaway, on my pre-race preparations, on my race strategy, during my race…focus, Focus, FOCUS!!

Swim: 4596 yards

Focus! Push the pace and challenge yourself on the longer stuff!!
First open water swim of the season! I remained wetsuit hicky free thanks to the #trislide by SBR Sports, Inc.! Get some today using code KEPL18 for 20% off your next order!!

Bike: 38.4 miles

Pre-race prep…solid 20 minute working set nailing my goal watts!!
Pre-race spin on the bike. Mojo is ready to race! Don’t worry…I didn’t ride around in the hotel lobby! 🙂

Run: 13.3 miles

Pre race prep…Run off the bike Wednesday morning with a solid goal race pace for the first 12 minutes as planned! #confidencebuilder
Running in the heat of the day to acclimate…Summer is finally here and it puts a smile on my face!!
Pre-race shake out run! I got to enjoy 10 easy minutes with my fave! He went on for a longer run!!

Kansas City Olympic Distance Triathlon:

Swim…lap #1 done!
Swim…done!
T1
Time to ride!
What a HOT run!
Race done!

Strength Training: 10 minutes of core strength or stretching daily

Weekly Totals: 6 hours & 56 minutes

Quote of the Week:

“Focus! Focus on today! Focus on this moment! What can I do today to make me better tomorrow?!”

Attitude of Gratitude:

So grateful to Nick, at Vitality Massage, for helping me keep my body healthy and race ready!
So grateful + blessed to be part of this amazing Coeur Sports team! I have met so many incredible women in sport and am excited to meet even more!! #TeamCoeur2018 #CourageTeam18
Thanks to my fave for taking some fab pics of me in our new Coeur Sports 2018 team kit!! #rockstar
A clean bike is a FAST bike!! Mojo is clean and ready to race!!
The 50 meter outdoor pool has water in it!! #signsofsummer
Flat Kecia is ready to toe the start line of her first triathlon of 2018. Time to go have some fun!!
So grateful to have my fave as Sherpa/spectator extraordinaire for me!!

How was your week?! What were you grateful for last week?! How do you keep your focus and stay in the moment?!