Last week was a bit of a roller coaster ride. Monday morning started out with an amazing run with speed work, but mid day things took a turn. I took Mojo to my awesome bike mechanic/bike fitter (Kyle, you are the BEST) to get a new saddle put on and new bike shoes. The shoes were the easy part…the saddle not so much. There is more dense foam in the new saddle, which meant I needed to have my seat post lowered just a bit so I wouldn’t be reaching so much with each pedal stroke. This is where things turned dicy…with all of the miles I have ridden comes all of the salty sweat. And if you know me, you know I am a HEAVY and SALTY sweater! Wouldn’t ya know it…all of that salty sweat has cemented my seat post in place and it won’t budge…at all. Kyle kept Mojo overnight and tried EVERYTHING to get the seat post to move, but it is cemented in place. So we are back to riding the old broken in saddle for the last few races of 2022 while we look for a new steed. Mojo has given me 10 amazing years and I am grateful for all of the adventures we’ve been on and the memories we’ve made! The ebb and flow continued throughout the week.
Quote of the week:
“Life is like a roller coaster. Sometimes you close your eyes and hold on in shear terror & other times, you just have to raise your hands up in the air and enjoy the ride…”
Swim highlights: 11,829 yards
Swimming outdoors is drawing to a close, so I am grateful for the last few swims in the fresh air before being forced back indoors (and into a brand new facility + pool…so freaking excited!) for the next 9 months. This is the last week of outdoor swimming for the season, but I’m enjoying every minute of it! Saturday I got to swim 5000 m in the 50 m pool and I soaked up every minute of it!
4×100 descending (20 sec rest)
Main Set: each one more effort than the next
3×800 (30 sec rest)
Bike highlights: 148 miles
Mojo and I got to spend some quality time together after her visit with Kyle…Friday afternoon was glorious; Saturday was awful. The awful days make us appreciate the glorious ones even more! #IAmWillingToFeelEverything
Run highlights: 8.19 miles
Monday’s speed work session went so much better than last time I did this workout! Adding more money in the bank!
Strength Training: 15 minutes of core strength daily
Weekly Totals: 16 hours & 26 minutes 2×30 minutes of full body strength training
The Ironman 70.3 World Championship isn’t the “best race experience” because it was easy and everything went according to plan on race day (wait…does that ever happen?!). Nope! It was the “best race experience” because it challenged me in ways I’ve NEVER been challenged before. The challenging terrain + Mother Nature’s crazy attitude forced us to “rise to it” on race day like I’ve never had to do before. It was definitely a race to remember! If you missed the recap of this epic race, this is one you definitely want to catch up on! Here is the link. Sit back and enjoy what can only be described as crazy! ***Secretly I want to do it all again with the same conditions, on the same course. 🤪
Best race performance?
I wasR E A D Y for Ironman Arizona! I wasR E A D Yto toe the start line. I wasR E A D Yto challenge myself. I wasR E A D Yto put it all together and create a performance I had never had before. And that is E X A C T L Ywhat I did! I created an experience I’ve never had and it wasA M A Z I N G! I had an overall PR of 52 minutes, finishing in 12:44:56. #LFG ⚡️⚡️⚡️
Sure, this was my best Ironman performance physically, but it was also my best Ironman performance from my mental endurance performance and that is what I’m the most damn proud of! ⚡️⚡️⚡️
I’m grateful for the privilege to race, for the privilege to challenge myself in new ways, for the privilege to run down another red carpet, and for the privilege to cross another finish line! ⚡️⚡️⚡️
The Drake 1/2 Marathon was one where I completely pushed myself out of my comfort zone and RACED! I had no idea if this would be my last race of the year (hello Covid) and I was not going to leave anything out on the course just in case things went backwards. Crossing that finish line brought tears to my eyes! Full race recap here.
I had a lot of great bike rides this year, but the ones that speak to me as being the “best” from 2021 were the last two century+ bike rides that I did in preparation for IMAZ. The temps had dropped, the winds were high, and I had to bundle up in all of the gear to stay warm. I almost took these rides to the trainer, but I’m SO glad I opted to ride outside instead. These rides gave me a great mental boost (as well as physical boost) going into Ironman Arizona!
We FINALLY made it home home to visit my parents last summer (it had been nearly 2 years since we were last home…hello Covid). Thank you vaccines! When we were home, Dad drove the boat beside us (on more than one occasion) so we could swim a 5K in West Okoboji Lake. Getting to swim in the open water, see the bottom of the lake while swimming (because the water is so clear), and having my #1 beside me was amazing! Having Dad’s support was icing on the cake!
Best finish line?
Twin Lakes Sprint Triathlon when I took the overall female win! I never imagined myself breaking the tape at any race. I’m sooo thrilled to have had such an awesome experience! Here is the link for my race recap.
Getting a roll down slot to Ironman 70.3 World Championships in St. George, Utah was the best surprise of the year! I was shocked when I got the email that I had earned a roll down slot from racing Ironman 70.3 Des Moines. I had a great race in Des Moines in spite of the nearly 3 hour weather delay + shortened bike, but my performance didn’t put me in the top 14 in my age group (which is how many slots were awarded), so I didn’t expect to get a slot. Thankfully some ladies who were faster than me had either already qualified at a different race or didn’t want to go to Worlds, so I got a slot and it was quite the epic adventure!
Best mental endurance compass?
I had the AMAZING opportunity and pleasure to work with Vanessa Faye Foerster for 24 weeks this year. She teaches athletes how to build mental endurance by “dropping the self doubt + fueling the self confidence.” The journey she helped me create this year was challenging, enlightening, fun, and worth every penny! What I have learned has not only boosted my racing performance, but it has also elevated my personal life. I am so grateful for her guidance to push me out of my comfort zone to level up into the zone where I cultivate the life I want to live. #LFG ⚡️
Best enCOEURaging moment?
The Ames Triathlon was back in action this year after a year off (thank you Covid). What a great race! It is so fun to see people achieve their goals and do things they once thought were impossible. If you want to experience the Ames Triathlon for yourself, come to Ames in June 2022! You won’t be disappointed!
Best new gear?
The Coeur Sports Wind Vest has been AMAZING for getting outside and riding on those chilly fall days! Signing up for an Ironman that took place in November meant I had to bundle up to get my 100 mile rides done outside…because let’s be honest…riding 100 miles in the basement is definitely not as much fun as riding outside!
Best way to stay healthy?
Get vaccinated! The end (no comments on this necessary…I will delete them).
Best piece of racing advice you received?
“Be 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 in her book “Swimming to Antarctica”
Most inspirational athlete?
Chris Nikic crossed the Ironman Florida finish line in November of 2020 becoming the first person with Down Syndrome to become an Ironman. He believes you can achieve more by creating a habit to get 1% better than you were yesterday. He has since crossed the finish line of the Boston Marathon and the New York City Marathon. He is gearing up for the Ironman World Championships in Kona in 2022, so let’s all cheer him on!
Best support crew?
I am so damn lucky to have the amazing support of my #1! He has supported me not only on race day(s), but day in and day out throughout my entire journey. I am forever grateful to have him on this journey with me. ❤️ you!
If you could sum up your year in a couple of words, what would they be?
PROUD + gratitude + fun + joy
Tell me about your 2021 year!! What are your “bests” from 2021?!
I’m a bit behind in posting. Last week was my first official week of the taper. It was great to back off the training, get everything packed for our trip to Arizona, and have more time for prioritizing recovery. There were a few bumps along the way last week, but these were great bumps to overcome in preparation for race day!
Quote of the week:
“I am not afraid of storms, for I am learning how to sail my ship.”
~Louisa May Alcott
Swim: 10,200 yards
Sometimes you have to be determined to persevere NO MATTER WHAT!
100 kick with fins
Each set of intervals should get slightly faster as more effort is added:
500 (10 sec rest)
2×400 (15 sec rest)
3×300 (20 sec rest)
4×200 (25 sec rest)
5×100 (30 sec rest)
6×50 on 1:00
8×25 sprints (10 sec rest)
300 any stroke
Bike: 84.3 miles
I had some great bike workouts to keep the legs fresh and ready for race week!
Run: 12.3 miles
Just the right amount to feel AMAZING and READY for race week!
Strength Training: 15 minutes of core strength daily
Weekly Totals: 11 hours & 57 minutes 30 minutes of full body strength training 30 minutes of yoga
When you decide to twist the negative into a positive, magic happens! Last week I made the decision in multiple areas to change the negative dialogue in my head into a positive script and it transformed each and every situation into a successful, more joyful, more magical experience.
Quote of the week:
“Our power is in our ability to decide.”
~R. Buckminster Fuller
Swim: 3000 yards
Speaking of deciding to change the negative narrative into a positive script…Tuesday morning I had 100s to failure (or 20x100s HARD…whichever comes first) on the schedule. I have no idea why I let this workout spiral me mentally into a negative narrative before I even start swimming, but I manage to EVERY STINKING TIME it shows up on my schedule. And ya know what?! I am self coached. I put that workout on my schedule. I do this to myself! 🤣 Thankfully during my warm up, I changed my negative narrative and decided to write an optimistic script instead. I decided to be brave enough to show up! I decided to be brave enough to focus on the interval I was in. I decided to be brave enough to keep pushing myself HARD each and every interval. I decided to be brave enough to push myself out of my comfort zone and see just how far I could take myself.
The average of my first 5x100s was 1:38/100 yards. This meant I had to keep my 100s to failure at a sub 1:41/100 yard pace. UGH! When you feel like an anchor in the water, achieving these paces seems impossible, but as Ironman says, “Anything is Possible” so I kept showing up, focusing on my form, deciding to be brave, and pushing myself with each and every interval. I ended up successfully swimming a total of 20x100s HARD at a paces ranging from 1:35.6 to 1:40.7/100 yards. 🥳
Swim 5x100s HARD (20 seconds rest between) and average these times.
Swim as many 100s HARD as possible. The pace should be less than +3 seconds from the average of the first 5x100s (20 seconds rest). You are done when you fail 2x100s in a row or successfully achieve 20x100s (total…including the first 5x100s HARD), whichever comes first.
200 any stroke
Bike: 114 miles
Remember a week ago when my aero bar snapped off my bike during my trainer ride…well, I took Mojo to the BEST bike hospital around on Monday (Kyle’s Bikes). Kyle had her for the first half of the week so he could do some surgery on her, but I got her back just in time to spend some quality time together for my birthday weekend! She was SO HAPPY to be fixed up and in working order! THANK YOU KYLE for working your magic on her! You’re da bomb diggity!
Saturday I had a 3 hour ride structured as 3x(20 min Z1, 20 min Z2, 20 min Z3) + a 5K run off the bike. The week before I struggled with this bike workout so on Saturday I decided to try again. Not only did I successfully complete the bike workout on Saturday, but the #5KO run off the bike was a FUN way to celebrate a life lost way too soon.
Run: 22.9 miles
Monday I had a 50 minute run with 4×4 minutes FAST intervals (scripted at 8.0 mph or 7:30/mile pace) and let me tell ya, I had a LOT of doubt and SO many excuses for wanting to change my 4×4 min FAST run to an easy paced run. BUT I decided to be brave enough to show up. I decided to be brave enough to give myself a chance! I decided to do the workout as written, push my limits, and see what I had in me. And ya know what?! I had SO much more in me than I thought I did. I successfully completed this workout on tired + sore legs. It felt good to actually feel like I had more in the tank to give!
Snowshoe: 0 miles
Yep! In looking at the extended forecast, those days are officially over for the season. With the ice off the lakes, it’s time for the water to warm up so I can take the SUP out!
Strength Training: 15 minutes of core strength daily 30 minute full body workout
Weekly Totals: 12 hours & 42 minutes
Attitude of Gratitude:
What were your highlights from week 10 of 2021?!Where in your life do you decide to bravely show up?!
Last week I stepped WAY out of my comfort zone and did something I’ve NEVER done before. I packed Mojo (my bike) into a bike box and flew with her (and a friend) to Coeur Camp in Carlsbad, Cali! I have NEVER flown with my bike before, and it was quite the experience. We met up with some AMAZING women where we hoped to have an amazing weekend of all things swim/bike/run/goat yoga/family/etc., but sadly COVID-19 put an abrupt end to camp Friday morning. Thankfully we got in a good swim workout, run, and learned about race planning.
Other than my daily core + meditation, I took a rest day. My “Form” in Garmin was -40 and my body was craving rest, so I listened to it.
Other than my daily core + meditation, I took a rest day again today. I had to finish packing so I was ready to travel to Minneapolis tomorrow for camp.
Other than my daily core + mediation, I had another rest day. I knew today would be a rest day due to travel. With the Coronavirus scare, I was a bit nervous about the flights. What if I get to Cali and all flights are cancelled for the return trip?! Road trip home!
2 am CST wake up call to get to the airport for our 5 am flight.
When we got to camp, we had a great swim in an outdoor pool in the rain. I found myself swimming paces I haven’t seen in quite a while! Oh…and mid swim workout, the ladies all sang happy birthday to me. Definitely a memory I will never forget.
After doing a quick change, we met up for a 40 minute descending run. The first 10 minutes were an easy warm-up and for the next 30 minutes, we ran a 0.5 mile loop progressively descending with each loop.
We woke up to a message that camp had been cancelled due to COVID-19, so we scrambled to find flights home. This was another FULL day of traveling.
I was SO exhausted today that I did my core work + meditation, tried to unpack some gear (I got the bike unpacked and ready to ride…priorities), took a 3 hour nap, and was back in bed early for a long + good night’s rest.
After 11 hours of sleep, I woke up feeling almost like myself. I got everything unpacked and put away, made smoothies for the week, cleaned up the house, and
I completed 15 minutes of core strength and 5 minutes of meditation every day this week…that was about the only exercise I got in this week due to complete craziness, but I’m ready to start this week off strong!
Swim totals: 2700 yards (1.53 miles)
Bike totals: 0 miles
Run totals: 4.5 miles
Weekly total: 3 hours & 7 minutes
This wasn’t the week I had planned for (and hoped for), but I’m healthy. I’m home. I’m ready for the social distancing (which isn’t that much different than my everyday life). I’m doing what I can to help flatten the curve.