Unconventional Taper

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This weekend, I will be racing the Wisconsin Milkman 70.3 Triathlon in Madison, Wisconsin. I am super excited, but am also a bit nervous. Why?! I’ve had a very unconventional taper leading into this race and here is why:

  1. After completing my last long ride on Tuesday of last week (June 7), I boarded a plane early Wednesday morning to chaperone 26 eighth grade students to Washington DC. You can read more about everything we saw in the short (yet very long) 4 days we were in DC here. We walked over 37 miles, which was the only exercise I had in those 4 days, and I was exhausted.
  2. I slept for 22 of 30 hours after returning home from my DC trip and didn’t do any exercising (other than walking in DC) for an entire week!!
  3. On Monday we loaded the car and went to my parents to visit them for a couple of days. During that time, we did run 4 easy miles and swim (entirely for fun) with my twin nieces on Tuesday. We also had to take shelter during severe storms thanks to tornadoes in the area. Thankfully, the only damage to my parent’s land/house was an ash tree that got uprooted. Since they were planning on having the tree taken down due to the potential for the ash borer later this year, Mother Nature actually saved them a bit of money by dropping the tree (away from the house) for free!!
    Running with the Iron Hippie around lake Okoboji...being on the water makes my heart happy!!
    Running with the Iron Hippie around lake Okoboji…being on the water makes my heart happy!!
    Swimming with the nieces between storms.
    Swimming with our nieces between storms.
    Sitting in the shelter at the public library with the nieces, Isabella's teacher, and her classroom dog, A
    We were at the library when the storms came up, so we took shelter there. Sitting in the shelter at the public library during the tornadoes with our nieces, Isabella’s teacher, and her classroom dog, Anders.

    Uprooted ash tree in my parent's backyard.
    Uprooted ash tree in my parent’s backyard.
  4. We returned home yesterday, just in time to get our bikes race ready, a prerace massage, and dinner with our neighbors.

    Prerace massage
    Prerace massage
  5. Today’s focus…swim in our wetsuits in open water (we haven’t been in open water yet in 2016), make sure the bike is in working order, pack for our race weekend, and teach TRX before leaving at noon tomorrow for Madison.

How will this unconventional taper treat me on Sunday? Only time will tell!! I am confident in my training and abilities and am looking forward to pushing my limits on Sunday!!

Have you had an unconventional taper for a race? If so, how did it treat you on race day? Have you participated in a race where your first outdoor swim happened during the race? If so, how did it go?

24 weeks ’til IMWI: More Sleep

The theme for this week seemed to be…more sleep! I struggled to sleep well at night and just wanted to sleep in every morning. This is normal for me after having a week off of work; the first week back is always rough around the edges trying to re-establish routines…both at home and school. The kids are also slow moving the first week back. Not to mention I always put unnecessary stress on myself during the first week back at work to do this and that…none of which is super important, but all of it keep my mind racing.

Monday:

When the alarm went off at 4 am, I really wanted to roll over and go back to sleep! Instead, I slowly put both feet on the floor and went to the gym for an hour strength training session. After being on break for a week, it was hard to get back into the groove at work…the kids seemed to struggle with this too. With the full moon coming on Wednesday, that might not have helped the craziness!! After work, I had an easy hour on the trainer to spin out the legs from the weekend’s hard work. We followed this up with dinner out with friends. We went to one of our favorite local burger restaurants that is unfortunately closing its doors this weekend. SO SAD!!

Easy recovery ride with the boys!
Easy recovery ride with the boys!

Tuesday:

When the 4 am alarm went off, I. Was. Exhausted!! The Iron Hippie and I briefly discussed our options and decided to go back to sleep for two more hours before going to work. Hill repeats was on the schedule for after work and thankfully it was about 66F, so we set out to run!! We like to run the same hill when doing hill repeats to give us a feel for where our fitness is each time we have a hill repeat run on the schedule. This workout always reminds me of a student that we lost almost 2 years ago when he was hit by a car while on a training ride with a group of local cyclists. The reason I think of him…he was ALWAYS trying to be better at everything he did and who he was. This meant doing “just one more” hill repeat to get stronger, “just one more” 50 on the 1:00 in the pool, “just one more” question to challenge his thinking. So we did “just one more” hill repeat to pay tribute to TRJ!

"Just one more" hill for TRJ!!
“Just one more” hill for TRJ!!

Wednesday:

After not sleeping well last night, I. Was. Exhausted!! I slept in and then was slammed with 8th grade drama at school. Needless to say, when I got home from work, I ate dinner and crawled in bed. Yes, I was in bed by 6:30 pm with lights out at 6:45 pm.

Thursday:

This was another sleep-in…that gave me over 11 hours of sleep for the night!! Boy did I feel ready to go!! After a full day of work, I worked with my personal training client that I see every week, went home to change and grab food, and then went to teach TRX.

TRX planks...FTW!!
TRX planks…FTW!!

Friday:

When the alarm went off at 4 am, I put my feet on the floor and was ready to ride!! It was a nice and easy recovery ride, which was a great start to the day!! It went downhill a bit after riding though…The Iron Hippie’s car wouldn’t start and my car was in the garage, so I couldn’t jump start his car. We texted the neighbor at 5:55 am (yes…that is early!!) and he was able to come over and help. After dropping his car off at the shop, I drove him to work before heading to work myself. TGIF!! After work, I was scheduled to go swim, but had to pick the Iron Hippie up from work and take him back to the shop to pick up his car. Thankfully it was just a dead battery and nothing more serious. By the time I was done running around town, it was time for my much needed massage!! I ended the day by watching the ISU Cyclones lose in the NCAA Tournament…SO SAD 😦

Easy morning ride
Easy morning ride
Hello massage table...I've missed you!
Hello massage table…I’ve missed you!

Saturday:

Well…today was a flop! I woke up at 8:47 am…hello another 11+ hour night of sleep!! We went and grabbed some breakfast before doing some grocery shopping and food prep for Easter Sunday dinner. I did some course work for my Living Brave Semester in the afternoon and then we went to our neighbors house for an AMAZING dinner. They are from Switzerland and we love getting together with them…the food and conversation are always top notch!!

Sunday:

After sleeping in until 9:44 am…I told you the theme for this week was sleep…we got on the trainer in the basement. Cleaned up, took the dogs to the park to play fetch, and then went to my sole sista’s house for Easter dinner at 1 pm. Good food, good conversation, and lots of love made for a fantastic afternoon. When we got home, we did some food prep for the week and cut and stacked fire wood before taking the dogs for a walk and calling it a day.

Weekly Totals: 6 hours

Swim: Nadda…Zilch…
Bike: 37 miles
Run: 8 miles
Strength Training: 1 hour & 45 minutes

Quote of the Week:

“When you can’t adjust the direction of the wind – adjust your sails.”  ~H. Jackson Brown, Jr.

Today is the start of a new week and time to press the reset button. Let’s go…

The Best of 2015

After posting the Best of 2013 and the Best of 2014, I decided it would be fun to look back through 2015 and reminisce my faves 🙂

Best race experience?

Hands down…Ironman Boulder was my best race experience in 2015!! I set a bike PR with a time of 6:46:12 and an overall Ironman race PR with a time of 14:04:37. I came very close to meeting my time goal of breaking 14 hours and had a blast!! I absolutely love this course and definitely plan to do it again 🙂

Coming into the finish shoot all smiles...it was a daylight finish, but these photos don't represent that.
Coming into the finish shoot all smiles…it was a daylight finish, but these photos don’t represent that.

Best run?

I had multiple runs that were great throughout the year, but I think the most fun I had was running up Mt. Diablo in Walnut Creek, CA. This was a very challenging run, but so much fun to run some place new and different!

Running up Mt. Diablo in California
Running up Mt. Diablo in California
I made it to the top and looked out over the city.
I made it to the top and looked out over the city.

Best bike?

The Peak to Peak Highway rides, Day 1 and Day 2, in Colorado with the Iron Hippie and Allen were very challenging, but oh so much fun!! It was #bikelove like no other!! I can’t wait to get back to Colorado and ride more roads like these 🙂

Riding the Peak to Peak Highway in Colorado
Riding the Peak to Peak Highway in Colorado
Taking a break from the riding and doing a little core work in Ward!!
Taking a break from the riding and doing a little core work in Ward!!
I pulled us all up the mountain.
I pulled us all up the mountain.
On top of the world...or maybe just Colorado at elevation 9200+ feet.
On top of the world…or maybe just Colorado at elevation 9200+ feet.

Best swim?

Swimming with my father kayaking next to me around Lake Okoboji. I LOVE swimming in the lake where I grew up and am so lucky that my father likes to join me on my long swims 🙂

Dad is getting in his kayak
Dad is getting in his kayak
Lake Okoboji...my playground!!
Lake Okoboji…my playground!!
Feeling so great after 2.6 miles of open water swimming at an average pace of 1:52/100 yards.
Feeling so great after 2.6 miles of open water swimming at an average pace of 1:52/100 yards.

Best team race?

The Des Moines Triathlon that we did as a team was probably the most fun group workout I had this year. The Iron Hippie swam, I cycled and Allen ran in this Olympic-distance event. I pushed myself to limits on the bike that I didn’t know I had…especially only 5 weeks post Ironman Boulder.

Holy Crap! I think this is a sign that I left it all out on the bike course.
Holy Crap! I think this is a sign that I left it all out on the bike course.
Team Kecia crossed the finish line at the Des Moines Triathlon...job complete.
Team Kecia crossed the finish line at the Des Moines Triathlon…job complete.

Best recovery technique?

#recoveryisimportant and that is why I invest in the best recovery possible! Dr. Chris at Team Chiropractic uses ART to help keep me healthy and Nick massages my tight muscles regularly! The two work well together…I like to refer to myself as their insurance policy since Ironman racing looks to be in our future for the next few years 😉

This rehab is the best there is!
This rehab is the best there is!
Dry needling to assist my healing...thanks to Dr. Chris at Team Chiropractic
Dry needling to assist my healing…thanks to Dr. Chris at Team Chiropractic

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Best hike in Colorado?

When we were staying in Estes Park, we went on a hike up to Loch Vale Lake in Rocky Mountain National Park. It was a great adventure!!

Hiking up to Loch Vale.
Hiking up to Loch Vale.
Having a little fun throwing snowballs in July on our way up to Loch Vale.
Having a little fun throwing snowballs in July on our way up to Loch Vale.
Loch Lake...so peaceful and magnificent!
Loch Lake…so peaceful and magnificent!

Best offseason adventure?

Snowshoeing…this is by far one of my favorite offseason activities! The Iron Hippie and our girls always have just as much fun as I do! It is good cross training, full of fresh air and fun 🙂

Snowshoeing is the perfect offseason cross training activity! The dogs love it too!
Snowshoeing is the perfect offseason cross training activity! The dogs love it too!

Best new piece of gear?

This is SUPER easy…Coeur Sports has the best women’s tri kits and running apparel on the market!!  L.O.V.E. LOVE all my Coeur gear…no chafing, seamless chamois, perfect fit, fun colors, #stylishspeed and #noangrykitty…simply AMAZING!!  This year I found new love in my run capris! Not only are they unbelievably comfortable, but they fit like a glove! I love them so much that I have them in every pattern they offer and can’t wait for more design options 🙂 I love what Coeur Sports stands for, that they encourage, inspire, and promote women in sport and they represent #heartandcourage.  ALL women who SBR (swim, bike, run) and/or do triathlon should wear Coeur Sports apparel…it is da BOMB!!

Basil likes to help me foam roller in my AMAZING Coeur Sports run capris :)
Basil likes to help me foam roller in my AMAZING Coeur Sports run capris 🙂

Best way to log my workouts?

This is another SUPER easy one…my #believetrainingjournal!! While I like to see green in Training Peaks, I much prefer writing things down by hand. I love looking back through my workouts and it is so much easier to do when they are written down. I don’t particularly like having to open up every box in Training Peaks to review my workouts, so the Believe Training Journal has been an absolute favorite this year! I love it so much that I ordered the lavender one for 2016!!

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LOVE this journal!
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Reviewing my workouts in my Believe Training Journal

Best way to stay healthy?

This was also SUPER easy…Sound Probiotics has been keeping me healthy since March! As endurance athletes, we put ourselves at risk for a dysfunctional immune system because of the intensity and duration of our workouts. When stress, 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!! #soundathlete = #soundlife

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#winningtakesguts

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, “Swimming to Antarctica: Tales of a Long-Distance Swimmer”

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Most inspirational athlete?

I can’t pick just one…so many of my Coeur Sports teammates have inspired me this year!! KristinErin and Jen fought hard to qualify for their first Ironman World Championships. Can you say inspirational? Amy won Ironman Lake Placid and Sonja won Ironman Lake Tahoe…first women overall at each of their races. Hello inspiration?!?! There were many Coeur women who raced in Kona at the Ironman World Championships, others had podium finishes at various races they competed in, many met goals and all are working hard to achieve their dreams. My inspiration cup runneth over!! I am so pumped to be a part of this amazing team again in 2016!! #heartandcourage

I found out that I made the Coeur Sports 2016 Ambassador Team...Such a badass group of women that I'm overjoyed to be a part of!!
I found out that I made the Coeur Sports 2016 Ambassador Team…Such a badass group of women that I’m overjoyed to be a part of!!

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

Fun, Believe, Dream Big

Tell me about your 2015 year!! What are your “bests” from 2015?

3 Weeks ’til Ironman Boulder

With only 3 weeks until Ironman Boulder, we have successfully made it to Colorado. We are starting this trication with our first stop in Red Feather Lakes, CO. I’ll have a post on this part of our trip later this week, but here is a sneak peak at where we are staying…

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Last week did not include as many workouts as I would have liked (and probably needed if you ask the Iron Hippie). Preparing for our trication (which will be almost 4 weeks in duration) was very stressful for me…I had to pack all of my race gear for Ironman Boulder, I had to pack clothes, cosmetics and other supplies for our vacation, I had to make sure our house was clean and organized for our house sitter (I’m definitely type A), I had to make sure the dog supplies were well stocked for our house sitter, I had to mow the lawn and make sure the gas can was refilled and I had to work a few extra hours training clients and teaching fitness classes this week. I was so busy that my workouts were put on the back burner and often times passed up, even though that is what my body craved.

Swim: Nothing, Nada, Zilch

I was bummed by this when I woke up both Tuesday morning and Wednesday morning to swim at the outdoor pool and the air temperature was only 54F. Brrr!! So…I opted to crawl back under the covers and sleep instead.

Bike: 

I did manage to get one bike ride in on Wednesday evening to make sure Mojo was happy and working properly before leaving my AWESOME bike mechanic back in Iowa to head out west. Mojo was very happy and I was happy to be on my bike and not dealing with the stresses of our trip. I wasn’t super pleased with all of the cyclists on the trail Not. Wearing. Helmets. Seriously people…wear a helmet. If not for you, wear one for those you love! They save lives!!

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Run: Zilch, Nada, Nothing

I had intentions of running Friday before leaving for Colorado, but had so many errands to run and things to do before leaving at 5 am Saturday morning, that my run took the back seat and eventually got scratched due to lack of time 😢 Maybe I’ll get a run in at altitude soon. Altitude sickness hasn’t really affected me yet, so I’m hoping I’m in the clear. Hydrate, hydrate, hydrate 😉

Strength Training: 45 minutes of TRX

I taught TRX Thursday evening and made sure to make it a difficult workout knowing I’d miss it for the next month. My legs and core had some DOMS (delayed onset muscle soreness) on Friday and Saturday, but it was good for me 😉

Weekly Totals: 1 hour and 45 minutes

Recovery Highlight:

Final massage pre race before heading out west…this hurt a bit and I am still trying to convince our massage therapist to just pack up his massage bed and come out to Colorado to do some work on us and write off his travels as a work expense, but so far he isn’t jumping on this idea 😦

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Weekly Highlights:

Wednesday, I got to turn a “fake friend” into a “real friend.” Kelli was in Iowa and I got to met up with her, her husband and two boys. It was SO AWESOME to talk in person and catch up!!

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Thursday I received my order of Sound Probiotics. I ordered one bottle, so that I would have enough to get me through our trip. I am so lucky and blessed to have such an awesome product with amazing people behind it keeping me healthy!! They sent me an extra bottle to #supportimmunity and #maximizerecovery 🙂 Thank you Sound Probiotics!!

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After a stressful week of packing and preparing for being gone for almost 4 weeks, we arrived in Colorado!! It has been great catching up with old friends, cooking amazing food and enjoying Mother Nature’s quiet beauty!!

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How was your week? Have you done a trication? If so, where did you go? How do you deal with the stress of going on a long vacation? 

24 Weeks ’til Ironman Boulder

I successfully completed all workouts this week, but was very tired…not the tired from working out either. Here is how my week unfolded…

Monday:

Monday morning I completed an hour of strength training…

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Focus and determination for these jump squats 😉

 

After work I came home to a Barnana delivery…A-MAZ-ING!! This will be perfect training fuel.

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I also completed my #FaveWorkout of the week…#bikelove and #intervals…nothing better 😉

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Tuesday:

I started the day with an early morning run…boy did my legs feel like lead after last night’s #bikelove #intervals. It was a good thing that this was an easy endurance run.

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After work, I jumped in the pool for some #swimlove.

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Wednesday:

We did fartleks on the bike to start the day..everyone that rode with us picked a different duration (between 1 and 5 minutes) to incorporate some Z4/Z5 work. It was fun to have variety in the workout and not know what was coming next 😉

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After work, I went to the pool for some #swimlove before babysitting for some friends for a couple of hours.

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Thursday:

I started my day with some #runlove…HOLY #intervals. These were tough!! I tapped into TRJ’s energy…#gonetoosoon

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After work, I went to the dentist…clean teeth and no cavities 😉 I followed this up with TRX, which was a great full body workout. I incorporated all of the exercises that each of my participants don’t like while we are doing them, but appreciate when we are done. That made for good variety and some challenging moves 😉

Friday:

I had the day off from work, so I could meet with my doctor regarding my hypothyroidism diagnosis and to determine what would come next. Before I went to the doctor, I got the oil changed in my car and cleaned up the house a bit. I will have more to post about my diagnosis and the decisions that were made later this week. After my doctor appointment, I had lunch with a friend, took a short nap, and went for a massage…OUCH!!

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We met some friends for dinner…I LOVE SUSHI!! YUMMY 🙂

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Saturday:

We rose early in the morning for a 2 hour run, but the windchills were WELL below 0F, so we opted for the treadmill. 13 miles later, I was ready for some core strength exercises, which we followed up with some VERY tasty breakfast.

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After cleaning up, we ventured down to Ankeny and Des Moines for a few items…

Happy Valentine's Day to me...Finally a Garmin that works ;)
Happy Valentine’s Day to me…Finally a Garmin that works 😉
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I could spend all day at the All Spice store sampling and purchasing fresh olive oils, vinegars and spices…so yummy!!

Sunday:

5 friends loaded up in our vehicle at 6:30 am and drove to Waverly for a swim clinic from 9 am to 1 pm, so we didn’t get our long Sunday morning bike workout in. We postponed that for today after work.

The swim clinic was great!! I learned what I am doing well and what I have to work on to be more efficient in the water…boy do I have some work to do 😉

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A beautiful pool at The W at Wartburg College
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Getting some instruction and guidance from Coach Janet
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Coach Janet evaluating my underwater swim stroke…I have some work to do!!

Weekly Totals:

Swim: 5900 yards

Bike: 32.7 miles

Run: 26.1 miles

Strength Training: 2 hours and 15 minuts

Total Time: 14:33:00

What was your week like?

Random Training Thoughts

Kristen over at Glitter and Dust posted about her random training thoughts and she asked me to share mine, so here are a variety of my random training thoughts over the last few weeks.

  1. While biking…Why does my Garmin keep quitting on me? SERIOUSLY…How many times will I have to restart my Garmin to collect data during this 2 1/2 hour ride? Apparently…10 times…UGH!! I think it might be time for a new Garmin.
  2. While swimming…I’m wearing goggles, so why do I close my eyes when someone splashes water in my face?
  3. While biking…I LOVE the seamless chamois in my Coeur Sports tri shorts!! #noangrykitty 🙂  IMG_1652
  4. While getting ART (active release therapy) done on my leg…When do I get to inflict this kind of pain on Dr. Chris?
  5. While running…Why is Basil always so happy to go run? It is so much fun to watch the joy Basil has while running. I wonder what she thinks about while we run…   IMG_1369
  6. While biking…Mojo, why do we have such a perfect chemistry? I love this bike!!!
  7. While running…How many more hills are we going to climb today? Here comes another one…That which doesn’t kill you makes you stronger.
  8. While biking…Why do my sensor (power and cadence) batteries have to die during the middle of a workout? Why can’t they wait until the end of the workout to go kaput?
  9. While swimming (with only a strap around my feet…no pull buoy)…I am SO thankful I am not paraplegic. Keeping my legs afloat is very challenging!!
  10. While running…Thank you Osmo Nutrition for keeping me hydrated!! That was a VERY sweaty run!! #womenarenotsmallmen   IMG_1508
  11. While getting a massage…OOUUCH!! My muscles are SO tight!!  IMG_4210
  12. After a massage…FINALLY…I can relax 🙂
  13. While biking…Why do zone 2 rides have to be so boring? I love intervals…give me speed work…I want hills…give me variety!!
  14. While on the trainer during a HARD #interval set…I love to ride my bicycle, I love to ride my bicycle :)http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ii1VuMX_G88
  15. While swimming…My legs are VERY tired today…please don’t drown, please don’t drown.

What random thoughts do you have while training?

32 Weeks ’til Ironman Boulder

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

Monday:

AM: 1 hour strength training

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

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Tuesday:

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

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PM: 55 min swim focusing on drills and swim stroke

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

Wednesday:

AM: 1 hour 3xLadder trainer ride

Thursday:

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

Friday: 

AM: 1 hour short ladder swim

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

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Saturday:

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

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

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A little Ironman motivation…wearing my IMWI finisher shirt

Sunday:

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

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Weekly Totals:

Swim: 2.67 miles

Bike: 42.5 miles

Run: 20.65 miles

Strength Training: 2:15:00

How was your week of workouts?