I’m thankful for all of the great experiences, adventures, and joy in 2016! Cheers to an even better 2017!
I’m thankful for all of the great experiences, adventures, and joy in 2016! Cheers to an even better 2017!
June has been a CrAzY month!!
I love to travel, but June was a bit much in such a short amount of time…Shortly after the school year ended, I helped chaperone 26 eighth grade students to Washington D.C. It was a great adventure and we covered SO MUCH territory in only 4 days! One day after returning home, the Iron Hippie and I went to visit my parents for a few days. It was great to spend time with family! One day after returning home (yet again), we loaded the car and went to Madison for race weekend. You can read about my travels here and here. So much travel made for a very unconventional taper!
On Father’s Day, I raced the inaugural Wisconsin Milkman 70.3 Triathlon. It was a hot race, and I didn’t do as well as I’d hoped, but I did the best that I could on that day. You can read more about my race here.
We finally had our first ladies only bike night! It was AWESOME!! Thanks so much to Coeur Sports and Kyle’s Bikes for their support to help make this event successful!! Yay for encouraging more women in cycling, helping them gain confidence on their bike and on the roads, and helping them learn basic bike maintenance!! I’m looking forward to ladies night #2 on Monday, July 11 at 5:30 pm (location to be determined), so local ladies…mark your calendars!!
Grit: The Power of Passion and Perseverance by Angela Duckworth…Angela Duckworth is a psychologist who shows anyone striving to succeed that the secret to outstanding achievement is not talent, but a special blend of passion and persistence she calls “grit.” Among Grit’s most valuable insights:
This is a must read for anyone wanting to become better at something…anything…work, family, hobbies, life!!
The Happiness Project: Or Why I Spent a Year Trying to Sing in the Morning, Clean my Closets, Fight Right, Read Aristotle, and Generally Have More Fun by Gretchen Rubin…Gretchen Rubin documents her adventures during the twelve months she spent trying to become happier. Among other things, she found that novelty and challenge are powerful sources of happiness; that money can help buy happiness, when spent wisely; that outer order contributes to inner calm; and that the very smallest of changes can make the biggest difference. Gretchen has some great ideas, which makes this is a must read for anyone looking for more happiness in their life…doesn’t that mean everyone?!
Carrie Cheadle’s blog post Your Best Race Ever: Top 8 Tools for Mental Toughness has great tips for training and racing with mental toughness in mind. Obstacles are challenging, but these tools can help us reinforce/develop the “never give up” mentality and overcome challenges presented to us while staying committed to our goals.
Training has been hit or miss this month…mostly due to travel and racing. The first week of June I saw a lot of green in training peaks…then it was time to travel for 2 weeks. I did what I could knowing that I would have a race at the end of this 2 week time period. After my race, I was drained…probably a combination of all the travel + hot race day conditions which I was NOT acclimated to. I recovered well last week, and am ready to hit the ground running for this next build period of our training! I’m looking forward to more time at home in July and more consistency in my training!! I thrive off of consistency!!
I LOVE TRIATHLON! No surprise, right?! I love to swim, I love to bike, I love to run! I love to push myself to my limits! I love meeting people who inspire and encourage me everyday! I was blessed to meet two of my Coeur Sports teammates in Madison at the Wisconsin Milkman 70.3 Triathlon!
How has June treated you? What were your least favorite parts of the month? What were your faves? Consistency or Spontaneity…which do you prefer?
Most of Monday was spent traveling home from Madison and eating all the food! I don’t know what it is about a race that makes me crave potato skins (not the chips in a bag, but real potato skins that are found on the appetizer menu in some restaurants), but it happened again today! On our way home from Madison, we stopped in Cedar Falls for some potato skins to satisfy my craving. We got home at about 2 pm, unloaded the car, and took an hour nap before gearing up for our Ladies only bike ride. I was so grateful to Coeur Sports and Kyle’s Bikes for their support to make this event so successful!! Yay for encouraging more women in cycling, helping them gain confidence on their bike and on the roads, and helping them learn basic bike maintenance!!
Tuesday was a complete day of rest (in terms of workouts), but full of lots of errands, house chores, grocery shopping, paying bills, etc.
Wednesday was another complete day of rest. After working with a personal training client in the morning, I went for a walk with a friend and the dogs, and then spent the afternoon updating Training Peaks for the next build period of our training and blogging. It was a great day and finally felt like I was on summer break 😉
After meeting with two personal training clients in the morning, I spent most of my afternoon on the Team Vardo training calendar for the coming year. I did take a break to walk the dogs and clear my mind. When the Iron Hippie came home from work, we had an easy hour ride before going to TRX.
I taught two group fitness classes and met a personal training client in the morning and then spent my afternoon finishing the Team Vardo training calendar for the coming year. When the Iron Hippie came home from work, we got ready for Saturday’s brick workout and went to bed early so we could get up early to hit the roads before the heat of the day on Saturday.
We woke at 4:30 am to start riding at 5:30. Our plan was to ride a 30+ mile loop and end up back home to feed and potty the dogs, and have our friend Allen join us for the last 50 miles. As we came back into Ames after the first 30 miles, the sky looked a bit ominous, so we checked the radar. Lucky for us, it appeared to be going north of us and would miss us, so we rolled out for our second loop. 83 miles of #bikelove done before noon was awesome, especially since it was a hot and humid day. After eating lots of food, showering, and napping, we relaxed in the air condition. We went to one of our favorite Mexican restaurants for dinner, and spent the evening relaxing in the a/c.
After an amazing night of sleep, we took the dogs for a walk and then relaxed most of the day. It was a VERY hot and humid day, so staying in the a/c was a necessity for most of the day. We made homemade pizza for lunch, I tracked friends racing at different Ironman races, caught up on some blogs, and went to hot yoga at 4 pm. It felt SO AMAZING to reconnect with my long lost boyfriend…mat!!
Weekly Totals: 10 hours & 16 minutes
Swim: Nothing, Zilch, Nada
Bike: 113 miles
Run: Nothing, Zilch, Nada
Strength Training: 1:30:00
Hot Yoga: 1:30:00
Quote of the Week:
“I think recovery from anything is honestly the most badass thing a person can do.” ~Anonymous
Last Sunday was the inaugural Wisconsin Milkman 70.3 Triathlon in Madison. This was my “B” race for the year, where I was hoping to PR and get a good feel for where my training has taken me so far this year. Unfortunately, Mother Nature had other plans…
Saturday morning we had a great swim practice!! We chatted it up with friends and I was lucky to meet one of my Coeur Sports Teammates, Jenn, in person!! She is so inspiring and on an amazing journey!!
After swimming, the Iron Hippie and I grabbed breakfast at one of our favorite spots in Madison, Marigold’s Kitchen, before driving the bike course for our event to check out the road surfaces and terrain.
After driving the course, we showered at our host home (HUGE shout out to my wonderful friend Chris for hosting us!!), got our bikes and gear ready for Sunday, and then it was time to put Mojo in transition for the evening.
We grilled food at Chris’s house and watched movies with our feet up all afternoon and early evening. An early morning wake-up call means lights out by 7:30 pm.
We woke at 3:30 am, showered (yes, I know I’m going to get into a lake and then get all sweaty, but it’s my thang…wash away the negative and be ready for a great day!), inhaled breakfast (cream of rice with blueberries and Pure Clean beet powder, and Osmo hydration), gathered our gear, drove to the Alliant Energy Center, and took the shuttle bus to the race start. After getting my transition area set up, I found Jenn and another Coeur Sports teammate, Mandy. We chatted, wished each other a great day, and made our way down to the swim start.
The first swim wave started at 7:00 am, but my wave didn’t start until 7:32 am. With only 4 waves after me, I was toward the back of the pack. When the horn sounded, I walked quite a ways out (the water was REALLY shallow in this area) before starting to swim). Once I started swimming, I only hit the bottom with my hand a few times before finding my groove. It was a pretty uneventful swim for me…I was relaxed and kept a pretty straight swim line for the duration of my swim. I definitely felt like I could have easily doubled this pace…maybe that means I should have swam a bit harder!
Nutrition: Nature Valley Oats ‘n Honey granola bar and 2 packets of Mott’s Medley’s fruit flavored snacks about 30 minutes before my swim
Swim Time: 41:00 for 1.2 miles (1:56/100 yards)
Yay for wetsuit peelers!! Hello LONG run to transition…when I got to my spot, I quickly put on my cycling jersey, helmet, shoes, grabbed my bike, and was off.
T1 Time: 5:29
The first few miles were on a trail and were rather crowded, but opened up more by mile 5 when we got to the roads. I was lucky to get to see the Iron Hippie and good friend Kathy during those first few miles!! Yay for biking with friends…even if it was short lived!! Most of the road surfaces were rough, but there were lots of terrain changes to make up for it…I LOVE hills!! After going through Oregon and Paoli (south of Madison), we climbed a big hill with spectacular views from the top…Observatory Hill Road. The temps were definitely climbing, so I decided to slow my pace just a bit to make this race about survival instead of putting myself in the medical tent (which I’ve been known to do more often than one should). This course was very rolling in nature and simulated the Ironman Wisconsin bike course beautifully!
Bike Gear: Coeur Sports tri kit, Coeur Sports cycling jersey, Coeur Sports arm coolers, Mojo (Specialized Transition Bike), Specialized Ember road shoes, Specialized Evade helmet, Tifosi sunglasses, Garmin 920xt
Nutrition: Chex Mix (2 single serve packages), 2 bottles of Osmo hydration, and water
Bike Time: 3:25:14 for 56 miles (16.4 mph)
As I rolled into transition, it was HOT! I quickly transitioned into my run shoes, drank more liquids, and headed out on the run.
T2 Time: 4:06
HOLY HOTNESS!! Within the first mile, I decided this would be a run/walk adventure. It was a suffer fest for most of the athletes around me…some even decided they would walk the entire 13.1 miles. Thankfully there was some shade on the run course (although there were long stretches of sun as well) and lots of people who lived on the course were out with garden hoses, squirt guns, and sprinklers. At every aid station, I drank two glasses of water, licked my Base Salt, and dumped a 1/2 cup of ice in my bra top, and 1/2 cup of ice in the front of my shorts as I continued to slog my way to the finish line. I chatted with people when I could, ran when I could, walked when I couldn’t. Thankfully with about 3 miles to go, I saw one of my former students on the run course cheering me on. He randomly appeared throughout the last 3 miles encouraging me. Thanks Zach for the shout outs on such a hot day!!
Run Gear: Coeur Sports tri kit, Coeur Sports race belt, Brooks Pure Flow running shoes, Tifosi sunglasses, Garmin 920xt
Nutrition: 6 packets of Mott’s Medley’s fruit flavored snacks, Base Salt, and water
Run Time: 2:45:36 for 13.1 miles (12:38/mile)
It was an uphill run to the finish shoot, where I finished with a time of 7:01:23…an hour slower than I had hoped, but on a day when the temperature was in the mid 90s with no cloud cover, I’m happy to say that I finished what I started and didn’t end up in the med tent.
This was a great inaugural race!! There isn’t much that could be done about the weather, but the race organizers were prepared for it. They had plenty of water, ice, volunteers, and medical support. The swim was shallow at the start and there were a lot of weeds in the water, but the water was relatively clear farther out from the shore. The road surfaces were a bit rough on the bike course, but there wasn’t much traffic on them and the intersections were controlled well. The run was a relatively shady route (as shady as you can get in that area), with plenty of aid stations. Definitely a race I will be doing again sometime in the future; hopefully on a much cooler day!
**Thanks to Focal Flame Photography and Race Day Events, LLC for free race photos!! SO AWESOME!!
The focus for this week…Milkman 70.3 Triathlon + more travel!!
After finally getting caught up on sleep from my DC trip, I woke up, cleaned the house, ran a couple of errands, packed, and loaded the car to head to Mom and Dad’s for a couple of days. Thankfully the Iron Hippie had some comp time to burn before the end of June and was able to go with me on this short trip. We encountered some pretty severe storms on the trip northwest. After getting to Mom and Dad’s we grabbed some dinner, chatted with Mom (Dad was on a work trip) and hit the hay.
We woke up with intentions of running, but it was POURING rain with thunder and lightening, so we waited it out and ran later than we originally planned. Thankfully there was a break in the rain so we could run and swim with our twin nieces before the next round of storms came through. This time Mother Nature wasn’t so forgiving. We had tornadoes go through the area shortly after we arrived at the public library with the twins. Thankfully one of their 1st grade teachers and her dog were at the library promoting Puppy Tales (a reading program in the schools where the children read to dogs), so the twins cuddled in for some reading and puppy snuggles during the storms. When we returned back to Mom and Dad’s we found the only damage was a lot of debris everywhere and a tree that was uprooted and fell away from the house. Mother Nature helped them save money, because they were going to have this Ash tree taken down later this year anyway because of the ash borer.
We woke up, packed the car and traveled home. We arrived home just in time for our pre-race massages and dinner with our neighbors.
This was the only full day this week that I’d be home, so I did some house chores, went for a ride with my sole sister, packed for race weekend, went for our first open water swim of the season, and taught TRX.
After taking the dogs to the farm for a long weekend, I went to Kyle’s Bikes to get a blessing of the bikes before our race! Kyle takes such good care of us! I am forever grateful to have the best bike mechanic ever in my corner!! 🙂 When I got home, I loaded the car just in time for the Iron Hippie to come home from work so we could hit the road for Madison. It is about a 4 hour drive to Madison and the car knows the way 😉 When we arrived, we went straight to packet pick up and the athlete meeting for the Milkman 70.3 Triathlon before heading to our host home (thanks to my dear friend Chris for hosting us this weekend) and getting dinner at the Great Dane in Fitchburg.
We went to Olin Park for a morning swim in Lake Monona, where I met one of my Coeur Sports teammates, Jenn!! She is so inspiring and her weight loss journey is AMAZING!! After our swim, the Iron Hippie and I grabbed breakfast at Marigold Kitchen (one of the best places on the square in Madison) before driving the bike course for the race. We then returned to our host home to shower and get our bike and gear ready for the race. After we dropped off our bikes in transition, we hit the grocery store so we could make some home cooking for our evening meal. We spent the afternoon/evening eating food and watching movies with our feet up. It was the perfect pre-race afternoon/evening!!
Today was race day!! I was a bit nervous going into this race since I had a very unconventional taper and it was supposed to be a hot summer day. I typically don’t do well with heat, but I knew if I altered my race plans and raced more conservatively, I would finish. I was so blessed to get to meet up with Jenn and Mandy (both Coeur Sports teammates) before the start of our day. They are both such amazing, fun, and inspiring women!! To give you a taste of our day, it was HOT…92F hot by the end of my “run.” I’ll have a complete post on my race experience later this week 😉 After the race, we relaxed with friends in the shade for a bit before heading back to our host home for a shower, air conditioning, pizza for dinner, and more movie watching with the feet up.
Weekly Totals: 9:23 (these totals include my race distances and times)
Swim: 3168 yards
Bike: 75.1 miles
Run: 17.1 miles
Strength Training: none
Quote of the Week:
“Courage over comfort”…my mantra
How do you alter your race plans due to an unconventional taper or weather?