Post Ironman Boulder Struggles

Sometimes the best laid plans don’t go according to plan…I am finding this out yet again. While this isn’t the first time this has happened, it is a good reminder that my body may not allow my brain to get what it wants. I had a great plan for post Ironman Boulder with a few fall races on the calendar. I am still planning to participate in these races, but I have had to make some modifications. I have been seeing Dr. Chris at Team Chiropractic for ART (Active Release Therapy) treatments on my left knee…running hasn’t been the best lately. I had no knee pain during Ironman Boulder and no knee pain during the first run post Ironman while in California, but when I came back to Iowa, my knee decided to vocalize how it really felt about me running. Let’s just say my mind and my knee are not in agreement right now. My knee screamed LOUD about how unhappy it was with me, so…

Dry needling is NOT my idea of a good time, but if it gets me running again, I'll endure the pain that comes with it!!
Dry needling is NOT my idea of a good time, but if it gets me running again, I’ll endure the pain that comes with it!!

With the Des Moines Olympic-Distance Triathlon this Sunday, Allen, the Iron Hippie and I have decided to change our individual participant status to a team status. The Iron Hippie will swim, I will bike and Allen will run. This should be a fun way for all of us to find some motivation again and hopefully keep us from further injuring ourselves…yes, I am not the only one on the injury train. 😦

I am hopeful that Dr. Chris can help get me running soon enough so that I can still participate in my fall running races, but only time will tell. Cycling doesn’t bother the knee at all, so I will do LOTS of cycling this fall, but depending on how the knee is holding up, I may have to postpone my cyclocross races, which I am VERY upset about. Come. On. Body. Cooperate. With. Me! I am VERY grateful for what it has allowed me to do and I know I should give it a break…after all, I did give it a bit of a beating through Ironman Boulder. It is just so difficult when the head and body don’t agree on what is “best” for me!! My mind NEEDS exercise, but apparently my body thinks it needs a break. UGH!

For now, I will continue to do my strength training and bike my heart out with the hope that running and swimming will find their way back into my regular workout routine…sooner, rather than later would be nice 😉

What do you do when your body and mind are not in agreement? How do you overcome struggles and setbacks in your best laid plans?

2014 Focus

The following is a list of words that I am trying to incorporate into my life in 2014 to make my life better:

  1. Stronger…Strength training is critical to helping me become stronger in every discipline of triathlon.
  2. Faster…The run is one of my stronger disciplines of triathlon, but I am working on becoming faster on the run after coming off the bike.
  3. Powerful…The bike is one of my weak links.  I am working hard to become more powerful and efficient on the bike, but also set myself up for a strong and fast run after I leave Mojo in T2.
  4. Healthier…While we eat pretty healthy in our household, occasionally I slip up.  I know I shouldn’t ridicule myself for this, but I would really like to reduce the amount of refined sugar I consume.
  5. Happier…While I am a fairly happy person, I am working on learning to say, “No” to those people and things that don’t bring me joy, positive energy, inner peace and true happiness.
  6. Smoother…I have been swimming since I was very young, but that doesn’t mean I have the most fluid swim stroke.  I am definitely working on making my swim stroke smoother and more efficient.
  7. Mentally Tougher…While I am typically mentally focused, I do have my moments when the mental focus goes out the window.  I need to learn to accept pain (while training and racing) and appreciate that pain as part of my journey making me a stronger person.
  8. Believer…I am really working on believing that I am beautiful, believing in my abilities, believing in my training, believing that I am strong, believing that I am worth all good things, believing that I am capable of amazing things.
  9. Doer…Most of my motivation comes from within and when I decide to do something, I do everything in my power to get it done.  I want to continue to push myself and do what it takes to accomplish my goals.
  10. Dreamer…I dream of someday qualifying for IRONMAN Kona.  I dream of someday accomplishing a sub 12 hour IRONMAN finish.  I dream of someday accomplishing a sub 5:15:00 1/2 IRONMAN finish.  I dream of someday being able to maintain 20 mph on the bike followed up with an 8:30 pace on the run during a 1/2 IRONMAN.  I dream of someday going back to school to get my masters degree.  I dream of being the best version of myself that I can be everyday.

How are you hoping to make your life better during 2014?

What Gets You Out of Bed in the Morning?

Lately I have had a few people ask me how I am able to get up at 4:15 am every morning to complete my workout(s).  I realize getting up early is difficult for most people and I would agree…it can be very difficult if you don’t plan accordingly.  I would pose a similar question to those that are not early risers…How can you possibly stay up until 10 pm???  😉

Because I get up at 4:15 am, I am always in bed no later than 9 pm; however, staying up that late is a very rare instance.  I typically go to bed at about 8 pm, read for a few minutes and shut out the light.  Going to bed early enough to get a good night’s sleep is critical if you want to be an early riser.  I make sure that I get 7 hours of sleep minimum, but most nights it is much closer to a solid 8 hours.

What motivates me to get up in the morning and get my workout done before most people even consider getting out of bed?

  1. I prefer to get out of bed in the morning and complete my workouts before my brain can kick in and tell my body to procrastinate.  I feel so much better throughout the day knowing my workout (or at least one of them) is done.
  2. Exercising in the morning is a great way to boost my energy and mood going into the day ahead.  I am more focused and alert throughout the day and generally much happier. 🙂
  3. I am motivated by my goal of having a much better race at IMWI 2014 than I had in 2011.   Don't quit
  4. I have other people coming to our house to ride bikes 3 mornings a week…I have to get up and moving when others are “counting” on me.
  5. When my alarm clock lights up (instead of an annoying buzzing noise or a radio) I immediately put my feet to the floor.  Once my feet are on the floor, I start moving and don’t let my head fall back to the pillow.
  6. I think about what I want most, instead of what I want now. 🙂
  7. The Iron Hippie keeps the same schedule, so it is easier to get out of bed early when your spouse is too.
  8. I have a Training Peaks account and I HATE to see my workout show up as red…not completed.
  9. If I complete my scheduled workout, I earn a $1…that is motivation to complete all my workouts 😉
  10. I commit to a morning workout the night before, set out my workout attire, get all of my hydration ready the night before, so there are no excuses in the morning.

am workout

Getting into the habit of waking up early is a bit challenging, but after the first week, my body settled in and decided this was the new normal.  To make waking up early a habit, you need to make a decision that this IS what you want to do, make adjustments to your schedule so you can get the necessary sleep and then force yourself to put your feet on the floor and get moving when the alarm clock goes off.  It will get easier…you just have to be stronger than the person telling you to hit the snooze button.  Waking up at 4:15 am has officially become a habit in our household.  Even on the weekends I find myself waking up on my own (without the alarm clock) at about 4 am.

When do you prefer to complete your workouts?


Week #6 (Base Training) Totals:

Swim: 5100 yards

Bike: 67.3 miles

Run: 16.7 miles

Strength Training: 2 hours & 15 minutes

Hot Yoga: 2 hours & 30 minutes

Week #6 in the green 😉

New Ink

After the Indianapolis Marathon, I decided I needed permanent motivation.  What better way than new ink?!?!?!?!  I don’t have many tattoos…as a matter of fact, this one made number 3 (one of which I don’t really count because it was a stupid decision I made when I was 18 and doesn’t have any meaning to it).  I had put a lot of thought into this tattoo…what the design would look like, where I wanted it, when I would get it, why I was getting it, etc.  After thinking and planning for nearly 6 months, I decided the off season was a perfect time to get new ink.

When I am riding my bike in areo position, there will be a constant reminder staring me in the face…a reminder to be strong, confident, persevere and have mental fortitude.

The African symbol means strength, confidence and perseverance.
The African symbol means strength, confidence and perseverance.

Ironman World Championships 2013

Saturday afternoon, the Iron Hippie and I rode our bikes in the pain cave while watching the Ironman World Championships 2013.

Ironman World Championships 2013
Ironman World Championships 2013

Yes…I know I was told by the doctor that I need to rest, but she did grant me permission to try to ride my bike EASY for one hour on the trainer on Saturday.  If there was any pain, I was to quit.  The good news…I had NO pain!!  🙂  The bad news…I really wanted to push the pace and do a more challenging workout, BUT I followed the doctor’s orders and only rode 12.44 miles in one hour.  I was EXTREMELY happy just to be exercising… 🙂

So happy to be exercising...even if it was an EASY ride
So happy to be exercising…even if it was an EASY ride

Since Ironman Wisconsin is only about 10 months away, I could use a little pick me up…especially while I am temporarily injured.  Watching the Ironman World Championships is incredibly motivating and a reminder on so many levels for why I am racing Ironman Wisconsin for a 2nd time!!  It was also a reminder that even though I’m injured, there are still many things I can be doing to exercise while resting my legs.  This was just the motivation I needed to start waking up early in the mornings again and go to the gym!!

I’ve Found my Missing Mojo!!

I had a “case of the missing mojo” a month ago, but have recently found that mojo!!  While I was deep cleaning my house over spring break, I found my mojo under the bed…among some dog toys and one sock 🙂  NO…REALLY…under my bed was the following motivation:

don't give up

I had printed this off a while ago and it must have fluttered under the bed when the dogs were running around the house.  Regardless of how it got there, my mojo was literally under the bed!!

Finding my mojo definitely benefited me last week.  Not only did I complete all of my workouts, but I also completed them accurately and with focus…SUCCESS!!  I did have to swap my swim workouts to different days last week, but they were NOT skipped!!  The following pie charts show my completed distances and durations of my workouts for this last week.

Duration Summary for the Week of March 25-31, 2013
Duration Summary for the Week of March 25-31, 2013
Distance Summary for the week of March 25-31, 2013
Distance Summary for the week of March 25-31, 2013

The following is one example of my accuracy and focus while completing last Thursday’s 50 minute negative split run.  Here are my stats for that run:

Mile Marker

Pace Per Mile













I was INCREDIBLY HAPPY with this run since I had lifted weights at 4:30 am that morning, worked all day, went to the pool after work to swim 2800 yards RIGHT before heading out the door to do this negative split run.  I was VERY hungry and was literally running on “E!!”

The key for me is mental focus…I know I CAN DO IT…I just have to remind myself that I WILL DO IT!! 🙂  Mojo…I’m glad you’re back!!

Where’s My Mojo

This last week I have had a bout with lack of motivation.  It might actually be my body telling me to take it easy and recover after last Sunday’s marathon in Little Rock, Arkansas, or it could be my mind saying, “You have a very long week coming up with conferences, so take a break and get rejuvenated for your busy week ahead.”

I didn’t exercise at all Monday, Tuesday or Wednesday.  I taught TRX on Thursday, but took it VERY easy during this workout.  Friday morning I got up and ran on the treadmill before doing some hard core exercises.  The run was a struggle since my legs felt as though someone had loaded them full of lead.  I ended up running 3 miles at a 10:56 pace.  Since my average pace was 8:55 at Sunday’s marathon, this was slow for me, but it was a pace that my body needed to help me recover.  Saturday and Sunday were also void of exercise.

This coming week, I have parent teacher conferences, which will require me to work from 7 am to 7 pm Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday.  I will also have to work from 8 – 11:30 am on Thursday morning, but then…SPRING BREAK for 10 days!!  Mojo…During this time, I will find you and own you!! Spring break is going to be a time for me to get back on track, re energized and motivated about upcoming races and the end of the school year 🙂


We all have peaks and valleys with the amount of mojo we possess.  Just because I am in the valley today, doesn’t mean I will be tomorrow.  What is it going to take for me to find my mojo again??????

1.  Take a moment and remember why I set the goals for myself that I did.

2.  Put my feet on the floor and get moving…The hardest part is often putting my feet on the floor and stepping out the door.  Once I take the first few steps, it is often easy to keep moving.  Getting started is the hardest part.

3.  Make Everyday Count…If I have a bad day, get up and do it again tomorrow.  The key to a bad day is to not sulk, but turn it around.  Tomorrow is a new day, so take it and run with it!!

4.  Be consistent, but flexible…Do the BEST I can with what I have.  My life is different from the lives of others.  I need to do what I can for ME with the time, energy and strength that I have at that time.

5.  Be kind to my body…If I want my body to perform at its peak, I need to ensure that I take care of my body and treat it right.  If you put sand in the gas tank of a car, it won’t run…likewise, if I am not kind to my body, my body won’t run efficiently either.

6.  Be positive and surround myself with positive people and positive circumstances…”Accentuate the positive, eliminate the negative, and latch on to the affirmative.” Baloo from the Jungle Book…Need I say more?!?!?!?!?

Now…Let’s go find that MOJO!!!!!!