Dream Season

“The most powerful weapon on Earth is the human soul on fire.” ~Ferdinand Foch

The off season is the perfect time for dreaming! This is the time when I’m not exercising as much, so I have LOTS WAY TOO MUCH time to dream about what is to come! One thing is for sure…triathlon lights my fire! I’ve been dreaming of the coming year…2017 is the year I turn 40! The year I have my heart set on fun! The year I will push my limits to overcome challenges! The year I will push my limits to get closer to making my Kona qualifying dream come true! The year we go on another racecation! 40 is going to be my year! I’m excited to get this year started! It is time to start filling my barn with hay so that I can light a massive fire on race day!

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Ironman Mont Tremblant 2017…I’m coming for ya!

Dreaming is easy…how will I turn these dreams into reality? Believing in myself, my abilities, my training, and my new coach! Yes, that’s right! I’m super excited to have Kelly Hardiaris coaching me in 2017! With her expertise, guidance, support, and encouragement, I am hoping to have the best year ever! I’m ready to embark on this journey with Kelly and see where we can go together in 2017!

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I’m super pumped that I’ve been chosen to be part of the Coeur Sports Ambassador Team again in 2017!! I ABSOLUTELY love these ladies!! They are inspirational, motivational, enCOEURaging, supportive and full of #heartandcourage 🙂

I found out that I made the Coeur Sports 2016 Ambassador Team...Such a #hardcoeur group of women that I'm overjoyed to be a part of!!
Pumped to make the Coeur Sports 2017 Ambassador Team…Such a #hardcoeur group of ladies that I’m overjoyed to be a part of!!

Who’s excited for 2017?! What are you looking forward to in 2017?!

Recovery Post IMWI

It has been 6 weeks since Ironman Wisconsin!! During these 6 weeks, I have been giving my body some much needed TLC and recovery. I have done VERY little in the way of exercise…4 bike rides, 3 runs, 1 swim, and 2 strength training sessions to be exact.

Run for the Roses fun!
Run for the Roses fun!
Taking the plunge back into the pool nearly 6 weeks post IMWI!
Taking the plunge back into the pool nearly 6 weeks post IMWI!
#bikelove in my fall playground!
#bikelove in my fall playground!

I have had a couple of massages to help loosen up the body and get it ready for another Ironman beating and also taken some salt baths to relax and help me recover.

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I was hoping to get some hot yoga in and a few swims during this time, but other things have managed to take precedence over these two outings. We’ve spent a lot of time with friends and family during these 6 weeks.

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Mom came to visit for a weekend and we got to spend quality time together!

I’ve meet with some personal training clients, managed to get some appointments taken care (haircut, dogs to the vet, Mojo into the shop to get a shifter cable fixed, etc.), had dinner get togethers with friends, and have managed to chew up all of the “free time” I thought I would have. It always amazes me how I can spend 20 hours a week training (on top of a 40+ hour a week job), but when I have down time to “relax,” my time always gets filled with miscellaneous things!

I’ve cheered my fave and many friends onto more 1/2 marathon and marathon finish lines…

The Iron Hippie getting close to the finish of the IMT Des Moines Marathon...I'm so proud of him only 5 weeks post Ironman Wisconsin
The Iron Hippie getting close to the finish of the IMT Des Moines Marathon…I’m so proud of him only 5 weeks post Ironman Wisconsin

We have made lots of yummy food and enjoyed our down time. My mind is definitely ready to start working out on a more regular basis again, and I think my body is ready as well! I’m looking forward to starting a swim focused block this week! I’m planning to follow it up with a bike focused block to round out my off season.

What does your post BIG race look like for recovery? If you do Ironman races, how long do you take off before you ease back into training again?

Off-Season

Ironman Wisconsin was 7 weeks ago.  The post-Ironman blues hit HARD.  I went from training 20+ hours a week before the race to basically not at all.  I thrive off of having workouts in training peaks that need to be completed and races on the calendar to train for.  I think it is fairly obvious that I don’t do well with down time.

So what have I done with all of this down time in the last few weeks?

Ran my First Trail Race:

Approaching the first aid station
Approaching the first aid station
Part of the 10 mile trail run course (photo courtesy of The Runner's Flat 50K Trail Run)
Part of the 10 mile trail run course (photo courtesy of The Runner’s Flat 50K Trail Run)
It wouldn't be a trail race if someone didn't eat dirt ;)
It wouldn’t be a trail race if someone didn’t eat dirt 😉

Walk the Dogs:

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Hike at Ledges:

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Visit Breweries:

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Ride Bikes for Fun with Friends:

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Long shadows with the setting sun.
Long shadows with the setting sun.
Chasing the sun on our bikes.
Chasing the sun on our bikes.

Hayrides at the Berry Patch:

IMG_0311 IMG_0310 Playing Frisbee with Basil:

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Being a competitive, determined, driven person is amazing (although the Iron Hippie may disagree with that).  It is the firework that motivates me to train in early hours, to train when it is dark and dreary, to train when it is cold and windy, to train when it is hot and muggy.  It compels me to test myself, to improve and be better than I was yesterday.

Because of my “type A personality,” it is time to get back into a more regular workout routine.  Nothing super strenuous, but a routine with some structure.

How long does your off-season last?  How do you enjoy your off-season?

Off Season Part 2

With only a couple of weeks left in the off season, these are a few of the things I’ve been up to during November/December:

Holiday Lighting of the Christmas Tree downtown with the Iron Hippie.
Holiday Lighting of the Christmas Tree downtown with the Iron Hippie.
Paige and I telling Santa our Holiday wishes.
Paige and I telling Santa our Holiday wishes.
Going to physical therapy...electric shock therapy seems to really help!!
Going to physical therapy…electric shock therapy seems to really help!!
Going to the movie theatre...I can't remember the last movie I saw in the theatre!!  In my opinion, "Catching Fire" was a great movie and with great company...The Iron Hippie and a dear friend, Kori.
Going to the movie theatre…I can’t remember the last movie I saw in the theatre!! In my opinion, “Catching Fire” was a great movie and with great company…The Iron Hippie and my dear friend, Kori.
A beautiful winter day to take the dogs for a walk.
A beautiful winter day to take the dogs for a walk.
Three finished fleece blankets made Thanksgiving evening
Three finished fleece blankets made Thanksgiving evening

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Decorating our Christmas Tree with a VERY SMALL fraction of our race bibs and medals
Decorating our Charlie Brown Christmas Tree with a VERY SMALL fraction of our race bibs and medals…inspiration for the coming year.
We actually had to go buy sugar, since we don't keep it in the house and haven't had any in the house for about 4 years.
We actually had to go buy sugar, since we don’t keep it in the house and haven’t had any in the house for about 4 years.
Taking 30 minutes to snuggle up under a cozy blanket with a good book and a cup of hot tea.
Relaxing with good books under a cozy blanket and a cup of hot tea.
A cold, windy afternoon in the woods with the Iron Hippie and our two black labs.  Only hours after receiving 6 inches of fresh powder.  AWESOME!!
A cold, windy afternoon in the woods with the Iron Hippie and our two black labs. Only hours after receiving 6 inches of fresh powder. AWESOME!!
I definitely lack artistic ability, but thanks to a good (and patient) instructor, I was able to paint a masterpiece...not the same caliber as VanGogh.
I definitely lack artistic ability, but thanks to a good (and patient) instructor, I was able to paint a masterpiece…not the same caliber as VanGogh.

Off Season

After running the Indianapolis Marathon on October 19 and not qualifying for the Boston Marathon, I seriously considered running another marathon in December.  I had some things to consider before making a final decision:

  1. Why would I be running another marathon?
  2. What if I run this marathon and don’t qualify for Boston?
  3. Can I stay mentally focused through this marathon and then immediately start my Ironman training in January?

After weighing all of these questions, I decided that I should not foster the thought of running another marathon in December and instead give myself some down time…time to recharge the batteries before going full throttle with Ironman training. What does this mean?  My “Off Season” is in full swing…hiking in the woods, getting out and riding my cross bike, taking the dogs for walks, sitting by the campfire, putting puzzles together, reading good books, chopping down trees for firewood, going to hot yoga and doing what I feel like doing instead of what I have to do.

Hike in the woods with the dogs.
Hike in the woods with the dogs.
Basil looking ahead on the trail
Basil looking ahead on the trail
Riding our cross bikes in the woods.
The Iron Hippie and me riding our cross bikes in the woods.
Looking ahead on the trail in the woods while biking.
The trail in the woods we were biking on.
Taking a break in the woods during our bike ride.
The Iron Hippie and me taking a break in the woods during our bike ride.
Beautiful night for a campfire!!
Beautiful night for a campfire!!
Yummy s'mores!!
Yummy s’mores!!
A hike in the woods.
A solitary hike in the woods.
Peaceful morning hike when I happened to come upon a small lake.
Peaceful morning hike when I happened to come upon a small lake.  What a beautiful autumn morning.
Cutting and hauling firewood for the fire pit.
The Iron Hippie and I cut and hauled firewood for the fire pit.
The steep hill that we had to climb while hauling the trees we cut down for firewood.  GREAT workout!!
One of the steep hills that we climbed while hauling the trees we cut down for firewood. GREAT workout!!
Putting puzzles together
Putting puzzles together
Basil helped us with a few of the pieces to this puzzle (hence the reason a couple are chewed up and missing)...
Basil helped us with this puzzle…hence the reason a couple of pieces are chewed up and missing…
While I've already read this series, I decided to reread it since the "Catching Fire" movie is going to be coming out soon.  A good series of books that doesn't require a lot of focus.
While I’ve already read this series, I decided to reread it since the “Catching Fire” movie is going to be coming out in theaters soon. A good series of books that doesn’t require a lot of mental focus.
I have also already read "The Help," but remembered it being a good book and decided to pull it off the shelf to reread.
I have also already read “The Help,” but remembered it being a good book and decided to pull it off the shelf to reread.
My favorite hot yoga studio!!
My favorite hot yoga studio!!