My 2016 Year in Review via Photos

January:

My first ever MRI
My first ever MRI…thankfully it was nothing serious!
Basil loves to help me foam roller after a sweaty workout!
Basil is a good helper after a sweaty workout!
I can finally reach my toes...yoga is working :)
Spending lots of time with my boyfriend…mat 🙂

February:

Some serious #runlove with my 2 faves!! Bonus = running in SHORTS in Iowa...see the snow on the ground ;)
Some serious #runlove with my 2 faves!! Bonus = running in SHORTS in Iowa…see the snow on the ground 😉
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More #yogalove this month
Who's ready to race?!
Who’s ready to race?! I’m so excited to be on the Coeur Sports Ambassador Team again for 2016!!

March:

Basil and Mya are dreaming of chasing the geese and swimming!
Basil and Mya are dreaming of chasing the geese and swimming!
Family run off the bike!
Family run off the bike!
"Just one more" hill for TRJ!!
“Just one more” hill for TRJ!!
Easy recovery ride with the boys!
Easy recovery ride in the courage cave with the boys!
Starting my day with my main squeeze and a new friend in the burbs of Chicago!
Starting my day with my main squeeze and a new friend in the burbs of Chicago!

April:

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Lots of swim analyses done this month!
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Outdoor #runlove in shorts!
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First century ride in 2016!!
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#runlove with friends is the best!
Drake 1/2 marathon is in the books! Official finish time = 1:54:23
Drake 1/2 marathon is in the books! Official finish time = 1:54:23

May:

LOTS to work on this week in the pool! Thanks Coach for the stroke analysis and guidance!!
Thanks Coach Hansen for the stroke analysis and guidance!!
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Market to Market Relay fun!
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Market to Market Relay Fun!
#solesistersweat and a podium finish at my first ever duathlon
#solesistersweat and a podium finish at my first ever duathlon
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Challenging our principal to an inflatable race on the last day of school.
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Riding the open roads!

June:

Yoga in the park!
Yoga in the park!
#solesister + #bikelove = #perfectworld
#solesister + #bikelove = #perfectworld
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DC trip with about 20 eighth graders
Swimming with the nieces between storms.
Swimming with the nieces between storms.
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Milkman 70.3 race in Madison on a hot day!
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Our first women’s only ride…SO MUCH FUN and amazing courage in these women!!

July:

4th of July Century ride
4th of July Century ride
#bikelove with amazing people!
#bikelove with amazing people!
Outdoor #swimlove
Outdoor #swimlove
Women's only ride #2 for the year!
Women’s only ride #2 for the year!
Teaching the twins how to ride their bikes without training wheels!
Teaching the twins how to ride their bikes without training wheels!
Swimming with 2 of my favorite girls!
Swimming with 2 of my favorite girls!
Getting low fives from my nieces at the Okoboji Triathlon. Photo by Sarah Riley
Getting low fives from my nieces at the Okoboji Triathlon. Photo by Sarah Riley
The Iron Hippie's Birthday Century Ride
The Iron Hippie’s Birthday Century Ride
Pool Shenanigans post birthday century ride!
Pool Shenanigans post birthday century ride!
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128 miles on the Ironman Wisconsin bike course…EXCELLENT training weekend!
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2.4 mile open water swim event in Madison
This is what happy looks like after a successful Ironman Wisconsin training camp!
This is what happy looks like after a successful Ironman Wisconsin training camp!

August:

Running through the jungle on a sweltering day!
Running through the jungle on a sweltering day!
3.5 mile Okoboji Swim with Dad kayaking next to me
Okoboji 3.5 mile Swim with Dad kayaking next to me
Outdoor pool swimming is coming to an end.
Outdoor 50 meter pool swimming is coming to an end.
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Running with friends is always best!
Outdoor #bikelove
Outdoor #bikelove
Taking a trip down the slide at the pool!
Taking a trip down the slide at the pool!
#runlove with my faves!
#runlove with my faves!
Date night!
Date night!

September:

Countless laps next to my fave!
Countless laps next to my fave!
Race prep while I watch the Ironman 70.3 Worlds Championship!
Race prep while I watch the Ironman 70.3 Worlds Championship!
Swimming with family in Lake Monona
Swimming with family in Lake Monona
Meeting my Coeur Sports teammies
Meeting my Coeur Sports teammies
Ironman Wisconsin race day! Photo credit: Doree Harding
Ironman Wisconsin race day! Photo credit: Doree Harding
Ironman Wisconsin #bikelove Photo credit: Erin Klegstad
Ironman Wisconsin #bikelove Photo credit: Erin Klegstad
Running strong! Photo Credit: Erin Klegstad
Running strong at Ironman Wisconsin! Photo Credit: Erin Klegstad

October:

Mom came to visit for a weekend! It was fun to spend quality time with her!
Mom came to visit for a weekend! It was fun to spend quality time with her!
Run for the Roses fun!
Run for the Roses fun!
Love this little family of mine!
Love this little family of mine!
Spectating the IMT Des Moines Marathon!
Spectating the IMT Des Moines Marathon!
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
#bikelove in my fall playground!
#bikelove in my fall playground!
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I registered for Ironman Mont Tremblant for 2017!!
These ladies not only inspire me, but encourage me and light my fire! <3
So happy to cheer on my Coeur Sports Teammates as they take on Ironman World Championships in Kona. These ladies not only inspire me, but encourage me and light my fire! ❤

November:

I found out that I made the Coeur Sports 2017 Ambassador Team...Such a #hardcoeur group of women that I'm overjoyed to be a part of!!
I found out that I made the Coeur Sports 2017 Ambassador Team…Such a #hardcoeur group of women that I’m overjoyed to be a part of!!
I'm excited to have hired Kelly Hardiaris with Track Cat Fitness as my new coach!!
I’m excited to have hired Kelly Hardiaris with Track Cat Fitness as my new coach!!
Hot yoga...a date with my mat is always better with friends!!
Hot yoga…a date with my mat is always better with friends!! #yogalove
Washing away the negativity of the month.
Washing away the negativity of the month. #swimlove
Running with friends and THIS. BEAUTIFUL. SUNRISE!
Running with friends and THIS. BEAUTIFUL. SUNRISE! #runlove
Running with my sole sister and Basil makes the world a better place!
Running with my #solesister and Basil makes the world a better place! #runlove
My twin nieces had their first swim meet this month!
My twin nieces had their first swim meet this month!
Proud Aunt!
Proud Aunt!
We are Godparents! Baptism for the twins.
We are Godparents! Baptism for the twins.
Ice skating with our nieces!
Ice skating with our nieces!
Starting Thanksgiving with friends and morning miles!
Starting Thanksgiving with friends and morning miles!
Thankful for this tribe!
Thankful for this tribe!
4 generations of #strongwomen
4 generations of #strongwomen
Jumping on trampolines is a much tougher workout than I thought it would be!
Jumping on trampolines is a much tougher workout than I thought it would be!
Yay!! Mojo is home after surgery!! Now it is time to get to work!!
Yay!! Mojo is home after surgery!! Now it is time to get to work!!

December:

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#chlorinetherapy + #swimlove with the Iron Hippie!!
2 mile time trial with the track all to myself!!
2 mile time trial with the track all to myself!!
FTP test...not where I want to be, but better than where I thought I was.
FTP test…I’m not where I once was, but I’m recovered and ready to work hard to surpass where I once was!!
Working hard to turn my dreams into a reality with some #chlorinetherapy
When you wask up to negative wind chills and want to stay in bed with your dreams, but get up and work hard during your swim time trial to turn those dreams into a reality instead! #swimlove #chlorinetherapy
Running on trails along the river = #runlove
Running on trails along the river = #runlove
Z5 intervals on the bike were super tough, but it felt good to push my limits in a new way and come out stronger as a result!
Z5 intervals on the bike were super tough, but it felt good to push my limits in a new way and come out stronger as a result!
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When it is FREEZING cold outside, it is time to run on the mill and dream of the tropics in my Coeur Sports Tropical Punch kit!
Running the golf course with my girl + bonus #puppylove
Running the golf course with my girl + bonus #puppylove
I did make it all the way to the top and then didn't want to let go...but I did! #fearless
Climbing to new heights is VERY scary for someone who is afraid of heights…but I did! #fearless
Tree pose on a tree trunk...this is much harder in jeans than yoga pants!
Tree pose on a tree trunk…this is much harder in jeans than yoga pants!

I’m thankful for all of the great experiences, adventures, and joy in 2016! Cheers to an even better 2017!

What’s Up?! – July 2016

I realize it is now August and I am a bit late with my July update, but life has been crazy, fun, and fast! So here is what I’ve been up to in July…

Crazy:

We did a lot of BIG training in July! We did three rides that were over 100 miles each (one was 125 miles with 6847 feet of climbing on the Ironman Wisconsin bike course), we swam a 2.4 mile open water race, and we spent the last weekend of July in Madison training on the Ironman Wisconsin course (more on this amazing weekend soon)…so much crazy to be had!

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Fun:

We had a lot of fun celebrating our anniversary by racing the Okoboji Triathlon and spending time with our twin nieces, while teaching them to ride their bikes without training wheels! We also had a blast celebrating the Iron Hippie’s birthday with a century ride and pool party with friends! So much fun was also had with neighbors and friends throughout the month!

Getting low fives from my nieces at the Okoboji Triathlon. Photo by Sarah Riley
Getting low fives from my twin nieces at the Okoboji Triathlon. Photo by Sarah Riley
The twins got new helmets and baskets for their bikes (although Isabella's wasn't installed here) for learning to ride their bikes!
The twins got new helmets and baskets for their bikes (although Isabella’s wasn’t installed here) for learning to ride their bikes!

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Fast:

Summer has flown by! I can’t believe there are only 17 days before school starts back up and only 40 days until #IMWI! Where has time gone?! Isn’t there a button I can push to slow down time?!

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How was your month of July? What were your July highlights?!

Race Report: Okoboji Triathlon

Saturday the Iron Hippie and I celebrated our 6th Anniversary like we did on our wedding weekend…racing the Okoboji Triathlon!! We love this event for many reasons…small town fun, short and fast, not regulated by USAT, and we get to go home and stay with my parents (unfortunately they were gone this trip).

Pre-Race:

We woke up at 4:30 am, ate some breakfast (though not my typical pre-race meal since I forgot the cream of rice cereal and beet powder back in Ames…UGH!!), put on my tri kit, finished loading the car, and drove the 2 miles to the race start. It is so nice to sleep at “home” and be so close to the race site! We arrived to the transition area at about 5:30 am…just in time to quickly pick our transition spot by the bike in/out, set up our transition area, and make our way to the Okoboji Marathon start at 6 am to cheer on the marathon runners. The Okoboji events include the marathon starting at 6 am, the triathlon starting at 7 am, the 1/2 marathon starting at 8 am, and the 10K starting at 9 am. The triathlon and marathon both start at Arnolds Park Amusement Park, but the 1/2 marathon and 10K start at other locations around West Okoboji Lake so the athletes can all finish at the Amusement Park at about the same time (though the super fast people throw the timing off a bit). After cheering on the marathon runners as they started their day, we went back to the transition area, checked over our set up, donned our wetsuits, and made our way down to the swim start for a pre-race swim. The weather was perfect!! It was cool, low humidity, low winds, and the complete opposite of most years for these events. Because of low winds, the water was like glass…super flat!! The Okoboji Triathlon is what I refer to as an “Olynt” distance tri because each distance is between that of a sprint and Olympic distance triathlon.

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Swim: 960 yard swim in 18:22 (1:55/100 yards)

The women ages 39 and under were all in the same swim wave, which started at 7:06 am. I lined up at the front, but a bit farther to the right from the line of buoys black rubber floating tires that we would swim out and around. As the gun went off, I ran a few steps before diving into the water…HOLY ROCKY BEACH!! OUCH!! I think I seriously bruised the bottom of my left foot, but I wouldn’t know this until later. I immediately found traffic free water, got in my groove, and just swam. Swimming out to the turn buoy  (which was orange) was pretty uneventful, but as I rounded that turn buoy, things changed a bit. We now had to look into the sun to see the black rubber floating tires to sight off of, which was a bit of a challenge. Thankfully during my pre-race swim, I found a building at the finish with a big yellow sign to sight off of. This worked much better than the black tires. About 300 yards from the finish, I started to throw-up burp my breakfast oatmeal…GROSS!! Note to self…don’t forget your cream of rice for future races!! I continued to have a contact free swim all the way to the swim exit. Knowing the beach was rocky, I swam as far as I could (even shortening my stroke to that of a T-Rex) before standing up to run out of the water. It was a rather lengthy run to transition, but I worked my wetsuit down below my hips during this time, and removed my swim cap and goggles so I was ready for a fairly quick transition…or so I thought.

Swim Gear: Coeur Sports Tri Kit, Roka Sports Maverick Elite Wetsuit, Roka Sports X1 goggle in Light Vermillion

TI: 2:20

After removing my wetsuit, putting on my socks, cycling shoes, sunglasses, and helmet, I was ready to ride. How did this take me 2:20?!?!?!

Bike: 18 miles in 54:30 (average speed = 19.8 mph)

As I left the Amusement Park, I quickly learned that my bike was in the WRONG gear…hello hardest gear I own! How did I miss that this morning?! After some quick shifting to find my “happy gear,” I was off and flying…well, for me I was flying! This bike course has some small rolling hills, but I was determined to ride the whole thing in my big ring and hammer as hard as I could on the bike. Since it is not USAT sanctioned, I saw a few packs of people drafting on the bike, I tried to hold on to each of them as long as I could, but they were much faster than I was. That’s ok, this meant I got to spend a lot of solo time with my main girl…Mojo!! Thankfully the beautiful weather with little wind made for an easy bike ride that was very uneventful!

Bike Gear: Specialized Transition bike (Mojo), Coeur Sports Tri Kit, Specialized Women’s Ember Road Shoes, Specialized Evade Helmet, Tifosi sunnies, Garmin Forerunner 910XT

Bike Nutrition: 1 bottle of water, 1 bottle of Osmo Hydration (4 scoops)

T2: 1:07

I quickly racked Mojo, swapped my cycling shoes for running shoes, dropped my helmet, and grabbed my visor and race belt. As I ran toward run out, I put on my visor and race belt trying to save as much time as possible.

Run: 4.5 miles in 38:27 (8:33/mile)

Since there is no body marking at this event (yes, you read this correctly…what triathlon doesn’t have body marking?!), you don’t know the ages of the people around you. I decided early on that I was going to give this my best effort…go hard and have fun! At about mile 1, I was nearly hit by a car when the volunteer at the intersection was unable to get the truck to stop and wait for us. There are signs posted EVERYWHERE telling drivers that there is a race in progress, but apparently this guy was in a BIG hurry and just couldn’t wait for one slow super fast runner. This run course has lots of rolling hills, and at about mile 2 I started wishing I would have taken my fruit snacks on the bike. (Not taking them on the bike was a purposeful decision…I wanted to see how far I would get before I wished I had nutrition.) With just over 2 miles to go, I knew I’d be fine and could push hard to the end…that was exactly what I did! As I came back into the Amusement Park, my sister and twin nieces were there cheering me on to a PR at this event.

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Giving Laylah a low five as I neared the finish line. Photo credit: Sara Riley
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Running into the finish trying to get Isabella to give me a low five. Apparently I was “too sweaty and gross” for that one! Ha 🙂 Photo Credit: Sarah Riley

Run Gear: Coeur Sports Tri Kit, Brooks PureFlow4 running shoes, Garmin Forerunner 910XT

Run Nutrition: water at the aid stations

Overall: 1:54:44 (4th out of 21 in 30-39 age group, 11th out of 61 women, and 64th out of 158 overall)

Originally I was bummed that I missed the podium by 1 minute, but I am pleased that I pushed hard, gave it my all on this day, and managed a PR by 23 seconds. After all, a PR is a PR…even if it is by 23 seconds 😉

8 weeks ’til #IMWI: recovery + racing + family

The theme this week was recovery, race weekend, and family time! With so much recovery, we are ready to hit the ground running for another 2 week build this week!!

Monday:

I spent most of the day resting and staying indoors since it was another HOT and HUMID summer day. I was very happy to not have anything scheduled on my calendar until 5:30 pm for our ladies only ride #2. It was a smaller turn out this time, but I think it could be because the feel like temperature was 100F and the winds were ~25 mph sustained from the south. We worked on drafting off each other as we rode south straight into the winds. When we turned around, the ladies quickly realized how amazing it felt to have the winds push us back home!

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Tuesday:

I met with a personal training client at 8 am, and then spent the rest of the day cleaning house, and running a few errands. I managed to find time to give Mojo and myself a little TLC before enjoying an evening of sushi with my fave! It was the perfect scheduled rest day!

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Wednesday:

I met with a personal training client at 10 am, and spent the rest of the day doing laundry and packing for our trip home to my parents this weekend. When the Iron Hippie came home from work, we talked about doing a workout, but instead opted for an unscheduled rest day. Our bodies would appreciate this as we have another 2 week build coming up next week. We relaxed with the dogs and watched a movie as we enjoyed our last evening at home for a few days.

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Thursday:

I met with a personal training client at 8 am, and then did my own TRX workout. Since we were traveling to Okoboji after the Iron Hippie got off work, I wouldn’t be teaching my normal Thursday evening TRX class. It was kind of fun to have the TRX room to myself and do my own workout!! I ran some errands, and finished packing for our trip, so when the Iron Hippie came home from work, we could hit the road. After we arrived at my parent’s house (side note…my parents were not home for this trip since they were visiting my sister and her family in the Bay Area) and unloaded the car, we walked the dogs down to the water to watch the sunset. It was a beautiful evening!

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Friday:

This was a rest day from working out, but I think babysitting my twin 8-year old nieces most of the day made for an even more exhausting day than if we had worked out. We started the day by picking up our race packets for our race on Saturday, then went and picked the twins up so they could spend the day with us. We went to their house to get one of their bikes, went to the Taco House for lunch, and then went back to my parent’s house for the rest of the day. We worked on helping the twins learn how to ride their bikes without training wheels, swimming in the pool, taking the dogs to the lake to swim, cooking dinner at home, and more bike riding. It was a very full day!!

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Saturday:

The alarm clock went off at 4:30 am for us to get ready for the Okoboji Triathlon. It was a PERFECT morning for racing and a FANTASTIC start to our Anniversary! Usually the weather for the Okoboji events is HOT, HUMID, and MISERABLE, but not this year! We were blessed with cool weather, low humidity, and fantastic weather! We got to the race site at 5:30 am, quickly set up our transition area and made our way over to the marathon start at 6 am to cheer on those athletes running the marathon. After the marathon runners embarked on their day, we finished getting ready to race and made our way down to the water for the start. I’ll have a more detailed race report later this week, but let’s just say that the beautiful weather paid off and it was so fun to have my sister and the twins at the finish line cheering me on!! 😉 After crossing the finish line, we went home, showered, and came back to the finish area to cheer on some friends who were running the 1/2 marathon. The fun thing about the Okoboji events is that the marathon starts at 6 am, the triathlon starts at 7 am, the 1/2 marathon starts at 8 am, and the 10K starts at 9 am. The goal is for the majority of the people to finish about the same time. We made it back to the finish just in time to see our friends finish. They ROCKED it!! So proud of them!! We went to have Pho for lunch…the perfect post race food!! Thankfully we met our friends there for lunch and we all got to enjoy each other’s company and amazing food together. After lunch, we went home and took a nap before heading over to our friend’s cabin for an evening boat ride, some amazing home cooked food, and fun conversations. The Iron Hippie stopped at West-O-Beer Brewery for one beer to celebrate our anniversary on our way home for the evening. It was the perfect day!

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Thanks to my sis for this fun photo of me giving my nieces a high five as I came into the finish line!

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Sunday:

Today was a day of rest from workouts, but it was another full day with the twins. After we woke up, we went to pick up 15 bags of soil to fill the big hole in the backyard for my dad (about a month ago some nasty storms uprooted one of the trees in their backyard, and the tree service just came to remove it on Friday). The twins helped us fill the hole, but the 15 bags didn’t fill it. We took a swim break before going back to get 15 more bags of soil and adding about 9 of them to the hole. The Iron Hippie mowed the yard, while I vacuumed and cleaned up the house. We grilled home cooked food, and then worked with the twins to help them learn to ride their bikes without training wheels…WALA!! Success!! They can both start, stop, and ride continuously without assistance. They still need to work on turning, but they will get that down with more practice! Parenting is hard work and I commend those of you with kids! Balancing your life and theirs is not easy, so kudos to you!

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Weekly Totals: 3 hours & 53 minutes

Swim: 960 yards (triathlon swim only this week)
Bike: 35.7 miles
Run: 4.5 miles (triathlon run only this week)
Strength Training: 45 minutes

Quote of the Week:

“I did something that I said I couldn’t do.” ~Laylah (my niece) once she learned to ride her bicycle without training wheels 🙂

We can all learn from this quote…don’t give up and believe in yourself!