My 10 Bests

This post was inspired by Korrie over at Korrie’s Triathlon Diary. If you haven’t checked her out yet, you should!

There have been MANY ups and down during my career in endurance sport. Setting goals, crushing them and having many achievements along the way. There have also been many disappointments and setbacks along the way, but every up and down has made me a stronger athlete…both mentally and physically. The roller coaster of life is what makes our journey so much more rewarding.

  • Best Inspiring Movie – “Rudy”

I just love this movie! On top of being an inspirational movie, it makes me feel good 🙂

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=txisvYZl-Tk

  • Best Courage Cave Soundtrack – “Brave” by Sara Bareillis

These words inspire me to work hard and push toward achieving my dreams:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QUQsqBqxoR4

  • Best Post Workout Smoothie

There is nothing better than a smoothie after a good, hard workout. My favorite combination is kale, Pure Clean beet powder, Osmo Recovery, frozen raspberries, cinnamon, avocado, and water. This is pure deliciousness and provides lots of nutrients to refuel me 🙂

  • Best Time of Day – Definitely before 6 am in the morning

Getting up at 4 am to complete an early morning workout sets me up for a great day. Once my feet are on the floor it is go time and there is nothing better than starting my day with endorphins to get me physically and mentally ready to conquer my day.

  • Best Day of the Week for Training – Sunday

#SundayFunday is the best day of the week! Lately we have been going on a long ride, just because we can and enjoying every minute of it!

Century ride in November in Iowa...this amazing weather is unheard of!!

Century ride in November in Iowa…this amazing weather is unheard of!!

  • Best Road Cycling Route – Ames, Elkhart, High Trestel Trail, Slater, and back to Ames

I have many routes that I love more than this one, but unfortunately they are not in central Iowa where we live. This is a simple 50 mile route on roads that aren’t heavily trafficked or have a bike lane and about 10 miles of this route is on a paved trail, which gets us off the roads.

  • Best Workout Partner – The Iron Hippie

I am so lucky and thankful to have my husband join me on my crazy adventures! He has been by my side through the ups and downs and supports me, encourages me and challenges me to be the best version of myself and the best athlete that I can be.

Last long run before Ironman Boulder

  • Best 4 legged running partner – Basil

Basil LOVES to run and is so happy when she gets to chase rabbits and squirrels 😉 Even if we don’t feel like running, she is ALWAYS up for a run!!

That is a happy smile and a happy dog!

That is a happy smile and a happy dog!

This was, without a doubt, my favorite Ironman ever!! It was an Ironman, so there were obstacles to overcome, but it is a race I will definitely be doing again…love, Love, LOVE it!!

Whizzing through Hygiene on the first loop...Serious #bikelove on this course!!

Whizzing through Hygiene on the first loop…Serious #bikelove on this course!!

Coeur Sports as the absolute best triathlon kit on the market…no chafing, seamless chamois, perfect fit, fun colors, #stylishspeed and #noangrykitty…simply AMAZING!! 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!!

As we move into the winter doldrums, I thought this is a perfect time to focus on the good things that surround us.

What are your BESTs? What things boost your mood and training during the winter doldrums?

Ironman Boulder – Gratitude 

Sorry I’ve been off the grid for a little bit, after Ironman Boulder, I visited family on the West Coast and am finally back in the Midwest, with no travel plans in the near future.

I have already posted about our 3+ week trication in Colorado in multiple parts and my Ironman Boulder race experience. In case you missed them, here they are:

Red Feather Lakes

Estes Park – The Beginning

Estes Park – The Middle

Estes Park – The End

Denver Metro

Boulder

Ironman Boulder Race Report

I want to take a few minutes and thank those who have supported me in this amazing journey:

My Family

I am so blessed to have the most amazing and supportive family! Mom, Dad, Laylah, Isabella, Aunt Linda, Neal, Kathy, Elizabeth, Justin, Jennifer, Jacob, Sarah, Lora, Sam and Sara all made the trip to Boulder…some had a much longer way to travel than others, but I was VERY grateful that they were all there to support us on race day. I am also blessed to have a supportive family not only on race day, but throughout the training. Dad has kayaked beside me while I swim and my whole family is always inquiring about how my training is going and what race I am doing next. I am a lucky girl!!

Dad and I race morning.

Dad and I race morning.

My aunt, cousins and Dad came out to the Rez for the swim

My aunt, cousins and Dad came out to the Rez for the swim

My cheer squad...Love them all!!

My cheer squad…Love them all!!

My Sponsors

Coeur Sports is the best women’s triathlon brand on the market! They have created #stylishspeed that keeps my girly bits happy…even while covering 140.6 miles. #noangrykitty here!! As a Coeur Sports ambassador, I get the privilege of being a part of an amazing team of women who are supportive, inspirational and genuinely full of #heartandcourage! I am so lucky to get the opportunity to enCOEURage more women in endurance sport, experience the ups and downs they encounter while on their journey and witness their joy when they reach new finish lines!!

One of the many perks of being a Coeur Sports ambassador is getting support from other amazing companies as well. Osmo NutritionRoka Sports and Barnana have kept me going throughout my training and racing this year. Osmo Nutrition is the best sports hydration on the market. Dr. Stacy Sims knows that #womenarenotsmallmen and has formulated both active hydration and recovery products to meet the needs of men and women separately. When I use the Osmo Nutrition products as they were intended, I stay properly hydrated and recovered 🙂 With Ironman Boulder not being a wetsuit swim, the only Roka gear I wore were my X1 goggles, which I absolutely LOVE!! If you haven’t tried Roka’s goggles, you definitely should…they are the BEST!! Barnana makes using real food on the bike so much easier with the bite sized pieces. The #superpotassium is an added bonus for endurance activity to keep the muscles working properly 🙂

Sound Probiotics is a recent sponsorship that actually came about after Ironman Boulder, but they have been keeping me healthy and on track throughout my entire Ironman Boulder training. I usually get sick during the taper and often times once or twice during training…especially since I teach middle schoolers and am always surrounded by germs. Thanks to Sound Probiotics for my #happygut, #enhancedimmunity and #betterrecovery throughout my training and racing experience!!

Nick and Chris…

Nick has been keeping my body well recovered through massage for almost 2 years. He knows all of my problem areas and knows just what to do to keep my body (and ultimately my mind) happy and healthy!

Dr. Chris has been using ART (active release therapy) and dry needling on various parts of my body at different times throughout my training as issues arise. He has been amazing to keep me moving forward while staying happy and healthy.

I am so lucky to have both of these men keeping me happy and healthy throughout this amazing journey!!

My Triathlon Peeps

I am so lucky to be surrounded by amazing triathlon people…both in person and virtually. Thank you Allen for your support throughout our training…you provided good balance in our household 😉 Thank you Kyle for all of your support in keeping Mojo happy throughout my training and on race day. A special thanks for taking all of my frantic calls leading up to the race to answer questions and problem solve issues with Allen and the Iron Hippie’s bikes. Thank you to all of the people who called, texted, emailed, Facebook messaged me, tweeted me, commented on my blog posts, commented on my Instagram pictures and tracked my progress both while training and on race day! You all ROCK!!

The Iron Hippie

You are my #1 cheerleader and have supported me on this crazy journey of life and the even crazier journey of triathlon. I love you and am forever grateful for your love and support. What crazy journey should we take on next?!?!?!?

We are ready to swim...not a wetsuit legal swim.

We are ready to swim…not a wetsuit legal swim.

Ironman Boulder Race Report: I did it again!

Sunday was an epic day!! I absolutely LOVE race day!! It doesn’t matter if I’m racing or spectating…the energy in the air is AMAZING and unlike anything you’ll experience anywhere else!!

I’ll try to keep this post relatively short, although it is a race report 😉 I had great hopes of breaking 14 hours for my overall finish time, but knew that my ultimate goals were to smile, have fun, embrace the entire day and push my limits for this race on this day. Here is how the day went down:

Pre-Race:

Sunday morning the alarm clock went off at 2:30 am for the start of a long and glorious day!! I quickly jumped in the shower (yes, I know I was going to race and get all stinky, but a shower wakes me up and helps get me ready for racing), ate my cream of rice cereal (with fresh blueberries and Pure Clean Beet Powder), drank my Karma Kombucha and read my pre-race visualization/mantras/quotes before heading out the door to the Boulder High School where I would drop my special needs bags and board a bus to the Boulder Rez with all other athletes and spectators.

IMG_3610

“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

We were on the first bus to the Boulder Rez, which gave us plenty of time for body marking, filling water bottles on the bike, adding to my T1 bag and hitting the loo before getting ready for the swim. We did find out that the water temperature was 78.1F, so it was not a wetsuit legal swim, but it was wetsuit optional. This meant it was time to make decisions…Should I wear my wetsuit knowing the water temp was a bit warm for it, that I would have to start at the back of the pack and that I wouldn’t be eligible for Age Group Awards or Kona Qualification? Should I go without the wetsuit knowing that there would be a lot of people wearing wetsuits that would probably catch and pass me on the swim and I would probably be more comfortable temperature wise? Hmmm…No wetsuit it is!

Body marking complete...time to race!!

Body marking complete…time to race!!

We are ready to swim...not a wetsuit legal swim.

We are ready to swim…not a wetsuit legal swim.

Eventually Dad, my aunt Linda, my cousin Neal and his wife Kathy and Lora, Sam and Sara (Allen’s wife and 2 daughters) showed up at the Boulder Rez. This was a good distraction from what was to come…

My aunt, cousins and Dad came out to the Rez for the swim

My aunt Linda, cousin Neal and his wife Kathy and Dad came out to the Rez for the swim

Dad and I race morning.

Dad and I race morning.

Eventually, I lined up in the middle of the people hoping to swim between 1:16:00 and 1:30:00. I knew that if I were wearing my wetsuit I could easily swim 1:20:00 (which was my swim goal), but wasn’t sure how not wearing my wetsuit would impact my swim.

After the Star Spangled Banner was played, the cannon went off and we all rolled into the water and the swim began.

Swim:

HOLY PHYSICAL CONTACT!!!! This swim had the most physical contact I’ve ever had in a swim before. It resembled a washing machine full of clothes, where the people were the clothes. I was hoping that after the first turn buoy the physical contact would dissipate, but unfortunately that didn’t happen. I just kept reminding myself to “just keep swimming” and to stay “straight, fluid and relax” throughout the swim. This worked in my favor…I never had a moment of panic during the swim and when someone would grab my leg, I would just kick really hard and get away from them and then find my groove again. Eventually I was on my return to dry land and it was a very welcome sight 🙂

Swim exit...I am the one in the red swimsuit.

Swim exit…I am the one in the red swimsuit under the arch.

Swim Time: 1:32:21 (2:23/100 m)…This 12 minutes slower than my goal swim time and was my slowest Ironman swim. I am certain my swim time would have been faster with a wetsuit

Division Rank: 83/142

Gender Rank: 361/558 (women finishers)

Overall Rank: 1479/2010 (total finishers)

Gear: TYR swimsuit, Roka X1 Goggles (Dark Amber/Gold Mirror)

Nutrition: Goldfish crackers, Osmo Nutrition Preload and 6 Chocolate covered Barnanas before the swim

T1: 

I was able to run past the wetsuit strippers, grab my gear bag and run into the women’s change tent, where Melissa (who also happened to have the Coeur Sports Courage design tri kit) helped me change and get on my way. It was quite a long run from the women’s change tent to our bikes and then to the mount line.

Time to go ride my bicycle!

Time to go ride my bicycle!

T1 Time: 9:02…this was almost 6 minutes faster than my goal T1 time

Bike:

I decided to start my ride nice and easy since the first 7 miles are a gradual uphill climb. Lots of people passed me in this section, but I just let them go. I knew that if they went out too hard, I would catch them. This bike course is two loops with the first loop being done twice before going onto the second loop. I found my groove and just rode my heart out, but kept my watts in check so that I would have energy left for the next 2 loops. I backed off the power just a bit on Nelson Road, since it is a gradual climb. Anytime we went west (toward the mountains), we were climbing…even when it didn’t look like it. As I entered Hygiene, I didn’t expect to see anyone I knew because my Dad, aunt Linda, cousin Neal and his wife Kathy as well as Lora, Sam and Sara had waited until we exited the water out at the Boulder Rez before boarding a bus and heading back to town. I was pleasantly surprised to see my cousin Justin, his wife Jennifer, their son Jacob and Neal and Kathy’s daughter Elizabeth in Hygiene waiting for us. I zipped right past them because I wasn’t expecting to see anyone I knew on this loop. I continued on and saw Mike and Stacey, friends of ours, on Nelson Road before eventually starting the second loop.

Whizzing through Hygiene on the first loop...Serious #bikelove on this course!!

Whizzing through Hygiene on the first loop…Serious #bikelove on this course!!

 

I took it nice and easy the first few miles of the second loop…again that gradual climb. I also took it easy on Nelson Road and stopped at the bike special needs station on Nelson to restock my stores before moving my way into Hygiene. This time I knew I was going to stop and chat with my family, since they should all be there. And they were!!

IMG_4629

“Hey” How’s your day?!?!?!?!

Stopping to say "Hi" in Hygiened :)

Stopping to say “Hi” in Hygiened 🙂

Chatting it up with the family in Hygiene

Chatting it up with the family in Hygiene

Wetting down my arm coolers while I update the fam on my day.

Wetting down my arm coolers while I update the fam on my day.

Smiles for all...even at mile 70 on the bike.

Smiles for all…even at mile 70 on the bike.

Hello Justin! Thanks for taking pictures :)

Hello Justin! Thanks for taking pictures 🙂

I'm still leading the boys and I have to keep my lead, so I'm off!!

I’m still leading the boys and I have to keep my lead, so I’m off!!

Getting some speed and power as I roll out of Hygiene!!

Getting some speed and power as I roll out of Hygiene!!

Getting back into the groove after my stop in Hygiene.

Getting back into the groove after my stop in Hygiene.

Mom and Dad on the bike course in Hygiene

Mom and Dad on the bike course in Hygiene

I continued on my way, saw Mike and Stacey on Nelson Road again and then made my way to the third and final loop on the bike course. I knew there were a few longer and steeper climbs on this loop, which I took nice and easy before making my way back into Boulder. I knew my family would be on the side of the road at about mile 110, so I decided to stop again. They informed me that I was leading the boys and that I should “Go, Go, Go!” They told me to beat them and sent me on my way. It was all downhill into T2!

Riding away from the family at mile 110...time to get on to the run!

Riding away from the family at mile 110…time to get on to the run!

Mom and the twins are cheering me on to the run!

Mom and the twins are cheering me on to the run!

Riding away from the family at mile 110

Riding away from the family at mile 110

Riding away from the family at mile 110

Riding away from the family at mile 110

Bike Time: 6:46:12 (16.54 mph)…I was almost 15 minutes faster than my goal pace.

Division Rank: 77/142

Gender Rank: 326/558 (women finishers)

Overall Rank: 1514/2010 (total finishers)

Stops on the bike: I stopped twice on the bike to chat with my family, I stopped at every aid station to refill my bike bottles and spray down my arm coolers and I stopped once to pee at mile 100.

Gear: Coeur Sports Ambassador tri kit, Coeur Sports SuperNova Cycling Jersey, Coeur Sports Arm Coolers, Specialized bike shoes, Specialized Transition Bike, Bell Helmet, Tifosi Sunglasses, Garmin 910XT

Nutrition: 3.5 bottles of Osmo Active Hydration, lots of goldfish crackers, 1 package of Honey Stinger Chews

T2:

It was a really long run from bike dismount until when the volunteers took my bike and I got my bag to change. As soon as I entered the change tent, Erin, my Coeur Sports teammate, grabbed me and helped me change. It was so amazing to get to meet her in person!! She is an amazing woman and I truly wish we lived closer…I know we would become such great friends!! She filled my water bottle with water and ice (which was the best. thing. ever.) and sent me out on the run.

T2 Time: 8:57

Run:

The run starts with a gradual descent, which made it easy to start out a little faster, but what goes down, must go up. Just like the bike course, anytime we were running west (toward the mountains), we had a gradual uphill climb and anytime we were going east we had a gradual descent. When you look at my run splits, you can see where these transitions occur. I had a run goal in mind, but decided to throw it out the window and just have fun, but push myself a little bit so that it wasn’t a walk. I decided I’d only walk the aid stations and the uphills (not the false flats, but the short, steeper climbs that were a part of the course). I took in nutrition at every aid station…sometimes it was grapes, sometimes oranges…sometimes coke, sometimes no coke, but ALWAYS water. I was so lucky to have family and many friends out there to check in with. Every time I stopped near my family, they would tell me I was still in front of the boys and that I should “Go, Go, Go!!”

Erin...one of my Coeur Sports teammates and my angel on race day!!

Erin…one of my Coeur Sports teammates and my angel on race day!!

You want me to pose with my peeps :)

You want me to pose with my peeps 🙂

This smile sums up my race day experience!!

This smile sums up my race day experience!!

My cheer squad...Love them all!!

My cheer squad…Love them all!!

Pulling a Michael Jordan while I run :)

Pulling a Michael Jordan while I run 🙂

Run focus!!

Run focus!!

Having fun on the run!!

Having fun on the run!!

I stopped at the run special needs at the half way point so I could change my socks and shoes to keep my feet happy. I knew I could make a daylight finish if I just kept moving forward…it would be close, but I could do it!

Run Time: 5:28:05 (12:31/mi average pace)…I missed my goal by an hour, but had fun along the way

Division Rank: 67/142

Gender Rank: 272/558 (women finishers)

Overall Rank: 1234/2010 (total finishers)

Gear: Coeur Sports Ambassador tri kit, Coeur Sports Visor, Road Runner Socks, Newton Kismets, Asics Gel-Nimbus 16s, Tifosi Sunglasses, Garmin 910XT

Nutrition: grapes, oranges, coke, water

Finish Line:

I did make a daylight finish, although the finish photos don’t really show that. I was so ecstatic…I was done.

Dad and Sam cheering me on down the finish shoot...yes, that blur is me :)

Dad and Sam cheering me on down the finish shoot…yes, that blur is me 🙂

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.

A strong finish down the finish shoot.

A strong finish down the finish shoot.

Finished...official time was 14:04:37

Finished…official time was 14:04:37

I finished my day with #heartandcourage

I finished my day with #heartandcourage

Finish Time: 14:04:37…I missed my goal by 4:38, but I had fun and set a new PR by 1:11:19

Post Race:

I was so blessed to have Erin catch me at the finish line and escort me through everything…finisher medal, finisher hat and cap collection, timing chip removed, finisher photo, food and then to my family. She was my angel for sure!!

I didn't eat any of the food in my hands.

I didn’t eat any of the food in my hands.

I'm so thankful to have such an amazing support system!!

I’m so thankful to have such an amazing support system!!

About 20 minutes after finishing, I became really light headed and dizzy. My mother told me to go to the medical tent, so I listened to her. They took my vitals and made me drink a NASTY salty liquid and a bottle of water. Shortly after that, my muscles started contracting like I had Parkinson’s Disease. They moved me to a room with beds and wrapped me in a mylar blanket. This is when my angel showed up…ERIN 🙂 My nurse showed back up and told me to eat 2 small packages of gummy bears…my taste buds DID NOT want them!! Erin told me to swallow them like pills, so I did. Eventually my muscles stopped contracting and a doctor showed up to check on me. He told me I was hyponatremic and asked if I had experience with this…HERE WE GO AGAIN!! I was hyponatremic after my Ironman Wisconsin 2011 race…I DID IT AGAIN!! He eventually released me and I laid in the grass for quite a while before Lora walked me to the car.

This is post medical tent...I didn't feel so good.

This is post medical tent…I didn’t feel so good.

Photo Credit: Cousin Neal and his wife Kathy, Cousin Justin, Lora, Finisher Pix

At this point, I REALLY had to pee, but decided I could make it back to our home stay. Thankfully the Iron Hippie was in a good state and could drive us back to our home stay.My stomach had shutdown and did not absorb any of the liquid the medical tent told me to drink, so when I got out of the car, EVERY liquid I had in my body left…I projectile vomited ALL. THE. LIQUID. Did you know that when your muscles contract to vomit they also contract and cause you to pee yourself?!?!?! Yes, you read that correctly, as I projectile vomited I also peed myself. Thankfully I was in the driveway and NOT indoors. When I was done, the Iron Hippie said, “That. Was. Awesome.” Despite the post race medical issues, this was one of the best days of my life!! I met most of my goals:

  1. Have fun! I definitely had a LOT of fun!!
  2. Smile…I think the photos do a great job of showing the continuous smile on my face 🙂
  3. Embrace the entire day…I did a great job of this! Even when things got dark (which surprisingly didn’t happen too often) I embraced it and continued to move forward.
  4. Go sub 14 hours on the day…I missed this goal by 4:38. If I wouldn’t have stopped to chat with family and friends, go to the restroom and change my socks/shoes at run special needs, I probably would have met this goal. This small time difference wasn’t worth not having fun, so I would say it was a successful day.

Overall Thoughts on the Day:

This was a PR by 1:11:19 and I had a BLAST!! I’m already thinking about the next one, but I promised the Iron Hippie that I wouldn’t do an Ironman in 2016 😉

Oh…the Iron Hippie cut his hair…You won’t even recognize him. I may have to come up with a new name for him…

So much for keeping this race report short…

IMG_4666

I have many thank yous, which will be in the next blog post 🙂

Trication Part 3 – Denver Metro

Sunday:

The Iron Hippie and I left Estes Park early in the morning to head to my cousin’s house in Parker, CO. Unfortunately my cousin and his wife are in Europe, but my aunt is house sitting for them, so we get to spend some time with her.

After arriving, we unloaded the car, ate some lunch and then went to the mall to hit up a few stores we don’t have access to (other than online) back home.

Athleta...I love your clothes!

Athleta…I love your clothes!

I spent some time in the late afternoon catching up on blog posts (I kind of slacked on posting my Estes Park blog posts, which you can find here, here and here), some last minute information from DC (the Ironman Boulder race director) and emails before dinner.

Eggplant Parmesan for dinner...yummy!!

Eggplant Parmesan for dinner…yummy!!

After dinner, we all got comfortable on the couch and watched a documentary before bed…Nicky’s Family…If you have not seen this yet, I HIGHLY recommend it. WOW!!

“Before the start of World War II, Briton Nicholas Winton masterminded the rescue of more than 600 Jewish children from Nazi-occupied Prague.”

Snuggling on the couch to watch Nicky's Family

Snuggling on the couch to watch Nicky’s Family

Monday:

I started the day with a smoothie and some relaxing with Sophie cuddling up next to me, while I worked on some writing.

Sophie is cuddled up next to me as I write.

Sophie is cuddled up next to me as I write.

 

We then went to the Parker Recreation Center for our last long swim (4700 yards) before lunch.

Monday Motivation...Ironman Wisconsin swim cap with only 6 days until race day.

Monday Motivation…Ironman Wisconsin swim cap with only 6 days until race day.

Last long swim complete...4700 yards.

Last long swim complete…4700 yards.

After cleaning up and eating lunch, we kicked our feet up while watching one of the dumbest movies ever…Jackass.

This is such a DUMB show!

This is such a DUMB show!

Characteristics of a Professional athlete

Characteristics of a Professional athlete

Getting some advice from Sophie (my cousin's dog)...she thinks I have a lot of characteristics of professional athletes.

Getting some advice from Sophie (my cousin’s dog)…she thinks I have a lot of characteristics of professional athletes.

At about 3:30, we went and picked my cousin up and then his parents came over after work for dinner. It was nice and relaxing and great to catch up…especially since I won’t get to spend much time with them on race day.

Tuesday:

We woke up early on Tuesday morning, went for an easy 30 minute run, packed up the Rav4, cleaned up and headed to Louisville Cyclery to pick up Mojo. We then went to Lululemon in Boulder where we found our names in their Ironman recognition window and did a little shopping before meeting the Iron Hippie’s sister for an Indian lunch shortly after 1:30.

Thanks Lululemon for all of your Ironman Boulder support! I can't wait to see you on race day out on the course :)

Thanks Lululemon for all of your Ironman Boulder support! I can’t wait to see you on race day out on the course 🙂

I found my name in the Ironman recognition window at Lululemon in Boulder.

I found my name in the Ironman recognition window at Lululemon in Boulder.

Here I am!!

Here I am!!

This is where Lululemon will be on the run course at Ironman Boulder.

This is where Lululemon will be on the run course at Ironman Boulder.

Lululemon...thanks for my free tank (the one on the left) and your amazing workout clothes!!

Lululemon…thanks for my free tank (the one on the left) and your amazing workout clothes!!

What a perfect name for an Indian restaurant!!

What a perfect name for an Indian restaurant!!

My Indian meal...full of yummy goodness!!

My Indian meal…full of yummy goodness!!

We relocated to the Iron Hippie’s sister and brother-in-law’s house for the next two nights (which is also a bit closer to Boulder than Parker). When we arrived to their house in Lakewood, we unloaded everything before relaxing and enjoying snacks for dinner instead of a big feast.

The Iron Hippie, his sister and brother-in-law all in the kitchen enjoying conversation and kitchen prep for tomorrow night's meal.

The Iron Hippie, his sister and brother-in-law all in the kitchen enjoying conversation and kitchen prep for tomorrow night’s meal.

It was early to bed for me. I was so tired and feeling a little sad and homesick…I REALLY miss my girls and can’t wait to see them. Seventeen days away from them has been TOO long!! I wish they were here with us and I hope they didn’t forget about us!!

This is where my heart is today...miss these two so much!!

This is where my heart is today…miss these two so much!!

Wednesday:

We slept in, which is something my body was REALLY craving. WOW…10 hours of sleep later and I felt like a completely new person. I started the morning by relaxing in the living room while the Iron Hippie slept and everyone else was at work. When the Iron Hippie woke up, we went for a short (20 minute) bike ride to make sure all of my gears were working properly, since we picked Mojo up yesterday at the shop.

Mojo is race ready!!

Mojo is race ready!!

After our ride, it was time for a breakfast smoothie full of all the good things…

Love my morning smoothie with Osmo Recovery and Pure Clean Powder

Love my morning smoothie with Osmo Recovery and Pure Clean Powder

I spent the rest of the morning doing laundry, getting ready for our final relocation to Boulder and Thursday’s workouts (swim at the Boulder Rez, followed by an hour spin on the bikes). I am soooo ready to relocate for the last time this trication!!

We made a quick trip to Target for some last minute items we will need for our race and to get us through the last few days of our trication. On our way, we stopped at Panera for a tasty summer salad for lunch.

My Panera salad for lunch hit the spot!!

My Panera salad for lunch hit the spot!!

I laid down for a short afternoon nap and was ready to go for dinner…homemade Thai food is da bomb!! Thanks Greg and Sarah for a wonderful stay and yummy food to fuel us into race weekend 🙂 We capped off our evening watching some television and packing up our stuff to relocate one last time before race weekend…Boulder, here we come!!

Glass noodle salad

Glass noodle salad

Curry

Curry

Mango sticky rice

Mango sticky rice

Sarah and I using bowl pad holders...perfect for holding hot bowls any time of the day!!

Sarah and I using bowl pad holders…perfect for holding hot bowls any time of the day!!

Thursday:

It was off to Boulder early for the last part of our trication…pre-race, race day and post race 🙂

4 weeks ’til Ironman Boulder

“It is amazing how incredible the human body is that it can do so much. That it can go beyond the everydayness of life; that it can be extraordinary and powerful, and harbor a spirit of hope and pure will.” ~Lynne Cox

Hello taper time…it is SO nice for you to bless us with your presence!! We have been working so hard to see you!! We have finally reached the point in our training were we taper. Typically we would have another week of hard training before the taper, but we are leaving on Saturday to head to Colorado for 3 weeks to acclimate to the altitude, do some training and relax before race day. Some coaches suggested that we not go to altitude after having just completed our last big build, but to go out after a recovery/rest week. This would set us up for a quicker adjustment to the altitude and hopefully prevent us from getting sick.

Swim: 9405 yards

My best swim this week was Tuesday morning’s Ladder to 400 swim. This workout was written to be completed in the 25 yard pool, but I ended up swimming in the 50 meter pool, which gave me more distance than planned. It was an amazing morning for a swim and I felt really strong throughout this workout. True #swimlove Tuesday morning 🙂

The 50 meter pool is such a peaceful place in the early morning hours.

The 50 meter pool is such a peaceful place in the early morning hours.

Bike: 170 miles

We had a lot #bikelove this week, with some of them being followed up with some running. Monday was a great trainer workout that produced a lot of sweat and hard efforts.

Hard at work

Hard at work

Run: 39 miles

We had a couple of really good runs this week, but the shortest run was 9 miles (with the exception of our shorter brick on Wednesday). Oof…

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Brick: 

Friday was our LAST LONG brick…WAHOO!! We rode 115 miles at an average pace of 17.2 mph and then ran 9 miles off the bike with an average pace of 10:18. Our run pace was a little slower than we had hoped for, but we felt like we definitely could have kept running, so that was a huge confidence builder. 🙂 It felt really good to complete that workout knowing we only had two more hard workouts before the taper.

30 miles into our 115 mile bike ride.

30 miles into our 115 mile bike ride.

9 mile run off the bike complete

9 mile run off the bike complete

Strength Training: 1 hour & 45 minutes

Weekly Totals: 22 hours and 23 minutes

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Weekly Highlights:

Getting a new Coeur Sports tri kit just in time for our last big run on Sunday…

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#stylishspeed #heartandcourage #noangrykitty

Thank you Osmo Nutrition for keeping us properly hydrated and recovered…

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#makesyourproteinworksmarter #makesyourwaterworkharder #womenarenotsmallmen

Feeling the love and support from Sound Probiotics

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Finally reaching the taper…

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Unexpected Setbacks:

I was exposed to a neighbor fogging his yard this week, which for most people isn’t an issue, but my body responds VERY similarly to that of an insect when exposed to insecticides, which means no bug spray, no ant traps, no flea collars, and no yard fog. 😦 Thankfully I didn’t have any seizures, but I was in a VERY delusional state on Wednesday and Thursday of last week. Because of this, I had to cut Wednesday’s brick short and skip our speed work on the trainer on Thursday. After sleeping a LOT on Wednesday and Thursday, I was feeling much better on Friday and ready to knock out our last big brick 🙂

4th of July Celebrations:

We started the day with a swim in the 50 meter pool…

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Spent time with friends for breakfast and at the small town parade before taking a long nap, eating some yummy food and then going to bed early for one more long run on Sunday.

This week’s focus:

Pack for our 3+ week trip to Colorado and make sure everything is in order on the home front for house/puppy sitter.

How was your week? How did you celebrate the 4th of July? What were the highlights of your week?

Legend 100 Race Report: Slapped, Beat Up and Torched

Legend 100 took place on Sunday in Lawrence, Kansas. It was scheduled as a tune-up for Ironman Boulder. This was way more of a “tune up” than we bargained for!

Friday: We left home shortly after noon and stopped at Kyle’s Bikes to have Kyle “bless” our bikes before the race. Thankfully we did, since he found and removed a small piece of glass from my front tire. Thank you Kyle!! Mojo held her own in Kansas!!

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Kyle checking Mojo over for the Legend 100. Photo courtesy of the Iron Hippie

Saturday: After breakfast, we drove one part of the bike course that we haven’t ridden in previous Ironman Kansas 70.3 events before going to the race site to check in.

Checking in at the Legend 100. Photo courtesy of Lora

Checking in at the Legend 100. Photo courtesy of Lora

We also went down to the transition area to check out just how flooded it was. While there, we found the Iowa flag on the perimeter of the transition area.

Representing Coeur Sports and Iowa at the Legend 100.

Representing Coeur Sports and Iowa at the Legend 100. Photo courtesy of the Iron Hippie

The afternoon was spent preparing for Sunday’s race and kicking the feet up to relax.

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That is a LOT of stuff!!

After an early dinner, we put our race number tattoos on before heading to bed early.

Race #136...ready to race!

Race #136…ready to race!

Race morning: The alarm went off at 3:30 am and it was already 78F and really humid. This can only mean one thing…it is going to be a rough day at the races. I followed my wake up call with getting ready to race, preparing breakfast and heading out the door at 4:30 am to Clinton State Park. Transition was approximately a mile from where we parked, so we knew we would have to leave early if we wanted to get to transition by 5 am when they opened.

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My morning breakfast consisted of cream of rice with blueberries and Pure Clean Powder, Osmo Nutrition Preload and Karma Kombucha. The perfect combination to jumpstart my gut, my energy, my endurance and my hydration!!

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Thanks to Coeur Sports for #stylishspeed and #noangrykitty for the whole 100 miles 🙂

Pre Race: After rolling into transition (we didn’t have to check any gear or our bikes in on Saturday, so we rode our bikes the mile to transition), I set up my gear, hit the toilet a time or two, donned my wetsuit and headed to the swim start.

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It was a beautiful morning at transition! Photo courtesy of Lora

Ready to Swim

Wetsuit is on and I’m ready to tri!! Photo courtesy of Kay

Entering the Water

Getting into the water for my swim start… Photo courtesy of Kay

Swim: Time to get slapped by the water

The Iron Hippie started at 6:30 am, Allen started at 6:33 am and my wave was to start at 6:36 am. My goal was to beat them both out of the water. When it was time to start swimming, I was thankful there weren’t a lot of people in my wave. The first loop of the swim was somewhat choppy, but it wasn’t too bad once I figured out when to breathe and not drink half the lake. After completing the first lap, we exited the water only to get back in and repeat the loop.

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First loop done and I’m still smiling 🙂 Photo courtesy of Kay

When I entered the water for lap two, the women’s Olympic distance swimmers were filing into the water RIGHT. IN. MY. WAY. Thankfully the race director was on the dock and was yelling at them to get on the other side of the barricade so I could have somewhat clean water. Clean is relative since the lake was flooded (it was murky and had a lot of debris), it was full of swimmers (more entering the water every 3 minutes) and the winds had picked up making that chop even worse than it was during the first lap. This loop was MESSY!! There were a LOT more people and the waves were no longer small. They had definitely grown in size. I did my best to keep my focus and not worry about all of the people I saw swimming toward boats, kayaks, canoes, etc. “Just Keep Swimming” was definitely my mantra. With about 500 yards to go, I noticed a familiar face. With every breath I took on the left, Allen was staring me in the face. I knew he would try to hold on and swim my pace, but I also knew I could beat him out of the water. Now the question would be…will I also beat the Iron Hippie?!?!?!?!

As I exited the water, Kay (our SUPER spectator) was there and told me that the Iron Hippie did in fact beat me out of the water, but only by about 30 seconds.

Stripping from the wetsuit on my way to transition after the swim.

Stripping from the wetsuit on my way to transition after the swim. Photo courtesy of Kay

Swim Time: 1:16:04 (2:22/100 yards)

I was hoping for about 1:10:00, but with the water slapping me in the face for 2 miles, I was pretty happy with this time.

T1:

As I approached my transition area and stopped moving, this is what was going through my mind, “WOAH!! Where did that dizziness come from?!?!?! Am I sea sick???? I’ve never been sea sick before!!! I don’t know what that feels like. I think I might be. I better sit down to finish getting this wetsuit off and get my bike gear on. That’s better.” When I was ready to stand back up, I was no longer dizzy and was ready to rock the bike. It just so happened that the Iron Hippie was too…

The Iron Hippie and me exiting transition for the bike together.

The Iron Hippie and me exiting transition for the bike together. Photo courtesy of Kay

T1 Time: 6:04…apparently sitting in transition cost me more time than I thought.

Bike: Time to get beat up by the hills and winds on the bike

I’ve raced the former Ironman Kansas 70.3 distance at this venue twice, so I knew most of the bike course and I knew it would be challenging. I had no idea we were going to get beat up so badly!! By this time of day, the temperatures were at 80F (with high humidity) and winds were from the south/southwest at 13 mph, which isn’t bad. But as it got closer to noon, the winds increased to 21 mph with gusts up to 28 mph and the temperatures climbed to 87F. Speaking of climbing did I mention that we had ~3000 feet of climbing with most of it into the headwind?!?!?! Well, needless to say, the Iron Hippie is a stronger cyclist than I am, so he took off. I got to see him plenty as there were 4 out and back sections on this course. At the last turn around, I knew he couldn’t be more than 2 miles in front of me.

Coming into transition and ready to feel that wind on the run!!

Rolling back into transition and ready to feel that wind on the run!! Photo courtesy of Lora

Bike Time: 5:24:27 (14.8 mph)…this was a sure sign of the hills and wind beating me up!!

T2:

As I came into transition, there was carnage everywhere. People were literally laying down in transition on the ground. Beat up from the ride, so I had to maneuver around them to get to my transition spot. I thought I quickly transitioned to the run…I guess I was slower than I thought.

T2 Time: 4:58

Run: Time for the sun to torch us

Where is that wind?!?!?! I would love to have the built in air conditioner right now!! Being back in the park meant we were surrounded by trees that blocked most of the wind. As I left transition, Kay told me that the Iron Hippie was about 7 minutes ahead of me. I was pretty sure I could catch him, but there was no guarantee. Boy was it HOT!! Anything could happen…

Running out of transition 7 minutes behind the Iron Hippie.

Running out of transition 7 minutes behind the Iron Hippie. Photo courtesy of Kay

We had a 3 loop run course, with the first 2 loops being about 6.5 miles each and the last loop being about 5 miles. By the time we made it to the run, it was 92F and still humid!! Because we were relatively protected by the strong winds, we got TORCHED!!

I've almost caught the Iron Hippie...he is only about 200 yards in front of me.

I’ve almost caught the Iron Hippie…he is only about 200 yards in front of me. Photo courtesy of Lora

I caught the Iron Hippie at about mile 5 and I decided to put my pride on the shelf and run/walk with him to the finish. With Ironman Boulder being our “A” race and with only one more build before we leave for a long vacation in Colorado, we decided that we needed to save face and go into damage control mode. It wasn’t worth not being able to complete our last build and be properly prepared for IMBoulder. We ran when we could and walked when we had to. It was great to see Kay, Lora, Sam and Sara out on the run course multiple times cheering us on!!

The last time up this F*&^ing hill!! Photo courtesy of Kay

The last time up this F*&^ing hill!! Photo courtesy of Kay

Super Spectator Kay, the Iron Hippie and Me. Glad to be almost done with this miserable day...but we are still smiling :) Photo courtesy of Lora

Super Spectator Kay, the Iron Hippie and Me. Glad to be almost done with this miserable day…but we are still smiling 🙂 Photo courtesy of Lora

Sam and Sara being spectator troopers!! Photo courtesy of Lora

Sam and Sara being spectator troopers!! Photo courtesy of Lora

The highest temperature of the day was 94F and with very little breeze, we felt like we were running in an oven. On another note, the amount of moths that we encountered were RIDICULOUS!! They would land on us and we would carry them on our backs for a while before wiping each other off. I felt like we were monkeys grooming each other. If I never see another moth again, I would be overjoyed!! At this point, we didn’t need to carry any extra weight…even if it was minimal 😉

Run Time: (or should I say walk time) 4:22:49…We were definitely torched and cooked on the run!!

Finish:

We crossed the finish line together, hand in hand, hands held high and smiles on our faces, despite being slapped, beat up and torched throughout the day.

Time to finish this thing!! Entering the finish shoot. Photo courtesy of Lora

Time to finish this thing!! Entering the finish shoot. Photo courtesy of Lora

This isn't the biggest medal I've earned, but it is close :)

This isn’t the biggest medal I’ve earned, but it is close 🙂

Finish Time: 11:14:19…Far from the goal time of 9-10 hours, but done. Persevering required a lot of #heartandcourage on a day like today.

Post Race:

I felt good for quite a while…I was hungry…I ate two hamburgers (without buns) and a bag of Doritos Nacho Cheese chips, drank a Gatorade and plenty of water. I had peed twice on the run course, so I knew I was properly hydrated. A special thanks to Osmo Nutrition for the Active Hydration that replaced all the salt I sweat out and helped me prevent cramping!! Afterall, #womenarenotsmallmen and the hydration worked perfectly for me!! The Iron Hippie and I went back down to transition to get all of our stuff, since Allen went to the medical tent after he finished. At this point, I noticed I wasn’t as good as I thought I was.

Hello heat stroke…I could have done without you today!! I packed up my stuff in transition and Allen’s. I grabbed all of our (the Iron Hippie, Allen and mine) transition bags, gear and my bike, hopped on a gator and got a ride back to the car. At the car, I decided I needed to lay down in the back of my vehicle. I was lightheaded, dizzy, my lips were numb and my muscles were starting to shake uncontrollably. I wasn’t cold and I wasn’t dehydrated (I had peed at the start and finish of the run). Allen decided to join me and Sam wiped faces with wet wipes…

Allen, Sam and I in the back of my vehicle. Photo courtesy of Lora

Allen, Sam and I in the back of my vehicle. Photo courtesy of Lora

Once the Iron Hippie arrived with his bike and Allen’s (thanks to another gator), we had a group photo taken at the car…

Kay, Iron Hippie, Sam, Allen, Me, Lora and Sara. Photo courtesy of Kay

Kay, Iron Hippie, Sam, Allen, Me, Lora and Sara. Photo courtesy of Kay

I’ve raced in the cold, rain and high temperatures before, but this was the worst race conditions I’ve ever raced in. Hopefully this means that Ironman Boulder will be mild in comparison.

Thank you to Kay, Lora, Sam and Sara for enduring a very long, hot and miserable day as you cheered us all on to #belegend finishers!!

What are the toughest conditions you’ve ever raced in? Have you ever had to change your race plans while racing to go into “damage control” mode?

10 weeks ’til Ironman Boulder

It is more like 9.5 weeks away, but the last 1.5 weeks have been extremely busy!! I typically try to post on Mondays for the previous week, but due to my busy schedule lately this blog post got delayed a bit.

What was it that kept me so busy? LOTS of training and my last full week of school this year…yes, I am done with students and only have one more day of professional development (i.e. meetings) until my summer break officially starts 🙂

Swim: 3100 yards

My 3100 yard swim went really well…I felt good and strong 🙂 This week I only missed a 4700 yard swim. It was scheduled for Sunday. By the time Sunday rolled around, I. Was. Tired. Exhausted. I felt that if I went to swim, it would be just to complete it. There wouldn’t be any quality with it…I wasn’t even sure my legs would be able to kick and keep me afloat.

Bike: 212 miles

I made HUGE strides this week with my cycling. I had some rides that were short and high intensity…

The dogs wanted to be outside coaching us through our 2x(1-2-3-2-1 ladder) on Monday afternoon

The dogs wanted to be outside coaching us through our 2x(1-2-3-2-1 ladder) on Monday afternoon

and some longer endurance rides…one of these was our century ride on Saturday. Hello, PR…can you say #bikelove?!?!?!?!?!?!

We hit 100 mile in 5:43:00 for an average speed of 17.5 mph. This was almost a 45 minute PR for 100 miles :)

We hit 100 mile in 5:43:00 for an average speed of 17.5 mph. This was almost a 45 minute PR for 100 miles 🙂

Basil wanted to coach me through my 3 hour endurance ride on Sunday...thanks to the rainy weather, it was done in our living room while watching NCIS season 11

Basil wanted to coach me through my 3 hour endurance ride on Sunday…thanks to the rainy weather, it was done in our living room while watching NCIS season 11

Almost every ride this week had a short brick run after it, but I like to keep these numbers separate to get a more accurate representation of my cycling mileage and running mileage.

Run: 31.1 miles

Tuesday morning’s hill repeats were a challenge, but not as challenging as our weekend LONG run…hello humidity and summer weather in Iowa. I looked like I had been swimming instead of running by the time I was done…it is amazing the temperature swings we encountered this week while training!!

Mother Nature decided to remind us that it wasn't summer yet...Brr!!

Mother Nature decided to remind us that it wasn’t summer yet…Brr!!

I was so full of sweat, that I could have wrung my clothes out...GROSS!!

I was so full of sweat after our long run, that I could have wrung my clothes out…GROSS!!

30 minute brick run after the century ride...I felt GREAT!!

30 minute brick run after the century ride…I felt GREAT!!

Strength Training: 2 hours & 5 minutes

Weekly Totals: 245 miles in 22 hours & 21 minutes

Thanks to Coeur Sports for #stylishspeed and #noangrykitty…even for 100+ miles in the saddle!! Thanks to Osmo NutritionBarnana and Pure Clean Powder for making training nutrition and recovery easy during all of these hours of exercise!! Thanks to Sound Probiotics for keeping me healthy…even while training hard and working with 8th graders on a daily basis!!

Weekly Highlights:

  1. Completing my school year (with the exception of these meetings I need to attend tomorrow)… IMG_3225
  2. Definitely our century ride PR…I was SUPER stoked to see the improvements I’ve made on the bike this year!! I think the shorter, high intensity rides done twice a week on the trainer really help with that 🙂
  3. I FINALLY received my Undress that I purchased through Kickstarter back in November 🙂 I can now change in public without having to expose myself. There will be a full blog post on The Undress soon!!IMG_3156
  4. Happy to be tapering for the Legend 100 Triathlon…only 10 days away…eek!! This will be a good test for IMBoulder to see where I’m at 🙂

How was your week? What were the highlights of your week? What are you looking forward to?