Wisconsin Milkman Triathlon: Race Report

Last Sunday was the inaugural Wisconsin Milkman 70.3 Triathlon in Madison. This was my “B” race for the year, where I was hoping to PR and get a good feel for where my training has taken me so far this year. Unfortunately, Mother Nature had other plans…

Saturday:

Saturday morning we had a great swim practice!! We chatted it up with friends and I was lucky to meet one of my Coeur Sports Teammates, Jenn, in person!! She is so inspiring and on an amazing journey!!

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After swimming, the Iron Hippie and I grabbed breakfast at one of our favorite spots in Madison, Marigold’s Kitchen, before driving the bike course for our event to check out the road surfaces and terrain.

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Goat cheese and zucchini omelette…YUMMY!!

After driving the course, we showered at our host home (HUGE shout out to my wonderful friend Chris for hosting us!!), got our bikes and gear ready for Sunday, and then it was time to put Mojo in transition for the evening.

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We grilled food at Chris’s house and watched movies with our feet up all afternoon and early evening. An early morning wake-up call means lights out by 7:30 pm.

Pre-race:

We woke at 3:30 am, showered (yes, I know I’m going to get into a lake and then get all sweaty, but it’s my thang…wash away the negative and be ready for a great day!), inhaled breakfast (cream of rice with blueberries and Pure Clean beet powder, and Osmo hydration), gathered our gear, drove to the Alliant Energy Center, and took the shuttle bus to the race start. After getting my transition area set up, I found Jenn and another Coeur Sports teammate, Mandy. We chatted, wished each other a great day, and made our way down to the swim start.

Jenn, myself, and Mandy representing Coeur Sports and ready to race!
Jenn, myself, and Mandy representing Coeur Sports and ready to race!

Swim:

The first swim wave started at 7:00 am, but my wave didn’t start until 7:32 am. With only 4 waves after me, I was toward the back of the pack. When the horn sounded, I walked quite a ways out (the water was REALLY shallow in this area) before starting to swim). Once I started swimming, I only hit the bottom with my hand a few times before finding my groove. It was a pretty uneventful swim for me…I was relaxed and kept a pretty straight swim line for the duration of my swim. I definitely felt like I could have easily doubled this pace…maybe that means I should have swam a bit harder!

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Swim Gear: Coeur Sports tri kit, Coeur Sports arm coolers, Roka Maverick Pro wetsuit, Roka X1 Goggles in light vermillion

Nutrition: Nature Valley Oats ‘n Honey granola bar and 2 packets of Mott’s Medley’s fruit flavored snacks about 30 minutes before my swim

Swim Time: 41:00 for 1.2 miles (1:56/100 yards)

T1:

Yay for wetsuit peelers!! Hello LONG run to transition…when I got to my spot, I quickly put on my cycling jersey, helmet, shoes, grabbed my bike, and was off.

T1 Time: 5:29

Bike:

The first few miles were on a trail and were rather crowded, but opened up more by mile 5 when we got to the roads. I was lucky to get to see the Iron Hippie and good friend Kathy during those first few miles!! Yay for biking with friends…even if it was short lived!! Most of the road surfaces were rough, but there were lots of terrain changes to make up for it…I LOVE hills!! After going through Oregon and Paoli (south of Madison), we climbed a big hill with spectacular views from the top…Observatory Hill Road. The temps were definitely climbing, so I decided to slow my pace just a bit to make this race about survival instead of putting myself in the medical tent (which I’ve been known to do more often than one should). This course was very rolling in nature and simulated the Ironman Wisconsin bike course beautifully!

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Bike Gear: Coeur Sports tri kit, Coeur Sports cycling jersey, Coeur Sports arm coolers, Mojo (Specialized Transition Bike), Specialized Ember road shoes, Specialized Evade helmet, Tifosi sunglasses, Garmin 920xt

Nutrition: Chex Mix (2 single serve packages), 2 bottles of Osmo hydration, and water

Bike Time: 3:25:14 for 56 miles (16.4 mph)

T2:

As I rolled into transition, it was HOT! I quickly transitioned into my run shoes, drank more liquids, and headed out on the run.

T2 Time: 4:06

Run:

HOLY HOTNESS!! Within the first mile, I decided this would be a run/walk adventure. It was a suffer fest for most of the athletes around me…some even decided they would walk the entire 13.1 miles. Thankfully there was some shade on the run course (although there were long stretches of sun as well) and lots of people who lived on the course were out with garden hoses, squirt guns, and sprinklers. At every aid station, I drank two glasses of water, licked my Base Salt, and dumped a 1/2 cup of ice in my bra top, and 1/2 cup of ice in the front of my shorts as I continued to slog my way to the finish line. I chatted with people when I could, ran when I could, walked when I couldn’t. Thankfully with about 3 miles to go, I saw one of my former students on the run course cheering me on. He randomly appeared throughout the last 3 miles encouraging me. Thanks Zach for the shout outs on such a hot day!!

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Run Gear: Coeur Sports tri kit, Coeur Sports race belt, Brooks Pure Flow running shoes, Tifosi sunglasses, Garmin 920xt

Nutrition: 6 packets of Mott’s Medley’s fruit flavored snacks, Base Salt, and water

Run Time: 2:45:36 for 13.1 miles (12:38/mile)

Finish:

It was an uphill run to the finish shoot, where I finished with a time of 7:01:23…an hour slower than I had hoped, but on a day when the temperature was in the mid 90s with no cloud cover, I’m happy to say that I finished what I started and didn’t end up in the med tent.

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Overall:

This was a great inaugural race!! There isn’t much that could be done about the weather, but the race organizers were prepared for it. They had plenty of water, ice, volunteers, and medical support. The swim was shallow at the start and there were a lot of weeds in the water, but the water was relatively clear farther out from the shore. The road surfaces were a bit rough on the bike course, but there wasn’t much traffic on them and the intersections were controlled well. The run was a relatively shady route (as shady as you can get in that area), with plenty of aid stations. Definitely a race I will be doing again sometime in the future; hopefully on a much cooler day!

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**Thanks to Focal Flame Photography and Race Day Events, LLC for free race photos!! SO AWESOME!!

Sole Sisters Rock the Du

Sunday morning I was blessed and lucky to get to race our first ever duathlon along side my sole sister! She inspires me, believes in me, and encourages me to be the best version of myself everyday! I am forever grateful that our paths crossed and can’t imagine my life without her in it!

A 4 am wake up allowed me plenty of time to make the breakfast of champions (cream of rice with raspberries and Pure Clean Beet Powder and a Karma Kombucha), pack up the last of my race day essentials, load up the car, and be ready to leave by 5 am. The Iron Hippie was volunteering, so he rode with us to the race venue.

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Breakfast of Champions!

Once we arrived to the race, I could tell Tonja’s nerves were really starting to kick in. While she has participated in every running distance from 5K to Marathon, she has never participated in a duathlon or triathlon and had no idea what to expect. Heck, she has only been on her bike once this year, and it was last Wednesday morning before our race. I kept reminding her that there was nothing to be nervous about…we were there to have fun! We unloaded the car, got her race packet, set up transition and then relaxed in the car to warm our toes until race start.

Matching tats and socks...T must be my #solesista
Matching tats and socks…Tonja must be my #solesista
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Bikes are racked and we are ready to race!

At about 7:30, we decided to check our transition one more time, hit the kybos, and ventured to the start for the pre-race announcements. Tonja was REALLY nervous by this point, but I knew once we got going the nerves would subside. We decided we were going to run the first 0.9 miles together and exit transition together. My role was to prevent her from going out too fast on the first run. She was going to try to keep me in view on the bike, but we both decided to race our own race once out on the bike. As we lined up at the start, we gave each other a hug, a few encouraging words, and we were off.

Lined up and ready to start! Thanks to the Iron Hippie for all of the photos throughout the day!
Lined up and ready to start! Thanks to the Iron Hippie for all of the photos throughout the day!

The first 0.9 miles were on cinder trail, grass, and dirt. Not ideal footing, but we ran side by side and I occasionally reminded T to hold back on this run to set ourselves up for a solid bike and another run. We ran out about 0.45 miles, ran around a cone, and then ran back to transition. Run time = 7:47 (8:39/mile average pace)

T1 time = 1:42

The bike course is 15.5 miles that consists of 3 loops of just over 5 miles each. Once we passed the mount line, we took off! Tonja and I separated pretty quickly, but that is only because I have a LOT more experience on the bike. During the first loop, I went hard, but my main focus was to figure out the bike loop. I learned where the hills were, where the Iron Hippie was cheering/volunteering, where the out and back was (cheering Tonja on as we passed each other…she was doing great!), where we go onto the 2nd/3rd loops or return to transition, where I could drink, where I had to be careful on a turn, etc. On lap 1 at the out and back section, I counted the ladies doing the duathlon that were in front of me (there was also a triathlon and aqua/bike race going on at the same time)…there were only 2 ladies in front of me! #courageovercomfort The 2nd and 3rd loops were so much more fun and I pushed myself even harder on these loops. Now that I knew what to expect, it was time to put the hammer down. #courageovercomfort #courageovercomfort #courageovercomfort was repeated over and over and over in my head while I raced. By lap 2, I could see the 2nd place lady in front of me. #courageovercomfort As we started the 3rd lap, I passed the 2nd place lady and made my way comfortably into 2nd place. Thankfully there wasn’t much wind on the ride, but I knew that wouldn’t be good on the run since the sun was out and the day was heating up rather nicely. Bike time = 50:19 (18.5 mph average speed)

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Thanks to the Iron Hippie for taking pics while I was riding!!

T2 time = 54 seconds

As I exited T2, the 3rd place lady (the one that I had just passed) had just come into transition. I told that she had a nice bike leg and thanked her for pushing me to work really hard on the bike. The last run was a 5K run (3.1 miles) and I was right…it had heated up quite nicely. The first mile was mostly on cinder trail, grass and dirt and went the same direction as the first run that we started the duathlon with. There was an aid station at mile 1, which is where we exited the grassy area and started running on the roads…straight up hill. It was at this point that I was passed by another lady participating in the duathlon. I told her she was doing awesome and to keep working hard as she passed. I knew I was now in 3rd place, but this only made me work harder. #courageovercomfort I could see the first place duathlon lady and knew that I could catch her. My goal was to catch her by mile 2, which is where the Iron Hippie was volunteering. I ended up catching her at about mile 1.5. I told her she was doing great and that it was super hard to catch her! I encouraged her to keep going hard and finish strong! When I saw the Iron Hippie just past the 2 mile mark, he told me I was 40 seconds behind the 1st place female and to give it all I had. Little did he know I was already pushing as hard as I could. At this point, we were back in a grassy area with some cinder trails all the way to the finish line. There was VERY LITTLE shade, it was hot, and I was giving it EVERYTHING I had. #courageovercomfort I was so happy to finally see the finish line!! Run time = 26:48 (8:39/mile average pace)…I guess you can say that I was consistent 😉

Overall Finish: 1:27:29
1st Place Age Group
2nd Place Female Overall
11th Place Overall

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These lovely ladies made me work for this AG win!!
#solesistersweat and a podium finish at my first ever duathlon
Tonja got 2nd place in her age group at her first ever duathlon!! So proud of her!!

This race challenged me in many ways, but was also very fun!! I consider anytime I get to run and bike while racing and encouraging others a win!!

19 Weeks ’til #IMWI: Recovery + Race Time

How are we all of a sudden only 19 weeks away from Ironman Wisconsin?!?! This was not a typical week for us. We had 2 full rest days, lots of recovery, and a 1/2 marathon race to cap off the week.

Monday:

After waking up with an upset stomach, I decided to stay home from work. I think it might have been the yummy, yet excessive roasted garlic on the amazing pizza from last night. I knew I had a lot of work that could be done from home, so I did that for most of the morning. Around lunch time, I started to feel much better, so I took my strength training outside to sweat out the remaining garlic. It was a beautiful afternoon and I should have been working outside, but I stayed indoors for my afternoon work session. When the Iron Hippie got home, we rode our bikes outside in the sun for an easy recovery ride. It was a great snail mail day! I received goodies from both Coeur Sports and Sound Probiotics today…WAHOO!!

Strength training in the sun!
Strength training in the sun!
Recovery ride in the sun!
Recovery ride in the sun!
Snail mail delivery from Coeur Sports + Sound Probiotics = LOVE!!
Snail mail delivery from Coeur Sports + Sound Probiotics = LOVE!! #noangrykitty #stylishspeed #soundathlete

Tuesday:

Since it was a recovery week, we opted to have Tuesday be a rest day. We slept in, had a full day of work, I had a personal training client, and then went out for an amazing sushi dinner. Why didn’t I take a picture of the amazing sushi?! We ran a few errands after dinner and were ready for bed by 7 pm.

Wednesday:

We slept in Wednesday morning, so we got a LOT of sleep, which felt really good! After a full day of work, I hopped on the trainer for some sweaty, #bikelove intervals. It was definitely a #workforitwednesday with that workout! In looking at my normalized power from various rides lately, I think I’ve lost some bike fitness over the last month. Although I haven’t done an FTP test in a while, so I don’t know if it really has dropped or not…I think it might be time to test this and see where I’m at.

Sweaty #bikelove intervals with a little Ironman motivation in the background.
Sweaty #bikelove intervals with a little Ironman motivation in the background.

Thursday:

We always sleep in on Thursday mornings, but we actually had planned to get up and swim this morning. I decided against this when I woke up, since I had been up 3 times throughout the night with cramps in the arch of my left foot. Boy do those hurt!! This is not typical for me, so what was causing them?! I even had them a couple of times throughout the work day. After work, I met a personal training client, completed a 60 minute cadence ladder ride, and then went to teach TRX…guess what?! MORE CRAMPS in the left foot. UGH! 😦

Recovery ride on a cold and dreary day!
Recovery ride on a cold and dreary day!

Friday:

Today was another rest day. After work I had a massage, which was poor planning on my part since I am racing a 1/2 marathon tomorrow. We’ll test this tomorrow and see how it impacts me! After my massage, we made a trip to Des Moines to pick up our race packets for the Drake 1/2 Marathon in the morning. In looking at the weather for the race, I couldn’t decide what to wear. What do you wear when it is going to be 46F, 22 mph winds, and 90% chance of rain?! I knew I’d need a lot of warm clothes for after the race, so I started by picking those out first. I decided to wait until morning to decide what to wear. After picking up our packets, we had Mexican food for dinner and were in bed by 9 pm.

Massage...the day before a 1/2 marathon. We'll find out tomorrow if this was a good idea or not!
Massage…the day before a 1/2 marathon. We’ll find out tomorrow if this was a good idea or not!

Saturday:

4 am wake-up followed by cream of rice with Pure Clean Beet Powder and frozen blueberries + Karma Kombucha prepped my engine for what was looking to be a cold, wet, windy race. Now to decide what to wear…I decided to wear my Coeur Sports racing tri kit with arm warmers. I was hoping this would be a good decision. We arrived in Des Moines about 90 minutes before the race. We figured we wouldn’t have problems finding a place to park since the weather was so crappy and we were right. We had our pick of parking spots! At about 7:00 am, we started getting ready for our race and headed to the race start at 7:15. When they started the race at 7:30 am, it was 44F, 17 mph winds, and raining on us. I decided to run with my trash bag on until I warmed up a bit, which really only lasted about 1 mile. I met a friend that I’ve known through social media at about mile 1 and ran with her for a few miles. Kristen was pushing her 13 year old cousin with Rett Syndrome in a running bob for the first time ever during the 1/2 marathon. Can you say #heartandcourage?! She is so inspiring and motivated to do what she can to help find a cure for Rett Syndrome. Eventually we got separated on the hills, but Mother Nature continued to challenge us with the weather she threw our way. I quickly realized that a massage the day before a 1/2 marathon was not my best decision, but pushed as hard as I could for the whole race. My official finish time was 1:54:23, which was an 8:44/mile average pace. I was pretty pleased with this considering my legs did NOT want to move after about mile 5 + I was freezing + I was soaked like a drowned rat! Post run, we quickly changed and ate delicious post race food at the Drake Diner before heading back home. It was time for a REALLY HOT shower and a nap, followed by chili and cornbread with friends for dinner and an early to bed.

Who's ready to run a cold + soaking wet + windy 1/2 marathon? We are!
Who’s ready to run a cold + soaking wet + windy 1/2 marathon? We are!
Are we really going to do this?!
Are we really going to do this?!
Unofficial stats...I guess I tried to dodge a LOT of puddles ;)
Unofficial stats…I guess I tried to dodge a LOT of puddles since I was only supposed to have run 13.1 miles 😉
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

Sunday:

I woke up with VERY stiff and sore legs, so I hopped on the bike for an easy hour to spin out the legs a bit, followed by breakfast, and an epsom salt bath. I did a few house chores to get ready for the coming week and then met Coach Hansen at the pool for more swim analyzing and coaching. I have A LOT to work on this week in the pool!! Later in the day, we went to Ankeny to visit the bike shop and meet an amazing friend for dinner. He came into town for the Drake 1/2 marathon from the Gulf Coast. I don’t think he was quite prepared for the cold, wet, windy weather we experienced. Since he and his wife retired down south, I’ve really missed having them around, so it was super fun to catch up with him!

Basil says, "Mama, will you please get off your bike and come cuddle with me?"
Basil says, “Mama, will you please get off your bike and come cuddle with me?”
LOTS to work on this week in the pool! Thanks Coach for the stroke analysis and guidance!!
LOTS to work on this week in the pool! Thanks Coach for the stroke analysis and guidance!!

Weekly Totals: 8 hours & 44 minutes

Swim: 550 yards
Bike: 65.8 miles
Run: 13.1 miles
Strength Training: 1:45:00

Quote of the Week:

“Be who you are and say what you feel because those who mind don’t matter and those who matter don’t mind.” ~Dr. Seuss

How we make it work

When you and your spouse are both juggling full time jobs (40+ hour work weeks), Ironman athletes (who train 15-24 hours each week, depending on the time of year), enjoy spending time with family and friends, and still have a home life to balance and maintain, life can get hard…if you let it. Triathlete Magazine recently posted a great article on couples that train and race “together,” how it impacts their lives, and how they make it work. The irony is that the week before this article was published, the Iron Hippie and I were generating our own list of things we do each week to make our lives run more smoothly. Every couple has to find their own way and what works best for them, but these are some of the ways we make it work:

  1. Communication is key…We review our schedule daily for the next day, even though every Monday looks nearly the same as every other Monday, we take time to communicate what it will look like this week. What time will we be home? Are we working out together or separate? Who will be home at feeding time to feed the dogs? What leftovers are we having for dinner?
  2. Food preparation happens on the weekends…After our long workouts on Saturday and Sunday, we take the time to prepare food for the coming week, making sure to have plenty of leftovers so we don’t have to worry about preparing a meal after a long day of work and a tiring workout. We often freeze a lot of our meals and pull them out as we need them. Salads are one of our summertime favorites and super easy to make after an evening workout.
  3. Laundry, laundry and more laundry…With each of us producing mountains of laundry each week, it is critical that we stay on top of this. The best time saving hack we’ve found for laundry…drum roll…wash and dry laundry while we are on the trainer riding. During recovery sections of a workout, we can put the clothes in the drier and start a new load…now if we could just find a magic fairy to fold all of it and put it away…

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    All the Coeur gear!!
  4. Post workout smoothie…The Vitamix is one of the BEST inventions and time savers that we have experienced!! In the morning we throw all the fruits and veggies into the Vitamix with some Pure Clean Beet Powder and Osmo Recovery Powder. This is the perfect way to refuel post workout and it is quick and easy to prepare and clean!
  5. Prepare for the coming day the night before…The Iron Hippie and I both set out our work clothes and workout clothes for the next day the night before. We also pack our lunches and all the bags that we will need the next day. Some days I get referred to as the “bag lady” as I’m walking into or out of school by students and colleagues. It is part of what comes with this lifestyle 😉
  6. Piggy backing workouts…When time permits, it is great to complete workouts one after the other. This often occurs for us more on the weekends than during the weekdays, but it allows us to take fewer showers, saves us time, and often produces less laundry…BONUS!!
  7. Shop once a week for groceries and goods…Typically after our long brick on Saturdays, we run errands around town purchasing groceries and any additional supplies we will need for the coming week(s). If we go to the grocery store during the week, it is usually immediately after a workout when our stomachs are ravenous. This is NEVER good for our pocket book or diet! This isn't even all of it!!
  8. Riding the trainer…Living in central Iowa, we spend all winter on the trainer, but even in the summer, we choose to ride on the trainer at least twice a week. It is safer since we are not on the roads with vehicles during prime times of work commuters. We don’t have to wait at stop lights, which saves time. We are in a controlled environment so we can compare our results from one workout to another. I personally love a good trainer workout! It allows me to get physically and mentally stronger on the bike by teaching me about focus, strength, and fortitude.
  9. Take workout gear to work with us…Sometimes we go straight from work to the gym for a workout, or ride our bikes from the school when the weather is nice. By packing up all of the gear we will need before work, we can experience a smooth transition to our workout without having to make the extra trip home for workout gear.
  10. Extra food is stashed everywhere…We keep extra food all over the place! We typically have Barnana bites, goldfish crackers, or Honey Stinger Chews in our swim bag, gym bag, desk drawer, car, yoga bag, on the table next to our trainers…you name it, we have probably stashed food there. Since we both workout between 15 and 24 hours a week (depending on how close race day is), we both burn through A LOT of calories! When I get hungry, there is a VERY short window before it turns hangry. Keeping food everywhere helps me prevent the hangry feeling as best as possible.
  11. We both share responsibilities…I am SUPER lucky to have a husband who can do it all (and is willing to)!! We both cook our meals, wash dishes, clean the house, do laundry, mow the lawn, shovel snow, tend to the dogs, take out the trash…there isn’t one task I can think of that we both don’t do. I’m truly blessed!!

How do you balance life and training/racing? What tricks or time saving hacks do you have to help keep you sane and on track?

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 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.

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“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 🙂