Mother Nature (errr…Global Warming) has blessed us with BEAUTIFUL weather this “winter”…weather we typically see in April and May here in Central Iowa. This beautiful weather + back rehabilitation got me thinking about my 2017 racing season. I have had WAY MORE downtime than is typical for me during this rehab process, so…I had plenty of time to plan for my 2017 racing season and register for some races. Thanks to this downtime, my 2017 racing season is taking shape! I have registered for the following races:
I am super pumped about these races! This schedule will provide me with some opportunities to test my race day plan for long distances, but also give me some opportunities to go hard, fast, and have fun at some shorter distances!
I have also registered for a 3 day training camp in Vermont on July 27-30 with Track Cat Fitness! This training camp is 3 weeks before Ironman Mont Tremblant, so we will be extending our vacation to 4 weeks! We will be heading to the New England States before going to Mont Tremblant, Canada…visiting new places, training in new places, and having even more fun!
Wow! Just Wow! This pretty much sums up my race! It was exactly 5 years after my first Ironman race, which also happened to be 9/11 and at Wisconsin. The tribute to those first responders and military personnel who have sacrificed their lives and continue to risk their lives is always special at Ironman Wisconsin on 9/11. This year was no different, but the weather surely was…it was PR weather and that is just what I had on this course, by over 40 minutes! Here’s how my day unfolded…
Swim // 1:23:10
I made my way into the water with plenty of time to float in my wetsuit, listen to the sounds of race morning, and enjoy the sunrise over Lake Monona. While the National Anthem was being sung, a fire boat was spraying water in salute to the 9/11 victims + first responders and military personnel…both past and present.
When the canon went off, the most brutal swim I’ve ever participated in ensued. There was a lot of contact, there was some very unsportsmanlike conduct from participants, and many athletes who struggled to hold a straight line on the swim course. I got kicked so hard in the goggles at one point, that I was convinced I would have a black eye…I didn’t even know I was on anyone’s feet when I got hit. I saw many familiar sites while swimming that warm my heart…Monona Terrace, the condo we stay in 2 blocks from the Terrace, The Capitol Building, John Nolan Drive…so much love. As I rounded the first turn buoy, I could clearly hear lots of athletes “moo” as they rounded the corner. For those new to IMWI, this is a tradition. I was hoping the contact would subside after the first turn buoy, but it didn’t. It was present throughout the entire swim. As I eventually came into the swim finish, I was super happy to be leaving the rugby game behind me!
Swim Nutrition: Motts fruit chews and water 40 minutes before the race start
T1 // 10:32
I quickly had my wetsuit down to my butt and two AMAZING volunteers pulled it off the rest of the way. Having done this race twice before, I knew to keep my heart rate low as I ran up the helix and into transition. It was SO AWESOME to see my tribe cheering for me as I ran up the helix and into transition…Doree at wetsuit stripping, Dad, our girlfriends Sue and Michele, fellow Coeur Sports Ambassadors Erin, Kendra, and Megan, and Nick (Erin’s man)…so much love!! After quickly putting on my triathlon aero top, socks, bike shoes, helmet, and sunnies, and kissing our girlfriend Kari on the cheek, I was out the door and through transition to spend the next few hours with Mojo!
Bike // 7:28:31
The first few miles of the bike course at Ironman Wisconsin are always crowded…lots of turning, some rolling hills, and tons of spectators. I felt great as I left Madison and headed out on the stem toward Verona. I felt strong for the first loop of the bike course, but also knew I should conserve a bit as the IMWI is challenging and it can bite you on the run if you push too hard early on during the bike. I decided to ride slightly under my goal watts into Mt. Horeb and pick it up from there. I was very grateful for all of the spectators on the long climb into Mt. Horeb!! They were cheering and partying as we climbed into town!! Leaving town meant riding on Ribbon Road (Witte Road)…weeeeee!! I love this road!! So much fun!! After descending Garfoot, the course changed a bit from the well known Ironman Wisconsin loop because of road construction. This meant we missed a REALLY rough stretch of road, but we encountered a new challenge…Barlow hill. Thankfully we had climbed this in training and I knew what I was getting into. With the top of the hill tapping out at ~21% grade, I wasn’t sure if I would walk the hill because of the potential for falling off my bike due to other athletes walking/going slowly up the hill, or ride nice and STEADY up the hill to the top while trying not to let my power output get too high. With my Coeur Sports tribe hanging out on the hill and cheering us on, as well as lots of other spectators, I knew I would make it to the top sitting in my saddle and riding nice and SLOW to the top!
Shortly after Barlow, I dropped my chain on Mineral Point Road. I quickly fixed it and continued my ride through Pine Bluff and back into Verona. I was lucky to high five Dad before stopping for my bike special needs at about mile 60 and making my way back into Mt. Horeb with some headwinds fighting me a bit. This was when I stopped to regroup and refill my bike nutrition bottles for the rest of the bike ride. Next up…Ribbon Road (Witte Road)…weeee…down, up, down, up, down, up!! The second loop was different from the first…thankfully we didn’t have to relive Barlow Hill on this loop. Aside from lots of athletes screaming too quickly down hills and crashing (many getting hauled off into ambulances), the second bike loop was uneventful…well, except for getting passed by the Iron Hippie at mile 87. This is a HUGE feat for me…two years ago he passed me at mile 35 and in 2011 he passed me at mile 58. I was super pumped to have held him off this long!! He is a much stronger climber than I and with over 6000 feet of climbing, this course is ideal for hims strengths!! Returning to Verona for the second time felt so good…it was time to return to Madison with a tailwind. WAHOO!! Climbing the helix back into transition is one of the best feelings…it is time to run!! Oh wait a minute…hello bike PR on this course…you are a welcome sight!
Bike Gear: Coeur Sports triathlon shorts, top, and aero top, Specialized Transition Bike (Mojo), Specialized S-Works Evade Helmet, Smith Optics PivLock Arena Sunnies, Specialized bike shoes
Bike Nutrition: Osmo Hydration (3 bottles with 210 calories per bottle), Chex only from Chex mix, Motts fruit Chews, water
T2 // 6:06
The volunteers in Madison are AMAZING!! Have I mentioned this already?! After hearing Dad cheer me on and handing Mojo over to a volunteer, I ran into transition to grab my run bag and then was blessed to get to hug our girlfriend Michele (she was directing men and women to different changing rooms) as I ran into T2. My blessings didn’t end here, our girlfriend Sue helped me quickly strip off my aero top, switch my socks and shoes, drink my Karma Kombucha Ginger Orange, and sent me out the door to run.
Run // 5:25:52
My run started off great! I felt good, strong, relaxed, and ready to rock this course! I love this run course and was so pumped to get to cheer my Coeur Sports teammie on to 3rd place pro female as I was approaching mile 2. Way to go Katie…so proud of you!! As I entered Camp Randall shortly before mile 3, the Iron Hippie was leaving, so I knew I was only about 0.25 miles behind him. Could I catch him?! I have before! He also noticed I wasn’t far behind him and we both stepped on the gas…apparently his gas was a bit more than mine, because I didn’t catch him. Other than walking through the aid stations, I kept cruising to Observatory Hill, where I had intentionally planned to walk. I chatted with a few other athletes as we climbed to the top and then I started running again down the other side. I ran up State Street receiving lots of love from people I didn’t even know, and headed back out toward Lake Mendota. The Base Performance tent that was along the lake shore trail was loud and amazing!! So full of energy and kept me going strong!! At about mile 10, I was headed back toward the finish area (only to have to go back out for loop 2). This is when my stomach decided to start cramping up. I wished I had more Karma Kombucha Ginger Orange to help settle my stomach, but I had to settle for Coca-Cola and orange slices to break up the mess. I gave Dad a quick hug on State Street, saw Erin and Nick by the Capitol, headed into the finish shoot, only to turn around a cone and head back out for loop #2.
I stopped briefly at my run special needs bag long enough to wipe my face off with a wet rag and then keep moving. Ahhh…it feels so good to wipe the salt and sweat from my face at the halfway point of the marathon!! It wasn’t nearly as fast as the first few miles, but I was still moving forward…running when I could and walking when I had to. Finally by about mile 17 my stomach started to come around and I finally felt like I could run a bit more than I had been the last 7 miles. That is the good part about Ironman…when things go bad, they will eventually turn around and become good again at some point….even if it happens when you cross the finish line. As I came back toward the Capitol for the last time, I knew my goal of breaking 14 hours was not going to happen, but I also knew I would PR this course and not just by a little bit!
Run Gear: Coeur Sports triathlon shorts, top, visor, and race belt, Brooks Pure Flow shoes
Run Nutrition: grapes, orange slices, Coca-Cola, chicken broth, water, Base Salt
Overall Finish // 14:34:11
Seeing Dad, our girlfriends Sue and Michele, and my college friend Chris at the finish line was priceless! I blew them all kisses and was in tears as I crossed the finish line of Ironman #4. Hello Ironman Wisconsin PR by 41:45 🙂 Being caught by a good friend (thank you Doug) at the finish line, who escorted me through the finish area and made sure I found my family and friends made my day complete!
Hello race week! You’ve come by so quickly! It seems that we signed up for Ironman Wisconsin just yesterday and now we are heading to Madison for race weekend!
Since it was Labor Day, we got to sleep in, although sleeping in for us is only 6:30 am…After breakfast, we took the dogs for a walk, followed it up with 30 minutes of core, and then really started packing for Ironman Wisconsin weekend! At 10:30 am, we took a break and went for our last outdoor pool swim this year…it is so sad that the pool is now closed 😦 After lunch, it was time for more packing of ALL. THE. GEAR!!! I love racing long, but man alive it requires a lot of gear! We were mostly done packing by about 2:30 pm, so I spent the rest of the afternoon writing sub plans for my upcoming absences from work, while watching NCIS reruns…feet up, dog snuggles, and relaxing while getting some work done. After dinner, I vacuumed, cleaned up and prepared for a 2 day work week! While vacuuming, the vacuum canister did fall over on my bare foot and I now have a rather large bruise on the top of it. I think it will be ok come race day, but lots of pampering of my foot until then!
We slept in, got ready for work, and had a full day of work. After work, it was time for a pre race massage! Nick takes such good care of us…THANK YOU NICK!! I picked up our CSA, and then the Iron Hippie and I went out for our pre race meal of all. The. Sushi. YUM!! After taking the dogs for a walk, it was bed time!
We slept in again this morning, got ready for work, and enjoyed the last day of work for the week. I could get used to 2 day work weeks and 5 day weekends…what is wrong with that?! After work, I met two clients for personal training and then continued packing for our big dance! Oh…and our Sound Probiotics arrived! Thanks for keeping our guts and immune systems happy and healthy!! #winningtakesguts 🙂
Time to travel to Madison!
2016 Totals to get me to Ironman Wisconsin: 17 days, 19 hours, 3 minutes & 49 seconds
Swim: 80.75 miles Bike: 3232 miles Run: 476 miles Strength Training: 63 hours
Quote of the week:
“Good things come to those who work their asses off and never give up.”
Race day is only 5 days away, so it is time to lay my race goals out there.
Saturday I spent some time during the Ironman 70.3 World Championships to write out my “whys” and “goals” for race day. I also laid out my visualization plan, which I have been spending lots of time with over the last few days. Since I have raced Ironman Wisconsin twice before and have trained on the course numerous times, it is quite easy for me to visualize nearly every part of this course.
And now for the whys…why am I racing:
To have fun and relive the joys of my youth through swimming, biking, and running!
To push myself and find my limits for this race on this day.
To do my absolute best!!
To race with courage over comfort and heart & courage!
Break 14 hours…I will be working hard on race day for the following times to help me achieve this:
Saturday the Iron Hippie and I celebrated our 6th Anniversary like we did on our wedding weekend…racing the Okoboji Triathlon!! We love this event for many reasons…small town fun, short and fast, not regulated by USAT, and we get to go home and stay with my parents (unfortunately they were gone this trip).
We woke up at 4:30 am, ate some breakfast (though not my typical pre-race meal since I forgot the cream of rice cereal and beet powder back in Ames…UGH!!), put on my tri kit, finished loading the car, and drove the 2 miles to the race start. It is so nice to sleep at “home” and be so close to the race site! We arrived to the transition area at about 5:30 am…just in time to quickly pick our transition spot by the bike in/out, set up our transition area, and make our way to the Okoboji Marathon start at 6 am to cheer on the marathon runners. The Okoboji events include the marathon starting at 6 am, the triathlon starting at 7 am, the 1/2 marathon starting at 8 am, and the 10K starting at 9 am. The triathlon and marathon both start at Arnolds Park Amusement Park, but the 1/2 marathon and 10K start at other locations around West Okoboji Lake so the athletes can all finish at the Amusement Park at about the same time (though the super fast people throw the timing off a bit). After cheering on the marathon runners as they started their day, we went back to the transition area, checked over our set up, donned our wetsuits, and made our way down to the swim start for a pre-race swim. The weather was perfect!! It was cool, low humidity, low winds, and the complete opposite of most years for these events. Because of low winds, the water was like glass…super flat!! The Okoboji Triathlon is what I refer to as an “Olynt” distance tri because each distance is between that of a sprint and Olympic distance triathlon.
Swim: 960 yard swim in 18:22 (1:55/100 yards)
The women ages 39 and under were all in the same swim wave, which started at 7:06 am. I lined up at the front, but a bit farther to the right from the line of buoys black rubber floating tires that we would swim out and around. As the gun went off, I ran a few steps before diving into the water…HOLY ROCKY BEACH!! OUCH!! I think I seriously bruised the bottom of my left foot, but I wouldn’t know this until later. I immediately found traffic free water, got in my groove, and just swam. Swimming out to the turn buoy (which was orange) was pretty uneventful, but as I rounded that turn buoy, things changed a bit. We now had to look into the sun to see the black rubber floating tires to sight off of, which was a bit of a challenge. Thankfully during my pre-race swim, I found a building at the finish with a big yellow sign to sight off of. This worked much better than the black tires. About 300 yards from the finish, I started to throw-up burp my breakfast oatmeal…GROSS!! Note to self…don’t forget your cream of rice for future races!! I continued to have a contact free swim all the way to the swim exit. Knowing the beach was rocky, I swam as far as I could (even shortening my stroke to that of a T-Rex) before standing up to run out of the water. It was a rather lengthy run to transition, but I worked my wetsuit down below my hips during this time, and removed my swim cap and goggles so I was ready for a fairly quick transition…or so I thought.
After removing my wetsuit, putting on my socks, cycling shoes, sunglasses, and helmet, I was ready to ride. How did this take me 2:20?!?!?!
Bike:18 miles in 54:30 (average speed = 19.8 mph)
As I left the Amusement Park, I quickly learned that my bike was in the WRONG gear…hello hardest gear I own! How did I miss that this morning?! After some quick shifting to find my “happy gear,” I was off and flying…well, for me I was flying! This bike course has some small rolling hills, but I was determined to ride the whole thing in my big ring and hammer as hard as I could on the bike. Since it is not USAT sanctioned, I saw a few packs of people drafting on the bike, I tried to hold on to each of them as long as I could, but they were much faster than I was. That’s ok, this meant I got to spend a lot of solo time with my main girl…Mojo!! Thankfully the beautiful weather with little wind made for an easy bike ride that was very uneventful!
Bike Nutrition: 1 bottle of water, 1 bottle of Osmo Hydration (4 scoops)
I quickly racked Mojo, swapped my cycling shoes for running shoes, dropped my helmet, and grabbed my visor and race belt. As I ran toward run out, I put on my visor and race belt trying to save as much time as possible.
Run:4.5 miles in 38:27 (8:33/mile)
Since there is no body marking at this event (yes, you read this correctly…what triathlon doesn’t have body marking?!), you don’t know the ages of the people around you. I decided early on that I was going to give this my best effort…go hard and have fun! At about mile 1, I was nearly hit by a car when the volunteer at the intersection was unable to get the truck to stop and wait for us. There are signs posted EVERYWHERE telling drivers that there is a race in progress, but apparently this guy was in a BIG hurry and just couldn’t wait for one slow super fast runner. This run course has lots of rolling hills, and at about mile 2 I started wishing I would have taken my fruit snacks on the bike. (Not taking them on the bike was a purposeful decision…I wanted to see how far I would get before I wished I had nutrition.) With just over 2 miles to go, I knew I’d be fine and could push hard to the end…that was exactly what I did! As I came back into the Amusement Park, my sister and twin nieces were there cheering me on to a PR at this event.
Overall: 1:54:44 (4th out of 21 in 30-39 age group, 11th out of 61 women, and 64th out of 158 overall)
Originally I was bummed that I missed the podium by 1 minute, but I am pleased that I pushed hard, gave it my all on this day, and managed a PR by 23 seconds. After all, a PR is a PR…even if it is by 23 seconds 😉
The theme this week was recovery, race weekend, and family time! With so much recovery, we are ready to hit the ground running for another 2 week build this week!!
I spent most of the day resting and staying indoors since it was another HOT and HUMID summer day. I was very happy to not have anything scheduled on my calendar until 5:30 pm for our ladies only ride #2. It was a smaller turn out this time, but I think it could be because the feel like temperature was 100F and the winds were ~25 mph sustained from the south. We worked on drafting off each other as we rode south straight into the winds. When we turned around, the ladies quickly realized how amazing it felt to have the winds push us back home!
I met with a personal training client at 8 am, and then spent the rest of the day cleaning house, and running a few errands. I managed to find time to give Mojo and myself a little TLC before enjoying an evening of sushi with my fave! It was the perfect scheduled rest day!
I met with a personal training client at 10 am, and spent the rest of the day doing laundry and packing for our trip home to my parents this weekend. When the Iron Hippie came home from work, we talked about doing a workout, but instead opted for an unscheduled rest day. Our bodies would appreciate this as we have another 2 week build coming up next week. We relaxed with the dogs and watched a movie as we enjoyed our last evening at home for a few days.
I met with a personal training client at 8 am, and then did my own TRX workout. Since we were traveling to Okoboji after the Iron Hippie got off work, I wouldn’t be teaching my normal Thursday evening TRX class. It was kind of fun to have the TRX room to myself and do my own workout!! I ran some errands, and finished packing for our trip, so when the Iron Hippie came home from work, we could hit the road. After we arrived at my parent’s house (side note…my parents were not home for this trip since they were visiting my sister and her family in the Bay Area) and unloaded the car, we walked the dogs down to the water to watch the sunset. It was a beautiful evening!
This was a rest day from working out, but I think babysitting my twin 8-year old nieces most of the day made for an even more exhausting day than if we had worked out. We started the day by picking up our race packets for our race on Saturday, then went and picked the twins up so they could spend the day with us. We went to their house to get one of their bikes, went to the Taco House for lunch, and then went back to my parent’s house for the rest of the day. We worked on helping the twins learn how to ride their bikes without training wheels, swimming in the pool, taking the dogs to the lake to swim, cooking dinner at home, and more bike riding. It was a very full day!!
The alarm clock went off at 4:30 am for us to get ready for the Okoboji Triathlon. It was a PERFECT morning for racing and a FANTASTIC start to our Anniversary! Usually the weather for the Okoboji events is HOT, HUMID, and MISERABLE, but not this year! We were blessed with cool weather, low humidity, and fantastic weather! We got to the race site at 5:30 am, quickly set up our transition area and made our way over to the marathon start at 6 am to cheer on those athletes running the marathon. After the marathon runners embarked on their day, we finished getting ready to race and made our way down to the water for the start. I’ll have a more detailed race report later this week, but let’s just say that the beautiful weather paid off and it was so fun to have my sister and the twins at the finish line cheering me on!! 😉 After crossing the finish line, we went home, showered, and came back to the finish area to cheer on some friends who were running the 1/2 marathon. The fun thing about the Okoboji events is that the marathon starts at 6 am, the triathlon starts at 7 am, the 1/2 marathon starts at 8 am, and the 10K starts at 9 am. The goal is for the majority of the people to finish about the same time. We made it back to the finish just in time to see our friends finish. They ROCKED it!! So proud of them!! We went to have Pho for lunch…the perfect post race food!! Thankfully we met our friends there for lunch and we all got to enjoy each other’s company and amazing food together. After lunch, we went home and took a nap before heading over to our friend’s cabin for an evening boat ride, some amazing home cooked food, and fun conversations. The Iron Hippie stopped at West-O-Beer Brewery for one beer to celebrate our anniversary on our way home for the evening. It was the perfect day!
Today was a day of rest from workouts, but it was another full day with the twins. After we woke up, we went to pick up 15 bags of soil to fill the big hole in the backyard for my dad (about a month ago some nasty storms uprooted one of the trees in their backyard, and the tree service just came to remove it on Friday). The twins helped us fill the hole, but the 15 bags didn’t fill it. We took a swim break before going back to get 15 more bags of soil and adding about 9 of them to the hole. The Iron Hippie mowed the yard, while I vacuumed and cleaned up the house. We grilled home cooked food, and then worked with the twins to help them learn to ride their bikes without training wheels…WALA!! Success!! They can both start, stop, and ride continuously without assistance. They still need to work on turning, but they will get that down with more practice! Parenting is hard work and I commend those of you with kids! Balancing your life and theirs is not easy, so kudos to you!
Weekly Totals: 3 hours & 53 minutes
Swim: 960 yards (triathlon swim only this week) Bike: 35.7 miles Run: 4.5 miles (triathlon run only this week) Strength Training: 45 minutes
Quote of the Week:
“I did something that I said I couldn’t do.” ~Laylah (my niece) once she learned to ride her bicycle without training wheels 🙂
We can all learn from this quote…don’t give up and believe in yourself!
I love to travel, but June was a bit much in such a short amount of time…Shortly after the school year ended, I helped chaperone 26 eighth grade students to Washington D.C. It was a great adventure and we covered SO MUCH territory in only 4 days! One day after returning home, the Iron Hippie and I went to visit my parents for a few days. It was great to spend time with family! One day after returning home (yet again), we loaded the car and went to Madison for race weekend. You can read about my travels here and here. So much travel made for a very unconventional taper!
On Father’s Day, I raced the inaugural Wisconsin Milkman 70.3 Triathlon. It was a hot race, and I didn’t do as well as I’d hoped, but I did the best that I could on that day. You can read more about my race here.
We finally had our first ladies only bike night! It was AWESOME!! Thanks so much to Coeur Sports and Kyle’s Bikes for their support to help make this event successful!! Yay for encouraging more women in cycling, helping them gain confidence on their bike and on the roads, and helping them learn basic bike maintenance!! I’m looking forward to ladies night #2 on Monday, July 11 at 5:30 pm (location to be determined), so local ladies…mark your calendars!!
Grit: The Power of Passion and Perseverance by Angela Duckworth…Angela Duckworth is a psychologist who shows anyone striving to succeed that the secret to outstanding achievement is not talent, but a special blend of passion and persistence she calls “grit.” Among Grit’s most valuable insights:
Why any effort you make ultimately counts twice toward your goal
How grit can be learned, regardless of I.Q. or circumstances
How lifelong interest is triggered
How much of optimal practice is suffering and how much ecstasy
Which is better for your child—a warm embrace or high standards
The magic of the Hard Thing Rule
This is a must read for anyone wanting to become better at something…anything…work, family, hobbies, life!!
Carrie Cheadle’s blog post Your Best Race Ever: Top 8 Tools for Mental Toughness has great tips for training and racing with mental toughness in mind. Obstacles are challenging, but these tools can help us reinforce/develop the “never give up” mentality and overcome challenges presented to us while staying committed to our goals.
Training has been hit or miss this month…mostly due to travel and racing. The first week of June I saw a lot of green in training peaks…then it was time to travel for 2 weeks. I did what I could knowing that I would have a race at the end of this 2 week time period. After my race, I was drained…probably a combination of all the travel + hot race day conditions which I was NOT acclimated to. I recovered well last week, and am ready to hit the ground running for this next build period of our training! I’m looking forward to more time at home in July and more consistency in my training!! I thrive off of consistency!!
I LOVE TRIATHLON! No surprise, right?! I love to swim, I love to bike, I love to run! I love to push myself to my limits! I love meeting people who inspire and encourage me everyday! I was blessed to meet two of my Coeur Sports teammates in Madison at the Wisconsin Milkman 70.3 Triathlon!
How has June treated you? What were your least favorite parts of the month? What were your faves? Consistency or Spontaneity…which do you prefer?