variety is the spice of life

Two weeks ago we got to return to swimming after a 10-week hiatus. I knew that I missed the water, but I didn’t realize just how much I missed it until I was back in it. The calm, quiet, meditative state that the water provides is exactly what this Pisces craves on a regular basis! It is my playground + yoga mat all in one place and I have REALLY missed it! I did not do any dry land training and was pleasantly surprised at how much swim fitness I still had after being a fish out of water for 10 weeks.

The water is my happy place!

I have also recently started back to work on campus for a few days here and there. This has been an adjustment. I am SO grateful to be returning to campus full time next week as I have truly missed it, but it has also evoked some anxiety as I am stepping out of what has become my normal for the last 10 weeks (working from home) and am stepping into a new normal. It is not the same as it was before the pandemic…shocker I know. I have to be conscious of keeping my distance from others. I have to wear a mask when I’m around others. I have to eat lunch separated from my co-workers. All of these things may not seem like much, but they are all new and add a bit of stress. Stress is stress. It doesn’t matter if it is training stress, life stress, work stress, lack of sleep, improper nutrition…whatever it is, my body views it all simply as stress.

I am incredibly grateful that I have been healthy + able to bike, run, do yoga, and move on a regular basis while the pool was closed. I am grateful that my body allowed me to do a bike streak, which helped me get SO much stronger! But as they say, “variety is the spice of life.” So after completing day 65 of my bike streak, I intentionally broke my streak. It is time to create more balance in my training and focus on the joy of training again. It feels SO AMAZING to feel like a triathlete again…even if we have no idea when triathlon racing will actually happen again and what it will look like for many of us.

Loving life on 2 wheels with my fave!

virtual racing…IMVR5 + DSMWHM

Last weekend I participated in my third Ironman Virtual Race. I was supposed to run the Des Moines Women’s 1/2 Marathon (DSMWHM) on Sunday, but as you probably guessed, it was cancelled. The race director and organizers sent us our swag and finisher medal suggesting that we run the race virtually, so I knew I had to run a 1/2 marathon to earn my medal. This fit in well with the IMVR5. I decided to run the 5K and bike the 56 miles on Friday after the official time began and figured I’d run the 1/2 marathon on Sunday sandwiching a 75+ mile bike ride with my fave in on Saturday. Flexibility became the name of the game as plans changed on Saturday morning when we woke up to rain in the area. I ran the 1/2 marathon on Saturday morning and we went for our 75+ mile bike ride on Sunday instead.

As with the previous two IM virtual races, I wanted to really push myself with each leg of this race and see where my fitness is. I am grateful for the opportunity to break out my Coeur Sports team kit anytime I can this year!

5K run – 24:28 (7:51/mile average pace)

90 K bike – 2:41:12 (20.9 mph average speed)

21K run – 1:54:30 (8:44/mile average pace)

Total 5:00:10

I’m grateful for the Ironman VR5 OPPORTUNITY. It was an opportunity to “race” hard and compare my fitness to where I was a few weeks ago on the same courses. I’m so grateful for a strong + healthy body, a strong mind, and the opportunity to do this “race” over a couple of days instead of doing all of these disciplines consecutively! I kept reminding myself to push hard, dig deep, be grateful that I GET to do this, and know that I’ll get to cross a real finish line again one day! 💛💙🤍

I won’t be participating in the IM virtual races anymore. I am disappointed that they are changing the format. I realize there are people who want to be competitive with these events, but there are also many people who are using these “races” as a way to stay motivated and feel somewhat normal in these uncertain times. It would be nice if they had “for competition” and “for fun” options when registering so that people who don’t want to be competitive can continue to do these in a way that challenges and motivates them. Cheating is something I will never understand and to me, it makes even less sense to cheat on a virtual race.

This weekend is the IMVR6 and it is an “Olympic” distance event again. Are you going to participate?

I’m streaking with more TITS!

Now that I have your attention, get your minds out of the gutter! Seriously! I will not get thrown in jail for this kind of streaking with more TITS! I’m streaking because I’ve been riding my bike every day for the last 35 days and getting LOTS of Time In The Saddle (TITS). 😉 This has been a great way to stay active and improve my fitness without it being too taxing on my body.

Benefits of my cycling streak:

  1. I have gotten stronger on the bike. While I haven’t done a recent FTP test to confirm it, I FEEL stronger on the bike. I’ll do an FTP test one of these days to see just how much stronger I’ve gotten, but for now, I am riding the wave of FEELING STRONGER and loving it!
  2. I have gotten stronger on the run without all of the pounding. Saturday I ran a virtual 1/2 marathon at a pace that I didn’t know I had in me. I’ve been running less, so I’m confident the improved run strength has come from the strength I’ve gained from my cycling streak.
  3. Cycling is a low impact sport, which is great for strength building without all of the pounding.
  4. I LOVE to ride my bicycle, so this has been just over 57 hours (so far) of FUN! 💛
  5. I have gotten to ride outside with my fave. Spending time on two wheels brings me joy, but getting to do it with my fave magnifies the joy SO MUCH MORE!

Let the streaking with more TITS continue! Have you ever streaked? What benefits did you experience? Any lessons that you learned?

17 weeks to ??? and ??? weeks of solitude

And with that, we are on week ??? of solitude and it feels like Groundhog Day. IRONMAN Mont Tremblant has been cancelled for 2020. But I’m not letting that hold me back! As I’ve said before, I’m not training only for a race…it is a lifestyle. Training brings me joy, fills me up, and allows me to be the best version of myself. Sure racing is challenging and fun, but I enjoy the journey. I CAN and DO challenge myself and have fun in training! Here is what last week’s training looked like:

Monday:

  • 2 hour ride with 2 rounds of 3/2/1 during the first hour and then riding how I felt for the second hour after getting the cancellation email from IRONMAN Mont Tremblant.

    “Warrior…Be a warrior. Fight for what you believe in and never, ever hold back. Fiercely go towards your dreams with boldness and lust. Hold your ground in the face of conflict. Knock barriers down with courage and grace. Do not give up when when you find yourself face to face to an obstacle, instead continue forward with abandon. Keep the fire in your heart burning strong and do not let your flame fade away. Remind yourself that what you are fighting for is worth it. And remember that you will overcome everything that comes your way – because my beautiful friend, you are a warrior.” ~Nikki Banas

Tuesday:

  • 1 hour and 15 minutes easy ride
  • 30 minutes of yoga

Wednesday:

  • 30 minutes of strength training and MFR
  • 58+ mile ride OUTSIDE with my fave! We bucked 25 mph head/crosswinds, soaked up the sunshine, loved the 25 mph tailwinds, got a quick bath by the rain, and then collected all of the road grime.
    AND I SERIOUSLY LOVED EVERY MINUTE OF IT!!

    Time to ride into the rain!

Thursday:

  • 1 hour ride with power pops
  • 6 easy miles

    So grateful for warm temps, sunshine, sweat, pounding the pavement, and pure joy! Fingers crossed spring is finally here to stay!

Friday:

  • 1 hour and 15 minute easy ride
  • 30 minutes of yoga

Saturday:

Sunday:

  • 55 mile easy ride OUTSIDE with my fave!! I’m SO grateful that he suggested we ride outside today!! It is EXACTLY what my heart, body, mind, and soul needed!!

I also did 15 minutes of core strength + 5 minutes of meditation everyday last week.

Swim totals: Sadly none
Bike totals: 230 miles
Run totals: 14.1 miles
Weekly total: 19 hours & 6 minutes

Other weekly highlights:

Beautiful weather for long walks with our girls!
“LOVE COEUR” and love my Coeur Sports sistas!! Steena does such great editing work!!
Jersey thinks she’s “helping” me check my email…
Nature’s beauty!
Feels so good to get my Normatec Recovery squeeze on after my virtual race!

What were the highlights of your week last week?

virtual racing…IMVR4

Last weekend I participated in my second Ironman Virtual Race. I wasn’t sure if I was actually going to participate or not as I had been having some left hip tightness/soreness while running last week, so I decided I would head out for the 3K run and see how it felt before deciding just how far to push. If it was bothering me, I was going to take a DNF for this “race” and do a long ride instead. Thankfully it didn’t bother me, so I was able to race strong!

I treated this as a real life race doing each discipline back to back in the 3K run/40K bike/10K run format with as little transition time as possible. I did both of my runs outside and rode on the trainer indoors. I wanted to really push myself with this race and see where my fitness is. I am grateful for the opportunity to break out my Coeur Sports team kit!

3K run – 14:26 (7:36/mile average pace)

40 K bike – 1:10:16 (21.3 mph average speed)

10K run – 52:04 (8:22/mile average pace)

Smiling makes it hurt less…

Total 2:16:44 (Overall 2917/14506…top 20.1%; Women 279/4231…top 6.59%; F40-44 63/930…top 6.77%)

 

I’m grateful for the Ironman VR4 OPPORTUNITY. It was an opportunity “race” hard. I found my limits and pushed past them as I overcooked my chicken on the 3K run + 40K bike before giving everything I had left on the 10K run. I’m so grateful for a strong + healthy body, a strong mind, and random strangers cheering me on when I needed it most! I kept reminding myself to push hard, dig deep, be grateful that I GET to do this, and know that I’ll get to cross a real finish line again one day! 💛💙🤍

Strongly considering this weekend’s “70.3” IMVR race, but breaking it up because I REALLY want to go for a LONG bike ride outside on Saturday. So I would likely do the 5K run + 90K bike tomorrow and run the 21K on Sunday. Are you in for this distance?

virtual racing…racing in 2020 is different

Last weekend I decided to drink the Kool-Aid and participate in my first Ironman Virtual Race. I was holding off because I figured it was just another way for Ironman to gain a profit, BUT the races are FREE! They definitely look different than racing in real life. Here are some of the differences:

  1. When you think of Ironman, you typically think swim/bike/run, but these races are duathlons instead of triathlons. That means NO SWIM! For those of you that don’t know how to swim or the swim scares you, these virtual races (VR) are for you! They follow a run/bike/run format.
  2. You create your own routes. You can do the entire race indoors on the treadmill and trainer. You can do the entire race outdoors running and biking on the trails/streets around you. You can do the entire race by combining indoor and outdoor experiences like I did.
  3. There are no competitors around you. You can’t rely on other athletes to push you. You have to push yourself.
  4. There are no spectators and fans cheering for you. I highly recommend telling your neighbors that you are racing. Maybe they will go outside and cheer you on from a safe distance. If they have kids, they can make signs, which gives them something to do at home.
  5. Your transition times are not added to your overall finish time. Only the times for each discipline of the race are added to your overall time for the race. In real life races, any time you spend changing, fueling, etc. between disciplines is added to your overall finish time.
  6. You have 2.5 days to complete all three disciplines, so they don’t have to be done back to back. If you are unsure about how your body will hold up to complete each discipline one right after the other, you can spread them out. Each discipline of the race must be completed between 6 pm GMT on Friday and 11:59 pm GMT on Sunday. If you want to do one discipline on Friday, one on Saturday, and one on Sunday, you can. If you want to do them all back to back like a race in real life, YOU CAN!
  7. You can do the disciplines in whatever order you prefer. In a real race, you have to do the disciplines in a specific order. With the VR, you can do them as it works for you. If you want to do all of the running disciplines first and then bike, you can. If you want to bike first and then run, you can. If you want to do it like a real life race (run/bike/run), YOU CAN! It is completely up to you!

I treated this as a real life race doing each discipline back to back in the run/bike/run format with as little transition time as possible. I did both of my runs outside and rode on the trainer indoors. I wanted to really push myself with this race and see where my fitness is.

1.5 K run – 7:05 (7:30/mile average pace)

1.5K run…flying home!

20 K bike – 35:47 (21.0 mph average speed)

20K bike…Leaving it all out there!

5K run – 24:47 (7:58/mile average pace)

5K run…pushing my limits and testing my fitness

Total 1:07:39 (Women 658/6245…top 10.5%; F40-44 127/1326…top 9.6%)

I’m grateful for the Ironman VR3 to push myself and wear my Coeur Sports race kit! I kept reminding myself to push hard, dig deep, be grateful that I GET to do this, and know that I’ll get to cross a real finish line again one day…even if it doesn’t look promising in 2020. Racing doesn’t define me, but it sure is FUN! 💛💙🤍

Who’s joining me for this weekend’s “Olympic distance” IMVR race?

18 weeks to #IMMT2020

Well, at this point Ironman Mont Tremblant is still on, but word on the street is that we will receive an email this week letting us know it has been cancelled (not postponed) for 2020. Here is what last week’s training looked like:

Monday:

  • 1 hour ride with 8 x 3 minutes on (225 watts)/3 minute off
  • 7 mile treadmill run
  • 30 minutes of strength + MFR

Tuesday:

  • 1 hour run with 6×4 minutes at race pace (7.0 mph or 8:32/mile) on the treadmill to control my pacing
  • 1 hour easy ride
  • 30 minutes of yoga

Wednesday:

  • 1 hour ride with short bursts into Z4 and Z5
  • 30 minutes of SBT strength training

Thursday:

  • 9 mile easy run with Basil
  • 1 hour easy ride

Friday:

Saturday:

  • 3+ hour endurance ride
  • 4+ mile walk with my fave and our girls

Sunday:

  • 1 hour easy ride

I also did 15 minutes of core strength + 5 minutes of meditation everyday last week.

Swim totals: Sadly none
Bike totals: 169 miles
Run totals: 26.6 miles
Weekly total: 17 hours & 31 minutes

Other weekly highlights:

I’m not sure this is a highlight, but we did get a few inches of snow last week.
Homemade pineapple curry…SO YUMMY!!
I love these 3! They get along so well!
Race day hugs are on hold right now. Until we can hug in person, virtual race day hugs will have to do!
Jersey and Basil love to play!

What were the highlights of your week last week?

19 weeks to #IMMT2020

“Timelines change, goals don’t change.” ~Jim Vance

For now, IRONMAN Mont Tremblant, which is scheduled for August 23, is still on, but I anticipate that to change very soon. Quebec has called “for the cancellation of all sports, festivals, and cultural events until August 31.” When this change happens, my race goals will be put on hold, but I’m not going to let that slow me down. I am still here. I am still healthy. I am still training for life. For me, this is a lifestyle…one that I love. AND…one day I will get to race again. When that day arrives, I will be ready and I won’t take it for granted. Here is what last week’s training looked like:

Monday:

  • 1 hour easy spin
  • 30 minutes of yoga

Tuesday:

  • 2 hours & 15 minutes of SERIOUS #bikelove with my fave OUTSIDE on the open roads!
  • 20 minute easy run off the bike with most of our pack

    “Hey mom, what is that thing?” ~Jersey

Wednesday:

  • 1:05 ride with 10 x 2 min on (225 watts)/3 min off
  • 30 minutes of strength + MFR

Thursday:

  • 1 hour ride with 10 x 30 seconds (247 watts) and 10 x 20 seconds (279 watts)
  • 8 mile negative split run that ended up being a progressive run as well

    Boom! So happy with my performance on this run!
  • 30 minutes of yoga

Friday:

  • 1 hour easy ride with some of my amazing Coeur family!
  • 50 minute run on the treadmill at 1.0% incline with 4×4 minutes at 7.7 mph (7:47/mile pace)
  • 30 minutes of SBT strength training

Saturday:

  • 2:30 on the bike…this ride did NOT go as planned. My legs were really struggling after putting up a really solid week of training. I was supposed to have 2×20 minutes at FTP (214 watts) during this ride. Notice I said “supposed to”…well my first 20 minutes turned into 10 minutes at FTP, then a 5 minute break, and the last 5 minutes at FTP. The second 20 minutes went south quick. I rode 1 minute at FTP and 1 minute easy for the first 10 minutes and then took the last 10 minutes easy. My legs wouldn’t turn over at those watts. I decided to listen to them, give them grace, and not force it.

Sunday:

  • 1:30 endurance ride (160 watts)…thankfully my legs showed up for this ride.

I also did 15 minutes of core strength + 5 minutes of meditation everyday last week.

Swim totals: Sadly none
Bike totals: 175 miles
Run totals: 15.7 miles
Weekly total: 16 hours & 30 minutes

Other weekly highlights:

Jersey LOVES to snuggle!!
What?! It’s warm enough to have the windows open?! Sadly it only lasted a few days and was snowing again by Sunday.
We may not be able to connect in person, but we are finding ways to connect virtually. I’m so grateful to have landed beside this STAR when I was shooting for the moon! She shines SO bright and makes my heart happy!
Jersey made sure to find a space to snuggle while I was getting my recovery on with my Normatec recovery boots.
Supporting a local restaurant and enjoying SUSHI!
Playing LOTS of cards with my fave as we isolate.

What were the highlights of your week last week?

20 weeks to #IMMT2020

Last week I finally felt the life stressors ease back a bit…that doesn’t mean the stress is gone, but more that I’ve begun to adapt to it. Here is what last week’s training looked like:

Monday:

  • I took a complete rest day (after I completed my 15 minutes of core strength and meditation). My body was craving rest, so I listened and gave it what it wanted.

Tuesday:

  • 1 hour bike ride with 4x (4 minutes in zone 3 immediately followed by 3 minutes in zone 4 immediately followed by 2 minutes in zone 5 and then 3 easy minutes in zone 1)…this was a tough workout, but I really loved the challenge!
  • 30 minutes of full body strength and MFR (myofascial release)
  • 1 hour run…I took Basil for the first 45 minutes and Jersey for the last 15 minutes. Jersey is learning our commands and becoming a better runner everyday!
    45 minutes with Basil

    15 minutes with Jersey

Wednesday:

  • 14 mile run with Basil…yes, she ran the whole 14 miles with me! #basillovesrunning
  • 1 hour easy ride to spin out the legs

Thursday:

  • 1 hour ride with 8×4 minutes at Ironman effort…another tough ride, but grateful for the challenge!
  • 30 minutes of SBT strength training
  • 30 minutes of yoga

Friday:

  • 1 hour easy ride with some of my amazing Coeur family!

    All the highlighted green peeps are my Coeur fam 🙂

Saturday:

  • 3 hour ride with some 2×20 minutes at FTP and 30 minutes at tempo…this was SUPER tough, but I did my best. I wasn’t able to successfully complete the second 20 minutes at FTP, but I nailed all of the other targets on this ride. The best part was getting to ride beside my fave for a part of my ride.

    3 hour ride with my fave!
  • 5 mile run off the bike…keeping it at about 80% max heart rate effort from last week’s runs.

Sunday:

  • 3 hour endurance run…so grateful that after 6 weeks, this ride is FINALLY starting to feel easier.
  • 30 easy minute run with Jersey…she is becoming a really good runner!

I also did 15 minutes of core strength + 5 minutes of meditation everyday last week.

Swim totals: Sadly none
Bike totals: 181 miles
Run totals: 28.5 miles
Weekly total: 18 hours & 12 minutes

Other weekly highlights:

Dog walks are the best!
Play time! That slobber says it all…PURE JOY!!
New collar and leash day for Jersey!
Time to break out new running shoes! I love new shoe day!
Enjoying sunshine, fresh air, and family time!
Playing games to surpass the time.

What were the highlights of your week last week?

21 weeks to IMMT

Last week the “new normal” started to take hold. It has given me more time with the dogs and time to help Jersey adjust to our family, which I am also very grateful for. I am still training for races as if they will happen as scheduled. Fitness is my passion and our lifestyle. Here is what last week’s workout schedule looked like.

Monday:

  • 2:05 brick included 1:45 on the bike + a 20 minute run off the bike…The bike was super tough. I wasn’t able to successfully nail all of the targets on the bike intervals, which was a let down, but also a positive. I’ll have more about this in another post later this week. The run off the bike was a progressive run done on the treadmill to help control pacing and push me just a little bit harder than I would have likely pushed myself outside on the roads.

    My word for 2020 is “celebrate.” Since 2020 has been flipped on its head sideways, it has proven a bit challenging to find things to celebrate right now. Today I’m choosing to celebrate our health, our pack, and some brick miles.

Tuesday:

  • 50 minute run with 4×4 minutes at faster than 5K race pace. I didn’t anticipate this run to go very well as I was tired from yesterday’s brick workout, but I was pleasantly surprised with how my body performed.

    I try to seek opportunities amongst the obstacles. Today’s obstacle was showing up. Today’s opportunity was performing better than I expected while quieting my crazy brain because I showed up for myself. Grateful for the solid 4×4 minutes at faster than 5K pace in my 50 minute workout.
  • 30 minutes of strength training

Wednesday:

  • 1:10 bike ride with 8×3 minutes at 90% of FTP…I was pleased to hit all of these targets on this ride with tired legs.

    Not every workout is full of rainbows and unicorns, but when you push through the struggles, fear, and doubt, you come out on the other side grinning from ear to ear.
  • 30 minutes of yoga

Thursday:

  • 12 mile run with Basil…I needed this fresh air and pavement pounding. The last two miles were a bit challenging, but we finished strong.

    Grateful I don’t have to social distance from my favorite girl and for the 12 miles of time together!

Friday:

  • 30 minutes of SBT strength training

Saturday:

  • 2:55 endurance ride…this was more challenging than I expected. I was grateful to successfully complete this ride.

    Do what makes you happy and be kind to others! We are all struggling right now. A happy heart and kindness go a LONG way.
  • 5K run off the bike to honor KO

    A 5K for Kristen Oswald’s 45th birthday. Kristen was hit and killed while racing IRONMAN Ohio 70.3 in July 2019.

Sunday:

  • 1:55 endurance ride…this went much better than yesterday. I was grateful to have my fave by my side
  • 30 minutes of yoga off the bike

    Without my massages, it is even more important for me to incorporate yoga into my weekly practice.

I also did 15 minutes of core strength + 5 minutes of meditation daily

Swim totals: Sadly none
Bike totals: 140 miles
Run totals: 22.9 miles
Weekly total: 15 hours & 4 minutes

Other weekly highlights:

Jersey, Basil, and Mya are adjusting well.
I’ve had a lot of time to snuggle and work with Jersey to train her.

What were the highlights of your week last week?