2021 week 41: flexible

If you remember from week 40, I ended the week sleeping on the couch with Jersey right off the bike…I needed sleep. Well, that carried over to start the week last week. I needed sleep, so I took some time off work early in the week and slept (nearly 12 hours on Monday night and nearly 11 hours on Tuesday night), which set me up great for workouts later in the week. I know that if I continue to push myself instead of rest + sleep, I am setting myself up for failure (injury, not hitting intervals, risking over training, etc.), so I almost always listen to my body and give it the sleep it craves. I decided to be flexible in my process and re work my plan for the week to give my body the rest it was craving.

Quote of the week:

“Be clear about your goal, but be flexible about the process of achieving it.”

~Brian Tracy

Swim: 11,000 yards

Friday I had a GREAT swim after work! Not only did I put up some AMAZING paces, but I also took time to play in the water (which is something I haven’t done nearly enough of lately).

  • Warm up:
    • 200 swim
    • 200 drills
    • 4×50 descending (10 sec rest)
  • Main Set:
    • 3 times through (start hard and make each set harder/faster/stronger than the last set)
      • 100 (10 sec rest)
      • 200 (15 sec rest)
      • 300 (20 sec rest)
    • 100 kick (with fins)
    • 300 pull (with buoy, paddles, and ankle band)
  • Cool Down:
    • 200 any stroke
Lately my swims have been all business, so it was WAY past time to bring the fun factor back! Oh don’t worry…I took care of business before playing Friday! ⚡️🔥

Bike: 48.9 miles

I stayed on the trainer last week for all of my bike workouts. I nailed some workouts and struggled with others, but I showed up, gave my best, and learned along the way.

Endurance efforts with surges in power to wake the legs up and fatigue them a bit before a 10 mile run off the bike! ⚡️

Run: 33.5 miles

Being just under 5 weeks to race day, I am ramping up the mileage and had some great runs last week. Some solo, some with my #1, and some with my favorite girls.

I GET to challenge myself and push my limits as I enter into peak training! Enjoying the process and excited to see what I can do on race day! #LFG ⚡️⚡️⚡️

Strength Training: 15 minutes of core strength daily

Weekly Totals: 14 hours & 7 minutes
2×30 minutes of full body strength training
30 minutes of yoga

Attitude of Gratitude:

Petting horses after running…Why not?!
Getting all the sleep!
“Mom, make room for me!” ~Jersey
Jersey loves the Normatec Recovery boots
Doing my civic duty by voting for city council + school board at a satellite site.
I have been at a loss for words on how to accurately describe how grateful I am to represent Coeur Sports for year 8 in 2022. This is more than a team. It’s a family! 🥰
Getting to swim/bike/run all in one day… #happyheart 🥰
So grateful that Basil loves to run and shared a few miles with me Saturday! 🐶🥰
So grateful that Jersey loves to run and shared a few miles with me Saturday! 🐶🥰
#SundayFunday included a farm ninja obstacle course, zip lines, hay rides, a corn maze, and quality time with some of my favorite peeps! 💙💛
The farm ninja obstacle course was a fun challenge on Sunday!

What were your highlights from week 41 of 2021?! When you find yourself exhausted, do you give your body the sleep, rest, and recovery it needs?!

2021 week 40: not according to plan

Last week I had multiple workouts that didn’t quite go according to plan. I showed up, I gave my best, but my best didn’t allow me to “achieve success” on that day. But you know what?! That is ok! I learned a lot in the process and that learning means I didn’t fail…It actually means I succeeded…just in a different way!

Quote of the week:

“Most things don’t go exactly as planned. That’s why it is a plan…not a certainty”


Swim: 5700 yards

Friday I did a swim that I’ve done before and is one of my favorite workouts, but it didn’t go according to plan. This is what the workout looked like:

  • Warm up:
    • 100 kick with fins
    • 100 pull with buoy, strap, and paddles
    • 100 swim
    • 4×100 descend (times should descend as effort increases) (20 sec rest)
  • Main Set:
    • 3 x 800 (30 sec rest) – start fast and make each 800 faster than the last
  • Cool Down:
    • 200 any stroke

I started my 800s strong and focused my mind on the following intentional thoughts that keep me strong throughout:

  • I set goals on purpose and with purpose.
  • I will always fight until I achieve my goal.
  • I achieve every goal I set for myself.
  • I am a strong and confident endurance swimmer.

My first 800 was strong! My second 800 was faster (averaging 2 sec/100 yards faster than the first 800)! I was super pumped to crush the third 800, but I changed my thinking before starting the third 800. Instead of focusing on those intentional thoughts that kept me strong during the first 2x800s, I focused on key body questions for each 100 yards (I focused on one question per 100 yards for each of the first 400 yards and then repeated them for the second 400 yards):

  • Am I extending my arms?
  • Are my elbows high?
  • Am I rotating?
  • Am I kicking with purpose?

Focusing on the key body questions turned out to not be the best decision as my third 800 was 6 seconds slower than my second 800. What I learned for next time is that I will keep my focus on the intentional thoughts as those definitely served me better.

While some people have entered their off season, I am in peak training…not only putting in the physical work, but doing the mental endurance work too! #LFG ⚡️⚡️⚡️

Bike: 211 miles

Thursday I got to ride outside after work. It was such a glorious day! So grateful for the opportunity to still be riding outside!

Living my best life!

The end 💙💛

Over the weekend, I had a double brick planned…4 hour ride + 40 minute run off the bike on both Saturday and Sunday. I took these workouts to the trainer/treadmill as I had to start early on Saturday to get to Isabella’s swim meet during early afternoon and Sunday there were rain chances on and off all day that I wanted to avoid. Saturday was a great workout, but I didn’t do the best of refueling/rehydrating/recovering afterwards as I went directly to the swim meet. This may have impacted the poor workout on Sunday. During hour 3 on the bike, my legs completely quit turning over. I tried riding in zone 1 for a bit, but just couldn’t get the legs to turn over no matter how much mental focus/energy I gave. So…instead of trying to force my legs to move when they wouldn’t, I hopped off the bike at 3 hours and 13 minutes, changed into dry clothes, downed a protein smoothie, laid down with Jersey, and immediately fell asleep.

Not all workouts go according to plan. Sometimes the legs stop turning over and no amount of mental “pushing” can change it…so sleep + snuggles while still sweaty will make the legs stronger for tomorrow. 💙💛

Run: 28.2 miles

Wednesday I had a split run day, with 7 am miles and 8 pm miles. My #1 and I ran together in the morning at an endurance pace (so proud of him for running his longest distance since December) and I ran solo in the afternoon. While it was super humid in the morning, it was also cool with no wind, very few hills, and I was not very focused mentally. The afternoon was much the opposite…it was still humid (though less than those early am hours), but much warmer with strong winds, lots of hills, and my mental focus was on 🔥! I was super pumped to have a much stronger run in the more challenging afternoon conditions!

Celebrating because my 8 mile pm run averaged 34 seconds per mile faster than my 7 mile am run. #LFG ⚡️⚡️⚡️

Strength Training: 15 minutes of core strength daily

Weekly Totals: 20 hours & 10 minutes
30 minutes of full body strength training
30 minutes of yoga

Attitude of Gratitude:

Getting to run in areas I haven’t run in a LONG time kept things fun and fresh!
Thank you Nick, with Vitality Massage Ames, for keeping me healthy so I can continue to do what I love!
Awww yeah!! Any day I get to swim/bike/run in the same day is an amazing day!
So grateful I got the opportunity to watch Isabella crush it at her swim meet!
This girl! I love her so much! Even when she kills critters and brings them to us.
So grateful for an opportunity to see + chat with friends on Saturday morning while riding!
Getting my Normatec Recovery squeeze on!

What were your highlights from week 40 of 2021?! What do you do when things don’t go according to plan?!

2021 week 39: try something new

Last week I started to dial in the final preparations for Ironman Arizona and I’m feeling confident going into this last big block of training.

Quote of the week:

“Never be afraid to try something new, because life gets boring when you stay within the limits of what you already know.”


Swim: 6800 yards

Sunday I did a new swim workout that challenged me in a different way and it was awesome! I loved it! It’s fun to mix things up and try something new!

“If you always do what you’ve always done, you’ll always get what you’ve always got.” ~Henry Ford ⚡️
  • Warm up:
    • 400 swim (20 sec rest)
    • 300 pull (20 sec rest)
    • 300 as 25 drill/25 swim (20 sec rest)
    • 300 build by 100s (20 sec rest)
  • Main Set:
    • 4 times through:
      • 200 100% effort (20 sec rest)
      • 150 85-90% effort (20 sec rest)
      • 100 100% effort (20 sec rest)
      • 50 85-90% effort (20 sec rest)
      • 100 50-60% effort (20 sec rest)
  • Cool Down:
    • 100 any stroke

Bike: 124 miles

Saturday we got out for 100+ miles on the open roads. When we set out at 8 am, it was cloudy, calm, and cool. As we rode north, the fog REALLY built in making the visibility far less than 1.0 mile. We decided to change our route so we would ride out of the fog and make it safer for drivers to better see us.

Sometimes the route you plan has an unexpected detour.

How do you handle the detour? Do you let it mentally tear you apart and throw in the towel? Do you roll with it and do some creative route adjustments?

Saturday we did some creative route adjustments on our 100+ mile ride, which turned out to be absolutely wonderful!

As Vanessa Faye Foerster says, “How might a different choice propel your performance?
What would be possible long term if you trained for adversity now?”

Train for adversity! Don’t let the detour derail you! Roll with it! You just may find out how wonderful it really was!

Run: 23.5 miles

I had some good runs with the family early in the mornings last week, but the run I’m most proud of was my 5 mile run off the bike on Saturday. I kept a strong pace off the bike and honestly felt like I could have run that pace for many more miles. It was such a great feeling!

Yay for miles with one of my favorite running buddies! She had so much fun chasing squirrels on our run!

Strength Training: 15 minutes of core strength daily

Weekly Totals: 15 hours & 13 minutes
30 minutes of full body strength training
30 minutes of yoga

Attitude of Gratitude:

So happy to get to support our niece, Isabella, at her cross country meet.
Any day I get to swim, bike, and run its a great day!
So grateful to get to support our niece, Laylah, at her volleyball game.
Getting my recovery on right with the Normatec Recovery boots!
I love me all the puppy snuggles!

What were your highlights from week 39 of 2021?! Do you like trying new things?!

2021 week 38: snuggles

Last week was a super easy week to recover from the Ironman 70.3 World Championship and get back into routines at home. Oh…and how is it that I’m only 8 weeks away from Ironman Arizona?! We had an amazing trip to Utah, but it sure feels good to be home and snuggling with our girls again! We missed them and I think they missed us.

Quote of the week:

“Dog: World’s best cuddle buddy.”


Swim: 1200 yards

Monday we swam in Glenwood Springs, Colorado on our way home from St. George, Utah. The pool was SO big, but WAY TOO WARM for lap swimming, but it was a great travel break to get out and move a bit. The pool is fed by a natural hot spring, hence the warmer water.

1200 yards in 1,078,000 gallons of 91F water at 5761 feet elevation.

Bike: 21.9 miles

Sunday I did some intervals on the bike. It felt good to be back on the bike and in a training routine again!

Time to put the head down and dial in the Ironman training. How are we only 8 weeks out from Ironman Arizona?! #LFG ⚡️🔥

Run: 4.05 miles

We have so much to learn from dogs!
🐶 They are always in this moment.
🐶 They always have fun.
🐶 They are so happy.
🐶 They play hard and rest hard.
🐶 Their unconditional love is endless.

4 family recovery miles on a beautiful morning!

Strength Training: 15 minutes of core strength daily

Weekly Totals: 3 hours & 59 minutes
30 minutes of yoga

Attitude of Gratitude:

I definitely needed this flush of the body after that epic Ironman 70.3 World Championship race in St. George! Thanks Nick, with Vitality Massage, for getting me ready to crush this next 8 weeks going into IMAZ. Oh…and I love the new bed!
All the snuggles! I’ve missed this so much! 🥰
The fire in the sky was gorgeous!
Love these two…even if I have to share my pillow with Jersey and they sometimes make it impossible to sleep. 🤪
This girl missed me! 🥰

What were your highlights from week 38 of 2021?!

rise to it

“The land of endurance is calling – rise to it.”

~Ironman 70.3 World Championship marketing

Cliff Notes Version: I GOT to race Ironman 70.3 World Championships on Saturday, September 18! 💙💛

  • I had the will to try and the belief it was possible so I got to achieve my dreams by racing in the Ironman 70.3 World Championships
  • this is a two transition race
  • ALL gear (bike, bike bag/gear, run bag/gear) was dropped off on Friday
  • shuttle buses shuttled all athletes and spectators out to Sand Hollow Reservoir on race morning
  • the water temp was 78.3F (non-wetsuit race…I wore my Roka swimskin)
  • the pro men, pro women, and para athletes started first, followed by all of the age group men by age group waves, and then the age group women by age group waves
  • I was in the first women’s wave and started that started at 8:58 am MT
  • the swim start was a self seeded within our age group 10 athletes sent off every 15 seconds
  • the swim was the beautiful and the calm before the storm…quite literally
  • there were no volunteers to help change in T1
  • you had to put all of your stuff in your T1 bag and give it to a volunteer so your gear would be transported to T2
  • the bike was interesting…lightening, dust storm, hail, rain, wind (gusting up to 40 mph), cloudy, torrential downpour
  • there were four water/aid stations on the bike
  • there were no volunteers to help change in T2
  • the sun came out on the run and got HOT AF…we were in the desert after all
  • there were aid stations on the run nearly every mile with water, gatorade, gels, ice, bananas, oranges, Coke, Red Bull, etc.
  • there was a buffet line with pizza or a chicken salad, chips, bananas, and a few beverage options

Longer Version: I GOT to race Ironman 70.3 World Championships on Saturday, September 18 in St. George, Utah! 💙💛

Reminders for the day!

We got on a shuttle at about 6:45 am from near the finish area to Sand Hollow Reservoir. Once we arrived at the Reservoir, I had plenty of time to go potty, get my tires aired up, and my bike bottles on Mojo. I helped a fellow Coeur Sports sister air up her tires and then consumed some extra calories while waiting for my swim wave. At about 8:10 am, I noticed our swim sign was moving toward the front of the swim line, so I put my Roka swimskin on and made my way into the starting coral with the other F40-44 athletes. I was a bit worried as I didn’t see Steena, but knew that our wave was moving, so I needed to move also. Eventually Steena made her way to me and we chatted while we waited for our swim wave to actually start the swim. We commented that it was a bit warm standing in the sun waiting…hind sight is 20/20 for what was to come! 😜

Swim: (42:36 for 1.2 miles at 2:12/100 m average pace…146/225 F40-44, 789/1254 F, 2434/3441 overall)

I entered the water on the far left, instead of along the buoy line. As I dived into the water, I immediately thought, “WOW! This water is clear and cool!” It wasn’t actually as cool as I prefer, but it felt cool after standing in the sun waiting to start the swim. I found my rhythm and made my way toward the line of buoys by the 5th buoy. There wasn’t much contact (if any) as I swam past slower swimmers in front of me. When I turned to breathe, I soaked in the absolutely gorgeous views. When I rounded the first turn buoy, I started passing slower athletes in different colored swim caps from the waves before me. I made my way through the swim arch (timing device), rounded turn buoy #2, and headed for the shore. With about 500 meters to go, I started getting passed by faster athletes in swim waves behind me. I tried to jump on the feet of a few of them to get as much free speed as possible, but they were much faster and I was unable to stick with them. I felt strong + solid during the swim giving my best on this day! “I GET to race in the Ironman 70.3 World Championships!”

📸 Finisher Pix

T1: (5:38)

As I exited the water, I noticed the black sky off in the distance and said, “Oh shit!” I got my swimskin off just below my hips, removed my goggles + swim cap, and ran to my gear bag. I quickly stripped off my swimskin, put on my socks + bike shoes, stuffed all my swim gear in my bag, grabbed my helmet and sunnies and started running to meet Mojo at her spot. I dropped my gear bag off to some wonderful volunteers and donned my helmet and sunnies as I ran to get Mojo. I quickly grabbed Mojo, and ran a REALLY long way to the bike exit. Once at the mount line, we were off!

I may have drank too much water during the swim. 🤪
📸 John Cirves

Bike: (3:39:25 for 56 miles at 15.3 mph average speed…200/225 F40-44, 1142/1254 F, 3290/3441 overall)

I was excited to get on the bike and rise to the challenge that the Ironman 70.3 St. George terrain would provide. It is notoriously hilly including a 4 mile climb up Snow Canyon National Park at mile 40ish of the 56 mile bike course, but I was excited for the challenge! “I GET to race in the Ironman 70.3 World Championships!”

At about mile 6, I noticed lightening off in the distance + those black skies getting closer and closer to me. I thought, “Oh no! That’s not good! What is going to happen to those poor ladies in the water swimming right now?!” I put my head down and pushed on reminding myself that I GET to race in the Ironman 70.3 World Championships! At about mile 8, the winds picked up out of no where blowing tumble weeds across the road and creating a big dust storm. The next thing I knew, ladies in front of me were getting blown right off the road on their bikes into the ditch. I held on to Mojo for dear life and continued to move forward. “I GET to race in the Ironman 70.3 World Championships!”

📸 Finisher Pix

At about mile 10, the rain + hail started and the winds weren’t letting up. I laughed a bit, as I remembered the slogan for this race was “rise to it” and Mother Nature was giving us a bit more to rise to. I was a bit nervous about the speed with which other athletes were flying past me in aero on these slick roads with the wind blowing us sideways, but I kept focusing on myself and what I could control as I pushed on. My biceps, triceps, and forearms were SO tired and sore from the death grip I was giving Mojo. “I GET to race in the Ironman 70.3 World Championships!”

Eventually Mother Nature adjusted her attitude a bit to give us a temporary break before I started climbing Snow Canyon. While climbing the 4 miles up Snow Canyon, I just kept soaking up the views! It was so gorgeous! I anticipated the climb up Snow Canyon to be more challenging than it actually was. The whole climb, I just kept repeating… “Rise to it! I GET to race in the Ironman 70.3 World Championships!” When I crested the top of Snow Canyon, I knew I could have pushed a little harder up that climb, so I decided to really hammer on the 8% descent back into town and to transition. “I GET to race in the Ironman 70.3 World Championships!”

📸 Finisher Pix

With about 2 miles to go, Mother Nature threw another challenge our way. She turned the faucet on full speed creating a torrential downpour. I couldn’t see much of anything, so all I could do was laugh out loud and ask, “What is next?!” as I wheeled into transition. “I GET to race in the Ironman 70.3 World Championships!”

📸 The Iron Hippie

T2: (3:22)

I was SOOOOO glad to be on two feet! Just getting through that bike in one piece was a HUGE WIN! I handed Mojo off to an amazing volunteer who put her in her new spot in T2. I grabbed my gear bag + took off my helmet on my way to the changing area. During this time, the torrential downpour quit and a nice steady rain persisted. I quickly took off my shoes and socks…I was SO grateful I put a dry pair of socks in my run bag. I pulled my visor, race belt, and handheld water bottle out of my gear bag, then shoved my helmet bike shoes, and soaked socks in the bag. I handed my gear bag off to a wonderful volunteer who took it to be with Mojo and put my race belt + visor on while running out of T2.

📸 The Iron Hippie

Run: (2:19:54 for 13.1 miles at 10:50/mile average pace…179/225 F40-44, 955/1254 F, 3010/3441 overall)

📸 Finisher Pix

As I exited T2, the Iron Hippie told me I was 6 minutes down from Laura (a friend of mine from back home that I often see at the races). After looking at the run profile, I knew the first 4 miles of the run would be a continuous climb, so I settled in…hello glutes and hammies! By about mile 2 the skies opened up and the sun came out in full force and got HOT AF…welcome to the desert! This is what I had trained for…full sun + heat! “I GET to race in the Ironman 70.3 World Championships!”

📸 Finisher Pix

I focused on monitoring my HR for the duration of the run. When it jumped above 160 bpm, I would take a short walk break until it fell back below 140 bpm. When I got to mile 4, I was feeling strong and ready for the descent back into town. I had no idea just how steep of a descent it would be…hello quad burner! “I GET to race in the Ironman 70.3 World Championships!”

📸 The Iron Hippie

As I made my way to the roundabout for lap two, the Iron Hippie updated me that I was now 3 minutes behind Laura and that I could totally catch her. I felt so strong heading into that second lap, so I knew I could catch her. I continued monitoring my HR following my run/walk strategy, which worked beautifully because at about mile 9, I finally caught up with Laura. I walked with her for a minute so we could chat. I told her to finish strong and continued on. At about mile 10.5 I quit monitoring my HR and left it all out there pushing myself to the limit all the way to the finish line.

📸 Finisher Pix

Overall: (6:50:54…192/225 F40-44, 1051/1254 F, 3148/3441 overall)

📸 Finisher Pix

This race was a celebration! I was so grateful to be racing on the Ironman 70.3 World stage with some of the best athletes in the world. This race challenged me in SO many ways forcing me to “rise to it!” I am beginning to learn that I am strongest when given the most challenging circumstances…hello IMLou 2018 AND I preform my best when I remove internal pressure + expectations while focusing on the present moment. What doesn’t kill you makes you stronger! I am beyond grateful that my body + mind showed up to play at the Ironman 70.3 World Championships! Oh…and when can we do this again (with the EXACT same conditions)?! 😜

📸 Finisher Pix

Gear: Coeur Sports triathlon shorts, Coeur Sports sports bra, Coeur Sports aero top, Roka X-1 Goggles, Roka Viper x2 Short Sleeve Swimskin, Specialized Transition tri bike, Specialized S-works Evade helmet, Specialized Torch 2.0 Road Shoes, Coeur Sports visor, Newton Kismet running shoes, Roka SL-1X sunnies, Orange Mud hand held water bottle

2021 week 37: land of endurance

Last week we had fun in St. George, Utah for the Ironman 70.3 World Championships. It was quite the wild ride in the land of endurance, but OH SO MUCH FUN! The race was on Saturday and I’ll have a full race report up soon, but I’ll give you a teaser…

Quote of the week:

“They don’t call it the land of endurance for nothing!” 🤪


Swim: 4912 yards

We got to swim in North Platte, Nebraska and St. George, Utah while on vacation. Taking a swim break is such a great way to break up the driving and get some movement in while experiencing other pool venues.

Shake out swim in St. George, Utah.

Bike: 82.1 miles

Thursday morning I got to ride with some of my Coeur Sports teammates/sisters for an easy ride. The views were breathtaking!

Yay for shake out rides with my Coeur Sports sisters!

Run: 17.4 miles

Shake out run…these views are GORGEOUS!

Hiking: 8+ miles

Sunday we went to Zion National Park. We hiked most of the way up Angel’s Landing (except the chains as it was SUPER busy). We hiked into the Narrows, but didn’t actually go into the water and up the way. We LOVED Zion and definitely want to go back for more adventures!

Hiking over 8 miles in Zion National Park with my fav the day after racing.

Strength Training: 15 minutes of core strength daily

Weekly Totals: 13 hours & 52 minutes

Attitude of Gratitude:

Colorado has dinosaurs!
So grateful to be in the land of endurance with my Coeur Sports sisters!
Look at that! My name is on the Ironman 70.3 World Championships banner!
So grateful to be here!
Riding and chatting with my Coeur Sports sister, Michelle!
Just a few of my Coeur Sports sisters who arrived early.
Beet, kale, feta pizza from Farmstead…YES PLEASE!
Pinch me! I GET to race on the Ironman 70.3 World Championship stage!
Thanks Dad for coming out to St. George support me!
We GET to ride here on Saturday!

What were your highlights from week 37 of 2021?!

2021 week 36: bittersweet

Last week we prepped for nearly 2 weeks off from work and had loads of fun in Madison, Wisconsin around Ironman Wisconsin race weekend. Since 2010, we have been in Madison the weekend after Labor Day every year (minus last year…hello Covid) for Ironman Wisconsin. We have volunteered, raced, spectated, cheered, supported, and loved every minute of what feels like a hometown race. We are sad to see the race date change to June starting in 2022 as we will no longer be surrounded by the IMWI experience. With the Ames Triathlon on the same weekend in June, our priorities will be elsewhere. Leaving Madison this time was bittersweet. Here is a flavor of week 36!

Quote of the week:

“Life can be bittersweet, but only you control the sugar.”

~Michelle Parsons

Swim: 0 yards

Sadly I didn’t get any swimming in last week. The timing of life and the pool schedule just didn’t mix.

Bike: 109 miles

Friday we got to ride on the Ironman Wisconsin bike course. I didn’t have working batteries, so I don’t have data to show for our ride, but sometimes those are the best rides! Ride free! We had to take a detour in the first 5 miles as part of the bike course is being resurfaced. This allowed us to climb new peaks and descend into new valleys. It was a fun new challenge! Oh…and that hill climb on Kollath made Barlow feel like a vacation for those of you familiar with the Barlow climb. 😳

Challenge yourself! The more fires you experience, the more fireproof you become! 🔥

Run: 24.8 miles

Saturday morning we ran on a large part of the IMWI run course. This is such a fun course. Running down State Street and along Lake Mendota…so many wonderful memories from racing here in years past.

“Life isn’t about finding yourself. Life is about creating yourself.” ~George Bernard Shaw

Creating calm, peace, gratitude, and joy along Lake Mendota Saturday morning with my fav before the excitement and whirlwind of volunteering/spectating at IMWI.

Strength Training: 15 minutes of core strength daily

Weekly Totals: 12 hours & 40 minutes
30 minutes of yoga

Attitude of Gratitude:

“As you have bigger goals, you have to be willing to expand on your belief for the next future version. Be clear about who you are, what you want to be, who the future you is. How does that future person act, think, feel?! PRACTICE that over and over and over!” ~ Vanessa Faye Foerster

Grateful for more miles to PRACTICE how my future self acts, thinks, and feels on race day! ⚡️⚡️⚡️#LFG #fun #gratitude #joy
Squeeze me! Squeeze me! Normatec Recovery
Thank you Nick for working out the kinks so I can take time off work to play! Vitality Massage Ames
Getting to drink Karma Kombucha…OMG! YAAASSSSSS!!
So many shenanigans with my fav on the IMWI bike course.
Meeting up with my Coeur Sports sisters!
I have been in the change tent at Ironman Wisconsin since 2010 except for years I raced (2011, 2014, and 2016) and last year (hello Covid). See ya later Ironman Wisconsin! 🐮 ❤️
Ian’s pizza is a MUST when in Madison!
Sunday was bittersweet as it marks the end of a chapter. With the race moving to June in 2022, it is time to pass the Captain badge off to the next amazing Women’s Change Tent Captain. 🐮 ❤️

What were your highlights from week 36 of 2021?!

2021 weeks 34 and 35: new adventure

The last two weeks we took on a whole new adventure…we became pseudo parents to our 13 year old twin nieces. Mad respect to all you parents juggling everyday and to those of you flying solo, you deserve an award! Their mother (my sister) has taken a new job here at the university and she started yesterday. By having the twins live with us for the last 2 weeks, they were able to start the school year down here instead of transferring schools 1.5 weeks into the school year. This was definitely the best decision for them and we are excited to have them live by us permanently so we can spend more time with them. Since the last two weeks were full of other responsibilities, I am wrapping the last two weeks into one post.

Quote of the week:

“Say yes to new adventures.”


Week 34: 6500 yards
Week 35: 5800 yards

Thursday, September 2 I almost didn’t show up for my swim. I was intimidated by the workout. I was tired from Wednesday’s long run. I was carrying extra fatigue from life. It was a cool day and I knew I’d be cold after swimming outdoors. I had a whole list of excuses.

I decided to show up for myself. I reminded myself I’ve done this workout many times before. I reminded myself that I set goals on purpose and with purpose. I decided to stop comparing my current self to my past self. I decided that the paces don’t matter as long as I’m giving my best effort. I decided to take advantage of one of the last outdoor swim opportunities of the season. I decided to be present in this moment/this interval.

Changing my thoughts to be intentional changed the outcome of this swim. 100s to failure or 20×100 whichever came first turned out to be 20 strong, solid, consistent 100s! Intentional thinking works!

  • Warm up:
    • 300 swim (20 sec rest)
    • 200 pull (20 sec rest)
    • 100 kick (20 sec rest)
    • 100 easy (20 sec rest)
  • Main set:
    • Swim as many 100s HARD as possible. The pace should be +/- 3 seconds from the average of the first 5 x 100s (20 seconds rest). If you successfully complete 20 x 100, move on to the cool down
  • Cool down:
    • 200 any stroke
Thank you Vanessa Faye Foerster for teaching me the mental skills to learn from failure, believe in me, own my successes, and achieve the unimaginable! ⚡️⚡️⚡️ #LFG

Week 34: 69.8 miles
Week 35: 110 miles

Sunday, September 5 we got outside on two wheels for the first time in far too long! I needed those 80 miles on the open roads with my fav + sunshine more than I ever expected!

Dig in and go for it today because you have no idea what tomorrow will bring you! ⚡️⚡️⚡️ #LFG

Week 34: 9.19 miles
Week 35: 24.8 miles

Wednesday, August 25 I GOT to run/walk with my niece, Isabella, for the first 2.5 miles. It was 99F outside, so we took it easy and walked when we needed to. After dropping her off at home and drinking all the water, I headed out to complete the last 4.5 miles solo. It was so nice to GET to run with her! I’m definitely looking forward to more of these adventures in the future.

Turn your fears into new adventures and uncertainty into curiosity. Be open to creating the story of your goals and dreams. ⚡️

Change can be scary, but it can also be exciting. Feel all the feelings and then direct your thoughts towards the feelings that serve you! ⚡️

Strength Training: 15 minutes of core strength daily

Weekly Totals:
Week 34: 9 hours & 12 minutes
30 minutes of full body strength training
Week 35: hours & minutes
55 minutes of full body strength training

Attitude of Gratitude:

Thankful I got to swim, bike, and run today!
So excited to have these two live a few miles away from us!
Happy belated birthday to one of our favorite people! So glad we got to celebrate you, Marjorie! Oh…and thanks for making your own cake. 🤪
I love all the snuggles with our baby girl! 🐶🥰
Dog party?! Yes please! Just a few of our neighborhood friends! 🐶🥰
Another great day of swim, bike, run love!
Grateful that I can find a way to knockout a 16 mile run amongst the chaos. Thanks to the Iron Hippie for his support in all of this!
Teaching these two how to ride the city bus!
Jersey was SO happy to get to play volleyball!
Happy 9th birthday to our sweet Basil! Oh…don’t fool yourself, she has a bit of sass in her too, but we love all of her sweetness and sassiness! 🐶🥰
Getting my squeeze on in my Normatec Recovery boots after 80 miles of #bikelove.

What were your highlights from weeks 34 & 35 of 2021?! What new adventures have you said yes to lately?!

“if you are an Olympian go around me”

“If you are an Olympian, go around me.”

~volunteer on the run course

Cliff Notes Version: I GOT to race the Bluff Creek Olympic-distance Triathlon on Sunday, August 15, 2021! 💙💛

  • this is a small local race
  • parking is about 1/2 mile from transition
  • the air temp was in the low 60s by race start, sunny, very low humidity, and very little wind
  • the water temp was ~77F so I wore my Roka swimskin
  • the swim course this year was changed so shuttles would not be needed to transport athletes around the lake for the swim start
  • the swim start was self seeded with 1 athlete entering the water approximately every 3-4 seconds
  • the swim was out and back twice with buoys on the left
  • the bike has two big climbs of Twister hill (where the movie Twister was filmed)
  • there were no water/aid stations on the bike, which is typical for a 24.8 mile bike course
  • the run course is two out and backs with a decent hill climb done twice
  • there were aid stations on the run with water and Gatorade
  • there was food and beverage options available at the finish, but I didn’t go scope it out, so I don’t know what was offered

Longer Version: I GOT to push myself to the 2nd overall female place on Sunday (with first place going to professional triathlete, Jess Smith)!

We had a 40 minute drive from home on Saturday morning to the race site. It was a BEAUTIFUL morning with temps in the upper 50s/low 60s…drastically different from Wednesday where the heat index topped out at 106F. When we arrived at Don Williams Recreation Area, we got all of our gear ready at the car before hauling it to the transition area. We had completed packet pick up on Saturday at a local bike shop, so when wee arrived at transition, we got body marked and put everything in transition at our spots. I used the kybo before setting up my transition area. Once my area was set, I chatted with friends and former students before getting my Roka swimskin on and heading to the boat ramp for the athlete meeting.

Getting to squeeze and race with my Coeur Sports sistas!

Swim: (34:19 for 1500 meters at 2:17/100 m average pace)

We self seeded on the boat ramp for how confident and fast we thought we’d swim, so I stayed toward the front of the line of Olympic distance triathletes. When it was my turn, I dove into the water. I felt so strong and confident as I made my way to the first turn buoy. The water felt really warm, so I was grateful to have the swim skin on and not a wetsuit. As I made my way around the first turn buoy, I was swimming directly into the sunlight. This made it a bit challenging to site, but I did a great job of swimming straight. There were some athletes in front of me swimming on the wrong side of the buoys after making their way around the 2nd turn buoy, so I collided head on with them. They apologized as I forged on. After turning around the 2nd swim buoy, the sun was no longer in my eye and I was able to quickly and easily make my way back to the 1st turn buoy (which would be turn buoy #3). As I approached this turn buoy, the traffic became much more congested as the sprint triathletes were making their way into the water and around the turn buoy. We had the sprint triathletes in the mix with us until about the 1/2 way point back into the sun toward the 2nd turn buoy (which would be turn buoy #4), but then the traffic thinned out for a bit. I easily and quickly made my way around the 4th swim buoy and headed back to the boat ramp. At about that 1/2 way point we encountered more traffic again as the slower sprint triathletes made their way around their turn buoy and toward the boat ramp. It was nice to have the big swim exit arch to site off of at the boat ramp.

***Side note…the timing mat for the swim exit was actually up at transition, so my slower time/pace is reflective my swim + a decent run to get to the timing mat.

T1: (1:29)

As I exited the water, I got my swimskin off just below my hips, removed my goggles + swim cap, and ran all the way through transition since my bike was right next to bike exit. When I arrived at my transition spot, I stripped off my swimskin, put on my socks + bike shoes, donned my helmet and sunnies, grabbed Mojo, and off we went!

Bike: (1:21:34 for 24.8 miles at 18.2 mph average speed)

After crossing the mount line and getting on Mojo, we cruised our way out of Don Williams Recreation Area. This course was nothing like Saturday’s super flat course! We had some rolling hills before reaching the first big climb at about mile 7. Those rollers primed the legs for what was to come. As we were climbing Twister Hill for the first time, a few of us were chatting a bit (people I was passing and those passing me) about how beautiful the weather was…and some complained about how big and steep this hill was, but I didn’t let their negative chatter impact me. I LOVE A CHALLENGE! At the top of the climb, it was time to put the hammer down and work to make gains on the people I saw in front of me. After all, playing chase on the bike lights my fire! I got to cheer on my Coeur Sports sister (and professional triathlete), Jess Smith, as she was making her way back to Twister Hill for the last time. There were some more rolling hills before making it to the turn around at mile 12.4 and again after the turn around as we made our way back to Twister Hill. Before making it back to Twister Hill for the second time, I got to cheer on my Coeur Sports sister, Sarah, as she had just crested the top of Twister Hill. I asked her if she liked that climb and she relayed that she wasn’t a fan. Who ever said Iowa was flat clearly hasn’t experienced Twister Hill. 🤪 As I was going down Twister Hill the second time, I saw an athlete walking up the hill with his bike…that’s how big/steep of a climb it is. I powered my way back up the climb and was making my way back toward transition when our friend Steve passed me with about 2 miles to go on the bike. I was determined to keep him in my sites as we approached Don Williams Recreation Area. I absolutely LOVE a good challenge! I had SO MUCH FUN on this course! I was smiling and giddy the whole time!

LFG! ⚡️
Photo credit: Dave Mable

T2: (0:40)

As I came into T2, saw the Iron Hippie walking on the road near bike dismount, so I knew he was done with his sprint race. I yelled “hi” at him as I rolled into the bike dismount and ran into the transition area. I quickly racked my bike, dropped my helmet, changed into my Newton running shoes, grabbed my visor + race belt, and ran out of T2. I had only seen a couple of women in front of me on the bike course, so I wanted to hunt them down! I knew I would never catch Jess Smith…hello professional triathlete…but the rest of them were my rabbits to chase down!

Run: (52:04 for 6.2 miles at 8:24/mile average pace)

As we exited T2, we ran on trails through the wooded area that eventually spit us out on to the paved campground roads. This route had a mix of sun, shade, flats, hills, and spectators in the campground + lots of fun! I could see our friends Mindy and Steve in front of me. It was time to chase them down! Mindy and I chatted briefly as I passed her. Just after mile 1, I took water from the aid station…thank you ISU Physics club! The ISU Physics club had brought volunteers out in full force and it was fun to see a bunch of them on the course. After the aid station, I put the hammer down on the slight climb to catch Steve who was just ahead of me. I caught up to him just before the turn around out in the campground. We chatted as we ran together briefly and then I forged ahead. I took in water at the aid station again before climbing my way up the steep hill. I tapped into my intentional thinking to not allow myself to walk…”I set goals on purpose and with purpose. I like a good challenge. This is good prep for worlds. Just keep running.”

As I came to the turn around, the volunteer at the cone said, “if you are an Olympian go around me. If you are finishing, turn right.” I smiled big as I rounded the cone to head back out for lap two. I again grabbed water at the aid station on the dam, made my way to the turn around out at the campground, back to the aid station for water before climbing the steep hill for the last time. I kept the intentional thinking strong and focused…”I set goal on purpose and with purpose. I like a good challenge. This is good prep for worlds. Just keep running.”

This time when I got to the volunteer at the cone saying, “if you are an Olympian go around me. If you are finishing, turn right,” I got to turn right back through the wooded area toward the finish line. This is where I saw Dave Mable who briefly ran with me for some video footage before I got to that finish line.

So much heart and courage running into that 2nd place finish!
Photo credit: Dave Mable

Overall: (2:50:07…2/16 Female, 35/81 overall)

I am SOOOO incredibly grateful for a strong body and mind! I never would have dreamed that I would ever get 2nd overall female at an Olympic distance triathlon the day after taking 1st overall female at a sprint triathlon, but here I am…and it feels AMAZING!

That 2nd place medal at Bluff Creek
Photo credit: The Iron Hippie

Gear: Coeur Sports triathlon shorts, Coeur Sports sports bra, Coeur Sports aero top, Roka X-1 Goggles, Roka Viper x2 Short Sleeve Swimskin, Specialized Transition tri bike, Specialized S-works Evade helmet, Specialized Torch 2.0 Road Shoes, Coeur Sports visor, Newton Kismet running shoes, Roka SL-1X sunnies

2021 week 33: getting back on track

Last week I had more of a recovery week than was planned. I ended up tweaking my lat/trap area on my left side moving heavy furniture at work, which needed a bit of rest before I could get back into training (and turn my head again without pain). Thanks to Dr. Chris for getting me in right away on Tuesday and again on Wednesday to work through the tweak. By the end of the week, I was back to training again and ready for some bigger workouts back in Okoboji at home home.

Quote of the week:

“Never quit. If you stumble get back up. What happened yesterday no longer matters. Today’s another day so get back on track and move closer to your dreams and goals.”


Swim: 5503 yards

Sunday I got to do a long swim! Dad drove the boat on the lake while the Iron Hippie and I swam. I settled in to this swim early and just focused on 500 yards at a time. Before we knew it, we were at the 1/2 way point and ready to turn around. We hadn’t noticed that the wind was picking up until we were about 3500 yards in to our swim. By this point, the chop on the lake was challenging and the waves made from other boats created some turbulent waters.

Rough waters make for stronger merpeople! 5K swim Sunday morning in choppy waters. ⚡️⚡️⚡️

Bike: 0 miles

Sadly I didn’t get any bike miles last week. Dr. Chris wanted me to avoid the bike until the lat/trap was completely healed as being in aero likely would have aggravated it making the healing process take even longer.

Run: 20.4 miles

I had a hill repeat run last week, but my running highlight was running 14 miles back home home on a really hilly route. The first 5 miles were a family affair with the Iron Hippie, Basil, and Jersey, while the last 9 miles were a solo adventure where I sought out all the hills!

“Be a hill seeker. Most of us try to avoid hills, but what’s so good about flat? Think about it: flat tire, flat hair, flat returns, and -the ultimate- flatlining. Life happens on the hills. They’re opportunities to prove to yourself that you’re stronger than you ever imagined. If you never attempt the ascent, you’ll never know the thrill of swooshing down the other side!” ~unknown

What a beautiful morning to seek out all the hills!* So grateful for 5 family miles + 9 solo miles at home home to help me get stronger for Worlds! ⚡️⚡️⚡️

Strength Training: 15 minutes of core strength daily

Weekly Totals: 7 hours & 37 minutes
30 minutes of yoga

Attitude of Gratitude:

Thank you Dr. Chris with Team Chiropractic and Rehabilitation of Ames for getting me back on track! Dry needling isn’t my fave, but it works!
All the snuggles!
Even more snuggles!
This crazy travel companion has to stand the whole time she’s in the car! It’s a good thing we love her so much!
These are my peeps! Love them all so much!
5 family miles at home home was the best way to start our Saturday!
Thanks Dad, Isabella, and Laylah for boating next to us to keep us safe while we swam!
I love to be on the water!

What were your highlights from week 33 of 2021?!