17 weeks ’til #IMWI: vacation day + race simulation weekend

The highlights of this week included using a vacation day on Friday + 70.3 race simulation weekend. We are currently 5 weeks out from Milkman Triathlon, which is our 70.3 race this year, so we threw a race simulation weekend in the mix this week to test our current fitness.

Monday:

When the alarm clock went off at 4 am, I planted my feet on the floor and went to the gym for 1 hour of strength training. I followed this up with a full day of work, meeting a personal training client for an hour after work, and then getting on the bike for 75 minutes of sweaty ladder intervals.

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Tuesday:

Today was a rest day, so we slept in until 6 am! After a full day of work, I was exhausted! I didn’t want to talk to anyone, or be around anyone, so I came home and isolated myself to the bedroom with my book. It was lights out at 7 pm, which was exactly what I needed.

Wednesday:

Another 4 am alarm meant hopping on the saddle at 4:30 am for 90 minutes of sweaty high speed/high power intervals. It was the perfect start to my day! After a full day of work, I went straight to the pool for 2500 yards of swimming. I was SO excited to see our friend Leisa at the pool. She is such an inspiration!! She is paralyzed from the waist down, but swims religiously. She used to do triathlons before she became paralyzed, so I asked her if she was interested in doing a sprint triathlon this summer as a team with the Iron Hippie and me. She would be the swim leg and we would decide who will bike and who will run. She was SO excited!! I can’t wait to make this happen 🙂

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Thursday:

Hello 4 am!! I LOVE running hill repeats…I LOVE them even more on a beautiful morning when I get to see the sun come up during my run!! It was such a BEAUTIFUL morning for some serious #runlove!! Today’s work schedule was a bit different…I didn’t have kids, but instead had a teacher work day. It was nice to get some grading done, lessons planned for the last 10 days of school (yes…I’m almost down to single digits with students for the year), and lab equipment put away. After work, I met a personal training client for an hour, hopped on the saddle for an easy hour to spin out the legs, and then went to teach TRX. Thursdays are always my busy day, but with only one more day in the week, I can see the light at the end of the tunnel 😉 I was a VERY lucky girl to have my new Coeur Sports Graffiti Kit arrive in the mail today!! This is by far my favorite design from them yet!!

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Friday:

I had a vacation day to use, or I would lose it, so I took the day off today. I left home at 7 am and went to Ankeny (~30 minutes south) for the morning. With a 4700 yard swim, I decided to swim somewhere new, so I went to the Ankeny YMCA. It is such a great facility…MUCH better than the fitness center we have in Ames. I really wish we had a YMCA or other option in Ames for swimming, but it just isn’t the case right now. Only 2 more weeks and the outdoor pool will be open for the summer…I can’t wait to swim in the 50 meter pool all summer long! I had a really good swim, although I’m sure my form was probably still a mess. I only focused on keeping my nose to the bottom of the pool and didn’t worry about any of the other form issues I am to be working on. This made the swim so much more enjoyable!! After my swim, I went to Kyle’s Bikes for some minor adjustments to my saddle, a new chain, new handle bar tape…thank you Coeur Sports for the AWESOME tape, and a new bracket on my X-Lab. After I arrived back home, I did a few house chores, took an Epsom salt bath, and then got a massage. Nick spent the whole hour just on my legs…he wasn’t very nice, but that’s why I pay him 😉 I was lucky to have a visit from our former neighbors after my massage. The kids miss our dogs and came over for about an hour to play. It was great to see them and catch up!! It was an early to bed to recover with sleep as much as possible.

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Saturday:

I was really excited to see how my body would hold up with today’s workout. Lucky for us (insert sarcasm), Mother Nature decided that we should experience wind chills of 32F this morning, so our 56 mile bike ride was done on the trainer. With the amount of time we were on the saddle, this was probably closer to 65 outdoor miles, but we knocked out the 56 miles and then went for a 10K run off the bike. This brick was to be a race day simulation workout, but that is hard to really do on the trainer. I was very happy with my time for my 56 mile ride, but I was SUPER pumped about my run performance!! My run was AWESOME!! Negative splits 🙂

Mile 1 = 9:25/mile
Mile 2 = 9:01/mile
Mile 3 = 8:36/mile
Mile 4 = 8:26/mile
Mile 5 = 8:01/mile
Mile 6 = 7:46/mile
Last 0.2 = 7:20/mile

It has been a LONG time since I’ve been able to maintain a 7:46/mile pace at the end of 6 miles. The best part…I felt that I could have kept going and gotten a bit faster yet!! I tapped into a LOT of #heartandcourage on this workout and thought of all those AMAZING and INSPIRING athletes racing Ironman Texas in very wild conditions!! After eating everything in sight, taking an Epsom salt bath/shower, and regrouping, it was time to take the dogs to the doggie wash for a bath. After their bath, I did lots of laundry, cleaned house, and did some yard work before relaxing for the evening.

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Sunday:

Time to test the legs and see what is left…a 15 mile run at race pace was on the calendar. After yesterday’s near perfect execution, I would be lying if I said I wasn’t nervous about how my legs would hold up for this workout. I was hoping to have an average pace of 9:00/mile. Considering I’ve been running slower the last few years, I thought this pace for 15 miles would really challenge me. As we started, I could feel the fatigue in my legs and got most of the bugs worked out of them within the first couple of miles. I just ran on feel and tried not to look at my Garmin too much along the way. We did an 11 mile loop with Basil…that girl LOVES to run! We ran back to the house and left her at home for the last 4 miles since it was starting to warm up a bit with the sun shining on us and very little wind. Basil wasn’t happy about it, but sometimes we have to do what is best for our fur kids 🙂 Getting started again after was a bit of a struggle, but we eased back into it and soon found our groove. We were really working hard this entire run and I kept thinking #courageovercomfort to myself!! It also helped that I was wearing my new Coeur Sports Graffiti design kit that was covered with #heartandcourage all over it!! was SO pleased to see that I had underestimated myself by setting that 9:00/mile average pace! After eating all the food we could find/make, we went to the pool for an EASY 2100 yard swim. It felt so good to stretch out and swim easy…not focusing on the clock or my form…just having fun!! It was time for my Epsom salt bath (#3 for the week), more laundry (I swear this is NEVER ending at our house!), dinner, getting ready for the coming week, and time to write this blog post.

My average pace for 15 miles was 8:30/mile...THANK YOU LEGS!!
My average pace for 15 miles was 8:30/mile…THANK YOU LEGS!!
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Nap time!! We could learn a LOT from our dogs about having fun, playing hard, and recovering harder!!
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Keeping things fun in the pool after our recovery swim.

Thoughts on the race simulation weekend:

  • The 4700 yard swim was a LONG swim, but I felt like I had a pretty decent pace (especially without having improved my form much).
  • I am bummed I had to ride the 56 miles on the trainer, but it helped me build mental strength!!
  • I am elated with the negative split 10K run off the bike on Saturday!!
  • I am SUPER pumped to see that my legs can hold onto a faster pace than I though possible on the 15 mile run!!

Weekly Totals: 17 hours & 27 minutes

Swim: 9300 yards
Bike: 110 miles
Run: 30.9 miles
Strength Training: 2 hours & 15 minutes

Quote of the Week:

“You can choose courage or you can choose comfort, but you cannot have both.” ~Brene Brown

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20 weeks ’til #IMWI: Bouncing Back

This week’s theme is Bouncing Back…just like Tigger! I finally feel like I have my mojo back and am on cruise control in the right direction. The warmer temperatures and sunshine are definitely helping 🙂

Monday:

The 4 am alarm clock went off, feet planted to the floor, and off we went to the gym for 1 hour of strength training. With it being Boston Marathon Monday, I was very motivated to get out the door and workout while reminiscing my 2010 Boston Marathon experience! After a full day of work, I met with a personal training client, and then had an easy hour recovery ride before getting ready for the rest of my week. When I arrived home today, we had the *joy* of having our street torn up, so we have to park a block away and *commute* to our vehicles this week.

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Tuesday:

The day started with a 4:30 am alarm clock followed by the 2800 yard swim workout from last week that had me crying in my goggles. This week it went SO much better! I kept telling myself “I am Michael Phelps” over and over again. I’m not sure my form was ANYWHERE close to Michael Phelps, but it sure felt much better than last week! #courageovercomfort After work, I went and picked up our CSA from a local producer and then we went out for an evening run. I really struggled with this run for the first 15 minutes. Once I started to do the interval work, I immediately started to think of all those people I know who can’t run and reminded myself that I *get* to run. I started running for them. This run ended up being one of the best runs I’ve had in a long time!

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“I am Michael Phelps!”
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CSA produce is a sure sign of spring!
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#heartandcourage

Wednesday:

After a 4 am alarm clock, we hopped on the bikes in the garage for a 90 minute sweat session before work. I looked like the bag lady carrying All. The. Bags. Down the block to my car. I had my purse, lunch pail, backpack, shower caddy, and swim bag. After work, it was back to the pool for 2600 yards of more #swimlove in a cold pool! Loved the temperature, even though most of the kids in swim lessons had blue lips!

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Thursday:

6 am alarm clock meant 10 hours of sleep! It felt GLORIOUS! After a full day of work, I had an eye brow wax and then we rode for an easy hour on the bike before teaching TRX at 6:15 pm.

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Friday:

Another sleep in day, which meant 9 more hours of sleep! YIPPEE!! After work, it was an easy recovery swim, followed by running a couple of errands and doing our grocery shopping for the week…NEVER go to the grocery store right after swimming without a grocery list! While everything I purchased was healthy, it was not good on the budget 😉 We had some down time and dog snuggles before an early bedtime to cap of the evening.

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I was told by another swimmer that I looked “like candy” in my suit. I told her I’d be much sweeter after swimming and washing away the stress and drama from the week. It worked!
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Reading + dog snuggles = LOVE

Saturday:

We woke up at 6 am so we could go on a long ride, but unfortunately it was very foggy and was only in the mid 40sF. We decided we weren’t going to start our ride until after 10 am to let the fog burn off and the temperatures rise; this gave me time to do some core work, make cream of rice with fresh strawberries and beet powder for breakfast, clean up the kitchen, and do some laundry. We ended up rolling out of our driveway (they opened up our street at about 9 am this morning) at about 10:30 am for a long ride. We didn’t really know how far we would ride, but did know that we wanted to get in at least 3 hours in the saddle. The first 41 miles were all head and cross wind at ~20 mph…It. Was. Tough. More mentally, than physically. At mile 47, we had a decision to make…go straight home with the wind at our backs for a total of 70 miles, or endure more cross wind to add on some mileage and get to the trail system. We opted for the cross wind and trail. When we got to mile 61, we had another decision to make…go straight home for a total of 77 miles, or endure more cross winds and add on some mileage so we could end up with 100 miles for the day. We opted for the cross wind and 100 mile day. It didn’t set any speed records for this century ride, but we did set a record for the earliest century ride in the calendar year. Memorial Day weekend was our earliest century ride before today. When we got home, we refueled, cleaned up, and relaxed.

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Still smilin’ at mile 89 = serious #bikelove
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Our shadows were growing longer as we got closer to home.
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No speed records here, but 100 miles in the saddle on April 23 in central Iowa…we’ll take it!!

Sunday:

We woke up at 5:30 am to get our long run done. We finished just shy of 10 miles and it is always so much fun with friends! After our run, we refueled, cleaned house, did laundry, and got ready for the week before having breakfast for lunch with our neighbors at 1 pm. Shortly before 2 pm, we walked downtown with the dogs for Healthy Streets Ames. The dogs had a blast! There were so many kids downtown and lots of them wanted to pet the girls, which meant dog kisses! We got home shortly before 4 pm and relaxed for a bit while the dogs napped. Then it was time for pizza and fro-yo before an early bedtime!

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#runlove with Robin!
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Breakfast burritos for lunch!
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Healthy Streets Ames has some new mascots!
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Walking with our dog friends!

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Weekly Totals: 17 hours & 47 minutes

Swim: 7500 yards
Bike: 150 miles
Run: 17.3 miles
Strength Training: 2 hours & 15 minutes

Quote of the Week:

“Once you replace negative thoughts with positive ones, you’ll start having positive results.” ~Willie Nelson

23 Weeks ’til IMWI: Seeing Green

This week was a completely different week than last week! I was ready to get back to work in the pool, on the saddle, and pounding the pavement. The theme this week was “seeing green” in Training Peaks!!

Seeing Green
Seeing Green

Monday:

The 4 am alarm clock got us to the gym for an hour strength training session, which was a great start to the week. After a full day of work, I met one of my personal training clients for an hour and then hopped on the bike for an easy hour ride.

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Tuesday:

I seem to have no trouble getting up and riding my bike, running, or strength training, but I always struggle with going to the pool early in the morning. After I get in the pool and swim a couple of hundred yards, I’m always glad I made it to the pool, but sometimes my mind tries to convince my body to go back to bed. Thankfully I didn’t listen to it this time. We started the day with an early morning 2700 yard swim. It ended up being the perfect start to my day. After a full day of work, I experienced some serious #runlove! We ran 10 miles around town and through campus. It was a beautiful evening and we were so lucky to have Mother Nature actually bless us with good weather!

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Wednesday:

We started the day with 90 minutes of sweaty bike intervals before a full day of work, followed by a work meeting, and then 2400 yards of swim torture. I couldn’t seem to get my arms to turn over and my stroke just wouldn’t come together smoothly. I plugged through, but it wasn’t a great swim for me. That smile is because I was finally done! 😉

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Thursday:

Thursdays we typically sleep in, but we got up early because I had a deadline to meet for work and this would give me a couple of extra hours to meet it. After a full day of work, I met with a personal training client, hopped on the bike for an hour recovery ride, and then headed back out the door to teach TRX.

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Friday:

Friday mornings we always sleep in. It felt good to get a few extra hours of shut eye! After a full day of work, I got to enjoy 2100 yards of pure #swimlove 🙂 This was the best swim of the week. I always love Friday swims after work! I’m not rushed to get here or there and I can fully relax and enjoy the water. We followed this up with dinner out with friends. It was fun to catch up and hear about life!!

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Saturday:

We woke up at 5 am…yes, I know it is Saturday…ate our standard cream of rice cereal with blueberries and beet powder before a long workout and hopped on the saddle at 6 am for 3 hours and 15 minutes. This bike workout had a lot of variety, so the time ticked by rather quickly! Then it was time to change into winter running gear…yes, it was COLD and WINDY for our 45 minute run off the bike!! Serious #triathleteproblems existed as I changed into winter compression gear because I was all sweaty from the long bike ride!! UGH!! This run was REALLY tough!! The winds were sustained at ~30 mph with gusts up to 50 mph, which made the wind chill temperature feel like ~20F. We pushed through and finished strong, but were exhausted when we were done. After grabbing food, an epsom salt bath, and a shower, we decided to take a 2 hour nap before grocery shopping, completing 30 minutes of core strength training, and prepping food for the week. This week’s meals include homemade red curry, homemade chicken noodle soup, homemade ham and bean soup, and homemade sweet potato with ground hamburger and pasta sauce. We added lots of meals to our freezer for future use as well!!

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Sunday:

We slept in until 6 am, ate our standard cream of rice cereal with blueberries and beet powder, and hopped on the bike for 90 minutes of tough hill climbs at 7 am. I really struggled to keep my cadence higher for this ride, especially on the second hill set. We quickly transitioned to a long run. The weather was completely different from yesterday. While it was still windy, it was near 50F when we started running and only got warmer throughout the 1 hour 45 minutes that we pounded the pavement. It was nice to have the sun shining on our skin…VITAMIN D 🙂 We were so lucky to have 2 girlfriends join us for the first 4 miles, before we ventured out to finish the last 70 minutes on our own. This was probably the best I’ve felt coming off the bike in a LONG time and was so happy to see close to a 9:00/mile pace for nearly 12 miles on tired legs!! So much #runlove 🙂 After refueling, an epsom salt bath, and a shower, I left for CPR/AED recertification. I was bummed to have to spend all afternoon indoors when it was supposed to be near 80F outside, but I was offered free recertification that I had to take advantage of. Thankfully the instructor also wanted to get outside and we got done in under 3 hours 🙂 I spent the rest of the afternoon doing some house chores, including moving the winter equipment into the shed and bringing the summer equipment to the garage. I hope this doesn’t jinx us…we are really looking forward to spring/summer!! We then went on a family outing to get some froyo…first of 2016 for us. This is definitely one of our favorite parts of the warmer weather!!

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Basil was tired after running 11.6 miles, but her nap didn’t last long and she was ready to play all afternoon!!
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Spending 3 hours with “Annie”

Weekly Totals: 17:19

Swim: 7200 yards in 2:45
Bike: 110 miles in 8:15
Run: 26.6 miles in 4:04
Strength Training: 2:15

Quote of the Week: 

“Don’t start your day with the broken pieces of yesterday.” ~anonymous

Back on the Train

You may recall that I fell off the train in December, but I am pleased as punch to say that the train picked me back up when it came back through in January!

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Look at all of the green in Training Peaks! We have started our Ironman Wisconsin 2016 journey with a #bikeblocktraining focus for the month of January. What does this mean for each discipline?!?!?!

Swim:

I have only visited the pool one day a week for the month of January. This was somewhat intentional. In January there tends to be more people at the pool (which is awesome), but with such limited hours for lap swimming at the local pool, it makes more sense for me to go only one day per week in January. I must say, I am looking forward to increasing my time in the water and super excited to try out my new swim caps…hello swim motivation!!

Fun new swim caps for swim motivation and more #swimlove
Fun new swim caps for swim motivation and more #swimlove

Bike:

I have been doing LOTS of cycling so far in the month of January…7 rides a week with one rest day each week, means every Wednesday I get a double dose of #bikelove! I’m working on bike strength and trying to improve my power output. Wow…what a slow process that is! It has given me a lot of time to spend with my new Cobb Cycling saddle, and bike fit, which I am lovin’!

My new Cobb Cycling V-Flow saddle :)
My new Cobb Cycling V-Flow saddle 🙂

Run:

I am finally getting some run miles in…not many, but it is a start 🙂 I have only ran a few times in the last 3+ months and so far, it is feeling good! I am excited to get back to a more regular training schedule so that I can run more and find that #runlove that feeds me!

30 easy minutes is a start!
30 easy minutes is a start!

Strength:

I have been doing strength training 3 days a week and just recently increased my weights…hello DOMS!! It feels good to be getting stronger 🙂

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Yoga:

Reacquainting myself with my mat has been AH-MAZ-ING!! I definitely missed my dates with mat 😉 I need to incorporate more stretching into my workout routine and hot yoga has felt so awesome since our wind chill temperatures have been -31F lately!! A hot room, a good stretch and lots of sweat on a COLD winter day = motivation to go outdoors to get to the yoga studio 🙂

Rekindling my relationship with my mat! #yogalove
Rekindling my relationship with my mat! #yogalove

How has your training been since the start of 2016? What keeps you motivated to complete your workouts through the winter months?

My 2015 Year in Review via Photos

January:

Running with the family
Running with the family
#solesistasweat
#solesistasweat
Getting some #runlove with my favorite four-legged baby girl!
Getting some #runlove with my favorite four-legged baby girl!
One of my favorite trainer workouts
One of my favorite trainer workouts

February:

#solesistasweat
#solesistasweat
Getting my Coeur Sports Ambassador gear :)
Getting my Coeur Sports Ambassador gear 🙂
Swim clinic...love to learn
Swim clinic…love to learn
#solesistasweat
#solesistasweat
#heartandcourage strong
#heartandcourage strong
Conquering Mountains
Conquering Mountains

March:

#Yogalove
#Yogalove
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Fun times with my #solesista
Birthday funday!
Birthday funday!
Bike fit love
Bike fit love
Spring break with my #solesister
Spring break with my #solesister
Fun with my nieces at the park
Fun with my nieces at the park
Playing tag with the family
Playing tag with the family
Running a 5K with my sister
Running a 5K with my sister

April:

Our own 70.3 workout day
Our own 70.3 workout day
Teaching women how to do bike maintenance
Teaching women how to do bike maintenance
#runlove with the family
#runlove with the family
Drake 1/2 Marathon fun!
Drake 1/2 Marathon fun!
Drake 1/2 Marathon fun
Drake 1/2 Marathon fun
Niece #5 was born!
Niece #5 was born!

May:

Outdoor training :)
Outdoor training 🙂
I love to ride my bicycle!
I love to ride my bicycle!
Oops...learning lessons
Oops…learning lessons
Visiting the Aerospace Engineering Department at Iowa State University
Visiting the Aerospace Engineering Department at Iowa State University
Changing a flat while the Iron Hippie watches...I'm sure many people who passed us had some thoughts about his "supervision" duties ;)
Changing a flat while the Iron Hippie watches…I’m sure many people who passed us had some thoughts about his “supervision” duties 😉
Last day of school!!
Last day of school!!
Getting my Undress in the mail and loving it!!
Getting my Undress in the mail and loving it!!

June:

First outdoor swim in 2015
First outdoor swim in 2015
Finishing the Legend 100 hand-in-hand with the Iron Hippie. Photo courtesy of Legend Endurance
Finishing the Legend 100 hand-in-hand with the Iron Hippie. Photo courtesy of Legend Endurance
Who's ready to race?!?!?!
Who’s ready to race?!?!?!
Dad (blue) and Tom (gray) figuring out how to get into their kayaks to escort me on an open water swim
Dad (blue) and Tom (gray) figuring out how to get into their kayaks to escort me on an open water swim
We are ready to ride the Tour de Cure Cedar Rapids!!
We are ready to ride the Tour de Cure Cedar Rapids!!

July:

30 miles into our 115 mile bike ride. Last big ride before Ironman Boulder
30 miles into our 115 mile bike ride. Last big ride before Ironman Boulder
Last big swim before Ironman Boulder
Last big swim before Ironman Boulder
Last long run before Ironman Boulder
Last long run before Ironman Boulder
Meeting my blog friend, Kelli, and her family :)
Meeting my blog friend, Kelli, and her family 🙂
The view off of the deck overlooking the lake in Red Feather Lakes, CO.
The view off of the deck overlooking the lake in Red Feather Lakes, CO.
The morning sunrise on the mountains at Red Feather Lakes, CO.
The morning sunrise on the mountains at Red Feather Lakes, CO.
Taking a boat ride in Red Feather Lakes, CO
Taking a boat ride in Red Feather Lakes, CO
Sunset with a double rainbow in the background (this photo does not do the real beauty justice) in Red Feather Lakes, CO
Sunset with a double rainbow in the background (this photo does not do the real beauty justice) in Red Feather Lakes, CO
We made it to Estes Park, CO!!
We made it to Estes Park, CO!!
The view of Longs Peak from our patio in Estes Park, CO.
The view of Longs Peak from our patio in Estes Park, CO.
Happy Anniversary to the Iron Hippie...what a great way to celebrate 5 years in Grand Lakes, CO ;)
Happy Anniversary to the Iron Hippie…what a great way to celebrate 5 years in Grand Lakes, CO 😉
We made it to Adam's Falls...with Allen and the Iron Hippie.
We made it to Adam’s Falls…with Allen and the Iron Hippie.
We all survived our first run at altitude :)
We all survived our first run at altitude 🙂
Three athletes ready to ride in Boulder, CO!
Three athletes ready to ride in Boulder, CO!
The view from the path around Lake Estes, CO.
The view from the path around Lake Estes, CO.
Ward, Colorado was our turn around point for the Peak to Peak Highway ride.
Ward, Colorado was our turn around point for the Peak to Peak Highway ride.
People lining the shore getting ready for the BAM OWS in Boulder, CO.
People lining the shore getting ready for the BAM OWS in Boulder, CO.
BAM OWS in Boulder, CO complete...I felt GREAT!!
BAM OWS in Boulder, CO complete…I felt GREAT!!
Stand-up paddle boarding in Lake Estes, CO :)
Stand-up paddle boarding in Lake Estes, CO 🙂
Taking a break from the riding and doing a little core work in Ward!!
Taking a break from the riding and doing a little core work in Ward!!
Riding the Peak to Peak Highway in Colorado
#bikelove on the Peak to Peak Highway in Colorado
We found a "sign" of back home in downtown Denver!!
We found a “sign” of back home in downtown Denver!!
Loch Lake, CO...Loving the hike!
Loch Lake, CO…Loving the hike!
Having a little fun throwing snowballs in July on our way up to Loch Vale.
Having a little fun throwing snowballs in July on our way up to Loch Vale.
"Riding" tandem in Estes Park, CO
“Riding” tandem in Estes Park, CO
Ironman Boulder...here I come!
Ironman Boulder…here I come!
Ready to race IMBoulder :)
Ready to race IMBoulder 🙂
Getting Registered for Ironman Boulder
Getting Registered for Ironman Boulder
I'm so lucky to have my family at IMBoulder to cheer me on!
I’m so lucky to have my family at IMBoulder to cheer me on!

August:

Mojo is all racked and getting a good night's rest at her temporary home so we can have fun at IMBoulder!!
Mojo is all racked and getting a good night’s rest at her temporary home so we can have fun at IMBoulder!!
My aunt, cousins and Dad came out to the Rez for the IMBoulder swim
My aunt, cousins and Dad came out to the Rez for the IMBoulder swim
Whizzing through Hygiene on the first loop...Serious #bikelove on this course!!
Whizzing through Hygiene on the first loop…Serious #bikelove on this course!!
Mom and the twins are cheering me on to the run!
Mom and the twins are cheering me on to the run!
This smile sums up my race day experience!!
This smile sums up my race day experience!!
Erin...one of my Coeur Sports teammates and my angel on race day!!
Erin…one of my Coeur Sports teammates and my angel on race day!!
My cheer squad...Love them all!!
My cheer squad…Love them all!!
Dad and Sam cheering me on down the finish shoot...yes, that blur is me :)
Dad and Sam cheering me on down the finish shoot…yes, that blur is me 🙂
Coming into the finish shoot all smiles...it was a daylight finish, but these photos don't represent that.
Coming into the finish shoot all smiles…it was a daylight finish, but these photos don’t represent that.
Visiting my sister and nieces in California
Visiting my sister and nieces in California
Sister time in Cali!
Sister time in Cali!
Running up Mt. Diablo in California
Running up Mt. Diablo in California
#solesistasweat
#solesistasweat
#bikelove with friends
#bikelove with friends

September:

Team Kecia crossed the finish line at the Des Moines Triathlon...job complete.
Team Kecia crossed the finish line at the Des Moines Triathlon…job complete.
Holy Crap! I think this is a sign that I left it all out on the bike course.
Holy Crap! I think this is a sign that I left it all out on the bike course.
Volunteering at Ironman Wisconsin...Race morning in front of the Capitol.
Volunteering at Ironman Wisconsin…Race morning in front of the Capitol.
Ironman Wisconsin Race morning...who is ready to swim?!?!?!
Ironman Wisconsin Race morning…who is ready to swim?!?!?!
The women volunteers in T1 at Ironman Wisconsin
The women volunteers in T1 at Ironman Wisconsin
Getting my Sound Probiotics Ambassador gear
Getting my Sound Probiotics Ambassador gear
Basil walking toward the Supermoon on a rural gravel road.
Basil walking toward the Supermoon on a rural gravel road.

October:

Signed up for Ironman Wisconsin 2016!
Signed up for Ironman Wisconsin 2016!
300+ 8th grade students ready for the AMS Spirit Run!
300+ 8th grade students ready for the AMS Spirit Run!
Fall #bikelove is the best :)
Fall #bikelove is the best 🙂
Date night with the Iron Hippie as we work on our strength training
Date night with the Iron Hippie as we work on our strength training
Finding some motivation with my #IMWI finisher medal and race bib on the wall next to me as I ride
Finding some motivation with my #IMWI finisher medal and race bib on the wall next to me as I ride
Lots of #heartandcourage as I heal up from bursitis of the my left knee
Lots of #heartandcourage as I heal up from bursitis of the my left knee
Taking the dogs for a swim
Taking the dogs for a swim
Nailing my intervals on the trainer! #bikelove
Nailing my intervals on the trainer! #bikelove
Dry needling to assist my healing...thanks to Dr. Chris at Team Chiropractic
Dry needling to assist my healing…thanks to Dr. Chris at Team Chiropractic
Getting our #solesista tattoos :)
Getting our #solesista tattoos 🙂
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This ink will be my constant reminder while training and racing to #believe in myself, my abilities and my training!!

November:

Enjoying some outdoor #bikelove in November in Iowa...short sleeves and shorts!
Enjoying some outdoor #bikelove in November in Iowa…short sleeves and shorts! WHAT?!?!?!
Century ride in November in Iowa...this amazing weather is unheard of!!
Century ride in November in Iowa…this amazing weather is unheard of!!
I found out that I made the Coeur Sports 2016 Ambassador Team...Such a badass group of women that I'm overjoyed to be a part of!!
I found out that I made the Coeur Sports 2016 Ambassador Team…Such a badass group of women that I’m overjoyed to be a part of!!
My fitness article on "Giving thanks in an active lifestyle" was a big hit this month ;)
My fitness article on “Giving thanks in an active lifestyle” was a big hit this month in our local magazine 😉
Girl's night out with some running friends...so much fun :)
Girl’s night out with some running friends…so much fun 🙂
Outdoor #bikelove lasted through November 14 this year!!
Outdoor #bikelove lasted through November 14 this year!!
Pleasantly surprised with a Passion Planner from one of my colleagues.
Pleasantly surprised with a Passion Planner from one of my colleagues.
Winter greeted us with a LOT of snow (7.6 inches) for the first snow fall of the season.
Winter greeted us with a LOT of snow (7.6 inches) for the first snow fall of the season.
Romping and snowshoeing with friends
Romping and snowshoeing with friends
Riding a motorized animal because I can :)
Riding a motorized animal just because I can 🙂
Spending an afternoon with Mom and Grandma.
Spending an afternoon with Mom and Grandma.

December:

"Believe, Endure, Achieve" will be my mantra for 2016. It will remind me to #believe in all that I am and to #endure and overcome challenges throughout my journey so I can #achieve big dreams! #dreambig #meaningfulmantras
Thank you to Simone for my wonderful bracelet!! “Believe, Endure, Achieve” will be my mantra for 2016. It will remind me to #believe in all that I am and to #endure and overcome challenges throughout my journey so I can #achieve big dreams! #dreambig #meaningfulmantras
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Looking back at 2015 to move forward in 2016 #goalsetting
Yahoo!! So pumped for my new Roka Sports wetsuit!!
Yahoo!! So pumped for my new Roka Sports wetsuit!!
Taking part in Rising Tide Triathlon Coaching's #rttc10dayroutine Challenge and developing a routine that has helped me #believe in myself deep underneath the surface at the very core of my being. 1. Start my "Believe" playlist...time to get down and jam! 2. Take a couple of swigs of Karma Kombucha Orange Ginger..."I #believe I can fly" 3. Listen to my pep talk (previously recorded) while I pull on my workout gear..."Don't stop believing" 4. Grab my lucky charm from Tonja and head out the door..."In a world of ordinary mortals, you are a Wonder Woman!" 5. Stand on the front step in power pose for 30 seconds because...I am Wonder Woman!
Taking part in Rising Tide Triathlon Coaching’s #rttc10dayroutine Challenge and developing a routine that has helped me #believe in myself deep underneath the surface at the very core of my being.
1. Start my “Believe” playlist…time to get down and jam!
2. Take a couple of swigs of Karma Kombucha Orange Ginger…”I #believe I can fly”
3. Listen to my pep talk (previously recorded) while I pull on my workout gear…”Don’t stop believing”
4. Grab my lucky charm from Tonja and head out the door…”In a world of ordinary mortals, you are a Wonder Woman!”
5. Stand on the front step in power pose for 30 seconds because…I am Wonder Woman!
Finally reconnecting with my mat after 9 months off.
Finally reconnecting with my mat after 9 months off…#yogalove
Running on a beautiful cold morning.
Running on a beautiful cold morning with 2 of my faves!
Grandma Annie continues to show up at Christmas and surprise us all with her awesomeness...Our hideous pajama pants were a family favorite this year!
Grandma Annie continues to show up at Christmas and surprise us all with her awesomeness…Our hideous pajama pants were a family favorite this year!
Snowshoeing in the offseason!!
Snowshoeing in the offseason!!
Basil loves playing in the snow!! #happyheart
Basil loves playing in the snow!! #happyheart
Love my sole sister!!
Love my sole sister!!
Girls night out!! Lots of laughs!! :)
Girls night out!! Lots of laughs!! 🙂
My new Cobb Cycling V-Flow saddle :)
My new Cobb Cycling V-Flow saddle 🙂
Fun times with family!!
Fun times with family!!

Happy New Year!! Cheers to an awesome 2016!! 

xoxo

Trication Part 2 – Estes Park…The Beginning

I’m so excited to start training again, but this time at altitude…7596 feet is where I have laid my head every night since we arrived in Estes Park!!

Thursday: Happy 5th Anniversary to the Iron Hippie 😉

I started my day watching the sunrise over the mountain on the patio at our cabin, while drinking my Karma Kombucha…can you say #perfectstarttotheday?!?!?!?! WOW!!

What a spectacular sunrise over the mountain!!
What a spectacular sunrise over the mountain!!

We followed this up with a drive through Rocky Mountain National Park to Grand Lake, where we had breakfast at an amazing little cafe, followed by a walk along the lake.

On the drive to Grand Lake through Rocky Mountain National Park.
On the drive to Grand Lake through Rocky Mountain National Park.
On the drive to Grand Lake through Rocky Mountain National Park.
On the drive to Grand Lake through Rocky Mountain National Park.
On the drive to Grand Lakes through Rocky Mountain National Park.
On the drive to Grand Lakes through Rocky Mountain National Park.
Blue Water Bakery Cafe...YUMMY!!
Blue Water Bakery Cafe…YUMMY!!
Veggie Croissant Sandwich and Blueberry Muffin for breakfast...YUMMY!!
Veggie Croissant Sandwich and Blueberry Muffin for breakfast…YUMMY!!
Grand Lake...elevation 8367 feet :)
Grand Lake…elevation 8367 feet 🙂
Kayak and wind surfing on Grand Lake
Kayak and wind surfing on Grand Lake
Happy Anniversary to the Iron Hippie...what a great way to celebrate 5 years ;)
Happy Anniversary to the Iron Hippie…what a great way to celebrate 5 years 😉

After breakfast and a short walk along the lake, we loaded back into the car and drove to the edge of Rocky Mountain National Park so we could hike up to Adam’s Falls…

We took a short hike up to Adams Falls in Rocky Mountain National Park.
We took a short hike up to Adams Falls in Rocky Mountain National Park.
On the trail to Adam's Falls in Rocky Mountain National Park.
On the trail to Adam’s Falls in Rocky Mountain National Park.
Adam's Falls...so majestic!
Adam’s Falls…so majestic!
We made it to Adam's Falls...with Allen and the Iron Hippie.
We made it to Adam’s Falls…with Allen and the Iron Hippie.
Staring out over the running water...so peaceful!
Staring out over the running water…so peaceful!
A hideout area by the stream.
A hideout area by the stream.
Allen deciding to walk in the FREEZING cold water...he lost feeling in his calves and feet (~39F water temperature)
Allen deciding to walk in the FREEZING cold water…he lost feeling in his calves and feet (~39F water temperature)
The Iron Hippie checking out the water.
The Iron Hippie checking out the water.
I LOVE nature and was cherishing every moment in Rocky Mountain National Park!!
I LOVE nature and was cherishing every moment in Rocky Mountain National Park!!
Enjoying the peace and quiet of nature...
Enjoying the peace and quiet of nature…
Just past Adam's Falls, it opens up to this majestic prairie with a stream through it.
Just past Adam’s Falls, it opens up to this majestic prairie with a stream through it.
The prairie, stream and mountains in the background.
The prairie, stream and mountains in the background.

On the return back to Estes Park, we made one stop at the Continental Divide.

The Continental Divide...this is where water flows to either the Pacific or Atlantic.
The Continental Divide…this is where water flows to either the Pacific or Atlantic.
A lake at the Continental Divide.
A lake at the Continental Divide.

When we returned to Estes Park, I relaxed for a little bit before doing an hour of strength training at the cabin. At about 5:00 pm, the Iron Hippie, Allen and I went for a run around Estes Park. I was VERY pleasantly surprised at how good I felt at 7500+ feet elevation. This was just the attitude adjustment that I needed!! This was some serious #runlove 🙂

Strength training with the mountains in the background...I may never leave here!!
Strength training with the mountains in the background…I may never leave here!!
Not super fast, but I felt really great at 7500+ feet elevation :)
Not super fast, but I felt really great at 7500+ feet elevation 🙂
This run was just the attitude adjustment I needed today!!
This run was just the attitude adjustment I needed today!!
We all survived our first run at altitude :)
We all survived our first run at altitude 🙂

After our run, we cooked taco meat for taco salads…the perfect post workout meal!! Then it was time to clean up dinner and dishes, get ready for our bike ride on the Ironman Boulder bike course Friday morning and let my head hit the pillow for a good night’s sleep.

Friday:

After breakfast, we loaded up our bikes into the car and headed to Boulder to ride the first ~40 miles of the Ironman Boulder bike course. Can I just say…I’m in love with the first loop (the red loop) of the bike course (which is also happens to be the 2nd loop of the bike course)?!?!?! Serious #bikelove here 🙂 I’m planning to ride the 3rd loop of the bike course next Saturday, and I can’t wait!! I hope I love it just as much!!

The Ironman Boulder bike course starts at the Boulder Reservoir, so this where we started our ride.
The Ironman Boulder bike course starts at the Boulder Reservoir, so this where we started our ride.
Three athletes ready to ride!
Three athletes ready to ride!
Ironman Boulder Bike Course
Ironman Boulder Bike Course

We stopped in Hygiene at Mary’s Market to refill our water bottles. This is the most bicycle friendly place I think I’ve ever been (well…except for the Kyle’s Bikes of course). It is truly AMAZING!! They cater to cyclists in so many unique ways…I really hope it is packed on IMBoulder race day!!

Mary's Market...we need one of these in Iowa!!
Mary’s Market in Hygiene…we need one of these in Iowa!!
Mary's Market even lets the cyclists know where to park :)
Mary’s Market even lets the cyclists know where to park 🙂
Special parking for all of the cyclists who stop at Mary's Market in Hygiene.
Special parking for all of the cyclists who stop at Mary’s Market in Hygiene.
Mary's Market has the perfect place for people to relax during a long ride.
Mary’s Market has the perfect place for people to relax during a long ride.
Mary's Market has Skratch (sports drink) "on tap" for cyclists :)
Mary’s Market has Skratch (sports drink) “on tap” for cyclists 🙂
Mary's Market has lots of sports nutrition for cyclists to chose from.
Mary’s Market has lots of sports nutrition for cyclists to chose from.
We rode the first ~47 miles of the Ironman Boulder bike course in a pretty impressive time for us! I'm super excited to see what this equates to on race day!!
We rode the first ~47 miles of the Ironman Boulder bike course in a pretty impressive time for us! I’m super excited to see what this equates to on race day!!

In the last 4 miles of the bike ride, the winds picked up and the temperature soared to 92F. I hope race day conditions are cooler and less windy, but if they aren’t, we are ready!! After loading the bikes, we drove downtown to have some lunch and then rode our bikes to a local bike shop to get an extra pedal washer for my right pedal. I was having a bit of some knee pain after this ride, and Kyle (my amazing bike fitter) said I needed to put another washer between my crank and pedal. Unfortunately, Allen was having issues with his seat post and couldn’t sit on his saddle and the bike shop couldn’t help us, so we rode off to another shop…who also couldn’t help us. UGH!!! At this point, we called Kyle again and he told Allen what to do, so we made a few more stops in Boulder before heading back up the mountain to Estes Park. Upon our arrival to the cabin, we made dinner, showered, cleaned up and walked around Estes Park before hitting the hay. It was a beautiful night!!

Saturday:

I woke up shortly before 6 am, ate breakfast and then at 7 am we all set out for a 2 hour run around Estes Park. I was a little nervous going into this run, because it was double the distance of my Thursday run and I am at 7500+ feet of elevation, but I just took it one step at a time and had a fabulous run at a faster pace than Thursday, which I was pleasantly surprised by!! I basically ran by myself, leaving the boys in the dust which was really good mental training for IMBoulder race preparation. And. I. Felt. Great!! I couldn’t have asked for a better run…and at altitude!!

There were elk along the path that I was running on around Lake Estes.
There were elk along the path that I was running on around Lake Estes.
More elk along the path around Lake Estes.
More elk along the path around Lake Estes.
Deer on the side of the road along my running route.
Deer on the side of the road along my running route.
The view from the path around Lake Estes.
The view from the path around Lake Estes.
The path around Lake Estes.
The path around Lake Estes.
12 glorious miles at 7500+ feet elevation :)
12 glorious miles at 7500+ feet elevation 🙂
12 happy miles at 7500+ feet elevation brought a huge smile to my face!!
12 happy miles at 7500+ feet elevation brought a huge smile to my face!!
Allen playing a "tune" after our long run.
Allen playing a “tune” after our long run.
The Iron Hippie playing a "tune" after our long run.
The Iron Hippie playing a “tune” after our long run.
I was playing a "tune" after our long run.
I was playing a “tune” after our long run.

After doing some core work, refueling and showering, I did lots of laundry. Thankfully our cabin has laundry facilities (actually below our cabin) and we can do as much laundry as we need. The Iron Hippie’s sister and brother-in-law came up to visit us from Denver, so we had a fun afternoon of just chatting and relaxing in Estes Park. It was great not to have to drive anywhere, since the last few days we had been in the car quite a bit 😉

I ate leftovers for dinner and then walked around Estes Park, ate a cookie as big as my face and drank tea while relaxing by the stream for a while before turning in early to bed.

I love peanut butter cookies!!
I love peanut butter cookies!! SaWEET!!
Ginger Twist Hot Tea from Kind Coffee...mmmmmmm
Ginger Twist Hot Tea from Kind Coffee…mmmmmmm
Relaxing by the stream, drinking my hot tea and listening to live music...doesn't get much better than this!!
Relaxing by the stream, drinking my hot tea and listening to live music…doesn’t get much better than this!!

Sunday:

After 10 hours of sleep, I woke up ready to ride! We ate some breakfast, loaded up the bikes and drove to Raymond, CO for a shorter ride on the Peak to Peak Highway. This was absolutely, without a doubt, my favorite bike ride EVER!! If you are ever near Raymond or Ward, Colorado, I HIGHLY recommend this ride!!

Climbing, climbing and more climbing.
Climbing, climbing and more climbing.
On top of the world...or maybe just Colorado at elevation 9200+ feet.
On top of the world…or maybe just Colorado at elevation 9200+ feet.

We did a short run off the bike in Raymond before heading back to Estes Park…with a short detour to Glen Haven for some amazing cinnamon rolls!!

Homemade cinnamon rolls was our post workout snack from Glen Haven, Colorado.
Homemade cinnamon rolls was our post workout snack from Glen Haven, Colorado.

We cleaned up and grabbed an early dinner and some ice cream (it was National Ice Cream Day after all) before hitting the hay early for another exciting day in Estes Park 🙂

Smokin' Dave's for dinner. I had a burger with sweet potato fries.
Smokin’ Dave’s for dinner. I had a burger with sweet potato fries.
Strawberry Guava Sorbet...it is lactose free, so I can eat it :)
Strawberry Guava Sorbet…it is lactose free, so I can eat it 🙂

I’ll have the middle part of our Estes Park trip up on the blog later this week. 🙂

11 weeks ’til Ironman Boulder

Hello Monday…Thankfully you are my last one of this school year. Only 8 more days of school (6 with students). And. I. Can’t. Wait!!

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This coming week is sure to be my most challenging week. With this being the last full week of school, stress levels are sure to be high, so it is good that my training volume will be high to help reduce that stress…or maybe add to it?!?!?! Either way, I am looking forward to pushing my limits and seeing just what I’m made of this week!!

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Swim: 9200 yards (oh my!!)

I had a 2000 TT swim this week, and a couple of other longer swims (another swim had a main set of 2×1000). My TT didn’t go quite as well as I’d hoped, but it wasn’t all bad.

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Bike: 146 miles (less than we had hoped and planned)

I had a few “high” moments and a very “low” moment on the bike this week. Monday my 75 minute trainer workout was AMAZING!! Thanks to Kristin for this awesome workout:

Warm-Up: 10 minutes Z1, 5 min on/off (30 sec Z4/30 sec Z1), 5 min Z2
Main Set: 5x(4 min High Z4, 2 min Z1, 1 min Z5, 3 min Z1)
Cool Down: 5 min Z1

Wednesday’s ride full of LOTS of wind (which pushed us home FAST), a flat tire and TONS of fun!! LOTS of #bikelove to start the week!

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Saturday’s outdoor ride was a bust! Our planned workout was a 7 hour brick (1 hour swim, 5 hour ride, 1 hour run), but my gut was NOT cooperative! The swim went well and the first 4 miles of the bike were good, but it all went downhill from there. I had stomach cramps that started at about mile 5 of the ride and would. Not. Let. Up. I continued on hoping that eventually they would subside. At about mile 25 we detoured to my husband’s co-worker’s house to get some Tums. I was hoping that would help. We continued on and while the cramping did get a little better, it never went completely away. We cut our 5 hour ride short and only made it 67 miles…but that was 67 miles of riding with intense stomach cramps. There was no run off the bike on this one…#lessonlearned…NO EGGS as pre workout nutrition.

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Thankfully my struggles on Saturday wouldn’t last forever. 🙂

 

Run: 27.3 miles

Tuesday morning was a VERY windy run and Thursday’s run off the bike was soggy, so it was nice to have Sunday morning’s run be so AMAZING!! I was scheduled to run for 2:15:00, but decided to go a bit longer since I wasn’t able to run off the bike on Saturday. I felt like I could have run forever on Sunday and just about took full advantage of it. I had some serious #runlove this week 🙂

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Strength Training: 2:15:00

I am continuing to get an hour strength session in on Mondays, my 45 minutes of TRX on Thursdays and 30 minutes of core work on Saturdays. With our Saturday workouts getting longer and longer, it is getting a bit more challenging to get the 30 minutes in, but I am going to continue to try to make this work because I find it so valuable for me and my training.

Some Recovery:

Friday was massage day…it was pretty painful, but I’ve been beating my body up with all of the increased training lately, so it was definitely needed!

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Experiencing Something New:

Tuesday we toured the Aerospace Engineering Department at Iowa State’s Campus for work. It was so much fun!! I could totally go back to school and explore a new career…

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Weekly Totals: 19 hours and 22 minutes

How was your week? Are you looking forward to anything?