30 weeks ’til #IMLou – reset button

I’ve intentionally held off giving weekly updates for Ironman Louisville until this week, but I do love weekly updates. Thirty seems like a good number to start counting down from! Last week I hit the “reset button” in so many different places in my life. I was able to ease back into a training routine (after being sick), put some life stresses to rest, celebrate turning 41, enjoy spring break with a relaxing week at home sans work, spring clean the house (we even moved the fridge and stove to clean behind them), and adjust to daylight savings time. Now begins the final push to the end of the school year. Only 11 more weeks, but who’s counting?! 😉

Swim: 5300 yards

#swimlove in the middle of the day?! Yes!!
Making an effort, not an excuse!


Rolling out of 40 and into 41 like “Hell yeah! 40 was an amazing year! Cheers to an even better 41!”
Reverse brick day!
Endurance rides can sometimes be boring, but today I kept my focus and nailed this ride as it was scheduled!

Run: 12.6 miles

“Mom, thanks for taking me running! I love running and I love you!” ~Basil
Warm enough for shorts?! YES!! Soaking up the sun + vitamin D!!
#chasingdreams and putting in the work!

Strength Training: 45 minutes + 10 minutes of core strength daily

Weekly Totals: 10 hours & 46 minutes

Quote of the week:

“When it rains, look for rainbows. When it is dark, look for stars.”

Attitude of Gratitude:

The biggest birthday card I’ve ever received! Thank you Laylah!
Birthday Massage! Thanks Nick! Vitality Massage 🙂
Birthday lunch date with my #solesister
We are SO grateful to have SBR Sports, Inc. in our tribe this year! #sbrambassador
Barnana delivery!
NBS = No Bull Shit delivery with personalized notes!
“Mom, are you done cleaning yet?! I just want the house put back together!” ~Basil
My idea of a SERIOUSLY yummy dinner!

How was your week? Do you look for the rainbows and the stars?


What’s Up?! – January 2018

How is the first month of 2018 already in the rearview mirror?! It seems like the start of the new year was just yesterday! Here is a look at what the month had in store for me:


This month my training was hit or miss thanks to an illness shortly after the start of the year and most recently the inability to turn my head. Thankfully I am back to feeling 100% and am ready to regain consistency in February! I did establish a racing schedule for 2018 that I am SUPER PUMPED about! I’ve let myself fully recover from my 2017 racing season and am SO ready to start rebuilding the engine for a stronger + fun filled 2018!

Celebrating the end of the #batcapchallenge on January 1!
First power test of 2018! Grateful for a healthy body! I’m ready to work hard and rebuild my fitness + surpass 2017!
So grateful to run with my fave + get some fresh air before the freezing temps return!

Swim: 8500 yards
Bike: 127 miles
Run: 24.8 miles
Totals: 20 hours & 53 minutes


We were so blessed to have our twin nieces (and my sister) come stay with us for a weekend early in January so we could attend their swim meet. The twins convinced the Iron Hippie to make a cake from scratch when they came to visit us. The recipe used was one the twins found on the internet and was a bit dry…it needs some love! We also got to spend some time back home home with family for the Okoboji Winter Games.

The twins are ready for their swim meet!
The cake is done!
Date night! #balance
Me and my fave listening to Damon Dotson!
Snowshoeing adventures with my fam!
Lunch with the twins at their school!
Putting puzzles together with the twins!
Winter wonderland with Dad + my fave!
Catching up with my “baby brother” at home home!


My Weight Has Nothing to Do with How Good a Runner I Am by Allie Kieffer is a MUST READ! Wow! Body image plagues society! As an endurance athlete not on the skinny side, I often feel that I should lose weight to perform better…not because I think I am overweight, but because I see + hear what society says about being “skinnier.” I am STRONG! Stronger now than I have ever been…my swim times are dropping, my FTP on the bike is climbing, and my run times have gotten faster during the marathon of my Ironman races. If I were to lose weight, I may perform better, but I may also lose this strength. That is not a risk I am willing to take. It is time for society to change! The negative body image stereotyping MUST go, we need to focus on nutrient dense foods (count the colors not calories people), and we need to be grateful for what our bodies do for us! “As women, we shared more similarities than differences: We are all perseverant, powerful, confident, and healthy. And, dare I say it, strong.” #strongisthenewskinny

2017: A Year of Rediscovering Joy where Amelia shares how she rediscovered joy as she overcame injury. “True joy and true gratitude does not come from the victory – it comes from the pursuit of the achievement.”

The Champion Mindset: An athlete’s Guide to Mental Toughness by Joanna Zeiger is a great read! To race at your best, you have to not only train the body, but also the mind. Zeiger takes you through her “own personal journey from a struggling novice swimmer to Olympian and World Champion.”

Listening to:

The Find Your Awesome Podcast with Olympian Samantha Livingston…WOW!!! I SO connected to what Samantha and Kelsey discussed in this podcast!!! I have SO many perfectionist tendencies that I am trying to shed and leave behind. “Perfection is driven by the fear of what people will think.” I will continue to work to shed these perfectionist tendencies. I don’t want to live in fear of what other people think or what I think that they think!

The Find Your Awesome Podcast with Professional Triathlete Amber Ferreira is a must listen to! Kelsey Abbott interviews Amber and learns more about Amber’s “pro career to date, her love of racing up mountains, her mindset, resiliency and heart. We dig into her current project—recovering from stage 3 adrenal fatigue. Amber Ferreira is a professional triathlete, a physical therapist and a multisport coach. She’s the 2014 Ironman Lake Placid Champion and the two-time US National Snowshoe champion. She’s also a heart-driven, spunky human who loves to dream big and loves to laugh.”

Pumped For:

My 2018 race schedule! I am SO excited to be racing Ironman Wisconsin 70.3, Ironman Ohio 70.3, and Ironman Louisville as my long distance races this year! The Ironman has become my lifestyle! I love the Ironman distance! I love the feels that come with training + racing ALL. DAY. LONG! I love the excitement crossing the Ironman finish line brings so many people! I love the challenges that each new Ironman journey + race brings! I LOVE IRONMAN!

Grateful For:

-My body allowing me to push it to new levels, but also accepting the recovery I give it to perform stronger + better in the future.

-A snow day + a few days with 2 hour delays to start this month at school. I’m not a fan of having to make up the snow days, but it is always nice to have a break from school from time to time. Oh…and the 2 hour delays we don’t have to make up! 🙂

-The most supportive husband ever! I’m so grateful the Iron Hippie is willing to support me on my #IMLou journey! This will be the first Ironman race I participate in with him as sherpa + spectator extraordinaire!

-Dr. Chris Feil with Team Chiropractic for helping me overcome my “whiplash” symptoms from the car accident I was NEVER in. We have no idea how it happened!

-Nick Morton with Vitality Massage for keeping me on the train moving forward thanks to my biweekly massages!

Coach Kelly’s flexibility this month as life threw me a couple of curve balls!

-Being a SBR Sports Inc Ambassador for 2018! I absolutely LOVE the TRISWIM, TRISLIDE and SKINSLICK products to remove chlorine and keep me chafe + blister free during training, racing, and snowshoeing! These products are a dream!

How was your month of January?! What are you pumped up about?! What are you grateful for?!

#batcapchallenge = exhilarating + exhausting

In October, I contacted Michelle about participating in the #batcapchallenge that she offers athletes. She decided that 30K yards of swimming in 7 days would be the perfect way to make my “eyes open wide.” I asked Coach Kelly if she thought this was an appropriate challenge for me (I wanted to remain injury free). I wanted her blessing + guidance on how to structure these 7 days before fully committing to it. Coach Kelly was on board, so I let Michelle know that we (the Iron Hippie decided to complete this challenge as well) would be completing this challenge on Tuesday, December 26 – Monday, January 1. What a way to close out 2017 and bring in the new year?!?!

To put this in perspective, I swam a total of 31,400 yards for the ENTIRE month of November. To say my eyes were open wide was an understatement. This challenge had me excited, nervous, eager, intimidated, anxious, and so much more!

Here is how Coach Kelly structured these 7 days:

Day 1: 5200 yards at the Bedell Family YMCA
I started the week off with a bang! This was a great swim for me since I felt fresh, charged, and ready to knock this swim challenge out of the park!

Day 2: 3200 yards at the Bedell Family YMCA
After yesterday’s long swim, I was expecting to feel a bit more fatigued than I actually felt, so I was very grateful for another strong swim day!

Day 3: 3300 yards at Ames Racquet and Fitness Center
I felt a bit more fatigued during this workout, but I was determined and focused. The fatigue was definitely something I could push through and finish strong.

Day 4: Double swim day! 2500 yards in the AM and 3500 yards in the PM at Ames Racquet and Fitness Center
This was my FIRST ever double swim day! The morning swim was short (in comparison to what I’ve been swimming lately) and full of recovery type of swimming. It was relatively easy, but my body was tired and I could tell.

The evening swim was to be more pace focused. I started out using my tempo trainer and tried so hard to stay with the beep, but my body just wouldn’t listen to my mind. That fatigue I was feeling earlier in the day was still lingering. After losing to my body’s fatigue (and not staying with the beep of the tempo trainer), I decided to put the tempo trainer on the pool deck and just swim to cover the yardage. Michelle did say that it is pretty common to feel the most fatigue on days 3 & 4. Yep…I was definitely feeling fatigue today!

Day 5: 5300 yards at the Ames Municipal Pool
After feeling really tired yesterday, I didn’t know what to expect of my body. Thankfully my body showed up to give some effort today! I managed to swim a 1:51/100 yard pace for a 500 yard effort. I was pretty happy with this since my body was so exhausted! My body is starting to “come through” the fatigue and feeling better and stronger. I can’t wait to see what it does for me in the next 2 swims and how this translates to future swimming!

Day 6: 3500 yards at Ames Racquet and Fitness Center
This swim had some good kick sets in it, which obviously take longer than simply swimming, but it was nice to have this break. The little swimming I did have went well! I was able to stay on the beep of my tempo trainer and felt strong…fatigued, but strong! Feeling grateful my body has allowed me to push it on this journey, but this triathlete is ready to be less of a swimmer and a more well rounded triathlete again!

Day 7: 3300 yards at the Boone YMCA
The final swim of the #batcapchallenge was rewarding! I swam one of my 100s at a 1:32/100 yard pace, which is a new swim PR for me! With all of the hours and swim mileage I’ve put in over the last 7 days, I still managed to have some speed in my swim on the last day of the challenge! Boom!

Grand Totals:
30,000 yards (17.045 miles) in 7 days!
11 hours & 35 minutes of swimming
8 swims in 7 days!
4 pools visited

This week of swimming was FULL of #swimlove + #chlorinetherapy! It was exhausting and exhilarating at the same time! It challenged me both mentally and physically. It pushed my limits. I surprised myself on so many levels with this challenge! It was all for the bat cap + some lessons learned:

  1. All the swimming helped me find my swim stroke and become stronger + more efficient + faster in the water.
  2. All the swimming is exhausting and allowed me sleep REALLY WELL (I even got a couple of naps in)!
  3. I can do anything I put my mind to…even swimming 17+ miles in 7 days.
  4. The final push is worth the sweet reward of success!
  5. Accomplishing new goals + PRs is exhilarating!
  6. Achievement is sweet when it is earned, not given!
  7. Stepping outside of your comfort zone is where all of the magic happens! #courageovercomfort is where it is at!
  8. I love triathlon! The balance of swimming, cycling, and running is so much better than simply swimming! 😉 Triathlon lights my fire!
  9. I can do hard things!
  10. I am grateful my body is healthy and allows me to do what I love + enjoy!

Thank you Michelle for creating the #batcapchallenge and setting a distance that pushed my limits, but was achievable! Thank you Coach Kelly for keeping me #trackcatstrong + believing in me + structuring my week in such a way that I was able to achieve what seemed a daunting feat at the start! Thank you to SBR Sports, Inc. for making amazing swim products to wash away the chlorine + keep me itch free all week! Thank you to Coeur Sports for the most comfortable + super cute swimsuits!


Okoboji Triathlon 2017 Race Report

This is just a few weeks late, but better late than never! I raced the Okoboji Triathlon on July 15 and it was so much fun to go short, fast, hard, and have my family cheering for me on bike and run course! This race has a special place in my heart as I get to go home, home to race! It is unique, because it is between the sprint and Olympic distance.

Who’s ready to race?! We are!

Swim: 960 yards in 17:37 (1:50/100 yards average pace)

The women 40+ were in the last swim wave, so I had lots of people to pass during the entire event. Once I settled into my swim pace, I started pacing many people in the previous waves. This swim was about 1 minute faster than last year without a wetsuit this year.

Gear: Coeur Sports tri kit, Roka Viper Elite swim skin, Roka X1 Light Vermilion goggles, SBR tri slide

T1: 2:57

After exiting the swim, there is about a 200 yard run up to transition. I thought I was being super speedy in transition, but apparently I wasn’t as fast as I thought I was! My transition time was a bit slower than last year.

Bike: 18 miles in 54:10 (19.9 mph average speed)

I quickly settled in on the bike and began to climb right away. I was very aware of surrounding athletes and was SUPER pumped that not one athlete passed me on the bike! The last 6 miles of the bike is full of short, punchy hill climbs, and I was ready to punch back! With about 1.5 miles left to ride, I saw my sisters, nieces, and Dad on the course cheering me on!

Gear: Coeur Sports tri kit, Specialized Transition bike, Specialized Evade bike helmet, Specialized bike shoes

Nutrition: Breakthrough Nutrition – NBS Hydration

T2: 1:11

I quickly racked my bike, changed my shoes, and took off on the run!

Run: 4.5 miles in 38:48 (8:37 min/mile average pace)

I’ve run this course many times and knew there were many rolling hills, so I didn’t push as hard out of T2 as I probably should have and could have. About 1 mile into the run I was passed by the only female who passed me for the entire run (this cost me 1st in my age group and 10th overall female). I should have hung onto her to see what my body was capable of, but I let her go. With about 1.5 miles to the finish line, I again saw my sisters, nieces, and Dad. I was revived with their high-5s and cheers! I allowed that to carry me all the way to the finish line!

Gear:Coeur Sports tri kit, Newton Kismets

Nutrition: Motts fruit snacks

Overall: 1:54:40 2nd age group (F40-49) and 11th overall female finish

2nd place AG at the Okoboji Triathlon!

I am super grateful to my amazing family and husband, to Coach Kelly at Track Cat Fitness for helping be come #trackcatstrong this year, to my sponsors Coeur Sports, Roka Sports, Sound Probiotics, Breakthrough Nutrition, and Kyle’s Bikes, and to Dr. Chris Feil with Team Chiropractic and Nick at Vitality Massage for keeping me healthy! It takes a village and I’m incredibly grateful for mine!


9 weeks ’til #IMMT: Balance

Last week was my first full week of summer break and it FLEW by! Here’s a quick look at my week!

Swim: 8093 yards

It has been AWESOME swimming in the 50 meter outdoor pool! I love this pool and am so lucky to get to swim in it all summer!

Jumping back into my happy place!
Thank you SBR Sports Inc for allowing me to enjoy some morning chlorine therapy and leave the chlorine at the pool!
When you finish your swim MUCH stronger + faster than you started, you experience major #swimlove

Bike: 90.5 miles

I had a couple of trainer rides, but also got to spend 70 glorious miles outdoors on two wheels with very little wind on Friday! It was SO AWESOME!

An easy ride to test the legs post race with some Ironman Tri motivation on the wall. “Anything is possible!”
While it may not look like it, I LOVED this ride getting to push it again!
Major #bikelove on the trails today with very little wind for 70 miles!!

Run: 25.5 miles

With a few shorter runs throughout the week, I had a split long run on Sunday that I was so excited about…I crushed my goal pace and and averaged a sub 8:30 minute/mile pace for 14 total miles!

That was a hot, humid, and windy run! I think I’ll just lay here for a while to cool down!
Jumping for joy because the heat index is much lower today and my run was amazing as a result!
Morning miles with my favorite girl!
Morning Run split on Sunday with the afternoon one being even faster on the exact same route!
So giddy with today’s split run! 2×7 miles at sub 8:30 minute/mile pace left a HUGE smile on my face for run #2 today as I crushed my goal!!

Strength Training: 45 minute + 10 minutes of core daily

Weekly Totals: 14 hours & 12 minutes

Weekly Positives:

Post race massage on Monday was not nearly as painful as my massages typically are. Thanks Nick!

Post race massage thanks to Nick at Vitality Massage!

Our twin nieces came and stayed with us for a couple of nights! We had so much fun and didn’t even get it all documented!

Meeting my mother in the middle of no where Iowa to pick up the twins for a couple of nights!
Helping to make dinner!
Cleaning all the fruit!
Playing games!
Helping to prepare breakfast!
Visiting Iowa State University’s campus
Visiting Iowa State University’s campus
Eating Tropical Snow

Quote of the Week:

“Extremes are easy. Strive for balance.” ~Colin Wright


12 weeks ’til #IMMT: Stronger

Last week was the last FULL week of school! We still have a few crazy days of school left, but this school year has no more full weeks left in it! Wahoo!

Swim: 10,700 yards

I got a LOT of #swimlove in last week!

Trying to find my mojo again!
Washing away the self doubt one stroke at a time!
#chlorinetherapy with my fave! Thanks SBR Sports Inc for helping us leave the chlorine at the pool!
#swimlove is the pefect way to round out the work week!

Bike: 79.6 miles

With a longer, outdoor bike ride last Sunday, I also got #bikelove in last week! Hello two wheels, the open roads, fresh air, LOTS of wind, time with my fave, and sunshine! I’m excited to say that I dominated another long WINDY ride again today…two 70 mile bike rides in 2 days with ridiculous winds will definitely make you stronger!

Soaking up some vitamin D during my recovery ride Thursday!
Sunday was a windy day on 2 wheels, but any day with my fave, Mojo, and the open roads is a great day! Lucky for me I get to do it all over again tomorrow!

Run: 19.8 miles

I LOVE that my long run has been moved to the middle of the week instead of the weekend! I feel more fresh and less fatigued by having the long ride + long run on back to back days on the weekend. I had a few other runs, including off the bike on Sunday!

13.5 miles with my fave is the perfect start to the day on Wednesday!
Morning miles with my girl on Friday!
Run off the bike Sunday didn’t go as well as I’d hoped, but I added hay to the barn

Strength Training: 45 minutes + 10 minutes of core daily

I’ve been asked to do a post on some 10 minute core ideas that I do each day. I promise it is coming and in the works! Be looking for this post in the next couple of weeks when I’m out of school!

Weekly Totals: 13 hours & 42 minutes

Weekly Positives: 

Last week we got back into a more “normal” routine at home, and Basil’s typical behaviors, such as walking across the coffee table, have returned!

Basil rules the roost now that the visiting dogs have gone home.

Because my long run has been moved to the middle of the week, I get to find creative ways to wear my compression tights to work for proper recovery!

Compression tights are a must after long runs, so I decided to pair them with a dress for work.

It was a massage week also! Thanks to Nick at Vitality Massage for keeping me healthy and ready to tackle another tough workout!

It always feels better afterwards! #recoveryisimportant

Mother Nature forced us to switch some days around on the weekend, so Saturday was full of prepping for 2 long back to back outdoor rides on Sunday and today as well as taking a rest day. I took full advantage of this and after going to breakfast with my fave, I incorporated a 2+ hour nap into my schedule! When it says “rest” on the schedule, I take it to heart and do exactly what it says! 😉

There was so much fog on Saturday morning that we couldn’t even see the house across the street!
#saltyballs are prepped and ready for some long outdoor rides the next two days of this 3 day weekend!

Quote of the Week: 

“That which does not kill us, makes us stronger.” ~Friedrich Nietzsche (and my mama!)


15 weeks ’til #IMMT: stay focused

Last week’s theme was staying focused. Enjoy this week’s summary via pics!

Swim: 6700 yards

Some days you don’t want to do the work, but then you remember your dreams and you dive in!
New Coeur Sports swim suit day = motivation to go to the pool and work on chasing my dreams!
Flippin’ Friday evening with lots of #swimlove to #findfaster

Bike: 102 miles

#timetrialtuesday was an easy spin on the bike to shake out the race from Saturday.
#workforitwednesday with my fave in the #couragecave
More #bikelove + intervals with my fave!
Grateful to be on 2 wheels on the open roads! #bikelove
Very windy ride pulling these two along!

Run: 13.8 miles

Easy shake out run off the bike on Wednesday!
#runlove is the perfect way to start a Sunday!

Strength Training: 1 hour & 45 minutes + 10 minutes of core strength daily

Weekly Totals: 13 hours & 12 minutes

Weekly Positives:

I have 2 students who are committed to teaching me how to do my own race day braids! Each day gets easier!
Chaperoning the 8th grade dance with my #solesister Friday evening
New SBR Sports Inc. swim suit! I’m excited to try this out!
Legs up a wall is the perfect post long run recovery!

Quote of the Week:

“Stay focused, go after your dreams and keep moving toward your goals.” ~LL Cool J