Saturday we ran the Hillbilly 1/2 Marathon from Indianola to Carlisle. We drove down to Carlisle, picked up our race bib and t-shirt, then loaded onto a bus that would shuttle us to Indianola where we would start the race. Thankfully, the bus stayed at the race start so we could hang out on the bus to keep warm as it was perfect weather to run, but too cool, damp, and breezy to hang around outside waiting to start.
I had some decisions to make on race morning in terms of how I was going to run. Was I going to race? Take it easy? Try for consistent pacing? After a full week of teaching + parent teacher conferences, I came down with a sore throat Friday. I loaded up on all of the vitamin C, Sound Probiotics, lysine, fluids, and healthy foods I could find. I really wanted to stave off whatever was taking residence in my body. On race morning, I felt good and ready to race, but decided it would be better for me to run with the Iron Hippie and our friend, Robin. She is diabetic and her blood sugar was higher than it should have been, so I took it upon myself to be on #bloodsugarpatrol for the rest of the morning.
We started off with what felt like an easy pace checking in occasionally with Robin to see where her blood sugar levels were at. By about mile 4, her blood sugar levels were still high, but had dropped over 100 units and were trending downward, which was excellent news! At this point, I still felt good and really strong, but I took in nutrition to stay proactive instead of potentially having to be reactive later in the race.
By the 10K point of the run, Robin’s blood sugar eventually flatlined in a safe range, so she took in some nutrition. We saw what appeared to be a “petting zoo” at a farm along the trail. Shortly after this, we were “cheered” on by some cows along the side of the trail. By about mile 8 our pace started to slow a bit, I took in more nutrition, and we kept pushing on! The miles kept ticking by and went by faster than I anticipated.
By mile 10, I was starting to feel it. I’m sure the bug that had taken up residence in my body wasn’t helping, but I know the other part was the distance…this was the farthest I’d run since Ironman Mont Tremblant. This is where mind over matter really kicked in. We pushed on, all of the way to the finish line and all 3 of us crossed together. Thankfully Robin’s blood sugar was on point at the finish line!
We finished in 2:05:40, which was a long way off from a PR, but it was well worth the fun with friends! This is a race that I can see us doing year after year and maybe one year setting a PR!
“Racing teaches us to challenge ourselves. It teaches us to push beyond where we thought we could go. It helps us to find out what we are made of. This is what we do – this is what it’s all about.” ~PattiSue Plummer, US Olympian
Grab your favorite beverage, kick up your feet, and enjoy what is a really long race report! 🙂
The alarm went off at 3 am, but I was already laying awake. I didn’t sleep well at all, which was a first for me, but thankfully it didn’t seem to impact my day. After eating my pre-race breakfast of muesli + peanut butter + Pure Clean Beet Powder + frozen mixed berries with a Karma Kombucha, I donned my Coeur Sports race kit and prepared for the day by reading my pre-race quote from Swimming to Antarctica by Lynne Cox before heading to the race start.
We arrived at parking lot #2 by 4:30 am, which made it easy to find a place to park that would be convenient for after the race to get all of our gear loaded up. We walked to the transition area, dropped off our bike and run special needs bags, and waited until 5 am for body marking and the transition area to open. After body marking, I had bike support fill my tires, lubed up the chain (it had rained on Saturday after Mojo was racked for the night and I wanted to make sure my chain was greased back up), filled my water bottle, put my bike bottles on my bike, got my Garmin on my bike and started, saw Erika and gave her a pre-race hug, put my salty balls in my T1 bag, and hit the kybo up one more time before heading to the swim start.
At the swim start, I got into my Roka wetsuit, ate part of a granola bar and two Pure Clean Beet’ums, drank down some water, dropped off my morning clothes bag, got another hug from Erika, and made my way to the water for the swim warm-up. As I was exiting the water from the swim warm-up, a lady came up to me and gave me a hug and we shared good luck wishes to each other. I have no idea who this lady was because we were both wearing wetsuits, swim caps, and goggles, but I am grateful for the pre-race hug, so thank you to whomever you were! It was this point that I decided it didn’t matter what the day brought me, I was going to race with Coeur (French for heart) for the entire day! I am going to share my coeur, but also fill my coeur up throughout the entire day!
After the Canada National Anthem and fly over, the fireworks went off and the male pros were off, followed by the female pros and then the age group athletes.
Swim: 1:24:16 (average pace of 2:11/100 meters)
We lined up by the 1:15-1:20 pace sign for the swim and were soon moving into separate corrals waiting for the beep every 5 seconds to send the next group of swimmers into the water. This was the cleanest swim start I’ve ever experienced! As I entered the water, a calm came over me like I’ve never experienced before and I set out at comfortable pace. I felt solid and strong. The water temperature of 66*F was perfect…I much prefer the colder water! I had very little contact with other swimmers until buoy #6 when I swam up on a guy who couldn’t hold a straight line for nothing. He was definitely a faster swimmer than I was, but because he was zig-zagging back and forth all over the course, he swam a lot farther than he needed to. Every time I tried to pass him, I would get cut off by him again. This continued for about 3 more buoys before I finally passed him. The rest of the swim was pretty uneventful as I had very little contact with other swimmers. I had a slower swim than I’d hoped for, but also didn’t leave everything in the water. I was trying to pace myself well for the long bike + run ahead. So much coeur during the swim!
There is a rather long run (300 meters) from the swim exit to transition. When I got to the transition area, I grabbed my T1 bag and quickly made my way into the women’s change tent. I was shocked at the lack of volunteers in the change tent to help the athletes. I am very self sufficient and don’t change, but for those ladies who do a full change and need help getting a dry sports bra on a wet body, they would have had to get help from other female athletes. I quickly put on my socks, bike shoes, and helmet. I loaded my pockets and put on my arm coolers and sunglasses as I ran to my bike.
Bike: 7:05:08 (average speed of 15.81 mph)
As I left transition on my bike, I saw Dad and my Aunt Linda cheering me on! I quickly mounted Mojo after the mount line and set off on the bike. Coach Kelly instructed me to dial it back and go out conservatively for the first 56 miles. I was feeling good and really wanted to hammer, but I knew I had a long day in the saddle, so I sat back and tried to keep my watts near the 130 mark. I consumed 2 salty ball every 30 minutes on the bike and NBS hydration every 20 minutes while sipping water the rest of the ride, which is exactly what I’d done in training and it worked beautifully.
This course is essentially 2 x 2 different out and back sections. The first out and back is from the village on Montee Ryan to 117 out to Labelle, back on 117 to St. Jovite, from St. Jovite back on 117 to Montee Ryan and back to the village. There is a “no passing zone” on Montee Ryan in each direction (away from the village and toward the village). The second out and back is 10K out and 10K back on Chemin Duplessis. There is another “no passing zone” on one of the big descents on this section as we return to the village. If an athlete passes another athlete in any of these “zones,” the athlete doing the passing is automatically disqualified and removed from the course. There is plenty of climbing on this course, but in my opinion, this is much easier than Ironman Wisconsin’s bike course.
I felt great during the first 56 miles as I consumed my nutrition according to plan and held back my power so I could open it up during the next 56 miles (or so I thought). My only two goals were to keep my power at 130 watts or less and not get lapped by the professional triathletes racing. I had to remind another athlete of the “no passing zone” leaving the village on Montee Ryan as we were headed to 117, since he attempted to start passing me, but backed off when I reminding him of the no passing zone. I also wanted to go faster in this section, but there was an athlete in front of me that I had to stay behind on the descent to avoid a DQ. As I made my way out to Labelle, I was in awe of the beautiful scenery around me. Sure there were hills to climb, but there were also some amazing descents to enjoy. As I made my way to St. Jovite, I just soaked it all in…the beauty, the spectators out cheering, and the feelings of pure joy that I was getting to ride my bicycle! I was also super pumped to have achieved both of my goals for the first 56 miles!
Each of these out and back sections is done twice. So during the second 56 miles I was ready to cruise, but Mother Nature had increased the winds a bit. I stopped at the first aid station to refill my NBS hydration bottles before fighting some headwinds on the way out to Labelle. Thankfully it was only about 12 miles of fighting the headwind while climbing to Labelle…riding in Iowa means a LOT of windy training rides, so I was ready for this! Mentally I got into a bit of a negative funk as I was struggling physically…not just with the headwinds while climbing, but I felt a bit depleted nutritionally despite nailing my nutrition plan to this point. Once I turned around in Labelle, the tail wind was a blessing and I stopped at the aid station just outside of Labelle to eat a banana and use the kybo…I just can’t make myself pee on the bike while riding. I felt good and strong as I made my way to St. Jovite and was rejuvenated by the crowds and the fact that I was heading back to the village for the final push on the bike course. The 10K out on Chemin Duplessis was tough, but I settled into my easiest gear and steadily climbed my way to the turn around. I was so happy to have ridden the whole course (there were some people who walked their bikes up some of the steeper hills) while staying in my saddle (I never climbed out of the saddle…wahoo). I kept my power and heart rate in check, which would hopefully benefit me on the run! Lots of coeur on the bike!
I quickly handed Mojo over to an amazing volunteer who returned her to her spot and removed my helmet on my way to the change tent. I also unzipped my speed top as I knew I wanted to run in the tri top I was wearing under my speed top. I grabbed my T2 bag, stripped my top, changed my socks and shoes, grabbed my nutrition visor, and race belt. I put my race belt and visor on while exiting T2. I made my way to the kybo to pee one more time before starting the run.
Run: 4:51:26 (average pace of 11:07 min/mile)
I felt so strong at the beginning of my run, but having run countless stand alone marathons and 4 marathons at the end of Ironman races, I knew it may not last, so I decided to ride this wave for as long as I could while keeping my pace in check. I broke the marathon into ~8 x 5K segments. I started off easy as I made my way through the first 5K of the run, which is rolling hills. I was so pumped to see one of my Coeur Sports teammates, cheering me on during this section of the run! Thanks for the love Ericka!
Once I hit the bike path, I knew I had just over a 5K to the turn around. We had done some training runs on this section of the course, so I knew it would be flat and very quiet with few spectators…mostly other athletes + the sounds of our own footfalls. I was still feeling good, so I just kept ticking away the kilometers (everything is in kilometers in Canada). I was taking in water at every aid station, bananas and oranges at nearly every aid station, and my Motts fruit chews every 30 minutes. At mile 4, I HAD to visit the kybo…well, this was a first! I’ve never had this problem during a race before! After a quick stop, I was back to running and spreading all the coeur I could on the course…I hope this lifted others up as much as it lifts me up to spread the love! On my way to the turn around, I saw another Coeur Sports Teammate, Erika, and the Iron Hippie, both running strong! I made it to the turn around, knocking out just over another 5K and was still feeling strong, which I was super stoked about. The only walking I had done to this point was through the aid stations to eat and drink and up the big hills. I decided at this point that I would continue to run (with the exceptions of the aid stations and the bigger hills) at least through the half marathon and re-evaluate how I was feeling. I had never had an IM marathon feel this good, so I just rode the wave and went with it! At about mile 8, I needed to visit the kybo again…ugh! Feeling much lighter, I was still running strong! 😉 Onward…to the end of the bike path and through the rolling hills back to the village! It was so much fun to see Dad and Aunt Linda in the village (as well as all of the other spectators) and know that I was still feeling strong and ready to rock the second half of the marathon!
With 4 of my 5Ks behind me, it was time to buckle down! The new goal…make it through the next 2 x 5K distances while still running and feeling strong and then re-evaluate. I continued to knock of the kilometers, spread coeur, see Erika and the Iron Hippie on the run, and made my way to the 19 mile point before needing to visit the kybo again…this time I had to wait a bit for an open one, but I knew I COULD NOT make it to the next one without a mess down my legs, so I waited just a few minutes. After lots of relief, I was back to running strong! I was starting to feel the fatigue, but with just over 6 miles this is where I knew I needed to kick in the mental game, stay focused, continue to run as long as I could, spread more coeur, and enjoy the ride to the finish line! As I made my way to mile 24, I could hear Mike Reilly bringing people home to the Ironman Mont Tremblant finish line and I was so excited to hear him call me across that finish line!
Overall: 13:36:44 = 43 of 86 F40-44, 237 of 461 Females, and 1169 of 1816 Overall
It was a beautiful day for racing in Mont Tremblant! The weather was near perfect…a high of 77*F on race day with winds picking up later in the day. This is the first Ironman race that I feel like I executed it the way it should be executed! I finally nailed my nutrition (despite the kybo visits), I was mentally and physically strong, and I had a PR on the distance by almost 30 minutes! I set myself up for a run that I was FINALLY able to actually run and It. Felt. Amazing! Moving up 514 places on the run was a dream! I left some of my coeur on that course, but I took so much more with me! For this, I am very grateful!
I am SO grateful to my tribe for helping me get to the finish line! My parents, Aunt Linda, my sisters and their families, my friends and family, Jeff & Deb, Nick with Vitality Massage (my massage therapist), Melanie with Massotherapie Sportive (my massage therapist in Mont Tremblant), Chris with Team Chiropractic (my ART Chiropractor), Kyle at Kyle’s Bikes, Coeur Sports + my Coeur teammates, Sound Probiotics, Roka Sports, and Newton Running. A special thanks to Coach Kelly at Track Cat Fitness for setting me up for success, making me #trackcatstrong, and helping me achieve a new PR. To my fave, my #1…the Iron Hippie…you are my rock and I’m so grateful that we are on this crazy journey together! Thank you!
Last week I finally got to enjoy the first few days of my summer break and prepared for my “70.3” race that was on Saturday! To say I’m looking forward to many more days of summer break is an understatement!
Swim: 4846 yards
Hello 50 meter pool!!!!!!! I’ve sure missed you over the last 9 months! I’m glad we can finally meet again! I’m looking forward to the little time we get to spend together…3 short months isn’t long enough!
Bike: 77.4 miles
I had a couple of rides on the trainer last week in preparation for Saturday’s race.
Run: 8.9 miles
I only had one run last week and it was Wednesday off the bike…perfect for #globalrunningday 🙂
Strength Training: 45 minutes + 10 minutes of core almost daily
Weekly Totals: 9 hours & 32 minutes
The number one positive last week was finishing my 2016/2017 school year and starting my summer break! Mother Nature cranked up the summer temps and winds just in time for Saturday’s race, which challenged me to overcome adversity, but you can hear more about that in my race report later this week.
I’m so grateful to Kyle at Kyle’s Bikes for taking such amazing care of my baby! He is the best bike mechanic EVER!
I got to race on Saturday! It wasn’t ideal, but I overcame adversity! More on that later 😉
Sound Probiotics delivery came!! So grateful to have these amazing peeps keeping me healthy and active!!
Quote of the Week:
“Strength doesn’t come from what you can do. It comes from overcoming the things you once thought you couldn’t.” ~Rikki Rogers
Last week was an easy week in preparation for my 1/2 marathon on Saturday.
Swim: 4950 yards
I had 2 swims last week where I spent some time working on my flip turns. They are far more complicated than I think they should be! My goal is to get them mostly under control this month so I can use them more frequently when we get outside in the 50 meter pool!
Bike: 27.1 miles
I had some good bike rides last week, but nothing with a lot of intensity as I was preparing for the Drake 1/2 Marathon on Saturday. I even had a scheduled run off the bike this week! First brick of the season! 🙂
Run: 15.9 miles
I had a short run off the bike on Thursday to shake out the legs before Saturday’s race. My race didn’t go quite as planned, but I’m still very happy with my official finish time of 1:51:43 on a VERY hilly course! Lesson learned: I think my pre-race massage on Wednesday was too close to my race. My legs felt like lead…even during my shake out run for about 10 minutes on my way to the race start. Unfortunately that lead feeling didn’t go away once the race started. I started off at a pace that I wanted to maintain for the entire race, but at about mile 6, the wheels fell off. I kept talking out loud to my legs hoping they would start to feel light as feathers, but they just wouldn’t listen to all the self talk in the world! I kept pushing as hard as I could throughout the entire race and finished about 3 minutes faster than last year…positive! The rain also held off until after we were done…another positive! While it wasn’t the race I was hoping for, there are still positives and lessons learned for the future. I have already scheduled my pre-race massage for my 70.3 a full week out from the race…lesson learned! 😉
I had a couple of good strength training sessions this week. I really want to get back to yoga, but my left knee is still deeply bruised from my fall a couple of weeks ago. It isn’t ready for me to kneel on it yet!
Weekly Totals: 7 hours & 4 minutes
We had some special deliveries this week from Sound Probiotics and Barnana…SO awesome to have these amazing sponsors supporting us this year!
I had a pre-race massage this week and Nick really worked out some tension from my tight muscles! While it was a little too close to my race, it was a lesson learned and I’ve scheduled my next pre-race massage to hopefully avoid the same outcome!
I ended the week with puppy snuggles with my favorite girl! She makes the best pillow!
Quote of the Week:
“Never regret anything that has happened in your life, it cannot be changed, undone, or forgotten. So take it as a lesson learned and move on.” ~Author Unknown
This week…was all about chasing dreams! Putting in the work both physically and mentally to turn my dreams into a reality. My dreams won’t come true if I don’t do the work to get there, so this is what the work looked like:
Swim: 9100 yards
I had some challenging swims this week…they challenged me to try to keep a consistent pace, which is something I REALLY struggle with. Thanks to Coach Kelly for continually pushing me to swim at a more consistent pace!
Bike: 58.8 miles
I had a couple of key workouts this week on the bike to help me build my bike strength and push my threshold farther and farther from my comfort zone. I must say…I love the challenge! I love the feeling of success after pushing myself WAY out of my comfort zone! I love to push my limits and find that they are not the limits they once were! I love to find that what was once hard is now easy! Hard work is definitely paying off and I’m super excited about it! Thanks to Coach Kelly with Track Cat Fitness for making me #trackcatstrong this year!
Run: 14.9 miles
I only had a couple of runs this week, but I was super lucky to get to run with a girlfriend on Friday morning! I was also SUPER lucky to have such an amazing outdoor run on Sunday morning in the misty cool weather!
I had some good strength sessions this week! Box jumps definitely scare me, but I’m working to overcome my fear and become more #fearless. While I’m afraid of missing the box, I know I’m getting stronger by incorporating them into my schedule. Thanks Coach Kelly for pushing me out of my comfort zone! I also had an amazing home yoga session thanks to Amy’s yoga download suggestion. It was the most perfect yoga session for me! Thanks Amy!
Weekly Totals: 12 hours & 22 minutes
I had a massage on Friday…OUCH! After all of the hard work I’ve put my body through in the last couple of weeks, it was much needed! Thanks to Nick with Vitality Massage for keeping my body happy and healthy as I push it to new levels!
I received my belated birthday present in the mail from my tri sis from down under! I can’t wait to read these two books!
Breakthrough Nutrition‘s Goodnight formula is the best! It helps me sleep and I don’t wake up groggy in the morning. This is the perfect #huginamug for recovery + sleep! Take advantage of a 10% discount by using code WELOVESNBS at checkout!
Quote of the Week:
“To accomplish great things, we must not only dream but also act, must not only plan but also believe.” ~ Anatole France
This week I was on spring break! That means only 11 more weeks until summer break…but who’s counting?! I had a lot of training + life balance + no stress this week. And. It. Was. SUPER FANTABULOUS!
Swim: 6200 yards
Monday I had a long swim and I was intimidated by it. Not only was it a long workout, but there was a lot of intensity built into it. I had self-doubt before the swim, but I stood at the edge of the pool and washed the self-doubt away. I changed the negative thoughts into positive ones. I went faster than expected, and CRUSHED this workout!
Wednesday I had a tough swim. 3 x (8 x 50) with a goal speed of 46 seconds/50 and 23 seconds rest between. I hit my target for the first 2 x (8 x 50), but started to fall off during the last set. The 1st 50 of the 3rd set was slower than 46 seconds, but I nailed the 2nd one. 3 & 4 were slower than 46 seconds, so I swam the last 4 at a comfortable pace. After my power test on Tuesday, I was super happy to be able to hold onto the 46 second pace for as long as I could. Coach Kelly was happy too! “Wow! Oh, you’re going to crush that swim CSS test coming up. Wow!”
Bike: 75.5 miles
WOW! I don’t even know how to describe how happy I am about the progress I have made on the bike and this week proved it! #TimeTrialTuesday proved to be a day of HUGE gains for me on the bike! I had an FTP challenge and I CRUSHED it! Going into the first 5 minute all out session, I was hoping to hold my power at or above 215 watts (this is the top end of my z5). I surpassed my expectations by holding 222 watts during that first 5 minutes. After a 10 minute easy spin, I then had a 20 minute FTP, where I was hoping to maintain 195 watts. I ended up pushing 197 watts for the duration and was so excited! This was the first time that I can truly say I left everything I had on the bike…so much so that when I was done, my legs were trashed! I worked so hard! I overcame self-doubt, the “pain” in my legs, and the negative thoughts that would creep into my mind. And. It. Feels. SUPER FANTABULOUS!
I had an easy ride on Wednesday and followed this up with a high intensity ride on Thursday. Since I was working off of my new power numbers, this was a tough ride, but I successfully achieved each of my interval goals and that is something to smile about!
Saturday I had a 2 hour ride with a variety of pace changes throughout. And. It. Was. Tough! With an increase in my FTP earlier this week, it meant I had to work even harder. My mind was all in, but my legs just wouldn’t turn over and it didn’t matter how much I tried to convince them otherwise. I am INCREDIBLY grateful to Coach Kelly for understanding me, challenging me, supporting me, believing in me, and reminding me of the following: “You WILL inevitably “fail” some sessions. You must. If you don’t, you won’t know your limits. What you can handle…and then go to them to expand them out further. I take your long term goals seriously, so expect to be pushed. You’re going to need a series of mini breakthroughs to progress to high levels. Part of that will be days like this. If I give you an easier program you’ll feel good all the time for sure “crushing” every session…but as I once said to a coach… “I want to BE better, not feel better!” :-)” I agree with Coach Kelly! I don’t want the easy road! I WANT to be challenged! I WANT to be pushed out of my comfort zone! I WANT to push my limits to find new ones! I expect to fail…that is part of the learning + growing process! I want to BE better, not just feel better!
Run: 18.8 miles
I am have been working on increasing my run volume this week, by running 5 days this week. Nothing super long, but running more to increase my run volume. The week started with some really cold temperatures, but thankfully warmed up a bit by the weekend! From snow on Monday to shorts and a tank top on Sunday??? Yep! Welcome to Iowa! 😉
I had some good variety in strength training this week. Tuesday was mostly core work after my FTP challenge, Thursday was full body strength and core while I taught TRX and Sunday I reconnected with my mat at yoga…MUCH NEEDED!
Weekly Totals: 13 hours & 36 minutes
It was spring break week, so I got to load up on the training, get some appointments taken care of, take the occasional afternoon nap, and enjoy some downtime.
Thanks to Coach Kelly’s guidance, I have made some HUGE mental gains this week in overcoming self-doubt, changing the negative channel in my head to a positive one, and that has translated quite well to my training…HELLO 10 watt increase in my FTP + swim gains!!