17 weeks ’til #IMLou – Race Week Take 2!!

Last week was RACE WEEK Take 2!!! In case you missed it, I pulled out of Ironman Wisconsin 70.3 last Sunday before the start due to the weather, delays, and my safety. I’m very happy with this decision. My goal for that race was #sub6orbust and you can read more about how I planned to achieve this goal hereCoach Kelly had me do a solo 70.3 “race” on Tuesday, so the #sub6orbust was still my goal!! This was a different kind of 70.3, but since I was trained, tapered and mentally ready, I went out and gave it my ALL!! You can read about my solo race experience here. If you want the short version, the #sub6orbust goal is still alive. 😦 The positive…I learned SO much during this solo race!!

Swim: 2187 yards

Race morning! Ready to swim my 2000 meters (just over 1.2 miles) for the #flatlander703

Bike: 126 miles

I made the decision yesterday to pull out of #IMWI703 before the swim start due to weather, delays, and personal safety. I am confident I made the right decision for me. Tomorrow I will embark on a solo 70.3 to prove to myself that I am strong and can unofficially break 6 hours at the 70.3 distance! In preparation for my solo #flatlander703 tomorrow, I did an easy spin + mental training for a little #mondaymotivation!!
Trying to smile through the discomfort in my gut during the #flatlander703!
Heat/humidity training post #flatlander703 because the heat index is 100*F.
42 solo miles on a VERY HOT + HUMID day!!

Run: 22.1 miles

I was very happy to be done with the #flatlander70.3 race!!
9 GROSS miles in the heat and humidity ending in dehydration… 😦

Strength Training: hmmm…this fell by the wayside this week. Time to get back on track!

Weekly Totals: 12 hours & 43 minutes 

Quote of the Week:

“When you put yourself on the line in a race and expose yourself to the unknown, you learn things about yourself that are very exciting.”
~ Doris Brown Heritage

Attitude of Gratitude:

Grateful to Nick, with Vitality Massage, for flushing all of the stress from my body IMMEDIATELY after my solo #flatlander703 race
I did a thang! The #flatlander703 was the TOUGHEST race I’ve ever done, but I learned A LOT and got 1st place overall!! Thanks to my fave for the award ceremony and making me feel special!!
Flushing the legs with my Normatec Recovery boots!!
So grateful that with the 6.5 inches of rain that fell in Ames on Thursday, we didn’t experience flooding at our house (this is the backyard of some of our dear friends…grateful their basement stayed dry as well).
Grateful to give back to the sport we love! Volunteer lead bikes at the Hope Run Saturday morning! 
Grateful to cheer + spectate at the Ames Velo crit races…so much fun!! #crazyfastriders
Incredibly grateful that my fave walked away from a solo bicycle accident with lots of road rash, but NO head injury (despite cracking his helmet in 2 places). Wear your helmet people!! It saves lives!!

How was your week? What are you grateful for this week?! Have you done a solo race that challenged you in ways you never thought possible? If so, what lessons did you learn?!

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22 Weeks ’til Ironman Boulder

This was a recovery week and was supposed to be a week of parent teacher conferences. Thanks to Mother Nature deciding to continue to force her bad attitude on us, we had an early dismissal from school and no parent teacher conferences on Wednesday. This was a nice reprieve, but it puts a kink into my training schedule for the coming week since we have to make up those conferences…

Monday:

Rest Day…While I had planned to get up early and complete an hour strength training session, I decided resting up for the coming week would be more advantageous due to the long days ahead of me. After a 13 hour work day, I came home to a very special delivery…my new Coeur Sports gear!! LOVE, LOVE, LOVE!! #heartandcourage #stylishspeed

Basil loves my new Coeur gear!!
Basil loves my new Coeur gear!!

Tuesday:

Rest Day #2…I intentionally took Tuesday and Wednesday off from working out since I had an FTP test on the calendar for Thursday afternoon. My 13 hour work day #2 is in the books…

Wednesday:

Rest Day #3…I did have to shovel some snow, but that was the only working out that I did in preparation for my FTP test tomorrow. Instead of leaving work at 7:30 pm, we were released at 1:30 pm due to the weather. What does one do with this extra down time?!?!?!?

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Relaxing with the dog and a good book.

Thursday:

This was a half day of work, so I was home by noon…just in time for a nap before my FTP test 😉

And now for the FTP test…after a 20 minute warm-up, I pushed hard for 20 minutes and sweat A LOT. The results??? I improved my FTP by 21 watts (up from 156 watts to 177 watts) from my last test 2 months ago. #progress 🙂 I still have LOTS of room for growth and will continue to work hard to continue to get stronger and faster on the bike!!

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I followed my FTP test up with TRX…this was my #FaveWorkout this week. OUCH!!

Full class!!
Full class!!

Friday:

HOLY COLD…BRR!! Going outside in this weather = #hardcoeur

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With the day off, I could go to the gym and complete my workouts whenever I wanted, so I opted for about 10:00 am…

3500 yard swim...in sets of 3x1000. Not my ideal pace, but it gives me room for improvement.
3500 yard swim…in sets of 3×1000. Not my ideal pace, but it gives me room for improvement.

I followed my swim up with 50 minutes of #runlove including 6×1 minute at faster than 5K pace. I ran these at a 7:03 pace…I’m not sure I could have gone much faster today. My legs were still REALLY tired from yesterday’s FTP test and TRX class.

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No…I didn’t pee myself, lots of sweating on this run!!

After refueling and cleaning up, it was time for a massage. Bad news…OUCH!!! Good news…Nick noticed that my muscles aren’t as tight as they have been in the past. Maybe my thyroid meds are slowly starting to work. 🙂

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I also had a very special delivery from Barnana today!! #realfoodfuel #potassiumboost

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Saturday:

We opted for an early morning run on the mill again due to the cold morning temps…it looks like we MIGHT have warmer weather in the next 7 days. We’ll see…

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9.9 miles of #solesistasweat is the best start to my Saturday…ignore the creepy guy in the background…

I followed this run up with 30 minutes of #hardcoeur work…

Yes...that is a weight on my glutes to make this plank a bit more challenging. This after a 3:30 plank, 1:00 plank and 1:00 plank. I was a planking fool this morning ;)
Yes…that is a weight on my glutes to make this plank a bit more challenging. This came after a 3:30 plank, 1:00 plank and 1:00 plank. I was a planking fool this morning 😉

After cleaning up, we did a little photo shoot for my Coeur Sports Ambassador Team photo 😉

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Sometimes you need to move mountains to accomplish dreams. ‪#‎hardcoeur‬‬ ‪#‎dreambig‬

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When you conquer the mountain of obstacles in your path, the victory is yours!!

Sunday:

I started my morning with the Z2, Z3 and wall sit workout lasting 2 hours…this was tough, but when you conquer the mountain of obstacles in your path, the victory is yours. I’m hoping the victory becomes mine on race day 🙂

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I followed up this workout with good food, a little rest and 90 minutes of hot yoga with friends 🙂

Taking child's pose
Taking child’s pose before we got too sweaty

Weekly Totals:

Swim: 3500 yards

Bike: 42.7 miles

Run: 15.4 miles

Strength Training: 1:15:00

Hot Yoga: 1:30:00

Total Duration: 9:15:00

What were the highlights of your week?

28 weeks ’til Ironman Boulder

Crazy to think that we are already over halfway through the month of January!! Where does time go??? This was a really good week of workouts and without further adieu…

Monday:

AM: 1 hour strength training…I have been struggling with trying to get my left hamstring to activate, but I think I finally found a move to activate it. We’ll see if my leg responds to it and I end up with fewer injuries/problems in my left leg as a result.

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PM: 2400 yard #swimlove…there weren’t many people in the pool and this was actually a pretty decent time to swim 🙂

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Tuesday:

AM: Brrr…what a cold morning!! This meant taking my run to the mill and running next to my sole sista for some #solesistasweat. While it was a hard pick for a #FaveWorkout this week, this interval #runlove was the winner!! I felt so good that I did 3 bonus intervals in memory of TRJ.

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I immediately followed my run up with 2300 yard #swimlove, since I didn’t have to be to work this morning until 8 am (I had a whole extra hour before work…wow).

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Wednesday:

AM: #bikelove…thanks Erin for the amazing workout 🙂 I love #intervals and this workout was a close second for my #FaveWorkout this week!!

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Thursday:

AM: 70 minute fartleks #runlove…this was a good run, but I could tell I was tired from Tuesday’s run and Wednesday’s ride, so I didn’t push as hard as I normally would have.

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PM: TRX class…this was a lot of core 🙂

Friday:

Rest day…I definitely needed a rest day, so it was good that I took one.

Saturday:

AM: 12 mile #runlove…some miles were with friends and some were solo. What a great morning to run…40F at 6 am 🙂

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I followed my run up with 30 minutes of core work and hamstring strengthening.

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Sunday:

AM: 2 hour & 15 minute #bikelove…alternate zone 2 and zone 3/4. I didn’t push as hard as I could have/should have since my legs were tired. I decided to let them recover a bit so I’d be ready to hit it hard again this coming week.

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PM: 90 minutes of hot yoga…I got some #solesistasweat and #yogalove

Weekly Totals:

Swim: 2.67 miles

Bike: 48.5 miles

Run: 24.9 miles

Strength Training: 2 hours 35 minutes

Hot Yoga: 90 minutes

How was your week of workouts?

What Gets You Out of Bed in the Morning?

Lately I have had a few people ask me how I am able to get up at 4:15 am every morning to complete my workout(s).  I realize getting up early is difficult for most people and I would agree…it can be very difficult if you don’t plan accordingly.  I would pose a similar question to those that are not early risers…How can you possibly stay up until 10 pm???  😉

Because I get up at 4:15 am, I am always in bed no later than 9 pm; however, staying up that late is a very rare instance.  I typically go to bed at about 8 pm, read for a few minutes and shut out the light.  Going to bed early enough to get a good night’s sleep is critical if you want to be an early riser.  I make sure that I get 7 hours of sleep minimum, but most nights it is much closer to a solid 8 hours.

What motivates me to get up in the morning and get my workout done before most people even consider getting out of bed?

  1. I prefer to get out of bed in the morning and complete my workouts before my brain can kick in and tell my body to procrastinate.  I feel so much better throughout the day knowing my workout (or at least one of them) is done.
  2. Exercising in the morning is a great way to boost my energy and mood going into the day ahead.  I am more focused and alert throughout the day and generally much happier. 🙂
  3. I am motivated by my goal of having a much better race at IMWI 2014 than I had in 2011.   Don't quit
  4. I have other people coming to our house to ride bikes 3 mornings a week…I have to get up and moving when others are “counting” on me.
  5. When my alarm clock lights up (instead of an annoying buzzing noise or a radio) I immediately put my feet to the floor.  Once my feet are on the floor, I start moving and don’t let my head fall back to the pillow.
  6. I think about what I want most, instead of what I want now. 🙂
  7. The Iron Hippie keeps the same schedule, so it is easier to get out of bed early when your spouse is too.
  8. I have a Training Peaks account and I HATE to see my workout show up as red…not completed.
  9. If I complete my scheduled workout, I earn a $1…that is motivation to complete all my workouts 😉
  10. I commit to a morning workout the night before, set out my workout attire, get all of my hydration ready the night before, so there are no excuses in the morning.

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Getting into the habit of waking up early is a bit challenging, but after the first week, my body settled in and decided this was the new normal.  To make waking up early a habit, you need to make a decision that this IS what you want to do, make adjustments to your schedule so you can get the necessary sleep and then force yourself to put your feet on the floor and get moving when the alarm clock goes off.  It will get easier…you just have to be stronger than the person telling you to hit the snooze button.  Waking up at 4:15 am has officially become a habit in our household.  Even on the weekends I find myself waking up on my own (without the alarm clock) at about 4 am.

When do you prefer to complete your workouts?

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Week #6 (Base Training) Totals:

Swim: 5100 yards

Bike: 67.3 miles

Run: 16.7 miles

Strength Training: 2 hours & 15 minutes

Hot Yoga: 2 hours & 30 minutes

Week #6 in the green 😉

Hibernation vs. Exercise

With the changing of the clocks due to Daylight Savings this weekend, it gets me thinking about the time of year when some people have more problems finding motivation and symptoms of depression spike…due to fewer daylight hours, the anticipation of winter, confinement during the colder weather, the stresses of the Holidays, midterm exams, too many hours at work, deadlines at work, financial stresses, etc.  When the symptoms of depression start to rear their ugly heads, some people hibernate.

Working out helps combat symptoms of depression.  When I swim, bike, run, strength train, sweat, push my body to its limits and beyond…the endorphins kick in and I am happy 🙂  I feel better about myself, my mood is 100 % better than when I started and life is great after a workout!!

Many of us race so we can experience that “race high” at the start of the race when the gun goes off, the adrenalin kicks in and we get to enjoy what we have been training so hard for.  We also experience that “race high” at the finish line knowing we have pushed our bodies to their limits on that day, overcome challenges, conquered another goal, completed another journey in our journey of life…Oh, the euphoria!!

exercise antidepressantWhen we get into a slump, it is easy to just hibernate and let the emotions take over, but the best thing we can do for our mind, body and soul is to exercise.  What choice will you make…hibernation OR exercise????