13 weeks ’til #IMMT: scratch

Last week was properly coined “scratch” since the whole week seemed to fall apart and not go as planned. During the first part of the week, we spent the majority of our waking hours at work, or cleaning up dog poop because of an anxious dog. Thankfully our vet prescribed some meds to help with this and by Thursday the diarrhea was under control and we were able to do a load of laundry that wasn’t dog blankets covered in poop! This caused for lack of sleep and missing workouts. By Wednesday evening I was ready to do my long run, only to have that put on hold thanks to Mother Nature’s bad attitude! Hello tornado watch and severe thunderstorms! We had 70+ mph hour winds that blew over dumpsters and semi trucks…so much for that long run. By Friday, the exhaustion had really set in. So much so, that the Iron Hippie fell asleep standing up in the check-out line at the store and the cashier started chuckling. When I looked over at him, I chuckled too and then woke him up! I finally felt that I had some energy to workout by Saturday and was looking forward to my first triathlon of the year on Sunday morning, but Mother Nature (combined with my common sense) had other plans. We woke up to windchill temperatures in the low 40s, with the predicted windchill temperature of 36F and 20+ mph winds at the start of the race. WHAT?! It was May 21…I opted for scratching this race. I don’t have enough warm gear to keep a soaking wet me warm on the bike in those conditions nor did I want to risk getting sick at a sprint triathlon when I have a 70.3 race in 3 weeks. So, I crawled back in my warm bed for 3 more hours of sleep and dreamed that I was watching the live stream (not that it exists) of this sprint triathlon with TJ Tollakson (he was officially registered for this event) sliding across the snow covered grass at the finish line in 1st place. Ha! Ha! 🙂 After seeing posts from friends who were volunteering at the event, I’m glad we scratched this race. The windchill was 35F at the start and lots of people had problems with the temperatures on the bike.

Swim: 1000 yards

Saturday I managed to go to the pool and do a short swim. Since I thought I was racing the next day, I didn’t want to overdo anything and make up for lost time from earlier in the week. It was the only swimming I did this week, but it was better than nothing.

Today I pressed the “reset” button and dove back into training after a challenging week.

Bike: 14.1 miles

Instead of racing on Sunday, Coach Kelly gave me the option of a longer Z2 ride, or a “mock” sprint triathlon. Since I was feeling so defeated by the week, I opted for the “mock” sprint triathlon, which included a 1 hour ride with a 20 minute power test + a 5K TT run. Knowing that I was mentally not in a solid place, I should have gone with the longer Z2 ride, but I didn’t. This was definitely the worst power test I’ve ever done. Not because of the numbers, but because of my lack of consistency, my inability to stay strong, and my inability to stay focused. I struggled BIG time with this entire workout (not just the bike as you’ll see in a bit) and this only further defeated me for the week. Thankfully my mother always reminds me, “That which doesn’t kill you makes you stronger.” I know she is right and I know the tough times are what make us stronger! Onward and upward!

Finding strength amongst the challenges.

Run: 10.1 miles

I ran twice this week…Saturday and Sunday. On Saturday, it felt good to just go pound the pavement. I was trying to keep it easy as I was anticipating a triathlon on Sunday morning. Since I didn’t do the sprint triathlon Sunday morning, the “mock” sprint had a 5K TT run off the bike. This was a struggle. I mentally wasn’t in it and forced myself to not look at my Garmin every 10 seconds hoping to be done! I couldn’t find focus, I couldn’t find consistency, and I couldn’t find any kind of rhythm. I was a mess! During the last 0.1 mile, I was sobbing because I was so frustrated and annoyed with where I was mentally and the exhaustion from the week really let me come undone.

Happy to be pounding the pavement on Saturday!
Some days you have it, and some days you don’t. Today was a “don’t” kind of day for me. Turning the page!

Strength Training: 45 minutes + 10 minutes of core every day

Weekly Totals: 4 hours & 42 minutes

Weekly Positives: 

We had all kinds of puppy snuggles last week! Love all of these girls SO MUCH!

Lots of puppy love!

Coach Kelly was SUPER supportive of my crazy, stressful week. We talked on Tuesday to talk race strategy for my upcoming 70.3 and for the sprint triathlon that I was supposed to do on Sunday. She also changed my plan for me and gave me choices to try to get me back on track after so many scratches this week. I am forever grateful to have her in my tribe! #trackcatstrong

I had date night with the Iron Hippie Friday night (before he fell asleep in the check out line)…sushi was our meal of choice!

YUM!

Quote of the Week: 

“A scratched workout doesn’t mean I’m giving up on my goals and dreams.”

14 Week’s ’til #IMMT: fun in the pain

Last week was full of fun, but there was also some pain involved!

Swim: 11,200 yards

I had 4 swims last week, making this week my largest swim week in 2017! I’m still working on my flip turns, but have a LONG way to go for consistent results…sometimes I push off the wall, sometimes I miss, and I’m almost always off center and rotated when I flip! I’m not going to give up though…just keep swimming + practicing!

Soaring into the new week with 3800 yards of #swimlove on this #motivationalmonday
Starting #workforitwednesday off with a splash!
Friday night #swimlove is my fave!
Finishing off the week with 3600 yards of #swimlove and staring at this line!

Bike: 104 miles

I gained a LOT of self confidence last week on the bike! On Tuesday morning, I had some intervals that pushed me WAY out of my comfort zone…since I am pushing higher watts at my FTP, I have to work SO MUCH HARDER! It will definitely be worth it on race day! Saturday’s long solo ride, was my first ever long solo ride. I was nervous about going out by myself on the open roads, but I chose safe roads, and had a great ride despite my stomach acting up! I synced my phone up with the Iron Hippie’s phone before I left, so he was tracking my every move…safety first!

Overcoming self doubt + working WAY out of my comfort zone = HUGE confidence booster on this #timetrialtuesday
Some #bikelove on this #workforitwednesday
First long solo ride on Saturday! HUGE confidence builder!
What goes down, must come up!

Run: 23.1 miles

Last week the temperatures started to feel more like late spring, early summer here in central Iowa. This made for some heat acclimation this week! Little by little, I will acclimate to the hot, humid summers that engulf us here in the Midwest!

Oh…and a smokin’ fast brick run with the sunrise Tuesday morning made me giddy!
Hill repeats with the sunrise is a perfect way to start the day! #rememberingTRJ
Brick run to follow Saturday’s long ride!
Sunday run day! #courageovercomfort

Strength Training: 1 hour & 50 minutes + 10 minutes of core strength daily

I had good variety in my strength training this last week. Tuesday’s strength session left me with some DOMS that stuck around longer than normal, but Nick with Vitality Massage got me back on track just in time for the weekend’s longer workouts!

Weekly Totals: 16 hours & 17 minutes

Weekly Positives:

I decided to throw my comfort to the wind this weekend and run in just a sports bra and shorts. This is a HUGE step for me as I am very self conscious, but am working to become more self confident!

Nick worked all the kinks out of my legs Friday night and then I headed to the pool to see if some active recovery would help me bounce back from my massage quicker.

Working out the kinks!

We have two of our favorite fur friends staying with us this week, which means 4 big dogs with LOTS of lovin’!!

Puppy play time!

I love my evening snuggles with Basil! She is so calming and relaxing!

Snuggles with my favorite girl!

Quote of the Week:

“Have fun in the pain!” ~Kelly Roberts

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

16 weeks ’til #IMMT: lesson learned

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!

Going in for the flip…and I missed the wall. Guess I have more practicing to do!
Flippin’ Friday night!

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! 🙂

Why the big grin?! 15 minutes of Z3 work today was above my threshold watts going into Ironman Wisconsin 7 months ago and it felt easy!! Thanks to Coach Kelly for helping me get stronger on the bike this year!!
#workforitwednesday + #bikelove with my fave!
First scheduled brick of the season done and dusted!!

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! 😉

Not quite the race I was hoping for, but I pushed as hard as I could all the way through! Grateful the rain held off until after I finished! Another Drake 1/2 is in the books!

Strength Training: 1 hour & 15 minutes + 10 minutes of core daily

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

Weekly Positives:

We had some special deliveries this week from Sound Probiotics and Barnana…SO awesome to have these amazing sponsors supporting us this year!

Special delivery from Sound Probiotics to keep our guts healthy!
Someone is eyeing all of our Barnana goodness that arrived this week!

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!

Pre-race massage at Vitality Massage!

I ended the week with puppy snuggles with my favorite girl! She makes the best pillow!

Sunday snuggles with my girl!

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

17 weeks ’til #IMMT: getting out of my own way

Last week’s focus: getting out of my own way by not allowing fear to hold me back!

Swim: 2800 yards + 1 hour of flip turns

The focus last week in the water was to get out of my own way and learn how to flip turn. I have a lot of work to do, but thanks to Coach Tim’s help, I made some progress on Sunday! I spent nearly an entire hour getting instructions from Coach Tim and practicing my flips. I’m excited for the day when I can flip people off without drowning myself by drinking half the pool!

Teaching myself to flip turn…this isn’t pretty, but it’s a work in progress.

Bike: 42.7 miles

Last week I tested my bike fitness with an FTP challenge on Saturday morning. I got out of my own way and achieved new levels! How could I possibly be disappointed with a 16 watt increase in the last 6 weeks?! I guess that means I’m going to have to work even harder on the bike now 😉

Power test prep on this #timetrialtuesday
Getting in some #bikelove
Spending time with Mojo in preparation for my FTP challenge
My view during my FTP challenge…Lots of encouragement + motivation!
So giddy! 16 watt improvement in my FTP test today means I’m over the 200 watt threshold! I never imagined I would see this day! So grateful for Coach Kelly to push me WAY out of my comfort zone and help me get stronger this season!

Run:

I didn’t run much last week as I’m still trying to heal up my knees from my fall almost two weeks ago. I did have an easy short run on Saturday to test my knees. I followed this up with a nice long run on Sunday with a good friend. Running is always better with friends!

Nice easy 30 minute run to test the knees.
Running is always better with friends!! Thanks for the company Robin!!

Strength Training: 1 hour & 25 minutes + 10 minutes of core almost daily

I had 2 great full body strength sessions last week and 10 minutes of core strength almost every day (I did manage to miss a few days thanks to some work stress).

Weekly Totals: 7 hours & 35 minutes

Weekly Positives:

I saw HUGE gains on my FTP challenge last week! I am still riding on cloud nine with this progress! I am forever grateful to Coach Kelly for her support, guidance, and believing in me, even when I had some self-doubt. She is determined to make me #trackcatstrong this season, and so far it is working! 🙂

Lots of mental training and focus last week to prepare me for my FTP challenge!

A good friend of ours made us some boxes for plyometrics! I’m so excited to get to use them. I’m waiting for my knees to heal before I test them on the box jumps! Basil loves them though…

Aren’t I the “Best in Show”?!

Quote of the Week:

“To achieve anything you want in life you must first start by getting out of your own way.” ~Rafael Colon

18 weeks ’til #IMMT: get back up

Last week took a downhill turn on Wednesday morning when I tripped on some concrete while running. It wasn’t really the week I was hoping for, but I’m choosing to focus on the positives of the week.

Swim: 3600 yards

I only had one swim last week. After my spill Wednesday morning, I didn’t want to get in the water Thursday morning and risk infection in my knees. I was looking forward to my Sunday swim, when I realized it was Easter Sunday and the gym was closed…bummed, but it gave my knees an extra day to heal before submerging myself for some chlorine therapy. I’m grateful for the swim I did have and looking forward to LOTS of chlorine therapy this week!

#findfaster with every stroke…even when the arms don’t want to turn over, I keep pushing!

Bike: 57 miles

One of the hardest bike workouts I had two weeks ago reappeared on my schedule this last week…AGAIN. It was a workout that filled me with doubt both times, but I CRUSHED it both times! I have become SO much stronger on the bike and have really learned to embrace courage over comfort. This week, I get to see just how much stronger I’ve become!

#tearsofjoy for finding a gear in my legs I didn’t think I had on this #timetrialtuesday
Easy recovery ride with my skinned knees
Putting more hay in the barn to make an explosion on race day!

Run: 11.8 miles

Wednesday morning I ran with the Iron Hippie and my favorite girl. Unfortunately I tripped on some raised concrete while running and went down HARD about 1.5 miles into my run, but I still managed to finish my 5 mile run at a pretty speedy pace! My only other run was Sunday with an hour run off the bike. After a pretty tough bike ride, I still managed to find some speed in my legs. My bike fitness is definitely translating nicely to my run as well! I’m excited to test this at my upcoming 1/2 marathon in a couple of weeks!

Sometimes you fall, but when you get up and keep moving, you get closer to achieving your dreams!
Some days you have it and some days you fight for every step! Fight for your dreams!

Strength Training: 30 minutes + 10 minutes of core most days (I did miss a couple of days this week)

I only completed one strength training session this week. Thanks to my tore up and bruised knees, I had a couple more rest days than planned this week, but that allowed me to recover properly and set me up nicely for what’s to come!

Weekly Totals: 8 hours

Weekly Positives:

Chatting with Coach Kelly! I am grateful that she takes time to chat with me on the phone. I’m excited that she has given me something to work on in the pool…FLIP TURNS! I’m nervous, scared, and super excited! Time to overcome some fears and play a little more in the water! I’m always striving to be #trackcatstrong as I work on #courageovercomfort!

Nick with Vitality Massage complimented me during my massage! He can tell I’m getting stronger because my muscles are more dense! I’m excited to see just how strong I’ve gotten…FTP test is coming up this week!

“I can tell you are getting stronger. Your muscles are much more dense.” So grateful my massage therapist knows my muscles so well and complimented my strength too!

Quote of the Week:

“It’s OK if you fall down and lose your spark. Just make sure that when you get back up, you rise as the whole damn fire.” ~Colette Werden

19 weeks ’til #IMMT: confidence

Last week my focus was on building self-confidence. Confidence as an athlete is all about believing in your abilities to achieve your athletic goals. With Coach Kelly’s help, last week I focused on more self-confidence…more believing in my abilities…more believing in me! The week started a bit rocky as I was lacking motivation and I’m not sure why, but it sure turned around quickly! I had many workouts in each discipline that boosted my self-confidence throughout the week!

Swim: 9100 yards

I finally started to see some swim pacing consistency last week! I’ve struggled with pacing in the water probably since I was a baby. I always start off too fast and then end up slowing down and finding a pace that I can swim all day long. It is good to finally get some consistency with my pacing in the water! Pacing in the water is a great way to build my confidence for race day.

Work for it Wednesday started with #swimlove as I continue to #findfaster in the water!
“Celebrate good times…come on!” Some #swimlove Thursday morning!
More #swimlove, that continued to work hard despite being exhausted

Bike: 66.4 miles

I saw HUGE gains last week on the bike! I don’t think I have EVER seen watts above 350 on the bike (even for 1 second), but last week I had multiple bike interval sessions that pushed me WAY out of my comfort zone and on Thursday, I was able to hold 412 watts for 15 seconds. Say what?!?! That’s unheard of!! I’ve had to overcome some mental challenges to get stronger physically, but it is totally worth it!! I’m incredibly proud of myself for digging deep during this bike block and pushing myself to new limits. I’m also incredibly grateful to Coach Kelly for challenging me…she saw potential in me that I hadn’t yet seen in myself and I’m forever grateful to her for helping me achieve this potential! I’m getting more #trackcatstrong + confident everyday!

Thanks to Coeur Sports for pushing me through some tough intervals! “the dream is free. the making it a reality costs extra. make it happen.”
Spinning it out with my fave after work…look hard and you might find the Iron Hippie in this photo 😉
Watts I’ve never seen before + bonus interval (oops!) = CONFIDENCE BOOSTER + SERIOUS #bikelove
When the challenge in front of you is bigger than you’re capable of today, you put your head down, work super hard to try to rise to the challenge, and leave a puddle of sweat the size of the Pacific Ocean on the floor under you!

Run: 17.5 miles

I was blessed to get to run with a friend twice last week! It is so nice to get to share my #runlove with others! I am also super excited to have built confidence on my run! Sunday I had a 10 mile run. The first 5 miles were at a pretty comfortable pace, but then I decided to pick up the pace and see what I had left in my legs (they were already completely EXHAUSTED from the week) to see what pace I could hold for the end of my run. Not only did I negative split the last 5 miles, but I also clocked some pretty speedy times (for me) this late in a run. My last 5 run splits = 9:28, 9:04, 8:56, 8:43, and 8:20. Say what?!?! I finished my 10 mile run on completely EXHAUSTED legs with an 8:20 min/mile pace…I’m still in shock!

My morning running buddy! Hill repeats this morning!
Got to run with my fave off the bike on Saturday. There was more in my legs than I thought!
Grateful to have company for the first 5 miles of my long run! Thanks Robin for joining me!

Strength Training: 1 hour & 50 minutes + 10 minutes of core strength daily

I had some good strength training sessions this week that helped me identify muscle imbalances in my body…guess that means it is time to get to work to overcome these imbalances!

Weekly Totals: 13 hours & 1 minute

Weekly Positives: 

I got educated on everything NBS during a conference call on Monday night! I’m so grateful to Breakthrough Nutrition for keeping me hydrated and recovered this year! If you are looking to try a new sports hydration, give Breakthrough Nutrition a try and use code WELOVESNBS at check out for 10% off your order!

I received snail mail…the best snail mail!!

Snail mail is the best when Coeur Sports and Barnana show up on my doorstep on the same day!

The 2017 Coeur Team was updated to their website! I’m so pumped to be part of this amazing team in 2017! This team of ladies has heart! If you see us at a race, come and get a hi-5 or a hug!

#heartandcourage

I had some quiet time…salt + bubble baths are the best!!

#recoveryisimportant

Snuggles with my baby girl! I’m so lucky to have the best fur babies!

#happyheart

Quote of the Week:

“The quickest way to acquire self-confidence is to do exactly what you are afraid to do.”