variety is the spice of life

Two weeks ago we got to return to swimming after a 10-week hiatus. I knew that I missed the water, but I didn’t realize just how much I missed it until I was back in it. The calm, quiet, meditative state that the water provides is exactly what this Pisces craves on a regular basis! It is my playground + yoga mat all in one place and I have REALLY missed it! I did not do any dry land training and was pleasantly surprised at how much swim fitness I still had after being a fish out of water for 10 weeks.

The water is my happy place!

I have also recently started back to work on campus for a few days here and there. This has been an adjustment. I am SO grateful to be returning to campus full time next week as I have truly missed it, but it has also evoked some anxiety as I am stepping out of what has become my normal for the last 10 weeks (working from home) and am stepping into a new normal. It is not the same as it was before the pandemic…shocker I know. I have to be conscious of keeping my distance from others. I have to wear a mask when I’m around others. I have to eat lunch separated from my co-workers. All of these things may not seem like much, but they are all new and add a bit of stress. Stress is stress. It doesn’t matter if it is training stress, life stress, work stress, lack of sleep, improper nutrition…whatever it is, my body views it all simply as stress.

I am incredibly grateful that I have been healthy + able to bike, run, do yoga, and move on a regular basis while the pool was closed. I am grateful that my body allowed me to do a bike streak, which helped me get SO much stronger! But as they say, “variety is the spice of life.” So after completing day 65 of my bike streak, I intentionally broke my streak. It is time to create more balance in my training and focus on the joy of training again. It feels SO AMAZING to feel like a triathlete again…even if we have no idea when triathlon racing will actually happen again and what it will look like for many of us.

Loving life on 2 wheels with my fave!

17 weeks to ??? and ??? weeks of solitude

And with that, we are on week ??? of solitude and it feels like Groundhog Day. IRONMAN Mont Tremblant has been cancelled for 2020. But I’m not letting that hold me back! As I’ve said before, I’m not training only for a race…it is a lifestyle. Training brings me joy, fills me up, and allows me to be the best version of myself. Sure racing is challenging and fun, but I enjoy the journey. I CAN and DO challenge myself and have fun in training! Here is what last week’s training looked like:

Monday:

  • 2 hour ride with 2 rounds of 3/2/1 during the first hour and then riding how I felt for the second hour after getting the cancellation email from IRONMAN Mont Tremblant.

    “Warrior…Be a warrior. Fight for what you believe in and never, ever hold back. Fiercely go towards your dreams with boldness and lust. Hold your ground in the face of conflict. Knock barriers down with courage and grace. Do not give up when when you find yourself face to face to an obstacle, instead continue forward with abandon. Keep the fire in your heart burning strong and do not let your flame fade away. Remind yourself that what you are fighting for is worth it. And remember that you will overcome everything that comes your way – because my beautiful friend, you are a warrior.” ~Nikki Banas

Tuesday:

  • 1 hour and 15 minutes easy ride
  • 30 minutes of yoga

Wednesday:

  • 30 minutes of strength training and MFR
  • 58+ mile ride OUTSIDE with my fave! We bucked 25 mph head/crosswinds, soaked up the sunshine, loved the 25 mph tailwinds, got a quick bath by the rain, and then collected all of the road grime.
    AND I SERIOUSLY LOVED EVERY MINUTE OF IT!!

    Time to ride into the rain!

Thursday:

  • 1 hour ride with power pops
  • 6 easy miles

    So grateful for warm temps, sunshine, sweat, pounding the pavement, and pure joy! Fingers crossed spring is finally here to stay!

Friday:

  • 1 hour and 15 minute easy ride
  • 30 minutes of yoga

Saturday:

Sunday:

  • 55 mile easy ride OUTSIDE with my fave!! I’m SO grateful that he suggested we ride outside today!! It is EXACTLY what my heart, body, mind, and soul needed!!

I also did 15 minutes of core strength + 5 minutes of meditation everyday last week.

Swim totals: Sadly none
Bike totals: 230 miles
Run totals: 14.1 miles
Weekly total: 19 hours & 6 minutes

Other weekly highlights:

Beautiful weather for long walks with our girls!
“LOVE COEUR” and love my Coeur Sports sistas!! Steena does such great editing work!!
Jersey thinks she’s “helping” me check my email…
Nature’s beauty!
Feels so good to get my Normatec Recovery squeeze on after my virtual race!

What were the highlights of your week last week?

18 weeks to #IMMT2020

Well, at this point Ironman Mont Tremblant is still on, but word on the street is that we will receive an email this week letting us know it has been cancelled (not postponed) for 2020. Here is what last week’s training looked like:

Monday:

  • 1 hour ride with 8 x 3 minutes on (225 watts)/3 minute off
  • 7 mile treadmill run
  • 30 minutes of strength + MFR

Tuesday:

  • 1 hour run with 6×4 minutes at race pace (7.0 mph or 8:32/mile) on the treadmill to control my pacing
  • 1 hour easy ride
  • 30 minutes of yoga

Wednesday:

  • 1 hour ride with short bursts into Z4 and Z5
  • 30 minutes of SBT strength training

Thursday:

  • 9 mile easy run with Basil
  • 1 hour easy ride

Friday:

Saturday:

  • 3+ hour endurance ride
  • 4+ mile walk with my fave and our girls

Sunday:

  • 1 hour easy ride

I also did 15 minutes of core strength + 5 minutes of meditation everyday last week.

Swim totals: Sadly none
Bike totals: 169 miles
Run totals: 26.6 miles
Weekly total: 17 hours & 31 minutes

Other weekly highlights:

I’m not sure this is a highlight, but we did get a few inches of snow last week.
Homemade pineapple curry…SO YUMMY!!
I love these 3! They get along so well!
Race day hugs are on hold right now. Until we can hug in person, virtual race day hugs will have to do!
Jersey and Basil love to play!

What were the highlights of your week last week?

19 weeks to #IMMT2020

“Timelines change, goals don’t change.” ~Jim Vance

For now, IRONMAN Mont Tremblant, which is scheduled for August 23, is still on, but I anticipate that to change very soon. Quebec has called “for the cancellation of all sports, festivals, and cultural events until August 31.” When this change happens, my race goals will be put on hold, but I’m not going to let that slow me down. I am still here. I am still healthy. I am still training for life. For me, this is a lifestyle…one that I love. AND…one day I will get to race again. When that day arrives, I will be ready and I won’t take it for granted. Here is what last week’s training looked like:

Monday:

  • 1 hour easy spin
  • 30 minutes of yoga

Tuesday:

  • 2 hours & 15 minutes of SERIOUS #bikelove with my fave OUTSIDE on the open roads!
  • 20 minute easy run off the bike with most of our pack

    “Hey mom, what is that thing?” ~Jersey

Wednesday:

  • 1:05 ride with 10 x 2 min on (225 watts)/3 min off
  • 30 minutes of strength + MFR

Thursday:

  • 1 hour ride with 10 x 30 seconds (247 watts) and 10 x 20 seconds (279 watts)
  • 8 mile negative split run that ended up being a progressive run as well

    Boom! So happy with my performance on this run!
  • 30 minutes of yoga

Friday:

  • 1 hour easy ride with some of my amazing Coeur family!
  • 50 minute run on the treadmill at 1.0% incline with 4×4 minutes at 7.7 mph (7:47/mile pace)
  • 30 minutes of SBT strength training

Saturday:

  • 2:30 on the bike…this ride did NOT go as planned. My legs were really struggling after putting up a really solid week of training. I was supposed to have 2×20 minutes at FTP (214 watts) during this ride. Notice I said “supposed to”…well my first 20 minutes turned into 10 minutes at FTP, then a 5 minute break, and the last 5 minutes at FTP. The second 20 minutes went south quick. I rode 1 minute at FTP and 1 minute easy for the first 10 minutes and then took the last 10 minutes easy. My legs wouldn’t turn over at those watts. I decided to listen to them, give them grace, and not force it.

Sunday:

  • 1:30 endurance ride (160 watts)…thankfully my legs showed up for this ride.

I also did 15 minutes of core strength + 5 minutes of meditation everyday last week.

Swim totals: Sadly none
Bike totals: 175 miles
Run totals: 15.7 miles
Weekly total: 16 hours & 30 minutes

Other weekly highlights:

Jersey LOVES to snuggle!!
What?! It’s warm enough to have the windows open?! Sadly it only lasted a few days and was snowing again by Sunday.
We may not be able to connect in person, but we are finding ways to connect virtually. I’m so grateful to have landed beside this STAR when I was shooting for the moon! She shines SO bright and makes my heart happy!
Jersey made sure to find a space to snuggle while I was getting my recovery on with my Normatec recovery boots.
Supporting a local restaurant and enjoying SUSHI!
Playing LOTS of cards with my fave as we isolate.

What were the highlights of your week last week?

20 weeks to #IMMT2020

Last week I finally felt the life stressors ease back a bit…that doesn’t mean the stress is gone, but more that I’ve begun to adapt to it. Here is what last week’s training looked like:

Monday:

  • I took a complete rest day (after I completed my 15 minutes of core strength and meditation). My body was craving rest, so I listened and gave it what it wanted.

Tuesday:

  • 1 hour bike ride with 4x (4 minutes in zone 3 immediately followed by 3 minutes in zone 4 immediately followed by 2 minutes in zone 5 and then 3 easy minutes in zone 1)…this was a tough workout, but I really loved the challenge!
  • 30 minutes of full body strength and MFR (myofascial release)
  • 1 hour run…I took Basil for the first 45 minutes and Jersey for the last 15 minutes. Jersey is learning our commands and becoming a better runner everyday!
    45 minutes with Basil

    15 minutes with Jersey

Wednesday:

  • 14 mile run with Basil…yes, she ran the whole 14 miles with me! #basillovesrunning
  • 1 hour easy ride to spin out the legs

Thursday:

  • 1 hour ride with 8×4 minutes at Ironman effort…another tough ride, but grateful for the challenge!
  • 30 minutes of SBT strength training
  • 30 minutes of yoga

Friday:

  • 1 hour easy ride with some of my amazing Coeur family!

    All the highlighted green peeps are my Coeur fam 🙂

Saturday:

  • 3 hour ride with some 2×20 minutes at FTP and 30 minutes at tempo…this was SUPER tough, but I did my best. I wasn’t able to successfully complete the second 20 minutes at FTP, but I nailed all of the other targets on this ride. The best part was getting to ride beside my fave for a part of my ride.

    3 hour ride with my fave!
  • 5 mile run off the bike…keeping it at about 80% max heart rate effort from last week’s runs.

Sunday:

  • 3 hour endurance run…so grateful that after 6 weeks, this ride is FINALLY starting to feel easier.
  • 30 easy minute run with Jersey…she is becoming a really good runner!

I also did 15 minutes of core strength + 5 minutes of meditation everyday last week.

Swim totals: Sadly none
Bike totals: 181 miles
Run totals: 28.5 miles
Weekly total: 18 hours & 12 minutes

Other weekly highlights:

Dog walks are the best!
Play time! That slobber says it all…PURE JOY!!
New collar and leash day for Jersey!
Time to break out new running shoes! I love new shoe day!
Enjoying sunshine, fresh air, and family time!
Playing games to surpass the time.

What were the highlights of your week last week?

21 weeks to IMMT

Last week the “new normal” started to take hold. It has given me more time with the dogs and time to help Jersey adjust to our family, which I am also very grateful for. I am still training for races as if they will happen as scheduled. Fitness is my passion and our lifestyle. Here is what last week’s workout schedule looked like.

Monday:

  • 2:05 brick included 1:45 on the bike + a 20 minute run off the bike…The bike was super tough. I wasn’t able to successfully nail all of the targets on the bike intervals, which was a let down, but also a positive. I’ll have more about this in another post later this week. The run off the bike was a progressive run done on the treadmill to help control pacing and push me just a little bit harder than I would have likely pushed myself outside on the roads.

    My word for 2020 is “celebrate.” Since 2020 has been flipped on its head sideways, it has proven a bit challenging to find things to celebrate right now. Today I’m choosing to celebrate our health, our pack, and some brick miles.

Tuesday:

  • 50 minute run with 4×4 minutes at faster than 5K race pace. I didn’t anticipate this run to go very well as I was tired from yesterday’s brick workout, but I was pleasantly surprised with how my body performed.

    I try to seek opportunities amongst the obstacles. Today’s obstacle was showing up. Today’s opportunity was performing better than I expected while quieting my crazy brain because I showed up for myself. Grateful for the solid 4×4 minutes at faster than 5K pace in my 50 minute workout.
  • 30 minutes of strength training

Wednesday:

  • 1:10 bike ride with 8×3 minutes at 90% of FTP…I was pleased to hit all of these targets on this ride with tired legs.

    Not every workout is full of rainbows and unicorns, but when you push through the struggles, fear, and doubt, you come out on the other side grinning from ear to ear.
  • 30 minutes of yoga

Thursday:

  • 12 mile run with Basil…I needed this fresh air and pavement pounding. The last two miles were a bit challenging, but we finished strong.

    Grateful I don’t have to social distance from my favorite girl and for the 12 miles of time together!

Friday:

  • 30 minutes of SBT strength training

Saturday:

  • 2:55 endurance ride…this was more challenging than I expected. I was grateful to successfully complete this ride.

    Do what makes you happy and be kind to others! We are all struggling right now. A happy heart and kindness go a LONG way.
  • 5K run off the bike to honor KO

    A 5K for Kristen Oswald’s 45th birthday. Kristen was hit and killed while racing IRONMAN Ohio 70.3 in July 2019.

Sunday:

  • 1:55 endurance ride…this went much better than yesterday. I was grateful to have my fave by my side
  • 30 minutes of yoga off the bike

    Without my massages, it is even more important for me to incorporate yoga into my weekly practice.

I also did 15 minutes of core strength + 5 minutes of meditation daily

Swim totals: Sadly none
Bike totals: 140 miles
Run totals: 22.9 miles
Weekly total: 15 hours & 4 minutes

Other weekly highlights:

Jersey, Basil, and Mya are adjusting well.
I’ve had a lot of time to snuggle and work with Jersey to train her.

What were the highlights of your week last week?

22 weeks to IMMT

I think we can all agree that last week was a HOT MESS! With all of the upheaval, uncertainty, change, anxiety, and unease, I still managed to have a pretty solid week. Yes, I am still training as if all of my big races will happen. Yes, races are getting postponed and canceled, but for me, this is a lifestyle. I don’t simply train for race day. I train for the lifestyle, the sanity it provides, the challenges it presents, and the joy it brings. It is my passion. Yes, having a race on the calendar provides me with a map for my training, but it isn’t a necessity. Currently most of my big races are still on as scheduled, although that may definitely change in the coming weeks and I am prepared mentally for it. So with that, here is a look at what last week looked like for me. Spoiler alert…a major highlight was the new addition to our family.

Monday:

  • 30 minutes of full body strength training before work
  • 1 hour easy ride with a 20 minute run off the bike

Tuesday:

  • 3000 yard swim…I was the only one in the pool and the very last one in the pool before it was shut down by our governor. I was so grateful to have a solid swim as my send off to swimming until who knows when.              

Wednesday:

  • Today marks the day I was instructed we would be working from home until who knows when. I am incredibly grateful to have a job and bring home a paycheck during these uncertain times.
  • I had a split long run day…7.5 miles pushing the pace a bit in the am and 7.5 miles easy in the pm.

Thursday:

  • 1 easy hour on the bike
  • 30 minutes of strength (with a little help from Basil and Jersey)
  • 30 minutes of yoga

Friday:

  • 1:30 brick…1 hour bike with a 30 minute progressive run off the bike.  

Saturday:

  • I had every intention of riding with my Coeur team on Zwift, but I didn’t know how to connect with them on my end, so I decided to cut my ride really short (only 15 minutes in) and go run. I took Basil for the first 10 miles and then Jersey joined me for a 1.25 mile cool down.
    10 miles with Basil

    1.25 recovery miles with Jersey
  • 30 minutes of yoga

Sunday:

  • 3 hour endurance ride. Grateful to have my fave by my side for just over an hour of this ride.

Swim totals: 3000 yards (1.7 miles)
Bike totals: 104 miles
Run totals: 32.1 miles
Weekly total: 15 hours & 52 minutes

Other weekly highlights:

After work Tuesday, we adopted our new baby girl…meet Jersey! She is 1 year old and holds keys to all of our hearts.
It warms my heart to watch the dogs play ball!
Sitting in my Normatec Recovery boots while watching the girls.

What were the highlights of your week last week?

23 weeks to IMMT

Last week I stepped WAY out of my comfort zone and did something I’ve NEVER done before. I packed Mojo (my bike) into a bike box and flew with her (and a friend) to Coeur Camp in Carlsbad, Cali! I have NEVER flown with my bike before, and it was quite the experience. We met up with some AMAZING women where we hoped to have an amazing weekend of all things swim/bike/run/goat yoga/family/etc., but sadly COVID-19 put an abrupt end to camp Friday morning. Thankfully we got in a good swim workout, run, and learned about race planning.

Monday:

  • Other than my daily core + meditation, I took a rest day. My “Form” in Garmin was -40 and my body was craving rest, so I listened to it.

Tuesday:

  • Other than my daily core + meditation, I took a rest day again today. I had to finish packing so I was ready to travel to Minneapolis tomorrow for camp.

Wednesday:

  • Other than my daily core + mediation, I had another rest day. I knew today would be a rest day due to travel. With the Coronavirus scare, I was a bit nervous about the flights. What if I get to Cali and all flights are cancelled for the return trip?! Road trip home!

Thursday:

  • 2 am CST wake up call to get to the airport for our 5 am flight.
  • When we got to camp, we had a great swim in an outdoor pool in the rain. I found myself swimming paces I haven’t seen in quite a while! Oh…and mid swim workout, the ladies all sang happy birthday to me. Definitely a memory I will never forget.

    Grateful for these AMAZING ladies who sang happy birthday to me mid swim in the rain. It really filled my heart!
  • After doing a quick change, we met up for a 40 minute descending run. The first 10 minutes were an easy warm-up and for the next 30 minutes, we ran a 0.5 mile loop progressively descending with each loop.

    Having fun running laps in SoCal!

Friday:

  • We woke up to a message that camp had been cancelled due to COVID-19, so we scrambled to find flights home. This was another FULL day of traveling.

Saturday:

  • I was SO exhausted today that I did my core work + meditation, tried to unpack some gear (I got the bike unpacked and ready to ride…priorities), took a 3 hour nap, and was back in bed early for a long + good night’s rest.

Sunday:

  • After 11 hours of sleep, I woke up feeling almost like myself. I got everything unpacked and put away, made smoothies for the week, cleaned up the house, and

I completed 15 minutes of core strength and 5 minutes of meditation every day this week…that was about the only exercise I got in this week due to complete craziness, but I’m ready to start this week off strong!

Swim totals: 2700 yards (1.53 miles)
Bike totals: 0 miles
Run totals: 4.5 miles
Weekly total: 3 hours & 7 minutes

This wasn’t the week I had planned for (and hoped for), but I’m healthy. I’m home. I’m ready for the social distancing (which isn’t that much different than my everyday life). I’m doing what I can to help flatten the curve.

Other weekly highlights:

Getting to travel with this beautiful lady! #safetyfirst
I got my bike all put together by myself in Cali (only to have to take it apart and repack it for the return trip)!!
Chlorine kills! Love this beautiful lady so much! #birthdayhugs
These two beauties are AMAZING!! I’m so grateful for everything Kebby (the founder of Coeur Sports) has done for women in sport (myself included). And Lisa…You my dear are beautiful soul inside and out! Thanks for the laughs (and photo bombing)!!

What were the highlights of your week last week?

24 weeks to IMMT

Ladies and Gentlemen, may I have your attention please! For those that may not know, I have officially registered for IRONMAN Mont Tremblant 2020 and we are 24 weeks out from race day. SO much has changed in the past year, but one thing remains the same…I have a passion for swim/bike/run and a fire in my belly for IRONMAN distance racing. I am SUPER excited to be pushing myself in new ways as I prepare for IRONMAN Mont Tremblant! I can’t wait to see how this journey unfolds and what IRONMAN Mont Tremblant race day brings me!

I’ve decided to return to my weekly recaps as a way to document my progress, while hopefully inspiring someone else to dream big and chase those dreams with their whole heart! Here is what went down during week 25:

Monday:

  • 40 minute treadmill run that at times pushed me WAY out of my comfort zone! I ran at 6.0 mph (10:00/mile pace) for the majority of the run, but every 5 minutes I had a 1 minute at 8.8 mph (6:49/ mile pace). YIKES! To keep this more realistic to outdoor running, I had the incline on the treadmill set to 1%. Those 1 minute intervals were SUPER CHALLENGING for me, but this is where growth happens!
  • 54 minute Zwift ride with 6x(30 seconds Z5/1 minute Z3)…I did this immediately after that treadmill run. Needless to say, my legs weren’t impressed with me during these intervals, but they performed and held strong!
  • 30 minutes of yoga at home…Yoga Download for Triathletes: Post-Training Practice is perfect to get a good stretch in after some tough sessions.

Tuesday:

  • 2400 yard swim…this was mostly recovery, which was exactly what the body was craving after yesterday’s more challenging workouts.
  • 40 minute run home from work with 5 x 0.25 mile hill repeats. Running strong and hard up the hill and jogging easy back down. I haven’t done hill repeats since June of 2017. I’ve missed them and will be incorporating them into my training plan more frequently. The goal was to be strong and consistent, but I think I needed a bit of a longer warm up before doing the hill repeats. Instead of consistency, I progressively got faster with each repeat. I guess it leaves me with goals for next time! 😉

    The underlined splits were my hill repeat paces.

Wednesday:

  • 42 minute ride Zwift ride with 5x(1 minute Z4/1 minute Z2) followed by 10 solid minutes in Z3. This was a “head down and do work” kind of ride.

    Grateful to sweat it out next to my fave as we both put in the work on this #workforitwednesday!
  • 30 minute strength session using the SBT Extreme suspension trainer. I incorporated a lot of good variety in my session working all muscle groups.

Thursday:

  • 3000 yard swim with 3×300 at race pace. It took me a bit longer to get to race pace than planned today, but I finally got there by my final 300.
  • 12 mile run home from work. It was SUPER FREAKING WINDY! There were a couple of times during this run that I was blown to a complete stop while running into a 31 mph sustained headwind (with gusts up to 56 mph). When I was blown to a complete stop, I just laughed out loud!

Friday:

  • 90 minute active recovery ride on Zwift…this felt really good to spin easy.
  • 3600 yard swim with 3x(12×25 FAST with 20 seconds rest between). Between each set, I did 300 yards of a specific drill to guide my technique for the next set. I was pretty consistent in swimming these 25s at around 1:20/100 yard pace.

    Friday Happy Hour swims are my fave!

Saturday:

  • 3 hour endurance ride on Zwift maintaining 155 watts for the duration of the ride. This is a great way to practice what race day power should feel like.
  • 30 minutes of yoga at home…Yoga Download for Triathletes: Post-Training Practice You don’t have to go to a yoga studio or do 60-90 minutes of yoga at a time. This simple 30 minutes compliments whatever workout you’ve already done for the day by stretching out all areas of the body.

    Spending some time with my mat post endurance ride.

Sunday:

  • 3 hour endurance ride with sprints on Zwift. This was OH. SO. CHALLENGING! After a 15 minute warm-up (which started at 150 watts), I had 10 intervals of 15 minutes at 155 watts + 8 seconds at 600+ watts (all out sprint) before the 15 minute cool down. I’ve tried to do this ride in the past, but the farthest I’ve gotten is through 7 of those 10 intervals. Today I successfully completed all 10 intervals and I’m super pleased with myself. It wasn’t easy, but this is where growth happens!
    Those 8 second sprints were no joke!

    After multiple attempts, this was the first time ever that I successfully completed this workout!
  • 40 minute run off the bike at an easy pace with my friend Robin. SO grateful for her friendship, support, hugs, and all the girl talk.

    So grateful for all of the strong AF, badass women in my life. The ones who lift each other up, support each other in life and sport, encourage each other to live their best life, inspire each other to dream big, and stand beside you through it all! I’m so grateful I got to share some miles with one of those strong AF, badass women today!

In addition, I completed 15 minutes of core strength and 5 minutes of meditation every day.

Swim totals: 9000 yards (5.11 miles)
Bike totals: 148 miles
Run totals: 24.8 miles
Weekly total: 18 hours & 59 minutes

Other weekly highlights:

Walking the dogs in the warmth and sunshine!
Packing for Coeur Camp! So excited to spend my birthday weekend swimming/biking/running with all the ladies in Cali!
Celebrating my birthday a bit early with one of my favorite food groups…sushi!
Kicking the feet up and recovering in my Normatec Recovery boots!

What were the highlights of your week?

Growth Zone

“Sometimes you have to push yourself, and it can be uncomfortable. You will want to quit. But if you can find your edge and embrace the discomfort even for a little bit, you’ll find a new level of fitness, skill, and knowledge. And there’s no better feeling than growth.” ~Roísín McGettigan-Dumas

A recent swim had me reflecting on the growth I’ve made in sport. In order to see this growth, I had to look backwards, which is not something I do very often. The swim was “100s to failure” and looked like this:

  • 300 easy swim
  • 200 pull
  • 100 kick with fins
  • 100 easy swim
  • Swim as many 100s below a 1:40/100 yard pace as possible (20 seconds rest). If the pace is 1:40/100 or higher, failure has been achieved.
  • 200 any stroke

When I entered the water, I decided to give myself the goal of trying to get to 15×100 yards at this sub 1:40/100 yard pace. I really felt this was a stretch goal as I didn’t swim as much in January as I normally do thanks to the #hcccyclingchallenge, but I decided to go for it knowing it would push my limits. I started off with 1:39.8/100 yards for the very first 100 yards; coming close to “failure” at the starting gate. Uh Oh! What if I don’t even make 5 of these?! “You aren’t done yet! Just keep swimming.” Thankfully my mental focus and strength showed up and took over. I found my groove and before long, I had successfully completed 15×100 yards at this sub 1:40/100 yard pace. Once I had successfully completed 15, I decided to shoot for 20. When I successfully achieved 20, I decided to try for 2 more. When I successfully achieved 22, I decided to shoot for 25. When I successfully achieved 25, I decided to keep pushing and gave myself a pep talk before each of the next ones. “Just one more! You aren’t done yet!” During #26, my body started to feel like lead. How many more of these could I do?! As I was swimming #27 I had mixed emotions. I really wanted to see how many more I could do, but I was so tired I also really wanted to be done. #27 wasn’t my time to fail though. I apparently had more to give. I successfully completed 28×100 yards at a sub 1:40/100 yard pace before “failing” (I find 28×100 a success, not a failure…hence the quotation marks) on #29 with a 1:40.6/100 yards. Boo-yah!! Not only did I surpass my wildest expectations of 15×100 yards at a sub 1:40/100 yard pace, but I also didn’t let my goal of 15 limit me. In the past, when I have successfully achieved a goal or target, I have let the self sabotage demons show up and take over. Instead, I stayed strong, kept the self sabotage demons at bay, and swam 13 more 100s at a hard (for me) effort!

This got me wondering…when was the last time I had completed this swim? How many 100s did I successfully complete before failing? What was the pace I was aiming for at that time? So, I looked it up in Training Peaks. The last time I completed this swim was on on August 14, 2018. I successfully completed 20×100 yards before failing and my target pace was sub 1:47/100 yards. What?! Seriously?! I have grown SO much in 18 months and this is only the swim!!

“I’m not done yet!”

Thanks to the #hcccyclingchallenge in January, I am seeing lots of growth in my cycling as well. Incase you missed it, my FTP improved by 16 watts in 1 month! Hard work and consistency definitely pay off, so keep showing up and pushing yourself out of your comfort zone. It works!

Kicking out the previous 198 watt FTP to make room for the new 214 watt FTP.

The growth in my biking has translated nicely to my run legs. This is the area I have the most room to grow, but I’m excited about the growth I’ve made and looking forward to the growth that’s yet to come.

Finishing 1st in F40-49 and 4th overall female at the Rosy Cheeks 5K.

When it comes to training, I have made some huge improvements. It is fun and rewarding to push myself WAY out of my comfort zone, past the fear zone, and into the growth zone. This is where the magic happens!

yes…I know there is a typo on this graphic…I didn’t create it and can’t for the life of me remember where it came from.

Which zone do you spend the majority of your time? How can you push yourself into the growth zone more in the future?