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

What’s Up?! – April 2017

The month of April seemed to drag on forever, but overall, it was a pretty good month!! Here’s a look at what I’ve been up to…

Training:

I’ve been working on flip turns in the water to help me be more consistent with my pacing in the water. I’m looking forward to have this flip turning down, so I can really focus on getting faster in the water! May will be the month I master the flip!

Flippin’ Friday night!

I had a BIG month of building strength on the bike, and it REALLY showed on my most recent FTP challenge…hello 16 watt increase and crossing over the 200 watt barrier!! Wahoo!!

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!

I ran my first 1/2 marathon of the year at the Drake Road Relays on Saturday. It was cold + windy, but perfect running weather! I was hoping for a much better outcome to my race, but it just wasn’t in the cards for me on this day. I’m still very happy with my overall finish time and have lots to be thankful for!

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!

HUGE hugs to Coach Kelly, with Track Cat Fitness, for challenging me on so many levels, pushing me WAY out of my comfort zone, and making me #trackcatstrong this year! I am forever grateful for her guidance + support this year!

Swim Totals: 13.15 miles
Bike Totals: 226.7 miles
Run Totals: 66.6 miles

Reading:

After You by Jojo Moyes is an inspiring book for those trying to move on after a loss. “Louisa Clark is no longer just an ordinary girl living an ordinary life. After the transformative six months spent with Will Traynor, she is struggling without him. When an extraordinary accident forces Lou to return home to her family, she can’t help but feel she’s right back where she started. Her body heals, but Lou herself knows that she needs to be kick-started back to life. Which is how she ends up in a church basement with the members of the Moving On support group, who share insights, laughter, frustrations, and terrible cookies. They will also lead her to the strong, capable Sam Fielding—the paramedic, whose business is life and death, and the one man who might be able to understand her. Then a figure from Will’s past appears and hijacks all her plans, propelling her into a very different future. ”

Mind Gym: An Athlete’s Guide to Inner Excellence by Gary Mack is an easy read that focuses on your mind’s ability to influence your performance just as much (or more) than your physical ability.

Listening to:

Running Man Charlie Engle is an ultra endurance runner, who has overcome alcohol + cocaine addiction that plagued him in his early 20s. He shares his adventures and accomplishments in life, how he stays motivated, and his upcoming plans of running from the lowest place on Earth (the Dead Sea) to the highest place on Earth (Mt. Everest). Charlie Engle gives a whole new definition to the word CRAZY!

Q&A with Mental Skills Expert, Carrie Cheadle…Carrie is incredibly knowledgeable about all things mental training. I LOVE her book On Top of Your Game: Mental Skills to Maximize Your Athletic Performance and it is always so awesome to get the opportunity to listen to Carrie share more about all things mental training. “Relax your hands, relax your face, and breathe.”

Louis Cole is CRAZY! He gave up a job + living in a house to live an adventurous life. He started filming his adventures and posting them on YouTube. This became his career…doing what he loves and sharing it with others. “Everyone benefits from being put in situations where you are challenged and all of those kinds of things. You don’t get anything from staying in a comfortable bubble.”

Mind Power Training:

I had a 6 week bike block that I was immersed in for most of April. This required a LOT of mental strength and fortitude. During this block, Coach Kelly has also immersed me in a mind power block. The focus of those 6 weeks…to make me #trackcatstrong both physically and mentally this season! I had a homework assignment every day. While I didn’t provide all of the homework assignments I completed, I have laid out the basics of 16 assignments and my responses to these assignments from this block. I feel these 16 assignments were key to helping me build my mind power.

My view during my FTP challenge…Lots of encouragement + motivation! #trackcatstrong

#Fearless check-in:

My intention for 2017 is to become more fearless! So…how have I been doing with this? I’ve continued to make progress on becoming more fearless. Some areas of my life I’ve made more progress than in others, but that’s part of life. In my personal life, I have remained alcohol free in 2017 = WIN! I am still working on facing those things that truly scare me, but this is going at a turtle’s pace…ok…maybe a snail’s pace. I am NOT giving up and I WILL overcome these scary things! I am also really working on not letting others opinions of me bother me and I think I’ve gotten much better at this in the last month. At work, there have been a lot of changes taking place in preparation for next year. Change can be scary, but it can also be a good thing. I am remaining very hopeful that these coming changes lead to great things! I have made some BIG gains while training this month! This has caused me to have to stare fear in the face and stretch WAY out of my comfort zone! I have been working on flip turns in the pool and I am SO fearful of cracking my heels on the edge of the pool that I’m not getting close enough to the wall to actually push off of it. I have more work to do in this area, but I will get there! I’m determined that the month of May will be full of progress as I learn to flip in the pool so I am able to push off the wall without drowning or ending up in another lane. I also pushed myself HARD during my FTP challenge, while keeping my mental focus STRONG! This was very uncomfortable, but it helped me achieve my goal of reaching the 200+ watt threshold! Getting comfortable with the uncomfortable = progress! My 1/2 marathon road race…SO hard!! From the very beginning, my legs felt as though they had been loaded down with lead. They were SO heavy! (Side Note: I think I got my pre-race massage too close to the actual race. Lesson learned for the future!) At about mile 6, the uphill battle began. I was climbing and climbing and climbing some more! I’m so proud of myself for changing the negative channel in my head and pushing myself hard all the way through the finish chute! I was literally talking to my legs while running… “Come on legs, you can do this! You are light as feathers! Don’t quit on me now legs! Just one more mile! Just one more mile!” People around me probably thought I was going crazy…if they were even listening. While I’ve made some progress on becoming more fearless in different parts of my life, I still have a LOT more progress to make, but don’t we all?! I’m a continuous work in progress!

The gray line is the elevation profile for my 1/2 marathon race. Yep…that’s one LONG hill with lots of rolling hills along the way. I really started to feel it at about mile 6…that’s when the wheels fell off!

How was your month of April? What were your April highlights? What are you excited for?

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