My Passion for Endurance Sport

It is no secret…I love endurance sport! The question to ask would be where did this passion come from? I did not grow up participating in sports…unless you consider cheerleading a sport. My parents were not athletic role models. My sisters did not participate in sports. So, where did this passion for endurance sports come from?

In 2004, I went through a divorce and made a drastic decision…I was going to run the Dam to Dam 20K race. I was not a runner. I was determined that I was going to run 12.4 miles. WHAT WAS I THINKING?!?!?! It turns out my mind knew something my body didn’t…I started running and I was hooked! You could say I transformed into Forrest Gump just a bit…I ran that 20K and then decided I was going to run a marathon and then a few more marathons. After crossing the finish line of multiple marathons, it was time to try a sprint-distance triathlon. I grew up swimming, I knew how to ride a bike (although my bike at the time was definitely not a bike to race with) and I had been running consistently for a few years. Crossing that finish line of my first sprint-distance triathlon was amazing! I was on cloud nine and was riding the endorphin train! I decided it was time to take on a more challenging distance, so I opted for an Olympic-distance triathlon before trying my cards at a half-Ironman distance triathlon. But why stop there?!?!?! How about the Ironman-distance triathlon???? Could I do it? Again I thought, “WHAT WAS I THINKING?!?!?!?!” But after crossing that finish line, I was hooked!

So what hooked me in endurance sport?

  • As a life-long-learner, I find satisfaction in trying to solve a problem. How do I become a better athlete? What have I learned from my mistakes? How have I grown into a better person through all of this?
  • The variety in training and racing…I love not doing the same thing every day. Finding balance in life is sometimes difficult, but triathlon gives me balance in my workout schedule and prevents monotony.
  • I thrive on pushing myself to new limits…I want to see just how far I can go and what I can do. Getting comfortable with the uncomfortable is always something I push myself to try and achieve.
  • Overcoming challenges is so rewarding…when I do something that once seemed impossible, the feelings of self-worth, self-confidence, satisfaction, pride, and happiness are beyond amazing!
  • I love the feeling of success…when I finish a tough workout, when I cross the finish line of a race, when I conquer my fears, when I do the impossible.
  • I thrive on structure…having races on the calendar gives structure to my racing, having workouts in Training Peaks gives structure to my weeks and months, having structure gives me focus.
  • The fun factor brings a smile to my face and my heart…
This smile sums up my race day experience!!
This smile sums up how I feel about endurance sports!!

I am beyond blessed and lucky to be a part of the Coeur Sports team again in 2016. I share the same mission as Coeur Sports. Our mission is to share our passion with other women and enCOEURage them to participate in endurance sports. I want all women to love endurance sports as much as I do! I want to see women’s triathlon, swimming, cycling, and running grow into epic numbers! I want to inspire more women to experience the happy heart that I experience when I SBR!

I. Love. Endurance. Sports! What is your favorite endurance sport? What hooked you in endurance sports? How do you share your passion for endurance sports with others?

2016 Intentions

Happy New Year everyone!!

Last year I set “intentions” instead of “resolutions” for 2015. I wasn’t as good at checking in on these intentions as I should have been. I decided to put my intentions in writing for this year and be more diligent at checking my progress throughout the year. So here are my intentions for 2016:

  1. #Believe…I had this same intention last year and made some serious progress, but I still have lots of room for even more progress. I have #BigDreams! The only way to achieve these dreams is to believe in myself, my training and my abilities on race day. A sub 13 hour race at Ironman Wisconsin on September 11, 2016 would get me a bit closer to achieving those big dreams, so I will be focusing on action and execution during 2016. After all…  Screen Shot 2015-01-18 at 2.19.10 PM
  2. Break down barriers…I had this intention last year as well and am carrying this intention with me into 2016. Why??? Because it is time to get more women in endurance sport, whether that is triathlon, swimming, running, cycling, or even cross country skiing!! Why endurance sport?!?!?!? It is fun, it is rewarding and it allows me to challenge myself in a way that nothing else can. I would love to share those experiences and my passion for endurance sport with other women in 2016!! In 2016 I will be starting a women’s only cycling group in Ames, where we will meet once a week to ride, learn and have fun!! If you are in this area and want to join us, please let me know!!
  3. Be present…I also had this intention last year and continue to struggle with it, so I am taking it with me into 2016. I always find myself thinking about what is next instead of focusing on the here and now. I need to slow down, find time to laugh (out loud) every day, enjoy every moment and be present.  Be Present
  4. Find Balance…I do a fairly good job of balancing work, home and training, but I definitely need to incorporate more balance, especially with the emotions I direct at myself…less stress, more fun, less anxiety, more joy, less anger, more happiness, less destruction, more self confidence, less negativity, more positivity!! This intention will probably be the one I struggle with the most and will take some serious focus and reflection throughout the year to make progress.

As with any intentions that we set, it is important to remember that baby steps will make the most difference and allow long term change and success. With these intentions, I gladly welcome 2016 and the fresh start 🙂 Cheers to 2016!!

xoxo

What are your intentions for 2016?

Random Training Thoughts

Kristen over at Glitter and Dust posted about her random training thoughts and she asked me to share mine, so here are a variety of my random training thoughts over the last few weeks.

  1. While biking…Why does my Garmin keep quitting on me? SERIOUSLY…How many times will I have to restart my Garmin to collect data during this 2 1/2 hour ride? Apparently…10 times…UGH!! I think it might be time for a new Garmin.
  2. While swimming…I’m wearing goggles, so why do I close my eyes when someone splashes water in my face?
  3. While biking…I LOVE the seamless chamois in my Coeur Sports tri shorts!! #noangrykitty 🙂  IMG_1652
  4. While getting ART (active release therapy) done on my leg…When do I get to inflict this kind of pain on Dr. Chris?
  5. While running…Why is Basil always so happy to go run? It is so much fun to watch the joy Basil has while running. I wonder what she thinks about while we run…   IMG_1369
  6. While biking…Mojo, why do we have such a perfect chemistry? I love this bike!!!
  7. While running…How many more hills are we going to climb today? Here comes another one…That which doesn’t kill you makes you stronger.
  8. While biking…Why do my sensor (power and cadence) batteries have to die during the middle of a workout? Why can’t they wait until the end of the workout to go kaput?
  9. While swimming (with only a strap around my feet…no pull buoy)…I am SO thankful I am not paraplegic. Keeping my legs afloat is very challenging!!
  10. While running…Thank you Osmo Nutrition for keeping me hydrated!! That was a VERY sweaty run!! #womenarenotsmallmen   IMG_1508
  11. While getting a massage…OOUUCH!! My muscles are SO tight!!  IMG_4210
  12. After a massage…FINALLY…I can relax 🙂
  13. While biking…Why do zone 2 rides have to be so boring? I love intervals…give me speed work…I want hills…give me variety!!
  14. While on the trainer during a HARD #interval set…I love to ride my bicycle, I love to ride my bicycle :)http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ii1VuMX_G88
  15. While swimming…My legs are VERY tired today…please don’t drown, please don’t drown.

What random thoughts do you have while training?

11 Weeks til IRONMAN Wisconsin

Last week was 11 weeks until race day.  This is the first week in the green since the week of April 21, 2014.  I am so grateful to be back to completing all of my scheduled weekly workouts and back to running…even if it is on the track with the white line between my feet.  😉  Here is a quick review of my week:

Monday:

Am:  2600 meter Swim in 1 hour (2843 yards)…short ladder workout

A little Monday morning motivation with my Ironman Wisconsin swim cap from 2011.
A little Monday morning motivation with my Ironman Wisconsin swim cap from 2011.

PM: 2:10:00 Brick workout… 2 hour ride (37 miles) followed by an easy 10 minute run (1.1 miles) off the bike

Tuesday:

AM:  10 mile bike commute (round trip) to the Iowa State University Track for a 50 minute run (5.86 miles at an 8:32 average pace) around the track while line running

I rode Molly the Raleigh to the track for my morning run.
I rode Molly the Raleigh to the track for my morning run.
5.86 miles of line running around the track.
5.86 miles of line running around the track.

AM: 1 hour strength workout

Wednesday:

AM:  2600 meter swim in 1 hour (2843 yards)…base drill workout

I love the 50 meter outdoor lap pool in the mornings!!
I love the 50 meter outdoor lap pool in the mornings!!

PM:  3:00:00 bike ride (52 miles) with 2×20 minutes really pushing the power (but the battery in my power tap died part way through the first set, so I was going on feel instead of actual power numbers).

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Riding with the Iron Hippie and Allen on the trail for part of our ride.
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What a beautiful day for a ride!!

Thursday:

AM:  2000 meter swim in 1 hour (2187 yards)…Fast 50s and 100s

A beautiful double rainbow over the pool as we arrived to swim.
A beautiful double rainbow over the pool as we arrived to swim.

Easy 20 minute run around the track with the line between my feet (2.2 miles)

45 minutes of strength training

Acupuncture on my left leg to try to release the muscle tension before the weekend’s workouts…

IMG_3861

PM:  Tragedy struck…

One of my 13 year old students from this last year was killed while cycling.  To make it even worse, his twin sister was with him when the he was killed…

http://whotv.com/2014/06/28/teen-cyclist-killed-in-story-county-worked-hard-at-whatever-he-did/

Friday:

REST DAY…Definitely needed this more emotionally than physically.

Saturday:

7 hour Ironman Practice Day:

  • 2500 meter swim in 1 hour (2734 yards) with a 1500 meter time trial in 32:49.  This wasn’t a very good swim for me.  If there were ever a day when I might drown while swimming, it was Saturday morning, but I pushed through and survived.
  • 5 hour bike ride (78 miles) with an average speed of 15.9 mph and relentless winds.  We had headwinds or cross winds for all but about 20 miles.  At one point I was yelling profanities at the unforgiving winds.  IMG_3876
  • 1 hour run was to follow the bike, but we were only able to complete 45 minutes of running before the thunder, lightening and downpours started.  I don’t mind running in the rain, but I won’t risk getting struck by lightening.  There was a little rest between the bike and run since I had to drive to the track for line running.  I managed to cover 4.75 miles in 45 minutes around the track (9:28 average pace).  I was shooting for 10 minute miles, but I struggle with running slowly off the bike.
  • Overall: 84.3 miles covered in 6:40:00…I felt really good and could have kept running, which made me happy.  While my running isn’t where I would like it to be…yet, I felt really good about where I am at after this workout.

Sunday:

1 hour of line running around the track…this was the first time I have ran over 1 hour since May 4.  I was super excited…even if it meant running circles around the track…

IMG_3879

25 minutes of core work followed this track run.

Weekly Totals:  20 hours & 23 minutes

Swimming:  10, 608 yards

Cycling:  172 miles

Running:  21 miles

Strength Training:  2 hours & 10 minutes

I really need to get back to incorporating yoga into my weekly workout routine, but with 20 hours of training, I’m not sure where to fit it in.

On average, how many hours a week do you workout?  Can you imagine fitting 20 hours of exercise into your weekly schedule?

Transitions…in Life and Training

“Transition: a change from one state or condition to another”  ~Merriam Webster

Life is full of transitions…transitioning from baby to child to adolescent to adult.  Transitioning from grade level to grade level and possibly school to school.  Transitioning from living at home, to living on your own.  Transitioning from attending school to the working world.  Transitioning from renting to owning a home.  Transitioning from job to job.  Transitioning from single to in a relationship and maybe even to marriage.  Transitioning from season to season.  Transitioning from hobby to hobby.  Transitioning from young to older and eventually “old.”  The list goes on and on and on.

The end of the school year brings transitions to our household and this year will be no different.  I transition from the role of school teacher to the role of house wife.  When I am in the role of school teacher, we have to find/make time on the weekends to run errands, clean house, do laundry and make/prep meals for the coming week.  When I am in the role of the house wife, I can do all of these chores during the week while the Iron Hippie is at work so we can enjoy our weekends more freely.  The role of house wife also gives me the flexibility to take on a few more personal training clients and make a little extra money at my part time job.

Training is also full of transitions…transitioning from goal to goal.  Transitioning from swimming to cycling to running during triathlon.  Transitioning from season to season.  Transitioning from race to race.  Transitioning from indoor trainer rides to outdoor road rides.  Transitioning from indoor pool swimming to outdoor pool swimming and/or open water swimming.   Transitioning from treadmill running to running outdoors.  Transitioning from working out solo vs. with others.  This list also goes on and on and on.

IMG_2156
Transition area at the 2013 USAT Olympic Distance National Championships in Milwaukee, WI.

Having a more flexible schedule during the summer months allows me to train at different times of the day…acclimating to different temperatures, training with different people and juggling my workouts around variable weather if necessary.

This year, we are experiencing an additional transition…going from training with a coach, to training without a coach.  While both the Iron Hippie and I LOVE Coach Julie, we have decided to discontinue her coaching services.  Julie is moving to the Chicagoland area and we feel that we are knowledgable enough, motivated enough and dedicated enough to get ourselves to the start line and finish line of Ironman Wisconsin 2014.   As a science teacher, I’m looking at this as our own little science experiment…what can we do to successfully get us to the start and finish lines of IMWI?!?!?!?!

science experiment

Discontinuing our coaching services will allow us to have some extra money that we can save for upcoming races, vacations, home/yard renovations, etc.  We will have the flexibility to incorporate more social activities into our weekly regimen and it will encourage the Iron Hippie and I to communicate more with each other regarding our training and home schedules.

Transitions can sometimes be uncomfortable and scary…especially when we don’t know what to expect, what the outcomes will be, or how they will impact our daily lives.  The Iron Hippie and I are embracing these transitions and looking forward to the positive impacts they will have on our household.

life transitions

Do you embrace transitions?  What transitions do you experience / have you experienced in your life?

Discipline

I have heard from many people outside of our little bubble at home, that the Iron Hippie and I are “very disciplined” and that it is a quality many “admire.”  It is true that we get up between 4 and 4:15 am every day and that our heads hit the pillow around 8 pm every evening.  It is true that we do an am and pm workout almost daily.  It is true that we typically juggle our schedules around our training.  It is true that we’ve decided to take one full year off from drinking alcohol as we train.  It is true that we eat mostly healthy (foods that provide us with the energy and fuel stores our bodies need to train like we do).

We are disciplined, but why?  I can only speak for myself…I am determined to be better prepared for IRONMAN Wisconsin this year than I was in 2011.  I am driven to grow stronger and more powerful while swimming, cycling and running.  I am committed to do my absolute best and set new personal records.  I am courageous…I am not going to let fear prevent me from being successful.  I am doing what I love…swim, bike, run 😉

discipline

Sure, there are days I don’t “feel like” completing a workout as scheduled or even “feel like” completing the workout, but I know that I will reap the rewards on race day if I have the discipline now.

As of today (May 7), the Iron Hippie and I are officially 8 months sans alcohol, which means only 4 months away from IRONMAN Wisconsin.  That is both great and scary at the same time 😉

How disciplined are you?  What motivates you to be so disciplined?

Typical Week of Workouts

Training for IRONMAN for some is a full time job…there are people who have turned professional, but I am not one of them 😉  I have a full time job (an 8th grade science teacher) and still find time to train for IRONMAN.

The Iron Hippie and I just completed week #10 or our 36 week training program for IRONMAN Wisconsin 2014.  With some minor variations in duration and intensity of the workouts, this is what my typical workout week looks like:

Monday:

IMG_2962
Strength training completed between 4:45 and 5:45 am

Tuesday:

Completed between 4:45 and 5:35 am
Run completed between 4:45 and 5:35 am
IMG_2981
Completed between 4:45 and 5:35 pm

Wednesday:

Completed between 4:45 and 6:00 am
Cycling completed between 4:45 and 6:00 am
Completed between 5:30 and 6:30 pm
Completed between 5:30 and 6:30 pm

Thursday:

Completed at 5:00 pm, but I typically run in the morning on Thursdays...I couldn't resist the decent weather to get outside today.
Run completed between 5:00 and 5:30 pm, but I typically run in the morning on Thursdays…I couldn’t resist the decent weather to get outside today.
Completed between 6:15 and 7:00 pm
Strength training completed between 6:15 and 7:00 pm

Friday:

Solo ride completed between 4:50 and 6:00 am
Solo ride completed between 4:50 and 6:00 am
Swim from 3:45 to 4:40 pm
Swim completed from 3:45 to 4:40 pm

Saturday:

Completed from 6:00 to 7:00 am
Run completed from 6:00 to 7:00 am
Core work completed from 7:30 to 8:00 am
Core work completed from 7:30 to 8:00 am

Sunday:

Brick completed from 7:30 to 10:30 am
Brick completed from 7:30 to 10:30 am…Bike ride was on the trainer working on cadence and run was outdoors
Hot Yoga completed between 4 and 5:30 pm in a nearly full 106F room
Hot Yoga completed between 4 and 5:30 pm in a nearly full 106F room

14 hours & 10 minutes of training this week…that doesn’t include the preparation time, travel time to and from the gym or refueling/recovery time.  The duration of my weekly workouts will only increase between now and September 7, 2014.

Do you have the available time and determination to train for IRONMAN?

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Week #10 Totals:

Swim:  4600 yards

Bike:  72.3 miles

Run:  18.7 miles

Strength Training:  2 hours & 15 minutes

Hot Yoga:  2 hours & 30 minutes

Week #10 in the green ;)