6 weeks ’til #IMMT: imperfection

Last week was a HARD week…I reached to complete fatigue! Lots of training, lots of emotions, lots of food, lots of exhaustion, lots of naps, lots of laundry, lots of balance…lots of imperfection, lots of lessons learned! Thanks to Coach Kelly for helping me get #trackcatstrong and pulling me out of the “quicksand” right before I sink.

Swim: 13,345 yards

Monday Morning Meters! What a beautiful morning for some #swimlove
Thursday morning meters!
4100 morning meters to start my BIG training Friday!
Pool shenanigans after a long Saturday!

Bike: 133 miles

Easy spin on the bike Monday!
All the Watts Thursday
I’m in a big build…today (Friday) adversity had me sitting on the side of the road in tears with 10 miles to go. I had lots of thoughts and choices while sitting under the tree. I chose to get back on Mojo and continue to chase my dreams! As Coach Kelly says, “it is supposed to feel like that and that this is what it takes. :)” First solo century is in the books!
While the Iron Hippie races Saturday, I do my recovery ride and finish just in time to see him come in off the bike!

Run: 36.4 miles

So happy + #grateful to finally put together a pretty solid long run despite the full sun, warm temps, + high dew point. Mother Nature put up a fight, but I won Wednesday!
Thursday’s miles off the bike
Put a fork in me! I’m done! Friday’s run off the bike did me in!
Sunday’s split long run:
AM 10 mile run + PM 8 mile run = most running miles in one day so far this year!
Thank you WTForecast for this! With the heat index at 99*F, my split long run on Sunday was exactly as you predicted!
My weather app was right! This split long run on Sunday gave me a “Sriracha enema” and it wasn’t pleasant, but it’s done! Bring on the recovery week!

Strength Training: 10 minutes of core strength daily

Weekly Totals: 20 hours & 22 minutes

Weekly Positives:

So much fun to watch dog jumping downtown this July 4th weekend!
A much needed massage Wednesday to get everything ready for a BIG training weekend! Thanks Nick at Vitality Massage for keeping me healthy + injury free!
So much fun to meet my Coeur Sports teammate, Michelle, Saturday and cheer her on to 1st place AG as she raced in Iowa last weekend!
Spectating while the Iron Hippie races himself to a HUGE PR at the Accel Olympic-distance Triathlon! 2nd out of the water in his AG is AMAZING…he learned to swim 8 years ago!
Turning social media friends into real friends is so much fun! So glad Jen and I connected in real life!

Quote of the Week:

“There is no perfect time. No perfect opportunity. No perfect situation. No perfect moment. You either make it happen, or you don’t.” ~Melissa Stockwell

What’s Up?! – June 2017

How is it already July?! The month of June seems to have flown by MUCH faster than I’d like, but I guess that means I’m having fun! Here is a look at what I’ve been up to:

Training:

Hello outdoor swimming in the 50 meter pool! I sure have missed you and am glad we’ve gotten to spend some time together! I have found that I am becoming a stronger swimmer…putting up swim times that I didn’t think were possible + reflecting on the progress I’ve made! Serious #swimlove

Morning meters in my favorite pool!

Hello first century ride of 2017 + a new 100 mile PR! It was an AMAZING day on 2 wheels and the open roads (with some trail riding)! I felt incredibly strong and felt like I could have easily continued to ride! Serious #bikelove

My fastest 100 miles ever in the saddle with these two!

Coach Kelly has moved my long run to the middle of the week, and I love it! I’m so glad to have made this switch…sometimes change is good! Another thing I’m loving is the split long run! I have found that splitting my long run into an AM and PM run allows me to recover a bit between the two runs and I’m able to run both of these distances at a faster pace. Don’t worry…I’m also getting some long runs in that are done all at once as well…they aren’t always pretty, but I’m doing the work! 😉

Long run done! Not pretty, but done!

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: 16.7 miles
Bike Totals: 392 miles
Run Totals: 94 miles

Racing:

I did the Liberty Triathlon early in the month, but it didn’t exactly go as planned and wasn’t something I care to repeat. I finished, but not the distance I had trained for.

Reading:

This Road I Ride: Sometimes it Takes Losing Everything to Find Yourself by Juliana Buhring is an amazing ride…errrr…read! Juliana lost the love of her life and decided to cycle around the world having never seriously ridden a bicycle before. Over 152 days, Juliana’s ride spanned four continents and 18,060 miles. She became the fastest woman to cycle the world and beat prior men’s records as well! This inspirational story takes you through her trials and tribulations as she accomplishes a goal she once thought was impossible.

The Brave Athlete: Calm the F*ck Down and Rise to the Occasion by Simon Marshall PhD and Lesley Paterson is a practical guide to help athletes with their mental training. I love that this book gives you “homework” to do to help you improve your mental performance. It isn’t just a book you read, but if you use this amazing tool correctly, it is also a hands-on approach for you to overcome negative thinking, feelings, and acting that have the potential to sabotage your potential and love for sport. This book has helped keep the fun in triathlon!

Re-Defining Our “Weaknesses” by Kara LaPoint is spot on! “In sport, as in life, it’s good to identify our weaknesses; to know them and confront them. But it’s not so good to continually identify ourselves by those weaknesses…” She has changed her mindset…”I now see my “weaknesses” merely as opportunities to become stronger.” We should all view our weaknesses as an opportunity to become stronger!

Listening to:

The Brave Athlete with Dr. Simon Marshall and Lesley Paterson is also one of the books I am currently reading. For most athletes, the “textbook” approaches to mental performance may not work as advertised. Dr. Simon Marshall provides performance psychology support for the BMC Pro Cycling Team. When you combine his knowledge with Lesley Paterson’s impressive triathlon record (hello three-time off road triathlon champion + Ironman champion + coach), you get a dynamic duo who share some of their unique approaches to improve mental performance in athletes.

Triathlete Turned Marathon Swimmer Jamie Ann Phillips is currently training for a 28.5 mile open water swim around New York City known as the 20 Bridges Swim. Her commitment and dedication to swimming this race has her currently swimming 37,000 yards (just over 21 miles) each week in preparation for this event. Become inspired by Jamie Ann Phillips and cheer her on as she swims one of the “Triple Crown” open water swim events this August!

Enjoying:

Time with family + friends! We’ve been so lucky to have our twin nieces come visit us and spend some time with friends!

Playing games!
Visiting Iowa State University’s campus
Strong, athletic women are the best! Summer doesn’t get much better than this!

Following:

Sarah Cooper and Janie Hayes! These two women are strong, inspirational, and amazing! Sarah finished 1st woman  in the individual Race Across America (RAAM) in 11 hours 18 hours 56 minutes. When asked “Why?” her response, “Why not?!” Janie finished 1st woman and 3rd overall in the Trans Am bike self supported bike race across America in 19 days 7 hours 50 minutes. This was Janie’s 2nd time doing this race!

Looking Forward To:

Our 4 week vacation in Vermont, New York, and Canada! While I don’t want to wish summer away (and we’ll be back to work the day we return from our vacation), I am looking forward to exploring new territory, connecting with family + friends, training on new terrain, relaxing, and racing Ironman Mont Tremblant!

#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. I am also really working on not letting others opinions of me bother me and I think I’ve gotten much better at this…hello #sportsbrasquad and wearing bikinis at the pool for lap swimming. Am I comfortable…not yet, but I’m facing the fear head on! Since I’m on summer break, work is on the back burner. I will be back at it soon enough! 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 stared fear in the face by going out for many solo, long rides! In the past I’ve always had company for rides over 2 hours, but after spending multiple 4+ solo hours in the saddle on the open roads, I’m happy to say that I’m getting more comfortable with the uncomfortable = progress! I have also learned which roads I prefer to ride on by myself and which ones to completely avoid!

Hello #sportsbrasquad running!

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!

How was your month of June? What were your June highlights? What are you looking forward to?

8 weeks ’til #IMMT: find a way

With some storms last week, I had to juggle a few things around to get my training in…especially for swimming since it is an outdoor pool that closes with thunder and lightening in the area. If it is important to you, you’ll find a way to make it happen and last week I made it happen!

Swim: 7703 yards

I had to swim short course later in the day a couple of times last week because of morning storms, but was blessed to get to swim long course on Friday morning! Friday morning’s swim was a true testament to how much stronger + faster I am getting in the water! Thank you to Coach Kelly for helping me make these HUGE improvements in the water this year! #trackcatstrong

This is what grateful looks like post swimming Tuesday. It was a full contact kind of swim…good practice for #IMMT in less than 9 weeks!
Swimming with my fave was a great way to end my #workforitwednesday!
Happy Fri-yay morning!

Bike: 136 miles

First century ride of 2017 is in the books and I set a new PR for 100 miles! Thank you Coach Kelly for helping me to become #trackcatstrong on the bike this year also! 🙂

What a great day for some #bikelove intervals!
Easy spin day!
My fastest 100 miles ever in the saddle with these two!
“Guilty easy ride” to end the week!

Run: 25.3 miles

My longest run of 2017 is also in the books…16 miles! It wasn’t easy and it wasn’t pretty, but I did it and am stronger for it!

Some days you’re the bug and some days you’re the windshield. Today I was the bug. SPLAT!
20 minute run off the bike after 100 miles in the saddle…BOOM!
Sunday run day was full of hills for breakfast with my favorite girl!

Strength Training: 45 minute + 10 minutes of core daily

Weekly Totals: 16 hours & 59 minutes

Weekly Positives:

Going Ginkgo! My Coeur Sports delivery makes my heart happy! I LOVE this design!
Thank you Nick at Vitality Massage for keeping me injury free so I can do what I love!

Quote of the Week:

“If it is important to you, you will find a way.” ~Ryan Blair

Liberty Triathlon “70.3” Race Report: Adversity Adventure

Hmmm…I have so many thoughts about this race, but I should probably start at the beginning. Be prepared for a LONG report about the sh*t show…errrr…adversity adventure that was the Liberty Triathlon “70.3” race! Grab your favorite beverage and dessert to enjoy while you get a feel for my experience.

When the Iron Hippie and I decided to sign up for the Liberty Triathlon 70.3 race, we were waffling back and forth between the Liberty Triathlon 70.3 and Ironman Wisconsin 70.3. We raced Ironman Wisconsin 70.3 last year (when it was non-branded) and knew it was a GREAT race, but had heard good things about Liberty Triathlon as well. We opted for the cheaper race…Liberty Triathlon 70.3 (remember this for later…you get what you pay for).

Pre-Race:

We finally received an email from the race director Thursday (our race was Saturday). This was rather late correspondence in my opinion, but at least I knew I was actually registered!

Liberty Triathlon – It’s getting hot in here!
Race day is coming up and it’s looking to be a hot one! Due to the expected temp on Saturday, we are allowing participants to transfer from the Long course to the Olympic course free of charge. Please email us at info@finalstretch to transfer your distance.

We will also have ice water and towels at the waters stops for participants to cool off.”

I had no intentions of transferring to the Olympic distance event, so I ignored it, packed my bags and was ready to leave Friday morning. I checked my email Friday morning before packing up All. The. Gear. for two athletes into the vehicle. We had an updated message from the race director:

Liberty Triathlon – Note from the Race Director
Changes due to Weather for Liberty Triathlon

Do to the 103 plus extreme heat index for Saturday there is going to be changes to the timetable for the Long Course participants. This change is not only for the athletes but all the volunteers that will be out on the course helping direct runners and manning the water stops.

Olympic will stay the same.

Long Course

1. Swim will be the same
2. Bike will be the same
3. You must be in from the bike no later than 12:30 pm to continue on the run
4. If you get in from the bike from 11:30 am to 12:30 pm, you will be required to run the 6.2 mile (10K) run course. This is so that all runners are in from the run by no later than 2:00 pm when the heat index gets very high.

Thank you everyone for your understanding with this difficult weather situation.

Questions: email info@finalstretch.com

What?! NOOOO!! With wave starts, this did not offer an equal opportunity for ALL athletes! Since my swim wave was not scheduled to go off until 7:45 am, I would have to finish the 1.2 mile swim + 56 mile bike in 3:45…doable, but with the extreme heat we should be conserving energy to avoid dehydration, heat exhaustion, or heat stroke. I immediately emailed the race director and asked them to consider starting the race earlier (even 7 am would give us an additional 30 minutes) to allow more time for all athletes to have a fair shake at meeting this 11:30 am cut off. Here was their response:

“We’ve considered it. Due to other factors including permits, set up, police, volunteers, medical staff, and out of town athletes, we are not able to start the race any earlier.”

In actuality, they could have applied for an emergency change in the permits, but they didn’t want to mess with it. I get it (not really)…so I emailed them again and asked them if they would consider combining swim waves since they were encouraging people to switch from the long course to the Olympic course. Nope…not happening:

“We will not be combining swim waves. If enough people switch to the Olympic course, we will shorten the time between waves from 3 minutes to 2 or 2.5 minutes between waves to get people in the water sooner.”

Ok, so they are not willing to make accommodations for athletes to make this a fair experience for ALL athletes. Now the question is do I stick to my race plan knowing I will likely miss this time cut-off, or do I put the hammer down and try to make the time cut-off?! I decided to wait to talk to Coach Kelly about this until after I had checked in at packet pick-up to make sure there weren’t any more changes being made (good thing I waited…more changes to come).

The 3+ hour commute to the race site was uneventful. After checking out the lake and checking into our hotel, it was time to go to packet pick-up (which was at our hotel). While waiting in line, the first lady said there was another change to the 11:30 time cut-off. We now had to finish the 1.2 mile swim, the 56 mile bike, and get to 3.1 miles on the run by 11:30 in order to be able to continue for the full 13.1 miles. I IMMEDIATELY spoke up! “This is not what the email said and they have NOT communicated this with the athletes in any email. This is not acceptable!” The lady at the 2nd table knew many of the athletes in the line were frustrated. She called the race director for clarification and relayed his new decision to us:

We actually had until 3.1 miles on the run to catch the sag bike that would leave transition with the last cyclist to arrive into T2 at 11:30. If you are a strong runner, this will give you an opportunity to continue even if you get into T2 after the 11:30 time. This also meant if you were not a strong runner, you may get passed by the sag bike even if you made the 11:30 time cut into T2…HELLO SH*T SHOW!!!

Grrr…now it is time to call Coach Kelly! After eating Mexican food at El Azteca in Plymouth, MN, I relayed all of this information to Coach Kelly and said, “What do I do? Do I put the hammer down and try to make the time cut-off, or do I stick to my race plan?” Coach was LIVID with the decisions the race director had made. This was not only unfair to all athletes, it encouraged athletes to push harder and risk dehydration, heat exhaustion, or heat stroke on a day when we should be conserving a bit more than normal. Since this was not my “A” race for 2017, I was told to stick to the race plan and if I didn’t make the 11:30 time cut-off or catch the bike, it would still be a good training day…hello 97F heat index and 20-25 mph sustained winds with gusts up to 35 mph from the SSW.

Ok…I have a plan and know what I need to do.

I received the BEST email from my Coeur Sports tribe:

“WISHING YOU ALL KINDS OF GOODNESS ON RACE DAY!!
Rumor has it you have a race coming up.
Well, the Coeur Cowbell Team is ringing their bell (virtually, because otherwise the neighbors get annoyed) for you!
We hope your race is all that you wished for and more.
Heart and Courage my friend!
Let us know how it went!”

I told you this would be a long post, but I’m finally to race day! 🙂

Race Day:

The alarm went off at 3:45 am. After eating my typical pre-race breakfast (muesli + peanut butter + Pure Clean Beet Powder and Karma Kombucha), donning my beautiful Coeur Sports race kit, and loading the car with all the gear, it was time to travel the 30 minutes to Lake Rebecca.

The sh*t show continued when we got to the race site…we could set up our transition area where ever we wanted, no one was making announcements, (What was the water temperature? Was the water wetsuit legal?), and no one seemed to know where body marking was. There was no one working the entrances to the transition area, so anyone could enter (including spectators). I’ve experienced this at smaller local races, but NEVER at a 70.3 event!

Mojo is ready for a fun day on a new playground!

After setting up our transition area and relaxing at the car for a bit, it was time to put on the wetsuit (I had found the one and only USAT referee earlier who said the water was wetsuit legal) and head to the lake for a short pre-race swim and the pre-race informational meeting on the shore at 7:15 am. Thankfully I saw my Coeur sister, Megan, before the race and she gave me a quick hug. This is just what I needed to calm the climbing nerves. We were reminded of the changes to the time cut-offs, told there would be ice, wet rags, water, and heed at every aid station on the run. We were also informed that there would be 2 minutes between wave starts instead of the original 3 minutes. After the National Anthem, it was time to line up on the beach for the race start. One more quick hug on the beach from Megan and we were ready for the swim!

These waters look much calmer than they actually were when we got into them!

Swim: 51:10 for 1.2 miles at 2:26/100 yard pace

The first wave (Elites/Athenas/Clydesdales) was supposed to start at 7:30 am, but it was delayed because of other athletes swimming back to shore from their warm-up. So…my swim wave (women 40+) started at 7:42 am (3 minutes before the originally scheduled time). With the winds already at 20 mph, the lake was very choppy, and we were swimming straight into the chop on the way to the turn around buoys. It was rough! Hello first open water swim of the year…yep…on race day! I started out trying to swim with bilateral breathing, but that was short lived. I couldn’t get in a rhythm that allowed me to breathe and not consume 1/2 of the lake water because of the waves crashing back into my face. Like all of the other swimmers, I fought my way to the turn around buoys, and then got a free ride on the waves back to transition. Throughout the entire swim, I just kept telling myself to enjoy the adversity adventure that was just beginning! Learn from it, grow from it, and keep moving forward! This was officially my slowest swim time on a 1.2 mile distance EVER!

T1: 2:27

After quickly making my way to my bike, getting a random stranger out of the way of my bike (he was just hanging out in the transition right in front of my transition area…not sure what he was doing in there), stripping out of my wetsuit, throwing on my helmet, socks, and bike shoes, I was out of the transition area and on the bike!

Bike: 3:16:09 for 56 miles at 17.1 mph average speed

The first 10-12 miles were straight SSW into the headwind that had picked up since the swim start. The winds were now closer to 22-25 mph sustained winds, with gusts up to 35 mph and boy could we feel it! Let the adversity adventure continue! Mojo and I just buckled down, found our groove, and sang our way to the turn. Once we turned, the cross wind was SO strong that I got blown off the road twice! I screamed out loud that I wish I weighed about 100 pounds more so I would stay on the road (but later found out from the Iron Hippie that the extra weight didn’t help him either…). Only a few short miles to the turn and a tailwind! Hello 25+ mph speeds climbing up a hill in my most challenging gear…you are a VERY welcome sight! Unfortunately we had to do the loop again, so back into the headwind we went! Let the singing commence…

  • “I feel good”
  • “What doesn’t kill you makes you stronger”
  • “Full throttle, wide open, you get tired and you don’t show it, dig a little deeper when you think you can’t dig no more, that’s the only way I know”
  • “Vanilla ice ice baby”…I was dreaming of ice and cold temperatures at this point as the outdoor temps were really climbing
  • “I saw the sign”…HELLO HWY 10 sign + tailwind all the way back to transition! What a welcome sign!

I also may have startled other athletes by screaming “Wahoo! St. Bonifacius you are a welcome sight! No more headwind!” Hee!! Hee!! Let the adversity adventure continue!

T2: 1:41

After cruising into transition and learning that I was between 1 and 2 miles behind the sag bike (it was after 11:50 am), I decided to leave my hydration bottle in transition and run hard for the 10K that I was going to be forced to run.

Run: 1:01:17 for a 10K at an average pace of 9:53/mile

As I exited transition, I ran into my Coeur sister Megan! She stopped at the loo, and I continued on my way! I was pushing a bit harder than I should have been. My heart rate was high…too high! I periodically walked to get my HR back to a respectable beat. I took in Base Salt and water at every aid station, but there was NO ice or rags at any of the aid stations on the run like the race director said there would be. Let the adversity adventure continue! Then at mile 2, I caught the sag bike. What?! How did I catch him? I decided to walk for a minute and ask the athlete how I had caught up with him. In briefly chatting with him, I learned that he had decided to walk the entire first 5K to give as many of the women an opportunity to make the decision to run the 1/2 marathon if they wanted to since our swim waves started so late. I thanked him for allowing me to make this decision and ran on. Shortly after this, I saw the Iron Hippie heading back and quickly learned he was only doing the 10K by choice. As I ran to the 5K mark, I did some thinking and data analysis…could I run the full 1/2 marathon? Yes, but I had no hydration with me (I left it in transition remember?!), there was no ice or rags at the aid stations, it was HOT and only getting hotter, and this was not my “A” race. Coach Kelly told me to not end up dehydrated, with heat stroke, with heat exhaustion, or hyponatremic…it would prolong my recovery. Based on all of the data I had in my arsenal, I opted to turn around and only do the 10K run. As I crossed the finish line, I was happy with my decision to turn around, but was immediately disappointed because there was no water at the finish line for the athletes. SERIOUSLY?! What an adversity adventure…or is it a sh*t show?!

Since it doesn’t say “70.3” on it, I guess I can keep it.

Overall: 5:12:43 for 63.4 miles

I set a PR on a new distance (since I didn’t do the official 70.3)…63.4 miles. I got to meet some amazing new athletes and ladies decked out in Coeur tri kits. I overcame a lot of adversity that was mostly out of my control. I learned that you get what you pay for! I’m disappointed that the race director did not make the time cut-offs equal for all participants and I’m very disappointed in the lack of care for the athletes at this race. Many athletes were in the med tent at the end of the race…likely because they pushed too hard in the heat and wind to make time cut-offs, but not having ice and rags/sponges at the aid stations on the run definitely didn’t help. I wasn’t the only one who was disappointed. The timing company was separate from the racing company. They were very angry with how things were handled as well. All athletes who ran the 10K were disqualified…whether they were forced to only run the 10K (because of the rule the race director implemented) or because they chose to. I ended up spending about 30 minutes helping the timing company figure out who had actually run the full 1/2 marathon in all of the age groups before the award ceremony, because the man in charge of the timing was VERY frustrated! If someone were to pay for my entry into this race in the future, I would turn it down. I want to support smaller, local races, but not at the expense of the athletes and their safety!

The heat index was 97F with sustained winds of 22-25 mph and gusts up to 35 mph. It was a rough day! Not what we’ve trained for, but we each set a new PR since we did a new distance…

Well, that’s a wrap! My adversity adventure or sh*t show…

What’s Up?! – May 2017

Thankfully the month of May flew by and I am only a couple of days away from summer break!! Here’s a look at what I’ve been up to…

Training:

This month has been full of ups and downs as it relates to training. The month started off strong, but took a nose dive in the middle. Thankfully I was able to pull myself back out of a mental slump after some life stress and get back on track to finish strong at the end of the month.

I’ve been working on flip turns in the pool, but they aren’t progressing as well as I’d like. Now that school is almost out, I can spend more time at the pool to master this skill.

Sometimes I flip straight, but most of the time my flips are all sorts of twisted!

I’ve gotten outside on two wheels with the wind in my face! I LOVE the open road on two wheels! Over Memorial Day weekend, I had two back-to-back 70 mile training rides in VERY WINDY conditions! I had some choice words for Mother Nature, but I know I will be stronger because of rides like these!

Mojo, Mother Nature (hello wind), and I bonded a lot the last 2 days…140 miles to be exact!

Coach Kelly has moved my long run to the middle of the week, and I love it! I’m so glad to have made this switch…sometimes change is good!

13.5 miles with my fave is the perfect start to the day!

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: 18.4 miles
Bike Totals: 369 miles
Run Totals: 83 miles

Reading:

Carrie Cheadle’s blog post “How to be Resilient when Sh*t Happens” really makes you think…do you wear “rose-colored glasses,” or “shit-colored” glasses? How do you view your life and the situations that surround you? Do you lift others up, or tear them down? Are you willing to roll with the punches, or do you spread your shit everywhere?

Carrie Cheadle had another GREAT post…Reduce Stress & Recharge! Declutter, unbook yourself, and make a “To Don’t List” to give yourself time to recharge! I LOVE this idea! Carrie even recommends scheduling this down time in your planner/iCalendar to force yourself to take some time to yourself to recharge your batteries!

Marni Sumbal has some great posts! This month, her post “Stop trying to fit in – be YOU!” really hit home with me! I’ve been working to embrace more of who I am and worry less about what others think of me, so this post was spot on!

Listening to:

A podcast on being Resilient with Mallory Weggemann…WOW! This amazing woman has a perspective on life that everyone should have!

Turia Pitt is an amazing individual who has overcome severe burns on 65% of her body that she endured when she got caught in a brush fire during an ultramarathon. Her spirit, determination, and resilience are something we can all learn from! She overcame so many odds to become an Ironman World Champion!

A No Bullsh*t Look at Sports Nutrition with Breakthrough Nutrition is a must listen to if you race and train with sports nutrition. They talk about the doping pandemic that is flooding the triathlon + running racing scene.

How badly do you want it by Kelly Roberts really struck home with me this month! It brought me focus after some life stress this month and grounded me for the coming build into IMWT!

“Women Who Tri” Author Alicia DiFabio didn’t dive headfirst into triathlon, but got into triathlon more as a psychology experiment. She is part of a 900+ women only triathlon club that has taken off, encourages women in sport, and continues to grow!

Look Forward To:

Summer break! With only a couple of days left of my school year (my last day is Monday, June 5), I am looking forward to having time to train, do house chores, and enjoy my time away from work for a few months!

Swimming in the outdoor 50 meter pool! I absolutely love this pool and wish we had an indoor pool just like it!

I’m so excited for some outdoor #swimlove

#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 am still working on facing those things that truly scare me, but with some regression this month, it has slowed to the pace of a three-toed sloth (that can only move with a maximum speed of 0.003 miles per hour). 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…I’ve even started doing more runs in shorts and a sports bra (when the temperature has been warm enough) and wearing bikinis at the pool for lap swimming. Am I comfortable…not yet, but I’m facing the fear head on! 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 also stared fear in the face by going out for a solo, long ride for the first time ever! In the past I’ve always had company for rides over 2 hours, but after spending 4 solo hours in the saddle on the open roads, I’m happy to say that I’m getting more comfortable with the uncomfortable = progress!

First long solo ride on Saturday! HUGE confidence builder!

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!

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

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.”

Becoming #trackcatstrong with Coach Kelly!

I was recently asked why I went from self coaching for the last couple of years to hiring a coach. The answer is simple…I felt that my training had plateaued and I wanted a coach who could push me to the next level. For the last 5+ months Coach Kelly at Track Cat Fitness has been pushing me and helping me reach this next level! There are so many benefits to having a coach most of which I wasn’t getting when I was self coached. So, what are they?! Let’s dive into each one!

  1. Accountability…I am no longer the only one who knows when I’m not doing the work and giving my all to achieve my goals and dreams! I have to report to someone who actually looks at my post workout reports and gives me feedback. No more slacking off…its time to get to work!!
  2. Focus/Purpose…The last couple of years, my training revolved around fun, fun, and more fun. If the workouts weren’t fun, what was the point?! Sure, I had goals and dreams, but I wasn’t putting them first. I’m not even sure I was putting them 2nd or 3rd. They were just on the back burner, burning a hole in my mind and heart, as I went through the motions. Coach Kelly has created a blueprint to turn my goals and dreams into a reality. My weekly plan has structure + focus and each workout has a purpose. Sure it is going to take time to turn my goals and dreams into a reality, but Rome wasn’t built in a day!
  3. Knowledge + Experience…My job is teaching middle school students, leaving me little time to stay current on all things triathlon and how to make myself the best possible athlete. Coach Kelly’s job is coaching. She stays up to date on current triathlon research and shares this knowledge with me by summarizing the information that will best benefit me. She is data driven and uses this data to help me become the best athlete I can be.
  4. Motivation + Support…When I’m nervous to go out the door to ride my first long ride by myself, I know I can message Coach Kelly for some motivation and support. Not only does she message me back, but she calls and leaves me a voice message as well to encourage me! Telling me I am a strong athlete and she knows I can do this! It’s the little things that matter!
  5. Push me out of my comfort zone…Coach Kelly knows my goals and dreams and she has forced me to make them a priority! She has pushed me WAY out of my comfort zone physically, which has also stretched me mentally. I am pushing watts and paces that always seemed too far out of my reach and I am overcoming mental hurdles to make these physical changes possible. #grateful
  6. Customization/Personalization…There have been a few setbacks in my training (i.e. getting sick, falling and hurting my knees pretty badly while running, work meetings, life stress, sick puppies, etc.) that have required my plan to be modified on the fly. Coach Kelly looks at where I currently am in my training, what I am able to do (depending on the illness/injury/time constraint), and makes modifications to my schedule. This is what customized training is really all about! She personalizes my plan to meet my goals + needs. #grateful
  7. Believing in me…Coach Kelly BELIEVES in ME! She believes in me on days when I am lacking belief in myself. She believes I can achieve my goals. She believes I can achieve my dreams. Coach Kelly BELIEVES in ME!
  8. Investing in me…We have spent many hours on the phone talking through my goals, race strategies, and life. Coach Kelly is determined to make me #trackcatstrong this year so that I am more fit than ever before as I toe the line at Ironman Mont Tremblant this August!
  9. Effectively communicates with me…Through effective and open communication, we work together toward the same goals. Coach Kelly knows my goals and dreams. She has expectations of me as an athlete, and I have expectations of her has a coach. We communicate with each other about aspects of training, racing, and life frequently.

Coach Kelly and I have created a strong coach/athlete relationship built on trust and open communication that will only continue to become stronger with time! I’m super excited to see where we go together in the future!

Do you have a coach? If so, what benefits do you experience in having a coach?