22 weeks ’til #IMMT: Spring Break

This week I was on spring break! That means only 11 more weeks until summer break…but who’s counting?! I had a lot of training + life balance + no stress this week. And. It. Was. SUPER FANTABULOUS!

Swim: 6200 yards

Monday I had a long swim and I was intimidated by it. Not only was it a long workout, but there was a lot of intensity built into it. I had self-doubt before the swim, but I stood at the edge of the pool and washed the self-doubt away. I changed the negative thoughts into positive ones. I went faster than expected, and CRUSHED this workout!

Erasing self-doubt before + during my swim!

Wednesday I had a tough swim. 3 x (8 x 50) with a goal speed of 46 seconds/50 and 23 seconds rest between. I hit my target for the first 2 x (8 x 50), but started to fall off during the last set. The 1st 50 of the 3rd set was slower than 46 seconds, but I nailed the 2nd one. 3 & 4 were slower than 46 seconds, so I swam the last 4 at a comfortable pace. After my power test on Tuesday, I was super happy to be able to hold onto the 46 second pace for as long as I could. Coach Kelly was happy too! “Wow! Oh, you’re going to crush that swim CSS test coming up. Wow!”

Pesky little tempo trainer!

Bike: 75.5 miles

WOW! I don’t even know how to describe how happy I am about the progress I have made on the bike and this week proved it! #TimeTrialTuesday proved to be a day of HUGE gains for me on the bike! I had an FTP challenge and I CRUSHED it! Going into the first 5 minute all out session, I was hoping to hold my power at or above 215 watts (this is the top end of my z5). I surpassed my expectations by holding 222 watts during that first 5 minutes. After a 10 minute easy spin, I then had a 20 minute FTP, where I was hoping to maintain 195 watts. I ended up pushing 197 watts for the duration and was so excited! This was the first time that I can truly say I left everything I had on the bike…so much so that when I was done, my legs were trashed! I worked so hard! I overcame self-doubt, the “pain” in my legs, and the negative thoughts that would creep into my mind. And. It. Feels. SUPER FANTABULOUS!

#TimeTrialTuesday resulted in a 10 watt improvement in my FTP!

I had an easy ride on Wednesday and followed this up with a high intensity ride on Thursday. Since I was working off of my new power numbers, this was a tough ride, but I successfully achieved each of my interval goals and that is something to smile about!

When your power numbers improve, it means you have to lower your head and work harder than you’re used to!

Saturday I had a 2 hour ride with a variety of pace changes throughout. And. It. Was. Tough! With an increase in my FTP earlier this week, it meant I had to work even harder. My mind was all in, but my legs just wouldn’t turn over and it didn’t matter how much I tried to convince them otherwise. I am INCREDIBLY grateful to Coach Kelly for understanding me, challenging me, supporting me, believing in me, and reminding me of the following: “You WILL inevitably “fail” some sessions.  You must.  If you don’t, you won’t know your limits.  What you can handle…and then go to them to expand them out further. I take your long term goals seriously, so expect to be pushed.  You’re going to need a series of mini breakthroughs to progress to high levels. Part of that will be days like this. If I give you an easier program you’ll feel good all the time for sure “crushing” every session…but as I once said to a coach… “I want to BE better, not feel better!”  :-)” I agree with Coach Kelly! I don’t want the easy road! I WANT to be challenged! I WANT to be pushed out of my comfort zone! I WANT to push my limits to find new ones! I expect to fail…that is part of the learning + growing process! I want to BE better, not just feel better!

Sometimes you ride the struggle bus, but you always grow, learn, and get stronger in the process!

Run: 18.8 miles

I am have been working on increasing my run volume this week, by running 5 days this week. Nothing super long, but running more to increase my run volume. The week started with some really cold temperatures, but thankfully warmed up a bit by the weekend! From snow on Monday to shorts and a tank top on Sunday??? Yep! Welcome to Iowa! 😉

Found the worlds smallest snowman while running Tuesday!

Running with the sunrise on Wednesday morning…so cold my eyelashes froze!

This was one of my longest run in a while!

New Newton Kismets! YES! Like butter on my feet!

Trying to get some color on this pasty white body + soak up some vitamin D!

Strength Training: 2 hours & 45 minutes + 10 minutes of core strength daily

I had some good variety in strength training this week. Tuesday was mostly core work after my FTP challenge, Thursday was full body strength and core while I taught TRX and Sunday I reconnected with my mat at yoga…MUCH NEEDED!

Reconnecting with my mat was MUCH NEEDED!

Weekly Totals: 13 hours & 36 minutes

Weekly Positives:

It was spring break week, so I got to load up on the training, get some appointments taken care of, take the occasional afternoon nap, and enjoy some downtime.

Thanks to Coach Kelly’s guidance, I have made some HUGE mental gains this week in overcoming self-doubt, changing the negative channel in my head to a positive one, and that has translated quite well to my training…HELLO 10 watt increase in my FTP + swim gains!!

This is my vision for Ironman Mont Tremblant!

Sushi with friends = perfection!

I had some amazing deliveries this week! Thanks to Breakthrough Nutrition, Karma Kombucha, and Sound Probiotics for keeping us happy + healthy!

Breakthrough Nutrition FTW!

Sound Probiotics = FTW DOUBLE WIN!

I had a massage! Thanks Nick at Vitality Massage for keeping my muscles happy + healthy!

When your massage therapist says, “You have dense muscles, which is awesome! That means you’re strong!” Thanks Nick for making a girl feel good!

Mom and Dad came to visit for the weekend. The four of us enjoyed Jersey Boys…such an AMAZING show!

Quote of the Week:

“You WILL inevitably “fail” some sessions.  You must.  If you don’t, you won’t know your limits.” ~Coach Kelly Hadiaris

2017 Racing Season

Mother Nature (errr…Global Warming) has blessed us with BEAUTIFUL weather this “winter”…weather we typically see in April and May here in Central Iowa. This beautiful weather + back rehabilitation got me thinking about my 2017 racing season. I have had WAY MORE downtime than is typical for me during this rehab process, so…I had plenty of time to plan for my 2017 racing season and register for some races. Thanks to this downtime, my 2017 racing season is taking shape! I have registered for the following races:

  1. Drake 1/2 Marathon (4/29/17)
  2. Hickory Grove Sprint Triathlon (5/21/17)
  3. Liberty Tri 70.3 (6/10/17)
  4. Okoboji Triathlon (7/15/17)
  5. Ironman Mont Tremblant (8/20/17)

I am super pumped about these races! This schedule will provide me with some opportunities to test my race day plan for long distances, but also give me some opportunities to go hard, fast, and have fun at some shorter distances!

I have also registered for a 3 day training camp in Vermont on July 27-30 with Track Cat Fitness! This training camp is 3 weeks before Ironman Mont Tremblant, so we will be extending our vacation to 4 weeks! We will be heading to the New England States before going to Mont Tremblant, Canada…visiting new places, training in new places, and having even more fun!

How is your 2017 season shaping up?

26 weeks ’til #IMMT: setback + motivation

I had a setback this week that was quite literally a pain in the back! I carried laundry up the stairs and managed to tweak my back in such a way that I am undergoing treatment + active release therapy from Dr. Chris Feil at Team Chiropractic and Rehabilitation. Really?! Laundry?! Yep…I don’t even have a good story to go with this injury! Thankfully Dr. Chris thinks I should be close to 100% by the end of this week. I really hope he’s right! I have goals to achieve and dreams to chase! While this is killing me, I WILL heal before I jump back into training and risk re-injury. This is yet another lesson in patience! Thanks to Coach Kelly with Track Cat Fitness for keeping me mentally sane, adjusting my training plan, nad keeping me focused on doing what I can through this injury process!

Swim: 3800 yards

My first swim to test the back was Thursday after work. I swam 1500 yards (with about 500 being pull) and I found that my back was nagging through most of the swim. Sunday’s swim went much better! 2300 yards with very few niggles in my back 🙂

First swim to test the back

First swim to test the back

Swim #2 this week was SO much better than #1!

Swim #2 this week was SO much better than #1!

Bike: 41 miles

Wednesday I rode easy for 45 minutes with a nagging back. It was still pretty sore. Friday I rode 1 hour trying to stay mostly in z2. This felt much better than Wednesday, but I still had some issues with my back that started about 40 minutes into the ride. Sunday I rode for 90 minutes trying to keep in z2 for a full 60 minutes without having my back tighten up and I am so happy that I was able to achieve this! While my back is still not 100%, I have definitely made progress this week and am getting closer and closer to 100% every day!

First easy ride...smiling because I'm back in the saddle (even with a little pain)!

First easy ride…smiling because I’m back in the saddle (even with a little pain)!

Trying to stay in z2 without back pain

Trying to stay in z2 without back pain

Yes! Ended the week with a 90 minute ride with 1 full hour solidly in z2!

Yes! Ended the week with a 90 minute ride with 1 full hour solidly in z2!

Run: Zero, Zilch, Nada

Thanks to my recent pain in the back, I did no running last week. 😦

Strength Training: 

The only strength training I did was what Dr. Chris recommended, which wasn’t much, but it was something.

Weekly Totals: 4 hours + 35 minutes

Weekly Positives:

I had some special deliveries this week from some amazing companies that I LOVE! I heart my Coeur Sports gear and my Breakthrough Nutrition! If you want to try Stacy Sims sports nutrition, please use WELOVESNBS to enjoy 10% off Breakthrough Nutrition!

New Coeur Sports gear!

New Coeur Sports gear! Super happy heart!

Breakthrough Nutrition...serious love!

Breakthrough Nutrition…serious love!

Getting better slowly with the help of Dr. Chris Feil at Team Chiropractic and Rehabilitation.

Getting back on track with the help from Dr. Chris Feil...getting better every day = #progress!

Getting back on track with the help from Dr. Chris Feil…getting better every day = #progress!

I’m honored to be invited to share my Ironman journey with our community. It was so much fun to talk triathlon, inspire others, and be inspired by others at Mary Greeley Medical Center’s Motivational Morning on Saturday morning! Thanks to Coeur Sports, Sound Probiotics, and SBR Sports, Inc. for supplying some goodies to hand out to the participants!

I'm honored to be invited to share my Ironman journey with members of the community.

Talking triathlon

Goodies!

Goodies!

More Goodies!

More Goodies!

Quote of the Week:

“Your “job” as a serious athlete right now and my job as coach is for you to get healthy.” Coach Kelly…Thanks for the reminder Coach! 😉

How was your week? What positives made your week better?

What’s Up?! – January 2017

CRAZY to think that the first month of 2017 is already over! Where does time go?! I must say I am a bit happier to have longer daylight hours, so if that means saying “goodbye” to January, I’m ok that time has flown by!

Training:

My training had a few bumps this month as I was sick…twice. The most recent bout lasting longer than I had hoped. Despite these bumps, I have had some successful training sessions, including a FTP challenge on the bike, where my threshold power increased by 13 watts! I’m so grateful to see my fitness bouncing back after taking a few months off during the off season! I have also seen my 200 yard swim time trial times increase by 2 seconds. While this may not seem like much, if I can carry this over to long distance swimming, I should see huge improvements on my swim time for Ironman Mont Tremblant in August! My run time trial also went better than expected! I dropped my average time over a 5K from 8:08/mile to 7:42/mile. I not only achieved my goal, but also my secret goal on this time trial! BOOM!

Striving for progress, not perfection in the pool this week with a 2 second increase in my 200 yard time trial! :)

Striving for progress, not perfection in the pool this week with a 2 second increase in my 200 yard time trial! 🙂

Crushing my FTP challenge = HUGE smiles!

Crushing my FTP challenge = HUGE smiles!

So giddy since I crushed my 5K time trial secret goal!

So giddy since I crushed my 5K time trial secret goal!

Swim Totals: 12.3 miles
Bike Totals: 218 miles
Run Totals: 51.8 miles

Reading:

I have read two amazing blog posts by Carrie Cheadle. The first is on ways to get more grit…who doesn’t want more grit in their life?! The second is on gratitude. We should all be incredibly grateful everyday. Looking for the things to be grateful for everyday can give you a completely different mindset and attitude about every part of your day!

Roar by Stacy Sims is a serious GAME CHANGER for active women! Stacy is BRILLIANT! This is a MUST READ! Not is it full of helpful information on nutrition, strength training, and how each impact your training and racing, but it is also packed full of information on how your cycle impacts training, racing, and your everyday life. I’m so grateful to one of my Coeur Sports Teammies for putting this book in my hands!

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Running Man: A Memoir by Charlie Engle sucks you into his life. After a decade-long addiction to crack-cocaine and alcohol, Charlie hit rock bottom and was nearly killed during a 6 day binge. He turned his life around with the help of running. He started with marathons and when they weren’t long enough, he began to take on ultramarathons and adventure races in some very unforgiving locations around the globe. Running even helped him not just survive, but thrive in a federal prison because of an unjust conviction. Charlie Engle takes you on a few crazy adventures throughout his gripping, emotional, and inspiring life journey!!

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Listening to:

David Goggins Podcast…WOW!! Can you say inspiring?! He is probably the toughest athlete on the planet and full of great insights on mindset and why knowing your purpose will get you farther than motivation. I highly recommend this podcast. Prepare yourself to learn more about the fighter mindset and how it can take you anywhere! Note: he has no filter and there is some swearing throughout this podcast.

Kerri Walsh Jennings Podcast…Hello!! She has competed in the last 5 Olympic games, earning 4 medals (3 gold and 1 bronze) in beach volleyball. She is so “rad!” She shares her take on mindset and the importance of effective communication both in sport and relationships. She is super inspiring and so full of energy + passion! “I don’t want to be better than you or her or him – I want to be better than I am right now.” ~Kerri Walsh Jennings

Scared for:

The future of all people of the United States of America! I am deeply saddened by the departure of President Obama and the First Lady as well as the current state that our country is in. I believe that the basic value of not discriminating on the basis of religion and nationality is foundational to the fabric of American democracy. Most of our ancestors were immigrants. I believe diversity is not a weakness, but rather a strength that we should embrace. We the people are creating a serious dividing line between us, and I’m scared that history will repeat itself. I’m choosing to focus on all of the positives I can find during these dark days…some days I have to really look hard, but there are always positives!! “We the people” have to stay united!!

#Fearless check-in:

This is my intention for 2017 is to become more fearless! So…how have I been doing with this? Quite well I believe! In my personal life, I have not had a drop of alcohol all month = WIN! I am working on facing those things that truly scare me, but this has required me to take baby steps because some of these things have a REALLY TIGHT hold on me. I am also really working on not letting others opinions of me bother me, but this is also more challenging since it has a TIGHT hold on me as well. At work, I have openly admitted to students a couple of times (just this month) that I don’t have all of the answers. And. It. Feels. GREAT! Being an introvert, the human connection piece is something I still struggle with, but I am going to continue to work on this. Thanks to Coach Kelly with Track Cat Fitness, I have been pushing myself WAY outside of my comfort zone while training and finding I am capable of so much more than I think I am. And. It. Feels. AMAZING! As for racing, I haven’t had a chance to race in January, so I haven’t been able to truly go HARD and find out what I’m capable of on race day. As you can see, this is definitely a work in progress, and I’m happy to say that in the first month I’ve already made some progress!

How was your first month of 2017? What were your January highlights?

My 2016 Year in Review via Photos

January:

My first ever MRI

My first ever MRI…thankfully it was nothing serious!

Basil loves to help me foam roller after a sweaty workout!

Basil is a good helper after a sweaty workout!

I can finally reach my toes...yoga is working :)

Spending lots of time with my boyfriend…mat 🙂

February:

Some serious #runlove with my 2 faves!! Bonus = running in SHORTS in Iowa...see the snow on the ground ;)

Some serious #runlove with my 2 faves!! Bonus = running in SHORTS in Iowa…see the snow on the ground 😉

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More #yogalove this month

Who's ready to race?!

Who’s ready to race?! I’m so excited to be on the Coeur Sports Ambassador Team again for 2016!!

March:

Basil and Mya are dreaming of chasing the geese and swimming!

Basil and Mya are dreaming of chasing the geese and swimming!

Family run off the bike!

Family run off the bike!

"Just one more" hill for TRJ!!

“Just one more” hill for TRJ!!

Easy recovery ride with the boys!

Easy recovery ride in the courage cave with the boys!

Starting my day with my main squeeze and a new friend in the burbs of Chicago!

Starting my day with my main squeeze and a new friend in the burbs of Chicago!

April:

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Lots of swim analyses done this month!

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Outdoor #runlove in shorts!

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First century ride in 2016!!

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#runlove with friends is the best!

Drake 1/2 marathon is in the books! Official finish time = 1:54:23

Drake 1/2 marathon is in the books! Official finish time = 1:54:23

May:

LOTS to work on this week in the pool! Thanks Coach for the stroke analysis and guidance!!

Thanks Coach Hansen for the stroke analysis and guidance!!

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Market to Market Relay fun!

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Market to Market Relay Fun!

#solesistersweat and a podium finish at my first ever duathlon

#solesistersweat and a podium finish at my first ever duathlon

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Challenging our principal to an inflatable race on the last day of school.

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Riding the open roads!

June:

Yoga in the park!

Yoga in the park!

#solesister + #bikelove = #perfectworld

#solesister + #bikelove = #perfectworld

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DC trip with about 20 eighth graders

Swimming with the nieces between storms.

Swimming with the nieces between storms.

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Milkman 70.3 race in Madison on a hot day!

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Our first women’s only ride…SO MUCH FUN and amazing courage in these women!!

July:

4th of July Century ride

4th of July Century ride

#bikelove with amazing people!

#bikelove with amazing people!

Outdoor #swimlove

Outdoor #swimlove

Women's only ride #2 for the year!

Women’s only ride #2 for the year!

Teaching the twins how to ride their bikes without training wheels!

Teaching the twins how to ride their bikes without training wheels!

Swimming with 2 of my favorite girls!

Swimming with 2 of my favorite girls!

Getting low fives from my nieces at the Okoboji Triathlon. Photo by Sarah Riley

Getting low fives from my nieces at the Okoboji Triathlon. Photo by Sarah Riley

The Iron Hippie's Birthday Century Ride

The Iron Hippie’s Birthday Century Ride

Pool Shenanigans post birthday century ride!

Pool Shenanigans post birthday century ride!

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128 miles on the Ironman Wisconsin bike course…EXCELLENT training weekend!

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2.4 mile open water swim event in Madison

This is what happy looks like after a successful Ironman Wisconsin training camp!

This is what happy looks like after a successful Ironman Wisconsin training camp!

August:

Running through the jungle on a sweltering day!

Running through the jungle on a sweltering day!

3.5 mile Okoboji Swim with Dad kayaking next to me

Okoboji 3.5 mile Swim with Dad kayaking next to me

Outdoor pool swimming is coming to an end.

Outdoor 50 meter pool swimming is coming to an end.

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Running with friends is always best!

Outdoor #bikelove

Outdoor #bikelove

Taking a trip down the slide at the pool!

Taking a trip down the slide at the pool!

#runlove with my faves!

#runlove with my faves!

Date night!

Date night!

September:

Countless laps next to my fave!

Countless laps next to my fave!

Race prep while I watch the Ironman 70.3 Worlds Championship!

Race prep while I watch the Ironman 70.3 Worlds Championship!

Swimming with family in Lake Monona

Swimming with family in Lake Monona

Meeting my Coeur Sports teammies

Meeting my Coeur Sports teammies

Ironman Wisconsin race day! Photo credit: Doree Harding

Ironman Wisconsin race day! Photo credit: Doree Harding

Ironman Wisconsin #bikelove Photo credit: Erin Klegstad

Ironman Wisconsin #bikelove Photo credit: Erin Klegstad

Running strong! Photo Credit: Erin Klegstad

Running strong at Ironman Wisconsin! Photo Credit: Erin Klegstad

October:

Mom came to visit for a weekend! It was fun to spend quality time with her!

Mom came to visit for a weekend! It was fun to spend quality time with her!

Run for the Roses fun!

Run for the Roses fun!

Love this little family of mine!

Love this little family of mine!

Spectating the IMT Des Moines Marathon!

Spectating the IMT Des Moines Marathon!

The Iron Hippie getting close to the finish of the IMT Des Moines Marathon...I'm so proud of him only 5 weeks post Ironman Wisconsin

The Iron Hippie getting close to the finish of the IMT Des Moines Marathon…I’m so proud of him only 5 weeks post Ironman Wisconsin

#bikelove in my fall playground!

#bikelove in my fall playground!

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I registered for Ironman Mont Tremblant for 2017!!

These ladies not only inspire me, but encourage me and light my fire! <3

So happy to cheer on my Coeur Sports Teammates as they take on Ironman World Championships in Kona. These ladies not only inspire me, but encourage me and light my fire! ❤

November:

I found out that I made the Coeur Sports 2017 Ambassador Team...Such a #hardcoeur group of women that I'm overjoyed to be a part of!!

I found out that I made the Coeur Sports 2017 Ambassador Team…Such a #hardcoeur group of women that I’m overjoyed to be a part of!!

I'm excited to have hired Kelly Hardiaris with Track Cat Fitness as my new coach!!

I’m excited to have hired Kelly Hardiaris with Track Cat Fitness as my new coach!!

Hot yoga...a date with my mat is always better with friends!!

Hot yoga…a date with my mat is always better with friends!! #yogalove

Washing away the negativity of the month.

Washing away the negativity of the month. #swimlove

Running with friends and THIS. BEAUTIFUL. SUNRISE!

Running with friends and THIS. BEAUTIFUL. SUNRISE! #runlove

Running with my sole sister and Basil makes the world a better place!

Running with my #solesister and Basil makes the world a better place! #runlove

My twin nieces had their first swim meet this month!

My twin nieces had their first swim meet this month!

Proud Aunt!

Proud Aunt!

We are Godparents! Baptism for the twins.

We are Godparents! Baptism for the twins.

Ice skating with our nieces!

Ice skating with our nieces!

Starting Thanksgiving with friends and morning miles!

Starting Thanksgiving with friends and morning miles!

Thankful for this tribe!

Thankful for this tribe!

4 generations of #strongwomen

4 generations of #strongwomen

Jumping on trampolines is a much tougher workout than I thought it would be!

Jumping on trampolines is a much tougher workout than I thought it would be!

Yay!! Mojo is home after surgery!! Now it is time to get to work!!

Yay!! Mojo is home after surgery!! Now it is time to get to work!!

December:

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#chlorinetherapy + #swimlove with the Iron Hippie!!

2 mile time trial with the track all to myself!!

2 mile time trial with the track all to myself!!

FTP test...not where I want to be, but better than where I thought I was.

FTP test…I’m not where I once was, but I’m recovered and ready to work hard to surpass where I once was!!

Working hard to turn my dreams into a reality with some #chlorinetherapy

When you wask up to negative wind chills and want to stay in bed with your dreams, but get up and work hard during your swim time trial to turn those dreams into a reality instead! #swimlove #chlorinetherapy

Running on trails along the river = #runlove

Running on trails along the river = #runlove

Z5 intervals on the bike were super tough, but it felt good to push my limits in a new way and come out stronger as a result!

Z5 intervals on the bike were super tough, but it felt good to push my limits in a new way and come out stronger as a result!

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When it is FREEZING cold outside, it is time to run on the mill and dream of the tropics in my Coeur Sports Tropical Punch kit!

Running the golf course with my girl + bonus #puppylove

Running the golf course with my girl + bonus #puppylove

I did make it all the way to the top and then didn't want to let go...but I did! #fearless

Climbing to new heights is VERY scary for someone who is afraid of heights…but I did! #fearless

Tree pose on a tree trunk...this is much harder in jeans than yoga pants!

Tree pose on a tree trunk…this is much harder in jeans than yoga pants!

I’m thankful for all of the great experiences, adventures, and joy in 2016! Cheers to an even better 2017!

What’s Up?! – December 2016

December has been a great month, full of lots of fun and changes as I prepare for 2017! Here is what I’ve been up to:

Training:

The first month of training with Coach Kelly at Track Cat Fitness is in the books. It has been AWESOME! I have already seen improvements in my fitness in just one month! Granted…after taking about 9 weeks off after Ironman Wisconsin, I was hoping to see my fitness start to bounce back quickly and it has. I’m grateful that my body is responding so well to the time off and my month back to training!

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Working on my swim stroke = #swimlove

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Sprinting in my new Coeur Sports Island Vibe tri kit = #bikelove

Running on trails along the river = #runlove

Running on trails along the river = #runlove

Reading:

Surfacing: From the Depths of Self-Doubt to Winning Big and Living Fearlessly” by Siri Lindley…WOW, just WOW!! Inspiration overload here!! Siri overcame SO many challenges in her life to become the amazing athlete and coach that she is today!!

How Bad Do You Want It?: Mastering the Psychology of Mind over Muscle” by Matt Fitzgerald…This is a great read to give insight into the mental toughness of elite athletes from a variety of sports. “Strong mental fitness lets us approach our true physical limits, giving us an edge over physically stronger competitors.”

Enjoying:

Winter break! I have had the opportunity to read, exercise, help friends, spend time with family and friends, and relax…it has been GREAT! While I’m enjoying the time away from school over the winter break, I am looking forward to getting back to school and starting semester #2!

Challenged by:

Not only has Coach Kelly challenged me to be a stronger athlete, but she has also challenged me in other aspects of my life as well (probably without even knowing it). By coming up with my focus word for 2017, I was inspired to step COMPLETELY out of my comfort zone and climb to new heights…literally! When you are afraid of heights, this is a HUGE deal!

I did make it all the way to the top and then didn't want to let go...but I did! #fearless

I did make it all the way to the top and then didn’t want to let go…but I did! #fearless

How was your month of December? What were your highlights? Who’s ready for 2017?!

Looking Back at 2016 to Move Forward in 2017

I can’t believe the first week of December has already came and went!! With only a few weeks to the start of 2017, it is time to reflect on 2016. It is good to look at the past (taking a look at what went well and what needs improvement) before planning for the future.  I have taken some time to reflect and evaluate my 2016 journey so I can set S.M.A.R.T. goals for 2017.

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USA Triathlon posted a great article that I have used to help me evaluate my 2014 and 2015 training and racing seasons before trying to plan for 2015 and 2016. I have found this reflection very beneficial and thought I would use the same questions to reflect on my 2016 season so I can better plan for 2017.

1. In hindsight, were your goals for the season clear and attainable?

-My goals were clear and attainable: smile and have fun at Ironman Wisconsin while pushing to break 14 hours.  I feel like I could have pushed a little bit harder to break 14 hours, especially on the run. My overall finish time was 14:34:11, but I did manage to smile and have fun all day long!! I love Ironman racing…it makes my heart happy 🙂

Ironman Wisconsin #bikelove Photo credit: Erin Klegstad

Ironman Wisconsin #bikelove Photo credit: Erin Klegstad

2. What are you most proud of this season?

-I had a great training weekend on the Ironman Wisconsin course at the end of July. I rode 125 miles on the bike course with 6847 feet of climbing followed by an hour run…it was hard challenging, but gave me the confidence I needed for race day! The day after this big monster workout, I participated in a 2.4 mile open water swim event that was not wetsuit legal. This continued to build my confidence for my upcoming 3.5 mile open water swim that would also not be wetsuit legal. I followed this swim with running one loop (13.1 miles) of the Ironman Wisconsin run course. This weekend was a HUGE confidence builder!!

DCIM100GOPROGOPR5804.

125 miles of #bikelove in Wisconsin = ALL of the corn!

DCIM100GOPROGOPR5812.

2.4 mile swim sans wetsuit = confidence builder!!

This is what happy looks like after a successful Ironman Wisconsin training camp!

This is what happy looks like after a successful Ironman Wisconsin training camp!

3. What would I like to duplicate next year?

-I have gotten so much stronger and faster on the bike, and I would love to see my cycling fitness continue to grow in 2017!! With Ironman Mont Tremblant’s bike course having 5900 feet of climbing, I can use this developed strength and cycling fitness to carry me through this hilly course in 2017!!

Nailing my FTP test with normalized power of 194 watts...I'm getting SO close to being able to push 200 watts for my 20 minute time trial!!

Nailing my FTP test with normalized power of 194 watts…I’m getting SO close to being able to push 200 watts for my 20 minute time trial!!

4. What frustrated or disappointed you the most this season?

-I didn’t have the run I was hoping for at Ironman Wisconsin this year. I know I can run a 4:45:00 marathon off the bike, but haven’t been able to make this happen yet.

-The 70.3 distance event I did in Madison in June was HOT and I didn’t have the race I was hoping for. I had spent the week before my race in DC, so I didn’t properly acclimate to the heat and humidity that Mother Nature bestowed on us on race day in the Midwest. The positive…I still finished (without ending up in the medical tent) despite Mother Nature’s bad attitude.

HOLY HOT!!

HOLY HOT!!

-Not having a nutritionally sound race at Ironman Wisconsin. I wasn’t hyponatremic by the end, but I was well on my way. I have to find a way to figure out this nutrition!

5. What do you not want to happen again next year?

-I want to have a solid nutritional experience in 2017 at Ironman Mont Tremblant…Ironman Wisconsin 2014 is the only long race I have felt good nutritionally.

-I want to avoid having a flat run at the end of Ironman Mont Tremblant. I definitely want to put together a solid race…strong and solid swim, followed by a strong and solid bike, followed by a strong and solid run!

6. What did you learn by going through these experiences?

-I’ve learned that it is time to mix things up and seek help! I have had the same flat training for the last couple of years, and it is time to make some changes! It is also time to figure out this nutrition so that I set myself up for a great race at IMMT! This is why I’ve hired Coach Kelly with Track Cat Fitness to help me make dreams come true!

7. What decisions did you make that were empowering for you?

-I felt empowered by stepping out of my comfort zone and trying new things! Racing in a relay with friends and a duathlon were first time experiences for me this year. I am happy to say that they are both experiences that I want to do again!

#solesistersweat and a podium finish at my first ever duathlon

#solesistersweat and a podium finish at my first ever duathlon

-I also felt empowered by empowering other women in endurance sport through our women’s only rides this year! I finally made the time to help other women feel more confident on their bike and it. Was. Awesome! The smiles and confidence these women exhibited spoke volumes to how they felt!

Ladies Night!

Ladies Night!

8. What habits seemed to hold you back from achieving your potential?

-I need to overcome the fear of being uncomfortable. I am always afraid to leave it all out there…whether it is during a training session or a race. Where is that balance between being uncomfortable and able to successfully finish and being uncomfortable and failing? It is time for me to find out. It is time for me to get really uncomfortable and learn to feel truly comfortable with the uncomfortable! This year is all about #courageovercomfort and pushing my limits both in training and racing!

It is time to start living my dream instead of living my fear!

It is time to start living my dream instead of living my fear!

9. What decisions should you make in order to have your best triathlon year ahead?

-I have decided to hire a coach for 2017 and I am super excited about it! With Coach Kelly’s knowledge, guidance, encouragement, and support, I hope to have the best year yet! I will also focus on believing in myself and my training more…not just the superficial believing, but the deep underneath the surface at the very core of my being believing! I’m confident Kelly and I will work well together to help make this all happen! 🙂 2017 is the year of #courageovercomfort as I push myself to new limits!

My 2017 S.M.A.R.T. goals will come in a few weeks time. Stay tuned…

Have you looked backward so you can plan for the future? What did you learn?