3 weeks ’til #IMMT: Northeast + Canada Trication Part 1

What a week! Full of travel, fun, laughs, training camp, and adventures! Other than traveling over 1500 miles by car, this is brief rundown of my week…

Swim: 6976 yards

Starting the day off right! #swimlove with my fave for some #mondaymotivation
Morning swim in 86*F water in La Porte, Indiana with my fave! #toohotforlapswimming
Open water endurance swim at Track Cat Training Camp!

Bike: 98.4 miles

Last workout in Iowa for a while! #tuesdaytimetrial with my fave!
Long ride in Vermont at the Track Cat Training Camp on Friday up to Smuggler’s Notch! Epic climbs and views!
Climbing my way up App Gap in Vermont at the Track Cat Training Camp on Saturday…That. Was. HARD! So much fun at the top!

Run: 16.7 miles

Last long run before #IMMT in Stowe, Vermont…now it is time to taper and soak up all this training!

Strength Training: 10 minutes of core strength almost daily

Weekly Totals: 12 hours & 46 minutes

Weekly Positives:

I will have a separate post on the Track Cat Training Camp later this week, but it was SO much fun, challenging, beautiful, and a truly amazing experience!

#trackcatstrong

Stopping at Niagara Falls on our way out to Vermont…We have never been here before and it was beautiful!

Riding a ferry across Lake Champlain from Vermont into New York…that was the first time I’ve ever driven a car onto a boat and taken a fairy ride! It felt good to get out and stretch the legs a bit!

Arriving in Lake Placid…This is where we will spend the next week of our trication!

Getting our bib numbers for Ironman Mont Tremblant!! It is getting so close to race day!! I can’t believe it!!

Quote of the Week:

“Blessed are the curious for they shall have adventures!” ~Lovelle Drachman

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! ūüėČ

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‚Äôs 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‚Äôs good to identify our weaknesses; to know them and confront them. But it‚Äôs¬†not¬†so good to continually identify ourselves¬†by¬†those weaknesses‚Ķ” She has changed her mindset…”I now see my ‚Äúweaknesses‚ÄĚ 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‚Ķhow have I been doing with this? I‚Äôve 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‚Äôve 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! ūüôā

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

11 weeks ’til #IMMT: “Just one more”

Last week had a theme of “just one more” and was the last week of school with students for the year! Hello summer!

Swim: 6100 yards

Wednesday’s swim = BOOM! I nailed it!

“Just one more” was the theme of this swim and it resulted in a few fist bumps and a little happy dance in the water at the end!

Thursday’s endurance swim was full of quiet + happy!

Rounding out the last day of the school year with students with some #swimlove + quiet time!

Bike: 130 miles

Last week started with a RIDICULOUSLY windy, long, solo bike ride (after doing something very similar the day before, it was tough physically, but even more tough mentally. With sustained winds over 20 mph and gusts close to 30 mph, this was a HUGE confidence builder! Just one more…mile!

Hello wind! Thanks for making my workout so challenging!
“This is HUGE! Congrats. A back to back 4 hour ride is a great prep session for the Ironman build up. I’m so happy it went well and glad you do not back down in the face of adversity. You’ve evolved a lot as an athlete this year. I’m proud of you today. Good work.” ~Coach Kelly

Since I only had to work until noon on Friday, I rode my 2nd longer bike ride of the week Friday afternoon. It was a great day to be outside on two wheels!

60 miles of quiet time with Mojo, Mother Nature, and a few random strangers who wanted to chat while riding on the trail or needed help. #midwesthospitality #bikelove

Run: 29.3 miles

Last week also started with a tough run off the bike. The wind was brutal!

The run off the bike was just as tough thanks to the wind!

Wednesday started with another long run before work! I’m really lovin’ the long run mid week!

13+ morning miles! So grateful to have my favorite girl with me for the first 7 miles!

Saturday was a short EASY run! Hot + humid = Midwest summer is here!

Heat + humidity = race acclimating! Hello summer!

Sunday I had a double run day…this was a first for me! Until now, I’ve never done a longer run that was split into a morning run and an afternoon run. I ran in the morning with my main squeeze, and then ran in the heat of the day. Hello summer! Our morning run = hot + humid! My afternoon run was very hot, but the humidity had dropped and thankfully didn’t feel nearly as oppressive as the morning run especially since I had intervals during this run…just one more!

What a warm + HUMID morning run!
92F afternoon run = good race day acclimatization!

Strength Training: 45 minutes + 10 minutes of core strength daily

Weekly Totals: 16 hours & 12 minutes

Weekly Positives: 

I started the week with a TOUGH brick (thank you Mother Nature) and was so happy to have that workout done! #trackcatstrong

I’m SO glad my back to back long bricks are done! All that wind made it VERY challenging!!

The kids are done with school and I only have one day left! Summer is ALMOST here! Whoop! Whoop! One of my students made our girls some homemade rope toys as a “thank you” and they LOVE them!

Mya loves her homemade rope toy that one of my students made her!
Basil also loves her homemade rope toy that one of my students made her!

I had a massage between my two runs on Sunday! Thanks to Nick at Vitality Massage for taking such good care of us!

Pre-race massage between my Sunday runs. Thanks Nick for taking such good care of us!
Enjoying a quiet outdoor lunch while Tim got his massage!

Quote of the Week: 

“Our greatest weakness lies in giving up. The most certain way to succeed is always to try just one more time.” ~Thomas A. Edison

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‚Ķhow have I been doing with this? I‚Äôve continued to make progress on becoming more fearless. Some areas of my life I‚Äôve made more progress than in others, but that‚Äôs 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‚Äôve 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‚Äôm 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! ūüôā 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?

15 weeks ’til #IMMT: stay focused

Last week’s theme was staying focused. Enjoy this week’s summary¬†via¬†pics!

Swim: 6700 yards

Some days you don’t want to do the work, but then you remember your dreams and you dive in!
New Coeur Sports swim suit day = motivation to go to the pool and work on chasing my dreams!
Flippin’ Friday evening with lots of #swimlove to #findfaster

Bike: 102 miles

#timetrialtuesday was an easy spin on the bike to shake out the race from Saturday.
#workforitwednesday with my fave in the #couragecave
More #bikelove + intervals with my fave!
Grateful to be on 2 wheels on the open roads! #bikelove
Very windy ride pulling these two along!

Run: 13.8 miles

Easy shake out run off the bike on Wednesday!
#runlove is the perfect way to start a Sunday!

Strength Training: 1 hour & 45 minutes + 10 minutes of core strength daily

Weekly Totals: 13 hours & 12 minutes

Weekly Positives:

I have 2 students who are committed to teaching me how to do my own race day braids! Each day gets easier!
Chaperoning the 8th grade dance with my #solesister Friday evening
New SBR Sports Inc. swim suit! I’m excited to try this out!
Legs up a wall is the perfect post long run recovery!

Quote of the Week:

“Stay focused, go after your dreams and keep moving toward your goals.” ~LL Cool J

What’s Up?! – April 2017

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

Training:

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

Flippin’ Friday night!

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

So giddy! 16 watt improvement in my FTP test today means I’m over the 200 watt threshold! I never imagined I would see this day! So grateful for Coach Kelly to push me WAY out of my comfort zone and help me get stronger this season!

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

Not quite the race I was hoping for, but I pushed as hard as I could all the way through! Grateful the rain held off until after I finished! Another Drake 1/2 is in the books!

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

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

Reading:

After¬†You by Jojo Moyes is an inspiring book for those trying to move on after a loss. “Louisa Clark is no longer just an ordinary girl living an ordinary life. After the transformative six months spent with Will Traynor, she is struggling without him. When an extraordinary accident forces Lou to return home to her family, she can‚Äôt help but feel she‚Äôs right back where she started. Her body heals, but Lou herself knows that she needs to be kick-started back to life. Which is how she ends up in a church basement with the members of the Moving On support group, who share insights, laughter, frustrations, and terrible cookies. They will also lead her to the strong, capable Sam Fielding‚ÄĒthe paramedic, whose business is life and death, and the one man who might be able to understand her. Then a figure from Will‚Äôs past appears and hijacks all her plans, propelling her into a very different future. ”

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

Listening to:

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

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

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

Mind Power Training:

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

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

#Fearless check-in:

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

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

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