Week 2 with Coach Kelly: Testing + Testing

I wrapped up last week with a run test, but that wasn’t the end of my testing…hello FTP test on the bike and swim time trial.


I had planned to get up early to complete my run and strength training before work so that I could have a free evening, but sleep took precedence. When I woke up at 4 am and knew that I could complete both workouts after work in plenty of time, I decided to go back to sleep for 2 more hours. After a full day of work, I went home, ran and completed my strength training.

Sunset #runlove
Strength training with the Iron Hippie post running


I had a FTP test on the bike to start my Tuesday! I was very excited, yet nervous to see how much bike fitness I’d lost since Ironman Wisconsin. The bad news…I lost more bike fitness than I’d hoped. The good news…I didn’t lose as much bike fitness as I thought I had. The even better news…Coach Kelly says that my power results for my 5 minute and 20 minute tests indicate that I am “well balanced in your abilities. This balance you already have is good news in my opinion! : )”

FTP test...not where I want to be, but better than where I thought I was.
FTP test…I am not where I once was, but I’m recovered and ready to work hard to surpass where I once was!! Lots of #courageovercomfort and #nevergiveup needed on this ride!!

After a full day of work, I met with a friend who is signing up for her first Ironman in 2017. She picked my brain about all things Ironman from a first timer’s perspective and it was so much fun! I’m super excited for her and her 2017 journey! It is so fun to share my passion with others!

Wearing my CEP Compression tights with my dress clothes all day long.
Wearing my CEP Compression tights with my dress clothes all day long.
This! Everyone should train + race + live clean!
This! Everyone should train + race + live clean! #cleansportco


I started my day with some #swimlove. I love chlorine therapy in the morning! It is the perfect way to wake up 🙂


After a full day of work and running a few errands on my way home, I hopped on the bike for an easy recovery ride!

Easy spin!
Easy spin!


Good morning run on our first frigid morning of the season…hello -8F windchill! I think this means treadmill time!

"You aren't going to find anybody that's going to be successful without making a sacrifice and without perseverance." ~Lou Holtz
“You aren’t going to find anybody that’s going to be successful without making a sacrifice and without perseverance.” ~Lou Holtz

After a full day of work, I worked with two personal training clients and then taught TRX before eating dinner and crawling into bed for the last day of my work week.



Good morning #chlorinetherapy on this cold morning (-3F windchill)! I really wanted to pull the covers up over my head when the alarm went off and stay in bed with my dreams, but I decided to get up and work hard during my swim time trial to turn my dreams into a reality instead!

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

After a run test last Saturday + bike test Tuesday + swim test this morning, I had a much needed massage after work! OUCH!

After a run test + bike test + swim test in a week's time, a massage was definitely needed! Thanks to Nick at Vitality Massage for keeping me injury free! #recoveryisimportant
After a run test + bike test + swim test in a week’s time, a massage was definitely needed! Thanks to Nick at Vitality Massage for keeping me injury free! #recoveryisimportant


I woke up to an endurance ride and strength session in my Coeur Sports Kona kit…after all, #IMKona is going to air on NBC this afternoon. #dreambelieveachieve

Dreaming of #IMKona on this snowy morning!
Dreaming of #IMKona on this snowy morning!
Dreaming of #IMKona on this snowy morning!
Dreaming of #IMKona on this snowy morning!

After getting a Karma Kombucha delivery (12 cases) to our house, I went for a 25 minute run in my new Hoka One One Claytons in the snow. I think I’ll be a Clifton girl as I felt some rubbing in the arches of both feet during such a short time. I’ve heard this is a common problem with this model.

Running in the snow on the golf course is the best!
Running in the snow on the golf course is the best!

I spent the afternoon watching #IMKona on NBC and then traveling to Kyle’s Bikes to pick up the Iron Hippie’s bike that was getting some TLC! We spent the evening relaxing and enjoying quality family time.


I woke up so grateful for a good night’s sleep and warm enough temps that I could run outside again today. After running to the grocery store before all the post church goers, I went to the pool and had a much better swim than I expected! It was fun to play in the pool afterwards also…this is what I do to keep my swims fun!

Dive down and coast along the bottom!

After swimming, I came home with swim brain…yep, I tried to fill my water bottle with the lid still on it. It didn’t work very well! I ate a granola bar, changed clothes, and went out for my run. With the snow we’ve gotten in the last couple of days, I decided to take my run to the golf course to prevent slipping and to have fun running with my girl and our friends’ dog (the Golden).

Running the golf course with my girl + bonus #puppylove
Running the golf course with my girl + bonus #puppylove
Some solo running along the rive path! #runlove

After running, it was time to Eat. All. The. Food. I was so hungry!! I enjoyed some quiet, relaxing time most of the afternoon as the Iron Hippie went to an ISU basketball game with a friend. At 4 pm, I joined my Coeur Sports Ambassadors for a conference call. These amazing women are so inspirational and enCOEURaging!! I’m so pumped for 2017!! After my conference call, we prepped food for the coming week and relaxed before bed.

Week 2 with Coach Kelly is in the books and a success!!

Weekly Totals: 10 hours & 16 minutes

Swim: 6700 yards
Bike: 42.9 miles
Run: 14.6 miles
Strength Training: 1 hour & 55 minutes + 10 minutes of core work daily

Quote of the Week:

“Small daily – seemingly insignificant – improvements and innovations lead to staggering achievements over time.” ~ Robin Sharma

Week 1 with Coach Kelly: starting a new chapter

After Ironman Wisconsin (9/11/16), I took a lot of time off…both physically and mentally. During this time I decided to hire Kelly as my coach to help me achieve big goals at Ironman Mont Tremblant in 2017. This was week 1 of a new chapter in my book as I started training with Coach Kelly!! After having my training train derailed for the last couple of months, it felt great to have the train stop, pick me up, get back on its tracks, and move in the forward direction. The best part…having someone else tell me what to do!! Thanks Coach!! So what did my first week of this new chapter look like?! Here’s a snapshot of my week…


I had every intention of getting up and working out Monday morning, but I had a Thanksgiving hangover, and I don’t mean from alcohol…it was a family hang over. I LOVE my family and am SO grateful and happy they came to visit us over Thanksgiving break, but I was exhausted on Monday morning. As a result, Monday morning was a sleep in. After a full day of work, I hit the gym for my strength training session.

Getting my strong on makes me happy!!
Getting my strong on makes me happy!!


The day started with morning miles with my girl! I love running with her and am so lucky to have an early morning running partner who is reliable, dependable, and keeps me safe! When we got home, I quickly vacuumed the house before getting ready for work. After a full day of teaching, I hit the pool for some chlorine therapy.

Love this girl! #morningmileswithBasil
#swimlove is the perfect way to end the day!


The Iron Hippie and I both had swims, so we decided to go in the morning and see just how busy the pool is on a Wednesday morning. Surprisingly, it wasn’t as busy as we thought it would be 🙂 After a full day of teaching, I came home to intervals on Mojo! This was the first time I’ve REALLY ridden her since Ironman Wisconsin and it took a lot of self talk…#courageovercomfort and #nevergiveup!!

Sharing a lane with my fave! He’s at the other end of the lane…see the high elbow off in the distance?!
Full of smiles after those tough bike intervals! Finding my #bikelove again!


It was another early morning run with my girl! I’m so grateful to have her to keep me company, push me to run faster, and keep me safe! After we returned home, I vacuumed the house before getting ready for a full day of science education meetings with my colleagues. My brain was complete MUSH by the end of the day! I met with two different personal training clients after work and then rounded out my day with teaching TRX.

#morningmileswithBasil are the best!


Today was a rest day! After yesterday’s brain mushing session, I needed this rest day today! After a full day of teaching, I ran a couple of errands, prepared dinner, and cleaned fresh produce for the coming week. After dinner and cleaning up the kitchen, I was in bed reading by 7:30 pm with lights out at 8:15 pm. I was exhausted!


I was so tired that I slept until 6:10 am! I guess my body needed it 😉 After eating a quick snack I went to the Iowa State outdoor track for my 2 mile time trial run. I have a mental block when I am at the track…it is a GREAT facility, but this is where I ran for week after week after week after week about 2 years ago when I was injured. After running circles with the white line between my feet for about 2 months, this beautiful track left a negative taste in my mouth. Today I had doubts in my head, but I immediately went into self talk mode…courage over comfort! Never give up! I am strong! I am tough! I am FAST! So the best part about this run?! I had the track to myself for the entire hour I was there! Ha ha! I know what you’re thinking…NO, it didn’t take me an hour to run 2 miles! I was hoping to run each mile at 8:00/mile or faster, but I’m just not quite there yet and that’s OK! I’m happy to be where I’m at! After all, I’ve taken nearly 3 months off of training. After a 20 minute warm up, my first mile was at 8:10/mile and my second mile was 8:05/mile. Hello negative splits!! After cooling down until I had ran an hour, I went to the gym for some strength training. After eating all the food I could find (not really…just muesli) when I got home, we did some house work before I went to the gym for some chlorine therapy! Guess what?! I had the pool to myself for my entire swim! I think that was the theme of the day…first the track to myself, then the pool to myself (no…I didn’t have the gym to myself for strength training, but the room I was in I had to myself for a good portion of my workout). After eating all the food I could find (this time, it was true!), we spent the evening relaxing with friends.

2 mile time trial with the track all to myself!!
2 mile time trial with the track all to myself!!
Look...I'm flying!! Airplanes on an inverted Bosu as part of my strength session today.
Look…I’m flying!! Airplanes on an inverted Bosu as part of my strength session today.
Chlorine therapy...Serious #swimlove in a pool all to myself as I work to #findfaster today!
Chlorine therapy…Serious #swimlove in a pool all to myself as I work to #findfaster today!


We woke up to snow…on the ground…for the first time this season! Thankfully the ground was still warm enough that the roads and sidewalks weren’t ice covered…just slushy. After an easy 75 minute ride, I ate some food, got ready for the coming week, chatted with Coach Kelly on the phone for almost an hour, and then went for a short and easy afternoon run in our winter wonderland. I rounded out the week with an epsom salt soak, laundry, and relaxing to soak up all of my hard work this week and get ready for more testing this coming week…bike FTP and swim tests are scheduled for the coming week…eek! I’m so happy and grateful to have Coach Kelly write this new chapter with me!

My view on my ride today.
#runlove with the first snowfall of the season
#runlove with the first snowfall of the season

Weekly Totals: 9 hours & 25 minutes

Swim: 5100 yards
Bike: 31.5 miles
Run: 17.1 miles
Strength Training: 2 hours & 30 minutes + 10 minutes of core work daily

Quote of the Week:

“Today I close the door on the past, open the door to the future, take a deep breath, step on through and start a new chapter in my life.” ~Anonymous

2 weeks ’til #IMWI: back to reality

This week’s theme…back to reality! Since it was my first full week back at school (3 days of which was with kids), it was definitely back to reality.


We slept in since we had been up later than planned on Sunday. After a full day of work (including meetings and work in my classroom), we had our last women’s only ride for 2016. Sadly our numbers were very low for this ride, but with the higher numbers we had earlier this year, I’m confident next year we will have even more women join us! After our ride, we went to my sole sister’s house for dinner before heading home, getting ready for Tuesday, and crawling in bed.

The shadows are getting longer in the evenings 😦


We got up at 5 am to start pounding the pavement. After 75 minutes of running hills, we got ready for the day. Thankfully I had a full day to work in my classroom so I could prepare for a full day of students tomorrow. I drove our bikes to Kyle’s Bikes over my lunch to drop them off so Kyle could give them his pre race blessing. After work I picked up our CSA and spent the evening cleaning produce, vacuum the house, and prepare for Wednesday before bed.

Morning miles with the Iron Hippie and Basil! She is such a goofball!
I love our CSA!


Today was my first day of school with kids for the 2016-2017 school year. It was a fantastic first day! I am very excited to have a great group of students this year!! After school, I was exhausted! Instead of going swimming, I came home and spent over an hour on the phone with my twin 8 year old nieces learning ALL about their first day of school. They are two amazing little girls 🙂 I relaxed for just a bit before getting ready for Thursday and calling it a day.

First day of school photo


We woke up at 5 am for a short run before my second day of school with kids. After another great day with students, I had a dentist appointment, came home to eat dinner and change clothes before teaching TRX. After class, I got ready for my last working day of the week and crawled into bed completely exhausted. Getting back into a routine of being mentally on all day is so much more exhausting than physically working out for hour after hour after hour…I will adjust with time 😉

Morning miles with Basil!
Morning miles with Basil!
So grateful to Karma Kombucha and Sound Probiotics for keeping me healthy while I train hard and start a new school year!
So grateful to Karma Kombucha and Sound Probiotics for keeping me healthy while I train hard and start a new school year!


We slept in until 5:30 am, put together beef stew in the crock pot for after work, and then got ready for the day. After another long, but good day of teaching, I had a much needed massage! OUCH!! After my massage, I we ate some of that amazing homemade beef stew before going to a local brewer to play cribbage while enjoying a beer.

You may not notice that a wall hanging is missing from this picture, but I did right away. Nick is moving...he is starting his own massage clinic instead of working for someone else. I am super excited for him and can't wait to see his new digs in a couple of weeks!!
You may not notice that a wall hanging is missing from this picture, but I did right away. Nick is moving…he is starting his own massage clinic instead of working for someone else. I am super excited for him and can’t wait to see his new digs in a couple of weeks!!
Date night!
Date night!


We got up to go swimming, but I was INCREDIBLY sore after my massage last night, so I opted for a complete rest day. We took the dogs for a walk, did a few house chores, ran a few errands, and then went to Kyle’s Bikes to pick up our rides. We were supposed to pick them up on Thursday, but the Iron Hippie’s derailleur was cracked, so a new one had to be ordered and installed. So grateful for Kyle! He does amazing work!! With Kyle’s blessing, they are race ready (minus us cleaning them and changing the tires)! After lunch, I took a nap and did some blogging before vacuuming the house and having our neighbors over for dinner. It was a great day!


We woke up, had some breakfast, took the dogs for a walk, and started to pack for Ironman before going to the pool at 11 am for a swim. We followed this up with lunch, and then a nap. After our nap, we did yard work and house chores to prepare for the coming week. I spent some time coloring before going to get froyo. After eating dinner and cleaning up the kitchen, I watched some NCIS reruns before heading to bed.

Let the packing begin!
Finding peace in the water!
Mmmm…Froyo…I think I had more chocolate that froyo in this bowl though…

Weekly Totals: 4 hours & 18 minutes…Not what I was hoping for, but next week will definitely be better

Swim: 2090 yards
Bike: 17.7 miles
Run: 10.5 miles
Strength Training: 45 minutes

Quote of the Week: 

“Failure happens all the time. It happens every day in practice. What makes you better is how you react to it.” ~Mia Hamm

3 week ’til #IMWI: taper time

Hello TAPER! It is crazy that you are already here! It seems like yesterday we signed up for Ironman Wisconsin and now we are in the taper…where does time go?!?!


We slept in this morning, and it felt SO good!! I started my day by walking the dogs and doing some laundry before teaching a fitness class at 9 am. After the fitness class, I did my own full body strength training before getting on the trainer for 75 minutes of interval work. After my trainer ride, I ate lunch, cleaned up, and continued to do laundry, before meeting with a personal training client at 3 pm. At 5 pm I had a much needed massage before eating dinner, finishing up some laundry, and heading to bed early.


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Hello rest day! It’s been a while since we’ve last met! After taking the dogs for a walk, I did a little “back to school shopping” before eating lunch and spending the afternoon in my classroom getting ready for the coming year. At 4:30 pm, I picked up our CSA before the Iron Hippie and I went to sushi for dinner. We relaxed at home for the evening watching the Olympics before bed.


We woke up this morning to swim, but it was storming, so we went back to bed. After waking up and getting ready for the day, I met with a personal training client at 8 am. I ran multiple errands, ate lunch with a friend, and spent the afternoon working in my classroom. I spent the evening crafting for bulletin boards in my classroom while watching the Olympics. I love the Olympics, but I’m ready for them to be over so I can get back to a normal schedule that doesn’t suck me into watching television all evening 😉


With this being my last day of freedom summer, we opted to sleep in this morning. When we got up, I went and picked up eggs from our local farmer, vacuumed the entire house, did laundry, met a personal training client at 9 am, and then ran some errands. After lunch, I spent the afternoon at the hospital with my sole sister and her husband. She was having surgery to have her meniscus repaired. I came home just in time to eat dinner and then go teach TRX. After TRX, I got sucked into more of the Olympics…good thing there are only a few more days of the Olympics this year!


Hello first day of school! We had a full day of professional development today…lots of meetings! After work, I went home to let the dogs out and then the Iron Hippie and I met my colleagues for “Friday after class” even though we didn’t have students yet. When we came home, I got sucked into more of the Olympics…go figure 😉


After waking up, we opted to watch the women’s Olympics triathlon and take care of some things at home…balance the checkbook, pay bills, run to the grocery store, make 15 dozen zucchini muffins, make homemade chicken noodle soup, and make peanut butter chicken with rice. After spending most of the morning and early afternoon in the kitchen, we ran a couple of errands, took the dogs for a walk, and biked downtown to the brewery with our neighbor for a couple of beers. We came home, enjoyed some dinner, and spent some time around the campfire with another neighbor.


This morning we ran to the grocery store for some ingredients we would need for this evening’s dinner that we were making for my sole sister and her family. We came home, made some breakfast and watched the mens Olympics marathon before cleaning our house and doing lots of laundry. We decided to take the dogs for a walk because it was such a BEAUTIFUL day!! The Iron Hippie had some wood to cut up, so I ran a couple of errands…lesson learned! DO NOT GO TO GET SUPPLIES THE DAY BEFORE IOWA STATE UNIVERSITY STARTS CLASSES FOR THE YEAR!! There were people EVERYWHERE…driving into concrete barriers, nearly hitting pedestrians in parking lots, and not paying any attention to others in the stores. After returning home, unloading the car, showering, preparing food, and blogging for a bit, we went to my sole sister’s home for dinner. It was the perfect relaxing evening!! We came home and prepared for the coming week. Next week is back to reality with a full work week, getting back to training a bit more than almost none, and learning to balance life, training, and work all over again!

Weekly Totals: 3 hours

Swim: Zero, Zilch, Nada!
Bike: 18.8 miles
Run: Zero, Zilch, Nada!
Strength Training: 1 hour & 45 minutes

Quote of the Week:


7 weeks ’til #IMWI: the tropics

The theme this week…so this is what it feels like to live in the tropics!!


The plan was to get up Monday morning and ride for 3-4 hours up into Minnesota and back to my parents house, but we were EXHAUSTED! Who knew taking care of twin 8 year olds could be so tiring?! We instead opted for a rest day. We packed up our stuff, drove home, unloaded everything, took a nap, ate some dinner, juggled our schedule for the rest of the week, and had an early to bed to reenergize ourselves for the rest of the week.


We started the day with the a 2000 meter time trial in the pool. It was a BEAUTIFUL morning for a swim, but that was all about to change. The Iron Hippie had the day off of work, so we went home, ate some breakfast, and then opted to get on the trainer for our 90 minute bike ride. It turned out to be a very good decision…about 20 minutes into our ride, we saw thunder, heard lightening, and the rain started to fall. After our ride, we went to the gym for full body strength before cleaning up and heading to Kyle’s Bikes in Ankeny for a bike fit for each of us. It was about this time when it actually stopped raining…perfect timing to take our bikes inside without them getting wet 😉 Thanks Kyle for always giving us the best treatment and bike fit!! Your expertise is hands down the best!! When we got back to Ames, we picked up our CSA and met some friends for sushi for dinner. It turned out to be a pretty amazing day!!







I woke up with LOTS of pulling for breakfast and it felt so good! I met a client at 8 am, ran some errands, put some food in the crock pot for dinner, and did lots of house chores throughout the day. The plan was to meet The Iron Hippie on the other side of town after he got off work to ride for 3 hours, but when I went outside to load the car, it was a heat index temperature of 110F…WHAT?! We opted to not get heat stroke or heat exhaustion and rode on the trainers for 3 hours in our air conditioned living room. Don’t worry…we still sweat…A LOT!!





It was still gross outside at 5 am, so we hopped back on the trainer for our 45 minute ride, but ran 15 minutes outside in the heat and humidity…GROSS!! I met with a personal training client at 8 am, ran a few errands, and then hibernated in the house for most of the day…I did some house chores, blogging, and colored. It was another HOT & HUMID day! At 3 pm I went to city hall to do a video taping session on TRX for the City of Ames Parks and Recreation. I also topped off the day with TRX…full body strength and core work tonight. The high feel like temperature today…116F…YUCK!!





AND…the heat and humidity continue! We had an hour run and a 50 minute swim on the schedule. Typically we would run after the Iron Hippie gets off work and swim in the morning before he goes to work, but with the weather we’ve been having, we opted to get up and run at 4:30 am to run for an hour before going to the pool to swim. It was GROSS!! When we got done running, I looked like I had been swimming!! I was really looking forward to submerging myself in a cool pool for my swim, but was sadly disappointed that the water had warmed up a bit thanks to the ridiculous temperatures the last few days. When I got done swimming and stepped out of the pool, the breeze hit me and I was finally cooled down. AH…Refreshing!! After swimming I took the dogs for a walk, cleaned up, ate a breakfast…or two, and met a personal training client at 10 am. I followed this up with another TRX class…all upper body and core work today. After lunch I met another personal training client at 2 pm, met the Iron Hippie in Slater to drop off a car for our century ride tomorrow, showered up for dinner, and met some friends for some Mexican yummies for dinner. The heat index today…110F.

An awesome, yet hot & humid run with friends is a great start to the day! You know you love swimming when your bubbles even make a heart! It helped to get coached by this little critter on my lane line as well!


HAPPY BIRTHDAY to my FAVE!! The Iron Hippie wanted to ride a 100 miles on his birthday, so we woke up early and started at 6 am since the predicted heat index was supposed to be over 100F again today. The first 55 miles were on the roads with 2 other friends. It was very humid, and we sweat a lot, but it wasn’t too hot since the clouds kept the sun from shining on us…thankfully! We met up with more friends in Slater and rode an additional 47+ miles to give us a total of 102.44 miles for the day in the saddle. The heat index when we were done was 103F with full cloud cover. Thankfully the pool in Slater was open, so we took a plunge before changing clothes and grabbing some food at a local bar and grill. It was super fun to ride with friends, not push the pace, but still get 100+ miles in on one of the hottest days of the year. Once we arrived home, unloaded the car, and showered, we spent the rest of the evening relaxing in the air conditioning 🙂





We started the day with our 1 hour trainer ride of 3 x Ladder intervals and followed this up with a 90 minute endurance run off the bike. We were so lucky to have my #solesista join us on this HUMID and warm morning!! After refueling, an epsom salt bath, and doing some much needed laundry, we opted for an afternoon nap. Boy did that feel good! After our nap, we prepped food and then went to have dinner with my #solesista and her family. It was a fun evening to celebrate the Iron Hippie’s birthday and enjoy time with our chosen family!



Weekly Totals: 20 hours & 56 minutes

Swim: 7983 yards
Bike: 191 miles
Run: 17.1 miles
Strength Training: 2 hours & 30 minutes

Quote of the Week:

“Passion is a huge prerequisite to winning. It makes you willing to jump through hoops, go through all the ups and downs and everything in between to reach your goal.” ~Kerri Walsh

8 weeks ’til #IMWI: recovery + racing + family

The theme this week was recovery, race weekend, and family time! With so much recovery, we are ready to hit the ground running for another 2 week build this week!!


I spent most of the day resting and staying indoors since it was another HOT and HUMID summer day. I was very happy to not have anything scheduled on my calendar until 5:30 pm for our ladies only ride #2. It was a smaller turn out this time, but I think it could be because the feel like temperature was 100F and the winds were ~25 mph sustained from the south. We worked on drafting off each other as we rode south straight into the winds. When we turned around, the ladies quickly realized how amazing it felt to have the winds push us back home!



I met with a personal training client at 8 am, and then spent the rest of the day cleaning house, and running a few errands. I managed to find time to give Mojo and myself a little TLC before enjoying an evening of sushi with my fave! It was the perfect scheduled rest day!





I met with a personal training client at 10 am, and spent the rest of the day doing laundry and packing for our trip home to my parents this weekend. When the Iron Hippie came home from work, we talked about doing a workout, but instead opted for an unscheduled rest day. Our bodies would appreciate this as we have another 2 week build coming up next week. We relaxed with the dogs and watched a movie as we enjoyed our last evening at home for a few days.



I met with a personal training client at 8 am, and then did my own TRX workout. Since we were traveling to Okoboji after the Iron Hippie got off work, I wouldn’t be teaching my normal Thursday evening TRX class. It was kind of fun to have the TRX room to myself and do my own workout!! I ran some errands, and finished packing for our trip, so when the Iron Hippie came home from work, we could hit the road. After we arrived at my parent’s house (side note…my parents were not home for this trip since they were visiting my sister and her family in the Bay Area) and unloaded the car, we walked the dogs down to the water to watch the sunset. It was a beautiful evening!




This was a rest day from working out, but I think babysitting my twin 8-year old nieces most of the day made for an even more exhausting day than if we had worked out. We started the day by picking up our race packets for our race on Saturday, then went and picked the twins up so they could spend the day with us. We went to their house to get one of their bikes, went to the Taco House for lunch, and then went back to my parent’s house for the rest of the day. We worked on helping the twins learn how to ride their bikes without training wheels, swimming in the pool, taking the dogs to the lake to swim, cooking dinner at home, and more bike riding. It was a very full day!!






The alarm clock went off at 4:30 am for us to get ready for the Okoboji Triathlon. It was a PERFECT morning for racing and a FANTASTIC start to our Anniversary! Usually the weather for the Okoboji events is HOT, HUMID, and MISERABLE, but not this year! We were blessed with cool weather, low humidity, and fantastic weather! We got to the race site at 5:30 am, quickly set up our transition area and made our way over to the marathon start at 6 am to cheer on those athletes running the marathon. After the marathon runners embarked on their day, we finished getting ready to race and made our way down to the water for the start. I’ll have a more detailed race report later this week, but let’s just say that the beautiful weather paid off and it was so fun to have my sister and the twins at the finish line cheering me on!! 😉 After crossing the finish line, we went home, showered, and came back to the finish area to cheer on some friends who were running the 1/2 marathon. The fun thing about the Okoboji events is that the marathon starts at 6 am, the triathlon starts at 7 am, the 1/2 marathon starts at 8 am, and the 10K starts at 9 am. The goal is for the majority of the people to finish about the same time. We made it back to the finish just in time to see our friends finish. They ROCKED it!! So proud of them!! We went to have Pho for lunch…the perfect post race food!! Thankfully we met our friends there for lunch and we all got to enjoy each other’s company and amazing food together. After lunch, we went home and took a nap before heading over to our friend’s cabin for an evening boat ride, some amazing home cooked food, and fun conversations. The Iron Hippie stopped at West-O-Beer Brewery for one beer to celebrate our anniversary on our way home for the evening. It was the perfect day!

Thanks to my sis for this fun photo of me giving my nieces a high five as I came into the finish line!




Today was a day of rest from workouts, but it was another full day with the twins. After we woke up, we went to pick up 15 bags of soil to fill the big hole in the backyard for my dad (about a month ago some nasty storms uprooted one of the trees in their backyard, and the tree service just came to remove it on Friday). The twins helped us fill the hole, but the 15 bags didn’t fill it. We took a swim break before going back to get 15 more bags of soil and adding about 9 of them to the hole. The Iron Hippie mowed the yard, while I vacuumed and cleaned up the house. We grilled home cooked food, and then worked with the twins to help them learn to ride their bikes without training wheels…WALA!! Success!! They can both start, stop, and ride continuously without assistance. They still need to work on turning, but they will get that down with more practice! Parenting is hard work and I commend those of you with kids! Balancing your life and theirs is not easy, so kudos to you!



Weekly Totals: 3 hours & 53 minutes

Swim: 960 yards (triathlon swim only this week)
Bike: 35.7 miles
Run: 4.5 miles (triathlon run only this week)
Strength Training: 45 minutes

Quote of the Week:

“I did something that I said I couldn’t do.” ~Laylah (my niece) once she learned to ride her bicycle without training wheels 🙂

We can all learn from this quote…don’t give up and believe in yourself!

9 weeks ’til #IMWI: do the work


Monday was a day of rest. We enjoyed some Independence Day festivities, took a nap, had dinner with our neighbors at their house, and LOVED the cooler weather we were blessed with!


We started the day with a 3100 meter swim on the long course at the pool. I was tired from the weekend’s long workouts, but still had a really decent swim despite my tired legs. It was a beautiful morning for a swim!


After teaching a fitness class at 9 am and working with a client at 10 am, I came home to run 1 hour of hills…not hill repeats, just a hilly run. When I set out for this run, the heat index was 97F, so I sweat…A LOT!


I refueled and then went to the gym for an hour of strength training. It was quiet at the gym, which was nice to have my own space.

The evening was filled with picking up our CSA, making dinner, and having our neighbors over for stuffed peppers.



There were storms in the morning, so we opted to sleep in and not go swim. It felt good to get an extra 2 hours of sleep! I met with a personal training client late morning. I was scheduled to swim, but just didn’t have it in me today, so I ate lunch, took a short nap, and got our gear ready to ride after the Iron Hippie got off work. It was another HOT day…heat index of 98F when we started riding, but thankfully we generated our own breeze since there wasn’t much wind. There weren’t many people out on the trails, which made for a great 3 hour ride!



I taught a fitness class at 9 am, met with a personal training client at 10 am, came home to eat, and then went to swim on the short course. I’m so glad I moved this swim from yesterday…it was a good swim!


While running a couple of errands on my way home, my car battery died. Thankfully I was only a 1/2 mile from home, so I walked home. I completed my brick (75 min bike intervals + 15 min run) in the heat of the day…the heat index was 93F, which wasn’t as hot as the last couple of days, but it was still hot!


After showering, a friend helped me get my car to the shop so they could change the battery, rotate my tires, and change the oil while they had it. I rounded out my evening by teaching TRX, eating dinner, and relaxing a bit before bed.


I started my day with an EASY hour on the bike. It felt GREAT to have an easy spin to start my day.


I met a personal training client late morning, and taught TRX before going to the shop to pick up my car. After lunch I took the dogs for a walk, and went to the pool to for an easy swim, which took a LOT of #grit to show up and do the work today.


I rounded out the evening with grill food for dinner, doing laundry, preparing for tomorrow’s brick, and relaxing a bit before bed.


We woke up at 6 am, ate breakfast, cleaned the house up, and procrastinated the start of our 5 hour brick. Boy was that a mistake! By the time the rubber hit the road, it was just after 10 am. It was a beautiful, sunny day with virtually no wind. This was great for our bike ride, but not so great for the run.



Because we started later in the day, we didn’t get done until around 3:30 pm. After unloading our gear, cleaning up, refueling, and eating dinner with our neighbor, we hopped on the bikes to ride downtown to cheer on the athletes running the local 5K & 10K races. There was quite the turnout despite the heat. I was overjoyed to see so many young kids running the 5K!! #activeyouth


We got home at about 9 pm, regrouped for tomorrow’s workout and hit the pillow for a good night’s sleep.


We woke up at 6 am, ate breakfast, and let the rubber hit the road for our planned 5 hour brick shortly after 7 am. We checked the radar before we left and knew we would be cutting it close to get the whole brick complete before Mother Nature blessed us with some much needed rain (of course in the form of severe weather), so we had a neighbor on standby to come and pick us up if needed. We easily got the first 20 miles in and then checked the radar and my Dark Sky app again…”rain starting in 40 minutes”…we will keep going and see where we end up. We were able to out cycle the storm for about 3 hours (which was much longer than the predicted 40 minutes…since we kept moving farther south away from the storms). We did not get rained on, but decided to call it quits when thunder and lightning started to close in on us. I’m not opposed to riding in the rain, but I’m not going to ride in lightning. Not quite the 4 hours that was planned, but better than nothing.

Look at those storms coming!!
Look at those storms coming!!
Keep riding away from the storms!!
Keep riding away from the storms!!

It wasn’t even 5 minutes after we pulled into the Casey’s where George was going to pick us up, that the sky’s opened up and the rain fell…hard! Thank you George for coming to get us and letting us get almost 3 hours in the saddle!

When we got home and unloaded our gear, I changed into dry clothes, ate some food, and then set out for my “brick” run. Since it wasn’t directly off the bike, I’m not sure it counts as a brick run, but it was the best we could do with the conditions we had for today. It was VERY humid and warm as the sun started to make its appearance. When this hour run was done, I was SPENT and thankful my body held up for another solid week of training.

Bring on the recovery week…but first fires, grilling food over the fire pit, and s’mores!

Our neighbor cooking food over the fire :)
Our neighbor cooking food over the fire 🙂

Weekly Totals: 19 hours & 52 minutes

Swim: 7760 yards
Bike: 192 miles
Run: 20 miles
Strength Training: 1 hour & 45 minutes

Quote of the Week:

“Just do the damn work.” ~Bruce Gemmell

10 weeks ’til #IMWI: Consistency

This week was all about reacquainting myself with consistency! I thrive on consistency and routines, so it was key for me to make rebuilding consistency a priority this week.


Yay for early morning gym sessions!! I’ve REALLY missed these over the last 3 weeks and was so giddy to be back at it!! Even though I am on summer break, I still try to keep a pretty consistent schedule when I am home, so 4 am alarm clocks still happen…even when I could sleep in 😉


I spent most of the day deep cleaning the house and also mowed the really brown lawn to even it out. We NEED rain BADLY!! Around 3:30 pm I loaded the car, picked up OJ at her house, picked up the Iron Hippie from work, and we all went down to ride the High Trestle trails after work. It was a beautiful night to ride, and we were so happy that OJ asked us to ride with her! Thanks OJ! We are looking forward to doing it again soon!



Hello early morning lap swim!! I’ve REALLY missed you the last few weeks!! Traveling did not allow me to get some quality time with you, but I’m baack!! I had a GREAT swim this morning!! I saw swim times I’ve never seen before in a 50 meter pool…it might have helped to have OJ swimming in the lane next to me. She was pushing me without even knowing she was 😉


I spent the rest of the day deep cleaning the house. The Iron Hippie and I had a meeting for our local running group at 5:00 pm, so we went to that, picked up our CSA, and came home to finish cleaning the house. It felt really good to have a super clean house again (where all of the furniture gets moved to clean the floors as well)!


Good morning swimming pool!! It was another great morning for a swim on the long course!!


I met a personal training client in the morning, took the dogs for a walk, took an afternoon nap, and was recharged ready to ride when the Iron Hippie came home from work.



We woke up early for some speed work at the track. There was some thunder and lightening off in the distance, so we weren’t sure if we would get our full workout in, but decided to give it a try. Unfortunately for the plants, it didn’t rain (I swear there is a bubble around Ames…it rains around us, but not on us!), but that means we got our full track workout in. This workout really made me step out of my comfort zone!


I had very little on the schedule for today and fully enjoyed it! After the Iron Hippie came home from work, we completed our hour ride (with 21 minutes of continuous hill climbing) before going to TRX and celebrating a friend’s birthday.


I worked with a personal training client in the morning and taught TRX again today. Overall, today was a FULL day of running errands…the pharmacy, Target, the grocery store, the dog food store, hair salon, Best Buy, Sam’s Club…I’m so grateful to be able to do this during the day when most people are at work. I know what it is like to have to do this after work and on the weekends during the school year, so I take full advantage of my freedom to do so during the summer months. I ended the day with a much needed massage…OUCHIE!!



We woke up at 4:30 am, ate breakfast, and were getting ready to go for a LONG training ride when we realized it was raining just south of us (right where we would be riding). We changed our plans, we would ride tomorrow instead and do tomorrow’s workouts today. We went back to bed and slept really well! After eating breakfast #2, we went to the pool for a swim. It was a cool, cloudy day, so there weren’t many people at the pool, which was AWESOME for us!


After our swim, we ate lunch, did 30 minutes of core work, relaxed a bit, and then went for our 2 hour run around town. It was a cool day, so Basil got to go with us for the first 8 miles. We dropped her off at home before going back out for the remainder of our run…all in all, a 13 mile long run during the late afternoon hours. This required an epsom salt bath and lots of yummy refueling!



We woke up at 4:30 am to go on our LONG ride today and thankfully Mother Nature was cooperative! We had perfect weather! It was pretty chilly to start (~56F), and the high temperature for the day was only supposed to reach 74F, so it would be a great day to ride long…except for the winds! The Iron Hippie and I rode the first 50 miles before 8:30 am. We looped back home, fed the dogs, and picked up our friend Allen for the last 70 miles. By this time, the winds were really starting to pick up from the east, so we went that way first…it was not only physically taxing, but mentally draining as well. We pushed straight into the wind for 25 miles before getting to turn. When we finally turned back west, It. Was. Awesome! Hello Tailwind!! When we got home, the Iron Hippie and I went for a short 10 minute run to shake out the legs. It felt really good!!








After an epsom salt bath and cleaning up, I ran to the store for some s’more makings, came home and cooked over the fire in the backyard fire pit before friends came over for s’mores…I’m bummed I didn’t get pics of our fun evening with friends! It was a GREAT way to end a GREAT weekend!

Weekly Totals: 20 hours & 34 minutes

Swim: 7449 yards
Bike: 202 miles
Run: 20.4 miles
Strength Training: 2 hours & 15 minutes

Quote of the Week:

“You are only as strong as you allow yourself to be; never get discouraged, never give up because consistency & dedication are the key to success.” ~Author Unknown

11 weeks ’til #IMWI: recovery week

After racing the Wisconsin Milkman 70.3 Triathlon last Sunday (you can find my race report here), this week was all about recovery!


Most of Monday was spent traveling home from Madison and eating all the food! I don’t know what it is about a race that makes me crave potato skins (not the chips in a bag, but real potato skins that are found on the appetizer menu in some restaurants), but it happened again today! On our way home from Madison, we stopped in Cedar Falls for some potato skins to satisfy my craving. We got home at about 2 pm, unloaded the car, and took an hour nap before gearing up for our Ladies only bike ride. I was so grateful to Coeur Sports and Kyle’s Bikes for their support to make this event so successful!! Yay for encouraging more women in cycling, helping them gain confidence on their bike and on the roads, and helping them learn basic bike maintenance!!



Tuesday was a complete day of rest (in terms of workouts), but full of lots of errands, house chores, grocery shopping, paying bills, etc.


Wednesday was another complete day of rest. After working with a personal training client in the morning, I went for a walk with a friend and the dogs, and then spent the afternoon updating Training Peaks for the next build period of our training and blogging. It was a great day and finally felt like I was on summer break 😉


After meeting with two personal training clients in the morning, I spent most of my afternoon on the Team Vardo training calendar for the coming year. I did take a break to walk the dogs and clear my mind. When the Iron Hippie came home from work, we had an easy hour ride before going to TRX.



I taught two group fitness classes and met a personal training client in the morning and then spent my afternoon finishing the Team Vardo training calendar for the coming year. When the Iron Hippie came home from work, we got ready for Saturday’s brick workout and went to bed early so we could get up early to hit the roads before the heat of the day on Saturday.


We woke at 4:30 am to start riding at 5:30. Our plan was to ride a 30+ mile loop and end up back home to feed and potty the dogs, and have our friend Allen join us for the last 50 miles. As we came back into Ames after the first 30 miles, the sky looked a bit ominous, so we checked the radar. Lucky for us, it appeared to be going north of us and would miss us, so we rolled out for our second loop. 83 miles of #bikelove done before noon was awesome, especially since it was a hot and humid day. After eating lots of food, showering, and napping, we relaxed in the air condition. We went to one of our favorite Mexican restaurants for dinner, and spent the evening relaxing in the a/c.



After an amazing night of sleep, we took the dogs for a walk and then relaxed most of the day. It was a VERY hot and humid day, so staying in the a/c was a necessity for most of the day. We made homemade pizza for lunch, I tracked friends racing at different Ironman races, caught up on some blogs, and went to hot yoga at 4 pm. It felt SO AMAZING to reconnect with my long lost boyfriend…mat!!


Weekly Totals: 10 hours & 16 minutes

Swim: Nothing, Zilch, Nada
Bike: 113 miles
Run: Nothing, Zilch, Nada
Strength Training: 1:30:00
Hot Yoga: 1:30:00

Quote of the Week:

“I think recovery from anything is honestly the most badass thing a person can do.” ~Anonymous

Unconventional Taper


This weekend, I will be racing the Wisconsin Milkman 70.3 Triathlon in Madison, Wisconsin. I am super excited, but am also a bit nervous. Why?! I’ve had a very unconventional taper leading into this race and here is why:

  1. After completing my last long ride on Tuesday of last week (June 7), I boarded a plane early Wednesday morning to chaperone 26 eighth grade students to Washington DC. You can read more about everything we saw in the short (yet very long) 4 days we were in DC here. We walked over 37 miles, which was the only exercise I had in those 4 days, and I was exhausted.
  2. I slept for 22 of 30 hours after returning home from my DC trip and didn’t do any exercising (other than walking in DC) for an entire week!!
  3. On Monday we loaded the car and went to my parents to visit them for a couple of days. During that time, we did run 4 easy miles and swim (entirely for fun) with my twin nieces on Tuesday. We also had to take shelter during severe storms thanks to tornadoes in the area. Thankfully, the only damage to my parent’s land/house was an ash tree that got uprooted. Since they were planning on having the tree taken down due to the potential for the ash borer later this year, Mother Nature actually saved them a bit of money by dropping the tree (away from the house) for free!!
    Running with the Iron Hippie around lake Okoboji...being on the water makes my heart happy!!
    Running with the Iron Hippie around lake Okoboji…being on the water makes my heart happy!!
    Swimming with the nieces between storms.
    Swimming with our nieces between storms.
    Sitting in the shelter at the public library with the nieces, Isabella's teacher, and her classroom dog, A
    We were at the library when the storms came up, so we took shelter there. Sitting in the shelter at the public library during the tornadoes with our nieces, Isabella’s teacher, and her classroom dog, Anders.

    Uprooted ash tree in my parent's backyard.
    Uprooted ash tree in my parent’s backyard.
  4. We returned home yesterday, just in time to get our bikes race ready, a prerace massage, and dinner with our neighbors.

    Prerace massage
    Prerace massage
  5. Today’s focus…swim in our wetsuits in open water (we haven’t been in open water yet in 2016), make sure the bike is in working order, pack for our race weekend, and teach TRX before leaving at noon tomorrow for Madison.

How will this unconventional taper treat me on Sunday? Only time will tell!! I am confident in my training and abilities and am looking forward to pushing my limits on Sunday!!

Have you had an unconventional taper for a race? If so, how did it treat you on race day? Have you participated in a race where your first outdoor swim happened during the race? If so, how did it go?