14 weeks ’til #IMWI: What doesn’t kill you makes you stronger

Not sure how this happened, but we are inside of 100 days until Ironman Wisconsin. I guess time flies when you’re having fun!!

Monday:

Since we both had the day off work and we weren’t on a rigid schedule, we slept in and completed our workouts at different times throughout the day. We went to the gym at about 9:20 am for an hour strength training session. It was nice not to have many people at the gym since they weren’t officially open. We have a 24/7 key and can go to the gym anytime we want to do strength training and use the cardio equipment. This does not give us access to the pool anytime we want, so after our strength training, we went to the outdoor pool for our swim. It was SO AWESOME to get to finally swim outdoors!! After refueling, we hopped on the bike for 75 minutes of saddle time. We knew there were storms coming, so we opted for the trainer so we could get some yard work and house work done after our workout. With a couple more days of work, we prepared for the coming week, went to shower at our friends’ house (since we still didn’t have a working hot water heater) and then it was early to bed.

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Tuesday:

We took today as a rest day since we had put in lots of hours last week and knew we were getting a new hot water heater after work. On my way home from work, I met a client for a personal training session, picked up our CSA, stopped at the pharmacy, and picked up a gift card for the person who was installing our hot water heater. It took longer than I imagined to install the hot water heater, but it felt so amazing to shower at home and not have to heat water on the stove to do dishes!!

Wednesday:

Last day of work!! And to celebrate, I went for a bike ride!! It was an ABSOLUTELY PERFECT day to be in the saddle and on the open road/trail!!

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Serious #bikelove in my FAVORITE Coeur Sports kit!!

Thursday:

Happy first day of summer break!! We woke up at 4:30 am (yes, you read that correctly, I still got up early to workout with the Iron Hippie) and ran hill repeats with the sunrise + my two faves!! It was the perfect start to my day!! I spent most of the morning doing house work (vacuuming, laundry, and dishes) before going to the outdoor pool to swim at 11 am. There were a lot of people in the pool, but it was so peaceful to have my head in the water, the sun shining on my back, and not a care in the world about trying to rush off to whatever is next. After my swim, I made lunch, cleaned our veggies from our CSA, took an epsom salt bath, and did more laundry before the Iron Hippie came home from work. We capped the night off with TRX and refueling before bed.

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Friday:

It was another early morning and so peaceful to start my day in the 50 meter pool!! The long course + sunrise + quiet morning = #happyheart I consumed my breakfast smoothie on the way home from the pool. I had just enough time to get an easy hour in on the bike (trainer style) and shower before meeting a client for a personal training session. I went grocery shopping for the coming week on my way home…it is so nice to go during the week and not have to fight the crowds of people on the weekends. After eating lunch, I took the dogs for a walk and spent the afternoon relaxing, catching up on email and blogging. The Iron Hippie and I went downtown in the evening for the local “Art Walk,” where each downtown business sponsors a local artist for 3 hours. It is crazy how many different artists there are in our area!!

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Folk dancers at the downtown "Art Walk"
Folk dancers at the downtown “Art Walk”
Locals knitted a square to be hung as part of a quilt on the outside of a local business
Locals knitted a square to be hung as part of a quilt on the outside of a local business

Saturday:

We started the day with a 10 mile run, which I was hoping to average a 9:00/mile pace for…nailed it!! After making a quick smoothie with whey protein, for recovery, we rode our bikes to yoga in the park. Every Saturday from now until the first weekend in August (except July 4th weekend), Ames offers free yoga at Bandshell Park from 10-11 am. It is a great opportunity for people new to yoga to try it for free! For those who love yoga, it is a great opportunity to practice yoga outdoors with others! When we came home, we devoured food, did yard work, cleaned the house, did laundry, and then it was nap time!! It has been a while since I took an afternoon nap on the weekends, but my body loved it!! After my nap it was time for dinner and froyo before bed. It was great to meet my #solesister and her kids for some froyo!!

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Basil cooling down in the shade post running. Love her!!
Basil cooling down in the shade post running. Love her!!

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Sunday:

I was a bit tired, so I slept in and then completed the 3x(60 min bike + 20 min run) by myself. I set up the trainer in the driveway since each brick was supposed to be slightly harder (higher zone) and faster. This would allow me consistency and not have to worry about traffic/traffic lights/wind speeds to go harder with each one. I also ran the same route off the bike each time to try to go a bit farther with each run. “What doesn’t kill you makes you stronger” was the theme for this workout. In the middle of brick #2, the wheels fell off…it became REALLY hard and I wasn’t sure if I could do brick #3. When I came back from run #2, I climbed back on the bike and reached out to multiple friends to encourage and motivate me to #nevergiveup on this workout, even though it wasn’t going as planned. With their encouragement and support, I pushed through and finished this workout. I seriously hope that our 70.3 race in 2 weeks is much easier than this workout!! After refueling and spending over an hour just laying in the recliner, I decided to move and take an epsom salt bath. We then did a little shopping for the coming week, took the dogs to Peterson Pits so they could swim, gave them baths in the driveway to wash the fishy water away, grabbed some leftovers for dinner, and met some friends for froyo. It was great to sit outside and chat with them while enjoying some froyo!!

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Weekly Totals: 18 hours and 1 minute

Swim: 7907 yards (the 50 meter pool throws my yardage off during the summer)
Bike: 122 miles
Run: 24.8 miles
Strength Training: 2 hours & 15 minutes
Yoga: 1 hour

Quote of the Week:

“That which does not kill us, makes us stronger. ” ~Friedrich Nietzsche

15 weeks ’til #IMWI: Grit

The theme from last week: GRIT! Grit to push through the last week of school with kids. Grit to get up in the morning and work for my dreams. Grit to push through tough workouts and do my best.

I only have two more days of school to wrap up this school year, but the kids are already done. I will be spending those days cleaning my room, sitting through a few meetings, and then the sweet sound of freedom for 11 weeks.

Monday:

When I woke up at 4 am, I REALLY wanted to roll over and go back to sleep, but dreams don’t come true with my head on the pillow! Grit won! I planted my feet on the floor and went to the gym for an hour strength training session. It ended up being a great way to start the day!

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After work, I met a client for personal training and followed this up with some #bikelove intervals. We are so blessed to have some AMAZING neighbors. During the middle of our intervals, we had a fresh baked loaf of sourdough bread delivered to us. That meant homemade tomato soup and grilled cheese sandwiches for dinner. It was so DELISH!! The perfect meal post #bikelove intervals!!

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Tuesday:

When I woke up at 4 am, it was raining. We had speed work to do while running, so we decided to go to the gym and do this work on the treadmill. This ended up being the perfect decision for this workout! I’m not sure I would have successfully hit the target paces that I did if I were outside on the open roads. Minute ladders for 55 minutes looks like this:

  • 15 minute warm up
  • 1 minute Zone 5/1 minute Zone 2
  • 2 minutes Zone 5/2 minutes Zone 2
  • 3 minutes Zone 5/3 minutes Zone 2
  • 4 minutes Zone 5/4 minutes Zone 2
  • 3 minutes Zone 5/3 minutes Zone 2
  • 2 minutes Zone 5/2 minutes Zone 2
  • 1 minute Zone 5/1 minute Zone 2
  • 8 minute cool down

For the zone 5 intervals, I set the treadmill to a 7:03/mile pace (8.5 speed) and for the zone 2 recovery portions, I set the treadmill to an 8:57/mile pace (6.7 speed). Looking back on this, I think I could have run my zone 5 intervals one or two clicks faster, but I didn’t want to be overzealous and not be able to maintain this pace for every interval of the workout. This was a very challenging workout…much more so mentally than physically. #courageovercomfort

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After a CRAZY day with students, I went to the pool for a 2400 yard swim. I needed to wash away the negativity from the day. Once I got moving, I could definitely tell I was tired from the morning run. I am working to find my catch in the water, so this means lots of #heartandcourage while I #findfaster. After my swim, I had a VERY productive evening…prepping for Wednesday, cleaning produce from our CSA, preparing lunches for the rest of the week, doing laundry, and dishes before bed.

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Wednesday:

When I woke up at 4 am, I really, Really, REALLY wanted to roll over and go back to sleep, but grit won this morning. It took me a bit longer than usual to warm up on the bike and not feel like my head should be on my pillow. Once I got into the working set, I finally felt wide awake…the incredibly loud thunder and bright sky from the lightening could have had something to do with it as well. With storms in the area capable of producing hail, we left the car in the garage, which meant cramped quarters while riding. I’m so glad I got up and worked to make my dreams become a reality instead of allowing myself to stay with my dreams while my head was on the pillow. #workforitwednesday

I did some more laundry and vacuumed the house before heading out the door to work.

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After another CRAZY day with students, I went back to the pool for 2300 yards of #swimlove. I was tired, but thankfully I had a much better swim than Tuesday. I’m not sure my form was any better, but I did #findfaster in the water!! I had fun in the water, while washing away the negativity from the week.

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Thursday:

Thursday’s we typically sleep in and this week was one of those days. It felt really good to sleep in and rest…10 hours of sleep = happy body. After a full day of work, I ran an errand on my home. Our evening consisted of a 1 hour trainer ride in the driveway on a very warm day, 45 minutes of TRX class, and gearing up for my last day of school with students.

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Friday:

We slept in again this morning!! The last day of school is always a fun day for the students and we did our best to make it a fun day for the teachers as well. I challenged our principal to a race through the obstacle course inflatable. We had fun, but both got hurt in the process. Thankfully nothing too serious.

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Cue song: “School’s Out For Summer”…well, not quite. I still have 2 professional development days, but no more students until August! After work, I went to the pool to swim and wash away all of the stress from the school year. This was definitely my best swim of the week. I’m certain my form wasn’t much better, but my stroke felt more effortless than it has felt all week. I followed this up with a massage, grocery shopping for the coming week on my way home, and trying to help the Iron Hippie figure out how to get our hot water heater working. Unfortunately the hot water heater went kaput and we can’t get it replaced until Tuesday. I guess that means boiling water to wash dishes and driving to the gym to shower this weekend.

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Saturday:

With the rainy early morning forecast, we decided to start our long run at 8 am. This meant we could sleep in! As we set out on our run, I knew it was going to be a challenging run…Holy Humidity Batman! With only one mile under our feet, I already had massive amounts of sweat running off of me! My goal was to start off easy, eventually pick up the pace, and finish with an overall average pace of 9:00/mile for 2 hours of run time. By the end of the run, I had sweat enough to look as though I had gone swimming instead of running. I had completely saturated my shoes…to the point that with every footfall, I could feel and hear the sweat squish in them. Gross 😉 I was grateful that my body held up during this humid run and was able to maintain an average pace of 8:55/mile for the entire 2 hours.

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After refueling and changing clothes, we went to the gym for 30 minutes of core work and a hot shower. Since we don’t have a working hot water heater, and we had sweat enough to fill a kiddy pool, it was essential we take a hot shower! After spending about an hour at the gym, we came home, vacuumed the house, did some laundry, washed dishes (heating water on the stove to do dishes makes me feel like I live in the caveman era), got ourselves and bikes ready for a long brick tomorrow, and had a snack.

"Mom, I just want to try a piece, or all of the pieces, of your pineapple." ~Basil
“Mom, I just want to try a piece, or all of the pieces, of your pineapple.” ~Basil

I spent the rest of the afternoon and early evening relaxing in my compression gear while I blogged, planned out the coming week, and reflected on last week.

Sunday:

We woke up at 6 am so that we could be wheels on by 7:15 am for our long brick. We had a hilly century ride planned with a 30 minute run off the bike. We got through the first 2 hours on our own and then Allen got a ride out to met up with us and ride with us for the next 40 miles. The last 30 miles were again on our own with the open roads. I was pleasantly surprised with the traffic. Almost everyone who passed us did so by going into the left lane, most waited until they were win a passing zone (although some didn’t), and some even honked from a long ways back letting us know they were approaching. If any of you who passed us are reading this, THANK YOU for safely passing us, respecting our choice to be on the open roads, and “passing us like you love us.” We ended up with 103 miles as we rolled into the driveway on a great day! We transitioned into running gear and set out for our 30 minute run. The first 0.5 miles my legs were screaming at me…”What the hell are you doing to me?!” But then I got into a great groove and found myself cruising. The last 4 minutes of the run, I had to really convince myself that I wasn’t as hungry as my belly and body were telling me I was.

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103 miles of #bikelove on a BEAUTIFUL day!
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30 minute run at an 8:39/mile average pace off of a century ride…I’ll take that!!

We devoured all the food we could find, went to the gym to shower, cleaned and sliced 8 pounds of fresh strawberries (I probably ate a whole pound by myself while I was cleaning them), and then went to our friends’ house for dinner. Great company + awesome grilled food = PERFECT!! We capped off the night with some homemade dessert and blood donating (the mosquitoes were obnoxious) in our neighbors’ back patio.

Weekly Totals: 18 hours & 24 minutes

Swim: 6800 yards
Bike: 157 miles
Run: 23.5 miles
Strength Training: 2 hours & 15 minutes

Quote of the Week:

“Your dreams are on the other side of your grit!” ~Unknown

16 weeks ’til #IMWI: work, work, work

The theme of last week was definitely work. Not the kind of hard work you put into your training, but the long hours put into your job that can be mentally draining. I came to the realization that working 55 hours and only exercising 3 hours in a week is MUCH more exhausting than working 40 hours and exercising 18 hours! Thankfully last week was a planned recovery week, there are only 5 days left of school with the students, grades were due this morning, and there is little grading left to do for this coming week. I am beyond grateful for the help and support of the Iron Hippie, especially during weeks when I have a few extra balls that I am trying to juggle!

Monday:

Today was a rest day! After the really big training week last week, we knew we would be taking today off of exercise and our bodies were thankful for the rest. Today was a really long day at work, so when I came home, I hibernated in the bedroom listening to TedTalks, reading, and trying to relax for most of the evening.

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Tuesday:

We did not have a morning workout planned, so we slept in. After a full day of work, I decided it would be best to skip my evening workout and spend my evening grading. Not ideal, but I had a LOT of grading that needed to be done. Thankfully the Iron Hippie ran some errands for me so I could keep working through dinner.

Wednesday:

We woke up early for a 75 minute sweatfest on the bike. Intervals, #bikelove, and #solesistasweat was the perfect combination to start my day! After another long day of work, I came home to another evening of grading. When the end of the school year is near, there can be a lot of grading to do.

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Thursday:

I had more grading to do, so I arrived at school at 6 am to start another long day at school. The students were testing their solar ovens outside today. It is fun to spend the day outside, but lack of structure is sometimes hard for the students, which means a lot of additional “classroom” management required of me. I was exhausted by the end of the day. I came home and continued to work for my part time jobs (writing fitness articles for our local paper and teaching TRX for our Parks and Rec department). After teaching TRX, we had an unplanned visit from some close friends. It was fun to have them just stop by unannounced!

Friday:

With the students doing their egg drop today and more grading to do, I got to work at 6 am again to set up for the egg drop and get as much grading done before students arrived as possible. Another day out of the classroom, meant another long and draining day of having to be mentally “on” all day. After school, I came home and continued to grade and post grades until 7 pm. I was FINALLY caught up on all the grading and it felt AMAZING!! Having worked 55 hours and only exercising 2 hours this week, I decided it was time to relax and let my mind go somewhere else for a while.

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Saturday:

I was able to sleep in this morning with nothing on the schedule, so I took complete advantage of it! At about 7:30 am, I finally planted my feet to the floor and decided to start my day. I paid bills, balanced the checkbook (am I the only one who still does this?!), ran a bunch of errands, did some house chores, picked up my race packet (did I mention I am doing my first duathlon EVER tomorrow?!), and read some more of my book while the Iron Hippie worked some overtime hours. We went to a high school graduation celebration in the evening, then spent the rest of the evening getting ready for my duathlon in the morning.

Sunday:

I’ll have a more detailed race recap for you on my duathlon, but let’s just say I had a BLAST doing what I love, had a podium finish, and got to race with my #solesister…WIN!! After the race, it was all about refueling. I followed this up with some girl time with a friend, some down time at home, and regrouping for the coming week.

#solesistersweat and a podium finish at my first ever duathlon
#solesistersweat and a podium finish at my first ever duathlon

Weekly Totals: 3 hours & 25 minutes (Never mind the 55 hours at work…that was so much more draining!!)

Swim: Nothing, Zilch, Nada 😦
Bike: 33.5 miles
Run: 4.0 miles
Strength Training: 45 minutes

Quote of the Week:

“All work and no play is not good for the soul.” ~Felix Sabates

17 weeks ’til #IMWI: vacation day + race simulation weekend

The highlights of this week included using a vacation day on Friday + 70.3 race simulation weekend. We are currently 5 weeks out from Milkman Triathlon, which is our 70.3 race this year, so we threw a race simulation weekend in the mix this week to test our current fitness.

Monday:

When the alarm clock went off at 4 am, I planted my feet on the floor and went to the gym for 1 hour of strength training. I followed this up with a full day of work, meeting a personal training client for an hour after work, and then getting on the bike for 75 minutes of sweaty ladder intervals.

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Tuesday:

Today was a rest day, so we slept in until 6 am! After a full day of work, I was exhausted! I didn’t want to talk to anyone, or be around anyone, so I came home and isolated myself to the bedroom with my book. It was lights out at 7 pm, which was exactly what I needed.

Wednesday:

Another 4 am alarm meant hopping on the saddle at 4:30 am for 90 minutes of sweaty high speed/high power intervals. It was the perfect start to my day! After a full day of work, I went straight to the pool for 2500 yards of swimming. I was SO excited to see our friend Leisa at the pool. She is such an inspiration!! She is paralyzed from the waist down, but swims religiously. She used to do triathlons before she became paralyzed, so I asked her if she was interested in doing a sprint triathlon this summer as a team with the Iron Hippie and me. She would be the swim leg and we would decide who will bike and who will run. She was SO excited!! I can’t wait to make this happen 🙂

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Thursday:

Hello 4 am!! I LOVE running hill repeats…I LOVE them even more on a beautiful morning when I get to see the sun come up during my run!! It was such a BEAUTIFUL morning for some serious #runlove!! Today’s work schedule was a bit different…I didn’t have kids, but instead had a teacher work day. It was nice to get some grading done, lessons planned for the last 10 days of school (yes…I’m almost down to single digits with students for the year), and lab equipment put away. After work, I met a personal training client for an hour, hopped on the saddle for an easy hour to spin out the legs, and then went to teach TRX. Thursdays are always my busy day, but with only one more day in the week, I can see the light at the end of the tunnel 😉 I was a VERY lucky girl to have my new Coeur Sports Graffiti Kit arrive in the mail today!! This is by far my favorite design from them yet!!

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Friday:

I had a vacation day to use, or I would lose it, so I took the day off today. I left home at 7 am and went to Ankeny (~30 minutes south) for the morning. With a 4700 yard swim, I decided to swim somewhere new, so I went to the Ankeny YMCA. It is such a great facility…MUCH better than the fitness center we have in Ames. I really wish we had a YMCA or other option in Ames for swimming, but it just isn’t the case right now. Only 2 more weeks and the outdoor pool will be open for the summer…I can’t wait to swim in the 50 meter pool all summer long! I had a really good swim, although I’m sure my form was probably still a mess. I only focused on keeping my nose to the bottom of the pool and didn’t worry about any of the other form issues I am to be working on. This made the swim so much more enjoyable!! After my swim, I went to Kyle’s Bikes for some minor adjustments to my saddle, a new chain, new handle bar tape…thank you Coeur Sports for the AWESOME tape, and a new bracket on my X-Lab. After I arrived back home, I did a few house chores, took an Epsom salt bath, and then got a massage. Nick spent the whole hour just on my legs…he wasn’t very nice, but that’s why I pay him 😉 I was lucky to have a visit from our former neighbors after my massage. The kids miss our dogs and came over for about an hour to play. It was great to see them and catch up!! It was an early to bed to recover with sleep as much as possible.

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Saturday:

I was really excited to see how my body would hold up with today’s workout. Lucky for us (insert sarcasm), Mother Nature decided that we should experience wind chills of 32F this morning, so our 56 mile bike ride was done on the trainer. With the amount of time we were on the saddle, this was probably closer to 65 outdoor miles, but we knocked out the 56 miles and then went for a 10K run off the bike. This brick was to be a race day simulation workout, but that is hard to really do on the trainer. I was very happy with my time for my 56 mile ride, but I was SUPER pumped about my run performance!! My run was AWESOME!! Negative splits 🙂

Mile 1 = 9:25/mile
Mile 2 = 9:01/mile
Mile 3 = 8:36/mile
Mile 4 = 8:26/mile
Mile 5 = 8:01/mile
Mile 6 = 7:46/mile
Last 0.2 = 7:20/mile

It has been a LONG time since I’ve been able to maintain a 7:46/mile pace at the end of 6 miles. The best part…I felt that I could have kept going and gotten a bit faster yet!! I tapped into a LOT of #heartandcourage on this workout and thought of all those AMAZING and INSPIRING athletes racing Ironman Texas in very wild conditions!! After eating everything in sight, taking an Epsom salt bath/shower, and regrouping, it was time to take the dogs to the doggie wash for a bath. After their bath, I did lots of laundry, cleaned house, and did some yard work before relaxing for the evening.

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Sunday:

Time to test the legs and see what is left…a 15 mile run at race pace was on the calendar. After yesterday’s near perfect execution, I would be lying if I said I wasn’t nervous about how my legs would hold up for this workout. I was hoping to have an average pace of 9:00/mile. Considering I’ve been running slower the last few years, I thought this pace for 15 miles would really challenge me. As we started, I could feel the fatigue in my legs and got most of the bugs worked out of them within the first couple of miles. I just ran on feel and tried not to look at my Garmin too much along the way. We did an 11 mile loop with Basil…that girl LOVES to run! We ran back to the house and left her at home for the last 4 miles since it was starting to warm up a bit with the sun shining on us and very little wind. Basil wasn’t happy about it, but sometimes we have to do what is best for our fur kids 🙂 Getting started again after was a bit of a struggle, but we eased back into it and soon found our groove. We were really working hard this entire run and I kept thinking #courageovercomfort to myself!! It also helped that I was wearing my new Coeur Sports Graffiti design kit that was covered with #heartandcourage all over it!! was SO pleased to see that I had underestimated myself by setting that 9:00/mile average pace! After eating all the food we could find/make, we went to the pool for an EASY 2100 yard swim. It felt so good to stretch out and swim easy…not focusing on the clock or my form…just having fun!! It was time for my Epsom salt bath (#3 for the week), more laundry (I swear this is NEVER ending at our house!), dinner, getting ready for the coming week, and time to write this blog post.

My average pace for 15 miles was 8:30/mile...THANK YOU LEGS!!
My average pace for 15 miles was 8:30/mile…THANK YOU LEGS!!
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Nap time!! We could learn a LOT from our dogs about having fun, playing hard, and recovering harder!!
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Keeping things fun in the pool after our recovery swim.

Thoughts on the race simulation weekend:

  • The 4700 yard swim was a LONG swim, but I felt like I had a pretty decent pace (especially without having improved my form much).
  • I am bummed I had to ride the 56 miles on the trainer, but it helped me build mental strength!!
  • I am elated with the negative split 10K run off the bike on Saturday!!
  • I am SUPER pumped to see that my legs can hold onto a faster pace than I though possible on the 15 mile run!!

Weekly Totals: 17 hours & 27 minutes

Swim: 9300 yards
Bike: 110 miles
Run: 30.9 miles
Strength Training: 2 hours & 15 minutes

Quote of the Week:

“You can choose courage or you can choose comfort, but you cannot have both.” ~Brene Brown

20 weeks ’til #IMWI: Bouncing Back

This week’s theme is Bouncing Back…just like Tigger! I finally feel like I have my mojo back and am on cruise control in the right direction. The warmer temperatures and sunshine are definitely helping 🙂

Monday:

The 4 am alarm clock went off, feet planted to the floor, and off we went to the gym for 1 hour of strength training. With it being Boston Marathon Monday, I was very motivated to get out the door and workout while reminiscing my 2010 Boston Marathon experience! After a full day of work, I met with a personal training client, and then had an easy hour recovery ride before getting ready for the rest of my week. When I arrived home today, we had the *joy* of having our street torn up, so we have to park a block away and *commute* to our vehicles this week.

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Tuesday:

The day started with a 4:30 am alarm clock followed by the 2800 yard swim workout from last week that had me crying in my goggles. This week it went SO much better! I kept telling myself “I am Michael Phelps” over and over again. I’m not sure my form was ANYWHERE close to Michael Phelps, but it sure felt much better than last week! #courageovercomfort After work, I went and picked up our CSA from a local producer and then we went out for an evening run. I really struggled with this run for the first 15 minutes. Once I started to do the interval work, I immediately started to think of all those people I know who can’t run and reminded myself that I *get* to run. I started running for them. This run ended up being one of the best runs I’ve had in a long time!

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“I am Michael Phelps!”
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CSA produce is a sure sign of spring!
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#heartandcourage

Wednesday:

After a 4 am alarm clock, we hopped on the bikes in the garage for a 90 minute sweat session before work. I looked like the bag lady carrying All. The. Bags. Down the block to my car. I had my purse, lunch pail, backpack, shower caddy, and swim bag. After work, it was back to the pool for 2600 yards of more #swimlove in a cold pool! Loved the temperature, even though most of the kids in swim lessons had blue lips!

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Thursday:

6 am alarm clock meant 10 hours of sleep! It felt GLORIOUS! After a full day of work, I had an eye brow wax and then we rode for an easy hour on the bike before teaching TRX at 6:15 pm.

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Friday:

Another sleep in day, which meant 9 more hours of sleep! YIPPEE!! After work, it was an easy recovery swim, followed by running a couple of errands and doing our grocery shopping for the week…NEVER go to the grocery store right after swimming without a grocery list! While everything I purchased was healthy, it was not good on the budget 😉 We had some down time and dog snuggles before an early bedtime to cap of the evening.

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I was told by another swimmer that I looked “like candy” in my suit. I told her I’d be much sweeter after swimming and washing away the stress and drama from the week. It worked!
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Reading + dog snuggles = LOVE

Saturday:

We woke up at 6 am so we could go on a long ride, but unfortunately it was very foggy and was only in the mid 40sF. We decided we weren’t going to start our ride until after 10 am to let the fog burn off and the temperatures rise; this gave me time to do some core work, make cream of rice with fresh strawberries and beet powder for breakfast, clean up the kitchen, and do some laundry. We ended up rolling out of our driveway (they opened up our street at about 9 am this morning) at about 10:30 am for a long ride. We didn’t really know how far we would ride, but did know that we wanted to get in at least 3 hours in the saddle. The first 41 miles were all head and cross wind at ~20 mph…It. Was. Tough. More mentally, than physically. At mile 47, we had a decision to make…go straight home with the wind at our backs for a total of 70 miles, or endure more cross wind to add on some mileage and get to the trail system. We opted for the cross wind and trail. When we got to mile 61, we had another decision to make…go straight home for a total of 77 miles, or endure more cross winds and add on some mileage so we could end up with 100 miles for the day. We opted for the cross wind and 100 mile day. It didn’t set any speed records for this century ride, but we did set a record for the earliest century ride in the calendar year. Memorial Day weekend was our earliest century ride before today. When we got home, we refueled, cleaned up, and relaxed.

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Still smilin’ at mile 89 = serious #bikelove
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Our shadows were growing longer as we got closer to home.
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No speed records here, but 100 miles in the saddle on April 23 in central Iowa…we’ll take it!!

Sunday:

We woke up at 5:30 am to get our long run done. We finished just shy of 10 miles and it is always so much fun with friends! After our run, we refueled, cleaned house, did laundry, and got ready for the week before having breakfast for lunch with our neighbors at 1 pm. Shortly before 2 pm, we walked downtown with the dogs for Healthy Streets Ames. The dogs had a blast! There were so many kids downtown and lots of them wanted to pet the girls, which meant dog kisses! We got home shortly before 4 pm and relaxed for a bit while the dogs napped. Then it was time for pizza and fro-yo before an early bedtime!

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#runlove with Robin!
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Breakfast burritos for lunch!
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Healthy Streets Ames has some new mascots!
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Walking with our dog friends!

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Weekly Totals: 17 hours & 47 minutes

Swim: 7500 yards
Bike: 150 miles
Run: 17.3 miles
Strength Training: 2 hours & 15 minutes

Quote of the Week:

“Once you replace negative thoughts with positive ones, you’ll start having positive results.” ~Willie Nelson

22 weeks ’til IMWI: Resistance

The theme for this week was resistance. It came in many forms, some of them external factors, but most of them were in my own head…in my control, but I let them win. This week, I was lacking motivation, willpower, self-control, determination, and the desire to do what I needed to do to reach my goals and dreams. I know there are going to be days when life throws me curve balls, but I need to learn to hit them out of the park and not let them win!!

Monday:

When the alarm went off at 4 am, I sat up, put my feet on the ground and could barely turn my head. WHAT?! Did I sleep wrong? Was it from “reviving” Annie yesterday? Needless to say, I decided not to make it worse by doing strength training. I laid back down and went to sleep for 2 more hours. I had a stiff neck all day, and it hurt to turn my head. After work I met a personal training client and then went home to ride. There was an easy recovery ride on the schedule for after work, and despite my stiff neck, I decided to give it a try. I could just sit, spin the legs, and not ride in aero if needed…this is exactly what I did.

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Tuesday:

I was hoping that I would wake up and be able to turn my head so I could go swim, but that didn’t happen. 😦 When I woke up, it still hurt to turn my head, so it was another morning of sleeping in. I knew I wouldn’t be able to get a workout in after work because my Dad was coming to visit and stay with us for a couple of days, so today would be an unintentional rest day. After work I picked up our CSA…this was the first week and a sure sign that spring is finally coming!! YIPPEE!! Dad, the Iron Hippie and I went to The Cafe for dinner. They change up their menu every few months and buy local as much as possible. When we eat out, this is one of my favorite places to go! After dinner, we stopped by and visited some friends before going home and chatting.

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Wednesday:

When I woke up at 4 am this morning, my neck was much better (I could turn my head, but still felt some lingering tension and pain), but I opted for one more morning of rest instead of running and making it worse. I rolled over and went back to sleep until 6 am. After work, I ran an errand (hoping to beat Dad back to our house after his full day of work down in Waukee, but that didn’t happen), made dinner and relaxed with Dad and the Iron Hippie as we watched movies well past our normal bedtime.

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Thursday:

You guessed it…we slept in again this morning. Although we rarely get up early on Thursday mornings anyway. After a full day of work, I met a personal training client before heading home for an easy recovery ride that was followed up with TRX and a few minutes of relaxation and blogging before heading to bed. Resistance came in the way of indulging in too many monster cookies after TRX. 😦

I look so much faster than I really was.
I look so much faster than I really was.

Friday:

Hello 6 am alarm clock…I guess I am human, since I’ve slept in every morning this week. There was no morning workout scheduled today, so 6 am alarm clock was to be expected. After a full day of work, I thought about going to swim, but instead went home to start enjoying “girls weekend.” The Iron Hippie went to visit his parents this weekend, so the girls and I had the house to ourselves this weekend! I finished some course work for my Living Brave Semester with Brene Brown, took my girls for a walk, watched a movie, and worked on this blog post. It was a nice and relaxing evening 🙂

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Saturday:

We started the day with a FREEZING 5 mile run…just the girls. As soon as I got home, it was time for a scalding HOT shower. I was so cold!! After eating breakfast, I took a nap and then had a productive afternoon of laundry, grocery shopping, vacuuming, reading up on self-control and willpower, watching movies, and snuggling with my girls. It was a great day to stay inside because Mother Nature still seems to think it is winter here.

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Sunday:

Starting at about 2 am Basil continuously woke me up because she had an upset tummy. There wasn’t much sleep after 2 am. I spent most of the morning snuggling with her as I planned for the coming week in my Spark Notebook. The Iron Hippie came home at about 10:15 am, which was perfect timing for him to unload his car, eat lunch, and arrive to our a swim analysis at noon. I have only had one really good swim since my last swim analysis where I’ve seen improvements in my times and felt like my form was spot on. The rest of my swims haven’t been very good, so I was really looking forward to being analyzed again to hopefully start to see more improvements in my swim efficiency and times. Somehow I’ve lost my catch. I am creating more resistance than I need to be by pushing the water down to the bottom of the pool instead of pushing it toward the back wall. I have a lot of work to do this week before we meet with Coach Hansen again this coming Saturday!

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Swim Analysis
Where’s my catch?!?! Grrr!!

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Weekly Totals: 4:12:00

Swim: 2000 yards
Bike: 21 miles
Run: 5.01 miles
Strength Training: 45 minutes

Quote of the week:

“By embracing resistance as a necessary part of the journey to reach your goals, you escape its powerful grip and free yourself to focus on the work you need to do.” ~Ro McGettigan-Dumas

How was your week? What resistance do you encounter? How do you overcome resistance?

24 weeks ’til IMWI: More Sleep

The theme for this week seemed to be…more sleep! I struggled to sleep well at night and just wanted to sleep in every morning. This is normal for me after having a week off of work; the first week back is always rough around the edges trying to re-establish routines…both at home and school. The kids are also slow moving the first week back. Not to mention I always put unnecessary stress on myself during the first week back at work to do this and that…none of which is super important, but all of it keep my mind racing.

Monday:

When the alarm went off at 4 am, I really wanted to roll over and go back to sleep! Instead, I slowly put both feet on the floor and went to the gym for an hour strength training session. After being on break for a week, it was hard to get back into the groove at work…the kids seemed to struggle with this too. With the full moon coming on Wednesday, that might not have helped the craziness!! After work, I had an easy hour on the trainer to spin out the legs from the weekend’s hard work. We followed this up with dinner out with friends. We went to one of our favorite local burger restaurants that is unfortunately closing its doors this weekend. SO SAD!!

Easy recovery ride with the boys!
Easy recovery ride with the boys!

Tuesday:

When the 4 am alarm went off, I. Was. Exhausted!! The Iron Hippie and I briefly discussed our options and decided to go back to sleep for two more hours before going to work. Hill repeats was on the schedule for after work and thankfully it was about 66F, so we set out to run!! We like to run the same hill when doing hill repeats to give us a feel for where our fitness is each time we have a hill repeat run on the schedule. This workout always reminds me of a student that we lost almost 2 years ago when he was hit by a car while on a training ride with a group of local cyclists. The reason I think of him…he was ALWAYS trying to be better at everything he did and who he was. This meant doing “just one more” hill repeat to get stronger, “just one more” 50 on the 1:00 in the pool, “just one more” question to challenge his thinking. So we did “just one more” hill repeat to pay tribute to TRJ!

"Just one more" hill for TRJ!!
“Just one more” hill for TRJ!!

Wednesday:

After not sleeping well last night, I. Was. Exhausted!! I slept in and then was slammed with 8th grade drama at school. Needless to say, when I got home from work, I ate dinner and crawled in bed. Yes, I was in bed by 6:30 pm with lights out at 6:45 pm.

Thursday:

This was another sleep-in…that gave me over 11 hours of sleep for the night!! Boy did I feel ready to go!! After a full day of work, I worked with my personal training client that I see every week, went home to change and grab food, and then went to teach TRX.

TRX planks...FTW!!
TRX planks…FTW!!

Friday:

When the alarm went off at 4 am, I put my feet on the floor and was ready to ride!! It was a nice and easy recovery ride, which was a great start to the day!! It went downhill a bit after riding though…The Iron Hippie’s car wouldn’t start and my car was in the garage, so I couldn’t jump start his car. We texted the neighbor at 5:55 am (yes…that is early!!) and he was able to come over and help. After dropping his car off at the shop, I drove him to work before heading to work myself. TGIF!! After work, I was scheduled to go swim, but had to pick the Iron Hippie up from work and take him back to the shop to pick up his car. Thankfully it was just a dead battery and nothing more serious. By the time I was done running around town, it was time for my much needed massage!! I ended the day by watching the ISU Cyclones lose in the NCAA Tournament…SO SAD 😦

Easy morning ride
Easy morning ride
Hello massage table...I've missed you!
Hello massage table…I’ve missed you!

Saturday:

Well…today was a flop! I woke up at 8:47 am…hello another 11+ hour night of sleep!! We went and grabbed some breakfast before doing some grocery shopping and food prep for Easter Sunday dinner. I did some course work for my Living Brave Semester in the afternoon and then we went to our neighbors house for an AMAZING dinner. They are from Switzerland and we love getting together with them…the food and conversation are always top notch!!

Sunday:

After sleeping in until 9:44 am…I told you the theme for this week was sleep…we got on the trainer in the basement. Cleaned up, took the dogs to the park to play fetch, and then went to my sole sista’s house for Easter dinner at 1 pm. Good food, good conversation, and lots of love made for a fantastic afternoon. When we got home, we did some food prep for the week and cut and stacked fire wood before taking the dogs for a walk and calling it a day.

Weekly Totals: 6 hours

Swim: Nadda…Zilch…
Bike: 37 miles
Run: 8 miles
Strength Training: 1 hour & 45 minutes

Quote of the Week:

“When you can’t adjust the direction of the wind – adjust your sails.”  ~H. Jackson Brown, Jr.

Today is the start of a new week and time to press the reset button. Let’s go…

A Lesson in Patience

While I have completed every distance from 5K to marathon and from sprint triathlon to IRONMAN, I still have room for growth…I lack patience.  Especially when I can’t train/race because of an injury. Yes…I did it again…I am injured. Thankfully this is a minor injury and it is the offseason, so I have time to properly heal up strong before Ironman Wisconsin training officially starts.

As an 8th grade science teacher, I extinguish my stores of patience during the school days.  As a result, when it comes time for my endurance sport, I am not as patient as I could/should be.  Endurance sport is my stress relief.  When I can’t train and race, I get more anxious and stressed.

I have been fighting a minor knee injury (Pes Anserine Bursitis), which was most likely caused by my exceptionally tight left hamstring. Like every time I am fighting an injury, this too has been a lesson in patience.  Healing from injuries generally takes time…I don’t like how much time healing takes.  When I am injured, I want to have immediate results…heal me now and get me back out the door.

Normally I would be totally happy being told that I have to ride my bicycle or swim and strength train, but because I can’t run pain free, that seems to be all I want to do. UGH! Thankfully Dr. Chris is treating on my leg with ART (Active Release Therapy) and trying to get me back to full speed.

This rehab is the best there is!
This rehab is the best there is!

So what does one do when she is forced to swim and ride her bicycle? Work on getting stronger, find #bikelove, find #swimlove and proper recovery 🙂

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Enjoying the outdoor riding before the snow starts to fly
Functional strength training
Functional strength training
Basil was my coach and cheer squad as I was inspired by all of the athletes racing IMKona
Basil was my coach and cheer squad as I was inspired by all of the athletes racing IMKona
#swimlove with lots of #heartandcourage these days
#swimlove with lots of #heartandcourage these days
Date night with the Iron Hippie as we work on our strength training
Date night with the Iron Hippie as we work on our strength training using TRX
Lots of #bikelove these days
Lots of #bikelove these days
Finding some motivation with my #IMWI finisher medal and race bib on the wall next to me as I ride
Finding some motivation with my #IMWI2011 finisher medal and race bib on the wall next to me as I ride in my Coeur Sports racing kit
Soaking up some vitamin D in the backyard
Soaking up some vitamin D in the backyard
Basil likes to help me foam roller
Basil likes to help me foam roller
Lots of #heartandcourage as I heal up
Lots of #heartandcourage as I heal up
Not exactly the time trial test I was hoping for, but it gives me something to work toward during this cycling block.
Not exactly the time trial test I was hoping for, but it gives me something to work toward during this cycling block.
I'm being coached by my favorite four-legged fur baby.
I’m being coached by my favorite four-legged fur baby.
It was a cool day to ride outside, but I still managed to work up a sweat!
It was a cool day to ride outside, but I still managed to work up a sweat!
Finding some motivation from my Coeur Sports Kona tri shorts and my Ironman Boulder finisher's shirt!
Finding some motivation from my Coeur Sports Kona tri shorts and my Ironman Boulder finisher’s shirt!
#bikelove
#bikelove
Nothing better than spending time with this guy on two wheels outdoors!
Nothing better than spending time with this guy on two wheels outdoors!

Since I am not allowed to run for a while, I’ve decided to do some block training to get me through the offseason. This is not something I’ve done before, but I am actually looking forward to it. For the next 4 weeks, I’ll have a bike focus. I won’t skimp on the strength training, and I’ll have a swim or two, but the main focus will be on cycling. I’m excited to see my FTP results at the end of this 4 week bike focus 🙂

How do you speed up your recovery when injured? Have you ever done a block-focused training? If so, how did it go?

3 Weeks ’til Ironman Boulder

With only 3 weeks until Ironman Boulder, we have successfully made it to Colorado. We are starting this trication with our first stop in Red Feather Lakes, CO. I’ll have a post on this part of our trip later this week, but here is a sneak peak at where we are staying…

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Last week did not include as many workouts as I would have liked (and probably needed if you ask the Iron Hippie). Preparing for our trication (which will be almost 4 weeks in duration) was very stressful for me…I had to pack all of my race gear for Ironman Boulder, I had to pack clothes, cosmetics and other supplies for our vacation, I had to make sure our house was clean and organized for our house sitter (I’m definitely type A), I had to make sure the dog supplies were well stocked for our house sitter, I had to mow the lawn and make sure the gas can was refilled and I had to work a few extra hours training clients and teaching fitness classes this week. I was so busy that my workouts were put on the back burner and often times passed up, even though that is what my body craved.

Swim: Nothing, Nada, Zilch

I was bummed by this when I woke up both Tuesday morning and Wednesday morning to swim at the outdoor pool and the air temperature was only 54F. Brrr!! So…I opted to crawl back under the covers and sleep instead.

Bike: 

I did manage to get one bike ride in on Wednesday evening to make sure Mojo was happy and working properly before leaving my AWESOME bike mechanic back in Iowa to head out west. Mojo was very happy and I was happy to be on my bike and not dealing with the stresses of our trip. I wasn’t super pleased with all of the cyclists on the trail Not. Wearing. Helmets. Seriously people…wear a helmet. If not for you, wear one for those you love! They save lives!!

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Run: Zilch, Nada, Nothing

I had intentions of running Friday before leaving for Colorado, but had so many errands to run and things to do before leaving at 5 am Saturday morning, that my run took the back seat and eventually got scratched due to lack of time 😢 Maybe I’ll get a run in at altitude soon. Altitude sickness hasn’t really affected me yet, so I’m hoping I’m in the clear. Hydrate, hydrate, hydrate 😉

Strength Training: 45 minutes of TRX

I taught TRX Thursday evening and made sure to make it a difficult workout knowing I’d miss it for the next month. My legs and core had some DOMS (delayed onset muscle soreness) on Friday and Saturday, but it was good for me 😉

Weekly Totals: 1 hour and 45 minutes

Recovery Highlight:

Final massage pre race before heading out west…this hurt a bit and I am still trying to convince our massage therapist to just pack up his massage bed and come out to Colorado to do some work on us and write off his travels as a work expense, but so far he isn’t jumping on this idea 😦

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Weekly Highlights:

Wednesday, I got to turn a “fake friend” into a “real friend.” Kelli was in Iowa and I got to met up with her, her husband and two boys. It was SO AWESOME to talk in person and catch up!!

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Thursday I received my order of Sound Probiotics. I ordered one bottle, so that I would have enough to get me through our trip. I am so lucky and blessed to have such an awesome product with amazing people behind it keeping me healthy!! They sent me an extra bottle to #supportimmunity and #maximizerecovery 🙂 Thank you Sound Probiotics!!

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After a stressful week of packing and preparing for being gone for almost 4 weeks, we arrived in Colorado!! It has been great catching up with old friends, cooking amazing food and enjoying Mother Nature’s quiet beauty!!

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How was your week? Have you done a trication? If so, where did you go? How do you deal with the stress of going on a long vacation? 

7 Weeks ’til Ironman Boulder

Eeeeekkkkk!! It is time to start the FINAL build before Ironman Boulder. How did that happen?!?!?!

This week was FULL of recovery. In case you missed it, we did the Legend 100 a week ago and it took a toll on our bodies. We needed this week to recover and prepare for an Olympic distance triathlon yesterday…yes, you read that correctly. We raced again yesterday 😉

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Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday were full of sleeping, relaxing and staying in the air conditioner to recover from the heat stroke we ended up with on Sunday. I did get a post race massage on Tuesday. It always amazes me the sore/tight muscles Nick finds that I didn’t notice were sore/tight until he massages them.

We weren't the only ones resting and relaxing. Love my girls!!
We weren’t the only ones resting and relaxing. Love my girls!!

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My only workout on Thursday was TRX, which was MUCH more difficult than I thought it was going to be.

Friday I did a strength training session that was really good and then followed that up with mowing the lawn…I guess one could call that a workout, since we only use a push mower.

Saturday morning I ran EASY for 30 minutes. I was really dreading this workout, because I was afraid it was REALLY going to hurt. Surprisingly it didn’t hurt as bad as I thought it would. Don’t get me wrong…it didn’t feel good, just not as bad as I thought it would.

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Sunday morning was, well…another race. This time it was an Olympic distance triathlon about 80 minutes from our house. It was much warmer than predicted, but still about 15F cooler than last Sunday’s race. I had an amazing bike split, but my legs definitely still felt the effects from last weekend on the run. I’ll have a full race report up on the blog this week.

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Mojo is racked and ready for a much shorter day than last week!!

Weekly Totals:

Other than the triathlon, there was no swimming or cycling. Just a short shake out run on Saturday and a couple of strength training sessions…5 hours & 9 minutes…a true sign of lots of recovery this week.

Highlight of the week:

Getting my Coeur Sports delivery on Saturday…I LOVE the Monaco design and had to add to my collection. Hello #stylishspeed

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How was your week? What were the highlights of your week?