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.

Monday:

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 😉

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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!

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Tuesday:

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 😉

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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)!

Wednesday:

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

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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.

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Thursday:

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!

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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.

Friday:

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!!

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Saturday:

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!

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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!

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Sunday:

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!!

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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!

Monday:

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!!

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Tuesday:

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:

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 😉

Thursday:

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.

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Friday:

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.

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.

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Sunday:

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!!

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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

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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?

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