Trication Part 2 – Estes Park…The Beginning

I’m so excited to start training again, but this time at altitude…7596 feet is where I have laid my head every night since we arrived in Estes Park!!

Thursday: Happy 5th Anniversary to the Iron Hippie 😉

I started my day watching the sunrise over the mountain on the patio at our cabin, while drinking my Karma Kombucha…can you say #perfectstarttotheday?!?!?!?! WOW!!

What a spectacular sunrise over the mountain!!
What a spectacular sunrise over the mountain!!

We followed this up with a drive through Rocky Mountain National Park to Grand Lake, where we had breakfast at an amazing little cafe, followed by a walk along the lake.

On the drive to Grand Lake through Rocky Mountain National Park.
On the drive to Grand Lake through Rocky Mountain National Park.
On the drive to Grand Lake through Rocky Mountain National Park.
On the drive to Grand Lake through Rocky Mountain National Park.
On the drive to Grand Lakes through Rocky Mountain National Park.
On the drive to Grand Lakes through Rocky Mountain National Park.
Blue Water Bakery Cafe...YUMMY!!
Blue Water Bakery Cafe…YUMMY!!
Veggie Croissant Sandwich and Blueberry Muffin for breakfast...YUMMY!!
Veggie Croissant Sandwich and Blueberry Muffin for breakfast…YUMMY!!
Grand Lake...elevation 8367 feet :)
Grand Lake…elevation 8367 feet 🙂
Kayak and wind surfing on Grand Lake
Kayak and wind surfing on Grand Lake
Happy Anniversary to the Iron Hippie...what a great way to celebrate 5 years ;)
Happy Anniversary to the Iron Hippie…what a great way to celebrate 5 years 😉

After breakfast and a short walk along the lake, we loaded back into the car and drove to the edge of Rocky Mountain National Park so we could hike up to Adam’s Falls…

We took a short hike up to Adams Falls in Rocky Mountain National Park.
We took a short hike up to Adams Falls in Rocky Mountain National Park.
On the trail to Adam's Falls in Rocky Mountain National Park.
On the trail to Adam’s Falls in Rocky Mountain National Park.
Adam's Falls...so majestic!
Adam’s Falls…so majestic!
We made it to Adam's Falls...with Allen and the Iron Hippie.
We made it to Adam’s Falls…with Allen and the Iron Hippie.
Staring out over the running water...so peaceful!
Staring out over the running water…so peaceful!
A hideout area by the stream.
A hideout area by the stream.
Allen deciding to walk in the FREEZING cold water...he lost feeling in his calves and feet (~39F water temperature)
Allen deciding to walk in the FREEZING cold water…he lost feeling in his calves and feet (~39F water temperature)
The Iron Hippie checking out the water.
The Iron Hippie checking out the water.
I LOVE nature and was cherishing every moment in Rocky Mountain National Park!!
I LOVE nature and was cherishing every moment in Rocky Mountain National Park!!
Enjoying the peace and quiet of nature...
Enjoying the peace and quiet of nature…
Just past Adam's Falls, it opens up to this majestic prairie with a stream through it.
Just past Adam’s Falls, it opens up to this majestic prairie with a stream through it.
The prairie, stream and mountains in the background.
The prairie, stream and mountains in the background.

On the return back to Estes Park, we made one stop at the Continental Divide.

The Continental Divide...this is where water flows to either the Pacific or Atlantic.
The Continental Divide…this is where water flows to either the Pacific or Atlantic.
A lake at the Continental Divide.
A lake at the Continental Divide.

When we returned to Estes Park, I relaxed for a little bit before doing an hour of strength training at the cabin. At about 5:00 pm, the Iron Hippie, Allen and I went for a run around Estes Park. I was VERY pleasantly surprised at how good I felt at 7500+ feet elevation. This was just the attitude adjustment that I needed!! This was some serious #runlove 🙂

Strength training with the mountains in the background...I may never leave here!!
Strength training with the mountains in the background…I may never leave here!!
Not super fast, but I felt really great at 7500+ feet elevation :)
Not super fast, but I felt really great at 7500+ feet elevation 🙂
This run was just the attitude adjustment I needed today!!
This run was just the attitude adjustment I needed today!!
We all survived our first run at altitude :)
We all survived our first run at altitude 🙂

After our run, we cooked taco meat for taco salads…the perfect post workout meal!! Then it was time to clean up dinner and dishes, get ready for our bike ride on the Ironman Boulder bike course Friday morning and let my head hit the pillow for a good night’s sleep.

Friday:

After breakfast, we loaded up our bikes into the car and headed to Boulder to ride the first ~40 miles of the Ironman Boulder bike course. Can I just say…I’m in love with the first loop (the red loop) of the bike course (which is also happens to be the 2nd loop of the bike course)?!?!?! Serious #bikelove here 🙂 I’m planning to ride the 3rd loop of the bike course next Saturday, and I can’t wait!! I hope I love it just as much!!

The Ironman Boulder bike course starts at the Boulder Reservoir, so this where we started our ride.
The Ironman Boulder bike course starts at the Boulder Reservoir, so this where we started our ride.
Three athletes ready to ride!
Three athletes ready to ride!
Ironman Boulder Bike Course
Ironman Boulder Bike Course

We stopped in Hygiene at Mary’s Market to refill our water bottles. This is the most bicycle friendly place I think I’ve ever been (well…except for the Kyle’s Bikes of course). It is truly AMAZING!! They cater to cyclists in so many unique ways…I really hope it is packed on IMBoulder race day!!

Mary's Market...we need one of these in Iowa!!
Mary’s Market in Hygiene…we need one of these in Iowa!!
Mary's Market even lets the cyclists know where to park :)
Mary’s Market even lets the cyclists know where to park 🙂
Special parking for all of the cyclists who stop at Mary's Market in Hygiene.
Special parking for all of the cyclists who stop at Mary’s Market in Hygiene.
Mary's Market has the perfect place for people to relax during a long ride.
Mary’s Market has the perfect place for people to relax during a long ride.
Mary's Market has Skratch (sports drink) "on tap" for cyclists :)
Mary’s Market has Skratch (sports drink) “on tap” for cyclists 🙂
Mary's Market has lots of sports nutrition for cyclists to chose from.
Mary’s Market has lots of sports nutrition for cyclists to chose from.
We rode the first ~47 miles of the Ironman Boulder bike course in a pretty impressive time for us! I'm super excited to see what this equates to on race day!!
We rode the first ~47 miles of the Ironman Boulder bike course in a pretty impressive time for us! I’m super excited to see what this equates to on race day!!

In the last 4 miles of the bike ride, the winds picked up and the temperature soared to 92F. I hope race day conditions are cooler and less windy, but if they aren’t, we are ready!! After loading the bikes, we drove downtown to have some lunch and then rode our bikes to a local bike shop to get an extra pedal washer for my right pedal. I was having a bit of some knee pain after this ride, and Kyle (my amazing bike fitter) said I needed to put another washer between my crank and pedal. Unfortunately, Allen was having issues with his seat post and couldn’t sit on his saddle and the bike shop couldn’t help us, so we rode off to another shop…who also couldn’t help us. UGH!!! At this point, we called Kyle again and he told Allen what to do, so we made a few more stops in Boulder before heading back up the mountain to Estes Park. Upon our arrival to the cabin, we made dinner, showered, cleaned up and walked around Estes Park before hitting the hay. It was a beautiful night!!

Saturday:

I woke up shortly before 6 am, ate breakfast and then at 7 am we all set out for a 2 hour run around Estes Park. I was a little nervous going into this run, because it was double the distance of my Thursday run and I am at 7500+ feet of elevation, but I just took it one step at a time and had a fabulous run at a faster pace than Thursday, which I was pleasantly surprised by!! I basically ran by myself, leaving the boys in the dust which was really good mental training for IMBoulder race preparation. And. I. Felt. Great!! I couldn’t have asked for a better run…and at altitude!!

There were elk along the path that I was running on around Lake Estes.
There were elk along the path that I was running on around Lake Estes.
More elk along the path around Lake Estes.
More elk along the path around Lake Estes.
Deer on the side of the road along my running route.
Deer on the side of the road along my running route.
The view from the path around Lake Estes.
The view from the path around Lake Estes.
The path around Lake Estes.
The path around Lake Estes.
12 glorious miles at 7500+ feet elevation :)
12 glorious miles at 7500+ feet elevation 🙂
12 happy miles at 7500+ feet elevation brought a huge smile to my face!!
12 happy miles at 7500+ feet elevation brought a huge smile to my face!!
Allen playing a "tune" after our long run.
Allen playing a “tune” after our long run.
The Iron Hippie playing a "tune" after our long run.
The Iron Hippie playing a “tune” after our long run.
I was playing a "tune" after our long run.
I was playing a “tune” after our long run.

After doing some core work, refueling and showering, I did lots of laundry. Thankfully our cabin has laundry facilities (actually below our cabin) and we can do as much laundry as we need. The Iron Hippie’s sister and brother-in-law came up to visit us from Denver, so we had a fun afternoon of just chatting and relaxing in Estes Park. It was great not to have to drive anywhere, since the last few days we had been in the car quite a bit 😉

I ate leftovers for dinner and then walked around Estes Park, ate a cookie as big as my face and drank tea while relaxing by the stream for a while before turning in early to bed.

I love peanut butter cookies!!
I love peanut butter cookies!! SaWEET!!
Ginger Twist Hot Tea from Kind Coffee...mmmmmmm
Ginger Twist Hot Tea from Kind Coffee…mmmmmmm
Relaxing by the stream, drinking my hot tea and listening to live music...doesn't get much better than this!!
Relaxing by the stream, drinking my hot tea and listening to live music…doesn’t get much better than this!!

Sunday:

After 10 hours of sleep, I woke up ready to ride! We ate some breakfast, loaded up the bikes and drove to Raymond, CO for a shorter ride on the Peak to Peak Highway. This was absolutely, without a doubt, my favorite bike ride EVER!! If you are ever near Raymond or Ward, Colorado, I HIGHLY recommend this ride!!

Climbing, climbing and more climbing.
Climbing, climbing and more climbing.
On top of the world...or maybe just Colorado at elevation 9200+ feet.
On top of the world…or maybe just Colorado at elevation 9200+ feet.

We did a short run off the bike in Raymond before heading back to Estes Park…with a short detour to Glen Haven for some amazing cinnamon rolls!!

Homemade cinnamon rolls was our post workout snack from Glen Haven, Colorado.
Homemade cinnamon rolls was our post workout snack from Glen Haven, Colorado.

We cleaned up and grabbed an early dinner and some ice cream (it was National Ice Cream Day after all) before hitting the hay early for another exciting day in Estes Park 🙂

Smokin' Dave's for dinner. I had a burger with sweet potato fries.
Smokin’ Dave’s for dinner. I had a burger with sweet potato fries.
Strawberry Guava Sorbet...it is lactose free, so I can eat it :)
Strawberry Guava Sorbet…it is lactose free, so I can eat it 🙂

I’ll have the middle part of our Estes Park trip up on the blog later this week. 🙂

Quiet the Chatter

“Your mind is your greatest power. Use it well.” ~Unknown

Sometimes during a workout or race, our minds start to have this internal banter with themselves…it’s like the devil is sitting on my right shoulder screaming negativity in my right ear and the angel is sitting on my left shoulder whispering positive come backs in my left ear.

Keep going-Just Quit

D: “You don’t really want to do this workout, so just don’t do it.”

A: “You will feel so much better after you complete the workout, so get it done!”

D: “This is hard. Just quit.”

A: “This should be hard, but I will be stronger. Don’t quit.”

D: “I am too slow.”

A: ” Keep working hard and I will get stronger and faster.”

D: “I can’t hold that power/pace.”

A: “Yes, I can. I am strong. I am tough.”

D: “I’m hungry. I need to stop.”

A: “I can survive for just another couple of minutes and then I can eat.”

D: “Why am I doing this?”

A: “I love to play and swim/bike/run is my playground! I feel AMAZING when I’m done.”

D: “I’m tired.”

A: “I should be tired, but I am strong enough to get through this workout.”

D: “You should just stop because these stomach cramps are BAD!”

A: “They will go away eventually. That which doesn’t kill you makes you stronger.” (Thanks to my mother for this constant reminder…)

IMG_2994

How we deal with this internal banter can make us stronger or weaker. I hear the devil, but choose to listen to the angel. I try to make sure that I have a positive comeback for every negative thought that creeps into my mind. Sometimes it takes me a while to twist the negative into the positive, but that is what I focus on until those negative thoughts float away and positive ones take their place.

I have learned to expect the chatter to show up while training and racing. The devil voice in my head has tried to lure me to a more comfortable situations and environments. It often tries to undermine the angel. At times, it is my own worst enemy. But this voice has also made me stronger, tougher, resilient, more persistent and determined. It has taught me to better identify and manage what is pain and what is discomfort. It has taught me how to overcome obstacles and adversity. It has taught me to believe in me. When I embrace the chatter, I take control of the things within my control and let the rest go.

The key is to acknowledge the devil, but only listen to the angel. I have to rise up above myself, my doubts and my fears. Learning from the negative devil is key to my success. I expect to have moments in my journey that are awesome, but I expect to have even more that challenge me and push me to become a better version of myself. I know the devil will be screaming the loudest when I am at my weakest and am the most uncomfortable, but I have the ability and control to overcome those moments and outlast them. Eventually they will either dissipate or I will outlast them by completing the workout/race.

I’ve found the best way to manage the chatter is to keep moving forward toward my goals or the end of the workout/race…whichever comes first. If you keep moving forward, you might just surprise yourself with what you accomplish. Anything is possible if you quiet the negative chatter!!

Who do you listen to more during your workouts and races…the devil or the angel? How do you turn the negative into the positive?

My #FaveWorkout – Week 8

This week, I’ve had more workouts to choose from for my #faveworkout, which made it a bit more difficult to choose a favorite! I had some amazing #swimlove, #bikelove and #runlove this week…so which workout did I choose?

I chose some #swimlove…It was a short swim (1900 yards) which included a 500 yard time trial (TT):

Warm-up:
200 swim
100 kick
300 drills
Main Set:
3×200 (100 easy, 50 fast, 50 moderate) (20 sec rest between)
Rest 40 sec
500 TT (swim as fast as you can without letting form totally fall apart)
Cool-down:
100 kick
100 any stroke

My TT was not exceptional, but it was the best I could do today (9:11.77). After a killer bike workout this morning, my legs did not want to cooperate. Thankfully the mind took over and told my body to “shut up and just move.” So why was this my favorite workout?

  1. I was able to push through, even when I didn’t think I had anything left and finish strong. I negative split my TT by 6 seconds…WHOOP WHOOP!!
  2. Overall, it was not a long swim, so I didn’t have to push through for a long period of time.
  3. The pool was completely empty…not a person in sight. I had complete pick of wherever I wanted to swim and the best part was I had the pool to myself for the whole 1900 yard swim…Can you say AWESOME?!?!?!

IMG_1122

What was your favorite workout this week?

My #FaveWorkout – Week 5

In case you’ve missed out, I’ve been writing about my favorite weekly workout every Friday for over a month now. I’ve had a favorite swim workout, 2 favorite bike workouts (Z2, Z3 and Wall Sits and 1-2-3-2-1 Ladder) and a TRX workout. This week my #FaveWorkout involved #runlove. As I said last week, I LOVE intervals…swim intervals, run intervals, bike intervals…so it would only make sense that I would love Zone 4 run intervals this week 🙂

Because of the weather, I took to the mill for this run.

50 minute run: 4×4 minute Fast

Warm-up for 15 minutes in Zone 1-2.
Then run intervals of 4 minutes fast (Zone 4) with 4 minutes of recovery (Zone 2…Do not walk between Zone 4 intervals). Do this a total of 4 times.
Cool-down easy for the rest of the workout.

IMG_0787

What was your favorite workout this week?

The Best of 2014

After posting the Best of 2013 last year, I decided it would be fun to look back through 2014 and reminisce my faves 🙂 The idea came from Abby over at Change of Pace who links up with Miss Zippy. If you haven’t checked them out yet, you definitely should!!

Best race experience?

Ironman Wisconsin was definitely my best race experience of 2014.  I overcame obstacles, set a swim PR with a time of 1:21:52, an Ironman run PR with a time of 5:15:32, and an overall Ironman race PR with a time of 15:15:56.  I met my race goals and had a near perfect day, while having a lot of fun!!

Feeling good as I run down the finish shoot.  Photo courtesy of Finisherpix.
Feeling good as I run down the finish shoot. Photo courtesy of Finisherpix.

Best run?

I have ran on the trails near our house many times over the years, but I had never run a trail race until this year.  One month after Ironman Wisconsin, the Iron Hippie and I ran a 10 mile trail race in Cedar Falls, Iowa.  We had a blast!!  I love running in the woods where you have to keep your focus or this will happen…

It wouldn't be a trail race if someone didn't eat dirt ;)
It wouldn’t be a trail race if someone didn’t eat dirt 😉

Best bike?

The best bike of the year was post Ironman Wisconsin.  The Iron Hippie and I decided to go ride at McFarland Park through the prairie and wooded areas.  While we weren’t racing or completing a hard training ride, it was fun to ride our cross bikes on different terrain than we are use to.  Being out in the fresh air surrounded by nature without many people around while on our bikes was AWESOME!!

IMG_0100

Best swim?

The best swim of the year was definitely the Okoboji 3.5 mile point to point swim.  I immediately set a PR simply by finishing this distance, but it was also a lot of fun to have Dad in a kayak next to me while I swam.  I finished the 3.5 miles in a time of 1:49:33 🙂

Photo courtesy of L. Bierbaum...Allen and Dad were our support crew.
Photo courtesy of L. Bierbaum…Allen and Dad were our support crew.
Photo courtesy of L. Bierbaum:  The Iron Hippie and I successfully finished our 3.5 mile swim "race"
Photo courtesy of L. Bierbaum: The Iron Hippie and I successfully finished our 3.5 mile swim “race”

Best brick workout?

The best brick workout of the year was our last big brick workout on August 16th.  We rode 112 miles in just under 7 hours and then ran 9 miles at a 10 min/mile pace (which was our goal pace for race day).  It was a near perfect workout and it gave me the confidence that would guide me to a successful race at Ironman Wisconsin.

IMG_4319

Best group workout?

The best group workout was our second 100 mile bike ride on July 6.  Since it was a holiday weekend, we decided to take advantage of the extra vacation day and get outside to ride.  It was fun to have a few additional friends join us for a long day!!

 

IMG_3951

Best new piece of gear?

This is SUPER easy…my new Coeur Sports tri kits!!  L.O.V.E. LOVE my Coeur tri kits…no chafing, seamless chamois, perfect fit, fun colors, #stylishspeed…simply AMAZING!!  I love them so much, that I have 4 of them…shh, don’t tell the Iron Hippie 😉  I love what Coeur Sports stands for and represents…#heartandcourage.  ALL women who SBR (swim, bike, run) and/or do triathlon should wear Coeur Sports apparel…it is da BOMB!!

IMG_3906 IMG_3918

Approaching the finish line of Ironman Wisconsin 2014.  Photo courtesy of Finisherpix.
Approaching the finish line of Ironman Wisconsin 2014. Photo courtesy of Finisherpix.

Best hydration find?

This is another SUPER easy one…Osmo Nutrition!!  Because “Women are Not Small Men” there is a product line specifically for women.  Osmo Nutrition kept me properly hydrated during my hundreds of hours of training and racing this year.  I experienced one of the worst nutrition failures at Ironman Wisconsin 2011 and I am pleased to say that Osmo Nutrition worked perfectly for me and hydration failure was not an option at Ironman Wisconsin 2014!!

IMG_3170

Best piece of racing advice you received?

“Just one more” ~Tim Jenks

This quote was with me during many training workouts and on race day as I had to do just one more loop on the bike, or climb Observatory hill just one more time. He will be missed, but never forgotten!

Most inspirational athlete?

She is not known around the world, but this year a former student quickly became the most inspirational athlete to me.  Olivia was with her twin brother on a bicycle training ride when he tragically lost his life in June because he was struck by a vehicle.  Olivia had the heart and courage to race a few short weeks later in the Junior Elite Triathlon they were training for.  She was first out of the water and finished 9th overall (out of 75 participants) qualifying her for the National competition.  I am so proud of her!!

IMG_4067
OJ finishing strong!!
IMG_4066
Timothy Jenks was remembered at the Junior Elite Triathlon he was training for. He was given race #1 and his transition area was set up with his running shoes.

If you could sum up your year in a couple of words, what would they be?

Epic, Fun, Inspirational

Tell me about your 2014 year!!

My #FaveWorkout – Week 4

In case you’ve missed out, I’ve been writing about my favorite weekly workout every Friday. I’ve had a favorite swim, bike and TRX workout. This week my #FaveWorkout involved more #bikelove. I LOVE intervals…swim intervals, run intervals, bike intervals 🙂

Wednesday morning I completed the following 1-2-3-2-1 Ladder on the trainer:

Warm-up for 10 minutes, then ride 20 minutes in Zone 2-3, with some short-duration Z4 efforts.
Then, do a 1-2-3-2-1 ladder as follows:
1 minute Zone 4-5 (use power/effort to gauge intensity for the first 1 or 2 efforts, until HR gets up there)
1 minute easy spin (Zone 1)
2 minutes Zone 4-5
2 minutes easy spin
3 minutes Zone 4-5
3 minutes easy spin
2 minutes Zone 4-5
2 minutes easy spin
1 minute Zone 4-5,
22 minutes in Zone 2-3, with some short-duration Z4 efforts
10 minutes in Zone 2
Cool down for 10 minutes

IMG_0744

WOW…The last time I completed this workout, I was in the middle of Ironman training. I completely forgot how tired depleted my legs would feel for the rest of the day…what a GREAT feeling! I can’t wait to do this workout again 😉

What was your favorite workout this week?

The Journey

Screen Shot 2014-12-02 at 6.34.37 PM

We are all writing our own book…the journey of life is different for each and everyone of us. I have many chapters in my book…races, work, family, friends, etc. Lately I feel as though my work chapter is overwhelming and uncomfortable. My family chapter has caused some frustrations lately (NOT with the Iron Hippie…) and I love my friends, but today I chose to focus on my race chapter (lucky for me it also incorporated friends). Each race is a new chapter and each workout is a page in that chapter. I have been fighting a head cold, which has made it a bit difficult to breathe while working out lately, so Monday and Tuesday I chose to leave my workout pages blank. Today, I turned the page. I wrote a page in this chapter by attending hot yoga tonight.and.it.was.AWESOME!! Spending time with friends while getting sweaty was a bonus 😉

What do you put on each of your pages? What do your chapters look like? What does your book reveal about you?