30 Weeks ’til Ironman Boulder

With the start of 2015 comes only 29 weeks until Ironman Boulder…CRAZY where the time has gone!! 30 weeks until Ironman involved workouts that aren’t quite where I had hoped they’d be, but I was just coming off of pneumonia. Taking it easy last week helped me set myself up for a strong and solid start to 2015. Here is what the week looked like:


PM: 45 minute full body TRX class



I taught a spif class (for my elderly ladies…we used kettlebells and steps this week) in the morning and then went to ART treatment (active release therapy) had acupuncture done on my leg, so I was not allowed to do any other workouts for the day.


AM Trainer ride: 10xAll Out…This was my #FaveWorkout this week.



PM: 2.4 mile run with Basil and the Iron Hippie…he was just recovering from influenza A and as a result we didn’t run far or fast.


I decided to start a 30 day ab challenge…doing a minimum of 5 minutes of abs every day for 30 days. Day 1 was a success 😉


I only did 5 minutes of abs today…no other workouts.


PM: 7 mile run with the Iron Hippie and Basil followed by 5 minutes of abs



AM: 24 mile trainer ride in 2 hours…cadence intervals followed by 5 minutes of abs


I am definitely looking forward to having a strong and solid week of workouts this coming week!! With school starting back in session today, I am hopeful that the students got all of their nasty germs out of their way over break and come back healthy…I know this is wishful thinking 😉

Weekly Totals:

Swim: 0 miles

Bike: 37.4 miles

Run: 9.4 miles

Strength Training: 65 minutes

What did your week of workouts look like? 

31 Weeks ’til Ironman Boulder

Hmmm…just when I have LOTS of time off work to focus on workouts, I end up with pneumonia. So much for working out much this week. Here’s how the week rolled:


AM: I started planning for 2015 with a little Karma Kombucha and my new Believe Training Journal 😉


PM: TRX class was mostly core work with LOTS of coughing


I went to the doctor…pneumonia was the diagnosis and Z-pack was the prescribed meds to get me back on track. I took a 4 hour nap and drank lots of fluids today. The Iron Hippie went to the doctor today as a precaution because he had a bit of a sore throat and knew the doctor’s office would be closed for the next few days…no diagnosis.

Wednesday: Christmas Eve

I slept over 10 hours the night before and took a 2 hour nap today. We did get our best Christmas present in the mail today…

Thanks Mom and Dad for our AWESOME gift!!

I shared some grapefruit with my favorite girl…Basil. Do you know any dog that LOVES grapefruit?!?!?! Basil starts salivating profusely for grapefruit as soon as she smells it.

Merry Christmas Basil

About 7 pm, the Iron Hippie had a temperature of 101.6F…here we go…this is going to be an amazing Christmas!

Thursday: Christmas Day

The Iron Hippie and I were sick ALL day. Aside from sleeping, all we got accomplished was watching NCIS episodes on DVD…we have all of the seasons (except the last 2).  This was not how we had hoped to celebrate Christmas, but I am thankful we both had time to rest and fully recover from our illnesses.


I finally started to feel like a normal human being today. I really wanted to ride my bicycle, but decided one more day of resting and drinking lots of fluids were more important. The Iron Hippie went back to the doctor today and was diagnosed with a strain of influenza that wasn’t covered with the flu shot.

So I decided to put a puzzle together…


This was only 500 pieces, so I was able to complete it all in one day.


I took the last of my Z-pack meds this morning and was feeling MUCH better. Time to start another puzzle…

This one was 1000 pieces and a little bit more challenging.
This one was 1000 pieces and a little bit more challenging.

It took some #heartandcourage (Thank you Coeur Sports) to try riding my bike and see how my body felt. I was really nervous that my body would tell me that I needed more rest…aside from heavy breathing, I felt really good…YAY!! I rode mostly in Z1-2, but incorporated 4×1 min at Z4, just to see how it would feel. #bikelove 😉



I continued to put the puzzle together…


I also ran with Allen and Basil. My goal was to run 3-4 easy miles and see how my body would hold up. It felt GREAT to be outside in the fresh air! When I got to mile 4, I decided I would keep running a bit since I was feeling great…No chest pain (my breathing was heavier than normal, but that was the only sign that I’d been sick recently). #runlove


Weekly Totals:

Swim = 0 miles

Bike = 14.3 miles

Run = 6.21 miles

Strength Training = 45 minutes

How was your week of workouts? How did you celebrate Christmas?

Currently 9.26.14

What have I been up to post Ironman Wisconsin 2014???

Lots of recovering…While I know it is my body’s best interest to take some time off and fully recover, I’ve noticed my mental state is less than happy about this rest period.  With more stress at work and less exercise to combat that stress, my sleep schedule has suffered a bit (which just further frustrates me).  While 3 weeks of recovery have been necessary, it is time to find that wagon and get back on it.

get on the wagon

Grading…This is my LEAST favorite part of my job.  Last week I spent 24.5 hours (outside of my 7 am to 3:30 pm work day) grading student papers.  I am very grateful that this round of grading is behind me and really hope that the students use all of my comments to improve their papers before they submit their final drafts.


A few workouts…I have taught TRX every Thursday since #IMMOO, reconnected with my yoga mat, gone on a bike ride here and a run there, but nothing super serious.  After 3 weeks of rest, it is time to focus on getting back into a more consistent workout schedule.  I always sleep better, eat better and feel better when exercise is one of my top 3 priorities (after the Iron Hippie and the pups of course).

IMG_4453 IMG_0003

Future planning…It is no secret that I am a goal oriented person.  Without a race on the calendar and something to drive me to get out the door and train consistently, my physical and mental state are not where I need/want them to be.  I have been looking at many race options and have a really solid idea of where I want to take my training and racing this coming year, but I have to wait until pay day and hope that the races I have my eyes on are still open.  For now…I can tell you that I am running a 5K on Sunday to mark the 10 year anniversary of my first race and am participating in a 10 mile trail run on Saturday, October 11.  I am really excited to go off road and enjoy the beautiful fall scenery in central Iowa 😉

Workouts planned for next week ;)
Workouts planned for next week 😉

Spending time with the pups…There has been more time for snuggles, playing frisbee, playing catch, walking and lovin’ on my girls.  This makes us all happy 🙂


After a year sans alcohol, I’ve enjoyed a tasty beer or two.  We visited a local brewery and enjoyed the atmosphere, but I can honestly say I haven’t missed alcoholic beverages that much and am seriously considering giving it up more permanently.

First beer after IMWI
Boone Valley Brewery
Boone Valley Brewery

What have you been up to?  What is your favorite post race recovery activity?

Grace and Gratitude

This last week of training was challenging, but I finally made it to recovery week.  I LOVE my time on the mat and every time I go to hot yoga, I am reminded to show myself grace and gratitude.  I am grateful for the ability to push my body to new limits on a daily basis…now it is time to show my body grace and allow my hard work to sink in with focus on recovery this week.

  1. I am thankful that my mind is strong and focused.
  2. I am thankful that I am happy and healthy.
  3. I credit my body for pushing hard through some challenging workouts and pushing to new limits.
  4. I respect my body’s physical and mental strength.
  5. I am grateful for the confidence I have in my abilities.
  6. I am grateful for my determination to be a better person and athlete.
  7. I credit my mental focus for my perseverance and fortitude, even during challenging times.
  8. I show my body grace by giving it what it wants and needs…good nutrition, good sleep, good people.

grace & gratitude

What are you thankful for?  How do you show your body grace and gratitude?


Week #7 (Base Training) Totals:

Swim:  5000 yards

Bike:  60.8 miles

Run:  20.8 miles

Strength Training:  2 hours & 15 minutes

Hot Yoga:  2 hours & 30 minutes

Week #7 in the green 😉

Training in Fear

When I signed up for IRONMAN Wisconsin 2011, I was motivated to train and complete my workouts because I was afraid of the 140.6 mile distance.  The furthest race I had completed prior to IRONMAN Wisconsin was 70.3 miles…How on earth would I be able to complete double the distance?!?!?!?!  Thanks to a little fear of the distance, I put my best foot forward every day and completed most of my scheduled workouts.

I know that fear can be unhealthy, but I believe it can also be motivating and empowering.  It all depends on how you allow it to impact you.  I don’t allow fear to intimidate me; instead, I allow it to motivate and empower me to be the best version of myself that I can be.  I allow it to help me get my feet to the floor…I allow it to motivate me to complete my workouts…I allow it to push me to be my best while training and in my everyday life…I allow it to help me “keep moving forward.”

MLK Move Forward

When I signed up for IRONMAN Wisconsin 2014, I knew I was no longer afraid of the distance…I had already crossed the finish line at IRONMAN Wisconsin in 2011, so I knew I could do the distance.  Why then was I signing up again???  To have a “better” race…to push myself out of my comfort zone…to continue to find that better version of myself…to experience a different journey on my way to the IRONMAN finish line.

So what motivates me now to complete my workouts as I race for IMWI???  Why FEAR of course…fear of getting too lackadaisical with my training and therefore not being adequately prepared to put my best foot forward on race day.

What motivates you to complete your workouts?


Week #3 (Base Training) Totals:

Swim:  6200 yards

Bike:  15.9 miles (I only had one bike ride this week 😦 )

Run:  20.05 miles

Strength Training:  2 hours & 45 minutes

Hot Yoga:  1 hour & 30 minutes (I only made it to one class this week 😦 )

Week #3 in the green 😉

“Baby It’s Cold Outside”

Unfortunately we’ve had some VERY COLD days here in central Iowa lately, but I have decided to make the most of it.  With windchill temperatures as low as -24 degrees Fahrenheit last week, going outside just to go to the gym or hot yoga was sometimes a challenge.

Last week was Week #1 of IRONMAN Wisconsin training, so I decided not to let the cold weather stop me from being active and completing my workouts.  I just bundled up and went out anyway and then this morning happened…No school due to the EXTREMELY COLD weather (that was actually announced yesterday at about 2 pm).  Windchill temperatures as low as -41 degrees Fahrenheit this morning…WHAT?!?!?!?!?  I thought I was living in central Iowa, not Antarctica!!

Well, I am not going to let the cold stop me.  I am getting ready to head out the door and go to the gym to complete my swim and strength training session despite the cold temperatures.  It is funny…on days when it is very cold outside, we long for warm summer weather, but when we have temperatures with heat indexes exceeding 100 degrees Fahrenheit in the summer months, we often long for the cold days of winter.  Are we ever truly happy with the weather???

Week #1 (Base Training) Totals:

  • Swim: 4300 yards
  • Bike: 38.3 miles
  • Run: 16.5 miles
  • Strength Training: 1 hour & 45 minutes
  • Hot Yoga: 2 hours & 45 minutes

Feels good to be in the “green” for week #1 of IMWI training!!

Pros and Cons of You AND Your Spouse Training for the Same IRONMAN Race

The Iron Hippie and I are both registered for IRONMAN Wisconsin 2014.  We are just a few short weeks away from the start of our second IRONMAN Journey.  We both trained for and raced IRONMAN Wisconsin 2011, so we know what most of the pros and cons are of training for and racing the same event.  We’ve decided that finding balance is critical to a successful IRONMAN Journey.  Let’s start with the cons so we can finish on a much more positive note 🙂


  1. When we both finish a long, hard workout, it is easy for us to go out for dinner instead of cooking a healthy meal at home.  This training season, we are focusing more on preparing meal plans and having left overs available in the refrigerator/freezer to quickly reheat after long, hard workouts.
  2. When one of us is in a crabby mood (from a hard training week, lack of sleep, stress, etc.) the other person gets the brunt of our bad mood.
  3. When we are both in full training mode, we both tend to neglect household chores until they MUST be done…laundry, dishes, cleaning the house, mowing the lawn, etc.
  4. Date night has often revolved around our workouts.  This training season we have set aside Monday evenings for completing household chores and date night every other week.  We have started to implement this now, so when we are in full IRONMAN training mode, it is already a habit.
  5. We have to coordinate with each other regarding multiple feats…our training and racing calendar, workouts, planning time to visit family and friends, letting the dogs out, planning and preparing meals, bed times, wake up times, etc.
  6. We spend a LOT more money when we are both training and racing…race fees, lodging at these races, food, sports nutrition, gear (extra tubes, CO2 cartridges, running shoes, apparel, etc.), transportation to race events, etc.


  1. We both have a very good idea of what the other is going through during challenging training weeks, recovery weeks and the taper.
  2. We are both very aware of the importance of eating to train instead of training to eat…we help each other eat healthy and consume MASSIVE amounts of healthy foods…especially after challenging workouts or long training weeks.
  3. We both have similar training schedules (we use the same coach, who writes separate training plans for each of us, and she helps coordinate some of our workouts for us) since we are training for the same race.  We are both gone for relatively the same amount of time each day to complete our workout(s)…our long rides are on the same day, our long runs are on the same day, etc.
  4. We are both much more conscious of going to bed early and getting enough sleep to help energize us for our next workout(s).
  5. We feed off of each other’s positive energy and support each other…if one of us is in a training slump, the other one is there to help motivate and encourage the other.
  6. We both help each other with the household chores…dishes, laundry, cleaning house, mowing the lawn, tending to the dogs, etc.
  7. We both understand the importance and advantages of mental preparedness…we communicate with each other to help each other find effective ways to prepare mentally for tough workouts and race day.
  8. We both can relate to the other’s obsessiveness in preparing for race day…laying out every possible piece of gear, nutrition, etc. a whole week+ in advance.
  9. On race day, we are both out on the course racing our own race, which allows us to stay relaxed…it is much easier to be an athlete than a spectator on race day 🙂
  10. We get to share in each other’s accomplishments and achievements…both during training and racing.
We survived Ironman Wisconsin 2011...Time to do it better in 2014!!
The Iron Hippie and I survived IRONMAN Wisconsin 2011…Time to do it better in 2014!!

Embrace the Suck

“Ultimately, triathlon is about pain – how you endure it and the mechanisms you put in place to deal with it when it comes.”                                                                                                                                     ~Chris McCormack

With the Indianapolis Marathon just around the corner, it is time to be reminded to “Embrace the Suck” on race day.  If you truly race, you are going to feel pain at some point during your race and it will suck.  “Embracing the suck” is all about how you handle the pain when it shows up.  Being mentally prepared for the pain and “suck” is essential to peak performance on race day.

How do we prepare to embrace the suck?  Easy…train…during tough workouts, push your body to the moments that suck and take note of where your mind goes during the suck moments.  Once you know what this pain feels like, you can determine a plan to help you deal with it on race day.  Make a checklist that you run through, accept pain as an inevitable…don’t try to deny that it will show up, positive self-talk can also help keep you focused, smile 🙂 (that always seems to work for me…learning this one from the best…Chrissie Wellington), focus on controlled breathing, determine if your nutrition is in check, make sure you are as relaxed as you can be so you aren’t wasting unnecessary energy, focus on stride pattern and/or stride cadence (for those who are in tune with their stride), and stay in control.

Your body will do anything your mind tells it to, so stay in control.  Never lose control of your mind when things get challenging.  Stay focused and EMBRACE THE SUCK!!

Macca Success

Full Throttle…Wide Open

My husband and I have recently been told that we do things “full throttle” with nearly everything we do.  My parents raised me to be a hard worker and to believe that I can achieve whatever goals I set for myself.  I am focused.  I am stubborn.  I am a hard worker.  I am committed.  I go full throttle with nearly everything I do.

This last week, my husband and I have spent a LOT of time working in our backyard…digging the fire pit, installing the fire pit, digging out the patio area, adding crushed gravel to the patio area and tamping it down, cleaning up the dirt “yard,” unloading all of the pavers for the patio, and preparing the yard for the fence installation that should happen this coming Monday.  Because of all the time we have spent in the yard, we have not completed any scheduled workouts this week.  We ran 15 miles last Saturday and ran 18 miles this morning (more information to come on this run soon).  The only “workouts” we completed between these two runs was working in the yard.

The fire pit was dug and the crushed gravel added to the base before installing the bricks.
The fire pit was dug and the crushed gravel was added to the base before installing the bricks.
The fire pit installation in progress...
The fire pit installation in progress…
The fire pit is installed and we started to install the crushed gravel around the fire pit in the patio area.
The fire pit is installed and we started to install the crushed gravel around the fire pit in the patio area.

I am ready to get back to my workouts and prepare for my upcoming marathon…only 6 weeks away 🙂

Back to School Routines…

I am very much a type A person.  It is no secret I like things my way…done in a certain order, following a schedule, being consistent, being efficient, etc…  Don’t get me wrong, I can be flexible and change directions when needed.  As a matter of fact, being an 8th grade science teacher, I often have to be flexible and change directions many times throughout any given day.

Having the summer months “off” is one of the perks of being a teacher.  For me, the summer can sometimes throw me for a loop…the absence of a set schedule, the inconsistencies that can be present and not having to be efficient when doing certain tasks…

Back to school

Heading back to school will allow me to have order to my life again…following a schedule, being consistent and efficient and early morning workouts are the BEST!!