Back on the Train

You may recall that I fell off the train in December, but I am pleased as punch to say that the train picked me back up when it came back through in January!

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Look at all of the green in Training Peaks! We have started our Ironman Wisconsin 2016 journey with a #bikeblocktraining focus for the month of January. What does this mean for each discipline?!?!?!

Swim:

I have only visited the pool one day a week for the month of January. This was somewhat intentional. In January there tends to be more people at the pool (which is awesome), but with such limited hours for lap swimming at the local pool, it makes more sense for me to go only one day per week in January. I must say, I am looking forward to increasing my time in the water and super excited to try out my new swim caps…hello swim motivation!!

Fun new swim caps for swim motivation and more #swimlove
Fun new swim caps for swim motivation and more #swimlove

Bike:

I have been doing LOTS of cycling so far in the month of January…7 rides a week with one rest day each week, means every Wednesday I get a double dose of #bikelove! I’m working on bike strength and trying to improve my power output. Wow…what a slow process that is! It has given me a lot of time to spend with my new Cobb Cycling saddle, and bike fit, which I am lovin’!

My new Cobb Cycling V-Flow saddle :)
My new Cobb Cycling V-Flow saddle 🙂

Run:

I am finally getting some run miles in…not many, but it is a start 🙂 I have only ran a few times in the last 3+ months and so far, it is feeling good! I am excited to get back to a more regular training schedule so that I can run more and find that #runlove that feeds me!

30 easy minutes is a start!
30 easy minutes is a start!

Strength:

I have been doing strength training 3 days a week and just recently increased my weights…hello DOMS!! It feels good to be getting stronger 🙂

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Yoga:

Reacquainting myself with my mat has been AH-MAZ-ING!! I definitely missed my dates with mat 😉 I need to incorporate more stretching into my workout routine and hot yoga has felt so awesome since our wind chill temperatures have been -31F lately!! A hot room, a good stretch and lots of sweat on a COLD winter day = motivation to go outdoors to get to the yoga studio 🙂

Rekindling my relationship with my mat! #yogalove
Rekindling my relationship with my mat! #yogalove

How has your training been since the start of 2016? What keeps you motivated to complete your workouts through the winter months?

101 Things…

I couldn’t resist…I decided to link up with Erin, Katie, Leslie, Jen, Kristen who have posted 101 (or 100) things about themselves. Here is 101 things about me…

  1. I grew up on West Lake Okoboji in northwest Iowa.
  2. My parents had a hotel right on the lake until I was in 7th grade.
  3. My first “job” was cleaning toilets at the hotel.
  4. I swam everyday all summer long every year of my youth.
  5. I had new friends all the time…every time a new family came to stay at the hotel, I had new friends to play with 😉
  6. I have 2 younger sisters with only 40 months separating my youngest sister from me.
  7. My parents are saints to have raised 3 teenage girls all at the same time…no thanks!
  8. Both of my grandmothers are identical twins.
  9. My mother-in-law is a twin.
  10. My sister has twins.
  11. We will not be having children…I don’t want quadruplets.
  12. I love being an aunt!! Spoil them and send them on their way 😉
  13. I have 4 nieces with another on the way…due in April 😉
  14. I love SBR…it makes me happy!
  15. I am a Coeur Sports Ambassador for 2015.
  16. I am passionate about endurance sport.
  17. I hope to break down barriers and help more women grow to love and participate in endurance sport.
  18. I am a dog mamma to two beautiful black labs…Mya and Basil.
  19. The Iron Hippie and I met while running.
  20. The Iron Hippie and I both participate in endurance sport.
  21. I have ran 11 stand alone marathons.
  22. I have finished 2 Ironman races.
  23. Karma Kombucha is my favorite beverage.
  24. I love to write things down…I not only keep track of my workouts in Training Peaks online, but I also write everyone down by hand. There is something about hand writing thoughts, workouts, ideas, etc.
  25. I love country music.
  26. Running with Basil off leash makes my heart happy…she has so much fun!
  27. I was a high school cheerleader.
  28. This is ironic since I seriously lack coordination.
  29. The boys basketball team made it to state and I was lucky enough to cheer at the state tournament (even though we didn’t make it past the first game).
  30. I love avocados!
  31. I drive a 2012 Toyota Rav4 and I love it!
  32. Mojo is my favorite ride (Specialized Transition)…we have the perfect chemistry!!
  33. I love our Vitamix…Thanks Mom & Dad for a great Christmas gift!
  34. I’ve traveled all over Italy and Venice was my favorite city.
  35. I love to read a book every night before bed…an actual book, not something online or on a kindle.
  36. I hate shopping.
  37. Unless I am shopping for workout apparel/gear.
  38. I love to cook, but not bake.
  39. I think I could be vegetarian, except I could never give up fish.
  40. I love sushi…my mouth is watering for it right now.
  41. I am currently snowed in at my parents place and may not make it home before work tomorrow…bummer 😉
  42. I love watching NCIS episodes…we keep watching them over and over and over.
  43. I got a new winter coat for Christmas from my in-laws.
  44. My last winter coat was 17 years old.
  45. I’d rather spend my money on workout apparel/gear than a new winter coat 😉
  46. I am definitely a Mac girl…no PC here 😉
  47. My mother is the sports fan and my father is the decorator…role reversals 😉
  48. I love Basil snuggles!
  49. Clean sheets are one of my favorite things!
  50. Running along Lake Shore Drive in Okoboji is one of my favorite places to run.
  51. I love Madison, Wisconsin and would love to live there someday!
  52. It was really hard to get to 51 things about me…only 50 more 😉
  53. Yellow is my favorite color…it is a happy color 🙂
  54. I love homemade sweet potato and kale pizza on gluten-free crust.
  55. I won’t burn candles…I witnessed a house fire and someone died due to a burning candle.
  56. I could not live without fruits and vegetables…LOVE THEM!!
  57. I’ve often thought about going on the show Survivor, but could not live without my toothbrush and toothpaste.
  58. I love hot yoga and my yoga mat!!
  59. With the current windchill temperatures of -10F, I am dreaming of hot yoga.
  60. I just told my boss I wouldn’t be at work tomorrow because I am not putting my life in danger by driving home in this horrible storm.
  61. I’ve always wanted to swim with the dolphins.
  62. I am more of an introvert than an extrovert.
  63. I have no problem going to the movie or out to dinner by myself.
  64. I need to work on being more social with family and friends.
  65. I like to #DreamBig
  66. I find happiness and joy from overcoming obstacles I didn’t think were possible.
  67. I enjoy the freedom to do what I want, when I want.
  68. Honeycrisp apples are the best!
  69. I can’t stand coffee.
  70. My body does not respond well to caffeine.
  71. I would rather rent a movie, than go to the movie theatre.
  72. I am happiest when I am on my bike.
  73. Growing up, I never went skinny dipping in the lake.
  74. I did go skinny dipping in the pool at my parents house.
  75. I want to go to Bora Bora.
  76. My dad’s mother’s twin sister, Velma, lived with us while I was growing up.
  77. She always made treats for us…cookies, peanut brittle, candies, cakes, pies, etc.
  78. The 4th of July is my favorite holiday.
  79. Only because we spend the whole day on our bikes…usually doing a century ride 😉
  80. I worked at The Ritz in Okoboji growing up.
  81. This job exposed me to more than you could ever know.
  82. I can not stand to have long fingernails.
  83. I cut them every Sunday.
  84. I love snail mail!
  85. I played the piano for a couple of years growing up.
  86. I wish I still played the piano.
  87. I also wish I played the acoustic guitar.
  88. I can not sing, but I like to listen to music.
  89. I love having smoothies after a tough workout.
  90. I am a creature of habit…I follow the same routine in the shower everyday.
  91. My biggest pet peeves: cover your mouth when you sneeze, flush the toilet when you use it, wash your hands after you blow your nose and wash your hands after you use the toilet…GERMS=YUCK!!
  92. Daisies are my favorite flower.
  93. I don’t like the Iron Hippie spending money on flowers…they just die.
  94. I’d rather have him save the money and spend it on workout apparel/gear I can enjoy longer 😉
  95. I don’t go anywhere without my water bottle.
  96. I slept 14 hours last night.
  97. Popcorn is one of my favorite snacks.
  98. We make it in a pot on the stove almost everyday.
  99. I love grapefruit!
  100. So does Basil 😉
  101. I love snowshoeing.

28 weeks ’til Ironman Boulder

Crazy to think that we are already over halfway through the month of January!! Where does time go??? This was a really good week of workouts and without further adieu…

Monday:

AM: 1 hour strength training…I have been struggling with trying to get my left hamstring to activate, but I think I finally found a move to activate it. We’ll see if my leg responds to it and I end up with fewer injuries/problems in my left leg as a result.

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PM: 2400 yard #swimlove…there weren’t many people in the pool and this was actually a pretty decent time to swim 🙂

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Tuesday:

AM: Brrr…what a cold morning!! This meant taking my run to the mill and running next to my sole sista for some #solesistasweat. While it was a hard pick for a #FaveWorkout this week, this interval #runlove was the winner!! I felt so good that I did 3 bonus intervals in memory of TRJ.

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I immediately followed my run up with 2300 yard #swimlove, since I didn’t have to be to work this morning until 8 am (I had a whole extra hour before work…wow).

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Wednesday:

AM: #bikelove…thanks Erin for the amazing workout 🙂 I love #intervals and this workout was a close second for my #FaveWorkout this week!!

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Thursday:

AM: 70 minute fartleks #runlove…this was a good run, but I could tell I was tired from Tuesday’s run and Wednesday’s ride, so I didn’t push as hard as I normally would have.

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PM: TRX class…this was a lot of core 🙂

Friday:

Rest day…I definitely needed a rest day, so it was good that I took one.

Saturday:

AM: 12 mile #runlove…some miles were with friends and some were solo. What a great morning to run…40F at 6 am 🙂

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I followed my run up with 30 minutes of core work and hamstring strengthening.

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Sunday:

AM: 2 hour & 15 minute #bikelove…alternate zone 2 and zone 3/4. I didn’t push as hard as I could have/should have since my legs were tired. I decided to let them recover a bit so I’d be ready to hit it hard again this coming week.

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PM: 90 minutes of hot yoga…I got some #solesistasweat and #yogalove

Weekly Totals:

Swim: 2.67 miles

Bike: 48.5 miles

Run: 24.9 miles

Strength Training: 2 hours 35 minutes

Hot Yoga: 90 minutes

How was your week of workouts?

Yoga in the Park

The City of Ames Parks and Rec offers an amazing opportunity during the summer months for people to practice yoga for FREE at the local Bandshell Park.  Some people may be yoga virgins, others may be veterans and many more might be somewhere in between.  Each week offers a different experience since there is a different instructor with his/her own unique style.

Today was the first “Yoga in the Park” session for the season.  There were about 70 people that showed up…we made it through our practice before the sky opened up and the rains fell.  Such a great way to start off a Saturday morning!!

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I love the yoga community, the reminders to stay present (both on and off the mat) and the focus and balance it brings to my life.  I always feel so much more relaxed, refreshed and revitalized after a yoga class.  🙂

I write a fitness article every month for our local Ames magazine.  This month the focus was on “Yoga in the Park.”  Here is a picture of the published article with the text below (since the text in the picture is so small).  I hope you enjoy 😉

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Yoga in the Park

Yoga IS for everyone and can provide you with instant gratification and long lasting transformations to your physical and mental health and well-being.  Have you ever wanted to try yoga?  No more excuses.  Now is the time to try.  “Yoga in the Park” is a FREE class offered at Bandshell Park in Ames from 10-11 am on Saturday mornings June 7 through August 2 (except Saturday, July 5).  “Yoga in the Park” is the perfect opportunity to get outdoors, breathe some fresh air, soak up some vitamin D, improve your strength and flexibility, and try something new.

Yoga benefits our general health and well-being in so many ways. It helps increase strength and flexibility.  When you attend your first yoga session, you may notice that you cannot bend over and touch your toes.  If you stick with it, your strength and flexibility will increase and some of those poses you originally thought were impossible will become possible.  Sheri Meyer is a yoga instructor, “I was drawn to yoga for a physical workout, but as I continue my practice, it has become so much more! Yoga is a beautiful practice that provides me with a sense of awareness, discipline and a toned body; it melds my mind, body, and spirit and truly enhances my life.  I relish my own practice and have the honor of leading others; helping us all to love our bodies and show ourselves grace.”

Yoga helps teach us to slow our breath (prana), relax, and focus on the present.  When faced with a stressful situation, this can help our bodies respond by activating the parasympathetic nervous system (calming response) instead of the sympathetic nervous system (fight-or-flight response).

Yoga helps thwart depression and anxiety.  There are many inverted poses that help increase serotonin levels, which elevates ones happiness, improves immune function, and promotes self-esteem and self confidence.  Who doesn’t want to be happier and healthier?

Yoga helps us relieve stress, unclutter the mind and sleep better.  With the hustle and bustle of everyday life, yoga provides our nervous system with the downtime it needs to recharge. Yoga helps us train our bodies to better handle frustrations, fears, anger, and desires that can sometimes cause us unnecessary stress.

Yoga helps us improve our range of motion and ease joint pain.  Melissa Tedone is a firm believer of the power yoga has on improving our health and well-being.  “When I was diagnosed with an autoimmune form of arthritis, my rheumatologist prescribed yoga.  Yoga’s controlled “flow” keeps my joints lubricated for better range of motion, and eases pain by gently stretching my connective tissues.  Two years later, I treasure my regular yoga practice as a time for me to let everything else go, breathe deeply, and focus on reconnecting with my body and helping it to heal.”

The yoga community in Ames is truly AMAZING!!  Come join others who are looking to improve their health and well-being, while soaking up some vitamin D and fresh air on Saturday mornings at Bandshell Park.  See you on your mat!!

Have you tried yoga?  If you’ve tried yoga, what do you love about yoga?  Would you go to yoga if it were free in your area?  

Being Present

I have had many reminders lately about “being present” both on the mat and in life…some subtle, some not so subtle:

  • Attending Hot Yoga and being reminded to be present…focus on the here and now.  “Don’t think about what you were able to do during your last practice, but focus on where you are today.”
  • A friend posting on Facebook the following reminder:

Put the Phone Down

  • Another friend posting the following reminder on Facebook:

appreciate today

  • “Those who aren’t balanced in yoga are not balanced in life.”  This quote comes from the following article that made me reflect on being present not just on the mat, but also in life…

Balancing Act

Being present is sometimes a very difficult task to accomplish.

 What tips do you have for staying present either on the mat, in life, or both?

Who stole my balance?

Thanks to Erin’s post on balance, I have been thinking a lot about the balance (or lack there of) in my life.  In 2011 while training for IRONMAN Wisconsin, the Iron Hippie and I seemed to have a one track mind…train, train, train.  We didn’t have a plan in place for keeping up with all the laundry, keeping the house clean, preparing healthy meals at home so we weren’t eating out all the time, spending quality time with each other (off of our bikes, out of the pool, away from the gym, or not in our running shoes), getting adequate sleep (sometimes this wasn’t a problem, while other times it was a huge challenge), spending quality time with family and friends…the list goes on and on.

balance

When I look back at my training in 2011, I don’t think it was as balanced as it could have been either.  I wasn’t incorporating consistent strength training into my schedule, I wasn’t incorporating yoga into my training, I wasn’t eating to train (instead…I was training to eat) and I had no idea how to train mentally for something as big as Ironman (not that I did much mental training for any of my previous races…).

Since the Iron Hippie and I signed up for IRONMAN Wisconsin 2014, we decided to take a look at our lives and try to schedule time for us to find balance in our lives.  Monday evenings have been set aside for date night, social outings with friends, or just an opportunity to organize our lives for the rest of the week.  We are hoping that setting aside Mondays evenings every week will allow us to have more balance in our lives.  We tried to implement this new plan a few months ago, but then life happened…we were frantically trying to finish the fire pit/patio before our new fence was installed, then we were on vacation in Madison, Wisconsin signing up for IRONMAN Wisconsin 2014, followed by the death of my Grandfather.  Needless to say, there was a 3 week period in September that was a whirl wind!!  It took some time, but we got our lives back into a routine.  We have successfully implemented our Monday balance check (as I call it) for a couple of months…date night, organizing our lives for the week, cleaning house, doing laundry, preparing meals.  So far, it has worked like a charm…we are finding more balance.  I have also been doing a much better job of incorporating strength training and hot yoga into my weekly training regimen to help keep my body in balance as well.  Here’s to a much more successful and balanced IRONMAN training year!!

Yin and Yang balance vs fast, hard, best

Recovery…The Most Important Workout

Many athletes neglect to properly recover after tearing down their bodies during workouts.  Recovery is very important for the body to rebuild itself and to do so stronger than it was before so we can optimize performance.  Without proper recovery, our bodies are more prone to injury, fatigue, “dead legs” and overtraining.

What do I do to help promote proper recovery?

1.  Stretching and Foam Roller…I stretch and foam roller after workouts targeting my quads, hamstrings, glutes, IT bands, hips, spine and calves.

Foam Rollering my IT band after a "dress rehearsal" workout for my upcoming race.
Foam Rollering my IT band after a “dress rehearsal” workout for my upcoming race.

2.  Compression Socks…After a tough workout I make sure to wear my compression socks to reduce swelling.

CEP recovery socks...thinking of going to recovery tights soon!!
CEP recovery socks…thinking of going to recovery tights soon!!

3.  Refueling…I make sure to rehydrate and get some good protein in my system within the first 20 minutes after a tough workout.  Peanut Butter Protein Balls  and Chocolate Almond Milk seem to work quite well!!

These are peanut butter protein balls...not what they really look like!!
These are peanut butter protein balls…not what they really look like!!

4.  Sleep….I love me a good nap.  Especially when I get to snuggle with Basil…

Basil and I cuddling at nap time!!
Basil and I cuddling at nap time!!

5.  Massage…I try to see a professional massage therapist at least once a month.

6.  Yoga…I find that when I incorporate yoga into my training I stay injury free 🙂

I prefer hot yoga, but sometimes I have to sacrifice and attend regular yoga.
I prefer hot yoga, but sometimes I have to sacrifice and attend regular yoga.

Everyone has their own recovery tips and strategies.  Some people take recovery very seriously and find that their efforts really help optimize their performance.  Here are a few tips and strategies that some pros use:  Training tip recovery secrets from the professionals

What recovery tips and strategies do you incorporate into your training so you can optimize your performance???