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Sunday, November 20, 2011

I have a plan

I am so excited that I finally have a plan for the next year +!!  I am thinking I will be doing four 1/2 Ironman distance events in 2012, one in 2013 and a full Ironman in 2013.  I have also included some olympic and sprint distance triathlons as well as full and 1/2 marathons.  I am stoked!!  Now if I can just convince the husband that all of these races are necessary to keep me out of a slump and in a much better mood.  I feel better about myself when I am training and pushing myself to my limits!!  Here is the plan:

February 25: My Y Tri
March 31: Hy Vee 1/2 Marathon for JDRF
April 28: Drake 1/2 Marathon
May 20: Bluff Creek Olympic Triathlon
May 27: Madison Marathon
June 2: Dam to Dam
June 9: Liberty Tri 1/2 Ironman distance
July 14: Okoboji Triathlon
July 22: Chisago Lakes 1/2 Ironman distance
July 23-28: RAGBRAI
August 5: Omaha Olympic Triathlon
August 19: Big Pig 1/2 Ironman distance
October 28: Ironman 70.3 Austin
April 21, 2013: Ironman 70.3 New Orlenes
June 23, 2013: Ironman Coeur d'Alene

I know that seems like a lot, but I am looking forward to the challenge!!  Who's in?!?!?!?!?

Saturday, November 19, 2011

Post Ironman Slump

I have come to realize that I NEED a race on the schedule to stay motivated.  Not just any old race either...I need a big one.  I am in a funk with no real goals in mind for the coming year.  I am not exercising regularly, I am not sleeping well, I am not eating the best that I know I can and should, I have gained 7 pounds in 2 months and I am not feeling that great either (I seem to have a constant cold, sore throat, etc...UGH!!).

I was reminded to "Find the reasons that make you want to train and to race.  Embrace them and use them to keep you on the road each day."  Right now my road has big holes in it big enough for me to get lost in.  I am hoping to patch up and smooth out that road this weekend and create a plan to get me back on track.

I can go out and run a 5K/10K or participate in a sprint/olympic distance triathlon with no training.  As a matter of fact, I recently got first place woman in a local 10K without even setting a PR.  I can also compete in a 1/2 marathon with very little training.  I think I need to focus on the 1/2 to full Ironman and full marathon distances when racing.  I enjoy the triathlon much more than just running since there is variety in the daily training and the actual race.

If any of you have suggestions for upcoming events in the Midwest for 2012, I am taking suggestions!!

Thursday, November 17, 2011

Race Day...Ironman Wisconsin 2011

The alarm clock went off at 4 am and I popped out of bed to make oatmeal for both of us.  After dressing for the swim, eating breakfast and gathering up our special needs bags and any last minute items we may need before the start of the event, we headed out the hotel door and down to the start area.  We had to drop off our run and bike special needs bags at the capital before heading to Monona Terrace for the official start to what would become a VERY LONG day.

At the terrace, we got body marked (I was #458) and then headed to transition to put nutrition and water on our bikes as well as pump up the tubes.  We found our sherpas, coach and friends inside the terrace, where we gathered while waiting for the start of the race.  Lots of laughs, but very few nerves ;)  That was the first race I haven't been nervous before the start...what a refreshing feeling.  I was ready to go!!

At about 6:30 am we began putting on our wetsuits and then headed down to the swim start.  What a beautiful morning.  The water was as smooth as glass and the red/orange sun was reflecting off its surface.  No wind and not a cloud in the sky.  We finished pulling up our wetsuits, donned our swim caps and pressed our goggles onto our faces before entering the water.

It was nice to get the opportunity to just float for a while in the water and listen to the sounds of other athletes before the cannon went off.  There were lots of athletes frantically getting into the water last minute and trying to get in position.  I was so thankful we had gotten into the water about 15 minutes before the start of the race to just acclimate and float!!

At 7:00 am, the cannon was fired and 2800 swimmers all started the same 2.4 mile swimming adventure.  There was a mass of flailing arms, legs and bodies all fighting for their spot in the water.  As I fought for my place in the water, I got kicked in the jaw, kicked in the eye (good thing for goggles!!!) and my hand came down on someone hard enough that I thought I may have cracked a bone.  It was just like I had imagined it would be...a rugby match in the water.  I swam out to the first turn buoy where I mooed in true Ironman Wisconsin fashion (after all, it is tradition for every athlete to "moo" as they breathe and turn around the first buoy).  At one point, I remember hearing the fly over while swimming.  With it being the 10th year anniversary of 9/11 there were a lot of special events going on in Madison other than Ironman.  After finishing the first loop, I was pleasantly surprised to see my time of 44 minutes and was excited to go back out for loop number 2!!  I exited the water in 1:30:45.  This was about 22 minutes faster than my 2.4 mile swim done in Saylorville Lake.  I was off to a great start and was stoked!!

After having my wetsuit stripped from me at the swim exit, I ran up the helix into transition.  Along the way I saw my parents and friends...it was so much fun to see them, but I was focused on getting in and out of transition as quickly as I could.  I ran into the terrace, grabbed my bag and had a WONDERFUL volunteer help me do a complete change into my bike gear.  I thanked her and ran out of transition to my bike.  The volunteers in Madison are AMAZING!!

I grabbed my bike and ran to the mount line, climbed on my saddle and headed out onto the 112 mile bike course.  After having ridden this course 4 times before, I knew what to expect and knew to start off easy.  It was hard to go out easy with everyone trying to hurry to get out of town, but I knew this is what I would have to do to save my legs for the run.  Getting to Verona was fun and the time went by pretty quickly.  I always seem to struggle (more mentally than physically I think) with the stretch from Verona to Mt. Horeb, but once I got to Mt. Horeb, it seemed like time flew by until I was on the three big hills.  It was so much fun to see Coach Julie, our sherpas and some friends on Cell Tower Hill (the second of the three big hills).  Julie ran up with me and asked how I was doing.  I told her, "GREAT!!"  She told me to pick up the pace a little on the second loop then.  I took off and made it back into Verona (mile 54) where I saw my parents in the cheer zone having what appeared to be a great time!!  As I got through Verona, I approached my special needs bag and Tim (husband) caught up to me (I did beat him out of the water by nearly 15 minutes, so I had the head start on the bike).  It was fun to see him and chat with him momentarily as I got some extra nutrition.  Tim and I yo-yoed for a while to chat and I told him to go have a strong race.  Oh how I should have tried to stay with him until Mt. Horeb.  What a tough stretch.  The headwinds had picked up this time, so I was not only mentally challenged during this segment of the bike, but also more physically challenged than the first loop.  Oh well, I made it to Mt. Horeb and forged ahead.  At about mile 80 I started to feel a little dizzy and light headed.  When I saw Coach Julie on Cell Tower Hill, she told me to drink more water since I appeared to be dehydrated.  I continued to drink and get myself back into Verona.  Only 16 miles back to Madison!!  I WILL DO THIS!!  :)

I remember climbing the helix on my bike thinking this was not as challenging as I thought it would be.  Another wonderful volunteer took my bike from me and I ran into transition where some of my fabulous friends helped me change into my running gear and sent me on my way.  My bike split was 7:56:58...not my best, but the last 32 miles were not the clearest.

As I ran out of transition, I saw another friend who told me Tim was only about 10 minutes ahead of me and he was walking because of cramping.  I was hopeful that I could catch him, but I was still VERY dizzy and the world was starting to spin around me.  This is where everything started to go downhill for me.  It didn't take me long to figure out that I wasn't dehydrated, I had hyponatremia...too much water diluting out all of my salts...UGH!!  I was peeing at EVERY kybo I could find!!  Have you ever tried peeing in a dark kybo while feeling like you have the drunk bed spins standing upright?  This is exactly how I felt, but the worst part was...I was sober!!  I began the run/walk strategy and caught up with Tim at about mile 3.  From this point on, we walked the rest of the marathon.  I don't remember the rest.  I do know from others that I did run a little and talked with friends and family along the way.  I do remember constantly thinking to myself, "Don't let the volunteers, friends or family know I am unable to walk a straight line.  Just FOCUS!!"  I know I wouldn't have finished had it not been for Tim's coaxing, willingness and dedication to stick with me and get me to the end.  I felt AWFUL!!  I don't remember crossing the finish line, but we did finish with an overall finish time of 16:15:00.  I have a medal, pictures and video footage to prove it!!

Looking back, I should have taken more salt tablets on the bike and had salt tablets along the run course to take.  I definitely need to work on nutrition before the next big one ;)

Wednesday, November 9, 2011

Race Weekend

Thursday, September 8, 2011
We arrived in Madison and went straight to packet pickup.  They ran us all over the terrace, but it was nice to get through all of it before the rush that came over the next couple of days. 

We have our race numbers, our transition bags, our special needs bags and the excitement just kept growing!!  We decided to go check into our hotel and complete our workouts for the day to burn off some of that excitement!!

Friday, September 9, 2011
This started with our morning swim followed by a short run around the capitol to shake out the legs.  We then went and had lunch with some AMAZING friends, Sue and Michele, at The Great Dane.  We sat and talked for hours.  So long in fact, that we were the only ones left in the seating area in the basement!!

The athlete dinner Friday night was great!!  It was fun to see the excitement and all of the people who were going to be participating in the exact same conditions that we would be competing in in just a couple of days!!  Some real amazing people doing really amazing things!!

Saturday, September 10, 2011
After completing our morning swim and bike, we dropped our bike and gear off in transition.  It is official...we are ready to go!!

We watched the Iowa State vs. Iowa game that went into 3 overtimes.  GO STATE!!  I was so happy to see them win!!  We then had a dinner with our parents and got a good night's sleep.

Tomorrow is the BIG DAY!!

June through early September

I know I was HORRIBLE about posting my experiences while training for Ironman Wisconsin after the first part of June.  I want to take some time to update you.  Beware...this could take a while!!

In late June, we went to Madison for what we refer to as the "Epic Weekend."  We trained with other triathletes either doing Ironman Wisconsin, another Ironman distance event, or those who might be considering doing an Ironman distance event in the future.  It was a GREAT weekend filled with like minded individuals to share races, experiences, training and life with.  We had educational sessions as well as LOTS of swimming, biking and running.

In July we competed in the Okoboji Triathlon.  It was a LOT of fun to get the opportunity to go fast and just have fun.  We had been going long and slow for so long that it was fun to get to go short and fast!!  The weekend following Okoboji, we went to Minnesota and competed in the Chisago Lakes 1/2 Iron Distance event.  It was a GREAT race!!  One we will definitely do again!!  I had some obstacles to overcome during this event; UNBELIEVABLE FOG on the swim course, goggles continuously fogging over while swimming, flat tire on the bike and forgot my Garmin on the run to know my pace.  The good news:  I overcame each and everyone of them and still got a PR (personal record) by nearly 15 minutes!!  Two days after competing in Chisago, we rode 121 miles during the week of RAGBRAI in 115 degree F heat.  It was BRUTAL, but definitely helped us get stronger on the bike as well as train us mentally!!

August brought us some LONG training hours!!  There were some workouts where I vividly remember thinking, "I am ready for race day.  I just want this to be over!!"  With the last big week of training came my first week back at school.  What a challenge trying to find time to get my workouts in while starting back up with school.  That was a VERY CRAZY week!!  I'm glad it is behind me!!

Late August and early September brought on the taper...what a relief!!  It was nice and refreshing to have some downtime, but toward the end of the taper, I felt like I was a slacker and needed to get going again.  Just in time for race day!!

Speaking of race day...that is for the next post.

Sunday, June 19, 2011

Panic Attack

I just realized I haven't been very good at updating my progress for IM training lately.  I also just counted how many weeks are left before the taper and Ironman Wisconsin...
9 weeks to the taper
12 weeks to Ironman Wisconsin

I think that is enough to make me want to puke!!  No...seriously...I am very excited about race day, but very nervous as well!! 

This coming weekend will be the true test as we will basically be doing nearly the full IM Wisconsin race course over the three day weekend.  How will it go?!?!?!?  I will keep you posted!!

Wednesday, May 25, 2011

Nerves...the good and the bad

The realization of the feat in front of me is starting to really make me nervous!!  I know I will be prepared come race day, but the thought of what these next 12 weeks before the taper will bring really causes me to shake in my boots!!  I was told tonight by my coach that "these next 12 weeks will be the hardest weeks of your life" but they will also fly by.  I guess if it is going to be tough I want it to fly by, but I am definitely NOT ready for race day yet!!  I can use all of the time I have available.

With 18 weeks of training complete, there is less time to the gun going off for the start of Ironman Moo than the amount of time we have behind us in our training.  That is unfathomable to me!!

Nerves can definitely be a good thing!!  They help us in our training to be more conscience of successfully completing our workouts.  Come race day, they rev our engines as we approach the start of the race.  They can definitely be a huge asset to a competitor if present in the right amount.  My nerves will be an asset and definitely help me successfully finish IM Moo in September!!

Reba MacIntire put it best when she said, "If you didn't want this, you wouldn't be nervous."

Sunday, May 22, 2011

Week 18 on the IM Moo Training Train

Very Hard, but Successful Week :)

Monday:
TRX = 45 min

Tuesday:
Run = 65 min

Wednesday:
Swim = 1 hr
Bike = 2 hrs
Women's Bike Clinic in DSM

Thursday:
Brick = 2 hrs 30 min

Friday:
Missed Swim
Had a Massage :)

Saturday:
Run = 1 hr 47 min
Ride = 1 hr

Sunday:
Ride = 5 hrs 23 min

There were some VERY WINDY rides this week.  I am getting tired of always fighting headwind (crosswinds too) on the rides.  I sure hope it isn't like this on race day!!

Saturday, May 21, 2011

First Triathlon of the Year...FAIL!!

Who decides to decrease the swim from 1500 meters (approximately 30 minutes) to 500 meters (approximately 8-10 minutes) just because the water temperature is 55 degrees.  That is RIDICULOUS!!  I am so upset that I am not going to participate in the event.  It is not worth my time to put on the wetsuit and tear it off for 8 minutes of swim time.  It will take me longer to get the wetsuit on and off than it will to swim...what is wrong with these people?!?!?!  I realize 55 degrees is cold, but there is a reason we have wetsuits and we all would have been just fine!!  We would have warmed up on the bike and run since the daytime temperature is to be 82 degrees with high humidity.

Instead we are going to ride our bike for about 5 hours (80-90 miles).  This will be a much better workout and more worth our time/efforts.  For of those of you who participate, I hope you have fun and enjoy the race!!

Tuesday, May 17, 2011

Week 17 on the IM Moo Training Train

Despite having a VERY quiet house, I had a much more successful training week this week.

Monday:
Ride = 1 hour 25 min
TRX = 45 min

Tuesday:
Run = 45 min

Wednesday:
Brick = 2 hours 20 min

Thursday:
Day Off

Friday:
Nothing...was suppose to swim, but was very EXHAUSTED!!

Saturday:
Run = 1 hour 19 min
Swim = 1 hour 10 min

Sunday:
Swim = 1 hour 10 min
Ride = 2 hours

I would say that is a successful week (in comparison to what I have had lately)...I only missed one workout :)

Looking forward to killing it this week!!  First Triathlon of the season is this Sunday...the water should be nice and cold yet...BRRRR!!!

Tuesday, May 10, 2011

Week 16 on the IM Moo Training Train

Our train was again derailed.  We lost our beloved best friend this week...Marathon Sue went to heaven to chase rabbits with Lucky.  It doesn't seem fair that she was in this world for such a short time.  She will forever be loved and missed.

Monday:
Strength Training = 3 hours

Tuesday:
Run = 27 min

Wednesday:
Core = 45 min
Mara went to heaven today

Thursday:
Strength Training = 2 hours 15 min

Friday:
Massage

Saturday:
Run = 1 hour 53 min

Sunday:
Ride = 3 hours 35 min

I am hoping for a much better week next week!!

Sunday, April 24, 2011

Week 15 on the IM Moo Training Train

This week wasn't as successful as I would like.  I was unable to get to the pool at all due to timing of open swim hours.  I am going to have to schedule that into my day first and surround it with all my work commitments.  This has been the biggest challenge.  Good thing this was a "Recovery Week."

Monday:
Rest Day...no exercise :)

Tuesday:
Run = 50 minutes
Missed a swim

Wednesday:
Brick...that turned into a fail!!!  Flatted on the bike and was unable to get the new tube to inflate, so it wasn't completed...30 minutes on the bike.

Thursday:
Run = 50 min speed workout

Friday:
Missed a swim
Raining when a 1 hour ride was scheduled

Saturday:
Run = 1 hour 20 minutes
Missed a swim

Sunday:
Bike = 2 hours 15 minutes

This next week is going to be much better for me...I will see to it!!

Monday, April 18, 2011

Don't Forget to Push Your Limits!!

As a kid growing up, Mom use to say, "Don't push your limits young lady."  I think what she meant to say was, "Don't forget to push your limits."  After all, in order to do our best and be our best, we need to push ourselves to do what we never thought possible!!  We have to find those boundaries and push ourselves beyond them.

Growing up, I would have never dreamed I would be training for and competing in an Ironman competition!!  During the training for Ironman, I have been and will continue to test my limits both physically and mentally.  By pushing my limits, I am hoping to achieve levels of physical fitness and discipline I didn't even know existed!!

What limits do our bodies and minds really have?  We won't know until we push ourselves to find them!!  During an Ironman competition, women compete with no advantage over men and I wouldn't want it any other way!!  We will all start together as the gun goes off.  One massive school of sharks waiting to attack their prey.  The swim start has been referred to as a rugby tournament in the water or a loaded washing machine on the spin cycle...complete and utter chaos in the water.  After the swim comes the long and daunting bike ride where you not only have to fight the terrain, environmental elements and your mind, you might also encounter the spit, snot or urine of your fellow competitors if you get in their "line of fire".  Once the bike has been safely stashed back in transition, you have to find your legs and begin the long and arduous run where you have to constantly remind yourself to just put one foot in front of the other. 

Through all of this, you must stay properly fueled and hydrated.  This can be very challenging!!  Trying to find fuel sources that have enough calories and don't upset your stomach takes a lot of trial and error.  Everyone responds differently to fuel sources, so what works for one person, may not work for someone else (bonking, cramping, diarrhea, vomiting...all of these have the potential to come with improper fueling).   Proper fueling and hydration is yet another example of testing our limits and finding out what our bodies can handle, can handle well and can't handle at all...

You might ask, "Why are you voluntarily doing this to yourself."  The answer is simple...I am pushing my limits!!

Sunday, April 17, 2011

Week 14 on the IM Moo Training Train

Finally...A successful week in training!!  I didn't miss a workout and have no pain...WHOOT WHOOT!!

Monday:
Swim = 60 min
Strength Training = 2 hours

Tuesday:
Run = 30 min
Ride = 2 hours

Wednesday:
Ride = 2 hours 35 minutes

Thursday:
Run = 80 minutes
Swim = 30 minutes (suppose to be 1 hour, but I wasn't properly fueled)

Friday:
Day off :)

Saturday:
Run = 70 minutes
Swim = 60 minutes

Sunday:
Ride = 4 hours 30 minutes

I finally feel good about being back on the training train in full force!! 

Chugga Chugga Chugga Chugga...Choo Choo :)

Wednesday, April 13, 2011

Has Spring Sprung?

The last few days the weather has been absolutely perfect for Ironman training!!  High temperatures in the low 70s, relatively little wind, no precipitation, mix of sun and clouds...spring weather in Iowa doesn't get much better than this!!  It has definitely given me the urge to pick up my training and get outside more!!

The problem...I saw the weather forecast for this coming week.  Starting tomorrow, high temperatures in the mid 50s, potential for rain and snow, high winds...all around just UGLY!!  Just when you think spring is here, Mother Nature has a mood swing and slaps you in the face to bring you back to reality!!  Spring in Iowa is not always happy go lucky, but often times very unpredictable!!

Does this mean I am ready for summer?  Most definitely NOT!!  I am not a fan of the hot temperatures, humid air, and direct sun that is often present in Iowa during the summer months.  I will learn to live with Mother Nature's mood swings just to keep the Iowa summer at bay!!

Sunday, April 10, 2011

Week 13 on the IM Moo Training Train

I had a better week this week than last week, but still not where I want it to be. 

Monday:
Strength Training = 75 minutes

Tuesday:
Run = 36 minutes

Wednesday:
Cycle = 2 hours
Strength Training = 75 minutes

Thursday:
Run = 65 minutes

Friday:
Nothing...VERY busy day

Saturday:
Run = 60 minutes

Sunday:
Cycle = 2 hours 15 minutes

I am going to rock next week's workouts!!

Thursday, April 7, 2011

Week 12 on the IM Moo Training Train

This was a more successful week than last, but not where I want to be yet.  I am still struggling with my schedule and trying to figure out when I can get my workouts in around my crazy schedule.  The hardest one is the swimming since Ames doesn't have a pool with hours available throughout the entire day (unless I pay for an Ames Racquet and Fitness Center membership...which I refuse to do!!).

Monday:
Nothing

Tuesday:
Run: 28 min

Wednesday:
Cycle: 30 min (I was suppose to ride for 90 min, but was having some knee issues...UGH!!)

Thursday:
Nothing

Friday:
Nothing

Saturday:
Run: 60 min

Sunday:
Cycle: 2 hours

Not as great as I would like.  This week is going much better so far :)

Wednesday, March 30, 2011

Smiles

"Smile and the whole world smiles with you." Louis Armstrong

I have recently noticed that when I smile, not only do I feel better, but many others who receive my smile share their smile as well.  It isn't that difficult to smile and it will help to make the world a brighter, more enjoyable place!!

I am all smiles now that I have been cleared from PT to resume my Ironman training as though I was never injured!!  :)  It is such a great feeling to be swimming laps in the pool, out pounding the pavement, spinning in the basement (I know this sounds sick...who wants to stare at the walls in the basement while riding...), and strength training without any knee pain!!  That is something to smile about in my book!!  :)

Smiling helps keep your body relaxed even during challenging or painful times during training and racing.  Before my injury, I ran 10 hill repeats on Carr Drive.  For those of you who don't know, Carr Drive is a short climb, but a steep one.  While running these hill repeats, I found that when I smiled, the challenge in front of me was not nearly as daunting.  It didn't even really seem like a challenge.

Smiling not only relieves stress and relaxes the body, but it also boosts the immune system and causes the body to release endorphins.  As a triathlete, the release of endorphins will reduce discomfort and increase pleasure, which helps you to push forward even when times get tough.  I want to reduce as much discomfort as I can while competing in a race, so I plan to follow Chrissie Wellington's lead and smile!!

Chrissie Wellington smiles all the time.  She is always relaxed, focused and smiling.  With this demeanor, it is no wonder why she has set world records in the triathlon world and continues to challenge herself and break her own records!!

Just remember..."Smile and the whole world smiles with you." Louis Armstrong

Tuesday, March 29, 2011

Week 11 on the IM Training Train

I am starting to get back to where I was before my injury :)

Monday:
Swim = 40 min

Tuesday:
Nothing...I was suppose to run, but it was thundering/lightening so I didn't go out :(

Wednesday:
TRX = 45 min
Core = 45 min
Cycle = 90 min

Thursday:
Kettlebells = 45 min
Core = 45 min
Run = 47 min

Friday:
Nothing...I was in training all day for SilverSneakers

Saturday:
Run = 1 hour

Sunday:
Cycle = 2 hours

I would say this was a pretty successful week :)

Sunday, March 20, 2011

Ironman Quote of the Day

"Life is about LIMITS, reaching them, exploring them, exceeding them, or coming to the conclusion that there really aren't any...LIMITS" ~ Ironman



Week 11 on the IM Moo Training Train

This week has been much more successful in the training.  I have been released by PT to do a little bit more than nothing :)

Monday:
Swim: 15 min
Pool Running: 15 min
PT day

Tuesday:
Elliptical: 30 min
TRX (Strength Training): 1 hour

Wednesday:
Walk: 2 hours

Thursday:
TRX: 90 min

Friday:
Walk: 30 min
PT day

Saturday:
Ride: 1 hour...FINALLY!!  :)
Walk: 30 min

Sunday:
Run: 21 min

I finally feel like I am getting somewhere with my recovery :)  Hopefully I will be released to do more soon since I have not been in any pain :)

Week 10 on the IM Moo Training Train

I know I haven't been very good at keeping you informed of my training lately...the problem is I haven't been able to train much due to my injury. 

Week 10 was pathetic!!  There was no exercise for the whole week...except for the strengthening exercises I have been instructed to do by PT.  Overall, I have felt like a slug and have not been in a good mental state...That started to change in Week 11 :)

Monday, March 7, 2011

Success


“Success in triathlon doesn’t happen on the day of the race, just before the race, or even during the race.  Success comes from the days, weeks, and months of training that prepare you for the race.” 
     ~Jim Taylor
This is quite possibly one of the most accurate statements made, as it relates to triathlon.  There are some very challenging times during training for Ironman that will strengthen the individual, making he/she much stronger on race day.  This strength translates into success.  Without the training, there would be no showing up at the start line for the race, no competition in the race and no crossing the finish line at the race.  Race day success comes from all of the hard days of training (both physically and mentally).  Without the everyday "grind," those race day successes might not exist.

I am currently experiencing challenges in my training, but I will persevere and be successful in my training, on the day of the race, just before the race and during the race!!  I will hear, "Kecia, You Are An Ironman!!" on September 11, 2011 :)

Week 9 on the IM Moo Training Train

The IM Moo Training Train has been derailed.  I am hopeful that I can start doing more training after I meet with the pt tomorrow.  This week's workouts were VERY limited and this has been VERY challenging mentally.  If I can't start training again soon, I may have to seek a psychiatrist for mental stabilization.  I haven't been sleeping well and am probably a bear to live with.

Monday:
Core Exercises = 30 minutes

Tuesday:
Strength Training = 1 hour

Wednesday:
No Exercise

Thursday:
Strength Training = 1 hour

Friday:
No Exercise

Saturday:
No Exercise

Sunday:
No Exercise

What a pathetic week since I was up to nearly 15 hours of exercise before this injury.  This is a true lesson in patience!!

Saturday, March 5, 2011

Making the Most of it...

There are lots of people who compete in many races (including life) with a challenge...without a limb, with a disease, without family, without friends, with little money.  Whatever the challenge, they get through...they survive...they persevere.  I am a firm believer that you aren't given more than you can handle.  My mother has taught me to be a strong, independent woman and has always said, " That which doesn't kill you makes you stronger."  Well, I am getting a dose about being stronger!!  This bum knee is giving me the opportunity to grow mentally and hopefully physically (since we do grow stronger during our recovery periods than during our workouts).

I start pt on Tuesday and am hopeful that I will be told I can start exercising at a low intensity.  I have not had knee pain for a couple of days now and am still icing, taking ibuprofen and making the most of the present situation.  Hope and faith are what I have to lean on right now and I will continue to lean on them until I am back on the IM Moo training train full steam ahead!!

Monday, February 28, 2011

Week 8 on the IM Moo Training Train

Pretty Unsuccessful Week :(

Monday:
Swim = 60 min
Strength Training = 60 min

Tuesday:
Run = 55 min Hill Repeats
Cycle = 60 min easy

Wednesday:
Swim = 65 min
Brick = 80 min (60 min ride followed by a 20 min run)

Thursday:
Strength Training = 60 min
Cycle = 60 min easy

Friday:
Nothing...knee pain

Saturday:
Nothing...knee pain

Sunday:
Nothing...knee pain

I went to the Dr. today and had x-rays done as a precaution.  No stress fracture...instead...I have patellar tendinitis...UGH!!  I am not suppose to exercise for 2 weeks and start physical therapy next week.  Lots of ice, ibuprofen and rest are in the near future to get through this!!

Saturday, February 26, 2011

No Pain...No Gain

Think about all of the times you have felt great...what were the costs that gave you that "great feeling?"  Typically we don't have these "great feelings" without some kind of "pain" along the way.  For me, higher energy has the "pain" of giving up sugar; race goal completion has the "pain" of training; training has the "pain" of early morning swims, basement trainer rides and long enduring runs; sleep has the "pain" of not socializing with friends.  Right now, I have temporary pain in my knee as well.  I know it will go away eventually.  "Pain" seems to surround us everyday, but without it, we wouldn't know what feeling great is like.

What makes all of this "pain" worth while?  Crossing the finish line of a "race" that you have been so dedicated to.  For me, this "race" could be a 5K, 10K, 1/2 marathon, marathon, sprint triathlon, Olympic triathlon, 1/2 Ironman, Ironman, or just the race of life.  In life, there are many everyday trials and tribulations that seem like a "race."

Sometimes the journey to the start line is the best part of the race.  It is the direction, decision,  determination and drive that gets me to the start line of any race.  These same characteristics are also going to get me to the start line of Ironman in September.  Finishing any race is the reward for the journey.  Finishing Ironman will be the reward for all of the "pain" that I encounter on a daily basis during my journey to the start line of Ironman Wisconsin!!

Thursday, February 24, 2011

Goal Setting

Lately, I have been reading a book about mental training (The Triathlete's Guide to Mental Training).  There are a lot of really great points addressed in the book...one of which is goal setting.  It says that you should have goals for different areas of your life.  It also mentions that these goals should be in writing so you can be held accountable to achieve them.  It also states that you may need support from family and friends at times when you get side tracked to get you back on track so you can achieve your goals.  For those of you reading this, please help me find the paved road again if I get lost on the gravel roads!!  So...here I go...

My yearly goal...to be fit enough to be able to finish my first Ironman in early September.
My race goals...half-marathon in April, early season Olympic-distance race, marathon in May and a half-Ironman in July to prepare me for the Ironman event.
My feeling goal...to feel relaxed and comfortable during races and not suffer too much late in races.
My training goal...improve my 500 TT in the pool by 50 seconds (current 500 TT=9:35...goal=8:45), increase my power on the bike to help me ride comfortably at an average pace above 16 mph on long rides and running comfortably at an 8:40 pace for long endurance runs.
My lifestyle goal...cutting sugar out of my diet and getting at least 8 hours of sleep every night.
My fulfillment goal...succeeding at these new challenges and enjoying myself during training and racing.

By achieving the last 5 goals, I will set myself up to achieve my first goal...finish my first Ironman in September 2011!!

Tuesday, February 22, 2011

Problem Solved

Monday morning while swimming, I had an epiphany!!  My knee pain is caused by my new bike shoes!!  What?  New bike shoes cause knee pain?  How?  Well, let me explain.  When you get new bike shoes, the cleats on the bottom tend to shift out of proper alignment very easily.  (Oh, but first it is important to get the cleats in the same alignment as your old shoes...as close of alignment as you can anyway...Problem #1.)  The cleats tend to shift even more if you tighten your pedals too much to the point that you can't get your shoes in and out of the pedals at all (OOPS...Problem #2.  When I did this, I really twisted the cleats on the bottom of my shoes).  Once the cleats are out of proper alignment, the entire leg is also out of proper alignment, thus causing potential ankle, knee and/or hip pain.  Problem #3...riding for multiple miles with the cleats improperly aligned.

I decided to take my bike, old bike shoes and new bike shoes into Skunk River Cycles after my swim and had Ronn, the owner, help me properly align the cleats on my new bike shoes.  Now I should not have any more problems.  I am so excited that it was something so simple!!  What an easy fix!!

I did learn a very valuable lesson for the future...check the alignment of the cleats after nearly every ride for the first month or so when new bike shoes/cleats are purchased.  I will definitely be doing this over the next month!!  I was also told that about once a month after that it is important to recheck the alignment to make sure nothing has shifted.  I will also be doing this...no more knee pain for me!!

Problems solved!!

Sunday, February 20, 2011

Training Train Temporarily Derailed

This week I torqued my right knee during a strength training exercise on Thursday and have had some pain in my knee ever since :(  I have been taking it really easy the last few days hoping that I will be on the mend and can get back on the training train soon.  This week, I missed a run, ride, and two swims as a result.  I also had to cut a ride short :(  I haven't missed any workouts in the first 6 weeks of training, but this week the training train was derailed...UGH!!  I am hoping that I won't miss any workouts this week. 

Between rest, ice and ibuprofen, I am hoping to be back on the training train really soon.  I have been told by others to go to a free Physical Therapy screening to determine if it is something serious or not.  I am going to see how it feels tomorrow and then decide if I go to PT on Tuesday.  I feel as though if I rest my knee, I will be back on the training train soon.  It feels a lot like tennis elbow in the knee, which heals with rest.  (I know that many of you who have had IT band issues are thinking, "Oh no, she has IT band and is in denial."  I do not have IT band...wrong side of the knee for IT band issues.  The pain is on the inside of the right knee.)

Come on Rest, Ice and Ibuprofen...be my friends and put me back on the training train ASAP!!!  I mentally fall apart when I am not training...

Week 7 on the IM Moo train

This week wasn't very successful :(  Good thing it was a recovery week!!

Monday:
Swim: 60 min
Strength Training: 75 min

Tuesday:
Nothing...

Wednesday:
Brick:  60 min ride followed by a 20 min run

Thursday:
Run: 55 min
Bike: 30 min outside...it was 72 degrees today...what a GORGEOUS day!!
Strength Training:  90 min...I torqued my right knee during my workout and have had some knee pain since Thursday :(

Friday:
Nothing...

Saturday:
Nothing...

Sunday:
Ride: 1 hr 50 min

I was suppose to have ridden for 2 hr 30 min, but my knee started acting up at about 90 minutes, so I decided to cut it short so that I wouldn't do more damage...UGH!!

Overall, not a very successful week for training for me.

Tuesday, February 15, 2011

Recovery Week

What a beautiful week for a recovery week!!  Not only is the number of scheduled workout hours less for the week, but the weather is going to be GORGEOUS (62 on Thursday)...it can't get better than this!!

One might ask, "Why are recovery weeks important?"  The answer is simple...improvements in one's fitness occur during recovery weeks when our bodies have ample time to rebuild and repair.  After a workout is finished, our bodies are actually weaker...not stronger.  It is important to rest between workouts and to have a recovery week to let the body repair and build that strength that we think we are getting from a tough workout or series of tough workouts.  If we continually push our bodies with every workout every week, we will most likely become overtrained and encounter injuries.

How often should recovery weeks arise during a training plan?  That depends on your current fitness level, your training history, how well you recover, the diversity of the event and distance you are training for.  A well designed training plan not only has recovery weeks built into it, it also has recovery workouts built into every week so recovery can occur between high intensity workouts.

Naps are great ways to recover!!  Unfortunately, not everyone has the luxury of taking a nap after a high intensity workout.  Many people have jobs, kids, housework, etc. that can interfere with that nap.  My hubby and I have decided that if we are going to properly train for IM Moo, we are also going to have to incorporate proper recovery.  As a result, we have had many evenings that were early to bed and many naps after high intensity workouts.  For instance, this last Friday night we were asleep before 7 pm and slept for nearly 11 hours.  We then took a 2 hour nap on Saturday and were in bed by 9 pm for another good night's sleep (consisting of about 10 hours).  I know this doesn't work for everyone, but it works for us and I know this won't change :)

I love my recovery weeks!!  It really makes the hard core training weeks that much more enjoyable and beneficial.  All I have to say to my muscles this week is..."Build, baby build!!"  I am ready to come back stronger next week :)

Monday, February 14, 2011

Early Bird

Today started the early bird lap swimming for the spring...plunging into the chilly pool water at 5:30 am is a DEFINITE wake-up call!!

The hardest part about early bird swimming is getting the feet out of bed and on the ground.  Once up, it isn't so bad.  It is actually very nice to have the swim done for the day and it is only shortly after 7 am!!  It does mean early to bed, but I'm not complaining :)  I love my sleep!!  And who says I can't take a nap later today?!?!?! 

Because it is so early in the morning, there aren't as many people swimming.  The fewer numbers of people in the pool make early bird swimming that much more appealing.  You don't have to fight for a lane, you don't have to share a lane (unless you want to) and there are fewer "waves" in the pool to fight against (although, this does provide an element one would find in outdoor swimming :) ).

This early bird lap swimming is a HUGE hit in my book!! 

Sunday, February 13, 2011

Week 6 on the IM Moo Training Train

Another Successful Training Week!!

Monday:
Swim: 60 min
Strength Training: 75 min

Tuesday:
Dreadmill Run: 55 min

Wednesday:
Swim: 70 min
Cycle: 90 min
Core: 30 min

Thursday:
Strength Training:  2 hrs 30 min

Friday:
Swim: 60 min
Cycle: 60 min

Saturday:
Run: 1 hr 40 min
Cycle: 30 min

Sunday:
Brick:  Cycle=2 hr 30 min, Run=20 min

Total mileage for the week: 103 miles :)

Friday, February 11, 2011

Warmer Weather Please

After just swimming for one hour in the pool and currently spinning on the bike in the basement as I type, I am dreaming about warmer weather when I can swim and ride outside.  Don't get me wrong...I have had some great days of training indoors (both in the pool and on the bicycle trainer), but I am ready to see the world again as I exercise.  There is little that makes time fly like the change of scenery on the bike, or the open water crashing in your face (except for the adult conversations that take place in our basement during a group trainer ride :)).

I am even willing to endure the humid 90 degree days with no breeze...the 30 mph headwinds that rip across Iowa and make it nearly impossible to move forward...the very rainy days (yes...I am planning to ride in the rain on occasion...who knows what race day can bring)...the frigid 60 degree water temps that require a wetsuit...the white caps on the open water taking one's breath away... if it means exercising outdoors.  I miss seeing the diverse animals I ride by, the clear blue sky, the bright sun beating down on me, the thunder head clouds moving in, feeling the seaweed graze my toes (or was that a nibble from a fish)...there are so many things to appreciate about outdoor training.

With the pending spring like weather forecast in the very near future (we're going to have the 50s next week...YIPPEE!!), I may have to strongly consider getting the bike dirty and doing an outdoor ride or two to help me get through the rest of the Iowa winter...we'll see just how warm it gets and just how sloppy the roads are.  Who is up for an adventure?!?!?!

Thursday, February 10, 2011

BRICK in the Books

The first brick of 2011 is done!!

What exactly is a brick?  Most people typically think of them as the building material used to construct homes or office buildings.  In the triathlon world they have a very different definition...the brick is typically when an athlete goes from the bike directly to the run.  How did it get the name "brick?"  Some people believe it came from "Bike Run ICK" because of the way ones legs feel while running right off the bike.

I actually love how my legs feel off the bike!!  They are a little rubbery, but are also nice and warmed up from the ride.  These warm legs actually help make my run pace faster than it probably should be when I first get off the bike.  I still love the feeling of running off the bike!!

My first brick of 2011 consisted of 2:30:00 on the bike followed by 20:00 on the run...it definitely could have gone better, but it was not the worst brick I've ever done.  This time, I only consumed water on the ride, which made for a somewhat sluggish run.  From now on, I will do better with my nutrition to have my best performance.  After all, training is meant to help one practice for their big event...proper nutrition will be part of my big event, so I need to start practicing it during training!!

I have another brick this week on Sunday, so I will definitely practice my nutrition and hopefully get it right this time!!

Wednesday, February 9, 2011

How addicting can Triathlon be?

Chrissie is a girl after my own heart!!  I completely understand where she is coming from!!  Check out her take on the addiction of triathlon below.
Even Chrissie thinks triathlon is addicting!!

Monday, February 7, 2011

Reconnecting With My Childhood

Today when I was swimming in the pool I asked myself why I do triathlon.  It is simple really...I want to reconnect with my childhood.  As a kid, I swam nearly every day during the summer months in the lake...splashing around, making new friends at the lake and swimming with the dog.  I also rode my bike and ran around with friends.  It wasn't about being the best I could be, pushing myself in training or having good race results.  Instead, it was about the simple pleasures of swimming, biking and running. 

Sometimes these simple pleasures can get forgotten as I try to push myself to new levels during training and racing, but it is important for me to always remember how much fun each of these events were as a child.  Reconnecting with my childhood today in the pool was an amazing "blast from the past" and one that I am hoping to put at the forefront of my training.

After all...triathlon is about LOVE...those things I use to love to do as a child...swim, bike, run!!

Sunday, February 6, 2011

Week 5 on the IM Moo Training Train

Another week in the books!!

Monday:
Swim - 60 min
Full Body Strength Training (Did functional strength training this week and loved it!!) - 75 min

Tuesday:
Run - 50 min (w/ 3x8 min at 10K pace)
Bike - Easy 45 min

Wednesday:
Bike - 90 min (Muscular Endurance Ride)
Core - 20 min

Thursday:
Strength Training - 120 min (TRX for 90 min and 30 min of TRX Core)

Friday:
Swim - 60 min
Run - 90 min (10 mile endurance run)
Bike - Easy 30 min

Saturday:
Swim - 60 min (Swim analysis done...good to know what I need to improve on)

Sunday:
Bike/Run Brick
Bike - 2 hr 30 min Zone 3 Ladder Workout
Run - 20 min (right off bike)

Tuesday, February 1, 2011

Who wants to workout in the blizzard?

I completed my workouts despite the weather today.  Who says just because it is 14 degrees outside with 40 mph wind gusts and lots of snow means you can't get in a great workout or two or three?!?!?!  I'll admit...I went to the dreadmill for the run and the trainer for the ride.  Even I am not crazy enough to venture out on a day like today for an outdoor run or ride. 

The run consisted of 50 minutes of interval training.  This made the time go by faster since I was constantly increasing and decreasing my speed based on what the workout was.  Overall, it was a great workout!!

I got home from the run and hopped on the bike for about 45 minutes.  Just long enough to spin the demons out of my legs, which appeared during the high intensity run :)

Workout number three???  You guessed it...shoveling.  Someone had to go out and shovel enough space for my husband's car to fit in the driveway.  After all the snowing and blowing, there were waist high drifts in the driveway.  What can we expect when we live in Iowa in February?

Sunday, January 30, 2011

Will Ironman be my Drug?

I realize I have only completed 4 weeks of my IM training, but I am already asking myself if IM will be my drug...my addiction...my obsession...my infatuation.  I am loving the training that goes with IM.  The training keeps me feeling "fit."  I have little stress, eat and sleep well and feel healthy all the way around.

Even on days when I feel tired and just want to sit on the couch, if I walk out the door for my run, go to the pool for my swim, head to the basement for a ride or venture to the gym for a strength training workout I feel so much better.  Once I get started the energy level rises and I feel amazing...euphoric!!  

Will I do more than one 140.6 race?  At this point, I sure hope to!!  Like I said earlier...I am loving this sport and the training that goes with IM!!  How addicting will it be????  We'll soon see!!

Week 4 on the IM Moo Training Train

Week 4 Workouts were all completed!!  What a successful month!!  I am so happy with where my IM Moo training is going...I have not missed one workout yet!!  WOOT WOOT!!

103 total miles this week:

Monday:
Swim: 60 min
Cycle: 30 min

Tuesday:
Strength Training: 60 min
Run: 60 min -> Hill repeats

Wednesday:
Swim: 60 min
Cycle: 75 min

Thursday:
Strength Training: 2 hours (weights, TRX, core)
Cycle: 30 min

Friday:
Run: 80 min
Cycle: 30 min

Saturday:
Cycle: 30 min

Sunday:
Cycle: 2 hrs 30 min
Swim: 40 min

Wednesday, January 26, 2011

How STRONG are you?

When I think of Ironman, I think of "strong."  Not only is iron a strong metal, but you must be mentally and physically strong to get to the start line and cross the finish line.  "Strong" doesn't have to mean fast or powerful.  My definition of "strong" is solid; not easily thrown off balance.  This is very important since so many different factors can affect race day.  There are the things we can control...nutrition, pacing, attire, being prepared to change a flat tire, proper training, adequate sleep.  And the things we can't control...weather, water temperature, course terrain.

I have a new mantra to get me through some workouts and thus, get me that much closer to the starting line of IM Moo.  "Think strong, be strong, finish strong," got me through my 8 hill repeats yesterday and my swim workout today.  I know it will get me through many more workouts as I go throughout training.  It is also something that can be reiterated during race day when times get tough.  I have to mentally get more "solid" and not let things throw off my balance.  I am hoping that by starting to focus on mental preparation this early in IM training will be a huge asset come race day.

Think Strong, Be Strong, Finish Strong!!

Sunday, January 23, 2011

Week 3 on the IM Moo Training Train

This week's workouts:
Monday...
Swim: 60 min
Cycle: 30 min

Tuesday:
Run: 60 min
Strength training: 65 min

Wednesday:
Swim: 60 min
Cycle: 90 min

Thursday:
Cycle: 60 min
Strength Training: 45 min

Friday:
VO2 Max Test: 35 min
Run: 70 min
Strength Training:  60 min

Saturday:
Rest day...it was nice to have one

Sunday:
Cycle: 2 hours
Swim: 60 min

Another Great week of workouts!!

How did I get started?

It is no secret...I love to exercise!!!!  When did this start?  At one of the lowest points in my life...when I was going through a divorce.  I met some FABULOUS people who also love to exercise by deciding to sign up for the City of Ames Parks and Rec Team 12.4 program.  This was the turning point for what would become a NEED to exercise.  I love how I feel when I am done with a good workout!!

I ran and ran and ran my wheels off, until one day I decided to incorporate some swimming into my weekly workouts.  I had some friends who decided to give triathlons a go and convinced me to give it a "tri" as well.  Despite having an indoor swim in a pool without my glasses (I hadn't had LASIK yet) with the bike and run outside in the bitter cold Iowa winds of early May, I had a BLAST and was hooked!!

From there the triathlons and my desires to conquer them only got bigger!!  Soon I was doing Olympic distance events and then 70.3s and now my sites are on The BIG One...140.6!!  Who covers 140.6 miles in one day when they are not in a vehicle...many people actually attempt this feat and only few succeed...I will be one of the few!!

Where will I go next...who knows?!?!?!

Thursday, January 20, 2011

I CAN!!

After running on the dreadmill for an hour on Tuesday, I decided that IM training is 95% mental!!  There are many factors that go into IM training: swimming, cycling, running, strength training...those are obvious, but mental conditioning...that's another story.

Can I get through the next 5 minutes running slightly faster than the last 5 minutes?  Can I run a relatively slow pace throughout the whole run since I have a VO2Max test this week?  Can I get by without leaving the dreadmill and refilling my water bottle?  Can I possibly sweat any more?  Can I endure the slight chafing I am feeling under my arms?  Can I mentally overcome the boredom I am feeling?  Can I get through my training to help make race day easier?

The answer to all of the above questions and future questions I may have...I CAN!!

Sunday, January 16, 2011

Week 2 on the IM Moo Training Train

Another week done!!  :)  This last week consisted of over 13 hours of training with the following schedule:
Monday:  Swim 1 hr
                Cycle 30 min
Tuesday: Run 50 min hill repeats (on the dreadmill)
                Strength training 75 min
Wednesday: Swim 1 hr
                     Cycle 90 min
Thursday: Cycle 1 hr
                  Strength training 75 min
Friday: Run 65 min
Saturday: Swim 1 hr
                Strength training 75 min
Sunday: Cycle 2 hr

I am two weeks into Ironman training and haven't missed a workout yet...this feels good!!  I know I will probably miss one at some point with 34 weeks left, but it is still my goal to not miss a workout :)  The IM Moo Training Train keeps chugging donw the tracks!!

Friday, January 14, 2011

Do you recover like a dog?

Recovery is a very important component when training for any endurance event.  The amount of time it takes to recover depends on the individual and the event they are training for.  When people don't properly recover, they often find themselves injured or overtrained.  For this vary reason, if I find myself tired, I take a nap...time of day doesn't matter.  I figure if I lay down and sleep for a couple of hours, I obviously needed it or I wouldn't have slept as long as I did. 

I have one of the best napping partners anyone could ask for.  She is black and hairy, has four legs, weighs about 55 pounds and produces lots of body heat.  She curls up next to me and just wants to cuddle while she sleeps.  We call her "Mara," short for Marathon.

We can learn a lot about recovery from a dog...after a run, Mara wants a sweaty leg, food, water, and a nap (usually in that order).  Dogs know what their bodies need for recovery...after all, they are the best nappers I have ever seen.  We should watch and learn from them and then do what they do.

Not only does Mara consume salty sweat, eat, drink and take naps, but she loves to get a "massage" at anytime of the day.  We should probably take note and schedule weekly massages.  After all, most of the elites have about 3-4 massages per week.  Why shouldn't we get them too?

Moral of this story...learn how to recover from doing what a dog does and you will recover just fine!!

Who says I don't enjoy swimming

I can honestly say that I am starting to enjoy swimming.  I have always dreaded the initial "Oh...brr" that comes with swimming and thus, getting started has been the problem.  Once I am in the pool, I have no problem completing my swim workout...most of the time anyway...

Lately I have been swimming over the lunch hour and there is the same group of people nearly everyday.  This has been good accountability for me.  They ask me when they will see me again, how the training is going and how many hours a week I am currently training.  I will take all the motivation I can get to get my butt to the pool and swim...even if it is extrinsic...until it becomes inherent to just naturally want to swim.

It is so much easier to go out for a run or a ride...particularly when the weather is nice...but swimming has always been the challenge during training.  Oh, not because I struggle with swimming...I have been swimming since I was about 4 months old, so I don't ever remember not being able to swim.  Swimming is a challenge because of the initial shock that the water provides to the system.  It is funny how the swimming challenge is mental.

The biggest physical challenge for me in a triathlon is actually the bike.  I am not a strong cyclist, but I don't mind getting on the bike and riding.  I don't mind putting on my running shoes and going for a run, but for whatever reason, I have become a sissy when it comes to swimming!!  I am hoping to change this over the course of Ironman training...we'll see how long this takes.  Hopefully it changes sooner rather than later!!

Thursday, January 13, 2011

Chrissie Say's it Best

"There are no limits.  Anything truly is possible with hard work, determination and passion."
        ~Chrissie Wellington, Ironman World Champion 2007, 2008 and 2009

I try to remove limitations from my life everyday!!  Chrissie, I am going to continue to work hard, be determined and passionate about triathlons and all aspects of my life!!  Thanks for being such a great role model for our sport and an inspiration for all!!

Quote of the Day

"You gain strength, courage, and confidence by every experience in which you really stop to look fear in the face. You must do the thing which you think you cannot do."
           ~Eleanor Roosevelt

Clean Eating is part of our Ironman Training Program

What exactly is clean eating?  Clean Eating means you eat lean protein, complex carbohydrates and healthy fats 5-6 times throughout the day.  Eating clean is not a fad diet; it is a way of life that keeps you lean, healthy and full of energy.  Eating clean is about choosing fresh, whole foods that have all of their nutrients intact.

We try to avoid as many processed foods as possible and are always looking at the ingredients when purchasing foods.  We look for additives, preservatives and sugar and avoid all of these as much as possible.  Sugar affects blood sugar like a roller coaster ride.  As the sugar intake increases, the amount of insulin needed to offset that sugar is also increased.  The rise in insulin levels in the blood causes the blood sugar level to plummet and the ride continues as you consume more sugar to offset the rising insulin.  By eliminating this from our diet, we are avoiding this roller coaster ride.  Our bodies have responded amazingly!!  By neglecting these "poisons" from our diet, we feel more energetic and have not been sick as often.

Choosing fresh foods allows us to avoid the blood sugar roller coaster ride, remain healthy and full of energy.  These fresh foods fill us with all of the vitamins, minerals and essential nutrients our bodies need to do what we want them to...perform effectively on a daily basis, perform effectively while training and perform effectively during competition.  We have more energy during our training and throughout the rest of our days.

Clean Eating requires some planning.  We have to figure out what meals we want to make for the week, what day of the week we are going to make each meal and plan our grocery list around these meals.  This grocery list planning is also helping us to save money because we are not purchasing random foods at the grocery store that will eventually spoil before we use them.

I would strongly recommend Clean Eating to anyone interested in feeling more energetic and healthier!!  It has definitely benefited us!!

Wednesday, January 12, 2011

Feeling "Fit"

What does it mean to be "Fit?"  My definition of being "fit" may be different than that of someone else.  Being fit means that I am not only exercising, but Eating Clean, managing stress and getting enough sleep. 

We obviously get plenty of exercise since we are training for Ironman.  The amount of exercise we do will only increase as we continue with our training.  Last week we documented 100 miles in just over 13 hours.  We should exceed this by about an hour or two this week. 

We incorporate Clean Eating into our lifestyle to stay lean, healthy and feel full of energy (I will talk more about Clean Eating in another post). 

Managing stress has become much easier for me since I have changed careers and become a fitness professional.  I don't have to take much work home with me...no grading, no lesson planning, etc.  There is a lot less to worry about and I'm lovin' it!!

This career change has also positively affected my sleeping habits as well.  When I crawl in bed to go to sleep, I am not thinking about what I need to do in class tomorrow, when I am going to get all of these papers graded, or if I am going to get grades in on time.  Instead, I can usually roll over and go to sleep after spending a little time reading a good book. 

What a positive change this new career has made to help me feel "fit!!"  How "fit" are you??

Sunday, January 9, 2011

100 miles in Week One of IM Training...Check

I just finished my first official week of Ironman training...what a GREAT feeling!!  100 miles logged for the week including swimming, cycling and running.  This was done in just over 13 hours with strength training also incorporated into this time.

We had a great ride this morning with 7 people showing up to ride.  My legs were starting to get tired part of the way through the ride, but that may have been partly due to the increase in weights that I lifted yesterday.  Lots of great music and conversations got me through this morning's ride!!

I am so happy with this week's accomplishments, that I am ready to do it again this coming week!!

Thursday, January 6, 2011

Good Start to Ironman Training!!

I am definitely off to a good start with Ironman training!!  I am feeling really good about my workouts and my accomplishments this week!!  Yesterday at noon I swam 2200 yards in the pool.  By the end of the workout, I felt my form start to falter since I was getting tired.  It has been a while since I last swam these distances...especially 2 in one week :) 

Last night we had a group trainer ride in our basement.  I followed my scheduled workout on the bike, but didn't feel as though I kept the pace I am hoping for.  I know I have a lot of room for improvement on the bike, and I am starting to get impatient with my progress in this area.  I biked 19.86 miles in 90 minutes...UGH!!  At this rate, I won't make the bike cut-off for IM.  I am not going to let this get me down though, because I know I can do better and am going to keep plugging away...plus I have 9 months to improve :)

This morning I was up at 5 am to run a 40 min fartlek run around town.  This was AMAZING.  I managed a decent pace while covering 4.53 miles.  It was lightly snowing with temps in the mid 20s and I had my two best training partners beside me...Hubby and Mara :)

I am feeling really good about putting my training first (not before the family though) and scheduling it into every day so that nothing can get in the way of it.  I am definitely off to a good start with Ironman training!!

Tuesday, January 4, 2011

The Biggest Loser

I am off to a GREAT start in my Ironman training!!  I was scheduled to swim for 60 min yesterday which I did and then hopped on the bike when I got home from the pool for about 30 minutes to shake out the legs.  Today I was scheduled to run a hilly route for 50 minutes, so I chose to run Stagecoach.  For those of you who have run Stagecoach, you know just how hilly it is.  For those of you who have never had this experience, you don't know what you are missing...it is VERY challenging and as a result, VERY rewarding :)  Earlier in the day, I completed a 45 minute TRX (suspension training) workout followed by an hour of weight lifting and core strengthening.  I got on the bike tonight for a 30 minute ride before watching The Biggest Loser.  It feels really good to be back on the training train :)

Speaking of Biggest Loser...some friends of mine (who also compete in these ridiculous events) and I are competing against each other in our own Biggest Loser competition.  After having gained 15 pounds since Jan 1, 2010 I definitely need to lose some weight!!  While watching the new contestants on The Biggest Loser weigh in, I realized that if I wasn't so driven with fitness, I could potentially be one of those contestants who are very obese.  The majority of my relatives on my mother's side of the family are obese, my sister is obese and I love to eat!!  All of these factors could potentially push me in a different direction, but I have chosen a different train to ride...The Fitness Train...choo choo!!

I have decided I have another goal to add to the completion of Ironman for 2011.  I am going to cycle everyday from now until the taper for Ironman; even if it means cycling for only 30 minutes on a couple of the week days.  I am hoping that this will help make me much stronger on the bike and thus faster.  After completing RAGBRAI in 2010, I felt so much stronger on the bike.  There is something about cycling everyday that makes you stronger :)