And so it begins!

I’m impulsive and impatient. I’m a dreamer, and I’m dedicated. This deadly combo forced me to hit the register button on the IRONMAN Wisconsin website (after many attempts to talk myself into waiting until 2017). It’s taking chances and following dreams that makes life interesting, right?

An IRONMAN? Like 140.6 miles? 

On September 11, 2016, I’ll jump into Lake Monona with 2,500 of my closest friends. In a mass start, we’ll swim 2.4 miles across the lake. Then, we’ll head out on a very hilly 112 mile ride through Dane County. As if this isn’t enough fun, we’ll finish the race with a 26.2 mile run!

Why in the world would you do this to yourself?

Good question. Just kidding! I have my reasons…

A. There is something amazing about proving to yourself that you can accomplish the ‘impossible’. Our bodies are capable of so much more than we think. Might as well put them to the test!

B. I’m a better person when my life is tied to a goal. I watch what I eat, sleep 8 hours a night and find an inner calm that I lack without training. (I’m probably just too tired to think after long runs and rides…)

C. I want to be in shape for our upcoming nuptials! What better way to get me out of bed on a cold winter morning than an Ironman looming over my head? A family friend told me to ‘just do a sit-up’, but I think Ironman training will be far more effective!

D. I was told I need to have surgery on both feet to correct my very crooked bones.  I’ve always known I had bad feet, but I was shocked to see the x-rays. Doc advised I have surgery soon to avoid a more invasive procedure in the future. This would mean 8+ weeks of no running per foot. I don’t remember the last time I’ve gone a full week without running, so it was sad news. I told doc that I would be getting married and completing an Ironman, then we could chat. His eyes widened, but he agreed to see me next October after the race.

Are you nervous?

Yes yes and yes. I’m terrified.

The Ironman Wisconsin course happens to be one of the toughest races. (I’m not making this up.) Total elevation gain on the bike is 6,156 feet! For a gal that trains on flat country roads, this stat is scary. It looks like there will be a few trips to Madison in my future!

The fear of failure can be debilitating, so I’m going to do my best to approach this experience with confidence. I might be nervous, but I will make it to that finish line.

Are you excited?

Beyond ecstatic.

Watching total strangers cross the finish line of Ironman Wisconsin 2015 brought me to tears. The joy (and pain…) on their faces told the story of months of hard work. Their lives were forever changed. They were Ironmen!

I know that I have a long road of tough training and sacrifice ahead, but it will be worth it when I become an Ironman.

Thank you to everyone that has been supportive of my crazy decision. I truly appreciate the encouragement!

Excited to share my journey with you! XO

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The Struggle is Real

Why hello. Hope everyone enjoyed the beautiful weather this weekend! Isn’t it wonderful to be riding and running outside?

Saturday morning, I had just about finished my 30-mile ride when I got flat tire. A teeny, tiny shard of metal pierced it, and within seconds, it was completely flat. Womp.

Sitting on the edge of the road, I started to think about all of the unexpected things that happen when training for a half Ironman. Although my fellow triathletes have been amazing resources in answering my questions, there are some things that you have to learn on your own. Unless, of course, you read my below list of tri training struggles (and some tips)…

*You will feel exhausted all the time. This is mostly true for me during the week. After a long workday, I accidentally fell asleep after my run and swim. Daniel had to wake me for dinner at 9pm!

*You will be hungry every second of the day. Just typing the word hungry made me hungry.

*Wipeouts happen more than you expect. No matter how many times I ride my bike, every so often I forget to unclip my shoes. In my most recent wipeout news, I made a wrong turn and was heading straight for a lake. Instead of calmly unclipping my shoes, I FREAKED THE F OUT and fell right on over. As an added bonus, a large group of canoers witnessed the whole fiasco!

*Assume that no one sees you when biking or running. Be particularly defensive when training around busy roads, but also be aware of others on a trail. You’ll be shocked at the amount of people that have no idea you are behind them until you scare the sh*t out of them by announcing yourself. 

*Ladies- You will have a love, hate relationship with your bike. Somedays, your saddle will seem like the devil himself. You will have bruises in places you don’t ever want bruises. What happened to the good ole’ beach cruiser seats?

*The foam roller will be your new BFF. Your body will be in a constant state of sore, so rolling around on foam is necessary.

*Buy these products- you will thank me later:

  • Swim- Speedo Ergo Ear Plugs and anti-fog solution for goggles
  • Bike- Anti Chafe Chamois Butt’r (Chafing is zero fun, chafing caused by your bike seat is hell.)
  • Run- Body Glide (I shower in this stuff! It is great for preventing wetsuit rash as well.)

Hope you’ve learned a thing or two at my expense. Consider yourself warned, my friend.

Have a great week! XO

There’s no crying in tri training!

There's no crying in tri training

I’ve learned one thing in my short time as a Half Ironman hopeful:  Training can be exhausting. Running six miles and swimming 1,000 meters seems fine and dandy when I’m chipper at 6am. Throw in a 10+ hour work day filled with meetings and conference calls, and those same training plans seem a bit more daunting.

Last week, like a two year old who doesn’t want to take off his floaties, I almost threw a fit in the pool. I had just experienced a slow treadmill run and was hoping to redeem myself during my swim. One lap in, my goggles fogged up, and I choked on a sufficient amount of water. (I swear I’ve swam before…) I called it quits a few hundred meters early.

Five minutes after leaving the gym, I concluded that the world was ending and that I was the worst wannabe-triathlete that ever lived. (I’ve been know to be a bit dramatic.)

As endurance athletes, we tend to be really hard on ourselves. Heck, we beat ourselves up over missing a PR by a few seconds. Meeting and exceeding our goals is always a priority, and training days are no exception to the rule. I’m here to tell you that one bad training day does not define you as an athlete, and it’s certainly no indication of the outcome of your race (that’s likely still months away).

Here are 5 ways to survive a bad workout:

1. Stay positive:  Even if your stride is bit slower, don’t let it get you down. Beating yourself up over a tough workout doesn’t make it easier. Like my girl Kelly Clarkson once said, “What doesn’t kill you makes you stronger”. 

2. Shake it off:  Leave your workout at the gym. Tomorrow is a new day full of opportunities for a comeback run/ride/swim.

3. Don’t be afraid to end a little early:  There’s one thing I’ve learned from running and triathlon coaches- proper form is everything. It’s crucial during times of exhaustion and necessary in avoiding injury. Unfortunately, on a tough training day (when we’re too busy pouting to focus on form), proper technique goes out the window. It’s important to realize when this is happening, and either pull yourself together, or end the workout a bit early. One less mile will not ruin your training regimen.

4. Keep your Confidence:  Self doubt is such a biotch. Don’t let a bad workout make you question your decision to sign up for that goal race. Keep in mind all of the time and training you have put in, and rock your next workout.

5. Develop improvement strategies:  Take a few seconds to reflect on the reasons you had a rough workout. Could it have been caused by nutrition issues? A long day at work? Use your answers to improve your next workout.

With race season right around the corner, I hope these tips come in handy!

Thanks for reading! XO