Monday, December 22, 2014

My 5 Step Process to Be Merry.

It has been at least 10 days since we have seen sun in southern WI.  It is extra rough given the fact that we also don't have any snow.  It's just been plain dreary!  If you are like me, sometimes this can get you down, in a slump, or feeling blah....whatever you like to call it.  Although I'm on the seasonal emotional roller coaster, I have had pretty good luck fending off the blues the last couple years by using  these tricks:

1.  Get fresh air....for me exercise is great, but it is the fresh air that really helps.  Even if it's pretty bad out, getting out for a walk, snowshoe or just playing in the snow can do wonders.

2.  Building on the first point, EXERCISE.  This is the season for parties and drinking.  You can do those things, but make sure you are exercising.   It's a bummer sometimes that you can have a lot of fun seeing friends and enjoying the holidays, but then you start to feel down if you had too many snacks at the party, then your clothes don't fit right, or you are feeling 'gross' just wearing bulky sweaters etc.  The answer to this is exercise.  Start up some sort of 30 day challenge with friends....just something to get you to move each day.  We are currently 17 days into our #30dayrunchallenge and it has been awesome!!

3.  Take plenty of Vitamin D and B12.  This is key.  I take D in the pill form every night with my other supplements and B12 either in pill or in drinks.  Without sun our body can't produce vitamin D and it's unlikely you can get enough from food.   B12 can be found in lean and low fat animal products like fish or low fat dairy, but if you aren't getting that consistently a supplement is a great option!  Both of these vitamins have been proven to improve your mood!!

4.  Stay busy and make plans with positive people!  Don't sit home and be lazy.  This is the time we need to band together and make things fun.  Something active, outside, or maybe a project around the house.  If you do have some down time, or prefer to be alone, find a book that can inspire or encourage you.   For a short daily read I like "Journey to the Heart".

5.  Eat Healthy (most of the time).  We all go out and like to have a cookie here and there....but we can also eat at home and make our own food.  The more you make your own food the healthier you can be.  Learn to cook if you don't know how!  It's a blast and can truly revamp your diet and give you CONTROL over exactly what is going in.  Good fuel in = body runs better.

If you do have a hard time this time of year and aren't doing some of these, please give 'em a try!


Friday, September 12, 2014

2 Week Ironman Turn-Around

Before I head into my Ironman WI race report I thought I would do a quick re-cap of what exactly I did for the 2 weeks between a 2nd place finish at Ironman Louisville and then onto racing IM WI since I sure have gotten that question a lot...usually quickly followed (or preceded by) "I could never do that" or  "You are crazy".  Unfortunately I have been called crazy more in the last few weeks than I probably ever have been before, and let me tell you, I have done MUCH crazier things ;)

Let me pre-face this 2 week Turn-Around info by saying that this is only a good idea (still debatable) for well-seasoned Iron-distance athletes and those with no injuries.  The body is an amazing thing and truly adapts to what you make it do.  Ironman takes a toll on the body, but I can say that over the years my body had adapted.  Sure, I still get so sore I can barely walk, but after those first 2 days the recovery period (mentally and physically) is much quicker.

Wait, but WHY did I do this??  Well, this was my last chance at both of these races!!  Ironman is changing the pro race circuit and these two (2 of my fav. races) are no longer having a pro prize purse.  This, in addition to the fact that I have finished 2nd twice at Louisville AND there was a lighter field, made me want to go there and and go for the win!!  So I did...but ended in 2nd (again) as you read in my last blog.  Anyhow- no brainer for WI since I live here and it's the best race ever, right?!!'s how it went!  I was very lucky to have some NormaTec Boots lent to me from one of my swimmers, so I was spoiled with getting to sit in those at least once per day during the two weeks. I think these were crucial in the recovery and my legs coming around to actually wanting to run the second week.  Mixed in there were some naps, but not a ton.

I had less swimming than I would have liked the second week due to a bad bee sting on my eye on Tuesday, which left it completely swollen shut on Wednesday and partially shut on Thursday.

As you can see from my Training Peaks input, both weeks were VERY light with the main goal just getting loosened up.  I was on the roller before and after every run and making sure to stretch well.

Thank-you's to those that were crucial for recovery: 
Chantry at Peak Performance Massage
Jessi Koch at Active Body Dynamics
Mark Hering - for doing some short easy stuff w/me
Speed Cycling - I needed that group ride! 
Gary Geiger for the NormaTec's 
Lindsey Heim for the Shorewood Pool Sponsorship during week 1 

Wednesday, September 3, 2014

Ironman Louisville Race Report

It has been over a week since Ironman Louisville and I think it's about time to stop putting off this race report since another Ironman is looming in 4 days!

This race was not on my calendar this year, however when I heard about the changes being made to the pro races and that Louisville wouldn't have a professional race next year, I had to do it.  I finished 2nd place in Louisville in 2011 and 2012 and was thinking I had better go for the win since it's my last shot!!  (more on these changes another time)

Swim:  Men and women started separately, which I strongly prefer!  The gun went off and it was a good tough go until the turn bouy.  I ended up swimming mostly on my own (boo) and was a bit discouraged, but came out pretty close to the front after all! There was a great current this year so I came out at 48 min and change!

I was less than a minute behind second place through transition and thought I could hustle and get her to have someone to bike with.  Well....I was wrong!  She took off like a bat out of hell and my legs were not having any of that.  After 5 miles of trying to push to catch, I finally conceded to the idea that my legs needed a bit of time to come around.  This happens sometimes in Ironman and I've learned that it's important  to go with the flow of what your body is giving you.  So I let the watts come down and let my legs get into it.  By 20 miles I was feeling better and by 50 miles I was feeling great!  Still, it was a long solo ride (except the second loop where it was passing people the entire time...).

It started to get hot and I was making sure to keep my body cool and stay on top of hydration.  It was my slowest bike time at this race...but times were slow all around, so there must have been some wind and/or heat humidity playing  role there...OR the way that they changed the dismount line!  You now have to dismount and run with your bike a good 100-200yards.  It's pretty ridiculous.  5:19 bike.

T2 - made haste here, although I had no idea where I was in relation to anyone...except that I was in 3rd.

On the run it wasn't long before I realized I was a LONG way from first or second and the temperatures were rising quickly.  This was a bit discouraging, but I knew from many hot races that things can change quickly.  So I made keeping my body cool and nourished a priority - taking ice every time, filling my hand-held bottle, taking Perform or cola and a gel every few miles.  This seemed to work and the miles were ticking off.  Soon I heard Kate was walking up ahead and I moved into 2nd place.  This was exciting!  Now I was thinking ok, 2nd is much better than 3rd - this can pay for my wedding!!  It was a ways back to the girls behind me who seemed to be all shifting positions, and too far to get Nina who was still running fine, so I just kept to the walking every aid station, kept it steady until the finish.  I knew I had another Ironman coming up and didn't want to totally tear my legs off :)  I enjoyed a nice walk through the finish chute and a very nice IV after the race.

Big thank you to Mark who came down and raced with me!! Also to our friend Will Smith who was down working with Norma-Tec and Mark's brother Paul for both cheering and encouraging us.

My sponsors are amazing and I would not be doing so well if it weren't for them!

Timex, Trek, Shimano, PowerTap, Castelli, Powerbar, Rudy Project, Nathan Hydration, Newton, Blue Seventy

Local sponsors:  Speed Cycling, Peak Performance Massage, Endurance House Middleton, Sport and Spine Clinic of Madison West, David Kohli of Perfect Circle Cycling

THANK YOU! Hope to see you at Ironman WI this weekend!! Come check out the pro panel on Friday at 11am at the Terrace and the Ironkids race Saturday morning.

Check out my video from the race last year (Thanks Dave!)

Monday, August 25, 2014

Ironman Louisville - Gear and Nutrition Report!

Round 3 at Ironman Louisville is in the books.  It seemed to be the toughest conditions I've had at this race (raced 2011 and 2012) so I am happy to come out with a finish and another 2nd place!!  I'll give my full race report soon, but wanted to do this quick gear and nutrition report first as a HUGE thank you to my sponsors that provide me with arguably some of the best products out there.

Team Timex Castelli Clothing

Blue Seventy PZ3TX Swimskin

Trek Speed Concept 9 series w/ Shimano Ultegra Di2
Powertap G3 SES 6.7 Carbon Wheels
Powertap Joule GPS computer
Rudy Project Wingspan Aero helmet and Rydon Sunglasses

Feetures Elite no show tab sock
Newton Distance III shoes
Nathan SpeedDraw plus insulated hand held bottle
Headsweats Powerbar Visor


Oats with Peanut butter and bannana
Bottle of Nuun

Bike-  8 Powerbar 1x caffeine gels, ~4 bottles perform, a good amount of water, 5 or so endurolyte pills, 2x First Endurance pre-race pills
Run-   7 gels, Drank a random mix of perform, water, ice and coke, 7 or so endurolyte pills, 2x pre-race pills, 2x Myothon pills

No stomach issues this time!!  Eliminating the solids seemed to do the trick.

Full report to come!!  Summary:  Tough hot day. hung in there for 2nd and punched a ticket to the Ironman World Championships in Kona by being ranked in the top 35 women in the world.  Very excited and thankful for all the support :)

Friday, August 1, 2014

Ironman Canada Race Report & Course Tips!

Well, I've had a good week to reflect on my experience in Whistler, BC Canada last weekend and I can say it was overall a fun time. Whistler is an excellent destination and I couldn't think of a more beautiful place to race!

 Swim:  We had a small pro women's field so I knew it would be easy to keep track of some good feet. I was shooting to swim on Karen and/or Bree's feet and that's exactly what went down.  We went out hard for only a few hundred meters then I settled in nicely behind them as they swam the first loop side by side.  It was a two loop swim in PERFECT water (clear and 66 degrees).  The second loop Karen pulled to the front and seemed to pick it up a bit until we started hitting slower 1st loop swim traffic.  Then it was just a matter of navigating.   The sun was an issue on the back stretch, so having some mirrored goggles was key.   Came out just behind Bree, 4th swimmer.  56min and change.

T1:   It was a bit chilly in the morning, but I opted not to put on anything for the ride, which made for a quick transition!  Made sure to have my bike in an easy gear as there is an uphill mount and a climb just out of transition.

Bike:   I ride with power so this is always useful and part of my goals for the ride - not too many power spikes (which proved tough on this course) and keep the avg up where it should be for IM.  My secondary goal was to stay up near the front of the race since these were all girls I knew I could ride with.  With Anna and Karen up ahead, Bree caught me a few miles into the ride and we proceeded to stay together almost the entire ride (along with an official on a motorcycle- also the whole time).  It was pretty helpful to have someone to work on pacing with and to keep motivation up when I was in a lul.  She had one more gear than me, so keeping up on the descents was tough/frustrating.  I had a 12/27, but would probably go with an 11/27 or 11/28 in the future.  There were plenty of 10% grade climbs- including some in the last 20 miles which proved to just smash my legs!  No matter how much you think you're saving, it is not enough to climb at the end of 100mi.   4th off the bike, 5:31 split.

T2:   quick change into run shoes and some water and sunscreen

Run:  I took off on the run feeling ok, thinking I still probably had a shot at moving up in the race.  I was getting feedback that everyone looked like crap and that's always motivating to me....unfortunately it wasn't long before I also started to look like crap.  Soon it seems like it was somewhat of a death-march-determination-survivalfest for all of the women and they just held on a bit better than me!  I used all the tricks in my book to make my body keep running, but there were just too many porto-stops and some weird stomach pains that didn't allow for any fast running.   3:27....slowest marathon in a long time!  On the plus-side, there were plenty of aid stations and it was a very well shaded trail run the whole time!  Gorgeous run course!

Overall:  I snuck in under 10hrs - 9:59.  I was able to hang on to 4th place and am happy knowing that I did what I could with what my body had for the day.  Like I said after the race, some days you're the hammer and some days you're the nail.  After 18 or so Ironman races I can safely say that some feel awesome all day, some are awesome part of the day (like this one) and some are just tough all the way through.  I'm just thankful my body puts up with it and I can come away healthy and ready for the next one, whatever it may bring!!

Thank-you's:   First to Mark who is my biggest supporter, believer in my potential and proud of me no matter what.  Next to coach Cliff English who takes time to talk me through the ups and downs in training, and helps me get to the finish line healthy and in the best shape I can be.

My sponsors:  Timex Multisport team and our affiliated sponsors-  Trek Bikes, Shimano, Castelli, Feetures, Blue Seventy

My personal sponsors: Powertap, Rudy Project, Peak Performance Massage Madison, Powerbar, Endurance House Middleton, Speed Cycling


Thanks for reading - next up, IRONMAN WI!!  Home turf, baby!

Friday, July 25, 2014

Ironman Pre-race Report in Whistler

After a little struggle getting here it has sure taken a turn for the better!  This is a gorgeous venue...a little chillier than expected, but just great so far.  I got a chance to check out the bike course (some driving some riding) and the word on the street seems to be true- it is going to be a challenge for sure.  

As for the race, there is a very small pro field here and it's going to be a great race.  Not much to say here (hard to speculate what will happen) but I am just hoping that my mind and body will cooperate and give me a great day! 

The town of Whister really has everything to offer - grocery, restaurants, great scenery, gondola rides and other fun. I'm looking forward to a little more exploring after the race! 

Canadian newspaper - Nice write-up of the pro contenders including me and Timex Teammate Matt Russell 

There are paved trails everywhere!  Made for a very enjoyable morning run :) 

I found the rings!  2010 winter games (right?)

Great outdoor expo

This is the swim.  Just breathtaking and a PERFECT temperature! 

Saturday, June 7, 2014

2 Years Ago Today...

2 years ago today my dad took his own life.

I was out with friends when my brother called me with the news.  I was completely in shock.

I didn't tell ANYONE what happened.  I didn't want to talk about it.

This was by far the most shocking, sad, embarrassing, confusing, and life changing event that has happened during my short time on this earth.  I knew my dad was sick, but did not know how bad.  Mental illness is a strange thing like that.  It grows and evolves, but there is such a stigma that it's hard to talk about, and there are not easy pathways to get help.  When my dad pulled away, out of my life, I just let him.

My heart hurts so badly for the pain and hurt and horrible things that went on in my dad's head that lead him to end things.  My heart hurts for those that are dealing with mental illness personally or with a loved one.  If you think that someone needs help, they probably do, and it can be so confusing and difficult, but people can be helped.

When I found out about my dad 2 years ago I was set to leave for Kansas 70.3 that next morning, but obviously did not make the trip.  This year I will be racing Eagleman 70.3, for my dad.  When he was healthy, he was happy, supportive and loved watching sports.  He wanted to be right there on the side of the soccer field, or track, or pool.  I never wonder if he was proud of us, because he would be proud of us no matter what.

So I don't know exactly why I'm writing this post, except the only way to break the stigma surrounding mental illness is to talk about it.  I understand the feeling of shame that comes with it (hence why I don't talk about this much), but it is an illness like any other.

An estimated 26.2 percent of Americans ages 18 and older — about one in four adults — suffer from a diagnosable mental disorder in a given year.

Monday, April 14, 2014

2014 is Underway!! FL 70.3 race report.

After a long winter in WI, and some time training in AZ and FL in March, the long awaited race season has finally started!!  This weekend I traveled to sunny FL to see how I fared in the heat for a 70.3 season opener.  Here's how it went down (sorry I don't have any race pictures....)

Pre-race: Swim called wetsuit legal!  This was just a surprise (to me) after we swam in this 'Lake' Eva (it's actually a pond, but we're in FL where they also don't know what hills are) in our speed suits and it was GREAT.  I actually felt really good.  Well, despite that, thanks to a very generous friend, I did find a wetsuit to wear so I wouldn't get left behind on the swim.  

Ok, race day! 

Swim:  VERY dark to start, prob should have brought some light or clear goggles, but it ended up fine. I started in toward the buoys and everyone else lined up far left.  I had a great start, swam 500m hard, didn't have to deal with any swim traffic that whole first stretch, and eventually the other girls came over to join me on the buoy line.  I grabbed the feet of Cait Snow (leading the chase pack) and had a fairly chill swim on her feet the rest of the way.  27:14 (only a min down from the 3 leaders...although I didn't know that at the time!) 

Bike:  Got out on the bike and unfortunately Cait was off and gone before I knew it :)  So I just settled in and stuck to my watts and race plan.  A couple other girls came up and I was able to hang with them the rest of the ride (just having someone in sight makes the ride SO much easier!).   April lead the charge for most of the ride and I was feeling pretty good for being able to stick with the pace changes and hold goal watts (same as I was doing last fall) for an early season race where I really haven't had too much outside riding!!  2:25, avg 23.16 mph (yay!) 

Run:  I came into T2 w/April and Amber F.  and we tore out of there.  Amber was heading out at a good clip so I worked a little to try and stay with her but unfortunately reality set in that I was just not used to that heat!!  I was able to run fairly even throughout the run, but I don't think it was very pretty.  

Overall:  I'm happy with the race!  It's always nice to get the first one out of the way, blow out the cobwebs and see where your fitness is at.  I ended up finishing 6th woman (just 40 sec out of 5th) in a field with some great girls.

"Why didn't I go faster?!" lol

I am thankful to be able to do what I do everyday.  I know support comes in many forms, and I have a TON of it!!  THANK YOU!

Next up:  Ironman Texas, May 17

I also have some talks and events coming up and would love to see you: 

TOMORROW, Tues Apr 15 Endurance House Middleton, Swim Training for Triathlon, Free swag! 6pm talk, 6:30pm fun run

May 23-25  Weekend Tri Camp!  All levels welcome - supported swim, bike, run, guest speakers and meals provided!  Madison Area, more info or to sign up: Tri-Camp

May 30  Wetsuit Clinic, Fireman's Park in Verona, Blue Seventy suits on hand to try out, free! 

Some fun after the race :)  
Full results:

Tuesday, March 4, 2014

Swim, bike, run, burrito. Day 2 CEC camp.

Today we met at Ventana Canyon with our cars packed to the hilt for day 2 of CEC pro camp.   I won't bore you with the nitty gritty, but lets just say we did it all and enjoyed some great mild weather today!

(Big thanks to Wattie for the photos)

We swam. 
4400yd strength swim

We biked.
~3 hrs, including climb up to Windy Pt. (14 miles) on Mt. Lemon. 

We ran.
Short run off the bike w/a 5 min build to something much faster 
than the recommended half IM pace we were instructed :) 

We ate some awesome mexican food.  
mmmm.  it was a good day. 

Monday, March 3, 2014

Escaping Winter - Training Camp!

It's about time I get back on the 'blog' wagon, and it seems that training camp is always a time that I  feel like sharing.

To rewind a bit first:  This has been the best winter of my adult life :)  I have the best man I can imagine, a lifestyle I wouldn't trade for anything in the world, and am healthy!  Putting on the snowshoe races proved to be just what I needed to stay busy and motivated during the coldest January we have had in WI.  We had growing numbers and I am PUMPED to find out that the Snowshoe National Championships are in WI next year!  SO I will do my best to make at least one of the Snowshoe Scurry races a qualifier.

Additionally, on the training front, I have been able to get in a great groove and am probably in my best 'winter' shape ever.  This has got me super excited to start racing but also motivated to continue to try and make some improvements all around before rushing into anything.  There is always so much work to be done!!

So last week I was able to visit my sister and her great fiancĂ© Travis in the Miami, FL area.  We had a great time running, laying on the beach, and checking out their favorite restaurants.  I do love a recovery week :)

Now I'm here in sunny Tucson for my 3rd adventure at Cliff English's pro camp.  He puts this on for his athletes each year and it's a great time to get some face time with coach (only a couple athletes actually live here) and reconnect with everyone from previous years :)  I am excited to get to it all this week, especially getting some miles in on my new Trek!!

Check back all week for stories, pictures, and video!  You can also find another perspective from fellow camper Chris Bagg

Thanks for stopping by!


Tuesday, January 7, 2014

It's FULL ON Winter!

Well, my FB and twitter feed is full of people pictures of the temperature and their car, on their phone, from the's pretty crazy around here.  But, we live in WI, where we should expect it to be cold, so let's just move on.

I haven't posted since IM Cozumel, which feels like it was a year ago!  I took a really nice few weeks off and enjoyed the holidays and some fun with friends and family.  It felt great to take it easy!!  I'm back into a bit of training now, but have also kept very busy with planning of the Snowshoe Scurry.  This has been a fun new project and I'm so excited with how it's going.  We have snowshoe races every Sunday in January here in the Madison area.

If you live here, I hope you will come check it out!!  This Sunday we are at Donald Park.

In other news, I am still in the works of planning the 2014 race schedule, but right now I am looking at a spring IM (which I haven't done in a few years!), some 70.3 in the summer months, IM WI and then maybe one more IM at the end of the year again.

If you know me, you know I am always thinking and planning new projects, businesses, or you name it...well, this works well as a pro triathlete, since we truly have to get creative with how we make money....since we all know there is actually very little money in triathlon.  Because of this, I have added a 'Donate' button to my blog here to try and raise funds to pay for my pro license this year.  It costs $800 just to race pro on the WTC (Ironman) circuit.  I know I am very lucky with Sponsors   and am lucky to be living my passion but I am also very thankful and appreciative of all of the support I get and believe that relationships are truly what make the world go round!

Thanks for reading :)

Thousands of candles can be lighted from a single candle, and the life of the candle will not be shortened. Happiness never decreases by being shared.