2016 Racing and Training Updates

April 2016- GO! St. Louis Half-Marathon

This wasn’t exactly a race for me.  I started a group at my school to train high school students to run their first half-marathon.  The program is put on by GO! St. Louis and they have students from 17 area schools train for and complete a half marathon.  It’s a really fantastic program that I’m happy to be a part of.  This race day was all about them.  I ran the race with a few students.  They avoided porta potties by stopping at a McDonald’s along the race route, they didn’t push their pace any beyond what they do for a long run.  But it was their first half marathon!  Along the way I played paparazzi, taking pictures not just of those students I was with, but others that we would see during out and back sections.  After crossing the finish line with those students, I went back and ran/walked in with my remaining students.  At the end of the day, all 18 of my students crossed the finish line with huge smiles on their faces.  It was a fantastic day!

April 2016- Kentucky Derby Half-Marathon

Most of my long runs leading up to this race were done at a very easy pace with my students, so I wasn’t sure how this would go.  I had a really solid training base in, and my swim and bike training were going great at this point too, so I knew I was in the best shape I’d ever been for a half marathon.  Race morning was a little stressful and I got my bib from a friend about 2 minutes before the start!  My heart rate was probably through the roof before the race ever began.  I tucked in with a 1:50 pace group at the start and planned to stay with them until mile 10, then try to pick up the pace from there.  In the first few miles the pace was already challenging, which I knew wasn’t a good sign.  I just kept fighting through, being mindful of nutrition, trying not to overspend my energy, etc.

I definitely had to fight for it and it was harder than I expected, but in the end I was able to break 1:50 so I got a PR by about 4 minutes out of it!


June 2016- Swim the Sun

This was a 2 mile open water swim, my tri coach was the RD and a number of people from the tri club were participating.  This was a good chance to get used to OWS with no wetsuit because the summer was ultimately too hot to wear a wetsuit for my goal race anyways.


July 2016- Muncie 70.3

This was my goal race for 2016!  Unfortunately my run training fell apart in mid-May so I had about 7 weeks leading up to the race that had very little running.

Swim- This was my roughest swim to date.  For whatever reason, I could never get loose from the crowd that you normally only experience at the beginning of the swim.  It just seemed to never thin out.  Lots of bumping into people, swimming around someone, etc.  The return to shore proved especially tough because we were going right into the sun so sighting anything in front of you was impossible.

Bike- The bike course at Muncie is fantastic.  Smooth country roads, a few climbs, but flat overall.  I was in my best bike shape yet and felt really comfortable here.  My watch went crazy and although it was fully charged the morning of the race, it was dead by mile 12 of the bike (this had never happened before and hasn’t happened since…go figure).  So the majority of my race was done by feel.  I focused on my cadence, took nutrition based on mile markers instead of time and just kept working my way through the course.  Ended the bike feeling pretty good, now wonder if I would have done more on the bike if I could have seen the numbers, but oh well.

Run– The run course at Muncie features rolling hills.  Not necessarily any one killer hill, but constant hills.  Immediately upon running I realized my foot was not right.  I convinced myself that the first mile running is always a mess in triathlon and I just needed to get through that and then my body would adjust and I’d be fine.  The hills sent pain through my foot that made me want to scream.  It was bad.  I knew my family was waiting for me on the run course so I decided to just get to them.  They were at about mile 2.  I stopped and talked to them, told them about my foot.  I was basically resigned to dropping out of the race at that point.  I’d had to walk a lot of those first two miles because of my foot pain.  My husband and parents were supportive of whatever I wanted to do but were definitely concerned about my foot.  My 10 year old son however, was not there to see me quit the race.  He just looked at me and said “Mom, you should finish it.”  Gotta love how straight to the point he is!  I sat down, took my shoe off and had my husband pull my foot towards him like my chiropractor does to pop my ankle.  This actually provided some relief.  I got my shoe back on and went out to the run course.

The remaining 11 miles were mostly running, some walking when a hill was really hurting my foot, but I was getting through it.  The finish line has you run down a slight hill on gravel and the downhill and uneven surface truly about did me in, but I couldn’t stop at that point.  End result, a PR by over 20 minutes!

This was also the first race that I feel like I absolutely nailed my nutrition on, which I’m thrilled about!  Thanks Hammer Nutrition for your continued support and amazing products!

Not quite the race I had hoped for, but considering the circumstances of the run, a result I was very happy with!


The days after Muncie had me very worried about my foot.  Even a blanket on my foot when I was sleeping was too much pressure on it.  I took the next 5 weeks completely off of all training.

I’ve had a slew of dr. appointments, tests, treatments done on my foot that I chronicled in another post.

Even if I couldn’t run, I could swim and bike.  Honestly though, I didn’t do much of either of those.  I’ve been crabby about being injured and having no answers and so I’ve just allowed myself to have the time off to recharge.  I’ve gotten to spend extra time with my family.  The fall has been a busy season for my kiddos with cross country and soccer so I’ve just been enjoying mom-duty.

November 2016

After a cortisone shot and starting Physical Therapy, I’m on the road to recovery.  I’m getting back in the swing of things and looking forward to 2017.  I’m waiting to get through PT before I put any races on the calendar but I finally feel like things are looking up!



January and February Check-in

Apparently blogging more regularly should have been a New Year’s Resolution for me.

The year is off to a good start and I’m happy with some of the progress I’m making.

January Totals-

Swim- 13 miles

Bike- 192 miles

Run- 106 miles

February Totals-

Swim- 12 miles

Bike- 353 miles

Run- 70 miles


  1.  Swim– My swim game has improved already this year.  My husband has a pretty strong swim background and worked last year to get some coaching certifications.  For 2016 he has taken over the role of swim coach for our tri club.  What this means is I’m going to structured workouts with other people more often.  It’s been a lot of fun learning new things in a group setting and I find I push myself more on some of those intervals when I’m trying to keep up with the speed demons of the group!
  2. Bike– I’ve been spending a lot more time on my bike the last couple months.  Late 2015 I was hardly on my bike at all.  I’m really loving my new tri bike and especially the bike fit.  All last year was a struggle because I was sore from my saddle/position after every. single. ride.  Although a lot of my rides have been indoors on the trainer, I’ve gotten to sneak in a few outside rides on unseasonably nice days and am quite happy both places.12744443_741642581169_2873564002270685728_n
  3. Run– I ended my run streak in January after battling an angry foot for most of the month.  Back to running 3-4 days/week for me cut down my mileage a bit in February, but I’ve enjoyed lots of great runs.   I also had my longest trail run of 12+ miles at the Little Woods Ultra at the beginning of January.  10653535_736555131459_2555982580535987958_n
  4. Frostbite Series– My family completed the Frostbite Series in Forest Park in St. Louis over the winter.  It is put on by the St. Louis Track Club and was a really fun way to stay active on a few Saturdays where hibernating was really tempting.  My husband and son signed up for the short course option.  My daughter and I did the long course option, her goal was to complete her first half marathon.  We all had some milestone races and paces at the Frostbite Series and really enjoyed it, this will probably be a family tradition each year!   12654260_740194203729_3128985069437251952_n

 Also, Grace rocked her first half marathon.  She ran strong the entire time, never hit                                              “the wall” and finished with an official time of 2:00:56!

5. Tour of Sufferlandria– Last year when I started training for IM Boulder, I discovered Sufferfest videos.  I love to hate them.  Somehow this type of workout kicks my butt.  Every. Single. Time.  I started the 2015 TOS and quit half-way through, not so in 2016.  For all of you non-Sufferlandrians, here’s a brief rundown.  They’re bike videos that show footage of amazing locations and really fast people on bikes.  And they ask more of you than just about any other kind of workout.  The Tour of Sufferlandria is a challenge they do each year with a sick, brutal combination of videos.  Over 9 days, I rode prescribed videos, some days with two videos back to back.  I expected to feel completely beaten down by the end of the challenge, but was feeling stronger with each ride.  Until the last day, that one really just about did me in.  Regardless it was a fun challenge and one I’ll do again!  12717204_740830059469_2123163931385044958_n

6.  High School Students– I’m coaching a group of high school students to run their first half-marathon this April.  From October-April we meet twice a week after school and on Saturdays.  Not gonna lie, it’s been a very big time commitment on my part (and theirs).  There are days where I absolutely love it and am so excited that I’m sharing my love of running with these kids.  There are days where I feel completely beat down because I don’t feel like I’m getting through and don’t feel like they’re challenging themselves at all.  But overall it has been a lot of fun and I can’t wait to see what these kids think of their first race experience and especially their first finish line experience!

7.  My own training and goals.  My 2016 race calendar is shaping up and I’m excited about a it.  I’m working towards some hopefully big PRs and exciting racedays!

April 10- GO! St. Louis Half Marathon with my high school students

April 30- Kentucky Derby Half Marathon

June 5- Legend 70.3 Triathlon

July 9- IM Muncie 70.3 Triathlon

*August 14- IM Steelehead 70.3 Triathlon *Maybe…I’m still debating on this one.

A fun quote in honor of Dr. Seuss day!

Cheers to goals, improvement and loving life!

Ironman Boulder Training- Week 2

I had another solid week of training, I’m really enjoying being back in the three sport world.  I love feeling like I’m making gains in different areas, compared to just run focused training.

Week 2 training journal
Week 2 training journal

Monday- Rest Day

Tuesday- Bike- 19 miles, Avg Speed 15.66

This was another early morning bike ride in my living room.  I did Sufferfest Local Hero.  It was challenging like always, but I’m happy with this workout.

Wednesday-Run- 6 miles, Avg pace: 8:30

Tempo Run with my local running store.  Every Wednesday they have a group that runs about 6 miles then heads to the bar for drinks afterwards.  I’m never able to hangout for the drinks afterwards, but there is always someone to help push the pace more than I do for tempo runs on my own.  Need to start going to these more!

Thursday-Swim- 2800 yards

This was by far my toughest workout of the week.  It involved lots of pulling drills at very specific time intervals.  The paces were pretty challenging, so I missed a few of the assigned intervals, but was able to stay fairly close to where I was supposed to be on little to no rest between intervals.  I’m looking forward to getting another shot at this workout again soon.

Friday-Run, 7.3 miles, Average pace 9:35

I had a professional development day at school that morning and got the afternoon off.  This was wonderful because it fell on a day where we had 50 degrees, sun and minimal wind.  You can’t ask for more than that in January in Illinois!  I took my dalmatian, Elsa, with me for 6.2 miles.  She is an amazing pace dog, these were our splits:

9:52, 9:34, 9:34, 9:34, 9:34, 9:35

The trail we ran on is made up of a really fine gravel (think kitty litter) and was sloppy due to thawing out and rain earlier in the week.  We sloshed around the whole time, so my footing was a little more loose than I’d like, felt a couple twinges of soreness in my knees after this run.

Next I took Copper, my lab/hound mix out for his turn.  He loves to stop and sniff so we definitely don’t get to keep a constant pace on his runs, but he did pretty well this time….we probably only stopped about 10 times on our 1.1 mile run.

My dogs and I posing after our bike trail runs.
My dogs and I posing after our bike trail runs.

It was a fun day and I was so thankful for the weather and the time off school to enjoy it.

Saturday-Long Run, 9.08 miles, Average pace 9:23

I went to Runwell for this run as well.  I have a hard time on solo long runs, it just always seems to go better with company.  My legs are definitely not used to running somewhat long miles two days in a row and felt tired for this run.  I focused on my breathing to gauge my effort instead of my legs.  Although it was probably a harder effort than an easy long run should be, it was still pretty close I would say.  Happy with this pace, especially since I’d run 7 the day before.

Sunday-Long Bike Ride, 17.94 miles Average speed 17.1

I really wanted to get in an outside ride this weekend with the mild weather just to see where my outside bike base was at the start of training.  I’ve read that there is a difference in trainer riding vs. outside riding and you should expect the trainer to be slower, but I wasn’t sure just how much.  Since I’d spent very little time on my bike since October, my first few weeks of trainer rides have been a bit discouraging to see how much my speed had fallen.  I studied the weekend forecast daily trying to decide what to do.  Saturday was warmer but had very high winds.  Sunday was cooler but less windy.  After Saturday’s long run in the morning my legs were tired and I decided to go for Sunday when I wouldn’t have to fight as much wind.  Sunday ended up being cooler than what they forecasted, go figure.

Stopped on my outside ride to take a picture.  Gotta have proof of an outdoor ride in January!

When I left my house it was 49 degrees, but since it was already 2:30 at that point, the temperature only fell from there.  Winds weren’t too bad, and the temp didn’t feel too bad starting out.  It felt SO GOOD to be back out on my bike.  I remembered why I loved it so much last year.  I didn’t switch my sensors over from my trainer tire so just used my watch to keep track of speed and distance.  I didn’t look down too often, but every time I did I was happy with what I saw.  Without feeling like I was really pushing the pace, I was quite a bit faster than any of my trainer rides have been.  I felt strong and definitely could have ridden further under warmer conditions.  I ended up deciding that my feet were getting pretty cold and decided to turn back and cut my ride a little shorter than planned.  But I’m happy with it and can’t wait for spring when I can do more consistent outdoor rides!

Looking ahead:

My plan for the coming weeks is to focus on strength and speed.  I know that increasing distances are going to happen as races get closer and I want to take advantage of this time to be more ready for that.  My plan is to incorporate some core and strength work each day, add more hills to my running and keep pushing myself on my Sufferfest videos.

Stopped on my outside ride to take a picture. Gotta have proof of an outdoor ride in January!