Happy New Year! I can not believe that we are in 2014! Seriously...time is just flying by!
I began the year with our local New Year's Day run..The Hangover Handicap. It's a five mile, fairly flat run along the shores of Coeur D'Alene Lake. It was a beautiful run! It's been a LONG time since I have run out doors and I was thrilled that I ran the until 5 miles without stopping. I even finished under my goal time! :) 

My run a few days later was not nearly as fun or successful. I headed out for what I thought would be a gorgeous ( if perhaps a tad chilly! ) run. I learned two lessons during this run... dressing for the weather is critical and stretching is even MORE critical. I thought I was dressed properly for the weather but nothing could have protected me from the crazy cold headwind I experienced on my way back. SO COLD!! I also experienced two extremely tight, painful hamstring muscles. I could barely walk let alone run. I had no idea until I started my workout just how bad they were. The lesson here? Stretch, stretch, stretch!!!

My week ended with a 75 minute ride on my trainer while watching the first 49er playoff game. Great way to work off all that nervous game-watching energy!!

Today began the first official day of Lake Stevens 70.3 training!! Even though I have been doing a little training each week, today the plan really began. I am super duper excited for the journey ahead. Only 230 days... :) 
To celebrate this first official day of training my aero bars received a cute make-over. :) They went from boring black to flower power! They make me happy...and that is important when you spend hours bent over looking at them. ;)

My workout this morning was an easy 20 minute run. I could have gone longer but I am working on following my plan and working up my milage accordingly. I will begin swimming next week with my amazing Tri team.. CdA Tri Team. Really looking forward to getting back in the pool! :)

Today started out with a gorgeous sunrise 8+ mile walk with my gorgeous sister-in-christ, Sarah. We walked with Starbucks in our hands and frost in our hair...hardcore training session?..hardly! Hardcore, heartfelt fellowship?...totally! 

Brrr! It's quite cold out here! Word of advice...Running tights are a MUST HAVE in cold weather!...As are gloves ( which I took off to take this picture!). Check out the frost in Sarah's hair... :)

I love walking/running in the winter (when I'm properly dressed, like today!). And this morning was a great reminder of just how much I love being out there! Especially with someone like Sarah, who not only loves living an active lifestyle but also loves Our Lord with all her heart and soul and mind! She is one of those people who continually "fills my cup" and I am SO blessed to have her in my life!!

Do you have someone in your life who never fails to lift you up and "fill your cup"? I'd love to hear about them! :)

Well...Not exactly. But I did venture out today for a little 6 mile walk. It was a beautiful, sunny day and I felt pulled to enjoy this amazing, yet chilly day. :) I practically had the trail to myself, except for a few die-hard runners and one brave biker, and I was expecting the trail to be slightly slippery. However the trail was completely dry and, although I would have preferred snow, I enjoyed every minute of this day-after Christmas workout! 
My playlist for this workout was different than most of my training playlists. I traded my usual heart pumping training soundtrack for worship music. While walking and getting my "worship on", I was able to really focus on all the blessings I have been given, including the opportunity to follow this dream to Ironman. I am blessed to live in an area that truly embraces the triathlon lifestyle and encourages athletes to always pursue their dreams. I am blessed to have a family and friends who support me completely and fully. Mostly, I am blessed to have a savior in Jesus Christ who makes each and every day (and adventure!) worth doing with joy and gratitude! Blessings in all your adventures!!

Today is my birthday and my awesome hubby blessed me with a set of new tires for my road bike!! Wahoo!! New tri gear makes me incredibly giddy!! ;)

Here is what my week 36 training looked like:
Monday: 30 min treadmil interval workout
Wednesday: Velocity workout (a 1 hour crossfit / triathlon specific circuit workout) KILLER!! ;)
Saturday: Indoor bike workout ( hour and half ) again...A KILLER! 
* Pretty minimal but intense... :)
What types of cross training workouts do you enjoy?

I have lovingly referred to my journey back to Ironman CdA 2015, as the "Road To Redemption". A huge part of that road includes doing a half Ironman. I decided to do the Lake Stevens 70.3 and the countdown has begun on my kitchen pantry. Every morning begins with a text to my training buddies..a friendly, fun reminder of the approaching day!! :) I look forward with anticipation and excitement as each day clicks down. 
My training has begun but has been fairly minimal at this point. Beginning on the 30th, it kicks into higher gear. My plan is to follow a 9 week sprint training plan, followed by an 8 week olympic training plan, and then finish up with a 16 week half ironman training plan. That, my friends, means 33 weeks of training! :) I'm ready, excited, and so blessed to have the opportunity to pursue my dream, surrounded by an incredible amount of support and encouragement, and a God with whom all things are possible! "When you walk, your steps will not be hampered; when you run, you will not stumble." - Proverbs 4:12

I wanted to share a fun bike trainer workout I came up with while watching my football team, the 49ers, kicking some Seahawk's bootie last Sunday! :)  I had an indoor ride ahead of me but couldn't miss a moment of this all important game, so I hauled my bike out of the back room ( otherwise known as the "blue room", for the blue painted walls, or the "Ironman room", for the Ironman posters everywhere ;) ) and into the living room...front and center for the game! 
This was a 30 minute interval workout:
* I first warmed up for about 5 minutes: mid gear, easy spin. 
* Whenever my boys (the 49ers) had the ball: low gear, spin 19-20mph.
* Whenever the opposing team ( the Seahawks) had the ball: high gear,  spin 14-15mph.
* Whenever there was a flag thrown: highest gear, remained in the saddle.
* Commercials: highest gear, out of the saddle ( leg burner, right here, people! ) 
* Whenever a team (on either side) scored: Rest time for me! Sat up-right in saddle and shook out arms. 
Fun way to watch a game and get in a great interval bike ride! :) I'd love to hear how you shake up your interval workouts!

"The Lord has done great things for us, and we are filled with joy." - Psalm 126:3
Here they are! The greatest dogs in all the land...Gideon and Kalypso! Love those faces!! Today they are wishing for a day like in this picture...a fun snowy day! :) Instead we have a bitterly cold, dry day with a temperature high of about 6 degrees. Brrrr! Sadly we are stuck inside..
We have plenty to do though..clean the house, hit up the store for flowers, set out the food..yup, we are having a party! A joyous celebration to be exact! My parents are renewing their wedding vows after 20+ years of marriage! Praise Jesus!! 
Today is exactly the kind of day where I have had to learn how to balance the important things in life with my Ironman training. And today my training will take a backseat to the celebration at hand!  :) And I am 100% ok with that....My heart is full of joy today! 
I'd love to hear about the things that bring joy to your heart!!