Coaching + First Training Day

48 weeks until Ironman Wisconsin.  It sure seems like a looooong way away.

In the last week I checked a few things off my list.  I hired a coach.  I definitely knew this was a must for me.  In the last 6 years of doing multi-sport events I have, mostly, coached myself.  Just taking a guess on what I should train (swim, bike, run, strength, sometime yoga) on a given day.  I had no rhyme or reason, just whatever I felt like doing and for however long I wanted or had available.  So in thinking about my approach to IMWI, I knew I needed guidance.  And a lot of it.  I had, and still have, so many questions about how to become a better runner, how to plan for nutrition while training and racing, how to plan shorter races into my training, how to deal with fatigue and injury, and the list goes on and on.

So I went where all good research happens, the googles! I did some quick searching and website scouring of local triathlon coaches and came upon Final K Sporting Services.


They offer one on one coaching services, run and swim analysis and other awesome services.  They have a group of coaches that can be paired up with an athlete based on what their goals are. Awesome! I spoke with the owner, Kris and got some more info and moved forward with signing up as an athlete with Final K.  Kris is my coach and I couldn’t be more thrilled to have a resource to ask questions and help me with planning my training and racing.  I sure hope he is ready for my onslaught of questions. 🙂

So, Kris hooked me up with Training Peaks and some training plans for the next few weeks and I got started. By the way, Training Peaks is super cool. I am a data geek and I love that I can automatically connect my Garmin to the platform and it send my data and links it to the training plan.  I also love how you can see how the upcoming training, you can log how the training you just finished felt and send notes to your coach about how much you hated or loved it.  Awesome tool right at your fingertips!

Day 1 – SWIMMING….dun dun duuuuhhh! Ugh, I have to admit, I haven’t been in the pool for quite a while.  Probably about 6-8 months.  If a race I had included a swim, I just went and did the swim during the race and didn’t do any prep or training for it.  Bad Julie!



This swim session called for a warm up and then some 200 yard drills.  In all about 2000 yards total.  For a non-swimmer who hadn’t been in the pool in quite a while, it was hard.  But necessary!

Anyone else geek out and watch the Ironman NOW coverage of IM Chattanooga on Sunday.  I did.  So inspiring to watch these races and athletes.  Unfortunately they had to cancel the swim portion of the race due to heavy rains and fast currents.  Those lucky dogs! Ha!


Bike Fitting + My Vintage Ride

Step 1 – Sign up for the crazy adventure called Ironman. Check.

Step 2 – Up Next. Get a professional bike fit.


Yesterday I headed over to Now Bikes in St. Paul to meet Bob, the bike fit guru and all around nice guy.  Before work, I loaded up my pre-owned and loved Cervelo P2 into the truck and packed some bike shorts and bike shoes in my gym bag.  I was really excited about the bike fit.  I was anxious to learn about how I SHOULD be positioned on my bike verses how I was riding it for the last 2 years.  At 10:45, I quickly changed into my bike gear and headed to my bike fit appointment.  Let me just say, every time I have been in Now Bikes, they are friendly, knowledgeable and patient.  Most of the time, I have a million questions and stand there trying to make a decision for a long time about something (even a water bottle cage).  They are so kind and patiently answer my questions.


After giving Bob the low down on my bike; where I got it, how many hours I have been on it, etc, he took some measurements and adjusted the high tech bike fit machine to match the Cervelo. What was really evident quickly was that the Cervelo is too long for me.  It’s the right size for my leg length but not for my short torso. So I was like Superman on my bike but not as fast as Superman. Ha! I explained to Bob that often my shoulders and lower back hurts while I am on my bike. He advised that I needed to be less laid out on the bike, my shoulders straight across, my upper arms straight down from my shoulders and my back is flat.

We moved the seat up and down, the handlebars up and down, back and forth till we got to a very comfortable spot.  Then Bob blew my mind by bring my seat forward to be further over the pedals. All of the sudden it became easier to pedal as I was now using my glut and hamstring muscles in partnership with my quads.  Woah, life changer!! What a difference!

So I left the Cervelo in the good hands of the bike gods at Now Bikes to get a makeover.  A whole new cockpit will be installed in order to bring the bars in closer to my knees and widen out aero bars. A new seat (one that is made more for a female body) will be swapped out (CANNOT wait for that) as I will be sitting on that seat for many, many hours. And lastly, a new cassette and chain put on. About a week from now, I get to go pick the Cervelo back up.  I will miss that old guy!  Bob called the Cervelo “vintage”, a name I will lovingly adopt!


The Journey Begins – Today is Day 1

Well hello!  Thanks for popping by. Hopefully you either stumbled on my site by accident and decided to check it out or you purposely came here because you are my mom (hi mom), my family (obligated) or you want to follow me and read about my journey to my first Ironman.  Hopefully I won’t bore you too much.  My blogging approach will be very “inner monologue” so I do hope that is entertaining enough to keep you coming back for more.

I keep hearing over and over again that your first Ironman (mmm, not sure there will be a second), is a journey of self discovery.  You will probably hear the word JOURNEY over and over again from me.  I can’t seem to find a better word to describe what I think this next year will look like.  I hope that it’s not only a journey toward a physical finish line but also a mental and spiritual journey as well. I guess we will see over the coming months.

So yesterday I made the craziest decision I have ever made in my life and registered for Ironman Wisconsin 2019. I am surprisingly calm about it. It took me 5 years of saying, “I want to do Ironman someday” to get here and I really thought I would have some hesitation, but I don’t.  Not even an ounce.  Am I a bit scared, yup, sure am. But more scared about the unknowns (what the training will entail, how much will I hurt, etc) than anything else.  The race, The Ironman race itself, I am excited about.  I KNOW I can get there and I KNOW I can finish it. A whole lot of finishing this amazing feat is mental, so I am starting with the most encouraging message I can tell myself and will keep repeating it as much as I need till I actually cross that finish line.

So come along on my journey with me.  Check back often, I am going to try and post updates at least once a week. And who knows, maybe you will be entertained and hopefully a little inspired to take on a big, hairy goal of your own.