Ramping Up – Training Week 7

Week 7 has been my highest mileage and time tracked to date with training for the full. (When I was training for 70.3 Ohio I hit 100 miles one week near the end.) I am very happy with how this week went, especially at an indoor triathlon on Sunday.

Week 7
Total Mileage: 86 Miles
Total Time: 10 Hours, 15 Minutes

????????????????????I had THE most fun yesterday at the Beachwood Mandel JCC Indoor Triathlon! Talk about a great event! Everything was so well-run and organized. The volunteers were great.  Everyone was super friendly, helpful and inspiring. The pool was clean, the music was great on the bike and the cheers while running was much appreciated. They even had photographers taking pictures of the athletes. The photos and even the results were up online within 24 hours of the race. (Also the long sleeved t-shirts are great too!) If you are local and looking for an indoor triathlon — look no further than this event. I highly recommend it!

Somewhere on the run - dying inside, but somehow I managed to smile. It hurt so good!

Somewhere on the run – dying inside, but somehow I managed to smile. It hurt so good!

I am SUPER happy with my results at the indoor tri. I placed 2nd in my age group (out of 6) and 5th female overall (out of 38). My numbers weren’t too far off from the four women who finished in front of me. I feel very hopeful about the progress I’ve made in 7 weeks. I am taking training very seriously though. Even after the tri I had to get on the treadmill and run another 55 minutes to finish up my training for the day. Although my quads were killing me because I went so hard at the race, I bit the bullet and got it done. Needless to say I am sore today — but the good kind of sore. It was awesome to test my body at that high of intensity to really see where I’m at.

Also I was assigned #23…perhaps a sign for July 23, 2017??  🙂

Indoor Tri Results
15 Minute Swim: 28 Laps (1,400 yards)
20 Minute Bike: 9.94 Miles (a little disappointed I backed off at the end thinking of my strategy for normal races)
20 Minute Run: 2.5 Miles

In the hurtlocker - keeping 120 RPM for 20 minutes!

In the hurtlocker – keeping 120 RPM for 20 minutes!

Sometimes I think I’m in over my head and sometimes I prove to myself just how strong I already am. There is still a long, hard road ahead of me, but little glimpses of yesterday help me see the path that I’m on and reinforce that I’m doing it correctly. I WILL be ready.

Happy training week 8!


Training Week 6 {Recap}

Training is just rolling right along…

Week 6
Total Mileage: 76
Total Time: 8 Hours, 53 Minutes

week-6Nothing super crazy this week. My first 2-hour indoor ride proved to be quite boring. I started at 4:15AM to be able to make it in on time to my 8AM meeting at work. This week I have a 2:30 indoor ride and I’m already dreading it. I need to look up good movies to watch during training. It has to be inspiring, upbeat and keep my attention. I’ve been watching Gilmore Girls lately, but I’ve found that it might be the worst show on earth to watch during training. You watch that show with a glass of wine, not during a 2+ hour spin.

fullsizerenderThe hardest thing about waking up at 4AM to train is getting to bed on time! It’s amazing how difficult it is to have everything wrapped up and be in bed by 9PM some nights. Hopefully I can become better at this. I even started setting a “warning” alarm around 8PM. My husband is already making fun of me, but at week 7 I know it’s only going to get crazier! So far I have not had to pull any two-a-days. I’ve been able to get all my training in before work in the morning in one long session. I know this is going to get trickier and I have a few hurdles with commitments and training this week — but hopefully I can stick with the plan!

Happy training week 7!

Weeks 4 & 5 Training Recap

Weeks 4 and 5 of training were pretty much the same.

Decent training, decent time and decent effort.

It’s hard not to get too caught up in the 30 weeks of training and the fear of “never being ready”. There’s always going to be a little devil on my shoulder whispering, “Really a full Ironman? You are in WAY over your head here Cassandra…”

When thoughts like this come I just have to remind myself how well my 70.3 went and how I’m even more dedicated and determined with the full. I will be ready. I just need to keep my head down and keep grinding. Follow the plan and trust the process.

Week 4
Total Mileage: 60 Miles
Total Time: 7 Hours, 37 Minutes
week-4Week 5
Total Mileage: 67 Miles
Total Time: 8 Hours, 21 Minutes


Today was the first time I looked at my training plan for the week ahead (week 6) and thought “OK well…this is a lot…” With my work schedule and heading down to visit my parents in Cincinnati this weekend, I’m going to have to pull three 4AM’ers to fit my training in this week. It also has me doing two-hour workouts three days straight because I had to move days around with my schedule. BUT I have nothing else to tell myself other then to suck it up. I knew what I was getting into starting this journey and I know it’s only going to get tougher. I’ll take it one day at a time and find joy in each training day. This is the worst of it too with it being cold and snowy out. A 2-hour weekend ride outside in the sun won’t be as torturous as a 4AM, 2-hour indoor ride on a Wednesday in February.

Gotta take the good with the bad and everything in between.

I read this quote the other day and I really liked it:

“The antidote to fear and anxiety is action and hustle.”

I’ll train and practice until I do not fear the pain or the unknown of the race and until I am no longer anxious about the distance.


Week 3 {Pushing Through}

This week was a tough week for me.

I had a lot going on at work and on top of it I was deathly sick. Like so sick and coughing so hard I contemplated going to the ER a few times. I was short of breath and coughing all day, everyday and I was miserable. I didn’t want to dial back my training either because I was afraid I’d lose momentum, so I powered through. It went fine other than I knew I wasn’t in the right heart rate zones during a few workouts and I just had to chalk it up to a loss. I still got in my time and mileage, but they weren’t all super quality workouts.

The good news is that I feel like I’m on the rise back up. I’m not at full strength yet, but I felt like yesterday and today was a good, solid effort in training. I coughed a few times, but nothing compared to what it has been. I think I’ll be back to full strength by mid-week (I hope at least). I also believe having good nutrition helped me through this week. The hubs and I are on day 13 of 24 of the Advocare 24 Day Challenge and we’re still going strong! I’m down 4 lbs and he’s down 13 lbs — LOL. It’s all good though as I’m only about 8 lbs off from race weight and I know it’ll come off fairly easily with consistent training and nutrition.

Week 3
Total Time: 8 Hours
Total Mileage: 63 Miles

week-3This week it was nice to feel my swim improve. It’s crazy what three weeks of consistent swimming and drills can do. I already feel like my swim endurance is 100% better than it was during week 1!

Second picture of me laughing is courtesy of my husband dancing to my music in the living room!

Second picture of me laughing is courtesy of my husband dancing to my music in the living room!

The hardest workout of the week seems like it’s the day where my plan calls for a bike session and then a swim in one day. It’s just hard to figure it out logistically. My gym with the pool has ONE spin bike, so if I go and someone is using it I’m outta luck. So I have to start my day super early at home on my trainer and then head to the gym to swim afterwards. At this point I don’t want to split up my training yet. I like doing it in the morning and being done with it for the rest of the day. I know this workout is going to get tougher too when the time and mileage increases.

Overall I’m just thankful I’m starting to feel better. A few of my treadmill runs this week were straight sufferfests. I’m not even thinking about outdoor runs or rides at this point because I don’t think my lungs could take the cold air. So I’m stuck indoors for the next few weeks. I haven’t been hit with cabin fever quite yet, so it’s all good  🙂

Here’s to week 4 and feeling more like myself again!


Week 2 — The Reminder

Week 2 wrapped up today and I couldn’t be more excited about the future of training and racing! It was an awesome week topped off with an indoor triathlon at Lifetime Fitness. Granted I didn’t consider it a “real” race, it still felt awesome to be “racing” again and I was happy with my performance.

Week 2
Total Mileage: 59 Miles
Total Time: 8 Hours


Week 2 Stats

So far training has been really enjoyable and I look forward to it each day. I know this won’t always be the case though! I was finally able to set up my indoor bike trainer (correction — my husband was able to set it up) and what a difference it makes riding that compared to my spin bike!! I’m completely obsessed with it and although it makes me long for an outdoor road or trail, I’m just happy to be on my pretty little bike again  🙂

Saturday I road for an hour and a half on the trainer and watched Ironman’s Lake Placid 2016 video and I was getting choked up the whole time. Just the thought of being at Lake Placid gets my heart racing and my emotions skyrocketing!

trainerThe indoor tri on Sunday was SO much fun! I loved being able to meet other triathletes   and I put in a great effort and hit all of my time goals. On the treadmill/run portion of the race I was chatting with a guy named Mike about being a part of Cleveland Triathlon Club and we found out that we are both doing Lake Placid as our first full Ironman! What are the chances of that?! It was awesome to meet someone else training for the race and I was laughing out loud when he mentioned he couldn’t sleep for four days after he registered. (I know this feeling!) I left the gym happy and feeling good about all the decent training I had gotten in that day and that week. (DESPITE battling a nasty cold though! This is the second time I’ve been sick this winter and I’m so over it! When I was training both yesterday and today I felt lightheaded a few times and had to remind myself to take a break and get a drink of water.)

Here’s to a great reminder of why I fell in love with the sport. I love pushing myself and exhausting myself and getting the chance to meet awesome athletes with similar goals and feelings. This sport can break your heart while it can also help you find meaning and connection. Today I was reminded again of why I do this and why I continue to want to be a part of something so extraordinary.

Happy week 3 of training!


Week 1 — Onward To The Long Course

dare-to-beginLast week was the first week of training for Ironman Lake Placid 2017!

It was pretty laid back and chill, except for the fact that I am in TERRIBLE swim shape.

Not even kidding I struggled to swim FIVE laps in a row without being out of breathe. (Insert face palm for only swimming twice since August!! *sigh* it’s my own damn fault though.) My first of two swims was the worst. I felt so defeated and deflated after that swim. I later told my mom to remind me of this moment in a few months. I know the swimming endurance will come back and I’ll be confident again, but it’s hard not to listen to that little whisper in the back of your head asking “Will you ever be ready?” The good news is I have plenty of time. So much time that when I hear that little voice I laugh and tell it to shut up, because I know I will be ready and it was ONLY week #1.

I did have another irrational moment of panic after another swim when I looked at my Garmin and thought “Jan 2” said “June 2” and my stomach did a flip. I seriously rolled my eyes at myself because I need to just chill. Like seriously girlfriend, slow your roll and chill.

Overall I’m happy with my mileage, time and effort the first week and I am looking forward to another full week of training.

Time: 7 hours, 17 minutes

Mileage: 56 miles


‘Twas the week before training started and all through the house…

‘Twas was the week before Ironman training started and all through the house
a triathlete was stirring to get off of the couch.

The trainer was set up with ease and great care
and the bike shorts were laid out so she knew what to wear.

Her husband was nestled all snug in their bed
knowing what was coming – the brick workouts he dreads.

So triathlete in her tri kit and phone in her lap
had just settled in to download some apps.

She needed to record all of her training done right
in hopes that she’d finish with all of her might.

Away to the pool she would go take a splash
with hopes to get better – quick like the Flash.

30 weeks of tri training she’d have to find time
for what was important and to get to that line.

Off to Lake Placid she’ll go in July
able and ready and willing to tri.

Training for Ironman Lake Placid starts NEXT WEEK! Eeekk! I can’t even believe it’s here already!!

For the next 30 weeks I’ll be following a detailed training plan. I’m so pumped! I need the structure and the purpose again. I’ve still been getting in quality workouts, but I miss the grind and drive that comes with training. In my training plan the first 10 weeks is “base” training AKA the “patience” period. It’s important to not go all out during this training phase and to gradually build a solid foundation. I’m in great shape now so I know it’s going to be hard not to go crazy. I just need to follow the plan and trust the process.

I have everything set up for the first 10-weeks and my plan is already on my calendar starting on December 26. This is going to be a wild ride and I know it’s going to be filled with ups, downs and everything in-between.

For now I’m going to enjoy my last few unstructured workouts and the holidays!

Keep training hard.