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

week-5

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.

capture

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!

5-miler

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

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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!

pre-spin

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.

WEEK 1
Time: 7 hours, 17 minutes

Mileage: 56 miles

week-1-stats

‘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.

christmas-workout

The Countdown

T-minus 21 days until I officially start training for Ironman Lake Placid 2017.

ironman-tentAt this point I am busy transferring the “Intermediate Program” from Be Iron Fit into an easy to digest and understand Excel document. I’ll keep one printed off at home, one printed off in my car, one printed off at work and then install it as an icon on my phone. I won’t be able to NOT find out what I have to do every day  🙂 It will basically be plastered everywhere. I also still plan on tracking everything via the app, “Addaero” because I really like it and I used it for my half Ironman training.

We’ve also booked our cabin for Lake Placid, which is so exciting! We’ll be driving up Friday, July 21. I’ll go to athlete check-in on Saturday, July 22 and then race on Sunday, July 23. We’ll stay July 24 and 25 (hang out, hike — if I’m even able to, etc.). Then we’ll head home on Wednesday, July 26.

Lake Placid 2017 Cabin!

Lake Placid 2017 Cabin!

It’s an 8 hour, 20 minute drive from Cleveland, which is going to stink, but I can keep my bike assembled and we can pack down the car. Also my parents and my brother and his partner are going to come up and stay in the cabin with us. It’s pretty exciting, but hard to believe it’s still seven months away and so much planning has already gone into this.

So far my training has still been decent during my “off-season”. I did a 6-week conditioning and weight program in October and wanted to complete it again in November, but I only ended up doing 2.5 weeks of it this round. We ended up going out to California for a few days and it kind of fell apart after that. But that’s OK because I’m still working out and keeping my base.

San Francisco was a blast though and I’m glad we made time to go!

san-franI got a tattoo in November that I’ve been wanting for about two years now. I knew I had to get it in November because I had to be out of the pool for 2 to 3 weeks after getting it. I got “fearless” on my left rib cage. It’s meaningful to me because throughout my life I’ve used “fearless” as a power word, and not just with racing and training, but throughout my life. Fearless with change, fearless with people, fearless with places and new opportunities. I never not want to do something because I’m afraid of it or I’m afraid of going alone. I read an article the other day that was explaining why people train for Ironman triathlons and it said “because it scares you as much as it excites you…” And that may be true, but I want to remind myself to live in a fearless way — to feel the fear and to do it anyway.

tattooI NEED to get back in the pool now at this point, but I just don’t want to yet! The good thing about the Be Iron Fit training plan is that swim training starts out very basic at first. I’ll be swimming only two hours a week for the first 10 weeks, which I’m happy about. I’m also looking into getting underwater headphones because if you haven’t caught on — I truly don’t enjoy swim training. I worked really hard for my half Ironman to become a better swimmer and I think I turned into a decent swimmer, definitely not fast by any means, but solid and strong and I finished the half Ironman feeling completely fine. I just gotta bite the bullet and dive back in – literally.

I’ll be doing the Lifetime Indoor triathlon and the JCC Indoor Triathlon with two of my friends on January 8 and February 12, so besides training I’ll be looking forward to both of those “races” coming up.

I know we are now in the home stretch to training and also the danger zone as it’s really easy to get sucked into bad nutrition and lazy holiday downtime at this point in the year. Gotta keep my eye on the prize though because I want to start December 26 with a solid base and attitude. The hubs and I are also doing the Advocare 24-day Challenge again starting January 9, which I’m really looking forward to because I really enjoyed it last year.

Happy holidays & keep training hard!

ironman-christmas

The “Not-So-Off” Season

T-minus seven weeks until I officially start training for Ironman Lake Placid! I’ve done my research and I’m fairly certain that I’m going to be following the “Be Iron Fit” 30-week training plan.

training-planningLast week I finished up week 6 of 6 of BodyBuilding.com’s Charlie Mike program (by one of my fitness idols, Ashley Horner).

I’ve mentioned before that in past years I’m notorious for completely taking off October, November and December and then coming back in January and wondering why I’m 20lbs heavier and slower than dirt!! (LOL!) But not this year. I start training December 26 and I knew I had to keep my base coming off Ironman 70.3 Ohio in August and the Akron Marathon in September. Doing the 6-week Charlie Mike program has basically saved my life and all my hard-earned fitness during this year’s “off-season“.

charlie-mike-2Today I started the Charlie Mike program over again with day 1 week 1 because I’m afraid I’ll lose my momentum if I don’t have a plan to follow. I’m good at training and I think that’s why I like it so much. I like proving to myself that I can follow a program to a T and hit every single workout. I don’t do well with “just working out” which I wish I could be better about, but to me it’s all about training and training for a purpose — AKA a giant race/event. I don’t do well with just free styling it. I like an action plan to follow and a strong reason why.

missionSO it looks like I have a plan for the next six weeks! I will do another Charlie Mike program, which will take me to the week of Dec 19. I will then take that week “easy” and then start up Ironman Training the following week (Dec 26).

So I am technically giving myself a taper and a small mental break  🙂

In December or January I’ll join a morning swim group a few days a week that is held through Cleveland Triathlon Club. This will help keep my swimming honest. I can’t decide if I miss swimming or if I’m gonna hate myself as soon as I’m back in the pool. Swimming is by far my least favorite discipline of triathlon, but I know it will be a major focus over my 30-weeks of training.

The plan was to get a new bike in November, but I couldn’t hold off and ended up getting a new bike in October. I’m completely obsessed! After surviving three years on a $100 hand-me-down, which I was never properly fitted for — owning a brand new, fitted bike is incredible! (But to be honest I loved my old, loyal bike too!)

new-bike

Getting “fitted” in the bike lab at Bike Authority!

new-bike-2

First spin outside on the new bike!

I’ve been looking into bike trainers too because I know I’m gonna need to ride long hours over the winter. I’ve been looking online and asking around and I’m leaning towards this model.

I’m happy with my progress over the “off-season” and am enjoying doing a lot of conditioning and weightlifting with Charlie Mike. This is the perfect program for me right now and fits into my base.

Here’s to another six weeks of Charlie Mike and officially seven until Ironman training!

Happy not-so-off season  🙂