Training Recap & The Taper

T-minus four days until Ironman 70.3 Muncie! I am finally getting that pre-race feel and I can’t wait to be at an Ironman venue and feel the excitement of athlete village.

This was my third time training for the Half Ironman distance and I feel decent about my training. There was definitely more that I could have done, but I still feel like I had a life these past 16 weeks.

Here’s how I feel training went compared to past races:

  • Ironman 70.3 Ohio, 2016 – 95%
  • 70.3 Great Western Reserve, 2017 – 100% (because it was encompassed with Lake Placid training)
  • Ironman Lake Placid, 2017 – 120%
  • Ironman 70.3 Muncie, 2018 – 80%

This summer I was able to do trail runs, play in a volleyball league, take weekend trips, take more casual long rides, go camping, drink with friends, enjoy Memorial Day and 4th of July and in general enjoy life more than just being consumed with training and afraid of injury. So as I come out on the other side of  these past 16 weeks, I am feeling good about my training volume and still happy about how summer 2018 has gone so far! The true test will now be on race day 🙂

Week 13
Total Mileage: 83 miles
Total Time: 8:21
Calories Burned: 4,984

I ran the Hill Yeah Half Marathon in Week 13. I ran this race back in 2014, but I think I blacked out how tough the course was. A good chunk of the run is on trails and oh ya — it’s VERY hilly!

Week 14
Total Mileage: 59 miles
Total Time: 6:05
Calories Burned:3,589

I trained for 26 weeks for Ironman Lake Placid, biking well over 2,500 miles. Finally in Week 14 of training for my third Half Ironman…it finally happened. I finally got a flat tire.

I could feel something wrong with my back tire right after I had gone down a hill on my long ride that week. I pulled off to the side and discovered my entire back tire was flat. A small part of me was actually thinking “OK this is fine. I feel up to it and I can totally do this by myself. This will be great practice.” 45 minutes later my fingers were cramping and sore from trying to get the tire back on the rim, sweat was dripping down my back because it was 95 degrees out and I was covered in grease and grass. I thought I would be done and back on my ride in about 20 minutes, so it was much longer than anticipated. As the minutes ticked by I could feel myself getting more agitated. After I finally got the tire back on the rim, I attempted to inflate the tire with two CO2 cartridges, but to my horror, one malfunctioned and the second wouldn’t allow the air to go into the tire for some reason. (I later figured it was probably a pinched flat.)

Panic slowly began to seep in thinking about what would happen if this happened at Ironman 70.3 Muncie. At one point I felt tears starting to well up in my eyes. Finally after dropping the F-bomb quite a few times and tossing my bike in anger and it cutting my shin (oops) …I broke down and called my husband to come get me. 25 minutes later I sat in the passenger seat stewing in my anger. THANK GOODNESS for my God-sent husband who dropped everything he was doing to come pick me up and then let me lash out at anything and everything for the 15-minute drive back home. To put it lightly — I was PISSED. I was mad at my bike, mad at the CO2 cartridges, mad at the pinched flat tire, mad at myself, mad at how dirty and sweaty I was, mad at the wasted time, mad that I had only gotten in 16 miles in what should have been my last long ride…mad at the universe basically.

The next day I dropped my bike off at the shop for them to deal with the tire and for a tune up that I desperately needed. I re-bought cartridges and a new tube and will hope for the best this weekend! My plan for the race is basically to not get a flat tire *shrugs*

Week 15
Total Mileage: 62 miles
Total Time: 6:13
Calories Burned: 3,422

Last weekend we were able to do a quick camping trip and I still got in decent workouts both Saturday and Sunday. That’s the beauty of Half Ironman training and taper!

My last long ride was just 25 miles and I was happy to report no flat! My bike actually ran great because of the tune up. I think I’ll be just fine 🙂

It has been another great journey to 70.3. I am looking forward to spending the weekend with my husband, traveling to a new state, meeting new and old friends and having a great race and experience. These are the memories that last a lifetime and I am grateful and lucky to get to do this. I LOVE everything about Ironman!

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Ironman 70.3 Training Update

Life is GOOD!

Training is good. Work is good. The house is good. My family is good. The weather…has been decent. Some rainy spouts here and there, but enough that I’m outside the majority of the time. I pretty much never want to get back on my bike trainer ever again.

Summer is here — like it’s happening right now! It makes me so, so, SO happy!! Every chance to see the sunrise is a beautiful thing and I’ve been feeling really lucky and grateful to be able to wake up and train.

Week 10
Miles: 95.6
Time: 9:52 hours
Calories Burned: 4,902

Week 11
Miles: 77.5
Time: 9:11 hours
Calories Burned: 4,441

Week 12
Miles: 103.6
Time: 9:27 hours
Calories Burned: 5,093

I’ve gotten in some solid long rides on the weekend, ranging from 40 to 56 miles. My “long runs” each week are typically between 8-10 miles. I do have a Half Marathon this weekend that I’m really looking forward to because the last time I truly raced a half was in 2016!

I love the balance I have right now. Sure it might still seem crazy to other people, but to me it’s perfection. I get to train and work hard and also find time to enjoy life and take it easy from time to time.

I even counted one of my weekly long runs as a slower trail run — and I had the best time ever!! Last summer I would have been too worried about training quality, pace, mileage and injury to even consider doing a trail run.

I also did my first Open Water Swim (OWS) since Lake Placid a few weeks back! Just being in my wet suit was getting me pumped up to race again. I stayed cool, calm and collected and was able to get in just over a mile. I still hate swimming — but an OWS beats staring at the black line any day.

Muncie 70.3 bib numbers were released (I’m #429) and I’m getting so excited for the race! Can’t wait to get back out there and just feel the excitement of being in athlete village again. T-minus 23 days! CHEERS!

Training & Yardwork

Weeks 8 and 9 snuck up quick, but I was glad to see them. For some reason I really wanted to be in the second phase of training (weeks 10-16).

It feels like my husband and I have been working like dogs every weekend and most weeknights on our house and yard. We moved in mid-summer last year and it was pretty much too late to do anything before the fall, so we knew we were going to have to work hard this spring. Thankfully, we are jussssst about done and can now enjoy the fruits of our labor the rest of summer! But dang April and May were filled to the brim with landscaping, seeding, cleaning, gardening, digging, pulling out bushes, planting trees, 87 trips to Lowe’s and so much more.

I am most relieved that we got our deck stained because it needed it BAD. We watched the weather like hawks since we needed 3 solid days of no rain before and after. We had a big Memorial Day party so the pressure was on to get the deck and yard ready. We ended up staining the deck in one full night after work, but we were out there until 11:15PM! I couldn’t help but wonder how people maintain bigger houses and yards and still train for a full Ironman…like how would that possibly work?? I got up the next day at 5AM and thankfully only had an hour ride, but it was still brutal. It was a blessing in disguise that we still lived in the apartment when I was training for Lake Placid! All of the housework and yard work has left me pretty tired, but I’ve still managed to be pretty good about training. I’m struggling a bit on my log rides and runs. I don’t find it necessary to ride for 4 hours while training for a Half Ironman and I’ve already run 13+ miles as my long run. And the crazy thing is — I’m following the intermediate plan, not even the competitive. The good thing here is that I know my body and I know the distance. I know the training volumes I need to be able to compete well, which is just a few key weekends between now and July 14. Nothing to worry about except having fun! (And then relaxing on our awesome deck and see our beautiful yard!)

My old hand-me-down and tiny (read: crappy) treadmill broke at the end of week 7. (I can’t complain because it was free, but damn it I really hated that thing.) I was able to replace it fairly quick thanks to my husband who found a decently priced one on the app, Let Go.

It feels great to finally have a good treadmill!! It’s something I’ve dreamed about for seriously the past 10 years — not even joking.

My home gym in the basement is finally complete!

Week 8
Total Mileage: 94.4
Total Time: 10:19
Total Time Spent on Yard Work / House Work: 3643634634

Week 9
Total Mileage: 78.9
Total Time: 8:20

CHEERS to phase 2 of training!

Ironman Muncie 70.3 Training (Weeks 4, 5, 6, 7)

Weeks 4, 5, 6 and 7 are done and dusted and I feel good in terms of where I’m at training wise. I am back to the familiar feeling of racing the clock every morning and on most weekends. Hurry up and train and then hurry up and get ready while you’re exhausted, then try to make it on time to the next event!

I do admit that there’s been a few times where I’ve thought “Why did I sign up for this again?” But I can spot the difference between this time last year and training right now. I have such a better training / life balance and I don’t feel 100% consumed like last year. (Only like 75% consumed LOL)

Week 4
Total Distance: 72 miles
Total Time: 8:20

So I’m kind of in disagreement with the long rides and runs in this training plan so far. I understand and completely trust the Be Iron Fit program, but personally I feel the time commitment is jumping way too drastically for a Half Ironman.

I’ve been cutting my long rides short by about 15 or 20 minutes each week. I do speed intervals (long and short) every time I’m on the trainer, so I don’t think I need to ride long just to ride long at this point. BUT this is the beauty of self coaching and only training for a Half Ironman! I know I’m in good shape and I know the distance, so I can trust my body and train accordingly.

All pink everything.

Week 5
Total Distance: 75 miles
Total Time: 8:10

Week 6
Total Distance: 81 miles
Total Time: 9:13

The long ride called for 3:15 in week 6…ya don’t put me down for that. My ride was 2:30 (35 miles) and I felt like a million bucks running afterwards. I didn’t find it necessary to ride for that long in only week 6!! This was also the first week I opted for doing my long ride during the week instead of Saturday morning. I had lots of weekend plans and I needed to do a shorter Saturday workout, so I moved stuff around accordingly. *Que my old Ironman familiar friend — the 4AM workout.

My bike set up for long rides — lots of Netflix to keep me occupied!

Week 7
Total Distance: 94 miles
Total Time: 9:13

My long ride in week 7 was 42 miles followed by a 2 mile run. My long run was 12 miles, which included tripping and launching myself forward and catching myself with my index finger! (The sidewalks around our house are TERRIBLE.) Regardless I felt good after both long workouts.

Only one week left in this first phase! CHEERS!

Ironman 70.3 Muncie Training (Weeks 1, 2, 3)

Week 1 of training went off without a hitch. Nothing crazy, nothing really to report — I guess that’s a good sign, right?

Even my first time back in the pool in almost 9 months went pretty smooth! (If you don’t already know, I really dislike swimming!)

One think I’ll point out though, is that I would like to better incorporate cross training (i.e. circuits, conditioning) and strength training into my plan. I really struggled with this during training for Lake Placid. There’s so much swimming, biking and running to do that it’s hard to carve out extra time for lifting and circuit work. But I feel like I made so much progress in the off-season that I don’t want to lose muscle and waste all my hard work! I will try harder with this.

Week 1
Total Distance: 60 miles
Total Time: 6:24
Training Plan Time Goal: 6 hours [Goal Met!]

Week 2
Total Distance: 63 miles
Total Time: 7:27
Training Plan Time Goal: 6:45 [Goal Met!]

I was back to my old pool stomping grounds in week 2. I ended up just buying a membership to the local YMCA that I used for the majority of Lake Placid training. It was odd being back in the locker room and back in the pool. I remember my very last swim before Lake Placid in the very same pool. It was a weird feeling being back (as an Ironman!!) and as training for a new race!

You know it’s strange not being totally and completely obsessed with training this year. Not every single thing I do anymore revolves around training, which makes me feel both sad and relieved. The weight of Ironman training is HUGE and part of me misses it and part of me feels thankful to have a life outside of training. 70.3 is a much better distance for training/life balance, but I really did love the fire of training for 140.6. Does that make any sense?!

I think as the weather warms up and training hits around 8 hours a week, I will feel a little more connected to it. Right now I’m still enjoying being able to eat whatever, drink whatever, still go out and still get all my training in! With Ironman training I didn’t touch a drop of alcohol for almost 7 months straight. Eeeek!! (I also think my husband is relieved by this new training/life balance thing I’ve found! LOL)

My long ride in Week 2 was for 1 hour and 45 minutes and after going out the night before, I set my expectations low. It wasn’t terrible, just slower than normal, which I was ok with…THAT is the balance I so craved in 2017, but it was also the passion that fueled one of the greatest years of my life… *sigh* It may always be a battle with moderation for me, but I’m alright with that considering I could be fighting a worse battle.

Week 3
Total Distance: 70 miles
Total Time: 7:42
Training Plan Time Goal: 7:30 [Goal Met!]

FinalSurge Training Overview of Week 3

I was really disappointed to find out that my favorite training app, Addaero, will no longer exist as of May 1! They recommended a new app, Final Surge, as the replacement. I tested it out in Week 3 and I guess it will work, but I really liked Addaero, plus it’s what I used to track Ironman 70.3 Ohio and Ironman Lake Placid training.

Week 3 had a long run on the schedule that was 1 hour 30 minutes. I am trying my best to complete all my training Monday-Saturday so that I have Sunday free to do whatever. I woke up at 4:45AM on Friday to get my long run in before an 8:30AM meeting. I don’t know what happened, but somehow everything during my run just…clicked.  It was vaguely warm out (about 50 — but hey that’s good for April in Northeast Ohio!) My music was on point. There was super light traffic. I even saw a skunk AND an opossum and didn’t get startled/shook up! The run itself felt easy and I felt strong. I looked down to see most of my miles between 9:20 and 9:30. Then the more I ran the faster I got! When I had about 30 minutes left I started averaging 9:15 miles. My very last mile was 9:08 and I felt like a million bucks!! [Ended the run with a 9:22 average]

Those are the runs that make you stop and really appreciate this sport. It gives me hope for a sub 6-hour half Ironman! All those winter sprints on the treadmill paid off!

CHEERS to a great first three weeks of training!

Prepping for 70.3

I officially start training for Ironman 70.3 Muncie on Monday (March 26)!

I’ll admit I have had a few heart attacks here and there when I randomly think about it and start panicking about training for the full. Then I have to rationally talk myself down and tell myself “it’s not a full Ironman this time around, you will be FINE.” (I still don’t know if I will ever emotionally recover from the intensity that was Ironman Lake Placid and the 6+ months leading up to the race.)

Since January 8th I have consistently worked out six days a week — that’s 11 straight weeks of solid workouts! I have lifted A LOT over the past three months and can see and feel a difference in my body. I feel very strong, although I know there is still plenty of work to do for Muncie! At first I thought about following the “competitive” training plan from Be Iron Fit, but after reviewing my schedule and just general work load, I have opted to follow the “intermediate” plan. It will allow me to train and work hard, but still have a life — something that wasn’t even a concept last summer prepping for Lake Placid. The plan has us training for 16 weeks. The first 8  weeks are more base training and the second half is peak training and taper.

There’s just something about a fresh training plan that pumps me up!

Recent 8 miler and feeling good!

Right now my biggest obstacle is trying to find a pool to swim in. Next week I’m going as a guest to my friend’s gym to use the pool there, but after that I need to figure something out. It’s challenging because I don’t want to pay upwards of $70 a month just to use the pool once or twice a week. (I belong to two other gyms and have a bike trainer and treadmill in my basement, so I can’t justify spending more on yet ANOTHER gym membership.)

I’m super curious to see how I physically and emotionally handle training. I am no where near the same mental state that I was in a year ago (can you believe one year ago I was on week 13 of 25 for the full??) I would love for my goal for Muncie to go sub-6 hours, but that will be determined when I get into the swing of things and see how I feel.

Here’s to officially chasing another dream come Monday morning. CHEERS!

Holiday & Sickness Recovery — Looking Forward To 2018

First there was the stomach bug over Christmas Eve and Christmas Day. Then bronchitis hit me. Then consequently laryngitis, which left me voiceless on New Years Eve and New Years Day. Then when I didn’t think I could feel any crappier, I got pink eye — in both eyes.

Not my best showing this holiday season.

But I am alive.

I took 17 days off from the gym. It was longer then the time I took off for recovery after Ironman Lake Placid. In fact, it was the longest I had gone in 2017 without working out. I think I started getting depressed because I was so sick. I would get home after work and just climb into bed. This went on for weeks. I have only just started to feel more like my regular old self. Five miles on the dreadmill left me hacking up half a lung, but I had survived, proving to myself that I was making a slow come back.

I started the Advocare 24-Day Challenge on Monday. I have done it every January for the past three years and I usually lose around 8lbs. (My husband on the other hand, has lost 20lbs while on it before! Ugh, men.) But despite weight loss, the whole program just makes you feel better and it reinforces clean, wholesome eating. I also like it because during the year my diet is pretty clean, but during the holidays I tend to splurge. It’s always a refreshing start come January to get back in the swing of things. There’s something about meal prepping and being in a program that lights a fire under my butt!

Prepping for week 1 of Advocare

A few times this week I started feeling the old familiar pings of motivation. (Something that has been few-and-far between ever since the Ironman.) I don’t start training for Ironman 70.3 Muncie until March 26 — which honestly feels like FOREVER from now. But just being back in a regiment and routine makes me want to work hard again.

Meal planning and workout planning.

In my last post I wrote down some short term goals I wanted to accomplish for myself.

Here’s an update:

  • Register for Ironman 70.3 Muncie
  • Order and read Be Iron Fit half Ironman training book
  • Complete a 10 mile run and feel OK – Does 8 miles still count?
  • In January join a new gym with a new pool — So I joined Planet Fitness, which doesn’t have a pool, but it’s seriously 2 minutes from my house. I just can’t bring myself to swim yet…I know I need to, but I’m going to procrastinate just a bit longer 😉
  • Purchase a treadmill for my home gym — This might not be in the budget for a little while still. Plus with joining Planet Fitness, which is super close to my house, I can get away with using those treadmills for a bit.
  • Try to hopefully become part of a 2018 tri teamI am so excited to represent FE Strong Racing and be an Ambassador for: Nuun Hydration, BOCO Gear and Honey Stinger!!
  • Get a new Garmin watchI LOVE my new Garmin Vivo Active HR!! (Shout out to my amazing husband on THE best Christmas present of 2017!!)
  • Keep consistently working out 6 days a week and moderately watch my nutrition over the holidays — Sooooo kinda?? 🙂 Despite my 17-day hiatus when I was bed ridden, I was consistently hitting 6 days a week before and am doing so again now in my recovery from being so sick! Also being sick left me with very little appetite.

So here’s to 2018 and chasing down my next dream. It has been a slow recovery from illness and an even slower mental recovery post-Ironman, but I am determined that wherever I go from here in 2018 — it will be the right path for me.

Celebrating turning 28 on December 16th by riding 28 miles. Obviously this was pre-sickness!

Tried out a spinning studio called “Cycle Bar” and absolutely loved it!! I’m going to incorporate it into my winter training.

I have also been trying to incorporate Insanity or P90X (both Pylo workouts).

CHEERS to 2018!