Ironman Training – 2 Week Recap {Weeks 13 & 14}

We are cruising through Week 15, and that means training is about half way over — which is absolutely terrifying. Some days I feel great and like I’m making progress, other days I feel panicked and behind (even though I have not missed a single workout!)

30 weeks is simultaneously forever and also not enough time…

Week 13 was my first full week at the new gym. The pool is crazy crowded every single time I go, but thankfully people are really nice and understanding. Nobody likes sharing a lane or “circle” swimming, but it’s gotta be done.

Week 13
Total Mileage: 95 Miles
Total Time: 11:03 Hours

In Week 14 I began to see some serious run improvements (and even more so in Week 15). I’m usually around a 10:00 pace. It’s comfortable for me. I venture out and do a little faster from time to time, but pretty steadily I’m right around 10 minute miles. In Week 14 suddenly a 9:20 or 9:10 pace began to feel comfortable and normal! Even into this week’s training I ran a few 8:30’s and felt really good! It’s amazing to feel a legit breakthrough like this! I can’t wait to run again tomorrow to see how I feel.

Week 14 was also my highest numbers yet. Yep…we are slowly, but surely getting there my friends!

Week 14
Total Mileage: 103 Miles
Total Time:12:17 Hours

Lately I have been throwing in my rest day whenever and wherever I need it. Sometimes it’s during the week and sometimes it nicely lands on a Sunday, in which case I sleep in and then go hiking and out to lunch with my husband!

Convenient and fun rest days!

Convenient and fun rest day hikes!

My longest indoor training ride was a few days ago in Week 14. Three and a half hours!! *GULP* It was brutal, but more so mentally than physically. Afterwards I swore off never riding indoors longer than 3.5 again, but as the week plays out, my 4-hour ride this Sunday is looking more and more like another indoor ride… UGH. I don’t know what to do. I’d have to drive 40 minutes away to find bike paths or not-super-packed roads to ride on. Also it’s pretty cold here still and I don’t want to be miserable. Nothing is more exhausting than biking around in the cold trying to fill time and/or miles.. BUT if I just do it on the trainer I don’t have to drive anywhere, it’s warm, it’s safer and I know my exact time and mileage without having to lollygag around.

There will be a time and place for an outdoor long ride, I’m just not sure it’s this weekend.

Preparing for my 3.5 hour ride

Preparing for my 3.5 hour ride

But what am I going to do for 4 hours? I watched two stupid movies on my 3.5 hour ride and that barely did anything for me. I’ll admit I teared up around 3 hours because I was so bored and out of my mind and I wasn’t sure I was going to get through it. But afterwards I was so proud and happy to see 50 miles on my bike computer!

What do you guys do to pass the time on the indoor trainer? Movies? Music? Puzzles? Books? A tranquilizer?

Keep on keeping on… and pray for me and my 4-hour ride.

Ironman Training Recap {Weeks 11 & 12}

Week 11 started off Phase 2 of the training cycle. It was also the start of swimming three times a week 😦 BOO!! (I am following the Intermediate Be Iron Fit plan.)

Phase 1 only had me swimming two days a week and even then I thought it was a bit much! Now every time I turn around I have to get back in the pool *sigh* but I guess that should be expected as part of Ironman training. I will say though, for Half Ironman training I only swam once a week and still finished in decent time (46 minutes). There’s hope, right? Regardless I still plan on following the plan, so even as much as I complain about it I’m still going to do it!! (But can I get a show of hands and an AMEN for the girls who only wash their hair once or twice a week?! Swimming three days is really messing with my hair washing schedule! LOL!)

I can't with this meme, but for real when is there ever an open lane?!

I can’t with this meme, but for real when is there ever an open lane?!

Week 11
Total Mileage: 84 Miles
Total Time: 11:02 Hours

On March 12th the hubs turned 30! Whaaaat? That’s just crazy to me. We had an epic weekend and a big ole’ party for him. I took a much needed (and deserved) rest day the Sunday after to recover from a good night with good friends 🙂

Happy Birthday, Age!

Here’s some motivation for when you don’t feel like training and ask yourself “Why am I doing this?!” Because it makes the race achievable. Not easy, but achievable and realistic. Training is worse than the actual race.

Week 12 of training was a solid week. Although I can tell I am starting to get cabin fever. Just looking at pictures and videos of outside training makes me ache for longer and warmer days. The treadmill and trainer are starting to drive me nuts! Cruising down a country road on my bike, sun shining and birds chirping — that’s all this girl wants!

Week 12
Total Mileage: 83 Miles
Total Time: 10:54 Hours

I’ve also been trying REALLY hard to lift twice a week. Sometimes it’s a scramble and sometimes I get in a solid, non-cardio focused workout and I feel great. I was happy to see progress when I was being a complete meathead at the gym the other day. Go figure!

So today was the first day of week 13 and I ran into a snag at 5:30AM! I arrived at my gym to find the parking lot completely empty and a sketchy note on the gym door. The note said that the gym had shut down and memberships had been sent to the nearest location — 33 minutes away. Uhh NO! Homegirl had to get to work at some point today! I couldn’t drive 33 minutes away and then back again! I was annoyed, but also fired up. Yesterday I had a pep talk with myself that I needed to start pushing harder in my workouts. I’ve built a solid base and the fact that it’s literally now spring has lit a fire under my butt. I couldn’t even fall asleep last night because I was so pumped to workout this morning, then I get to the gym and it’s closed!?…

So without giving myself the opportunity to talk myself out of it, I called the YMCA near me and asked about a guest pass. They said it was $10 and I needed exact change. Low and behold I looked and had exactly $10 — and I NEVER carry cash with me ever. The triathlon gods were smiling upon me. I went to the gym as a guest and although I didn’t know where anything was I walked around like I did (LOL). Fake it til you make it, right?!

I got in a solid run on the treadmill with faster than normal times and then moved on to find the pool. I found it and walked in and it was packed! Like we’re talking 3 people in a lane packed. I sat on the side and got my stuff ready. The entire time I was so intimidated because everyone looked like professionals. I didn’t want to annoy them by hoping in and sharing a lane if I was much slower. Thankfully someone got out right as I was walking over and I was able to hop in and swim with just one other person (who, mind you, I was much faster than!! I had nothing to worry about.)

I swam for about 30 minutes and all of a sudden the lifeguard started pulling in the lane lines. WTF? Why? Then a nice lady explained to me that we could still swim laps, but we would all be together and it would run counter clockwise. At this point I had about 12 laps left and thought about calling it quits, because after everything that had happened that morning I didn’t want to mess around with weird stuff like this. I somehow convinced myself to stay and finish and I’m so glad I did! Swimming without lane lines and with four other swimmers was the closest thing I’ve had to an open water swim in so long! It was tiring, but just what I needed to start pushing harder in my training. I finished my laps and chatted happily with another swimmer who had asked me what I was training for. What a great way to start off a Monday! (And no I’m actually not being sarcastic!) Sure it wasn’t ideal, but it forced me out of my comfort zone (typical triathlon!) and made me push to not only get in the workout, but to finish it. It would have been much easier to accept defeat and to accept that the workout wouldn’t happen today. It was a sink or swim situation and I’m proud of myself for choosing to swim 🙂

Now I have to solve this pesky problem of not having a pool to swim in…and I better solve it quickly since I still have two more swims this week. CHEERS!

Weeks 9 and 10 Recap [Ironman Training]

We made it through phase 1!!

I honestly can’t believe I’ve been through 10 weeks of training already. I still have a long road ahead of me for the next 20 weeks, but phase 1 is officially done and I’m excited!

Week 9
Total Mileage: 83 Miles
Total Time: 10 Hours, 38 Minutes

????????????????????For the next phase I hope to be able to start getting outside a bit more, specifically on the bike. My longest indoor ride yet was 3 hours and I had cabin fever pretty bad near the end. Needless to say I was thankful to be done!!

A tired, but happy girl at 4:30AM!

A tired, but happy girl at 4:30AM! From my 2:45 hour ride in Week 9.

In Week 9 I took a solo swim on the last day, which I know is dumb since I didn’t technically have a “recovery” or “off” day for the week. But I was done by 10AM and enjoyed this nice little breakfast below. I knowwww how important rest days are, trust me. So I will be sure to incorporate one rest day a week going forward.

A good breakfast after a tough workout always helps put everything in perspective!

A good breakfast after a tough swim always helps put everything in perspective!

Week 10 was my longest time I’ve put into training so far (but week 7 was my highest millage recorded at 86 miles).

Week 10
Total Mileage: 85 Miles
Total Time: 11:05 Hours

I really enjoyed the first 10 weeks of training. I like the daily and weekly grind that comes with following a training schedule. Also for the first 10 weeks I was able to fit in all of my training in the morning and I didn’t have to pull any two-a-days or after work training. I believe this has made a huge difference in still feeling like I have a life outside of Ironman! If you incorporate training into your morning routine then the rest of your days is freed up and you don’t have to deal with it hanging over your head. Sure waking up at 4AM isn’t very glamorous, but it’s a sacrifice that I’m OK with making right now 🙂

3-hour indoor ride grind!

3-hour indoor ride grind!

Over the past 10 weeks I have trained for a total of 85.5 hours and I covered 714 miles!

Here’s a break down of my swim, bike and run training by hours and miles:

It’s been a fun 10 weeks and I hope and pray I still feel this way at the end of the next 10 weeks 🙂 CHEERS!

Ironman Training Week 8 {RECAP}

Not much to report with training week 8 — and I guess that’s a good thing!

We are just plugging right along with the plan 🙂

Week 8
Total Mileage: 82 Miles
Total Time: 10 Hours

week8The only thing I struggled with this week is finding time to weight train. I have to be really admit about carving out time for lifting. With this training plan it’s all based on time, so if I know I have an hour run and an hour swim I have to hold myself accountable for at least 15 minutes of weight training. It’s hard because I just want to get through the planned workout and not add anything more, but I know lifting is still important. Plus I have to take into consideration being sore if I do squats/lunges the day before a long ride or run.

It’s definitely a balancing act — but I’m learning that’s what Ironman training is all about. It’s a constant balance between life and training and to never stopping juggling everything you have to do. What’s one more thing to throw in the air into the juggle, right?

weightsHappy training week 9! Cannot believe we are almost in double digits.

 

 

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!

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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

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.

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