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 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.

 

 

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!

Officially Training for Ironman 140.6

Well if you couldn’t tell already from my new blog header then I am officially making it public knowledge now — I signed up for my first 140.6 and will be competing in Ironman Lake Placid on July 23, 2017!!

ironman-lake-placidI announce this calmly now, but when I registered back in August I was a hot mess! I’ve carried the 140.6 dream deep in my heart since starting triathlon nearly four years ago. Then while training for Ironman 70.3 Ohio, I noticed how much fun I was having and I knew the time was right to think about a full Ironman. I felt challenged, inspired and so much joy as I pushed on towards my goal of 70.3. It was early August then and I was nearing the end of my training for the half Ironman. I was shocked to find myself so desperately sad that it would soon be over. I knew it was a sign that I was ready for 140.6.

I started doing research and very quickly stumbled upon Ironman Lake Placid. I was looking for a mid-summer race that had to be within driving distance of Cleveland. I also wanted my first 140.6 to be a large, iconic race and for it to be scenic and challenging. Lake Placid fit the bill for everything I was looking for. For two weeks straight I did research about the race. I read every race report and blog post about Lake Placid that I could find. I was so consumed by the idea that I could hardly sleep. Could I afford it? Could I handle the training? Would I survive the hills? Am I in over my head? Am I an idiot?

stop-thinking-about-ironmanI was legitimately obsessed and I couldn’t stop thinking about competing in Lake Placid. Finally after countless late night talks with my husband and long conversations with my friends and mom — I felt confident enough to register. The whole time I was registering I was shaking and sweating. I felt sick to my stomach, but also so excited that I wanted to scream and laugh at the same time. I was nervously laughing as I typed in my credit card information. Then I had to take some deep breathes to finally be able to hit “submit” on the screen. After I did I ran around the house laughing and screaming like a crazy person!!

(I was later told that my emotions while registering for a full Ironman were pretty common — LOL. I guess registering is one of the scariest parts!)

scared-of-itWith the excitement of my first 70.3, our 1-year wedding anniversary and a 10-day trip to Italy, I hardly had time to process everything. Then when we got back from Italy it was full marathon training time and now after a crazy few weeks I am just starting to wrap my head around everything. I have been researching training plans, coaches, prep races and everything in-between and I can feel the excitement starting to grow again.

Right now I am on week 3 of 6 for a weight training program. I’m enjoying taking some time off cardio/endurance training and having fun remembering why I fell in love with lifting weights like when I first got into fitness. It’s nice to not be obsessed with weekly mileage numbers, although I know I will be again soon!

My tentative plan is this:

  • Finish my weight training program, which will take me into November
  • In November join (another) gym and start taking an endurance spin class 2-3 days a week (this will help keep me honest in bike training over the winter). Also I’ll buy a new bike and an indoor bike trainer and start using that. (All while keeping up with regular running and workouts)
  • In December I will get back into the pool (swimming is my least favorite discipline and I wanted to take some time off after 70.3 — trust me I needed it mentally) (Still keep up with regular running and workouts)
  • In January I’ll start 29 weeks of training to get me to July 23. (Actual training plan is TBD)
  • I will throw in key training days and prep races including a (possible) spring full marathon, a few 100-mile rides, a few long brick workouts (80-mile bike and 20-mile run), one 70.3 distance and a few Olympic distances to even it all out

goal-so-bigThis summer I learned that I’m decent at hills. I wouldn’t say “I love hills”, but I would say that I think I’m pretty decent at riding them. Nothing beats the challenge of getting up a massive hill and proving to yourself that you can do it. Lake Placid has a challenging bike course, but there’s something about it that excites me. I’ve read the race reviews and honestly I’d rather have hills than riding flat. I loved Ironman 70.3 Ohio, but it was SO flat that I grew bored at times. In a few longer rides I did over the summer I knew where the hills were and my excitement and nerves grew as I neared it. To me hills help pass time. Also the swim at Lake Placid is supposed to be second to none. It’s in Mirror Lake and one race review said it’s the closest thing to swimming in a pool because the water is so clear. Not to mention the Lake Placid course in general is supposed to be BEAUTIFUL! (I’d expect nothing less of upstate New York in the Andorak Mountains!)

It’s gonna be crazy, but it’s gonna be such an amazing journey and I’m excited about the challenge. I know there will be low points as well as great high points.

Right now I am focusing on getting in great workouts, building as much muscle as possible and doing a lot of research. I’m so thankful and grateful to be able to afford to train and compete in this race. Here’s to another crazy Ironman adventure!

140-6