Ironman Training 3 Week Recap – Weeks 19, 20 & 21

Week 19 was a fun week, primarily because I got to attend the Cleveland Triathlon Club tri camp. I only went one day (oppose to camping and going three full days), but the overall experience and knowledge gained was awesome. Plus I LOVED being able to train with other people! (Most times I am a lone wolf when it comes to training.)

Week 19
Total Mileage: 110 Miles
Total Time: 11:15 Hours

Camp was a blast and I felt really good about how I handled the hills of Mochican State Park. I know that I am good at climbing and can remain steady. To me it’s about getting it over with. Hills make long rides go faster. If I am dreading a hill at mile 24 — then mile 24 is going to appear a lot more quickly! (It’s all mental really.) Most riders just suffered up the hill ever so slowly and I felt like I was going to topple over if I slowed down like that.

The weather was fair. Decently chilly, but not totally miserable and the rain held off for Saturday at least! I also attended a swim clinic at camp and found out what has been causing my knee pain during my long swims — I tend to swim pigeon toed! (I know — seriously?!) I was given some drills to try to correct it and some pointers to think about. (Swimming is hard you guys. I don’t have the muscle memory of a good stroke. It’s constantly thinking about your motion the ENTIRE swim.)

I went to tri camp on that Saturday and then the following morning on Sunday I ran a 5K in my hometown with one of my girlfriends. I knew my fitness had increased and I am in great shape — so I figured I was going to PR this race. Although I think I’ve gotten the same time before (25 minutes). I was happy to see that I also got 3rd female overall in the 5K. This is probably because there were only 71 participants in the 5K, but STILL! (Although I was laughing to see that the 2nd overall female was in the 10-14 age group,  LOL!)

Week 20
Total Mileage: 169 Miles
Total Time: 16:39 Hours

Week 20 was my first 100-mile ride. I knew I needed to just get it over and done with. It took me just over 7 hours to complete. It left me feeling exhausted and a little worried about the 8:10 cutoff for 112 miles during the actual race. Mentally though, it was even tougher. The fact that I was out there solo didn’t help. At one point I was playing “scattergories” in my head with myself. Also I rode on a bike trail that crossed over a lot of busy roads, so I know I won’t have to stop and start like that during the actual race, which will shave down on time. I also realized I need to get better at eating on the bike. I would stop for 10 minutes at a time. During the actual race I plan to stop twice to pee and that’s it. (None of this “peeing on the bike” nonsense I have heard about!)

I was so happy to see this.

I was so happy to see this.

It was cloudy and overcast during my 100-miler and I didn’t think twice about sunscreen until it was too late.

I read online — 14 X 8 = 112. So I just need to focus on going about 14 miles per hour on the bike. In theory when I read this I was like “WOW. 14 miles per hour?! That’s nothing!!” But the bike course in Lake Placid is like no other. Hills upon hills. I’m wondering if I can maintain even 14. Luckily I live in a hilly area and have ample time to climb and practice still. I am still nervous though. Sometimes it really shakes my confidence to look down at my speed while climbing and see 12 miles per hour. My strategy will be to hold 14 during the majority of the race and allow myself to recover under 14 for 1-2 minutes after each climb. Then I will need to power the downhills. Last week I reached 41 miles per hour on a downhill. I’ve heard you can get upwards of 50 down the hills at Lake Placid!

Week 21
Total Mileage: 177 Miles
Total Time: 17:20 Hours

I’ve read a lot about average training volume and time during Ironman training. I know I can’t compare myself to other people’s training, but I did read one guy’s theory that he aimed to average about an Ironman distance (140.6 miles) a week. I read that and figured it sounded pretty reasonable and it would be a good gauge for me. Obviously I am still following the Be Iron Fit guide, but this also gives me a good base to aim for. Also I followed the Intermediate Program for the first 20 weeks of training and just recently switched to the Competitive Program last week because I felt like I had more to give.

I feel like recently I have climbed over a plateau in my training. Although I am still nervous and questioning myself most days, I have honestly felt myself get stronger over the last 2-3 weeks. It’s hard to explain. On Sunday I rode 57 miles in 3:45. At first I felt defeated because I completed the Half Ironman bike in 3:10. Then after I thought about it I realized that it was a great time. My race goal is to be at 56-60 miles by 4 hours. I was 15 minutes early and I climbed A TON of hills on that ride. For the first time in weeks I felt a wave of relief wash over me…I would make it. If that ride was the first half of the race then I would have probably made the 8:10 cutoff. Having that feeling was a huge confidence boost. Also I plan to take the first lap of the bike very easy, then start hammering out the second loop, so hopefully my second loop time will be faster.

There’s so much to think about!! The constant stress hanging over your head. Can I do this? What if I fail? The breakthrough moments where you believe you can. Trying out nutrition plans. The threat of GI issues in the back of your head. What if I bonk? What if I can’t remember to eat on time? What if I stop too long and miss the cut off? The anxiety to pack everything. The nerves of a flat tire. If I’m already stressed about the cut off time — what if I flat and have to take 20 minutes to change it? So many concerns, thoughts, worries…

Then add in a little thing called buying a house and BAM

And yes that is what’s happening. We close on our new house TWO WEEKS before the Ironman. We close July 6. Ironman Lake Placid is July 23 and we are staying the following week. My only defense is that I will be tapering, but the thought and craziness of moving and things being out of place is beyond me. My husband has assured me it’s going to be alright, but I know myself and my nerves and I know I will be a basket case. I’m not sure how this is all going to work. Training is a part time job right now. Throw in the other things and I’m not sure what will happen…

The only thing left to do is to keep plugging along I guess. I am thrilled about our new house. I’m also over the moon about the fact that I will have a home gym in the basement. It’s our first house and that is SO special, but the timing here isn’t so great. We’ve been house hunting for almost 10 months and for it to line up this way!? It’s a double edge sword. At this point I’m just laughing… laughing because I’m nervous, excited and to keep from losing my mind!

Here’s to Week 22 — CHEERS!

Ironman Training — 2 Week Recap (Weeks 17 & 18)

It has been a whirlwind past few weeks. Life has consisted of — work, Ironman training and aggressively house hunting.

Week 17
Total Mileage: 102 Miles
Total Time: 11:40 Hours

Training is tedious. I also can’t help but feel like I’m never doing enough. I know after I get a few big Ironman training weekends done I will feel a little more prepared, but I can’t help but think “How is this all supposed to come together!?”

I’ve been itching to get outside, but alas the weather in Cleveland has been cold, dreary and downright unpleasant (most of the time). We’ve had a few breakthrough days, which I’ve taken advantage of, but not nearly enough.

Week 18
Total Mileage: 117
Total Time: 13:33 Hours

Week 18 was my highest mileage volume and biggest chunk of time spent training to date. I had a giant workout planned for Saturday and of course the forecast was 100% chance of rain and 40 degrees.

I did manage to swim the full Ironman distance swim however! It was a daunting task (87 laps) and I had to psych myself up for it — but I had a blast and it really helped my confidence. I finished in 1:40 exactly and I felt good during and after. I even met a fellow triathlete at the pool who did Ironman 70.3 Ohio and was training for the Mussleman Triathlon up in New York.

I love the “Women For Tri” Facebook page! It’s so supportive and friendly. I have had a few bad experiences with social media and rude triathletes, so this page is always refreshing.

After my Ironman distance swim I hopped on the trainer for 3:20 and biked 50 miles (and also lost my mind). Then I headed out in the soggy rain and ran 4 miles. I was amazed by how good I felt. My first 3 miles were in the 9:30s and then my last mile was 8:57! I did feel like I was bonking a little during the last mile, which is a reminder that I need to eat every 3 miles or so during the run. Maybe even more. I am working on nutrition and trying to figure out what works and what my plan for Lake Placid will be.

Trying to plan out tentative nutrition plans for LP!

Ahh yes the 4th discipline of triathlon…laundry and piles of things everywhere. Thank goodness we have a spare bedroom for my Ironman changing and supplies.

This weekend I am going to an all day triathlon camp with Cleveland Triathlon Club. It will be from 8AM to 8PM… And OF COURSE…it’s supposed to rain and be 50 degrees all damn day…*sigh*

That’s OK though…maybe. I’m bummed about it yes, but the fact that I get to go and train with other people will be a nice change of pace. We might end up riding inside with our trainers, but at least I will suffer in the company of others…right??

Pray for us out here training in Cleveland!!

I like this quote because this week I had a mini meltdown trying to average out my tentative finish time for LP.

I read an article about a guy who missed the cutoff by 10 minutes so he got a DNF. How heartbreaking and devastating. I texted my husband and mom freaking out saying I wasn’t going to finish and they quietly talked me off the ledge.

I need to remember that this is my journey and I am in no real danger of “not finishing”. PLUS worrying about it like an insane person doesn’t do anything for my mental health. I know this is a common fear and once again (I’ve written about this numerous times mind you) I need to relax and trust the process. I am doing everything right. This is my race and my journey.

It’s me VS. 140.6 and with every long training day it proves I am getting closer to my dream. We are just under 12 weeks out! Let’s go!

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.

 

 

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

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