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Monday PM:
Started out a new week with an evening swim. This was a 1800-yard session with the focus on speed. I last swam this same workout two weeks ago. I am happy to report that I was able to better my average speed of the main set by a couple of seconds. This is certainly not monumental, but this represents progress and that makes me happy!

Little by Little

This seemed to be the theme of the week for my swim!!

Tuesday AM:
5:30am start on the treadmill for a tempo run. My goal was the run for 50 minutes at the new pace I set for 30 minutes last week. After a solid warm-up, I feel into my pace. I could feel fairly quickly that my body was fighting it a bit. I felt like my heart rate started off a bit higher than normal. The plan remained the same as with all my tempo runs…as long as my heart rate was within the desired zone, I would push on. Well, at the 30 minute mark, it had crept up to the top of the zone. I backed off my pace a bit for the next 10 minutes and then again for the last 10 minutes. I followed up with a cool down. This was definitely a tougher run, but I followed the plan even though I was not able to meet the initial goal. Hopefully, my next tempo run I will be able to do just that.

Wednesday AM:
55 minutes on the bike trainer doing my regular session with short, high intensity intervals. This workout has been repeated weekly during this 3-week training block.  It does not disappoint!

Wednesday PM:
2800-yard endurance swim:
W/U: 500 easy mix with swim/drills/pull/kick incorporated throughout
Main set (2100):
100/200/300/400/500 easy to moderate with :15 sec rest between intervals
2×300 easy/moderate/fast, :30 sec rest between intervals
C/D: 200 easy

Could not hold tight to the rest intervals prescribed in the workout, but I did my best. This ended up being only an “ok” workout, but got the time and yardage in and that is always a good thing!

Thursday PM:
37-minute bike trainer workout with the focus on hill repeats followed by a 30-minute treadmill run. Both these workouts were good…since I was working in a high gear/low cadence to finish up the main set on the bike, I did a 2-minute high cadence spin to flush out my legs before getting off the bike.

Ready for the brick

My view from the bike…running shoes ready for the brick!

I then transitioned well to start my run on the mill. I felt pretty good…the more I do these bricks the better prepared I will be come race day!

Friday:

Rest

Saturday:
I still like being able to type this…another outdoor ride! Tony and I were joined by a fellow triathlete that had posted on Facebook to one of local tri group pages that was looking for company on her ride. I think it is fun to meet new people that share the same interests, so we invited her to ride with us. We did a 40 miler and the weather was nice. The wind was not as bad as the fast few weekends. I felt great on the ride and ready to jump on another brick afterward.

I had 2 miles to run off the bike and I was feeling good, so I opted for the flat loops, just to see what I could do if I pushed my pace. My first mile was 8:31 which I was satisfied with. However, I continued hard and was surprised when I finished mile 2 with a 7:45 pace. YIKES! I did not know I had that in me. I finished the run with an 8:08 average…I will take it!! All those tempo runs I have been doing are paying off I guess!

Sunday:
1900-yard swim with focus on speed:
W/U: 500 easy mix with swim/drills/pull/kick incorporated throughout
Main set (1200):  8x(100 moderate/:15sec rest/50 FAST), :30sec rest between intervals
C/D: 200 easy

I have shared this swim workout before, but I decided to post it again, only because I was reminded what a solid session it is. If you are looking for a good workout that focuses on speed, give it a try. This was from my IM plan and it is a good one and I am sure you will agree if you give it a go!

This ended up being a great swim for me. One of my best since last summer. I have continued to focus on my hip position but also this session, I focused on my pull position. I think that focus was extremely helpful. I was able to swim at paces that we regular for me last summer during IM training. It makes me happy. I last swam this workout on March 8 and in comparing my times, it makes me even happier that I shaved some solid time off my average speed for the main working set. Progress…..woo hoo!

Total training time: 8 hours 20 minutes
Swim: 6,500 yards
Bike: 60.12 miles
Run: 12.73 miles
Other: 0 (oops!)

I also incorporate twice daily PT exercises that are meant to strengthen/stretch my glutes, hamstrings and re-align my hips. This probably averages about 25 minutes a day and I have not included that in the above totals. However, this is probably one of the smartest things I am doing daily!

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I knew this would be a challenging week. Not necessarily tougher than expected workouts, but trying to balance out training will all the stuff that I had going on during the week. I had more extracurricular/post work activities than normal, so that meant extra careful planning to maximize my time. This was also the first full week after the time change and we all know those first few days can play havoc with our internal clock!

I Workout For

Before I get to my training recap, I wanted to share the above.  I thought this poster sums up a lot.  Sure, I may miss a workout when the things outside of my control get in the way or I may choose to take an unplanned rest day because my body needs it, but I need my training in my life (even if that means getting up at 5:00am)…otherwise, I would not be me!!

Monday AM:
I had a PT appointment scheduled for 6:00pm, so that left Monday morning to start off my week with a run! This was another tempo run (they have been frequent in my plan) and since I was able to hit my 60-minute goal last week in my tempo run, that meant an increase in my speed for this session. I would work with this challenge and go for 30-minute main set run after a 5-minute warm up and followed by 5-minute cool down. I was hopeful that I would be able to get the full 30 minutes in at the new speed, but I knew I had to keep an eye on my heart rate and as long as it was in the desired zone, I would keep working. I am happy to say that I was able to knock it out! Great way to start the week!

Tuesday AM:
We attended a Carolina Hurricanes game that evening, so I started the day with another morning workout. This was the 55-minute trainer workout that focuses on short, high intensity intervals…same session from last week. No matter how frequently I perform this workout, it will always be a good, solid challenge!

Wednesday PM:
40 minutes on the bike trainer followed by a (planned) 30-minute run. The trainer session focused on big gears and low cadence. I finished up the last working interval and skipped what would normally be a cool down and jumped on the trainer for what ended up being 26 minutes. I had to stop before completing the total 30 minutes and my cool down because the treadmill belt was rubbing and Tony thought it was a good (safe) idea for me to go ahead and get off so he could adjust it. I just kind of walked around the house for a quasi-cool down. I did feel decent on the 26 minute run though. Good to get these bricks under my belt!

Thursday:
We had another hockey game on the calendar, so I changed up my rest day. I truly love to take Friday as my rest day, but with the need to get in another swim (which I don’t try to get done in the mornings), I opted to take Thursday off and train Friday. Sometimes with the crazy schedule called life, we all know that you have to be willing to make changes when needed!

Friday:
AM: 50 minutes of yoga. I sometimes use videos on YouTube to maintain variety. I have done this one multiple times and it is good, so I thought I would share it.

PM: When I mentioned that I really love to have Fridays as my rest day, I was reminded AGAIN of why! After a full week, all I really want to do after I leave work is whatever I want…meet friends for dinner, hang out at home…you get the idea…but it usually does not involve the desire to go for a swim!! Oh well, I made the choice to schedule for Friday, because that is what fit life, so I had to stick with my commitment.

In trying to get my mind ready for a swim, I watched a couple of swim drill videos earlier in the day. Then, during my swim, something popped into my mind from one of the videos. It was relating to the hip position when using the pull buoy versus when you aren’t. I use the pull buoy pretty much at some point during every warm-up, so I decided that I would really try to focus on my hip position during my swim.

2700-yard swim:
W/U: 500 easy mix with swim/drills/pull/kick incorporated throughout
Main set (2000):  1×500; 5×100; 1×500; 5×100, :60 sec rest between 500s/:30 sec rest between 100s
C/D: 200 easy

I felt pretty good with this swim and that my focus on hip position was a very positive focus since I saw better than expected times on my 500s. This is something that I will continue to work with. I am thrilled with any improvement I can gain!

Saturday:
We ended up having a busy day, but planned a swim mid-day. I even had company which ALWAYS makes things better…Tony joined me at the pool.

During warm-up, I quickly realized that my arms/shoulders were definitely feeling some fatigue from the previous evening’s swim. It had been quite a while since I swam on back to back days.

1600-yard swim:
W/U: 500 easy mix with swim/drills/pull/kick incorporated throughout
Main set (900):  6×25 w/10 sec rest; 5×50 w/20 sec rest; 5×100 w/30 sec rest; all intervals for speed
C/D: 200 easy

Even though I felt like I was working harder than I should, due to how I was feeling, I continued to focus on my hip position and overall was pleased with my swim.

Sunday:
Another outside ride!!!! The temperatures were once again favorable to ride outside, so we certainly took advantage. Once again, my riding buddy Susanne and I planned for an early afternoon ride. Plus, Tony decided to join us as well. The more the merrier! As the case was last Sunday, it was fairly windy with lots of strong gusts! Despite that, it was great to be outside enjoying the fresh air and the sunshine. BLISS! My ride was good and I felt strong. We rode 39 miles and then I had a 2-mile brick waiting! Unlike last weekend’s brick, I chose the hilly route for an out and back. The street I live on is a steady incline as you leave the neighborhood, so that is always a “fun” (snicker) way to start a run. The good thing about a hill though it that you get to take advantage of the downhill on the way back. So, my first mile was 9:17 and second was 8:03 for a 8:40 average pace. I really pushed it coming back in. Overall, I felt like this was my best brick yet, especially in the way my legs felt strong as I started the run.

Total training time: 7 hours 52 minutes
Swim: 4,300 yards
Bike: 58.79 miles
Run: 10.28 miles
Other: 1 hour
I also incorporate twice daily PT exercises that are meant to strengthen/stretch my glutes, hamstrings and re-align my hips. This probably averages about 25 minutes a day and I have not included that in the above totals. However, this is probably one of the smartest things I am doing daily!

Just the share a random side note that happened during the week…check out this cutie pie!

pup1

Lil’ Pup

Tony found her as abandoned last Thursday. This lil’ pup was only several weeks old and was completely homeless. He brought her home and she stayed with us for a couple of nights until we found her a furever home. A friend of mine adopted her and I was thrilled that this little girl is the newest member of their fun family. They named her Rosie and I know that thanks to my hubbie, that little girl is going to have a wonderful life!
Our girl, Jovi, was so kind and gentle with her. It was really adorable!

pup2

Cutie Pie!

Jovi and pup

Jovi and Pup

 

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Since last week was recovery, this was the beginning of a another 3-week build. I felt “ready to go” with a good solid month back to a training plan behind me.

Monday PM:
A swim was on the plan for Monday after work. A bit before lunch, I found out that I needed to attend at 6:00pm meeting at work. Boo! If I had known that I had a late meeting, I would have done a morning training session…not swim, but would have planned otherwise. Oh well. That’s life! I got out of the meeting around 7:15, so that put me home a bit before 8:00, which is also the time the pool closes. So, it was dinner, a bit of down time, and then bed for an early training session on Tuesday. Luckily, I had three swims on the schedule for the week, so I would still have two good swim sessions to work through.

Tuesday AM:
I had a (non-work) meeting Tuesday evening, which had been on my calendar for a while, so I knew my morning session would be my training time for the day. I had 50-minute main set tempo run on the treadmill (plus 5 min w/u and 5 min c/d). The planned pace was the same as the 30-minute run pace from the week prior. I would hold that pace as long as my heart rate did not exceed the desired zone. Well, I got it done and was able to maintain the pace for the full 50 minutes. YAY!

Wednesday:
AM: 55 minutes on the bike trainer with the focus on shorter, high intensity intervals. This session is also a hold over from last years’ Ironman plan and since it was always a tough challenge, I decided to bring it into this plan.

W/U: 10-minute easy spin at 90+ RPM; 3x30sec accelerations to full sprint for last 15seconds (RPMs >110) w/ 1min recovery between intervals
Main Set: 4×2-minute at max effort attainable with goal of maintaining effort for the full 2 minutes and maintaining equal effort through all 4 intervals.
Rest interval: 3 minutes
Extra 5 minutes of recovery by spinning at 100-105rpms
4×1-minute at max effort attainable with goal of maintaining effort for the full 1 minute and maintaining equal effort through all 4 intervals.
Rest interval: 1 minutes
3x30sec ALL OUT effort with 1-minute recovery between intervals.
C/D: Remaining time to meet 55 minutes total

Yep, this was definitely as hard as I remember it!  Those intervals are quad burners for sure!

PM: 1800-yard swim with focus on speed
W/U (500):500 easy mix with swim/drills/pull/kick incorporated throughout
Main Set (1100):
2×200 moderate pace, :30sec rest between intervals
5×100 build each 100 to FAST for last 25 yards, :30 sec rest between intervals
8×25 evens EASY, odds FAST :20sec rest between intervals
C/D: 200 easy

Not too much to report on the swim.  Just trying to get in some solid speed sets to work my times back to what I was able to get last season.  Still workin’…….

Thursday:
AM: 30 minutes of yoga and 15 minutes of abs
PM: Another tempo run. Same deal as Tuesday’s run, but main set was 10 minutes longer to total one hour. Once again, I was able to hold my desired pace for the full hour while maintaining my heart rate in the desired zone. Double YAY!! My legs were toasty toast, but I had a smile on my face!

Friday:

Rest

One fun thing to report is that during lunch on Friday, I did a quick trip to TJ Maxx.  I was happy that I stumbled upon a table that had numerous pairs of my Mizuno Wave Inspire!  I am currently wearing the generation 10 and the 11s have been released.  Of course, TJ Maxx had the 10s so I could not pass up the $49 price tag since they had them in my size.  It was the electric blue color (which I have with only low miles and the gray ones which are close to retiring), but  I didn’t mind another pair in the same color.  This girl loves a good deal!

Mizuno

Saturday:
The weekend presented warmer weather (smile) and I wanted to take advantage. Sunday was forecasted to be around 67 degrees and Saturday around 58, but Saturday’s schedule was much more flexible as far as getting in a ride outside! So, it happened. My riding buddy Susanne and I rolled out around 12:15 for a 35-mile ride. It was sunny and 48 so it felt a little chilly and windy at times, but it was SO NICE to be outside riding! It was good for my soul!

Bike

After the ride, I had a 2-mile brick. So, it was on with my running shoes and hopes for a good, quick run! As the case was from last week, my legs needed an extra few minutes to get engaged for running. I purposely did a some short loops so I could maintain a flat course. There are lots of rollers running from my house, but there is one small section that is pretty much flat, so I repeated it to get the two miles. I just wanted to feel how my legs would respond to my first (outside) brick this season on flat terrain. My miles were 9:02 and 8:38.

Sunday:
We had a full afternoon planned and I HAD to get in a swim, so I went to the pool early to get in knocked it. One City of Raleigh pool opens for 2.5 hours early on Sunday. It then closes and re-opens (along the the others) at 1:00. I arrived by 8:00am. With the time change just happening, I was moving slowly.

1900-yard swim with focus on speed:
W/U: 500 easy mix with swim/drills/pull/kick incorporated throughout
Main set (1200):  8x(100 moderate/:15sec rest/50 FAST), :30sec rest between intervals
C/D: 200 easy

I was hoping that after I got warmed up, that I would feel more awake and ready to put in a solid effort. I tried, but I felt like I was having to work really hard each interval and my interval times were not reflective of the effort I put in. I just hung in there and did the best I could.

Total training time: 7 hours 40 minutes
Swim: 3,700 yards
Bike: 45.67 miles
Run: 17 miles
Other: 1 hour

I also incorporate twice daily PT exercises that are meant to strengthen/stretch my glutes, hamstrings and re-align my hips. This probably averages about 25 minutes a day and I have not included that in the above totals. However, this is probably one of the smartest things I am doing daily!

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The weather wrecked havoc on the week, yet again. Flexibility can be key when following a training plan. Stuff comes up that is out of your control and you have to do you best to stick to the plan as much as possible. This was also the fourth week in the plan, so that means recovery week. My plans are structured to have a week of recovery (a reduction in volume and intensity) every fourth week. This structure has always worked well for me.

Monday PM:
Recovery week allows me to incorporate a bit more variety.  I completed one hour of core work to start the week.

Tuesday:  
AM: I was up early and got in one hour of yoga.

We had plans to attend the Carolina Hurricanes game that evening, so the morning was my training time for the day.  After I completed my one hour of yoga, I showered and proceeded to start getting ready for work. During this time, I checked the local news app on my phone and realized that schools were delayed. While I don’t have kids, this alerted me that something more that the (last I had heard) predication of “a few flurries in the morning” was happening/supposed to happen. So, long story short….it snowed all day! It was a pretty snow and being the true NC girl that I am, I stayed off the roads and worked from home. Since it snowed all day and temperatures were well below freezing, we opted to reschedule our tickets to the hockey game and stay in for the evening. This allowed me the flexibility to get in another workout and I figured it was a good idea since more winter winter was expected during the week and I was uncertain what impact that would have.

2015-02-24 15.57.27

PM: 50 minutes on the bike trainer
W/U: 10-minute easy spin followed by 4×30-second one-legged drills, focusing on smooth circles
Main set: 4×3 minutes in big gear with low RPMs (55-65 RPMs)
5 minute recovery between intervals but maintaining 90 RPMs
C/D: 10 minutes easy spinning

Wednesday:
With the threat of additional snow in the forecast (up to 7 inches) that evening/throughout the night, I decided to push off my swim because the original prediction was for the precipitation to start in the time frame I would have been at the pool.  I stopped by the grocery store on the way home (after making it into the office late morning after a bit of thawing took place) to pick up a few items to cover my planned recipes for the next few day’s cooking. You would have thought I had pulled into the best mall in town on Black Friday! It was total craziness in the parking lot! I was able to find a parking spot only because someone pulled out of one. I got in and out and then home to do my substituted workout.

PM: 1 hour upper body/core work. This is a regular workout I do during the off season and it is a good sweaty session!

Thursday:
We did not get as much as predicted, but we had more snow.  It was a heavy, wet snow, so that meant another day working from home.

2015-02-26 07.31.49

PM:  30-minute main set tempo run on the treadmill ( plus 5 min w/u and 5 min c/d)
I was able to knock out 3.54 miles on the main set of this run.  I started at a little faster pace and maintained it for the first 10 minutes.  I backed off one tenth and the last 20 minutes I was still able to finish out with a faster pace than I thought.  Good run and I felt great about it!

Friday:

Rest Day

Saturday:
This was the day to get in the swim that I rescheduled from earlier in the week.  The pool was relatively quiet when I arrived around 2:00pm…this is always a bonus!

2800-yard endurance swim:
W/U: 500 easy mix with swim/drills/pull/kick incorporated throughout
Main set (2100):
100/200/300/400/500 easy to moderate (most of mine were a solid moderate pace) with :15 sec rest between intervals
2×300 easy/moderate/fast, :30 sec rest between intervals
C/D: 200 easy

I tried to hold true to the rest intervals, but needed a little more a few times.  I finished the 2100-yard main set with an average pace of 1:59, which is a better average pace for varying distances than I have been able to pull out over the last few weeks.  Still lots of room to get back to my norms I set last season, but this made me feel pretty good.

Sunday:
77 minutes on the bike trainer
W/U: 10-minute easy spin with 3x30sec accelerations toward end of warmup.
Main set: 10-minute increasing intensity by shifting to a harder gear combination every 2 minutes and keeping cadence as close to 90 RPMs as possible. 2-minute easy spin to recover.
3x10minutes riding at lactate threshold (hard effort but breathing is still controlled-no huffing/puffing).  5-minute recovery between intervals.
10-minute increasing intensity by shifting to a harder gear combination every 2 minutes and keeping cadence as close to 90 RPMs as possible.

After I completed the last interval in the main set (no cool down), I got off the bike, put on my running shoes and jumped on the treadmill for a 2 mile run.  This was the first brick workout I have done in a very long time.  It took me about 1/4 mile for my legs to remember the whole idea of a brick workout, but after that initial time, I fell into pace and the run was good.

Total training time: 7 hours 5 minutes

Swim: 2,800 yards

Bike: 27.63 (all on trainer)

Run: 6.54 miles

Other: 3 hours

I also incorporate twice daily PT exercises that are meant to strengthen/stretch my glutes, hamstrings and hips. This probably averages about 25 minutes a day and I have not included that in the above totals. However, this is probably one of the smartest things I am doing daily!

Flexible

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This week ended up being interesting with winter precipitation and very cold temperatures in play.  Monday evening into Tuesday morning, we received a bit of snow and then lots of sleet.  Needless to say, life was affected!  I ended up working from home on Tuesday and Wednesday and did not leave the house at all.  This southern girl does not drive on ice!  Training wise, I can do alot of things at home, but swimming is not one of them!

Monday PM:
1 hour core workout

Tuesday PM:  
1 hour tempo run on the treadmill
I was able to knock out 6.75 miles on this run.  With one of my goals focused on a faster run, these tempo sessions are going to really gain extra importance.  This was a smart session in that I had a good solid effort.  Maybe even a bit better than what I thought I could do at this point.

Wednesday AM:
65 minutes on the bike trainer:
W/U: 10-minute easy spin followed by 4×30-second one-legged drills, focusing on smooth circles.
Main set: 2×10 minutes beginning at 60 RPM and increasing RPM by 5 every 1 minute to max out at 105.  No rest between sets.
4×5 minutes with cadence for odd intervals being 95 and even is 70.  2-minute rest between intervals.
C/D: 10 minutes easy spinning.

This will be a regular workout in my plan.  It was a staple from my IM training plan and I find it very effective.  It is easy to increase the total time by throwing in an additional 10 minute working set in the main set.  I especially like it because the time seems to pass quickly during this workout.

Thursday AM:
30 minute yoga and 15 minutes abs

Thursday PM:
Here in Raleigh, the HIGH temperature was in the teens.  I know for some of  you throughout the country, that is not too bad.  But for us here in NC, that is COLD!  I knew I had to get in a swim though, since I had been home bound earlier in the week.  Generally, I hate swimming during the winter because I don’t like the cold.  But, I just do it because I need to.  So, getting to pool when it was roughly 17 degrees outside (and was getting colder and colder) was harder than normal. After I changed and got to the pool deck, ugh!!!!!!!!  Man, it was cold.  I could not believe I was standing here in a bathing suit ready to get in the water.  Well, the first 25 yards was much faster than normal.  I just had to start getting warm!

pool in winter

Luckily, I had planned a speed workout for the day.  That ended up being perfect since I was able to keep my body warm and had very short rest intervals at the wall.

1900-yard swim with speed intervals:
W/U: 500 easy mix with swim/drills/pull/kick incorporated throughout
Main set: 8x (100 moderate/:15sec rest/50 FAST), :30 sec rest between intervals.
C/D: 200 easy

I was so glad to get this workout done and get in the HOT shower.  I was proud of myself that I did not succumb to the extreme desire to go home and not go to the pool on this cold evening.  However, I unfortunately have not made any improvement in my times over the past two weeks, as this was a repeat session.

FRIDAY:

Rest

SATURDAY AM:
4.5 mile run on the treadmill with the focus on speed intervals.
W/U: 1/2 mile easy run
MAIN SET: 5x (1/2 mile at speed pace; 1/4 mile at recovery pace)
C/D: 1/2 mile easy run

This workout was definitely a tough one.  I had to keep  my focus to get through all 5 speed sets at the pace I wanted to maintain.  I was glad that I was able to do just that!

SATURDAY PM:
1 hour focused stretching and foam rolling

SUNDAY PM:
1 hour on the bike trainer – For this workout, I wanted to mix it up a bit.  I knew I needed something with a good amount of intensity, so the plan was to follow a trainer DVD.  We have a pretty good collection of various spin workout DVDs and I decided to follow the “CTS Train Right Time Trial” DVD.  This session focuses on lots of high cadence work.  It gives a BIG bang for the buck!  I worked hard and it was great!  It was always a great feeling when you get done with a workout and you know you didn’t hold back!

pretty sweat

SUNDAY PM:
2500-yard endurance swim
W/U: 500 easy mix with swim/drills/pull/kick incorporated throughout
MAIN SET: 3×100 easy with :15sec rest; 3×100 moderate with :15sec rest
3×200 easy with :20 sec rest; 3×200 moderate with :20sec rest
C/D: 200 easy

The pool was fairly quiet this Sunday afternoon as I worked in a swim that I missed due to rearranging my schedule because of the inclement weather.

Total training time: 8 hours 13 minutes

Swim: 4,400 yards

Bike: 27.13 (all on trainer)

Run: 11.25 miles

Other: 2 hour45 minutes

I also incorporate twice daily PT exercises that are meant to strengthen/stretch my glutes, hamstrings and hips. This probably averages about 25 minutes a day and I have not included that in the above totals. However, this is probably one of the smartest things I am doing daily!

 

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I had some juggling to do this week with my schedule since I had a couple of evening events during the week.  I ended up with three early morning, pre-work training sessions.  I will always incorporate early mornings when I have to, but prefer the after work time period to waking up with the chickens!    I was able to take the full rest day on Friday, which is uber important in my training.

Monday PM:
2200-yard swim focusing on endurance:
W/U: 500 easy mix with swim/drills/pull/kick incorporated throughout
Main set: 3×10 minutes steady swim.  1-minute rest between intervals.
C/D: 200 easy

The decent feeling I had about my swims from last week was kind of deflated with this swim.  The longer sets have definitely suffered from my time away from the pool.  It reaffirms that I need to spend quality time on my swim!

Tuesday AM:
With family plans in the evening, I got in an early morning session of yoga and abs.  It is always good to fit this in!

Wednesday AM:
Long easy run on the treadmill. My goal was to get in an hour with an “easy” effort.  I got in 6.19 miles during my run.  I was not concentrating on my pace, jut my heart rate.  I wanted to keep it in the desired range, so that dictated my pace.

Wednesday PM:
2600-yard swim:
W/U: 500 easy mix with swim/drills/pull/kick incorporated throughout
Main set: 5×200 with 25-30 sec rest between intervals; 3×300 with 45-50 sec rest between intervals
C/D: 200 easy

I needed this longer rest set between the 300s than I originally planned.  I was trying to maintain a strong moderate pace throughout and it was a tough swim.  I am still struggling with my swim paces this week, so I will do what I always do…just continue to do my best.

slow

Thursday AM:
45 minutes on the bike trainer with the focus on hill repeats.
W/U: 10-minute easy spin with 3x30sec accelerations toward the end of warm-up.
Main set: 2×10-minute hill repeats.  Remained seated throughout entire climb on first climb (@ 60-65 cadence) and alternated between sitting/standing every 30-seconds on second climb (@ 55 cadence).  5-minute recovery between repeats.
C/D: 10-minute easy spin

I find the hill repeats on the bike to be effective.  Does anyone else simulate hills on the trainer?

hill

Not sure how everyone else mimics hills on the trainer, but this is my front wheel set up to work the hills.

Friday:

Jovi Rest2

Saturday AM:
4.86 mile run.  This was the Krispy Kreme Challenge I wrote about earlier in the week.  Doughnuts will not be a repeated choice for my run nutrition in the future:)!

Sunday PM:
78 minutes on the bike trainer
W/U: 10-minute easy spin with 3x30sec accelerations toward end of warmup.
Main set: 10-minute increasing intensity by shifting to a harder gear combination every 2 minutes and keeping cadence as close to 90 RPMs as possible. 2-minute easy spin to recover.
3x10minutes riding at lactate threshold (hard effort but breathing is still controlled-no huffing/puffing).  5-minute recovery between intervals.
10-minute increasing intensity by shifting to a harder gear combination every 2 minutes and keeping cadence as close to 90 RPMs as possible.
C/D: 10 minutes easy spin.

This was a solid bike session where the time passed relatively quickly.  Trainer time is quality time!!

Total training time: 6 hours 20 minutes

Swim: 4,800 yards

Bike: 25.63 (all on trainer)

Run: 11.05 miles

Other: 45 minutes

I also incorporate twice daily PT exercises that are meant to strengthen/stretch my glutes, hamstrings and hips.  This probably averages about 25 minutes a day and I have not included that in the above totals.  However, this is probably one of the smartest things I am doing daily!

posted by on Fun

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If you have ever read Runner’s World list of their favorite crazy races, then you might have heard of the Krispy Kreme Challenge. It has also been included as #85 on the “102 More Things You Gotta Do Before You Graduate” by Sports Illustrated. So, what is the Krispy Kreme Challenge?

(The following race description is from the event website). Participants begin the Challenge at the Memorial Belltower on the campus of North Carolina State University in Raleigh, NC. Runners then travel 2.5 miles through historic downtown Raleigh to the Krispy Kreme located at the intersection of Peace and Person Streets, where they attempt to consume one dozen original glazed doughnuts. The hardest part of the Challenge awaits them as they run 2.5 miles back to the Memorial Belltower. This is the Krispy Kreme Challenge.

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Belltower at NC State

The Krispy Kreme Challenge started in December 2004 as a dare between a few NC State undergraduate students. Organizers decided to publicize the Krispy Kreme Challenge and turn it into something that would not only be an event to bring together people from all over the country but also to benefit an important cause along the way. This event is held annually, with 2015 marking the 11th running of the event.

With this craziness being held in our city, Tony and I have always talked about participating one year. We decided that this year would be the year. With it falling on Valentine’s Day, we figured it would be a fun way to start the day:) This year they included a new “race” category, called the Dynamic Doughnut Duo. This is in addition to the challenger category (the category for runners who are truly taking the challenge and can claim victory by eating all twelve doughnuts and completing the race in under one hour) and the casual category (for runners who are taking a less serious approach to the event and eat as many or as few doughnuts as they wish). The Dynamic Doughnut Duo is for a couple to register together and share one dozen. We never intended to eat a full dozen, we just wanted to go out a have fun and support a great cause, the NC Children’s Hospital.

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Pre-run photo

It was a cold, but sunny morning, so we layered up for the 8:30 am start.  As always, there was a great turn out for the event.  I was not as cold as I anticipated having to wait around for the start.  It was definitely brisk, with temperatures in the low 20s, but we stood in the sun as much as possible.

Tony and I ran together, with him matching my pace. I wanted the first half to be at a decent tempo pace for me, since I was not sure what to expect post-doughnuts. We made it to the Krispy Kreme around 8:53 (I know this due to the time stamp from the first photo I took there). There were people everywhere with their doughnuts…some eating leisurely and some tackling the dozen.

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The masses eat the doughnuts!!! (Photo from WRAL.com)

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Krispy Kreme, a NC tradition (Photo from WRAL.com)

We knew that we would never try to eat the dozen…I love KK doughnuts too much to never want to eat them again. I had decided I would eat two.  I wanted to eat some, to take part in the fun nature of the event, and thought anything more than that would make for a hugely miserable 2.5 miles to the finish line.

Our dozen!

It has been ages since I have had a KK doughnut, so they really tasted great! (For anyone that knows KK doughnuts…they are absolutely perfect when the “hot now” sign is on…nothing like that today, but always good to me).

Tony devises his plan!

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No way we are eating all those!!

My two doughnuts!!

While Tony’s picture shows a very strong start, he ate about 1.5 total.

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His eyes were bigger than his stomach!

We started back and quickly passed a spectator offering bacon to the runners (something “salty to cut the sweet”). Since bacon is one of Tony’s favorite foods, he sampled and really enjoyed it!

I started to feel my sweet treats about 1/2 mile later. My stomach was definitely wondering what the heck was I doing…this was not typical run nutrition that I had taken! There was one particular hill that really did not support the combo of doughnuts and running, but it seemed that after I got passed that, the worst was over. After we crossed the finish line we quickly saw evidence of what happens to some with this brutal combination (hint: watch where you step!!). Luckily, Tony and I were feeling ok.

Our official race time was 48:28 which includes us stopping to have the doughnuts and photo fun. My Garmin showed a total of 43:56 and 4.86 miles. My mile paces were as follows: 8:44 / 8:41 / 9:23 / 9:07 / 9:22.  We actually finished in the Dynamic Doughnut Duo category in 44 and 45th places out of 1134 finishers in the category!  There were 2256 finishers in the challenger category and 2597 in the casual category.

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smileMy scientific conclusion is that there is definitely an impact to one’s running pace after the consumption of doughnuts!!!

This was one race that I don’t plan to repeat, but I am glad that we participated once and got to experience a bit of the craziness that is the Krispy Kreme Challenge! More importantly, this year’s event resulted in a donation of $195,000 to the NC Children’s Hospital bringing the eleven year total to $953,000. Having fun a supporting a great cause! Good job NC State!!

KK

posted by on Fun, Triathlon

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This was my first week back to a training plan.  Ever since last summer after completing IMLP, I have been using the “no plan” training route and while I have been fitting regular sessions (5 to 6/week), it has been more of a variety with no particular goal or race in mind.  I did enjoy that time, but I am ready to get a bit more structure with some specific goals in mind.

Monday PM:
65 minutes on the bike trainer:  
W/U: 10-minute easy spin followed by 4×30-second one-legged drills, focusing on smooth circles.
Main set: 2×10 minutes beginning at 60 RPM and increasing RPM by 5 every 1 minute to max out at 105.  No rest between sets.  
4×5 minutes with cadence for odd intervals being 95 and even is 70.  2-minute rest between intervals.  
C/D: 10 minutes easy spinning.

This was a work-out from my IM plan that I decided to incorporate.  I always liked this session because the time seemed to pass quickly with the one minute changes in the initial main set.  I felt good during this workout and I liked bringing back something from last year’s plan.

Tuesday PM:
To be honest, I have only done a handful of swims since IMLP.  While swimming is something that I really can’t afford to take long breaks from, it ended up happening.  Initially, I allowed myself the break.  As time passed, I could not find the motivation to get back to the pool.  I think I used all my swim motivation last spring/summer, when I had those days that I absolutely DID NOT want to swim.  But, I never allowed myself to succumb to that, since I needed to put in all the time required to be prepared.  Well, the mental break happened, and I think I just really needed it.  Getting back to the pool has been pretty good so far…
 
2400-yard swim:  W/U: 400; Main: 1×500; 2×400; 1×300; 1×200; 1×100; C/D: 100
I did not push too hard, but was pleasantly surprised that my times were not as slow as I expected.  I had put in a few swims in just the last couple of weeks to try to start working out some of the cobwebs before the plan kicked in.        

Wednesday AM:
4 mile tempo run on the treadmill.  My goal was to maintain an average pace of 8:30 and that is exactly what I did.  I felt pretty good on the run; definitely tough to maintain my pace, but I was able to complete as planned.

Thursday AM:
45 minutes on the bike trainer.
W/U: 10-minute easy spin followed by 4×30-second one-legged drills, focusing on smooth circles
Main set: 4×3 minutes in big gear with low RPMs (55-65 RPMs)
5 minute recovery between intervals but maintaining 90 RPMs
C/D: 10 minutes easy spinning

This was another workout from my IM plan that I decided to incorporate.  There were some solid sessions in that plan, so I plan to frequent several of them.  
 
Thursday PM:
I planned to do 1-hour yoga that is offered by Trilife, a great local triathlon shop.  I got there, checked out their new store location and chatted with the owner a bit.  I changed and was ready for yoga, but the instructor never arrived.  Apparently there was a miscommunication, so no yoga.  Oh well, after chatting some more I then headed home.  At least I had gotten in a morning training session!

Friday PM:
This was originally planned to be my rest day.  However, with a beautiful weekend in the weather forecast, I was thinking that the swim planned for Sunday would turn into an outdoor ride, so I opted to get in the swim Friday instead.  
1900-yard swim with speed intervals:  
W/U: 500 easy mix with swim/drills/pull/kick incorporated throughout
Main set: 8x (100 moderate/:15sec rest/50 FAST), :30 sec rest between intervals.
C/D: 200 easy

Wow!  I have not done speed work in the pool since last summer!  I was not aiming to push too hard with this workout, hence the 50 sets for speed.  However, I found that I was pushing my 100 pace a bit over “moderate”, but it felt good.  I was feeling the fatigue about mid way through, but I was able to hold a fairly consistent pace of 1:52-1:54 for the 100s and :53-:55 for the 50s.  This was another workout from my IM plan that I had done early on.  I was able to compare my times to last February when I first swam it.  I am probably “about” 4 seconds off that pace.  However, I swam consistently all the winter prior to that, so overall, I feel ok about where I am currently.        

Saturday AM:
We had a day full of plans, so I got up early and jumped on the treadmill before we headed out for the day.  I completed a 6-mile run at target race pace.  My goal was to average just below 9:00/mile pace and I actually averaged 8:56, so I was pleased.  My legs were happy when I hit the 6 mile mark, because they were definitely feeling a week’s worth of training.  

I have included a few fun photos from our day trip to Beaufort, NC, which is located in the eastern part of NC.  We had a great day!

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2015-02-07 Sun

Sunday PM:  
As I mentioned earlier, the forecast was for a warm February day (sorry to you all that are surrounded by snow), so I planned to ride with my bike friend Susanne.  We rode a 30 mile route and battled some VERY windy conditions, but it is hard to complain since the temperature was in the low 70s on February 8!  It was a great feeling to be out on the road riding.  Spring can’t come soon enough!

Total training time: 6 hours 45 minutes
Swim: 4,300 yards
Bike: 54 miles
Run: 10 miles
   

Sweat1

R ‘n R in the DR

Feb
2015
03

posted by on Fun

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Lately my life has gone from one extreme to another. This post focuses on the one that I enjoyed the most!! In mid-January, we headed down to Punta Cana in the Dominican Republic for some fun in the sun! We had a super relaxing trip. The flip side to the story was that after arriving back for vacation, life became incredibly busy, especially on the work front, due to a pressing deadline.  However, I made it through all the craziness! Life should be a bit more “normal” for the foreseeable future.

So back to vacation talk…we traveled with one of our closest couple friends, Kelly and Sean, for our week long get-away. We selected an all-inclusive resort where we could focus on extreme down time or select activities if we chose to leave our lounge chairs. We did not plan any off resort activities before we traveled. We went with the mind set that if we decided to try something, we would…otherwise, resort time was the plan! I wanted to share a few of the highlights through some fun photos!

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Our home for seven days!

Waiting for an evening show to begin!

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Enjoyed the view!

The swaying palm trees

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We enjoyed lots of beach time!

And lounging at the pool!

Tony enjoying some time in the shade!

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Sean with some raft time! Rafts were a fun past time during the week.

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Enjoying another post-dinner evening show. We had lots of beautiful nights!

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An evening stroll on the beach.

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More beach time!

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This never got old!!

Frozen drinks in pineapples!!!

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Creme Brulee!

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Great friends on an awesome vacation!

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Looking at this and remembering the cold weather that is at home!

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The palm trees are so relaxing to look at.

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A nice afternoon walk on the beach.

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Our last evening and finally enjoyed the swings at one of the pool bars. Fun!

Apart from a short shopping trip a few blocks away from the resort, we ended up not choosing any off property activities during our stay. We did however, begin each day with quality time at the on-site gym. I was able to get in a good workout each day, which was needed to offset (albeit only a little) the eating and drinking we were enjoying at the all-inclusive! It was a great trip and I thoroughly enjoyed all the rest, relaxation and great times spent with my hubby and good friends! The sun and warm temperatures were a dream and a welcome treat since leaving icy and cold conditions at home. This was the first winter tropical vacation we have taken and I highly recommend it!

As I mentioned earlier, life is back to normal. Actually, I start my official training plan for Raleigh 70.3 yesterday. It has been months since I have had a plan to follow and while I have enjoyed my “no plan” training, it will be nice to get back to that structure.  Stay tuned for updates!

Race Plans for 2015

Jan
2015
13

posted by on Triathlon

6 comments

New Year Wallpaper.

In my triathlon and personal goal world, 2014 was an absolutely amazing year for me.  My race plans for 2015 are not as big as training for my first Ironman and my focus for this year will obviously be very different.  I have plans and goals that I will be working hard for, but it will not take as much of ME as training for my first Ironman.  I am aiming to have fun while pushing toward my goals for these races.

Here is the current plan for the first part of 2015.

Long Course Duathlon//May 16//I have never participated in a duathlon, so I figured I would give it a try.  The distances associated with this race are 5 mile run/33 mile bike/5 mile run.

Ironman 70.3 Raleigh//May 31//I raced Raleigh 70.3 the inaugural year in 2013.  Last year I volunteered.  Here is a quick recap from my 2013 race in order to frame my present year goals.

  • {SWIM} Not one of my best.  While I was very prepared, I did not execute what I wanted back in 2013.
  • {BIKE} Great and exceeded my expectations.  My “stretch goal” for the course was sub-3 hours.  When I had raced Beach 2 Battleship Half in 2012 (my first and only other half), my bike time was 3:00:09…I wanted those 10 seconds back!!  Because I was able to train the Raleigh 70.3 bike course multiple times, I knew exactly what to expect.  It was far hillier than B2B, which is a FLAT course.  Well, I pulled it off with a 2:58:37, so those results were very special to me.  I hope to improve even more on that time.
  • {RUN} I executed the run as planned.  Race day ended up being a very hot day and training conditions had not been that warm leading up to the race.  My plan was to run smart…focusing on hydrating and staying steady.  I felt really good about how I executed the run with 2:13:12.  I had originally planned for a goal closer to the 2 hour mark (my B2B time was 2:06:34), but I knew conditions dictated a different plan on race day.
  • {GOALS} My focus this year will be on improving my times in each of the three legs.  I have lots of room with the swim…no particular time goal here…just want improvement.  As far as the bike, I want to push it a bit more and hope to shave off a couple of minutes.  As far as the run, I would love to hit the sub-2 hour mark for the 13.1.   Overall for the 70.3, it would be awesome to break 6 hours again.  B2B Half in 2012, I pulled out a 5:53:43.  While Raleigh is a more challenging course, I had a 6:14:12. So, I hope to push my training to see that sub-6 hour mark once again!

Smile Train Sprint//June 28//This is the same race as my very first triathlon back in 2009.  It consists of a 250-yard pool swim, 12 mile bike and 5K run.  I have never raced it a second time, even though it is a great local race, really perfect for first timers.  I have wanted to race it a second time, but it has not fit into my schedule these last years.  I really want to go out there, have fun, but push it hard.  It will be fun to compare my race times to those from my first year!

Washington Olympic//July 25//This will also be a repeat race.  It was the first Olympic distance I raced back in 2011 with a 3:04:01.  The only other Olympic/International distance I have raced was in 2012 with a 3:11:47 (however, this bike distance was 27  miles compared to 23.5 miles at my first).  Overall, my goal is to break the 3 hour mark and have fun with the distance.

As far as triathlons go, end of July is as far as I have committed my schedule.  At that point, I plan to evaluate how I am feeling, what I want to continue to push goal-wise and then decide if I want to schedule more sprints, an Olympic or possibly another half.  I have a list of potential races that interest me, most of which I have not done previously, so we will see what the second half of 2015 will bring!

Kiawah Island Half Marathon//December 12//I touched on a sub-2 hour 13.1 goal earlier in my list.  This is really one of my biggest goals of the year.  While I have done this in training, I have never logged this time in a race.  Plus, I have never raced a stand alone 13.1…only as part of the 70.3 distance.  It will be awesome if I can knock this out in Raleigh 70.3, but Kiawah Island is the plan with one of my running buddies.  We decided one day last summer, as we were hanging out by the pool, to go for the sub-2 hour mark with this race.  It will be special to train with my friend and then push each other on race day to meet our goal!

I am looking forward to getting in a good amount of variety and having a fun 2015 race season!