Author Archive

posted by on Ironman

Week Thirteen Header

So, training week #13 marks the first week into the second half of my training plan. It was an exciting week as I hit a couple of milestones!!

Monday 5/5

AM – 54 minutes on the treadmill with the main set focused on speed work – Yikes! This sure was a way to get the training week going. This was a tough, tough interval run with 3×10 minutes on the treadmill with 2 minutes rest between intervals. I have gradually worked up to this quicker pace the last couple of speed work sessions, but this one really had me focusing hard to finish. Last week I did a 2×10 at this speed, so that extra 10 minutes really was a challenge. I pushed through and was happy to finish it up! The main set totaled 4.4 miles with the speed sets averaging 7:32.

Tuesday 5/6

AM – 75 minutes on the bike trainer – 6×5 minute intervals using a big gear and low cadence. There is plenty of rest between intervals (5 minutes). Felt pretty good during the workout.

PM – 2500-yard swim with speed focus on the main set – I felt good early on and did fatigue at the end, but I was able to push pretty consistently throughout the workout. I was pleased with my overall average pace of 1:47 for the 1800 yards main working set.

Wednesday 5/7

PM – Long Run – I will start this run recap with a little bit of history. For a while, I have had the goal to run a half marathon distance at sub 2-hours. I have only run this 13.1 mile distance a hand full of times…twice in Half Ironman races and a few times in training leading up to those races. I thought maybe one day I would train for a half marathon race (just the run) and work toward that goal. Going into today, my plan was a 2 hour long run. My last long run was 1 hour 50 minutes and I ran a pace that would meet this goal…however, that day I was able to put out a really great run. I was not putting pressure on myself for this run to meet that goal. All I could focus on going in was just having another good training run and overcoming whatever obstacles came my way.

Tony and I went to the typical greenway we have used for all the long runs. We got going and pretty quickly I realized that I didn’t have a lot of pep in my step. I thought to myself that I don’t need to worry…I just need to get really warmed up before I fall into my groove. After a couple/few miles in, I really did not feel too energetic. I was not necessarily feeling bad; my legs were just super heavy. I mentioned this to Tony and he did what he always does…put things in check and told me things to focus on, such as my breathing. Even if he is not feeling great, he just tries to respond to how I am feeling with sound advice. All I could do was just stay focused and not really worry about time or speed, just trying to fall into a pace that I could maintain for the long haul. We got to our first turn around at 4.5 miles and I was feeling a (tiny) touch better. I just had to maintain what I was doing and keep moving. At around the 9 mile mark, we passed the point where we started our run on the greenway. We then continued on in the south bound direction (we started out going north). We only needed a couple miles out and then a couple miles back. These are the miles where I had to dig deep and keep my mental game in place, as much as possible. As we neared the time of our run where we are around 2 miles to go, Tony mentioned that we would have to pick up our pace a bit to hit 13.1 under 2 hours. Sure, I wanted it, but I told him that I could only really focus on finishing. Well, apparently, I had another gear down deep and gradually ramped it up. My fastest mile of the entire run was mile 12. We stopped at 13.1 miles and the total time was 1:59.32. I did it! Somehow, I did it. It was a great feeling, but ouch!!!…my legs were burning! It was great to reach this milestone and somehow even sweeter considering how I up and down I felt during the run. I was proud of myself for staying strong and pushing through this run. Even if I had not hit the 13.1 miles in the time, I would have still been pleased for getting it done, but this was extra sweet!!

Split Time Distance   Avg Pace
Summary 1:59:31.6 13.11 9:07
1 9:30.8 1.00 9:31
2 9:10.8 1.00 9:11
3 9:10.7 1.00 9:11
4 9:08.2 1.00 9:08
5 9:18.2 1.00 9:18
6 9:07.4 1.00 9:07
7 8:57.7 1.00 8:58
8 9:00.0 1.00 9:00
9 9:00.5 1.00 9:01
10 9:05.3 1.00 9:05
11 9:16.5 1.00 9:16
12 9:03.5 1.00 9:04
13 8:46.9 1.00 8:47
14 :54.8 0.11 8:37


Thursday 5/8

AM – 50 minutes on the bike trainer – As would be expected, my legs were pretty tired on Thursday morning. The main set of the trainer session was 2×10 minutes at lactate threshold with alternating cadences every one minute. Heart rate did not go super high, but it was still a challenge. It is always hard to train after a long run, but I tell myself that it really does help my legs recover.

PM – 2500-yard swim – It is always exciting to start the last workout before the rest day. It gives me a little extra “umph” going in…SO MUCH TO TRAINING IS A MENTAL GAME!!! This set involved several different intervals building speed. Going in I was feeling ok, but after I got really going, I realized that I was pretty tired. My swim was fair. The efforts required at “fast” pace were not where I wanted. I gave it all I could…that is all I ask of myself! I finished up with an overall average pace of 1:54 for the 1800 yards main working set, which was very different from Tuesday’s swim!!

Friday 5/9


Saturday 5/10

The long ride was planned for 4.5 hours. I was able to find a couple of friends who were interested in riding with me for part of the time. Tim and Susanne met at my house and the three of us rolled out at 8:00 am for 2 hours. We swung back by the house for a hydration stop for me and for them to end their ride. I was so happy they were able to join me as I really enjoy riding with them both. We enjoyed a few laughs along the way…one of which was seeing a man mowing his grass by pushing a riding lawn mower. All kinds of witty comments followed that sighting!

Tony was my riding partner for the second part of the ride and he was thrilled that he had a 2.5 hour ride and not the full 4.5 hours!! I felt pretty good for the first 2 hours. I had tried to keep a check on the effort level since I had a long day in front of me. As Tony and I were headed out for part two, I was already feeling some fatigue in my legs and I could tell that mentally, I needed to check back in and pronto! After another half hour or so, I got to a better place, which I has happy about. We had some tailwinds (woo hoo!), but also some headwind and crosswinds on the way back. Luckily, nothing too bad. I was trying to stay on top of my nutrition and hydration and I still have some work to do in this area. This ride topped of at 81 miles, which is my longest ride ever. I was glad to get off the bike, but also glad to meet the milestone…it just reminds me how REAL all this training is!

Sunday 5/11

Falls Lake - Beaverdam

Falls Lake – Beaverdam

I ventured out for my first open water swim of the season. The water temperature has been slowly on the rise and this was the first weekend that it was in the range that is not “too cold” in my book (I think it was around 70 degrees). A wet suit was necessary and will be for several more weeks. However, I anticipate that Lake Placid will be wet suit legal, so all the practice I can get in the suit is great. I swam with two friends that are doing Escape from Alcatraz triathlon and they have already been out in the open water for several weeks. However, they are going to have a SUPER cold swim, so they needed to somewhat know what they will be experiencing on their race day. The swim went okay. I was dragging a bit during the first part (on the swim out from shore), but after we made to turn to swim across the lake, I felt good. I felt much looser which is always a good thing for me and my stroke. Going back was decent; however, it seemed like I would never make it to back to shore! I was really glad to get out for my first OWS of the season. I will need to spend lots of time in Falls Lake to work on my sighting and consistency swimming in the lake. It is so different from the pool and I have always tried to appropriately prepare for my races by training in open water. This race will require A LOT! I ended up with 1.44 miles in 50:30.

After the swim, I headed home and had a snack. A bit later, I ventured out into the neighborhood for hill repeats. It was 12:45 when I went out, so it was warming up pretty good. After the (flat) warm-up I started my repeats. I ran 8 repeats of around 2 minutes (up) in duration. Even though the total run time was not too long, I certainly was hydrating well. This is probably the warmest day I have run so wanted to take appropriate precautions….plus I was thirsty after reaching the top each time! I was super happy to be done, get showered and cleaned up to go spend Mother’s Day with my family!

Some things that made me smile about my week:

*This will be a week that I will always remember. Breaking the 2-hour mark for a half marathon was a big deal for me. (I still remember the first time I ran 13.1 miles in 2012…it was not in a race, but training for my first half iron). It is training sessions like those where I am so incredibly grateful to have Tony by my side to experience the excitement of meeting a milestone. He logged every mile with me and was right there with I checked the Garmin and had a huge smile on my face when I saw my time! I am a lucky girl!

*A new distance milestone on my bike. I will be breaking numerous milestones over the coming weeks so this first one is a true reminder that I am really going down the Ironman path!! WOW!!


Time: 13 hours 30 minutes

Swim: 7,534 yards

Bike: 105 miles

Run: 22.5 miles

Stretching/foam rolling: Some, but not enough!

How Far Come



Training Week #12


posted by on General

Week Twelve Header

This week was another recovery week, which included reduced volumes and intensity. I was feeling some fatigue and achiness…some of which I attribute to a very solid week the week before. Here is the run down…

Monday 4/28:

AM – 70 minutes on the bike trainer with the focus on hill repeats – This was a tough workout to get the training week started. I did the workout and did the best I could, I just did not have a lot of push in the pedals!

PM – 2300-yard swim with the main set focused on drills and a few speed sets. This has become a recurring workout during my recovery weeks. I did not use the Garmin due to the nature of the various sets. I just focused on form and technique. It was nice to not think about time or speed every now and again.

Tuesday 4/29:           

AM – Tempo Run (speed work) on the treadmill – After a good warm-up, I ran 3×5 minute speed sets, which was a bit shorter than the last two tempo sets I have run, but OH MY! It was another tough session. I was feeling the results of a kick-booty week last week! No worries, just pushed through and was able to hit the target pace; it was just harder to get there and maintain. The 5-minute speed intervals ranged from 7:29 – 7:33 average pace.

PM – 3700-yard swim – I am not sure if this was the longest swim I have ever done, but if not, I would say it was pretty darn close. I was in the pool forever! The main set was 3000 yards with 4×500 and then 5×200 with the pull buoy while building speed over the 200. My times for the 500s were pretty good. The first set, was awesome. My times were a little all over the place, but I was giving all my effort! I think the 200s with the buoy were really just working to ramp up total distance. I did not pay too much attention to pace, just form. My shoulders were burning BIG TIME towards the end. I finished up my swim five minutes before the scheduled closing time for the pool!

Wednesday 4/30:

AM –55 minutes on the bike trainer with the focus being on max effort intervals.  Well, any little thing I had in my legs, was completely depleted in this workout. This is really becoming one of my least favorites…not because it is not effective…it just sucks! Max effort sessions are particularly hard for me and this morning, it was brutal! I finished it up with spaghetti legs!

Thursday 5/1:

AM – I was having some achiness in my legs and so I decided that I would take the morning to stretch. I did a one-hour stretch session from the P90X series.

PM – Massage!! Woo hoo!! Much needed!!

Friday 5/2:

PM – One-hour steady run on the treadmill. Good pace and was able to hold it throughout. Averaged 8:17 for 7.24 miles.

Saturday 5/3:

Brick – We met up and rode with a group of folks. There were six of us in total. It was a beautiful morning!! We did a course that is fairly familiar. It has several good rollers, which is great training. At the end of the course there is a lengthy steady climb, which Tony suggested that I hit hard with a solid tempo effort. It hurt, but I was pleased with my effort!! Overall the ride was good and I felt good. We rode just under 2 hours for a total of 35.69 miles (average 18.2 mph). Immediately after the ride we went for a run. I started out a bit tight and it took me a little while to loosen up. I ran for 5.18 miles with an average pace of 8:45.

Sunday 5/4:

3700 Swim – The main set included 6×500 steady effort with one-minute recovery between intervals. I was pleased with my paces for these intervals and overall for the 3,000 yard main set. Good, LONG swim!!

Interval Time Distance Avg Pace
1 9:37.6 500 1:55
2 9:37.6 500 1:55
3 9:41.3 500 1:56
4 9:42.6 500 1:56
5 9:41.6 500 1:56
6 9:46.6 500 1:57
Summary 1:04:22.5 3,000 1:56


Time: 11 hours 38 minutes

Swim: 9,700 yards

Bike: 59.26 miles

Run: 16.92 miles

Stretching/foam rolling: Some, but not enough!

Life Is Better


Half Way!!!


posted by on Ironman

When I finished up my training yesterday (detailed weekly recap to come), I was officially at the half way mark of my plan. Twelve weeks completed and twelve weeks to go. Tony and I were talking last night that in twelve weeks, I will have completed my Ironman in Lake Placid (nothing but positive thoughts). Even though I am at this point, I do realize that I am not actually half way done with my training (volume wise). I have so many hours yet to complete and so many long training sessions in the coming weeks. These times are the ones that will continue to define my training and push me to new areas that I once thought impossible.

It is exciting, yet makes me anxious, as the time passes. Honestly, I don’t love to race, per se. I know that on race morning, my stomach will be filled with butterflies and nervous energy. Sure, I am competitive (mostly with myself) and want to kick butt on race day, but I have found that it is truly the process of training where I have really grown as an athlete and learned so much about my character. This race day will be so very different than anything I have ever experienced and I will have to pull so much from myself and rely on all these hours and hours of training. Race day is the icing on the cake and crossing the finish line makes all the hard work totally worth it. I dream of that feeling that I will have on July 27 as I cross the finish line. That thought is what keeps me going at times when I want to stop. I will continue to press hard during the next twelve weeks and totally keep my eye on the prize. Certainly, I know what I want on race day and I will continue to put in all work that I can to make my dream a reality.

The Harder You Work

Training Week #11


posted by on Ironman

Week 11 Recap Header 1

Week #11 was probably the highlight week so far for my training. To date, I have had some good weeks, but usually they are good for the swim and run, but not the bike or good for the bike and run, but not the swim, etc…you get my drift. This week was spot on for all three disciplines. It was a tiring and challenging week, but I was pleased with how my body responded to the work.

Monday 4/21:

AM – Tempo run (speed work) on the treadmill. This run was a good start to the training week. I had pushed my pace for the last tempo run; however, those intervals were 4×5 minutes and this run was 2×10 minute intervals. While the total time was the same, it was a challenge keeping the pace for the longer intervals, but I pushed through and held it. My first 10-minute interval was 7:33 average pace and the second was 7:31 average pace. I was happy, but tired, at the end!

PM – 2500-yard swim with the main set focusing on speed sets including 3×300; 3×200; 12x25s (odds fast, evens easy). I find it very interesting how the body responds sometimes. I often experience those days where your body (and mind) are NOT into training. Whether it is tiredness or lack of motivation, you just do not want to push the workout that day. Then there are days when you are ready to get going AND feel good during the workout, but the results are just not what you expect (JUST like one of my swims from the prior week). Well, this swim was kind of a mix up between feelings. I felt fine to get started and during the warm-up, but when I started my first interval in the main set, I felt like I was swimming through concrete! Literally, it was taking all my effort to move, but it felt like I was at a snail’s pace. I felt like this even into my second interval, but did start to loosen up. Well, to my surprise, I had some solid times. I was kind of scared to check out the time when I completed the first interval, but I literally shook my head when I saw my time. I completed the main set of 1800 yards at an average pace of 1:53. Bottom line is that you should always push yourself through thoughts and feelings of self-doubt or lack of performance. Even if you end up having a “not so great” training session, you never know when you will end up having a great one if you JUST stick with the plan!

Tuesday 4/22:           

PM – 90 minutes on the bike trainer. This workout, I began with low RPMs and adjusted the effort and gearing as necessary every minute to end the 10-minute interval at 105 RPMs. This was performed four times with no rest between. It was then finished up with 4×5 minutes with high cadence on odd intervals and low cadence on even. This was a good workout for me. The first few minutes I was feeling some fatigue in my legs, but after I got really good and warmed up, I felt better (this is fairly typical for me). I felt like I was pushing my effort levels really well. After my session, I checked my average watts and I had improved my reading 13 points since the last time I did the exact same workout from about two weeks ago. I was happy with this longer trainer ride, but was hoping that I had something left in my legs for my long run the next evening!

Wednesday 4/23:

PM – 1 hour 50 minute run on the greenway – Wow! What an awesome run! I was hurting at the end, but I truly felt awesome for the majority of this run. I was pushing my pace pretty good…this was not a purposeful decision; I was just feeling good, so I thought it was appropriate. I definitely felt the results of my efforts during the last couple of miles. My glutes and hammies were burning! I was able to maintain a pace that I am super-duper proud of for 12.26 miles. I have never come close to maintaining this pace for a run this long. WOO HOO!!

Split Time Distance Avg Pace
Summary    1:50:06.3      12.26            8:59
1 9:24.6 1.00 9:25
2 9:05.0 1.00 9:05
3 8:59.9 1.00 9:00
4 8:52.5 1.00 8:53
5 9:07.0 1.00 9:07
6 8:52.8 1.00 8:53
7 8:51.6 1.00 8:52
8 8:52.7 1.00 8:53
9 8:58.9 1.00 8:59
10 8:55.0 1.00 8:55
11 9:00.6 1.00 9:01
12 8:49.6 1.00 8:50
13 2:15.9 0.26 8:41

I must give a high five to my hubbie. Once again, he joined me on this long run. I just have to reiterate that he is NOT training for anything…he chooses to go with me for support and safety. This is the same for my long bike rides. Even though he is a two-time Ironman, these distances are not easy for someone that is not consistently training/building up to longer mileage. He takes the hard way and participates on the long ones only! I could NOT ask for better support from him!!

Thursday 4/24:

AM – The morning after my long run, I tackled 65 minutes on the bike trainer where the focus was on big gears/low cadence (55-65 RPMs). Essentially the main set included 5×5 minute intervals with 5 minutes active recovery between intervals. I was definitely feeling my efforts from the night before, but tried to maintain my watts and not let the readings fall too low. It was a tough session, but I pushed through!

PM – 2200-yard swim with the main set focusing on speed with 10x(100 moderate/:15sec rest/50 FAST), :30sec rest between intervals. This was a solid speed set for me. I was able to improve my times a bit since the last time I swam these intervals. The 100 sets ranged between 1:47-1:49 (all below 1:50…YAY!!!) and the 50s 1:44/1:45 pace.

Friday 4/25:


Saturday 4/26:

It was a beautiful morning for a bike ride. Tony and I headed out around 9am for a planned 4-hour ride. After 10 minutes into the ride, I had a flat!! I had just changed the tire that morning, so we knew it was a pinch flat. We were in a gas station parking lot, so at least we were in a safe location for bike maintenance. Tony immediately decided to ride back to the house (since we were so close) to grab a can of flat repair while I was changing my tire. I had a CO2 cartridge, but we wanted to be prepared in case something else happened during the ride. As I prepared to put my spare tube on the wheel, I immediately saw a hole in the spare tube! YIKES!

Fixing the Flat!!

Fixing the Flat!!

A Hole In My Spare Tube!!

A Hole In My Spare Tube!!

I quickly called Tony in hopes that he was still home. Luckily he was and he was able to bring back two tubes and the can of flat repair. I got the tire changed and we were finally back on the road! We had a good (UNEVENTFUL) rest of the ride.

During the ride, I really focused more on the timing of my nutrition and the system worked well. I have always tried to drink every 10 minutes and eat every 20 minutes. I basically did the same, but when I hit the 20 minute mark I would eat something and then again before 10 minutes passed. I don’t have a tendency to eat a lot at one time, so by having a planned “eating period” of 10 minutes every 20 minutes, I seemed to eat more and the timing was good. Tony also encouraged me to work on staying aero on the hills, as much as possible. I tried to push myself and hold to the aero position during times I would normally sit upright. It was a good challenge!

The weather was really awesome and just right for a long ride.  The wind was much kinder to us as it had been during the past few weeks.  We finished up the four hours at 71 miles and an average speed of 17.7mph.

After a long ride and a well-deserved afternoon relaxing on the couch, there would be no cooking dinner at home. We went out for Mexican food and margaritas!



Sunday 4/27:

Session #1 – 2950-yard swim…this was another endurance set. The main set was 3×750 with 1-minute rest between intervals. I felt good in the water and put in good times. I was happy to see some improvement from when I last did these intervals and that I was able to generally hold the same pace for the three sets. My times were 14:36, 14:41 and 14:40 for the 750s. This gave me an average pace of 1:57 for the 2250 main set.

Session #2 – After the long ride on Saturday and then having just finished a long swim, I was not sure how much in had in the tank for the planned steady run of 60 minutes. I was on the treadmill and for the first couple of miles, I was feeling plenty of fatigue in my legs. However, they did start to loosen and I felt good. I was hoping to keep my average pace from the last steady one-hour run I did the week before. I was happy that I improved my average pace (a little bit) over my last steady effort run. I got in 7.18 miles at an average pace of 8:21. What an awesome way to end this training week!


Time: 13 hours 40 minutes

Swim: 7,650 yards

Bike: 101.92 miles

Run: 24.32 miles

Stretching/foam rolling: Some, but not enough!

Good Things Come

Training Week #10


posted by on Ironman

Week 10 Recap Header

Considering I am in currently in week #11, I guess I could say that I am finally caught up with posting my recaps.  Woo hoo!  Glad to be back on track and in the “now”!


PM – 3100-yard swim – The main set focused on various distances from a 600 yard moderate effort interval to finishing up with several 100 yard intervals building speed during the 100 yards.  This was an unusual workout for me.  I felt good and it was like I gliding through the water and getting strong pulls; however, my times were not reflective of how I felt.  The paces were below the times I have been routinely averaging and I could not really understand why.  Even up until the end, I was a bit tired, but still felt pretty good and strong. I just did my best and tried to not let the slower times bother me.


AM – 1 hour on the bike trainer with the main set consisting of hill repeats!  I performed three hill repeats of 10 minutes each with 5 minutes of recovery between sets.  The first & third hill repeats were around 60-65 cadence.  For the second hill repeat, I alternated between standing/sitting every 30-seconds and averaged around 55 cadence while seated. RPMs naturally increase when standing and I added one additional gear for the standing portion.  I felt pretty good during the workout.

PM – 60-minute “steady” run on the treadmill.  The target pace was 30 seconds faster than race pace.  This was a great run for me.  I maintained a pace that was a bit quicker than the plan outlined, but I felt strong.  I ran 7.17 miles at 8:23 pace. I was very pleased with this session.


AM – 55 minutes on the bike trainer.  This is the intense session that is a plan repeat.  The focus is on multiple sets of “max effort” for varying periods of time.  This still continues to be a tough workout and I try to push each interval.  As always, I was a drippy, drippy mess after this!

PM – 2800-yard swim with the main set including a ladder.  This is a gradual increase in yardage with each set – 100/200/300/400/500 with (only) 15 seconds rest between intervals.  The main set finished off with 2×300 where I swam the first 100 at a slower pace, the next 100 at a moderate pace and the last 100 at a faster pace.  I liked the way those last sets came together.  Overall, this was a mediocre swim. I felt good, but my times (for about half of the workout) were not what I should be swimming.  This was better than Monday’s swim, but not where I should be.


AM – Tempo run (speed work) on the treadmill. After a good warm-up, I ran 4×5 minute speed sets. The targeted pace for these workouts in my plan have been 1 minute faster than targeted race pace.  For this session, I pushed the pace more than I have with these workouts in the past using this plan.  I pushed it about 30sec/mile faster.  The decision was made based on the progress I have made on my steady runs. I want to keep progressing and speed work has always helped me with that in the past!  I felt good on the run!!  The 5 minute speed intervals ranged from 7:31 – 7:36 pace.

PM – 3200-yard swim with the main set including 5×500 yards with 1 minute rest between intervals. Before heading to the pool, I was feeling very tired.  On my drive to the pool, I was feeling even MORE tired.  After two swims earlier in the week that were not great, the motivation for me to swim was completely non-existent.  I just wanted to go home and crash.  Well, I drove to the pool and after I parked I grabbed my phone and pulled up my “inspiration” board on Pinterest.  I remember a quote I had pinned and I needed to see it. Those words rang so true to me.

Don't Let Fatigue

Well, I got going and had no expectations.  I just wanted to get the swim over with.  I have regularly experienced times when I don’t feel like training and because I had no harsh expectations for myself (other than just getting through it), I ended up having a good session.  I was skeptical that this day would be one of the days.  Well, I could not have been more wrong!  I had a fantastic swim!!  I have no clue where in my body it came from, but I really did it!  After finishing the warm-up I swam my first 500.  I touched the wall for my one minute rest and could not believe me eyes when I saw my time.  Second interval, same thing…I was totally shocked this time though. Well, I believed that I could not possibly have enough left in the tack to finish three more sets at this pace. Well, I did myself so, so, so proud!  I just kept at it, and SOMEHOW pulled out one of my best swims!

Interval Time Distance Avg Pace
1 9:38.2 500 1:55
2 9:38.9 500 1:55
3 9:39.4 500 1:56
4 9:40.9 500 1:56
5 9:39.9 500 1:56
Summary 53:06.7 2,500 1:56

I last swam this workout in week #7 and my times for the 500s ranged from 9:47-10:02.  I could not wait to tell Tony about my progress!  He truly understands the struggles and frustrations I have felt over the years with my swimming.  I know I will never be the first swimmer out of my group, but all I have ever really wanted is to see progress after all my hours of training.  That has been the true source of frustrations.  While I have made such big strides with my bike and run, progression on the swim has been slower and much harder to grasp.   Progress makes me happy!

Strive for Progress




Saturday plans were all over the place. I had decided to deviate from my written training plan a bit and go for a longer ride with a tri friend that is training for IM Louisville.  The planned mileage was longer than I had worked up to, but decided to take advantage of someone wanting to ride long!  Well, the weather on Saturday was crummy.  It was rainy and cold, so we decided to scrap the plan.  I did not want to “waste” a training day in hopes that the weather would be decent enough on Sunday to get in the ride.  So, I went with my written plan for a trainer ride/run brick.  I did the Spinervals DVD entitled “Have Mercy”.  The online description for this trainer workout DVD is:

What word describes this DVD? Tortuous!! “Have Mercy” is a 2 hour compilation of the hardest intervals sets from other Spinervals DVD workouts! Remember the brutal acceleration sets?! The race simulation? The sprint sets? Well… do them one after the other and you have one of the toughest two hours you can spend on an indoor trainer!! You’ll be begging Coach Troy to “Have Mercy”.

Well, I have done this workout numerous times over the past couple of years and it always proves to give you the best bang for your buck!  This day was no different!  After the two hours on the bike, I quickly changed into my run gear and jumped on the treadmill for a 1 hour and 20 minutes.  I was able to put in 9 miles at an 8:58 pace. This pace was a bit better than what was targeted in my plan, so I felt great to get in a good run after a solid bike!!


The original plan was a 2.5 hour session on the bike trainer.  I heard from my tri friend that I was supposed to ride with on Saturday, that he had been contacted about a ride of 60 miles leaving from a school about 5 minutes from our house.  So, Tony and I decided to jump on.  I was a little concerned that I would have enough juice in my legs for 60 miles after solid training sessions on Saturday, but I went for it.  There was a group of six and we had a good ride.  I ended up feeling stronger than I anticipated.  It was BRUTALLY windy on the majority of the first part of the ride.  It did get a little better as we progressed.


Weather conditions from Garmin Connect:

Weather 61°

Feels like 61°

16 mph NE wind

Humidity 36%


The ride totaled 62.1 miles in 3 hours 38minutes with an average speed of 17.1 mph.

Some things that made me smile about my week:

*My third swim of the week!  I rocked it and felt so tired going in.  That goes to show that you never know what will happen when you just go for it!

*Good solid weekend sessions despite crappy weather.  I am a type A person and when my plans get changed, sometimes I don’t roll with the punches so well.  Saturday proved to be a challenge, but I ended up with great training sessions both Saturday and Sunday even though neither of them was what I originally planned!


Time: 14 hours 43 minutes

Swim: 9,100 yards

Bike: 108.5 miles

Run: 22 miles

Stretching/foam rolling: Some, but not enough!

Training Week #9


posted by on Ironman

Week Nine Recap Header

It has been less than a week since I posted my last weekly recap, but I got a bit behind with posting about my training, so I have to play catch up!  Week nine was the start to month three (of a six month plan) and I had good focus and effort this week.  I came back strong after (1). a sickness in the last part of week seven and (2). slowly (mentally) getting back into the training groove during week eight.


AM – 1 hour on the bike trainer with the main set working on low cadence intervals using big gears.  This is a good workout on the plan and really gets the quads engaged.  Good start to a new training week!

PM – 2200-yard swim – The main set focused on speed work with 10 intervals of 100 at a “moderate plus” pace/15 seconds rest/50 FAST/30 seconds rest.  I was VERY consistent with the sets.   I had a good steady push to the sets to work on time. The main set totaled 1500 yards and I averaged 1:48 pace.  I still have work to do with my speed sets, but I was happy with the consistency I was able to maintain with a solid effort.


PM – 1 hour 40 minute run on the greenway (again with my #1 supporter, Tony). Overall, this was a decent run.   I experienced the typical (for me) “feeling good/feeling not so good” for a long run.  I started a bit slow, but got into the groove and felt decent.  I started feeling the “long run fatigue” sooner that I had on my last long run.  I had to push harder to finish strong.  We extended the time a bit to round out at 11 miles even.

Split Time Distance Avg Pace
Summary 1:41:53.8 11.00 9:16
1 9:47.6 1.00 9:48
2 9:17.5 1.00 9:17
3 9:25.7 1.00 9:26
4 9:08.9 1.00 9:09
5 9:06.6 1.00 9:06
6 9:31.7 1.00 9:32
7 9:05.1 1.00 9:05
8 9:10.4 1.00 9:10
9 9:04.9 1.00 9:05
10 9:02.3 1.00 9:02
11 9:11.1 1.00 9:11
12 :02.0 0.00 6:49


AM – Though, not ideal, Wednesday morning was a tempo run (or what I would call speed work) on the treadmill.  After a solid warm-up, the main set was 3x5minutes at a targeted pace of 1 minute per mile faster than race pace.  I was able to hit the target paces even though my legs were very sore from the long run the evening before.  I had not originally planned to do this run the morning following the long run, but I decided to tackle the tempo run instead of the 1.5 hour bike originally planned.  I just switched up the two workouts. Overall, this run probably loosened up my legs a bit.  The averages for the three intervals were 8:00, 7:59 and 7:54.

PM – 2000-yard swim where the main set included some speed work.  I started with 3- 200 sets at moderate pace, then moved to 5×100 building into a sprint for last 25 yards followed by 8×25 with evens at easy effort and odds at fast effort.   This was a decent session, but as I mentioned for Monday’s swim workout, I need to continue pushing my speed efforts for improvement.


AM – 1 hour 25 minutes on the bike trainer.  This required a SUPER early start to get the full workout in.  This was the earliest alarm for morning training so far. 4:50am…ouch! This is a good session that includes lots of cadence and gear changes throughout with very minimal rest.  For a longer session, it goes by pretty quickly…it also helps that I watched an episode of Scandal to help the time pass!




Outdoor ride with Tony and another tri friend.  I had not biked with her yet this season, so it was great that she could join us for part of the ride!  We had 3 hours 45 minutes planned and we got in 64 miles. I felt pretty good overall on the ride and after the ride, my legs felt decent.


Session #1 – 2900-yard swim with the main set including 3×750 sets with one minute rest between intervals.  I was surprised at how different my times were for the three sets. Obviously, I was very happy at my time for the first interval.  Going forward, I need to work to keep my pace quicker for the third set to keep my average pace down.

Interval Time Distance    Avg Pace
Summary 47:25.9 2,250 1:57
1 14:31.7 750 1:56
2 14:43.9 750 1:57
3 14:55.1 750 1:59

Session #2 – Hill Repeats!  This was the first time I have been able to perform these outside, so we picked a good hill at the top of our street that I always hate to run.  The training plan called for a hill of moderate steepness (4-8% grade) and sufficient length so that the grade can be experienced for at least two minutes in duration.  I am not sure of the grade of the hill, but it is a good steady climb.  I determined the point in the hill that would give me about a 2 minute climb (the distance was .22 miles).  I ran it eight times and ran back down at an easy jog pace, while trying to lengthen my stride.  This was definitely a worthy challenge!  My average pace for the hill climbs ranged from 9:24 to 9:58.


Time: 12 hours 28 minutes

Swim: 7,125 yards

Bike: 92.7 miles

Run: 18.5 miles

Stretching/foam rolling: Some, but not enough!

I may not be the strongest


Training Week #8


posted by on General

Week Eight Title

With this being week eight, this recap is from another recovery week.  I will mention again, that my general training plan is three weeks of build followed by one week of recovery (lighter volume with a bit less intensity).  I was actually pleased that my recovery week fell the week after I was sick, so I could work back into being 100%.


PM – 2100-yard swim – At a swim one week ago, I mentioned that my Garmin was not charged when I got to the pool.  Well, for this workout, I had my Garmin and it was charged, but I decided to go without it.  This workout was a skills focus that incorporated more drills than normal, a longer set focusing on form, and a few speed intervals.  This was a good workout to not think about time and just focus on form and drills.  It was a good workout to ease into the new week.


AM – 55 minutes on the bike trainer.  This is one higher intensity workout that falls during the recovery week.  The same workout seems to fall about every other week in the plan.  Despite performing this workout numerous times so far, it continues to challenge me.  It is an intense session with the focus on multiple sets of “max effort” for varying periods of time.  It is always nice when this workout is done!!

PM – 45-minute “steady” run.  The target pace was 30 seconds faster than race pace. Prior to the run, I was not feeling ready to run at all.  I could not tell if I was tired/sleepy, hungry, fatigued (muscles/body) or still getting back to 100% from being sick.  The weather outside was gorgeous and usually that is enough to get me motivated to run, after sitting inside at a desk all day.  Unfortunately, that was not doing the trick though; I had a good pre-run snack and just ran.  Mentally it was hard to get out the door and I thought physically I would have a bad run.  Well, it was not the best, but pretty good.  I did not maintain the pace that I needed/wanted, but I was not worried.  I just tried to get through the run and focus on breathing and staying strong.  It was a rolling course and I just ran it!  I finished the run of 45 minutes with 4.94 miles at 9:07 pace.  My first mile was the slowest at 9:23 pace and the last mile was the fastest at 8:53 pace.


AM – 55 minutes on the bike trainer with hill repeats.  The workout included three 10-minute hill repeats with 5 minutes recovery between intervals. The first and third repeat was seated and the second repeat alternated sitting/standing every 30 seconds. Good early morning workout.

PM – 2950-yard swim with the main workout including three 750-yard sets with one-minute recovery between sets.  This was the first time for these longer intervals.

Interval Time Distance Avg Pace
1 14:39.3 750 1:57
2 14:36.2 750 1:56
3 14:52.5 750 1:59
Summary 47:03.6 2,250 1:57

I was pleased with my times, especially the first and second intervals.  I will work to try to bring the third interval time down.  Overall, I was happy with the average pace of 1:57 for 2,250 yards.


AM – 40-minute recovery run on the treadmill. This run on the treadmill was fine and pace was on point as planned.  However, I was feeling bored on the treadmill.  Usually I don’t feel like that and can run on the treadmill just fine, but this morning I could not wait to be off!  I finished the 40 minutes with 4.21 miles at 9:30 pace.

PM – MASSAGE!!!!   Another great massage that was very much needed.  I highly recommend that anyone doing regular, intense training work regular massage into the recovery week.  I have found that it is key to keeping the muscles happy!  For anyone in the Raleigh area looking for a good masseuse, call Julie White on Six Forks Road.

Friday: REST DAY!!!

Saturday: The plan was a long brick with two hours on the bike followed by a 50-minute run at a pace of 30 seconds per mile slower than target race pace.   I had planned to ride outside with Tony, but he woke up that morning sick.  SO, I did an aero-base Spinervals DVD workout on the trainer.  Like on the treadmill just a few days earlier, I felt antsy to finish and get off the trainer!  The ride was fine, I was just mentally ready to finish up. After the ride, I immediately switched into my run gear.

This brick run was good.  During the run, I was not very concerned about pace.  I ran based on feel.  I ended up being quicker than my goal per the training plan, but because my steady run earlier in the week was slower than target, I thought this ended up being a good trade off.  I finished up the 50 minutes with 5.47 miles at 9:08 pace.

Sunday: 3100-yard swim where the main set included 2400 yards starting off with a longer set and working down to short sets, building speed.  I was pleased with the times for my longer sets, but need to work on bringing down the times for the shorter sets.

The highlight of the week was getting back to 100% after my short sickness. Even though I was actually “sick” a short time, it really took a toll on my  body.  I felt that I really needed a bit of time to get back into my training groove…but I did.  There is really nothing better than being healthy!


Time: 9 hours 45 minutes

Swim: 8,150 yards

Bike: 46.89 miles

Run: 14.62 miles

Stretching/foam rolling: Some, but not enough!

This was one of my first favorite mantras.

This was one of my first favorite mantras.

Safety on the Road


posted by on Ironman

As the weather gets nicer (warmer!!), there will be more and more cyclists on the road.  As someone that spends time trying to be super safe while biking, I want to encourage all drivers to watch out for cyclists.  As a driver, it can only take one second of being distracted to end up hitting someone that is out for a ride.

safety starts with me

I 100% believe that maintaining safety is the responsibility of both the cyclist and the driver.  The cyclist must be aware of their surroundings, monitor traffic and RESPECT the automobiles.   In the end, in a meeting between car and cyclist, the car is always going to win.  However, there is also responsibility to be had by the driver.  Keep an eye out and even if it takes an additional few seconds to pass a cyclist SAFELY, please allow the extra few seconds of time.  It is worth it!

Since I have not always been a lover of cycling, I DO understand the frustrations that motorist sometimes feel when they happen upon a group of cyclists.  Whether you are approaching one, three or thirty, please take the time to be safe.  If you feel a bit of frustration, put it aside and make the smart decision…it only impacts a moment of your life.  In the end, a bad decision may impact the REST of your life.


There are frequent stories about cyclists that have been hit causing severe injuries and in many cases, death.  The most recent was a few days ago, just two days before Ironman 70.3 New Orleans, where one athlete was killed and another critically injured while out on a training ride on a section of the race course.  While one can’t fully understand all the circumstances surrounding terrible accidents, it seems likely that if one of the two parties was more aware and cautious, tragic events could be avoided.

Bottom line…I encourage all cyclists to practice sound judgment, use caution and good safety measures when taking to the road.  I also urge all motorists to be alert and patient when approaching cyclists.  At the end of the day, everyone just wants to go home safe and sound!!

Bike Safety

Training Week #7


posted by on Ironman

Week Seven Title

It has been a while since I posted a weekly recap.  The “balance” that I strive for, has become a bit off kilter.  The amount of time I have had with nothing planned or having some time to blog, has become slim.  I am getting in all my training, with the exception of a “speed bump” encountered during this week which I am recapping.  I will get caught up on my weekly recaps soon and I have lots of ideas of topics I want to blog about.  I hope to get some of those worked in before long!

bump in the road


PM – 1900-yard swim – I started the week with a speed workout in the pool.  The main set included 8 x (100 moderate/:15 sec rest/50 fast/:30 sec rest).  When I started my swim, I realized that my Garmin was not charged.  Oh well.  Not the best workout to go untimed, but what do you do?  I still felt like I pushed the pace to have an effective workout, even though I don’t have the data to support it. 


AM – 30-minute run on the treadmill with the main set including a tempo effort.  The main set was short being 1x10minutes with the pace being 1 minute per mile faster than target race pace.  I averaged 8:00 pace for the main set.  I felt strong on the run. 

PM – 3200-yard swim – The main set included 5×10-minute steady efforts (one minute rest between intervals), which equate approximately 500 yards per 10-minute effort.  My times were 9:47, 9:48, 9:56, 10:02, and 9:59.  I was super pleased with sets one and two and would have liked to keep them all below the 10 minute mark, but for the 2500 main set, I averaged 1:59/pace.     


AM – 90 minutes on the bike trainer with the focus on cadence.  I rode various sets from low cadence to mid cadence to high cadence.  This is another repeat workout from the plan and is a tough workout, but the amount of times you have to change gears and keeping an eye on the cadence reading, helps the time to pass.

PM – 90-minute run on the greenway (with my #1 supporter, Tony) – First few miles were just ok…had to find my groove. After that, I felt good and really finished strong.  I ran slightly past the planned 90 minutes in order to finish out with 10 miles even.   Pace was right on point to plan. Overall, this was a great run for me!!




Avg Pace


















































Well, after a great run on Wednesday, it all went downhill from there.   I went to bed and a few hours later, I woke up sick.  It was terrible and needless to say, this was the “speed bump” in my training week.  I had a swim planned for Thursday evening and obviously that did not happen.


 REST DAY!!!  This was my planned rest day.  I still was feeling very weak and did not have an appetite, so it was good that I did not have training planned for the day.      


I had my long ride planned for Saturday, but we decided that I would push those plans to Sunday and move the Sunday planned workout to Saturday.  I tackled a 58-minute bike workout on the trainer with the main set focused on big gears and low cadence.  I felt “ok” and did not push too hard, but was working at the same point.  I had a run planned as well (not a brick) and after a short break from the bike, I decided to go for the run on the treadmill.  I was scheduled for a 45-minute steady run (pace 30 seconds faster than target race pace) and I decided to give it a try, but had to listen to my body.  I finished up three miles at the desired pace range in 25 minutes.  I felt like I needed to stop, given my level of fatigue.  My average pace was 8:31 for the 3 miles.    


A 3.5 hour ride was planned.  I did not want to miss my long ride.  However, Saturday night I was feeling very, very tired.  It was obvious that I pushed too hard on Saturday.  Sunday I was not feeling as good as I had Saturday morning, so the decision to take another rest day, was a given. 

With my sickness during the week, there was not a lot to smile about; however, my long run was the highlight of the training week.  I will look for every silver lining… 

silver lining


Time: 7 hours 10 minutes

Swim: 5,100 yards

Bike: 28.95 miles

Run: 15.25 miles

Stretching/foam rolling:  Some, but not enough!  

Healthy Snacks


posted by on Recipes

I recently tried two new recipes for healthy snacks and I wanted to share them.  One of the things I especially like about making my own healthy snacks is that I can customize the size.  I cut the bars into different sizes, so dependent upon how hungry I am, I choose accordingly.  As far as the energy bites go, I could have one for a small snack or a few prior to my workout.  I received the “thumbs up” on both these recipes from Tony, so we both think these are keepers!

Homemade Chewy Granola Bars from Iowa Girl Eats

Photo and Recipe from Iowa Girl Eats

Photo and Recipe from Iowa Girl Eats

I followed this recipe with only one modification.  The price of the dried cherries was crazy high, so I substituted dried cranberries (Craisins)  

Energy Bites from Lil’ Luna

Photo and Recipe from Lil' Luna

Photo and Recipe from Lil’ Luna

I followed this recipe and DID use the “optional” mini chocolate chips…in my opinion, this ingredient is NOT optional!  I will also say that this is my first time using milled flaxseed.  It seems like a neat little ingredient that contains a nutritional punch.  Flaxseed contains fiber as well as Omega-3 essential fatty acids, “good” fats that have been shown to have heart-healthy effects. Each tablespoon of ground flaxseed contains about 1.8 grams of plant omega-3s.  I also learned that there are benefits to athletes and sports training, especially those involved in endurance sports.  Here is an excerpt from with the complete explanation:

How does flax benefit athletes and sports training?
Omega-3 fatty acid alpha-linolenic, ALA, an essential fatty acid found in flax, improves the metabolism of fats which is especially helpful with endurance sports, such as marathons. When a runner “hits the wall” and their glycogen stores are used up, the body begins burning fats. In this case, efficient burning of fats makes a difference in performance. ALA improves response time. Electrical impulses move from the brain to muscles across cell membranes which, as indicated earlier, are rich in ALA when consumed in the diet. Omega-3 fatty acids, such as ALA, are the most efficient fatty acids in allowing these electrical impulses to move from cell to cell. Thus, response time is improved. ALA aids in muscle repair at the cellular level. Omega-3 fatty acids present on the cell membrane significantly affect the speed and quality of tissue repair.

From reading all these benefits, it sounds like I need to explore more ways to incorporate flaxseed into my diet!

I encourage you to try both these recipes.  If you do, be sure to let me know your thoughts!