Kinetic Half Ironman Training: 3 Weeks Out

I *just* realized that I have been wrong in the titles of these posts. Technically my counting was correct if I were counting from the beginning of the week, but by the time I post them I'm one week closer to race day than I've been saying - eek! I actually only have three weeks to go until the Kinetic Half Ironman!

Woof, this week did not go as planned! The only highlight was a 5k PR on Friday night, but everything else was way under par. My run mileage was super low and I didn't even do a long run, which I knew would most likely be the case since I had the race on Friday night and a big ride on Sunday, but it still felt weird. My bike mileage ended up being low too, though, because I broke my bike almost 25 miles into the ride and wasn't able to finish the 60 miles I had planned. It was an interesting week, and not a great one, but there's nothing I can do except move on. Some things I learned this week:
  • I'm not a social runner. I already knew this, yet I started running (and swimming and biking) with a tri group at my Y about 2.5 months ago. It started out with 1 run per week, which was fine, but a few weeks ago we increased to 2 runs per week. And on the weekends I've been doing brick runs with friends after our long rides, so that put me up to 3 social runs a week, which is a lot for someone who, until 2.5 months ago, ran alone like 95% of the time (and generally prefers it that way). I also started taking my dog for daily 1ish mile runs about a month ago, but he's not the best runner so it's stressful for me sometimes. I need running to be my alone time, my time to think and to decompress and honestly, as a huge introvert, time to just not be around anyone or talk to anyone or listen to anyone (sadly, that includes my dog). I went for what ended up only being my 4th solo run in 27 days on Thursday this week and it was glorious and exactly what I needed.
  • Run streaking is not for me. I have never really been interested in attempting a run streak, but I accidentally started one about a month ago when I ran for a few days straight and then started running daily with my dog, so it just kind of happened and then I just kind of kept it going (minimum of 1 mile per day with Bane and there were several days when that's the only running I did). At first it was kind of fun and exciting to see how long I could keep it up, but it got old after a while and officially ended on Sunday this week (which, ironically, is my 6-year running anniversary). It was interesting to see how my body responded to running daily, especially since at some point (in the future when/if I stop doing long distance triathlons) I do want to try out a higher mileage training plan to reach some of my big running goals. It was nice to test the waters a little bit (and I do mean a little bit since my total mileage was still well under my 4x/week marathon training mileage) but ultimately I am not interested in running that often no matter how short the distance is.  
  • Bike maintenance is important! Like I mentioned already...I broke my bike on a ride this week. I'm still not entirely sure how it happened, or even what happened exactly, but I started having some trouble with my gears around 20 miles in, then my chain popped and immediately after that it somehow jammed and snapped my rear derailer clean off. In layman's terms, one minute I was riding my bike and the next minute I had rendered it unrideable. The guys I was with said they had never seen that happen before, but I guess I'm just that talented. I don't know if there was anything I could have done to prevent it, but I do know that I didn't do my due diligence. My gears had been acting funky off an on for a while and that I really should have gotten a tune-up before now. I definitely learned my lesson - my road bike is in the shop getting repaired and tuned up and my tri bike, which is also having some shifting problems and is overdue for a tune-up, will be going in ASAP.

Kinetic Half Ironman Training: 5 Weeks to Go

This training cycle (if you can call it that?) has been a mix of quality during the week and quantity during the weekend which, if I'm being honest, I don't hate. I'm definitely not pushing myself to do as much during the week, but I'm pushing myself much harder than usual in the short workouts I do. On the flipside, my weekend workouts haven't been as fast but have been about building up my endurance as much as possible before race day. I knew going into this race, with the marathon being my focus until the final 8 weeks before the tri, that my swimming and cycling weren't going to be where they have been in the past pre-70.3, and I was/am fine with that. This isn't a goal race, but rather a check-in race to jumpstart my journey to Ironman #2, and see where my strengths and weaknesses are.

Although my training volume doesn't quite add up to where I would ideally be for a half Ironman, I have to say that I'm really happy with the quality of work I've put in over the last several weeks. This week's weekday workouts in particular were killer - I PR'ed my mile run and my swim!

Kinetic Half Ironman Training: 6 Weeks to Go

Since I'm not exactly following a structured, weekly training plan, I decided to number these by weeks remaining rather than weeks of training. My training didn't really have a clear starting point, so it just made the most sense to do it this way.

After spending a couple weeks recovering from Shamrock and transitioning into more of a triathlon focus than a running focus, this was a solid, hard week getting ready for my half Ironman in 6 weeks. 

Kinetic Half Ironman Training: Transition Week

This was my second post-Shamrock week, and although I do have a half-Ironman (the Kinetic Half in Lake Anna, VA) coming up in less than two months, I wasn't quite ready to jump in head-first into a new training plan so soon after the marathon. So I'm calling this week a bit of a transition week: a more than a recovery week, but less than what my 70.3 training would look like if I hadn't just run a marathon 2 weeks ago.

Shamrock Marathon Recovery Week

I fell off with my Shamrock recaps during the last few weeks of training, but there really wasn't much to report! Taper was pretty uneventful, and I was pretty busy at home and work during those last few weeks. I had a lot of non-running stuff going on and not a lot of running stuff, so I just didn't get to catching up with training recaps. BUT! Now that Shamrock is over (and I PR'ed and met my sub-4 goal!), I'm feeling ready to move on to the next race (because there's always a next race), and to get one step closer to Ironman Louisville. 

After 4 months of marathon training (on the heels of my first Ironman training cycle, at that), I'm understandably not quite ready to get back into hardcore training mode yet and am taking the first two post-race weeks to recover both mentally and physically. This was my first week after the race and I mostly took it easy, and really enjoyed not having a schedule to stick to!

Shamrock Marathon 2017 Race Recap

If you like wordy race recaps, way-too-deep running thoughts, and/or teary finish lines, then man, do I have a post for you!

If you've been around for a while, you probably know that Shamrock weekend is one of my favorite weekends of the whole year, and has been ever since it became my first half marathon in 2012. Running it every year since then has become a little tradition of mine, and I've now run the half and the full 3 times each (and the 8k once). I signed up to run the Shamrock Marathon for the 3rd time last November, during a post-Ironman high/what-do-I-do-now episode?! Truthfully, I hadn't really planned on running the Shamrock full again anytime soon and was avidly searching for a new spring marathon to try out, but when I found out my friend Carl and I both had the same current PR and the same lofty goal, to take almost 20 minutes off that PR and break 4 hours, it seemed meant to be. I started training in mid-November and on Sunday, 18 weeks later, I crossed the finish line.

This Shamrock charm was on my very first medal from 2012. I put it on a necklace and have worn it for every important race since (and added the 26.2 after my first marathon, obviously)

Shamrock Marathon Training: Week 15

This was a good week! I think it helped me to know that this was the last big week of training before taper!

Training for:
Shamrock Marathon
Virginia Beach, VA
March 19


Week 15