IM North Carolina Training: 9 Months Out

I've decided to do something a little different for this training cycle and how I share it here. I love sharing my weekly training for a variety of reasons (I like having a detailed record of it, I appreciate the feedback and virtual high fives, and I hope it can help someone else in some way), but since I have a long time to build up to this one, I thought I would share general, monthly updates as well. If you're still interested in following along workout by workout, you can always do so by adding me on Strava!

So, here we are, one month down! Ironman North Carolina (formerly Beach2Battleship) was announced on December 17; registration opened on December 18; I registered on December 20. The day I registered, I went out for a 12-mile long run. It was already on my schedule, but hitting the pavement knowing that I'd just signed up for my first Ironman made it so much more special. I was home for Christmas, so the only logical place to get it done was in downtown Portsmouth. I drove to my old apartment, the one where I walked down the stairs onto the brick sidewalk on April 23, 2011 and started my journey toward becoming a runner and, little did I know, eventual Ironman.

The week of Christmas was busy but I kept the workouts going! I got outside on my bike, twice, for the first time since I got off it and headed into T2 at the Wilmington Convention Center. Those 28- and 24-milers felt long now that I'm out of practice, but I'm cautiously optimistic about building my distance back up (and eventually getting to triple digit rides!). I haven't been outside on my bike since that unseasonably warm Christmas week, but I've been keeping up my bike fitness by streaming 2 45-minute Peloton classes per week. Not exactly the same thing as riding on the road, but at least I'm still in the groove of pedaling. I likely won't make it back outside until March or April. 

Since I'm training for Shamrock and Big Sur (and, let's be real, I'd keep running even if I weren't training for anything), I've kept up my 4 days/week of running, for about 20-25 miles a week on average. In addition to that 12-miler the day I signed up, my long runs have been 10-12 miles (and I've bonked on 2 out of the 5 I had planned, so go me). I had hoped to be well past the half marathon distance at this point in my training, but it just hasn't worked out that way. No big deal! I'm aiming for a 13-14 mile run this weekend (snow permitting). I just realized that 3 out of the next 5 weekends are race weekends: Tidewater Striders Distance Series (Shamrock tune-up "competitive training runs") 15-miler and 20-miler as bookends and the Blacksburg Classic 10-miler sandwiched in between. Those were all hit or miss for me last year, but I'm hoping that being a part of a group of runners rather than going solo will help me get through those long runs I've been struggling with.

I haven't been in any water since I climbed the ladder and hopped out of the Intracoastal Waterway in October. I'm just not ready to get back in the pool yet, and that's okay. Swimming is the one thing that comes back to me the easiest, although I do need to be careful not to get too cocky. I did that with the B2B swim and it ended up not being quite the cakewalk I expected. Since I know I'll have the current with me anyway and probably won't be able to gain a lot of extra time on the swim anyway, I don't think swimming more is the best use of my time. Instead I want to focus on making my swim workouts count and feeling comfortable, especially in open water.

Over the last couple of days I've started to feel...ready. Ready to start training anyway. Of course, it's still a long way away and I'm taking it one day at a time, but I'm looking forward to having something after Shamrock and Big Sur. I know there will be many times I will feel absolutely not ready throughout my training, and I'm bracing myself for that. I know it will be hard and intense - I know from experience of training for a half - but I just feel like...this is right. It's time. I'm looking forward, not back, and this feels like the next right step on my journey.


  1. Sounds like you're in a really good place, training wise!

  2. So many races-- it's still so crazy, but cool, to me that you're training for so many races at the same time and I feel like there has to be so much thought into picking which races you do leading up to Ironman in the fall. But I'm so glad you're feeling ready to start the training :)

  3. Glad you're starting to feel ready :)!

  4. It is always exciting to me when you are amping up to start working on something. Of course for me, it was never marathon or Iron Man training...but I was so excited about Whole 30 leading up to it and the first two weeks of it. That is how you know you are ready to work...when you get excited about it! Best of wishes during your training!!!

  5. I love this! And I love this: "I've started to feel...ready. Ready to start training anyway." After the questionable last couple weeks I'm feeling the same. I put up 6 miles yesterday, finally, and am ready to get "in season" for Blacksburg, Cherry Blossom, and eventually the NJ Half. Yeah, I'm pretty decided on that one.
    Can't wait to watch you dominate these next few months!

  6. love this post - agree with everyone else. you sound super confident and in a great place, and i'm sure there will be ups and downs throughout your training, but it sounds like you are ready to take this on. yay! all the virtual high fives your way.