Ironman North Carolina Training: Week 3

Monday 6/20
1950yd stamina swim @ 1:59/100yd

AM: Another week that didn't start off right. I'm still struggling to work out in the morning, and this morning in particular I was really tired from the weekend and fighting a cold. Just couldn't make it out of bed for my core workout.

PM: I was going to make up core after work/before swimming, but today I started studying for a professional exam I have to take so obviously that was more important. The pool was totally empty when we got there tonight, and even though a few people trickled in we still never had to share a lane! 

Tuesday 6/21
65 minute trainer ride / 30 minutes core 

AM: Another morning when I just couldn't get up. Still recovering from my cold and needed the extra hour of rest - I woke up coughing at 4 unable to stop coughing, and at that point I was pretty sure my 5am alarm was going to get turned off. I probably could have gotten up in time to at least do some core but instead I had a slow morning.

PM: I really have to get back in the habit of writing these as they happen, because I honestly can't remember this ride at all (which is a bummer because I like to keep track of what Peloton videos I do). I also vaguely remember doing core afterward - pretty sure it was a late night and that I did 3 rounds of my favorite core circuit plus some extra time on planks to round out 30 minutes.

Wednesday 6/22
20 minutes core / 2350yd speed swim @ 1:50/100yd

AM: Got a core workout in this morning! Same one as yesterday but without the planks at the end. Not a lot but I did what I needed to do. 

PM: I don't remember this swim very well, but I remember feeling so great afterward. Swimming at night makes for a long day, especially when I work out in the morning too, but it's such a nice way to end the day. I shower at the gym and then come home, dry my hair, and get in bed. Granted it's like 10pm by the time I get home but it's a relaxing routine to do a couple nights a week.

Thursday 6/23
70 minute trainer ride + 3.1 mile brick run

PM: Just when I was starting to feel good about my cycling...tonight my legs felt like bags of sand and I just did not want to do this ride at all. Ugh! I warmed up for 25 minutes then rode through a Throwback Thursday Peloton class (my workout was 3 10-minute steady intervals with 5 minutes easy in between). My legs were just sooo heavy. My run really didn't feel much better, and I was feel particularly thankful for stoplights today!

Friday 6/24
Rest day
We went to Weezer tonight so not really restful, but my rest days never really are. I was supposed to do core this morning but didn't (surprise!)

Saturday 6/25
30 mile ride @ 15.9mph

PM: After trying the Mount Vernon trail and having it be just okay, I decided to try a new (to me) trail today. The W&OD Trail is a 45-mile rail trail in northern Virginia. I drove out to a park in Arlington to pick it up and rode 15 miles out then turned around and came back, so I barely covered 1/3 of the whole thing!

During the first mile or so I was like omg, this is great! It was paved well and not super crowded and I didn't have to slow down or stop every five seconds. Then just before two miles the path I was on ended at a residential street and I seriously couldn't figure out what to do. I just stopped and stood there for a while until I saw someone else, and then I just followed him. I ended up having to make a couple turns in this neighborhood and then the trail picked back up. I think there was a sign where the first part of the trail ended, but it was obscured by trees. It still could have been marked better!
Since the trail was converted from a railroad, it runs mainly through the outer part of towns so there are fairly long stretches with no stopping, then it would pass through a town and there would be 5 or 6 stops in a row. There were some sections that were really long, gradual descents that felt great, and then some sections that were really long, gradual ascents that didn't feel great. There were only a few sections with actual hills but the false flats were frustrating. It's crazy how much even the smallest amount of wind or grade slows me down. I thought I had finally found somewhere where I could just ride like normal, but my speed wasn't even 16mph average and that really frustrated me. Still, I think this might be my best option for long rides, and I'll definitely go back. I might even make it a goal to ride the whole thing (90 miles round trip) at some point during IM training.

Sunday 6/26
10 mile run @ 9:19 / 60 minutes core + strength training

AM: This was my first real long run since Shamrock. I had a good dinner last night, I went to bed early, I got up when I was supposed to, I was only a little bit late getting out the door...and not of that prep matter. It sucked. I felt some pain in my chest almost immediately, so that was annoying, but overall I felt pretty decent for the first 3 miles. Then I don't know what happened, but I just hit a wall. I got to Constitution Gardens at mile 3 and I seriously felt like it was taking everything I had just to keep from falling backward. It felt like running against heavy windy wasn't windy. I figured that losing that running endurance over my 8-week break was finally catching up to me, and it was really defeating. I saw a big tree with shade underneath it so I stopped there for a bit to text Ben, Snapchat, feel sorry for myself, etc. I just felt crappy and wanted to quit. After a little break I got going again, but it was stop and go the rest of the way. It wasn't super hot or humid, not oppressively anyway, but it was really sunny with clear skies and I could just feel the energy getting zapped. I took another break at 4.25 (at the Tidal Basin next to the Roosevelt Memorial) to stop, take some pictures, and contemplate quitting...then again at mile 5 (Jefferson Memorial)...and at 5.8 (stoplight)...and no really this time at 6.2 (Washington Monument)...and ugh fine I'll run to the other side of the Mall...and okay that's 7.25 (Capitol), that's my farthest run so far by a quarter mile, so that's probably plenty...and okay let me just get back to our street and I'll quit...okay I made it to our street at 8.1 miles (Washington Monument again) but I really don't think I can run the two miles back uphill home but ughhh I guess I'll try...

Once I got to mile 9 (Thomas Circle) I was seriously running on fumes but also just wanting to finish this thing, and after what felt like a hundred years, I did. It took my just over an hour and a half of run ningbut with all of my breaks and stoplights and whatnot I was out there for two hours and ten minutes. That's 40 minutes of dicking around. So I wasn't happy or proud of that, but I was happy and proud that I finished. It was a tough day in the sun, and my longest post-injury run so far (by 3 miles!), so really at the end of the day I just tried to be thankful and grateful that I was able to get back to this point at all.

PM: I had a great night at the gym! I started with the Myrtl routine, which is on my training plan and something I really need to do since I've been neglecting my hip exercises since I stopped going to physical therapy in March. I made up my core workout from Friday and even moved up from the 10lb medicine ball to the 12lb ball! I finished with a few leg and arm exercises, something I definitely wish I had more time to do regularly. 

This Week
Swim - 2.44 miles 
Bike -  71.4 miles (41 trainer, 30.4 outdoor)
Run - 13.1 miles
Strength + Yoga - 110 minutes
Total miles - 86.94

IM NC Training To-Date
Swim - 7.98 miles 
Bike -  193.5 miles (138.7 trainer, 54.8 outdoor)
Run - 40 miles
Strength + Yoga - 262 minutes
Total miles - 241.48

Week 3 Reflections:
  • I haven't let training stress me out yet. Having Ben do some training with me really helps, especially swimming, because I don't feel like I'm missing out on fun stuff or hanging out at home with him.
  • I feel like my running volume is still a little low, so my coach and I talked on Friday about getting it back up to 4x/week. That's been my routine for a few years, and that's where I feel best. I feel like my running endurance is total crap right now, and every time I go run my body is in shock, like oh, this again? I want to add in a couple shorter runs during the week just to get used to, you know, running again.
  • I've also started studying for a professional exam I have to take (date TBD but basically, as soon as I'm ready, basically sooner than later), so that's added another complication to training and to being a normal human being.


  1. That's a pretty strong week for not feeling 100%! Nice work!

  2. oh i hope your cold is completely gone now. i'm glad training isn't stressing you out at least, even if the individual workouts can be a bit sucky. also sounds good that you're still allowing for living life/fun stuff time. good luck with your professional exam, whenever you take it :)