Ironman North Carolina Training: Week 13

Monday 8/29
Rest Day
Another rest day, another night of Trader Joe's and homemade pizza.

Tuesday 8/30
7 mile run @ 8:41
AM: It was gorgeous out this morning, and I was so happy to put an end to August running and be one step closer to fall running! With this run, I logged my 3rd highest monthly mileage ever (132)! Feeling pretty good about that after being injured just a few months ago. I've really ramped up quite quickly and am just so grateful my body has held up so far. 

Wednesday 8/31
1 hour strength training
PM: Tonight in the gym I put on an album I haven't listened to in a long time and just really had a good time! I had core first and I did it and didn't totally hate it. Tonight's highlight was doing a total of 90 push-ups! Not at all at once (I had 3 sets of 15 per round, and I did 2 rounds), but still. I don't think I've ever done that many push-ups in one session before. 

I was actually supposed to this last night, which turned into this morning, which turned into tonight, which turned out to be a horrible idea because I skipped the swim I was supposed to do afterward. My body, especially my arms, were completely toast afterward, and I just wasn't in the mood to get home at 10pm and get up at 3:45 tomorrow morning. 

Thursday 9/1
90 minute trainer ride + 4.41 mile run @ 9:08
AM: Early Thursday mornings with Jess and my iPad are my new ritual. It's getting slightly less painful each time. Luckily my run afterward was only 40 minutes since I was really running out of time to get ready for work!

Friday 9/2
1100yd swim @ 1:45/100yd
PM: This week already wasn't going that well, and then...the wheels came off. I went to the pool on Friday after work, which apparently everyone else in DC also decided to do. I have never seen the pool so crowded. Ben and I usually share a lane but we had to split up and share with different people, which I hate because the pool gives my claustrophobia and being confined to only half the lane gives me serious anxiety. It's stupid, I know, but that's how I feel. I can tolerate sharing with Ben but I really prefer not to share with anyone if I can help it. The guy I was sharing with finished shortly after I started swimming so Ben came over to my lane. Cool, fine, no big deal. Then as I finished a lap I noticed someone else standing by the wall, only it wasn't Ben. It was some other guy who had just jumped into our lane. I don't know proper pool etiquette and I know that to most people sharing is necessary and not a big deal, but I will usually at least ask if someone minds sharing before I get into their lane.

So now it's us and this guy in our lane, and my anxiety is getting higher and higher. I stopped a couple times telling Ben I was going to quit but he told me to keep going so I did. I was swimming faster than the other guy so we kept getting into traffic jams and that was frustrating me and making me even more anxious, so after a few laps of that I don't know what happened but without really thinking I was taking my goggles off and getting out of the pool. And then I went to the bathroom and cried because if I can't handle things not going my way for like 30 minutes then I'm not sure how I think I'm going to handle a 12, 13, 14, 15, maybe 17 or more? hour race. The whole thing just made me really upset, with myself more than anything, and I spent the rest of the night crying and feeling sorry for myself. 

Saturday 9/3
10 mile run @ 8:39 / 4000yd swim @ 1:48/100yd
AM: I got up this morning and got ready to head out to the trail at sunrise, but I just couldn't make it out there. I really just didn't want to. I went back to sleep, when I got up I made waffles for breakfast, I put away laundry, I organized my fall clothes...and when I ran out of things to do I decided to do my 10 mile run today instead of my bike and long run. I needed something...not easy, but attainable. 

I was supposed to do 8 miles at half Ironman pace (~9:00min/mi) but I think I was so frustrated and mad at myself that I just couldn't control my pace and ended up with the 8 miles averaging 8:29 and all 10 coming in just under 8:40. Normally I would be happy about this, but it felt very hard and I knew I was running too fast but like I said, I just wasn't in a good place mentally.

PM: This afternoon I got up the guts to try once again to make up my swim. The pool was much less crowded today, even though I did have to share with someone for a little bit but he didn't really bother me. I wanted to at least make up the difference from last night, which would have been about 2900yds, but I ended up doing the full 4000yds today. It was tiring and boring but I needed to get through it just to get a little confidence back.

Sunday 9/4
40 mile bike @ 16.5mph
AM: I really dragged my heels this morning and got to the trail about an hour and half later than I had planned. I set out thinking that 40 miles should be no big deal, and I don't know what the issue was but every mile felt like 10 and it went by SO slowly. And the whole time I kept thinking about how I was supposed to run for 2 hours afterward and I just couldn't bring myself to do it. I could barely bring myself to finish 40 miles on the bike. I stopped at a stoplight at mile 24 and just stood there for a while. I called Ben just because I was so lonely and so tired of spending all this time out on a bike by myself. It's really not that bad when I can ride with my group, but I hate riding alone. I always have. It's SO boring and mind-numbing. I texted my group and then my friend T called me and we talked for about 10 minutes and he made me feel better. 

I had no choice but to finish the last 16 miles of the bike because that's where my car was, but those miles felt like an eternity and like I'd never get back. I even think they felt longer than the last miles of my 90 miles from hell a couple weeks ago, which I didn't think was possible. Once I got back to my car I loaded my bike up and went home. I stopped at McDonalds on the way for a hash brown and iced coffee. When I got home I took a shower and put on real clothes, which I can't remember doing other than for work in a really long time, and Ben and I went out. We had burgers and beers at a restaurant in a part of town we run through but never actually stop. We went to Air and Space Museum. I got ice cream from a food truck. We rode bikes to Mexican for dinner and I had a giant margarita. I gave zero fucks and gave myself permission to just do what I wanted and to have fun. 

This Week 
Swim - 2.9 miles 
 Bike - 70.1 miles
Run - 21.43 miles 
Total - 94.39

 IMNC Training To-Date 
Swim - 36.73 miles 
 Bike - 1171.34 miles
Run - 290.28 miles 
Total - 1498.35

Week 13 Reflections:
  • My schedule was all off this week due to a rest day on Monday. It was much needed and much appreciated after last weekend's 110 mile ride, but it really threw off my week. I put off strength training on Tuesday night, which led to me putting off swimming on Wednesday night, and those decisions early in the week just kind of kept snowballing until I was a giant emotional mess by the weekend. 
  • My training this week was lower than it has been since mid-July, and I wanted to be really mad at myself about that but you know what? It would have been lower than it has been since mid-July even if I had completed everything on my training plan this week. During the first 6 weeks of training I built up from 75 miles/week to 95, then it made a huge jump in week 7 to 140 miles/week. And it's been between 130 to a max of 185 last week ever since. It's been 6 hard weeks of building, with only minor step backs. And I knew I would have less to do this week and in the next two weeks due to shorter races on my schedule, which makes me a little nervous, but maybe that little bit of a break is just what I need right now. 
  • Considering the above, this honestly feels like kind of a waste of a week. But I guess if I can work out for 9.5 hours and feel like I did basically nothing, then Ironman training is doing its job. 
  • I think I may have finally hit a breaking point this week. By the time I got on the bike on Sunday I had just had it. This training has sucked all the fun out of a sport I used to really love I don't love it right now. I don't even really like it right now. I know that Ironman training is not supposed to be fun, at least not conventionally fun, but there should be some enjoyable things about it. It should be fun sometimes. So my goal moving forward is to find the fun, remember the reason I'm doing this (I honestly have no idea anymore), and make some changes that will help me get into a better headspace. My training hasn't gone like I pictured and with 7 weeks left I'm starting to panic, but I know I will accomplish nothing if I let this downward spiral continue. Time to figure out how to make the most of the 7 weeks I have left.

1 comment

  1. oh Tracy :( i'm so sorry for this sucky week. i hope you are able to find the fun.
    i am sorry about that swim with the crowded pool, but i don't think it is stupid at all. i know you're more of a swimmer than i ever was, but that's basically why i stopped going. i could have gotten better i am sure, but i had such anxiety about all the people and sharing lanes and just being really bad at it that i just stopped going. what a waste of money that was. but still, would you like to run that close to someone, or ride a bike? it's not stupid, it's totally valid and that guy totally breached pool etiquette. i hope you're able to get in a better mental space :) i have faith in you! and ice cream with sprinkles always helps.