Shamrock Marathon Training: Week 9

This week was interesting: I added in more swimming and cycling since this should technically be Week 1 of my training for the Kinetic Half in May! As I said in my training plan post, I'm kind of just testing the waters with tri training right now and seeing how it goes. Marathon training is my first priority at least until March, so I'm open to modifying and/or backing down on swimming and cycling if it's affecting my running. This isn't going to be a normal half Ironman training cycle like I have had before, and I'm okay with that. This first week was fine though, and I even nailed my long run the day after my long ride (though it should be noted that my long ride right now isn't even 2 hours...).

Week 9 

Monday 1/9
5 treadmill miles @ 9:39
One thing I'm really trying to work on this training cycle is keeping my easy miles easy. In the past my shortest runs have been my fastest of the week and my long runs have been the slower ones, but that's starting to shift, which is pretty cool. I'll be totally honest and say that it's a struggle for me to check my ego at the door and actually do these runs at an easy pace.

This run was first thing on Monday morning, which is not really an ideal time to do anything, and I struggled big time. To be honest, I should have run it even slower than I did, but at the risk of sounding like an asshole, a little piece of me dies every time I see a 10:00+ pace, even for a few brief moments. And it's actually not that I'm an asshole, it's just for a long time I never thought I'd see a 10:00 pace ever, and I've worked really hard to get my pace down. When I first started running I ran 12:30 miles. And I don't mean for like the first month. I mean for like the first year. So I think I just have this irrational fear that the slower I run, the more I'll creep back to those days when running was the hardest thing EVER and I couldn't even run ONE 11 minute mile (that is a true story, and I actually cried when I tried to push myself to do it and couldn't). It's really not as much about the pace as the feeling I had when I first started running. Psychology is weird. 

Tuesday 1/10
2000yd swim @ 2:00/100yd / 30 minutes strength training
I've been in the pool a couple times since IMNC, but this was my first real attempt at getting back to it. I knew it would be slow and horrible, so I gave myself permission to just it be. I took the easy pace laps very easy, and the few fast laps weren't even close to the pace I used to be able to sustain for 2.5 miles BUT I guess that's why I have over 9 months to get back to where I was. 

When I got home I went to the gym for another New Rules of Lifting workout. Still loving the program, although I'm probably only going to be able to sustain strength training once a week for the foreseeable future, which means it might very well take me until IM Louisville to get through the whole program (which should normally take about 4-6 months).

Wednesday 1/11
Rest Day
Friday was my planned rest day, but I woke up today with my legs feeling so sore and heavy that I decided to give them a break. I've been going pretty hard for the last several days, and the fact that I felt zero guilt about taking a rest day today tells me that I really needed it.

Thursday 1/12
5.5 mile treadmill speed workout / 1 hour trainer ride
Since I took a rest day yesterday I had some shifting around to do, which meant doing my speedwork this morning. Speed work days are probably my favorite of the 3 different types of treadmill workouts I'm doing! Every time I think that there's no way I can handle the intervals on my plan, but every time I've been able to nail them. Today I had a 1 mile warmup at 9:45ish (I tend to start around a 10:00 pace and speed up little by little over the next 9-10 minutes so I never know exactly what that first mile comes out to), 6 x 800s at either 7:57 or 7:47 (I wrote down 7:57 but I really think I remember it being 7:47, which makes sense because that's what I've been shooting for...) with 400s @ 10:00 in between (and tbh I had to walk to catch my breath after a few intervals so it was more like 10:00-10:30 pace in between), and a cooldown at 9:45ish to get to 5.5 miles total.

After work I virtually rode an hour on the IM Louisville course and holy crap, it was so hard. The hills are SO hard to ride on a trainer because I get zero momentum going into them. My speed was embarrassingly slow (14.3mph?!) but I think that riding the course on the trainer is a lot harder than doing it for real, so I'm just telling myself that training harder will make the real thing easier. 

Friday 1/13
2000yd swim @ 1:58/100yd / 5 mile run @ 8:36
In the pool for the second time in one week for the first time since IMNC training! Again, I knew this wasn't going to be my best swim so I gave myself permission to just see what happened. It ended up being slightly faster than my swim on Tuesday, which is at least a little bit of progress!

Since I skipped Wednesday I ended up with a run on a Friday night after work, and you know...I didn't hate it! If nothing else, it was just nice to get in a run outside for the first time this week.

I also got a bit of interesting news today: I ranked high enough in my Ironman-branded races (Atlantic City 70.3 and IMNC) to qualify as a bronze All-World Athlete! Basically, Ironman assigns points to their races based on the distance and your rank in your age group, then adds up all of those points at the end of the year and ranks everyone. Bronze is for top 10% and with the way the points work it would actually be pretty tough to get into that tier with just one Ironman (and impossible with just one 70.3), so the fact that I did a full and a 70.3 is really the only reason I earned enough points (although I looked at my ranking and I'm actually top 5.4%, so I was only 0.4% away from silver!). It's more or less an Ironman's version of a loyalty card and doesn't actually mean anything or get me anything that cool (I looked it up and I think I might get a special swim cap or bib or something this year), but hey, I'll take any recognition I can get!

Saturday 1/14
1 hour 45 minute trainer ride
It took some tinkering with all of my gadgets, but after finally resolving some technical difficulties, I got Zwift up and running! Zwift is another virtual riding app, but with more of a social component so you "ride" with other people who are logged into the same course. The day I rode there were over 1600 people "riding" with me at any time. And the interface is kind of like a video game, so you can see yourself and other riders and pass them and all that. I also found that it felt much more similar to riding on the road than the other app I'm using! The downside to Zwift is that you can't choose any course you want, so if I do want to ride the IM Lou course I'll have to use the other, harder app, so so far I like both for different reasons.

Sunday 1/15
17 mile run @ 8:52

I was nervous when I headed out for this run. Although my long run last week was successful, the last time I attempted 17 miles things didn't go so well. This week, though, I felt like things started to click. I repeated to myself over and over again, "If you want something you have never had, you must be willing to do something you have never done." I'm not sure what my fastest 17-miler was before today, but I know that my previous fastest long run was 15 miles @ 8:52 (meaning, I've run farther than that and faster than that, but not both). I actually haven't been doing my long runs with a particular pace in mind, I've just been seeing what comes naturally, and I've been pleasantly surprised! I actually made it through the first 15 at an 8:45 pace, but I hit a major hill with about a mile and a half to go and had to walk a good portion of it, which definitely slowed me down a bit. Still happy about the distance and pace overall!


  1. Ahhh congrats on being an all world athlete! That's amazing! That biking app looks so fun/cool and like a great way to stay motivated / feel like you're on an actual course.

  2. Congratulations on being on All-World Athlete! that's seriously so dang cool.

    Also, what Garmin do you have now? The battery on mine is starting to show signs of deterioration, and I know I'll need to invest in a new one soon-ish. Yours is just so pretty! (Obviously, that's not the most important thing, but it matters!)

  3. I didnt even know they had a simulated IM Louisville course - that's amazing! Yep - the bike path does have some BIG OLE HILLS in there. You'll be ready though - I have no doubt.

  4. Wow, that's a pretty awesome way to be recognized by IM! Congrats. Ready to chase down that .4% now? ;)

  5. Woah! All-World??? That's awesome! Congrats! Great work too!