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. 

1 mile run with Bane @ 11:07 + 45 minutes strength training
Today was supposed to be a rest day, but since I had an unplanned rest day yesterday instead of running the Cherry Blossom 10-Miler, I decided to hit up the gym after work today. I had been really good about strength training up until a few weeks before Shamrock, and I wanted to get back to it sooner rather than later. I begin every strength training session with the Myrtl routine, which I wish I hadn't gotten out of the habit of doing. I notice a huge improvement in my hip mobility and little to no hip pain when I do this routine consistently even once or twice a week.

YTri Spin + 2.2 mile brick run @ 8:29 /
1.1 mile run with Bane @ 11:00
We are in the build phase of YTri training and woof, I am feeling it. Today's spin class was Tabata-style, which I had never done before. I didn't hate it, but I didn't love it either - especially when I got out on the run and my legs were toast! Those springs I had in my legs last week were completely absent this week, and were apparently replaced by lead weights. 

1.6 mile run with Bane @ 11:05 + 60 minute trainer ride
Today was Day 10 of my run streak with Bane (and Day 12 of my own, I guess, since I ran the two days prior to starting to run with him) and we logged our longest run yet! After I made dinner and cleaned up the house I got on the trainer for a relatively easy hour long ride. Carl joined me (virtually) around halfway through, so that was kind of neat. 

5.84 mile run @ 8:29 / 
1.26 mile run with Bane @ 9:57 + 35 minutes strength training
This run was an ASS. KICKER. Seriously, that's what I labeled it as on Garmin Connect. The group was a little bit smaller than normal, and apparently only the fast people showed up this morning. The main component of the workout was 3 laps of the Exorcist Steps, but when we ran the first 2.5 miles to the stairs at a 7:58 average (aka my 10k PR pace), I knew I was in trouble! The stairs themselves didn't actually end up being as bad as I thought, although they were really narrow so I was worried about falling, and they get taller and steeper at the top, which just seems cruel. By the third time up I honestly thought I might puke. Also, after the we finished the 3rd set of stairs and started to head back we had a 1/3 mile climb, which wasn't steep but was definitely uphill and definitely unwelcome! I didn't think I had a lot left in the tank for the run home and at some points I was afraid I wouldn't finish, but I just focused on staying with the group (as much as possible anyway - we hit a ton of lights so we ended up getting really spread out). This morning definitely made me realize how valuable running with a group is, because without it I a) never would have known about this stair workout, b) wouldn't have pushed myself this hard, and c) probably wouldn't have even gotten out of bed for a run this morning.

Tonight Bane ran his first sub-10 mile! Such a proud momma!

2200yd swim @ 1:50/100yd /
1.17 mile run with Bane @ 10:18
I was really dreading swimming today, and then I woke up with some stomach issues and couldn't make it - self-fulfilling prophecy, maybe? My nutrition has been off the rails since I finished Shamrock, and I am still using food and drinks to celebrate that victory almost 3 weeks later. I'm sure that whatever problems I was having today are largely related to that, which is sad because it's my own fault! I've also just...gotten into kind of a rut with swimming again, which isn't unusual but it's frustrating. I just don't really like swimming in the pool, and since I do like open water swimming and am fairly confident I can at least get through the 1.2-mile swim in the half, I constantly question how much I want or need to practice in the pool.

I was really mad at myself for skipping swim this morning (in addition to the extra swim I had planned to do on Wednesday), so after work I put my big girl panties on (or really, my bathing suit) and dragged myself to the pool. This was my first time swimming by myself in quite a while, and I definitely didn't push myself as hard as I would have with a group, but at the same time, it was nice to be able to go at my own pace and to really focus on different drills. I hit a rough patch in the middle when I wasn't sure if I could keep going, but that was the wake-up call I needed to remind myself that it's only going to get better if I spend more time in the pool. I worked on my breathing today and it ended up going really well! I was able to breathe to both sides (my left side is still super dominant but at least I'm not gulping water on the right side), and I was surprised that not only was I able to accomplish that, but that I was also able to hit my target paces while doing so. It ended up being a really good swim!

10.19 miles @ 9:05
Today was my first long run since Shamrock and boy did I feel it! My goal was to keep it nice and easy, so I started with a mile with Bane then headed out on my own for another 9-10. I didn't have an exact route planned but went on a 10ish-mile loop I've run previously (although it was actually closer to 9 than 10 somehow, my bad) and ended up with just over 10 for the day. It was feeling pretty easy for the first 4 miles or so, but then I hit a nasty headwind on the Mount Vernon trail, and with the Key Bridge after that I just never really recovered. It wasn't quite as easy as I was planning, but it was a good run nonetheless. The only downside is that I wore shorts and forgot to put on any Body Glide, so I had some serious chafing going on for the last 7 miles - ouch!

56 mile bike @ 17.5mph + 4.26 mile run @ 9:01 / 
1.27 mile run with Bane @ 10:32
Today I drove down to Lake Anna for a preview of the Kinetic course. I've done one other race at Lake Anna, an Olympic tri a few years ago, which had essentially the same swim and run courses, but a different bike course (not to mention the fact that the bike course for the half is over twice as long), so it was good to see what I've gotten myself into. The bike course ended up surprisingly having slightly less elevation gain than the 40-miler I did last weekend in Williamsburg, but I thought today felt harder! There were more steep hills as opposed to rolling hills, and the flatter areas were the hardest parts because of the headwind and crosswind. I felt pretty good for about 40 miles and then everything started to hurt - my neck, my shoulders, my back, my crotch (sorry for the TMI but you ride a bike for 3+ hours and tell me how you feel). I tried so hard to suck it up, and even though there were a few times I was so frustrated (mostly with the wind) that I just wanted to cry and quit I kept going and made it through all 56 miles. Despite getting down a little at the end, it was a beautiful day to be out riding! I'm really enjoying getting out on these country roads - it's such a nice change of scenery from the city.

The run afterward was hilly, hot, and hard, and that's about all I have to say about that. We finished by running on a path alongside the lake, and I was SO tempted to jump right in - so I did! The water was still pretty cold but I got used to it quickly. It actually felt like a nice ice bath - perfect for recovery!

Weekly Mileage
Swim: 2200 yds (1.3 miles)
Bike:  74 miles + 46 minutes spin
Run:  29.8 miles

2017 Miles
Swim: 13.9 miles
Bike: 236.9 miles + 11.6 hours spin
Run: 410.4 miles

Coming up next week:
The past two weeks YTri has really started to ramp up, and I'm struggling to find the time and space in my schedule for easy workouts, especially easy runs. I also would like to get to the gym twice a week, but I just don't think I'm going to be able to fit that in either. This week I want to focus on getting in one quality gym session instead of splitting it up into 2 sessions.

I have a one-mile time trial run this coming Thursday, and I'm really hoping to PR my mile! My initial TT was a 7:31 mile, but I was sick that day so I think I could have done better. Ideally I would like to get as close to a sub-7 as I can, but I haven't been feeling particularly speedy lately so it will be interesting to see what happens!

Linking up with Courtney at Eat, Pray, Run DC!


  1. What a strong week, Tracy! I'm always in awe of you triathletes; it's so much work and you make it look easy. My husband makes fun of my swimming "technique;" one of these days, I'm going to learn how to do it properly. ;) Hope you have a great week!

  2. Wow, great job this past week! It must be fun running with your dog - congrats on the sub-10 pace for Bane! Good luck on your 1-mile trial!

  3. Congrats to Bane on his mile PR! He should be very proud of himself :)

    I struggle to fit marathon training into my normal life most years, so I can't even imagine how much more difficult half Ironman training must be (not to mention full Ironman training!).

  4. Ah, those steps are evil, lol! Are you doing your mile time trial at a track? I've always wanted to race a mile!

  5. So I gotta know - how long did Bane sleep after that ? ;)

  6. So impressive! I'm in awe that you were able to do this much in one week. Way to go!!!