Kinetic Half Ironman Training: Transition Week

This was my second post-Shamrock week, and although I do have a half-Ironman (the Kinetic Half in Lake Anna, VA) coming up in less than two months, I wasn't quite ready to jump in head-first into a new training plan so soon after the marathon. So I'm calling this week a bit of a transition week: a more than a recovery week, but less than what my 70.3 training would look like if I hadn't just run a marathon 2 weeks ago.

1 mile easy run with Bane
Although it was technically rest day, it was so nice out I just wanted to do something! So Ben and I went on a little run with Bane. When we first got Bane I'd hoped he'd grow up to be a runner dog and I had grand visions of us running off into the sunset together, but it turns out he's more of a sprinter than a distance dog. I've tried to take him on my actual runs with me, which is a disaster because he stops approximately every 23 seconds and will randomly jerk me to the side when he sees a squirrel or another dog, but I thought that maybe I could start taking him running separately from my real runs. Ben takes him on 95% of his walks and I am jealous that they have that time together, so I wanted an activity I could do with him that we could both enjoy. And I wasn't sure if I was going to count runs with him in training log, considering that we run an 11 minute pace for just a mile, and that doesn't even include stops, but then I thought about it...and there was a time when running just one mile at an 11-minute pace would have been a HUGE accomplishment for me. There was a long time I couldn't even do that much. So, in the spirit of honoring that part of my history, I decided that they totally count.

YTri spin + 2.25 mile brick run @ 8:13 / 1 mile run with Bane
I was feeling pretty much back to normal and recovered from the marathon today. Spin class today was pretty tough! We did a lot of hills, and I was thankful for that because I need to practice them as much we can. This week was the beginning of bricks in YTri! And also my first brick run since I got off the bike in Wilmington last October. I was a little nervous it would be rough, but to my surprise, I felt like I had springs in my legs! The downside was that we had to run up a huge hill in the first quarter mile, but after that it was fairly flat, and then we got to turn around and come back downhill. I definitely ran harder than I would have alone, but I only ran that fast because I was just trying to keep up with the people in front of me!

1 mile run with Bane
I thought about going to the gym after work, but I was pretty tired by the time I got home and just not feeling it. My main focus for these couple of recovery(ish) weeks is to not push myself or force myself to do anything I don't really want to do. With 6 months of Ironman training on the horizon, I have plenty of time for that and am trying to pace myself and avoid burning out early. I was at least up for my run with Bane! I love that takes less than 15 minutes door-to-door to get in a little run with him.

6.4 mile YTri run @ 8:14 / 1 mile run with Bane
This morning our YTri run was down to the Tidal Basin to see the cherry blossoms at sunrise - GORGEOUS! It was unreal, and I wish I had taken a photo, but I didn't bring my phone because I just wasn't sure I could capture it well enough anyway. It was chilly out this morning, and our pace was again faster than I was expecting to run but I did my best to keep up! I went down to see the cherry blossoms last week but really wanted to see them first thing in the morning, so I'm glad that was on the schedule this week.

2400yd YTri swim @ 1:48/100yd / 1 mile run with Bane
I stayed up way too late last night and was so tired when I woke up for swim. We ended up having our second 300yd time trial (or third, I guess, if you count the initial time trial we did to be put into swim groups) in the middle of our workout today, and I was a little disappointed in how mine went. I was 5 seconds slower than the last one 4 weeks ago, which doesn't sound like much, but I was hoping to have improved a little. I feel like I've plateaued a little, but I suppose it's my own fault for not preparing well for this workout, and not doing any of the extra swims during the week. 

41 mile bike @ 17.6mph + 3.1 mile run @ 8:35 / 1 mile run with Bane
This morning I got up ridiculously early to drive 2.5 hours to Williamsburg to ride/run with my friends Carl (who I just ran Shamrock with) and Tracy (who I did IMNC with last year, and who also has the same name as me but is an Asian man my dad's age...). We are all signed up for the Kinetic Half and Mountains of Misery in May, so we met up to get in a little hill practice. This was my first significant outdoor ride since IMNC (the only other time I've ridden outside was a slower 20-mile ride Ben and I did for fun last month) and I'm really happy with how it went! Carl and Tracy are a lot faster than me on the bike, but I felt like I kept up with them decently well. Riding is usually my least favorite thing and there were many, many tears shed over it last year during Ironman training, but I actually had fun today! I really enjoyed the hills and where we rode. I'm by no means a daredevil or a thrill-seeker; I'd never go skydiving or bungee jumping, and I won't even ride a roller coaster, but...I will absolutely ride my bike 35mph down a hill!

It was good to get in some hill practice and, although Louisville is going to be hillier, for sure, it left me feeling good about our decision to choose that race. Part of the reason I wanted to do IMNC was for the flat bike course, since the bike isn't my forte, but in hindsight I think it was a mistake to pick a course that was that boring. At least the hills make the course somewhat entertaining, even if they do slow me down a little bit. We had almost 1500 feet of elevation gain over 40 miles, and I think IM Lou is around 4000 feet for 112 miles, so at least we were in the ballpark. I also made friends with horse when Carl crashed around mile 25 (no worries, he's fine), so that was definitely a highlight of this ride! This guy was so sweet and I seriously could have spent all day petting him. Another reason I picked Louisville is all the horse farms in that area (nope, not joking)...sadly I can't just get off my bike and pet horses for 10 minutes during the race, ha!

Carl and I ran afterward (which I wasn't really planning to do until he texted me Friday, "Hey - bring your running shoes tomorrow!"), and for only my second brick this year, it went surprisingly well. We did an out-and-back on a trail and it was a gradual incline for the first 1.5 miles that felt pretty tough, but I could tell a huge difference when we turned around. I had planned to take this easy, but I should have known I'd end up running faster with Carl!

1 mile run with Bane
Today was the Cherry Blossom 10-Miler in DC and, for the second year in a row, it didn't go at all as planned. Last year I had planned on it being a girls running weekend with Alyssa and Lisa, and instead it turned into a race-spectating and apartment-hunting trip with Ben, as I was injured and unexpectedly took a job in DC a few weeks before the race. This year it was again supposed to be a girls weekend with Alyssa, Lisa, and Kristen (thankfully I didn't have to travel), but it sort of...fell apart over the last few weeks. None of them ended up being able to come, for various reasons, and being that they were the main reason I had signed up, I just wasn't feeling it. It was a really nice day today and would have been perfect for a race, I'm sure, but after spending 6 hours in the car and 3 hours on my bike yesterday, I just wasn't in the mood to get up at 5:30am this morning and head out to run a race by myself. I've never DNS a race just because I didn't feel like running it, so that felt a little weird, but ultimately I was fine with it. Ben and I slept in, had a nice Sunday morning waffle breakfast, and I was able to get some things done around the house. Considering I just ran a marathon 2 weeks ago, I'm happy with where my running is, and since I need to start focusing more on the bike and I'm so thrilled with how yesterday went, it really felt like the best thing to do was to rest up and prepare as much as possible to focus on my half Ironman in 6 weeks!

Weekly Mileage
Swim: 2400yds (1.4 miles)
Bike: 44 minutes indoor + 41.5 miles outdoor
Run: 18.7 miles

2017 Miles
Swim: 12.7 miles
Bike: 13.5 hours spin + 101.6 miles
Run: 380.5 miles

Coming up next week:
This week I really tried to balance training with spending time with my husband and my dog, so I tried to leave as much time open in the evenings as possible. I really enjoy having my evenings free after work to see them, make dinner, watch TV, etc., so that's something I definitely want to try to keep as my training gets more intense over the next few weeks and months. When Ironman training really ramps up, it won't be realistic for me to have every night free or even the majority of nights free, so for now I just want to get as many as I can and make sure I'm utilizing morning workouts to the best of my ability. 

I have 6 weeks until my first tri of the season (and kind of my unofficial kick-off for Ironman training - still not exactly sure what the hard date for that is going to be, or if there will even be one seeing as I've had a lot of races and have been doing a lot of training already and the lines are all blurring together), so that's going to be my focus moving forward! One of my goals this week is to get back in the pool for a second swim during the week. I think that Carl, Tracy, and I may try to go to Lake Anna this week to ride the Kinetic Course. Considering how much fun I had on our ride this weekend, I hope we can make that happen! 


  1. What a beautiful photo of the horse with your bike!:-) I think it is perfectly okay that you didn't do the Cherry Blossom race. Sometimes you just need that proper rest and "chill-time". Hope you have another great week of training and more runs with Bane!

  2. I love your perspective on the 11 minute mile - remember that place! I started doing Couch 2 5K last week (because I need to do something and the little voice prompt works, for now at least) and let's just say an 11 minute mile would be a huge improvement for me :) I was telling my husband about how it works and saying "yeah, next week I have to run for 90 seconds" and he looked at me like "That's it?" but he hasn't run since high school so he doesn't realize how rough it is to start. I have no idea how you do what you do but I still like your take on it!

  3. lol see i would rather jump out of a plane vs riding a bike down a hill. i am not good on bikes, add hills and i'm even worse.
    i laughed when i saw your horse snaps, you'll definitely get lots of those here!
    aw bummer, i'm so sad cherry blossom didn't work out for any of us! sounds like you needed/deserved the rest/relaxing day anyway.

  4. Your training is so balanced - great week. I love Lake Anna!

  5. Hahaha I always wanted to run with my dog when I was a kid, and he was so interested in doing what I wanted to do. He sounds a lot like Bane. He basically sprinted from tree to tree to mark his territory everywhere possible and then by the time we got through a mile, he refused to run at all. But the bonding time was nice! Haha.

  6. Sounds like you had a much needed relaxing Sunday. There is always next year :)

  7. For a step back week, you had a full week of workouts! Well done!