Ironman Louisville Training: Week 3

This week in my training plan was labeled, "Hard," and it was made even harder by some non-training stuff I had going on. Work has been really busy, we had a company outing one night, and Ben/Ironmate extraordinaire, who picks up essentially all the household chores when I'm in training mode, was out of town this week.

Another reason it was hard is that, because I started this training cycle with a much stronger base than last time, I'm doing more in these early weeks than I did before. It was a tough week but I just had to press on however I could - that's what Ironman is all about!

This week wasn't perfect, but I had more good days than bad days. And for most of it I felt strong, like for the first time I felt like I really had done an Ironman before (or at least trained for one), and like all of my hard work this spring was finally paying off. I know I'm not yet as strong as I'll be at the end of training, but I remembered that strength I felt in the month before race day and felt it starting to come back. I know it's going to take a lot of hard work over the next few months, but I'm ready and excited to be stronger than ever.

Monday 6/12
Rest Day

Tuesday 6/13
70 minute spin + 3.2 mile run @ 9:27
AM: Even though I've done it plenty of times, something about doing a brick in the morning is so daunting to me. I really didn't want to get out of bed for this, but I had plans all night after work so I really had no choice. The time on the trainer really wasn't as boring as I was expecting, and my short run on the treadmill afterward passed by pretty quickly as well. It was a lot to get done before work, but I'm glad I did.

Wednesday 6/14
2800yd stamina swim @ 1:50/100yd
PM: Something just felt off to me about this swim, and I think it was because I was in the far lane of the pool. You can see little whirlpools in the far lanes where the jets are and you can feel them push you as you swim by - in fact, during my kickboard sets when I didn't have as much momentum, they pushed me into the lane dividers multiple times! I hate swimming in those lanes but when I have to, I just think of it as open water practice, or something. The whole thing felt just a hair on the slow side but (still playing the comparison game from last year), all my sets - which I did more of this time to lengthen the total yardage - were 5-10 seconds faster than when I did this workout last year, and my overall speed was 10 seconds/100yd faster. And today was my longest swim since IMNC so hey, there's that! 

Thursday 6/15
7 mile run @ 8:48 / 19 mile Zwift trainer ride @ 17.4mph
AM: It's been a while since I've done a morning run around the city, and I'm so glad I did today. I felt all kinds of sore and tight at the beginning but once things started to loosen up, I felt pretty good. I love getting to see the city before the day really starts!

PM: I may have overdone it a bit on the run this morning, because I was exhausted the rest of the day. Like, thought about going to bed at 6:30pm exhausted. 

Friday 6/16
2400yd speed swim @ 1:44/100yd
PM: Dragged myself to the pool after work today. It wasn't my speediest speed swim, but a solid effort either way.

Saturday 6/17
50.1 mile trainer ride @ 14.7mph + 3.1 mile run @ 9:44
It was supposed to rain all weekend so I planned to do my long ride on the trainer, which I know sounds like ugh, kill me, but I have an app that my trainer connects to that can simulate real courses so I rode the first 50 miles of the Louisville bike course. Of course it was sunny and clear out the entire time I was riding, so thanks, I watched a bunch of episodes of Glee and, despite it being the longest I've ever been on the trainer (just under 3.5 hours - longest previously was 3 hours), it wasn't the worst thing ever.

After I finished I hit the pavement for a 30-minute run, and Ben joined me to play with our new GoPro! It was quite toasty out there but I just kept telling myself it was only 30 minutes.

Sunday 6/18
9 mile run @ 10:20
Honestly this was more of a struggle than spending 3.5 hours on the trainer yesterday! Some training days are better than others and this was just not one of the good ones. First I messed up by not getting out as early as I hand planned, and when I did get out I got a little overzealous because I started my run with 2 big hills in the first two miles (the second one behind the zoo, which is a 4% average grade for over three-quarters of a mile). Maybe halfway through the zoo my heart rate was completely skyrocketing, and that was the beginning of the many breaks I took. I was toast after those first couple miles! Even when I got out of the zoo and started downhill, I couldn't get my heart rate back down - I either ran at a pace that felt natural and comfortable for my legs but not for my heart, or I ran slow enough for my heart rate but too awkward and unnatural for my legs. It was really, really frustrating. I had lot of starts and stops the rest of the way and racked up 40 minutes of stopped time (including one time when I was literally an inch away from being hit by a car in a parking lot,  and obviously had to call Ben to bitch about the ignorant driver that almost hit me). 

I had 12 miles scheduled and really struggled with knowing when/if to call it quits. It wasn't just the heat, my legs were also dead from going hard this week, maybe too hard, and by 7 miles in I had serious jelly legs. Ben and I were meeting in Georgetown after my run to go paddleboarding, so I ran back over Key Bridge and around Georgetown a little, and when I got to mile 9 I just couldn't go any farther. It sucked to not be able to finish my run (and I'm not even sure what I did over the 2 hours prior is even considered running), but I pushed myself hard this week and was running on empty by the time I even got to this run today, so I'm still proud of everything I got done.

Weekly Mileage
Swim: 5200 yds (3 miles)
Bike: 70 min + 69 miles
Run: 22.2 miles

2017 Miles
Swim: 34.2 miles
Bike: 831 miles + 20 hours spin (~341 miles)
Run: 596.6 miles

Coming up next week:
After 3 weeks of building, I'm at my first stepback week - hallelujah! I still have plenty of workouts to get it and they won't be easy, but at least they'll be less than what I've been doing. This week was an assessment/time trial week when I used this plan last year, so I will most likely do a 1.2-mile time trial swim, and I'm thinking about maybe trying another mile run time trial, just to see...? Running that fast, even for a mile, scares the bajeezus out of me, plus I'm not sure what the training benefit would be (I just kind of want to see if I can do another fast mile), so we'll see if I do it or not!

I'm taking off on Friday to go home for a family thing, and I think I'm going to sneak in a beach day/open water swim that day, as well as possibly head down to the Outer Banks for the rest of the weekend and I can. not. wait. Continuing my streak of getting in water after my runs! :)


  1. I run marathons - but I'm so in awe of those of you who crosstrain for Tris and Ironmans. I look forward to following your training1

  2. I love how you are able to plan out your workouts to work with your really busy schedule. Another great week of training for you!

  3. Glad you got in the water post run. This weather has been tough and add in a hard week, plus hills - I'm not surprised it was a bit rough today. Glad you played it safe, lady!

  4. Most of the routes I like to run on are uphill for the first couple miles, and no matter how many times I run them I just can't really get used to it. It always feels hard and I always wonder why it feels so hard even though I know to expect it. These first hot weeks of summer are always the hardest because our bodies aren't acclimated to it yet. It's weird to start training at the same time because your body has to get used to so many things at once: the increased workload, the changing temp/humidity. It's always kind of rocky but I think once July rolls around we will all start to get into our respective grooves.

  5. I've definitely been there with having to throw the towel in earlier than expected on a run. It's definitely frustrating in the moment, but understanding everything that led to that circumstance can be really helpful, I think, like starting too late, having a lot of hard days leading up to it, etc. (like what happened for you this past week!). Hopefully this stepback week is just what you need to get back on track :)

  6. This isn't really running related, but I like how you mentioned measuring your week by good/bad days. I'm so guilty of saying an entire week was bad because of one bad day or thing-- but when you look at the (slightly) bigger picture, it definitely helps keep things in perspective. Great job getting all your miles in this week-- especially the swim, since something about it was feeling off.