Ironman Louisville Training: Week 4

This week I really started to feel the cumulative fatigue of training. Even though it was a stepback week, I still had 9.5 hours worth of workouts and it definitely wasn't easy. I also traveled home for the weekend, which is always nice, and got in a lot of training there, but it was a busy weekend that left me completely worn out.

I was a little frustrated this week that I just don't seem to be acclimating to summer running. I feel like I'm at least somewhat there mentally, meaning I haven't been spending my entire run cursing at the sun like I usually do during the summer, but my body just can't hang. Usually it's my brain that I have to convince to run through the heat, but this year my body is the thing that won't get on board, which is frustrating. 

Monday 6/19
Rest Day

Tuesday 6/20
4.7 mile run @ 8:36 / 15.5 mile bike @ 15.4mph
AM: I had a really nice time running this morning! I tried to keep it easy, but then I got some speed from somewhere, so I tried to straddle the line between rolling with it and pumping the breaks.

PM: After work I rode out to Hains Point for 3 laps. It was possible the windiest I have ever seen it out there, but it made for a nice tailwind on the back half! My back starting hurting pretty badly around halfway through, presumably from my little backpack with my work stuff (since I went straight from work).

Wednesday 6/21
2300yd swim @ 1:51/100yd
PM: I had to get in the crappy whirlpool lane again, which was annoying, but other than that, no problems or complaints on this swim! I wanted to get to the gym afterward but it was getting late. I did about 10 minutes worth of hip strengtheners at home and that's all I had time for. 

Thursday 6/22
40 minute spin + 3.4 mile treadmill run @ 9:01
AM: It was bit depressing knowing that this is the shortest brick on my schedule until...after Louisville is over, I guess! I think I was expecting it to be easier than it was, and I was surprised by how slowly those 40 minutes on the trainer ticked by. Same with the run - those 30 minutes on the treadmill felt like an eternity!

Friday 6/23
2457yd open water swim @ 1:52/100yd
PM: Since I was home, I was able to meet my brother-in-law for an open water swim!  Since it was a Friday there were only a handful of people scattered along the beach. I love open water swimming more than almost anything in this world, but I will admit that I'm a little skittish about it without the protection of a bunch of other people, like in a race. I wore my wetsuit partly because I wanted to practice with it since by October the water will be cold enough to wear it in Louisville, and partly because I like that it feels like a safety blanket since it protects me from feeling anything that might brush up against me in the water (which would most likely just be tiny fish or sea grass, but a shark was spotted down the beach from where we were the day prior, so...). I'm actually not afraid for my safety when I'm in the water, but I know things live in there and I just don't want to feel them!

But anyway. I wanted to get in a 1.2-mile time trial since I think the only time I've swam that distance nonstop has either been in a pool or in a race, so I was curious to see how I'd do. We just did an out-and-back and I could tell that we got some help from the current on the way out, because I averaged under 1:45/100yd. It was harder and a little slower going back, and I was surprised to see that I swam the 1.2 miles in 40 minutes on the dot. At Kinetic my swim time was almost 42 minutes (my A goal was 39), so that's an improvement! My sighting was essentially non-existent and I zig-zagged all over the place because I was trying to hug the shore as much as possible, but I'll worry about that part later. Also, last week I got a New Wave swim buoy (not an affiliate link - sharing is caring) so I was able to bring my new GoPro along for the ride, which was fun (see cover photo for this post)!

Saturday 6/24
12 mile run @ 9:35
AM: Oh boy, this was tough. Not as awful as last weekend, thankfully, but still not easy. Does summer running ever get easier?! This morning I got out 2.5 hours early than last week, and the temperature was admittedly much more bearable at that hour, but the humidity was still insane. I ran at the beach today so I didn't burn myself out running massive hills, which was another plus, but it still felt hard. Like I said, training fatigue setting in hardcore this week. I was only supposed to do 8 miles this weekend, but since I only made it through 9 of 12 last weekend, I essentially flip-flopped them. I ran with my dad and my brother-in-law for the first 7, then my BIL continued on with me for another mile, and I finished the last 4 by myself. I knew I wouldn't be happy without getting through all 12, and even though my legs were sore, it didn't feel like it would be detrimental to keep going the way it did last week. The sun came out and it really started to heat up during those last few miles, and I really had to push myself to get through it. I stopped right when my watch beeped for the 12th mile - I really don't think I could have run one more step! Oh and of course I jumped in the ocean as soon as I could!

Sunday 6/25
41 mile ride @ 15.2mph + 3.1 mile run @ 9:43
AM: Another early morning with my dad and my brother-in-law - we were on the road by 6:30am! This wasn't a super strenuous ride but it was good just to get time in the saddle. We were planning on going for 30-35 miles but ended up just over 40. Some parts were better than others for me, but overall I did okay. I still have a really bad habit of psyching myself out over how far I still have left to go (especially when I start to think about how long 112 miles is...), but I'm hoping that I just need to keep practicing with more and longer rides. I didn't even get past 33 miles until Week 7 of training last year, so I feel really good about already having gotten two 40-milers and a 50-miler down at this point.

My brother-in-law and I ran after the ride and it was approximately one million degrees and one million percent humidity and one million percent miserable. My stomach was also bothering me, especially by the end. I did the best I could but those were definitely not my finest 30 minutes.

Weekly Mileage
Swim: 4757 yds (2.7 miles)
Bike: 40 min + 56.3 miles
Run: 23.2 miles

2017 Miles
Swim: 36.9 miles
Bike: 889 miles + 20.7 hours spin (~352 miles)
Run: 619.7 miles

Coming up next this week:
I'm starting another build week this week, and I'll be on vacation next week so I have a few milestones I wanted to hit before that. I've already hit my swim (1.2 mile TT) and bike (50 miles) milestones, and this week I'm hoping to hit the half marathon mark on the run. I also want to do my best to get back in the gym this week since I haven't been able to make it the last couple weeks. I think the reality that it's only going to get harder from here on out is starting to set in. I'm trying to just settle into it and accept it and not to panic!


  1. I'm tired just reading all of your workouts this week - great job!!

  2. It takes *several weeks* to acclimate to summer running. You're doing great, just be patient, you will get there. And, some people do it faster than others. I am not good in the heat AT ALL, so I've just learned to accept that I will never 100% acclimate to summer running. No matter how in shape I am, I'm just not going to perform the same way I do when it's cooler out. I just keep reminding myself of the mantra "suffer through summer, fly through fall!" And don't be afraid to slow down, too. Trying to keep the same paces in hotter temps is a recipe for misery.

  3. Oh girl, I can imagine you were exhausted! I am exhausted thinking of it. You are doing great and I cant wait to follow along this journey!

  4. Summer running is tough. You're feeling all great and good and then humidity hits you in the face!

  5. Goodness gracious, I cannot fathom 82.2 miles or 9.5 hours of workouts counting as a stepback week! This is why I stick to marathons haha. I don't know how it's been out in DC this summer, but in Chicago, the weather has been ALL over the place - crushingly hot and humid one day (or for a stretch of a couple days), followed by cool and fall-like the next. While I am CERTAINLY not at ALL complaining about the cool and fall-like days--I'd be the happiest camper in the world if all of summer was like that!--it's made it nearly impossible to adapt to the heat at all, which makes the days that are hot and humid that much more miserable.

    I wondered how you got that picture of you swimming! I talked to a bunch of triathlon coaches a month or so ago for a side project I had going on, and three of the four of them recommended that buoy (or a similar one) as something open water swimmers should have. If I ever get into open water swimming (I should probably get into swimming, period, first though haha), I definitely think having one of those would make me feel much better!

  6. You are doing such a great job! Way to go on another successful week!

  7. You know I feel the same way about the weather. The benefit of running in Chicago this week is that the weather is MUCH better than what we've had at home. I figured it was the universe's way of making it a bit easier for me to start my hard work since I wasn't at home. Great work with that swim time trial. So impressive!!