The past few weeks have been a whirlwind of travel, training, working, and all sorts of things. Notice what’s missing from that list? Blogging. No, apparently that doesn’t fall into “all sorts of things.” Anyway, I have a list of blog ideas that I really want to write, but clearly I’m not making the time for it. The fear that I wouldn’t make time to blog was a big deterrent for me not to start a blog, and since I’ve taken the plunge, I ought to prioritize it more!
Instead of a creative and thoughtful blog post, here’s a recap of my past two weeks of training, mostly for my own benefit so I have a record of it. There are a few Ironman pictures though, so read on!
Week of 9/2 (6 weeks to go)
Monday: 3000 yards swimming
My longest swim so far. I had Monday off for Labor Day, but Eric did not, so we swam at the campus pool and then spent the day working in his lab. And by “working” I mean he worked, and I played on the internet and did about 2 hours of real work.
Tuesday: 1200 yards swimming a.m.; 45 minute bike, 30 minute run p.m.
The swim was 12×100. Easy peasy.
I’ve really come around to riding my bike on the indoor trainer. It’s easier to schedule (no worries about traffic or sunset), and I get to catch up on tv shows.
Wednesday: 45 minute run with strides
For this run, the strides were every 5 minutes instead of at the end, so I didn’t forget to do them in my rush to get to work. This run was a while ago now, but I remember that it felt difficult, and I didn’t get as far in 22.5 minutes (turnaround point) as I usually do. So of course I ran a bit further to my normal spot.
Thursday: 2.5 hour ride, 20 minute run
I had a 2 hour run scheduled for this day, but since I’d be traveling for the weekend (Eric’s Ironman!), I knew I needed to get my long bike workout in early. So, after work I rode for about 90 minutes outside, then transitioned to the trainer for the last hour (the sun was setting), and then I ran for 20 minutes around my apartment complex and the complex next to mine because two guys were walking and chatting on the treadmills in my apartment complex gym and it was too dark to run on the roads.
I know you have to do what you can to fit in these workouts, but man, I do not recommend a 3 hour workout after a full day of work. I was tired and hungry, and it was quite late by the time I finished. Though maybe I just need to get used to it…
Friday: 1 hour swim
I was supposed to do a 1 hour open water swim (nope) and a 1 hour bike. Since I was flying up to Madison after work to meet up with Eric, I opted to let the bike ride go and just do the swim. An hour of continuous swimming passed more quickly than a 1 hour workout would for me. I liked not having to count laps so I could think about other things, as I would with running.
Saturday: 45 minute run
I got up early for my Ironman volunteer training, which was helpful and I’m glad I went. I was planning to do my 2 hour run that afternoon, but by the time I did my volunteer training and Eric did his workouts and grocery shopping, I was just really hungry and not motivated to find 2 hours’ worth of a running route in a new place in the middle of a pretty warm afternoon. Perhaps not the best attitude, but I also knew I could fit in the run as soon as I got back to Durham. I enjoyed a 45 minute casual run along University Avenue in Madison. The University of Wisconsin campus is huge, FYI.
Sunday: Off – Ironman volunteering and spectating!
I spent the morning volunteering in the T1 gear bags room and got to hand Eric (and many other athletes) his swim-to-bike stuff. I highly recommend volunteering if you’re ever spectating one of these events. My shift was 7:30-11am, so I saw the swim start at 7, made my way to the gear bag room, got to see all the athletes come through (the pros are so quick!), and then made it out to Verona to watch the bike portion for a bit before getting lunch with friends and seeing Eric a bunch of times on the run.
Millions of dollars worth of bikes, lined up at Monona Terrace
Pre-race, obviously. Sunday ended up being pretty chilly (ideal for racing, less ideal for spectating when the spectator forgot her jacket).
Roughly 2900 Bike Gear Bags waiting for their athletes
The finish line, taken the day before the race
I ended up taking pictures on three difference devices (my camera, my phone, and Eric’s phone), so I should make an effort to collect them all in one place some day.
Week of 9/9 (5 weeks to go)
Monday: Off – Registering and traveling
I spent my Monday morning waiting in line for this:
Yup, I’ll be back in Madison this time next year if all goes according to plan. Eric shopped for Finisher’s gear while I waited to register on-site for next year’s race. Then we headed to Dunkin Donuts, because what better way to close out one Ironman training year and kick off another?
Tuesday: 2 hour run
After getting in late from Madison, eating somewhat random food at random intervals all weekend, and waking up early to run, I was skeptical of how this run would go. I ran the first 30 minutes on a treadmill before the sun came up and then headed out for my familiar 90 minute route for the rest of the run. It turns out that eating carbs and resting all weekend paired with spectating an Ironman event makes for a pretty rockin’ long run. It was a great run and provided the confidence I needed after the previous disaster of a long run.
Wednesday: 1150 yard swim a.m.; 30 minute bike p.m.
Easy swim, easy bike on the trainer. In preparation for another weekend of travel, I flip-flopped (and eliminated) a few workouts this week. Thanks, recovery week for being flexible like that.
Thursday: Off – Travel
I had an early flight up to DC for work, and post-work was filled with co-worker happy hour and dinner.
Friday: 30 minute run
I always like going back to DC and running my old routes. On Friday I ran my old post-work loop, starting in Georgetown, running down Rock Creek Parkway past the Kennedy Center, past Lincoln, over Arlington Memorial Bridge, and back up the Potomac and across the Key Bridge. I love seeing the sun rise over the monuments. If only I ran with a camera or my phone…
Saturday: 1000 yard time trial swim
I stayed in DC for the weekend after my work trip, and I stayed with friends in Arlington for the night. They live near Washington and Lee High School, which has a pool available. I got to enjoy a mile-ish walk to and from the pool, and it finally felt like fall outside! I miss walking places instead of driving. Though I do not miss not having a car!
Sunday: 50 minute run
I stayed with a different friend on Saturday night, and she lives somewhat close to my old DC neighborhood (Woodley Park), so I ran over to my old apartment and my old grocery store and my old track that I used for speedwork, and just generally enjoyed the nostalgia of running in old familiar places.
I enjoyed the recovery week and appreciated the flexibility of switching workouts around and accommodating my travel schedule and what I had available to me (namely, running and swimming). As usual though, I’m antsy to get back into the last few weeks of hard training. I have more travel coming up that I’ll need to work around, but I’ve got a solid plan of attack.
To anyone who signed up for Ironman Wisconsin 2014, let’s be friends! And to anyone who signed up for Boston 2014, I’m sorry I won’t be able to run but I’ll be there in spirit!