I Joined A Gym – Take 2

This poor little blog. I have such good intentions for it. Every weekend when I write out my to do list (yes, I make to do lists for my weekends), “write blog post” is on there. But then I feel pressure to summarize the past 2+ months (for whom, I’m not sure), and that’s quite daunting, so I never make time for it. To avoid that stress today, I’m just going to cut to the present, or at least to three weeks ago…

As you may remember, last May I joined a gym in Durham, and then cancelled my membership within the week-long trial period. The gym didn’t have a pool, so it just wasn’t going to work. But I moved to Madison, WI at the end of May for a new job, and my number one priority when I got up here was to find a pool to minimize the disruption to Ironman training. As far as I can tell, many pools around here are at the high schools or swimming clubs, and the hours do not work well for pre-work swims. Conveniently, there is a very nice 24 hour gym with a 25 yard pool between my apartment and work. They give a great discount to folks from my company, and they have plenty of spin classes and other classes that I’m excited to try after Ironman. So once again, I have joined a gym. I’m three weeks into my membership (yes, I joined the gym immediately upon getting to Madison), which means I’m out of the one week trial period, so I think this relationship is going to stick. Sadly I already shower at the gym more often than I do at my apartment.

As for a general update on Ironman training, so far so good. Between my last post in mid-April, I finished up the Super Simple 70.3 training plan, raced happy and set a new 70.3 PR of 5:52:44 at the Carolina Half Triathlon, raced my first duathlon at the Cary Du Classic, set an 8k PR (35:15) at the Running of the Bulls, started at week 18 of the Beginner Full Ironman 20 Week plan from BeginnerTriathlete.com, and rode a century ride (100 miles) in Janesville, WI.

From the Carolina Half:

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Probably the happiest 13.1 miles of my life.

Plus I got a new job, left a job and co-workers and city I loved, moved several states away (huge thanks to my mom for helping me pack and driving up to Wisconsin with me!), and started a new job in a new city that I’m super excited about. It’s been a whirlwind. My new apartment is a few miles from the Ironman bike course, so I’m pretty pumped to be able to roll out my door and get plenty of experience on the infamous hills this summer. The bike course is a “lollipop” course, as they say, meaning that you start by going out on the “stick,” then do two loops of the “lollipop” part, and then head back on the stick to the transition area.

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So far I’ve done the loop, but not all at once. One ride I ended up on about 3 miles of gravel road where they must be repaving – and the roads need it. These are possibly the worst quality roads I’ve ever ridden on. I appreciate the bike lanes, wide shoulders, and courteous drivers, but man, the winters must do a number on the road surfaces.

And that’s how Ironman training is going! A lot of waking up at 5am and constantly smelling like chlorine. It doesn’t feel overwhelming or all-consuming, which may be because I’m focused on my new job. I love having workouts as a time to myself, and I want to make sure I enjoy these next few months however hard they get so that training for my first Ironman doesn’t just pass me by.

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