Journey To the Finish Line

PR's, toddlers, hopes and dreams; I'm always running after something

James Island Sprint Tri #1 Recap

It’s triathlon season again, which means it’s time for the James Island Sprint Triathlon Series.


After last years championship race, the series offered a significant discount if you signed up for all 5 races for the following year. Considering all I had to do was race 2 of them to get my money’s worth, I signed up for all 5. I doubt I’ll race all 5 (most notably the one on Fathers Day) but I hope to get 3-4.

The Swim

Distance600 yards 673 yards

Fastest Time: 14:03


I’ve spend quite a bit of time lately concentrating on form and technique. My practice swims, though shorter distances, were getting faster so I expected I’d be able to take some time off of my swim. It ended up being a bit of a snafu, though. I nearly ran into one person and actually ran into another, and ended up so far wide I touched the shore twice. I was disappointed when I exited the water and found that my finish time was nearly one minute SLOWER than last year, and cursed while I ran to transition and realized I had gone 73 yards too far. Later, it turns out that the buoys were likely placed too far apart as I wasn’t the only one who calculated a longer distance. On the plus side, I exited the water and jogged to transition without feeling like my legs were made of lead. And, my pace was actually faster than last year. Had the distance been correct, my exit time would have been 13:30 (30 seconds faster). Also, I really should have practiced some sighting.

Time: 15:02

Transition One

Fastest Time: 1:30

I hadn’t practiced transitions at all since I started training and it showed. I had issues with my helmet and had to put it on my head twice. I felt unorganized.

Time: 1:36

The Bike

Distance: 12 miles

Fastest Time: 35:15


I’ve never been very smooth at mounting my bike and getting clipped in and today was no exception, though honestly for the longer distances I’m really unconcerned about it, so there is a good chance not much practice will go into this this year. This course has quite a few hairpin turns and I’m pretty sure I lost time on them. Plus, I was back and forth with another girl in my age group for most of the ride, and trying to avoid passing each other constantly, I stayed back for a good distance. Does this mean I could have stayed in front of her? I’m not sure. I did eventually pass her near the end but I’m not certain I would have maintained it. I think more knowledge of the course will help my speed next time. Though it was slower, I wasn’t disappointed. It is the first race of the season, after all.

Time: 36:02

Transition Two

Fastest Time: 48 seconds

This transition was slightly better, but still slower

Time: 56 seconds

The Run

Distance: 3.1 miles

Fastest Time: 24:24



Finally a time I was able to beat! I had some leftover confidence from my fairly recent marathon time and figured a 7:50 average should be doable. My first mile was right on target at 7:50 and the second at 7:45. I stopped for water at mile 3 and lost several seconds (and ironically, a 23:xx finish time. ugh). I met up with Jason near the end and basically forced him to sprint with me, which I wasn’t sure he was super thrilled about.

Time: 24:00 


Fastest time: 1:16:12

This Race: 1:17:31

I’m blaming the long swim.

I had honestly hoped for a PR on this race because I figured it’ll be the only one I’m not too tired to actually race, but who knows. And I’m not disappointed. Plus, I won a mug, so who can be sad after that?


I Want To Be an Ironman – Week 8

5 months simultaneously feels like not enough time and an eternity away.

Monday: run/swim. 60 minute stroller run/6.02 miles/10:00 pace/Temp 54/HR 149. Bryan had to be at work early and I had dentist appointment at 10 to pick up my new invisalign retainer (woo hoo) so I pushed the twins. My right knee argued with me a little, and I was less than pleased. 58 minute swim/2000 meters. I got to the pool a bit early and warmed up, then my friend and I did the usual 5, 4, 3, 2, 1 swim workout. The drills today focused on arm position entering the water. We skipped the fast 100 and I did an extra cool down.

Tuesday – ride. 60 minute ride/17.5 miles/17.5 MPH/Temp 70/HR 143 Yay! For the first time in a couple of weeks I completed a ride without my knees bothering me! I felt them a little afterwards but here is hoping this means improvement.

Wednesday swim/run. 59 minute swim/1900 meters. I tried one of the drills that was suggested to me that I could use without fins (and finally ordered my own) and for the rest I did sets of 50, 100 and 200 with set rest between. I took some longer rest periods. 60 minute run/6.5ish miles/81 degrees/no HR. I forgot my heart rate monitor. This run was split into two runs- a 3 mile run prior to the pub run and then the 3 mile pub run. It was hot. The theme was “Twinkies and Selfies”, so I got to try a chocolate flavored twinkie. It was….ok 13235237_956865651077723_5357437819349428319_o

Thursday ride/run quick change. 45 minute trainer ride in which I forgot to connect my speed sensor so I have no idea how slow I was. I couldn’t for the life of me get my heart rate up and finally did the last 5 minutes. On the plus side, I got to watch about half of a movie. 15 minute run/1.71 miles/8:46 pace/75 degrees/HR 153. I also did 10 minute of yoga that morning which of course counts. My knees felt ok during the ride but complained for a couple hours after.

Friday: long run. 60 minute run/6.34 miles/9:28 pace/66 degrees/HR 149 My knees, again, complained a bit for a few hours after. BUT, no complaints during.

Saturday rest day- I taped my knee as a precaution.

Sunday: James Island Sprint Triathlon. I skipped the long ride (and cut the week a little short) and did this instead. I’ll be posting a recap, so for now I’ll say it wasn’t my best race – I didn’t PR, but I DID get this:


And NO knee issues.

Total Time: 8 hours 35 minutes (planned 9) – including yoga and pre race warm up

Training Thoughts:  endurance is a whole new ball game, and my thoughts that taking it “easy” would help prevent injury don’t really seem to be true. All it took was for my cleats to be a quarter inch off what is optimal and my knees and gradually the rest of my body was complaining. Must. Keep.Stretching. Also, how the hell am I supposed to fit strength training in here?? Also, coffee out of mug trophies just tastes better.:)

Life with Twins – We are Three

The twins had their three year well check today (apparently they take three year olds’ blood pressure now) and the first thing the doc asked when she came in was, naturally, how are they doing?

“They are toddlers”, I said.

She nodded, knowingly (she has one too).

I think that I can sum up toddlerhood in one sentence: “Some days they are great, and other days I want to put them to bed at 6 o’clock”. (ok, ok, 4 o’clock)

“Sounds like you have a good understanding.”

I REALLY REALLY hope that I don’t eat my words later here, because all I’ve heard from others is how much worse three is than two. I know they literally just turned three, but to me they’ve been three for the last month at least. SO FAR, three has been much easier for me than 2 and a half to three was. We had SO. MUCH. WHINING for a few months that I literally said out loud (more than once) “this is why I work”. It seems like something clicked though and they are finally responding more positively when I try to re-direct from the whining.

On the positive side, we have begun to see what I like to call Toddlerisms or Toddler Logic, and it is hilarious. This was a real conversation last week:

Me: Miles, do you need a diaper change?

Miles: no

Me: Do you want to pee in the potty?

Miles: no, my feet are dirty.

Abby weighs a little over 30 lbs and is 3 feet 2 inches tall, putting her at the 90th percentile for height. I am not sure where that came from. She LOVES to color, and literally colors the pages of a coloring book to the point where there is very little blank page left. Once, she pulled one I threw away out of the trash, and still found somewhere on it to color, even though she had a brand new one on the table. Despite weighing 2 lbs less than Miles, she is our eater. She also spends a decent amount of time singing. Recently, she has begun to hate getting her picture taken, unless it is in selfie mode. In that instance, she will let you take as many as you want. She loves to snuggle under blankets, and lay in our bed and pretend she is asleep. She has also started to become fascinated with doors, but only because she likes to pretend she is coming/going home from work.

Favorite Food:  ice cream

Favorite Toy: colors

Favorite movie:  Robot Movie (Big Hero 6) or Anger (Inside Out)

Favorite Show: Mickey Mouse

Favorite Book: Caterpillar (The Very Hungry Caterpillar)

Miles is a little over 3 feet tall and weighs 32 lbs. He is “all boy” and loves to jump, climb and move. He is the one who says “mommy, I want to run”, which makes me more than happy. He could take or leave food, but eats enough to make me happy….unless its a vegetable. Those, he will lick, and put back down. He actually likes playing in the play kitchen and “cooking” pizza and cake. He will “cook” lots of carrotscorn (thats what I call them) but won’t eat it. He actually loves getting his picture taken, often shouting “cheese!” before I even get the camera feature on my phone working. He likes to ride his “motorcycle” (tricycle) and scooter, and just explore and walk outside.

Favorite Food: cereal

Favorite Toy: firetruck

Favorite movie:  Robot Movie (Big Hero 6) or Anger (Inside Out)

Favorite Show: Mickey Mouse

Favorite Book: Caterpillar (The Very Hungry Caterpillar)

I am thankful they like the same stuff generally, at least right now, because it alleviates fighting. Bryan did tell me yesterday though that he asked them what they wanted to watch. It went down like this:

Bryan: what do you want to watch?

Miles: Robot Movie

Bryan: what does Abby want to watch?

Miles: Abby, say Robot movie

I think because I see daily how difficult it can be for some kids to learn language, that their language skills still amaze me. They do still mix up pronouns, but I have to say that I find “mommy, pick you up” and “Abby push YOU” too cute to correct constantly.

They stopped napping at home months ago, but still nap at daycare (of course), which has pushed bedtime till about 830. They are still not *sigh* potty trained. We actually were doing pretty well with it, and then suddenly they stopped caring and so did I. About a month ago I tried the whole let them run around in underwear for a day thing and failed miserably.They move up to the next room in daycare in June where they really focus on potty training, and to be 100% honest I’m kind of hoping it’ll happen there. One can only hear ” NO PEE POTTY” so many times.

Picture time!

  • We rock some shades


  • Easter


  • Abby’s first haircut (and ice cream, of course)


  • Friends come visit and we hit the beach

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  • We meet great grandma



  • A series of naps


  • Visit to the zoo

Man, I’m going to blink, and they will be four.

I Want To Be an Ironman – Week 7

This week marks the max amount of hours I think I have ever spent training – ever. The sad part? This is still phase one or the “base phase”, so its only going to keep going up from here.

Monday: ride/swim. 58:20 minute ride/17MPH/16.62 miles/61 degrees/HR 138. The goal of this ride was to increase my cadence, ideally to 100+. I ended up around 80. I did a few laps around my neighborhood and ventured out a bit when I got bored. I focused on cadence some, but not the whole ride. 56:53 swimming/1600 meters. A decent amount of this was spent resting, but my friend and I did a set of ” 5, 4, 3, 2, 1″, which basically means 500m alternating swim and pull, 400 meters alternating swim and kick, 300 meters with the goal to “build” (I didn’t), 200 meters of drills, and 100 meters all out. The all out wore me out so I did a 100m cool down and then quit for the day.

Tuesday – run. 75 minute stroller run/7.53 miles/9:58 average/63 degrees/ HR 153. How the twins tolerated a 75 minute run is beyond me, but they did and for that they are pretty awesome.


Wednesday– swim/run. 54:31 swim/2000 meters. Combination of laps and drills, some with and some without. Nothing too exciting here. 60 minute run/6.15 miles/9:46 pace/90 degrees (!!)/ HR 154. Ugh is all I have to say about this one. It was HOT. Uncomfortable and HOT. I just wanted it to be over so I could eat…..and eat we did – we all met at Charleston Sports Pub afterwards for Tami’s birthday.


Thursday quick change ride/run and yoga. 45:22 ride/12.62 miles/16.7 MPH/63 degrees/HR 145. 15 minute run/ 1.74 miles/8:38 pace/63 degrees/HR 149. I actually managed a 90 bike cadence average on this ride, but interestingly my heart rate average, although still in zone 2, was a little higher than it usually is. The run felt fantastic, and again just goes to show you the difference temperature can make. Just this week I’ve had a run in zone 2 average an 8:38 all the way to a 9:46 (non stroller run). Later that afternoon, after fighting with hamstring and hip discomfort all week, I did the 30 minute yoga for runners video. The twins thought this was an awesome opportunity to crawl through the tunnel.


Friday: REST

Saturday: long run swim. As the week went on I was feeling more and more discomfort in my hip, which is what tends to act up when my PSOAS is tight. I’ve also had some discomfort in my knees when riding, and had been unsure what issue is causing what. My chiro, who is also a cyclist, agreed with my suspicions that maybe my bike fit is off, and that everything seemed unusually tight. I had planned to cut the run down anyway since we were spending the day walking at the zoo, but thought maybe a swim would be better. 45 minute swim/ 2000 yards. I decided to swim for 45 minutes straight at a comfortable pace and see how far I got. At this pace, a 2.4 mile swim (minus wetsuit and current) would take me about an hour and 36 minutes, or a 2:29/100m pace. Slow.

Sunday long ride: 150 minute ride/41.2miles/16.5 MPH/58 degrees/HR unknown. This ride ended up as a bit of a SNAFU from the beginning. I forgot my inhaler so we stopped by my house to get it. I picked up my HR monitor (I forgot that also) but it never connected to my watch, so I just went without it. I also forgot to re-start my watch twice. But its done, so yay for that.

After the ride Erik,  Tami’s husband, was kind enough to check out my bike fit for me. It seems the bike itself is fit correctly, but he adjusted my cleats on my shoes (I had both new pedals and cleats within the last couple months), so hopefully that is enough.  He also mentioned the increase in mileage could play a factor, as I increased from an hour a week to 3-4 hours a week pretty abruptly. Finally I was able to meet with the coach from last weeks’ swim clinic, who went over my video and made drill suggestions. Here’s hoping I can knock some time off my swim between now and October.

Total Time: 9 hours 51 minutes

Training Thoughts:  I have a lot to learn.

Finding Your Sole

(I started this post over a week ago and time got away from me to sit down and finish it..)

Last night I was finally able to meet the members of the Girls With Sole program. I wrote about this program while training for Disney, having dedicated that race to help raise money to fund the first program here in Charleston.

Unfortunately for my schedule, the program runs Monday afternoons when I am at work. I took a day off yesterday so that I could at least participate in one of the sessions. Assuming each session is run similarly (and I’m pretty sure they are), the girls meet and sit at a big table where they have a snack before heading outside. Today, the workout was a few soccer drills and a half mile run, split into eighths (slow, fast, slow, fast etc). The three coaches (myself and two others runners) each took a small group of similarly paced girls. Afterwards, we all meet back inside for a final activity – this time it was to talk about role models and the qualities the girls see in those they look up to.

Before the program began, the director was explaining the plan for the day and how we were going to split up into groups. She admitted she has had some difficulty getting the girls motivated to run, as many of them either aren’t particularly interested, or are easy to say that they are done once the tire, as they haven’t yet learned to pace themselves. She also mentioned that there is hope to start another program closer to my area, if it would be something Id be interested in.

The three girls I ran with ran pretty well, and I think a couple, if not all of them could be good runners. I hit a 6:10 pace at one point, and although it was only for about a tenth of a mile, two of them kept up with me. I thought most of that hour and a half, and since then, though, if I were to be a more frequent coach in this program, what could I say to help these girls like running? What could I do to encourage them to keep trying?

Girls in this program are here because they are either at risk for or have already experienced abuse or neglect sometime in their lives. They have already had a rough road. Some like running, some don’t, but all at least seemed to enjoy the physical activity. Fifth grade seems like such a long time ago that  I find it hard to come up with a way to relate to girls who are ten and eleven years old.

I do remember that I didn’t always like running. I ran down baselines and across a soccer field, but to run for no other reason than to run made no sense to me. Track seemed silly, cross country even crazier. Although I was active I wasn’t a runner until college, when I often felt overwhelmed (for lack of a better word). I’ll never forget the first step I took out the door, across the quad, and about a halfway down the street. I’d bet I only ran a quarter mile total before I was completely out of breath. Physically tired, but emotionally better, even in that short distance. I feel like I can understand these girls in the sense that they need an outlet for these feelings they are experiencing, but can’t understand what it is like to live in their shoes and their homes. I have written often about the reasons why I run, and many of them surround things like sanity and the ability to deal with hard issues and feelings.

But how do I make it relatable?

I Want To Be an Ironman – Week 6

Monday – swim, bike, (short) run. 45 minute ride/7.79 miles/10.4mph/HR: 117.  Part of this plan entails one ride a week where you are supposed to focus on a faster bike cadence. Particularly, 100+ per minute. A good cadence rate is about 80-100 and mine is typically on the low side (75-80). I was nervous trying this workout outside so I hopped on the trainer for 45 minutes, and my cadence was nowhere near the goal. I think I hit 95 ONCE – and my average was more like 83. 56:52 swim (rests included)/1800m. Combo of laps and drills, nothing too exciting here. Still trying to not over rotate when I breathe and its harder than it seems. That evening I got the equivalent of about a mile run with the Girls with Sole kids.

Tuesday – run with stroller. 60 minutes/6 miles/10:05 pace/72 degrees/HR: 152. I had planned to drop the twins off early and run from their daycare, but when I came downstairs in my workout garb, Miles said “mommy I want to run!”. So, we did:) It was warm and humid.


Wednesday – swim, run. 54:44 swim/1900 meters. This workout was mostly laps with planned 10 second rest breaks between. Most I recovered well enough in 10 seconds but I few I needed a little longer. 60 minute run/6.52 miles/9:12 pace/79 degrees/HR: 146. Still showing up for the speed work runs but without the speed work. An hour on the track seemed worse than the treadmill so three of us did a few laps, ran up the road and back and ended with a few laps.

Thursday -bike, run quick change transition. 45 minute ride/12.24 miles/16.4MPH/52 degrees/HR 141. 15 minute run/1.73 miles/8:41 pace/52 degrees/HR 149. The point of these is to transition quickly from one sport to the next, I believe in under 3 minutes. I don’t time the transitions but try to take my bike in and change shoes etc as quickly as I can before starting the run.  The bonus is it was nice and COOL- the disadvantage was because it was so early in the morning I was forced to ride circles around my neighborhood and one nearby in order to see well and avoid traffic.

Friday – REST DAY

Saturday – long run. 60 minute run/6.53 miles/9:12 pace/54 degrees/HR 148. Tammie and I met at the trail to run before a short swim clinic and it took awhile to find a comfortable pace this time. For some reason my lungs had trouble warming up, I had to pee twice and stretch twice. Can’t win them all, I guess:) Afterwards, the twins and I went to Bee City and then shared an ice cream.


Sunday – long ride. 2 hour ride/33 miles/16.5 MPH/ 59 degrees/HR 140. Rode from my house towards Moncks Corner for an hour and then turned around and rode back. Crappy headwind on the way home slowed things down a bit, but was otherwise uneventful. I’m beginning to wonder if I need to look into buying a new bike seat and/or getting it fitted again. I am starting to feel some intermittant “niggles”, as my friend  would call them, during rides and am wondering if the recent hills, trying to increase my cadence, or an improper fit are to blame. Not much has changed with the bike, though I did get new pedals and cleats this year which could be a small enough change to throw things off a bit….? Also, the seat makes my crotch hurt. If I have to be on this bike for 5+ hours, I would really like it if my crotch didn’t hurt 40 minutes in.

Total Time: 8 hours 55 minutes

Training Thoughts: 6 weeks into this and I’m really beginning to think I’ve lost my mind. That is all. 5+ hours on a bike??? Who does that?!

I Want To Be an Ironman – Week 5

So, according to this Zone 2 theory, all of these training runs and rides (my HR monitor doesn’t work in the pool) are supposed to teach your body to burn more fat than sugar during your workouts, which is important for your endurance (so you don’t “bonk” as they say). Although your paces start out lower, eventually they are supposed to return to what you consider “your pace” and hopefully even faster. Many things can affect your heart rate for the day, including temperature, humidity, stress, fatigue etc. So far I’ve had a run average 8:50 (solo in cool temps) all the way 10:15 (humid, warm, pushing stroller). Although I don’t expect to see much improvement until fall because increasing temps tend to just slow me down, I’m still interested to keep track as I go.

Monday – Run/Swim.   Run – 9:03/mile. Average HR: 144 Temp: 52 degrees. 30 minute run early morning with Chance. This was one of those runs where I finally felt warmed up 22 minutes in, so that was fun. Swim at lunch – 1800 meters with a combinations of laps and drills. This time we focused on stroke count. At the end I did 500 meters straight in 11:40, which is 30 seconds faster than the last time I did this, but I’ve also been working on kicking further away from the wall before I start my stroke so I am unsure if I’m actually getting faster.

Tuesday – Bike/Run brick. 60 minutes on bike = 16.24 miles. Average 17.2 MPH Average HR 146. Temperature 54 degrees. 30 minute run = 3.35 miles. Average 8:58/mile. Average HR 150. Temperature 59 degrees. It felt warmer than 59 degrees.

Wednesday – Swim/Run. Eaaaaarly morning swim. 1800 meters –  mostly laps and some drills. One set of 8 x50 said 1:00, which I took to mean aim to finish in 1:00. Then 4×100 in 1:45-2:00, and I assumed the same. This meant I was hauling ass to try to finish within the goal time, and as it turns out the goal was more consistency between laps than speed. I ended up doing 6×50 fast and 2 easy, and 2×100 fast and 200 easy. I did hit between 57-59 seconds on the 50’s and hit 2:00 once on the 100’s. Speed work for the run, but since we are doing Zone 2 this meant many easy laps around the track. 45 minutes = 5 miles. Temp 81 degrees. 9:00/mile average. Heart rate and average off a little because I did one lap of speed.  Screenshot_20160501-161236

Thursday – ride/run brick. 28 minute ride (ended early because of a thunderstorm) = 8.41 miles. Average HR 145. Average speed 18.1 MPH. Temp 84. Quick transition to 15 minute run = 1.69 miles. Average HR 148. Speed 8:54/mi Temp 84, but raining, so it felt cooler.

Friday – rest day


Saturday – long run. 60 minute run on the trail with a couple tri friends and the twins. It was HUMID. Spent some of this run in Zone 1, but didn’t care, because it was HUMID. Did I mention it was humid? 5.79 miles. 10:12/mi Average HR 148. Temp: 66 degrees (but it felt like 85, because it was….are you ready? HUMID)

Sunday – long ride. 90 minute ride. 26.43 miles. Average speed 17.6 MPH. Average HR 138. Temp: 72

Total Time: 7 hours 56 minutes, plus 15 minutes of weights.

Training Thoughts: I’ve been surprised to find that I’m not as fatigued workout to workout as I expected. My highest training week for the Olympic last year was 9 hours, and I just remember feeling tired. BUT, I was always PUSHING and made the majority of my workouts high effort. I’m also surprised to find I’m not as anxious to add more speed, but maybe thats because the hours just keep increasing.


5 weeks down….only 25 to go.

I Want To Be an Ironman – Week 4

I’m sure nothing excites my friends more than reading my lame weekly workout blogs, but I like having them to refer back to, especially with a goal as big as this one.

As I mentioned before, I’m using a plan from the book “Be Iron Fit”. The goal here is to follow the Intermediate plan as closely as possible, but at the very least hit the hours given in the Just Finish. The plan in its entirety is 30 weeks so I jumped in a little late. The first 10 weeks is the Base Phase, which is basically what it sounds like – building a base. The base in the  Just Finish plan is so minimal though, especially in the first 7-8 weeks, that I’ve pretty much been following the Intermediate anyway. We will see as time goes on how this plays out.

Monday – swim. 2000 meters. A girl I met at the pool and I have been starting to meet here on Mondays to do a swim workout together. She is faster than me but trying to keep up with her has helped me get a little faster. Plus, she comes with workouts and ideas from a swim camp she is attending. Since it is on Thursday nights and Bryan works, she is nice enough to pass along the info. This week we focused on head position form wise, and did an all out 100 meter “sprint”, which for me took just under 2 minutes.

Tuesday– ride. 60 minutes in Zone 2, which translated to about 16.7 miles. I also did 15 minutes of weights. I’m really trying to keep some strength in as part of my workouts.

Wednesday– brick. Swim 1550 meters in the morning and run about 45 minutes (4.6 miles) in the evening. I’ve started to join the YMCA tri team for the morning swim in the wee hours (5am), though I aim to get there more about 5:30. The evening workout was the Fleet Feet group run, with an average pace at 9:18.

Thursday – brick. Trainer ride for 30 minutes (6.2ish miles) in Zone 2 followed by a 30 minute run (a little over 3 miles) in Zone 2 also. I’m hellishly slow on a trainer, and took the twins with me for the run, which slowed my pace down some (average 9:38)

Friday – rest day

Saturday– group long ride. 1 hour 30 minutes in Zone 2 (you’ll see this as a pattern) which translated to a little under 25 miles. I stepped in some mud walking to use the bathroom in my bike shoes and it took me almost a mile to get clipped in, so I got way behind the group. I spent 15 minutes way above Zone 2 trying to catch up before I just hung out by myself for awhile, finally meeting up with part of them about halfway through.

Sunday – long run. 1 hour in Zone 2 with the stroller. Luckily this time I had some company who was willing to help me push when my heart rate started getting too high, so our pace stayed around 9:22.

Total Training Time:  7 hours 15 minutes (including the weights)

Training Thoughts: I still can’t believe I signed up for an Ironman (and my family can’t either). So far, the plan is manageable, but it is also very early. The Zone 2 training is nice because all of the workouts feel easy compared to marathon training or even Triathlon training last year where I pushed myself almost every workout. It is a nice “break” after all the pace (speed) specific workouts for both marathons. I think this is what is going to make this more manageable….at least I hope so. Also, This post is horribly boring without pictures. More for next week.

I Want To Be an Ironman

A couple of weeks ago, I was on a bike trainer hating life.

To clarify – I was hating that 20 minutes of life as I was pedaling away trying to get my heart rate as high as possible. Tammie, my marathon training buddy and I tortured ourselves in the garage of a fellow triathlete  (also Tami) attempting to figure out our heart rate training zones. Now that triathlon season is starting, there has been lots of talk amongst the members of our Tri group about heart rate zone training. Many of the group are tackling the full Ironman in October, and while I wasn’t sure I was going to use it myself for the Half, I figured it would still be interesting to know.


Briefly, the plan involves doing just about all training in heart rate zone 2, or your aerobic zone (Zone 1 being the easiest and Zone 5 being close to max). This zone is supposed to be the zone where you can “hang out” the longest, an important factor when you consider many  Ironman participants take 12+ hours to finish. 

So I’m pedaling and Tammie/Tami are using what encouragement they can to help me keep the pace up, and Tami asks me if I ever thought I’d be doing something like this a couple of years ago. My ability to talk silenced by my heavy breathing, I shook my head. Although I was well versed in the meanings of the numbers 13.1 and 26.2, I barely knew what 70.3 or 140.6 even meant (70.3 is the Half Iron distance, 140.6 is the full) a couple of years ago. The concept of triathlon was still new – I thought an Ironman was downright crazy. Even as I registered for the Half a few months ago, I shook my head at the group going after the full, though this time more in awe than insanity.

I said the same thing about a marathon once.

Discussion about training plans has been circling for several weeks already. Most Ironman plans are at least 30 weeks long. 7 months. SEVEN. MONTHS. Many plans peak at somewhere between 15-18 hours of training for the week. A part time jobs’ worth of hours.  The Half distance, though certainly not a walk in the park, was something I figured would be easier for me to manage. After training for something for almost a year, I was going to take it easy before starting to follow a plan in early July.

After our test was over we sat on Tami’s porch with a beer. Tami has completed 5, yes FIVE, full Ironman’s and Tammie was interested in picking her brain on training. While she asked questions, I flipped through the book containing the plans for the full race, and before I knew it I was mentally calculating how I could complete the training hours  in the least involved plan.

My mistake was saying it out loud.

They look like innocent enough friends…

I thought on this quite a bit the next few days. Mentally planning workouts. Looking at reviews on this particular plan  (the hours compared to most are on the low end  but I’m just looking to finish and still be able to be home). Asking questions. Discussing the idea with Bryan. Working around his work, my work and the daycare schedule. That few minutes (and some not so subtle hints from the other two) started changing my entire frame of mind and suddenly what I thought was completely nuts a couple weeks before something I was not only contemplating but actively planning.

A month or so ago I set a countdown on my Garmin watch to my Half Ironman race.

Today, I made a *slight* change

It cuts off a little – you get the point




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