Journey To the Finish Line

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

I Want To Be an Ironman – Week 21

Week 21 is where it starts to get horribly exhausting fun.

This week was a bit more tiring than usual, because I had to do some shifting to get my long ride and run in. Even though last Sunday’s long ride technically went with Week 20, I ended up cramming 15 hours of workouts into 6 days, because I knew I wouldn’t be able to do anything over the weekend.

We are now in the “I’ll worry about it when I get there” peak phase of the Be Iron Fit training plan. I do swear one day I’ll blog about something other than my lame training plans, but right now it looks like that day will be sometime in November. This phase of the plan averages between 13-15 hours of training per week, though for me it means 12-14, since I am following the Just Finish swim plan. After 3 straight weeks at 14 hours, taper begins. I laugh a little that 9 hours is going to be considered a taper, when that was my peak week during last years’ Olympic triathlon training.


Monday: run/swim. 60 minute run with 3x 5 minute intervals/6.12 miles/9:50 average/73 degrees. It was a little easier to breathe this morning but who am I kidding? It’s still muggy as hell. My intervals were ok: 7:52, 8:03, 8:24. My marathon pace average was 8:35 and I’m running 8:24 intervals. Man I’m ready for fall. 60 minute swim/2500 meters. 

Tuesday: run/ride. 60 minute run/6.04 miles/9:56 pace/73 degrees. No intervals this run. I was feeling tired from the last couple days and knew I still had a long week ahead so I skipped them. I was excited to end a complete zone 2 workout in under a 10 minute  mile. Ha. 60 minute ride/18.1Miles/17.9 MPH/77 degrees. Skipped the intervals here too, so zone 2 only.

Wednesday  swim. 60 minute swim/2500 yards. By the end of it I thought maybe I was starting to get the idea of high elbows, but by midday my shoulder was sore, so perhaps not.

Thursday long run. 1 hour 45 minute run/10.25 miles/10:15 average/73 degrees. Starting this run at 6 am rather than 7 did help, but again, its still humid as shit. I think I melted.

Friday long ride. 4 hour ride/65 miles/16.7 MPH/72 degrees. I dreaded this ride for awhile until it turned out Tammie also had the day off (yay!) so I wouldn’t have to go solo. I hadn’t planned to spend my birthday day off on a small seat pedaling for 4 hours but when you sign up for a race like this sometimes flexibility is important. Another friend joined us for the first 2 hours and we explored a new area, but the roads were bumpier for longer than we anticipated so that slowed us down quite a bit. I’m just excited to have another 4+ hour ride crossed off the list.

Friday night was tri/birthday party night!

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Saturday/Sunday – rest day. I spent the weekend doing continuing education for work, and knew that if I Was going to be gone doing that all day, there was no way I was going to be able to come home and take off again for a workout, so I just planned the weekend off. After cramming all that into 6 days I was ready for it anyway.

Total Time: 10 hours 58 minutes

Miles Traveled: 108.77

Training Thoughts: I just might be able to survive the three 14 hour weeks after all!


I Want To Be an Ironman – Week 20

This week was the final week of the “Build Phase” and, in my book, marks another big training milestone – we are 2/3rds of the way through! One more week and we are in the single digit countdown. It also means training time goes up, and time for just about anything else (blogging included) goes down.

Monday – run/swim. 45 minute run/4.61 miles/9:46 average/79 degrees I cut my run a bit short because I was planning a big swim. I’ve been having issues with my allergies and asthma the last couple weeks (I think the rain is to blame) and today was no exception. I was supposed to do 4×5 min intervals and per usual they got slower as I went. I finally felt better able to breathe 40 minutes into my 45. Go figure. 77 minute swim/3000 meters. The plan calls for 2 3000 meter straight swims during the build phase and I never managed any so I figured I’d do at least one. Luckily, I found my waterproof iPod while helping my sister move and that kept me from going crazy. It was slow but I didn’t stop (that’s what she said?). I know I just used this meme, but its appropriate for how I felt afterwards.

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Tuesday ride. 60 minute ride/18.3 miles/18.3 Mph/82 degrees. The interval attempts here were an epic fail. It called for 8x 4 minutes and not only could I just not get my heart rate up for long, the timing of them was bad. I ran into many points where I needed to slow down or turn around and so eventually I just said screw it.

Wednesday swim/run. 60 minute swim/2500 yards. I had some company on this dark dark swim this time and that was nice. 60 minute run with 10 minutes 1 lap fast/1 lap slow./6.12 miles/9:48 average/86 degrees. Still warm, but it finally didn’t feel like the seventh level of hell outside so I joined the track this week. The change of scenery was nice.

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Thursday long run. 2 hour run/11.25 miles/10:40 average/77 degrees. OH MY GOD WHERE IS FALL?!?!? So I started this run at 7 am and ran till 9 which made this even more difficult. I drank 16 oz of nuun, a 20 oz bottle of gatorade and 8 more ounces when I got home and was still dehydrated. And slow. And man I forgot how difficult a 2 hour run can, be especially when it feels like  90 by the time you’re done.

Friday ride/run quick change. 45 minute trainer ride/8.8 miles (slow as shit). 15 minute run/1.58 miles/9:32 average/75 degrees. I think my body is going to forget how to run faster.

Saturday  rest day. Took twins to birthday party. Yay for cake!

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Sunday long ride. 4 hour ride/74.58 miles/18.1 MPH/73 degrees This ride, thankfully, felt a little easier than the last one. I wasn’t as tired the last few miles, and I wasn’t as tired afterwards.

Total Time: 12 hours 13 minutes

Miles Traveled: 128.5

Training Thoughts: Actually, I feel proud of myself this week.

I Want To Be an Ironman – Week 19

I do still plan to write a recap from the last sprint tri but was hoping our coach would post some pics I could steal. I think he’s out of town so there may be a picture-less one going up soon. After the race I skipped intervals for this week too.

Things really start to get fun from here on out. And by fun I mean…well, I’m not sure to be honest. Every long ride from here on out is at least 4 hours, and the runs begin to get longer as well.

Monday – swim/run. Somehow, I have zero recollection of these workouts. My calendar says I ran on the treadmill, but I can’t remember why. I swam 2500 yards so that means I swam at home, but I can’t remember why I did that either. I think maybe the weather was calling for rain in the afternoon so I swam first and ran on the treadmill once it was too hot to run outside? I do remember I watched an episode of Orange is the New Black. 60 minute swim/ 2500 yards. 60 minute run/6.2 miles/9:41 average. 

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Tuesday- ride. 62 minute ride/18.26 miles/17.6 MPH/ 72 degrees. Clearly I need to write these weekly things more quickly now that we are almost in peak week because my memory seems to have disappeared along with my energy.

Wednesday swim/run. 60 minute swim/2300 yards. 60 minute stroller run/5.55 miles/10:19 average/77 degrees. This one I remember. Tammie met me for a swim this morning. It was an odd morning because the swim started out dark as usual and then the pool guy randomly showed up and turned the lights on. I was eternally grateful and told him that he needed to do that weekly from now on. I don’t think he will.  Afterwards the twins and I went for “running snacks”, which now involve a pee break. I stopped once to pee somewhere myself and Miles decided he needed to go, so now every time we get close to that area, he has to pee.

Thursday – long run. 90 minute run/8.71 miles/10:12 average/75 degrees. This run, for lack of a better word, sucked. I was tired. My pace was inconsistent. I was unmotivated. My asthma and allergies were acting up. I turned on a motivational song and instead of pumping me up I spent it trying to convince myself not to quit….for good, not just the run itself. For the first time since I started, I seriously believed that I was in over my head. I made myself finish the run though, and by the end I felt a good bit better, but I still felt off the rest of the day.

Friday – swim. 60 minute swim/2500 yards. I took it easy in anticipation that I’d be spending the next day helping my sister move, so I did the  majority of the swim with my fins on, trying to focus on form.

Saturday  rest day.

Sunday  long ride. 4 hour ride/74 miles/17.7 MPH/73 degrees. We tried a new route through Walterboro and I was very thankful for the change of scenery. The last 45 min or so started to get hot, and we had one snafu (a flat), but otherwise it was a great ride.


Total Training Time: 11 hours 55 minutes

Training Thoughts: This shit? Is no joke.

I Want To Be an Ironman – Week 18

This week was much more choppy than usual since I wanted to race at least one more race of the Charleston Sprint Triathlon Series. And since we had done our mock olympic the weekend before, I did all workouts in Zone 2 (no intervals). Also, I am apparently super lame and took zero pictures. So here is a meme.

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Monday – long ride (part 1) 2 hour ride/34.83 miles/17.4MPH/73 degrees Long rides around my house require some creativity. I did an out and back involving my usual 1 hour route, some back roads and a couple loops through a neighborhood. It was boring. And hot.And the weather is lying – it was much warmer than 73 when I started, and felt like the 90’s by the time I was done.

Tuesday swim/run 60 minute swim/unknown distance. Tammie and I split the cost of an hour session with a local coach who gave us some drills to practice, where I learned I was actually doing them improperly. I have a lot to learn when it comes to my swim. More of the swim was discussion than actual swimming so I’m not really sure how far I went, but I’m counting it. 58 minute run/5.83 miles/9:58 average/73 degrees. OK, now I KNOW the weather is lying as it was definitely not 73 degrees. Or something in my watch is broken. Maybe its wishful thinking, since the high temp for at least 3 days this week was at or over 100. 73 would feel like a cold front.

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Wednesday swim/run 60 minute swim/2500 yards. This swim almost didn’t happen. I went to bed at 9:15 the night before, my alarm set for 5:15. I tossed and turned, and maybe dozed until nearly 11 o’clock, when I finally took half a Xanax because I knew it would help me sleep. I left my alarm set figuring if I woke up feeling exhausted I’d turn it off, but surprisingly I felt alright. I’ve read, though, that feeling tired but being unable to sleep can be a sign of overdoing it, so I told myself if I didn’t sleep well that night I’d rest the next day. 60 minute stroller run/5.55 miles/10:38 average/75 degrees. It was sticky and not fun, but I got it done.

Thursday long ride part 2. 2 hour ride/33.7 miles/17 MPH/79 degrees. Looks like the weather is working right again. I took a different route this time and it made the ride much less boring. It was still hot though. And I slept pretty well Wednesday night so didn’t have to rest.

Friday long run 75 minute treadmill run/7.6 miles/9:52 average. Bryan unexpectedly had to go into work much earlier than usual so I still got up at 5:15 but headed upstairs to run instead of outside. I forgot my heart rate monitor and had issues getting Netflix to work at first but it ended up not being as bad as I had dreaded thanks to Orange is the New Black, Season 4.

Saturday rest day

Sunday James Island Sprint Triathlon. I wasn’t sure what to expect out of this race. When we left at 5:30 it was already 82 degrees. In the end, it wasn’t my worst and it wasn’t my best, and I still got a mug🙂 I’m hoping the Tri group coach will post some pics I can steal so I can have some for the recap at least.

Total Training Time:  10 hours 45 minutes

Training Thoughts: I am SO OVER THIS HEAT. It sucks the energy right out of me. Bring on fall!!!!

I Want To Be an Ironman- Week 17

Tami dared me, and apparently I always listen to Tami

This week marks the first official “Tall Bill” Olympic Triathlon!

Monday – run/swim. 60 minute run with 3×6 min Z4/6.14 miles/9:47 average/73 degrees. It was cooler out for this run, but STICKY and foggy. My lungs weren’t thrilled and my interval times showed it. After the intervals I took Chance out for a slow mile and finished it up solo. 60 minute swim/2500 meters Part of this swim was a shot at the James Island Sprint Distance (600 yards or 550 meters) which I did in my fastest time so far! 12:49

Tuesday ride. 60 minute ride with 5×5 min Z4/18.2 MPH/18.3 miles/81 degrees. The plan called for 6 sets of interval but with all the stops and turns on my usual route I didn’t quite get enough.

Wednesday swim/run. 60 minute swim/2500 yards It is staying darker longer in the morning now so I’d say a good 20 minutes of my swim was dark, but as long as I can see the bottom of the pool I’m happy. 55 minute stroller run with 5 min Z4/5.5 miles/10:03 average/ 73 degrees . I decided to run in the morning since it was a bit cooler (and not foggy) and of course you know how much the twins love “go running snacks”.


Thursday ride/run quick change. 45 minute ride/14.06 miles/18.4 MPH/73 degrees. 15 minute run/1.61 miles/9:20 average/73 degrees

Friday long run. 60 minute run/6.29 miles/9:33 average/70 degrees Finally! A run with an average in the 9:30’s! This Z2 stuff sometimes makes me feel like I’m losing my speed. I can’t wait for a nice cool run to really see where I am.

Saturday rest day

Sunday The “Tall Bill” Olympic Triathlon! So our plan calls for an Olympic Distance race (actually next week but next week is the next James Island race, so some things got switched around) and there isn’t a good local one so one of the group created our own. I planned to treat it as a workout and not a race, and succeeded with the swim and bike at least, but by the time I got to the run it was so hot I didn’t want to spend any more time running than necessary so I was in Z4 for the whole thing. Also, you know its hot when Z4 is between 8:45-9:15/mile. Anyway, so we did 1500 yards in a local neighborhood pool and then rode our bikes to our usual ride spot for the ride and run. The pool didn’t have lanes or lines on the bottom so we did some makeshift – and I ran into them often.

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Total Time : 10 hours even

Training Thoughts: Man, once my watch countdown started hitting the double digits (currently 90 days away!) my brain started going into a bit of a panic mode. I just realized this is actually happening soon I guess – 6 months out it seemed so far away it wasn’t anything to worry about. Now I’m having more panic-y thoughts than calm ones, but I’m told this is normal.

I Want To Be an Ironman – Week 16

As of the end of this week, we hit 100 days till race day! Eek.

Monday run/swim. 60 minute run (stroller and solo)/6.12 miles/79 degrees. The first thirty done solo included 3×5 min intervals, and with the heat I was happy to average between 7:30-7:40 on the intervals. Afterwards I took the twins for “go running snacks”. It was then that I really thought about the irony of my stroller – purchased 3 years ago, I chose the Ironman version thinking Id never been crazy enough to complete one. Words eaten. 60 minute swim/2500 meters. This swim turned out to be quite interesting. I drove to my usual pool to find it was closed, and I figured I had missed the swim for the day, until one of the awesome members of the tri club offered to watch the twins for me so I could swim at the Y that evening. The pool was miserably warm andI could only swim 300m at a time before I felt like I was overheating, but I wasn’t complaining because at least I was swimming.


Tuesday – ride. 60 minute ride with 5×5 min Z4/18.5 MPH/18.8 miles/81 degrees The more intervals that are added the more challenging they become to complete on my usual route. Because of stops and turns I barely got all 5 in.

Wednesday – swim/quick change. 60 minute swim/2500 yards. 45 minute trainer ride/9.2 miles/seriously slow MPH. 15 minute treadmill run/1.7 miles/8:50 average Getting my heart rate into zone 2 is ridiculously difficult for me on a trainer, so honestly I don’t bother since I don’t do many rides on it (thankfully). I think I’m finally starting to reap some benefit of the plan with running, as my last couple treadmill runs have averaged closer to what I tended to run before starting it. The twins followed me upstairs, so I set them up with some strength training🙂13667838_10103051965224098_4758768738317973596_o

Thursday long run. 91 minute run/9 miles/10:08 average/81 degrees. The goal is still to keep my heart rate in low 2 (or even 1) so I aimed to keep it below 150, which I did until the end when I picked it up so I could get to an even 9 miles.

Friday swim. 60 minute swim/2500 yards

Saturday long ride. 3 hour ride/54.5 miles/18.7 MPH/72 degrees The group took a different route this time – mine. I was tired of the usual route and suggested another. It was a nice ride, unfortunately there was A LOT more traffic on part of it than the last time I had ridden it, and so that was (understandably) not loved by all. Still, I enjoyed the change of scenery. Oh, and I tried yet another seat, and this one was the worst of all. *sigh*

Sunday rest day. I did do 30 minutes of easy yoga as I woke up feeling tight, and by some miracle, the twins were still asleep. I slept till 7, did my yoga and got in the bath before they even woke up. They slept till 8. They’ve NEVER slept till 8.

Total Training Time:  10 hours 45 minutes including yoga

Training Thoughts: I am NOT looking forward to 10 weeks of 4+ hour rides coming up. One week at a time….also, no more route suggestions for me. Also, I’m really tired of trying saddles. Can one just work for me here soon please?


I Want To Be An Ironman – Week 15 (halfway!)

As of today, we are officially HALFWAY through the Ironman training plan, and I can’t decide wether to be excited, or panic.

Monday swim/run. A holiday meant a day off from work (yay!), and that the workout would be a brick since I wouldn’t be driving to North Charleston. 58 minute swim/2525 yards. The goal was to swim for an hour straight and see how far we (Tammie and I) could go. The pool felt like a hot tub, and it took a LONG time to get warmed up. When I finally did, my shoulder started to hurt. I finished 2500 yards and called it a couple minutes early – unfortunately my time was 3 seconds per lap slower than the last time. 57 minute run with 1x 7.5 min Z4/5.79 miles/9:53 average/77 degrees. The run was ok. The interval didn’t feel too difficult at the time but my pace was slower than usual. As the day went on I felt worn out.

Tuesday ride 60 minute 42 minute ride/18.6 MPH/12.8 miles/77 degrees. I woke up feeling like I needed the day off and should have taken it. I did the warm up and felt tired. I attempted one of the intervals and quit after 2 minutes, warmed up and tried again and quit after 2 minutes. I figured I’d do the ride easy but it just felt hard (that’s what she said) so I quit and turned around and went home. Luckily  I had also taken this day off because Bryan had it off so we spent the day together – mostly laying on the couch watching TV. #lame

Wednesday swim/run 60 minute swim/2500 yards. 60 minute run with 2 x 6 min Z4/6.45 miles/79 degrees. The rest was much needed because both workouts felt MUCH easier. My intervals were back in the 7:30’s and the rest didn’t feel like I was running through sludge. I even took Chance out for a mile.

Thursday long run. 90 minute stroller run/8.5 miles/10:34 average/72 degrees. Thursday is normally my quick change day but with Bryan out of town it meant I’d be running my long run on a treadmill at 530am, so I opted to take the twins with me instead. They ROCKED and sat for the whole thing! 13606446_10103039724734138_6142938577158548321_n

Friday ride/run quick change. 45 minute trainer ride/9.64 miles/12.8 MPH. I honestly have the hardest time getting my heart rate in zone 2 on the trainer and so for this one I decided I didn’t care. I put the TV on and just pedaled. 15 minute treadmill run/1.7 miles/8:49 average/HR 148

Saturday long ride. 4 hour ride (phew)/74.66 miles/18.5 MPH/72 degrees at start Officially my longest ride EVER, I STILL haven’t quite figured out the seat issue, though seat number….5 has been the best so far. Ugh. On the plus side, I think I am getting my nutrition down as I was able to get through it without feeling lightheaded or nauseous and only minimally hungry. I took 2 bottles of full mixed strength gatorade, 2 bottles of water, 3 packets of applesauce and one packet of fig bars, for a total of about 600 calories over the 4 hours. My legs were tired by the end, but I’m unsure if that was the heat, lack of salt, or just the fact that I was riding for 4 hours.

Sunday – rest day

Total Time: 11 hours 2 minutes/ 122 miles traveled

Training Thoughts: I am tired. I am awesome. I am an idiot.

I Want To Be An Ironman -Week 14

This week shall be known as “The Week of SNAFU’s”

Monday – swim/run 60 minute run (some stroller some solo) with 2x 4.5 min Z4/6.1 miles/72 degrees. I did the intervals solo plus a little extra, then took the twins for a short “running snack” to finish up the workout. 45 minute swim/2000 meters After we hung out a home a bit I started to get them ready to go to daycare so I could finish my workout and head into work. I went to open the car to put my stuff in and realized it was locked. I went back in looking for my keys. No luck. I went back outside and peered in the door to realize that they had been locked in the car. Bryan, who had also happened to forget his phone at home that day, had to leave work (after someone hunted him down at the school, because surprise his office calls were forwarded to his cell phone!) and come let me in the car, so my swim got cut short for the day.

Tuesday – ride. 60 minute ride with 3×5 min Z4/18.4 miles/18.4MPH/70 degrees. This one went off without  a hitch luckily, and I averaged about 20.3 for the interval parts of the ride.

Wednesday swim/run. 60 minute swim/ 2500 yards. Not a SNAFU for me personally this week, but many others got their swims cut due to chemical issues at the YMCA pool. Considering they wake up before 5 am for this swim, I could definitely sympathize. 60 minute run with 1x 7.5 min Z4/ 6.39 miles/9:39 average/82 degrees.  Its sad when its been so warm out that 82 “feels like” 88 feels relatively cool. We missed the group pic but I took a couple at recovery drinks (and food, of course) to make up for it.

Thursday ride/run quick change. 46 minute ride/14.27 miles/18.4MPH/75 degrees. 14 minute run/1.48 miles/9:27 average/75 degrees. 

Friday long run. 75 minute run/7.33 miles/10:14 average/73 degrees. I really tried to keep this run at high Zone 1/low Zone 2. I managed to do pretty well until the last mile and a half or so and then I got annoyed and started speeding up a little. I’m going to need to practice more self control for race day here.

Saturday long ride. 3.5 hour ride/61.3 miles/17.4MPH/73 degrees at start. So the group decided to start this ride at 6am in hopes that we could beat some of the heat at the end. Great in theory, not so great in practice, at least not this time. Someone fell before we even left. 5 minutes in and someone had a flat.  20 minutes later someones bike was making a whistling noise. 20 minutes (ish) after that, someone had TWO flats (pothole). All together we ended up with 5 flat tires (among 3 people), 3 falls (myself included), a dropped chain, a funny whistling noise, a bee sting, a overheated rider and a partridge in a pear tree.


My seat issue still isn’t solved, and I was hungry an hour into the ride so going liquid only isn’t going to work so well.

Sunday. rest day. Took the twins to Hilton Head to meet up with an old college roommate.

Total Training Time:  10 hours 45 minutes

Training Thoughts: Oy Vey. (I said this Saturday and someone said they hadn’t heard it said in a very long time haha)

Something Yucky This Way Comes

Dogs do gross things.

As it turns out, so do toddlers.

I fully expected to scold the dogs for doing disgusting things. In fact, just a few days ago when Miles had a random vomiting spell, Bryan told me that Chance ate all of it while the two of them showered (ew, EW EW). What I didn’t expect was that I’d be scolding the toddlers for similarly odd things (no toddler ate vomit, I assure you).

Comment with  your guesses, and I’ll post the answers in a later post. Some are applicable to both.



1. ” _____, don’t lick the oven.”

2. “Bryan, ____ got into the dirty diapers again.”

3. “Um, thanks for the dead bug.”

4. “_____, don’t eat Sadness.”

5.  “Bryan, ______ peed on the floor again.”

6. “UGH _______, why did you eat that?”

7.  “EW! _______ GET OUT OF THE GARBAGE!”

8. “I’m pretty sure ____ gave me something that was out of ____’s mouth.”

9. “I really wish_____ would stop licking the floor”

10. “_____, that’s not food”


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