Tuesday, April 19, 2016

Workout Recap: 5 Weeks Out from Chattanooga Half Ironman

Hello everyone! It’s been a while, hasn’t it? Well, the reasons for that I will get into some other time, but let’s just say that I have had a lot on my mind the past week, lots going on at work, and a coworker staying with me for a few nights. It didn’t make for much time for writing and blogging and the time that I did have, I just wanted to rest and do nothing. Luckily, I managed to get in at least one workout a day and a big weekend under my belt. Here’s my workout recap from the past week.

Monday, April 11 – Run 3.5 miles (9:26 min/mile, 33:07) with Run Smyrna (in the rain) 

With no real running over the weekend and my focus being on the bike rides, I knew I had to get out for a run on Monday. I slept in, feeling the need for sleep outweighing the need for a workout (I set my alarm first to swim, didn’t make it up, then thought I’d do a weight workout, and didn’t make it up.) I met up with Run Smyrna and despite the rain, did a 3.5 mile run with them. All in a day’s work!

Tuesday, April 12 – AM weights and PM 17.55 mile Atlanta Cycling ride (12.61 min/mile, 1:23:29) 

Since I ran the night before, I wanted to give myself the morning off from running, so I decided to get in some quality time in the gym. I miss lifting weights. I know I say this all the time, but there is something really satisfying about it. I did an upper body workout and was feeling myself quite a bit. I noticed that tracking my calories and watching what I eat has been paying off and snapped a couple pics in the mirror for what my friend AJ calls a “swelfie.”

That evening, I forced myself out to Atlanta Cycling’s women’s only bike ride, another group ride that they run. It is the same course that I rode the Thursday before, but this group is just for women. I had a friend who also was there doing the ride and that made me feel a lot more comfortable. I rode with the faster riders in the group for the first 5-6 miles then got dropped but ended up staying with one woman. We talked and rode together and it made it go by quicker. I was still a bit bummed at my pace for this ride, but at least I got a midweek ride on the road in! And conquered another group ride, which is a mental challenge for me. The final victory was that this whole workout was challenged as I had the last minute opportunity to go to dinner with someone in town. I stood strong that this ride was a commitment to me and was proud of myself for that.

See me in the background?
Wednesday, April 13 – AM Swim workout – 3200 meters 

I didn’t write down this workout and honestly don’t even remember that much about it. I feel like it was hard? It was a small group and it was a long workout – 3200 or 3300 meters. I wanted to hop out early so I wouldn’t be late for work but made myself finish and then just rushed in the locker room to get ready. Although, I couldn’t really tell you what I did in the workout, but I know this much!

Thursday, April 14 – AM 4 mile run (10:35 min/mile, 42:22) with Melana and Janet 

It was great to have two friends to run with on Thursday morning up and down the beltline. It motivates me to get out of bed and start the day with something healthy, social, and outdoors. It makes me feel like I’ve got a little secret life before I even start work, to have gotten a run in before the sun is up.

Apparently we only took pictures on Snapchat though.

Friday, April 15 – AM Swim workout – 2400 meters 

Nothing super notable here, the workout was a total of about 2400 meters and there was a full pool this day. We did series of 8 x 50s on 1:00 minute then 1:20 then 1:40, all hard. I started the 50s swim, then did a set of them pull, then a set kick. My legs were tired at the end of those kick sets!

I thought about running in the evening because I had in my mind that I hadn’t run since Monday. Then I remembered that I ran on Thursday morning… goes to show you where my head is at. I skipped the PM run on Friday to instead be lazy on the couch.

Saturday, April 16 – 50.29 mile bike (14.64 mph, 3:26:02) + 2.18 mile run (9:12 min/mile, 20:05)

I was singularly focused on Saturday with what I wanted to accomplish – bike 50 miles. I stayed in on Friday night, I made sure that I had my nutrition ready to go. I got a lot of sleep and I set out to bike 50 miles no matter how long it was going to take me.

I went out to Cartersville to ride the loops that I have been riding at the Budweiser plant. I wanted to sleep in and wake up without an alarm and then get out as early as possible. I ate a good breakfast, packed up my bike, and drove out to get on the road around 9:30 a.m. I knew that there was going to be a lot of people there since two different bike groups were doing group rides. I purposefully wanted to try riding on my own, so actually was hoping to avoid them as much as possible.

The first loop I did was the 30 mile loop, which brought me back to my car, where I refilled my water bottles, then set out to do the 14 mile loop. I tried not to think about how many miles I had left or how many miles I had done, just first focused on doing 30 miles, then 14 miles, then the last 6 miles. I was for sure exhausted at the end, but I got it done.

 When I finished the 50 miles, I hopped off my bike and went out for a 20 minute brick run. It sure is hard to run after being on the bike and I can mentally push myself through these bricks by telling myself it is only 20 minutes. I started to try and envision myself in the mindset of the race throughout both portions of the workout today though and it worked well on the bike – but it is still hard for me to visualize running for another 11 miles after the 2 that I ran. It will be a big mental fight for sure.

Sunday, April 17 – 11 mile struggle run (10:48 min/mile, 1:58:48) 

My Sunday workout helped to prep me for that mental fight. It was a real struggle run.

I decided to head out from my apartment and do something that I have only done once before, back in July, and run from my apartment to the Silver Comet Trail. I am trying to incorporate more hills into my run training but also didn’t want to make the run totally torturous by running hills the whole entire time.

It was 3.3 miles to the point where I usually start at the SCT and then I went out until I did 5.5 miles and turned back. At 7.5 miles, I felt horrible and started to walk, but let me get there in a minute… It was warm out on Sunday. The first warm run we’ve had this year. The sun was beating and being on the Silver Comet made me happy to have some shade. I was really tempted to just keep running on the trail and then call an Uber to go home. I realized I’d be bored though and turned back when I got halfway through. I was so glad I did.

My stomach started to go into serious disarray as I got closer to the point where the SCT starts. I really wanted to run until I got to the bathroom but I couldn’t. My stomach was in knots and I started walking. I tried to ask myself, “What would I do if I were in a race?” and I would have had to fight through until I got to the bathroom.

I used the restroom, then kept going. I walked until I got to 8 miles, then ran again for .25 miles, then walked for .25 miles. My stomach was still settling a bit and I could tell I was really dehydrated and I was getting side stitches, which is something that never happens to me when I run.

I stopped at a gas station to buy some more water, took some of the salt tabs I had brought with me, and got myself home, only allowing myself to walk a sum of 1 mile the whole thing.

It was a fight but I am glad I got myself through it. I think it made me stronger and I also learned a lot from the run about what I need to do to prepare myself. I don’t want to have runs where I feel like that again.


  1. I hate running on the hear, so I extend you my sympathies. Also, if it helps, bad runs happen. This run doesn't define you. You're the same runner who ran a sub-4:00 marathon. You're going to slay this half-ironman.