May 25, 2012

Ironman Week 20


I am way late in posting this, but Ironman training has officially peaked and taken over my life, leaving little time to write about it since I'm so busy doing it! This week was a big jump in overall training time (usually average 10 hours/wk, this week I hit 14 hrs), and my body responded accordingly with tired legs all week long. I got a massage at the beginning of the week which contributed to the soreness, too, but paid off by the weekend. Some milestones this week included my longest swim to date (although I've already surpassed it this week), a 16 miler that was my longest run since marathon training, and an attempt at my first century ride that turned into a metric century thanks to a brutally hilly course. The best words to describe me this week: sore, tired, and hungry!!

am: bike / 16.8 mi / 1:00 / avg 16.8 mph
Man I had tiiiired legs for this ride! I think I was still tired and sore from my long ride and trail run over the weekend, but I just couldn't muster any speed. Afterward I headed to the massage appointment I'd been looking forward to since Wildflower. Todd absolutely destroyed me this time around! This time he knew my problem areas (hamstrings and hips) and spent the majority of time on them. My hips are still the worst. I have a pretty high pain tolerance, but I could barely handle him digging into my side. I felt bruised and sore for several days after, but by the end of the week I could finally feel the benefits.

am: swim / 3,000 yds / 1:10
  • warm-up:
    • 200 easy
    • 200 kick
    • 200 pull
    • 200 easy
  • main:
    • 6x100 as 25 fast/75 easy
    • 12x50 fast on 1:30
    • 6x100 as 25 fast/75 easy
  • cool-down:
    • 100 easy
    • 100 kick
    • 100 pull
    • 100 easy
This was my longest swim to date, and the first time seeing a 3 in front of my total distance. I swam in the morning, and I almost forgot how much I love it : ) The workout wasn't too difficult, despite it's length. My 50s averaged 48 seconds, which I was fairly happy with, and with a good amount of rest after each one I stayed pretty consistent.

pm: run / 4.6 mi / 0:35 / avg 7:37
I've come to the conclusion that I am way more motivated for track workouts when I have others doing them with me, which is why MTC track nights are so great. This one was a doozy and by the end I was running on fumes. That last mile was a long one!
  • warm-up: 1 mi
  • main:
    • 4x400 (1:34, 1:31, 1:36, 1:36)
    • 2x800 (3:38, 3:33)
    • 1x1600 (7:44)
  • cool-down: 0.5 mi
Afterward I rushed to a goodbye dinner for two of my good friends (and coworkers) who were moving to Colorado. Both are phenomenal runners and wonderful people, and I have no doubt there futures will be incredibly bright. It was certainly bittersweet, but I'm happy for them, and I know I will see them again. And now I have a great excuse to visit Colorado : ) Gonna miss you guys!
Chris & Erin, soon-to-be famous runners!
Erin, me, and Courtney, my fave Fleet Feet gals

am: bike / 26 mi / 1:30 / avg 17.3 mph
Started out the day a bit earlier than usual to fit in a midweek brick workout. Nothing too special about the ride.

am: run / 3.3 mi / 0:30 / avg 9:05
Even though it was only a half hour, I struggled through this run. My legs just felt tired and heavy from the start.

am: run / 16.1 mi / 2:30 / avg 9:19
I had the day off so my long run ended up being a bit earlier in the week. This was the farthest I've ran in a while, and I'll be honest, it was not easy. I was able to keep up a decent pace, but it never really felt easy. My legs were still really sore and tired, I think from the longer/harder workouts of late and from Monday's killer massage. I stopped several times to try and stretch out, and while it would help for a bit, I'd end up having to do it again a couple miles later. It was also warmer than I expected and my allergies flared up leaving my breathing more labored than usual. Despite all this the second half was better than the first and I was glad to get the miles in.

The bike trail that I do most of my running and riding on has quite a bit of wildlife, and during nearly every workout I spot squirrels, jack rabbits, quails, turkeys, and sometimes the occasional coyote. During this run, however, I spotted a first: a turtle! It was just sitting there on the side of the trail, a little bigger than my hand. I just stopped and stared, then got closer to look at it in detail, then figured it wasn't a very safe place for him to be so I picked him up and moved him to the river side of the trail. He retreated into his shell while I moved him, but after a few seconds of putting him down, off he went! Definitely the coolest animal I've seen so far!

pm: swim / 2,400 yds / 1:00
  • warm-up:
  • 200
  • 100 kick
  • 200 drill
  • 100
  • main:
    • 50 hard, 100 super easy
    • 100 hard, 100 super easy
    • 150 hard, 100 super easy
    • 200 hard, 100 super easy  
    • 4x100 on 2:00
    • 50 hard, 100 super easy
    • 100 hard, 100 super easy
  • cool-down: 150 non-free
Another tough workout with MTC! Partly tough because I ran 16 miles earlier in the day, but also because there were a lot of "hard" sets. This was definitely one of those workouts where during you hate it and just want it to be done, but when it's over you feel awesome : )

Ahhh, glorious rest! I originally had a tempo run to do, and no rest days scheduled this week, but I opted out since my legs had been so tired all week and clearly needed the rest. I also took my bike in to the shop to have my new cassette installed and ended up getting a new chain, too.

am: swim / 2,100 yds* / 0:40
Headed to Lake Natoma after work for another awesome open water swim! I seriously love swimming here, mainly because of the crew buoys that give me a line to follow underwater. Without having to sight all the time I can get into a great rhythm and swim forever! And yes, I know it's good to practice sighting, but I figure come race day there will be plenty of other people to keep me swimming in the right direction. The best part of these swims, however, is that my comfort in open water has improved immensely. I went a little further this time, and realized the buoys go on much further than I realized!

am: bike / 68 mi / 5:06 / avg 13.3 mph
Ahhhh, the century ride that wasn't. I attempted my first 100+ mile ride at the Motherlode Century, only to come up a tad short and stop at the metric century after an insanely brutal course. There was more climbing over the 68 miles of this course than there is over 112 miles at Coeur d'Alene, so it was great training despite the shorter distance.
 my awesome company for the ride!
at least there were awesome views!
 Mosquito Bridge
 South Fork of the American River

swim: 7,500 yards
bike: 110.8 miles
run: 24 miles
other: 0 hours
total time: 14.0 hours


  1. Got to love the wildlife...a turtle! very cool.

  2. That is how I feel too during IM training.I feel like my body is tired from all the accumulated training that I have done during the week and it can be a little furstrating to see numbers on your garmin that are not as good as I'm hoping for. But I think your body eventually catches up when you get to taper.Bring on the taper I always say :-)

  3. just saying hi - one IMCdA first timer to another :) great week!

  4. Rachel! I MISS YOU ALREADY!! When you come visit, you will have to bring your trail shoes. There are some AWESOME trails here that you would love. I am getting so anxious to see you kill it at Ironman! You are a serious BAD. ASS.