Ironman Training: Week 6 {7/7 – 7/13}

15 07 2014

A little over a week ago, Jess sent the XP gang an email with an idea for integrating our IM workouts and the Tour de France. Basically, every day of the Tour we’d do our own rides- on our trainers, while watching the replay of the day’s stage. Since we’d be starting at 6:30pm and most likely riding between 1.5 and 2 hours, the plan was to also trade off dinner duty, each person in charge of a day. Sounds like a fun/crazy plan, right? Hello team bonding!


After our crazy long weekend of rides last week, we actually decided to make Monday a run day, and on Tuesday we all brought our bikes and trainers over to Jess & Felipe’s and camped them out in the living room.



Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday evenings we spent 1.5- 1 hour, 45 minutes on the trainer. I breathed a sigh of relief when we opted for a run on Friday night rather than a trainer ride. Hello saddle sores. We wrapped up our riding on Saturday with 104km and ran long on Sunday  took an easy Sunday.

I’m really liking the Tour De Tampa setup we have going on. It makes trainer rides MUCH more bearable AND, I only have to think about one dinner a week, since the rest are taken care of. Score! I think we might need to think about group dinners through the rest of our IM training;-)

Screen Shot 2014-07-13 at 8.44.08 PM

So, here are the specifics:

Monday: 16km Run

This was rough. Longest run I’ve done since before Gator. It was a hot and humid evening run. We ran 4km warm up to Davis Island. And when I say “warm up” I mean we averaged 4:55/km. Uh yeah, this was not going to be pretty. The main part of our run was the middle 8k, stopping for 1 minute in the middle and then trying to negative split it. My goal was to take it out in 5:00/km and bring it back in 4:55/km. I was right on for the first 4k, but yeah, that second half was not pretty. I was so close to walking, but I kept it together and only stopped for a quick water break. When the 8k was all done, I averaged 5:12, which isn’t bad, but not what I wanted. Oh, well, I got it done and was proud of that!



Tuesday: Swim, 2500m, Cycle, 1 hour 45 minutes

Morning swim felt really good after the previous night’s run. We did a lot of pulling, so our legs were happy about that!

Then, it was night one of Tour De Tampa! We watched Stage 4, and I was pleasantly surprised by how much faster the trainer time went when a) I was doing it with other friends and b) I was watching a cycling race! The Tour was actually pretty interesting and I learned a bit more about how it works because I was basically clueless.



Wednesday: PiYo; Cycling, 1 hour 22 minutes

Stage 5 of the Tour. I can’t believe they ride in that crazy weather! This was certainly an exciting stage to watch with all the cobblestones and the ridiculous rain. It made me thankful I was indoors!


Thursday: Cycling, 1 hour 30 minutes

Stage 6 of the Tour!


Friday: Swim, 1600 m; PiYo; Run 8km

I 150% did NOT want to get up for swim. Three days of riding in a row is exhausting! This definitely gave me a greater appreciation for the incredible fitness of the cyclists in the tour. How the heck do they do it??

I did a nice and easy solo swim and went home and did some PiYo and played with headstands. Ah, feel the stretch!


At night, instead of riding (resting that crotch for a long ride on Saturday) we did a group run. Again, my tired body was not looking forward to this run and I was hoping for a thunderstorm to cancel practice, but I was not so lucky.

The run started off at a quick clip- 5:01, hello! I told my legs to suck it up- we’re only going for 40 minutes. Felipe and Jess dictated the pace and, kept us under 5:00 (actually, under 4:55/km) for the remaining kms. I did my best to stick with them, and only got dropped in the last km. That hurt, but I was so happy I pushed through.


Saturday: Ride, 104km

We rode late in the morning- 10am actually- because we like to sleep in! This definitely makes for a steamy ride though. We took a new route, and it was actually quite nice to get a change of scenery. It didn’t feel quite as rural – fewer farms and a golf course- and the roads were pretty smooth too. I think eventually, we’ll be able to get in one giant loop that connects this new section with where we usually ride.

Unfortunately, I was feeling blah on this ride. We’ve done 100km rides before but this one just seemed to DRAG! I don’t know if it was because I had a saddle sore that was bothering me, or if my legs were just rebelling agains being on the saddle yet again, but man, the ride just felt long. Our original plan had actually been to ride for four hours, but when we stopped just shy of 3 and a half, I was NOT complaining. When I got home, I soaked in a bath and elevated my legs. SO NECESSARY!


Sunday: PiYo

It was going to be a bike day, but then we decided it was going to be a run day…and then it started thunder storming, so we called it a day. I was going to just soak in my rest day, but I opted to do a little bit of PiYo- in the morning I did PiYo legs, and in the evening I did PiYo Drench, which did, in fact, leave me quite sweaty. It was a nice (and fast) way to get in a workout!


The Kindness of Strangers

13 07 2014

Last night, I went to St. Pete to meet up with one of my former colleagues from my time in DC. She recently moved to Florida, so we grabbed a beer at the Ale & the Witch, and caught up on life. One of the topics that we chatted about was how much nicer the people in Florida are as compared to DC.

Now, I loved my time in DC, and I have some fabulous friends there, and I know this is a blanket generalization, but for the most part, everyone in DC is doing their own thing, focused on getting themselves from point A to point B, busy busy busy, and not really stopping to say hi or lend a hand to a neighbor in need. I feel like much of our society is actually this way– selfishly focused on the things they need to do and not taking the two seconds to smile at that stranger walking down the street or to say “hi” to the neighbor across the hall as they walk in their apartment. Like my friend, I had noticed that folks in Florida were generally a bit friendlier, but I hadn’t recently taken the time to really stop and think about it, to notice it, and to extend that kindness myself.

As we listened to the Applebutter Express and sipped our local Dunedin brew, an older gentleman came up and asked if he could sit at the third chair at our table. We got to chatting with him, and he was just so friendly! Throughout the course of the night, my friend and I interacted with several other groups- not groups of young, partying college kids, but other adults (some with kids) who were just enjoying the evening air, live music and a good brew. It all felt just so welcoming and put a smile on my face.

My friend and I said our goodbyes a little after 11, and I was nearly home when, sitting at a stoplight, I was rear-ended by a man who I am 99% sure was drunk. And then he drove off.

I won’t go in to details here, but in all of the commotion, the one thing that amazed me was the kindness of strangers. FOUR different people helped or offered help while I stood on the side of the road. These people who I had never met offered to stay with me while I waited for the police, provided me with the guy’s tag number, and two even tried to chase him down. It was late, and I’m sure all of them were headed home to crawl in their beds- the one guy had his nephew in the car,  who was fast asleep, exhausted from the day’s fishing trip. Another guy was on his way home from a long shift in a restaurant kitchen.  But they put their needs aside to lend me a helping hand. I like to think that I’m a strong woman, but in that chaos, I was scared, shaken up, frustrated, and felt helpless.  Having other human beings there to reassure me that everything would be okay was a life saver.  I don’t know these people, and may never see any of them again, but I can not thank them enough for just being there, taking the time to help a fellow human being. I am so grateful.

I can’t and won’t speculate about how this situation would have panned out if it had happened it DC, but I just found it so ironic that so many people offered to help me out on an evening where I had just been talking about how friendly Floridians are. Perhaps this was the reminder I needed for myself to be a little kinder to strangers. To take the time to smile, lend a helping hand, or offer some assistance when I can. We’re all here trying to do the best we can, and sometimes a little kindness goes a long way.



Ironman Training: Weeks 4 & 5

10 07 2014

So, this whole Ironman training is keeping me quite busy. Especially now that I’m in the midst of week 6! It’s finally starting to hit me how much of a time commitment this thing is- and bigger mileage is yet to come! So, this post will be short(er) and I’ll give some highlights from the past two weeks of training.

Week of 6/23-6/29Screen Shot 2014-06-30 at 8.22.49 AM


This week was heavy on the running, since I was out of town Thursday the 26th through Monday the 30th. But it was good- my legs needed it. The week started off with a track workout, which went surprisingly well for me. We did 1km repeats- 10 of them. I averaged 4:51/km which I was very happy with. Unfortunately, that was my best run all week. At the end of the week, I was home in NJ, and able to run on the boardwalk which was SO. NICE. It’s definitely my favorite place to run. Oh, and I got to rock my new SOAS kit, and I’m in LOVE. Pink + black  + houndstooth = <3


Week 4 Stats:

Running: 48km

Biking: 60km

Swimming: 5800m

Week of 6/30-7/6

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If week 4 was about increasing running volume, then week 5 was definitely about increasing cycling volume. I have saddle sores to prove it. Ouch. The week started out with a trainer ride, since the usual Florida thunderstorms cancelled our run practice. I only got in one swim and two runs for the week, but I definitely made up for last week’s lack of cycling, going a grand total of 302 km (that includes trainer time- actual outdoor riding was 250km).



Have I mentioned I love this kit? Me thinks the jersey might be in my future!

I’ve also started incorporating PiYo into my morning routine, and I’ve been pleasantly surprised by how nicely it fits in. (This is definitely a perk of working from home!) The workouts range from 25-45 minutes, and though they are sweat inducing (some workouts more so than others), I feel like they’re not so intense that my energy is zapped. Rather, I feel more limber and energized, ready for the evening’s workout.




Oh, and I must share that I finally saw a gator while out riding and was able to snag photographic evidence! When we stopped for a refuel break on the 4th of July, there was a small gator swimming in the retention pond next to the gas station!


Not the best picture, but can you see his head?

I’m sure we’ll be seeing him plenty more because this gas station is pretty much the only one on our normal bike route…

Anyhow, that’s a wrap on weeks 4 & 5. Here’s my totals for week 5:

Running: 17km

Biking: 302 km

Swimming: 2300

Other: Piyo, 3 days, 4 workouts




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