Ironman Training: Week 3

24 06 2014


Another week closer to IM Coz! I still have plenty to go- the party is just getting started! We’ve slowly started to up our mileage, and double workouts caught up with me this week- I took Friday completely off and it was glorious. I don’t think there was anything super memorable this week, so I’ll just give you the quick run down.Screen Shot 2014-06-23 at 9.16.44 PM

Monday: Run, 11km

I had plans in the evening, so I got in a morning run with Courtney. We ran 30 minutes at a comfortable pace on the way out, and then picked it up on the way back. It was a nice little run, and with warm up and cool down, I averaged 5:15/km.

Tuesday: Swim, 2200m; Run, 12 km (4km WU/CD, 8km workout)

Morning swim was a ladder that included pulling: 4 x 100 pull, 100 swim, 3 x 100 pull, 100 swim, 2 x 100 pull, 100 swim, 1 x 100 pull, 100 swim.

In the evening we almost didn’t get a workout in. There was a TERRIBLE storm that started shortly after we started our run. It was scary close. We took cover at UT and waited it out. Thankfully we didn’t have to wait too long, and after about 20 minutes we were off and running again. We modified our usual 4K route so that it was an actual loop, rather than an L. This was a relief, since it mean going over the bridge only once! Bonus: the last 1.5 km is sort of down hill too! We ran the loop twice, no stopping. By the end of the second loop, my legs were definitely heavy, but I pushed through it and ended up averaging 4:55/km. I’ll take it!


Wednesday:Swim, 2000m; Yoga, 1 hour; Trainer, 28km

Nothing exciting to report here:-)


Thursday: Swim, 2200; Run 10.82km

We again did lots of pull, and my left shoulder started to bother me. It’s been a little annoying over the past few months, and I think it’s because I sleep on my left side all. the. time. I might need to get Lisa to check it out. Right after swim, I went for a run. I really wanted to get in 11km, but my body just wasn’t having it. The only thing keeping me going was knowing that I would not have another workout until Friday evening- and that was super exciting. I was drenched in sweat at the end, but relieved it was over.



The plan was to get in a group run in the evening, but we ended up canceling. My body was very thankful!

Saturday: Ride, 65km

I rode with the XP gang out at Alafia. We rode this in two parts: Part 1 was nice and easy, 30 km out. We spent the time chatting until we had to fall in to a pace line for the last 5km, when we got to Wachula Rd. The ride home was an hour steady, at IM pace. I went first, straight into the headwind that we knew was coming. I put my head down and dug deep to keep a consistent pace as best I could, but without pushing too hard and not holding back too much. At about 15km in, we turned off Wachula, and therefore, out of the headwind. At about 20km in, Jess passed me, and I realized I had been in lala land. I picked up my pace just a tiny bit, and ended up holding about the same pace as Jess for the remainder of the ride. I kept my three bike lengths between us, but didn’t seem to lose any ground until the last 5km, when I slowed before making our final left turn to let a car by. This ride made me realize how long I’m actually going to be riding for at IM:  just need to imagine doing that ride 4 more times (maybe even more). Wow. that’s far.


Sunday: Ride, 66km; Run 5.5km, 1 hour yoga

I rode with the A-train gang on Sunday at the Suncoast trail. We started bright and early- 7am- since there was some of the group heading out for 75 miles! We had a nice group- maybe 10-15 of us riding in a line up to Anderson Snow, the halfway point for many and just a potty break for others. We held a comfortable pace on the way there, a few different people taking turns up front pulling. On the way back, the group split some: a group kept going north to get in their 75, and then a few other groups headed back to the cars. I was in the first group and there were about 5 of us. We picked up the pace a little on the way home, and each took turns pulling. At the last 15k, the strongest rider in our pack, Bill (not my boyfriend Bill, another guy), was leading and said he was going to pick it up for the last 15km. I was like “Alright, let’s do this!” and we got to moving. At this point, I was 4th in the line. A few km later, the guy in front of me tapped out, so I pulled in to third position, behind Jamie. We were almost halfway there when Jamie tapped out too, so I pushed hard to get on Bill’s wheel. We were holding about 23mph, and I was working hard. With about 8km left, Bill let me pull for a little while, but I was beat. I’m pretty sure he could tell because after only about 2km he yelled that he could take over whenever I wanted. Thank. Goodness! I pulled off, and let him take back the lead. With about 2km left, still holding at 23mph, two cyclists flew past us- they must have been going 30mph! Bill tried to grab their wheel, while I on the other hand saw this as my opportunity to get some relief. I had to run afterwards and my legs would not be happy if I tried to stay with these speedsters. So, I backed off, and spun back to the car. I’m glad I did, because I was able to get in a decent run, though my legs were certainly tired! 5:12 pace off a tough ride is certainly respectable! I ended the weekend with some yoga in the park, which was nice and refreshing!



Running: 39.32km

Biking: 159km

Swimming:6400 m

Yoga: 2 hours

The Best Post-Ride Recovery Drink

18 06 2014

It’s summer. In Florida. Perfect time to train for an Ironman, right? NOT. Summer has only just begun, and temperatures are in the high 80s and 100% humidity. Joy!


Many triathletes will tout Coke as the best post-ride beverage (or a beer; that works too). Now don’t get me wrong, I do love a Coke after a tough ride, and it’s definitely given me that extra boost I’ve needed to keep going in both of my half irons.


However, Coke doesn’t have any real nutritional value to help my muscles recover. One of the key components in recovery drinks is protein. And how much protein is in Coke? Nada. I’m not helping my muscles recover by drinking this stuff! So, I’ve started incorporating Osmo Acute Recovery into my post-workout routine.


Osmo has some pretty nifty videos about the science behind all their products, and you can check out the one about Acute Recovery here:


In short, Acute Recovery has the nutrients a women’s body needs to maximize recovery after workouts. It’s combo of protein, carbs and a wee bit of caffeine will help your body repair muscles and restore your glycogen levels.

I’m on my second or third tub of it, and I really dig it. The flavor for the women’s line is “Honey & Spice” and they recommend you mix it with water or rice milk. I first enjoyed it with rice milk, and was immediately reminded of horchata. So if you are a fan of the cinnamon-y sweet Latin American drink, you should like it (unless of course you are a horchata purist!). The flavor is pretty light, so it can easily be mixed with just about anything you’d normally put into a smoothie. I like it with some peanut butter and banana blended with some ice and milk too!

It is recommended that you drink Osmo Acute Recovery within 30 minutes of completing your exercise, as that is the “golden window” to get your body what it needs to maximize recovery. When my friends and I ride, we drive a good 40 minutes to get to our starting spot. Now, I’m sure 10 minutes won’t make that big of a difference, but I do want to reap all the benefits of the hard work I’m putting in to my training. So, I wanted a way to have my Osmo on my drive home.


I had recently tried Osmo Acute Recovery with Zico chocolate coconut water and OMG was it good! So, I took an individual bottle and stuck it in the freezer the night before a ride. I measured out how much mix I would need and put it in the bottom of a shaker cup. The next day, I used the frozen coconut water as an ice pack for the drinks I was taking to my ride and for the ones for after, and left it in the cooler while we went riding (note- I have a soft-sided cooler, not a hard-sided cooler). I had obviously packed my shaker cup as well.

Osmo plus Zico

When I got back to the car, the coconut water had started to melt and was quite slushy- perfect for after a hot ride! I poured what I could into the shaker bottle, topped it with some water and shook it up. HOLY COW. Chocolatey, coconuty, cinnamony slush. So refreshing after being in the heat of the sun! And, I was helping my body recover by drinking it shortly after I got off the bike. Score! I would highly recommend doing this (or something similar with your favorite recovery drink) after your next ride!

So, to recap:

Step 1: Freeze the Zico chocolate water overnight.

Step 2: Measure the Osmo Recovery in a shaker bottle

Step 3:Take the frozen Zico with you to your ride, and leave it in a cooler while you’re gone.

Step 4: Post ride, pour the Zico into the shaker cup, shake, and enjoy!!


yes, I know the pictures don’t exactly line up with the steps above, but a picture of Zico in a cooler isn’t all that exciting.

Happy training! (and recovering!)


Ironman Training: Week 2: Two-a-days Begin!

16 06 2014

This week, we started two-a-days, which basically means two workouts in a given day. Yippee! (sarcasm)

Struggle Bus

The “Struggle Bus” suit was definitely required this week.

We also started morning swim workouts- double whoopee! (sort of sarcasm) Our favorite pool, Bobby Hicks is finally open with summer hours, meaning they are open in the mornings and usually set up in long course. Long course is great for training for triathlons, but it does take a bit of getting used to after swimming short-course yards for the last 6 months. Since 100 meters is longer than 100 yards it takes a little getting used to the new intervals. Sayonara 1:15 hundreds.


I stayed up a little too late a few nights this week (darn you Orange is the New Black, but at least now I’m done!) which made getting up for morning swim a bit more challenging, and it definitely caught up to me on Thursday when I was falling asleep watching TV at 9:30. It was a nice little wake up call that it is going to be a LONG summer with lots of early to beds and early wake ups.

Here’s how it went down:

Screen Shot 2014-06-15 at 10.15.21 PM

Monday: 1600m swim, 9km run

My alarm went off at 6:00am for our first morning practice of many. I’m quite thankful I live close to the pool and can roll out of bed and be there by 6:15! We eased into long course and only did 1600m. In the evening, our little group ran around Tampa for a nice little 9k jaunt. It was disgustingly humid and we were all DRENCHED in sweat by the time we got back. This definitely made me second guess selecting Cozumel as our Ironman.


Tuesday: 8.5 km run

Like clockwork, there were storm clouds hovering over Tampa in the evening, when we were planning to run. They seemed far enough away and Felipe was convinced we could plan our run around them. So, we took off towards the clouds, not really taking a set route, but following Felipe, as is our MO for group runs. About 5km in, we were the closest we had been to the storm, and the thunder was clapping, so we headed back towards home. 1 km later it started raining- the kind of rain you know is just going to get harder. At that point the instructions became: get home as fast as you can. Felipe took off, and Heather and I booked it as fast as we could. Of course, about half a kilometer from home, we got stuck by a train crossing! Thankfully we hovered under a building’s awning until it was through the intersection, before kicking it into high gear for the remainder of the run. A little lot of rain will make you move fast-my pace was 4:44 and 4:38 for those last two kms!


Wednesday: 2200m swim, 1 hour yoga, 45 minutes spin

In the morning we swam; nothing to exciting to report. I went to a lunchtime yoga class at Yogani with Annette Scott. If you are ever in Tampa, check out one of her classes- she will kick your butt! I don’t think my obliques have ever been that sore after a workout, ever! In the evening, I hopped on the trainer for a little spin with Glee. I was not feeling in the groove of it at all, which is why I stopped at 45 minutes rather than an hour. So. Bored. I’m gonna need to get over that though, there will be plenty of trainer time this summer.


Thursday: 2300m swim, 8km run, 1 hour yoga

Courtney, Heather, and I were the only ones for morning swim, so we did a nice little set of 16 x 100s, working hard for 3, and then 1 easy. It was nice to get a little hard work done in the pool:-) After, I ran an 8km solo, and I felt BLAH! It was humid, and I think I just needed to fuel better. I had only eaten a banana and some PB before swim, so my body definitely needed some more calories. In the evening, Bill and I headed to another one of Annette’s classes. It hurt so good! I definitely need to keep this up!

Friday: Run, 11.5km

Morning thunderstorms = cancelled swim practice = extra sleep, yay! But we weren’t off the hook. We did a group run in the evening despite the obvious storm headed our way. We got about 1.5km into the run and it started to rain a little, and off to our right some ominous clouds were moving in. We stopped for a minute to contemplate whether to keep running away from the storm or head back (which would have been directly into the pouring rain). We opted to keep running, and headed to our normal starting spot for our 4k “loop” (more like an “L”) that includes going up and over a bridge, twice. The plan was to run the 4k twice (8k total), but if it started storming badly, head home as fast as possible. We staggered our starts, and I went second. Shortly after we started running, it started to rain a little, but the storm was still kind of behind us. When I was going up the bridge the first time, I looked back on downtown, and you could definitely tell it was down pouring there. I kept running, and the rain became a little more steady, but not unbearable. Actually, it cooled it down some, and made me realize I would much prefer to run in the rain than in the ridiculous heat and humidity. As I was returning over the bridge (about 3.5 km into the run), Felipe passed me, and by this time it was raining pretty hard. I asked him if we would be headed home after just the 4k. I couldn’t understand his response and kept running. No joke, about 30 seconds later, we were out of the rain, and the sun was shining. This didn’t last long- it was just a pocket between the clouds- but it was quite ironic to me. On the next 4k, there was another section where we got some heavier rains, but again, not too unbearable- my iPod still works:-) We did a nice little 1.5k cool down at the end of the 8k, and I was pleasantly surprised we were able to get the whole thing in. Florida summertime storms will never cease to amaze me.



Saturday: 63km ride

These Florida storms are getting out of control! We didn’t set a ride time for Saturday morning because the weather forecast was 60% chance of rain the entire morning out where we ride. But, around 9:30am the weather forecast looked decent for the next few hours, so we planned to meet at 11:15 (yes, I know we ride late). The original plan was to ride do 3 x 20 minutes steady on the one quiet road whose name I am currently forgetting-up, back, up again-but when we turned back to do the second set, there were dark clouds directly ahead of us. There was no way we would make it 20 minutes in that direction without getting caught in the storm. So we turn back around, and made a left onto Wachula road, and did the second 20 minutes there. We made the left onto Carlton Lakes road to take us back towards the car, and could tell we missed the storm. It had stayed to the north of us, blowing eastward. Win! I was pretty happy with how this ride felt- I’m itching for some longer rides now!
biking in weather

Sunday: 45km ride, 5km run, 1 hour yoga

Heather and I met up on Davis Island in the morning to get in our workout. We did pretty much exactly what we did last week: 6 loops around Davis island- the first lap was warm up, and then laps 2 through 5 were hard, with each of us taking 5 minute pulls. Then, we used the last loop as a cool down. This was a nice little workout- it’s fun to get in some good strong pulls, and to battle the wind, which can be quite annoying some times. Good practice for Cozumel. A bunch of people were out running, riding, and just wandering around the island. It was definitely a beautiful morning!

After, we ran 5k together. I did my darndest to stay with Heather and was sticking with her up until the last k, but then she really turned it on, and dropped me. But, I was still happy – I averaged 4:51!


IMG_5128I wrapped up my weekend/kicked off my week with some yoga in the park. Ah, exactly what I needed.


Running: 41 km

Biking: 133km

Swimming: 6100m

Other: 3 hours of yoga