IMLP Training Recap: Week 8

Hi! Happy Monday.  Grr.  Actually - this:

image via
Who doesn't love the grumpy cat?  I adore him.  I could look at pictures of this cat all day and howl ... which is to say, I actually do look at pictures of this cat all day and howl.  

Cat humor aside, I think I've mentioned maybe one hundred million times that I'm training for the Ironman Lake Placid triathlon on July 27.  If you're not familiar with an Ironman, it is a 2.4 mile swim, a 112 mile bike and a 26.2 (or a marathon) run.  It is insane.  The one I am training for is in Lake Placid, New York, and even though the bike ride is literally in the mountains, the scenery is so stunningly beautiful that it was an absolute no brainer to choose this race when it came time to decide where to register for an Ironman.

Obviously, with 140.6 miles of race to cover in one day, training for an Ironman is essential and takes a very long time.  Amy, Bill and I started training 7 weeks ago and I am really glad we did.  My first official Ironman training workout was a 20 minute walk the day after the Philadelphia Marathon.  We've hired a coach, and he sends us weekly workouts, which we then log into an App so that he can monitor our stats.  So far so good.  And because I am doing this every single day, I am going to start a weekly recap of the prior week's training.

A couple of notes before I dig in:

  • I prefer to list the workouts as weeks in versus weeks to go.  I am well aware of how many days and weeks are left before the big race (as of today, it is 194 days to go OMG).  But seeing a weekly countdown would give me way too much anxiety.  So, weeks in it is. 
  • When I say "we" or "us" or "our", that is some variation of Amy, Bill and me.  Right now, we are training independently, but I suspect and hope that once the Winter is over and we start doing really long bike rides outside that we'll be doing them together.
  • Training: here's where I do my training:
    • Swim:  YMCA pool and in the Spring/Summer - Marsh Creek state park
    • Bike:  Trainer in my basement.  In Spring/Summer - outside! Gotta find some good spots for long bike rides.
    • Run:  Outside as often as possible or treadmill at the YMCA (under extreme protest). 
  • Some definitions for you that I'll be using on a pretty frequent basis going forward:
    • IM: Ironman
    • IMLP:  Ironman Lake Placid
    • Brick:  this is a back-to-back double workout, usually a bike followed immediately by a run.  You do your bike, hop off and then head out as fast as you can on your run, much like a real triathlon.  
    • OMG:  That means "oh my god," which I know you know.  I just know I will use it a lot.
Finally, a question I've been asked is "how do you have time for this?"  The answer is two-fold: (1) I make the time (and make sacrifices) and (2) I have a heck of a lot of help.  My workouts during the week are pretty much structured around my custody schedule: if I have the kids, I ask my coach to give me a bike ride, or a swim and I do that after I drop them off at school and before work.  I also have help from my ex and Amy and Bill, who hang with the kids on weekends when I have workouts.  Amy said that it will take a village to get through the IM training, and I agree.  I am incredibly appreciative of all the help.  A few times per week, I wake up around 4:15 am and get my workouts in before the kids get up and before work.  And because I am a little later into the office, I bring work home with me and do it in the evening.  So everything is getting done - it just requires a lot of shuffling.

Now for the recap!

Week 8:

Swam: 1:15 hours (3625 yards)
Biked:  3:43 hours (all on trainer)
Ran:  3:17 hours (don't know mileage b/c half were done on a treadmill -- boo)


Monday - swim
Tuesday - run with sprints
Wednesday - easy brick
Thursday - bike
Friday - easy run
Saturday - time trial swim & brick
Sunday - bike and run

This week was a challenge if only for the weather.  I swear - the Winters have been so nice and mild until this year.  I am normally really into the cold and the snow ... but come on!  This year needs to cut it so we can get in more training.  I know I am yelling at the weather and I cannot control the weather.  I would like to.  In any event, we started out on Sunday with insane ice everywhere.  But that didn't stop us - all three of us got our runs in.  Bill came over with his son and hung out with my kids while I ran near my house - by the time I got out there, the roads were fine.  But hey look at these sexy beasts after their icy runs! 

Amy on ice

Glad to be done.
Things warmed up, the ice and snow melted ... and then on Tuesday and Wednesday the "polar vortex" hit.  I ran my Tuesday morning run on the treadmill because I think the temperature outside was -45 or something crazy.  But Wednesday's brick, I was determined to do outside.  The run was only 20 minutes and I knew I could handle it.  So I biked and then threw on the following cold weather gear:  hat, winter gloves, balaclava, long tri top/bra, Under Armor base layer, bright pink half zip, winter tights, winter socks and sneakers.   My run was fine but I don't know if I could have run much longer than 20 minutes.  They keys to keeping me warm were my balaclava and base layer.  The balaclava is the white thing over my face - I wore it up over my nose the entire time and it warms the air that you breathe and protects your face from the cold.  It was great and in those brief seconds where I had to adjust it and felt the actual cold air on my face, I was very happy I had it on.  The base layer is a find from the Under Armor outlet.  It is crazy warm - and really, it's too warm for most "cold" day runs. But on a day where the temps got up to a high of 7, the base layer was clutch.  

My friend on Facebook called me a Safety Patrol Ninja.  LOL.
And that's about it for this week!  Next week is more of the same, though I have a "long" swim on Saturday and a time trial (meaning: go all out) on the bike on Tuesday.  I am *not* looking forward to that.  

See you swoon,


  1. What is the Ironman thing you speak of?? ;) Last winter was much nicer for training than this year has been. Hope that changes AFTER my ski vacation in VT next month! If you guys are ever up for a long Sat ride in the Lehigh Valley, let me know. I am near the velodrome which is the hub for many great road rides.

  2. Happy to see the beautiful snow in winter.