IMLP Training Recap: Week 33

Happy Wednesday.  Happy 33 weeks of training.  What a week this was - it was the 4th of July, and we had a bunch of hard workouts and a bunch of not so hard workouts.  But Sunday's long run ended with this:

That's an ice bag on my foot.  More on that on Sunday's recap, but I am OK.  And thankful.  And wow - take a look at those tan lines on my leg.  At this point, I'm waving the white flag and just accepting that my tan this summer will be based around my tri kit.

Week 33: 15:35:55 hours

Swam: 1:51:27 hours (4,698 yards)
Biked:  8:17:06 hours (95.4 miles outside; rest on trainer)
Ran:  5:20:32 hours (32.2 miles)


Monday: rest day
Tuesday: easy bike & recovery swim
Wednesday: easy brick
Thursday: long brick - 85 mile bike & 10 mile run
Friday: open water swim - 1 hour
Saturday: easy brick
Sunday: long run - 17 miles

Obviously, week 33 was a peak week of training, with over 5 hours of running and over 8 hours in the saddle.

Monday's rest day did not disappoint.

Tuesday I had an easy 70 minute bike at endurance pace, which I did in the morning before work.  After work, I did the recovery swim at the 50 meter pool at the YMCA.  It was 2,000 meters (5 sets of 400) and felt really good.  I love swimming in that long pool in the early evenings.

Wednesday was an easy brick: 70 minute bike followed by a 4 mile run.  It was fine - nothing crazy.  But it was h-o-t hot (or so I thought until Thursday's workout).  Here I am along with a close-up of my super sweaty arm post-workout.

Thursday.  Oh my Holy Moly Cow.  I cannot even begin to describe how hard and hot and miserable Thursday's workout was (but you know I will try).  We were scheduled to do a long brick: 85 mile bike and 10 mile run.  Thursday was a hot day, and Amy and I decided to do the workout together - we kept coolers in the car filled with ice, drinks, and towels.  We figured OK, we will deal with the heat.  And it was hot.  See the "real feel" temp?  95 degrees.

We did the brick on the Schuylkill River Trail, which is nice and flat but not terribly long.  So, we ended up riding the trail from end to end twice plus a little more.  The first loop wasn't too bad (it was still early, the sun wasn't out, it wasn't that hot), but it had stormed the night before so the trail was covered in mud in parts.  You can see how filthy my legs got from this mud:

The second loop was much harder in every way - seeing those same exact landmarks and knowing I had to do the entire thing again was rough.  Plus, my power meter wasn't working: the battery was dead. So I was riding blind.  I think I pushed a little too hard on the bike.  And I didn't eat enough.  And it was really hot.  And really humid.  And really sunny.  We got off the bike and went to our cars to change for the run.  We ended up dousing ourselves with ice and then hit the run.  Again: hot, humid, hard to breathe.  Coach wanted us to do the run with 4/1s: 4 minutes run/1 minute walk, repeat. Once we were about 3 miles into the run, we agreed that, given the heat and humidity, we would only do 8 miles instead of 10.  Amy used Bill's often used quote for this whole experience: "this is a training program, not a suicide pact."  So, we got to mile 4, which happened to have a water fountain, and basically bathed in that fountain.  It was incredible and really helped.  We turned around and headed back to the cars.  Still, by mile 7, I was done with the run. I was hot and miserable.  And I may have lost my temper and (irrationally) yelled at the cars on the adjacent road that I hated all of the people inside of them with their air conditioning.  Way to be cool.  Amy knows me well enough at this point to know that I was having a little melt-down, so she just kept on running.  Here I am post-run.  I am trying to muster a smile.  Did I mention it was hot? Or that I was miserable?  I have an iced towel around my neck and down my shirt.  Honestly, this was the hardest workout I have ever done in my life.

With the big workout for the week out of the way, Amy, Bill and I headed up to Lake Wallenpaupack (please don't tell my kids!) for 4th of July fun and training.

Friday was terrific and amazing and very surprising.  An open water swim for an hour and that's it!  Amy and I swam together and swam about 1.5 miles, which was nice.  After the swim, we enjoyed the rest of the day and took a hike with Amy and Bill's kids.  We saw a lot of sights.  Like this guy (what is it with me and snakes this year?):

We also saw a beaver dam.  See the dam and then the beaver's teeth marks? Pretty cool.

It was chilly on the 4th. I swear to you: I have more sweatshirts than my white Gap one.

Not sure what I'm thinking about in this picture, but it's a good chance it was either Ironman or food or beer.  Or maybe all three.

Friday was also noteworthy because I confessed to Amy and Bill how Air Supply gets me up hills.  So ... yes.  When I am climbing on the bike and am in my easiest gear (the granny gear), and I can't possibly shift anymore, I always start singing, "I'm all out of gears, I'm so lost without you, I know you were right, believing for so long".  Sometimes I sing it in my head and sometimes, I let go and sing it out loud.  But yes, that's what I do. When I told them, Bill said something to the effect of "that's the worst thing I have ever heard in my entire life" and Amy just laughed hysterically.  But ... now they sing it too.  When you're all out of gears, you will too.  In fact, I would venture a guess that anyone who reads this who is a biker or triathlete will now think of this song when he/she is climbing and all out of gears (I'm looking at you Bri-Tri).  You're welcome.

Saturday was another easy workout: just a 50 minute bike and a 3 mile run.  We did this in the morning, and it was fine.  It was a beautiful day.  After lunch we went out on Amy and Bill's boat, where I proved I actually do know how to relax ... beer in hand.

This picture would be a lot better if I hadn't forgotten to apply sunscreen to my tummy, which then caused a pretty bad sunburn.  Doh.

Sunday.  OK.  Sunday.  I had a 17 mile run, which I would do solo back at home (while Amy and Bill stayed up at the lake one more day).  My coach wanted me to run the entire thing 4 minutes of running, 1 minute of walking, repeat for 17 miles.  The 4/1s are infinitely sustainable.  You run for a bit and then next thing you know, you're walking again.  It was a beautiful day: not too hot and perfectly sunny.  I ran a route I often do and went all the way around Valley Forge.  I had many "I can't believe I am doing this" moment, many joyfully tearful moments, and many, many moments where I just daydreamed about really good stuff.  Unfortunately, around mile 14.5, I wasn't paying attention to the road (I think I was watching two bikers up ahead of me on the road), I landed my left foot in a ditch in the shoulder, my ankle rolled inward and I fell - palms first on the road. Ouch.  Another runner happened to be right there, and he ran over and helped me up and stayed with me until he could see that I could walk.  The foot was a little sore, so I walked slowly and then it felt fine. I eased into running - very gently, very slowly, but after a minute, it felt great and I had no pain.  I was at a part of the run where I could have cut through some woods to get home quickly, and I promised myself that if I had any pain, I would stop the workout.  But I didn't - the foot felt totally normal.  So I went back to my 4/1 cycle.  I finished the run and felt great and thought that the cut on my right ankle was the only lasting effect from the fall:

Hours later, my foot was in pain.  It hurt a lot - the arch and the part of my foot where the foot meets the leg (right where my finger is in this picture from the ER).  

I took myself to the ER because I wanted to rule out a break, which, thankfully, the X-Rays did.  The ER sent me home with a diagnosis of an ankle sprain, along with crutches and an air cast.  The next day I made an appointment with a physical therapist for Monday and an orthopaedic doctor for Tuesday.  I was in a lot of pain on Monday: it hurt to walk, my foot was really swollen, I could barely move the foot in any direction or in any way without pain or discomfort and it was just not fun.  When I got to the physical therapist things were pretty grim.  And they got more grim when the PT said he thought what I had was actually a ligament tear (boom), a break would have been better (boom) and ... he did not think I would be able to race in the Ironman (ba...BOOM).  I quite literally melted into a puddle there on the table, right in front of my kids and this PT who I had just met, and just cried and cried.  I couldn't believe what I was hearing, and I could not stop the tears.  The PT wasn't without hope though: he admitted he was just going based on his initial assessment and thought an MRI would give more information.  So he did some work with an infrared laser (which reduce the swelling), taped the foot and gave me a compression sock and told me to come back on Wednesday.

I managed to get to the car holding it all together, until I couldn't any longer.  I burst into tears in the car, again in front of the kids.  I apologized for scaring them, but explained that I was just upset and scared and sad.  My kids know I am a crier for all things happy and sad, so they got it, but I think it still took them aback a bit.  No one wants to see Mommy lose her sh*t.  My sweet boy leaned forward in his seat and said, "Mommy, I'm sorry you might not be able to do your Ironman.  But we can do our own Ironman! We can do it at Mom-Mom and Pop-Pop's! they have a pool and lots of land."  Melt.  I told him that was a wonderful idea.

Of course, my first text was to Team Awesome.  I was at a point where I couldn't talk about it without losing it, so I texted them.  Amy and Bill immediately responded and told me to come to their place with the kids to hang out that night.  Honestly, my inclination at first was to go home and cry and be alone, but I knew that wasn't good. So, I took them up on their offer and the kids and I went over to their place for dinner and beer for me.  I was also texting with a few other friends (Heather, Toya, Julia, Melissa, Missy) who were awesome and supportive and positive.  I have really good friends, and I'm crying a little as I write this.  I am really glad I took Amy and Bill up on their offer of company ... we had a lot of fun, and they managed to take my mind off of what was a pretty completely crushing day.

Well, I woke up on Tuesday feeling a lot better.  I was able to bear weight without any pain and the foot just seemed better.  I was cautiously optimistic.  I went to the ortho who looked at the foot and thought it was in good shape and not worthy of an MRI.  He manipulated it, felt it, compared feet, had me walk and said he thought it was a foot sprain, and with proper PT and rest I would be fine to race.  I could have kissed him right then and there and made little baby Dr. Rosenfelds with him.  I asked if I could still get the MRI, just to know what we were dealing with, and he refused.  He said it was not an MRI-able injury, the MRI would be a waste of time and money and would only serve to cause worry when there was no reason.

So ... that's the long story.  I'm heading to PT today and again on Friday and then three times a week for the remainder of training.  I'm playing training by ear (and am not eager to run just yet), but right now I am just so thrilled that I should will be able to make it to the start.  I knew I wanted this race, but I didn't know how much until I came face to face with the prospect that I might not get to do it.

There are two and a half more weeks of training left (OMG).  I am so glad I have all of those days because I need every single one!  I'll continue to post recaps and updates here on the blog.  As I'm sure you've gathered by the dearth of posts on anything other than training, that's what life is focused on these days.  But it's all good.  The big goal I've been working toward and into which I've poured a ton of blood, sweat and tears is almost here.  Rather than be anxious (and to be honest, I am a little anxious), I am more excited.  I really do want to soak in every moment of race day and look at it as a celebration and culmination of months of hard work and years of dreaming.  It's gonna be a great day.

See you swoon,


  1. OMG...Air Supply??!!! I am now ruined on the bike! I already have that stupid song in my head and I am not even riding bike! LOL! :)
    Hang in there and rest up...You WILL be competing in IMLP 2014!
    I hope that will be me floating with a beer in hand on Lake Wallenpaupack this weekend(although I probably won't look quite that good! HA! )

    Great post...always has me cracking up!

  2. What's wrong with your leg, wish you will be better soon.