IMLP Training Recap: Week 34

Thirty-four weeks of training in the books.  Yikes.  Week 34 was OK, I guess.  You know, if you consider sitting on the couch and staring at your foot and going OMG OMG OMG OMG OMG OMG on repeat for days to be "OK".  It was more emotional than anything.  The ups and downs were extreme and were hard to take.  I am very thankful that I had three full weeks (now two weeks) to recover my poor injured foot, which looks like this these days, thanks to some super cool athletic tape that my PT uses - it's all spidey like:

Obviously, the Lake Placid pedicure is still going strong.  Tx.  As to the foot, I'll describe more below, but it is in great shape!  It is healing beautifully, and I am so thankful.  Once it seemed that I was in the clear and that I could actually race, I promised myself that I would not complain about any workouts.  Even the long bikes.  I'm just so happy (and lucky) that I can do this.

Week 34: 9:03:18 hours :/

Swam:  59 minutes (open water - 2,731 yards)
Biked:  6:04:23 hours (96.8 miles)
Ran*:  2:00 hours (don't know mileage b/c this was done in a pool) *run = deep water run {aka aqua jog}


Monday: Rest Day
Tuesday:  Easy Bike & Recovery Swim Rest Day [IR List]
Wednesday:  Open Water Swim Rest Day [IR List]
Thursday:  Long Run Rest Day [IR List]
Friday: Open Water Swim
Saturday:  Long Bike - 100 miles
Sunday:  Deep Water Running - 2 hours

As you can see from the list above, I had a lot of rest this week.  Monday was a scheduled (and necessary) rest day after a hard few days of workouts.  And, not to mention, it was the day after I fell on my long run and it was impossible and painful to walk on my left foot, let alone do a workout.  My physical therapist wanted me to fully rest the foot for a few days.  I asked if I could at least do the open water swim on Wednesday, and he advised against it.  As difficult as it was for me to rest and not do anything, I listened.  He advised (and I knew in my head he was right) that at this point, I'm fully trained ... and any exertion on my already tender foot might set my recovery back quite a bit.  So, I did what he said and rested.  This was supposed to be a peak week of training.  Not so much.  Still ... 9 hours of training in three days? Not too shabby.

On Monday, my injury (which I described, along with the upsetting aftermath, in the Week 33 Recap) was pretty bad.  I couldn't walk on the foot without pain, I couldn't move the foot at all, it was swollen, and it was painful to the touch.  On Tuesday, after my first PT appointment and after he used this really cool infrared laser on the foot, it was a lot better.  On Wednesday, it was even better.  My PT could not believe it was the same foot. My PT agreed that if I was smart, didn't push too hard too fast and was dedicated to frequent PT trips, I could very likely race IMLP.  Sold!

By Friday, the foot was even better - I could feel it was getting stronger and less tender.  At PT we did some strength and balance exercises, which felt fine.  He allowed me to get off the IR List (you know, the football term for the injured reserve list) and get back out there and bike and/or swim, but said absolutely no impact, no running, and left me with the very emphatic, "DO NOT DO ANYTHING STUPID." OK.  I can be very stubborn, but in this case, I am listening (and will listen) to every single thing my PT says and will do it without objection or question.  And, in fact, my motto for the next (gulp) 13 days is "DO NOT DO ANYTHING STUPID" said in all caps.  The one downside: he wants me to wear sneakers every single day.  So, I'm working this look:

not even pretending to be excited about the sneakers

And I feel like this:

My friend Julia was like "please for the love of God, just don't wear the sneakers with skirts."  Word.

Meanwhile, Amy, Bill and I had planned to do a weekend of training in the part of South Jersey where I'm from.  We all had swims on Friday and 100+ mile bike rides on Saturday scheduled.  None of us could handle the thought of another ride around where we live or, worse, on the trails.  South Jersey is super flat and pretty close.  They wondered if I knew a place to get in an open water swim.  I actually do!  My cousin lives near, and has lake rights to, a gorgeous private lake, in the town next to my hometown.  At our annual family reunion a few weeks ago, she mentioned she saw my Facebook post about swimming and said I was welcome to use her lake at any time.  So I got in touch with her and she was happy to let the three of us use her lake.  Done.

Friday, we left work a little early and went to the lake in Millville, NJ.  My cousin's husband met us and took us to Laurel Lake -- a total hidden gem of a lake in Cumberland County.  The water was clean and warm but not too warm.  It was cedar water, so it was dark, but it wasn't murky like the lake in Cedarville at the Devilman race.  There was no one else in the lake at all and the water was like glass.  We all started off for our hour swim.  Having not exercised at all in 4 days, I flew out like a bat out of hell. It felt amazing to be moving again.  I was careful to pay attention to my foot, which felt fine.  About 6 minutes into the swim, I noticed the sky looked pretty dark.  We kept an eye on it, but I was a little nervous about the threat of a storm.  We swam 30 minutes out and at the turn around it was lightly raining.  On the way back, the skies opened up and wow.  No lightning and thunder thank goodness.  I have to say, it was super cool to swim in a rainstorm.  We finished the swim in just under an hour and when we did, a giant rainbow was over the lake -- the full arc, too! I wish I had my phone, but it was safe and dry in the car.  You'll have to imagine it, but I promise it looked like this (ok, it looked nothing like this.  but close enough.  there was a rainbow and there was a lake)

Saturday was a 105 mile bike ride.  Bill mapped out a route in my hometown and I generally knew where we were going.  It would go past soooooo many places of my youth: a ton of my jobs (real estate agencies (plural!), and my uncle's deli, and my baby-sitting gigs), all of my schools from kindergarten through high school, several ex-boyfriends' houses, downtown Bridgeton where the remnants of my favorite stores were still visible (RIP Weber's Candy ... RIP), Terry's Custard, friends' houses, the site of the annual Alloway Halloween parade, and even the Devilman bike course, which I raced in 2014 and 2013.  Our ride was a little short, but at 97 miles, we were within 10 miles of the target 105.  It was a fine ride, and Amy and Bill appreciated the very flat terrain.  Unfortunately, Amy's last name turned into Murphy on this ride as lots went wrong: she got stung by a bee in her helmet and got a flat tire courtesy of a nice nail in her tire, just shy of half way through the ride.  She changed that tire in record time - less than 10 minutes.  I was super impressed and would have helped but I was too busy taking these pictures.

After the ride, I so so so wanted to test my foot, but, having adopted the maxim DO NOT DO ANYTHING STUPID, I did not run.  As soon as I got off the bike, I said a bad word to it (as per usual), threw it against Bill's truck and then did as vigorous a walk as I could manage without it being a real "run", just to see how it felt.  It felt fine.  Yay.  And, because clearly,our bodies are our temples, we finished the ride by chugging Sprites and orange soda and headed home.

Sunday my coach wanted me to do two hours of "deep water running" (i.e., aqua jogging).  OK.  First, get used to seeing "deep water running" on the blog.  That's how I am going to refer to that activity, because I cannot say I am aqua jogging.  That conjures up images that I am not willing to adopt for myself.  My coach has already told me that after IMLP, I am going to be doing some deep water running to prepare for the Fall marathons I have scheduled (yeah - you thought training was over? No! Marathons! WHEEEEEEEEEEEEE!!!!).  Anyway, digression aside, I needed a deep water running belt - something that would keep me nice and buoyant in the pool while I pretended I was actually running.  I am so lucky that I live near a great swim store, and they had three such belts in stock.  I went with the "fit" model.

Le sigh.  I watched some You Tube videos on how to deep water run.  This one and this one were particularly helpful.  Still ... the morning that I had to run, for two hours no less, I felt a little like Ben Stiller in "Meet the Parents" when he had to change into the Speedo ...

I decided to own it.  Own the effing aqua jogging/deep water running and just do it.  I normally only wear my two piece suit when I swim outside but I was all in - wearing that suit with the jogger belt.  I even debated wearing my South Beach bikini for this exercise, you know, so I could prove to everyone that I may be wearing an aqua jogger belt, but I am still young and amazing and fit.  So, here I am:

I know what you're thinking - how is it possible that she can make an aqua jogger look that good? And I say, I KNOW.  I ... know.   With two hours of running in the pool, I knew I would need to break things up.  When I got to the pool when it opened, the regular lap pool was packed with swimmers.  I decided to go in the ... mmm ... other pool.  The pool where older people swim and walk.  I got in and started my watch (the heck if I wasn't using my Garmin for this workout!!) and started running.  My PT wanted this to be no impact, so I had to make sure not to touch the bottom.  It took 10 minutes to get used to it, but I eventually did.  Then I started intervals.  I did 4 minutes of running as hard as I could with 1 minute of easier running and repeat for about 30 minutes.  Then I bumped it to 9 minutes hard effort with 1 minute recovery.

I will tell you: deep water running is not easy.  At first I wasn't doing it correctly. I was using my arms too much and realized I was just swimming upright. Then I focused on making it an actual run and not using my arms.  I really ran as hard as I could and it was tough! My heartrate increased and at times I was actually sweating. Two very sweet older ladies joined me in the pool. They were aqua "walkers" and not "runners" (there is a difference, I was told) but I struck up a conversation with Shirley who really admired my belt.  I stayed in the deep end of the pool, which was 5 feet.  After an hour, they closed the pool I was in because there wasn't enough chlorine in it (um ... great) and I moved to the lap pool, where the crowds had thinned out.  I had my own lane for awhile and ran up and down my lane for an hour.  One good thing about being 5'1" is that with my belt on, I could not touch the bottom of the 4 foot deep pool. So I could run the entire length of the lap pool and have it be no impact.  YES.

I did the entire 2 hours of deep water running and was beat at the end.

This week officially begins taper!  IT IS ABOUT EFFING TIME.  Sorry for the all caps assault but my God.  It's here.  The key to the last few weeks is to stay healthy, stay happy, stay focused and above all else, DO NOT DO ANYTHING STUPID.

See you swoon,


  1. Happy to hear all is well and you are healing up! Hard work is all behind ya! 12 days, 20 hours to go!!

  2. Wish you will be better as soon as possible.