Ironman Training Week 9: Feb. 17-23

Newfound confidence this week, probably stemming from 1. having four more weeks before my Ironman now and 2. actually doing a lot of training without sucking at it.

I’ve finally stacked a number of solid weeks on top of each other, which add up to one of the most high-volume and solid blocks of training in a long time. Of course, this also means I’m nearly constantly on the verge of exhaustion and injury. As is the custom. So, let’s all keep our fingers crossed I don’t, like, become incapable of walking. Also, the amount of training and focus on this whole Ironman thing has made getting other stuff done — ie. work — challenging, though also the problem may really just be that I AM OWED A LOT OF MONEY. And, life crises, etc, etc.


Rest. And worked in the city while everyone else was skiing and President’s Daying or whatever people do on these fake holidays.


Rode an hour easy on the dirt with my road bike. Was going to swim, but called it. Did a video yoga routine instead. Except, honestly, I’m too lazy to even watch the video on the TV, so I try to just remember it from before and watch Law and Order instead.


Ran 9 miles or so as: jog to track, 2 x 1.5 miles descending each 800m, 8 x 200m fast-like, jog home. The 1.5 miles were semi-successful. The goal was to descend, so that it went first 800m in 3:20, next in 3:10, then 3:00. I did 3:17, 3:08, 3:02, which is close enough that I considered it basically the same. But, the second one was not even sort of the same: 3:16, 3:11, 3:08. Oops. Of course, even after I supposedly COULD NOT POSSIBLY RUN ANY FASTER, I still managed to run all the 200s in 39-41 seconds. Why? Because, in comparison to Ironman athletes, speed is definitely not my weakness. Muscular endurance? That’s more of a problem.

In the later afternoon/evening I biked the 15′ over to the gym, did 20′ of core and PT work. Then, swam 2,500 yards. For some reason the set I decided to write myself was IM 75s (ie. 100 IM but minus the last 25 yards of free). Not sure why I did that, but it was relatively exhausting.


Rode 3:00 in the morning, around Nicasio Reservoir, out to Point Reyes Station and back. It’s about 43 miles, give or take, and I rode it a steady up-tempo pace. I didn’t throw any hard efforts or low-cadence work in because I figured my legs were shot enough and you can’t beat them down all the time. Most of the ride was actually spent trying to figure out why my right leg, despite appearing to be straight on my bike, gets a pinched nerve from the seat the longer I ride and starts to shoot pain down my hamstring/calf. It is incredibly frustrating. [In my other life, the one where I make money, I’ve also been working on a story for months about West Marin and Pt. Reyes and stuff. It’s been a very, very, very long project. I hadn’t been through the actual town of Pt. Reyes for probably a month or two and just riding through town made me want to start punching a pillow or screaming in the shower or shaking a baby or whatever people do to relieve stress. So, good times.]

Crossfitted in the evening with so many squats. All the squats.

Then, swam 1,000 yards easy and sat in the hot tub.


Ran 2.5 miles at something under 9:00 pace. It was supposed to be 4-6 miles, plus drills. But, oh man, that wasn’t happening.

Swam 3,000 yards with the main set as 3 x [5 x 100 steady tempo]


Rode around 36 miles with Steve. The only real goal was to get in some decent miles and have tired legs for –>

Ran 6.5 miles with 4 x 3′ at 6:30 pace, except really it was 6:22 pace one direction and 6:30 pace the other. Why? Because false flats are amazing.


Swam 3,900 at PacWest practice with lots of pulling and 200s and 250s and some really shitty butterfly.

Followed that right up with a dehydrating 1:52 trail run. OK, yes, I should have brought water with me and I actually had an empty handheld water bottle in the car. But, in my defense, I was running from the high school, down the bike path, to the trailhead where there are bathrooms and stables and lots of people, then down the trail past a picnic area. Most of the time, at least around here, those things would mean there’d be water spickets. (Which, by the way, WordPress is not recognizing as a word, but then it didn’t recognize WordPress as a word either. So, not exactly foolproof.) However, evidently, this was not good logic this time around. There was no water. I also ended up running way farther up, up, up the Coastal Trail than I intended and then, at that point, it’s faster to just keep going around the loop. By 1:30 into the run I was trying to see if it really is possible to drink your own spit by swallowing. But — and here is the big difference between this training block and times in years past when I would have just laid down on the side of the trail — I finished the run. And, then I wanted a smoothie. But, the Whole Foods right there doesn’t sell smoothies. So, instead, I bought the biggest Odwalla you’ve ever seen. Drinking over 600 calories of Odwalla after a surprisingly hot, sunny run is not a recipe to feeling awesome. In case you were wondering.

TOTAL: 16:05

Thursday I’m leaving for Training Camp 1 of 2. In which we cram this training volume into four days and then I break for three days and do it again. There’s a pretty good chance I won’t make it. Or, that it would be stupid to make it. I’m resting hard right now and then going to do my best to be smart. And, to remember that winning camp doesn’t matter. But, I’m not entirely pessimistic, which is saying a lot.

12 thoughts on “Ironman Training Week 9: Feb. 17-23

  1. Wow, lots of great work!! That’s so awesome!! I love reading about your running and swimming training (I do aquathlons)! I’m sure your hard work will pay off!

  2. I thought I was the only one who felt that way about riding through Pt. Reyes. Unrelated, WordPress might not have picked up that word because I think it’s spigots. Were they off as a water conservation measure? That’s not cool.

  3. I would have gone with spigots too but now I have looked at both “spigots” and “spickets” long enough that neither one of them appears to be an actual word and is instead a random collection of letters that make no sense. Water-thingies. Yeah.

    Odwalla always makes me think of college. I’m kind of glad they’re still around, but they’re no freshly made smoothie ….

    1. Apparently spickets is what people from the South say. So.

      When I first moved to California, Odwalla was this new thing to me. I’d like never had one in the MidWest and thought they were amaaaaazing. And, then there was a huge recall. That’s what it always makes me think of.

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