New WTC Transfer Policy: How I Switched My Ironman Races

So, yes, I have officially switched from Ironman Coeur d’Alene to Ironman Canada in Whistler four weeks later. Guess I need to update my schedule.

Going from this:

Lake, mountains, masses of people.
Lake, mountains, masses of people.

To this:

Lakes, mountains, masses of people. Photos: Ironman
Lakes, mountains, masses of people. Photos: Ironman

TOTALLY DIFFERENT!

The problem — though it’s not really a problem — was that one of my editors asked me to cover the USA Track and Field Nationals in Sacramento this summer. Yes! Absolutely! I didn’t even think about it. Because 1. it sounds super awesome and exciting and I love track and field and 2. great opportunity, career, growth, etc. But, then a few weeks later, I realized it was the same weekend as IM CDA. Well, shit. There was no way to change Ironman races, so I figured I’d have to bail on the super awesome assignment.

Except. EXCEPT.

This past Friday Ironman (World Triathlon Corp.) announced a new transfer policy in North America. I probably would have missed the email, because I generally get a lot of emails and it was subjected something like “A Note from Our CEO” or “A New Change for Ironman.” But, Christi knew I’d been stressing about this and forwarded me the email and texted me. On Valentine’s Day evening. Thanks for thinking of me and ignoring Greg!

The new policy is very simple: If you have something come up (injury or work or life or whatever), you can switch your Ironman to another OPEN IM race or 70.3 in the same year. It has to be open, it can’t be sold out. And, it has to be at least 45 days in advance, I think. And, you have to pay any race difference + $50 transfer fee. And, you can only do this once. That’s it.

That’s all very reasonable and probably what people have been asking for.

I did a lot of Googling in the next 24 hours to make sure it was do-able and that I wasn’t going to lose money on housing if I changed and that I could change my training plan and travel and all that. And, by Saturday evening I submitted my transfer request. I was probably one of the first people to submit a transfer request. If you need to submit a transfer request, you can get all the information about Ironman race transfers at their website. It’s very easy. You don’t even have to give a reason or excuse or long-winded explanation.

WTC is not usually my most favorite company. I was nervous that I’d get denied or it’d be more expensive than they said or that they’d cancel my IM CDA registration but not give me the new registration. And, there were some very nervous moments when I got an email on Monday confirming the cancellation of my CDA registration 36 hours before I got the email to register for Canada. But, it all worked out. It actually was incredibly smooth and simple. SO, good job WTC!

Ultimately, they verify that you were in the initial event, check with the event you want to switch into, and send you a link to register for the new race under the transfer system. And, just like that I’m signed up for Whistler on July 27, I get to do the reporting job, and everything is perfect. (You know, sort of.)

If I was going to venture a guess, I would imagine that WTC had been getting terrible feedback on their ‘no transfers ever for anything’ policy. They were pretty hard-assed and the only reason you could ever switch events was if you were called into active military duty. Period. That was it. Obviously, with the growth of the sport and the growth of the Ironman brand/corporation, that policy wasn’t really working for them anymore. There are competitor events people could opt to do instead.

But, the other factor, I’d guess, is that they had created competition among their own events. There are so, so many Ironman events now. They used to be able to say no refunds, no transfers because there were like five North American Ironman races and that was it. Now, though, they have so many they’re not even selling out on them all. So, if you don’t need to anymore, why would you sign up a year in advance when there are so many things that can go wrong in that year? I’m guessing the policy was driving down their sign-up numbers and leaving their less popular events under-filled. Now, if they let you switch into an event that is still open, then you’re happy, that event that wasn’t filling up gets numbers, and they are perhaps able to sell your initial registration.

It’ll be interesting to see how — as the transfer policy becomes more utilized — it affects registration numbers overall and at the sell-out popular events. If people are encouraged to get their name down because they have less to lose, will it become even harder to sign up for Wisconsin and Arizona and then will there be huge numbers transferring out later? I’m sure they considered that, but Ironman triathletes are totally insane, so hopefully they don’t start doing crazy stuff like signing up for a bunch of races and then transferring out of them all later.

We’ll see. Overall, it’s a great change and super logical. I think it’ll make Ironman athletes a lot happier, should be good for the business, and is always nice to see things moving in the direction of reason.

What I’m Doing This Year

Of course I made a plan for the year. Obviously. I got out my paper calendar and I wrote things down and I crossed things off and I came up with a master, super schedule for my serious jump back into triathlon/first Ironman ever.

Here’s the plan, more or less, subject to change without warning:

MARCH

Training Camps: Alyssa convinced me it’d be a super great awesome idea to go do a long weekend training camp the last weekend of Feb/first weekend of March in Arizona with Hillary. I’d been trying to decide between Coast Ride and some kind of training weekend and this sounded more fun. I’ve ridden on the coast before; it’s not that exciting. Of course, then, it turned out that PacWest (my new team!) was doing their Arizona training camp the following weekend. So, now, I’m in Arizona for ten days to hang out with my sister, train, work and, hopefully, not catch Valley Fever. I’m like 73% sure I’m not going to make it through all this.

Oakland Half-Marathon or Shamrock’nIn case you didn’t notice, I did not race the Kaiser Half Marathon last weekend. My body was just too beaten up and it would have been a disaster/I’d have hurt myself. But, I’d still like to race a half in early spring and see where I’m at. Depending on how I feel after training camps, I’ll either do Shamrock’n (the weekend right after) or Oakland (two weekends after). Oakland is probably a smarter idea, but I’ve heard it’s long — like 13.4 instead of 13.1 — and I’d really like to set a PR, so I’m apprehensive about the extra quarter-mile.

APRIL

HITS Napa Valley Long Course: I’m not 100% sure this is my most smartest idea ever. But, I want to get a couple (ie. two) halves in before IM Coeur d’Alene. And, this is the best open time to do that in early April and also not give more money to WTC (Ironman Corporation). So, it’ll be a shaking the cobwebs off kind of race. We’ll see. Ideally, it’s not as cold as when I raced the Olympic there a few years ago.

Boston Marathon: A few weeks ago, I told someone that I wasn’t going to race this all out; it’s not a goal race. And, they were in shock. Why not?! Uh, cause you only have so many A efforts in you. Of course I’m going to run Boston this year. It’ll be fun and I’m pretty sure every single person I know is doing it, all of the people. But, am I going to try and kill myself to run a 3:04 or something? No. Definitely not.

MAY

Wildflower Long CourseI have some demons to shake at Wildflower. It is not my most favorite race. I’ve done the Olympic twice, ended up in the med tent twice and finished once. It is an iconic triathlon, though. And, a bunch of people from PacWest will be doing it, plus more friends I’m sure. And, it fits well with an end of June Ironman. As long as I don’t kill myself with it being 12 days after Boston and me being at a wedding/in Chicago for five of those days.

Morgan Hill SprintThe last time I did this race Chris McCormack and Chris Lieto did it too. Actually, I think the last time I did it, it hailed and I got a flat tire but didn’t know. The time before that, they did it. And, I’ve been told they’ll be back this year. I love sprint races and I like USA Productions for local, fun events. Though, I’ve also been told that with the drought the race will be moved because the reservoir is dry. So.

JUNE

Escape from Alcatraz: I am so excited about this. Which sounds insane — “I’m super excited to dive off a boat with 1,000 other people into 55 degree water and then bike up and down all over San Francisco and then run across sand and up stairs and through tunnels. Yay!” But, it and Pacific Grove are my favorite races, in a totally masochistic way. And, I haven’t done Escape since 2011. So, it’ll be “fun” and a good last hard race before Ironman.

DispeaThen, a week later, I’m running the Dipsea. Naturally. Because there’s really nothing quite like the Alcatraz-Dipsea combo to totally mess you up. Also, if I don’t do it, I’m pretty sure I’ll never get a spot again. Then, I’m resting.

Ironman Coeur d’AleneAnd, then, the last weekend of June, it’s the BIG ONE. The Ironman. Ahhhhhhhhhh. Already stressing.

After Ironman, I really don’t know what I’m doing the second half of the year. I mean that quite actually, not just in terms of racing. Ideally I’ll be making a trip to a certain island in October, depending on how IM CDA goes. But, there’s no way to control everything about that or to know in advance. I may do another Ironman in Mexico in December instead. I’d also like to race Age Group Nationals in August, because 1. it’s in Milwaukee, which would be awesome for my aunt/uncle/cousin to come and 2. it’s a pre-requisite to qualify for 2015 Worlds in Chicago, which I crazy want to do.

However, I’m not making plans yet. Steve says I’m trying to spend all of our money, which if I did all these things I’d probably accomplish. I also just finished applying to grad school and to a job that also sounds awesome. Now, I’m waiting to  figure out how those things work out and to make a decision. So, when I say I don’t know yet what’s happening after June 29, I really mean it.

What races are you doing this year?

Ironman Training Week 7: Feb. 3-9

Apparently we are 20 weeks to go now. According to this email Ironman sent me:

Let's all say it together: Ewwww.
Let’s all say it together: Ewwww.

That definitely stressed me out. 20 is not a big enough number of weeks left. But, I’m actually making good progress I think. I think. I don’t know. No one can tell me. Last week was the start of another block of training and I’m upping the volume some now, which will probably hit its peak in March and April. I also fully intend to explain at some point, as soon as I have time, why I am training for Ironman by doing 2-3 hour rides. There is a plan. There is always plan.

Monday

Biked 37.5 miles in 2:30 with 2 x 10′ at 175 watts. Solid ride overall. I intended to do more and some cadence/drill work, but my heartrate was doing crazy stuff. It’s not entirely clear if it was my heart or the heartrate strap. Partially, when your heartrate is 60 as you’re riding that has to be a malfunction or wouldn’t you be, you know, DOING WELL. It started to go up during the tempo, but still stayed low. And, it was the day after I had a weird episode while swimming. So, didn’t push it too hard.

Did some light yoga and stretching. Then, Crossfit with Nate and the high school kids in the afternoon — with so many squats, all the squats.

Tuesday

Swam 3,000 yards with a broken 1,500 yards as the main set. Held 1:25s throughout it, which isn’t bad. ‘Not bad’ is our motto for training right now.

Ran 5.5 miles easy in the evening in the dark. I should have done drills, but I didn’t. That’s our second theme for the week.

Wednesday

Ran a bit over 9 miles as: warm-up to the track, then 1 mile tempo, 6 x 800 descending every two, then 1 mile tempo. I killed it. Totally rocked it in everything I did on Wednesday — wrote four articles and nailed this workout. What. Did the first mile in 6:35, which isn’t really tempo at all, but things go faster on the track. Then 800s as 3:12, 3:13, 3:07, 3:07, 2:59, 3:02. Then, another mile at 6:38. Aren’t you proud of me? I’m proud of me.

And what did I do as a reward? Didn’t swim.

Thursday

Crossfit in the evening, which was a lot of pull-ups and stuff. It was killing me.

Swam 1,250 yards easy. That was supposed to be a long swim workout, but my right arm was doing a crazy seizing up thing. I mean crazy, where I couldn’t even hold onto the kickboard. What do you do then? You call it.

Friday

I switched the Thursday and Friday workouts because of the rain, so I ended up riding 25.5 miles on Friday. And, I still got soaking wet. Stupid/necessary rain. It was a struggling ride and not what I’d been hoping for. Then, I did a yoga video and some PT in the evening.

Saturday

Ran 3 miles and strides in the pouring rain. Again, did not do drills.

Swam 1,100 yards with some hard pickups that were actually fast. Maybe I’m getting fast. Not too bad.

Sunday

Two mile RACE! Ran about 5.5 miles total with warming up and cooling down. By the time being race director was all finished I was in no condition to make it to the gym to swim. It seems that happens a lot.

TOTAL: 11:50

Yeah, I need to swim more. I also need to not drop drills every time I get tired or time-crunched. But, on the whole, what’s our motto? Not too bad.

The Power of Belief

Yesterday, I nailed my first hard workout totally on my own in months. No coaches telling me what to do, no training partner with me. Just what I had put down on my plan and then me, by myself, executing it.

I wasn’t sure it was going to happen. Actually, I was sure it wasn’t going to happen. I pretty much knew for a fact that somewhere between the tempo miles and the descending 800s I simply wasn’t going to make the times. I 100% convinced myself that the last two 800s would be impossible. I was just going to do the best I could, but there was no way. No way.

Yet, I did. I even ran faster than that. Instead of the 3:04 I was aiming for, I ran a 2:59. So there.

Partially, there was no way it was going to be as bad as I was expecting it to be, so that made it easy to succeed. But, that’s a fine line to walk. Because, if you talk yourself too much down a hole then it’s hard to climb out of it. If you think it’s going to be impossible, then you might just quit before even trying. But, if you think it’ll be easy, if you’re sure you’ll nail it, then it’s also impossible to meet those expectations and you might just quit when it’s harder than you thought.

Before I headed out, I saw Mario had tweeted this and I was thinking about it some while I was running (particularly because I was doing a Mario workout from this time last year):

Untitled

And yes, that is true. There is no one right answer. But, man, there are a lot of really wrong answers.

If you’re not a moron (and there are some people who like, yeah, you are definitely doing it all wrong), then the fear isn’t that you’ll mess everything up on any one given day. If you have a general basic concept of training down, then the worry isn’t that you aren’t doing the exact right thing this minute. That’s not how things go wrong. Things go wrong in slow, small, creeping steps until you get to the end and don’t know if it all adds up anymore.

That’s what erodes belief.

I don’t know how you believe. It would be great to just go around believing, believing in the face of overwhelming evidence and doubt. Wouldn’t that be awesome? But, I don’t know if that would work out for me well either. If I believed beyond question I was going to nail that workout yesterday, then when I started gasping and struggling I would have wondered what was wrong with me. I would have questioned why it was so hard. I might have bailed and then I would have added that to the list of workouts I have not succeeded in completely. I needed a little doubt in order to cement my belief.

Ironman Training Week 6: Jan. 27-Feb. 2

Yeah, yeah, it’s Wednesday. There’s a segment of the blogging internet that believes you should post something every day. I tried that for most of the first year of Sunny Running. I’m not sure I believe in it. Also, I do believe that I have other work to do. But, I should be more on top of things. So, we’ll add that to the list of New Year’s resolutions.

Last week was a rest week. It was supposed to be a rest 3-5 days. But, then my body sort of crapped out on me and I had the last of my journalism school apps due on Friday. And, it just sort of became a really easy work. Ah well. Isn’t the resting when you’re actually getting fitter? Right?

Monday

Biked about 20 miles easy to the ferry IN THE DARK and then to the KQED office and then back the other way in the evening — again in the dark. I generally wear cycling clothes and change at work, so it’s an actual ride at paces ranging from leisurely to ‘oh shit, I’m going to miss the boat.’ But, still, there’s a certain amount of dicking around and coasting that happens riding through the city, etc. On the way back, I didn’t really feel like changing into tights, so I just wore my skinny jeans the whole ride home. They’re basically the same thing.

Tuesday

OFF. I have no recollection of what I actually did, except that it didn’t involve as much work as it should have.

Wednesday

Yoga class in the morning and 1,200 yards of easy swimming.

Thursday

Ran 4 miles in the hills above my house easy. Did 20′ of very light core and PT work. In case you were wondering this almost always involves: a combination of different kinds of sit-ups totalling generally around 100, leg raises, bridges (one-legged and otherwise), hamstring curls on a ball, clamshell PT exercises, planks of varying lengths and on each side, push-ups, squats (one-legged and normal), wall sits, side-stepping with band around ankles and then usually some balance and foot strength stuff. What exactly of this I do exactly depends on my feelings that day and sometimes it includes other stuff too I throw in.

Friday

Swam 2,050 yards at Masters. It was a low-key Masters day and they were preparing for a race next weekend, so in classic Masters fashion I spent a good amount of the workout practicing my turns and block starts. Something I totally need for Ironman obviously. I was 1 for 3 in not losing my goggles on the dive. The 1 was my first one. Then I started thinking about it.

Saturday

My body fell apart sometime Friday. It was awful. My hip flexor was all messed up, my knee, my back. I don’t know what happened. I ran a very hobbling 9-something miles on Saturday on hilly trails with eight hill sprints in the middle. Then, did drills and strides in the grass.

Sunday

It rained! This was good/crazy. It also blew my plans for riding three hours. I am NOT riding the one day it rains in six months. Instead, did this Yoga for Triathletes video.

Swam 1,500 yards easy. It was supposed to be more, but my heart started doing some crazy stuff in the middle and I couldn’t catch my breath. That pretty much never happens swimming. So, I got out and ended up spending an hour fighting the Safeway Super Bowl crowds, still having a hard time breathing right.

TOTAL: 6:45

Oops.

Ironman Training Week 5: Jan. 20-26

Hey, look, I’m posting this on Monday like would actually make sense for the previous week. What is that about??

The prompt-ish posting is pretty much about having an easy day and a couple rest days now that I finally got through a big(ger) week of training. Feeling very proud of myself, which may or may not be warranted, but at least things are starting to come together. However, a downside of actually training was that it turns out training is slightly fatiguing. I was wiped out last week, even when I didn’t feel like I was. It took me until Thursday to figure out why I was having the hardest time focusing and getting work done — because I constantly just wanted to take a nap.

Monday

I was about to cry (ok, I may have actually been crying) over a story that is killing me. So, instead, I ran just over 8 miles with 4 x mile repeat in the middle. It was nasty, just slow and shitty and painful. I ran 6:26, 6:25, 6:28 and 6:31. Since my plan was to run them in the mid-6:30s, I should be happy, but I was mostly just annoyed at how painful it was and how easy it had been to run the same thing so much faster just three months ago. I still wanted to cry after I was done.

Nate’s Crossfit class with Steve. Lots of stretching work and squats and push-ups and pull-ups and other stuff. Then, it turned out the gym was closed for MLK day, because MLK wouldn’t want you to go to the gym, so no swimming.

Tuesday

OFF. In the city for work.

Wednesday

Ran long and easy, except it wasn’t that easy. I had been planning on running up at the lakes, in one of my favorite loops, but decided last minute just to run up Mt. Baldy instead and stand at the top with my arms out and yelling into the wind. Didn’t wear a watch. It was about 1:20 according to my car clock (minus approximate time spent re-enacting Titanic) and I’d guess 9 miles with 1,500 ft elevation or something. And, also, I was sore.

Swam 1,500y very easy after that, followed up with some stretching and yoga stuff.

Thursday

Biked 32 miles slightly uptempo, which took 2:27, with 4 x 5′ hill repeats at a moderately hard pace (170-180W). It was a bit before my legs warmed up, but eventually they came around. Eventually.

Ran 4 miles easy in the evening just around the neighborhood. Revived the old iPod shuffle and for the first time in ever I didn’t dread my second workout. I may need to invest in some good headphones and buy one of those actually decent little $50 shuffles, instead of my 8-year-old one. Followed up with drills and strides.

Closed the night out with 20′ of core and PT work.

Friday

I was Tired. Biked very slowly the 30′ to College of Marin for swimming, swam 2,900 yards at Masters with lots of IM and all that Masters kind of swimming stuff. Then, biked very slowly 30′ more to work from there. It turns out I was bike VERY SLOWLY, because it was only like 11.5 miles in 1:05.

Saturday

Ran just under 10.5 miles with Ilyce as: warm-up over the hill and then 7 x 5′ back and forth on Lucas Valley Rd. at 6:40 pace, which really ended up being 6:34, 6:36, 6:43, 6:38, 6:28, 6:40, 6:46 or something like that. Ilyce was fully introduced to the joys of running the false flat path. ‘I’m doing amazing!’ Turn around. ‘Shit, I’m going to throw up on myself.’ It’s a good thing she was there, though. I was feeling pretty bad during the 3rd and 4th ones — in fact we had to take a bathroom break after the 4th — and I don’t think it’s likely I would have done all seven by myself.

Took an hour to get moving/play with Tupac the Cat before I went to the gym to do some very light PT and swim 1,000 yards easy.

Sunday

Despite being out until almost midnight the night before, I made it to swim practice Sunday morning. THAT’S HOW ON IT I WAS THIS WEEK! Swam 4,000 yards with PacWest crew, with main set of 8 x 125 (50 easy, 25 fast, 50 steady) and 8 x 150 (50 easy, 50 fast, 50 steady). My arms didn’t want to move by the end, but I kept up a steady 1:23-27 pace.

Rode 19 miles moderately easy around Paradise with a girl from swimming. I swear I am not making this up: we were passed by probably 50 people on bikes. And, then, when I stopped at Rustic Bakery on the way home to get a quick lunch, every single other person who had ridden a bike that morning was hanging out at the bakery. Stupid nice weather.

TOTAL: 14:25

Volume is a weird concept. What counts, what doesn’t. But, by pretty much any count, last week was bigger than previous weeks (1, 2, 3 and 4). It was also a decent amount of not easy work. Hopefully, that adds up when it counts. And, I may explain soon my logic behind the shorter harder v. longer easier stuff.

Ironman Training Week 4: Jan. 13-19

I think I’m back. I mean, let’s not jinx it or anything, but I did manage an actual entire week of training without anything too terrible happening.

Also, it turns out that having had two weeks off + two weeks of flu that was supposed to be getting back into things + bike and car accidents, I am now officially out of shape. It officially sucks.

Monday

Rode 1:20. I didn’t have a computer on my bike, so it’s like it didn’t even happen. Was really just trying to 1. ride easy to see if I felt any better after the car bullshit and 2. get some things done that had to get done but we didn’t have a car because of the car bullshit.

Tuesday

Rode 2:00 in the morning moderately hard, since the massive 1:20 easy ride didn’t suck. It was about 30 miles (but, come on, I live by hills) with 2 x 10′ of tempo at 175 watts or so. Only, I may not be in the most amazing shape ever because after the second 10′ effort my heartrate went up and it never exactly came back down. And did 2 x 5′ of high cadence, which also made my heartrate skyrocket.

25′ or so of core + PT. (Actually 40′ or core + PT + watching TV, so you know.)

Rode another 20′ easy to pick up rental car.

Swam 1,000 yards easy.

Wednesday

After having a not-small panic attack Tuesday night about everything I had to do on Wednesday and also not going to sleep until 12:45 or something, I revised my training plan for the morning. TRX class — during which I’m pretty sure I didn’t say a single word, not being in the best mood ever — and swam 1,2500 yards mostly easy. The main highlight was that I swam a 1:17 without killing myself. Not multiple 1:17s, just one, but it’s a start.

Thursday

Ran 8.25 miles with 2 x 10′ at 6:40-41 pace and then 6:43-45 pace (not deliberately slower on the second, just wasn’t holding onto it). This was actually supposed to be 2 x 15′ and it was actually supposed to be on Wednesday morning. But, shit happens. And, being out of shape happens. Oh man, that really happens.

Did some Yoga, stretching, etc.

Friday

Ran 4.75 miles easy on the most boringest Bay Trail ever behind the Target after getting a body work estimate on the car bullshit. Did drills and strides. Almost had my legs collapse under me because my right butt muscle is so sore. Did not know why.

Swam 3,000 yards with a main set that I had planned on being 3 x [5 x 100] steady pace. I did the first five in like 1:25-26 and then I tried to do the second five as IMs. But, it turns out my shoulder/neck is mostly ok from the car bullshit, but not ok enough that it wants to do butterfly. Abandoned that and went back to swimming 100s free in 1:25. Felt tired and exhausted and like I was swimming like shit, but they all kept being 1:25. This is possibly the slowest I have swum in four or five years, but it’s not the slowest I have ever swum. So.

Saturday

Light PT and Yoga.

Sunday

Rode 32 miles, 2:00 with Steve in Napa, which included a long moderately hard climb (and a long descent) and a whole lot of working really hard to stay on his wheel.

Swam 1,850 yards easy while all the footballling was happening.

TOTAL: 12:35

Not bad. About three weeks behind schedule, but not bad.

Ironman Training Week 3: Jan. 6-12

Oh yeah, right, workouts and stuff. I had a rough few days/weeks/whatever and I went into a funk Sunday and Monday. We have medical insurance that would cover my injuries from the accident, but what was I going to get treated for? General malaise? Then, the last two days have been packed with work, since it turns out that if you already had things piling up and then you don’t do anything for 48 hours it starts to add up — and then I got an extra last-minute assignment to deal with.

So, right. Working out.

Last week was what I’d consider the first real week of training. Week 1 and Week 2 were supposed to be prep, easing into things weeks, which they sort of were. But, they were also weeks of me having the flu and being sick and coughing so hard I threw up. Last week then was better than that. And, then, you know, IT REALLY WASN’T.

Monday

Rest day. Went to weird stretching Feldenkreis class.

Tuesday

Swam 2900y during lunch break of the never-ending jury duty. I was actually really proud of myself for rushing across the street, swimming, rushing back and eating a sandwich in the hall outside the courtroom. Swim workout was mostly steady 300s, 200s, 100s. Not fast. I am NOT fast right now in the pool.

20′ or so of core and PT.

Wednesday

Biked about 25 miles significantly more uptempo than the rides I did the last two weeks, plus 8 x 2′ big ring hill efforts. Did not even need to stop and blow my nose or choke coughing. This was a big deal. Followed by some yoga and stretching routine.

Did not swim because it was late and dark and cold.

Thursday

Ran just under 7 miles with a massively failed try at some hard efforts. Managed one 3′ effort and three 1′ false starts.

Crossfit in the evening, with lots of arm work and benching, etc. And, per usual, the Crossfit coach was flummoxed by me because I can’t lift almost anything over my head. But, I can lift that tiny amount lots and lots of times without tiring. So, they say, do a heavier weight. No. I reach failure before the workout is even over. It’s like they can’t understand that the limiter is not my aerobic abilities.

Friday

Ran five miles in the morning with Steve. It was supposed to be easy and it mostly was, but Steve needs to work on running easier.

Swam 1,550y easy in the evening — even though Friday evening workouts suck.

Saturday

Biked about 26 miles in the rain. What rain you say? There was no rain this weekend, you say? Yes, well, there was only rain at the one place I drove to in order to ride. Evidently I am stupid. Rode up a long, long climb, which was really bad to come down, and then out along the edge of Tomales Bay. Good, solid two hour steady ride, but exhausting.

Then, crashed the car and tried to do a little yoga and stretching after but laid on the floor of the living room mostly.

Sunday

Yeah…

Everything got cut because of the car crash. No running, no swimming, no even putting on regular clothes.

TOTAL: 9:15

I’m hoping the string of circumstances that have led to me cutting things and not being totally on schedule are over now. Of course, as I say that I’m over an hour late on when I planned to do my run workout today that was originally supposed to be yesterday, but I had to finish assignments first.

Also, I am in a bad mood because of this. Really don’t mess with me.

Ironman Training Week 2: Dec. 30-Jan. 5

Last week was supposed to the the second and final of the ‘easing back into training’ weeks. It was also the second and (hopefully) final of the being super sick weeks. After the first week of doing very little and resting, I mostly felt better last week — except for one small, minor problem. I couldn’t stop coughing.

So, there wasn’t much to do except do what I could do. It was a very slow, very not up to par week. Hard to remember that I was in pretty good shape a month ago? Hard to imagine I’ll be in decent shape again?

Monday

Ran another painfully easy, trying to just move, 5 miles — this time in the hills above my house.

Swam 1500y easy. All focused on trying to see if I was still sick, if getting off the couch helped at all. Verdict remained out.

Tuesday

Swam 3000y. 3000 YARDS! That’s the most I’ve swum in one workout since October maybe, who knows, who counts that high. I also included one of my standard test sets (which I think originally came from Jen Harrison) — for time 1000y continuous as 100 hard/100 easy. It took me 15:11. That is, for better or worse, not the slowest I’ve ever done it. But, it’s close. It is the slowest I’ve ever done it while feeling like I was killing myself the entire time. Was surprised that I managed to stay afloat.

Wednesday

I fully intended to bike 2:30. Really. Swear. But, see, when snot is coming out of your face so fast and thick that you can’t even stop it all, it sort of makes biking more challenging than it needs to be. I made it 20′ before I had to stop at a gas station and run for some tissue. While in the gas station bathroom I made an executive decision. Biked 18 miles instead with only two more nose-blowing stops.

15′ of light core/PT/etc.

Thursday

Ran 6.5 miles easy at China Camp. It was not awful, which was unexpected and exciting. Did drills and strides in between coughing fits.

35′ or so of strength work at the gym. I fully intended to swim after. Really. Swear. But, see, I didn’t feel like it. Reasoned that I really am trying not to push it as I was getting better and still coughing everywhere. Lots and lots of coughing. So much coughing. Coughing that makes people nervous and anxious and worried you’re going to choke to death.

Friday

Slept in, which was good, and almost didn’t have to take multiple doses of Nyquil. Almost. Biked easily the 15′ over to the gym and swam an easy 1000y. Really just an effort to leave the house once during the day and change out of my pajamas — even if it was just into sweats.

Saturday

Ran 8 miles with PacWest up and over the Golden Gate Bridge from Crissy Field. This was not my most best smartest decision ever, but I wanted to run with the group. But, I had been coughing so badly — especially in the mornings and especially before and after workouts — that I hella freaked people out. Like really freaked everyone out. Like, in the visitors center at the bridge, some tourists got to see the wonderful additional view of me choking and trying not to cough so hard I threw up, which has happened more than a few times in the last two weeks. Did drills and strides at Crissy Field after to the bewilderment of many more tourists.

Napped all afternoon.

Sunday

Rode 17 miles easy. Felt ok. So there. Napped all afternoon.

TOTAL: 8:45

Yeah, yeah, I know, I know.