Training Week: Aug. 26-Sept. 1

This was the first week I actually mostly almost completely followed the schedule I wrote out at the beginning of the week. Mostly. I don’t have a coach right now, primarily because Coach Mario is way busy, having a book published and flying all over the country giving talks and stuff, which is super awesome for him, but lame for me. I haven’t really decided if I want to go through the trouble of getting to know a new coach yet. But, mostly, I’m also having to wing my training some — will my foot hurt, will work have to get done, will I need to go to high school cross-country practice — and it’s easier to keep track of your own constantly changing obligations than trying to get someone else to keep track of them.

But, all that means that I also have been doing my classic bullshit: over-scheduling my training, getting exhausted, bailing on a bunch of stuff, feeling terrible about myself, deciding I’ll feel less terrible if I train a whole bunch, over-train. It’s a cycle. That’s why actually following my schedule this week (more or less) was a big deal.


Driving, flying, driving, flying.


Ran 5 miles easy with the high school kids.

Swam 800y easy. It was, you know, easing back into things.


Ran 4 miles easy with the high school kids. 10-15′ of core which included trying to do a plank for as long as possible. I lasted 3:30 or so. One of the kids did like 6′.

Biked the 14 miles back from where I was working to the high school, then home. Easy-ish.


Masters in the morning: 2,800y, which included a whole bunch of 25s stroke, IMs, and then repeats of 50-100-50 with decreasing breathing during the 100y. I never quite understand why not breathing is a thing in swimming.

Ran a bit over 6 miles with the high school kids with 9 x hill repeats at varying levels of effort and speed.


TRX in the morning

3:10 ride in the afternoon. I did my most favorite Marin ride. It’s actually not the best ride or anything; there’s other cool, long rides. But, it’s the three-hour ride that always makes me feel good about three-hour rides. The last bit sucked, though, with all the cars, all the angry angry cars.


Hot, shitty 7 miles on the side of the hot, shitty road at Steve’s bike race. That included two miles at 6:54, 6:59. And then pouring ice on myself and eating an off-brand It’s-It; I think it was called a This Is It.


Swam 3,000y on my own. Made up a workout again of about 1,000y warm-up and drills. Then, 3 x [200 at tempo pace (on the 3:00 for me), 100 easy IM, 50 hard]. 300 pull. 5 x 100 at like steady threshold with little rest. Usually I do those at 1:23-1:25 on the 1:30, but sometimes when I’m in shape I can do them at 1:20 on the 1:25, but then the math gets really confusing and complicated, so it’s just easier to be slower. Cool down.

Rode 25 miles on the TT bike with Steve. I think. I didn’t have a computer on my bike or a watch, so when I did a few 1′ and 2′ hard efforts I just went off Steve telling me when to stop. He said he held about 240W on my wheel during the efforts, so that’s a plus. I think things are moving in the right-ish direction.

Training: Aug. 12-18

My foot hurts. It’s supposed to be getting better, per doctor’s diagnosis, etc. It’s not. This is worrying.


Off. I had vague intentions of getting lots of work done and getting ahead on all of the deadlines and projects I had coming up. Instead, I didn’t. I think I internet-stalked acquaintances (except not stalk, because that’s actually a real problem, so some other word).


Masters – Whoa. People at practice were surprised/obviously-super-impressed I was there. I hung on for a 3,300y set that included 8 x [25 hard, 50 tempo, 100 same pace as 50]. We did it at 1:20 pace. This was, perhaps, over-ambitious.

Biked from ferry to office, home from ferry. Around 45′ of biking. Then, laid on the floor of the living room too tired to eat.


Very exhausted from my HUGE swim effort the day before. Ran 5.5 miles so, so slowly. Did some drills after, while listening to this high school boy explain on the phone to some other (presumably) high school boy about how “she just needed to be respecting me more.”

Took a Body Align class, kind of like yoga, but not.

Then swam 1000y easy when I got home. Then, laid on the floor of the living room too tired to eat. Except, actually, I got really sick after I did eat. So, well. Lesson learned. No eating.


Tried to run, even though had been throwing up the night before. It did not go well. 6.5 nasty, terrible, awful, no good, very bad miles.


Biked 1:45 on my time trial bike (I think, I didn’t have a computer on that bike, so it’s like it didn’t even count). Half with Steve, rest slower and by myself.

Mild core work, looked very similar to lying on the floor of the living room too tired to eat.

Swam 1000y easy.


TRI FOR FUN! Good race, good race practice. About 4.5 miles total running, 10 miles biking, and 1,800y or so swimming. About 4 hours of sleeping.


3,000y swim workout on my own — 1500y warm-up, 1000y for time as repeating 100-hard/100-easy, 500y cool-down with hella pulling. (Jen gave me that 1000y workout once, so I still do it every now and then)

I did NOT do my long bike ride. I did work instead. It was less fun.

Mildly discouraged, despite the race ‘victory.’ My foot — which never hurts WHILE I’m running — has been sore and aching all week. With being sick Wednesday night and cutting my Thursday workouts and being tired/swamped with work on Sunday and cutting my ride, I did way less than I intended. So far, this Ironman training thing is not off to such a great start.



Training Week: Aug. 5 – 11

After the last two weeks of actually doing stuff, topped off by the Marin Century last weekend, I deliberately intended to take this past week lightly and have a few easy/recovery days, so as not to overdo it in the first month I jump back into training. I did not, however, intend for it to be that light. That just happened because, I dunno, because I suck.


REST! Except, my recollection of this day is that I actually worked two jobs in two different offices and barely made a hard deadline at like 10 p.m. and it was not restful.


43′ run in the Sleepy Hollow-Terra Linda Open Space. Easy and, dare I say it, pleasant.


1,000y easy swim, which is so short so as to almost not even count as a workout, but I also was up at 6:30 a.m. in search of Cronuts, so you know, shit happens.


Bike 25′ from office to Crossfit, Crossfit, bike 45′ home from Crossfit.

The Crossfit workout was 5 x [800m run — except, like, really, I don’t accidentally run 2:45 800s when I’m uptempo jogging, so I’m pretty sure calling it an 800m was overly optimistic, 30 kettlebell swings, 30 pull-ups].

Obviously, since I can do a grand total of four pull-ups normally, I did those with a resistance band for support in order to get through them. The only problem was that since no one in Crossfit knows how to run I was finishing each round way ahead of everybody else. Also, no one in Crossfit understands pacing — side point. On the third time through, then, the instructor told me to go up in weights to slow me down and I tried to explain that the weights weren’t the part I was doing quickly. In fact, the strength part of the workout was definitely going to max me out by round five (hopefully, not round three) and my arms were already starting to give out. Endurance and speed aren’t my limiters, muscle strength is. If I can’t do one more pull-up, it’s not because I was going too quickly, it’s because my arms have failed. He said the only way I was going to get more arm strength was by lifting heavier weights and I was like, if I can’t lift them then they won’t give me more arm strength sitting on the floor. So, I did one round, sort of, with the heavier weights and with a lower support band on the pull-ups (making the pull-ups harder), except I did a shitty job because it was too much and my form fell apart as I struggled to make it. By the end of the round I was taking a break every pull-up and then kind of flinging myself up until my chin cleared the bar. And, then, he said, “See, don’t say you can’t do it.” Which, probably, sort of summarizes why Crossfit can be stupid. Then, I did two more rounds at the lower weight again, only my arms were fucked by that point. And, now I haven’t been able to fully straighten my right arm since Thursday.


8 mi. run easy(ish), finished by adding the hills above my house.

Did not swim because of the seizing in my arm muscles.


1:50 bike with 4 x 5′ at 200W uphill (last one was 6:35 just so I could see how long it’d take to get all the way up the hill). This turned out to be quite exhausting later in the day.


Swam 3,000y with a set I made up of three 500s as [2 x 250y steady with 5-10″ rest, 50-100-200-100-50 faster on the back end with 10″ rest, 5 x 100 on tight interval, fastest sustainable] It was harder than I thought it was going to be, but that was also the longest I’ve swum in months and my pace is getting back down in the low 1:20s. So, good news.

Did not run. My toe was aching after wearing dress shoes at a wedding Saturday night.

I’m mildly concerned that my toe feels fine when I’m running, but then aches at random points later and has been sore the past two days. It turns out I should just never wear dress shoes or walk. Problem solved.

Training: July 29 – Aug. 4

Last week I did more training hours than I have in, I dunno, a year, two years, a while. It was just over 14 hours. So, yay me. Of course, almost half of that was in the Marin Century and I went pretty light the other days, knowing I was playing Russian roulette with whether or not I’d finish the century.


Swam 2500y in the morning, which included a broken 1000y [300-250-200-150-100 with 10″ rest between each] as the main set. AND, I did a 2:50 200y and low 1:20-something 100y, so maybe I’m starting to remember how to swim. Not quite completely, but glimmers, faint recollections.

Biked home from the ferry the slightly longer way to get in a full hour of riding in.


Ran a bit over 7 miles easy on the trails above my house. The trails above my house are hilly. That’s why they’re above and not next to my house. Took over an hour.


Rode to the ferry and to and from the ferry to the office, but did not ride all the way home from the ferry because, see, the ferry is right next to Marin Brew Co and so sometimes that just doesn’t happen the way it’s supposed to. Ended up being something less than an hour of riding, depending on what you count as “riding” in the city.


Epic day of ridiculous hotness and exhaustion. Ran the 5.1 miles to TRX class fast. Did TRX class + some extra TRXing. Ran the 5.1 miles home slow.

Swam 500y in the evening, which was more like floating than swimming.


Swam 1,900y. Planned on swimming more, but then I didn’t. Really it was a feat of mental strength to swim the 1,900y. My abs hurt so much from the TRXing the day before that pulling my legs over to flipturn was incredibly painful.

Planned on running, but then I didn’t.


Marin Century. Also rode my bike the 1.2 miles from my house to the start of the century, so that’s like super extra. At the end, after I ate and got ice cream and more ice cream and was riding home eating my ice cream, that 1.2 miles took like 8 minutes. So.


Swam 2,100y. Very, very slowly. Like, so slowly, I basically didn’t finish before they opened the pool up for kids to play and had to then navigate around small children.

Totally ready for IM training. Obviously.

Training Week: July 22-28

This week’s training log is not super excited, since it’s basically just me repeating ‘I’m tired’ over and over.


Bike home from ferry. Plan on doing more, am tired, don’t. 45′ of riding


I felt Shitty, capital S, and stayed home from work, slept, moaned, etc. I tried to go for a run in the afternoon. I ran an hour, but it got disgustingly slower as I went until I was running 9:00/mile pace.

Did light core when I got home, which really was just laying on my floor. But, if you lay on the floor for 40′ and do a sit-up every now and then, that totally counts as 20′ of core. Then, swam for 10′ – which isn’t like a metaphorical or approximate “ten minutes,” it was really just 10′.


Rode the TT bike. Oh shit. To and from work + around China Camp on my way home, around 25 miles total for the day.

4.5 miles easy run in the hills in the evening. Did not feel terrible.


Bike to ferry. Plan on doing more, am tired, don’t.

Actually, I got drinks (and free ribs) with Maggie at Smuggler’s Cove, had a guy break the window of the Muni bus on the way there with his fist, and then sprinted to the ferry after. FYI, coming out of a dark, unmarked bar when it’s still light out and you’ve had three drinks and running full speed in ballet flats through Civic Center Plaza is enough to get the homeless people living in the plaza to cheer you on. In case you were wondering.


Swim 2,200y. It is the worse 2,200y I have swum in years. Did at least a few 100s that weren’t even under 1:30. My arms are so sore and painful within a few minutes of starting that I’m convinced I somehow did push-ups in my sleep the night before.

Plan on doing more in the evening, don’t. Drink instead. Theme?


Run 9 hilly miles easy. I am then crippled by fatigue — despite my tried and true method of eating an ice cream sandwich after my run. I abandon all other plans for the day and lay on the couch and nap. It seems like doing the Tiburon Triathlon on Sunday would be a bad idea. If it’s suppose to be a fun start back into racing and it sounds the opposite of fun, then why do it. I decide to DNS, go watch the San Rafael Crit bike race in the evening, and drink beers from plastic cups so as to not get in trouble for drinking in public. Flawless technique.


Give up.

(And, yes, I am aware I change tenses when telling stories. Let it go.)

Training Week: July 15-21

I always, in a weird gawking/judge-y way, love reading other people’s training logs, or at least skimming them and making snide comments under my breath. So, go ahead, judge. This is my training load last week — in which I finally cracked 10 hours for like the first time since February maybe?


Bike to ferry, to work from ferry — and back (which totals 20 miles, but is a mixed bag of useful and pointless biking), biked to Crossfit on way home — 22 miles total give or take

Crossfit – rowing + front squats + stuff


GOD, I’m tired. Call it.


Swim in the morning at this Masters at the community pool right next to my house, figuring it’ll be convenient. It is also stupid. We do 1800y in 55′. I’m pretty sure I water run faster than that.

Run 7 miles in the evening with 4 x 5′ at (7:05, 6:55, 6:45, 6:35 – except the last one I only managed 4′ and like, well, that was rough)


Bike to ferry, bike ALL the way home from work — successfully this time too — totals around 34 miles give or take

Light core while watching TV and playing with Tupac, which really means he sat under me and tried to bite my face every time I came down for a push-up. It made the whole strength workout more exciting.


Run 5 miles easy in the morning — because I worked the later shift. Yay!

Bail on swimming in the evening — because I worked the later shift and didn’t get home until after 8 p.m. Sigh.


Swim 2400y, including a test swim of 1000y that I do periodically. Did it the slowest I have ever done it. Was so tired following that I watched TV and took a nap. Also, sigh.


Biked to the race, biked around the course, bike led the five-mile race, biked home — 17 miles or something?

Ran 3.5 miles of warm-up + 1 mile not quite as fast as I had hoped

Swam 1,000y easy in the afternoon.

Bam, I’m back. (Sort of. Kind of. I’m still slow and suck.)

Can You Forget How to Swim?

When I was a kid I learned how to ride a bike at the Greyhound track outside Orlando, FL. You probably think this says more about my childhood than I meant it to, but I didn’t actually particularly care about riding my bike — there was nowhere to go, we lived across from a large shopping center (which housed a TCBY!) — and the Greyhound track was really sort of more a coincidence, a parking lot to go in circles in, than anything. But, learning to ride a bike was a prerequisite to childhood and so I did.

I gave it up in 7th grade. My parents told me I had to either wear a helmet or not ride my bike, which is perfectly reasonable on their part and I think they figured it was simply an ultimatum to get me to put the helmet on, but I didn’t. I was not a cool kid, which I was fine with, but I was also very aware of. When we moved to the suburbs from Chicago in 7th grade, I (with my braces and city attitude and Coke-bottle-thick glasses and hair dyed every color except the ones people actually have) didn’t fit in a ton, but I did fit in enough, just enough. And, that was fine, but it was a line. I knew that. And, I couldn’t afford one more thing to push me over that line. Wearing a helmet, any helmet, wouldn’t have been cool for the suburban kids who love to court manufactured risk. Besides, the giant styrofoam block of helmet, itself, wasn’t cool. Maybe if I’d had a cool helmet, one of the ones we all have now, it’d have been ok. But, I didn’t and it was sweaty and left marks on my forehead and made me look even more nerdy than I really was. So, I weighed wearing the helmet with how much I cared about riding the bike — and I didn’t care about riding the bike — and told my parents, ‘OK, I won’t ride it then.’

And, I didn’t. For 8 or 9 years.

I can tell you then that it is true, you don’t forget how to ride a bike. Theoretically, you still understand the principles. But, you certainly forget how to actually put those principles into practice.

There are plenty of stories here to illustrate this point, most of which involve me trying to practice around People’s Park in Berkeley and crashing over and over while the homeless people watched me and wondered what the hell that girl was doing. For another time, perhaps.

Yesterday, I swam in the Belvedere Lagoon with some people from my Masters team, which I haven’t been to in about two months. The woman who invited me knew me and thinks I’m fast, so she waved me off, saying, “If you need to go ahead of us, Kelly, you can.”

I didn’t really think that was going to be a problem. And, then I got into the water and it REALLY wasn’t a problem. It turns out I may not have forgotten how to swim, but I certainly have forgotten how to swim. I flailed and swam all out to still lag 20m behind everyone else and I zig-zagged and my arms burned and my swimsuit cut my neck and I couldn’t see where people had gone. I became obsessed about halfway through with the fact that my hand entry sucks and wasn’t grasping the water efficiently, but by the end I didn’t even care. I was just picking my arms up and dropping them down and wondering how 45′ could feel this long.

When I finally got to the dock where two of the other swimmers were waiting, she asked me if I’d been swimming at all lately — because, well, clearly I hadn’t. And, I said no. And, she asked why I’d come today then. And, I said I was getting back into things, see. And, then, the other guy there said, in that tone of voice used to talk to small children and dogs, “GOOD for YOU.” And, I thought, oh honey, I may have forgotten how to swim, but I’m pretty sure I haven’t forgotten how to kick your ass.

When I was trying to remember how to bike (and also learn lots of things about biking I never knew in the first place), I went on a triathlon team ride and the girl in front of me stopped abruptly twice and I ran into the back of her. She was fine, I was fine, but she was bitchy and pissed off and rolled her eyes snidely at me. Clearly, she seemed to say, I’d never be any good at this. That, as much as anything, made me determined to get good at biking even if I hated it — and oh, I hated it.

So, guy, I will remember how to swim, even though I hate the water and its coldness and murkiness and the way it stays in your hair forever. Don’t worry. I’ll remember soon. And, then, we can go back to the lagoon.

Belvedere Lagoon

The lagoon is a different color because of something the Belvedere people put in it. I think.
The lagoon is a different color because of something the Belvedere people put in it. I think.

This is where I swam today. The Belvedere Lagoon. I had heard rumors, talk, whispers of such a place. But, you have to know someone who lives on the lagoon to let you use their dock off the back of their house. I don’t know lots of people in Tiburon/Belvedere (shockingly). Today I got an invite. The lagoon is fed from the Bay, but it’s cleaner and treated by some chemical for algae and it’s like 10-12 degrees warmer than the Bay — no wetsuit needed — and you can do long 45′ laps around it. If you can, wrangle an invite from someone.

Man, the Y is Annoying

I went to the local YMCA today to do some lifting and swimming. (My foot is bothering me a lot right now, so running is out during this ‘break.‘) The last time I went to the Y I had to share the pool with “Princess” while I tried to water run.

The YMCA has not gotten a whole lot better since then.

Have you ever seen the Seinfeld episodes where those super old guys, the Mandelbaums, keep challenging Jerry to weird and obscure physical challenges and try to get him in shape, even tying him to the back of a car to make him run. I’m pretty sure those guys go to my Y.

The weirdest part is the attitude. When I went to get into a swim lane, I gestured to the guy ‘Hey, can we split the lane?’ and he just stared at me and kept swimming. I waited until he came back to the wall again. ‘Hi, sorry, can we split the lane?’ He kept staring pointedly away from me. ‘Hi. Excuse me. Hello. Hi. Hey. Can we split the lane?’ He finally turned and stared at me. ‘The lane, can we split it?’ I’m pantomiming now. S-P-L-I-T. He stares some more. Finally, he sighs. ‘It’s not allowed.’

It’s not allowed? No, splitting the lane isn’t allowed. They won’t let you. But, he says, he’s almost done. Or, I could always swim in another lane. OK, fine, I jump in the fast lane and apparently my ability to swim scares away the woman in that lane.

Then, I accidentally hit this guy in the lane next to me with my hand — apparently my stroke is wider than it should be. This is not uncommon and I’ve been knocked on accident plenty of times. Usually at Masters I would just keep swimming. But, this is the Y and I sort of doubted that would go over well. I stopped right away and say, “Are you ok?”

The guy stared at me, mouthed some swear words and mumbled an insult under his breath, stared some more, and then turned away and started swimming. Um. OK.

And, that is why, even though it is the cheapest, closest gym to my house, I don’t belong to the Y.