Friday, June 20, 2014

IMMT Training Weeks 19, 20 and 21: Where did the time go??

You know what's harder than Ironman training? Blogging!!! Not only it takes me hours to complete a post, but it also stresses me to no end because I'm a person who tries to meet deadlines on a daily basis and when I miss my own deadlines by so many days, and even weeks in a row, I go cuckoo inside my head. Case in point, I could not delay this post a single more day and I decided to switch my rest day with tonight's workout and get it done!! Ok, ok, open water swim got cancelled (but I could have gone to the pool) and my legs aren't 100% and I could use more rest after last weekend's 70.3 race, but these are just excuses. If I really wanted to, I could have done both. End of story.

But, say... aren't you relieved to see that I am back? Yeah, baby, and I'm feeling fantastic! Bursting with energy even. No kidding... Can't wait to get this recap started! (now, where did I put my cheat sheet aka Training Peaks?)


Including the race, I swam 6 times in the last 3 weeks. Twice in the pool and 4 times in open water. One pool workout was a lazy continuous swim for 2300m and the second one was a glorious 10x200m with warmup and cooldown for a total of 3000m. Both times I left the pool as drunk as these lanes.
I won't even bother to share my times because as I expected, they did not transfer in open water. I returned to the exact same pace as last year. I chose not to dwell too much into the whys and hows of this particular WTF and instead, I listened to my hubby who wisely said that if this is my time at the beginning of the season, it can only improve from here. Do I believe it? When I see my last swimming analysis video, I truly do want to believe. If only I could keep that stroke consistent and powerful throughout, maybe I'll get somewhere.

But as with any open water swim, I get carried away. I love it so much in the lake, and maybe that's the problem. I have to stop swimming with my head in la-la land and FOCUS. I heard myself saying this a few times already... Next time I will listen, I promise.

I swam at the James Dick Quarry twice, and as usual, I struggled there. There always seem to be some sort of chop or current that makes me swallow a lot of sandy water and fight to stay on course. Or maybe I was still drunk, who knows. It may explain the thumb up despite the circumstances.
Then my FMCT tri club started the open water swims at Professor's Lake and OH. SO. MUCH. BLISS. Yes, I know I'm shouting. You should come swim there, it's wonderful! Just look at these photos. Seriously, dudes.
Back to swim dreaming... 


I managed to fit in 7 bike workouts in total. Four of them were on the trainer, mostly easy, recovery rides watching 24 or Jimmy Fallon. Three were outdoors and they all helped me reach different levels of "holy fuck I can do this".

Three weekends ago, I spent the entire day on Saturday volunteering at a race in Toronto with the office folks, and I had to shift my workouts around. Since coach was free on Sunday, he offered to ride 3h with me, and I was going to top up with 2h30 on my own to reach 5h30. But first, a visual.
I wasn't quite sure where he was going to take me, I only heard mention of Bond Head and that did not ring any bells with me. Another hint was that coach loves hills and he eats them for breakfast, lunch and dinner. He must have been really hungry that day. And most days I don't mind them because I have no choice but ride the hills of Caledon. But hills with wind and more hills and more wind? Just look at that beauty of a profile, then look at my speed and my heart rate. If that doesn't scream constant mother-effing-hills-get-me-outta-here, I don't know what does. So we went to Bond Head (the end of the line to the north-east of the trace) and we took a short coffee break there, then we rode back down, on the map that is, because in reality it was very much up and down and up and down, and if I can say Hallelujah intervention, coach's chain broke and he lost 4 links and then he couldn't go into the big chain ring anymore, which meant a little break for my legs and time to look at the pretty landscape around us.

Eventually we parted ways and I decided to head west towards Belfountain because I really wanted to make the day even more memorable, and that meant ice cream. So I took all the courage that I had left and started chewing on it with all my teeth and eventually climbed that mammoth of hill and made it to Belfountain, which ended adding 10-15km extra to my trip. But I was a woman on a mission and nothing could stand between me and my ice cream. Once arrived at the restaurant, I also had a panini because I was starving, then, with a satisfied belleh at last, I started the last leg of my journey back home. It may have been all schuss from there, but it was no piece of cake. 150km in total, and oh so close to completing a first mile century! But hubbs was waiting for me with lunch and we were on a schedule to go to the quarry and so I decided to leave it for another day (spoiler alert: it's coming up this weekend, yikes!). The End.

The second ride in the series took me to Schomberg. Zin and I actually took the little group from the tri club there since we were the leaders of the day, and we had so much fun! Gorgeous route, awesome company, great coffee, yummy cherry pie.... Mmmmmm, yes, pie!!!
If you ever go to Schomberg, make sure to stop by The Grackle Coffee Company, you won't be disappointed. They also have Kawartha's ice cream, but that in itself is rather dangerous for my waistline. I don't have to drive all the way to Muskoka to have some! Anyway, 4h on the bike that day, over 100km ridden, I had no issues swapping gooey gels for pie.

Alright - last but not least, the bike leg in the Welland 70.3 race (now called Rose City Half) - it deserves a post in itself, so stand by... it shall come to this blog real soon.


Between the quick 2.5km runs off the bike and the long slow runs in the weekends, plus the speed work on the track and the hill repeats on the treadmill, 11 run workouts in total. It may not seem like a lot, but they were all quality workouts.

All long runs were over 20km, the hill repeats left me in a puddle of sweat and the track workouts got me pushing Yasso's 800s at mile pace and I didn't even puke. And dare I mention no pain at all in my hips, knees, ankles or ITBs? WIN!

Even though I felt like quitting at times, especially when I ran 5x3km mind-numbing loops around Professor's Lake, it was more out of boredom than anything. So when a girl from the tri club was looking for a partner to run 10-1s (10min run at 7min/km - 1min walk) for 15km, I said why not? As long as I was going to be moving my legs for 2h, it didn't matter the speed. I ended enjoying it so much, that I have no issues saying yes again in the future. These runs are good for the soul - put your pace away and enjoy the day!

In a nutshell

I felt pretty good in the last month, despite everything that I threw at my body and things got really promising. I managed to turn the page of negativity and truly enjoyed every single workout. I knew that I was going to go into my first 70.3 distance of the year with the confidence of a well executed training plan and that helped me stay relaxed and relatively stress free (when I wasn't in panic mode about missed blog posts, that is).

Truth to be told, the last 3 weeks were not that heavy volume wise (14h, 12h, 10h), but now it's time to drop the hammer again. A new cycle starts and this one looks rather scary. Will see you on the other side! Sleep is calling.


  1. I lol'ed at your coach breaking his chain comment. Can't wish for that to happen to anyone but looks like you definitely needed a pit stop!

  2. I also laughed at the coach breaking his chain. I was in Bond Head on Thursday and yikes! Hills are the word! You're doing AMAZING! I seriously can't believe how you fit it all in!