With Ironman Chattanooga just 3 months and 16 days away (but who’s counting, right?!) I think I’m overdue for a training update.
My training volume has definitely started to increase, both for Challenge Atlantic City (70.3) later this month and Ironman Chattanooga in September. Things are generally going well and I’m happy with where I am with this much time to go. I’ve had a few struggles with scheduling/ time management/ balance, but I think that happens to everyone in this sport. I know finishing an Ironman is important to me, so I will find a way to make it work, but I also don’t want my family or work to suffer. That’s going to continue to be a challenge, but I am up for the task.
Here is a brief overview of where things are right now.
As has always been the case for me, my swimming is a bit hit or miss. While I do have great swimming days on occasion, there are plenty of less-than-great swimming days, too. This is definitely the toughest of the three sports for me mentally. I’m plugging away, though, and actually feeling better about open water swimming after Monticelloman and, more recently, the Jim McDonnell Lake Swim. The latter was both my longest continuous swim and longest open water swim ever, at a full 2 miles.
I was definitely tired by the end of the Lake Swim, but I stayed calm (which is HUGE for me in open water) and kept what felt like a fairly steady pace throughout. It was an enormous confidence boost for me to know that I can swim that far leading into Chattanooga. While I certainly wasn’t setting any speed records, I finished in a respectable 1:14:51. I was happy with my time.
I was so glad to have two of my Team HPB teammates at the swim!
With some Snapple Team ladies before the race.
A week or so after the Lake Swim (all the training days are starting to blend together!) I swam with Taryn at the Hains Point (D.C.) outdoor 50 meter pool and that was a really nice change of pace for me. I think I will try to do that again when I need a little extra motivation to get swimming.
Yesterday, I did a swim I have been doing for years (this is my third year on Team HPB and this is a regular in our rotation) and had better times than I have had in months (and I think maybe my second best times ever), so I was super pleased with that.
So, generally good news on the swim front!
The bike is definitely where I have spent the most time and effort of late. I’ve done two long rides – one 70 miler and one 85 miler – both with Taryn. I have another 85 mile ride on tap for this weekend. I actually like long rides (we’ll see if I am still saying that at the end of the summer) and love the feeling of accomplishment when I’m done!
Taryn and I rode through some beautiful areas in rural Maryland on our most recent ride.
I’ve also started back up with some regular group rides and those are a real challenge for me. I’m in-between groups with one being slightly too slow and one being slightly too fast. I’d really like to be able to stay with the currently too-fast group for an entire ride start-to-finish without falling off the back (or being dropped completely, which is what happened last night) by the end of the summer. We’ll see.
I’m still feeling a bit uncertain about my running. I had some hamstring issues during my spring road racing season and although I thought they had started to clear up, I had a bit of a relapse recently. I’m hoping it was related to some travel and being out of my routine, but I’m not sure. I have a longer run on tap for this weekend and I’m interested to see how the hamstring fares during that one.
Today, I did a speed workout on the track and while I definitely thought I might puke, and at one point debated laying down on the field during a rest interval, I always feel stronger after an effort like that (once the misery subsides).
While I’m feeling pretty positive about where I am in all three sports, I know I have a long way to go and a lot of work to do between now and the Ironman. I’m expecting lows along with the highs, but trying to stay focused on the positives. Speaking of, I recently found out my in-laws are coming to Chattanooga to cheer for me during the Ironman, which is AWESOME and adds an extra layer of motivation for me to train hard and have a great race!