Sunday, June 30, 2013

Long ride week 4

I am laughing at myself, the first twenty minutes or so were blissful and easy and I thought - this is going to be such a relaxing ride, Ironman training really works! About five minutes later I encountered a brutal headwind that basically affected 80% of my remaining ride. IT WAS ARDUOUS! (Only partially compensated for by occasional shortish stretches where I was coasting along at 22mph!) Next weekend I need to ride the loop counterclockwise, as everyone else does - I have had a mild preference for the clockwise direction, mostly related to location of my preferred gas station (water top-up) and "saving" the easy part for the end, but really the time is disproportionately spent riding into the wind in that direction, there is a reason everybody else rides it counterclockwise...

3:06, 49.80 (mighty tempted to ride a bit extra to make the round number, but that way madness lies, I'd already ridden a few minutes over goal - hit the junction where B. was going to pick me up at the 2:20 mark, rode :20 out but it then took :26 to ride back against the wind), 16mph, HR zones 2 and 3. Max speed 25.1mph, which given that it is flat as a pancake here speaks to the intensity of the wind situation!

I think I will go to 2pm slow flow yoga, I need some stretch. Bring on Week 5 training!

Saturday, June 29, 2013


Even in a recovery week, you can do a decently long weekend workout, it is good, recovery week leaves a training-shaped hole in my life! (Useful for getting other things done, but really not as physiologically enjoyable as large amounts of exercise.)

Double spin at Revolutions Cycling - Saturday morning double spin is such an enjoyable part of my New York schedule, I realized it was worth taking advantage of the opportunity to mimic that when I'm here. Then I jogged home, rather slowly - it is overcast and a little rainy, which is good, but still rather warm!

Double spin 1:42 (avg HR 140, max HR 165)
"Run" 2.19mi/25:32 (avg pace 11:38, avg HR 147, max HR 165)

Just double-checking schedule for coming weeks. I'm keeping it very flexible, with the only stuff really written in being the long rides and a second long session on the bike indoors each week. I'm sort of going to go on a 10-day "week" for a bit of July, I need extra recovery time for travel. I'm going to stick with a two-hour run as long run for this next block of training, as I know I'm going to be walking a lot of the Ironman marathon and I think the recovery costs and risk of illness outweigh possible training benefits - I'm going to do a possible long walk/hike for time on feet.

Heavy weeks in NYC should also have a second outdoor ride - I'll be doing lots of spin classes as well, but I should almost every week be doing a separate hill repeat workout (there is an ideal hill leading up to the Alpine police station, that was the one I "tested" last week).

(I am also contemplating something slightly naughty - the acquisition of a triathlon bike! Agnostic on whether I would be comfortable enough on it to ride it well at IMWI, but I have my eye on doing an as yet unidentified fast flat half-Ironman race next summer - I'd like to get another sub-7:00 half under my belt, and flat and not too hot are the two priorities....)

Sun 6/30: 3hr (flat) East End loop
Wed 7/3: 3hr condo spin bike (Spinervals DVD of IMWI course - very useful)
Sat 7/6: double spin at Revolutions
Sun 7/7: 4.5hr (flat) East End loop
Mon 7/8: fly GCM-JFK
Wed 7/10: 3hr ride (hilly) 9W
Sat 7/13: 3hr spin at Chelsea Piers
Sun 7/14: NYC triathlon (c. 3hr probably rather warm exercise)
couple days recovery here
Wed 7/17: 4.5hr ride (hilly) 9W
Sat 7/20: 3hr spin at Chelsea Piers
Wed 7/23: 5hr ride (hilly) 9W
Sat 7/27: 3hr spin at Chelsea Piers (skip if overloaded)
Wed 7/31: 5.5hr ride (hilly) 9W
couple days off for travel to Vermont for
Sat 8/3: "Even-up" Triathlon (this one's going to be amazing - 3.5mi swim, 34mi bike, 13.1mi run!)
recovery days
Th 8/8: fly JFK-GCM
Sat 8/10: double spin at Revolutions
Sun 8/11: 5.5hr (flat) East End loop
Wed 8/14: 3hr condo spin (IMWI DVD)
Sat 8/17: double spin at Revolutions
Sun 8/18: 6hr (flat) East End loop
Wed 8/21: 3hr condo spin (IMWI DVD)
Sat 8/24: double spin at Revolutions
Sun 8/25: 6.5hr (flat) East End loop
Mon 8/26: fly GCM-JFK
Wed 8/28: 3hr ride (hilly) 9W
Sat 8/30: 1hr swim, double spin, 2hr run (Chelsea Piers)

Race day is September 8. I am excited!

Friday, June 28, 2013


Slightly crazy week. Had really been ready even pre-Syracuse for a recovery week, and given how hot it was, I was just exhausted when I got back to an also very hot NYC. Had a lot of errands to do before leaving town early Thursday morning, plus BOOK FINISHING - but managed to email final manuscript to my editor earlier this afternoon, and figured the best thing I could do exercise-wise would be a not-too-intensive yoga class. I have been really missing yoga - I hope that in this next training block, I'll be able to do a class at least a couple times a week. Cycling has been making my hamstrings and hips even much tighter than they usually are, so this class was perfect, with gentle twists and hip-openers. Tomorrow I will do double spin plus short run home, 3hr ride Sunday, then I can start up again on Monday with another "real" training week!

1hr yoga

Monday, June 24, 2013

Week 3 summary

Total hours for the week: 16:46. Very pleased with that, and with the extent to which I have genuinely prioritized cycling. First training block DONE - bring on the recovery week!

Race report - Syracuse 70.3!

Liz on left, me on right: packet pick-up the day before the race (photo courtesy of Chris).

We would look much hotter and more disheveled/drenched than this by race end the next day. There was a heat wave, it was 91 degrees, it can only be described as gruesomely hot! Very little shade on the run course, and several quite steep hills. It was a slog - huge majority were walking most of it. Dramatic incident: I was at mile 11, Liz a little further, when thunder started rumbling, the heavens opened, lightning struck and they canceled the race! It is a sensible call for an organization to make, they probably had no choice, but it seemed clear to me that it was reasonably safe to continue, and that I wanted the satisfaction of a finish even if it wouldn't be official. They took down remaining aid stations and stopped runners who were at earlier stages, so really I was lucky I had less than half an hour remaining, or it might not have been an option. The police officer who came to tell us the race was off was extremely nice - he said that a homeowner was offering a barn for us to shelter in, that trucks would transport anyone who wanted from there to the race finish. I asked if we were required to take shelter, he shrugged with a twinkle in his eye and I and many others continued our trudge - actually the temperature had dropped about 20 degrees in 10 minutes, so I probably felt a bit better for that last stretch than I had previously. I was beaming almost the whole first 10 miles, though - triathlon is an exhilarating sport even when you are near the back of the pack!

Swim: I only note that I definitely had asthma-related breathing trouble for first half of the swim. It is my theory that putting face in water, even if not subjectively horribly cold, triggers that reflex. There was a swim warmup opportunity that I did not avail myself of, but I will do so next time and see if that helps. It wore off eventually, only the wheeziness remains a residual problem for the rest of the day - it will also be interesting to see whether this precipitates another respiratory ailment, though I can say with confidence that it was much less of an assault to the lungs than hill-related panic that day at Putnam in early May.

Bike: Prioritizing cycling has truly paid off. I'm not fast, but I feel super the whole way. The course is a funny one, the whole first 12 miles is one long hill, including some very steep bits (here's the elevation profile). It is mildly discouraging, even if you knew it was coming, to see the total distance in the very low double digits at the one-hour mark! I got a nice mood pickup around that point. Bike support coverage was very good on the course, and mostly people either have what they need or have a bigger problem than I can help with (busted chain or derailleur). But I always call out to see if a cyclist by side of road needs something, and in this case she called back, despairingly, "A pump!" She had a tube and had changed it already, so I was very happy to give her my frame pump. I am a worrier and think too much about all that can go wrong with a bicycle, so I always race not just with two tubes but with CO2 and nozzle as WELL as my frame pump! I told her my last name and race number so that she could return it afterwards if possible, but I wasn't sure she would be able to retain the information (races are funny). It was a lovely surprise to get back to my bike much later in the day, after aforementioned torrential rain and a period when we were not allowed to retrieve stuff from transition due to lightning, and find the pump tucked into my bento box in a fashion that spoke eloquently to me of conscientiousness and gratitude!

I had seen Liz in transition - our bikes were opposite each other, she's a faster swimmer than I but had started in a slightly later wave. I figured she must have passed me at some point on the bike without me noticing, and it turned out to be the case - I stopped at the mile 40 aid station (I used Camelbak tube hybridized with Source 100oz "reservoir" and my GoLite trail-running backpack, started out with 3 x the "Half Evil" 333 endurance fuel and subsequently topped up with water), and we saw each other there, as she had stopped to reapply sunscreen. My one complaint about the bike course, which was in every other respect both lovely and challenging (and surprisingly good prep for Wisconsin, which has a not dissimilar terrain and profile), was that there were far too many cyclists bunched up - it was pretty much impossible to stay 4 bike lengths away from the next rider, which is the rule, as we were strung out like beads over the entire course. I was probably more like 2.5 lengths behind Liz for pretty much the last 16 miles, and rode into transition immediately behind her, which was funny and nice.

As I said, run was penitentially hot, with many first-timers cursing themselves for having undertaken such a mad enterprise! For me it was always going to be a good training day rather than a race as such, and I was extremely happy with my bike in particular, so I didn't mind doing a lot of walking. I was worried at the cancellation announcement that Liz might be disappointed, but she is an extremely good sport and took it in her stride, was exhilarated by finishing regardless - and then we got a very pleasant surprise back at the hotel. It turned out they had indeed kept the timing mat on and we did get official results after all - that was nice.

I am probably forgetting something, but I need to pull myself together and get out of the apartment to go to my evening meditation class! (I am weary, we drove back today and it wasn't tiring as such but I am definitely feeling residual fatigue.) Rest week begins, only I have to finish revisions to my book manuscript and fly to Cayman on Thursday, so it may be that I need to take some extra days after that to let my body absorb this first block of training....

swim: :50:44
bike: 3:59:31 (elevation 1686 ft.)
run: 2:54:52 (91 degrees, hills)

total time: 7:56:53

Friday, June 21, 2013


That was super, though I will need to pull together shortly to get another stint of work done this evening! Rode down to Chelsea Piers, did Joanna's spin class and a swim on my own after, then worked in the cafe for a bit.

1hr spin (3 x 8min climb)
1500 yards swim (w/u 200 swim, 200 pull, 200 kick; 4 x 100 on 2:10 as 75 build 25 easy; 8 x 50 drill-swim by 25 IM order; 100 IM easy)
10mi RT CP

Thursday, June 20, 2013


These long days where I'm out from dawn till dusk (not literally) take it out of me! But it must be said that it was pretty much a perfect day (main thorn in the rose involved the STREAMING eyes and nose post-swim workout, exacerbated by allergies; and perhaps true ideal day involves drafting 1500 words of completely unknown and surprising material, but hey, I'll take what I got).

Hit the allergy doctor for shots (this allergy season is hitting me hard right now, but I'm hoping for continued improvement for next year). Then to Chelsea Piers, a spot of work and a midday swim class and then a great longer session on my book manuscript, which is very close to being done. (I want to send it next Wednesday before I leave for B.'s on Thursday.)

Then I did a slightly pitiful hour on the spin bike (the streaming nose was an obstacle, I had to get off at the half-hour mark and go and excessively blow my nose, and then once I started up again I sort of had to warm up all over again and only managed to do one of the three remaining intervals that I had initially projected of the five I undertook at beginning of hour).

Then to G.'s to meet up with him and my brother for an absolutely lovely dinner at Mezzogiorno: I had beef carpaccio with avocado and heart of palm, a potato-crusted red snapper with broiled green beans and zabaglione with berries.

Sign that I am training for an Ironman: the two boxes my doorman had for me when I got home were this (tried it in a sample from the Fat Cyclist, loved it - will write a separate post about hydration and calorie projections for Ironman) and this (ordered on a strong recommendation from L., who is perhaps more of a cereal eater than I am but is very impressed with this - its scent, as it wafted from microwave at our Montauk rental last weekend, was faintly like something Houyhnhmns might eat).

I need to go to this Tues-Thurs midday swim workout more often, I think, as I so often can't make the City College ones that in theory are my current hard swim workouts (this week for instance I was deluged on Tuesday, couldn't go tonight because of dinner and will be out of town Sunday for the race).

1hr swim:

w/u 200 swim, 400 swim (every fourth length back), 200 pull

8 x 100 on 2:00 (1)-(4) as 75 build 25 moderate (doing these very nicely in about 1:45, surprising myself) (5)-(8) as 75 strong 25 moderate (more like 1:52)

10 x 50 on 1:05 (mix of easy, moderate and strong in ladder structure)

200 pull easy breathing every 3 and 5 on alternate lengths

2300 total

plus 1hr spin (3 x 8min zone 3, 2min recovery, rest in zone 2)

Wednesday, June 19, 2013

Long ride #3

Most beautiful day, beautifully enjoyable - all good. I was sufficiently intent on doing 100K of nowhere that I changed the units on my Garmin to metric, but when I actually got to Rockland Lake St. Park and rode the loop and considered how long it had taken me to get there from Lamont, I had a Visitation of Common Sense: I didn't need to ride long today, I needed to have a regular challenging 3-hour ride during which I would continue to desensitize to riding on a shoulder beside fast traffic and riding steep long hills! The clincher is that I still haven't done a proper hill workout on the Alpine hill, and I wanted to ride it at least once before the end of my ride today - I'm racing this weekend, then a recovery week & travel to Brent's, and in short I really won't be riding these hills again until Wednesday, July 10. So I did exactly that - just once up the Alpine hill, but it was not as monumental as I'd built it up to be in my imagination, and it will be easier for me to make a hill workout happen given that I've been there this year once already.

(Upside of taking 8am bus is that I am riding by 8:45 and therefore in a position to get the noon bus back, even if I do three full hours - there is no 1pm bus, so it makes for a much longer trip if I don't get onto that one on the way back.)

Numbers approximate as I forgot to turn my Garmin back on after stopping to use my asthma inhaler, but along these lines:

c. 3hr, c. 38mi, avg HR 137, max HR 155

Tuesday, June 18, 2013

Slog of a run!

Utter slog of a run, one of the least enjoyable in living memory! (I mean, it's still better than all sorts of other activities, but not fun.) Have been feeling rather out of sorts the last few days, just very tired - I couldn't fall asleep till 3 last night, so I didn't have time to run this morning - did have a window in early afternoon that in retrospect I should have taken advantage of, only I felt dreadfully tired and it was also mid-80s and high humidity. Anyway, I packed up swim things and change of clothes in trail-running back, with notion of doing 90-minute run to and then followed by swim practice, but it just didn't happen. It was raining already when I started, becoming torrential around the one-hour mark, and my fatigue just didn't go away - so I came home instead. Absolutely drenched, to wet rat levels, needless to say. I want to do a long quality ride tomorrow morning (8am bus if possible) and it will be better for me to have quiet evening at home than swim practice. I really hate skipping these workouts, but the run was more important than the swim, and I did get in some miles, however trudging....

1:25, 8.22mi, 10:28/mi. pace (hey, that's not nearly as bad as it felt - my feet were seriously dragging along the ground, even on the downhills!)

(NB need to get new batteries for HR straps, I am getting nothing useful - numbers all over, nonsensical, so that at the 30-minute mark I stopped and took off the strap. Felt better after that - it is always painfully chafing no matter what I put on underneath it, and if it's not even giving me good data!...)

Sunday, June 16, 2013

Week 2 summary

My body, as of late afternoon, is telling me that it wants to doze and eat rather than run, so I think I am going to listen to it - yesterday was tiring, and I already had a good swim today.

Week 2 in summary: 13:45

3 swims (2:15)
2 runs (2:02)
5 bikes (9:27), including one outdoor 3-hour ride on 9W and one indoor 3-hour ride

Only thing missing is a long run, but I think it was more valuable for me to prioritize the second long ride than the long run for this week. It is clear to me that if you're training to finish an Ironman rather than to "race" it, and you know how to swim, you pretty much could just spend all your training time on the bike and you'd be fine!


Super masters swim. I just really love this style of workout - it was a bit naughty of me to swim rather than running, but hopefully I will run later. (I was out all day yesterday for some pleasant but rather tiring family stuff, only got home late, and it was pretty clear that I needed to sleep late rather than get up early enough to run 1.5hr/refuel-digest/swim at noon.) Only thing I do not like about swimming is the pool chemicals - I was sneezing like crazy and still have unpleasantly runny nose....

Warmup: 100 free, 600 in reverse IM order (didn't have time for final 50 of fly, the 100 I did was drill)

3 x 100 as 25 fly on :40, 50 back kick-swim on 1:20, 25 free build on :30

3 x

150 pull on 3:30
3 x 50 back-breast on 1:35
2 x 25 fly all out on :50
:30 rest
3 x 100 free descending on 2:20 (not sure this is exactly right, but 1:58, 1:53, 1:50; 1:56, 1:52, 1:48; 1:57, 1:52, 1:50)

50 cooldown

2950 yards total

Saturday, June 15, 2013


That was super. Had a hard time getting out of bed, and then out of the house (didn't get home till nearly midnight after Shakespeare in the park and late dinner), scuppering notion of starting long indoor ride at 9.  Wasn't sure I could stick out a third hour on my own but really my bike fitness is good, it was very doable. 10am Joanna's class, 11am Tal's, then 7 x 5min z3 2min recovery.

3hr ride

Friday, June 14, 2013


Slightly shorter than I hoped for, on both counts, but really a very good workout regardless. I was on a bike by shortly after 12, so I got a good 70-minute spin; then transitioned to the pool for 1000 yards. (I did the first 300 of the T-pace test that many triathletes use for pacing, but on the last 50 I was both sneezing uproariously & suddenly cognizant that I had forgotten to take a second dose of albuterol post-spin, which meant that asthma prevention was just about up - so common sense said I'd better just cool down and try again one day next week. Really I know what that pace is anyway - call it 2:03/100 for now, and in a couple weeks of medium-volume swimming I should be at more like 1:58!)

Warmup: 200 swim, 200 pull, 200 kick

300 free (6:08)

100 cooldown

Thursday, June 13, 2013


Rather weary. The weather is not good! But I was glad I made it to Dolores's challenging Thursday-evening spin class. It was hard! High-cadence work is mentally challenging, and then a long hard stretch at the end. The good thing about doing these horrible 1, 2 or 3-minute stretches at a cadence of 120 is that then 110 seems very manageable. Stomach slightly over-full from mid-afternoon Szechuan feast with my dad, but it would have been much worse if I were running....

80min. (various intervals, HR zones 2-4)

Wednesday, June 12, 2013


I was going to say that I'm not sure it was a quality workout, but when I really think about it, it was, just not the one I thought I would have! Meant to run longish, to Central Park and around the whole loop (hills, and it comes out to about 8+ miles, near enough to 1.5hr); legs felt tired and lungs a bit raw at first, but just as I started feeling really warmed up, around 20 minutes in, I was practically stampeded by a huge race. A whole stretch of park road was shut down for one of these 5K corporate challenge things (there must have been five thousand runners). I ran a lap around the reservoir, then tucked in at a suitable spot in race hordes and ran clockwise back the way I'd initially come. My heartrate monitor, frustratingly, was giving completely useless numbers for the whole workout, but it did include quite a few hills, and I think really it was a good effort. Will run longer on Sunday morning perhaps, but this was fine for today.

1:05, 6.20mi (10:35 pace), zones 1-3 on feel (hills)

Tuesday, June 11, 2013

Long ride #2 - The hum of the cicadas!

That was hugely successful.

It's clear to me that certainly for cycling and to a lesser extent for running also, a morning workout is more likely to happen if one puts things out the night before - at least it is very likely not to happen if one doesn't put things out! And yet it was so rainy last night that I couldn't quite believe the morning would bring suitable riding weather; I put out some essentials, but not everything, and figured I'd do the long ride indoors if the predicted thunderstorms came to pass.

To my chagrin, given my mild dread of cycling-related things, the weather was pretty reasonable this morning, and stayed clear well through to mid-afternoon. So I gritted my teeth and ignored dread to get myself and bike over to the Lamont shuttle at 120th St.

In fact it was a super-nice ride! Really pretty much ideal, and certainly a good confidence-builder. Genuinely 100% enjoyable. (Indeed, around mile 5, I thought, "Gosh, I wonder why I feel so much more relaxed and fancy-free than usual" - and realized it was because I had forgotten to put on my helmet, which was still tethered to my hydration pack! Stopped and remedied this immediately, needless to say.)

Things I forgot: sunscreen; gloves; phone. None of these three is as essential as a short list of things I truly can't ride without, namely helmet, cycling shoes, asthma inhaler. I need to make a cycling checklist that I keep by the door (and I also think I should charge my phone in an outlet by the door too so that it's in the right place to catch my eye before I get going).

Very glad to get this one done - really today was the only ideal day for that kind of a long ride, I have commitments on the remaining weekdays that would make it much trickier. I also now have a solution for my 100 miles of nowhere. It's been on my mind that though I made that commitment, I really need to get quality training hours and desensitize to riding on 9W hills more than I need to do something funny and arbitrary. So I'm going to do 100K of nowhere instead, take the bus to Lamont, ride the 10 miles to Rockland State Park and do my loopy loops there (it's 2+ miles), then 10 miles back to the shuttle - will shoot for total for whole ride to hit the metric century mark. I will do this on Wednesday next week (Thursday if weather prevents me).

Subsidiary goal for the day, achieved: make sure I ride in all three rings! I have the tendency of the lazy cyclist with a triple to do almost all my riding in the middle ring, but really there are lots of opportunities to use the other two (and also, counterintuitively, I think I should do more uphills in middle rather than small ring - I really dislike the way that when you're in a super-easy gear you're pretty much spinning without any power, of course it is appropriate for long steep hills but I think on smaller rollers I do better waiting later to switch).

Garmin elevation numbers are often inaccurate, but this is a pretty hilly ride, Garmin says 1700 feet and that sounds about right to me; 2:58:50, 28.97, 13mph (given hills, not a worryingly slow number); avg HR 136, max HR 159. Elevation for IMWI bike course: about 2900 feet over 112 miles. So this really is an ideal training ride, and I don't have to go "further," just longer - I did get off course twice, once when I took a left onto another highway instead of doubling back and once when I somehow just didn't quite go the right way to go through Nyack proper (I need to look at a map and see how all the different Nyacks relate to each other), but this was a good three hour out-and-back ride, I have a 13-mile out-and-back I can add in the other direction (i.e. 26 total) and I can do 2 loops of some or all of the whole thing as needed. I turn around just short of Haverstraw - I don't like how vertiginous the landscape gets once you're really approaching Bear Mountain, and there are plenty of hills on this more domesticated stretch in terms of training benefits.

Note: the hum of the cicadas really is the most amazing thing! Especially it is much like the sound I imagine my body making at a cellular or molecular level as I ride a long hill in HR zones 3 and 4. Saw only a few buzzing around (got hit in the face with one a couple times), quite a few dead ones on the shoulder of the road, and a most AMAZING engulfing hum in certain woodland stretches. Lovely!

Monday, June 10, 2013


Absolutely super day of exercise. Grotesquely rainy here - my socks and shoes were wet within minutes of having set out - but I really enjoy running in the rain, at least when it's not too cold. Then a fantastic spin class (I got to pick the work interval - 2 x 13min climb in zone 3), and then a short swim - in retrospect I think I should have given the neck chafing another day or two outside of the pool, as it began to sting quite a bit after a little while.

56:35 run (5.29mi.)
1hr spin (2 x 13min z3)
1300 yards swim (200 swim, 200 pull, 200 kick; 4 x 100 drill-swim by 25; 4 x 50 stroke drill-swim by 25 [2 fly, 2 back]; 100 IM)

Sunday, June 9, 2013


Actually quite pleased with results in the Mighty Montauk Memorial, given how little training I was able to do in April and May. Results are here; looks like I was 8/14 in my age group (3:16:24 - the bike isn't full-length, 20 miles rather than 25).

Week 1 summary and race report

Week 1 summary: 11hr.

Had to take today off for the silliest of reasons. Yesterday was a perfect day in every particular but one. I guess I haven't worn my wetsuit for several years (warm races, not a ton of triathlons). Struggling into it was as horrible as I imagined it would be. L.'s boyfriend C. very kindly helped wrangle me into it (JMD: "Do you feel like a nineteenth-century ladies' maid?" CL: "Stays might be easier to manage!"). By this point it was about ten minutes before my wave left, and it probably had taken ten minutes or more to squeeze in the arms and legs, etc. I was pondering what to do with the long cord attached to the zipper when a pair of spectators gave me a pitying look and said, "The zipper goes at the back!"


They suggested that I should take it off and put it back on again the right way - "40 minutes is a long swim. It's going to chafe" - but I truly couldn't face it, and time was running out anyway. Shoulder mobility seemed fine, or at least as fine as it ever is in a wetsuit, and I figured I'd just have to live with the neck chafing.


Even running seems contraindicated today (better just to let it heal up a bit more first), and swimming would be a grotesque affront to the hygiene of other swimmers (I don't care if it stings, but I don't want to be the pariah in the pool!). Will run and spin tomorrow as I have now had today as a very nice rest day (caught up on some bits and bobs of work stuff that I've rather been putting off).

Noticeable in yesterday's race: I felt very strong on the bike, which is not surprising as it's what I've made a priority in my training! I always enjoy swimming, and I always find a triathlon run rather hot and tiring compared to normal running; really all three legs were joyful. Great atmosphere on the course, with a lot of very pleasant and positive minor exchanges with other athletes on the run.

Two weeks of high volume coming up. Very much looking forward to it! I am sorry that I haven't been training consistently over the last two months, but travel obligations and that week of respiratory ailment really made it unavoidable, and I suppose it is much better to begin formal Ironman training feeling hungry for hours rather than feeling already overloaded. Last week's Montauk ride really made me confident that I can do this thing.

Saturday, June 8, 2013


Just a quick update. Such a nice race - details to follow when I'm home later on.

Thursday, June 6, 2013

Long ride #1

Ended up doing it indoors at Chelsea Piers, for various reasons - next week I will do a proper one outside. The long rides for the first training block are "only" 3 hours. (I am loosely following Gale Bernhart's 13-week Ironman plan, but past experience has taught me that I do better just to make a template for the week and write the long bike and long run into my appointment book - if I have it all written out, I find it very hard to skip a workout, even if I really should skip based on pending injury or illness or just having generally overdone things. I didn't get home from theater and late dinner last night till nearly midnight, so it is not surprising I didn't bounce out of bed early to get on a bus with my bike!)

First hour: 5 x 8:00 (3:00 seated z2, 2:00 standing z3, 3:00 seated z3), 2:00 recovery
Second hour: very good spin class
Third hour: zone 2 (punctuated by emergency trip downstairs to cafe for a Clif Bar - I had clearly suddenly reached the absolute bottom of my energy reserves!)

plus 10mi round-trip bike to Chelsea Piers

3hr spin
10mi bike

Wednesday, June 5, 2013

Bike laps!

I still pretty much hate the ride over to the park (a horrible obstacle course of buses, trucks, taxis, roadwork, etc.), but it was absolutely lovely once I was there. Ridiculously perfect weather - high 60s, low humidity, sunny and clear. In general I find running has far more entries in the credit column than cycling does, but it must be chalked up to cycling that you don't get nearly as hot and sweaty doing it.

Determined to ride as much as possible this summer - these are just easy miles, but all miles are good. Will go to NJ tomorrow to do a hard 3-hour ride - I'm shooting to get out there twice a week when possible (one long ride, one hill workout), but this week it will just be once.

18.09mi, 1:12:12 (15.0mph)
avg HR 127 (that's too low, but there are a lot of downhills and places where you need to slow for pedestrians!), max HR 148

Tuesday, June 4, 2013


Felt much better this morning, in spite of bad sleep - also, the weather got miraculously beautiful, it's 70F and clear, amazing after these awful days of heat and humidity! I just did an 'easy' hour (upper zone 1) - it felt slow and rather arduous, and I think I still have some residual fatigue and dehydration.

1:03, 5.65mi. (11:18/mi., avg HR 139, max HR 147)

Monday, June 3, 2013


I was trying to maintain a skeptical view of whether exercise today would be wise, but I hadn't had any gastric distress since midday yesterday, and I passed my self-imposed test of consuming real food this morning with no ill effects, so I cleared myself for midday spin. It was torrentially raining overnight and this morning, but cleared up by late morning, though still very humid; and by the time I left the gym after class, it had actually turned into a quite nice day, sunny and not as damp.

10mi round trip bike
:50 spin (zone 2, recovery ride)

Sunday, June 2, 2013

Week zero IMWI summary

Alas, if it's not one thing it's another: I seem to have picked up a touch of food poisoning or similar! I was woefully ill from 4 to 6 this morning; much better when I got up properly in late morning, have retrieved bike and not having any more gastrointestinal woes, but feel quite tired and dehydrated. May need to take another day off tomorrow, or just do something really easy. Will go out shortly to pick up some Gatorade and crackers - fact that I have no appetite is definitely a sign that things are off, it's rare for me!

Week totals: 10:15 (2 bike, incl. one longest ever; 1 run; 1 day of bike-spin-swim). Slightly unbalanced way to get to that numbers (exercised only on three days, due to travel and recovery issues), but I feel a lot more optimistic about this whole training thing than I did mid-week.

Saturday, June 1, 2013


Too tired and contented to write more, but the only truly bad five minutes of the day involved riding over this! I was on the verge of hyperventilating and kept on muttering to myself, "I hate bridges! I hate bridges!" But it is a much shorter one than the GWB, fortunately, though the steepness makes it worse in other respects. The strength of my physical reaction even to this much more manageable bridge (you're not riding right next to the edge, there's a shoulder on the road inside of a raised sidewalk) tells me that I shouldn't plan any time soon to ride even in the "good" direction over the GW - it is time-consuming, but I will just have to take the bus back from Lamont as well as to Lamont in the first place.
Photo borrowed from here.

(Editorial disclaimer: I am 98% sure that this is the bridge I rode over, but due to limitations concerning images of places, I can't swear to it! The only other glitch today was that somehow I managed to miss the first aid station completely, which meant I rode from mile 25 to 55 with no fluids - in retrospect, I should have just stopped at a convenience store, but usual anxieties re: getting lost, getting left behind, etc. warred with sensible knowledge that I should make my own arrangements. Of course I also thought it might be that I was about to come up on the real aid station! Still not sure how I missed it, but it is very much the sort of thing that happens to me - key cluster of stuff re: not really recognizing places, not having good intuitive feel for routes, etc.)


A glorious day of riding. More later when I'm home, but I'm very happy with how it went. Nice sense of accomplishment, but it never felt epic - just as it should be.

7:14 (15.2mph)
8hr total elapsed time including rest stops