This has been a very eventful week, to say the very least. I have been excited to write this blog post since Monday because the weather this week has been out of the ordinary and my training has been flipped all around. It should first be noted that I only missed ONE workout, and it was in my strongest sport so it wasn’t really a big deal. I missed a bike workout on Tuesday but again, it’s my strongest discipline, so it’s not really a problem.
I had the day off on Monday (Thank you US Presidents/Optional Teacher Workday!) so I took advantage of having the day off and I went to the gym first thing in the morning. The weather prediction for this week is that we will have ice for the next couple days, so I prepared myself by doing tomorrow’s swim TODAY, so that I didn’t miss this key workout. The workout went really well and I was happy to not have anyone swimming in inappropriate public pool attire (No thong man today!) My workout was followed by going out to lunch with Tyler and one of his personal training clients. We went to the Olive Garden and you better believe I ate an entire bowl of salad by myself… True story! I also had a couple bowls of soup which was GREAT on such a cold day. The sky was getting cloudy and I had my mind on the fact that I still needed to do a speed workout that evening. My hope was to get started before any winter precipitation started. I ended up starting my workout around 6pm (I love to run in the dark) and as soon as I walked out the door I was met with little tiny ice pellets hitting my face. No big deal, just had to put on my big girl pants and deal with it. It took longer to warm up since it was so cold! I ended up running out to the track at EB Aycock so I could get in quality intervals. The sleet was really coming down at this point but my workout was important, plus I felt like I earned more points from my peers by being out there regardless of the weather. I felt really good about this run and felt even better when I got out of the sleet. It was coming down hard at the end of the run but I felt like I could run forever! Soon after, the call came in that school was canceled on Tuesday. Gotta love the South… I don’t know when we will get back to school at this point. Salt brine works great at a pre-treatment, but salt pellets are needed as the sleet is coming down. Otherwise, the pre-treatment was a waste of time. But then again, that’s the government hard at work with our tax dollars. Sometimes I feel like I’m hitting my head against a wall when I try to explain that the “let it melt” mentality is ridiculous. But anyway…
On Tuesday morning the ground looked beautiful. Everything was covered in about a quarter inch of ice. Everything sparkled. Everything was still. (Thank God or else trees would be coming down!) The dogs were NOT impressed with the weather. I could tell that the ice hurt their feet. The birds were going crazy because their food was not accessible. We used to feed the birds until they pooped on everything on our back porch. I love feeding wild animals and birds, but I felt unappreciated as I would refill the feeder and wipe down the furniture with a rag. Gross… That night Tyler and I watched a documentary called Fed Up. It’s about how sugar is terrible for you and how it destroys your ability to lose weight and how it controls addiction. I’ve seen it once before and it really gets you to think about what you put into your body every day.
Wednesday was yet ANOTHER canceled day of school. I can’t say that I am really surprised. The roads were supposedly salted yesterday, but I think the sun is more to credit for the melting. Putting salt on a dry road is not exactly productive. No wonder we “run out of salt” each year. What we have, we waste! Our road was not salted but fortunately it gets a good bit of sun during the day. I was able to make it to the pool in the morning for a swim before it got too busy. I got to the pool at 11:45 and shared a lane with a guy who had been swimming since 10am. I wanted to ask what he was training for, but decided not to. I was glad to swim with him rather than the mean lady who was in the next lane over. Some people have a certain reputation at the pool. I guess it’s like that wherever you go. A few months ago, I asked this particular lady if I could share a lane since the pool was busy and everyone else was doubled up. She rolled her eyes at me and SORT OF moved over. When I asked her what side she wanted, she responded, “Ugh, I don’t care.” Most people say “Sure!” and move over to what side they want. I don’t remember much of the rest of that swim, except that I kind of wanted to grab her by the neck and say, “LISTEN! We ALL pay the SAME amount to be here! If YOU have an attitude, YOU can go home and swim in your OWN pool. Oh, you don’t have a pool? Then GET ALONG!” But, you know I would never say that so instead I just did my workout and might or might not have kicked my feet a little harder when I passed her. I’m just saying… So this time when I saw her I wasn’t about to ask her to share her lane. I was pretty sure that if I saw that stink face again I would accidentally tell her what I thought the last time, and that just wouldn’t have gone over well. I would have gotten in trouble for “being rude” and “trying to drown a swimmer” and…. it was just wasn’t worth the effort. I did laugh when about an hour later a young guy asked her to share the lane with her. I wanted to tell him it was a bad idea and that she would probably have an attitude. I was glad that despite whatever she told him, he got right in and I’m not going to lie… It looked like he might have been kicking HIS feet a little harder as he passed her too. I do feel bad for people who are that unhappy that they feel it necessary to be rude to others. I heard once that it takes just as much effort to be mad as it does to be happy. So why waste the energy on being mad? Anywho… that evening I had a run workout that would consist of a run followed by striders. This was a tough workout, no doubt! I am excited to see that my times are dropping considerably though, so it’s motivation to stick to the plan!
So then we meet Thursday. (Phone rings) “Good evening parents. Pitt County Schools will operate on a 2 hour delay on Thursday, February 19th” Me: “Yes, I get to sleep in until 8!” Today’s workout would only be a 75 minute ride on the bike. I’m dying to get out and ride my bike, but when the high for the day is in the teens, I’m not doing ANYTHING outside besides driving my car and taking the dogs outside! Before the indoor ride, I went to the animal shelter to spend some time with the shelter dogs. They really haven’t had any human interaction for the last couple days since the shelter has been closed because of the weather. For the most part, I sat in kennels and just pet the dogs and talked to them. A few I took outside because some are housebroken and won’t use the bathroom in their kennel. It’s heartbreaking to see. After the shelter I went home and did my workout and soon went to bed. Yes… Another delay tomorrow for school. Ice doesn’t melt when it’s only in the teens. When will we learn?
Friday… (Phone rings) “Good evening parents. Pitt County Schools will operate on a 2 hour delay on Friday, February 20th” Oh how I enjoy a short week at work AND I get to sleep in! Today I got up at 7:30am in order to call the vet to make an emergency appointment for Justus. A couple days ago he was chewing on a bone that we got from PetSmart. On Thursday night, I noticed that the side of Justus’ cheek was swollen. After shining a light in his mouth, we discovered that Justus fractured his tooth (probably while chewing on the bone) and the fractured piece was still barely hanging on. The tooth was jammed into his cheek, making a hole in his cheek. I felt awful that I didn’t notice it until late at night. I woke up Friday morning and got him an appointment for the afternoon. I was able to leave school early (shortest day ever!!) and got Justus to his appointment on time. The doctor was able to remove the fractured piece but suggested that we get the tooth pulled as soon as possible. The estimate for the procedure is somewhere between $325-$415 So that is the last time we get a chewy bone like that. Oh, Justus, how I love you! When I got home from the appointment it was onto the stationary bike for part one of a BRICK workout. I rode 40 minutes on the bike before jumping off, putting on more clothes to stay warm, and out the door I went for part two. BRICK workouts are great because they teach your muscles to adapt to changing disciplines. It takes a lot of these types of workouts to get your body used to the transition. I can tell that my body is starting to learn to make the switch. I ran 9:45 pace which for me is fast, considering I was just on the bike! I ran just over 2 miles at this pace. Only one part of my route was iced over so I got to play in traffic in order to run on the non-ice side of the road. I made it home and I was proud of what I had just done.
On Saturday I just didn’t want to get up. The bed was so warm and I knew it was in the teens outside. Bud was curled up next to me and under a fuzzy blanket that I got for Christmas. We all fight for that blanket at night because it’s so fuzzy. Tonight, Bud won the fight. Lucky dog… I knew that the workout was going to be short, but still a hard workout because it was a time trial of 1000 yards. I checked my log from past workouts and saw my goal: I had to beat 23:52. Considering the training over the last 6 weeks, this was doable but would take tremendous focus. I decided to wear my USA Triathlon suit since it makes me feel like a badass. Something about wearing “USA” on your chest makes you work a little harder! I finished the time trial in 22:58. I dropped almost a whole minute off my time. Over the course of 1000 yards that is considerable time! I left the pool feeling good and ready for just one more workout this week: An easy 35 minute run.
This week has been crazy when it comes to weather. I continue to stick to the plan and adjust as needed with the winter weather. I heard next week has the potential of being just as bad, if not worse. Gotta love it…
As I finish up week 5 of training, I start thinking about how other people are out there beginning their training plans too. It is common to do a training plan for a distance race no matter if you are doing a super-sprint or an Ironman. We are 15 weeks out from race day so my competitors should all be starting SOMETHING by now! I decided that if I was going to take on the challenge of a 70. 3 race that I better take it seriously. After lots of searching (literally months leading up to the training) I stumbled upon a guy named Matt Fitzgerald. I did not know the name at the time, but I would learn sometime later that he is a pretty important name in the world of triathlon and running training plans. He has recently written a book called 80/20 Running. The idea of 80/20 is that 80% percent of your workouts are “easy” workouts and 20% are speedwork and the hard stuff. This seems like a backwards plan to many people because we feel like in order to see progress that we have to go hard in every workout. That is a great way to hurt yourself! I am thankful that I have managed to stay healthy for the last 5 weeks.
This week, I successfully completed 9.5 hours of training. I have NEVER trained that much in a week. I credit much of my success to a nutrition change I made the first week of training. I met a product named Shakeology. Here is a little background… When I started teaching preschool 7+ years ago, I met a girl named Lindsay. We worked in different classrooms but we both started talking during lunch breaks and found that we had a lot in common. We both ended up getting memberships at the local YMCA in order to get in shape. We participated in a Biggest Loser style competition and both lost a considerable amount of weight. Through this program we began running and both completed a half marathon. This is ultimately how I ended up getting interested in triathlon. Fast forward many years and I kept at it. Lindsay has two children of her own now and works from home by being an independent consultant with a company called BeachBody. If you have ever heard of P90X, then you know BeachBody (you may just not know they are the company behind the very successful program!) She learned about BeachBody when she was recovering from a hip surgery. She began using the workout DVDs for various programs and was very successful in regaining muscle in her hip and leg. She continues to be successful with not just the programs, but also coaching. Coaching is where you become an independent business owner and help others achieve their goals while you achieve your own! She talked to me about it at my last triathlon and I had a few months to think about it.
The one thing that caught my attention was this stuff called Shakeology. She was posting pictures of the shakes she was making and it got me interested. I am one of the world’s biggest skeptics so I wasn’t sure about this stuff. I’m a big believer in the placebo effect so I wasn’t sure I was buying the idea that this stuff could really change you. The more she posted pictures of shakes, the more I wondered about the product. I did my own research and decided it was worth a try. After trying some sample packets I was convinced. I signed up to become a coach (so I could get the shake discount) but it became so much more. I couldn’t keep the secret to myself! I started talking to my friends about it, which got them curious about the product too. I decided that instead of being a “discount coach” I wanted to do more and help others. I went from working out only a handful of times a week, to 6 days a week with 3 days of doubles (two workouts a day) and I use Shakeology as a recovery drink most days. On other days I use it as a meal supplement which is normally breakfast. In 5 weeks of training I have NEVER been sore. Shakeology is credited as “The healthiest meal of the day” because of all the health benefits. With the protein (which is whey protein = easily digestible!) it works as a recovery drink for athletes of all types. I will admit that it is NOT cheap, however, it comes out to less than $5 per serving which is cheaper than any meal you can make. I also like that I can use vanilla Shakeology and make it fruity or chocolaty… I have even blended it with cold coffee! It has truly made a difference in my training. I also like it because unlike some other companies (which I will not name) I am not over here popping pills all day to get my daily nutrition. I still take a multivitamin along with my shakes which fills in the gaps with some of the vitamins in Shakeology. My doctor will never be able to say I don’t get enough vitamins. I am also careful however not to overdo it! If you are interested in checking out Shakeology, click here for my business website for Shakeology. If you’re interested in fitness programs you can click here for that site. Of course, if you know me personally you can call/email/text or send a smoke signal and I will help you! Tomorrow is a “Rest, Glorious REST” day and I am thankful to be able to sleep in! Rest days are wonderful! Until next time…
I am in the middle of week 5 of my Matt Fitzgerald Half Ironman training plan and I am feeling really good. This past weekend I was in the pool and had to swim a 1200 nonstop. When I first looked at the plan I thought, "Dude has lost his mind! I cant swim that far without stopping" But I went for it anyway and thought maybe if I just broke it down into 600s that maybe I could complete it. At 600 I still felt strong so I kept going. At 1000 I felt like I could swim all day. I made it to 1200 and I just wanted to jump out of the pool and hug the lifeguard! That afternoon I had a 45 minute bike ride with a 15 minute run right after it. This kind of workout is called a BRICK and I actually like them. When I first started triathlon I hated these workouts. In races, this is the hardest transition because your legs go from shortening on the bike to lengthening on the run. Basically your legs feel like bricks, although that is not actually how the workout got the name. I'll save that story for another time.
So this is how my life has been for the last 5 weeks. On Monday I don't have a workout until the evening. Because of the cold weather I am typically on the stationary bike. I recently tried to put my bike on a trainer but it is very unstable and I will admit that I almost fell numerous times. For now, I've decided that it's just not right for me at this point. It's not worth a fall and a possible broken bone.
On Tuesdays I wake up at 4:45am to get to the pool at 5:25 and I'm in the water no later than 5:35, with the exception of last week because it was a cutback week so I was able to sleep in until 5:10am (luxury!) In the evening I have a run workout that is always some sort of speed work. Tonight I had a 45 minute run with 10x30 second sprints with two minutes of recovery running between intervals. This workout was made difficult by the fact that there are 20mph sustained winds outside so sprinting into a headwind feels like trying to run through knee deep mud.
I try to go to bed "early" on Tuesday because of the double workout and I need to stay fresh for the rest of my weekly workouts. On Wednesday I have another bike ride, which is usually a long ride. The stationary bike is the equivalent of a treadmill for runners. . . it's hell.
On Thursday it is back to the pool at 5:30am for a swim, followed by a run in the evening. I volunteer at the animal shelter with a run/walking group so this usually takes an hour or so, after which I do my run.
Friday afternoon is another LONGER bike ride followed by early bed time because you guessed it: Saturday morning I am in the pool with a run OR bike/run workout in the evening.
Sunday is my rest day, or as I call it "REST! GLORIOUS REST DAY!"
So far everything is going according to "the plan" and as long as I stay healthy I think I will be just fine. At the start of my training I started using a health supplement called Shakeology which has truly helped my training! I'll save that for another blog. . .
Well for now it is off to bed. Today's double workout is in the books and I'm ready to catch some zzzzz's! Did I mention I am getting over a cold? You know that wouldn't get me down! I've got some Fayetteville Street asphalt to kick on May 31st!
My name is Jamie and I am an Ironman athlete! I completed my first super sprint triathlon in 2008. I am proud to be a member of the Fleet Feet Sports Greenville Running Club!
My Support Team
What Made Me IRON
51.2129 Miles - 21:19:03
50K - 6:54:59
Half Marathon 2:10:58
10 Miler - 1:45:42
10K - 1:00:24
8K - 47:21
5 Miler - 52:41
5K - 27:27
1 mile - 8:33
103.48 miles - 6:42:11
2.42 miles - 1:47
Half Iron 8:17:12
Full Iron* 13:19:27
Note: some distances have only been raced once! I know I could crush a couple of these now!