Coach Marni sent me my official Half Ironman training plan at the beginning of the week, and I have to say that I’ve really been enjoying the structure of a set plan.  Over the past year, I’ve more likely to wing it than follow a plan, so this is a nice change of pace. 


Today’s workout called for a bike/run brick. My favorite… Huuuuurrah.  I seriously did not think I was capable of spending another hour on the indoor trainer, so I decided to venture outside.

photo 2

Remember when I lived in Orlando and was within 3 miles of the airport?  Oh man.  I so miss that back road.  It was a perfectly flat, car-free 10 mile stretch of perfection.  Megan (AKA MegaNerdRuns) lived on the way to the airport, and I would ‘pick her up’ and we’d bike the road together.  Good times. 


[DSCN9961[3].jpg] [DSCN9963[3].jpg]


The problem with cycling in Charlotte is that I can’t step out my front door and be in such a scenic, quiet area.  I’m right next to a super busy road with no bike lanes, and I am kind of terrified of cycling in traffic.  I know that, as a cyclist, I need to just get over this phobia and deal with it, but I know way too many people who have been hit by cars on their bikes (ummmm including myself <— an experience I do not want to repeat). But there is no way that I’ll be able to train entirely indoors for a Half Ironman, so today seemed like a good morning to face my fears.


Obviously, I run around my neighborhood all the time, but finding ~20 miles of cycle-able roads is different than running on sidewalks.  It took a little bit of trial and error, but I eventually found a neighborhood with a bike lane.  I did a few loops in the neighborhood and killed 30 minutes.

 photo 1 photo (81)

I crossed a busy road and found another development.  There were no bike lanes, but the roads were very peaceful.  I’ve got to remind myself to stay alert for cars even in quiet neighborhoods – cars come out of garages all the time!

photo 3

Once I found a few places to ride, I calmed down and really began to enjoy myself. I forgot how fun it is to cycle outside. Fears are a curious thing… once I decided to face mine, I realized that I’ve definitely built the “I hate riding in Charlotte” thing up in my mind.  My fear was so much bigger than reality – you know?


Came home and transitioned for a brick run. 

photo 4 photo 5


1 hour on the bike

15 minutes of running


Woo to the hoo!



  • Jessica R @ FromtheKitchentotheRoad July 11, 2013, 12:04 pm

    I don’t have a bike, I really want one, but the thought of riding in traffic would scare me as well. I saw/heard a car honk at a person on a bicycle yesterday and it made me so mad. Bikes are allowed on the streets. People need to relax and deal with it. Way to get out there and find some areas you were comfortable riding.

    • Lauren Perry July 12, 2013, 3:09 am

      I can’t tell you how many times I’ve flipped people off while riding my bike because of that kind of thing. One of these days someone is going to hit me on purpose…

      • katie July 12, 2013, 7:41 am

        me too! i got honked by a person passing me on a 4 lane road with very very little traffic when they could have easily just gone around… people driving are generally jerks to bikers, but we have just as much a right as they do to be on the road.

        • Caitlin July 12, 2013, 8:57 am

          share the road!

  • Amanda @ Peanut Butter & Adrenaline July 11, 2013, 12:10 pm

    I had no idea you had gotten hit before! That’s one of the main reasons I haven’t really gotten into cycling, other than the lack of a working bike. I’m glad you got out of it okay. Either way, I’m glad you faced your fears and found a quiet road to bike on.

  • Kate July 11, 2013, 12:12 pm

    Love your bike shirt!! Love!

  • Rebecca P. July 11, 2013, 12:21 pm

    I wish I could ride outside or even run for that matter but the roads near me are way to dangerous even though I live in a rural area. Crazy trucks and speeding cars!

  • Sara July 11, 2013, 12:22 pm

    wow- good job! I hear you I have some fears of my own I just got to kick in the face. They can really ruin a work out. You look great, keep up the good job! I am excited to follow you through this because my goal is to do a triathlon someday! The part I least want train for is the biking.
    Sara 🙂

  • Lauren @ The Highlands Life July 11, 2013, 12:23 pm

    Excited to journey with you as you prepare for this awesome milestone!

  • Sara @ LovingOnTheRun July 11, 2013, 12:31 pm

    Love your biking shirt! Great workout! It looks like a beautiful place to bike in Charlotte! I miss living in NC there were so many great places to run and bike! Enjoy your training 🙂 you are going to rock your half ironman!

  • Whitney July 11, 2013, 12:34 pm

    Do you live close to here at all?

    or this?

    I work out in the Chicago suburbs and I’ve been shocked to learn about all the paths in Forest Preserves and what not that are totally hidden from the road.

    Good luck!

  • Liza July 11, 2013, 12:42 pm

    I LOVE your cycling top! I have to remind myself that about my fears often.

  • Karen @ Runner Girl Eats July 11, 2013, 12:43 pm

    I hardly ever ride my bike because of my neighborhood too (no bike lane, windy, hilly, busy roads). Good job on facing your fear though!

  • ms July 11, 2013, 12:46 pm

    Depending on where you live, the neighborhood of Park Crossing in South Charlotte is a good one for biking. No bike lanes but wide and fairly streets and I think 8-9 miles of roads.

  • anna July 11, 2013, 12:54 pm

    I love your “We can Do It” cycling jersey!!! Where on earth did you get that…. so cool!! I would love to find one for myself somewhere!

    Your journey to Half Ironman is so inspiring and I can’t wait to keep reading more!

    • Heather July 13, 2013, 8:46 pm

      Yes, where did you get the jersey? LOVE IT!!

  • Katie July 11, 2013, 1:22 pm

    I have a mountain bike and really want a road bike. I need to do some brick workouts!

  • FitBritt@MyOwnBalance July 11, 2013, 1:31 pm

    I totally hear you on the cycling with cars thing. We actually throw our bikes in our car and drive to an area to bike to avoid traffic. I also live in NYC, so this is kind of a necessity if you want to do any sort of real cycling. It’s worth it to cycle outside. It’s so enjoyable. We were cycling a few weeks ago and there was the smell of honeysuckle in the air! You can’t get that indoors no matter how fancy your gym is!

  • Miranda @ Miranda Runs July 11, 2013, 1:39 pm

    I could never bike in the road! That would flat out terrify me. More power to ya girl! 🙂

  • Corrie Anne July 11, 2013, 2:33 pm

    I feel that way about running out my front door in Denver. All those darn stoplights and people cutting through crosswalks!!!!!!! But I’m not fond of running in nature here either — rattlesnakes and bears galore!! Haha.

  • Julia H. July 11, 2013, 2:36 pm

    Oh my gosh. I now want to start biking purely so I can wear a Rosie the Riveter shirt like that.

  • Anna {Herbivore Triathlete} July 11, 2013, 3:33 pm

    Half Ironman huh? Way to go! I’m on the fence as to whether or not I’m ready for an Olympic distance.

    Great job conquering your fear, riding/running on the roads/trails is so much more fun than being stuck on a trainer/treadmill in my opinion.

    Can’t wait to follow your HIM training progress.

  • Kim July 11, 2013, 5:25 pm

    Congrats on your first official training day! Does the “urban planner” in you ever come out when you exercise? I’m an urban planner by education, too and I find that when I run I think about city/suburb issues all the time when I’m running. For example, if I’m running in my neighborhood actually on the sidewalk, I start to think about how the sidewalks are poorly maintained compared to the street, which adds to the driver-predominant nature of Dallas vs. being pedestrian friendly. Or another example, I’m on the edge of Dallas and the suburb, Plano and there is a trail that dead ends at the border between the two cities, which drives me nuts, so there is no cohesive regional planning in terms of trail systems (or at least not with this particular plan). Anyway, I was just curious if you find yourself thinking about these sorts of things too with your professional background.

    • Caitlin July 11, 2013, 7:20 pm

      Yes! Still to this very day 🙂

  • Rebecca July 11, 2013, 6:02 pm

    Congrats on the fear-overcoming!

    I saw a guy today biking on the wrong side of the road and I wanted to stop and tell him so. Seriously, right side if biking, left side if walking. If I see people biking on the street when there is clearly a useable sidewalk five feet away, I get a little annoyed, but I give them space as I pass them. I let a girl running cross the street today before I turned, which probably inconvenienced the two cars behind me, but whatever. And I tried to let a biker cross yesterday (today?) before I made a turn, but he let me go first.
    Knowing the area you live in and what’s within a distance you’re willing to travel helps. My dad will sometimes bike around a lake near where he works–15ish miles from our house. And his Tri group does bricks out there a lot of weekends. (This weekend he might try a 90-mile bike ride with them. I said “yuck.”) Or he’ll drive about five miles to a trailhead and bike from there for a while. If he bikes on roads around town (in which there are ZERO bike lanes as far as I know), he usually plans his route beforehand so he knows where he’s going and what to expect from those areas. And he always wears a reflective vest and lights if it’s dark out so that he’s sure to be seen. Mostly, you just have to be aware of your surroundings and try to trust that people will notice you and give you space–and make space if they don’t give it. Easier said than done, but better than panicking and dreading training, I think.

    • Laura July 12, 2013, 8:54 am

      To your comment “If I see people biking on the street when there is clearly a useable sidewalk five feet away, I get a little annoyed”, bikers actually are not supposed to use the sidewalk. The sidewalk is for walkers and runners-bikes are not supposed to use the sidewalk as it would be dangerous for those on foot. Unless it’s a little kid learning to ride a bike, then they should definitely use the sidewalk and not the road!

  • Jenny July 11, 2013, 7:37 pm

    I ride all the time in charlotte! The booty loop in Myers park is almost exactly three miles and there is a bike lane on east in dilworth that I ride a lot and feel very safe on. Also, obviously there are miles and miles of greenway! I find it more difficult than the booty loop in the evenings because of runners.

    Hope this helps! If you need any suggestions let me know!

  • katie July 12, 2013, 7:44 am

    way to go with your brick workout! i am an avid rider and have been trying to get back into running as well to build some endurance, but it’s hard to make the time (excuses excuses haha). i live in philadelphia where there’s a nice system of bike trails, but also a lot of connections on busy roads and although i’ve been riding them for ages i still get a little nervous about getting hit by a moving car or a door opening. keep your eyes and ears open and enjoy the ride 🙂

  • Laura July 12, 2013, 12:32 pm

    Where is your awesome riding top from?!

  • Stacey July 12, 2013, 2:19 pm

    Hi – I love your blog! I just signed up for my very first tri (Rambling Rose!) and am terrified of the bike – mostly because I am so accident prone. I live in Charlotte too – what are some of your favorite areas of town to ride in?

    • Caitlin July 12, 2013, 7:10 pm

      Which Ramblin rose are you doing??

      • Stacey July 16, 2013, 1:01 pm

        I’m doing the one in Huntersville – Sept. 22! Very excited – and took the bike out for the first time this weekend, and it wasn’t so scary after all.

  • Margaret July 12, 2013, 6:05 pm

    My street is a bike lane, and by that I mean the entire street is a bike artery, and bikes have right of way. One of the many things I love about Portland, but I also like it as a homeowner because it slows all the traffic down. I have been hit on my bike and when I was running so at this point I pretty much just think drivers are freaks.

  • Kayla July 12, 2013, 8:37 pm

    Holy crappoli I LOVE THAT SHIRT!!!
    What I would do to get my hands on one haha. So rad!

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