Last Week’s Workouts

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Last week was a workout week that I’d rather forget about. I totally fell off the wagon. Well, not completely, but even by my non-Half Ironman training standards, my volume was ridiculously low.


Monday: Off (sick)

Tuesday: 1000-ish yards of swimming

Wednesday: Off (traveling)

Thursday: 3 mile run, 1000-ish yards of swimming

Friday: Off (visiting with friends, too busy to workout)

Saturday: Off (busy tailgating)

Sunday: Off (traveling)


Totals: 2000 yards of swimming, give or take, and a 3 mile run


No good, right? Part of me wishes that I could take those stats with a grain of salt, but I’m really disappointed and kind of mad at myself!  I know a week off isn’t going to destroy my performance at the Half Ironman, but let’s be brutally honest – it’s certainly not a good thing. Not at all.

funny triathlon (1)

I struggled with illness last week (horrendous nausea), and traveling to and from Miami made workouts logistically difficult.  Ironically, I got an email from Coach Marni a few days ago reminding me to buckle down and commit – I think she knew that I’d be having trouble at the halfway mark.  It’s like she could read my mind!  I guess that’s what a great tri coach is all about.


Onwards and upwards, right? I am going to have a GREAT workout week this week.  I’m committed.  100% back on the wagon bike.  No excuses.  My new mantra is…


So, I’ve been thinking about my biggest triathlon concerns.  I’ve done about a half dozen shorter triathlons, but never, ever something like a Half Ironman, so of course, I’m seriously nervous.  Here’s what I’ve been ruminating over while swimming laps in the pool (because you quickly run out of everyday things to ponder when you’re swimming for an hour+):


  • I’m Afraid of Feeling Like A Newbie:  This feeling is a curious feeling for several reasons.  One, I don’t normally care about feeling like an inexperience newbie in pretty much any situation. I always remind myself, “Everyone is new at some point.”  And at most races, the old ‘pros’ naturally want to support and encourage first-timers.  But I feel so nervous about being a newbie Half Ironmaner.  What if there are secret HIM rules that I don’t know about?!  What if everyone can just LOOK at me and tell that I’m new?!  What if other racers are mean to me and shout at me to get out of the way (trust me… I’m going to try to stay out of everyone’s way regardless)?!  I know that if I follow my plan (even with a few hiccups), I will be in more than good enough shape to do this, but what if everyone else looks super tough and fit and like they could crush me between their two little fingers?  I’m not trying to win (obviously!) but for some reason, I feel very intimidated by the whole “it’s an official Half Ironman race.”  This is all in my head, and I need to get over it BEFORE the race.


  • I’m Afraid of Swimming in the Ocean:  The race is in Biscayne Bay, and I’m nervous about that. Salt waves + waves = Something I’ve never experience before.  Coach Marni and I have been discussing open water concerns here and there, and she keeps encouraging me to get into a lake to do more open water swims. It’s on my list of things to tackle, but at the same time, I wish I could somehow recreate the ocean feel.  Anyone wanna kayak next to me and repeatingly beat the water around my head with an oar to simulate the ocean waves?  Anyone?


  • I’m Afraid of Having to Go Pee:  Dude, this race may last 8 hours. I will have to pee at some point.  And if I can use a potty, great…. but on the (very long) bike ride, most long-distance triathletes just opt to pee themselves. Yup. Pee their pants. I don’t know if I can do it!  Also – concerned about pooping.  But who’s not concerned about pooping during a long race?


True, true.


To end on a positive note, here are four major things that I’m not concerned about:


  • Being Strong Enough to Finish:  Even if I fell off the wagon last week, Marni’s plan is totally ass-kicking. I know that I’m already 200% stronger than I was when I started. I WILL finish this bad boy.


  • The Pain: I know there are points where this race will hurt.  Ain’t no thing. I’ll survive.


  • The Run: I can always walk, right?


  • Having Fun: OMG, you guys. When I think about this race, even though I’m concerned about a few things, I get SO SO SO SO EXCITED. I am so thrilled that I’m going to do this… and in my hometown.  A Half Ironman has been a goal of mine for SO long, and I really can’t wait to cross the finish line and feel that indescribable rush of pride.  I’m really looking forward to that.


Unrelated, but funny.


So. There you have it. I’m back on the workout wagon this week. It’s going to be a sweaty but glorious week!


How’s your workouts going? Have you fallen off the wagon lately? It’s kind of that time of the year, isn’t it?  It’s just so busy!



  • Victoria September 10, 2013, 8:18 am

    Believe me, people don’t all look that fit at 70.3s. I mean, heck, I’ve done two, and I’m not fit looking AT ALL.

    Peeing on the bike isn’t as hard as you’d think. Just have dry socks available in T2.

  • Sara @ LovingOnTheRun September 10, 2013, 8:33 am

    You will do great! We all have bad weeks heck I know I have! Just get back “on the bike” no pun intended…and you will get back to where you need to be! 🙂

  • Katie @ Talk Less, Say More September 10, 2013, 8:44 am

    Every time I have a less-than-stellar week of workouts, I try to remind myself that I needed it. Maybe not physically, but mentally. As much as I want to believe I can power through 100% of the time, that’s not the case and sometimes our minds need a break. Good luck rocking it this week!

  • Joy September 10, 2013, 9:03 am

    What’s in the past is just that–in the past. Onward and upward from here. You’re super strong and motivated and a week with more rest than you would have liked will just make you stronger for this week of training.

  • Laura September 10, 2013, 9:04 am

    I’m doing my first Ironman 70.3 in June and have the same bathroom concerns as you-you aren’t alone! I’m also oddly stressed about getting water/fuel on the bike and how to bike through the stations, switching out bottles vs. filling them, etc. It’s funny how we focus on certain aspects like that and not the whole “going 70.3 miles” thing! 🙂

    • Mai September 10, 2013, 1:50 pm

      THIS. i am totally worried about figuring out water stations on the bike & bathroom needs too. it’s the little things you don’t really think about when you first sign up!

      • Rebecca September 10, 2013, 6:48 pm

        Maybe you can set up a practice water station and figure out how to best handle it?

      • Courtney September 11, 2013, 4:52 pm

        Some bathroom hints I have picked up:
        – You should have plenty of time to use the bathroom beforehand as they should have separate swim waves (unless you in the first one)
        – Peeing in the wetsuit is kinda fun because it feels wrong. I try to pee right before the swim exit even though I have to stop kicking to do it… but it saves from a pit stop when you are in transition.
        – There are usually always bathrooms in transition.
        – I’ve never had to stop during the bike to pee and I have never peed on the bike. You do sweat a ton so I think that’s where all my fluids go, but there are port o potties at the aid stations and I’ve seen people dart into woods or ditches.
        – USATriathlon rules require an aid station every mile on the run. Usually this means a port o potty is available every mile too. Best rule ever. I nearly get cranky during marathons now because I’ve been so spoiled with frequent aid stations.

        As for water stops, I was very worried about this at first especially since I get nervous in my clip pedals. If you want water, decide who want to take the bottle from and point at them and make eye contact. If you don’t want any, I just try to smile big and shake my head no back and forth so the volunteers know I don’t want any to not try and approach me with water. If you do want to take water, I would recommend having an open water bottle cage on your bike for it. They will give you a bottle of water and USAT rules often don’t allow you to litter past a specific point. so you have to either chug it before the trash line (which will be marked if they have one at all) or have a bottle cage to keep it in. Some people will stick it in the back pocket of their cycling jersey too, but I’ve never done that.

        Just some ramblings, hope it helps a little?

  • Michelle @ A Healthy Mrs September 10, 2013, 9:22 am

    Forget about last week & focus on this week — you’ll be great! 🙂

  • Ali September 10, 2013, 9:52 am

    I was training for a half marathon (my second) this summer and then got sick, and busy with work, my brain wasn’t into it, and I started getting foot pain. So I took a day off and then another. Before I knew it, I was working out 1-2 x’s a week and felt exhausted and crappy ALL the time. I’ve downgraded to the 5K because the race is in less than 2 weeks but I’m sure my time won’t be good. I’m really, really trying to get back on the wagon this week. Already have 2 workouts in and today is a rest day because I’m tired and sore and have to work tonight. I’m hoping I can get back into a routine this week….I’m trying!

  • Caitlin September 10, 2013, 9:52 am

    I’m training for the NYC Marathon (my 1st full!) and got injured 4 weeks in and had to take 4 weeks off of training. I’m now back and feeling great, and while everyone’s reassured me I’ll be fine, I still have tons of doubts and concerns over race day. I’m pretty sure all will be well as long as we don’t shit our pants.

  • Alexandra September 10, 2013, 9:57 am

    I actually just finished my first triathlon last weekend here in south florida and it was in the ocean. If you can get out to the beach just once I think it would be so helpful. I went twice before my race (and have a huuuuge fear of open water swimming- I had never done it before!) and even though during the race I had to tread water for a little just to relax my breathing it wasn’t sooo bad because I knew I had done it before and could do it. Either way I’m sure you’ll do great!

  • Tori September 10, 2013, 10:14 am

    I am training for my second HIM. My first wasn’t an Ironman branded one, but there were lots of newbies, and lots of regulars. I feel like triathletes are some of the nicest people. I didn’t have to worry about being in anyone’s way because the people who were fast enough to care were way ahead of me just a few minutes into the bike.
    I still haven’t peed on my bike. I got too dehydrated in my race to have to worry about that. But my hydration plan this time around will remedy that. I will still have to be pretty desperate to pee on a bike. You don’t have to pee on your bike unless you are worried about time cutoffs.
    And yeah, I hear you about the ocean swim. My HIM will be my first true ocean swim and I am definitely a little concerned. I plan to swim in the area around packet pickup.
    I haven’t fallen off the wagon yet (45 mi bike ride last night), but our family vacation is two weeks away and I’m already trying to plan how to stay motivated.

  • Alis September 10, 2013, 10:16 am

    I don’t think you’re giving yourself enough credit for all of the training that you’ve already done! One week isn’t going to throw you off AT ALL! Try and focus on how far you’ve come with your training.
    I’ve done six half irons and one full iron and sometimes I still feel like a newbie! There are so many different levels of people at these races and I still feel insecure sometimes. But everyone really just focuses on their own goals and I’ve found that some of the people that look most intimidating before the races are usually the first to offer tips to the first timers.

    My biggest piece of advice is to not spend too much time in the pool. Focus more on bike, bricks and strength training. Try and get out to do a few open water swims, will help you so much mentally when going into the race.

    • Kathleen September 10, 2013, 6:32 pm

      Hi there! Triathlon newbie here with aspirations to keep at it. I had a question about your advice not to spend too much time in the pool. This is the second time I’ve heard this from a seasoned triathlete and I’m curious as to why? Does it slow you down? Or is it just more important to spend that time on the bike, strength training, etc.? I’d love anyone’s opinion on this really. Caitlin’s plan reminds me of others that I have seen with roughly two to three days of each event per week. Is there a better balance to be found?

      • Caitlin September 10, 2013, 7:25 pm

        I’ll weigh in. Usually you want to spend more time on the bike because its the longest leg time wise. However I would say if you are a new swimmer or weak at the sport, you definitely want to get that pool time in because so much of the swim is mental.

  • Ashlee@HisnHers September 10, 2013, 10:26 am

    They pee on themselves? That is disgusting.

    • Sarah September 10, 2013, 1:27 pm

      I totally agree! I will never be able to look a triathlete the same way again. o_O

    • Victoria September 10, 2013, 1:40 pm

      There’s really nothing in urine that isn’t in sweat, and you wind up covered in sweat anyway.

  • CheekE September 10, 2013, 10:38 am

    Too bad this fun week didn’t line up with your step down week! Ah well, sounds like you’re motivated and ready to get back at ‘er! I was slightly worried about the poop thing when I did my first ever Olympic this week, so I tucked a baby wipe in my tri shorts pocket just in case I had to stop and go in the woods (it was a trail run) thankfully I didn’t need it.

  • Jill September 10, 2013, 10:49 am

    You will do awesome! And I’m sure there are excellent online resources, as well as people you know, for the questions you’re facing (where/how to pee, how to properly fuel, etc.) My husband and I started doing tris in the last couple of years, and we are constantly learning new tips from our tri friends, and the shops we frequent for our gear. Regarding the pee thing – maybe you’ll be so well hydrated that it’ll be less disgusting if you, um, relieve yourself on the bike? I know lots of people who do it. Just sayin’. They all just deal with it and don’t worry about it. Maybe it’s like peeing in your wetsuit. Some people seem oddly proud of it 😉

  • Emily @ Emily Rocks the Road September 10, 2013, 10:53 am

    They pee literally on the bike? I know male cyclists can, um, pee on the go while racing (if you see a cyclist suddenly make his way over to the side of the pack and slow down, don’t be behind him), but the girls I know just get off and pop a squat. I don’t know if I could pee on the bike, but maybe if I got desperate enough I’d figure out how to make it happen.

    Anyway, hope you have a better week this week. I agree with some of the comments up there that one less-than-stellar week isn’t the end of the world and you’ve done so much this far that you should feel accomplished. But I also know that inner drive to look back and say, “Yup, I did it!” So I hope this week is better just for you, and not so much for your training. 🙂

  • Kristen L September 10, 2013, 11:06 am

    Try not to worry too much about last week — this week is a new week, and you will be back on track! Maybe you needed a break from the demands of training. One week will not break your performance. Like you said, you are so much stronger now than you were a few weeks ago! Also, you will not be the only first time half iron triathlete there. You have quite a few tri’s under your belt. Just remind yourself that it’s the same thing, just a longer distance!

  • Amber @ Busy, Bold, Blessed September 10, 2013, 11:45 am

    Well… maybe it’s a blessing in disguise and this week of rest will be just what you needed to avoid an injury or burn out! Now, get back on track and kick butt!!!

  • Sydney @ Trust the Skinny Cook September 10, 2013, 12:17 pm

    Do you live near a wave pool? Sure you wouldn’t be able to knock out a 1-hr long continuous swim, but you could at least get a feel for swimming in the waves!

    PS I just want to say thanks for being such an awesome source of motivation and guidance for tri newbies. I completed my first this past weekend and I don’t think I would’ve done it had I not read HTP!

    • Caitlin September 10, 2013, 12:22 pm

      Awesome! Thanks for the support 🙂 I’m so happy you had a good first experience.

  • Luv What You Do September 10, 2013, 12:21 pm

    I was just wondering, as I was reading your trailgaiting post, how you fit in tail gaiting and training. I find that my weekends have been so busy that training is tough to fit in. Damn, life always gets in the way : )

  • Sara @ Zero to Sixty September 10, 2013, 12:50 pm

    Oh gosh I never really thought about having to go the bathroom during a long race. I would be so nervous to pee myself.. like am I the only one that had too? Ha-ha. I understand all your concerns, I would be thinking the same exact way. BUT you got this! 🙂 AND it is going to be so so so so much fun! 🙂

  • Becky B. September 10, 2013, 2:28 pm

    So I’ll be the first to say it, although I’m suprised no one beat me to it….nauseous? Pregnancy/ #2?? My brain only went there because I am terribly nauseous with #3 right now, something I never experienced with my other 2 pregnancies. Good luck- if you’re a momma you got this- no matter a couple of “off” weeks of workouts!!

    • Caitlin September 10, 2013, 2:32 pm

      Nawwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwww. The only thing I’m delivering anytime soon is an epic half ironman experience.

  • Taylor @ Single-tracked Mind September 10, 2013, 2:28 pm

    Walling off the wagon totally happens, but the best thing is to continue forward and not beat yourself up. Doesn’t everyone pee in their wetsuits?? I’d also be scared of the waves/current in the ocean, I’ve only swam in lakes.

  • Kim September 10, 2013, 5:34 pm

    Oh my gosh, have I ever fallen off the ban wagon!? I’m training for the Chicago marathon and I seem to be in the pattern of one good, solid week, two bad weeks. It has been a crazy summer with traveling, packing up and moving out, house hunting, and moving into a new home. On top of that, Dallas is a bazillion degrees (actually, it has been a very mild summer, but I’m not a hot-weather runner, so it still sucks). I’ve been consistent with the long runs and I am confident that I will finish the Chicago marathon, but I definitely don’t feel as strong as I have been for other races. Sooo… I guess that’s my long-winded way of saying you will do fine with your half Iron Man! You are SO prepared and you will kick butt… just consider this past week a taper week! 😉

  • Julie @ Swim…Bike…Running on Empty September 10, 2013, 8:43 pm

    As someone who did two 70.3’s and one full Ironman this summer (after previously only doing sprints) I can assure you that you have nothing to worry about and that you’ll be awesome! With your newbie concerns, no one will notice, or care actually. There will be a LOT of newbies and you’ll all be excited together! Plus, even Ironman vets get nervous – it’s part of the fun of it, I think! And as for peeing, there will be port-a-potties in transition. Definitely have some coffee in the AM to get some things out of your system, and pee before the race if you can. It will be a good sign if you need to pee while racing because it means you are hydrated and taking in enough sports drink. Don’t be afraid to pull over on the bike and find some woods/trees! I always seem to use the porta-potty in T2 before starting to run. After all, there is something to be said for being comfortable! And don’t worry about your low mileage week. Just put it behind you and get excited for what’s to come – you can do it!! 🙂

  • Marni September 10, 2013, 9:10 pm

    All valid concerns and sometimes we hold ourselves back for the fear of failing when instead we can often grow by overcoming those fears. Think of every way possible of setting yourself up for success by making progress. Don’t let a workout on paper be so intimidating that it keeps you from getting started. Like anything in life – job, diet, love, parenting, it is always scary when it is hard, new and uncomfortable. But you have to try in order for it to get easier. The most important thing you can do is enjoy the process and keep inspiring others. when you earn your finisher medal you will realize all the work that you did to prepare was worth it and all those worries will instantly go away when you are running to the finish.
    You only fail if you refuse to get up. Have a great week and happy training!
    -your coach 🙂

  • Megan (The Lyons' Share) September 10, 2013, 11:01 pm

    You’re going to rock it!!! I agree with you on being a little scared of the open water, and I’ve never been able to pee on myself in a race (though I definitely thought about it!). Regardless of what happens, you’re right to focus on that awesome feeling when you cross the finish line! Woohoo!

  • Lisa September 11, 2013, 4:23 pm

    Teeeny tiny lego pieces or cats toys. Both are deadly!

  • Annie September 11, 2013, 5:50 pm

    Girl you are going to be awesome! Think about all the posts that you have written about how to be successful in a tri. You know more than you think you do. After doing some halfs and a full, I always wake up knowing that SOMETHING, and probably many things, are going to go wrong. Its just a matter of what. And enjoying those moments because you will probably be laughing about them as soon as you cross the finish line and for years to come.

    And don’t worry, there aren’t any secret half IM rules. Just know its going to be a really long workout, and enjoy the adventure!

  • Natalie September 11, 2013, 7:51 pm

    LORDE IS AMAZING! And….she is from New Zealand! Where I am living. NZ REPRESENT! You should bring the family over here.You guys would love it! There are some amazing races in the most beautiful scenery, great wineries, amazing nature walks, mountains and beaches! It is so beautiful. Great job on the tri-training, I know you more then anyone, would already know but don’t focus on what you havn’t done focus on all the training YOU HAVE done this far. No matter what, your never going to feel like you did enough and overall, it all mental and your mind playing tricks on you. Just have fun! You are going to do great!

  • Stephanie September 11, 2013, 9:04 pm

    So I’m doing an Olympic distance tri in Biscayne Bay on the 29th, I can report back with inside info on how the water is!

  • Lauren @ Peaks and Passports September 13, 2013, 1:04 pm

    I feel like I’ve been off the wagon all summer – using the start of a new season as a turning point to get my booty back in shape!

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