Nine

“I got 99 problems….and they’re all my sore muscles!”

Week nine brought a new set of challenges and some pretty sore muscles. I have been expecting them to come along and I am pretty sure that the rest of the training schedule will involve many more sore days. That’s okay, it just means I am alive and hopefully getting stronger.

The beginning of the week was rainy and I had a short hill repeat session, so I decided to take our puppy, Kodiak, and work on running with him. He did a pretty good job, but has a habit of trying to pick up sticks on the run, which sometimes means we suddenly stop if he doesn’t get it as we go past. Otherwise, he is becoming a good runner keeping on one side of me. The most exciting news of the week is that the pool heater is fixed! Aimee, Tami, and I had a good swim and surprisingly, the whole pool to ourselves. My swim continues to get better and I am becoming more confident each week.

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Finally! A warm pool.

The end of the week was busy with appointments and as I said last week, I proposed to do my long run from our house 8.5 miles down a trail and meet Adam at his appointment. This had its moments of regret as I ran. The beginning was nice and flat, and I knew I would have to run up over a pretty good sized hill, but I thought the downhill would be similar with switchbacks and I would just gradually make my way down. This wasn’t reality at all. The other side was peppered with steep rollers that at times I had to walk up. However, I did make it to Adam’s appointment with time to spare, the trade-off was starting Saturday’s long ride with very sore legs.

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My run started here in my own neighborhood on a network that connects about 13 miles of trail north to south.

Saturday was an almost Spring day! Tami, Aimee, and I started off in the fog and headed out for our 55 mile ride. We stopped along the way and picked up one of Aimee’s co-workers, Mike, who rode about 25 of the miles with us. By mile 30 the sun had come out and I was definitely suffering. My legs were losing power little by little as we rode up a a very deceptive 7 mile incline. Riding the return route home, it was just me spinning in a low gear trying to get back, legs toast, and seat sore. The final thing I needed to do was a 30 minute recovery run. I tried, but could only muster a little jog for a few feet at a time and ended up walking the majority of it. This is where doubts crept in my head about finishing a full Ironman. If I can’t run after 55 miles, how am I going to do it after 112? There are 104 days left to train and then I will have the answer.

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Rare sunny, January ride with Tami, Aimee, and Mike.

My long run on Friday was also an homage to Lenora Edwards. During her final months, a part of trail I ran on was being completed near her house and I told her that one day, I would run from my house to hers on the trail that connects us, at 6.3 miles. I made it up that hill and beyond. As I passed her street and house, I thought about all the people on my list who I am racing for in theirmemory. It would be really nice to be racing in honor of surviving instead. The Breast Cancer Research Foundation is dedicated to saving lives. Please donate today.

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The bottom of a long climb over Cooper Mountain. Lenora’s house was almost at the top.

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Eight

“It’s important to not be afraid of failure and to push yourself to try things and jump in the cold water. There are incredible, beautiful opportunities out there.”- Jurgen Teller

Brr. Cold water has been the theme of the week! Besides the weather being cold all around the nation, the pool at the gym has not yet been repaired and the water is still very cold. They did something and for one day, it had been a few degrees warmer, but for the most part, we’re all learning to get the job done quick so we can get out of there. Every time I sit at the edge of the pool to put my feet in, I hope that I will be pleasantly surprised with warm water, only to be sadly disappointed. Adaptation to the cold is short lived and by the time I am finished with the swim, I am so happy to get out!

Eight weeks of training are complete. One-third of my training plan is done and there are  sixteen weeks left to Ironman Texas. The recovery week went well, and I feel like I have rested up from the last 4 week block, ready to take on the next one. According to my training plan, it begins the “build” portion of my training. It starts out with some hill repeats on the run and speed intervals on the bike and ends up with a long run on Friday, and long bike on Saturday. Friday’s schedule is tight, so I am going to try something different to fit everything in. I am going to run from our house on the THPRD trail for 8.5 miles, leaving the house 2 hours (to allow time for traffic lights) before Adam who will drive to meet me for an appointment at the end of the run and bring me home. I have never run this part of the trail before. We have been fortunate to live near some very nice trail systems.

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Map of part of local trail systems. I am starting at the top and ending 1.5 miles below the bottom of this picture.

Yesterday, the week ended by attending the memorial service of a beautiful woman, Lil Peak, who lived a life of true endurance. A different cancer had taken her vocal chords many years ago, and I had forgotten that she was also a breast cancer survivor of 20 years, so I am adding her to my honor list. Her daughter’s eulogy was befitting and highlighted how this woman loved and served God with her entire being in spite of the adversities that came in her life and that she was a contented woman who sought to always have her conduct glorify God and to share His Word with anyone who would give her the opportunity. Attending such a memorial service brings to mind Ecclesiastes 7:2: “It is better to go to a house of mourning Than to go to a house of feasting, Because that is the end of every man, And the living takes it to heart.” What I do each day to train and get ready for this Ironman is purely recreational and crossing the finish won’t get me to Heaven, but if I continue to remember that God comes first and live that way, I will receive a much better reward as it says in 2 Timothy 4:7-8 “I have fought the good fight, I have finished the course, I have kept the faith; in the future there is laid up for me the crown of righteousness, which the Lord, the righteous Judge, will award to me on that day; and not only to me, but also to all who have loved His appearing.”  If you want to know more about the faith I have in God and learn about His Word, feel free to private message me.

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Ms. Lil passed away at the age of 83.

Lil Peak was a breast cancer survivor and a survivor of cancer that affected her vocal chords. Cancer was not the cause of her death, she lived to be an old woman. She is one of the many women who survived because of cancer research. Please donate today to the Breast Cancer Research Foundation and honor her and other survivors.

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Seven

“A New Year’s resolution is something that goes in one Year and out the other.”-Anonymous

Happy New Year! 2018 is here and Ironman Texas is four months away! It definitely doesn’t fall in the category of a resolution because unless the unexpected happens and as long as the Lord is willing, I will be at the start line. I have completed 7 weeks of my training plan. This last week was compressed a little by the Christmas holiday and the gym being closed. A little rearranging of the schedule and I was able to get it done. It wasn’t an easy go of it though, my mettle was tested in the form of the pool heater being broken and the water being very, very cold once again. Getting myself out of bed and to the pool was a battle, but we’re supposed to get comfortable with being uncomfortable, so in the pool I went! The week ended with a Friday, 3 hour garage trainer ride with Aimee and Wendi and new comer to the garage, Christine. Having people with us on these rides makes it so much better and the time go faster. My final day was a longer swim and longer run, which felt very hard at first, but once I settled in, managed to chug along at not much slower than the last time I did a longer run, so I’ll take it. This week is a recovery week, so much less volume and a chance to rest up.

In a couple months I will pass the ten year anniversary of being diagnosed with breast cancer. Thinking back ten years ago, we were preparing our house to host the wedding of friends starting their lives together at the start of a new year. I had cancer, but didn’t know it yet.  I don’t remember what I did each day from January 1, 2008 when I had that insidious beast growing in me unknowingly until February 28th when I received the diagnosis and my world changed instantly, but I do know this, there are women and men out there today ready to face the new year looking forward to something wonderful in their lives and have cancer, but don’t know it yet. Here is a plug for early detection. Get your mammograms done. Don’t put it off when it is due, just go do it. Early detection saves lives and the Breast Cancer Research Foundation is dedicated to saving lives as well. Please donate today so research can continue to benefit us all.

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Six

“Don’t watch the clock; do what it does. Keep going. – Sam Levenson

Merry Christmas! What a week it has been! I put the above quote there as a reminder to myself because I am exhausted. The week started out fine, but as it progressed, my legs became more and more tired until they felt like dead sticks. Remember when you were in school at the end of the day watching the clock and you were sure that you saw the second hand tick backwards once in awhile? That was me on the bike Thursday. I just know that the digital display of seconds paused on its own every now and then. Despite being tired, I did push on and made it to the end. Ah, rest day, how welcome you are!

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Even watching a Christmas movie didn’t make time pass quickly.

The highlight of the week was David’s 21st birthday. We went to an escape room which was pretty fun. If you don’t know what that is, it is a place where they lock you in a room and there are puzzles, clues, and riddles to solve to get out. We had an hour, we didn’t succeed. It was very clever and quite enjoyable though.

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21 years old. He is becoming a good man.

There are over 170 names on my honor list now. I thought I would take this time to share the names I have collected since the end of October. Please donate today to the Breast Cancer Research Foundation and help this list be honored.

Robin Dormer
Peggy Velthoen
Maureen Patrick
Anne Patrick
Edna Dukes
Holly Dukes
Jamie Curtis
Michelle Brown
Veronica Foiadelli
Marceline Foiadelli
Tina Rose
Letha Marzell
Jennifer Reimer
Misty Claussen
Janet Lum
Barbara Bigelow
Marylin Hollimon
Sarah White
Lisa Gantz
Debbie Cosgrove
Rhonda Hannon
Judy Ipema
Liz Mackey
Gina Birkmire
Christina Ciano
Sharon George
Francia Scheetz
Mary Reed
Mary Jane
Penny Oakes
Brenda Bracken
Amy Lindquist
Jeanette Wielenberg
Lori Jean
Barbara Bass
Shirley Jackson
Holly Mayer
Nancy Burkhardt
Susan Marie
Amy Barton
Maggie Benjamin
Melissa Tang
Patricia Greer
Kristie Serrano
Andreia Sacca
Laura Harshbarger
Holly Northcott
Lisa Sine
Megan Kessler
Nancy Martin
Deb King
Nicole Hunt
Michelle Allen
Vickie Pickel
Allison Kendall
Kathleen Cook
Leah Spiegel
Christina Root
Jennifer Sanderson
Karen Shipman
Linda McCart
Christa Vatland
Janelle Wade
Michelle Allen
Leanna Clemmons
Sarah Armento
Mona Assadi
Kimmie Kim
Whitney Lowe
Carol Marosi-Gomez
Agneta Gillser
Michelle Dressler
Deborah Weaver
Mary Rose
Alison Carriger
Doris Stowe
Barbara Burrell-Hutchins
Leah Morasse
Sherry Berger
Denizie Lopes
Sarah Day
Annette Marino-Costa
Beth Ann Higgs
Mary Ann Brown
Harriet DeVore
Suzanne Gauvreau
Mary Rose Knipp
Christine Sansone
Patty Mashike
Priscilla Holberton
Deb Schroeder
Sherri Johnson
Carey Bruder
Judy Welbourne
Mary Koss
Ashley Marie
Roopnandan Singh
Bill B
Bernard Berins
Gil Ben-Kely
Alan Blood
Brock Bowles
Paul Brown III
John Danyluk
Peter Devereaux
Lee Giller
Leonard Glazer
Jose Gonzalez
George Hansen
Josh Hendrix
John Lunardo
Jerry Rubenstein
Dick Shulte
Jack Spanfelter
Kevin Sporleder
Ronald “Fatty” Taylor
Bob Trafter
Marlyn Washburn
Ken Williams
Kitty Powell

 

 

Five

“Time and health are two precious assets that we don’t recognize and appreciate until they have been depleted”- Denis Waitley

Week 5 started with the best gift of having David and Zoe return home from college on Monday. They’re going to be here for several weeks and I am happy to have us all back together under one roof. I am looking forward to a happy vacation for them and doing some family things as Denis takes the remainder of the year off for vacation.

It was also a week about health. Being nearly ten years out from cancer, my visits to the oncologist have decreased to just an annual check up, which was this week when I visited with Dr. Langer. Besides being an excellent doctor, one of the many things I like about her is she is never late. I cannot think of even one time that I have had to wait for her, in fact, she is so timely that on occasion, I have barely gotten into the gown before she was knocking on the door ready to see me. This week was no exception, she was even early by about 15 minutes, so I was in and out in no time. MRI looking good, no cancer. See you next year!

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Dr. Lucy Langer. Giving me the thumbs up for no cancer!

The other part of my health week involved a screening colonoscopy. Not the most pleasurable of experiences, but I had put it off for a year, so it was time to get it done. Fortunately, the doctor who did it had a great sense of humor and a real appreciation for how much we patients just want to get it over with and out of there. It truly wasn’t a bad experience. If you are putting off yours because you dread the idea, just bite the bullet and get it done. The idea of it is worse than the reality and you could save your own life.

As far as my training plan goes, it was a good week. Obviously, I had an extra day off for the colonoscopy, but it didn’t hurt my fitness at all. The week ended with a long swim, a long run, and a long bike. The swim was again one of my best ever times, so I was thrilled with that, followed almost immediately by a 90 minute run which I thought I would have trouble completing, but to my surprise was able to hold a decent pace (for me) the entire time and completed more miles in that 90 minutes than I thought I would! Saturday morning, Denis and I took advantage of his company family holiday party in which they rent out a movie theater and show a movie for little kids and a movie for older kids and adults. We saw the latest Star Wars episode. Our kids had already seen it on opening night, so didn’t want to go with us. This left my 3 hour ride to Saturday afternoon. Tami was kind enough to come over with her bike and trainer and set up in our crowded bonus room to ride with me. We did a little PEAR ride for about 90 minutes, then I showed her Zwift, which we knew Linsey Corbin was riding at the time, but there is no way I can ever keep up with her, so we didn’t see her on the road. It was a good ride and we got it done. My legs are a bit tired today, but it is a recovery day and tomorrow I will be ready to start a new training week and get ready for Christmas.

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End of a 3 hour trainer ride in the bonus room with Tami.

It is true that time slips away from us and for some, so does good health. Sometimes health is affected abruptly as in the case of cancer. The Breast Cancer Research Foundation is funding research aimed at giving breast cancer patients back their health and extending their time on this earth with family and friends. Please donate today and help this life saving research continue.

Today, I am thankful for continued good health and for good times with family.

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Four

“Athletes eat and train, they don’t diet and exercise”——

Ah, tis the season of holiday food! It’s that time of year when we have the love/hate relationship with the tasty holiday morsels set before us. We love to eat them, but hate to think about burning off the calories. I am no exception to that at all, but I decided to just enjoy it in moderation. Besides, I have been looking at labels as I make goodies and I am pretty sure I can get away with eating a piece of fudge as my carbs during a workout instead of the my regular source of energy nutrition. It’s all about timing and it’s sugar either way, but in a much more delicious and fun form. 🙂

This was a recovery week and I loved it! Less time on each workout and a little less intensity for some of them too. By Saturday, I was feeling pretty good and the brick that I did went really well, better than the previous ones I have done. I feel pretty well rested and ready for the next 3 weeks of increasingly harder workouts. The highlight of my training week was doing my fastest 1000 yard swim ever. It’s not fast compared to others, but for me, it was a milestone. Only 3000 yards to go!

On the fun side of the week, we celebrated my dad’s 79th birthday by going out to lunch. He has recovered nicely from his bypass surgery and is back to his old self. I also attended the annual ladies holiday gift exchange which was a fun and hilarious party and of course, had more food!

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Dad at 79!

There are over 140 names on my honor list. At times when I think about who those names represent I am struck by the gravity of what I am attempting to do. When I look at the training plan, thoughts go to whether or not it will be enough to get me to the finish. I have been told, “stick to the plan and you will be fine.” That’s what I will do and trust that it will get me across that Ironman finish line and honor all the names I carry. Please consider honoring those names too with a donation today to the Breast Cancer Research Foundation, so one day a list like that will not need to exist.

Three

Already three weeks finished!

The last week did not go as well as the first two. Mid-week, I began to feel a cold coming on, so in order to nip it quickly, I cut out a couple of swims and cut short one longer run. Why the swims? Because the pool is extremely cold and has been for awhile. Last time I swam, I felt like I may have even needed my wetsuit! I only did one swim during the week and I think despite the cold, it was a pretty good effort. By Wednesday, I was feeling a little like something was up in my throat so I have been trying to keep it at bay as much as possible. So far, it hasn’t turned into a full blown cold; maybe I will get by with just a little throat thing. Midweek, my watch also reminded me that it was 150 days until IMTX.

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The last workout of the week was a 2:30 ride on the trainer because the weather was too rainy and cold. To make it more interesting, Wendi, Aimee, and Tami brought their bikes and trainers to our garage and we did the whole thing out there, following Matt Dixon’s Endurance Ride 9 from the PEAR app which was a definite big workout. It was fun to be able to sit and talk, catching up with one another, but there were some long gaps of no talking while we pushed hard through different segments of the workout. Meredith Kessler sent us a message while we were riding to encourage us, and Michelle Vesterby sent us a short video too, where she encouraged us and told us that she would be doing Ironman Texas as well. I hope we get to meet her. Professional triathletes are some of the most approachable and kind professional athletes out there. By the time we finished the ride, I was toast. It got cold in the garage as we went through our cool down, so my recovery drink was a cup of hot chocolate. (That’s chocolate milk heated up, right?). This week begins a built in recovery week, a little less intensity and time to allow my body some adjustment and rest.

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Thankful for my new friend Meredith who has been supporting us in the background.

 

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Garage ride, Wendi, Aimee, Tami, me. Good workout partners.

 

In the world of breast cancer research, the coming week is one of the most impressive. San Antonio hosts the San Antonio Breast Cancer Symposium where researchers from all over meet for 5 days to share the information from their research with each other and with doctors who will put it into their practice. If you look at the week’s schedule, it is jam packed with lectures, forums, poster presentations, and educational sessions all designed to better equip doctors for treating breast cancer patients. The Breast Cancer Research Foundation has funded some of the research that will be presented.

I wouldn’t know about this collection of great minds if were not for the willingness of the doctors at Compass Oncology, where my doctor practices, to share some of the most important information to come out of the symposium each year and make a presentation  to local doctors and to anyone interested in hearing about it. This is a service to the breast cancer patient community that I have appreciated. I have attended several times and am always amazed by how incredibly complex cancer is and how people who have vastly more intelligence than me are able to figure out and unravel huge mysteries about cancer cells.

The Breast Cancer Research Foundation is dedicated to helping those doctors and researchers put an end to breast cancer. Please donate today and help them reach the goal.

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Two

“I actually love swimming, but I just hate jumping in the water”-Natalie Coughlin

Week two was a little smoother than week one, hitting every workout as planned, but I noticed that I’m having to do a little more talking myself out of bed in the mornings. I think maybe because it’s heading into winter and the dark and rain makes me want to stay in comfy sweats and drink hot chocolate rather than go to the gym. A few weeks ago, I read an article about someone who experimented with not setting her alarm and just getting up when she naturally woke up instead of seeing that she still had 15-30 minutes until the alarm and trying to go back to sleep. I thought I would give it a shot too, and for the past month or so, I have not set my alarm. Surprisingly, I woke up about the same time every day and just got up feeling refreshed. It worked until this last week when the temptation to not get up was strong, but the self pep talks prevailed and I made it out every day even making some noticeable gains.

Early in the week, I was greeted outside by a great double rainbow, a reminder of the amazing things God has for us in a day sometimes. This was followed up by a small, however, welcome increase in my mile pace. I am no fast runner by any stretch of the imagination, so any little increase that helps me move a little faster is a celebration. 🙂 The bike sessions still seemed like a lot, but that is to be expected since it is the longest part of the race. I rode with Zwift a couple of days which I hadn’t done for months. Zwift kindly informed me that I actually had increased my average power. Again, a welcome little gain that gives me encouragement.

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Zwift connected to TV. Sometimes a pro like Linsey Corbin will speed past me in the blink of an eye.

 

This week had the Thanksgiving holiday, and I was able to get the bike, run, and strength workout finished before making food and heading to my parents for dinner. I think I ate a lot that day. 🙂 Each Friday has a long swim, that keeps getting longer by 300-400 yards every couple of weeks. This week it was 1200, same as last week. After some discussion went on in the Team Sirius-Tri Club about tempo trainers, I went back to using mine this week. Turns out it is a pretty good idea. I was 4 minutes faster using it than when I didn’t last week. I expect that will continue to get better as time goes on.

That’s a pretty boring wrap up of week two, but not every day is very exciting. I am happy for the consistency of it all, and at this point believe that reaching the goal of toeing the line at IMTX is doable. The unexpected happens though, so I’ll take it day to day.

For many women today, the unexpected will happen and they will have the consistency of their lives rocked with a diagnosis of breast cancer. I have experienced that and I am here because of life saving research. I am doing this race to honor women and men who have had this diagnosis and to raise money for research. Please donate today to the Breast Cancer Research Foundation and help people return to their regular lives.

Today, I am thankful for Fall colors and hot beverages.

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One

People say nothing is impossible, but I do nothing every day. – A.A. Milne

First week done. It wasn’t impossible, in fact, it went quite well. I hit every workout except for one strength session. I am learning where I need to adjust in my time management, and figuring out just how much longer than I estimated it will take me to do the little things like get to and from the gym, get my gear together, shower etc. The actual workout time is less of a bother because it is down on the page and I just follow the plan.

This week, I was joined on Wednesday by Tami to do a brick. This was a great thing. Her presence not only helped pass the time, but it pushed me a just enough to keep the pace up. I thought that workout was the best of the week.

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Fun friend along for a brick.

I did a lot of swimming, and biking. It seemed like I was on the bike nearly every day. By Saturday, when I had a 2 hour fifteen minute ride on the trainer, it felt more like 4 hours, but I felt very accomplished when it was over having completed the entire week and only coming off with a few expected sore muscles.

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Pear App connected to a TV while I am on the bike trainer

For time management, I had a lot of things packed into the last two days. By Saturday, I had a long bike ride, a wedding shower to attend, and friends over for dinner. Happy to say that all three were successful with some help from Adam and Denis. I think it would be difficult to undertake this training and keeping balance if I didn’t have support from them.

In the wonderful news of the week, pro triathlete Meredith Kessler announced the birth of their son MAK (Madden Ace Kessler). I am very happy for them, Meredith is a generous supporter of me undertaking this Ironman, for which I am grateful.

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Madden Ace Kessler

This week is Thanksgiving, so I had to move a few things around in the schedule to accommodate. Friday night we will be hosting a large group in our home for a “singing” where we all come together to sing praises to God. It is something we do annually and enjoy hosting. We can get anywhere from 20-60 people. It is no small evening, and one that definitely must stay in the balanced equation of this training life.

Today, I am thankful for Denis and Adam who do so much to help me.

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How Am I Going To Get Ready For This?

Last month, someone asked me how I am going to train for Ironman Texas. There are a number of factors going into training for this event, the chief of which, is time. It begins with a training plan. I will be using a Training Peaks plan from Matt Fitzgerald.  I used a plan from him to train for my 70.3 race, and I liked the way it was laid out. He has as a number of different full Ironman plans, from beginner to elite, so I chose one that is somewhat in the middle and doesn’t consume my entire days training. It will peak at about 20 hours in early April and every 4th week is a recovery week so my body can rest a little. This plan is loaded onto my Training Peaks calendar. While I’ve set my Garmin watch face to only show me distance and time during my work out, the watch itself will collect other information and will download it directly into my calendar. When I complete a workout as planned that box will turn green. If it is only partially met, yellow. If I don’t do it at all, red. The goal here is all green boxes. If you are interested in the nitty gritty details of my workouts you can follow me on Strava, where my watch will download all sorts of metrics.

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The training plan is the base, then there is the question of what time of day am I actually going to get this stuff done? What works best for me is if I get up early and try to finish between 6-10am. Not all days will be like that because life still goes on and I will have other obligations, but most days should fit well into that time slot. Fridays are going to probably be split sessions because of my volunteer job and Saturdays are generally going to be either a long bike ride with Aimee, or a brick (Bike/run back to back). Adam was accepted into the Early College High School program at our local community college and starts in January. At the end of this Fall semester, I am officially no longer a homeschool mom so that will make my schedule more flexible.

Where I am going to train will vary. Swims will take place either at the gym pool or at the THPRD pool which is a 50 meter pool. The majority of biking is going to take place on the trainer in my house. Oregon wet weather isn’t great for biking and I don’t like risking being out on slick roads. If it is dry and not too cold, we’ll head out for a few hours, but indoors at home or on the spin bike at the gym will be where we gain most of our bike fitness. Running will be mostly outdoors, I hope. There will be treadmill workouts, and running on an indoor track, plus, Aimee and I might throw in a Saturday half-marathon race in January just to change things up a bit.

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My equipment for training is pretty basic stuff, goggles, Roka Sim shorts, ankle strap, kick board for swimming. Biking indoors will involve a little more technology. I have a bike trainer with a power meter, so I am able to connect with Zwift and virtually ride with others which is fun. I also use an app called PEAR sports. On it are coached workouts, which I enjoy because it livens things up and keeps my attention. Finally, if I am really going long, I have Netflix, which helps pass the time. Running has the simplest equipment; shoes. I do also use the PEAR app for coached runs from time to time just to keep it interesting. Through training I have access to and support of Team Sirius-Tri Club and the ability to ask questions as I go along, and I have Denis right here in the house to give me advice on training.

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Indoor track, seriously boring run.

The final piece of this is perspective. If I allow the pursuit of this race to consume my life for the next 167 days, then I will have failed at keeping a good life balance. This is a recreational pursuit, a physical challenge that I have chosen to do. I will enjoy it as long as I am blessed with the good health to train for it, but if my family suffers, or I don’t recognize when friends are in need of my attention, or even worse, God is getting less than my best, then toeing the line will not be worth it. I am hoping that the people in my life will keep me in check on this because it is easy to lose perspective.

That’s how I am going to do this. The training plan starts today, with a rest day. I know it will be a challenge and some days will be easier than others. The payoff will be in 24 weeks when I get to celebrate finishing an Ironman and hopefully have Mike Reilly say those craved words everyone wants to hear that day, “You Are An Ironman!”