That third week in the three week peak month training block.  This is the one that breaks you down.  Last year, I broke mentally.  I had a terrible race, a terrible attitude, was failing at work because I was so burnt, and my athletic gains went in the crapper because I didn’t know how far I could push myself before I needed to recover.

Now, I do a pretty good job at keeping my brain in check.  I know deep into a training block, I’m going to get a little surly and there’s going to be some cases of “I don’t wanna” (and they’re all “I don’t wanna get started” but I’m happy once I’m going).  I know that some days, I’m going to need to give myself a break and if I feel like I’d rather murder babies than complete another set of triple bricks, it means I need an extra day off or an easy day.  This year, I’ve kept my wits about me pretty well and, in general, been fine with the work.

However, I take for granted my health.  I mentally break WAY before I physically break.  This is possibly the thing that holds me back the most as an athlete, pushing through that question of “am I hurting myself or am I HURTING HURTING myself?” and not going far enough.  I’ve never puked during a workout.  I’ve never had to hit the med tent at a race (I’ve done it before to get out of the sun when it wasn’t busy but I didn’t need it).  Often, I’ll feel so JUST FINE after cutting a workout short or cutting it to easy pace from hard pace or breaking down at a race that I feel like a complete ASS for doing so.

I suppose I broke through a few barriers on Saturday.  I think I may have found my limits, although I can’t say it was necessarily in a happy or healthy way.  The recipe was:

  •  5 hours of sleep, being woken up at 2:30am with stomach cramps.
  • 56 miles on the trainer with a gurgly stomach, in which I took pepto twice and couldn’t spend any time in aero.
  • 3.5 miles in hot and humid mid-80s where I could barely eat or drink.
  • One emergency bathroom stop and some time clutching my stomach.
  • 3.5 more miles in the hotter and humid-er upper 80s, where I still could not eat but loaded gatorade into my camelback to get some calories.
  • One more emergency bathroom stop.
  • 2 more miles in the hotter-er and humid-er-er 90s, given up on eating, and swilling gatorade.
  • One more “think I have to bathroom, but also think I might pass out from the heat, pain, and lack of fuel” stop.
  • Refusing to settle for anything under double digits, I headed out for one last mile in the 90s and called it at 10 miles instead of 13.

I felt kinda wussy at the time, I had myself convinced that I was just not pushing through some uncomfortableness, and I really wanted to rock this race brick, and figured before I checked the temperature it was going to be all in my head.  Nope: I had a legit stomach bug (it’s 3 days later and I’m STILL working on tolerating anything but mac and cheese and gatorade), and the finish temps were feels like 95, way hotter than it will be on race day.  I’m pretty sure that pushing through that many hours of feeling like POO gave me some mental toughness fodder to pull on at Kerrville, although I am having to take it a little easier this week than I’d like to recover for my race this weekend.

And, oh yeah, I race this weekend.  Another Olympic, another foray into the “running in hot as balls” weather territory, and I’m not sure I’m super duper excited about it, but I’ll be there!  I’m trying to work out in my head how I could completely bonk at Jack’s Generic at a 3:11 and not beat the 3:25 I posted there last year, but here’s the goals:


A goal: beat 30 mins.  I can do it pushing myself in the pool, let’s see if it’s possible on race day.  B goal: under 35.  C goal: don’t drown and beat last year’s time.  I really can’t see not improving by at least 5 minutes here from last year, but not drowning is a good goal, always.


A goal: 1:20.  B goal: 1:25. C goal: beat last year’s time (1:29-something).  I would love to cut off 10 mins on this bike.  Its a great course for me and I held back last year trying to practice half iron pace.  Well, I know half iron pace well, I’m just going to go for it this year!


A goal: under 1:05 (10:30 min miles).  B: under 1:08 (11 min miles) C: NO FUCKING WALKING.  Not going to lie, I don’t think I’m going to see much improvement here, but I’d love to at least be in the same realm as last year and not bonk like Jack’s.  Who knows, maybe the weather will surprise us with cooler temps, or maybe I’ll surprise myself!  Of course, I could also be sick all week and totally be weak and not able to go hard.  We’re 6 days away so time will tell.

On a perfect day, beating all my stretch goals, with sufficiently fast transitions, I’m looking about a sub-3:05 goal.  I would be THRILLED to take 20 mins off my time.  Of course, all my A goals are incredibly ambitious, but even hitting my B goals would mean around a 3:15, which would take 10 mins off my time and I’d still be thrilled.  I’m excited to see how much I can improve upon that swim and bike from last year, and hoping I can hang on tight and not fuck up the run.

Other notes from workouts this week:

  • My triple bricks (bike 20 mins, run 1 mile x3) on Tuesday were consistent.  I think it’s about where my speed is going to be this year (mile repeats at 8:30-9), and I’m ok with that.  I was able to make them descend in speed each time both on the bike and the run, so a solid effort.
  • Weights and swims are getting done because I’m bribing myself with food.  I get to swim in the lake twice this week coming up so I’m excited!
  • I’ve not biked outside since Jack’s Generic since I’m run focused this month, but I’ll do that again twice this week as well.  I’m less worried about this that I usually am because Kerrville is very steady (not a lot of severe up and downs) and I have been doing lots of 2-3+ hour rides even if they are inside.
  • Running in the heat sucks, but I’ve had some good days at it.  I just have to realize all this work in the heat will pay dividends when it cools down.  Even this summer lover is ready to break up with sweating the moment I step out the door at sunrise, but those effortless 10-11 minute miles once it’s cooler will be TOTALLY worth it!

By the numbers:

Monday: Weights: Gym 00:45, Swim: Laps 1500 m 00:32 34:19 pace
Tuesday: Bike: Triple Brick – Trainer + Musi… 27.57 mi 01:00 27.6mph pace, Run: Triple Brick – 1 Mile Hill 3 mi 00:27 08:52 pace
Wednesday: Weights: Gym irons 00:45, Swim: Distracted Fish 1500 m 00:33 35:24 pace
Thursday: Run: All Around the Wooten 6.5 mi 01:15 11:32 pace
Friday: off
Saturday: Bike: Trainer + X-men First Class 56 mi 02:38 21.3mph pace, Run: Neighborhood Wandering 10 mi 02:04 12:24 pace
Sunday: off (trying not to be sick)

10 hours total, 3000m swim, 83 miles bike, 20 miles run, 2 weights sessions

This week, the mantra is recovery (from my stomach bug, and from 3 weeks hard training).  I skipped a swim session yesterday because I still felt weak, and I’m cutting the rest of the week to much easier sessions (speedwork this morning would not have been pretty so I slept and MAYBE I’ll pedal a bit tonight, maybe not).  At this point, I need to do whatever is necessary this week to recover as I have a race to rock and a few more key training sessions early next month to rest up for before all the hay is in the barn.


The one thing that stomach bugs are great for is you get to indulge in stuff you’re not supposed to, because it’s all you can eat without being sick!  I’ve had so much simple sugar and carbs in the last few days… stuff I had to dig up from the bottom of the pantry or buy because I don’t eat them ever.  The other thing that’s great is seeing weight loss progress – and for most people, it’s temporary.  For me, it’s like pulling teeth to get the scale to move, and I have been keeping up with a decent amount of calories even though they’re not my usual nutrition, so maybe this will actually keep the trend going down? Only time will tell.

Last week, before I got sick, I was having a little tizzy with my food too.  I just was sick of the normal food.  I didn’t want it.  I didn’t want junk food (except the days when I did, but I didn’t indulge), but it was hell on wheels to follow a meal plan so most days I didn’t.  Sometimes we went out, and sometimes, I just came home and ate a meal of something like fish and fruit because it was the only thing that sounded good.

Anyhoo, talking about food with an upset stomach isn’t really making me happy, so I’m just going to go by the numbers and be done with it….

Monday: 1619 calories, 30 DQ
Tuesday: 1688 calories, 28 DQ
Wednesday: 1515 calories, 27 DQ
Thursday: 1831 calories, 29 DQ
Friday: 1679 calories, 27 DQ
Saturday: didn’t track, estimate about 2500
Sunday: didn’t track, estimate about 1400

Calories: 1747 average per day (aka, probably not enough for a peak week)

DQ: Really freaking awesome during the week, and then I got sick and can’t eat anything healthy. 🙁

Weight: Low: 174.4 (I know!!!) – High 180.0

I don’t have much else to say, so I’ll take my gatorade, crackers, and cinnamon toast crunch and hope I check in next week totally healthy and kicking ass!

Question: What’s your go to comfort food when you have an upset stomach?