Tomorrow is my birthday.  Normally I get all sorts of introspective, but with all this training, that part of my brain is kind of asleep so you’ll get a little less than normal, but indulge me a bit.

37 was the year I would finally not feel like an imposter wearing this shirt…

A year ago, both my body and spirit were pretty broken training for The Woodlands Marathon.  I spent a lot of time last winter believing the way out was through, but sometimes, as I learned, you just need to strategically retreat and live to fight another day.  I don’t regret suffering through a 6+ hour marathon to really hammer that lesson home, but would it have been smarter to cut my losses and run the half?  Probably.

Right now, I’m really enjoying the process of watching my body transform into someone capable of calling themselves an Ironman soon.  Is it hard?  Yep.  Do I have moments of despair and doubt?  Absolutely.  However, each workout I conquer gives me confidence that I’ll be able to pull from on April 22nd.  It’s fun watching my body do things it’s never done before and when I check in, it’s like “that was ok!  I can’t believe that was ok, but it was!”.

A year ago I was terrified of being a cyclist.  I’m still not intentionally heading out to those crazy cycle races where you can touch 5 bikes from your own while riding, and things like pacelining and riding my TT bike in the pouring rain still give me pause, but I’ve made big steps.  I can ride my bike with the clipless pedals in traffic with other people confidently.  I’ve got the hang of commuting and running errands on my cruiser bike.  For my birthday weekend, I’m going to go play bikes with people (and run off it because I *do* have to train for a race and March is for bricks) because that’s what is fun to me now.  All of this would have sounded like greek to me 365 days ago.

A year ago I didn’t weigh much more, I’m a few lbs down from March 2016 depending on the day, but I’m a lot more sturdy now.  I’ve spent (most of the) year being a good student at weight training, and it’s helped me be successful and relatively uninjured once my hip recovered.  I lost some weight and gained some back and now I know how to do both and I’m going to try to do more of the former than the latter this year.

A year ago, I was kind of content just doing what I was doing.  In the last year, I’ve become certified as a personal trainer, a sports nutrition specialist, and I’m about to be a certified triathlon coach.  I revamped this space and I’m starting to learn the ins and outs of social media, PR, and marketing.  No matter what I end up doing with this knowledge, it’s helped awaken the part of my brain that grew up loving learning because learning shit is awesome.

37 was definitely a year of discovery.  What will 38 be?  Who knows?  I’m looking forward to finding out.

Training updates:


7 weeks, 2 days to go.

I will definitely say that I’ve found an edge, but I’m still hanging on.  I know that I have five more weeks to build fitness, five more weekends to do the long stuff, and then it’s time to shut it down and taper.  Light, tunnel, and all that.

I detailed my long day in REALLY FINE DETAIL here, but, in other training news, last week was definitely one of the peaky ones this cycle.  It included both a) a long run of 19 miles and b) a long day workout (1 hour swim, 5 hour bike, 2 hour run).  Luckily, they were separated by 5 days because I had the day off Monday.  I had a really lovely solo 19 miles in beautiful weather… well, ok, I had a lovely 15-16 miles, and then toughed out the rest of them when my legs started to cramp a little, but it was still definitely the best long run I’ve had in well over a year.

During the week, I kept it pretty chill.  I did find that my body needed a little more time to recover after the 19 than I’d hoped, but not beyond rational expectation.  I had to cut a 90 minute cycling session to 30 easy minutes instead, but there was just about no choice in the matter.  As soon as I hopped on my bike I instantly had a headache and felt gross.  That was my body slapping me on the wrist and saying “NO!”.  So, I ate some soup and went to bed at 7pm and felt just fine in the morning.  Listening pays dividends.

Last week:

  • 2 runs – 19 miles (3:39), 11 miles off the long bike (2 hours)
  • 2 swims – 15oom in 27, 3100m in 1:01
  • 3 bikes – easy 30 mins, 60 mins high/low, 5 hour TT ride.
  • 2 weights sessions – 1 conference room body/bands session, 1 dozen/kettlebells session

And that makes about 14.75 hours.  More if you count my ~45 min recovery walk on Sunday but I didn’t log it.  So there.

This week’s plan (mostly complete):

  • Runs – 1 hour easy (48 mins DONE), 1.5 hour with some pickups (80 mins DONE), 30-60 mins off the bike
  • Swims – one lunch swim (DONE), one long swim (in the lake, if possible)
  • Bikes – 4+ hours (more casual, playing bikes on the road bikes with the only goal as saddle time), cycle class or similar effort ride (DONE), easy hour and/or commuting (DONE)
  • Weights – 2 sessions (one DONE, one happening in about an hour).

As planned – about 13 hours or so, but as you can see, I’m not quite hitting 100% on some of the workouts.  Technically, the long day is supposed to coincide with a rest week next, but my schedule didn’t line up, so I’m playing it by ear and listening to what my muscles are telling me.

The goal this weekend is just your standard sort of volume training with a few pops of intensity.  I want to run off the bike again (and take less than 90 minutes to transition this time), and I’m hoping that the weather cooperates for a nice long lake swim.

Life Stuff:

It’s nice to have some actual rest days with gorgeous weather so I can take long walks and sniff flowers and pet neighborhood kitties.

In other news, last week I did actually finish chapter 16.  I’m done!  This week, my goal is to spend at least a few hours reviewing all the chapters.  I won’t quite make certification by my birthday, but it will be close… and mostly because I don’t want to spend my birthday weekend taking the test…

This is a total estimate since I had to go back and track from Thursday to Monday all at once, but on average, I ate 2632 calories per day with a 647 calorie deficit.  I know I missed some snacks in there.  It was really weird dealing with the long day + two days completely off around it.  Some better planning will help keep things a little more nutritious and even for next time.

To round out my ratios – 78g fat. 331 carbs. 106 protein. 30 fiber.  Not my finest nutritional week but life will go on.  This week it’s back to planning and moar carbs and less fat and veggies and fruit and stuff.

My average weight is 188.0 (up .8).  Bleh.  I’ll attribute the two long days to a lot of water weight.  I am enjoying this cycle, but I really can’t wait until my workouts allow for more predictable weight tracking.  It’s really weird to see your weight fluctuate 7 lbs in 24 hours…

I did better with drinks but also a little worse – I stayed up WAYYYY (read: 3am) too late on Thursday drinking WAYYY too much wine.  The good news is that I had 14 drinks overall (better than last week), and I had enough of a hangover that I won’t be trying that again any time soon.  Bleh.

My sleep was a little less awesome than lately, but still more than adequate with 8:15 average per day and almost 4 hours of deep sleep.  I’ll take it.  I’m adapting to this training and it’s zonking me out a little less.

Last week I took the week off other responsibilities, and it was nice.  I’m going to do the same this week because it’s my birthday weekend and eff if I’m going to spend it doing any more chores than I absolutely have to.

Off to enjoy BIRTHDAYMAS, aka March, the most wonderful time of the year!