training review: Reston Sprint Tri Week 13

I headed into Week 13 excited to try out the new schedule I figured out last week.  My workload was roughly the same, except for having one less bike workouts.  Even still, it seemed to give me the reprieve I needed, as I was feeling less fatigue this week compared to others.  I also brought myself back into line with eating meals that better agreed with my stomach.  That especially gave me a better feeling of energy compared to the sugar-heavy weeks prior.  Here’s how the last week went.

I spotted these tulips during my walk on Saturday.  I'd never seen purple ones like these!

I spotted these tulips during my walk on Saturday.  I'd never seen purple ones like these!

My totals:

Swim - 2:42:16, 6900 yards

Bike - 1:52:05, 27.75 miles

Run - 1:33:52, 7.62 miles


  • Swim - 52:37, 2300 yards
  • 400 warm up (150 swim/50 kick - repeat)
  • 3x200 pull :20 descend
  • 300 swim (100 free/50 non - repeat)
  • 4x100 :15 (25 sprint/75 strong)
  • 200 swim
  • 4x50 :10
  • 200 cool down

Oh my, this was tough work. Let's start at the top and work our way down, shall we? 200 pull descending went: 3:49.5, 3:50.8, 3:42.5, so we'll call that a partial success. 4x100 sprint/strong...where has my speed gone?! The fastest 100 was my first at 1:47.1 and I'm starting to wonder if that time I got a 1:41 was influenced by some kind of magic. Same with my 50 fastest was 51.4, and I can't even remember what it feels like to crack the :50 mark. Ughhhhh.  On the other hand, every single set of free I did was under 2:00/100, and in the grand scheme of things, I'm happy with that. A year ago I was happy to have a 2:45. Perspective is the real magic.


  • Run - 21:16, 1.71 miles

60 degrees and the sun was coming up. I went with fitted shorts and my long sleeved tee. The birds were chirping a lot this morning, and I saw plenty of azaleas blooming in the neighborhood. I was moving slow today, trying to keep my HR from spiking on the hills. My calves finally loosened up, and I felt pretty good.  Despite not being thirsty, my mouth was super dry. Pollen, maybe? Hasn't rained for a bit, and everything is covered in it.

  • Post run Stretch
  • Strength Training

They're changing the tracking system for the machines at the gym. Grrrr, I hate change like this. I need to figure out a different system.


  • Swim - 55:16, 2300 yards
  • 600 warm up (100 swim/50 kick - repeat)
  • 300 pull (breathe 3/5 by 50)
  • 4x50 :10 (fast kick/sailboat drill)
  • 4x50 :10 (ankle buoy)
  • 4x50 :10 build
  • 4x50 :10 strong
  • 300 pull (breathe 3/5 by 50)
  • fun cool down: 50 Tarzan/50 dog paddle/200 choice

I think this marks the third time I've done a variation on this workout, and each time is fun. The sailboat drill and ankle buoy tend to feel awkward, but I slowed down and concentrated on my core and rotation to get the most out of them. The 50 build absolutely has a mental component. Sometimes after coming off the wall it is so tempting to relax and cruise back, but I resisted and pushed all the way home. Quite exciting, as all of my build 50s and most of my strong 50s wound up negative splitting. Sure, some of that is because my flip turns all landed so I came off the wall quick, but still. Happy days!

  • Trainer Ride - 42:04

Watching the West Wing, as preparation for listening to the podcast. Since the bike was back on the trainer, J and I were fussing with the tension for awhile. Then I started having issues with my front derailleur, as it wouldn't shift smoothly from the small to big ring. Sometimes it would, but sometimes it would just make a bad noise and not move.


  • Run - 28:25, 2.31 miles

I awoke to temps in the mid 40s, so I pulled out the capri's and gloves again. I ditched the gloves into my waistband on the way home, and wish I'd done that sooner. I tried to stay really slow and relaxed, but on the turnaround I started to feel tight in my left shoulder/upper back. My calves were feeling the hills, but nothing too bad. I lost count of how many robins I saw, and the azaleas and dogwoods are looking good, too. Some people's tulips are on the way out, though.

  • Strength Training

I added in a lower back exercise on the stability ball, since I've decided my core is keeping me from being my best on the bike. Other than that, all the usual suspects. Tough work on the chest press. I haven't increased anything, so not sure why it feels so hard?


  • Swim - 54:23, 2300 yards
  • 200 swim/ 50 single arm
  • 200 pull/ 5 back kick
  • 300 pull :30 (easy/med/fast)
  • 2x50 :30 RACE!
  • 300 pull build :30
  • 2x50 :30 RACE!
  • 300 swim (50 nonfree/100 free - repeat)
  • 2x50 :30 RACE!
  • 300 easy
  • 4x25 :15 (odds Tarzan/evens underwater recovery)
  • cool down 50 kick/150 swim

Woo man, this swim had me gasping for sure. Lots of 50s sprints in there, and on the very last one I finally got a :49.9! It has been a long time since I got below a :50 50, and it was exciting to see that number again. All those 300s make it tough, too, since you're mixing endurance with sprinting.

  • Run - 35:07, 2.83 miles

70, a bit breezy, and overcast for this long run. Despite the lack of sun I still went with long sleeves up top, since UV rays scoff at a little cloud cover. Fitted long shorts were comfy, and I wore my cap since showers were in the forecast. It wound up not raining on me, though.   I ran purposefully slow. I'm trying to respect the fact that I need to go slow and build my aerobic engine. Not that I'm complaining....going slow means getting to get a really good look at all the pretty flower blooming action going on this week. Azalea madness!! As usual this run was a bit tough coming home since it is uphill, but I concentrated on my posture since that was what started to fall apart when I was tired at the end of the 5k a few weeks ago. I managed to keep my HR fairly low considering the climbs.


It rained overnight, kept raining through lunchtime, and the ground was wet for far longer.  I ditched the idea of taking the city bike out and went for a walk instead.


  • Bike - 1:10:01, 14.69 miles, 606 ft of gain

Did an out and back on the W&OD to Vienna and it was lovely and sunny with a bit of breeze. Maybe 55? I did bike shorts, a long sleeved tee, and my vest. I got a bit warm at times, but I would have been cold in the wind without the vest. Dressing for the bike is still tricky. I had a lot of tension in my shoulders today, and I noticed it especially on the way back. My lady bits were complaining, too. I don't know if I'm just not acclimated or if something about my fit is wrong? At any rate, except for one hill that snuck up on me so that I was stuck in too challenging of a gear, everything went well and I had fun. Why do I always lollygag when bike day comes? I have such fun when I get out there!

  • Run - 9:04, .77 miles

Quick little transition run in the apartment complex. Dismounting the bike my low back felt tight. My legs felt like jelly for a couple minutes, but then I had no pain and it was my HR that felt all over the place. It settled out around the 0.6 mark, and I feel like at that point I could have certainly kept on running.

So Week 13 went well.  I managed to have successes in all three disciplines, which is unusual.  I broke through my speed plateau in swimming, had my longest bike ride ever, and rounded out with plenty of low heart rate running to keep building my base.  Nice!  For the next four weeks I’m building volume, and I’ve never done that before.  It may be a bit tough, but I’m ready for it.