training review: Reston Sprint Tri Week 16

Sometimes it is mind boggling to look back and realize that I’ve been training for a sprint for 16 weeks.  The slow build has been a little bit tedious, yet I can’t argue with the results.  No real injuries, just a few little niggles, and without even realizing it I’ve built up to times and distances that seemed impossible at the start of 2016.  Here’s how the last week went down.

My totals:

Swim - 2:30:57, 6600 yards

Bike - 3:07:44, 43.22 miles

Run - 1:55:24, 9.57 miles



  • Swim - 37:56, 1800 yards

Woke up and decided a zen like recovery swim was in order. In addition to scratches and bruising on my calf from last Sunday’s oh-so-graceful ride, my left groin/butt was sore. So steady state swim it is! Just zoning out, getting my swimmy swimmy on, followed by about 10 minutes in the hot tub. All Mondays should start this way!

Pretty Purple flowers in the rain at the REC center

Pretty Purple flowers in the rain at the REC center


  • Run - 26:15, 2.08 miles

Ooof, kind of a tough start. The soreness in my calf, groin, and butt from Sunday was making itself known. I stayed in the apartment complex, which seems to work well for Tuesday short runs. Times were slow, but my breathing felt good. Just checking off an easy run!

  • Post Run Stretch

Oh man, tight hammies.


  • Swim - 56:24, 2400 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
    • 100 easy back
    • 300 pull (breathe 3/5 by 50)
    • fun cool down: 50 Tarzan/50 dog paddle/200 choice

I love this workout. It has a nice mix of stuff, never feels like it is dragging, and is challenging without being demoralizing. That said, my best 50 was still only 0:49.9, so I really do seem to have gotten slower since the winter. Ugh! I know it is common to improve in one discipline and struggle in another. I guess after a year of big gains in the pool, I'm seeing evidence of that now. I'm improving on the bike much more now. All things in time.

  • Trainer Ride - 53:04

I had a plan of 2:15 in each gear, starting small ring and working my way up. All went well until I got to big ring little cog, then whoa baby was I sweating buckets. I know I probably don't work hard enough on the trainer, so it was good to get out of my comfort zone. That said, my legs felt toasted and the last ten minutes were a struggle. If only trainer speed was in any way related to road speed, am I right?  Probably the only time in the near future I’m going to see speeds of over 20 mph.


  • Long Run - 44:04, 3.65 miles
More purple flowers in the mist and drizzle

More purple flowers in the mist and drizzle

Headed out in the morning to fog and mist/drizzle. I was never sure if I was sweating or if my face was wet from mist. The Pimmit climb was tough, of course, but again no pain in the calves or achilles, so happy about that. In fact, everything felt pretty good except for my shoulder that I slept on funny. Fortunately a hot shower can fix that.  Yes, my HR was high, but what are you gonna do? I like running up the hill too much to walk it!


  • Swim - 56:37, 2400 yards
    • 200 swim/ 100 single arm
    • 200 pull/ 100 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

Such a tough workout! The mix of sprinting 50s and 300 is a lung burner for sure. My fastest 50 was a 0:49.3, and out of the 6 I was sub :50 5 times, so that's good. But man, the 300 swim with the non-free alternating with free was exhausting.

I didn't have the best head space this workout, either. I have gotten myself so caught up in times and trying to improve that I really haven't been having much fun in the pool this week. I'm all for chasing goals, and of course I want to get faster, but I need to take some pressure off myself and go back to enjoying my workouts.

  • Run - 35:49, 3.01 miles
What's that bright ball in the sky?  such a great way to start the weekend.

What's that bright ball in the sky?  such a great way to start the weekend.

I haven't run in the sun for so long, I forgot how sweaty I get....gross. I could tell I was pushing too hard on the hills, but I just can't help myself! I'll keep running by feel through the summer, then do some LT testing in the fall/winter and see where that gets me. For now, I just want to run. And look at this: middle distance run of the week up to three miles! Who would have thought it?


  • City Bike - 44:23, 7.62 miles
Beautiful sun, gorgeous flowers, and lovely goodies tucked away in that saddle bag.  I can't believe how much I love riding Peggy.

Beautiful sun, gorgeous flowers, and lovely goodies tucked away in that saddle bag.  I can't believe how much I love riding Peggy.

Farmer's Market To and Fro on Peggy, with a pit stop at the ATM. I had another one of those mornings where I almost didn't ride. It was getting a bit later than I wanted (the eggs run out quick) and I was this close to driving. So so glad I got out. I am still so surprised at how much fun I have every time I get out on my bike. I picked up strawberries, turnovers, and a dozen eggs. All of this, by the way, was in the beautiful sunshine. I peeled off my hoodie before setting out, and a good thing, too. I was dripping with sweat after walking around the market, which was surprising since it wasn't too hot. Maybe I should have worn shorts?


  • Long Bike - 1:30:17, 18.33 miles, 761 ft gain

So remember last week when I talked about the wind? I was wrong....THIS week was windy. I did the exact same 18.3 mile ride, but it took me at least six minutes longer today, all because of the wind. 20 mph, gusting toward 30. At one point I was going flat out downhill and barely cracked 18mph. There were times when the wind would start to blow me to the side! I've never felt anything like that before, and I'm so glad I got a truly windy training ride in before the race. I had a harder time grabbing my water bottle today compared to last week, although I did still drink on the go four times. It was so windy that it was hard to control my bike with just one hand, even for a moment. You never knew when the next gust was coming!

And of course, I had to have an embarrassing moment: went to mount and start up at a crosswalk, and somehow slipped and slid my leg through the frame, sending my water bottle clattering into the street. I'm just a menace on two wheels, really. Hopefully practice will make it better!

I also switched back to my bike shorts, since I don't really fancy wearing a one piece trisuit every weekend. Those shorts are really no good. Too many seams, and I was feeling the pain only 6 miles in. By mile 14, I was coasting and coming off the seat any chance I could get, just to get some relief. Those things need to get replaced with something more comfortable, stat!

It sounds like a lot of complaints, but I'm really glad this ride happened the way it did. Mentally it feels good to have had a tough conditions ride that didn't go the way I wanted, but I still got out there and got it done.

Nutrition: Cream of Rice with banana and peanut butter 5 hours before, Plum Organic Mashups strawberry banana pouch 30 minutes before, and one bottle tri-berry nuun on the ride.  I had 8 ounces chocolate milk after my transition run was complete.  This was race nutrition testing. I don't want to eat during the actual race, so this worked well. I didn't feel tired or overly full. I didn't really care for waking up to eat and going back to sleep, but hey, I never sleep all the way through the night anyway. Everything sat well and I had plenty of energy.

  • Transition Run - 9:16, 0.83 miles

Wobbly bobbly jelly legs, but they predictably cleared about around 0.75 miles in. It doesn't get any easier, but I certainly know what to expect and how long it takes for the legs to come back after the bike.

Week 16 pushed me to new places.  Riding an hour and a half?  Running almost 45 minutes, including actually enjoying running up a hill?  Back in January I had looked at these numbers on my training plan and it seemed impossible.  Instead, I’ve finished off this week feeling so accomplished.  Yes, I need to find the fun in swimming again, and I really need to figure out how to handle my bike, but these things are possible.  Coming up, week 17 is peak weak, then taper.  This is really happening!