Week 25/30 to IM Chattanooga Recap

Swim: 1.5 mi.
Bike: 145 mi.
Run: 32.5
Total time: 16 hours

So our pool was closed almost ALL week, starting Tuesday night. I’ll say that it was mandated by the health department and leave the rest to your imagination. Good news is-it’s back up and running this week. Unfortunately, our lake is still like bath water, and I’m just not brave enough to jump in and risk another crazy sinus infection. Not happy about missing two swims this week, but life happens.

Tuesday night we had a hot and steamy track workout. 1 mile warm up, 3 x 1600m I pace (just under 5k race pace) w/ 4 min recovery, 1 mile cool down. I nailed the first mile at just under an 8 min pace, but the heat just made it go downhill from there!

On Thursday’s bike and Friday’s run, I just couldn’t keep my heart rate down. Not sure if it was the heat/humidity again or recovery or what, but that was a bit frustrating.

Jason took his first days off in TWELVE days and for some crazy, insane reason, decided to join me on my 100+ mile ride Saturday. He hasn’t ridden but a few 50-60 mile rides due to his work schedule, and the fact that he’s not training for a full Ironman.  This man loves me y’all. Plus he’s an amazing athlete for being able to basically wing a century ride. For no other reason than love. Ok, enough of the newlywed-mushy stuff!

We joined in a fun a group of friends (Penni and Larry joined us for 100 and Stacie, Terri, and Dorothy for 80) and started about 7 a.m. I kept my heart rate in zone 2 as much as possible  and played it a bit safe on the crazy hills we rode on the front half of the Rock n Roll bike route-a notoriously hilly, tough ride. We then stopped by Dickey’s Farms. I had to forego the ice cream because I wanted to test my nutrition plan without adding in several hundred calories of ice cream that I would NOT have in Chattanooga. No fun!

After leaving Dickey’s we had some more hills to tackle, and a pretty fierce headwind. We passed through beautiful, quaint Culloden, then rode toward Barnesville for a final stop at Freedonia Church. Saint Marcus, aka Terri’s husband was kind enough to meet us all with Gatorades and snacks to get us through the final push home. The wind was now at our backs, and the last 25 miles really felt amazing! We officially clocked 104 miles.


My hour run afterward was no joke. I started my run about 2:30 p.m., so you can imagine the heat. My amazing husband joined me for about 30 minutes of the run. We discovered a new neighborhood that was slightly more shaded and the hills were even worse than our neighborhood! Perfect Chattanooga training.  

My nutrition seemed right on. Not that y’all care about this, but it’s helpful for me to remember! I ate a bagel and cream cheese prior to my ride. Then over 6 hours, 15 minutes, I had 2 scoops of Tailwind per water bottle. At hours 4 and 5 I used caffeinated Tailwind. I felt really good those miles, so I think that helped! I think switching up the flavors really helped the ick taste in my mouth too. I drank 6 bottles total plus a bit of Gatorade. I had an Accel gel every 1.5 hours, for a total of 3 gels. Each gel and each scoop of Tailwind is 100 calories, so that’s approximately 1,500 calories over a 6 hr 15 min ride. For the hour run, I switched to a water bottle of Nuun and a Cliff block every 1.5 miles.

I was dreading Sunday’s long run, but I was so happy to find once I started out that my legs felt fresh! We started running at 6:30 and with the cooler morning temps, I was able to maintain a great pace and stay in zone 2. I averaged a 10:30 pace for 15 miles (last year I was 12:30/mile on my long runs!). I drank two bottles of Nuun and ate a package and a half of Cliff blocks over those two hours and 40 minutes. I wanted to try to simulate the Chattanooga run which has some crazy hills on the back end from what I’ve been told, so we (yes, my husband joined me AGAIN because he LOVES me) headed toward Bolingbroke from the triangle-fairly flat. I visited my ponies at the end, then headed back for a total of 8 miles. We then ran back to the neighborhoods we discovered the day before for some steep hills. They hurt, but were absolutely worth it! Beautiful scenery, and I even saw a family of wild turkeys! My legs definitely hurt going up the massive hills, but overall I felt strong and could have kept running if need be.

After our run, Jason and I met some friends at the river for a little two hour float-the perfect ending to a successful week of training! Now I have two more weeks of high volume training before I start my three week taper. So I’m just going to try not to eat ALL the food between now and then! 

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