A day in the life of an Ironman triathlete

A recent Friday…

5:30am: alarm goes off. A few weeks ago getting out of bed was a drag, but nowadays the body is used to it and I can get moving much more easily. Discipline helps too!
6am: at the pool for swim workout. We used to go a little later, now we go at opening time to claim a lane to ourselves.
8am: home for breakfast, take care of the dog, and get ready for work.
8:45-9:30am: metro into downtown DC.
9:30a-5:30pm: work, including at large nutritious lunch from the workplace cafeteria (it’s great!).
5:30-6:15pm: metro home.
6:15-6:45pm: feed and walk the dog
7-9:30pm:
– Prepare and eat dinner with Gabi
– Do laundry (too many sweaty clothes from all the week’s workouts!)
– Cook-a-thon: Help Gabi prepare 3-4 meals for the next few days. She rocks!
9:30-10pm: plan Saturday’s bike ride,  including route, gear and nutrition.
10:30pm: read in bed
11pm: pass out.

If there are two things Ironman training will teach you, it’s time management and organizational skills!

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Things I miss during Ironman training

Ironman training has brought lots of changes to my lifestyle, most of them positive, while some of them hopefully just temporary! Here is a list of things I miss now that I am training for Ironman:

  • Sleeping in
  • Sleeping in
  • Sleeping in
  • Leisurely time
  • Socializing with non-triathlete friends
  • Just sitting in front of the TV doing nothing
  • Not feeling tired
  • Going away on weekends
  • Alcohol (nowadays more into electrolytes than booze!)
  • Drinking out of glasses instead of sports bottles
  • Wearing casual clothing (it’s either work clothes or athletic clothes these days)
  • Eating out
  • Walking down King St.
  • Having the time and energy to host friends over
  • Traveling
  • Going 24 hrs without showering
  • Staying up past 11pm
  • A clean(er) house
  • Sometimes just eating junk food!

 

How to break training routines

Nine weeks into the DC Tri Club’s Ironman training program, training sessions are getting long. This poses a couple of challenges: 1) breaking the routine of the same bike course every weekend, and 2) finding company to ride with for what feels like endless miles.

photo(54)This past weekend Gabi and I found the perfect recipe to solve these challenges. How? By getting out of town for the weekend to take part in the Peasantman triathlon training and racing weekend. A few hundred triathletes and DC Tri Club members descended upon Lake Anna State Park for the weekend as well. This meant the Club organized a bike ride Saturday morning, which we joined in the company of dozens of others on the roads. Upon finishing the ride, we benefited from a bonus open water swim in the lake. Short swim, but awesome because it was the first open water swim since last Fall. The openness of the lake gave me a sense of freedom and exposure to the natural elements not felt in the pool.  It was also great to build up confidence for our first race of the season, Ironman 70.3 Raleigh on June 1st. On Sunday we went for our scheduled training run in the beautiful surroundings of Lake Anna.

10154379_850282311653048_3418845169731619306_nA lot of other great things happened between these training sessions that made the weekend even more gratifying. We were not racing Peasantman on Sunday, instead we chose to volunteer and engage with the triathlon community and the DC Tri Club from a different perspective.

On Saturday afternoon we worked the packet pickup table, where it was great to talk to many of the first timers about their upcoming race. This was followed by a cookout under blue sunny skies. Saturday night we camped out and made new friends. I am particularly grateful to fellow Club member Allison for sharing her campsite with us and making the overnight trip possible. On Sunday we volunteered again at an aid station along the course. We saw athletes come through on the bike and on the run, and of course, cheered for them out loud. Gabi put her mad photographic skills into use and took lots of athlete action photos.

Can’t wait for the next training weekend outing!