Week twelve and thirteen. March 17-23, 2013, Uneventful and finally a recovery week

The weirdest thing happened in week 12.  I was plugging away at my workouts and by the end of the week it just seemed so normal to be riding for 4-1/2 hours and starting in the dark.  I didn’t think about it or stress about it I just did it.  When I got home it was like nothing.  It actually seemed so normal.  Never in a million years did I ever think that would happen.  It felt great.  So it was a pretty uneventful week, well except for the sea urchins from Saturday’s swim.  I stepped on 4 of those suckers on my way out.  Those little suckers hurt.

Week 13 is another story.  It was recovery week and I took full advantage.  A little too much but hey I was heading to St. Thomas to surprise Steve and to see some friends.  I had every intention of running hills and getting my swim in but I chose sleep.  I sleep so much better in a hotel.  Always have and I was in a very nice one so I just could not help myself.  But it was a great trip and I am not gonna feel guilty about it.  Here is what happened when I got to St. Thomas.


Step 1-10 minutes after arrival John buys me a beer


Step 2- Steve shows up for surprise and here is the beautiful sunset


Step 3-dinner with my new best friend and great adviser (Karen is a superstar runner and she is helping me with nutrition)


Step 4-celebrate Karen’s birthday (Colin, Karen, Kayden, John, Me, Steve)


So during my visit I got to talking to Steve about my bike and how everyone keeps telling me I need a Tri-bike.  He did some research and told me to go look for one.  He is crazy but this is what he wrote to me today.

Steve message

Gotta love Steve.

Today was swim and run test.  Swim was horrible I almost made it to Cuba I was so far off with my sighting.  But no sea urchins so that was good.  Then we took off for the run test.  It was kind of funny because I just took off and went for it.  I took off too fast but I later found out that Joe was pushing it and the last time he ran passed me he yells you are killing me.  I love that.  He was pushing to pass me which means he ran harder than he might have.  I am so glad I can push people that way.  It is a good feeling.  Here we are after the run.



My stats for these 2 weeks are not that good but it is ok.  I get to start all over again next week.

Week 12 I managed 81% of training time.

Planned workout duration: 17:00
Actual workout duration: 13:50

Week 13 I managed 75% of training time (this include what I need to do tomorrow).

Planned workout duration: 11:15
Actual workout duration: 8:30

What I learned these past 2 weeks is that I really can not travel during training.  If I get away from the people who push me I go back to being a lazy triathlete.  This realization comes at a time when I have just gotten a project that will have me travel.  I think I need to find a support system for those weeks that I need to travel.

Today’s quote is from my friend Tom Fiala.  He had a little setback this past weekend and he posted this on facebook today.  I think it is perfect for today.

A bend in the road is not the end of the road….Unless you fail to make the turn.



Week eleven. March 10-15-Great week ended with a meltdown

This week my goal was to make 100% of my workouts.  I am happy to report that I did do that.  I also had some great workouts.    The highlite of the week was the bridge repeats.  As the training progresses I am running faster which helped me kill the bridge repeats.  I know I am doing good from the comments from my team mates as we run up and down the bridge.  Or when I get these kind of messages.


As the week went on the great workouts started to end.  Saturday we had an open water swim on South Beach.  The surf was crazy and as we approached we could see the man-a-wars on the beach.  I hate those things but we went in.  We had a 50 minute swim which turned out to be a 50 minute swim/walk.  It was an interesting swim to say the least.  I am not sure how many times I ended up on the shore or way too far out to sea.  All I know is that it felt like the only time I was moving was when the waves knocked me around.  At one point I was swimming along and a wave took me and when I got back up all I could hear is Christy (who was my swim buddy on this particular day) laughing her butt off.  Yes she was laughing at my expense.  Later she was describing what she saw which was just hands and feet all over the place.  I guess I would have laughed as well.

After the swim we had a 2 hour and 15 minute run.  I ran with Christy, Kristen, Derek and Liz (Elizabeth).   I was the only one without music so it was just plain boring.  The best part of that run was running into Katcat.  She was cruising along the Venetian Causeway.  I stopped to say hi and to model for this photo.


After the run it was time to go home and get ready for our trip to Haines City for Sunday’s ride.  Robert, who was driving got to my house before I did and rushed to get all my stuff.  Needless to say I forgot a few things.

So Sunday morning we head over to the park where the Haines City 70.3 starts because we were trying out the course.  It was cold and of course all I had is just a jacket.  One that is not meant for training is but I had no choice.  It was heavy and uncomfortable but it did keep me warm.  The course was fine not too hilly not too flat but somewhere we missed a turn and ended up adding 10 miles to the ride.  This just mentally killed me.  Then all of a sudden the wind kicked in.  Every time it is windy I get left behind by everyone that has a tri-bike.  I can’t cut through the wind on my road bike like they can.  Today was no different.  The wind was so strong that I was almost taken down 3 times and as I was coming to a stop the wind actually did take me down as I was trying to unclip.  I broke the fall for the bike so I can report no scratches on the bike.  As we kept going I was getting frustrated which doesn’t help and I certainly did not have the right nutrition because I was starting to hit the wall.  We found a gas station to stop at so we could refill our bottles.  I was 10 seconds away from calling a cab.  I was in complete meltdown mode.  I instead went to the bathroom grabbed some chomps and said I guess I do not have much of a choice (there were certainly some cuss words involved) so lets just go.  I took off with tears in my eyes.

Since we had added the extra ten miles we decided to not finish the course and just get back to the park.  The road we took was a really hilly highway.  On a normal day I would have had fun with it but I was physically and mentally tired so I was scared which caused me to go slow on the down hill so I was not able to keep up with the group.  The good thing is that I was actually strong going up the hills.  Knowing that the roads will be manned on race day will help me go faster on the down hills.

After 4 hours, 20 minutes and 57 miles later we finished.  I have never been so glad to get off of that bike.

We packed up the bikes and headed back to shower, have lunch and head home.  On the way back I told my group that I was glad I did not quit.  It did feel good to finish.


Victoria, Me, Robert and Christy

I was so tired when I got home but I wanted to get some stretching in.  So I start and then end up waking up at 1am on the floor. I never knew I could get that tired.

This week I managed 100% of training time.  Miracles do happen.

  • Planned workout duration:  16:35
  • Actual workout duration: 16:35

What I learned this week is that mind over matter is a reality.  If I can push through the misery I can finish.

Today’s quote:

“Pain is inevitable. Suffering is optional.” ― Haruki Murakami

Week ten. March 3-9, 2014-Crash and burn

What goes up must come down is how the saying goes and well that is exactly what happened this week.

It was sort of a hectic week in the sense that I was having minor surgery (nothing serious but required) done on Wednesday and I knew I was not going to be able to do some of my workouts.  So I shifted the schedule and doubled up earlier in the week.  It all seemed fine until Wednesday when I basically crashed at the doctor’s office.  He gave me an earful, told me I was crazy but understood why I was tackling an ironman.  He also said if I was going to do this thing I needed to get my act together.

Looking back at it now it really was not all about the doubling up on the training it also had to do with eating.  First on Tuesday I had a design review board meeting that I thought would take no more than 30 minutes.  The projects in front of us were already preliminarily approved so it should have been a formality.  So I went to my swim workout then told Andy I could do the entire weight training session and then just run in and be home early enough to get some food.  I was totally wrong.  It took 3 hours.  It was awful.  When I got home it was hard to even make a decision of what to eat.  I am not good with nutrition if I get that hungry.  I usually end up skipping the meal.  Not a good idea.  I ended up eating something like at 4pm.  I then had a dinner meeting, which meant not enough food and too much wine.

Since I was doubling up my workouts Wednesday morning I swam and then did my bike workout before I headed to the doctors appointment.  That really does explain why I crashed at the appointment.  I went home took a nap and did feel a little better but I had plans to got to dinner with my friend Sue.  When we get together it is dangerous.  Before the night ended I was like ok Sue this is it.  I cannot do this anymore until the race is over.  She did not like that but really it was the first time that I thought ‘yes it is time to say bye to my friends’.  It is a necessary evil if you are doing an ironman.  I always thought I could do it and not give up my friends but I can’t.  Sorry friends.  I will be back in July.

When Thursday rolled around I was super tired when I got a call from Steve to wish me a happy anniversary.  It’s our 15th and once again we celebrate separately.  Since I was having issues with my food intake I decided I need to just make some meals up for the weekend.  I put a stew in the crockpot, chicken and rice in the rice cooker and some beans on the stove.  Everything was working out just fine until the power went out.  Great as soon as I put all this food on the damn power goes out.  Three hours later the power is back on and my food is now cooking.


My sister Elena had called to see if I wanted to have dinner so I wouldn’t spend my anniversary alone. Her and my mom were inviting me so I said yes.  I had a great time but it is now the third night in a row that I am out eating and drinking.  It was starting to hurt.  I have never felt that before.  When I got home I went to bed and slept and slept and slept.  Friday I never even got out of my pajamas.

It was time for the weekend workouts.  Two hour run on Saturday and a four-hour ride on Saturday.  Maybe because I slept so much on Friday the workouts seemed fine on the weekend.  Well except for the fact that I was freaking about riding in the dark.

Sunday’s ride was great.  I mostly kept up with the group.  I could have done more but I was in zone 4 and I was supposed to be in zone 2 so I slowed down some.  On the way back it occurred to me that my heart rate could have been affected by the new supplements my doctor prescribed.  I mean I felt fine so when I got home I texted him.  This was his response:

Dr Lee response

I just have to say, I love my doctor.  He responds on a Sunday.  It was good to know that it was the supplements and not me that had my heart rate so high.  That means I killed the ride today.

This week I only managed 77% of training time.  This is the worst week I have had since I started.  Not surprising.

  • Planned workout duration:  15:5
  • Actual workout duration: 12:11

What I learned this week is that I am not a super human.  I have to give some stuff up in order to get to where I am gong.  It is hard but I have to do it.

This weeks quote is about keeping going even though you crashed and burned.

“One of the most common causes of failure is the habit of quitting when one is overtaken by temporary defeat.”– Napoleon Hill

Week nine. February 24-March 2, 2014-And the high continues

This week was really all over the place for me but it ended incredibly so I am going with that.  During the week I had a personal meltdown which really affected me.  That in turn affected some of my workouts but it also fueled some of them so a meltdown can be good sometimes.  It is amazing what anger can do on the bridge repeats.  I not only killed them I found the anger was gone.

As is turns out I was not the only one in meltdown.  On Saturday we did a swim test and a run test.  As we were coming out of the water we saw Kristen standing there ready to run but it was obvious that she did not do the swim.  We asked her why and she just said she didn’t feel like it.  She really did not act like herself so I went back to talk to her after I got ready for the run.  She told me that she wanted me to know that she read my blog because she needed to get inspired.  She told me she was having a personal breakdown and she was even checking to see which race she could defer to.  First the fact that she went to my blog for inspiration floored me.  This blog is for me to share my journey and so that when I am done it is all collected in one place.  Having a team mate read it for inspiration is unexpected and really almost brought me to tears.  Second Kristen there is no way in hell that you are switching races.  We are all in this together.

Off we went to the track for the run test.  As we were running people started commenting things like Espe you are getting skinnier, Espe you are running really good, Espe you are doing good and so on.  I seriously do not know what happened during the run but I just kept going faster and faster and when I finished I knew I had done well since the comments kept coming.

Earlier in the morning Christy asked if anyone wanted to go to breakfast and some of us said sure so while at breakfast I checked my watch to see the run test results.

run test


I ended up taking off 1 minute and 22 seconds off per mile since the first run test.  It really felt so good.  I can’t believe I did that in 2 months.  Later I went to Ultrabike to get my brakes adjusted.  I was telling Andreas that I had completed my run test and that I ran 8:53 minute miles for 3.38 miles and he was like damn that was fast.  Anything with an 8 in front of it is good.  Again it felt so good.  After I left I thought was it really 8:53 or was it really 9:53.  When I got home I checked it really was 8:53.  Again it felt so good.

When I got home I had to change the back tire.  It had a slow leak and did not want a flat on Sunday and it was good practice right.  While putting the tire back on I messed up the brakes and didn’t know what to do.  I called Steve but he couldn’t help me so I reached out to the coach.  I asked him to help me in the morning.  He said he would.  It ended up being that they needed to be moved.  I was too scared to put too much force for fear of making it worse.  It all worked out.

We had a 3 hour ride so we headed to Deerfield Beach.  It is a great place to ride.  It is a straight shot to Palm Beach and then back.  Only problem is the headwinds.  You get them in both directions.  It was a great ride and Christy and I managed more than 15mph average speed in Zone 2.

We all wanted to eat before heading back so Christy and Robert went to look for a place when they got back they found us sitting on this bench.  It was cold and felt so good.

group on cold bench

Leo, Joe, Me and Kristen

We ended up at Offerdahl’s Cafe and Grill and it was pretty good.  It is always nice to hang out with the team mates after a big workout.

Later that night I was texting with Andy about this week since I am going to have to miss a few workouts and in the mist of the conversation I got this response.

andy message

That last text is why I am still on a high.

SInce this was testing week and since everyone keeps telling me that I look skinnier I decided to compare the stats.  In my head I had only lost 3 pounds.  It is what the scale says so I decided to measure and look at the difference.  Boy I am glad that I did.

This is where I started

  • Weight 142 pounds
  • Bust 36.0″ Waist 32.5″ Hips  37.0″ Gut (or what I call my keg) 35.5″

This is where I am today

  • Weight 137 pounds
  • Bust 35.0″ Waist 32.5″ Hips  36.5″ Gut (or what I call my keg) 34.5″
  • And I had to put a belt on to keep my shorts up yesterday.

For a total loss of 5 pounds and 2.5 inches.  This is not bad considering I am still struggling with the nutrition.

This week I managed 84% of training time.

  • Planned workout duration:  10:40
  • Actual workout duration: 8:55

What I learned this week is that I am actually good at this.  I just need to stop being a lazy triathlete. I am working on that.

I am including two quotes today.  The first one for Kristen and the second one for Christy.

“Between you and every goal that you wish to achieve, there is a series of obstacles, and the bigger the goal, the bigger the obstacles. Your decision to be, have and do something out of the ordinary entails facing difficulties and challenges that are out of the ordinary as well. Sometimes your greatest asset is simply your ability to stay with it longer than anyone else.” ~ Brian Tracy

“It does not matter how slowly you go so long as you do not stop. ” ~ Confucius