Back to the future

Last time I did a tri was Iron Girl Columbia 2007

If I have one piece of advice for a new endurance athlete, it’s never say never. If I had a dime for everyone I’ve ever heard say “I’ll never run a marathon” just after finishing their first 5k, or “I’ll never do an Ironman” after finishing up a sprint triathlon, just to see them turn around and do just that–you can finish the rest. I’ve learned this lesson myself by allowing similar words escape my mouth years ago when just getting started.

And just when I was pretty sure I was done with triathlons, here I am training for two this summer. Never say never. I don’t even know where this urge to do them again came from, but there it is. Don’t get me wrong, running is STILL my focus, but I am having a really good time training like a triathlete again. Here’s a picture of how my last week’s training shook out:

Swim: I couldn’t swim until last Thursday while I waited to have my stitches removed, so I only got in two swims. But for the remainder of the summer, I’d like to aim for three per week. The swim is the least of my concerns, however, because I navigate well, have no open water fears and can get through it in respectable time, even without a ton of training.

Bike: I got in five, yes five, rides last week! I can’t really believe I am enjoying the bike this much again. Honestly, it was my lack of enthusiasm for the bike that has kept me away from triathlons for the past five years. I’m not doing anything longer than about 30 miles, and for a sprint, that’s just fine. After I’ve got a nice base going again, I’ll add in a day of hill repeats and/or time trial effort rides to up the fitness level here. I can ride fairly well if I work at it, but of the three events, it’s my weakest.

Run: I’m running around 40 miles per week right now, with a long run in the range of 14 to 16 miles and one day of speed per week. With all the ups and downs I’ve had with running this spring/early summer, my running fitness isn’t where I’d like it to be. But I’m going to get there.

All in all, I’m feeling pretty good. My favorite workout day last week was Saturday–I ran 14 in the early a.m., and then went out for a nice easy, hour-long shake-out spin in the late afternoon. I felt fantastic after this effort. As much as I love running fitness, triathlon fitness feels that much better, I’ll admit–more well rounded, stronger, just more. For an endorphin freak like me, that’s a good thing.

Speaking of my triathlons, one will be the Iron Girl sprint here in Columbia, Md. I’ll be racing this as part of Team Fight which benefits the Ulman Cancer Fund. This means I need to raise $750 to toe the line. I’ve got a great raffle lining up for anyone donating $10 or more (actually every $10 donated gets you an entry) and I’ll be sharing this basket of goodies to tempt you to donate next week. Until then, if you’re so inclined, you can go HERE and make a donation to this great cause. Thanking you in advance.

Anyone else waffle like a politician between running and triathlon? Which do you prefer? 

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    • says

      You are just amazing.
      I’ve been toying with the tri idea for a while now… my mind keeps telling me I can’t do it… I need a new mind.

  1. MJ says

    Gotta ask – how do you break up your 40 miles of running? (I’m hoping to get up to that # and always looking to learn from faster folks!) the LR of 14-16 I can see – how long is your speedwork, how many other days do you run/for how long? Thanks and glad you’re doing well!

  2. says

    Welcome back !

    I am having an affair with my bike right now as well. The pool and my Brooks kicks are feeling a little neglected. I am still spending time with them but they can sense my heart is with the sexy carbon blue and black speed machine (-:

    Nice job on keeping the running miles up – that is hard to do when tri training!
    Jeff Irvin recently posted..I Am Triathlete … Hear ME ROAR!!!My Profile

  3. says

    I truly thought I would take up biking since most of my ‘run’ friends are also tri/du athletes but I haven’t…
    And realistically, I don’t think I will. I have a healthy fear of the bike and with my hubs training, one of us has to try to keep our household together.
    ..Get back to me next year though. Never say never.
    Laura recently posted..Where I’ve been and What’s down/upMy Profile

  4. says

    I also thought I’d never do a triatholn but I did my first sprint a month ago. I have to say I didn’t love it. It was the bike that, for one I wasn’t very good at, and 2 kinda bored on the bike. But I understand about feeling more well rounded. I’ll do another, bigger, better organized one hopefully soon. Ugh I need to do something soon!
    Ps still loving the LASIK?
    Fueled by Spite recently posted..This not thatMy Profile

  5. says

    That’s so true, about the never say never. I said that about marathons and have done 7. I have said that about Tri’s and know it’s probably true though. However I’m also saying that about an Ultra and have a feeling that one may not be. Good luck with the tri training! I’m sure you’ll do great!

  6. says

    Last time I did a triathlon was in 1986. I know….hard to believe but yes, they did exist back then. I think two of them the swimming was last and ended in a pool. I am going to do a sprint tri this August, which is kinda exciting. All part of a big plan for when I turn 50 next year. :)
    Jill recently posted..America’s Highest Road Race: Nailed it!My Profile

  7. says

    I waffle. I have to say though in my heart of hearts I think tri’s are my favorite. I like the variety.
    Stoked to hear your riding is coming along. I hope your training continues to move along so well.
    Keep up the good work.
    Missy recently posted..I got a bike fitMy Profile

  8. says

    I am definitely more of a runner, but I just entered my first tri a couple days ago (I won the entry) and I am freaking out a bit. I haven’t set foot in the water yet, and the race is in August. Yikes! Out of my comfort zone for sure, but that is what life is all about right? :) Great training last week!
    hikermom recently posted..I Am in the Club!My Profile

  9. says

    I’m going to become more of a triathlete, especially since my goal is to do an Ironman! Unfortunately this year my husband and I could only do two triathlons, we were only going to do one so two is great, but next year we will definitely do more! I enjoy running just as much though!

  10. Denise P. says

    I did a couple tris early last year while working through overuse knee injuries. I tried to put on a happy face and be okay with skipping out on my beloved half’s but it didn’t last long. I was back to my longer distances soon.

    But… in the last week I’ve gotten on this huge biking kick. I bought a trainer and am finally going to invest in a road bike and train for a metric century in the fall. I think I could be happy cutting my half mary’s to a few times per year and doing the cycling more. (Only problem is I can’t transport my bike in my vehicle so I’m always left to borrow a truck from my parents.) Plus, the bike races around here seem to be cheap compared to runs. The 60 miler is only $35 and looks like it includes quite a few goodies.

    I’ll also be doing my 3rd tri in September – less than a week after my 10th half marathon! but just because I got half price registration on a deal website. :)

  11. says


    I think we’re alike in that we fit the ‘Runner/Triathlete’ mold. Who says you have to fit in one camp or the other?

    Your training looks solid and fun-hope you have a great season back in tri:)

  12. says

    That’s exciting that you are going to do 2 Tri’s this summer. I’m going to “try” an Olympic tri at the end of July. Running is my comfort zone, so adding the biking and swimming are certainly challenging to me physically and mentally.

    P.S. I fixed my blog comments, stop by again if you get a chance. :)
    Beth @ Miles and Trials recently posted..God and cookiesMy Profile

  13. says

    hmmm ‘triathlon fitness’ now I’m intrigued, wonder what that feels like? Maybe once I’ve found some running fitness I will think about finding out (in say 10 years time!)

  14. says

    I’m a waffler like you and love going back and forth! I’ve done Iron Girl the last two years and really enjoyed it, but I’m skipping it this year to do age group nationals in Vermont. So what’s the other tri you’re doing?!
    Alison @ racingtales recently posted..Why I Won’t DNFMy Profile

  15. says

    This post is such great timing, after just signing up for my first tri this week! I’m trying to work out what my training should look like- so far I have two bike rides and one swim built in per week, but as the swim is by far my weakest, I need to find ways to get in the pool more. I’ll definitely be doing some two-a-days to fit it all in, and I guess that’s helpful for tri training anyway. I don’t expect to get hooked on tris- racing a run is so much easier, but I do really like mixing up my training with the bike and swim.
    Laura recently posted..Mixing protein powder and runnersMy Profile

  16. says

    I’m gonna say it: I’ll never do a triathlon. Okay, I just said it to give you another example if it does happen. I would say I am 90% sure that I won’t. The only way I see myself doing one is if I feel like I have conquered running and hit my best. Then it would be “what is the next challenge?” I’m a long way from that, so let’s see if I owe you a dime in the future.

    Good luck. Swim, Bike and Run Strong!
    PavementRunner recently posted..Playlist Thursday: Summer SongsMy Profile

  17. says

    Yes I do go back and forth between the two. I understand though for me, if I have a “big” event I have to commit to one or the other for hardcore training. I have like workout ADD though and get bored so soooo easily. This year it’s 100K trail race, next year I really want to do a 70.3
    Julie (@ROJRunning) recently posted..Three Years Already?My Profile

  18. says

    My husband is a triathlete so I’ve been to loads of them as a spectator and I’d love to try one, but I can’t swim. I mean I CAN swim, but I’m sooooo bad. I think I’d freak out in a crowd in the open water!

    Good for you for going for it! Sounds like you’ve chosen a great next race, too!
    Jan recently posted..Raging Road Rally 5K {Lanark, IL}My Profile