Starting Slow & Finishing Strong

3 weeks until USAT Nationals & 12 weeks until Chicago Marathon

At the end of the big week last week, I was happy with how my body responded to a build from marathon and tri training. Going into this week I was a bit nervous that I would feel the affects of the volume. Early in the week, my legs felt shot, but after a rest day mid-week, I felt really strong in the second half.


  • Plan: Tempo Run: 3-4M @ 7:05 – 7:15 + 2500 Swim
  • Actual: 8M @ 7:55 avg. + 2500 Swim (main set: 7×100 w/5″ RI, 8×100 VO2 max)

My instructions for the run were to not attempt the 4th tempo mile “unless you feel like a million bucks”. In my head, I was convinced that I would do the 4th mile, but I promised myself that I would really try to be smart. By mile 2.5, I knew that it wasn’t even borderline. It was warm and humid and I did NOT feel like a million bucks. In fact, the tank was damn near empty, so I pushed the last half mile and called it at 3: 7:13, 7:09, 7:05. Since I ran north planning for 4 tempo miles, I had the choice of doing an extra long cool down or walking the rest of the way home after a 20 min. cool down. I decided to walk it in and while I hated going for the lower range (I NEVER do), I have to respect that I rode and swam long the day before and my body can only give so much.

I had a surprisingly productive workday {considering it was Monday and my motivation was lacking} then went to the outdoor pool for the 6 p.m. lap swim time. It was a perfectly warm night for a swim and even though the pool was fairly crowded, it felt really good to be in the water. Have I mentioned that I love swimming outdoors?


  • Plan: Strength Routine + 1:10 Easy Run +1:25 Ride w/30′ Tempo
  • Actual: Strength + 8.4M @ 8:20 + 22.75M @ 16.6 mph

It took all the motivation I had to force myself to do my strength routine before this run. With increased volume in workouts, I find myself just wanting to get out and get it done. Walter went with me for 3 miles, but it was really hot and humid so I took him back. Not sure if it was the temps or I needed a rest day but my legs were dead.

I scratched the tempo portion of the ride before I even started. My legs were already tired in the morning and I just didn’t think it made sense to push them. For it being the warmest day of the year so far, the path at lunchtime was surprisingly not AS BAD as it could have been. But I am constantly surprised how there can be a headwind in both directions in this city.


  • Plan: OFF
  • Actual: OFF

Rest days are KING in triathlon training. I was counting down the workouts to this one and took full advantage of sleeping in and being lazy.


  • Plan: Speed Workout: 6×800 @ 3:20 + 2700 Swim
  • Actual: 7.7M @ 7:47 + 2700 Swim (main set: 5×300, 4×50 sprint)

After a couple of not-so-stellar runs earlier in the week, I was hoping the rest day would turn things around. The day off definitely helped, but so did the cooler temps that showed up. It was mid-60’s and low humidity at 7:30 a.m. when I went to the track. Repeats: 3:13, 3:15, 3:15, 3:15, 3:14, 3:15. All I could think about was how Coach was going to kill me for running these WAY too fast. I really was trying to manage the pace and keep every 200 around 50 seconds. The problem was when I tried to pick it up in the last 200-300 to negative split, I ended up way too fast. But it felt smooth and controlled and my legs were recovering on the rest intervals. Oops?

An outdoor swim at lunch on an absolutely beautiful sunny day. The best.


  • Plan: Brick: 1:30 Ride + 45 min – 1:00 Easy Run 
  • Actual: 26M @ 17.3 mph + 7.25M @ 8:18 

This week had a brick instead of a long bike ride and I needed to do it Friday because Sunday was an off day for running. I also had an 8 a.m. meeting that I had to be back in time for. This meant I had to be riding as soon as it was semi-light outside. I rode out at 5:05 and was rewarded with a stunning sunrise over the lake. There was slightly more traffic than the same route on a Sunday morning (to be expected) but it wasn’t bad. I was worried how my legs would feel off the bike, so I was surprised to feel really fresh and the hour run flew by.

photo 1 (21)

The views make 4:30 wake-ups worth it.

photo 2 (24)

Taking pics at 17 mph makes them blurry 🙂


  • Plan: 1:45 Hilly Run + 2250 Swim
  • Actual: 13.1M @ 8:03 

Chanthana, Jeff and I went to the Arboretum to run hills. We started around 8 a.m. and the air was cool but it was still super humid. Jeff and I ended up staying together for almost the entire run and only split up at the very end because he was going 15 min longer than me. Despite staying out until midnight and eating a burger for dinner at 10 p.m., I felt really, really good. Jeff and I both kept blaming each other for running faster than we planned, but finally decided that we were both pulling at different points.

After the run, Chanthana, Jenny and Manny came over to use the recovery boots and we hung out in the afternoon. I would much rather have been doing that than swimming 🙂


  • Plan: 1:30 Steady State Ride
  • Actual: 25.2M @ 16.6 mph

I woke up really not wanting to ride. I was just tired and my head really wasn’t in it. Once I got out there, it wasn’t that bad, but I was very happy that it was a short one and done. I should have gone to swim (the one I skipped from Saturday) right after, but I decided to shower and do the swim after the Cubs game instead. Of course, a margarita at the game and sitting out in the sun all afternoon led to an evening on the couch with sushi instead. Such is training sometimes.


  • Swim: 5200 yds
  • Bike: 74 miles
  • Run: 44 miles
  • Time: 12 hours 0 min.

About Corey

I am a 30-something swim, bike, run addict married to my best friend and in love with my two schnoodle doggies.
This entry was posted in bike, Chicago, family, running, swimming, the lake, training, Travel, triathlon, walter, weekly recap. Bookmark the permalink.

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