half ironman training -- week 9 (down week and crazy news)

here is the breakdown from week 9 of my half ironman training. 

down week
things come up in life and throw plans off. that's a given. week 9 was one of those weeks for me. the other service manager that i split shifts/responsibilities with was on vacation so i opened/closed everyday and had a LOT on my plate. i worked close to 70 hours so it didn't leave a lot of time for training or sleep. i fit in what i could, but my training definitely suffered. week 10 will be a repeat of week 9 due to so many missed workouts. 

crazy news
also...sad news/reality hit for me this week. as you probably know by now, my wife and i are in the adoption process and will be travelling to east africa very soon. we'll end up being there roughly 4-5 weeks and i don't think there will be many opportunities for me to train while we're there. we were planning to be gone and back home by summer so the thought of a july race seemed to be perfect. well, that's the "plan according to Tony," but the "plan according to God" looks quite a bit different. now, as i'm about a month out from the half ironman on july 27th it seems to be just about impossible. the only way it'll work now is if we haven't even left for east africa yet and to be honest with you....i can't even think that way at this point. 

i'm looking ahead at some fall races and have something brewing that could end up being better in the end. it would involve some slight travel and would cost a bit more, but i'm taking one step at a time.

Week 9 // June 17 - 23

Swim 1500 yards w/ main set 10x75 sprints, RI=20
Run 1 mile easy, 2.5 @ 5k pace, 1 mile recovery, 1 mile easy


Bike 55 minutes w/ 4x4 minutes hard efforts scattered


Swim 1500 yards w/ main set 3x300 race pace, RI=30
Run 6 miles moderate w/ 4x10 second hill sprints


REST (or) Strength Train


Bike 40 minutes moderate w/ 20 minutes comfortably hard

Swim 2200 yards moderate
Run 14 miles moderate


Bike 60 miles moderate
Run  10 minutes @ race pace

monday breakdown: 

tuesday breakdown: 

wednesday breakdown: 4.15 mile run in 33:16 after a 13ish hour work day. it was really tough. enough said.

thursday breakdown: 

friday breakdown: 

saturday breakdown: i was determined to get in some weekend training after my crazy week of work, so i went out for about 22 miles on the bike and pushed it hard and finished in barely over an hour. i ran straight off the bike for just about 2 miles. 

sunday breakdown: sunday i did about 8.3 miles around a 8:20/mile pace so i got in a good workout, but obviously not what was scheduled. 

weekly weigh-in:   176.8   on 6/9/13
previous weekly weigh-in:    175.9  
difference:   + .9   
total weight difference:   - 10.4   


half ironman training -- week 8

here is the breakdown from week 8 of my half ironman training. 

Week 8 // June 10 - 16

Swim 1400 yards w/ main set 8x75 sprints, RI = 20

Run 1 mile easy, 1.5 @ 5k pace, 1 mile recovery, 1 mile easy


Bike 50 minutes w/ 5x3 minutes hard efforts scattered


Swim 1400 yards swim w/ main set 2x300 race pace, RI = 20

Run 5.5 miles moderate w/ 4x10 second hill sprints


Bike 40 minutes moderate w/ 18 minutes comfortably hard


REST (or) Strength Train

Swim 2000 yards w/ main set 1500 yard time trial

Run 13 miles moderate

Bike 55 miles moderate

monday breakdown: holy fatigue, batman! although my scheduled rest day was friday due to my work schedule, i moved things around to give me monday off. the weekend of training before was intense and my body felt it the next day! i was proud of myself for finally incorporating strength training into my plan. i did a short session of about 20 minutes of bench press, dead lift, squats, curls, and sit ups. my arms were still burning tuesday. yes...i realize how embarrassing that is.

tuesday breakdown: tuesday morning was a great cycling session. i've been noticing i'm getting a little quicker. today i knocked out 17.11 miles in 50:12 so it just a hair over a 20 mph pace. love it!

wednesday breakdown: i had a good training session wednesday morning. my swim was so-so....1400 yards in 26:28, but my 6 mile run felt pretty good and i finished that in 48:17. 

thursday breakdown: thursday was a pretty long day since i was determined to get in my "extra" workout due to my week being chaotic. i got in my 1400 yard swim in 25:59 and my 4 miler in under 8 minute miles, but i also managed to fit in my 40 minute bike ride and squeaked out about 12 miles. it was a loooong day, but totally worth it in the end. 

friday breakdown: REEEESSSTTT DAY!!! oh, and a 13 hour work day. whatevs...

saturday breakdown: i love the weekends! seriously...what better way to kick off a weekend with a nice 2000 yard swim and then running 13 miles. am i right or am i right. you might be thinking i'm being sarcastic, but i'm actually not. i love doing a couple hours of hard training early on a saturday. my swim felt great and i finished the 13 miler in 1:51:39. i honestly was really hoping for under 1:50:00, but i think i pushed it a bit hard on the swim before. 

sunday breakdown: wow! 55 miles on a bike is faaaaaaaaaaar. 55 miles in/on anything is far. holy crap. the weather was decent this morning as i got ready to head out, but i had a little tightness in my left leg that had me a bit nervous. i loaded up with water and some gels and took off. my route i made was insane. a lot of hills and head wind at first until it finally flattened out a little for the rest of the route. i surprisingly didn't feel too bad after i got the hard part of the route out of the way, but i battled some more wind toward the end. i took 3 quick breaks: the first one to put my freakin' chain back on, second one for a pee break, and another about 30 miles in to chug some water and swallow a gel. the final stretch of 15-20 miles went by pretty quick and getting home felt SO good. final time was 2:59:31 so maintaining an 18.3 mph average felt pretty good, too. 

weekly weigh-in:   175.9   on 6/2/13
previous weekly weigh-in:    174.9  
difference:   + 1   
total weight difference:   - 11.3   


half ironman training -- week 7

here is the breakdown from week 7 of my half ironman training. 

Week 7 // June 3 - 9

Swim 1300 yards w/ main set 6x75 sprints, RI = 20

Run 1 mile easy, 1.5 @ 5k pace, 1 mile recovery, 1 mile easy


 50 minutes w/ 6x2 minutes hard efforts scattered


Swim 1300 yards w/ main set 2x300 race pace, RI = 30

Run 5 miles moderate w/ 4x10 second hill sprints


REST (or) Strength Train


Bike 40 minutes moderate
w/ 15 minutes comfortably


Swim 2000 yards moderate

Run 12 miles moderate



Bike 50 miles moderate

Run 20 minutes moderate

monday breakdown: my swim felt pretty decent, but i wasn't impressed with my time. 1300 yards in 26:27...ehh. my run was a little better: 4.2 miles in 34:45 with amazing sunshine and about 65 degrees!

tuesday breakdown: wow...if only every ride was as good as tuesday's! although i really thought i was averaging over 20 mph, i was happy with my time in the saddle on this 50 minute ride. i had great weather, too!

wednesday breakdown: wednesday was national running day. yay? i apparently didn't look at my training plan right because i went out for a 1400 yard swim that took me 26:50 and then knocked out about 6 miles in gorgeous weather. ran pretty close to 8:00 miles so it felt great. my schedule actually called for a 1300 yard swim and a 5 miler. hmm...

thursday breakdown: rest day. 

friday breakdown: i had a great ride friday afternoon. there was a bit of a north wind, but i was really feeling good. i told myself before i rolled out that i'd try to take it easy due to my weekend of intense training about to happen, but i pushed it hard anyway. 13.42 miles in 39:51 so i finally averaged 20+ mph. 

saturday breakdown: friday night i checked the weather for the weekend and decided to switch my weekend workouts. the weather was supposed to be gorgeous (and wind free) on saturday with a chance of storms on sunday. i asked myself, "do you want to run or ride in the rain?" no brainer. saturday i went out for my 50 miler which was crazy for me. i've never gone that far and of course was nervous. it went well with the obvious heavy legs and absolute craving to be done. i ended up holding an 18.3 mph average so i was really impressed. that wasn't it. i then hopped off my bike and went out for a 20 minute run. i have NEVER felt my body in this state and it was creeeeepy. my legs felt like they weren't there and i actually thought something was wrong. fortunately, i've done a few smaller bricks so i tried to keep composure and just hold onto my form and run through it. by the time my 20 minutes were up i was literally praising God to be done, but was so proud of myself to getting this day of training under my belt. 

sunday breakdown: last night i was trying to figure out (as usual) how i was going to fit in my training before church on sunday morning. my original plan was to walk in the gym right as it opens to get in my 2000 yard swim and run home to get my 12 miler in, but fortunately Emily thought of a better idea. she simply asked, "what if you run to the gym, get your swim in, and then i'll pick you up"? so that's what i did. i got up around 5:30 and ate a good breakfast. drank a couple cups of coffee and was out the door. most of this 12 mile route is in the country between the town i live in and the town my gym is in, so right around mile 6 i came up to a barking/growling dog charging me. i did what any runner in their right mind would do.....i climbed up in a tree in a nearby house. yeah, that happened. i was hoping the dog would run by and i would be able to run off leaving it in the distance. nope. it just sat down on the side of the road continuing to bark at me while i approached the road again. here's where the story gets awesome. a car came toward me after going by the dog and slowed. she waved. i waved. she slowed down. i gave her the old, "i'm in a bit of a pickle," look and so she stopped. she asked if it was my dog and i told her no, but it's definitely not friendly. i explained to her that i'm running from town to town and that i had an odd request. she looked very confused and then i asked her if she would just be able to drive me beyond the dog and let me out. in my head i was telling myself that she better not do it. she has no idea who i am. i could be a crazy murderer, but she agreed. she was super sweet and i ended up sitting in the backseat cause i felt bad. she drove by the dog and i gave it a dirty look. you know...the one that shows you mean business and you just won. anyway, to make a long story longer i hopped out, thanked my new friend, and finished my run in about a 8:15/mile pace. my swim started really terrible. my legs were so fatigued from my run and i just wasn't feeling it. fortunately, like any other hard training session you just muscle through it and it ended well. SO thrilled to get through this tough week of training and looking forward to getting stronger this coming week. 

weekly weigh-in:   175.9   on 6/2/13
previous weekly weigh-in:    174.9  
difference:   + 1   
total weight difference:   - 11.3   


half ironman training -- week 6

here is the breakdown from week 6 of my half ironman training. 

Week 6 // May 27 - June 2

Swim 1000 yards w/ main set: 8x50 sprints RI=20
Run 4.5 miles w/ 6x30 second hard efforts scattered


Bike 40 minutes w/ 6x1 minute hard efforts scattered


Swim 1000 yards w/ main set 2x200 race pace, RI = 20
Run 4 miles moderate


Bike 40 minutes moderate w/ 8 minutes comfortably hard


REST (or) Strength Train


Swim 1400 yards moderate
Run 9 miles moderate


Bike 35 miles moderate

monday breakdown: monday went....well, it went. since i had the day off i got to get my training in at my own time. i still ended up getting to the pool pretty early and my swim went well. no crazy fast times, but my form felt really good. it was pouring rain at the gym so i was hoping by the time i got home it'd be done, but it wasn't. i went out and did the 4 miler in the rain. it happens.

tuesday breakdown: tuesday was my first skip day of my training. i've used rest days and struggled to get training in on certain days, but it was pouring rain when i got up and the morning is really the only time i have to get outdoor training done on tuesdays since i get home too late. combine missing training and eating crappy with an overly stressful day and the combination isn't that great. 

wednesday breakdown: i had a pretty decent swim and my form has been feeling better during my workouts lately. my run after went well and i owe most of that to the sunshine which has been missing during most of the past week or so. in the evening i actually decided to go out and pedal the 40 minute ride i skipped tuesday, but about a quarter way into it i got ANOTHER flat tire. i couldn't believe it! that makes 3 in about a month and a half. 

thursday breakdown: due to my flat tire i decided to go out for a 4 miler before work. i realized shortly afterward that i hadn't run on fresh legs for quite sometime due to my swim/run training days. almost all of my runs since i started training have been on "wet" legs (yeah, i thought of that on my own) right out of the water, so running right when i got up felt great. finished my run in about a 7:40 pace so i felt good. oh, plus it was my birthday thursday so i was in a good mood. 

friday breakdown: friday was my actual scheduled rest day and of course i felt lazy...especially since tuesday was a skip day. i wanted to try to find a way to fit in a workout, but knew i needed the rest to prep for the weekend. my parents were overly generous and bought me two new tires for my bike so i ended up getting those on my bike friday night and making sure i was good for my long ride on sunday. 

saturday breakdown: oh how i love the weekend....especially when i don't have to work. i was able to sleep in (7:30!!) and eat a good breakfast with a couple cups of coffee at my own pace. i went to the gym around 9:00 to get my training in and my 1400 yard swim went really well. again, my form has been feeling really on so that helps. i wasn't too excited about running 9 miles after, but i went out anyway. i had a route planned and actually did something i don't normally do. i broke route and ended up running around the town and ran by time. i assumed i'd finish the 9 miles in apx 8:30/mile pace so i decided i'd call it good when i got around 1:16:00 and made it back to the gym at 1:16:50. it's always such a great feeling to have such a good workout in before noon on a saturday!

sunday breakdown: sunday was a little rough. i just wasn't feeling it on the bike and to be completely honest...i was already preoccupied with thinking about next week's training. i was scheduled for 35 miles, but that turned into a fast 20 miler with a 3/4 mile run straight off the bike. it was a decent workout overall. 

weekly weigh-in:   174.9   on 5/27/13
previous weekly weigh-in:    173.7  
difference:   + 1.2   
total weight difference:   - 12.3   


half ironman training -- week 5

here is the breakdown from week 5 of my half ironman training. 

Week 5 // May 20 - May 26

REST (or) Strength Train


Bike 45 minutes w/ 4x3 minute hard efforts scattered


Swim 1200 yards w/ main set: 10x50 sprints RI=20
Run 4.5 miles w/ 6x1 minute hard efforts scattered


Bike 40 minutes moderate w/ 12 minutes comfortably hard


Swim 1200 yards w/ main set:3x200 race pace, RI= 20
Run 5 miles moderate w/ 4x10 second hill sprints


Swim 1800 yards moderate
Run 11 miles moderate



Bike 45 miles moderate
Run 15 minutes off the bike moderate

monday breakdown: what a great way to start a harder week of! most weeks my rest day flips between thursday or friday, but after my training last week i switched it up to help speed recovery and assure that i could get through week 5.

tuesday breakdown: tuesday was a decent workout. honestly, my weekday bike training has been surprisingly good. i completed 14.33 miles in the 45 minute ride. 

wednesday breakdown: my swim went well: 1200 yards in 21:36 and very pleased. my training plan called for a 4.5 mile run, but the route i've been running is 4.2 so i figure that's close enough. 4.2 miles in 34:47...was just happy to have it done and in the books.

thursday breakdown: so thursday i got another flat tire on my back. bad luck, i guess. it looked like a piece of glass, but on the bright side i got to change the flat on my own. my 40 minute ride was cut short to about 32 minutes, but i managed to get a little over 9 miles in. i was a little discouraged with thursday's training. 

friday breakdown: my swim/run days are becoming a little more difficult each week, but friday was good overall. my 1200 yard swim felt decent but took me a little long: 24:12. i was pretty happy with my 5 mile run with a time of 41:20. 

saturday breakdown: i was very nervous about my weekend training since last weekend was so difficult, but saturday's training was great! Emily had to work so i asked her if she'd drop me off at the gym to swim and then i could just run home from there. since she's the best ever she said sure and got up even earlier to help me out. my 1800 yard swim felt great. i fueled/hydrated properly pre and post swim and finished the apx. mile swim in 36:24. i tried out some sports jelly beans between my swim and run and drank plenty of water before heading home. i've also been battling cramping during certain workouts, so i took a salt pack pre-run, too. on our way to the gym i stashed two water bottles on my route. one around mile 4 and one around mile 8. i took two gels around the time i took water and felt great the whole time. the cooler weather was a big help, too. i finished the 11 miler in 1:36:41, so it was a little slower than i hoped but that's the way it goes. 

sunday breakdown: today was tough, both mentally and physically. mentally because the weather forecast sucked. when i went to bed last night it said 70% chance of t-storms early morning, so i didn't set an early alarm and planned on training in the afternoon. i woke up around 6:45 and checked and it switched to only 40% in the morning and then 70% in the afternoon. Emily and i need to leave for church by 10:30, so i already knew i wouldn't have enough time to get my scheduled workout in, but i also knew if i didn't do anything then i wouldn't get much in later. i shoved some breakfast down and chugged some water and took off. i got 30 miles on the bike in 1:39:38 (15 mph crappy wind!) and my 15 minute run off the bike was brutal. it was about 50 degrees out and with the wind my feet went pretty numb. i actually didn't begin to feel them until i got in. i was surprised to see i covered about 1.85 miles in the 15 minutes, but i guess it was good i couldn't feel anything from the waist down. 

week 4 weigh-in:  173.7  on 5/20/13
previous weekly weigh-in:    178.6  
difference:   - 4.9  
total weight difference:   - 13.5*   

*it seems that training for a half ironman distance triathlon can help you drop some pounds...


half ironman training -- week 4

here is the breakdown from week 4 of my half ironman training. 

Week 4 // May 13 - May 19

Swim 1100 yards w/ main set: 8x50 RI=20
Run 4.5 miles w/ 6x45 second hard effort scattered


Bike 45 minutes w/ 6x2 minute hard effort


Swim 1100 yards w/ main set:3x200 race pace, RI=30
Run 4.5 miles moderate w/ 4x10 second hill sprints


Bike 40 minutes moderate w/ 10 minutes comfortably hard


REST (or) Strength Train


Swim 1600 yards includes 1000 yard time trial
Run 10 miles moderate


Bike 40 miles moderate

monday breakdown: monday was okay. i was really feeling the previous weekend's training, so i had heavy legs going into my swim. 1100 yards in 20:50 and my form felt decent. my 4.2 mile run after went fine. i didn't feel like i pushed it too hard, but at the same time didn't take it too easy. finished in 34:55.

tuesday breakdown: basic bike day. legs felt decent and i had great riding weather...with the obvious wind that seems to NEVER go away. held an average 18.5 mph pace. 

wednesday breakdown: my first swim session went pretty good. i completed the 1100 yards in 20:50 and went onto my run and finished the 4.2 miles in 34:15. later on i was able to get a second swim session in and stubbornly swam the race distance (1.2 miles!) in 37:41! made my day. 

thursday breakdown: thursday was a good day on the bike. i averaged a little over 19 mph for about 45 minutes. 

friday breakdown: REST DAY! 

saturday breakdown: i unfortunately had to work most of saturday, but was able to go straight to the gym to get my swim session in after. i finished the 1600 yards in 30:14 and felt really great. then i ran home from the gym and all hell broke loose. it was a 10 miler and it was about 87 degrees. nothing too terrible, but i got pretty dehydrated and actually had to make an unexpected pit stop at a local food market to get a bottle of water. i was so incredibly thankful to get this workout done! finished the run in 1:36:17. 

sunday breakdown: i wasn't able to get up early enough to get my long 40 mile ride in before church, so it was put on the back burner until later in the day. mistake. i planned on pedalling mostly east and a little south to my parents house and have them drive me back home. the wind ended up being way too much, so i had to regroup and ended up going about 20 miles there and then turning around and heading home. it was honestly a really hard ride because of the wind, but it felt really great to finish a 40 mile ride! done in 2:30:17...not terribly impressive, but VERY thankful for a finishing time!

week 3 weigh-in:  178.6  on 5/13/13
previous weekly weigh-in:    180.1  
difference:   - 1.5  
total weight difference:   - 8.6   


half ironman training -- week 3

here is the breakdown from week 3 of my half ironman training. 

Week 3 // May 6 - May 12

Swim 1000 yards w/ main set: 6x50 sprints RI = 20
Run 4.5 miles w/ 6x30 second hard effort scattered


45 minutes w/ 8x1 minute hard effort


Swim 1000 yards w/ main set:2x200 race pace, RI = 30
Run 4.5 miles moderate w/ 4x10 second hill sprints


REST (or) Strength Train


Bike 40 minutes moderate w/ 8 minutes comfortably hard


Swim 1400 yards moderate
Run 9 miles moderate



Bike  35 miles moderate
Run 10 minutes off the bike moderate

monday breakdown: monday was tough. i had a terrible swim workout and just couldn't get into a groove. my breathing was off and my form made it feel like i had never swam before. my run after went okay, but it was just an off day.

tuesday breakdown: i got a nice ride in and pushed it at a pretty decent pace. in 45 minutes i made it just about 14 miles holding an average 18.5 mph pace. i was happy with that.

wednesday breakdown: MUCH better swim workout on wednesday. 1000 yards in just over 18:00, so i felt good with that pace. my run went well and i think a big reason was due to me forgetting my watch. 

thursday breakdown: oh, how i love my rest day. it worked out well since the weather was crap on thursday, too.

friday breakdown: friday was rough. i had a busy day at work, but knew i had to fit in my ride. went well and i was pleasantly surprised. i ended up holding a 19.2 mph pace for just shy of 45 minutes. 

saturday breakdown: so it seems that friday was nothing! i had to work so that made it very difficult to fit in my training. i actually woke up at 4:00am to fit in my 9 miler (1:17:51) and took care of the swim workout later in the day. i swam the 1400 yards (.8 mile) in 27:19 so i felt pretty happy with that, too. training plus work made for a LONG day, but it was great to celebrate a friend graduating college that night! GO ALEX!!!!

sunday breakdown: ugh...sunday sucked. i have this issue with my toes and cycling in the cold. the issue is that they freeze and i lose feeling. minor issue i know, but it was about mid-40's and when you're cruising around 20mph it tends to feel even cooler. i had a terrible time in the morning trying to figure out what to do. do i chance it and risk cutting my ride short? no. do i go to the gym and do my entire 35 mile ride on a stationary bike? no. do i listen to my wife when she says to pedal to the gym (around 10 miles), do some more miles on the bike, and then pedal home. yes. and it worked! oh, sunday was also my first brick in my training. a brick is where you have a bike workout and then run immediately after. i was SO done on the bike it wasn't even funny, so switching into just a 10 minute run was nice. i averaged about 17.5 mph on the bike and ran my 10 minutes in about a 7:34 minute/mile pace. i was very thankful to get this workout done!

week 3 weigh-in:  180.1  on 5/6/13
previous weekly weigh-in:    184.0  
difference:   - 3.9  
total weight difference:   - 7.1