Sunday, July 30, 2017

Dopey Challenge Training: Week #3

Last weekend's trip to Nashville and then returning to a 50 mile bike ride set me up completely exhausted for this week. I ended up taking an unplanned rest day on Tuesday so I could just stay home and get things done around the house. That was really the best thing because I was going to be working 4 out of the next 5 days and I wouldn't be home very much. Sometimes, you really just have to skip a workout or two and make sure your own mental tank is full, as well as the tanks of the ones you love!

So here is what Week #3 looked like:

Monday - Open Water Swim
Tuesday - unplanned rest day
Wednesday - 40:00 trainer ride; 4 mile run
Thursday - 1000 meter lap swim
Friday - 48:00 trainer ride; Pure Barre
Saturday - 10 mile long run 
Sunday - rest day

Yeah, I know what you must be thinking: "This doesn't really look much like a Dopey training plan."

Ok, so I'm going to spill the beans on my little secret, even though it hasn't been confirmed yet (which makes me a bit nervous, but I'm going to just go ahead and blurt it out).

I was able to get an entry to the Sold Out 2017 Ironman 70.3 Augusta in September!!

Isn't that exciting?! I wasn't going to say anything publicly until I received my confirmation from Ironman, which was supposed to be this week. I haven't gotten the confirmation yet, but I've been assured by the charity who I secured my registration from that Ironman has my name and email and will be getting in touch with me soon, so I'm going to go ahead and spread the word! 

So as for the training plan, it's going to switch from a Dopey training plan to the Super Simple Ironman 70.3 Training Plan that I used as a framework back in 2014 for my first Augusta 70.3 - this time I will be following it a bit more closely, however! ;) So this week I will be starting Week 9 of 16, which is a bit intimidating, but overall I'm really only behind on the long bike mileage. I'm doing pretty well on the swim and run miles. 

As it would happen, the only thing I'm really going to miss by switching away from a Dopey-focused plan are the Race Simulation weeks for July-September, but I will still get to do them in October-December, and I think that will be plenty. I will be running still on back to back days when I do brick workouts while I train for the Half Ironman. :)

I am absolutely thrilled about being able to race in Augusta again! I've been aching to do another 70.3, particularly this race so I could try to improve my performance. But I'm also not going to put a ton of pressure on myself since circumstances are different this time and my training will have to reflect that. I will train and race to the best of my ability and that will have to be sufficient! 

I can't believe it's nearly August already! Reece and I start back to school on Wednesday and her dance classes and science class start in two weeks! It's going to be a really busy month for me, but I know there are plenty of folks out there who have much more intense schedules than I do and manage to train just fine. I will have to pull some early days, like I did on Saturday when I did a 10 mile long run  at 5 AM with some ladies from my Moms Run This Town group, but that actually works out fine for me because I'm an early riser! 

Today I shared the following picture with a friend of mine who just completed her firs Oly Tri yesterday and has registered for her first 70.3 next spring: 



That's how I'm feeling right now. I'm a little scared and a lot excited! I had been hoping and dreaming and planning to race in Augusta this year and it sold out before I could save up the money. When this opportunity came to me for not much more money than a regular registration, I felt like it was just meant to be. No, I haven't had the chance to train all year like I did last time. And no, I won't have a completely open schedule where I can train whenever and wherever I please. But it will be OK! Training doesn't have to be perfect to be effective. 

And just think... in a mere 8 weeks, you'll get to listen to me ramble about doing my 2nd Half Ironman! Aren't you SO excited?!?






Sunday, July 23, 2017

Dopey Challenge Training: Week 2

Well, this week was just a tiny bit insane! I'd go into all the various details, but since it's Sunday evening and I apparently lived through it - then it really must not have been as bad as it felt at the time!

First, here is what training looked like this week:

Monday - 4 mile run plus an 800 meter swim (Pure Barre class in the evening)
Tuesday - XT (18.9 mile bike ride)
Wednesday - 4.6 mile run plus a 900 meter swim (Pure Barre class in the evening)
Thursday - XT (13.3 mile bike ride then a 4 mile run off the bike)
Friday - rest day [drove to Nashville to bring home my daughter for a few weeks]
Saturday - long run (8 miles)
Sunday -  planned rest day but instead 49.5 mile bike ride, then a 10 minute run off the bike


As you can see, that's a lot of training going on! LOL And then add in a whirlwind trip to Nashville and an unexpected 50 mile bike ride and you have one tired Niffer. It's been such a busy summer! But I'll figure out the balance! Right now? I'm so tired that I can't even think of anything to say about this week's training except that it went very well. Even the 50 mile ride felt strong! I can tell you that I will be going to bed early this evening! :D

Tonight I signed up for a Sprint Tri in August, as well as GatorFest 1.2 mile swim and Ride for a Reason 56 mile bike ride in Augusta in August! It's fun to have a few events in the calendar!

Happy training to all and to all a good night!

Sunday, July 16, 2017

Dopey Challenge Training: Week 1

Hello, out there! Niffercoo is here and ready to get back to the original purpose of this blog: to journal my experiences while training and racing! As I begin to tackle this exciting event that is the Dopey Challenge 2018, I want to chronicle the ups and downs so I can look back on it later like I have been able to do with my other big events! 

So here we go!


This week was the first week of my training for the Dopey Challenge at Walt Disney World in January 2018. In case you haven't heard of the Dopey Challenge, it's a 4 day event where participants run a 5K on Thursday, a 10K on Friday, a half marathon on Saturday, and a full marathon on Sunday - all on Disney property! This year will be the 25th anniversary of the marathon and the 5th anniversary of the Dopey Challenge, so the medals and shirts will be special! And that's why I chose to tackle this 'one and done' event this particular year! 

There are a few training plans out there for the challenge, but the one I decided to use to inspire my own training plan was developed by Jenny Hadfield. She's the wife of my beloved Penguin, and she wrote the Marathoning for Mortals book with him that I have used for the majority of my races. She wrote an article for Runner's World in 2013 on How to Train for the Dopey Challenge  - in it, she lays out a sample 8 week rotation for training and I simply used it, expanded it, and modified it to fit my own needs and VOILA! for the first time ever, I have designed my OWN training plan.

Here is what my training for Week 1 looked like:

Monday - 3 mile run [plus a one mile OWS that wasn't on the schedule]
Tuesday - XT (group bike ride, Pure Barre class)
Wednesday - 3 mile run [plus a pool swim]
Thursday - XT (group bike ride, Pure Barre class)
Friday - Long Run #1 (5 miles)
Saturday - Long Run #2 (7 miles)
Sunday - rest day

As you see, there are a few extra workouts being thrown in because I have a sprint triathlon coming up next month! Once triathlon season is over, I will split the XT (cross training) days between swimming and cycling, or I may do shorter workouts of both on the cross training days! Pure Barre is something that I've recently started for strength training. I have always been a big fan of strength training and would use weights in the gym, but this workout pushes me harder and I'm seeing much better results. I still can't even make it all the way through a workout yet, they are that challenging and are hitting my weak points! 

This coming week's training will feature only one long run, and then during Week 3 I will do a Race Simulation (4 back-to-back runs) which will happen once per month. In week 4, I will treat myself to a recovery week and a massage! The rotation continues on (with a few minor variations) in weeks 5-8 with 2 long runs, then one long run, then a race simulation, then recovery. There are rest days built in, and any XT day can be turned into a rest day whenever it's needed! I keep track of my resting heart rate to monitor if I need to take extra rest so I can avoid overtraining. 

For the first time ever, I will get to experience what it's like to fit in training not only around my family's needs but also around my part-time job at the running store! Since I have a gym membership with 24 hour access, I don't think that will be a huge problem! And I figure people have worked their training around work and family (and much more intense schedules than my own) for years and years, and I will have to learn how to be flexible and just do the best I can in the hours that I have available to me! I know it will all work out just fine and I'm not even concerned. This school year I have only one very motivated high school student left to teach, and my work hours are not overwhelming in the least! All in all, I am looking forward to this training season! 

I hope you'll stick around and share my adventures! If you're also training for Dopey 2018, please comment!