Jul 25

Broken Workouts

Finally catching up after a great weekend.  It was a strange one workout wise as nothing seemed to want to work as planned. With weather interfering and motivation on the verge of breaking me I had to move things around in order to get everything in.


First off, I had a long swim at lunch on Friday. Once a week, my schedule calls for a long straight swim.  The rest of the swims are interval swims.  This week was 3500 yards in the pool.  It turned out to be my best swim ever.  I hit the split button on my watch every 10 lengths (250yds) to help me keep count.  When I first started this season, I would hit each 250yd in about 4 minutes flat.  On this swim, my slowest split was 3:55 and the rest of them were 3:50 or faster.  I even dropped a 3:41 final split which comes out to 1:28/100yds and still hand energy to spare.  I finished the swim in 53:34 (1:31/100yds).

That afternoon, I ducked out of work a couple hours early (after finishing all of my assignments of course) and headed over to O-H-I-O.  The Cleveland Tri Club was hosting a Rev3 Cedar Point course preview and MattyO invited me to come over and check it out.  Beings as I won’t be able to actually make it to race day, I figured this would be a fun change to check out the Rev3 course and spend some time with MattyO, Heather, and BDD.

Thankfully, I arrived just as MattyO and BDD were finishing up the manual labor with MattyO’s dad pouring a new patio.  Had I but known I was cutting it close, I would have circled the block a few times to make sure they were completely finished before I got there. haha.  While waiting for Heather to show up and dinner (courtesy of BDD) to cook, we talked about the things triathletes talk about: nutrition, training, racing, etc.


We crashed pretty early because the plan was to get up at 5:30 and be biking by 6:00.  Well, at about midnight, I awoke to some massive thunderstorms.  I checked the radar on my phone and it looked like the storms were going to be around for a while.  I faded back off and woke up around 5:30. The rain was still coming down, but the thunder had rolled off into the distance.  We ate breakfast, packed up our nutrition and headed out.  In no time though, Heather saw lightning in the distance. To be honest, I was completely oblivious to it and would have never noticed it.  I’m glad she did though because the upcoming storm was ferocious.

With the storm in the distance we decided to stick close to home base and to do a loop around Cedar Point.  Meteorologist MattyO was our man in the field pointing out the storm cells and the best way to go to avoid them. We chose a 6 mile out and back loop that encompassed the first and final 6 miles of the Rev3 course.  Wow.  What an awesome start and finish to the course. For those of you out there doing this race you are in for a treat.  It is like warp to a different part of the country.  It almost feels like Florida or something with the water and trees lining the road.

Of course, the ride could not be complete without MattyO causing trouble.  Only 8 miles into the ride, he got distracted (probably by something shiny) and stopped leaving Heather with no out except to crash into him.  Down she went. Thankfully no one was hurt except for MattyO landing in the doghouse less than an hour into the ride.

After 15 miles of riding the storm was getting closer so we packed it in.  We got back to the O’s place just in time.  The storm hit with a vengeance and we hunkered down while it passed.


During the storm, I made friends with Frankie, an 80lb lap dog. Shhhh… don’t tell Bailey.

With the storm interrupting our bike ride and having already gotten up early, we were all getting hungry.  So MattyO grilled up some cheeseburgers.  Nothing like a cheeseburger at 9:30 in the morning.

After the rain let up, we headed back out.  Because of the interruption from the storm, we altered the course a bit.  Thankfully, once we were on the course, my trusty Garmin led the way.  MattyO knew most of the course though so he led when the Garmin was acting stupid.

The course is fairly basic, head out a few miles to the loop, do two loops and head back.  Because we altered the course and started from further away, we only did a single loop of course.  That was about all any of us could take in the heat though.  With the later than planned on start, we biked through the hottest part of the day.  We were sucking down fluids as much as we could and still feeling the affects of the heat.

We got halfway through the loop and stopped at a gas station for refills. We also bought some sunscreen to reapply (remember this).  After the fillup, we all had a bit of a second wind.  This got us up the far side of the course before turning on to Frailey which is basically one long hill.  Nothing serious, but it is never ending and like a constant slap in the face.  It was bad enough doing it on one loop.  Can’t imagine coming around for a second pass.

We caught up with a large portion of the CTC training group at the aid station on Frailey. After filling water bottles and grabbing a few Oreos we headed out in a big group.  I tried to put ice in my bike helmet but it was so cold that it was giving me a headache and I had to dump it out.

MattyO flatted out shortly after the aid station giving us another chance to catch our breath. I’ve had really good luck with not getting any flats (knock on wood) so it always astounds me at how quickly people can change out a flat.  In no time we were back moving. 

The group we caught up to was pretty good.  There was one woman though who was a complainer. I’ve got no problem with saying you’re tired or that you aren’t feeling it or whatever.  But when it becomes the only thing out of your mouth, I just want to smack them. It reminds me of one of the FAQs for the Grand Rapids Marathon.


We finished up the last few miles in no time. I think we all were feeling a bit better after the final aid station and picked up the pace a bit.  I attempted to get us lost but MattyO has a better sense of direction and got us on the right path.

After the ride, we all filled up water bottles and headed out for a run.  My goal was about 30 minutes.  I was running mainly to try out my new tri shorts and tri top.  This was the first time I had rode and run in them and I wanted to test them out before Steelhead.  Wow. They worked great. I’ll probably do another quick post with my sweet new kit, but the short of it is that they were super comfortable.  It is such a relief to have found something that I feel I can wear the entire day at IMWI.

I felt fairly good on the run and managed about an 8:30 pace.  I called it quits after 25 minutes mainly because I was out of water.  20oz of water in 25 minutes. Damn it was hot out.

We attempted to cool off by jumping in the canal. Fail. The water was like a hot tub.  It was a bit cooler 3 or 4 feet down but I was so exhausted at that point that even diving under water was a chore.  After the cool off, I showered up.  After I got out of the shower, what did I see in the mirror? A sexy beast. My shoulder blades were completed scorched!!! WTF?!?! I applied sunscreen twice! My first thought was that it was in a place where I couldn’t reach but I checked and I am fully capable of applying sunscreen in all the places that burned.  I didn’t think it was that bad.  That is until I got home and it turned into giant blisters.  Yeah, not fun.  I’ll spare you the pictures because it isn’t at all pretty and actually downright disgusting. 

Anyways, after the shower, we headed out for dinner and drinks before I started the long drive home.  Not fun.  I got hit by multiple storm cells.  Where was Meteorologist Matty when I needed him!?!

Photo Jul 23, 6 55 24 PM
I was going 25mph on the expressway with the windshield wipers on
high and couldn’t see the cars in front of me. I could have gone for a swim.
Note the fact that I am still stuck on the Edge network.  Ohio, your AT&T sucks.

Despite the long drive to and from, it was totally worth it.  MattyO, Heather, and BDD are great company to ride with.  It really makes the time fly when you are hanging out with people on the ride.  It was also nice to change things up a bit and get a little different scenery than normal.  Ohio cornfields look totally different than Michigan cornfields. haha. 

It just sucks that all of us bloggers are spread so far apart.  How about we call a truce with the whole Midwest vs Texas battle and find a neutral state to take over.  Maybe Colorado? That’s kind of in the middle.  We can commandeer Colorado and make it The Great Endurance Nation.  Only runners, cyclists, triathletes and other endurance athletes are allowed.  D-bags and asshats (Jeff’s word, I take no credit for it) need not apply.


Jennie and I woke up on Sunday after sleeping in a bit.  Pretty sad when 8:00 is “sleeping in,” but such is the life of an active couple.  We had our weekly big breakfast of eggs and hash browns.  We let that digest before heading out on my long run.  While digesting, I checked in on all the peeps racing IMLP. 

I had a 2.5 hour run scheduled.  It was a major suckfest.  Honestly, I almost bailed after 6 miles.  In fact, I sort of did bail.  My stomach was feeling funky and my heart wasn’t into it.  I stopped, turned around and told Jennie I was done.  I was just going to walk the 2 miles home and quit. I told her to just go on without me but she wouldn’t listen (she never does) and stuck with me.  As I walked, I drank about half a Gatorade.  I spent a mile walking.  The entire time I was internally yelling at myself.  I’d never bailed on a run before (at least not since I started logging my runs 5 years ago), why the hell was I going to let myself start to quit now.  I kept thinking about everyone out racing IMLP thinking that I was going to let myself quit after 6 miles when most of them were probably just getting started on a 112 miles bike ride and then were going to run freaking marathon after that.

After yelling at myself enough (and drinking plenty of Gatorade), I actually started to feel better.  I turned around and started to run again.  I actually felt a lot better once I got moving.  I then decided that I still needed to change things up a bit.  This sport can’t just be all work, there has to be some fun too.  So, I decided that rather than run 2.5 hours straight, I would do 2 hours and then Jennie and I would stop home to pick up Bailey and run the final 30 minutes together.

It worked out perfectly. We got home in a little under 2 hours after logging nearly 14 miles.  Bailey couldn’t have been happier to see us.  With a quick water bottle refill, we headed out.

Even Bailey was thirsty.  He has finally mastered the puppy drinking
fountain in Gaslight Village. Only the best for this dog. He turns his nose up
on water dishes – he only drinks fresh running water.

In no time, we had logged another 3 miles.  Jennie actually managed a great pace for having just gotten 14 miles in on the bike.  She commented that her 5k time off the bike was faster than what her time was in her first 5k.  Now if that isn’t improvement, I don’t know what is.

After the run, it was time to hit the pool.  Not nearly as fast as Friday’s workout but it never is after a run.  I just plodded through my intervals.  Swimming after running always sucks but I always feel better after doing it.  It is a great way to let the legs recover and I generally don’t have any soreness afterwards.

Overall, it was an awesome weekend and I am glad that I got to spend time with both friends and my lovely wife.

Thanks for reading!

And congrats to all of the Ironman Lake Placid finishers! Can’t wait to read all about it!

Permanent link to this article: http://www.ironmanbythirty.com/2011/07/25/broken-workouts


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  1. BDD

    It was great to see you again
    BDD recently posted..Answers to your Questions – Part 1

  2. Matt Oravec

    Ummmmmm how the heck did you get that fast in the pool?!?!?! Do you have an underwater jet pack on you?

    Loved your write up haha. Luckily Heather was well behaved this weekend and there were no fireworks after the crash haha 🙂 (lucky me).

    Man, I realllllly need to get our cities to install those doggy water fountains! They seem ideal!

    Yeah, I think the heat zapped our energy or something… my run this morning was down right dispicable haha.

    Keep up the good work man, you are doing awesome and there will be huge payoffs come race day!

    Thanks again for the company and especially for slowing down enough to let us hang!
    Matt Oravec recently posted..Rev3 Cedar Point course preview day…

    1. Ironman By Thirty (Kevin)

      The Matt Fitzgerald plan is my secret. It does get criticized for being swim heavy but it obviously works. My other secret is swimming next to a former collegiate swimmer. She keeps me honest and pushes to me to the limit.

      The heat sure is brutal. But like running in the winter, it will only make us stronger runners when the weather is in our favor. We can’t pick the weather on race day so why pick it for training days.

      We’ll have to a training day in G-Rap one of these days. We could even get Matt Smith and go tackle the Steelhead course.

      PS: I forgot to mention it in the post, but the Gatorade I was drinking on my run Sunday – I gave Jennie the last sip 🙂 haha

  3. Matt Smith

    “What did I see in the mirror? A sexy beast.” I was laughing so hard!!! 🙂

    Nice work on the training this weekend. It looks like ya’ll had a bunch of fun riding and running. Frank is a big pup! Way to push on with that run. I’ve been in a funk recently and want to quit running almost every run!

    Steelhead’s coming, and it’s gonna be awesome! It’ll be nice to finally meet you. Keep up the good work.

    1. Ironman By Thirty (Kevin)


      Keep pushing through those runs. Keep building up that mental strength to make it through the run and you’ll do great at Steelhead!

      Did you by chance get the FB invite I sent you for the informal training day in Grand Haven??? If you are at all interested, let me know.

      1. Matt Smith

        I did get the invite, and thanks for thinking of me. I try to save Saturday as my day of rest (That’s my church day…) where I don’t do any training, so even though I actually really wanted to do it, I’m gonna pass and spend my time with the Lord. It looks a super fun day with a bunch of great people, so go rock the 70.3 without me! 🙂

        I’m cranking through the runs, and hopefully I’ll have that mental toughness you speak of on race day. If not, you can carry me on your back for a second lap! (since this race is really a training race for you for IMWI) I did run 9 miles out and back on the course, so I kind of know what to expect. There are a couple hills that are going to be rough, but I think I’ll be able to press through them. Jennifer was thinking about taking her bike or renting a moped for the day to go to different parts of the course and chill in downtown St. Joseph. I’m sure your Jenn would be welcome to hang out with her too. Anyway, just a thought.

        Actually, you are more than welcome to crash at our place the night before. Our duplex is super tiny, and all I can offer is an air mattress, but you’re welcome to stay here if it makes it easier for ya’ll. Let me know…
        Matt Smith recently posted..Greek Killed the Blog

  4. Jeff Irvin

    Epic weekend!

    All for taking over Colorado, either Boulder or Co Springs works – they wouldn’t know what hit them!!! We could climb hills all day long and then go fly fishing!

    Sunburn and heat exhaustion – so glad we don’t have to deal with that down here (-:
    Jeff Irvin recently posted..Ironman Lake Placid Crew

    1. Ironman By Thirty (Kevin)

      You probably don’t have as much of a problem with the sunburn as you are shorter and thus further away from the sun. haha.

      I’m in for Boulder!

  5. CouplaHounds

    Sounds like an awesome weekend! At one point or another, we all thank the peeps racing in an IM somewhere, showing us how not to bail just when the going gets tough. Way to press on!!
    CouplaHounds recently posted..Ironman Mont-Tremblant – a partial preview

  6. Jason @ Cook Train Eat Race

    Taking over CO is a down right terrific idea. Move right into Boulder and become the Mayor and Board of Directors. We can go riding, running and swimming each and every day but until then Texas = Winning!

    As for the sunburn and heat exhaustion, just what are you talking about? We have only had about 30 days of 100*+ days here so far so its been a fairly mild summer.

    And seriously doesn’t it suck when you jump into a lake to cool off and the bath would be cooler than the lake?
    Jason @ Cook Train Eat Race recently posted..Make This, Don’t Buy That – Almond Butter Cups

  7. Chris @ Tri4Success

    Colorado is already ground zero for serious cyclists, but I’m not much of a climber so I’ll stick to “Texas hills”. If you’re ever down this way I’ll introduce you to a 110lbs lap dog. He’s really great for unplanned deep tissue massage!
    Chris @ Tri4Success recently posted..Blazing Saddles Duathlon

  8. Heather

    So, shortly after you left I turned to Matt and said, “Kevin’s going to qualify for Kona, isn’t he?!?!?!” I am amazed at how fast you are on the bike and how effortless your run looked. All your hard work is paying off and I see nothing but good things in your future as a triathlete!

    We had an excellent time this weekend. Frank is still moping around the house in Kevin withdrawal. Thanks for letting Matt and I tag along and for playing with us in the lake 😉 Thanks for dinner too! I still feel bad about the $12 chicken tenders. We owe you next time!!!

    1. Ironman By Thirty (Kevin)

      Wow. I’m at a loss for words. You are too kind! Kona isn’t even on my mind though. I’ll admit that I looked at the Kona qualifying times last year when I signed up, but definitely not in the cards for this year.

      You and Matt are having a great season as well. You are both going to do awesome at Cedar Point and I just wish I could be there to watch. I guess I have about 7 weeks to develop some sort of time machine. Or, I need to get someone who is spectating it to do a live video stream or something.

      You don’t owe me anything! $12 chicken fingers is more than worth a place to crash and great company for the ride. Although next time I could do without the sunburn. 🙂

  9. Colleen

    Wish we could have gotten up there this weekend and trained with all of you! 🙂 Would have been fun… although if Matty had made me crash, I would have been done! 🙂

    I love that picture of Bailey… too cute!

    1. Ironman By Thirty (Kevin)

      We’ll all have to arrange another training day (or another race) in the future. We’d love to hang out with you guys again!

      You gotta watch out for MattyO! He is dangerous on the road! haha. So far, he has only crashed into Heather (as far as I know) so you are probably safe.

  10. ELizabeth

    Nice work. I’ve been on runs before where I really felt like crap the first several miles…but then felt a lot better as the run progressed. It’s weird. It’s like you stop fighting the run and just sink into a stride, then boom! you feel relaxed and better and knock out the rest of the mileage. (and btw 14 miles in 2 hours is FAST!–at least for this slow-runner here.)
    ELizabeth recently posted..A Rightly Timed Pause

  11. Mandy

    I am so jealous you got to hang with the OH crew!

    How dare you cheat on Bailey. But Frank is so cute!!

    I love when runs turn around after a few miles. I would give my left arm to run 14 miles in 2hrs!!

    Your training is coming along, IMMOO look out!
    Mandy recently posted..Ironman Lake Placid Race Report – The Bike

  12. Mandy

    Oh and that picture of Bailey drinking is so freaking cute. My Bailey used to prefer running water too. Also his water had to be cold, on a hot summer day I would put ice cubes in his water and he would LOVE it.
    Mandy recently posted..Ironman Lake Placid Race Report – The Bike

  13. Regina

    I think I saw your pics on FB from this weekend? What fun! Ok, except for the sunburn, not so much. I whined once on a ride and only because everyone else was whining; misery loves company.

    My 2:15 run last weekend sounds like yours. I ended up puking and got two blisters on my feet. Nice. I’m hoping this Saturday’s 2:25 will be a little butter, but it will still be long and boring.

  14. Regina

    Oops! Nope, not your pics on FB…some other person I know riding bike, swimming in a canal and playing with a boxer. Weird parallel universe.

    1. Ironman By Thirty (Kevin)

      So I have a doppleganger out there somewhere??? Crazy! haha

      I’ve got no problems with the occasional whine as long as there is some cheese (sarcasm) to go with it 🙂 This woman was relentless though. “Why did I do this?”, “Is there a shortcut to get back”, “It’s hot”, etc, etc, etc.

      Puking and blisters? I guess I can’t complain about mine run. I’ve been fairly lucky with not getting blisters myself. I end up with really, really, sensitive toes after my long runs though. It is to the point that after my run today, the dog stepped on my toes and it sent me to the ground in pain.

      Keep up the great training!

  1. Ironman By Thirty » Blog Archive » 5th Quarter Report

    […] I can really only think of one low point during this entire quarter.  I blogged about it here.  It was during my Sunday long run and I was just struggling both mentally and physically. […]

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