Training for Hawaii

I almost forgot what it is like to train for an Ironman.  Even though I spend my days writing Ironman workouts, fueling plans and preaching about salt and calories and recovery…you *almost* forget what the day to day grind is like until you are put back into it.

I don’t race the Ironman all that often because I know the commitment it takes to do well there.  And, unless I am mentally, physically, professionally & personally ready to commit to that race, there is no point for me to do “just do an Ironman.”

The last time I raced Kona was 2006.  I chose not to race Hawaii since 2006 because, at the time the twins were 4 and I just did not want to spend my days on my bike.  AND, to be honest with you, I did not love Kona.  It was hot.   So, I put it to bed…..and decided I would come back to it when I was ready.

Between 2006 and 2011 I did not race an Ironman.  Then, I finally got the bug to do an Ironman I felt like I could race a little better à IM Arizona.  We spend a lot of time in Tucson and I thought this would be a great and obvious choice for me.  AND I wanted to race an Ironman….AND, for the most part, I did race Arizona…but I had a niggling Achilles for the ENTIRE training block and it limited my running.  I ended up PRing there (not hard after only doing Kona a couple of times) and meeting my goal of going 10:30.  But, I was so disheartened with all the work that came with that Achilles niggle that year that I did NOT take the Kona slot at Arizona.  I did not want to go through what I just went through.  I vowed I would get back to 100% and go back when I was ready!

Fast forward to 2013, I am heading to Kona and today on my long bike ride, I fell back in love with the thought of racing Hawaii.  I have been feeling AMAZING.  So amazing that I started to get worried – during IM training you get so used to feeling so tired that when you feel so good, you think, “Really?”

We are 2 months out from Kona and the time has flown by!  I went to Tucson for a week and that jump started my Ironman training.  It was HOT and humid (monsoon season) in Tucson and that helped me sweat a bit and ride Lemmon day after day.  We are having such a COLD and wet summer here, that everything is “easy” here now.

I decided to go back to Kona for one main reason:  The Island has always gotten the better of me when I have raced there.  But, I am a smarter & more experienced athlete now and know how to race in Kona now.  And, when I review my “career goals” for Triathlon, accomplishing X in Kona is at the top.  I have accomplished my OLY and Half IM goals in my career.   However, I still have some unfinished business in Kona.  So, that is why I decided to go back this season.

I am reminded mile after mile on my bike that this is a VERY lonely process.  Kristin White, the athlete who q-fied at Eagleman with me in my AG sent me a FB message yesterday asking how my training is going.  We both agreed that it is LONELY!!

I don’t mind the quiet miles for the most part – but you do forget how quiet the country roads are day after day.  AND the pool…..I wish my Masters team practiced in the summer.  I miss them!

The other thing I forgot about was my APPETITE!  I really did forget how hungry I was during IM training. I cannot eat enough.  AND, in order to recover and repeat this cycle daily, I am eating a ton.   I am eating almost anything I want and listen to my body – the other day I was craving Salami & cheese.  So, I ate it.  I am eating Pizza all the time….ice cream….had ribs and pasta last night for dinner with a salad.  I honestly think this is the way to train & recover from all this training.  The IM is so cumulatively exhausting that between my fueling AND sleep, I can repeat, repeat, repeat.

I am chomping at the bit now that we are 8 weeks out.  I feel like I have a lot more work to do and hoping that the weather turns HOT soon?   I am racing a ½ Ironman next weekend – and am hoping it is 100F,  jungle humid and not wetsuit legal.  I am excited to race.  That is one thing I do not love about Ironman training….I really miss all the short course racing frequency!

And, in exciting news, my sister, MOM and Aunt are coming out to Kona for some R&R and to watch me race!  I am so excited!  They have never seen me race an Ironman OR 1/2 IM ever.  My mom worries about the whole thing (she has NO IDEA).

I am a little sad I am not racing USAT Nationals this coming weekend – but you know, I always say, “don’t get greedy…” So, keeping my priorities in line and focusing on long course this summer.   BUT good luck to all my friends & athletes racing in Milwaukee, the weather is going to be AMAZING!


  1. Enjoy! I love ironman and will live through you. Truly I am so proud of you. Xo. And just get it done these last 2 months

  2. I forgot what it felt like to train for an IM too. Glad you’re enjoying the process and ready to kill it race day!! :)

  3. So exciting! I hope I feel like you one day, wanting to go back. I have a lot of unfinished business there too! You’re going to kill it and I can’t wait to watch!

  4. Good diary. Keep it up Jenny, we will all be cheering for you. Kona!

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