Workout Wednesday – 262 Days to Go


I’ve decided that March is the Month of Much More Momentum.  I considered other options, but at the end of the day I just couldn’t walk away from the opportunity for that much alliteration.  Also, the momentum through February was awesome, and I’m excited to get some more of that.  Here are this week’s workouts:


Long Bike

Again the only instructions were to “go harder and go farther, plan nutrition before you go” (I have a some trouble remembering to eat on the bike.) I recently learned (thanks Ewan!) that I’ve been pushing way too big a gear.  Using easier gears and shifting more made the ride not just faster, but also so much more pleasant and I’m excited to get better at this skill.

The first half was pretty uneventful, I remembered to eat mostly when I was supposed to, I got to the halfway point and turned around. On the way back I started to hear people screaming MOVE!  MOVE!  I couldn’t imagine who would need more room since I was riding on the right of the two lane bike path and there was nobody else around, there was room for 2-3 people across to pass me.  But I moved all the way over to the outside of the white line, held my line and waited for whomever it was to pass.  Instead they just kept yelling MOVE!  I turned around and it was a group of dudes, who I immediately named “The Pelaton of Pricks” in my head.  They were taking up both sides of the bike path and I don’t know if they thought that their desire to ride five across superseded my right to not plummet down a steep incline or what, but I was not amused and I was over as far as I was going to go. If they wanted to pass me they’d just need to go down to 2 or 3 across.

What I really wanted to do at that point was ride as slowly as humanly possible and weave making it impossible for them to pass me.  But that would have messed up my “go harder, go farther” plan to I just kept going and pulled over at the next safe opportunity.  I stopped my watch to let them pass me and then got going again.  I came to the “y” in the trail and looked at my watch to calculate how far to go out before coming back.  It was at that point I realized that, like last week, I had forgotten to restart my watch.

And there was much swearing.  I decided that, since this was the second week in a row that I made the same mistake, the punishment should fit the crime.  So I restarted my watch and set out to complete a full two hours on the watch.  I hit the “y” in the trail and headed out for my last out and back. The rest of the ride when pretty well and I felt like I had some legs left for the end, plus I was way faster than last week. I then realized that I had miscalculated when my two hours were going to be up, and I was still three miles from my car. It was actually kind of lovely, I got to go slow and actually look around at the beautiful surroundings and enjoy riding the bike, so I wasn’t too upset.


Would a day off by any other name still be as wonderful? I think so.


Long Walk

Started this walk with tired legs and a headache. Ended with more tired legs, a worse headache, a stomach ache, two blisters, and crying. I felt like I was working so hard and when I looked at my watch I’d be a minute to a minute and a half slower than I thought.   I took a quick break at the turnaround to get a drink of water and pull myself together (and talk myself out of calling an uber to take me back to my car!) I really felt like I pushed but I couldn’t get it done, and I finished crying because I missed my goal by .07 miles. Is it ridiculous to be that upset over .07 miles?  Maybe, but that’s where I was at.


Short Bike

Wow do I love a tailwind.  I did this at night on the path I used to use where I am quite a bit faster –  I think mostly because there are no big steep inclines during which I am forced to realize that I did not shift into an easy enough gear and this is about to be very slow and very miserable.  I’m thinking of staring the “Should Have Shifted” Club, maybe I’ll get some jackets printed.

I did the out and back twice meaning almost exactly half of this was tailwind assisted and the other half was headwind impeded. Not the world’s strongest wind or anything, but noticeable. If they changed the  IM course to be flat with a constant tailwind then my confidence would be at an all time high.  I went faster than I had on my long ride.


Total disaster. I was all proud of my bike and then got to the swim and everything went bad. During the warm up and drills I got an ear ache, but the time I had started swimming laps the earache seemed to be making me dizzy,then the dizziness made me nauseated, then I got out to throw up and decided to call it a damn day and go home.


Strength Workout

WOO HOO!!!!!  I’ve been asking for a strength program since forever and Steve decided it’s the right time.  Lots of lunges and squats and stuff – good old-fashioned fun things at which I am competent.

Swim – Long Sets

This did not go great, I just felt tired – like I was swimming through glue, but I finished it.


Long Bike

I felt pretty good – it was nice and cool, cloudy and foggy for most of the ride. Normally there is a strong tailwind on my way back in but today the wind picked up the other way which I could have lived without but it was not a strong wind and I was still able to make my speed goal (faster than last week over a longer time.).  Continuing to focus on easier gear and a higher cadence is faster and leads to happier legs. Like last week I finished the timed ride a couple miles from my car.  Unlike last week, on my way back to the car I had my first big wreck, ouch.  I wrote about it (completely with pictures) at


Walk – Speed Work

This was a series of miles as hard as I can go, with full recovery in between.  I think I was so focused on the road rash from my wreck yesterday that I forgot that I slammed my body into the ground really hard and that there are consequences to that… The first mile was super rough, I was really hurting. Things loosened up for the rest and my times were good.

Also, I tested out my new favorite thing – I found a fuel belt that holds two water bottles and fits me, which means I don’t have to carry a water bottle on long walks which makes me so damn happy I can’t even tell you, I hate carrying a water bottle with a fiery passion.  I got through the walk but I am feeling pretty beat up – my right shoulder is killing me.  I had a swim scheduled but I’m going to shift it until tomorrow to give myself a little more time, and then if it still hurts I’ll push through it.

Like this blog?  Here’s more cool stuff!

IRONMAN Sale:  I’m having an ongoing sale on my books,  DVDs and downloads to help pay for my IM – you get books and dance classes, I get spandex clothes and bike parts. Everybody wins! To check it out, you can go to No money?  No problem!  If you feel like it, you can leave a comment or send me an e-mail ( saying something encouraging, that’s incredibly helpful as well!

If you have questions about my IRONMAN journey  the FAQ might help!

If you’re looking for a place to talk about fitness from a weight neutral perspective, check out the Fit Fatties Forum. and the Fit Fatties Facebook page.

Book Me!  I’m a professional speaker and I’d love to speak to your organization. You can get more information on topics, previous engagements and reviews here or just e-mail me at ragen at danceswithfat dot org!



About danceswithfat

Hi, I’m Ragen Chastain. Speaker, Writer, Dancer, Choreographer, Marathoner, Soon to be IRONMAN, Activist, Fat Person.
This entry was posted in Uncategorized. Bookmark the permalink.

5 Responses to Workout Wednesday – 262 Days to Go

  1. Emily B. says:

    I’m curious. I’m training for a half marathon, and my long runs are all meant to be at an easy pace, just to build mileage and conditioning for being able to cover distance. I would have assumed that long bike rides would be the same, but you’ve said that you’re instructions for that were to go harder and further. Can I ask what the reasoning is behind that? I’m always trying to improve my training, so I’d love to hear more about different options and strategies for endurance sport training.


    • Hi Emily,

      In order to finish the IM in the time allotted I have to increase both the speed and the distance that I can cycle. I’m currently about nine months out and we are focusing on building speed – so my “long bikes” aren’t particularly long and the focus is on increasing what is an “easy pace” and getting comfortable on the bike – getting better at gearing, at cadence etc. As we get closer I’ll have “long bikes” that are much longer and at what will, at that time, be an “easy pace” (but is now a difficult pace.)



      • Emily B. says:

        Ok, so the long bike rides are the longest of the rides you’re doing in a given week, but are closer to what I think of as tempo runs, where you’re pushing the pace to a given level of effort (say, 7.5 on a scale from 1-10) for some set interval (I prefer distance because you can make it end sooner by pushing harder, but some people do time.)? Then once you have your pace up closer to where you need it to be for the race, you’ll start working on increasing distance separately?
        Also, I really do know the difference between you’re and your. I clearly just can’t proof read after a week of 13 hour long days at work.


      • Don’t even worry about the typos, I do it all the time. Yes, it’s like tempo run – steady work at threshold pace. (I’m also fond of calling it “wherever she falls, there shall she be buried” since I’m still experimenting and so what feels like threshold pace at the beginning can turn into “I went out say too hard” at the end!)


  2. I have to admit, I find it really consoling when other swimmers (specifically) have days where they too, feel like they’re swimming through glue (or slogging ass, as I refer to it). I don’t know what it is, whether there’s some physical thing I do or there’s a mental impediment or a leprechaun sprinkled magic dust on me in the change room, but some days feel so pleasant and effortless, where it seems like I’ve FINALLY mastered Stroke Technique, and other days (which, unfortunately for me, feels like the majority of days plus race day, of course) it’s all I can do to not feel derailed by the sensation of drowning through my sets.

    Here’s to More Momentum March!

    Liked by 1 person

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s