Workout Wednesday – 179 Days to Go

Workout WednesdayI think I am over my six month slump. I’m back on track with my workouts and feeling good about the almost six months I have ahead of me to get ready for this!


Mid-distance walk/run

We decided to try adding more hills into this workout.  I did four small hills over the course of the workout.  Uphill is a challenge cardio-wise but physically it’s easier in a lot of ways, I don’t have any of the cramping and ankle pain that I normally have when it’s flat, so I can work a lot harder.  I’m excited to do more of this.


Strength Workout

Complete.  Not feeling well, but I got this workout in.


Day off!


Long Walk/Run

I decided to try the trick of using shorter distances (as in – just go as fast as you can to that next thing, then pick a new target.)  I did that and it helped a bit, it definitely made the time go by faster.  My brain decided that each time we reached one of the smaller goals it would think “Got it!”  It seems like that would get annoying but it really didn’t. What did get annoying was that three separate groups yelled anti-fat slurs at me, and a member of the last group threw a plastic bottle (and missed.)  Sigh.

Strength Workout



Bike Intervals

This was rough – my legs were still tired from last night’s workouts. I tried using bigger gears and I think I may have overdone it because by the third set of intervals my lower back was killing me and that’s never really happened before.  I also had a new experience – an off leash dog that chased me for quite a while trying to bite me and/or Phyxius.  Good times.


Long Swim

This was super tough.  The wind was blowing pretty good and the current was headed out so I was fighting them the whole time.  Also there were actually little white caps in the chop so often when I would try to breathe a little wave would catch me and pour sea water into my open face hole. Stupid nature. My arms were basically dead by the end, but I finished it. Also, a couple of weeks ago a fish touched me (fuck a bunch of that, it took me like 5 minutes to pull myself together) so now any swim where the live nature doesn’t touch me is a good swim. (So glad that the swim in Tempe is in a lake that nothing could survive in.)

Hard Single Mile

This went fine –  I used it to break in some new shoes which sucks but once they are broken in I’m sure my feet will be much happier.

Strength Workout

Done and done!


Walk/Run Hill Work

I feel great about this workout.  I found a place last week that is perfect for this and therefore worth the drive. It’s a street at the base of a hill, so I start down the street and then every block I turn and go up the hill, then I come back down, walk a block down the street, turn and do the hill again. Last week was supposed to be just to try out some easy hills so I did 4 half hills (half-way up the full hill).  This week coach said to try to go a little farther up the hills. I decided to embrace the suck and go a lot farther. I did the full hill four times, and then 6 half hills.  I did more elevation in this relatively short workout than I will do over the entire marathon in the IM (which isn’t saying a lot, the run course is incredibly flat at IMAZ)

It was difficult and glorious. In a “fun” twist, the hills have the same elevation but different steepness – for the first two the elevation is spread pretty evenly over the full hill, over the next two the first half is relatively flat and then it climbs gradually until it gets really step for the second half of the second half.  At one point it felt like someone was literally pulling me backwards. There were any number of times that I thought I would need to stop and rest, but I set a goal of not stopping until I hit the top of the hills and I met that goal each time which felt really good. I also decided to do the full half hill on the 6th time, even though it meant that I would finish my mileage before I got back to my car – I willingly did extra mileage. Yes, I want a medal for that.

Yup, I’m definitely feeling back on track! Thanks to everyone who sent me kind and supportive thoughts during my slump, I really appreciate it!

Like this blog?  Here’s more cool stuff!

Check out my sponsor!  More of Me to Love (a company that sells stuff – from practical to inspirational – for people who are fat and people of all sizes who are involved in Size Acceptance, Body Positivity, and Health at Every Size,) have always been super supportive of my work, and now they’ve created a group of awesome products, a portion of the profits from which will help fund my IRONMAN journey – you can check it out here (it’s worth it just to see the awesome fat triathlete logo they created!) Thanks MOMTL!

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 Ragen Chastain

Hi, I’m Ragen Chastain. Speaker, Writer, Dancer, Choreographer, Marathoner, Soon to be Iron-distance triathlete, Activist, Fat Person.
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13 Responses to Workout Wednesday – 179 Days to Go

  1. DennyTriMoney says:

    Great job Ragen! I’m part of an Inland Empire Tri club and you are literally our hero! When this is all said and done (or before if your available) I’d love to have you come give a motivational speech to our club!


    • Thanks you so much!!! This completely made my day and I’d be honored to come speak any time, especially since I’m not that far away. Feel free to e-mail if/when you’re ready and we can figure it out.



      • DennyTriMoney says:

        YES! Absolutely! Because most of us are older and retired a lot of the club members leave the heat for the summer and to travel to various races around the country. But certainly as we start to reconvene in the fall we would love to have you out! I don’t manage our official Facebook page (going to leave the name out for obvious reasons) but I am almost certain the club page is either your fan or friend (I’m much too old to figure out Facebook so I apologize if I’m not using the terms right). Even in the summer I believe there is a list of rides, runs and swims if you are ever interested in joining part of the group event. We usually do rides early Saturday mornings, maybe a run/walk in the middle of the week and on Tuesday we are actually braving the traffic to head out to Newport Beach and do a group open water swim!


  2. Way to go! You’re awesome!


  3. Dee says:

    You continue to inspire me 🙂


  4. Joan Herr says:

    Way to go. I live in Tempe. You are right about water there. Bird wo t even land in it! However not to discourage you, but they drained , cleaned up bottom, and refilled this spring! You can di this!


    • I didn’t know that – as long as they didn’t add a bunch of fish that’s great news!



      • DennyTriMoney says:

        I’ve done a few races in Tempe Town Lake (easy 5 hour drive from Riverside) and I think it’s biologically impossible for anything to live in that water. Even triathletes! LOL!


      • I can’t even count the number of people who told me not to try to do a practice swim the day before because so many people get sick. As long as it happens after the race that’s fine with me!



  5. Dennytrimoney says:

    I just made the mistake of checking in on your hate site. Not only are they dedicated but they are horrifically ignorant of triathlon. And shockingly they are very hateful to your commenters and followers. Actually maybe that’s no so shocking.


  6. Rebecca says:

    I’d like to add some cheery support for you after this post! You are doing so awesomely (especially in the face of scary dogs and idiot human dogs!) I love reading your posts and feel like I’m cheering you on in virtual land as you get closer to the IM. Keep on rockin!!


  7. lsstrout says:

    Woot! With extra WOOT!


  8. I’m glad I finished drinking my water before I read this entry – your reaction to fish touching you in the open water would’ve made me spew out my drink 🙂 I think I had the same reaction the first time my foot touched the bottom of one of the beaches in Lake Ontario and it felt slimy. No no NO! I like fish and plants and all sorts of aqueous ecosystem beings but I don’t want to know they’re there when I’m swimming! *hehehehehe*


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