Workout Friday – 135 Days to Go

pause my garminA while back I took most of the running out of my walk/runs to focus on getting faster at walking and preventing injury.  This week we put the running back in. Good news:  I’m faster.  Bad news: Everything hurts and I’m dying.  Ok, it’s not that bad, but it’s definitely a new level of intensity.  It actually makes it easier mentally – I’ve been struggling so much with my speed and with the stress of working hard, looking down at my watch, and finding out that I’m not going nearly as fast as I thought I was. Now I look down and I’m actually meeting my time goals and it makes the whole process so much less depressing.


Swim Bike Brick

Changing from my wetsuit to my bike clothes (including applying aquaphor) in a public beach bathroom will not make my IRONMAN Top 10 memories list. The bike path is a short drive from the beach where I swim but there was a bunch of holiday traffic so it took me 20 minutes until I was able to start the bike so I’m not sure this was a very good representation.  I’m sure I’ll be doing this again soon.


Bike Intervals

This went well, it was based on heart rate goals and I was able to hit them all. My new seatpost makes the bike feel so much more stable.

Leg Strength



Long Swim

Did this early in the morning to avoid the holiday tourists. It was chock full o’ triathlon people from a training group. They were awesome and chatty and really cheerful for it being so early in the morning. They offered to let me join them so I jumped in and got some contact practice, after my IM 70.3 disaster I’m still really dicey around contact, so there will be more of that in the coming months. The ocean seemed to get suddenly warmer which was nice.


Short Run

I was doing this at a track near my place so I can count steps based on precise distance. I’ve been frustrated that when I work harder, it does not translate to going faster and my coach thinks that it might be because when I try to speed I end up taking smaller strides and working harder with no obvious benefit. The track is supposed to be open until 10pm but they turned off the lights and kicked us out at 9pm and I got to finish this run on some random sidewalks in an unfamiliar neighborhood

I feel like it was a good idea to step back and work on walking for power/speed/distance. Today was a huge difference from how it had been in the past where running would wear me out to such a point that I would walk so slowly that I wouldn’t be faster over all.  Fingers crossed that this is a shift and not a fluke. I guess I’ll find out on Wednesday.


Bike Run Brick

Apparently it’s opposite day, the bike sucked and the run went well. The bike was absolute shit – I was working hard (over my target heart rate) but after the first third, I was not hitting my speed goal speed.  I didn’t sleep enough, eat enough, or drink enough water and I think it caught up with me on the bike. The run on the other hand went well – more than a minute per mile faster than the last brick so it looks like there may be hope yet for my run to actually get faster.

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!

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About danceswithfat

Hi, I’m Ragen Chastain. Speaker, Writer, Dancer, Choreographer, Marathoner, Soon to be IRONMAN, Activist, Fat Person.
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2 Responses to Workout Friday – 135 Days to Go

  1. Wow, your improvements in your run times is fascinating and inspiring! Good on you! I had to learn to take shorter strides during my run to avoid heel-striking, which was causing me to struggle with chronic plantar fasciitis. I can’t say I’m any faster, but I’m definitely less injured over the past year, which is a big plus for me.

    Glad to hear that the tri group you swam with was friendly and chatty in the morning, and that you got some good contact practice in the OW.

    I was consoled this past week by chatting with folks at a group open water swim with my tri club, and hearing others with similar anxieties to mine about swimming. I came to the sport from a swim background and my anxiety has increased over the years that I’ve been competing in tri, and I couldn’t understand why. Eventually, I had to determine if my love for swimming has waned and ask myself if the sport has affected how I feel about swimming negatively. I have learned that most triathletes experience some anxiety around the swim, whether it’s due to the body of water itself (cold, choppy, can’t see the bottom, can’t see anything, etc.) or the group experience of racing and it being a full-on contact sport with everyone vying for optimal position in the water. For me, I think it’s just the label of “Race” that gets superimposed on an otherwise enjoyable activity for me that makes me really stressed out. So this weekend, when I race the Toronto Triathlon Festival for the 4th time, I will keep my mantra looping in my head: You love to swim. This is FUN! You love to swim. This is FUN! and hope for the best 😉

    Love reading about your IM journey!!


  2. lsstrout says:

    Glad you got contact practice! I do hope you get more.


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