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IMMT Training Recap {7 Weeks to go!}

Kristin Lawhorn 7.7.14 228

All I can say is: WOW, now I know what training for an Ironman feels like.

Of course, I have known what it feels like for a while now… but now I finally GET what it’s like. I am writing this post just coming off of my biggest training weekend yet and one of my biggest weeks to date. This week forced me to dig DEEP mentally and physically and as always, this training continues to make me learn more about myself every day. I get emotional just thinking about it, but to think about how far I’ve come, now only 40 days away, I am just amazed. I read something on Instagram today from a fellow triathlete, that really hit home for me…But in finding the courage to overcome that self-doubt and pain, you meet a version of yourself that you didn’t even know existed. I couldn’t have said it better myself. These words are what I’ve been looking for. This whole experience is something that I often can’t find the words to describe. This experience has changed my life, and I’m not even at the start line yet.

Weeks until IMMT 7 (includes this current week)
Next Race: This Sunday July 13th! Mass State Olympic Tri
Total training hours last week: 16.5
Total hours on the weekend alone, Saturday and Sunday: 8:45
Total miles Sat & Sun: Biked 95 miles, Ran 16.5 miles, Swam 1 mile

I thought I would break up my recap into two segments, week day training and weekend. The weekend was so eventful with training, I think it deserves its own write up! This current week, I have a step back week leading up until my Olympic Tri on Sunday. After this race, I will have 2 BIG peak weeks of training… then it’s a taper… yikes! I never thought I would say that.

My favorite and most difficult workout of the weekdays was speedwork on Thursday! I LOVE speed work! The forecast was HOT, temps near 85 with 70-80% humidity. I knew the track wasn’t shaded and would be hot as hell, but I went anyway. I had the track to myself and pushed through my speedwork as best I could. I couldn’t go as fast as I normally do, thanks to the heat, but I still pushed it and dominated the track. I had the track to myself too, bonus! My face even matched the color of the red track afterwards.

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Here’s what I was up to during the week:

Swim: 3,000 yards @ Master’s practice
TRX (full routine upper and lower body

Bike: 01:37:00
Speed Work
35 min @ ZR/Z1
Main Set:
3 X (5 min interval, 3 min recovery @ ZR)
2 x (2.5 min interval, 2.5 min recovery @ ZR)
to final ride time @ ZR/Z1

Zone 1
Duration: 00:40:00
Run the 1st mile off of the bike @ Z2 and the remainder at Z1.

Swim: 3000 yds @ Master’s practice
Mini Monster Set, combination of pull & paddles

Bike: Zone R 40 min

Bike: Zone 2
Duration: 01:30:00
Tempo Ride
25 min @ZR/Z1
Main Set:
2 X 25 minutes at Z2 and 70rpm with 5 min @Z1 and 90rpm between each
Cool Down:
To final ride time @ZR/Z1

Speed Work
Warmup: 20 min @ ZR/Z1
Main Set:
3 X (1/2 mile repeats, with 2.5 minute recovery between each)
4 X (1/4 mile repeats, with 1.5 minute recovery between each)
To final run time @ ZR/Z1

Run : 20 min Zone R

Weekend Training:

The weekend was quite the adventure in training! We left for New Hampshire on Friday morning after my recovery run, in the rain (thanks to hurricane Arthur, it rained all day July 4th). My plan was to ride on Saturday morning and the forecast looked great (except for the wind). I had no idea it was going to be super windy on Saturday, until I woke up that morning. I instantly got discouraged knowing how much I hate the wind and fighting it on my TT bike. The wind was only to get worse throughout, awesome, I thought… just what I need. I set out on my bike at 10:00 AM and as soon as I turned onto the main road, the crosswinds were whipping around like crazy. Before I even hit my first mile, I honestly thought about turning around and going back home. I thought ‘I can just do this ride tomorrow and run today…’ and I almost gave up. But then I thought about how I can’t control the weather on race day and it might be just as windy if not MORE windy than this very day. I convinced myself that I CAN do this and other people will be out riding… I told myself to ‘suck it up’ and continued on my way.

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The plan for the ride was to bike to the start of the Timberman 70.3 bike course (13 miles from the house), do the entire course, plus extra at the end to get the full time in. I had done the course twice before (one time practicing, the other for the actual race) and I was comfortable with the course. I knew it was hilly as hell and would be great hill training for Tremblant! Throughout the entire ride, the crosswinds were knocking me around like crazy, but I didn’t give up. There were even points where I was swearing at the wind, literally, ha! I fought the wind and crushed the hills… my total ascent of the day was 5,230 ft… I pretty much biked a mountain. When all was said and done, and I returned home I was proud of myself for not giving up. I got off my bike and headed out for my brick run, and my legs felt GOOD! Again, my body never ceases to amaze me.

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After the 45 min HILLY brick run, I was scheduled to do 40 minutes of swimming, but I had to improvise. I was at my parents’ house and their pool is not the length of a regular sized pool, it’s much shorter. I ended up swimming for 30 straight minutes, which I thought was better than nothing! I was getting dizzy with all of the laps:) It was so nice to be able to swim outside.

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Kristin Lawhorn 7.7.14 172

Bike: Zone 2
Duration: 04:25
Z1/Z2 Ride

Brick Run Zone 1
45 min

Swim 30 minutes in my parents pool ( a lot of back and forth, but I got it done!)

Sunday was another tough brick day! I started with a 50 min trail run at some newly discovered trails near my house, I felt really good! I was shocked at how fresh my legs felt, especially after the killer session I had the day before. After the first run, I got on my bike for some recovery riding and 10 sets of 30 second sprints (my typical Sunday bike ride from coach). After the hour long bike ride, I did another 40 minutes of running at a lower intensity (more trails). This time my legs didn’t feel as great… I was getting tired. I pushed through the run, it wasn’t too pretty… then finished off the day with a 20 min recovery swim (only pulling, no legs). That closed out the weekend! Ironman training is no joke.


Run: #1 Zone 2
Duration: 50:00
Run 16 minutes at Z1, then 34 minutes @ Z2

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All Out 1:00:00
20 min @ ZR
Main Set:
10 X (30 seconds all out at 105+ rpm, 2.5 min total rest)
to final ride time @ ZR

Brick Run: Run #2 @ Zone 1 40 min

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Zone R
Duration: 00:20:00
Distance: 1000 yds
Recovery Swim
2 x 500 Pull Buoy

Despite all the training, I still managed to enjoy myself in New Hampshire with the hubby and my parents.  I was able to relax by the fire at night and enjoy some good food!  It was definitely hard training this much on a holiday weekend, but it was worth the sacrifice.

Kristin Lawhorn 7.7.14 198

Kristin Lawhorn 7.7.14 202

Kristin Lawhorn 7.7.14 147

How was your Fourth of July?  How do you stay optimistic through a tough ride or run?



Holiday Weekend & Nine Loves

Happy (almost) July 4th!  I am looking forward to a long weekend this weekend! I have tomorrow off from work and will be spending time in New Hampshire with my husband and my parents.  This July 4th weekend will be a little more busy and less relaxing given that I have a BIG training weekend ahead of me.  Although, who am I kidding? I’m never one to relax anyway:) I won’t have access to a computer tomorrow, so I thought I would continue with my next post for the ’10 Day You’ Challenge‘, today!



Here are NINE loves in my life:

1. My husband and best friend, Todd.  I don’t know where I would be without this man, especially at this crazy busy time in my life. Todd and I have been together for eight years now and married for (almost) two. He is my rock, my biggest supporter… he keeps me on my toes and is always there for me… I would be lost without him.

2. Our fur-child, Oliver.  This dog is our baby and we treat him like a child.  I have never loved an animal so much, he is everything to us. Todd and I always talk about how ‘obsessed’ we are with our dog.. .it’s true, we just love him so much!

3. My Family.  I have really enjoyed getting closer to my parents as I’ve gotten older.  I see them more as friends than parents at this point in my life, and it’s so fun.  I’ve also loved seeing the bond form between my father and Todd.  My sister and I aren’t super close but I love her dearly.  My brother lives in Chicago and I miss him and think of him often!

4. Running. I was a runner before becoming a triathlete, and it’s still my favorite sport.  Running is my therapy and it’s where I get my thoughts out… nothing beats a good run:)

5. Triathlons. I guess this also includes running, but I think it has to have it’s own line on my list. I have been competing in tri’s for 6+ years now and I have been in love with the sport since the beginning.  I am one of those people who got ‘hooked’ after their first tri.  Now that I’m training for my first Ironman, I have fallen in love with the sport even more!

6. Mountains. If I had the choice to live in the mountains or on a beach for the rest of my life, I would hands down pick the mountains. Hiking in New Hampshire definitely sparked my love for mountains. There is no greater feeling than standing on top of a mountain that you’ve just spent hours hiking up… I get chills just thinking about it.

7. Animals.  My love for animals started at a very young age.  We always had animals in the house growing up… guinea pigs, gerbils, dogs, rabbits, etc. I have this huge love for animals and try to help animals in need whenever I can. Todd and I volunteer with a few Westie Rescue Organizations by fostering Westies in need of a home… it is very rewarding when they find their forever home.

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8. Fresh Air.  I seriously LOVE being outside.  I really don’t understand people who like being indoors all the time… it makes no sense to me.  I know my love of the outdoors started at a young age, growing up with a big back yard and playing outside all the time with my siblings.  My love for fresh air really suffers with my day job (cube farm).  My dream is to find a job where I can be outside more often!

All good things are wild and free - travel quote #travel #quotes

9. Cooking. I love to cook healthy and yummy recipes!  Cooking and eating healthy is a huge passion of mine, and I truly enjoy preparing meals!  I believe in this mantra: Eat Clean and Exercise Daily.  I believe in eating only foods that I can pronounce and I focus on REAL food in my cooking.

You are what you eat.

What do you love in your life?


Tri Talk Tuesday: Swimming Tools, Gadgets (& Random Tips)

It’s Tuesday again (where is the time going?!) and I’m back for another Tri Talk Tuesday, linking up with CourtneyMiranda, and Cynthia! Oh and I cannot believe it’s July… seriously… that’s just plain crazy.


Today’s topic is:  Swimming Tools and Gadgets.

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For today’s post, I’m focusing on both open water and pool swimming essentials.

Before this year, I was not using many tools.  With the Ironman on the horizon, I now rely on pieces of equipment to make me not only a stronger, more efficient swimmer.. but a faster swimmer!  I will also list things here that are VERY useful, but aren’t tangible things that you can buy…

1. Join a Masters Swim Team.  Honestly, joining a Master’s team 4+ years ago was the best decision I ever made.   I had never swam on a swim team and it was SUPER intimidating at first.  ‘I don’t know how to do flip turns‘, I thought.  I was worried I wouldn’t be fast enough to keep up either.  Swimming with my teamates has made me a faster swimmer and I’ve made friends in the process. It’s been amazing to see my progress at practice over the years.  You can find a local Master’s team here.


2. TRX strength work- upper body exercises.  Since starting Ironman training, I have been doing TRX strength work.  My coach has me doing exercises such as: Standing Y (deltoids), Back Extensions, Single Arm Rows, Atomic Push-ups (killer!).. etc.. A bonus is, a lot of these exercises on the TRX incorporate your core muscles!  I do the exercises twice a week.  The best thing is, you can take your TRX anywhere with you…

3. Watch videos on technique, like Swim Smooth.  I have an issue with ‘over gliding’ and these videos help me to visualize what I need to change to have a more efficient stroke! You can subscribe to their mailing list and get videos for free.


4. Aquasphere Kaiman goggles.. the only goggles that stay on my face and don’t hurt.  They also never fog or fill up with water… not kidding.  I get the ones for ‘small faces’ because my head is child’s size haha.

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5. Own two swim suits (or more).  I use one-pieces for pool swimming and two-piece suits for open water swimming.  Having the two piece in open water, makes changing on the beach a WHOLE lot easier post swim.. and you are less likely to flash someone. I just bought a new one from TYR, which I love!

TYR Women's Camo Star Workout 2-Piece Swimsuit - Dick's Sporting Goods

6. Mesh swim bag. This bag from  is less then $8 (on sale now!) and can hold your swim essentials.  It’s roomy and is mesh, so it airs things out.. no sense in having your wet gear in a closed off bag… yuck.

7. Tools for the pool: Swim buoy, kickboard, fins, paddles AND the dreaded ankle band!  The ankle band was introduced to me by my tri coach.  Talk about a challenge… it’s way harder than an pull buoy, you feel like your legs are sinking, but it helps you to use your core and propel forward.  I’m winded after 25 yds of ankle band swimming. You literally bind your ankles with a band and try to swim, good times. Also, I’ve been loving fins lately, to work on using my hips/glutes more when I kick!

7. Tip: Wet your hair with fresh water BEFORE you get in the pool.  I used to just jump in the pool with dry hair, but little did I know, it was ruining my hair.  Now I jump in the shower before practice and let me hair soak up the fresh water before getting in the chlorine.  It makes a world of difference for your hair post swim… try it out:)

8. Tri Swim Lotion for after the pool.  I love the lotion espeicially since reduces the chlorine stench post pool session.  It’s also paraben free and has no animal testing! I really notice a difference when I slather this stuff on after the pool.


There you have it… what are your favorite swim tools?  What helps you get stronger in the water?


IMMT Training Recap {Week 8}

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8 weeks to go, including this week!

Weeks until IMMT: 8 (47 Days)
Weeks until my next race, Mass State Triathlon: <2 weeks
Planned Training Hours: 15:03
Actual Training Hours: 16:00 (with extra time at swim practice)

Training Highlights: Adding speed work and running on different trails!

Let me start off my saying that last week was TOUGH. I started back up again with speed work (bike and run) last week, and boy was I feeling the burn! With the extra added speed work and higher intensity, I made sure I was drinking my recovery drink shorty after training sessions (my preference is EFS Ultragen). This helped aid my recovery for the next day’s work out(s). I knew it would be a hard week, and with the increase in temperature/humidity in the air, it made things even more challenging. This meant for lots of sweaty workouts, which I loved! My saving grace was getting extra sodium via Power Bar Perform and Salt Stick Tabs! Taking in the extra salt kept cramping at a minimum, very important. On top of a busy training week, I had a very busy week at work… adding to my level of exhaustion by the end of the week + the need for extra caffeine.

One of my favorite workouts of the week was Thursday’s sprint intervals on the track. I have always enjoyed speed work and it was great to be back at the track on Thursday doing sprint intervals. Whenever I’m on the track I feel a sense of nostalgia, it takes me back to my high school days. I also love the change in running surface, rubber track vs. hard pavement. I did 1 x 1 mile as fast as possible and then 3 x 800’s, with recovery pace running in between each interval. Since I hadn’t done running speed work in a while, I didn’t know what to expect… I was pleasantly surprised with my speed and was able to keep a fast clip throughout (averaging 6:00 – 6:30 min/mile pace)!

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When I returned home from my track session, I didn’t have much of an appetite (does this happen to anyone else after hard training sessions?) Whenever I’ve had a hard workout, my appetite gets suppressed for the hours following. I made sure to have my recovery drink, but my dinner was small.  This happens after my races too, by the way.

By the time the weekend rolled around, I felt like I had already done SO much in regards to training, it was a little daunting to see what was in store for the weekend! Although I was feeling pretty tired come Friday, I sucked it up and geared up for the weekend’s workouts. I woke up early on Saturday and did a long bike ride with lots of rolling hills (and potholes mind you). It was really hot outside and I could feel the heat even in the shady spots.

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Oh and I am convinced I can never go on a bike ride without something going awry. About 10 miles into my ride, I dropped one of my bottles of sports drink off the back of my bike when I hit a large pothole (ugh!). Thank goodness for the nice man who rolled down his car window to tell me this, since I had no idea it even fell! I circled back a few feet, only to realize the bottle completely spilled out all of its contents (crap! It was 84 degrees out and I needed the sodium in the sports drink). I started to freak out about it, but realized my parents’ house was on the bike route that day and I stopped by to clean the bottle and fill it with water (phew!)… I had enough gels and salt tabs and I could get through with water. I also had 2 other full bottles of sports drink (one was my aero bottle). Later on during the ride I actually had to stop again at a country store on the route to get more sports drink, it was so HOT! After my ride, which was just under 70 miles, I headed out for a 40 minute brick run and discovered some new trails!



Sunday was another eventful training day, equally as hot outside. I started the morning off with some all-out bike sprints on my trainer, then headed out for a 10 mile trail. I keep forgetting about this beautiful network of trails near my house, the Minuteman National Historical Park. I ran on the Battle Field Trail, which was perfect to get my 10 miles in (with some shade). The trail holds a ton of historical significance and it’s always a special place to run.

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The Battle Road Trail. This five mile trail connects historic sites from Meriam’s Corner in Concord to the eastern boundary of the park in Lexington. The main theme of the trail is the Battle of April 19, 1775, that launched the American Revolution. More over, the trail interprets the broader human story of the people whose lives were altered by the events that took place here. Much of the trail follows original remnants of the Battle Road; other sections leave the historic road to follow the route of the Minute Men, traversing farming fields, wetlands, and forests.

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The trail is mostly dirt with sand, and at times it made things more challenging. For the last 30 minutes of the run, I had to work at a higher heart rate/ intensity and by the end I was really feeling it. About an hour after my run, I had a deep tissue massage which was fantastic. The massage therapist worked just on my lower body, which I desperately needed. After the massage, I did my 20 minute easy swim at the pool, just pulling, giving the legs a rest. Once I was done with my swim, I was happy to wrap up the busy week! Now onto this week, which has roughly 17 hours of training, bring it on baby!

How am I feeling?
I continue to feel strong AND determined! Both bike workouts on Tuesday and Thursday were challenging trainer sessions. Tuesday included sprint intervals and Thursday I worked on low cadence with a higher heart rate (Zone 2) throughout.  I’m continuing to get #bikestrong!  My only gripe, as of yesterday is my Garmin 510 crapped out on me… it won’t turn on, even when fully charged, ugh! Need to figure that out before the weekend.

Training Recap:

Swim: 3,000 yds at Masters Practice
TRX Full Body workout

Warm up 30 minutes
Speed Work
Main Set:
2 X (5 min interval, 3 min recovery @ ZR).
3 x (2.5 min interval, 2.5 min recovery @ ZR).
Using best sustainable effort through all intervals**

Run: 40 Minutes (1st mile Z2 HR, then Z1 for rest of run)

Swim: 3,100 yds, with sprint intervals
Bike: 40 min recovery ride

Bike: Tempo ride 1:25
Warm Up: 25 min @ZR/Z1
Main Set:
2 X 25 minutes at Z2 and 70rpm with 5 min @Z1 and 90rpm between each
Cool Down: To final ride time

Run: SPEED WORK 1:00
20 min @ ZR/Z1
Main Set:
1 X (1 mile, with 3 minute recovery)
3 X (1/2 mile repeats, with 2.5 minute recovery between each)
Using best sustainable effort through all intervals
To final run time @ ZR/Z1

Swim: 3,000 yds at Master’s Practice
Run: 20 min easy recovery run on the trails

Bike: 3:48 Z1/Z2 ride
Run: Brick Run 40 min Z1

& Took Oliver on a long walk:)

Bike: All Out Effort
20 min @ ZR
Main Set:
10 X (30 seconds all out at 105+ rpm, 2.5 min total rest)
to final ride time @ ZR

Run: 1:15 Z1/Z2 trail run

Swim: Recovery Swim 1,000 yds (2 x 500 pull)

I’ll leave you with this beautiful photo from our walk Saturday night… 



How was your weekend?  How is your training going?


10 Day You Challenge! + 10 Secrets

Happy Friday! I thought I would start a new blog series this week, thanks to an idea from my friend Sara at Life Between the Miles. I was looking for something to ‘spice up’ my Friday posts, and I thought this would be perfect:


I plan to go through the series of topics, week by week on Friday’s. Feel free to join me with this series on your blog!

I’m starting today with 10 Secrets about me. I don’t really have anything juicy (ha!) but it might help you, my readers, get to know me better!

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1. I still have not found a career I’m passionate about. My dream is to have my own business one day, something related to health and wellness. Right now I work for a pharmaceutical company, in an office… and I don’t like being confined to a desk 9-5, five days/week.

2. Patience is not my thing. Honestly, on a scale of 1-10, 10 being extremely patient, I’m about a 1. This applies to driving, waiting in line, etc…

3. I don’t have a motherly bone in my body and I’m still not sure about the ‘kid’ thing. I have never been one of those women that craves having a baby. I don’t like holding babies and I don’t really have that desire to be a mom just yet… The feeling of being a mom someday is starting to change a little bit, but it still scares the living heck out of me. It’s also driving me crazy that everyone I know in life and on Facebook is procreating.

4. Drinking alcohol is not really my thing. I love a glass of red wine (pinot noir) on the weekends, but other than that, I hate feeling drunk. I’ve actually always hated it, but in college, I gave into peer pressure. I got drunk a lot in my college years… now I barely touch the stuff.

5. I’ve never smoked a cigarette in my life and I NEVER will. I am always proud to share this fact about myself. I grew up with a Dad who smoked and I hated it so much, it made me angry all the time. Cigarettes seriously make me very angry… I DON’T get it. Ugh.

6. I haven’t consumed fast food since probably 1993. At a young age, I became aware of the dangers of eating fast food. Again, I could rant about this for hours.  How do people eat that junk?

7. I wish I was closer to my sister (I’m not talking about distance). My sister and I are just two years apart and we have never gotten along. We are the definition of polar opposites and have never seen eye-to-eye. I like to think it will improve as we get older, but who knows…

8. My confidence is very low, unless I’m exercising or racing. In my daily life, I have low confidence and I really wish it would improve. However, when I am training and racing, I am in beast mode. I wish I could apply the way I feel when I exercise to my daily life. I hate feeling insecure.

9. I rather be ‘one of the guys’ than hang out with a group of women. I don’t know what it is, but hanging out with a group of women is enough to drive me insane. This is why going to things like bridal showers or jewelry parties is enough to make me cringe. I love my few close girlfriends, but other than that, other women drive me crazy… ha!

10. Continuing on with my point above, I love to be alone. Sure I like being social, at times, but I really treasure my alone time. I also obviously love spending time with my husband, but I’m perfectly fine when he’s not around… I just love peace and quiet. I can’t get by in life without my alone time.

There you have it! Feel free to join the series or share your ‘secrets’!