Ironman Build Week One Recap


Last week was my first build week for Ironman Lake Placid! T-5 weeks to ago till the big day! The reality of the event is starting to kick in. On July 28th I will be embarking on a 140.6 mile journey of swimming, biking, and running in order to hear Mike Reilly tell me I’m an Ironman!

This past week was a big week for me and overall it went well. My swimming is coming together nicely. My yardage has increased and I’m feeling stronger than ever in the water. However, I have noticed that my left arm is weaker than my right when pulling. Something to work on in the off-season I suppose. I just hope this new strength and speed will translate to the open water. I was supposed to swim in the lake on Sunday, but severe thunderstorms changed that plan. I’m hoping the weather will be a bit more cooperative this week.

Quality time in the pool!

Quality time in the pool!

My bike fitness has seemed to have suffered over my Fall injury break from running and cycling. I feel good on the bike and my handling skills have definitely improved, but I lost a lot of power. I know this is my first Ironman and I shouldn’t get too caught up in finishing in x amount of hours, but in my head I have this time frame for the bike and I know that I’m not going to head it. The best I can do right now is to believe in my coach’s plan and follow the pacing. I had a good lesson on Saturday’s 90 mile ride on pacing. The first 21 miles of my route hit some pretty big hills and I trashed my legs a bit pedalling up them. It showed me the importance of pacing, especially at the beginning. 112 miles is a long way

Okay, not from my rides this week... but from the Patriot Hald Aquabike

Okay, not from my rides this week… but from the Patriot Hald Aquabike

My running is so/so at the moment, which is a total bummer. Last year I improved leaps and bounds in my running capability and I was hoping that it would translate over to this year. I took all Fall off from running to heal my hip and plantar fasciitis issues to come back with more hip and this time IT band issues. I guess it’s my body’s way of telling me next year is going to be an “off-year” to fix my muscle imbalance and build aerobic endurance.

I ran twice this week. Wednesday I did 45 minutes of zone 2 running. The first 20 minutes were relatively pain-free and then the IT Band issues started to flare up a bit. However, I can run through it at this point. Whether that’s a good thing or a bad thing remains to be the question. Thursday I had a 30 minute T-run off the bike and had an awesome run! No pain and I was actually able to run a sub-10 minute mile in zone 2 and pain-free. Still way slower than I should be, but it’s a victory none the less.

Friday night dinner!

Friday night dinner!

One thing that I have noticed is my appetite has picked up. My lunches have now turned into 5-course meals. So much so that my supervisor had to comment about it. However, despite the fact that I want to eat everything in sight, I have managed to lose several pounds. Yay! This coming week is sure to be a big week in terms of running and cycling. Thursday night I have a 4 hour brick workout. I just hope the weather is good because I certainly don’t want to be stuck riding in the middle of a thunderstorm! I also  have a 2 hour run on Saturday. That will be the real test…

Weekly Totals:

Swim: 2:10 (6943 yards)

Bike: 8:25 (120 miles)

Run: 1:50 (9.41 miles)

Strength, Core & Yoga: 1 hour

~ Happy Training!

USAT Triathlon Coaching Level I Clinic

Ok, so this post is a little late. Like 6 weeks late. But, on the good news… I’m officially a certified USAT Level I Triathlon Coach! Yay!

It's Official!

It’s Official!

Back in April Jen and I took a road trip down to Short Hills, New Jersey for the two-day clinic. I’ll be completely honest, I was dreading the New Jersey location. I was thinking it was going to be in a super sketchy part of NJ and all the people living there were going to be right out of Jersey Shore. My worst nightmare! I was pleasantly surprised to find out that Short Hills is an absolutely gorgeous part of NJ! The streets were lined with sidewalks and trees. The houses were cute and nice. And holy heck the town was hilly! I always thought that NJ was pretty flat, but I guess not. Hence the town name of Short Hills. However, those hills were anything but short!

Day one of the clinic included lectures by all three of our presenters: Jesse Kropelnicki of QT2 Systems, John Petrush of Bay Shore Swim, and Shelly O’Brien of Icon One Multisport. The morning started off with two lectures on exercise physiology and nutrition by Jesse. I was super pumped when I first saw that Jesse was going to be a presenter at our clinic. He is one of the top coaches in the country and is someone who I highly look up too. I must admit that I was a wee bit disappointed with his lectures. Not because they were boring or bad, but because both topics were review for me.

Jesse Kropelnicki

Jesse Kropelnicki

After lunch Joe came in and discussed strength training and cycling skills and training with us. Joe is from Long Island and was your stereotypical Long Islander. He was very interesting to listen to. He was funny, but also very opinionated. His lectures were good. However, I disagreed with him on his view of strength training. He told us up front that we were completely welcomed to disagree with him on the topic since strength training for triathletes is still a rather controversial topic. His view was that “if it ain’t broke than don’t fix it.” He generally prefers not doing traditional strength training with his athletes unless they are injured. His approach with strength training is to do it within the swim, bike, run realm. For example, run or bike hill repeats to build leg strength. I can see where he is coming from. I agree that some strength building within each discipline is important, such as running hill repeats. However, I believe that traditional strength training should be part of an triathlete (or any endurance athlete)’s training plan. I don’t mean they need to do traditional body building style training. That would actually not be a favorable way to train. Can you see Arnold doing an Ironman? That poor carbon fiber bike doesn’t have a chance…

Joe Petrush

Joe Petrush

I much prefer functional training with bodyweight and TRX. Anyway, now that I have left on my tangent I will get back on track! The last lecture of the day was on swim skills and training by Shelly. Shelly is an amazing person to listen to and just a wealth of information. She was by far my favorite person to listen to (which is a good thing because she did all the lectures on the second day). Shelly made each lecture more interactive, which was awesome because sitting in a chair for 10+ hours a day is not my thing. I couldn’t sit for much of the time and kept shifting about in my chair. Secretly, I think all that sitting played a role in my IT-band/Knee/Hip issues.

After the first day Jen and I headed back to our hotel. I headed out for a quick 50 minute run. It was a bit drizzly out, but quite humid. The main roads in the area were busy and we found out quickly that New Jersey drivers were crazy so I headed out to run around the neighborhoods. The neighborhoods were cute and situated on some massively steep hills. Holy cow was my pace slow, but it was fun to run, essentially, hill repeats. After my run we hit up the Cheesecake Factory. It was my first time! Yum yum yum! I had the salmon with mashed potatoes and asparagus. And of course, Jen and I split some Cheesecake, cause ya know it was my first time and all…

Shelly O'Brien

Shelly O’Brien

The second day was another very long day of sitting. On the second day we discussed running, sports psychology and mental training, and how to build training plans. Unfortunately, most of the time Shelly ran out of time during each lecture because she just had so much to tell us. She gave us a bunch of awesome drill ideas for running and swimming. Some of which I have been trying on my own since then and also have incorporated some of them into my own clients training plans.

Everyone at the clinic came from various backgrounds and reasons why they were attending. Some were already experienced coaches and some are complete newbies. We had a few sports doctors and physical therapists too. It was fun to talk to different people and hear their thoughts on the sport and training. USAT recently changed their criteria to get into the clinic. It used to be the first 40 people to register would get into the clinic. Now you have to apply. Over 70 people applied for our clinic and they accepted 40 of us. I’m glad I made the cut!

Here are some interesting tidbits I learned while at the clinic from the various presenters:

  • There is generally a 4-16 beat difference in heart rate between running and biking (average is about 10 beats)
  • It usually takes about 20-30 minutes for the heart rate to settle down after the swim
  • Heart rate is important for training and power meters are important for racing
  • Train movements not muscles (aka functional training!)
  • When working with youth athletes (under age 10) work anaerobic first then aerobic capacity
  • Develop speed and endurance together
  • Develop various skill sets in each sport (i.e. drills)
  • There is no such thing as a good bike and a bad run in triathlon, especially long course!

My favorite is the last bullet point. It is the one that I have been learning over the past year with my coach. If you go out too fast and hard on the bike and burn all your matches then your legs and body are toast for the run. Words of wisdom right there kids!

Crossing the GW Bridge in NYC

Crossing the GW Bridge in NYC

~ Happy Training!

PS – If you’re looking for a triathlon coach then I hope you will consider me! 🙂

IT-Band Updates


I left off last time stating that I was going to do my first run in over 8 days. It went okay. I made it a mile relatively pain-free and then the pain started in during the second mile. That Saturday I had a client early in the morning and then headed out for my 2 hour ride. I attempted my 15 minute t-run, but made it about a minute before the pain set in and this time it set in with a vengeance. My biotech job and my gym are right across the street from each other so I had purposely brought my keys with me to stop into the lab to grab ice. On my return to the gym both my bosses were in their office looking at each other and then at me. As I approached them, one of them asked the other who was going to spank me. I then succeeded to get a lecture on how I shouldn’t run on an injured knee. Opps! I guess at 26 years old “mom and dad” will still spank me for misbehaving. Yikes!


Later that day I also got a Restore massage at Athlete’s Touch. The massage was focused primarily on my IT-band, Quads, and hip region. The therapist told me that my knee region and hip region were quite inflamed. I could definitely tell that my knee was. It was a bit swollen and sore. I had removed all my KT tape a few days prior because it was irritating my skin and I think it was irritating my knee too.


Anyway, fast forward to this week. I saw my chiropractor on Wednesday and reported back to her my failed attempt at running. She  did some massage and stretching work on my knee region. She’s beginning to think that my IT-band is probably okay. We both agree that it is part of the issue, but the real issue is my quad muscles are overactive and causing all the problems. Of course, the root cause of all my issues is my right hip. Every time I go in to see her my pelvis is always twisted.

The past couple of weeks I have hit the gym hard with some rehab exercises to strengthen my hips. Lots of clam shells, lateral legs raises, mini-band work, and donkey kicks. I’ve started to slowly add in some hamstring curls and wide-stance squats to strengthen my hamstrings and adductors.

I’ve spent a lot of time icing, heating, and also self-grastoning my quads and IT-band. It’s been great fun. My boss asked me the other day why I was “scraping” my quad muscle with Biofreeze and the handle of a butter knife. I love Graston! At least I have the proof to show my chiropractor that I listened to her advice – a few lovely bruises.

Lot's of icing!

Lot’s of icing!

Saturday afternoon the nor’easter rain decided to take an afternoon siesta so I decided to test my knee out. I laced up my new Mizunos and hit the flat, paved trail behind my house. I walked down the giant hill to the trail and then succeeded to run. The first mile wasn’t bad. There was a little soreness, but no sharp pain like previously. I kept going. Soon enough the pain started to ease back into my knee. When it got bad I just walked. When I felt okay again then I jogged. I did this for 3.2 miles. My running was super slow. I’m pretty sure the turtle I saw crossing the trail was moving faster than I was, but I was running. And running relatively with no pain. Now that’s improvement and I will take it.

Yesterday after my 4 hour ride I decided to try out my legs by attempting my 25 minute T-run. I took my time transitioning from bike to run clothes. I started out slow and took short strides. I wore my IT-band strap this time too. Guess what? I actually ran pain-free!! Initially I was just going to try for 10-15 minutes, but I felt good and I continued the full 25 minutes. Granted it was extremely slow, but running pain-free was a blessing. I’m hoping that I am on the tail-end of this injury mishap and I’ll be back into the full swing of training ASAP. I will still continue with my icing, heating, and self-grastoning in hopes that I won’t relapse!

In other news, Ironman Lake Placid is exactly 2 months from today and they got 3 feet of snow this weekend! Seriously, what the heck Mother Nature?!

~ Happy Training!

IT-Band Woes

The IT-Band -

The IT-Band –

I spent the last 8 days swimming, biking, and doing core work. No running. Why? Stupid and annoying knee pain. I mentioned a couple weeks ago that I had developed knee pain in my right knee making running a very unpleasant chore. I managed to compete in my first tri of the season and actually place well, but not without facing the consequences afterwards. Perhaps I should have DNF? Nah….

After the PolarBear I had a 60 minute endurance run in my training plan for that Wednesday. I was feeling pretty good and really wanted a good run. I haven’t had a good run in a while. The weather was beautiful out and I was pumped. I laced up my shoes, turned on the Garmin and did my dynamic warm-up while my watch was searching for the satellites. I swear my watch takes forever to find the satellites. Then it was off. My house is situated on a hill. Either way I have to ride or run down before I hit any flat-ish pavement. I took the hill easy because I knew it would irritate my quad. The hill went okay. About two minutes into the run the sharp nagging pain returned on the bottom outside of my knee rendering me to my little hobble/jump run gait. It’s quite the sight to see I’m sure.

I stopped, stretched (maybe prayed a little) and then began again. I managed to jog very slowly for 10 minutes but still had that nagging pain. After about a mile I knew I needed to stop. The pain intensified leaving me in tears. I turned around and hobbled/walked myself back home crying. Yes, I fully admit that I cried. After my 18 minute mile home I sat myself down in the chair with an ice pack and my laptop. I succeeded to email my coach (while crying of course) letting her know that I could not run and I had no clue how the heck I was suppose to do an Ironman in 10 weeks! Perhaps I was being a bit dramatic, but I was very frustrated.

Not being able to run while training for an Ironman is not good. Normally I would be the idiot and try to run through all the pain. However, the past couple of years I really have learned the value of rest and listening to my body. My body was telling me to stop running and figure out what the root cause of my knee pain was. Mary quickly replied to me to tell me that I would take a full week off from running and let my knee heal. We would see how it feels the following week and slowly build my miles back up. I still have plenty of time till Lake Placid.

I saw my chiropractor again on Monday and we both agree that my knee pain is being primarily caused by my IT-band. My quad muscles are also suspect in the situation too. Along with that pesky little piriformis muscle that I strongly dislike. We’ve been taping my knee and IT-band with kinesiology tape for the past three weeks. It seems to be helping. I’ve been very religious about icing and rolling out with my foam roller, stick, and lacrosse ball. That has seemed to help a great deal too.

Sweet Taping Job

Sweet Taping Job

I think the most important aspect of healing my IT-band is rest. I’ve done some research online and most sports medicine professionals recommend anywhere from 3-10 days of rest from the problematic activity (i.e. running in my case). I’m lucky that swimming and cycling doesn’t bother my knee and/or quad and IT-Band. Tonight is going to be my first night running again. Just an easy 30 minute run. If the knee bothers me then I will stop and continue to rest again. When dealing with injuries you have to be smart. I’m going to be smart this time. Let it heal and then strengthen it. I’ve been discussing with my boss at the gym the ideal strength/rehabbing plan for my IT-band to ensure going forward I don’t have chronic issues with it. Hopefully I’m on the road to recovery!

Here’s to hoping my run goes well!

Anyone have any advice on treating IT-band issues? What’s your worst sports-related injury?

~ Happy Training!  

One Bad Knee


Last week began with some pain that I haven’t experienced since my freshmen year of high school – major knee pain. In middle school I experienced a lot of knee pain, but my doctors kept telling me it was just growing pains. Then as a freshman at McAuley I joined the swim team. Now, every doctor will tell you that swimming is a great form of exercise if you have joint issues. Well, apparently my body is ass-backwards because swimming actually exacerbated my knee problems. I mean to the point that both my knees would swell to the size of bowling balls. Finally, my doctors acknowledged that something wasn’t right and then referred me to a othropedist and then to a Physical Therapist. I spent months in PT to strengthen the muscles surrounding my knees. In nutshell I had patellofemoral pain syndrome, which is common in young girls undergoing puberty. As the hips widen it tugs on the muscles surrounding and supporting the knee join causing pain. As the muscles surrounding my knee strengthen the pain went away and I haven’t really had a problems since.

The problems I have been having in the past couple of years surround my hip. My right hip gets out-of-place and my pelvis will twist. Mostly the problem affects my piriformis (that evil little deep butt muscle that I would just like to evict!) and I have a tendency to get plantar fasciitis in my feet as a result too. I see an awesome chiropractor that keeps things at bay. My hips have been quite good for many months until now.

Last week I started getting some pain in my right knee. I knew my hip was out and I had an appointment with my chiropractor as soon as she returned from vacation. By last Wednesday I was in quite a bit of pain and as soon as I walked into my chiropractor’s office she knew something was wrong because I was limping about. She put my hip back in place and worked her magical skills, aka, Graston, and worked out some tightness in the piriformis and the adductors. My knee was quite sore for the rest of the day, but my knee did feel better on Friday.

I decided for once in my life that I would follow my own advice and play things safe. I told my coach that I was going to skip my long run on Saturday. Normally I would just trudge through my workouts and just deal with the pain, but I am thinking long-term now. Missing a long run now to avoid further knee problems is more beneficial to my Ironman training then doing the long run and causing more pain and risking possible injury. Instead I rode my bike on the trainer. Sunday I did my 3-hour long ride with no knee problems, but the 20 minute transition run afterwards was quite painful. I managed to run 15 minutes and then walked the last 5 minutes. Again, not risking injury. Be smart Katelyn for once in your life…

I am scheduled to race my first triathlon on Saturday. Unfortunately, I can’t defer the registration to another race in June so I am still planning on racing. And by racing I mean I will race the swim and bike to the best of my abilities and then play the run by ear (or should I say knee?). I will see how the knee is feeling. If it feels good then I am going for it. If it doesn’t feel good then I will try my best. If it feels like shit then I will just DNF after the bike and not risk the potential injury.

I want to be smart. As much as I want to race and kick butt this weekend, the race doesn’t mean much in the big picture. My goal this year is to become an Ironman. In order to become one then I need my knee to run (run/walk?) the 26.2 miles of the race. I’m going to continue to play things safe this week and I am currently crossing my fingers that this little glitch in training will go away very soon. I’d really like my knee back please…

~ Happy Training!







A Quick Note

So the past week and a half has been a bit crazy! I’ve super behind on such things as blogging and laundry and with all my traveling and work schedule my nutrition has been off too! Yikes! But luckily, no weight gain and I purchased my first size 0 pants since middle school yesterday! Thanks J. Crew for making me feel good even though I know your pants aren’t a true size 0. My hip is feeling better, but is sore from being on my feet all day Sunday and then sitting in a car for 6 hours on Monday. I plan on having my race report from the Norway Tri up this week and my “race” report from Lake Placid too at some point.

But, anyway, here is the big news!

I am officially registered for Ironman Lake Placid on July 28, 2013! 🙂
~ Happy Training!

A Pain in the Hip and Lake Placid Weekend

This week has had a few ups and downs. I started the week off feeling pretty great after a decent race on Saturday and then a lovely 65 mile bike ride on Sunday. My body was feeling pretty good after those efforts. I was a bit sore, but with a little form rolling and lacrosse ball use nothing that didn’t linger long. However, I’ve been having a bit of soreness in my right hip area. The area right around the ball and socket joint. Nothing extremely painful. It never really bothered me while working out. But, it was just a touch sore in the area.

I did some running hill work and an ocean swim on Monday followed by my first track workout in over a year on Tuesday. I was super pumped for the track workout! In a strange way, I enjoy the pain that you get while running intervals on the track. I always hate them during the workout, but afterwards I feel like I had a good, hard workout! After work I headed to the local high school track. It was around 5pm at this point, but still about 90 degrees and humid out! I started with a 2 mile warm up, followed by 2 x 400 at faster than 5k pace with recovery laps between, 4 x 200 at faster than 5k pace and sprinting to finish with recovery laps between, and ended with a 1 mile cool down. I got through most of my workout before a herd of kids began showing up. Apparently the youth track team meets around 5:30-6:00pm. I usually switch up my directions between laps, but with a ton of kids running around I didn’t quite have that luxury. I managed to finish most of my workout before the little 5 year olds began running laps around me! Some of those kids, I swear, were gazelles! I did my one mile cool down on the road. During the workout my right hip was definitely hurting some. Not enough to stop what I was doing, but enough that I should have probably stopped and just run on the roads. Clearly, hips injuries and tracks are not a smart idea.

I headed home and stretched and foam rolled some more. My hip was sore, but nothing that I was super concerned about. I had to work Wednesday evening so my women’s ride was cancelled, but I was still planning to hit the pool before work. I woke up at 5am and pretty much fell out of bed. My right hip was all locked up! Crap! For obvious reasons, I didn’t swim. I did some light stretching and headed to work for a very long day. I called my chiropractor as soon as they opened to get an emergency appointment. I wasn’t 100% sure what was going on with my hip. I’ve had right hip problems previously because my pelvis was out of alignment, but this was a new pain. The primary pain was concentrated right around the ball and socket joint, which really concerned me. The first available appointment was Thursday morning.

On Thursday, my totally awesome Chiropractor fixed my hip after some very painful proding and stretching. Basically, all my muscles within the lateral hip area seized up on me because they were super tight. I usually have a high pain tolerance, but when she used her graston tools on those muscles, holy hell that hurt! I was close to tears. She thinks that all the tightness in the area began with my hip flexor and then radiated to all the other muscles.

I took Thursday off as a rest day too to ensure I didn’t do further damage to the region. I was surprised that immediately after the appointment I already felt relieve! My hip feels much better today and I plan on doing my big brick workout tonight after work on the Rev3 course again!

I’m super excited about heading to Lake Placid tomorrow morning for race weekend. With all the Ironman talk on Facebook I’m getting super giddy. I can’t wait to watch all my new Tri friends kick butt on Sunday and become Ironamen and Iron(Wo)man! It’s very inspiring to say the least and I’m also a bit envious. I kind of wish I was racing too. But next year!

From the Ironman Lake Placid Facebook page

A huge good luck to everyone racing Ironman Lake Placid this weekend!
~ Happy Training!