Ironman Lake Tahoe Training · Race Reports · Training

Week 31: Marin Century

It’s official, all of my planned races for the summer leading up to Ironman are DONE! I still have a few more ‘peak weeks’ ahead of me before tapering so I have to keep my head on straight and stay focused, but I feel really great about my training so far. Everything seems to be coming together really well and I’m staying healthy and injury-free. This past weekend I did a 102 mile bike ride on Saturday followed by an open water swim and a 15 mile run on Sunday. Yeah, the mileage is definitely creeping up, but I feel great and having so much fun!

Marin Century Ride

I loved the Marin Century ride! It was a laid back tour de Marin County with plenty of aid stations stocked with tons of amazing food (boiled potatoes, fresh fruit and PB&J), live music at the aid stations, and tons of familiar faces from Team in Training and Golden Gate Tri Club. Great to see everyone!! And big thanks to everyone who volunteered at the event.

The ride started at 7:00am in San Rafael and went through Nicasio, up towards Petaluma, almost to Bodega Bay, down Highway 1, up Marshall Wall and back to the start. 102 miles in total with ~6,500 feet of elevation gain. Total riding time of about 6 hours 40 minutes.

Start line with Dan and Tami!
Start line with Dan and Tami!
Photo Aug 02, 11 56 37 AM (1)
Dan and I just crushed a big climb!

What I also loved about the event was that I had been on these roads several times before. So I knew the hills and the ins-and-outs pretty well. It’s a hilly ride but I felt pretty darn good out there and PR’d on almost every climb of the day. The weather was pretty foggy/chilly/cloudy which actually was a nice relief after last weekend’s 105 degree heat!

It’s an awesome feeling knowing that I’ve done 5 rides over 100 miles in the last two months, to the point where riding 100 miles doesn’t intimidate me anymore. Geez who have I become?! That’s just crazy!! But I love riding my bike, so if I can ride ALL DAY what could possibly be better?!

So that was my final organized event until Ironman. I’m getting SO excited for race day and more-and-more confident each day. I feel like if the race were tomorrow I could do it. And I definitely could not have said that two months ago.

Photo Aug 02, 3 24 59 PM
Finished! So much fun!!
1986 was my bib number!
1986 was my bib number!
Strava Output
Strava Output

 Swimming, Brrrrr

I was pretty tired after the Marin Century and was feeling a little headachey and nauseous on Sunday morning. I managed to climb out of bed and into Aquatic Park for a quick open water swim at 8:00am which was pretty much the LAST thing I wanted to do. Betty, Pam, and some GGTCers can vouch for that! It took about 30 minutes for me to finally get in the water after much debate (“should I skip this swim and stay warm? Or suck it up, get in the water, and improve a weakness?!”). I jumped in, obviously.

I only swam for 30 minutes but it was about as much as I could handle that day. When I got out of the water I was frozen head-to-toe and couldn’t warm up. I had to go home to take a hot shower just to warm up before my long run!


My #JustRun moment came after my swim on Sunday morning. I was exhausted, not feeling well, and wanted to stay in bed with a good book and Netflix. But I thought about Ironman, about how important these peak weeks are, and about how much better I’ll feel after I run. So I put on my thermal/winter running outfit (it was freezing outside!) and took that first step. The first step is always the hardest.

I had a 2.5 hour run on my training calendar so I mapped a route that circled half of San Francisco. I ran through the Marina to Hopper’s Hands, up to the Golden Gate Bridge, through the Land’s End trail to Ocean Beach, then across Golden Gate Park and the Panhandle.

I ran at my “all day” comfortable pace which I’ve decided is about 9:30 – 9:45 minutes/mile (except uphills of course) for a total of 15.1 miles. I carried a bottle of lemon-lime Skratch Labs (AMAZING!!) and 200 calories worth of Shot Bloks and re-filled my bottle at water stops along the way. It was hard to pass up the delicious smell of hot pretzels in Golden Gate Park!

When you run all over an eclectic and beautiful city like SF you end up seeing some really interesting sites and people. My favorite was the adult roller-skating disco dance party in Golden Gate Park. They were having SO much fun!

Once I got out the door I almost immediately felt better. My headache was gone, my nausea disappeared and I felt strong enough to tackle this long run. I keep coming back to this theme because it happens to me over and over again — JUST RUN! Don’t think about it too much, don’t over-analyze, just take that first step, find your happy pace, and you’ll feel instantly amazing. #JustRun.

Strava Output
Strava Output

Inspiring Documentaries

  • Ride the Divide” — Highlights the 2,700 mile mountain bike race from Canada to Mexico. Free documentary on Netflix and crazy inspiring. Makes Ironman look like a joke.
  • Rising from Ashes” — This is about the development of the national cycling team in Rwanda. I was in tears hearing about the genocide and how these Rwandans used cycling as a way to overcome devastation.
  • Look where you go. And go where you look“. This is a 15-minute talk by Ironman champion Hillary Biscay on MindBodyGreen. Love this!


This Week’s Training Log

  • 3rd. Run. 15.1 miles. 10:05/mi. Marina + Hopper’s Hands + Lands End + Ocean Beach + Golden Gate Park + Panhandle
  • 3rd. Swim. Aquatic Park 30 minute swim.
  • 2nd. Bike. Marin Century 102 miles. 6 hours 40 mins.
  • 1st. Swim. 30 minutes 1,150 yards.
  • 31st. Strength. Burpees, jump rope, push-ups, squats, stairs.
  • 31st. Bike. Indoor bike intervals 18 miles + brick treadmill run + core + foam rolling
  • 30th. Run. Tempo run after work. 8.2 miles 8:41/mi
  • 30th. Swim. 2,100 yards with a focus on drills. 55 mins.
  • 29th. Bike. M2 power cycle class. 23 miles.

Thanks Everyone. Swim. Bike. Run. Eat Plants.

One thought on “Week 31: Marin Century

  1. I think the Marin Century should be officially renamed to Tour de Marin! haha! I love your #justrun story! It sounds like most of my long training runs. You are much braver than me for swimming in AP; Jesse and I live two blocks up the hill and I refuse to do it!

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