IronBritt Update: A Week of Inspo & Injury

Six weeks till Ironman and strangely, I am not nervous....yet. I'm sure that feeling will soon come my way. But for now, I've been taking it day by day and giving each workout my undivided attention. I had a slower week following my half Ironman in Syracuse and then I gained some speed last week by doubling up on workouts and focusing on areas that need improvement....yes, that would be the bike.

I have a lot of updates for you, actually. Many things have happened in the past week...some good, some bad, and some just plain evil. What would you like first? Let's start with good, since most races kick off that way anyhow! hehe. Ok, I'll leave Negative Nancy at home. A race is great the whole time!! (actually, accoridng to my Syracuse race photos, I did look like I was having a ball).

Last week, my training schedule was packed with workouts and activities. One very exciting addition to my week was my midday run with a world champ! That's right, 3x Ironman World Championship winner Mirinda Carfrae led a special running workout at Mile High Run Club in NYC last Tuesday, June 30th. Yes, it was my second run workout of the day, but it was so worth it to lace back up and spend some time with a woman who defines speed and girl power. A handful of my Terrier Tri teammates joined me as we participated in a special interval workout which "Rinny" led as she roamed the room and encouraged us to up the ante. Rinny won last year's Ironman World Championship by closing a 14-minute gap on the run, catching up to her competitors and blasting past them to snag the win. Her small frame of 5'3 is petite but mighty, and proves that power comes from within. You could imagine my 5'0 self was proud to see her zoom past the long legs and break stereotypes. Anyway, after 30 minutes of pushing our limits on the treadmill, we hopped off to sip some Liquiteria green juices and exchange stories of sweat. Pretty cool way to spend a lunch hour...getting tips from a pro, just at the height of Ironman training. My friends at Ironman were nice enough to share Rinny's INTRO TO RACE PACE treadmill workout, so here it is! Try it!...

5-Minute Warm Up

·         Zone 1: 60-70% effort  

o   Includes 2 x 30 second intervals at 100% effort  

5 x 3 Minute Efforts

·         First effort (3 minutes) at Zone 3 (75-90% effort)

o   Recover at Zone 1 pace for a minute

·         Second effort (3 minutes) at Zone 3 (75-90% effort)

o   Recover at Zone 1 pace for a minute

·         Third effort (3 minutes) at Zone 3 (75-90% effort)

o   Recover at Zone 1 pace for a minute

·         Fourth effort (3 minutes) at Zone 4 (90-95% effort)

o   Recover at Zone 1 pace for a minute

·         Fifth effort (3 minutes) at Zone 4 (90-95% effort)

o   Recover at Zone 1 pace for a minute

5-Minute Cool Down

·         Zone 1: 60-70% effort

later that evening on June 30th, was pretty special too. Actually, it was inspirational, emotional, heartfelt, and fulfilling. It was the annual gala for Back on My Feet NYC. Back on My Feet (BoMF) is a nonprofit, founded in 2006, that uses running to help those experiencing homelessness change the way they seem themselves so that they can make changes that result in employment and independent living. By showing up to run, members take steps toward achieving big milestones in their lives. I had the privilege to work with BoMF in 2012 when they were a PR client of mine, gearing up to launch the NYC chapter. So up my alley, I was honored to be in the presence of these wonderful members and volunteers and help tell their story to the masses. So it's without question that I attend the annual birthday bash that celebrates another year of accomplishments for this organization. Terrier Tri's running coach, Terence Gerchberg, happens to be the new Executive Director of BoMF NYC, so a bunch of us Terriers came out to support and ring in this special celebration. The night was filled with great speeches, impressive stats, conversations with like-minded people, and the showstopper of the evening - a wonderfully inspirational speech from Paul - an alumni and gradate of the BoMF program who had gone from depression and homelessness to having multiple jobs, degrees in motion, and an apartment to call his own. His speech about finding his way and loving his morning runs, especially the way they started with hugs, lifted all 500 guests to their feet for a standing ovation. I personally was in tears from his smile alone. What a courageous man, and bravo to him for facing his fears and telling his story to hopefully help the next person afraid to step forward and face change.
I encourage you to get involved with BoMF in any of their eleven chapters nationwide. Visit for more info.

Since it was a holiday week, I had a half day Thursday and Friday off, so I vowed to use them wisely. Thursday night, I cleaned my bike chain all by myself! That was a proud moment. Then on Friday, myself and four others from the team got together for a long bike ride out of the city and to Bear Mountain. I personally had to ride 90 miles so I woke up earlier than our meeting time and did several loops of Central Park before joining the group and heading over the George Washington Bridge together. We passed through Jersey, and Rockland County, NY to make our way to Bear Mountain Park, near Harriman, NY. The road getting there had plenty of climbs but the downhills were personally a very big struggle for me on this day. I've done plenty before, but for some reason the downhills I faced that day really had me thinking I was going to crash and die this way. (I know, a bit dramatic) But I just couldn't find my confidence and I couldn't loosen up to enjoy those fast stretches, mainly because they made me feel like I was flying - and I hate flying, hate speed, I pretty much always hated going too fast since I was a little kid. It also should be noted that my mother was in a brutal bike accident several years ago and nearly lost her life- a scary memory that usually hangs over my head when I ride down and fast. So when the time came to decide if I wanted to actually climb Bear Mountain, I had a moment where my nerves got the best of me as I feared not the climb, but the long downhill I'd have to face coming down. Luckily, I was with an incredible group of supportive people and after deciding I'd go for it, they stuck by me and kept my spirits up the entire time. The climb was tough but a great challenge, and the downhill wasn't horrendous. I had close calls of ending up in trees but somehow I managed to stay on the road. After 90 miles for me and about 60 or so for them, we ended in Cold Spring, NY where we had a nice lunch outdoors and topped it off with some ice cream before hopping the train with our bikes back to Grand Central Station in NYC. Overall, a great day filled with accomplishment.

Saturday, July 4th was all about the holiday, and since I was out of the city, I took the day off from training. But Sunday's plan was to get back at it with a 15-mile run and 3000yd swim. I let myself sleep and then finally made my way to the Hudson River running path to take on my miles, figuring flat and fast was the way to go today. At not even two miles in, near Chelsea Piers, I tripped over an uneven cement plate on the pier and flew to the ground, twisting my left ankle and landing on my right knee. Immediately, I screamed curse words and took a seat in the grass to collect my thoughts and quickly undress my left foot. Veins were like HELLO but swelling and pain seemed fairly minimal. Mentally, I was freaking out thinking about my two upcoming races - NYC Triathlon and Ironman Mont Tremblant - in 2 weeks and 6 weeks respectively. How the hell could I get injured on the RUN!? This is the last place I expected to fall. I was literally in tears riding my bike, fearful of crashing, and now I have a new injury from a little crack in the ground. SO frustrating. Well, like any stubborn warrior would, at some point I got back up and slowly started to run again, figuring I'd see how far I can get. 8 miles later, I knew something was up when the pain increased and my pace was weakening. 15 miles was out of the question. I need ice immediately. So I headed home and elevated what was now a swollen golf ball of an ankle. Oy vey is me. 

And that's where I'm at now - with a sprained ankle, or at least that's what I've determined it is. I'll see the doctor on Thursday, but for now I am not running or cycling and I'm trying to stick to the RICE method - Rest, Ice, Compress, Elevate. I got up Monday morning to swim on my own and the second I started to move my foot in the water, I was in pain. But it turns out, the pull buoy is great for my injury! I was able to "pull"-off a 2400yd swim using the buoy between my legs the entire time. It kept my lower body at rest while my upper body was strengthened. It also kept me feeling like myself. Because if you know me, fitness is my joy, and I have a hard time going a day without something active. But my coach knows what's up and so I'm to take this time to heal and see if I can soon get back on track. Will I do the NYC Triathlon in less than two weeks? That is TBD, but I will hope. All I know, is NO MATTER WHAT I am getting to that Ironman in 6 weeks, injury-free. This will NOT hold me back from what I've worked so hard for over these last seven months. 

Lastly, coming at a perfect time, I am excited that my friends at food delivery service Hello Fresh have sent over fresh produce and eats for me to cook this week. I made my first meal last night and I will soon share all the deets and photos with you. Since I can't exercise much, at least I have something exciting and delicious to come home to! So stay tuned!

I hope you all had a wonderful, injury-free holiday weekend, filled with yummy food and good company. Let my downfall be a lesson to us all - be careful out there!! We are strong but we are not superhuman. Things can break, though they can be fixed. Sending positive and painless vibes your way!

Down but not out(!),