Ok, i must preface this with the fact that Keith may kill me when he reads this. He’s a pretty modest and humble person but i’m going to go ahead and risk my life in order to get some stuff off my chest.
I am married to a BADASS. Period. Plain and simple. Of course, I knew he was a badass but did i really know he’s an all caps BADASS?! Well, now i do.
All kidding aside. As we’re gearing up for week 4 of our triathlon training, I have really been thinking more and more about what all Keith had to do to prepare for the Louisville Ironman last year. Yes, i knew everything he was doing because i wrote his training plan but i didn’t really know what he was going through because I wasn’t going through it too. I knew his rides were long, the swims were strenuous, and the runs were brutal but all i could physically relate to were the runs. I went on plenty of rides and I even rode beside him for lots of runs but it’s still not the same. I was there with him step for step but I still didn’t truly grasp what all his body was being expected to do and what it was actually capable of doing!
It’s crazy how tri training is so different from only running…and this is coming from someone who is really good at cross-training! I have been famished for 3 straight weeks. My body is fatigued all the time. I start every workout still a little tired from the previous workout. These are all great things and i’m loving the experience but when i think about the difference in what I’m doing and what he had to do to get ready for IM Louisville, I am truly blown away.
How in the world did he do it?! He never complained and he very rarely missed a single workout! As I sat here and planned our workouts for week 4 of tri training, I got curious about what a week in his training looked like. It seems like it was a zillion years ago so I pulled his plan up on my computer to see.
Granted, he was training for a 2.4 mile swim, 112 mile bike, and 26.2 run so obviously he needed some big training but still?! How was he able to do it?
Here’s a typical week in the land of Keith’s Ironman training (still about 4 months out from race day so he was still in the base building period of training at this point!):
Monday swim: warm up: 300 swim, 200 kick, 300 pull; main set: 30 x (50 w/ 10 sec rest) as follows: #1-10 = gradually get to 85% by #10, #11 – 18 = 25 kick, 25 sprint, #19-30 = race pace- each one at 90+% cool down: 400 pull (total = 2,700)
Tuesday: bike: warm up: 15 min; drills: 3 x (3 min isolated leg w/ 30 sec rest); main set: 2 x (20 min @84-92% w/ 10 @ 60-70% after each); cool down: spin until HR is below 50%
run: 1:10 (10 min warm up, 3 x (10 min tempo w/ 2 min recovery), 6 x (20 sec strides w/ 1:10 recovery after each)
Wednesday: bike: warm up: 20 min; drills: 3 x (3 min isolated leg w/ 30 sec recovery after each); main set: 3 x (16 min @ 75% w/ 4 min @ 60-70% after each); cool down: finish with easy recovery in small chain ring
Thursday: strength training
run: 60 min
Friday: swim: warm up: 400 swim, 300 pull, 200 swim, 100 kick ; main set: 2 sets of the following: 350 @ 75%, 300 @ 80%, 250 @ 85% – swim the first set, pull the second set ; cool down: 600 swim (total = 2,300)
Saturday: bike: 3:25
run: 50 min
swim: 30 min
Sunday: run: 1:45 (20 min easy, 3 x 20 min tempo runs w/ 5 min recovery between each, slow jog for rest of run)
bike: 60 min (immediately after run, if possible)
strength: home strength workout
I look at this and am in awe. I had so much respect for Keith as he was training and my heart completely swelled with pride when he crossed that finish line BUT, i have to say, i think all of that has quadrupled in the past 3 weeks. Not only because I am doing minuscule amounts compared to what he was doing and am finding that it’s quite hard but also because he has not even almost downplayed what we’re all doing. He trained for and completed the ultimate of tri’s while I’m training for .25 miles in the water, 12 miles on a bike, and a 3 mile run. What?!
I know a lot of athletes and it can be really hard to find those who won’t turn their nose down at you if your swim sucks or your bike is crappy but not Keith. He will be your biggest cheerleader. I think he might giggle at me sometimes when I overdramatize how i could eat my weight in cheese dip because I’m training my ass off or when I complain about having to get out of bed in the morning to get my “longest swim ever” done but he continues to treat me as an equal.
Why am I writing this, Keith is probably wondering. No, not just to remind him that he’s a total BADASS but also to remind myself (and all of you) that successful training and hard work equals a successful race. I’m sure Keith felt some burn-out at times in his 9 months of training but he continued to keep his eye on the finish line and was determined to get there. Keith is the perfect proof that if you want something bad enough, you can have it!
Keith, again, my hat’s off to you. Can’t wait to see how you tackle your next one 😉
Oh, and just for fun, i thought I’d throw in some re-cap race day pics!
(above) Pre Race Yoga (i think it’s about 4:30 AM!)
(above) Body Marking in the uber-nerve filled transition area
(above) Last “bye” before the swim start!!
(above) This was his “oh my gosh, i LOVED the 2.4 mile swim!!” (and, no, he wasn’t being sarcastic)
(above) Somewhere around the half-way point on the bike
(above) Coming into the transition area after 112 miles on the bike!!
(above) Mile 2 on the run. Filling his posse in on the first 10 hours of his day 🙂
(above) STEPS AWAY FROM THE FINISH LINE! “KEITH RITCHEY, YOU ARE AN IRONMAN” (aka BADASS) 🙂