Gaining confidence with harder workouts

My swims are changing. My coach says my stroke turnover needs to get faster. There are so many things to think about.

I have more drills and fast 50s and 100s. I have mentioned the pool in town where I do most of my swim workouts. It is a community pool, and I think every minute is scheduled from early morning until it closes. Generally I go early during one of the adult swim times, and another time is at noon when there is adult and senior swim.

I have started calling it a “fossil fest” where I am the only fossil swimming.

During this time there is one lane roped off for those people who want to swim. The rest of the people stand around visiting or hanging on a noodle and float. I don’t get bored swimming a straight hour because it is quite entertaining. The lane that I swim in has one other person swimming. While I was doing freestyle the other person was on his back doing the elementary backstroke. That is a Red Cross stroke where the person looks like a frog swimming upside down. I was swimming along and all of a sudden this man, who was doing this backstroke, dove down to the bottom of the pool and did somersaults. Soon another man came along in his Speedo, swimming the breaststroke. At least he was swimming on his front. Another man got in this roped off lane and hung on the lane rope for a short time and then got on his back and swam the elementary backstroke and collided with me.

It was quite the morning.

I did get my 2,350-meter swim accomplished in one hour straight (half of it done with pull buoy and paddles). I was happy for my early Friday swim with only 2 other people in the pool. I guess the elementary backstroke was a popular stroke, back in the day.

Swimming wasn’t my only workouts last week.

My bike rides were challenging. A lot of speed work. I think I may have found a good nutrition combination for my long rides. The only problem was it came out in a misting spray from my water bottle all over me. By the time I got home I had a sticky mixture all over my legs and bike. Turns out I had bitten a tiny hole in the straw and there was a pinhole in it.  I was able to ride at a 90 cadence for an hour, and another at a 100 cadence. The  long ride was only 3 hours this week.  

My run was the longest to date, two hours, and I ran/walked 10 miles. There were a couple of short runs with intervals that I was able to accomplish. The weather was hot and humid so I was glad to get the runs accomplished this week.

Each week that I am able to complete harder workouts I feel a little more confident about the race. The swim will be my biggest hurdle. If I can get through the swim I feel pretty good about the rest of it. I still have moments of panic at just the thought of doing the race. I will keep doing whatever training plan is put before me.

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Gini Fellows

About Gini


Gini Fellows, a registered nurse, teaches health and wellness at the Biloxi, Mississippi, campus of Tulane University.  She’ll turn 70 in August, and is training for her first full Ironman in Florida in November 2016.  Her coach is her son, Patrick, who’s a huge inspiration to Gini as he schedules her workouts and helps her sort through her doubts and fears.

Gini’s always been active but only began competing in triathlons in 2007, after knee surgery.  In 2013 she competed in her first Ironman 70.3 race, and surprisingly came in 3rd in her age group, qualifying for the Ironman 70.3 World Championship.  In preparation for that distance Gini competed in Ironman Texas 70.3 and came in 1st in her age group.

Last year Gini began thinking about attempting to complete a full Ironman.  After talking it over with Patrick, who is competing with her, she decided to register and commit to her training.

Gini says she began her journey to Ironman Florida this winter by building a base and now she’s beginning to add harder and more specific workouts.

Gini’s excited to be blogging about her training – in her words, “the good, the bad, the ugly!!”

Thank you for following!!

A note about Ironman triathlons.

The Ironman 70.3 refers to the total distance in miles covered in the event, which comprises a 1.2-mile swim, a 57-mile bike ride, and a 13.1-mile run.

A full Ironman triathlon event comprises a 2.4-mile swim, a 114-mile bike ride, and a 26.2-mile run.

Ironman also has other events, including events for children and for women only.  For additional information, see the Ironman website.