Even an Ironman trainee needs a break sometimes

Stephanie Fish shares some of her training experiences as she prepares for her first full Ironman triathlon.

At what point does this training become less like a hobby, and more like a part-time job?

I think I’ve reached that point.

Between a full-time job and three side hustles (yoga, coaching and dog sitting), I needed a break.

I went to Austin, Texas, with my childhood bestie. It was nice to get away, but I was freaking out about a four-day training break.

Triathlon Distances

Sprint: 750-meter swim, 20-kilometer bike, 5-kilometer run

Olympic: 1.5-kilometer swim, 40-kilometer bike, 10-kilometer run

Ironman: 3.8-kilometer swim, 180.2-kilometer bike, 42.2-kilometer run

I took full advantage of Austin, though, and after I got back, I was seriously back.

I forced myself to ride in the rain, log an 8-mile run and teach extra fitness classes at the YMCA.

I was happy to get in my final prep race at Derby City Trifecta — an Olympic-distance triathlon. But I was still scheduled to ride for another 2½ hours, so after the Trifecta, I biked another 35 miles.

I was a piece of burnt toast when finished!

Some things went well; others could have gone better for me in the Trifecta.

Norton Sports Health

You don’t have to be an elite athlete to get elite care.

Norton Sports Health is the official health care provider of the Louisville Cardinals and the official medical provider of Ironman Louisville.

Learn More


  • I went to the Kentucky State Fair the night before and stayed out too late.
  • I was late to the race, therefore inevitably stressed.
  • I couldn’t muster a 6 a.m. breakfast, so I had to rely on my Uncrustable sandwich bike nutrition.
  • I dropped the Uncrustable at the first mile.
  • The body marker put my race number on my calf, instead of my age. 98!!!
  • I didn’t race with my usual Infinit sports fuel, because I was out.
  • It was SO HOT.
  • My chip malfunctioned, so I was listed as 0.0 on bike, and 0.0 finish.
  • Didn’t get called for age group awards because of the chip issue.


  • Being late allowed me to have an extra bathroom break before I left my house.
  • The sprint-distance triathlon started after us, so I wasn’t out there totally alone.
  • I got to swim the entire upstream part of the Ohio River that we will swim for Ironman Louisville.
  • I had a good swim, decent bike, and pretty good run.
  • I found my Uncrustable on the road for the second loop of the bike! You know I ate it.
  • I remembered sunscreen.
  • I hydrated very well using Nuun tabs (bike) and Sport Beans (run).
  • I chatted with the timer after the race, and my results were fixed online!
  • Paced and hydrated well enough to ride another 35 miles after the race!

No race will ever go exactly as planned, and that’s what I expect for Ironman Louisville.

It could be 80 degrees and sunny.

It could be 30 degrees and raining.

I’ll be ready!

Stephanie Fish, sports events marketing coordinator for Norton Sports Health, is training for Ironman Louisville — her first Ironman-distance triathlon.

Schedule an Appointment

Select an appointment date and time from available spots listed below.