Saturday, April 19, 2014

Training in Paradise! (Arizona Training Camp)

I have spent 10 awesome days in Arizona. Loved every second of it. And I am going back next year!:)

Krista and Kelly (Thank you Krista and Kelly!!! You did a great job!!!) of BSC were organizing the first edition of Scottsdale Training Camp but I figured if I was going to go to Arizona I better spent more than five days there.
So I got hooked up with a lovely Christie who let me stay at her house in Tucson area for a few days (Thanks Christie!) before the official camp began.

I pretty much spent my days riding my bike on nice wide "shouldered" roads (ok, not all roads in Tucson are smooth, some are really crappy but most are nicer than here in IL), running through the deserts (sooooo beautiful! I love cacti!) and swimming in outdoor pools (outdoor pool! I have not swum in one since Hannover)!

I so loved doing nothing just training and relaxing the whole days. Dreamy. Since I cannot write about every single awesomeness here are some highlights:

I got sunburnt the very first day on my 4h ride....And then little bit more the second day.

Mt Lemmon - or rather the cookie. You know how they say that those cookies from the Cookie Cabin are huge and you cannot eat one all myself. Well, I did not believe that. Challenge??? Mt Lemmon was not really in my plan for pre-official camp because we were going to ride up as part of the camp too but you see, I was going to try to eat that damn cookie all by myself but I was slightly embarrassed to do it in front of all other campers so I had to go up alone. I shot a text to Michelle begging her to let me go up. And she did:) I took my sweet time going up because I did not know what to expect, just steady pedaling up up UP! and at around mile 20 I was ready to throw the bike off the nearest cliff and hitch the ride to the Cookie Cabin. But I eventually made it after 3h5min and got my cookie! Chocolate Chip with ice cream, caramel, nuts and whipped cream. It took me 30 minutes to eat that thing:)

Running through the desert is awesome. Sooo pretty. Dry, but pretty.

Christie has a grapefruit tree in her backyard and I love grapefruits! One of my favorite fruits. And fresh grapefuits are so yummy. I had a fresh grapefruit every day and even took some with me home. 

I spent five glorious days in Tucson and then moved to Scottsdale to continue with the fun!

It was super fun. I train alone all the time therefore I LOVED riding, running and swimming with other people.

Special surprise - Michelle came for the camp!!! I had no idea she was coming. She just showed up on one of our bike rides... Funny thing that I was not wearing my glasses so I did not really recognize her:) We would rip each other legs off on our bikes if we were training together! Sucking her bike wheel was one of the best times I had at the camp.

Mt Lemmon - the second time felt shorter/easier. I took me 10min less and I think that it was easier because I knew what was coming. The week before I only went to the Cookie Cabin but this time I decided to go all the way up to the Summit. It was all good until the Ski Valley but then the "fun" part began with the steeper hills. Descend is super fun. The week before I could not fully enjoy it because I was stopping like every 5min to take pictures and I got stuck behind this very slow car. But not this time, I stayed in aerobar 99% of the descend and it was great!

I rode with some awesome ladies. They were in 40+ age group and they could kick any 20-year old a$$. I want to be like them when I grow up!

Until next year!!!

Riding to the Mt Lemmon summit. There was snow. Brrrr!

Isn't this pretty? I can get used to riding here!

Running in the desert. Loved it! 

Swimming here makes early morning wake up calls easier... 

Grapefruits. Yum! 

Tuesday, March 11, 2014

1k under 4 minutes

I am not sure what it says about how things are going if I'm excited about running one 1k repeat in 3:56. It probably means I need to put my sh*t together and do something about my running fitness (stop running intervals by feel, start using your watch!!!). But I can't help it. I am pretty stocked about that <4 min:-="" nbsp="" p="">
Actually I ran 3 of them (after an easy 5mile warm up, for 8.5miles total run). They were 4:04, then I decided that the wind was too strong so I changed the start so I ran the tailwind stretch 3 times and headwind stretch only 2 times, 4:00, 3:56. And I jogged/walked 800-1000m in between so my rest was like 7-8min.
My legs hurt already after 800 m of the 1st interval. I could still feel my right hip flexor little bit as I opened my stride, but most of the pain was just not being used to faster running and the permanent tired state my legs are in. I guess that's what 70.3 training does to you.

I don't remember the last time I ran fast intervals. I think that it was couple months ago (I tried last Friday but that didn't work out very well so I'm obviously not counting that). Let me brainstorm: I trained for BSL all last spring with long intervals at HM pace, then my training went downhill when I was working 80-90h weeks all summer and all I could master were 1h easy runs at 4am before the daily hell started, then after Vegas I had enough and spent the fall eating peanut butter out of the jar using chocolate bars as a spoon. So really I have no idea when I did something fast but it was a long time ago.

So eventough it was slow by my standards and it hurt more than I would have liked, it still felt awesome because we all know how much I love track workouts. I wish I could do only those!
Oh yeah, and it was like 70 degrees and I was in shorts and sports bra! I'm solar powered. (Unless it is 100 degrees because my 6 feet and 140 pounds body doesn't deal that well with that.)

I just got a confirmation yesterday that I can race AG ITU Olympic distance World Championship in Edmonton at the end of August, so once I'm done with my Mallorca vacation I am hopefull that I will do more of these faster efforts:-)

Sunday, March 9, 2014

7 days later

and I am still sore from that spin bike ride I did as part of the indoor tri. Can you believe that?
I tried to open my stride during a 1k repeats workout on Friday but it hurt too much and I was worried that I might tear something in the psoas/grouch/hip flexors/inner thighs area.
Although I must say that today it feels much better than on Friday so hopefully my poor legs will be fully recovered by Tuesday.

On a different note. I finally bought my plane ticket to Mallorca (doing Mallorca 70.3 on May 10). My sister, mom, cousin and grandfather are coming too. We arrive Thursday, I race Saturday and then we stay exploring the island until Tuesday, and then I go to Slovakia to visit the rest of the fam until Sunday. So it is really not my "A" race, more like a vacation. And let me say that if Andreas Raelert doesn't race I would be really mad because he was the number one item on my "why do Mallorca race" list.

I checked the participant list and there is 113 women in my AG. Interesting. Could be worse, there is over 400 men in 30-34... Around 3000 athletes total. Yeah, everybody (meaning German and British speedsters) is going to be there. Highly popular race. With 1 slot to Mt Tremblant for each women's AG... Good thing I am not after any slots. But one day I will be back to win that race!!!:-)

Since I'm doing the race for fun (at least as much fun as one can have doing a HIM) I am not bringing my bike. Too much hassle. Mallorca is a very popular training spot so there are tons of bike shops offering bike rentals.  So I figured I can just rent a bike. But 5 hours and multiple emails later I found ONE tri bike for rent on the whole island....OK, I found 3 - but one is unavailable, the second one is too small, so that left me with one, which was labeled as testing bike. I reserved it but haven't received any confirmation so who knows what the deal is.
If worse come to worse I will race on a road bike. It is for fun anyway, right? ( just remind me about this when I'm super pissed about everyone kicking my butt on a bike portion after the race). And there is a 13mile climb in the middle of the bike so maybe I will be OK.

Sunday, March 2, 2014

Indoor triathlon RR

You would be surprised what a supposedly short and sweet triathlon could do to you...I can't lift my legs and am likely skipping all the workouts planned for today just to recover from this 45 min long triathlon. I spent a few minutes at 2am on a foam roller today trying to limit the damage. True story.

I figured that swimming 10 min in a pool, riding 20 min on stationary bike and running 15 min on an indoor track would be a nice change from sitting on my trainer for 3-4h every weekend.

Swim was great, we were in multiple waves so each participant had her own lane. I swam exactly 700yards in 10 min. That's is around 1:25 pace and it didn't even felt hard. (I probably shouldn't admit that I didn't go as hard as I should have but just trying to be honest)
I swam around 14:45 for 1000 yards a few weeks ago and it definite was harder than yesterday's effort. It either means that my swimming is coming along nicely or it proves my theory that the pool I swim in is slow. Seriously, I went to visit my sis for the past two Xmases and I swam in pool there and both times when I got back to my pool I was like whoa, do they pour oil into this thing????

Then you had 10 min to transition. I changed to my tri shorts, drank water, chatted with a few people....

Bike is what has caused my very achy legs. You see, they had those spinning bikes and the way they function is the faster you spin the further you go. Therefore that was a torture for someone like me who usually bikes at low 80s cadence....So I spinned and spinned and spinned my brain out and my hip flexors got tighter and tighter and tighter.
You can totally tell who spends their free time in spin classes. We were all smoked by this 45years old lady. Next year I doing some spin classes with her if I'm doing this race again.
So I got off the bike and holy shi*!!!, my hip flexors! And they got only worse from there, not I can't lift either of my legs without using my arms to pull my leg up (how is that for explanation?). And those muscles behing the knees aren't thrilled with me either. I seriously think that if I try to bike today I'm going to injure myself.

Then another 10min transition that I spent...correct, stretching my hip flexors.

Run was alright. I started well, then it got harder, I was able to hold the pace for a little while but then I slowed down. I ran 3 600 m, which is 4:10 pace I believe. Hm, thinking of that, not too bad.

And that was it. 45min of SBR, 20min transitions, pure fun.

Wednesday, January 22, 2014

I am ready

Thank you Continental!!!!

Well, partly ready. I still need to train.

Saturday, January 18, 2014

I am a fish (swim test #1)

(Is there supposed to be that 'a' in front of fish? I have no idea. I am very bad at this whole article thing in English. We do not have those in Slovak so it is too abstract and I am sure I don't use the articles correctly 40% of the time.) I did a swim test the other day and I swam the fastest I have ever swum! How exciting is that???????? My fastest swimming speed ever!
50: 35
200: 2:39
1000: 15:48

Both 50 and 200 were PRs, 1000 was, let's go with I didn't drown.

But that 50, I felt so fast:-)  I think I swam 1:10ish for 100 once with fins so that doesn't really count.
I can't understand how some people can knock off 100s in one minute like nothing.

Saturday, January 4, 2014


I am going to give this blog another shot. I really liked it but then life (or is it laziness?) got into way.

2014 is here!!!!
I made a promise to myself that my work is not going to ruin my "athletic career" (I am using that term looselly)! So if I start bitching about having to  work 80 h a week someone remind me about this promise ( if the writing on my bathroom mirror is not reminding enough)

I have nothing exciting to report training wise (let's keep our fingers crossed that it will change soon. See the paragraph above) so I will at least tell you what I want to do in 2014.
Half-ironman in Mallorca (May), ITU Chicago Olympic distance,(June) ITU Olympic distance age group world champs in Canada (August) and half-ironman in Brasil(December). How freaking awesome is 2014 going to be, right?!?

Half-iron worlds are not on the list because I don't think I can qualify and I don't have that much desire to qualify anyway. Hm, maybe I don't think I can qualify because I don't have enough desire to qualify? Or maybe I don't have the desire to qualify because I don't think I can? And it is one week after oly worlds and in the middle of one of the busiest week of the year at work...Anyway....maybe if I can start training soon and can see that I might be able to get into a necessary shape I will put it on my list.

So wish me luck and stay tuned.

Sunday, October 6, 2013

Is it time to start training again?

So my two weeks of eating and doing nothing are over and I have been training for the last 2 weeks. I was surprised that starting training again was not as bad as I expected. Because those two weeks that I took off I had my bike or swimming suit in a car every single day but I never used it because when I got to the intersection and I had to make decision "pool" or "home" I always chose chocolate, uh, I mean home.

So I did some swims (and managed to injure my shoulder last Wednesday. Hopefully it is already gone and I can swim again) and those swims felt very good. I was not fast but I felt fast, and smooth and efficient.

I did a few bike rides. They were effort based, I am too scared to use my powermeter (plus it is out of batteries). Some rides were on a trainer and I was kind of treading them at first. But it turned out that I just totally forgot how much I like trainer workouts. So it is all good.

And runs. I did two track workouts this week! Awesome. I am pretty sure that the last time I did something faster than 8min pace was in early July. On Tuesday I did 8x400m with 2min rest. I started at 1:38 pace. Wow. But I did not cry:) I did 1:38s, then 1:36, 1:35, 1:30, 1:30. I do not know how I did it:)
And today...I did a workout off the bike. 3k sub-tempo (I did 4:24, 4:19, 4:15, nothing extraordinary but better than expected!!!), 5min rest and 4x800. Those were horrible. 3:05, 3:08, 3:09, 3:15 (but still better than expected). The rest was only 90sec and it was not enough. At the start of each one I was still huffing and puffing from the previous one. And I totally died on the last one.
It can get only better from here, right?

Sunday, September 22, 2013

Ironman 70.3 World Champs RR

I must say that I am glad I did not bail out and went to Vegas after all. It was a good experience and I like Nevada and it gave me a chance to take some time off work. So really no complains!

I finally got off work at 11pm on Wednesday, went home and started packing….Got couple hours of sleep and off to the airport to catch an early morning flight. My cousin was coming with me and my sister was arriving later in the evening.

Michelle rented a super nice house in Henderson where me and a few other of her athletes were staying. Michelle has been helping me with my training since 2011 but I have not met her yet and I finally got to meet her when she picked me up at the airport!

Thursday, Friday and Saturday were pretty much resting, eating and some shake-out workouts (I biked, ran and swam in those three days more than I have in 2 weeks preceding this race but it did not really matter at that point).

We talked with Michelle about my race strategy and we agreed that I have two options: I go and just finish it (hopefully without crying), or I take a risk and see what happens (and hopefully it does not deter me completely from doing another half-ironman).I think that we both knew that I was going for the second option.

So the race.

I got up at around 3:45, ate a huge French chocolate brioche (yummy!), drank some water and we drove to the race side.

We were all mentally preparing for 100+ degrees so when it was raining when we woke up race morning it was quite unexpected. I did not think about it at all, it is only rain and I am not made of sugar so I won’t melt, right?

I put my two bottles on a bike, checked whether tires are ok and then we waited and waited and waited since transition was closing at 6am and my wave did not start until 7:42. It was still raining but it was not cold at all and we found a nice cozy carpeted and roofed place to sit down while waiting. Waiting was quite nerve-wracking and I was anxious to get started and get it over with and enjoy my post-race MilkDuds.

Since they did not allow us to warm up in the water I jogged a little bit, stretched to warm up little bit.
I do not know how it is supposed to work but I did not join my wave until a few minutes before they let us into water. Was I supposed to wait and stand there the whole time?

Swim. I started pretty well, I did not get kicked or hit at all and I even found feet to draft off. I had no idea where we were going since I was not able to preview the course because it was not set up in the day before when we did our practice swim and I did not wear glasses or contacts on a race day so I did not see the bouys that well. I just followed people in front of me. I think I swam pretty well but then somewhere around turnaround we kind of merged together and caught some slower swimmers from previous waves and I got hit, I almost swam over someone, lost the feet I was following, drank some lake water, and the lack of training started showing. I wanted to cry a little towards the end since I started thinking about what is still ahead of me (13.1 run, scary scary scary) but then I almost got hit by a huge guy from a wave that started after me and that “woke” me up and I forgot those negative thoughts.

I swam 37 high, which is truly horrible but thankfully I did not know it at the time because I forgot to start my watch at the start, so I thought that I did alright.

Transition was uneventful, it was little muddy with all the rain and 2000 athletes running through it before me, but I did not wipe out or take anyone out trying to put my feet into my shoes (You know how they say you should not try anything new on a race day? It is probably true but that did not stop me from using a new speedsuit, new tri top and new tri bike shoes that I clipped into the pedals, which I have never done before. I had nothing to lose, just to gain.)

Bike. One of Michelle’s super talented athlete Kimberly passed me after the first mile or two of the bike and that’s when I decided that it was a taking-risk time. Just stay with her, keep her in sights. I knew that I was riding well over my fitness level and there were moments when I was thinking that maybe I should just let her go because my legs were screaming. But as I said I had nothing to lose, only to gain. I thought we were doing pretty well because we were passing a lot of people. Some men of course passed me but not many women. We were full aero and pedaling hard even on downhills eventhough it was still raining. My legs finally gave out when we got back into town and the last 2-3 miles were very very slow. 2:48 something bike.

The ride was not ideal both because I rode too hard and because I feel it was not steady at all with lots of spikes. Should be fun run...

Volunteers took my bike, gave me my run gear bag and I ran into the changing tent (sweet, I have never done a race before when volunteers took my bike or gave me my bag. I actually never did a race when I had a gear bag!)

Run...It was slow and pathetic but so much better than Buffalo Springs Lake. I was going very slow but I was still passing people so it means that they were even more done than I was. I did not walk as much as in Texas but I started walking aid stations the last lap. I actually liked the run course a lot! It was just 2 miles dragging ass up and then cruising downhill for 2 miles. And repeat 3 times. So it was easy to break it down mentally which worked well for me. My ITB got tight around mile 11 but it was better than in Texas, which I was pretty surprised because downhills are the worst for my ITB. Speaking of downhills, I never (never!) run downhills in training (because of my ITB) so you can imagine what my quads went through after pretty much running 6 miles downhill. Major soreness. Total time 1:46.
My sister and cousin were on the run course which was kind of nice and they took some pictures and videos but I have not seen those.

I finished the swim in the 45th place, biked myself into the 18th place, and also finished the run in the 18th place in my age group, total time 5:18 something. Which I guess it alright considering everything leading to that race. But I was quite disappointed after the race because I thought that we were killing the bike with Kimberly and I was positive that almost nobody passed me on a run, so I was thinking that the placing will be better. I had no idea that my swim was that bad and that I was that far back after the swim. And we were not really killing the bike, it was just me killing myself on that bike and there is a difference between the two:) Which is maybe a good thing because since I was thinking that I was killing it I was super positive and I did not want to cry. The only crying moment was during the swim and then it was only happy thoughts afterwards:)

I felt so much better physically after this race than I felt after the Buffalo Springs Lake. I honestly did not want to do this ever again after BSL, I was that miserable. But Vegas race was not that bad and my first thoughts were not „Ï am never doing this again!“. I think that it was the heat in Texas that made the whole experience so hard. Or maybe the second half-ironman is just easier than the first one. 

Lessons learned:
70.3 is not that awful after all
My long runs must be longer than 11 miles because my legs do not have enough endurance to run 13 miles. Eventhough my ITB hurt a lot after the race  it seems ok so I will try to do longer runs in the future.
You can run and pee at the same time
I am never ever doing a full Ironman

I said that I will decide what’s next after Vegas. So I signed up for Mallorca 70.3 next year. I would like to go visit my family so I will do that at the same time.

And what have I been doing for the last two weeks? Nothing. The last two weeks were my doing nothing getting fat weeks! And it was awesome. That's also why it took me two weeks to write this race report. I had zero motivation to do anything (I did Tough Mudder last weekend  and I ran a couple timesbut that was only fun, no stress). I had my swim gear in my car every single day but every single day I decided that I prefer going home, sit on my butt and eat peanut butter out of the jar using Hershey’s chocolate as a spoon.
I needed a break. Mostly mental break. It feels so good to not have anything looming over my head (race, training) and causing a lot of stress.
I woke up yesterday, went coaching a youth soccer game (do not ask), ran 8 miles because I felt like it and then came home and watched stupid comedy TV series eating chocolate and watermelon until 1am. It was wonderful!

Wednesday, September 4, 2013

Race week is here

Ok, it is 11pm, I just came home from work and I should be sleeping but I cannot fall asleep yet because there is so much on my mind. Maybe putting it down on "paper" will help.

I do not have much positive to say. I have been working 73hours/week on average in the last ~6 week culminating with 85-hour week two weeks ago that included being at work from 6:30am Thursday to 9:30pm Friday....
So I did not train much and most of my training was happening at 4am after 6hours of sleep. I really tried to make peace with not being able to train like I want to, and some days I was successful, some not so much.
Last week and this week so far have been the worst and a lot of tears were shed.
I am super stressed from race and work and I am not even packed yet and my car broke down today and now I do not know how I am going to get to airport since the only friend I have here cannot give me a ride.
Deep breaths, deep breaths......I can do this.

I am a realist but I guess that each of us has that unrealistic part, and that small part of me was still hoping that I can pull it off, that I can have a good race. But then something happened today (I am not going into details here but someone told me something) and that little hope was crushed. So now I am going into the race without any hope and totally scared.I am 99% certain that I will cry at the start line.

I know it is horrible attitude and therefore my goal for this weekend is to behave in such a way that my negativity wont affect anyone. And another goal is not to cry at the start line...crying into goggles sucks, I have done that twice in the last week.

I really want it to be over and then I will start thinking about what to do next because I am not going to have another summer like this. It was awfull!

Tuesday, August 6, 2013

Bullet points

I spent the weekend at Lake Michigan with some friends. My friend has a house there, right on a beach and it was awesome!

I ran 12 miles on a beach on Sunday and I wish I could do it every day.  It was amazing.

I went there mostly to cheer on friends racing Steelhead and as I did it I had zero desire to race myself. You know how my original plan was 1, to race Steelhead to try to qualify to Vegas if I do not qualify at BSL, 2, to race Steelhead to get more experience for Vegas if I qualify at BSL. Well, all that went out the window after I actually experienced what it is like to race halfironman. No thank you.

It was great to spend time with similarly minded friends. Since I do not have any friends here and even less someone to train with having people to chat and laugh and bike with was a real highlight of a trip.

I need training partners. It is so much easier to get motivated when someone is with you. Training always alone is starting to get non-motivational. Unfortunatelly closest bigger city that has a club is an hour drive so that's not gonna happen.

I was at work for 12+ hours yesterday, 12 hours today and will be back tomorrow at 5am. I told my boss I cannot and will not stay really late tomorrow to which he responded "wanna bet?"....

I will probably go home for a week in November, which will be fun. I am preparing a list of my favorite meals that my grandma is going to cook for me:)

Saturday, July 20, 2013


Not giving up on triathlon, just having fun.

Thursday, July 11, 2013

And now what?

Do not worry, I am going to do Vegas. I just bought flights tickets 2 minutes ago. (My cousin and my sister are coming because eventhough neither of them wanted to go to Texas with me, when I said I am racing in Vegas they both suddenly got exciting about my racing...)

The week after Buffalo Springs Lake was super recovery. Pretty much sitting on my butt for 5 days. Both because I had zero motivation to do something and because I was at work from dusk to dawn every day including 12h on July 4!
Michelle said that sitting on my butt for 5 days might kill me but I like taking risks:)

ITB is good. It hurt evening after the race and during the night but I made sure not to bend my knee unless necessary and that helped I think and it felt good again on Tuesday already.

So Vegas.....I am not excited for the race. It seems that I was either excited by the idea of qualifying but not actually racing it, or I am not excited because I am scared. Like really scared. By the run.

But I was running today (another horrible run) and I have made a decision to try an experiment. And a huge weight lifted of my chest. Here is what I want to do. I am a decent runner. I can run ~42 10k in an Olympic distance triathlon without too much training. But as I was training for the half-marathon something happened. Pretty much every run workout in the two months leading to BSL ended in frustration and occasional tears. And it continues. I do not know whether it is because of the HM training but in my mind it is. So what I would like to do is to train as if I was training for a 10k (no half-marathon effort thrown in a middle of a long run and stuff like that) but with one looong run (well, loooong meaning 10-11miles). And then see whether I can pull of a half-marathon.
I of course need to run this idea by PPC first but you would not believe how relieved I was immediately after I thought of this.

Maybe it will not work out and I will die slow and painful death in Vegas but at least I hope I will not go through the run training I went through in May and June and it will be better for my confidence and stress levels.
I am excited by the idea!

I will make a decision whether I will continue with halfs after Vegas. I will definitely let you know!

Tuesday, July 2, 2013

Buffalo Springs Lake 70.3 RR (my 1st half-ironman)

I am alive people! But it was really a close call.
And now I know that I am never (NEVER) going to do a full Ironman because it must be at least twice as
horrible as a half-ironman.

To sum it up: It was hard! I did not really enjoy it that much and I am scared to do another one. But I get to do it all over again in September…. I hope that by then I will forget about the misery I went through on Sunday and it will be all good.

So the race. We (my cousin and I) drove 7h to Tulsa on Thursday, spent the night and then drove 7h to Lubbock. It was pretty good, we did not fight too much and he almost convinced me to buy a Camaro.
Got to the hotel, registered, jogged for 7min around the parking lot and went to sleep.

Saturday was supposed to be shake out bike and swim but we had a pretty big storm with lightning and everything so I did not swim and I biked for around 15min just to check that my new wheel actually turn.
I also went to a store and bough Vittoria Pit Stop that I forgot in a car where it exploded once it got 100+
degrees in a car and went through the plastic that cover a door and got stuck there.

Sunday I woke up at 3:30, ate two blueberry bagels and one caramel Milka chocolate and drank some
I set up my transition, kept it very simple, jogged for a bit, put on my wetsuit (Amanda Stevens was right to me putting her wetsuit on. Good omen.), said bye to my cousin, swam for around 200m. Then I got quite nervous and started wondering how in the world a few months ago could I have thought that doing a HIM was a good idea.

And soon we were off. It was a beach start so I sprinted, then did 2 dolphin dives (or something like
that since I have never practices it) and start swimming. I think that I had a pretty good start. I decided to gamble and did not wear contacts which pretty much means that there was a possibility that I might not be able to see the buoys very well. But I did see them and I was following people so no issue. I found some feet to draft off but then lost them soon and then I spend most of the swim trying to catch those feet. So swim went by quite fast. I was working pretty hard because I was panting. And although water was 74degrees I was not overheated. I slowed down towards the end though because I was getting tired.

I got out water, checked my watch (30:06 official time – means swim was short), got my bike, put on socks, shoes, helmet and biked out.

Bike was very windy, but mostly flat with 7 hills, the first one being right from the transition. I took the
hills very easy, just spinning because I was terrified by the run to come and did not want to kill my poor legs. I yelled once at one guy to get off my wheel, other than that it was good. Bunch of men passed me, plus
2 women but I was mostly passing people. I did not wear a bike computer or powermeter so I just went
by feel trying to go strong. I think that I went quite hard but my time was only 2:43 so I am blaming a challenging course for that slow time. I ate 3 gels and drank 1.5 bottles of Gatorade (or Powerade, dang it, I never know which one I buy, they are the same), took water at each aid station, drank some and poured some over me. I knew that I was at the pointy end of the race because I did not see a lot of women on the out and back sections (but that might have been because I did not have contacts or glasses so I could not really see that much) but I did not know which position I was. There were some rougher roads at miles 30ish to 45ish and I did not enjoy that at all and wanted to get off that stupid bike. But then I remembered that I have to run 13.1 miles so I changed my mind and did not want to get off the bike anymore.

Run….my longest run since November 7 2009! If you can call it a run. But woo-hoo anyway! Course is
pretty much flat with 3 quite long and steep hills. And I walked every single one of those hills. I also
walked every single aid station. And I am not exaggerating. I walked every single hill, seriously! My poor
legs were not in shape to run 13 miles and there are no hills around here. It was a shuffle from the beginning. I did not wear Garmin so I do not know my exact paces but I ran 7:30ish pace for the first 3 (flat) miles (including walking through the aid stations), then the hills started and with all that walking my pace for middle 6 miles was 8:30, and then 7:40ish for the last 3 miles. It
was horrible. Two women passed me but they were not in my age group and I passed a few. I saw some
women behind me at the turn around but I was confident enough that if they try to pass me I am not going to let them. I just had zero mental power to try to catch someone in front of me. The last 2 miles were struggle. I was still passing some people but I was dying. I passed one guy at aid station 12, but then I walked the aid station, so he re-passed me and it took me half a mile to pass him again. And as I passed him he told me that that in front of us is a girl and I should go get her. I know it is mean to pass a person with 200m to go in a 70.3 mile race but well….I passed her.
 I drank some water, coke, Gatorade at aid stations (it was hot and they had ice in everything and I hate ice in drinks, even when it is 100 degrees out so I did not enjoy it that much), dump ice down my shorts and my bra to stay cool. I did not eat any gels because I did not feel like I was bonking, I had all the energy I needed, I just did not have leg power to keep moving. I was just going from one aid station to another looking forward to being able to walk and I did take my sweet time there. I finished in 1:46:41, which is embarrassingly slow but well, I should not have walked up those hills and aid stations.

Total time 5:04:32. (Oh well, that challenging bike and my dillydallying on a run killed my hopes to go under 5h. Even that short swim did not help).

As soon as I met with my cousin (who by the way took 1 (ONE!) picture of me racing (at the beginning of a bike) but we have dozens of pictures of cacti and different rocks because as he told me I was too slow and he got bored waiting for me and went hiking in a canyon.
What a supportive friend he is.) the first thing I told him was that I was not doing this again because it was awful!

But I somehow won my age group, which is really what I went there for. So I decided to suck it up and took the Vegas slot. Good thing I won because there was only one for my AG.

5:04:32, 1AG, 19th women (incl pros)

Final thoughts:

I am never doing an Ironman.

I need to run more. Especially longer runs. But cannot. So I guess HIM will always be a misery.

My ITB started to hurt at around mile 10 and I started praying. It hurt afterwards, but I taped it, rolled it and did my best not to bend that knee for the rest of the day. I felt it during the night a few times, not it was ok on Monday and it is ok now so I hope it has calmed down. But I am not going to run at least until Thursday to make sure it is ok.

I need to find a hill and do my runs up and down that sucker to get ready for Vegas.

I am never doing a full ironman.

Saturday, May 25, 2013

Island Lake Triathlon RR

It is the same tri I did as my first tri two years ago. I was pretty excited about doing this tri to see my progress.

It did not go as planned. I know I am a better swimmer and much stronger on a bike now than I was before, and run, I do not think that I have improved.
I do not know what was wrong today, maybe that I was at work for 14h on Th, then drove 8+ hours yesterday from IL to MI, maybe because of cold weather, maybe because I have zero fire in me.

Ok, so the race.

The day started with scrapping frost of my car windshield. Good, isn't it?

Swim: 26:18 Hell yeah!!! They postponed the start by ~20' which gave me time to warm up, which was good I think. I felt strong, smooth, efficient. Just great! I swam alone for most of the swim. I was trying to draft off one gal but I kept loosing her feet and then we ran inti men from previous wave and sprint race waves and it become a mayhem. But anyway, I am very hapoy about the swim.

T1: I have not tried a flying mount since September and I chickened out. Embarassing.

Bike: 1:11 Which is time I rode in that first tri on a road bike in running shoes...I felt good at first but I think that I must have gotten too cold. Or maybe I need to ride the TT bike outside more (well, today was the second time I rode it outside since October) because my position is different outside and I felt uncomfortable.
By the end of the ride my hands and feet were so cold that I had hard time shifting. And I drank one small sip of gatorade the whole race because I just could not hold a bottle in my frozen hands or open a gel.

T2: Had trouble unbuckling the helmet because of the frozen fingers and had hard time putting the shoes on for the same reason.

Run: High 41  Embarassing but I am progressing. I think that I can run  close to 40 off the bike by this fall if I can run.
I had no idea what position I was in I saw some women on an out and back section and I passed the last one with 1.5 miles to go.
I felt good the whole time, except for two miles that are run on a grass (that was not cut!!!) and I was tripping over my own legs. But my running just sucks. Plain and simple.

Total time: 2:23 (I went 2:27 and 2:21 on this course before)

I am disappointed because I know I can ride and run better but I do not know why I did not. Geez, I need to get over this by June 30!!!

I was pretty confident I won but then I saw the results and I was second. So I drove 8+ hours to be second?!? Grrr. However after the initial disappointment when I was able to think clearly I realized something was not right. According to the results the first women swam 30, rode 59, ran 40. And she was 44. If there is a gal who can TT 40km (this course is accurate) under 60' AND run 40' 10k afterwards I want to see her. Is it possible? Even female TT specialists cannot easily ride 40k under an hour. So I  went back to check what the first man rode to compare. And then I saw that they updated the results and I was first. So I feel better now:)
Oh, and I got a parking ticket at the race. What a stupid day!

Any advice how to get my fire back?