Thursday, March 31, 2011

Spin class and paddles picture

I went to my first ever spin class today.
I was doing my bike workout at the gym two weeks ago and one guy walked up to me and invited me to try his wife's class because he thought I might enjoy it because it is a hard class. Hard? Sweat? Bike? Sign me up!

And I did enjoy it, it was great, I loved it. It was hard. I wonder whether I will be sore tomorrow.
We did a lot of climbing and sprints and I just went loose!
I let my HR go to 191 and the average was around 163-165. 191 on a bike is smoking high. It is probably very close to my bike max. I think that maybe if someone was really pushing me than maybe I can get it to mid-190s and that would be my max but probably not higher. But who knows?

After the class the instructor told me that I did great. Well, of course what kind of am athlete would I be?
And it was kinda embarrassing when she told everyone to watch my legs on sprints- how fast, high cadence and smooth I went...It was a nice compliment of course but then everyone was watching me and I did not like that:)

I hope I go back! Next week there is no class because of a sprint break but the week after?

No ITB problem although I felt tension building up when I was trying to spin acids out.

Then I rolled a lot and did few strength exercises for ITB and then I stretched a lot. As I was stretching one lady told me that she has never saw anyone stretch so much and that it is great for me. She said she was a PT and she constantly has to remind people to stretch. Well, I am not that great stretcher but I was reading a very interesting article about definition of planets (Is Pluto a planet or not? Big question...) in Discover magazine and it was pretty long, so my stretching was long:)

And here are few pictures of my paddles. People are apparently supposed to go faster with paddles, but I go slower. I think that it might be because they are X-large size and my arms are not strong enough to move such huge area through water. Or? I wonder how large other people's (those people who are faster with paddles) paddles are.

Wednesday, March 30, 2011

I hope I am hypochondriac, seriously

I had a great swim today. No fast intervals to hit, but steady longish intervals at 1:40 pace and I felt GREAT! I checked my pace every 100yards and I was right on it (except for the last 300 pull, I kind of lost focus during the middle 100 and swam it at around 1:48 but then I refocused and got immediately to 1:40 for the last 100m)!
I felt powerful and really enjoyed it! It was the same feeling as when I was runnig mile repeats at 10kish pace with 1min rest. Not too hard to make me hurt but rather feeling strong and confident. Love it!

The highlight was that I was supposed to do 500yards with pull buoy, paddles and band. I was not sure whether I should try to hit 1:40ish pace, which I knew would never be possible. Michelle asked me whether I am already at the point when I swim faster with paddles. WHAT?!? I am supposed to get to the point when I swim faster with paddles? Is that even possible?!? Ok, it kinda makes sense because paddles increase you arm/hand area and thus more power to pull you through water but paddles also make it harder because you have to have enough arm strength to actually pull through water with larger area. And paddle work is sooo hard for me.
So I chuckled at the thought of going faster with paddles and decided to do my best aka try to keep 2min pace. But I did it, I did that 500 at 1:42 pace! My arms completely fell off in the last 75yards though. I felt great until around 425 yards and then my arms dies:) But I never thought that I would be able to pull with paddles and bands around my ankles as fast as I can go just swimming. And then still have enough strength to do 2 more intervals @ 1:40- not with paddles though.
It seems that I am really getting some arms! Awesome.
I also found a pretty good and efficient way to enter the water with paddles and that made it easier.

If only my running were as great as my swimming:(
I did another run today (5x2min run, 1min walk) and ITB did not feel 100% neither during nor afterwards. It did not hurt, I just felt tension building up. But that was not anything that icing and rolling would not take care off. And then during the swim when I was pushing off the wall I think that I sometimes felt it when I was concentrating on it (when I was concentrating on a swim I was not aware of it so it was probably, HOPEFULLY, only my sensitivity and being little hypochondriac about it at this moment.
I am going to take a day off running tomorrow.

Tuesday, March 29, 2011

MILEAGE debate (and simulated drowning)

There has been a debate over at Keri's blog about running mileage. How much is enough to run a decent HM/marathon or 5k/10k? Keri ran 3:29ish marathon running around 20-45miles a week, which is pretty impressive. But it makes sense, those miles were mostly quality mileage, no junk mileage. I believe that the Americans are obsessed with mileage and very often quantity outweighs quantity. And I had hard time adapting to it. That's also a reason why I have never run to my potential in college (good thing that I did not go to school on running scholarship, I would have been shipped home on the first flight direction Europe). My college best was something like 40sec slower than my best HS time for 1500m. My college running was a complete disaster. I did not understand why should a 800m/miler run 60miles a week if I was able to run decent times with one third of that mileage! I was used to doing 4-5 workouts a week and ZERO junk mileage. So I never adapted to American style.
But eventually the mileage obsessiveness have kinda penetrated my thick skull (but only after I was out of college) and I have been kinda obsessed since.
I started to believe that one need to run at least 60 miles/week to run decent long distance times (by decent for me I mean sub-18 for 5k, 36ish for 10).
I am still kind of bumped that I cannot run more than 40ish miles/week but I am starting to realize again that mileage is not the ONLY secret formula. I am starting to believe again that it is more about quality and a correct COMBINATION with quantity.
Although of course, I do not think that one can qualify for Olympic marathon trials running 30miles a week, but that is already past my definition of a decent time and in different spheres.

I talked to a guy back home who just ran a marathon on Sunday. He has been trying to break 3 hours for past 3 years. And he finally did it on Sunday, he ran 2:59.20. He told me that it is because he changed his training completely. His emphasis was on quality rather than quantity. Before he used to run around 60miles a week and only 2 workout per week. Now he did lower mileage (max 46miles/week, with average around 43miles) and he did 2 interval workouts a week and 2 tempos/farthleks a week and 2 other days easy runs. That 4 quality runs and 2 easy quantity runs. That's what I used to do in HS and that's what I still love doing.
Ok, he surely won't be able to run 2:40 with that but still. How many American males can say that they have run sub-3 marathon on less than 45miles a week? I bet not many.
So COMBINATION of quantity and quality with a very strong emphasis (over 60%) on quality.

Not sure where I am trying to get with this. Probably just express my personal opinion and preferences.
I am going to trust my coach although she does not have me do track workouts 4x/week and I am going to do whatever she wants me to do because what's the point of having a coach if one has doubts about the training? I know that she knows what she is doing because she got me from running 11min 3000m followed by few pathetic months (including 2 months of non-running) into sub-19min 5k shape in just little over 2 months. We might be very close to finding that optimal combination for me (combination that however is little constrained by my ITB, so it might not be a truly perfect combination). Does it make sense?

Now onto simulated drowning. Actually I said simulated running but the person heard me say simulated drowning and honestly, it is probably a better expression to use for my aquajogging.

I did ladder intervals. I did not do it on time, but rather on distance because I cannot see clock properly from longer distance.
I warmed up for few minutes (I did not need a long warm-up because I did bike workout right before that) and then did ladder intervals.
One length is around 8-9m (and it takes me around 30s to jog when I am rested) and I did 5lengths, 6, 7, 7, 6, 5 with 2 lengths easy jog between.

I felt way better than on Sunday. Maybe water was colder or maybe I just did not work as hard as I did on Sunday. I also brought water with me today so that helped as well. Then I cooled down for around 15min until I got kicked out. I was talking to a lifeguard about my Master's thesis (geez what a geek, both of us) while cooling down (so it was not a very quality cool-down) and then the other lifeguard came over saying that it is already 5 min past their closing time. So I did not even have time to dry my hair, I had to get out asap.

Monday, March 28, 2011

I just ran a full...

...MILE ish!!! Of course, not continuously, in 10 1min increments with 2min walk inbetween but whatever.

No pain, no discomfort, no nothing!!! I am totally thrilled (more than anyone should be about running a mile with 9 walking breaks...).

I am hoping to continue walk/jog this week but slowly building it up while continuing aqua running workouts and then next week build it even more with longer continuous runs and then try a workout week afterwards.
Well, at least that's the plan. But I am pretty confident that it is doable.

And maybe, just maybe I will not have to adjust my very ambitious (and at this point little overachieving) goal of running 40min for 10k on May 28. (But that's probably only endorphines talking right now)

But let's not jump ahead of ourselves. Maybe the ITB will start screaming at me tonight, afterall, only 5 min have passed since I finished the run. Whatever, I am happy.

I am off to the pool now. I have a looooong descending workout 3x600yards and description says something like this: "you should feel like puking by the middle of the last interval and then you push harder" (gulp). Okkkkk. I will try but I am not paying a pool cleaning fee!
I will be back to let everyone know how it went.

I did not puke, aparently my arms fall off before I have a chance to puke. I have mixed feeling about the workout, I tried to go hard but I have never done anything that long so I did not know how fast I can go to make it and I think I went too slow. I would prefer my coach giving me pace to hit. Although I would get really nervous about it and would be dreading the workout, I would at least work harder. I think.

Sunday, March 27, 2011

Running workout of the day

I did only one running workout today but nevertheless it should be awarded the title. Because it kicked my a-double-s.

Maybe it was not actually the workout that kicked my a-double-s, maybe chlorine fumes and the fact that I could not expand my chest properly to breath have something to do with it as well.

I warmed-up for 20min or so and then did 8x3min hard with 90sec jog and then 20min cool-down.

I actually had to take a longer break half-way through because I was on a verge of drowning. It helped but then again the last one was horrible. Running in water is hard. It does not hurt as much as real running but it hurts. But maybe I just did not do it hard enough, maybe it is supposed to hurt like real running. But it was pretty hard anyway, so I take it.

I did ITB strengthening afterwards. It feels good so I will try run/walk shuffle tomorrow and I will be smart about it.

Saturday, March 26, 2011

Cold classification

+ 64 People in Hawaii are sleeping under multiple layers of sheets
+ 50 People in Helsinki are turning heating off, the Russians grow flowers
+ 35 Italian cars are not running
+ 32 Distilled water freezes
+ 30 You can see your breath, the Russians are eating ice cream and drinking beer
+ 25 Your dog is trying to sneak into your bed
+ 10 French cars are not running
+ 7 Politicians are starting to talk about homeless people
+ 5 American cars are not running
+ 1 People in Helsinki are turning heating on, people in Hawaii have already frozen
- 4 You can hear your breath
- 11 German cars are not running
- 29 You dog is trying to sneak into your PJs, Japanese cars are not running
- 22 No cars, including Russian cars, are running
- 39 Heated debates in Congress have frozen, the Russian are buttoning their shirts all the way to their necks
- 58 Your car is trying to sneak into your bed
-76 People in Helsinki have frozen, polar bears are migrating south
- 94 Hell just froze, the Russians are organizing cross-country races
- 98 The lawyers are putting their hands into their own pockets
- 103 Santa Clause is leaving the Polar Circle
- 184 Alcohol freezes, the Russians are pissed off
- 452 Helium liquefies
- 459.67 Absolute zero. Nothing moves. The Russians are licking vodka popsicles and are admitting that it is kinda chilly

I am right there with those Russians (the only difference is that I have been licking Gatorade popsicle). Otherwise these is no way I would do a 3-hour bike ride in freezing temperatures. It was around 30 degrees when I was leaving my place today. But there was no way I was going to do that ride on a trainer. Trainer hurts.
Running in cold is ok, you move and you get warm and faster you move warmer you get. Biking is different, faster you go colder you get. You just sit there and freezing wind gets you.

But I have prepared myself well: I put on 2 pairs of socks (one warm one and one warmer one), thermal pants, regular spandex, thermal shirt, arm warmers (that I kept over hands and wrists so no chilly wind gets to my skin through sleeve holes), long-sleeved shirt, short-sleeved shirt, wind jacket. I finished with ear warmers under my helmet, ski gloves and winter boots (advantage of using clip-less pedals, I can wear whatever shoes I want!).
And it was perfect! For the first hour...No, seriously, perfect. Although my fingers and toes started to get really cold towards the end of the ride. Next time I am wearing one more pair of socks and thin gloves under ski gloves. And maybe scarf.
I did not take scarf because I thought that I might get too warm but since my throat was freezing, next time I take a scarf. And maybe something for my forehead.

I did 9 times a 5-mile loop with a decent hill in the middle. Total 76k. It was a good workout and I loved every minute of it. Although my bottom parts are still not used to this bike and my neck muscles are killing me.

Although I loved it the last thing I wanted to do when I got home is to hop on a bike again (on my other bike, but they are all the same, torture machines) and go to the Y for aquajogging.
Not that I did not want to aquajog, I wanted to, but the thought of riding a bike again was not very appealing. But I had to because I wanted to go to the library as well and they were closing so I had to get there fast. It was not that bad after all.

I aquajogged for around 40min, then they kicked me out because they were closing. Lifeguards hate me, I know it. I am ALWAYS the last one in the pool and as long as someone is in the pool they have to walk back and forth. If noone is in the pool, they can sit. So they always have to walk until they close when I am there. I feel bad about it.
I even did some intervals- 5x 8-9m fast with rest jojging back:) But 8m aquajogging in pool is looooong. It was kinda hard.
I feel pretty tired now. ITB feels ok although I still have some doubts.

I rented two seasons of MASH from the library so I am going to watch that. I like that show a lot. But Czech dubbing is much better than the original version. Much funnier! Oh, well, original version will have to do.

Friday, March 25, 2011

Run, run, run!!!!!!

I ran!
Ok, not really. I aquajogged!
I am such an idiot, why didn't I think about it before??? I could have been doing it almost every day.

I did a swim workout (pretty easy. It feels great knowing that pace that was my fast pace before is my steady pace now!!! By the way, I am still getting my preferential treatment from one of the lifeguards. I am actually usually the only one doing some kind of workouts, the others just do whatever. And whenever someone tries to join my lane, this lifeguard asks them whether they could use different lane and leave that one for me! Cool. Unfortunatelly this lifeguard works on only one of the days I usually have workouts. Other days no special treatment for me ) and then IT him me. I could aquajog! So I did that for around 20min until I finally got kicked out because the Y was closing. It was not very exciting since I did like 8 yards back and forth but better than nothing. I am definitelly getting back tomorrow!

Thursday, March 24, 2011

Recovery test

Yeah, still sticking:) I wanted to got to spinning class to make up for missed run but I thought that it starts at 6:30 so I stayed little longer in work (I was trying to come up with some model on how to calculate value-added tax for my two business scenarios in Mexico and I was geting closer and closer. It is not perfect yet but it should be ok enough for my thesis, it is not like I am trying to have that thing published. But my head is pounding from all those numbers and percentages, ahhh) and when I got home I realized that it starts at 6 and it was 6 already so no spinning class.

Instead I stuffed my face with tuna sandwiches, half a cantaloupe, oatmeal and cereals and Luna bar and cheese.

Then I draged myself to the gym. It was 8pm already but we still had light!!! Love it.
I did legs exercises, pull ups and digs.
ITB has felt great the whole day until I did those legs exercises. It did not hurt but I felt tension building up in the area. I also tried bosu ball balancing but quit it immediatelly! ITB started protesting as soon as I stepped on it. I thought that it was supposed to help me but aparently not! Maybe that bosu is one of the reasons for this round of ITB troubles. I guess I am not doing it anymore.

And the recovery test? I realized this already last summer but was reminded this morning. Last summer I used to do around 50miles on bike after work on Wednesdays. I did not run that day. Next day while biking to work legs felt horrible, I had to bike in easier gears. On Sundays I used to do a long ride followed by run and legs felt allright on Mondays.
I did a bike workout yesterday and my ride to work this morning was pathetic. Easy gears and spinning the whole time.
I have 2 theories about this:
1, my bike ride to work is a pretty good indicator about how my legs have recovered from a day before.
2, easy run after a bike ride helps me to recover faster from bike. I am not sure whether it works the other way as well- bike helping me recovering from run. I have no way to test that one. People say it works. But how can I find out?

I have received an email from a friend in France. She has spoken with some people and it seems that there should not be any problem for me doing 10k Champs of French Universities. Normally you have to race a qualifying race to run 10k but there is no qualifying standard. There are qualifying standards for other distances but not for 10k, simply finishing the qualifying race is enough. But since I am here obviously I cannot run qualifying race. But school can ask for exception if we certify that I had a good reason for not running. So we are going to do that and my friend was told that it should pass no problem. I believe that but I won't have a definite answer before the end of May. The race is on June 5 near New Orleans (French New Orleans obviously:)). It will be a tough call since I have triathlon on May 29 (one week before) and then I arrive in Paris on June 2 so I might be little jet-legged... But I really want to do the race, it should be fun.

Wednesday, March 23, 2011

I am sticking to my plan! I promise.

I sent email to my coach (actually to both of them) this morning letting her know that ITB did not feel that hot and that I am not going to run this week.
But in reality it does not feel that bad, actually it feels great right now...
But I am not going to run, not necessarily because my ITB hurts but because I have been going back and forth with this ITB thing for the whole week and I have kept changing my mind every single day and now that I made my decision not to run official I am sticking with it (at least until the weekend).
Somewhere deep inside I know that it is a right decision. But I still feel pretty down about it. Like a complete slacker. And I indeed am a slacker because I wanted to go to the gym to do pull ups but I did not. Too lazy to do that:( I have blamed not going on the weather though. It was nasty.

I woke up and went outside (in my PJ) and it was raining and sidewalks were icy. Great. I figured that walking to work would be less dangerous that biking. But by the time I got ready it stopped raining and as I was walking I realized that only sidewalks were icy, not roads. So I went back home, changed and took bike.
Unfortunately this "nice" weather did not last long. After work I got out of the building and the bike was covered with ice. It looked pretty amazing though. So I kept poking the seat with my keys to break the ice because I was not going to sit on it. Eventually I succeeded. The handlebar were covered with ice as well but they thaw eventually. Also breaks started to work, eventually. But at first I got scared big time because I was approaching the intersection and they would not break! Fortunately I managed to stop. By the time I got home I was covered with ice myself and my hands were totally frozen. Then no wonder I was not too keen on walking to the gym...

But I had a pretty hard bike workout that I did on a trainer, so I am not that huge of a slacker I guess. 1.5h with increasing effort each 30min. Last 30min were brutal, I cannot decide what hurted more: my butt or my legs. I think that butt wins. And I almost choke on water and gel. I was told to take a gel during the ride and let me tell you, those gels are nasty sweet things. I got few PowerBar gels last week (I would not buy it myself, I think that bananas are much better) and I tried apple flavor. Ok, it was quite yummy but disgustingly sweet.

My boss still ignores me (or is dead as I mentioned before) so I had the whole day to work on my thesis. I am at 35 pages now and it is coming along. I have hard time collecting data and then writing it without breaking any confidentiality rules but I think I am in a pretty good shape to have it done next week and then I will send it to my adviser for follow up if she still wants to work with me because I have never talked to her about my progress....

Tuesday, March 22, 2011

I do not know

I have no idea what the deal is. I am going back and forth with this ITB thing. It has felt great past two days and also today so I decided to run today.

By the way, we got a snow/ice/water storm and it was no fun biking in it from work. My face hurt from those small ice pieces hitting me, ouch. I got home and took a short break and then started to get dressed for a run. At that moment my wimpy part (or maybe it is my more reasonable part?) kicked in and I persuaded myself that biking in that weather to the track, running, biking to the Y for swim workout and biking back home would be a pure misery. I'm sure it was a good call.
So I just decided to run on a stretch of grass by my place, it is probably around 550-600m long. So I ran back and forth then walked for 3 min or so and ran again. I originally planned on doing it 5times but I started to have a weird feeling in the ITB area so I called it a day after 3 repetitions. So around 3.5k running. I do not know whether it was really ITB because it does not hurt at all now. Actually sometimes I feel a twitch there but it does not feel like ITB, it is more like where quad attaches to the knee above knee and to then side, just above my bothersome ITB.
I have no idea, I am totally confused and oversensitive.

Then I biked to the Y for swim. Just slow stuff, lot of paddle work which is still hard for me. I got a preferential treatment from a lifeguard today, he asked one of guys he knew to move to a different lane and share with other guy so I could have a whole lane for myself because he said I was fast:) Cool. I need to ask him what his name is next time I see him since he is so nice.

By the time I was done at around 10pm it started raining. Not fun riding home. Now I can hear ice falling against my windows. It will be a mess tomorrow morning if it starts freezing! I might have to walk to work.

Monday, March 21, 2011


No, unfortunately I am not talking about running. I have decided to give it one more day. Although I walked for over 2 hours from work. Normally it is only abut 1 hour walk but I had to go to the post office. Unfortunately post office is kind of in an opposite direction from my work. Maybe I could have waited till tomorrow and go there on bike but it is supposed to rain tomorrow, I have both run and swim tomorrow, I had nothing better to do today and the reason why I needed to go to the post office was that I am sending some vegetable seeds to my grandma (so she is not bored over summer:)) and I wanted to ship it asap because I knew she would be excited (it is a surprise) and it is already kind of late in the season. She already has all of her Slovak veggies growing.

So I was a weirdo walking on a road, sporting blue spandex, black/red sneakers and white socks while holding a huge pack of cookies and (of course) eating them. Whatever, nobody here knows me:) Now let's just hope I won't get thrown into a jail for trying to sabotage vegetation in Europe by planting American peppers and salad...
There is Borders right by the PO so I went there but they did not have anything that I liked so I ended up reading some stupid book about some wimpy middle-school kid. It was the only book I knew I can read in about an hour before it gets dark.

I had the time to do all this because my boss is either dead or ignoring me. He has promised me on Friday he would call me this morning and tell me what I was supposed to do this week since he is in Germany but he did not. And he did not respond to my emails neither. So I asked his secretary whether she has any news and apparently he called her in the morning. So it seems that he is not dead, he is just ignoring me. Because I had nothing to do so I left work earlier today.

Anyway, I have regressed little bit.
So Finalyyyyyyyyy. Not talking about running. I am talking about frozen cheese pizza. Last summer they had sometimes a promotion 10 for $10 for a pretty good frozen cheese pizza in a local grocery store.
And I have been hoping for the same promotion since I got here in February. And today the day finally came. And what a perfect timing! Because I was supposed to return the car this afternoon, I went to the store in the morning because Mondays are Banana days (Sundays are Eggs days and I totally forgot about it so I did not stock up on eggs, grrr). I got 7.4 pounds of bananas (stocking for few weeks, remember?) and then I saw it. 10 for $10 my favorite cheese pizza! I immediately bought 10 of them and now they are sitting in my freezer.
I do not like American pizza, it is disgusting, and I do not eat pizza very often, but frozen pizzas are pretty good, plus I usually put the whole bag of frozen veggies on top of it so it is not that bad. Although it is pretty small and has like 700 calories, but whatever. I do not eat it every day, although I might now:)

ITB felt great the whole day. So I am going to run tomorrow.

Sunday, March 20, 2011

Oh geez

Did you know that you are not supposed to do any hard sport activity after you get massage? Well, I kind of suspected it but I was still hoping I would be able to run after the massage lady worked on me.
But no, she told me that I should not do anything till Tuesday:(
And I wanted to test the ITB today badly!

But maybe it is a good thing and another day of rest will do extra good to my ITB.
But it has been 4 days already since I went running last time and I feel that it is time to go. I did only 14 miles this week...I feel like a slacker.
I wish I could go biking at least.

Anyway, my legs feel great now. I got a deep tissue massage for my hips/ITB. It did not hurt that much but the masseuse told me that she was surprised I endured it since it was only my second massage ever. That foam rolling must be behind it.
My hits were very tight and she said that my left side (not the side that bothers me) is very tight. She also stretched me and my flexibility in left hip is better.
She mentioned that maybe because of tightness in my left side I am overcompensating by my right leg and that might add to right ITB issues.
Now I feel awesome, especially in my hips, as if I have found a whole new range of motion!

She also worked on my shoulders a bit because she said that they were way too tight. Actually my whole body was tight but she said that other parts are not that acute so she would not work on them so she can concentrate on my ITB. But she could not leave my shoulders like that:)

I should definitely do this more often. Unfortunately without car I cannot visit this lady any time soon.
I also have two certificates to two different massage saloons but since I have no car I cannot get there. But I still have time to go there before I live.

This is a lame weekend. My boss told me to drive somewhere crazy (like for example visit my sister in Arkansas) so I can enjoy the car for the last time. But I rode a bike instead and then spent half a day grocery shopping - stacking food for 2 months:(

Saturday, March 19, 2011

It is pretty cold

Too bad that the spring-like temperatures of 50+ degrees did not stick around longer and we were back to sub-40s in the morning today.
I decided to suck it up and went riding outside. I found another person nuts enough to go out with me but we waited till noon till it got relatively warmer. It was around 43 degrees when I left my place.

I was not that cold, but I still wished I had put on more cloths:(

I rode around 13miles to Stony Creek park, which took me almost an hour because I had to ride on sidewalks and it was a mess. Stony is perfect for riding, because there is nice 6 mile loop and not many cars therefore many bikers go there. The only problem was that it is around a lake and therefore it was even colder there! Plus we had some chili winds. Brrr.
I rode 2 loops with my new friend who called it quits after those two because she was too cold and she just got home from Japan on Tuesday so was dead tired. But it was still nice to have company and I hope we can ride together in the future.
I did another 2 loops alone and decided to try to ride in aerobars. I liked it and after couple kilometers I felt pretty confident in my ability to handle the bike using aerobars. (I also realized that I got less cold in aerobars than being straight up because less cold wind was getting to my torso. Hm, why did not I thing about it before, I did not have to freeze for past two laps!)
Then I rode back home and it was definitely warmer than when I was starting so I enjoyed that ride. Although some drivers are idiots. One lady tried to send me a message "you crazy cyclist, get off the road because road is MINE" by using her horn. It really pissed me off and I had to start breathing deep in order to calm myself and not knock on her window when she stopped at the red light and tell her how stupid she was using horn behind a cyclist because I could have got scared and jumped and fell right under her wheels. Some people just do not think!

I did total of 80.8 km and it took me 3.5 hours:( Not that great but considering that half of it was on sidewalks and I had to deal with frozen toes and fingers it was not that bad. I loved being outside.

(I was invited to another ride tomorrow but a guy who invited me must do it in the early morning and there is no way I am doing that! It will be too cold for a long ride. Too bad he cannot go later in the day, I would have joined him.)

After I defrosted myself I could not decide whether I should go running or not. I decided not to. Maybe I could have done some run/walk thing but I was not sure. I will do that tomorrow based on what the massage therapist tells me tomorrow.

The massage lady agreed to work on my ITB tomorrow morning because I told her that I would not have car afterwards and that I really wanted her to try to see what's going on in there. So that's a good news. I am really hoping that she would magically work it out! But I am not sure how that works so I might be being way too optimistic:(
I am really glad I am in the US - country that lives on debt- and I can use my credit cards to pay for everything right now. Otherwise I would starve to dead...But it will not be pretty when the time to pay them off comes:((

Friday, March 18, 2011


Believe me, it is not funny when you start crying in the middle of swim workout.

Normally I do not do it but today was just so bad that I had a complete meltdown during my 50s in pool.
Today was a bad day, everything that I held inside just burst. And I have noone to talk to so when I write it down somewhere I feel better. So I am sorry.

The final decision was made today and I have to return the car. I think that it was pretty bad because my boss sent me an official email telling me to return in so he has it on paper. But he also told me later that he would think about something else.
It is not that car that bothers me it is more like that I have already planned few things that I have been really looking forward to and I can not do them, unless I get another car or think about a different solution. You know that feeling when you look forward something and then suddenly you cannot do it?
I wanted to go to Chicago for example. And to hockey game in Detroit. And Montreal. And now I do not even have means to get to the train station.

I do not have any friends. Sometimes I go days without saying a single word (that's the reason why I ramble so much here...). Almost all weekends are like that because I just have noone to talk to. I met some people this week and they were very nice. One lady invited me to come to have dinner with her and her kids that are of my age, but now I cannot go because I cannot get there. Another guy invited me to come to his house and do bike trainer session with him and his friends. And now I cannot do that neither.
So again, it will be just me alone because I cannot meet with anyone.
(Although I have a bike ride planned with one other girl tomorrow that I still can do but I will have to bike for almost an hour just to get to out meeting place:()

And I wanted to get that ITB massage and now I cannot because I cannot get there because it is in a different town.
The ITB has been bothering me. It felt great on Wednesday and the something happened and it is all bad again. I do not want it to hurt anymore! And I do not know what to do about it.

And the payroll problem did not get sorted out and I do not have enough money here to pay for my rent.

And I am stressed about the thesis. It is horrible, I do not want to do it, it is a waste of time. I am at a business school! Why do I have to do research?

And I have sent at least 50 job applications and nobody wants me.

I know that I will figure out everything, but I just want someone to share my thoughts and problems with. (And what's better that doing it on internet, don't you think?)

The one positive thing today is that I had surprisingly good swim workout. This workout also added to my overall stress because I knew that it was going to be hard to hit my paces and I was somehow fearing it the whole week.
But I hit all my hard paces and I am thrilled about it. It will be always a mystery to me how I was able to swim 200s <3:05 while tears pouring into my goggles. I do not know whether I did 8 or 9 50s because I was not concentrating at all and lost my count. But then I did some very hard 100s (4x100 <1:30 @ 1:45) and although I do not know how the first and second one went by because my mind was wandering all over the place, I knew I needed to start to concentrate on the 3rd and 4th to hit the pace. And I did!!!
I talked to the lifeguard today, he asked me what I was training for and such and he is very nice, he already knows me because I go there pretty often. Although he probably thinks that I am half deaf since he always says something and I do not know that he is talking to me and then I always ask him to repeat what he is saying...

Thursday, March 17, 2011

1 day, 3 bikes, 0 runs

Am I cool or what? I rode a road bike to work and back, then I took a mountain bike to get to the Y and back and did a bike workout on a stationary bike!

It was nice and warm today so there was no way I was going to drive! Unfortunately I could not do bike workout outside because of traffic here.
Too bad it is supposed to get colder in next few days.

I wanted to do running workout today but the ITB had been bothering me the whole day! WTF?!? (Excuse my language)
So I skipped the run and was thinking about skipping the bike workout as well but then decided to see how that goes.
I did some longer harder intervals. I was dripping sweat all over the place, it was disgusting.
ITB did not feel great, I felt a constant tension but then on my last interval something happened: my ITB totally loosened up and felt great since. Weird!

I contacted the lady for ITB massage and should do it on Sunday. I hope it helps!

I have been reading news about Fukushima in Japan. I was 1.5 years old when Chernobyl in Ukraine exploded and of course I do not remember that but my parent were saying that that summer the mushrooms were as huge as footballs! (Mushrooms are great radioactivity catchers.) And of course we ate them. I ate them. As far as I can say, I am normal.

Today I listen to a voicemail message I left for someone and man, I have a weird accent! I cannot hear it when I talk but when I hear myself talking then I hear it. Poor people who must listen to me:) My sister has been in Arkansas for past 4 years and she pronounces some words differently than I do. For example "back" or "graduate", she says "a" as a pure "a" whereas I say it like "e".
When I first came to the US for college little over 5 years ago I really could not tell difference between people's accents, Slovak, American, German, Mexican, it all sounded the same to me. Only later I was able to distinguish them.
But I think that my English accent is better than my French accent. My French friends always made fun of me, especially when I said "service" when I was serving a ball at volleyball practice. That cracked them up.
But French people have horrible accent when they speak English. I do not know how to call it, (I have my own word for it, sleeky) it is disgusting, I cannot listen to it. Also some Russians have horrible accent. Ok, not Russians, but people from Belarus and Ukraine. I do not like their English accent.
Czechs have very funny accent, I can distinguish that one immediately.

Wednesday, March 16, 2011

Off leash in shooooooooooooooooorts

It was 13 (55) degrees in the afternoon. Awesome. On my way to the track I stopped at my place to get shorts because I really did not expect it to be that warm later in the day since it was raining and kinda cold in the morning.

I did 6 "off leash" miles plus 4 strides. Off leash miles are miles you do when you suddenly find yourself in shorts and on track as opposed to hat, gloves, spandex and on icy trail and you are so excited that you have to hold yourself back and you still run 7:30 pace miles.
There were a lot of people on track today, lacrosse teams, runners, some other random people. Last week when I did my workout in wind,rain, ice I was the only one there.

ITB felt very good during the run but it is bothering me now. Nothing too bad but still.

I went to the local triathlon/duathlon club meeting today. All people were really nice. And I "won" bike bottle and some protein bars. Now I will have some people to run and bike with. I also met one lady who does sport massages and I think I will make an appointment with her for Sunday to try to work on my ITB. I have never had a sport massage (actually I had massage only once in my life), maybe it will help to loosen the ITB. She said that she worked a lot with people's IT bands and that she should be able to tell me what's going on and how to treat it. I am sure it will cost a lot of money but if it is going to help, it will be worth it!

I told my sister all about the meeting and she was like...Hm, you are weird. How can you get excited over things like those? So I asked her what makes her excited and she said: make-up, new cloths and tanned skin. She is weird, not me:)
She also said that 13 degrees is cold, because they are supposed to have 28 tomorrow! I am jealous.

I also swam in the morning and although it was "only" easy strength building swim, it was hard. Really strength building, a lot of paddles and bands. My poor arms...

I finally got a library card today, so now I can spend my free time (although I do not have that much free time actually) reading, not playing on internet like I am doing right now.

Tuesday, March 15, 2011

I think I have changed my mind

Today at work during my lunch break I was playing on my computer and looked into some bike races. I think that it would be fun to do a bike race, don't you think so?

But then in the evening I did a bike workout and I think that I have changed my mind. Biking hurts, a lot. I always knew that, I have always thought that it is harder than running. And today I did 2x8x30sec sprints with only 30sec rest and it hurt. 30sec sounds like nothing, but it is enough to make your hurt like hell on a bike.
So now, I am not sure about that bike race. It would be a total torture.
(Although now it has been almost 2 hours since I finished the workout and I am starting to forget how much it hurt so I am again starting to think that it would be fun...stupid me)

Also ran 8 miles, no pain at all. I stopped at mile 4 to massage the ITB and it felt great. Trail is melting, it should be perfectly runable by the end of this week!!!
However I felt ITB a bit on a bike, but just for a moment and then it went away, which is weird because it has almost never bothered me while biking before my ride on Saturday. I also felt it while stretching...weirdness.

Monday, March 14, 2011

Good and bad

Today I had to tell HR that my boss is renting a car for me and now they are making him to take the car back. He said he would fight for it but he was not very optimistic. I will see how it works out and I am just hoping that he does not get into trouble because of me. But I had to tell them because of something they wrote into my internship contract:(
So maybe I will be back to talking/biking through this not very nice neighbourghood at 10pm...And I'm not sure I will get to the trail but I will figure that out later when I know what's going on.
Another very bad thing is that we had a cake at work today because it was somebody's birthday and I missed it!!! :(

But good news is that I had a very good swim workout today. Main set was 15x100yards holding 1:35 and with rest getting shorter. You could have set your watch by me! I was exactly at 1:35 (or a second faster, never slower) for all of them! The rest was pretty generous at the beggining so it was easy. And as the rest get shorter it never get harder!!! I was in a groom just ticking it off very comfortably. I'm thrilled!!!

Sunday, March 13, 2011

ITB is healing nicely

Yeah, ITB is healing nicely. I did 6 miles today and maybe I could have continued but why risk it?
I did 35 miles this week, which is pretty solid. Still 9 miles short of the original plan but I was worried that I would not be able to get over 30 and I did so it is a success. I will just take it easy next week as well until the ITB feels good. I am saying good because it almost never feels 100%. It kinda felt 100% through February though and then bang!
But I know that I can run on it even if it does not feel 100% because that's what I did in fall. Workouts do not irritate it so all should be good to get ready for some summer races.
I realized that my first race if everything goes as planned might be in 2 months - 5k in mid-May. 2months! And I have done only 1 real speed workout so far so I freaked out a bit. So I went through my training log and realized that it is totally normal for me because in fall I had to take a month off in July, started easy running in August, then started doing workouts only in September and had a very good race at the end of October. Therefore I should be in a reasonable shape by May. Although my workout on Thursday felt harder than my first workouts in September.

Anyway, more I think about it, less point I see in analyzing this because fall is fall and spring is spring. And LA is LA and Michigan is Michigan.
So I do not really care.

Run today was horrible at the beginning. It was kind of cold and I tried to run of training fields at the local high school and the fields were wet and my shoes got immediately soaked and my feet started to freeze. I was miserable. They I said screw this and went to the track. I do not run on track, I only do the hard efforts there, I run on a grass field inside or around the track. And because it is artificial grass field it is soft and dry. I was able to pick up a pace little bit (around 7:50ish) and my feet started to defrost, which felt great.

ITB was ok the whole time. I was debating with myself whether I should do more or not, but then decided against it since ITB is coming along so nicely and I do not want to set it back.

Went to the gym afterwards, did bosu balancing, and other legs exercises. I also did 12 assisted pull-ups and 20ish dig-something. I usually do more, but I do then on Saturday so I have the whole Sunday to recover for my swim on Monday. But yesterday I did not have time to do them, so I did them today but because of the swim tomorrow I did only 10, is it clear?

Then I went to the pool to work on my flip turns. I watched those flip turns videos and man, I was doing everything wrong. I did them with my arms in front of me and then I waved the arms to help me flip myself. Which is exactly what you should not be doing.
So today I tried it properly, with arms alongside your body and watching whether you place your feet and keep arms in proper position so not to drag and it makes a HUGE difference and it is much easier! I am not good at it, not at all, but with practice I will get there.

Saturday, March 12, 2011


My whole body hurts and I have not even done anything spectacularly hard. But that's what happens when you decide to do your 2h40min ride on a new bike (and in aerobars) that you have ridden only once before and only for 1 hour.

My crouch hurts, I cannot decide what is killing me more- my quads or my hamstrings, my neck is totally stiff and I had to stop half way through to roll my ITB because it started to act up.
First hour was the worst, my HR monitor did not work properly and I was fiddling with it and it was making me nervous and I just wanted to throw the stupid thing out of the window and I also had to adjust my seat height (on Wednesday it seemed ok, but today I felt it was too low). The second hour was ok, because I did 2x20min at HR 150-160, which is HARD on a trainer, harder than on a stationary bike, it hurt a lot, therefore it went by pretty fast. The last 40min were somehow easy, I guess because my "bottom" parts were totally numb by then so I just pedaled and pedaled.
I was really revealed to get off that thing. I need to get used to it and maybe by small incremental adjustments not by starting with the long rides.
I watched Avatar and some random show while biking. I am glad it was such a long movie although if I was to watch it in theater I would probably not be able to sit on one place for that long.

I also ran today. I ran before the bike ride because I had to do some errands and I was near the trail so it did not make sense to go home, bike and then ride to trail again. I did 8 miles. No pain, although by the end I started to feel little discomfort. I only wanted to do 7 and walk 1 mile but I was not paying attention and I thought that I still have 1 mile to go when I realize that I do not.

I did not have time to do my favorite pull-ups and bosu ball squats today:( Sad, very sad.

Friday, March 11, 2011

And strike comes to an end

I have had pretty spectacular (by my standards)swims past two weeks but it all came to an end today.
The swim was not too bad but it was not anything to write home about. I felt very sluggish from the very beginning although I was not going too slow. Just my arms felt very heavy. And my goggles were giving me trouble and some kids decided to cross my lane right as I was there so we had a small collision, twice!!! Then when I was doing main set I had very hard time pacing myself. The first interval was right on time and felt very easy. Then of course I cruised the second one because I thought I was going fast enough but I was not. And so it went on till the end. I thought I was going fast enough but was not I did not hit half of my paces. It was not that I could not go faster, I just thought I did not have to.

My Internet had a very good day yesterday so I finally could watch videos on how to do open turns and flip turns. Oh my, I do totally wrong. Exactly what they say that people should not do I do that: using hands to help me to flip. Pulling myself towards the wall and up etc. But now I know how to do it so I am going to practise this weekend.

Also today was a due date for my rental car. Thankfully my awesome boss rented me the car for another month:)

Thursday, March 10, 2011

Time to start working again

You might remember when you were a student after winter break was over you were still in vacation mood in March. Well, at least it is like that with me. Winter vacation when I do not do any school work and that goes on until March when I usually get slapped in the face with midterms...

I have been in this running "vacation" mode for a while now. Past 2 months have been only easy runs, building up mileage. And I got used to it. And then today, slap in the face to wake me up. It is time to start working hard now! So unexpected, but welcomed.
Hey is it mid-March already. Summer and races are here in no time!

I did 8 miles with 4x1k @ 5-10k pace with 90sec job between. (I was supposed to do 10miles but do not want to push ITB this week).
At first I did not think about this workout too much but as it was getting closer and closer I was getting anxious. I have no idea what my 5k or 10k pace is now, so I decided to use my old paces, although I know that I am no near them. I calculated that I should do those 1k repeats somewhere between 3:50 and 4:00. And that made me nervous because after being in hibernation for couple months and almost no speedwork it sounded way too fast, with only 90sec jog rest.
But I was excited to do a real workout again and wanted to see what I can pull off.
I ran 3 miles and went straight to the repeats. Conditions were not ideal. Where did my UCLA track go where I did all my workouts in shorts and sport bra? Sign:( Here it was 33degrees, very very windy and rain/ice drizzle. Yeap, not ideal.
I was still kind of warming up for the first one. I did it in 3:59. Pheew. Just barely made it. But I knew that the next one would be better because I would be warmed up. Sure enough, 3:54.
3rd one was getting tougher but did it in 3:54 again. Also the last one was 3:54. I used to be the queen of negative splits, today I was the queen in consistency. Better than the positive splits queen, right?
I finished with 2 miles of cool down for a total of 8 miles.

I am pretty happy with the workout. Although it is nothing spectacular, I did better than I thought I would, which is great.
ITB did not bother me at all. But it is always like this. It does not bother me when I run fast, it only acts up on easy runs.
I am also happy with this because I did an easy 1hour bike ride on my trainer in the morning. Normally I would bike right after my run (which is not ideal, I know) but I decided to tire legs a bit before the running workout. So they can get used to working when they are tired. Sure, 1h easy ride was nothing to tire them a lot, but at least something.

I am off to the gym to do few weights and bosu balancing now. Maybe I will skip weight and do only balancing, I am tired!

Wednesday, March 9, 2011

Natural habitat!!!

It has been raining almost the whole day, when I went to work, while I was there and also when I was driving to the track. But magic happens and it stops almost immediately after I got there!

I went to the track because I knew that the trail would be a mess. I hate rain but this is good, it will speed up melting process, I hope. Unless it starts to freeze again, then that would suck big time. Track is not perfect yet, there are stretches with ice on it, but it is runable. I am going to do a workout there tomorrow.

As I was running 6 miles on the track I was very very happy. I love track and I was thinking the whole time, this is my natural habitat. I loved it so much!!!

ITB felt ok, not great though, I could feel it was tightening. I actually stopped 600m to go and massaged it, then it felt good again and I did strides. I need to carry a tennis ball or something and massage it after few miles. That should help. But tennis ball is pretty big...any suggestions?

I am definitely not doing the full workout tomorrow and I am cutting my long run short this week. I need to sort out this ITB issue asap.

I loved running today, which I cannot really tell about my swim workout. At least about the first half.
I warmed up and did some drills and then had 2x100 with 30sec rest with the question "Can you make it under 1:30?". Well, I would try.
Doing the first one, I definitely was not thinking about how much I loved it because it sucked. It was the hardest interval I have ever done in water and I just felt horrible and could feel my form falling apart. I kept thinking, oh gosh, I feel horrible, this is HARD, I hope it will be at least 1:30. As I finished it I knew why it was so hard. I did it in 1:23!. Wooo-hooooo.
Then I started to think, I love this as well!
I knew that the second one will hurt as well but now I was ready for it and I was ready to do another sub-1:30. Sure, it was hard, I was breathing more water than the actual oxygen and my arms were all over the place. Maybe psychically harder then the first one but not mentally. I knew that it was hard because I was going fast not because I was tired or something. 1:24. I will take it.
I had to take 1min break because I had to catch my breath. Then I swam easy 200 (100 breaststroke, 100 free) and another 1min break before the real fun started.
200 under 3min. To be honest I have been dreading it since I did that first 100 because it was hard. I started and did not feel that bad. Yes, I was working pretty hard but I was worried to start very very fast and then die after 100. So I tried to go reasonably fast for first 175 and then I gave it all I had for last 25 because I suddenly got worried I will not make it. 2:56. Another wooo-hoooo.
Final 4x50 @ 41-42 felt like a stroll in a park after those 100s and 200:) Not really. Maybe the first three felt like it, but not the last one.

It seems that I got over some kind of a barrier last week. Before last week I could hardly make my intervals and most of the time I did not even make them. And then last week, suddenly I got much faster.
Part of it is surely that my form is improving. And then I have also learnt how to make turns more efficiently.
I just wish that I could go to Hawaii and spend one whole weekend in a pool with Michelle. I am sure that she would be able to help me get even faster by further improving my form. Oh well, will have to wait for that one.

Tuesday, March 8, 2011

Chocolate nut brownie something Luna bar

Aren't they the best?
I am not a huge protein bars person, or at least I did not used to be until I was told that I need to eat more calories while working out.
I tried this brownie something Luna bar once in LA and it is the best thing I have ever had. Yummy! I saw it on sale today and bought two bars. I already ate one, which is totally surprising because normally both of them would be gone by this time...
If you have not tried it, you must do it, immediately!!!

I ran 7 miles today. I had 8 planned but decided to cut all my runs this week by at least 1 mile. It should still give me a pretty good mileage but it will be better on my ITB so it can get back to normal.
I went to the trail and it was all melting and wet. Which is great, but snow there is so packed that it will take some time to melt completely. It is ok for easy stuff but not for faster intervals. Therefore I hope track melts by the end of this week so I can do the workout there.

I also did bike workout. It was hard today. 30sec sprints with ONLY 30sec easy. I sprinted like crazy, then had just enough time to catch my breath and was off for the next one. My HR went to 183 on the last one. 183 on a bike! That's my record so far. The rest of the ride was pretty easy, just cruising.

I got hooked up on a bosu. I think it is a great thing for my ITB, because it works all different muscles. I do squads, or one legged squads (which is more like very bad replica of a one-legged squad) or I just try to stand on it on one leg, which is perfect for ITB. Really hard, I need to support myself by slightly leaning on a wall but I am getting there. Try that as well!

Left biceps hurts a bit, but it is nothing like last week. Right one does not hurt at all. It means that I am getting stronger!!! (or that I did not work hard enough yesterday)

Monday, March 7, 2011

Nothing exciting

ITB feels good, although I might have felt it when I pushed off the wall hard. It's either that or my imagination. I am so concentrating on any pain, twitch, anything that I do not know what is real and what's not...

I did not run today, only did a swim workout. This week is pretty easy, last week was the challenging one.

I am again pleased with my swim today. Did some drills and then intervals- longer steady effort followed by all out 50s. I held 1:50 for 300s and 50s were around 43, 41, 40ish. So pretty good. I finished with paddle work and one thing I realized is that my left shoulder joint does not hurt anymore when I do this. When I started real work with paddles at the beggining of February the shoulder used to bother me sometimes, now nothing. Which means that either my muscles holding shoulder in place are stronger and thus support it or that my technique has improved!

I would like to make a trip somewhere in April for a long weekend. Any suggestions? I was thinking about going to Toronto/Niagara Falls or Montreal. I have already been to Toronto but I have one friend there who I can stay with and I really like him, he is very nice person so it would be great to catch up. I have also been to NF but only from the US side.
I have never been to Montreal therefore I would like to go there, although it is further.

Sunday, March 6, 2011

Darn good common sense?

Yesterday I was accused of having one. So today I had to do something to defend myself against that statement and I ran 8.5miles.

Just kidding. About the need to defend myself, not about 8.5miles...
But still maybe it was not the brightest idea.

As I mentioned yesterday we got quite a bit of snow in the afternoon. Around 2-3 inches (you see, I am using inches now. But it is only because I am not good at estimating length and an inch gives me a broader range than a centimeter does. My dad would go mad about this. He measures everything to millimeters and everything must be accurate to the dot. For example, few years ago we were digging/landscaping our lawn to make a small volleyball/basketball court in our yard (I remember this because I did not have to go to school, I had to stay home and dig. Every school kid's dream, seriously.) Anyway. What do you think, how leveled the surface of a small grass volleyball court in someones backyard must be? Apparently, it must be 100% leveled because we were using a bubble level tube thing for landscaping to level it out so there is no sloping to one side, or to the middle or to the side from the middle! Isn't it crazy? But don't worry, we are not cutting the grass there with ruler and scissors like Wimbledon guys do...)
Back to my run. So we got snow and therefore I was able to go to my nice snowy road in the morning and did not have to drive to the trail. The only bad thing was that sun was shining and it was getting warmer so by the time I did my second loop on the road some snow was gone and it is was more like running on a road not on snow. So I called it a day after 8.5miles.

I felt ITB once or twice, maybe three times during the day, nothing serious.

Then I walked (yes I walked, it was very nice outside and I am getting lazy now that I have a car) to the Y, did a lot of stretching, foam rolling and few exercises on bosu for ITB strengthening. Afterwards I went to the pool to work on my flip turns but 30min and no real progress. I should watch some videos on how to do it properly but my internet is way too slow to play videos of internet. I will try to download some and then play them.

Last week I did pulls ups on Saturday and then swim workout on Monday and my biceps were hurting so much on Tuesday that I could not stretch my arms painlessly. I did pull ups again this Saturday and I think that the history will repeat itself because they are pretty sore. But that's good, if muscles hurt then they grow, right?

Today I finished the last piece of bread I bought on January 31. Can you imagine what they put in that stuff so it was edible over one month later? Of course, it was not the freshest but edible. It must be full of artificial stuff, blah!

Saturday, March 5, 2011

I might never be a marathoner (or Ironman)

Although ITB felt ok, no lingering weird sensations, ok, I felt it once, I decided not to run today. Why push it, right? Maybe it would have been fine but I was scared to try. I will do few miles tomorrow.

So it seems that multiple 40miles weeks and few runs on hard surface (road and ice) and here we go again.
I wonder whether ITB would have started protesting if I have not run that tempo on a road on Wednesday and have not run few runs on ice. That would mean that it is totally mileage related. Now I cannot be sure.
Since I started running exclusively on softer surface in August, I have had only few ITB issues- one huge one was after I ran 5k race on a road and together with warm up and cool down did around 9miles on a road.
But on the other hand, my mileage back then was lower-
August 13, 17, 24, 22 miles/week
Sept 27, 29, 29, 27, 35 miles/week
Oct 39, 33, 35, 26 miles/week
Nov 22, 25, 21, 28
Dec 27, 24, 26, 5

So I am just not able to determine whether it is mileage or surface induced.
I always do low mileage and trail runnig- no ITB problem.
Then I do few 40ish miles week and I ran on a road- and ITB starts protesting.
Why did I choose to run on road in the middle of a 40+ miles week? I am an idiot.

Lets just say for now that it is a combination.

And therefore I might never be a marathoner. Because who can run a 3hour marathon with 30miles/week training? Hm, ok, I have not tried it but I am 100% positive that I cannot do that:) (And I am not even sure whether I can do that running 100miles/week neither:)) And I would have to run that marathon on road, which I might be able to do but then I would not be able to walk for few months.
But I am staying positive and believe that this ITB thing will completely disappear this or next year if I do thing wisely.

I do not think that Thursday's ITB lingering is anything serious, few days off and I will be like new.

It has been raining since last night and I was thrilled that the water will melt all the snow but it started snowing this afternoon. Damn it! The trail will be horrible again!

I only biked today- 2h20min, did the route on the bike, no TV, no mp3. It is a good thing that I don't get bored biking/running/swimming. Never. It is always exciting:)

It is amazing how much I eat. I know that people eat huge quantities of food when in training, but I think that I eat more than other people:) But I am 6' so I need to eat more than a 5'6" person, right? I try to eat good food but sometimes I eat junk, for example today I ate some tortilla chips (like 3/4 of a bag, which is around 7 servings) with canned refried beans (I had no idea what it was but it was on sale and I thought that beans have protein so it should be good for me, plus it was organic).

Friday, March 4, 2011

Working hard in water

Today's swim workout was the hardest one I have had so far. And I am going to share it with you so you have an idea what I have to withstand :)
Fortunately I had no run or bike today so I went into it completely fresh.

I swam 3000yards, which is pretty long for me. Although for real swimmers that would be maybe their warm up distance:(
600yards warm up - swimming warm up is nothing like easy running warm up. It included drills and while I was doing 4x25 sculling I thought that my forearms were going to fall off!
4x50 all out with 20sec rest. It was hard, and I only managed to push 44ish on these:(
1 min break
4x300 holding 1:40pace so each 300 in 5 min. This was not hard hard but it was looooong and I was so tired that I hardly had any energy/strength to push off the walls. I did 4:59, 4:54, 4:55, 4:57 ish, of course it is not 100% accurate. But I took very generous rest 1min after each because I knew I would not make it with less rest.
4 min break because I had to make a pitstop
10x50 in less than 45 sec @ 1:15- considering that I did 44 on my all out 50s before I knew this was going to be hard, but I made it and even did negative splits! I started at 44 and slowly made made way down to 41 on the 9th one, the last one was around 44 again. 30sec is enough rest and it was not as hard as I thought it would be. I just told to myself that it was similar to 200m on track ( not that I would be proud of 40s for 200m but effort on these is similar), just keep pushing hard for those 45sec.
500 cool down with paddles - here I thought that my arms were really going to fall off. But paddles are good, they will give me arms like Michelle has:)

I am very pleased with this workout! Especially those 300s and final 50s. Maybe my swimming is starting to come along!!!!!

I think that I was not warmed up enough for those first 50s since I was not able to do them faster. It is just like with my running, I need pretty long warm up to get ready. Something to think about for the future.

Thursday, March 3, 2011


It has been a while since I had to cut my run short.

I had 9 miles planned and went to the trail. Which was of course a frozen mess so I ended up running 1.5 out and back, out and back, out and back... That was the only portion of it where I could keep at least sub-9 min pace. However, around mile 5 my ITB started to act up so I decided to be cautious and I stopped after 6 miles. I am not going to make up for those 3 lost miles, not worth it if that's going to mess up my ITB.

It seems that three 39miles week and one 42miles week, tempo on road yesterday and running on ice (which I guess is almost the same as running on a hard road) today has been way too much for my ITB.
It feels good now, I stretched and rolled, biked and rolled. I have a day off tomorrow and 9 miles on Saturday and 12 on Sunday. However if I have to run on ice again and if I do not feel that ITB is at least 96.32% I am not doing it.

I also biked today and it was not the best ride ever. It was supposed to be moderate aerobic ride but I did not feel good- both physically(some bloating issues) and mentally (I do not want my ITB to hurt anymore). I had hard time keeping my HR over 140 although it felt like I was working hard. But I know that I was not working hard enough, because my virtual competition kicked my ass today and I did the same route on Feb 6 and did it in 1:12something whereas today I did it in 1:15something.

Wednesday, March 2, 2011

Tempo run (and finally getting turns in pool right!!!)

I hate tempos. Actually I know only one person who likes them, my friend Mad. And maybe even she does not like them but at least she is good at them:)
And I think that most people do not even know what exactly tempo run means- how fast to run it. I am among those people...

Today I did 6miles including 15min tempo. I can deal with 15min tempo, right? :)
The only problem was where to run this? I knew that the trail would be in a horrible condition so I decided to see whether HS track is open, do 2 miles there, then do tempo on a road and finish 6 miles on a track.
Track was horrible but better than trail. Not plowed so I had to run through snow and because it was pretty cold there was a hard frozen layer of snow on the top. Blahhhh. Horrible, just horrible. When I got on a road at first I did not know how to run properly on a smooth surface:)
I did 15min @ 6:34 (4:06) pace (covered 2.29miles). That might have been little fast for a tempo for me, but it was only 15min, I was not doing 7miles tempo. So I hope that was ok. I am pleased with the effort.
Do you know at what pace tempos are run? Faster than 10k, slower? Or how? Does it depend on a distance?

I also did swim workout today. Main set was 6x200, 5 were reasonably fast and the last one was ALL OUT. I did it in 3:04. Well, on Monday I was not able to do 2x100 at this pace? What the heck? Do you understand it?
I have three possible explanations:
1, I took a 1min break before starting it. 1min break in a pool is like magic and you can do I was told. Seems it is true.
2, Turns. I have realized that I tend to hang out at the wall for a moment when I turn and I don't have a right technique. So today I tried hard on turns- no hesitation, bring knees to my chest and PUSH! I have a Youtube video on how to do this properly but my internet is very slow so I cannot even watch it to do it totally right... Anyway, I could really feel the difference.
3, Competition. There was a girl in a lane next to me and I knew that her warm up pace was embarrassingly close to my all-out pace. And things worked out so that she was almost at the wall when I had to start my interval. I decided not to let her pass me. And it worked! I worked hard and she did not pass me. I hope she did not mind that but I am sure that she knew I was doing send-offs and I hope she does not think that I one of THOSE annoying people.

Tuesday, March 1, 2011

Altitude training reversed

The worst day EVER! (What a great start to a new month)

It all started at night when I woke up because I tried to stretch my arm and it hurt a lot. OMG, my both biceps have been hurting so much the whole day. It is probably from those pull-ups on Saturday and then a killer swim workout yesterday. I have never experienced anything like this. Except for when I ran that 3000m indoors in January but that was only for few minutes. And this was going on the whole day. Now it is much better, it still hurts when I try to stretch the arms but at least it does not hurt that bad anymore and it does not involve fist clenching and teeth grinding.

Then at work my payroll thing is all messed up and I did not get paid all my money for February. They are going to try to fix it by 15th of this month, but if they don't I have to wait till the end of March and I am not even going to have enough money to pay my rent!!! Fortunately we live in the United States so I can pay for other things using my credit cards and then just pay off those later.

And my run today..complete disaster. We have 35-37 temperatures during the day and then it is freezing in nights so everything melts and then freezes. And my trail today was horrible and that's an understatement. My pace for 7 miles was 9:14!!! 9:14!!!! What is that? Was I running on my arms and backwards? (I am really ashamed of that pace but I think that it would be just fair to share it here) There were parts where I had to almost walk to make sure my ankles survive. Because people walk there and then when it freezes it is very uneven with all foot traces (or whatever it is called). First 2-3miles I was dealing with it ok, but then I was getting progressively more frustrated and angry. If someone had offered me a ride home at my turn around I would have said yes without hesitation. I did not even finish those 7 miles, I stopped at 6.94 and walked the rest to my car. And I did not do strides neither. Too frustrated to deal with all that. Grrr.
You know how people go to altitudes to raise their HR, do cardiovascular/aerobic work without taxing muscles too much? Well, my run was a total opposite. My HR was probably very low since I was hardly moving, but my muscles were working hard just to move and balance me and keep me upright and prevent me from falling. Horrible!

At least my bike workout went well. 20sec sprints was a main set and I worked hard on those, ouch.
I also did few hip adduction and abduction exorcises and few squads on a bosu. I want that thing! I am sure it is very good for working on muscle imbalances, thus good for my ITB.

And guess who I met at the locker room? You remember that small girl who tried to trade her black lock for my pink one last week? When I came to my locker, she was there playing with my pink lock. Cracked me up. Apparently her mom has not bought her that pink lock yet.