Thursday, June 30, 2011

This really seems to be working!

ITB has been feeling awesome since Tuesday! Yay! I hope I have not curse myself now.

Today was another speedwork day and I met with a fast former 10k runner girl who is training for her first IM in August and she is freaking fast. Although she has not done any speedwork in past 2 years, she has a very good aerobic capacity and endurance and longer intervals are thus no problem for her.
Workout was great. We did 800m w/up (it is not enough to warm me up but I am worried to run more), 400m, 1min standing recovery (I do not want to do jog rec just yet, ITB needs to some time off between intervals), 600m, 1.5min rec, 800, 2min rec, 800, 2min, 600, 1.5min, 400, 1200 c/d. We (I) wanted to do it at 6min pace but we ended up going little bit faster.

400 1:24
600 2:11
800 2:57
800 2:55
600 2:10
400 1:24

3.5miles total running, not too bad.

It was definitelly challenging because my poor legs and lungs are not used to this but not too bad. Not like I was dying. And standing breaks as opposed to jogging recovery are nice:)
I am pleased with this. I am still kind of fast and I believe that I have a good aerobic base from biking and swimming so maybe I can have a decent 5k sometimes in fall, probably Oct 16.
And I am very very happy that the ITB does not bother me at all. It is very exciting.

I did 53 min of very easy biking afterwards. I probably should have done it before the run but I was kind of busy at work because today was my last day there and I wanted to relax for few min before the workouts.
Bike was very uneventful.

Wednesday, June 29, 2011


Yes, I am.
I just could not do my swim workout today. (Originally this workout was planned for Fr but because of pool situation I had to swap today and Fr)
I knew what was ahead of me and I tried not to think about it during the day. And I did not. But maybe I should have, I kind of feel that although thinking about workout during the day makes me super stressed it also helps me become focused.

So I got to the pool and 1 lane was open. Did my w/up and started the intervals when suddenly there is a person in my lane. This guy just start swimming there without letting me know! I did not see him since I was doing 100s and I was swimming in the middle of the lane but he saw me so he moved all the way to the side to let me swim by him. Horrible. It totally threw me off. And then this gal joins in! I was like, f*** this, I am just staying on my side of the lane for now because I am not doing circles when I have to work my ass off to hit my paces. The guy was on the other side of the pool and she started swimming on the right side of a lane and I started few seconds after her on the left side and suddenly she moved to the middle of the lane (doing breaststroke) and I basically swam over her. I did not see that she moved to the middle and why the hell did she do it? I was sooo pissed and I am sure that so was see because then she moved to the neighboring lane:)
But I was totally off my paces by then and I had to stop to calm down.
I calmed down and I started again but I was just flat (both physically and mentally). I cannot do this workout.
I stopped again after 3 intervals, and told myself to put my shit together. I did 3 intervals again and I then I got out of the pool. I just cannnot do that workout. It is the second time I tried it. It is way too hard for me and I got totally discouraged by those idiot swimmers in my lane.

My swimming sucks these days. Actually, it has been like this since mid-May. I struggle. I do not know why. I like swimming but it is very stressfull and all these workouts I fail one after another are not helping me to stop stressing about the next one. Past week was very good because workouts were easy for my down week but now they are getting harder again.
It is not workouts, I think that it is mostly my attitute and I have been just tired in past fews days although I do not know why because things are falling finally into place.
I think that my workous are actually little easier that then were in April and May but I cannot do them anymore. WHY???????

But I am actually looking forward to my workouts on Fr and Sat (which is the workout I moved from Monday) because although they are challenging, I think I will be able to do them if I push. Not today's workout though.

ITB feels great by the way. Like new. Seriously. Another speed session tomorrow.

Tuesday, June 28, 2011

Tuesday speed

So far so good. My quality over quantity plan is working for now. Although I am starting to doubt that it is a real plan since my mileage is really realy low, like 5miles/last week low. I do not know, any suggestions?

I decided to ramp it up a bit today.
W/up 800m, 600, 400, 600, 400, 800c/d.
I would normaly jog between intervals but I cannot do it now, I do not want to push it, so I just walked for 2-3min. I know, it was loooong rest.

But I am faster than I thought I would be after 4 months of minimum running and zero speed work, which is encouraging. Although I know that for next summer I do not need to be fast. I was told to start preparing myself mentally beucase I would have to loose my speed and work on my endurance and aerobic capacity. I am ok with that, as long as it makes me do decently at the IM!
It was very windy today and I was joined by one girl who is a former 10k runner but she has not done any speedwork in like 10 years, but she does run regularly.
600: 2:11
400: 1:23
600: 2:05 (clearly, 800m w/up is not enough and I started to feel warmed up here)
400: 1:21 (wind started to be very strong there and honestly, I think that I was getting tired:))
Decent. It was not hard at all (except for the windy stretches). Sure I was breathing hard at the end but it was not like I went all out. It felt nicely controleld.
But keep in mind that the rest was loooong and that I am totally rested with my pathetic mileage.
And I did not bike beforehand.
I biked afterwards - 9x2min hard effort, I thought that my legs were going to fall off but I liked it- concentrating on not settling into a pace and keep pushing!

ITB felt little off this morning so I was not sure about the workout but then it has not said a beep the whole day so I decided to go for it. And zero discomfort while running or after!

I have decided to stay in my current apartment. I would have to buy a car if I moved and I really do not want to do that. Apart from a financial factor, I think that biking everywhere is really helping me to get stronger on a bike (I just wish I could swim everywhere. I need that!) and if I have to leave at the end of the year I would have to go through the car selling hussle and that's the last thing I want.

Monday, June 27, 2011

I officially hate Mondays

Last week when the Y changed its pools hours I said that Mondays will be nightmares. I was wrong. Mondays at the pool are WORSE!

There is a swim team until 8pm, but the problem is that today they were still there at 8:45pm. I got there at 7:45pm hoping that a lane will be open but no, everything crowded. At around 8pm small kids' practice was over so I could use the lane but I was not alone who wanted to use it.
And I am just not used to sharing lanes and I was frustrated and totally off my paces. So I called it quits and am going to adjust my schedule completely so I do not have to swim in pool on Mondays. Friday is theoretically the same thing but I was lucky last Friday and there were two lanes open during their swim practice thus I could do my workout.

There is no point for me to go there if there are people in my lane and everywhere around because I would be miserable and my workout will be less than perfect and I will not get anything from it.

I have a dilemma. My visa extension was approved and I was offered to stay in one house that is waiting to be sold for $400/month including utilities. I can stay until it sells. My apartment rent would be $599 + utilities that are around $50. So I can save $250/month. Which is a lot! But then I will be almost 7 miles from the Y and 16 miles from the park where I bike with people.
$250 is a lot but then my swimming training might be close to non-existant when it starts snowing because I doubt side walks will be cleared for bike and I cannot walk 7 miles to pool and back.
But ok, swimming is not worth $250/month. And who knows where I will be when it starts snowing, I might be already gone somewhere else.
Also, it is only 3 miles from work but there is no sidewalk and I would have to use pretty busy road and I might get killed. Especially in

I do not know what to do!

Although I think that I am just hesistant because I am already used to my current place and am too lazy to try something new.
But it would be neat to have the whole house for myself for $400.

And maybe I can buy a very old car. Like something for $1000. Well, if I had $1000.... It would erase the savings from the rent but make my life 60% easier.

Sunday, June 26, 2011

Sunday reputation

I am so lame. Or let's call it dedicated because lame sounds bad. Who spends her weekends biking/swimming/running followed by going to the library to get some books about biking/swimming/running (but I also got some non-fiction). Well, me.

I have mentioned this couple times already but I need to do it again because I do not know whether I should be pleased or worried. I am starting to have a reputation within tri club and even people who I have not met know me. And I have done only one tittle tiny triathlon! I have met 4 members I did not know before in past week and their first reaction was "I have heard you are a machine", "I am...and I love your emails to the group. You are fast", "Oh, you are that girl that always sends emails asking people to do bike rides with her" and my favorite "Are you THAT Monika?", not sure what the last one was about but probably something along the same line. I am not going to lie, I love that people see me as a crazy dedicated machine/person, but some people probably see me as a competitive jerk that thinks that she is funny in her emails. (Some Americans just don't get my clever little sacrastic jokes:) I guess that this reputation is better than having a reputation of a different, "bad" kind.
But I think that all this is only because other members are not as dedicated as I am (and this time I really mean dedicated, not lame. Although that might be true as well. Following me? :)) It is a very low-key club. Although they all do Ironmans and stuff they are not very competitive in doing them, except for few people. But they are very very nice people.

So today I did a open-water swim. I LOVED it. I did it in the morning with one other girl from the club and it went better than last week (although I loved last week as well). I was definitelly getting tired by the end but it was not as tiring as last week. Probably because last week I did it in the afternoon after spending the morning at tri race.
I wish I could do these easy/steady open water swims more often because they are not as stressful as pool workouts and therefore I like them. And I am sooooo much better at swimming in a straight line and sighting. I should have practiced that before my first tri:) But that's ok, I will have a chance to use my new sighting skills in races in a future.
I need to buy a waterproof watch and time my swims. Last week the watch died on me (ok, I admit it, I drowned the poor thing, but I think that it is coming back to life) so I just did 6 laps (from one buoy to another and back) and the first lap took me around 8min last week. So I figured that 6x that would be around 50min.
I did 6 laps today. But according to my friend's watch it took me much more than 50min but we do not know the exact time. So I should get a watch and keep doing 6 laps and then I can compare my times and see whether I am getting faster.

I biked to the lake (1hour) but then got a ride back with that girl. She is very nice, she took me grocery shopping once before.

Then I went for a run. I walked for an hour to the training fields, ran 5x2min w/ 1min walk + 3x1min faster run w/ 1min walk. ITB felt good, no problem. Although it does not feel anywhere close to 100%. Then I stayed there for an hour reading a book because it was very nice outside and I did not want to go back to my apartment and then walked back (another hour).

I still do not know about my visa status. I need to call somewhere tomorrow and find out! Because I seriously need to start looking either for a place to live for next 6 months or for a flight ticket home.
I do not want to stay at my current place because it is little too expensive now after move-in special is over. I would prefer to move somewhere else and get a new move-in special rate. I went to see one apartment complex today and it looks very nice. Every apartment has its own entrance and a small terrase or balcony (depending on which floor you live on) and it is $60/month cheaper than my current place. I would have to transfer my water/energy/internet bill + apply for an apartment but it will still save me around $300 for those 6 months. And I can get nice pedals and biking shoes and a proper ITB strap for $300:)
Originally I was hoping to find just a room because it would be $150-200/month cheaper but I have not found anything nearby and I would have to buy a car and then it would be the same cost with more worries. Although having a car would be neat. But no, I am not buying a car. Life is complicated! No, it is not that bad. My life is actually very simple (except for few occasional hick-ups). Although if my visa does not get extended I will be !'g& pissed and frustrated. But I do not want to think about that option.

Saturday, June 25, 2011

Saturday bike

Saturdays are long bike ride. I think that it is the case for everyone.

I met a few people at a new location where I ave never biked before. I like going to new places. It is hard to get to new places without car therefore I am always in when someone offers me a car ride although it usually means that I have to adjust my training plan a little bit.
We went to Kensington park and it is supposed to be hilly biking route. Well, unfortunatelly these Michiganiars have no idea what hilly reall means. These are not real hills, they are bunny hills! I might sounds like a self-confident a$$ but it is true. These hills are not hills.
I offered to people to come with me to Slovakia for 2 weeks in summer and I will show them what real hills are. Ok, I am sure that they can find hills in the US and don't have to fly over Atlantic for that but Slovakia would be just more convenient for me:)

I was supposed to do 2.5hours but because I, I somehow managed ot do 3h45min. The others did 3.5hours but because I I somehow managed to extend it by 15min (and those last 15min were painfull, I was hammering because I knew they were waiting for me. Ouch). We were going moderate effort and my left glueteus maximus or whatever it is did not bother me that much although I started to feel it around 2hours in. But nothing like last week.
I was also better with nutrition. I ate 1 whole gel and 1 water bottle of powerade(or gatorade, I do not even know what I am drinking)/mineral water/orange juice mix. Go me!
Seriously, I am not spending money on gels. If I am supposed to eat like 3-5 gels per ride, that's like $6/ride plus I am supposed to drink energy drinks. No way! I looked into making my own homemade gels and I might try that. I have decided to start saving money for a real bike for next year. Then, I will be a crazy lady with 3 bikes but no car:) Or I wonder whether something like a bike rental service exists. Then I would not have to buy a tri bike, I will just rent one for 2-3 weeks for a race. I need to look into it.

Friday, June 24, 2011

Friday swim

I do not know why but I do not like swims on Fridays.
I suspect that it might be because I have no bike or run or anything on Fridays and so I just come from work and then have 2 hours before the workout. And by the time 2 hours pass I am already in "lazy" mood and do not want to do anything. And my Friday's swims are the hardest, that's surely part of the reason why I do not enjoy them that much:)

And now Fridays are going to be nightmares because swim team is in a pool until 8pm and pool closes at 9pm so I need to go there while they are still there. I was lucky today because 2 lanes were open during their practice so I did not have to share. But I suspect that it was only today and other Fridays I will have to share a lane at the begining until the practice is over. We will see how it works out.

It was kind of strange because the pool is very narrow (5 lanes) and shallow and imagine the waves 20+ fast kids were making. It was like swimming in an ocean. And two days seem not be enough to recover from pull ups. Ouch.
But I had a good swim. It was not hard because Michelle has probably realized that my swimming has been awful in past month and that it frustrates me. Descending 4x400 and than 3x200 with buoy, paddles and bands were main sets. Clearly, I am stronger but still not strong enough for my giand paddles because I am not much faster with them than without them. I am probably at the same speed so 200s that were supposed to be "easy" were quite a workout! But I liked it.

ITB feels still good. Not 100% but reasonably good.

I was done before 9pm so I hit the gym again for few strength exercises.

Thursday, June 23, 2011

Speedwork II

I bet you are already sick with my constant complaining about my ITB. Believe me, so am I, so am I. But there is nothing else to talk about! There is nothing new and funny to add to the hockey guy episode, I am too lazy to even bother to try to figure out my thesis problem for now and I am supposed to leave the country in 7 days and still do not have answer about my visa extension, so clearly ITB is the major issue in my life now.

I am trying a new approach. Forget about quantity and go for quality. Although 8x90sec with 1min walk cannot be really called quantity, can it? :)
Since ITB did not start to protest (I must add "too much", because it has had its moments yesterday and today) after Tuesday, I decided to try it again today.
I warmed up for 400m (I biked for 6 miles to get there from work so that's like w/up) and then did 6x300 w/ 100 walk, 800m c/d.
It seems that running 300 on grass inside the track cuts 300 by a lot, so do not get to excited that I did 55s 300s on Tuesday. I stayed on the track today and did them in 62-63sec so still not too shaby considering that it do not feel hard and I am fat and out of shape. But rest between them was long, walking 100m is long, way longer than jogging 100m.
ITB did not bother me at all and I am again icing now and hoping that it will be ok tomorrow.
I had one guy from the club who joined me. He was older dude training for a marathon and I am surprised that he hung up there with me. So it means that 62s is not anything spectacular. Although he told me afterwards that I should have warned him that I am on Slovak T&F team because he is DONE:) Nice compliment.

If it feels good I will try to stick to this approach for now, until ITB feels all good. Low mileage (like 5 miles/week. Geez, that cannot even be called mileage!) but increased intensity.
If it does not work out, I am dropping running completely and won't start again until ITB stays painfree for 3-4 weeks in a row and only then I'll resume running. I will probably ease up on biking as well, because theoretically it does not help my ITB either (although it feels like it does not do any bad, I am sure that it does not do any good either). At least 230k hilly races don't:)

Wednesday, June 22, 2011

Swim and pull ups

It has turned out that pool closing early might nit be that bad after all. At least some days. Other days (Monday for example) will be a nightmare.
But today was good. We had soem scattered thunderstomrs in the afternoon and I was not very keen in going there in rain but fortunatelly it did not rain when it was time to go there. When I got to the pool they were just opening because aparently it was closed during a thunderstorm. It ha already happened to me and I need to remember that now, they always close during thunderstorm so there is no point going there if it rains hard and they do not reopen unless it is 2+ till closing hour.

But I was lucky today, they reopened. So I did work-out, which was short and sweet. I loved it! My swim wokrouts are shorter now because I am at 4 swims/week. I kind of like it this way.

I was done at 8pm instead of my usual 10pm!
And it is perfect because now I can go to the gym after swim workouts. I have been a gym slacker lately. I lost some of my training motivation in March when ITB started to hurt. So this will be perfect. I can do back/arms/chest strength exercices after the swim and recover till the next swim workout.
I did not do much, only 3x12 assisted pull ups and 3x12 dips plus some exercices for hip flexors.

Now off to bed, I have been tired lately.

Tuesday, June 21, 2011


By now we all know that these days I am very "unstable" regarding my running training approach. I had sent an email to PPC complaining about how frustrating this whole ITB thing is and that I should probably stop biking as well and just sit on my butt because it seems to be the only thing helping. And then only 3 hours later I was doing a bike ride followed by some running intervals on a track. You see, it is driving me nuts!

I did 90min of steady decent clip riding and then I went to the track to do few easy minutes on training fields. But there I met a friend from a tri club and since she came because she thought that I will be doing speedwork I decided not to disappoint her. I also figured that if I do some speedwork it will be shorter than if I ran easily and faster running feels better on an ITB anyway. Plus ITB was warmed up from biking.
So I ran easily for 800m or maybe 1200m, I forgot) and then we did 5x300m with 100m walk. It was pretty hard breathing-wise (soo humid) and my lags are not used to moving fast anymore but I think that I went faster than I though I would be able to go. I ran the turns on grass inside the track, so it was not really full 300m, but I did them in around 55sec, which is pretty decent I think. And I felt ZERO pain!!! I cooled down for 400m and biked home and now I am sitting on a floor and icing and still ZERO pain. Sweet! I need to find some wood to knock on.
It was only around 13min of running but I think that it was better than let's say 20min of very easy running that would not even get my HR up.
I am glad I did it!

By the way, yesterday was my off day and I did not eat any junk food!

Sunday, June 19, 2011

Sunday and week in review

Weekend is over already??? Unbelievable. It just flew by.

I went spectating a triathlon race today and let me tell you that track meets are more interesting:) But I liked it anyway. But felt depressed that I was not able to race.

Then I went to swim in a lake. I swam for around 50min. I do not know exact time because my poor watch has drowned (tears, tears. I knew it would happen but I tried anyway. Maybe it will come back to life if I dry it thoroughly) after around 15min. But I went from one buoy to another and the round-trip took me around 8min, so I did 6 round-trips plus couple minutes to get to the first buoy. It was loooong and I was getting tired. Not boring at all, just tiring. I know why I was so slow in that tri race in May. I do not use my legs at all when I wear wetsuit! And I managed to swim in somehow straight line so that's an improvement.
Then I read a book on a beach for an hour to let my wetsuit dry a bit because I had no desire to carry that thing soaked in water for an hour bike ride home. It is usually 50min, but I had to go to the beach, which is on the other side of the park, so it is little over 1 hour bike ride there.

This week was kind of big training wise! Maybe not mileage wise but training units wise.
I ran for 24minutes:( Geez. Ok, that was not big. ITB feels great one week and I feel optimistic and confident and then it starts to act up again the following week. Drives me nuts. But now it has felt pretty good for 2 weeks, so hopefully it will continue like this. But I am going to be very careful, not do anything stupid and wait till it feels close to 100% before starting anything more serious. I need to heal it! Hopefully it will be well soon and then I start training for some 5ks in fall.
I swam around 9000m! That's a lot (for me) and I did it in 4 sessions!
I biked for around 7 hours, which is not that much but again in 4 sessions and I am ready to give my butt a break since I did 3 hours yesterday and 2h20min today. But it is good because I have read somewhere that last part of IM is not about how fast you can run. It is all about how strong you are on a bike so you have some legs left for a run. And I need that because how am I going to run 3:30 marathon then? And I need that because how am I going to make up some time for my 2 hour swim then? Ok, nothing of that is going to happen (maybe a 2hour swim), I am just daydreaming.

Saturday, June 18, 2011

Another tiring day

I need to go to sleep, this crazy week is catching up with (on, at, I do not know) me.

I did a bike ride in the morning, some not so hard tempo intervals. But I have had this pain in the a$$ (literally) since the race last weekend. My left hamstring (or somewhere in that area, on the outer side) started to act up. It hurts enough to prevent me to push pedal hard with my left leg until I get caught up in the interval and forget about it. And then it hurts again when I start doing easy stuff.
Fortunately it did not hurt on my 50min cool down...

Then I went for a run, I did 1min run, 1min walk, 2 run, 1 walk, 3 run, 2 walk, 4 run, 1 walk, 2.5 run and then that hamstring started to act up but this time it was my whole left thigh on the outside. So I stopped. I do not need any more trouble at this point. But ITB felt great.
The problem is that my running form is horrible now because I am scared and I totally overcompensate with my left leg. Just horrible. I will run again tomorrow and see how it goes.

Then I swam. Lot of paddle work and I can tell that I am much stronger than I used to be. Which is great. Now if only I could use that strength to swim faster.
You remember how there was a mess up at the pool on Monday, when lifeguards thought that they are on summer hours now and front desk assured me that it was not true. Well, they are on summer hours. Which means that they close at 9pm instead of 9:45pm. And since there are classes until 8pm, I would have only 1 hour for my workouts! Usually 1 or 2 lanes are open for lap swimming during those classes but they are always crowded. But I might have to go there to start my warm up. Frustrating!

Then I just watched a movie and ate watermelon. If I could I would live on watermelon, broccoli and muffins! That would be awesome! Not mixed together though.

Tomorrow is the tri race I wanted to do but then came to my senses and decided not to. I am going to watch though and babysit some kids whose dad is racing and they want to see him race. So at least I get a ride there and do not have to ride my bike for 25miles to get there (and 25 back). And he sent me an email saying that he had packed food and drinks for me as well. So nice of him:)

Friday, June 17, 2011

I must have been totally drunk

Otherwise, there is no way I would have done this

I am soooo weak when it comes to doing crazy things. I am always in and today was no exception. They cracked me. Clearly I have my priorities mixed up. I rather spend my money on races than on a real nice soft huge bed.

Thursday, June 16, 2011

3 days update

Tuesday: Bike ride in the morning.
I had a very stressful day because I was supposed to leave in the afternoon and I HAD TO submit my application for visa extension and school had not sent me the necessary paperwork. But I did it, was late for my car ride to the airport but application is submitted and now have to wait for the outcome.

Wednesday: Assessment tests the whole day. It was interesting but awful. They gave us hypothetical scenarios and we were supposed to solve them, play different roles etc. Well, it seems I did not get hired for the position. I do not have necessary soft skills. So I will just go back to working with my numbers:)

Thursday: Had to get up early because I had morning flight (well, 10am) and the airport in St. Louis was over 80miles drive from Mt Vernon. I was really tired the whole day and was very happy that I did not have to drive from Detroit airport to my place because I would have probably fall asleep. Then I had to go to work and just wanted to go home and take a nap:( It was awful.
I had bike, run, swim planned but decided to move bike to tomorrow and take a nap instead. But as I was biking home it somehow woke me up.
So I did the bike ride, but it was not spectacular. It was raining and windy and I should have probably gone to spin class because with such weather conditions I was not able to work as hard as I was supposed to. Or maybe it was because I was just tired.
Then I did a short run. I was not sure about it because that stupid ITB is just weird. One day feels great, the next day hurts like hell with no apparent reason. But I decided to give it a try and it seems that it did not mess things up too much. I did 1min run, 1min walk, 2min run, 1 walk, 3min run, 1 walk, 3min run, 1 walk, 2 run, 1 walk, 1 run, 1 walk + 3 short strides. It did not hurt and it feels good now as well.
And then I went to the pool. It was a looooooooooooong swim but I liked it. Among other things I did 10x100 @ 1:50 in 1:35 and it was awesome. It was a decent effort but nice and controlled, just how I like it:)

I am dead tired now, I need to sleep. It was a busy day.

Next Monday I am supposed to have a day off and Michelle gave me instructions not to gorge myself on junk food. !?!?!?!?!?!? She must have been really reading my ramblings. I need to be careful about what I write:) On my days off when I have nothing to do and am bored and lazy I usually eat muffins, cookies, brownies, tortilla chips (sometimes all together). And now, not only I cannot do any workouts on Monday, but I am also not allowed to indulge! What kind of a life is that:)

Monday, June 13, 2011


I don't even feel it in my legs that I did 230k on Saturday! It probably means that I did not go hard enough:)

But my ITB has been a mess the whole day. I'm totally paranoid about it. It felt great last week, no problem on Saturday or yesterday, also this morning it felt good and then I started to play with the idea that I was going to run today and bam! It has been bothering me ever since. It does not hurt when I walk or when I biked from work and to/from pool. It hurts when I sit on my butt doing nothing. Stupid ITB! I'm sure it will feel great again tomorrow just to mess with me. Or maybe now that I said it it's going to feel awful just to be mean to me!

I went to the pool but there was some mess up and as soon as I started my workout I was told that they have changed to summer schedule and thus I have 33min before they close. WTF? So I cut my swim to fit at least something decent in.
Then I asked at the front desk about this and was told that it was a mistake and that pool will continue operate normally and that they might change to summer schedule in mid-July.
So I went to the gym and did pull ups and dips, at least something to compensate for very short swim.
I can see that my shoulders are getting bigger, which is a good sign! Now if only those added swimmer's mucsles would transfer into faster swimming times!!!

Tomorrow I'm off for Mt Vernon, IL for an interview on Wednesday, and will be back on Thursday. Keep your fingers crossed for me! It's an awesome opportunity, although I would be sad to leave it here now that I found some training friends.
I also got an official offer to stay until the end of the year, now I need to wait to see whether my visa gets extended. So keep your fingers crossed for that as well!

Sunday, June 12, 2011


I am sooooo incredibly mad!
My official time is 8:06.11, 16.0 mph, good for 33rd place overall. Still the first female but there were only 3 females total in 200k race so it's really nothing to write home about.

If I had not got lost I could have been in low 7hour good for top five including men!!!
The fast guy won in 6:47.44.

Michigan Mountain Mayhem 2011 RR


Firstly, I am really mad because I got lost on the course (twice) and thus prolonged my ride by 30k!!! That's like 1 whole hour!

It was held close to Torch Lake in northern Michigan and I went there with bunch of people from tri club. One guy has a cottage right on a lake and 14 of us stayed there+ 2 in a hotel. So that was fun.
I was planning on doing century ride (100miles)- longest I have ever went. But when we were in a car going up one guy was trying to persuade people to do 200k ride with him and because I am...well, me...I started thinking about it.

It was raining in the morning and they thankfully postponed the start by 1hour because it was supposed to stop. It did and were off.
It is not a real race, it is more like a ride but some people race it. People think that I am a fast cyclist and I was offered $500 bucks if I beat one super-fast guy from out club:) Well, I knew I could not do it (yet!!! and on my little crappy bike) but would be nice. By the way, this guy is "kind of" single and VERY good looking. Some people questioned him and he said he had "kind of a" girlfriend but apparently sex is not that great and she is not a runner and it bugs him. I should start doing some training rides/runs with him:)
Anyway, I went for a female win although there are no awards, it is just for bragging rights. I started with people from a club because some of them were claiming they want to go fast. But they did not go fast so I just went ahead. I knew I need to find someone to draft off and I decided to choose a first guy who passes me and even better if his quadriceps were as huge as my waist cos big quads=good biker. Sure enough, 6-7k in one of those passed me and I decided to stay with him. But then I started to feel bad about drafting of him so I let him go. But they I started to regret it because we were moving at 20+ miles average (very fast downhills and pretty fast uphills, I definitely did not hold my HR under 160...) and I knew I would not be able to do that by myself. Fortunately he lost his water bottle and went looking for it so I caught up to him and stayed with him.
I was kind of wondering whether we will be able to sustain that pace for 100miles but whatever. We were going, it felt easy and we were passing people. Actually, I think that only 2 people (this guy and later one other guy) passed me the whole ride but that's because I started at the back and fast dudes were already gone.
But then it turned out that this fast guy was doing only 100k. Then I knew why he was going that fast. He left me pull him for around 4minutes and then thanked me for that and then left me draft again. We were approaching one aid station and discussing whether we were stopping or not and I missed my turn for 100miles and have not realized it until almost 3 miles later. Damn. So I left my fast guy and went back:(
Then I was all alone for quite a while until another fast guy passed me and I started drafting of him. Again 20+ miles average. In one of my previous posts I posted an elevation profile of this race and there was mentioned something about optional Super Hill with 29% degree steepness as one point. And this guy did not want to do it (actually, only very few people did it) so we passed it. I did not want to loose him but I knew I would not be able to fall asleep if I did not try it. So I let him go, turned back and went for it. It was not that bad, problem was that it was slippery because of rain and when I stood up my rear wheel started to "slide" (I do not know how to call it). I was very very close to making it but it was only a very narrow path, not a road and there was this sharp turn and I did not managed to keep my bike on pavement so I failed the hill:( I was considering about trying it again but I knew that it would mess up my time even more than it was already messed up so I let it go.
Then again I rode alone for quite a while, but I saw some people in front of me and I was gaining on them so I decided to hammer and catch them asap and then cruise behind them. I caught up to them but soon realized that they were not going as fast as I thought they were. But that was not a problem because soon we were passing an aid station and some guys that looked fast were pulling out so I just jumped on their wheels. And I basically stayed with them the rest of the ride.
We were moving fast and they did not let me pull- advantage of being a young girl among 6 fast men:)
Then the dilemma came- we got to the point where 100miles and 200k routes split. I decided to do whatever those guys were doing. But part of them went for 100miles and part for 200k! So I was like, whatever, let's do 200K! I can do it:)

So I just stayed with them, they asked me my name and they told me they were from Canada and it looked like it was some kind of biking club with a coach and some of his riders. We caught up to some other people and there was 9-10 of us riding together. It was great.
But there was this one young guy who was clearly fading and on one of the hills I went ahead and only 4 of them went with me, the others decided to keep it easy. So then it was 5 of us. I soon started to regret my surge because geez, we were going fast and I started to hurt. But I just put my head down (well, actually I was staring at the back and lower of a guy in front of me, it was a pretty good view actually) and hammered along. We passed 100mile mark in 5:25.18 (the first girl last year did the 100 miles in 6:20, but the course was slightly different last year they say but still you get an idea about our speed). Soon there was only 4 of us.

And then we got lost and did some extra loop around trying to find our way back. I was really pissed because we were going to break 7 hours but then I knew that that was not going to happen anymore!
Eventually we found the course again but we kind of split and there was only me and one Canadian together. He did most of the pulling but left me pull sometimes because clearly he was not going to maintain 20mph by himself for whatever we had left. We eventually caught up with 2 other guys but by that point I had NOTHING in me. I was on autopilot, hammering and staring at whoever was in front of me and every hill was a torture. I was already at 216k and I had to idea how long we still have to go, so that did not help neither. I was hurting and miserable and hungry and just wanted to be done. But I hanged on. And then The Wall came. That's the name of a steep long hill (there are actual signs warning cars that there is a steep hill ahead). Most people were walking but there was no way I was going to walk that sucker! Unfortunately the other two guys apparently caught the second breath or something and they pedaled ahead so it was again me and the Canadian guy. I do not remember much of last couple miles, I think I ate 2 gels in last 6 miles hoping it will get me through that because also the Canadian caught the second breath:) And then the finish line came and it was all good:) 230k!

I stopped once to pee and once at the aid station to refill my water bottle and stock on gels and eat watermelon and strawberries.
The results are not up yet so I do not know my time with these breaks, but my time for pure riding was 7h51m, average speed 29.3kph (18.3mph!). That's freaking fast for the course with 10,000feet of climbing. Sure, it was 10,000fet of downhills as well and I was drafting 60-70% of the time but still, I have never ridden that far and that fast. Unfortunately my official average will be much lower than that because it will be calculated for 200k + extra time for stops not for 230k I actually did.
I just wished we had not got lost because we would have broken 7 hours. Hopefully next year. I will be starting with the fast guys!

I was sooooo hungry when I was done. I ate 3 chicken wraps, lot of rice and beans and salad and later pizza and gummy bears and the Canadian invited me for a beer:)
It has turned out that almost everyone from our group bailed out of 200k and 100 miles and most people did 100k. Slackers:) Only 4 of us did 200k. The guy who tried to persuade people to do 200k with him had to drop out at 38miles because his chain broke:(
I do not know the official time of the fast guy, but I did not win my $500:) I think that he said his average for the whole ride with stops (although I do not know whether he stopped or not because he was racing to win. It seems that he was second though) was 19.1mph. So I still have some training to do to beat him. But his one wheel is worth twice as much as my whole bike so that should have been definitely taken into consideration:)

I had a blast anyway!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
I was forced to wear running capris because it was cold so for your information, you can ride 200k in underwear and running capris, no problem. Biking shorts padding is overrated. My muscles are not sore at all, although my knee, left ankle and left hip hurt a bit. And one of my cages on pedals broke, so I need to get a new one:( Or maybe I should just get real biking pedals and shoes.

Thursday, June 9, 2011

Just like I said yesterday

I paid:(

But let's start from the beginning.
Thursday is usually a spin class. I did not bring my HR monitor with me so I do not know how hard I worked but it was not as hard as the last time I went to spin class (May 19th). Back then I got my HR to 202 and I basically kept it around 180ish the whole time. And by the way, my HR was not that high because I was close to getting my period. I got it last weekend, so I am sure that it had zero impact on my HR 15 days before that.
But even today there were times I worked hard. I know that because I again felt like crying and had hard time breathing. But it was not all the time.
I really like that spin class but now when the weather is nice I would prefer biking outdoors. But I know that I would not be able to work that hard when riding outside. So I do not know.

Then I went to the library to return some DVDs and pick up some books. Maybe I should have sit on my butt and rest but I had to go there and it is only around 40min round trip.

And then the swim! I have been dreading this swim since I saw it on my schedule last week. It was supposed to earn me "crazy status" but I have failed. At least it means that I am not crazy:) I mean really, I was freaked out by that swim because I knew that there was no way I would be able to do it. I was hoping that something will happen that will prevent me from doing it, like me breaking my leg or "pee accident" in a pool. But no such luck:( I like swimming but because I suck at it, almost all my hard workouts are well, hard and they have felt even harder in past few weeks. I never dread bike because there is never a certain time to hit. I usually do not dread runs because I know I can do it. But swims are a different story. They stress me out. Not all of them, I usually have a nice combination in a week and it is usually only one out of three swims that freaks me out. Not because it is going to be hard and I will suffer, it freaks me out because I know I will not be able to make it. Rarely, very very rarely I surprise myself and somehow manage do hit my splits or be very close but I usually don't. Maybe part of not hitting my splits is psychological because I prepare myself for failure but I think that the major part is just plain not being at that point yet. But well, that's how I am going to improve, right? Keep challenging myself and try to go faster and faster.

Of course, today I did not hit my splits. Actually, I hit them for slower stuff and it felt pretty easy and I am pleasantly surprised that it felt easy. But on fast stuff I was off. I was ok for the first interval but then on the rest of fast is not even worth mentioning.
And I am not even disappointed by the fact that I did not hit my splits. I am just thrilled that that workout is over and I do not have to worry about it any more. I guess that I should not check my schedule for next week then because I am sure there will be another workout that will freak me out for the days to come:)

I am sure that yesterday's long swim and spin class beforehand were part of the reason why I did not hit my paces for fast 100s but I do not think that they played a major part because I actually felt very good in water. Not tired and pretty efficient.

I am off to Torch Lake tomorrow for my century ride. It is called a race but it is not a real race with prices and stuff. It is chip timed but it is more for bragging rights. I know that the first female last year went 6:20.56 (15.7 miles/hour) and first male 5:48.20 (17.1mph). Highest placed female from our club went 6:48ish and I know I am faster than she is so I should be able to go faster. And of course I feel competitive and want to go sub-6:20 but since I have never done 100 miles and I have no idea what to expect from the hills (it is called Michigan Mountain Mayhem) and I am little worried that my poor bike might die half way through, I really should not set any goals I think. Ah, what the hell! I am going for 16+mph average. I will bring my HRM to try to gauge my effort.

Wednesday, June 8, 2011

OW swim that I will pay for tomorrow

I was supposed to have this very very difficult swim workout today but then some people were going swimming in a lake and one guy offered to give me a ride so I jumped on the opportunity because they were going to swim in a lake that I have never been to. So I moved the hard workout to tomorrow.

But we got stuck in traffic and basically arrived when the others were finishing. So it was only two of us which was really intimidating since this guy used to be a swimmer and I knew he would leave me in a (water) dust just couple strokes in. But fortunately (for me, not for her) one girl locked her keys in a car and was waiting for a police to come over and open the car for her so she joined me and we let the fast guy to go.

It was great! Water was not cold at all, thus I went sans-wetsuit although the others were wearing theirs. We swam to the opposite side of the lake and people say it is 750-800m. Then back. And then someone (guess who?) half-jokingly said that we should do it again. The other two were for it so we did it again. I swam 2 miles, which is the longest I have ever swum kind of continuously in my entire life I think. One day before my super hard workout! I will drown tomorrow.

The guy also gave us some tips on our swimming. He told me to keep my head down and rotate my hips only when I breath not all the time. Now that confused me a bit because I thought you should rotate your hips with every stroke. I need to confirm this. He said that otherwise my technique was pretty good for a self-taught swimmer.
He also said that I should try breathing every 5 strokes, not every 3, because it will help me to relax and save energy. I tried it and although sometimes I felt that it was little too long not being able to breath in it was good. I will practise that more because it makes sense- less unnecessary (and probably little inefficient) movements = going faster.

ITB felt great the whole morning but then something (I have not idea what!!!) happened in the afternoon and it started to act up a bit.

Tuesday, June 7, 2011

What's wrong with me?

I mean seriously. What's wrong with me?!? I have always been the most responsible person ever (even my parents thought that I was lame as a teenager), never did anything stupid, kept my focus on things I wanted and well, everything pretty much worked out great for me.
But now, I am just over all that. I do not know when the change has occurred. I do crappy job looking for a job, I still have not figured out my thesis, I ate hamburgers and hotdogs last week and drank Sprite and am tempted to do very very stupid things. I know that it is not the end of the world and I am still doing better than most people but it is not like it used to be. I really need to get a grip and refocus myself- especially job and school-wise.
Fortunately, although I am tempted to do stupid things that I would never ever do just a few months ago, I have been successful in stopping myself before I actually act. I am not going to go into precise examples here because I am not proud of myself (although you must take this with a bit of reserve, since I am a person who for example never crosses streets on red light so stupid things I do might not be that stupid by overall standards, but they are stupid by my personal standards- like drinking Sprite and eating hotdogs...)

So what am I trying to say here? Oh yeah. My rational side got blinded by the vision of possible podium placing in triathlon and I have almost (almost!) signed up for another triathlon in 10days. Stupid, stupid, stupid. My heart wanted to do the race, mostly for bad reasons- placing, award and performing well in front of friends, although there were some good reasons as well- I am sure I can do better in swim and more I race more experienced and possibly faster I become. But my brain knew from the very beginning that it is the stupidest idea ever and even if my ITB cooperated this race would still put me couple steps back and jeopardize my return to running. My rational, responsible, good-sense nature just flew out the window and was replaced by a completely dumb behavior. Just couple months back I would never ever think about signing up for a race that I knew would most likely injure me but now I have no problem thinking about it.
Fortunately, my old me is somewhere deep inside and still has the final word on most (unfortunately not all) matters. But I must say that my old me is starting to come back. Thankfully!

So that being said, I am NOT GOING TO DO the tri in 2 weeks. Even if my ITB feels great. Even if my new friends will be there and they keep saying that I can kick some serious ass. Even if I know I can improve my time by just getting more experience. It is not worth it at this point. There are going to be other races, this summer, fall, next year. I have time. Now the most important thing is to heal my ITB and start running again!
Therefore, if I change my mind in few days (and I am 93% positive I will), do not let me sign up for that race!!!

On training note, I did a bike ride this morning, easy biking for 90min and then ran in the evening. I ran 1 continuous mile and then did some run/walk shuffle for another mile. I wanted to do more but I started to feel something in my ITB and it scared hell out of me so I just stopped. Maybe I have overreacted and could have continued but well, we will never know now. But I prefer feeling guilty about being a slacker than sitting here with newly injured ITB and banging my head against the wall for my stupidity.
It does not hurt now but I feel little tingling in it:(

One good news is that the company that is flying me for assessment test for trainee program next week has decided to pay for taxi for me to get to the airport from my house and back. Because if I had to pay for it it would have been a financial disaster for me:)

Monday, June 6, 2011

Very random and swim troubles

This has gone little too far I think. I am having triathlon nightmares. WTH? I am not even that obsessed with that thing (yet). Maybe I would be if I were like a next triathlon hot shot or something like that but at this point...And I do not even have race or anything in next few days.

Anyway, I had a nightmare last night. I was at a tri race and I was about to start a bike when I realized that I do not have my number on me. I forgot my race belt! But I found safety pins somewhere (that's the beauty of dreams, things magically appear) and pinned the bib to my trisuit. I assumed that I was experienced triathlete now since I have already raced ONE triathlon and therefore I thought that I did not need to double check whether I have everything I need. I woke up horrified because of my stupid mistake and made a mental note to myself that I cannot forget my race belt next time I tri. I know that something else went wrong in my dream as well, but I do not remember what it was.
Such a dork.

ITB feels great. I overanalyze my every move of course and that makes things worse for me because every tingle freaks me out. I need to stop that!!!!
I want to go to the track, badly badly badly. Or to my favorite trail. I ran there last Friday and it was awesome, everything is green and pretty. If it was rainy or cold out maybe it would be easier not to run and sit on my butt but it is hot and sunny so it is hard not to go out.

By the way, weather is crazy. We have over 30 degrees temperatures now whereas only 2 weeks ago I was biking outside wearing gloves and freezing my butt off in cold rain.

I did a swim workout tonight and it almost killed my arms. I was able to hit my paces for longer stuff (200s) but not for fast stuff (100s) but I was not off by too much. I suck at swimming! And it is hard. I am always stressed out about my swim workouts already couple days before the workout because I know that it will be hard and that I will have hard time to hit my splits. It is not pleasant. Although sometimes I think that swim will be easy and then it turns out to be hard. Like today for example. Although I think that couple weeks ago it would be easy but not this time around. My shoulder muscles were hurting badly and even the cool down hurt. But the good thing is that I worked hard and suffered, just like it is supposed to be.
And this was the third day of swimming in a row (easy lake swim on Saturday, steady pace workout yesterday and this speed stuff today) so maybe that's also the reason why it was harder than I thought it would be.
I do not understand how people can swim 1:30/100METERS for 2+ miles if I have hard time to keep that pace for 200YARDS! It is frustrating and somehow pathetic on my side, don't you think? I am such an impatient athlete, I want to be fast NOW!:) Although looking at my times I have some doubts that I will ever be that fast:( But only sometimes. I believe that with hard training and time I will get somewhere there. The only problem is that I do not want to wait years and years for that.

Sunday, June 5, 2011

The best day ever

Yes, it is little exaggerated but I was really happy today and I did not even need the hockey guy for it (as you can see the story with that idiot still bugs me).

It was hot and sunny and I ran!!!! I did 6x5min with 1min walk rest and it was awesome! I was running on training fields in shorts and sport bra, I could smell dry grass and sun was beating at me. It was wonderful! ITB did not bother me at all therefore I decided to try strides as well. I did 3 strides, maybe 50meter. I am sure I was really slow but it felt awesome running fast and not have to worry about ITB. Because while doing them I completely forgot about the ITB issue and just ran.
Yes, the best day ever!
ITB felt completely different from what it had felt yesterday. I had weird feeling the whole day yesterday. Not pain or tingling but a weird dull pressure and even foam rolling relieved it for only few minutes and then it was back. But when I woke up this morning it was gone and ITB felt great. It changes every freaking day. One day I am on a cloud nine and the next day I crash hard on floor falling of the cloud nine. But I am on cloud nine today and I am being optimistic that it will continue like this.
Then I took my shoes off and did some ITB strengthening exercises right there on grass and then stayed there and read a book. Sweet!

Although I would prefer just sitting there on grass and reading it was time to go to the pool. It was not the best workout ever but at least I hit all my splits. But it felt harder than I think it should have felt:( I was struggling to keep 1:40pace whereas couple weeks ago 1:35pace was no problem.
But I think that I found what my problem was. I think that it is all in my head. Last week I somehow persuaded myself that it is hard and that I cannot hit my paces and I gave up without trying harder. Today although it felt hard I decided to work harder and try to hit the paces and I did. So maybe last week was only excuses in my head. Or was I really tired? I do not know. But I think that I just need to wake up and get a grip because my swims have been awful and pathetic for past 2-3 weeks.

And a huge shout out to Michelle, who finished 10th female overall at HIM Honu yesterday!!! That's freaking fast!!!

Saturday, June 4, 2011

Friday + Saturday

You can tell my mood by looking at this blog. If I post often it means that I am doing well, if I don't post then it means that I am a mess (stressed, frustrated, lonely or something like that).

But Friday was a good day. I ran 3x12min. No pain although I can feel the pressure in my outer knee area. It drives me nuts!!!!!!!
I went to the BBQ with some tri people in the evening and I had a great time. I met some new people and I am getting reputation as being little nuts. Only (ok, not only but it was one of the things) because I have sent out email whether someone want to do some track workouts with me and I included an example of my track workouts and I said it would be fun.

Also today was a good day. I went for a long bike ride. I did 3h53min as a preparation for my century ride next Saturday. I loved it!!! We went on a new course and it was hilly. Well, ok, not European hilly but hilly for Michigan:) Road was pretty straight and I could see how it was going up and down into distance. It was a lot of fun. And it was hot, which I loved. And I again met some new people. So all was good!
I then swam with one lady in a lake. We swam for maybe 25-30min, just easy, working on my swimming-in-a-straight-line skills.
And then we had BBQ again. I ate 2 hotdogs (among other things). I have not eaten a hotdog in like 8 years because I think that they are very unhealthy and who knows what they put into it. But I was hungry. Now I think that I am good another 8 years.

Things are picking up work-wise as well. I applied for one position in a different division of my company in Illinois and they called me last week but not regarding the position but some other opportunity within the company. They are flying me in for assessment tests and interview in two weeks. It is one of those 2-year managerial training programs when company sends you all over the world to gain exposure and experience and then gives you a good job. I did not apply for it but apparently they thought that I was a great fit and they decided to invite me and 7 other chosen candidates for a final round.
It is a great opportunity but it is very competitive because they choose only one final person (but at least I did not have to go through the first rounds and all that stuff. Weird...But I am not complaining) and it is a huge deal because they are flying in final candidates from all over the US and company's VPs are also coming in to do interviews. It would be great to get it but chances are slim. I suck at interviews but keep your fingers crossed for me!!!
Also my other opportunity (to stay until the end of year with a possible permanent position afterwards) looks very good. Basically the only problem now is to get my visa extended again. I am little worried about it so keep your fingers crossed for that as well.

And on Friday I heard the funniest conversation ever - 3 men talking about labor, Braxton-Hicks (or something like that) contractions, c-sections, choosing baby names. Wife of one of our engineers is pregnant and is due in 3 weeks or so but is scheduled for c-section in a week. And he was discussing it with our sales manager and one other engineer and it was just funny. I have never heard men talking about those things. One of the conclusions was that labor is a miracle but it looks very unnatural and it is pretty horrible to see a woman to go through it.

Thursday, June 2, 2011

Living the dream life

I have read a very amusing article written by a former runner and running shoes sales person.

He ran his first marathon in 3:20, a year later he was in the low 2:50s and ran 2:38 the following year.

In the article he wrote: “Thinking back I’m sure my time dropped so fast because I was rarely distracted from the task. I lived in a room in the Victorian flat, a bare existence, with a futon and a small television and a tattered copy of John L. Parker Jr.’s “Once a Runner,” the cult classic novel. I couldn’t afford a car and didn’t own a bike. I ate $3 monster burritos every day.

A running friend from England once dropped into town, and when I told him about how I lived and worked at a running shoe store making maybe $8 an hour, trained all the time and lived on rice, beef and beans, he looked at me with earnest jealousy and said: “You’re living the dream life.”

That’s me! I do not have a life, I live in an unfurnished apartment, sleep on an airmattress, have a tattered copy of “Running with the Buffaloes” and eat bread with butter and cheese all the time and I cannot afford a car. The only difference is that he had TV and I have a bike. I AM living the dream life!

Well, am I? As a runner and newly aspiring triathlete, yes, I am. I sleep, eat, work and train. I have no distractions in life. I can train whenever I want to and do not have to compromise for anyone or anything. I can have a laser-like focus. Which I believe is going to make me fast.

I love that life. I am happy. Well, I used to be until I realized that having friends can actually be fun and for that I have been a mess in past 2 months. But it seems that now I am getting back to my normal focused self again, which makes my life much easier and happier. But I digress, as usual.

I believe that it true that I can be a faster athlete only with a lot of focus. But it is scary somehow. Because if I can get fast only by not having other distractions in life, well, then what would happen if suddenly there were distractions in my life? I know that a lot of people are amazing athletes and they have jobs, families and all that. I kind of don’t think that I can do that- combine all those things. (For example, I was invited to BBQ on Friday night and then also on Saturday afternoon, but I have swim workout on Friday night. And I chose the BBQs. So I cannot swim on neither Friday nor move it to Saturday. I can do the swim on Friday morning but pool is crowded and I would have to get up at 5am, so no, I am not doing it. Sure, I won’t skip the workout, I will do it on Sunday but the fact that one small distraction can completely throw me off my schedule is scary.) I do not have enough talent to be fast by just running a bit. I kind of feel that I must continue “living my dream life” if I want to improve! But I guess that eventually I would have to buy some furniture, a real bed and a car and then I will not be able to run fast anymore.

I am not a pro athlete and never will be one so you might ask what my deal is. I just want to try to be as fast as I can be.

I wonder how people do that. How they combine friends, families with their training. It amazes me. Maybe it is just that those athletes have much more talent that I do and thus they do not have to “live the dream life” to be fast. I do not know.

But of course, I will not know for sure whether I can combine those things until I try. Maybe I can. It is probably only a matter of time management and routine. Because my distractions now are very rare and unpredictable they always throw off my whole routine. Maybe if my distractions were less chaotic and more predictable (like get a child to day care every day at 8am, cook dinner for family at 6pm, go out to movies with friends on Wednesday nights) and thus more stereotypical, then maybe it would work for me.

As you can see I am little bored or something...Maybe I should get some distractions!

Bike Time Trial #2

Bike TT #1: 34:18, average speed 35.2kph (21.88)
Bike TT #2: 34:04, average speed 35.6kph (22.11)Course was little bit longer this time, not by much though.

You see, I am improving! It was windier today and also I did the tri only 5 days ago. So that's very good.
I started fast from the beginning, I knew half way through that I might die quick and painful death. Fortunately it did not happen. I did the first loop in around 17:04 and the second in 17:00. So at least I managed negative split.

I am pleased.

I did not run today, I will run tomorrow with some tri people. ITB felt little off this morning but it feels good now. It always feels good after a bike ride.

And I might have found some people to do track workouts with me!!! There is this girl who used to be a 5k/10k runner in college (she graduated probably 2-3years ago) and she recently did a duathlon and ran sub-20min for both 5k and she also bikes super fast. She is going to kick my ass!!!
And there is one other fast guy who wants to join us. And couple other people might join as well. So that would be great. Should be fun to have some people of the same speed to push me. I hope this work outs.

Wednesday, June 1, 2011

Roller coaster

My swims are so inconsistent. Complete roller coaster. One week I am fast (for me) and efficient and the following week I just drag my whole body and cannot make it move.
Makes me mad!

Today was one of those "down" days. It started pretty well, I somehow managed to do 2x200 with bands and paddles only. I have never gone that far pb (my code for paddles and bands only). I usually do only 6x50 and already that trashes me. But I usually do those at the end of the workout so that might be part of the reason why I always drag my feet at the bottom of the pool. Today I did pb at the beginning and I was surprised how easy (compared to my usual pb) it was.
But it probably trashed me for the rest of my workout because although it was very easy workout I wasn't able to hit my paces. I was not able to move faster!

I am not too concerned about it because that's how my swimming has always been. But maybe I should be concerned because this inconsistency is not good, not good at all. I want to nail most of my workouts, not just 70-80% of them.
Hopefully it will improve as I become stronger swimmer.

I spoke with a PT today and he did a few basic assessments on my legs/ITB. He said that my left hip is weaker (it is my right ITB that bothers me) and that I probably overcompensate with my right legs and thus the problem. It might be true, but because I have been crazy about doing different exercises using my right leg mostly to solve the issue I have probably caused that to myself in past few weeks.
He also said that I have weak hip flexors and that I should start doing exercises. My core is ok, although not perfect, I can make it definitely stronger and it will help. It was only very superficial basic assessment but now I know at least that it is probably hip flexors and weak left hip so I can work on that and see how that goes.

Last year this time, I was stuck at the airport in Amsterdam while coming to Michigan for the first time. Those were good times:)
Today, at exactly this time I am supposed to be on plane back home.
Unfortunately my flight ticket was not refundable and I could not make any changes to it so it was a waste:( But I am able to stay here and that's what's important now.

I am debating signing up for another triathlon in 3 weeks. All depends on how my ITB feels. (Run in this tri is done on a dirt road, not an actual road, which is good.) I would really love to do it because it is a "club" race and a lot of people from tri club will be there and it would be awesome to have someone with me in a race and share the excitement.
I am not too keen on racing a running race. Because I know that I am not "running" fit and thus it would be just a waste of money. I will not PR thus no point in racing. I can assess my running fitness on track doing workouts for free.
If I stay here, I am definitely doing Detroit 5k that's held together with Detroit marathon and half at the end of October. And depending on how I feel fitness wise I might find something Sept and Nov. It all depends...
But I am fit enough to have a good tri race. But it is sooooo expensive. $90! I am not sure whether it is worth it considering my financial situation. Last race was $75 and it was worth it because it was my first so the experience alone was kinda worth it and I luckily won those running shoes thus I have "recovered" the fee by that. Now I want to do this race just because everyone is doing it (aka I can show off in front of club people. Although coming think of it some of them already think that I am nuts with a lot of potential. But what if I have a crappy race and then they change their opinion about me? That would kill my ego:)) and because I really believe that I can have faster finish time- lots of potential to improve my swim, I now know that I can push harder on a bike and obviously I can improve my run. Although I will probably not improve much in 2 weeks, will I? I might actually run slower because my legs might be too tired and shocked by sudden running training, don't you think? And although my ITB feels good now, maybe it will start hurting again and then I would not be able to do the tri and all that money would be wasted for nothing. I need to sign up asap, that tri sells out every year so I cannot wait to see whether ITB will hold. It is very hard to decide what to do.

And maybe my ITB will start protesting tomorrow and then my dilemma is solved because I will very likely shoot myself. (Don't worry, I do not have a gun so I will not do it)