Friday, September 30, 2011

Everything and more

I have not been blogging because I am busy and lazy.

On Wednesday I did a bike workout, hill repeats and it was not that great. It was raining little bit and I did not feel great.

Yesterday I wanted to go do elliptical workout but I did not because I am lazy. I need to have a more solid training structure for this. But I want to run, not ellipticate! ITB has been feeling very very good in last few days and I even got a direct massage of the spot where it bothers me and I felt nothing. Even direct pressure does not irritate it anymore. I am definitelly going to run next week!

I had a great swim yesterday. The best swim ever. I am so fast:) I saw times that I have never seen before. Ok, I have seen such times before but they were all-out efforts and yesterday they were just hard solid efforts. It seems that I am finally starting to get swimming. I am super excited about it!!!!!!!!!!!

I am off to ellipticate now and then easy swim workout. I need to keep it easy because I have decided to do the bike race tomorrow. I am little scared. I was scared a lot at the beginning of the week but it seems that I am slowly forgeting how much pain and how miserable last weekend's race was.
It has been raining every single day this week and it is supposed to be super cold and windy tomorrow. It is cold and windy now actually, my hands were freezing on my way from work and I was wearing gloves! So tomorrow will be even more miserable than last week. Going through all that mud and against the wind...Blah.
But you know what, I am not really scared. I am starting to look forward to it. Although I know that I will be cursing a lot tomorrow, whole 39 miles I have signed up for.
Wish me look!

Tuesday, September 27, 2011


I should be in bed now but my computer restarted itself and since it is on I figured I will share my excitement.

First of all let me tell you that ice-cream is not a good recovery meal (in case you did not know this one). I have learnt that hard way on Saturday because it took me 2 days to recover from that race. I felt like crap on Sat afternoon, on Sunday and I was still little off yesterday. But to my excuse, I planned the race to be fun and nice leisure ride and thus I did not bring anything nutritious to eat afterwards and instead it was treshold 2+ hours effort.

So instead of 90min aerobic bike ride yesterday, I did a recovery 90min ride, just chilling and enjoying because I could not push pedals hard enough to keep my HR up.
Also did swim, which was mostly just flopping in a pool working on a good form.

But I was 100% today. And I had awesome training day.
I did elliptical: 10min w/up, 3x6min hard w/ 1min easy, 5min c/d. Those 6min effort were like mile repeats effort, or at least that's what I am telling myself. I have no idea. I got my HR up to mid 170s on the first one, then to 180 on the 2nd one and to mid 180s on the last one. So that might be about right. But I have never wore HRM for mile repeats, so I am just guessing.
But good thing is that I have not felt ITB at all doing them. I felt it on Sun while on elliptical but not today. PT told me to be careful even on elliptical because it is a weight-bearing exercise. Thus I decided to try to "lock" my feet in position and do not bounce on elliptical because that's what I was kind of doing to simulate running as much as possible.

Also I have upgraded to weight-bearing PT exercises because until now I have been doing only non-weight-bearing exercises. But PT told me to wait until later this week or next week before I try running to see how ITB responds to these new exercises. I hope it responds well!!!

And then I did a swim and it was awesome. Swimming has been pretty good in past 2 weeks. I think that I am still living on a placebo effect of my new improved form. Because now I keep telling myself that I do not need to work that hard, just keep nice form and time will take care fo itself. So far it has been working.
Ok, I have been also working hard but I can hit my paces with less perceived effort.

And I am becoming smarter about swimming. Before, when I got tired I used to let my form fall apart because it feels like a lot of effort to keep a nice form. I would let my elbows to drop, feet to sink and just started to go like a windmill because I thought that it will get me to the end of the pool faster. It was like cutting corners. But that does not work. Now I know that when I start to be tired I need to work on keeping a nice form even though it feels like an extra work. At the end, maybe it is extra work but my times are faster.
So I am super happy about my swim for now because I have been exceeding my expectations. It will be like this until Michelle realizes that she should give me faster paces to hit, then the misery will start again I guess. Unfortunately I think that she has already realized that:(
Part of the workout was 5x100 with paddles and bands. And I did it! I remember times just few months ago when I was not able to do 25 without dragging my feet at the bottom of a pool. And now I can do 100s no problem!

Ok, now off to bed.

Sunday, September 25, 2011

I am trashed

OK, I was yesterday. That race totally killed me. I spend the whole afternoon yesterday sitting on my butt because I could not move. My legs were actually cramping 5 hours after the race and I took an ice bath, which I NEVER do because it is huge waste of drinkning water.

But then I have slept ofr 10 hours and I am like new again. Well, almost.

I did an elliptical workout. 10min w/up, 4x4min hard with 2min easy rest, 10min c/d. It was harder than last time. I got my HR to 165-175 highest, could not get it higher. I guess that I was still muscularly tired. That's no surprise though.
I do not know how I feel about ITB. It is acting very weirdly! I will probably give it another week. Although I have a race to run in 3 weeks. Or at least I am signed up for it:(
And my Achilles or something in that area started to act up. I think that it started on Friday already though but I did not pay attention to it. I do not know whether it is fins or elliptical and then that race yesterday probably irritated it even more. So I am icing it.

Then did a swim workout. Looooong swim, 3100 meters. That's a lot. For me. With some steady long intervals and I think that I am getting better at those! Woo-hoo.

Ok, I am going to bed now. I am tired.

Saturday, September 24, 2011

Ronde Van Stony Off-road Bike RR

OMG. This was one of the hardest things I have ever done. Seriously, 40miles off-road are worth 100+ miles on a road.
People say that it was fun. I think that it was more hurt than fun.
Mountain bikers are freaking crazy (and HOT!!!). At all tri and running races I did there were a lot of older guys. However, here were a lot of young hot bikers. I should hang out around them more:) I actually met one guy, but he is older guy, well I met him couple weeks ago at Crit race, well, not really there, I met him when I was biking home from that race and he biked with me for a while. And he remembered me and came up to me today. He works in one of the local bike shops. He gave me him business card and told me that there is another off-road bike race next weekend and if I wanted to go he would pick me up and give me a ride there. So nice, isn't it? So I am thinking that maybe I will go, hang out with some real fast hot cyclists. But first I need to forget about how much it hurt today.

I raced as an elite. But it is not because I am that fast, it is because there is no real competition in Michigan. I do not know what women here do...
Before the start I talked to one girl, who was also racing as elite, and she was moutain biker and she asked me what my biking backgroun is. I felt stupid to tell her that I have zero biking background and am nevertheless racing as an elite so I told her that road racing. Which is kind of true since I did 2 road bike races:)
So I started with the first fast pack, but got dropped as soon as we hit trails.
Race was 40miles mostly on trails and dirt roads that were a complete muddy mess since it has been raining yesterday.
So I got dropped as soon as we hit trails because although I think that I have good bike handling skills I am not as good as real off-road racers. And I lost the sight of the girl, which was a bummer but well, what can I do.
Fortunately I managed to hang on some other guys and ride with them. They were going way faster than I would have gone myself and there were times when I thought that there was no way that I can keep that up for 40miles. It was so hard. Pushing throught the mud, sliding in all directions while going 18mph. Maybe it does not sounds that fast to you, but believe me, it was fast in those conditions. For me anyway. Then I also had to respond to their stupid surges (or whatever that was), and there were huge potholes on those roads, and when I hit the big one my feet would just fly of the pedals since I did not use clip-ins. Honestly, I am totally surprised that I have not wiped out. There were some very close calls when we hit huge mud spots, I just went where mud took me and not where I wanted to go.
There were times when I thought that I did not want to do it anymore. I kept repeating to myself how f**** stupid the whole thing was. My legs, arms and wrists hurt, I was breathing heavily and I really did not want to wipe out, which I was persuaded would happen eventually.

Around half way through I saw the girl maybe 300m in front of us. That made me super happy and it was the only thing that made me going. I had no idea whether there were other women in front of me, but she was my focus at that point. We eventually caught up with her and she joined us. Dang! I knew that the last 4 miles were on some technical trails and if we do not drop her now she would smoke me on those trails. She hold on for several miles and eventually we dropped her. I was super happy, but I was close to be dropped myself:( But I hang on until we hit those final trails, then I got dropped and had to ride last 3-4 miles by myself, which was hard but I did not want that girl to caught up with me so I pushed it hard till the end. Ouch.
I talked to her afterwards and she told me that she totally bonked big time and after we dropped her she had to ride by herself and it was super miserable. I am sure it was. Pure thing.

I was covered with mud from head to toe. I have mud in ears, hair, mouth and when I took the sunglasses off the area around the eyes was the only area not covered with mud. Also bike was in a horrible condition. They had a hose there so I somehow cleaned it but it is still not perfect. I need to clean it before I return it. I also hosen myself because it was ridiculous. I have never seen that much mud on myself.

So I won the race, but there were not that many women. I think that my time was around 2:16, but I am not sure about that because then they said 2:06. They had some mess up with results because it was not chip timed, they did it by numbers and they could not see our numbers because they were covered with mud. I need to check out the results online to see how I did overall.
Because of the mess up with numbers they announced the girl as a winner but we sorted it out because she knew that I was way ahead of her. Prices were cool: $50 gift certificate to a bike store (what am I going to do with all those gift certificates), one week of free Coldstone ice-cream, beer boot (???), Giant bike pump and a huge very nice growler of beer (which I gave to that guy who invited me to the race next week because I do not drink beer). Coldstone, Giant and some kind of beer brewery were sponsors thus the prizes. I also won one prime, 40 bucks. So at least some money!

And I did not win ice-cream eating competition:( Only managed to gulp ice cream worth 2100 calories in 10min. My mouth and brain are still frozen. The guy who won was incredible. I have not finished the first bowl and he already ate 3!!!

I need a nap now. I am wiped out. Seriously, mountain bikers are crazy (and hot).

Friday, September 23, 2011

Race goals

Only one: WIN. And of course I am talking about ice cream eating competition they have after the bike race. For bike race, my goal is to have fun but of course work hard.
I have borrowed a crossroad bike, breaks are somehow working (but it is a race, you should not break, right:)), seat is adjusted, pedals are fastened so I am ready to go.

I just hope it does not rain. I has been raining the whole morning today so it might be a mess tomorrow and if it rains tomorrow it will be even worse. And I have zero desire to bike there in a rain, do the race and then bike back home in rain. Blah.

But I am looking forward to it!!! It will be fun. And I am racing like an elite, how cool is that?
I will keep you posted tomorrow.

Did a short elliptical workout today. 10min w/up, 4x 3min hard w/1.5min easy rec, 10min c/d. I got HR up to 175-185 for the last 1.5min of those 3min so it was decent effort but it is still nothing like running:(

Then I did a swim workout. Just easy swim (for the most part, there were some hard parts) but my arms were trashed from yesterday. Really.

Thursday, September 22, 2011

What I have been up to

Not too much, work, training, sleep, eat (actually, not that much eating because I do not have a lot of time for that).

Few highlights:
- PT said that I can try running next week if I want to. Hm, I am tempted. We shall see...
- swimming is killing me. My arms are tired. But that's good! Although I wish my legs were tired as well. From running:(
- I had my first alcoholic drink in over 10 years. I do not drink alcohol. Never. I do not like the taste. But yesterday I went to the club meeting (we had it at Hanson's (you know, Desi Davila runs there) and there were some of their runners and one of the head coaches and they talked about their program etc) and then we went to the bar and a friend bought me something called Rum Runner. I tried his beer first but it was disgusting. So they bought me a girly drink. I think that it was rum with pineapple juice. I did not taste alcohol at all and it was tasty. But I think that it such a waste of money, there is no difference between that and water with pineapple juice. Of course, if I drank 10 of those then I would probably feel the difference.
- I have order powermeter today. Competitive cyclist has a good deal on Pro+ with wheel and a friend told me that he will give me his PowerTap CPU so I do not have to spend money on that or compatible Garmin, so it is a very good deal. I am glad that I am friend with this guy. It is the same guy who gave me the aerohelmet:) And bought me a drink.

I do not even remember what workouts I did, everything is a blur.
Oh yes, I did moderate effort hill repeats on a bike on Tue and then swim.
I did not do anything yesterday.
And today was easy bike ride, just 1h because I have a race on Fr. More about that tomorrow. And then I did swim test! Scary!!!!
Main set was 4x300 w/ 30sec rest. I think that I did pretty good. 4:34, 4:37, 4:34, 4:36. Although I wish all of them were sub-4:35. At first I wanted to start at 4:40 and then descent but then I told myself that no, that it is like imposing limits so I decided to just go and see whether I die before the last one or not. I did not. Although it was hard. My poor arms.
I tried to keep nice form, feet up, no crossing centerline, high elbow, head down. I think that I did a good job although my feet definitelly started to sink as I was getting tired. But I will get there with training.
And my turns are beyond pathetic. I need to do something about that. I am sure that I am loosing a lot of time there.

Monday, September 19, 2011

3527.43 times harder

Yes, that's right. My life just got 3527.43 times harder. Ok, I know that I don't have kids and husband, not even a dog or a goldfish, and I still live the dream life. But this PT and being dark out till 7am is making my life even more miserable because:

I need to get in bike(4/week), swims (5/week), runs(well...) and now an hourish of PT 3 times a week. I have to do it in the morning M, W, F. That rules morning bike workouts out, although it is dark at 6am so those might be ruled out soon anyway.
And I cannot run so I have to use an elliptical for which I need to go to the gym. But I really can't do that in the morning on T and Th because I would have to get up at 5:30 which is not an option since I get home past 10pm everyday because I must do swim workouts in the evenings.
So to wrap it up, trying to in 3 PTs, 4 bikes, 5 swim and 5 "runs" while working full time and not having a car (thus getting to places takes me 3times as long) is a mess. Take today, I did PT in the morning, got home from work at 5:30, did bike workout, rode to the Y, did swim workout, changed, did short elliptical workout (23min w/ 5x3min hard) and got home at 10:15. Lovely, isn't it? How do people with families do it?

I need to find a good system to all this. I don't mind doing it at all, I have nothing better to do anyway but cramping 3 workouts after work is not a good idea because then the workouts are inevitably not of the highest quality.

Sunday, September 18, 2011

Fast or dumb?

But let's start from the beginning as usual.

Yesterday I did a 3h bike ride, which was pretty awesome. I liked it. I stayed on the roads again and there were little ups and downs and I just like it much more than staying in a park because I feel that I need to get used to going up and down the hills. I was kinda tired by the end.
It was kinda cold, I was wearing gloves, 2 pairs of socks, earwarmers, long-sleeved shirt, short-sleeve shirt, running jacket, reflexive vest. Well, cold.

Then did 1h on the elliptical. Hm, I am not sure whether it is good on ITB because it did not feel that hot in the evening. I am not going to let anyone touch my ITB in knee area again!!! No ultra sounds, no massage, nothing that puts direct pressure on the outside of the knee!!!!

And I went to get an underwater swim technique analysis yesterday. I think that it was not really worth the money I paid for it but I have received some very good feedback and thus it was worth it! The instructor told me that my head position and catch and pull are very very good. That's no surprise to me because I have been working on those very hard. But I was told that I cross the centerline when I enter the water. I thought that I was doing it but I was not sure. And my kick is very bad, I am draging the feet very low behind me. And a few other small problems. But overall it is not too bad for a self-taught swimmer swimming only since December. The instructor also invited me to join his masters practices but it is too far from me so I can't.

I went to watch the tri race this morning. It was horrible. Be there and not being able to race. It is such a fast course, I could have had a very good time. Next year.

And then, I had an AWESOME swim.
I did this exact swim last Saturday. It was 4x300 at 5:15 descending. I was supposed to start at 5min and end at 4:40.
I did 5:03, 5:55, 5:50, 5:48. I felt like a crap. It was horrible. The worst swim ever.

And today I did the same swim. And I felt like 1000000 bucks!!! After the pathetic swim last week Michelle told me to to them at 5:45 and start in 5:10 and get it down to 4:50. But I did the first one in 4:52 and it felt easy. So I decided to do them at 5:15 and see how it goes. Second one: 4:42. WTH? Then I remembered that I should be descending, and I have two more. Hm, this will be hard... 3rd: 4:35. Wow, I am flying (in water)! 4th: 4:33. How awesome is that???
I was like, hm, am I that fast or am I that dumb and can't count right or tell the time? But it was not that. On the last one, I was concentrating hard on not losing the count to make sure that I am counting laps correctly. And also I made sure that I am not screwing up my timing. But I was not. I really swam those times. And it was not even that hard.

So, I have 3 theories about this:
1, Cupcake(s) (and bagels and cookies) pig out on Friday was the best fueling ever. I am doing it every single day from now on!!!
2, I really am dumb and do not know how to count.
3, My new improved technique gives me swimming superpowers. I worked hard not to cross the centerline, enter the water with the hands pointing in the forward direction, extend the arms, don't go like a windmill and keep the legs just below the surface with small kicks and do not let them drag behind and below me. It was not that hard. I thought that it would be harder to keep the legs up but it was not that bad. I think that I did a good job.
It is a lot of things to think about - hands, arms, head, legs, rotation.....

I saw that I have a swim test on my schedule for this week (I am scared!!!) so I suppose that we will soon find out what's going on with my swim.

Friday, September 16, 2011

I wish this post was about something completely different

This was supposed to be a race goals post! But you know, I am not able to race on Sunday, so no race goals post.
But I will tell you one thing, I had a perfect plan. Swim that swim as if it was a swim race. Swim hard and turn myself inside out! And then hang on for the rest. And go sub-40:30 for a 10k. And sub-2:20 for the whole thing. Well, it will have to wait till next year.

ITB feels good. I am going to start doing elliptical workouts. I am sure that it won't hurt the ITB. I need to be super careful because I have 5k race in 4 weeks. And rather be undertrained than injured and not be able to do it all together.

But I am doing biking race next weekend. It is 40 miles, on trails, roads, uphills, downhills. A friend has lended me his crossroad bike. So now I ave 4 bikes in my apartment:) I am running out of space. And I managed to persuade the race director to let me race as an elite. Ha. You see I am not that fast but it is a small local race, only second year running, and female racers are rare. So I send him an email rambling about my 2 bike races I did and 2 triathlons where I had the fastest female bike split and he had agreed to let me race in elite category. Which means that I will likely not win anything because it seems that only 1st place in each category. Maybe I should have raced in a different category and win another gift card. But as an elite I do not have to pay entry fee. So it probably evens out. And they have a post-race ice cream eating contest. Isn't that awesome??? I need to shoot an email to RD and see whether I can talk him into putting me into elite cat there as well:)

As I was leaving work today, I saw our department minivan standing there. Cool. So I went back, took the keys and now I have car for the weekend. It is very convenient. I went swimming today (wow, hard swim, my pool arms). I walked into the Y, dressed normaly, and the guy at the front desk asked me, "you did not bike in to Too cold for you? I would not mind." I was like " hm, well....." and went my way. It is funny, when I bike everyone considers that normal now. Then one day I do not bike and everyone is asking me questions what happened. I came there on Wednesday in pissing rain and no questions. Funny. BTW, that guy is kind of cute:)

Anyone want to see me biking? :)

And let me explain cupcake story now. This one is for Michelle. You know I can eat cupcakes, muffins, cookies for breakfast, lunch, dinner...well, anytime for every meal. But I do not do that anymore. I have not had muffins since...I do not remember.
But I ate couple cupcakes today for the second breakfast, and a few cookies. A collegue is leaving and moving to LA so we had a small go-away party. So. But from now on, I am a good girl again!

Thursday, September 15, 2011

Bike Time Trial #5

Bike TT #1: 34:18, average speed 35.2kph (21.88) 12.5miles
Bike TT #2: 34:04, average speed 35.6kph (22.11) little over 12.5miles
Bike TT #3: 34:03, average speed 36.1kph (22.56mph)little over 12.5miles
Bike TT #4: 34:06, 13.15miles
Bike TT #5: 34:38, 13.15miles

Ok, so my streak came to the end. There are couple reasons for that: I am probably several pounds heavier now, it was super windy, I was a totally bad athlete last week, I had to get up at 5:20am today and it was freaking cold. Plus last time I HAD TO beat the hockey guy and I almost killed myself doing it. I just had to.
BUT today I had my new bike and aerohelmet. So I was hoping to break 34min. But I did not! WTF??? I worked hard, but in retrospective I did not work as hard as last time (well, yeah, the hockey guy was not there today...). I should have worked harder. Too bad I did not have my watch with me, I wish I could have checked my split half way through.
But there was this guy who always beat me by a minute or so before. But today I beat him. So maybe the cold and wind really played a huge part since also he was much slower. But bike and helmet and I went slower than last time?!? Drives me nuts.
I tend to be overconcerned with time goals. Maybe I should not care that much about that kind of stuff because there are too many factors I cannot control.

But I still can't believe that I went slower with my new gear!
But I put in a good effort, legs hurt and I was breathing heavily and I even made some grunting noises because of the effort. I just did not have it today.

Hm, I will get over it. I need to start being focused again and everything will be fine. It is good to have humbling experience like this, it keeps me on my toes.


I am frozen. It was below 50 on my way to my 6am PT session this morning and then I got a flat and my fingers totally froze and not I am trying to thaw myself. Not working. Maybe I will make myself a tea.

I have been very lazy lately because my sister lets me use her Netflix account so I can watch movies and stuff online. Cool. I have gone through all episodes of The Addams Family and now I am going through That 70s Show (although I have seen that one like zillion times already). So basically, that’s how I spend my free time these days.

On Tuesday, I had bike workout and I honestly think that running shorts are much better for cycling than cycling shorts. I do not really care about padding, I think that the fabric of “point of contact spots” is more important. I do not know how to explain this so it makes sense but fabric inside of my cycling and tri shorts does not have a smooth surface (you know, that padding area) and thus it rubs and creates little sores. Whereas fabric of running short is smooth spandex-type so it does not rub.
I also did a swim workout on Tuesday and it was kind of hard but not too too bad. Reasonably hard. Once again, I have learnt that even for sprints a good form is more important than milling your arms around as fast as you can.

I had my PT evaluation session on Wednesday. They do not have any fancy treadmill laser stuff so the measurements and alignment checks were done by touching me but I was told that there is no huge misalignment in anything. My right hip is little higher than the left one, thus causing a small leg length discrepancy but it is almost unnoticeable thus that’s probably not a cause.
But my right hip stabilizers are weaker than the left ones and my left hamstring, ITB and quads are much tighter than the right one and all this is probably the cause because as I land on my right foot I do not stabilize my leg and roll the knee inward thus putting a lot of extra strain on it.
We will be working on getting the hips in alignment and on getting rid of those muscle imbalances.

So, if that is really a cause than it should be easy to fix. I hope it is a true cause! And once the current irritation is treated and the misbalances are fixed I need to continue being diligent about keeping it in check.
PT told me to not run until we get rid of the imbalance at least a little bit. Hm, ok. But the thing is that ITB feel decent. Well, it felt decent until he did ultrasound treatment on it. The pressure put on the ITB did not do it any good. Today I told him I did not want the ultrasound so he did some massage of the area. I will see how it feels.

Yesterday was the test of my dedication. I had to do the swim. Pool opens around 8pm for lap swimming and it started raining on my way from work and did not stop for the whole evening. So it was dark, cold and raining and I had to go to the pool. But surprisingly I never thought about not going. I only thought about how miserable my ride there and back would be in dark, cold and rain. Blah. I put my poncho on and off I went. I was still miserable of course.
But 1:05, 1:05, 1:05, 1:05…, I need to keep reminding myself of that when someday I lose my motivation. Because I know that that day will come soon if weather continues being this crappy. Summer is over, winter is coming thus I am sure that it will only get worse:(

Monday, September 12, 2011

Let's try this again

In late spring and early summer everytime I started running I would do easy longish (15-30min) runs 2-4/week and my ITB always flared up after 2 weeks of doing that and I had to take 2-3 weeks off and then start over again.
Until I decided to stop those easy runs completely and do only speedwork and voila, ITB did not hurt and slowly healed (until I did a very stupid mistake of running 5miles on those trails).

It has been almost 2 weeks now and ITB feels good again. No pain, no pressure. So I figured that I should start running again, but this time forget about trying to get back to it with easy runs.
So I did 1k w/up, 3x6x200 in 40sec with 1min rest and 3min btw sets, 400m c/d.
ITB no problem, no pain, no pressure.
Although I was out of breath and felt out of shape. But I still have almost 5 weeks to get to shape.
I will probably continue with this and use ellptical for "easy"long runs.

BUT I have PT evaluation session on Wednesday so will see what they tell me. Maybe they will say that I should not run for a while, but I doubt it. That would be just dumb.

ALso did a swim today. Very easy, recovery swim. Although I did quite a lot of paddle work so it was not really that recovering...
And here we go again. Now that pool is to its normal evening hours, I am again the last person to leave the Y at night and I do not get home until 10:15ish. Oh well.

Sunday, September 11, 2011

Putting my &h!@n together

I was supposed to do only 1h40m w/ 2xtempo today but since I am not racig enxt weekend and I did not do TT on Thursday I decided to go longer.

So I warmed for 1h15min taking a longer route to the park, then did my tempos and then 1h back. So 3h total.

Those tempos were at HR 170 and it was easy. Really easy. This is driving me nuts. It should be gettig harder! Or maybe my tempo HR is higher. Hm, I do not know.

But I did it in the park, not on a regular road with its ups, downs and stops.
I think that I need to start doing more rides on open roads instead of in "controlled" environment of a park because riding by HR in a closed almost-flat park (although these wussy Michiganiars think that the park is not flat, but I think that it is) is different from riding on open roads. I think that it is important to learn to ride by HR on roads because IM is on roads.

Although tempos felt easy, I felt tired and legs felt trashed on my way home. I am not used to such long rides anymore!

Then I took a rest, watched a movie, almost felt asleep on a floor and then went to the gym.
I did 60min on an elliptical! ITB felt ok. So I will probably continue doing that.

Saturday, September 10, 2011


So, you know that I have been eating shit and behaving like an ass last week and I think that it might be a reason why I felt like shit yesterday and today in the pool. (Excuse my language there please.)

So there might be something to that theory that food and lifestyle contribute to the performance. Hm. I have never really cared and have never really paid attention to it. But maybe it is true. It is probably also true that I am not 20 anymore, so maybe now I should pay more attention to this stuff.
We shall see.

My swim workout today Surprising, isn't it? I worked my a$$ off and still was not even close to hitting my paces.
All those swimmers out there probably do not get this but us non-swimmers experience this quite often. I was trying to go fast but I just could not. Should I kick my legs more? Should I increase the stroke frequency? I just COULD NOT go faster. I did not know how.
It has happened to me before. It is weird feeling.

Then I went on elliptical. 20min. I did not want to do more because I do not want to mees up ITB again. If it feels good, I will do more tomorrow. Maybe 30-40min. We shall see about that as well.

Friday, September 9, 2011

Bad bad bad athlete

Yes, I am. Or at least I was. But not any more.
I have been a horrible non-focused non-dedicated athlete this week. Well, more like in past 3 days.

I have been eating crap, staying up late, not drinking enough water.
Pool was closed, I cannot run, TT was postponed and I totally fell off the training wagon. PLUS, I realized that there is no way I will be able to do tri race on 18th and I also got scared that I won't be able to do 5k and I just got kind of frustrated and started thinking "what's the point?".

BUT THAT'S OVER! I need to pull my shit together and refocus.

I did not do bike workout. I was not sure whether I should do it or not. Maybe I can do a long easy ride tomorrow...
But I did swim workout tonight. I have read somewhere that if you don't do a sport for 3 days your muscles will start forgetting the movements. And I have not swam since Monday and I kind of felt as if I forgot how to swim:) I felt sluggish and little off.
But pool is to its normal schedule, which is awesome!!!!!!!!!!!! Now I can swim longer and hopefully without interuptions.

Thursday, September 8, 2011


So I finally figured it out.
Insurance will pay for it (at least that's what they are telling me), I got referal from a doctor and my first PT session is next Wednesday. I hope this will help me to solve the problem.

Also, this is the second time they have posponed bike time trial. Grrrrr. Because of weather. It has been raining the whole morning and they rather scratched it and move to next week.
So I think that I am going to do the same bike session as I did last Thursday. W/up, 30min tempo at 165-170, c/d on a trainer.

UPDATE: Hm, so I did not do the bike workout. I was dressed, everthing was set and then I went to get a skewer when I realized than it is on my road bike which I did not have because I used a car from work to get home today. OK, will do it tomorrow.

Wednesday, September 7, 2011


So I know that my insurance will cover PT. I found a PT who will take me. Now I just need to find someone who will refer me and that proves to be more difficult than I thought.
I went to urgent care and walk-in clinic as PT told me but those do not give referal. So I need to go to see a regular doctor. But where to find one, where to fins one....I spend more than one hour biking back and forth trying to find one but well, everything is closed by the time I get out of work.

So no run, no swim, no real bike. I did stretch cords though. I should do that more often. Maybe that will help me to become a better swimmer.

Btw, have you heard about the plane crash in Russia today? Plane with the whole Locomotiv Jaroslavl hockey team on board crashed:( One of the best Slovak players was on board.

Tuesday, September 6, 2011

Nothing new around here

ITB feels better every day but I am not going to run yet.
I did some research and phone calls today and my insurance might cover PT. So I went to couple PT places where I have learnt that Michigan law requires referal to be able to get PT so now I need to find a physician or someone to refer me. I have never really been to see a doctor in the US (except for some required exams at school). Well, I actually don't have a physician in Slovakia neither because I am just never ill so I do not go there.
The PT guy told me that I can try urgent care or walk-in clinic to get referal. So I will try to go to walk-in clinic in CVS pharmacy tomorrow, maybe they can refer me...

Did an easy bike ride today. 80min, just to loosen up legs and get time in the saddle.

Monday, September 5, 2011

Criterium bike race RR (1st real bike race ever)

47th Annual Debaets-Devos Pro-Am Memorial Bicycle Race

It was fun. The only bummer was that because I am Cat4 there was no money prize, money was only for Cat 1-3. Oh well, at least I got some points or whatever in ranking to be able to move to higher category if I stay here. Because if I stay, I sure am doing more of these. Although, it was painful from time to time.

But let's start from the beginning. I did swim wokrout in the morning and it was a very good swim. I was fast, smooth, storng, efficient. At least I think:)

Then I chilled out for 2 hours and then went to the bike race. My category started at 2pm so I got there around 1pm, checked in, did a warm up for around 30min etc.
There were only 9 women in Cat 1-3 and around 12 in Cat 4. And they were giving out money to first 10 in Cat 1-3, so they all got money but we, nothing. Anyway. There were primes as well.
Club friend came to watch me with his daughters and told me to just sit in and then when I hear the bell go for it, because primes were the only prize I could win.
They let Cat 1-3 35sec ahead of us and then my Cat was off. Race was 35min + 2 laps.
I was in 4-5th position for the first lap, then went ahead and pulled for part of the second because I wanted to see whether there is a way to break the field but no, I am not that strong as to pull ahead. So I decided to chill out and let someone else pull. I was in 3-4th the whole time.
Lap was around 1.5mile and half of it was slight downhill with tailwind, and other half slight uphill with one short steep hill and with headwind.
I am not sure how many laps we did and then the bell rank for the prime. I decided I needed to get that one. So I attached on that steep hill and got 20meter lead within a few moments. But I still had like 1mile to go into the wind and up. I worked really hard so they do not catch me and it was really painful. They did not catch me and I won that lap and thus the prime ($25 gift card to bike store). Then one of the gals caught me and told me I had a nice lead and offered to pull me so I can increase my lead. But I was pretty much done from that sprint to win the prime:) I tried to stay with her but she was pulling ahead. She saw it and decided to take it easy and let the rest of the field to catch us and just go with them.
BTW, this gals was FAST. She could have smoked all of us. I am not sure what she was doing in Cat4 because my friend who was standing by finish line told me that he heard people talking and it seems that everyone knows her and she is kind of the big deal in Michigan cycling circles. But clearly she just did the race for fun and let other take primes and she did not mind pulling all of us for most of the race. And she was wearing jeans shorts. She admitted that they were not very comfortable though.
So when the others caught us, she started working again and I jumped back on her wheel and went with her. Slowly there were 3 of us pulling ahead of the rest of the field. My friend told me that we were crushing it. We even caught the Cat 1-3 field eventually. The announcer said that we were smoking Cat 1-3, cool.
Then they announced 4 laps to go and the second prime. I did not know that it was a prime as well, I thought that it was only 4 laps so I did not work too hard and I did not win that one. But it was a backpack so no biggie.
Then we had 3 laps to go and someone yelled that we had like 40s lead on the others, at which point we were like, ok, no need to kill ourselves as long as we are 1-2-3. We kind of started cruising and my friend told me that it was like slow motion compared to what we were going before. We did that until around 3/4 of a mile to go. Then the fast gal said LET'S GO! And she started hammering. Then there was this little approx 50m slight uphill, right turn and approx 250m rolling downhill to the finish. And she really put the hammer down on that little uphill. I stood up as well and started mashing pedals, but she just had more power than I did and she pulled ahead. But thankfully I had more power than the other gal. So I finished 2nd, around 2sec behind 1st and 2sec before the 3rd.

It was fun. It was really painful on my little prime breakaway and then at the end and when I was pulling the field but since I was just sitting in 2nd/3rd most of the time it was not too bad. I liked it.

I was wearing my new tri shorts and they worked well. Unfortunately, I was wearing my running sneakers and right cage (yeah, I have only one cage, on the right pedal, because left one is broken. I am a bumm.) because all my wrenches are too thick and do not fit btw pedal and crank arm of my tri bike so I could not swap them.
I also caught the pedal on the pavement on one turn twice because I was pedaling through it. But it was not too bad.
First 2 loops were kind of crowded, eventhough there were only 12 of us but I am not used to that, I am usuallt all by myself. But I was not nervous, I am fearless:)

So it was fun. Although I did not break even, because I won $25 gift card and entry fee was $45. But it was a good experience and I might do more bike races.
It was a good way to spend day off from work.

(ITB feels decently. But that's because I have not been running for past 5 days.)

Sunday, September 4, 2011

I am the real deal now

Look what I got yesterday:

Shoes I won two weeks ago. Well, I won the certificate and I could choose the shoes. And I liked these. Unfortunately, it seems that I will not be able to try them out any time soon:(((

I also got this:
(Imagine tri shorts, because who would want to see a picture of tri shorts...they are not that interesting)
I used gift card I won two weeks ago. (Winning races is fun. They give you stuff.)

And also this:

An aero helmet! Cool, isn't it? I did not win this one though. I got it for my babysitting services. The guy whose kids I babysit bought a new (better and fancier) one and he gave me his old one. And it fits me! It is not the best aerohelmet ever I suppose but it is definitelly better than my $16 helmet from Walmart. Someone told me that an aerohelmet is the best "bang for the buck" in TT world. So we shall see. I have a TT on Thursday and now that I have a real bike, real biking shoes and pedals and shorts and aerohelmet, I should be fast:)

He also gave me all his old triathlete magazins because, oh God, he knows I need help...
It was him who told me that I should do the crit race on Monday. I signed up and then he told me that I was very brave because it is going to be a mayhem. Oh well, thanks, you should have told me beforehand. I signed up and then I asked him what 35min + 2laps mean. He probably rolled his eyes and started praying for me.

Saturday, September 3, 2011


This was the second time I stayed on roads for my long ride. I did rides on roads efore but I usually stay on one particular road (loop that takes 20min) near my house because that's the only kind of smooth and safe road. But Saturday morning roads are ok. Relatively.

I kind of liked it, but it was kind of hard! I was trying to stay at 140-155 but the road I chose was kind of hilly (Michigan hilly...) and thus sometimes I went over and sometimes lower but most of the time I was in the right range.

I think that it was hard because there were those little rolling hills and a few stop signs so it was not all stable pace, which makes for harder riding. Or maybe just I am getting more aerobicall fit and thus HR 150 is harder to hold.

2.5h and I stay on aero most of the time. Still lot of work to do before I will be able to stay in aero for 112miles. It is not that it is not comfortable, but I think that I need to buy better cycling shorts. Mine are not that good. Or maybe I will get tri shorts.

I am off to babysiting now. Friend is piking me up, taking me to NB store to pick running shoes I won two weeks ago and then to bike store to use the gift card I also won. And then to her house to watch the children overnight.

Friday, September 2, 2011

Comprehensive list of no-no things

- run on hard surfaces (road, ice...)
- run downhill
- run tight corners
- wear heels
- wear flip-flops
- run slowly for 5+miles
- run barefoot

I am slowly adding no-no things to my list. Live and learn. But I would rather learn from other people mistakes.

I am taking several days off running because ITB is a mess again. It was ok during the day but it does not feel hot now in the evening.
Then I will start with track workouts again and keep my mileage low.

I have had enough!!! No matter how much it cost, no matter how much time it takes, I am going to see a doctor. It cannot go on like this! It is ridiculous!

Ok, maybe not no matter how much it costs because well, I do not have money for that. But I am doing a thorough research to find out whether my insurance will cover it (although I doubt it since I do not have a regular insurance). But I will try.
And then find a physical therapist in a 3mile diameter from my place!

I wanted to do a tri on Sept 18th but as of now it does not seem that it will happen. We will see when it gets closer.

On training news, I swam today and my arms hurt. Among other things I did 800 yards with paddles, ouch.

I just signed up for a criterium bike race on Monday. It is only 35min + 2 laps, so nothing too bad. I have never done a real bike race. Michigan mountain mayhem was a bike race but it was very casual. This is hard core(ish). I am probably going to crash and die. But I was told that it is a lot of fun and it might be a good way to earn some cash (assuming nobody else shows up or that I do not crash and die). And it is basically in my backyard. And I have nothing better to do on Monday anyway, except for a swim workout in the morning and then this race is at 2pm. I am actually looking forward to it.

Thursday, September 1, 2011

Torture session

What else would you can 1h15min on a trainer at 9pm with 30min tempo HR 160-170 and then 3min all out.

I had to do it on a trainer because that's the only place around where I can truly do tempo effort efficiently. And I do not mind doing it on trainer if it gets me better workout.

It was not bad aerobically or musculary, it was more painful staying in aero. Because on a trainer you are always in the same position, and it slowly becomes a pain in a$$, literally. But I better get used to it.

ITB is so-so, I'll probably skip one workout/decrease this week's mileage.