Tuesday, November 29, 2011

Peak power test

I was supposed to swim today and do the test tomorrow but weather is horrible. It is freaking cold, and raining/snowing the whole day and I do not have any dry cloths because I got soaked (and frozen) on my way to work and then from work. And although some people might say that I am a sissy, going throught that again to get to the pool just did not sound appealing to me. Maybe if I walked I would do that, but I did not have time for that because I need to study for LSAT and I need to submit one law school application tonight.
Anyway, back to my peak power test.

Michelle thought that I would love this. And she was right. I am so not an endurance/long distance athlete. I prefer shorter&hard to longer&slow.

Test went like this, 20 w/u, 6 x 30" pick-ups w/ 90" easy.
10' @ 230-240W
5' easy spin
1' ALL OUT EFFORT as hard as I can go
9' easy recovery spin
5' HAMMER as hard as I can
10' super easy relaxed recovery
1' ALL OUT effort
~10' c/d

10' @ 230-240W: P 236, C 84, HR 180 - this felt kind of hard, probably because I was pushing kind of a big gear and I am not strong enough since I cannot do any big gear work. Grrr.
1' ALL OUT EFFORT: 416, 97, 182 -I decided to start as hard as I could and hang on. Well it is 1min, how hard can that be, right? Well, it can be hard:) I started at current power 500+, then I was still at 410-415 30" in but then I pretty much died. I could hardly move my legs last 15sec, power went down to 360s in last 10" or so.
5' HAMMER 281, 84, 185 - I wanted to pace myself because 5min is not 1min:) I was at around 275-280 for the most part, and then I went 320+ in last 20", which probaby means that I had enough left at the end and that I could have pushed little bit more.
1' ALL OUT EFFORT 407, 97, 182 - Changed of strategy here. I decided to keep it more consistent. I was at around 410 but then last 15sec were brutal, again I could hardly pedal and current power went to 370s or so in last few seconds. Brutal.

So what this means?
Let's assume that I weight 150 pounds (well, do not judge, doing this test after Thanksgiving and my "One week of free ice-cream" week was not the best idea:)), then my
FTP is 3.3 (based on that test I did little over month ago. I am doing another on Saturday)
5min power 4.13
1min power 6.12
I checked Coggan's powerfile and check this out:

Makes sense, doesn't it?
Clearly, I am not a sprinter, I have never been good at running sprints or anything that involved acceleration (although I used to play volleyball. I compensated for lack of speed with my height:)) and raw power.
Treshold, meh. Not that great but not too too bad. Makes sense though because I still consider a 5k way tooooo long way to run:)
I scored the best in 5min test. Right where you would expect a miler/half-miler to be:)

I cannot say that I am satisfied. I understand that this chart is not something completely accurate/objective and that if I did the test for example outdoors or was using SRAM or Quark that I might be little better (or worse) and that chart is for cyclists and not triathletes but still. Would not it be cool to be in "Very good" category instead of more towards the bottom of the chart?
But I need to stay focused. I really do not care about 1min power. 5min power, hm, probably useful for short distances (which I plan on doing after I throw my Ironman retirement party on August 20th next year:)) The goal now is to improve that FTP number.
But I am also little satisfied because it seems that I exceeded Michelle's expectations:)

Sunday, November 27, 2011

6 more days

Can you tell I am excited? I am doing a little count down to my first running attempt.
Sure, it will not be real running because real running is doing 50+ miles/week with two days of speedwork per week:)
I will keep it very low-key for December. Probably max 10-12miles/week. Although I have not decided yet how I am going to do it. It is long slow runs that bother ITB the most thus logically I should keep those to minimum, but I do not think that doing speedwork will actually do me any good at this point.
Maybe if it was not cold/dark/rain in the mornings I would try to do doubles (like 2miles in the morning and 1MILE in the afternoon) so I do not run more than 30min at the time. But I cannot really do it now because call me a slacker but I am just not dedicated enough to ride my bike 3miles in cold/dark and rain to training fields so I can run on grass and then ride home, take shower and ride to work and repeat that process again in the afternoon. That does not sound reasonable even to me. I do not know, I need to think about it. Maybe I can do a morning run on a grass by the road where I live (I used to do that in spring when I was coming back to running after another episode of ITB flare up) but it will still be dark and I know that people driving by will think that I am crazy and I do not like when people think that. Although on the second thought, this idea does not sound too bad. Unless I sprain an ankle or, and I do not know why I have this fear in my head because it is little
"out there", but I do not live in the nicest neighbourhood and I am somehow scared that when running on that strip of grass I will step on a needle that some addicts use and get some nasty disease and eventually die for no good reason.

And of course I will religiously continue with my PT exercises.

Swimming and biking is going great. Swimming continues to improve, I did 3x500yards with bands and paddles/bands only today! Couple months ago I was not able to do 50yards without my feet dragging at the bottom of the pool. And now I can do 500s no problem!

Biking is not going as good as I would love to but I have decided to be patient and consistent. I am not the most patient person ever but I do not have any huge goals for next year EXCEPT to get to the starting line of that IM (and then to the finish line as fast at possible of course) and being able to run consistently. But it is not like that I MUST win my age group in Mt Tremblant or run 36min 10k next year:) Well, I would love to but the former it is not really my top goal and the later is not feasible for next year. So I can chill out and take my time.
I am doing another FTP test on Saturday so we shuld see whether I have improved.
However, I am getting my at ease with the smoother pedal stroke. No more downward push only. Plus I am able to do 3h in aero on Sat and then another hour on Sun without too much discomfort. Still not like sitting on a coach but better than before.
I watched a movie on Sat during my 3h ride. I usually do not do that because I get annoyed very easily by distractions when I am supposed to focus. I also listen to music very rarely. For example I start listening to music but then when I start working hard I need to get rid of it. So I watched the movie because it was an easy ride and although time went by faster I do not think that I would do that again. I do not like not listening to my breathing, being focused, not being aware what I am doing and generally listening to the response of my body on a bike because there are so many things I need to work on and thus focus on (e.g. cadence, smooth full pedal strokes).
I can listen to movie when doing easy runs (because I do not need to focus on anything there) but I cannot do it for speedwork (ok, I have never tried it but I know that I would not be able to do it without throwing the mp3 into the nearest ditch).

Thanksgiving was fun. I had my fist ever American TG dinner. My friend invited me to her house. It was very low key, nothing fancy, bunch of her other friends. Her husband made turkey, green beans casserole, mashed potatoes, sweet potatoes, stuffing and all that regular TG food. It was yummy and we all stufed out faces and I went to sleep at 2am (and had to get up at 4am to take some car-less friends (Math PhD students at a local university from Albania) to Best Buy since I had a car from work). And I also ate pecan pie as breakfast, lunch and dinner on Wednesday and cherry pie on Friday. Good times.

LSAT is on Saturday and I do not feel prepared or confident at all. I will need all the luck I can get. And one of my law school applictions is due on Wednesday, but I am almost doe with the one.
I do not really need to worry about this as much now since my job prospects are pretty good but still, I should do my very best because one never knows.

Tuesday, November 22, 2011

Check these out

I find these two articles quite interesting (mostly for triathletes), check them out!

Long way to go

I did my usual PT exercises and then some other strength stuff (lunges, squats, planks) on Sunday and that left me little sore and then I did the same yesterday after my bike ride (which by the way was awesome. It must be because of that “down” biking week I had last week. Only 3 short bike rides. Well, was supposed to be 4 rides but I skipped one. Guilt is forgotten by now though.) and I was super sore this morning. My legs were dead on my bike ride to work. But they have loosened up a little bit by now but I am going to take a day off today. Day off of exercises, I am still going to swim of course.

Couple exercises and I am sore. How pathetic is that? I really need to get into this strength training routine!

Also, I think that PT exercises are working. I do not think that I bent the knee inwards as much as I used to and I am more aware of it when I am biking, walking, squating to tie my shoes….So I keep my fingers crossed that I will break this ITB spell.

On a different note, it seems that I am stuck in the US for now. I cannot leave the country until they make the decision regarding my work visa petition because lawyers are going for change of status for me, not for the whole new status. I hope it will be before the end of December. I do not know how feasible that is, I need to talk to the lawyer about it. If nothing is decided by then, then I have to stay here but I cannot continue with my current internship nor can I start a new job. But I still have to eat and sleep and it will be hard without a paycheck. Maybe I will go “visit” my sister in Tulsa.

Also my law schools applications are coming along. I still have not finalized my schools list; it will depend on my LSAT score. Because there is no point in applying to Yale if I do not get 177+, is there? Which I highly doubt will happen unless I have whole lots of luck on that test. If that happens, I am also submitting few lottery entries.

When I was at college I used to work at pie sale on Wednesday before Thanksgiving and they always gave me a pie or two (I usually got apple pie and cheesecake, yummy!) and then I ate those for the whole weekend. Those were some good times! Now I have to buy my own pie. I have had a pecan pie for the first time couple weeks ago and I liked it a lot so I think that I am going to buy one. Probably on Friday, when they go on sale:)

Sunday, November 20, 2011

2 weeks to go

I will tell you a little secret though. I am kind of enjoying not running. Not because I do not like it, it is more because I have more free time (although it is really not that much free time) and I do not want to run because I am scared that my ITB will start act up once I start again and the training/injury/healing cycle will start all over again and we all know that I cannot afford that!

Although when I was in pool today I was getting ready for some 50s spring and before the first one I told myself "ok, run!" so my conscious is ready to start running again:)

Friday, November 18, 2011


Ops, I skipped a workout yesterday. I have missed planned workouts before but I always planned that ahead and rearranged my schedule so I did not really miss it, only postponed it.

But yesterday turned out to be super crazy at around 5pm. I realized that I need to go find a place that has money orders, I started to freak out about LSAT in 2 weeks and a lawyer called me that work visas are running out and she needs all required documents NOW.

I found the place that sells money orders, spend 1h studying for LSAT, almost killed my computer trying to find copies of all my past transcripts, diplomas, taxes, visas and passport scans and suddenly it was 8pm.

So I went to the pool and did a nice easy swim. Day off on Wednesday helped a lot, I was not dragging ass anymore.

Got home at 10pm and had to decide whether I am going to do PT exercises or 30min recovery ride on a bike. No way I was going to do both, I need to sleep!

So I chose PT. I believe that at this point I can get more benefit from that than from biking. And I persuaded myself that riding my bike to and from work, and to and from pool is like an easy recovery ride. But I still feel that athlete guilt and feel tempted to do that ride today. We shall see.

Wednesday, November 16, 2011

Day off

It is nice to come home and do nothing!
I think that I needed it because my less than spectacular bike rides in last weeks might have been caused by fatique. Probably. Also my last three swims were not that great. I was able to muster enough movement just so I do not sink and that was it.

I had big plans for today. Originally I wanted to eat pizza, watch Frasier and then do my PT exercises. So far I only ate pizza and have been watching Frasier for past 2 hours. Ok, time to do my exercises. And some other strength exercises as well. I wanted to do then often but it is not happening. I am either all over the place or too lazy. But I did few squats and lunges as part of my bike training and I am sore today. Pathetic:(

Other plan was study for LSAT today. That has not happened either. I will do few practise exercise after my home PT session.

ITB feels good. Rest is definitely helping and hopefully exercises are as well. I will see how I feel about it at the beginning of Dec and then I will decide when I start running again. Even if I decide to start it probably won't happen on Dec 1. I will start on Dec 4 because that week is going to be crazy. I need to submit one of my law school applications by Nov 30 and I am taking LSAT on Dec 3. And I know that I will do everything last minute like any good student would do.

On a different note. I got a job offer on Monday. With health benefits, 401k, visa sponsorship, relocation reimbursement. Everything. Now I am working with lawyers to put the work visa petition package together. Yes, that's exactly what I need right now. Another time consuming thing....

I know that these posts are really lame but I cannot reveal Michelle's secrets and I cannot run so I have nothing to write about.

Ok, time for PT and LSAT!

Sunday, November 13, 2011

Loosing my patience

I did my usual long bike ride yesterday and it is driving me nuts. We are working on my aerobic capacity so I am doing bike rides in HR around 150 and we should see that I am able to hold higher speed/power for that HR.
But it is not happening! I have been doing these HR rides for couple months now and I swear there is no improvement. If anything I am just going in the opposite direction.

I did 90min last Wed 11/02 with these stats: Avg HR 147, P 157, avg C 85
This past Wednesday: avg HR 145, P 122. WTF was that?

Last week 3h ride: HR 140, P 131 (it was little strange thus everything is so low)
And then yesterday I did 3h at avg HR 149 and P at 135-140. That's only ~6watts gain for 9 heart beats increase!
I had to switch the screen from average power to max power because I was getting more and more frustrated when I saw the number.

Couple thoughts related to this downward-sloping trend. Last week I did my rides by power and once I hit certain HR I eased up to not increase it. This week I did everything by HR.
Thus conclusion, I can keep higher power for a certain HR when I am going by power and not by HR. It is probably because it takes forever for HR to change quickly thus I soft-pedal for quite long when I want to decrease it. Ok, I need to get more data to validate this theory. 2 weeks are not enough.

I played with things a bit yesterday. I was keeping HR at around 150, and power was 135-140 with cadence 80-82. Then for the last 30min I put bike into bigger gear, thus I had to keep cadence lower to keep HR ~150. My cadence was 76, HR 149 and power 145. My power went up for the same HR. I know there is always a trade-off here- high cadence leads to higher HR because you move your legs faster, lower cadence leads to lower HR but more tired muscles. But I think that cadence in 70s might be little too low.

Also, I realized that my power went up quite a bit for the same HR when I was sitting up. I think that it was around 10 watts higher but I held it only for 30sec or so, so I do not know the precise number. But clearly my current position does not allow me to generate as much power as I could although it might be bit more aerobic. I think that aerodynamics gain does not outweight power loss in this case. So what I did, I lifted my aerobars by 1cm, which will likely allow me to lift saddle height by 1cm and open my knee angle a bit. That should help.
I think that I need to play with it more and try to open my hip angle as well. I do not like how saddles like Adamo makes me sit on my sit bones when aero and thus it closes the hip angle even further. But I cannot shift the weight more forward because that's just too painful for 2+ rides no matter what saddle I use. So it is not saddle's fault, it is a general problem.
Or maybe I can leave the saddle height where it is and then it opens hip angle.
Or I can lift handle bars another 5mm, and lift saddle by 1cm and there is should be gain in both hip and knee angle.
Although I am not really sure how big an impact these 1-1.5cm changes can have.

This also leads me to the conclusion that the bike fit I did 2 weeks ago was a complete waste because the only thing I have not changed since is cleats position.

Wednesday, November 9, 2011

And my dream life continues

Biking is going better. Saddle is ok, I was able to do two days in a row in aero position without any major issues. Now I just need to find biking shorts that do not have seams around that cushioning pad whatever the name of that is. What I did last time is that I just turned the shorts inside out, that way I still got the cushioning and no seams. But that’s just very weird thing to do. I hate trainer rides!
But I am making progress on smoother pedal strokes front. It was very hard at first to push/pull at the top and bottom of a stroke. But now it comes to me more naturally, thus it is easier. And I am confident that after few more rides I will be very well accustomed to this new movement.

ITB is also ok. I am doing my exercises religiously but I can tell that it is not 100%. It does not hurt but sometimes I have a very weird feeling in it. We shall see where it all leads.
You know how I said that I will start with elliptical once a week? Well, I have not. Not because I am lazy (which I kind of am but it is not the cause in this case) but because I completely forgot about it. Yes, I forgot. I have so much going on right now that if I do not concentrate on something or plan it ahead it just won't happen.

I have decided to apply to UCLA, UCSD and University of Tulsa law schools so far. UCLA and UCSD both have very good business law programs so it would be great to get in. I chose Uni of Tulsa because my sister begs me to come live nearby, plus admission is not too competitive thus maybe they will accept me and give me merit-based scholarship. LSAT is killing me. One day I do a practice test and I get 80-90%, then the other day I get less than 30%. Drives me nuts. I have always hated verbal sections of these standardized tests. I did well on SAT and GMAt because 50% of the test is math section and that saved my butt. LSAT is 75% verbal, 25% logic so it might not go as well as I am hoping it would. But I am staying positive. I really really want to go to law school but if I won’t get accepted it will not be the end of the world like it would have been if I had not got accepted to business school.

Still have not heard back about my visa sponsorship thing. They always take their time so I am used to it now but it does not make it less frustrating.

I am sleeping on a floor. Ok, not yet really, but soon I will be. That “bed” of mine is slowly but surely not functioning anymore. My “bed” is an airmatress in case you are wondering. Obviously you cannot expect an airmatress to function after 8 months of daily use. At first I needed to pump it maybe once every 2-3 weeks. Then it needed to be done every week. And for the past month or so I need to do it every single day right before I go to bed. If I do it later, I find myself on a floor in the middle of the night. Thus when I do it right before going to sleep I find myself almost sleeping on a floor in the morning. I expect that in 2-3 weeks I will be on a floor. Ok, 6-7 weeks to go, I can survive that.

Saturday, November 5, 2011

More is better

At least it seems to be with swimming. It looks like biking 5miles 5 times a week in dark and cold to the pool is finally paying off:)

I have had 2 awesome workouts in last two days.
On Thursday I did 6x100yards @ 2min send-offs (amont other stuff of course) and I nailed all of them in 1:23-24. Ok, it was kind of brutal but I did it! And my arms still hurt from pull ups on Monday.
And yesterday (I was able to stretch my arms without excrutiating pain! Yay! Time to do more pull ups I suppose.) I did 12x100 @ 1:40 send-offs and did first half in ~1:30 and second half in ~1:26-27 and it did not even felt that hard! Just nice controlled solid effort. Am I fast or what?:) Sure, it is all relative because there are people who can hold this pace for 2.4miles whereas I can do it for few 100s but it is my improvement that counts.
So it seems that I have improved around 10sec/100 from last year. I would take that.
Sure, the improvement probably follows logarithmic function trend and I won't see such huge imptovement over the following and following and following and following...years but still. I should be able to get times down further with enough miles in a pool.

A friend took me grocery shopping today and I bought around 15 pounds of apples, 8 pounds of oranges, lot of pears and other yummy stuff. I wish I could live on apples! When I was at home I kind of used to because both of grandparents have huge gardens with all different kinds of fruit trees.

Thursday, November 3, 2011

Let’s talk biking

The first word that comes to my mind: freaking hard (ok, two words)

Don’t get me wrong, I love biking but it has been kind of a struggle in last 2-3 weeks. Apart from some saddle issues that might be solved now (I played with Adamo position and although I cannot say that it is like sitting on a couch, it is decent. The true test will come on Sat when I will do my weekly long ride. Sitting and pedaling on a trainer without rest and position shifting for 3 hours sucks in this respect. Also, I am kind of stupid in this because who buys a new bike or saddle and immediately rides it for 3 hours without getting into it more gradually…), there is other issues that make biking hard for me these days.

Recently I have started to pay more attention to my pedal stroke and I have realized that I am totally inefficient. I jerk on the top of the pedals and just plainly push down hard with minimal push/pull on top and bottom. Although I cannot really feel that I am doing it (unless I am doing one-leg drills when I can also feel it), I can hear it while biking on a trainer. One small plus for trainer riding from me.

Thus I have been trying to be smoother and it is hard work! I have to really concentrate and I think that because my leg muscles are just not used to this new movement it makes it extra hard. It will take a while to get this new movement into my muscle memory. It is like learning a new skills that you suck at at first: it is hard and your motivation is low.
Honestly, I do not like doing it one bit. It is so much easier to just continue what I have been doing so far. But it needs to be done. There are no short cuts. It is similar to swimming. 4-5 weeks ago I realized that I need to stop going like a windmill because it is inefficient. It was hard at first to keep longer strokes and going like a windmill just felt so much easier because that’s what I was used to doing. But now my swim muscles have memorized how to do longer nicer more efficient strokes and I do not have to work that hard to be efficient anymore. Or when you are learning playing a musical instrument or typewriting. You can use different fingers that recommended because it just comes more naturally to you and you are used to doing that but if you work hard and do it the right way, then you will eventually get the hang of it and it will make your playing/typing more efficient. (Which reminds me that I should probably learn the right way to type with 10 fingers)

So also with biking, I am sure that after some time efficient smoother pedal strokes will come more naturally to me and I will not have to think about it more and also muscles adapt. Until then I will just curse under my breath about how stupid and hard it is but constantly reminding myself that it needs to be done.
Then there are other issues. You might know that I have bought PowerTap ~3 weeks ago. I would say that it has been useful so far. Not really in a sense that I am cracking up intervals by power that will make me a stronger cyclist, but in a sense that it helped me to realize other inefficiencies: low cadence and unsteady power output.

I knew that my cadence was probably little too low but I did not know how bad it was. Basically I have been biking at mid-70s cadence. I know that optimal cadence is kind of individual but such a low cadence means that I was pushing little too hard and thus trashing my running legs little too much. When I first saw the numbers powertap was showing I was sure that it is underestimating the cadence. But then on several occasions I counted my pedal strokes for the whole minute and the powertap number was always around that number. So now I am working on keeping my cadence higher. I am shooting for high 80s and when I am doing some harder intervals I can get to low 90s. And it is hard work as well. I think that it has also something to do with me being 6 foot tall, my running stride is long with low frequency because it is harder to move longer limbs faster. So I am just not used to moving my legs fast (although I have no problem with moving my arms like windmill).

The last issue is not going steady. I understand than nobody can go at completely steady output but ranging from 140-180W is little too much. So I have been working on trying to keep the power in narrower range. Not perfect yet but getting better. Also keeping the cadence higher helps with this. I did 40min at 160-170 range yesterday. At first I was little all over the place high140s-mid170s. But after few minutes I was able to keep it steadier and the last 10min were almost perfect, right in the range. I have also learnt a little bit to be able to “feel” my output. There is a few seconds lag (~3-4sec) between my pedaling and when numbers show on screen. And I was able to tell when I decreased my power and sure enough few seconds later the numbers went down. To get this right will take a loooong time, but hey, I have couple months on a trainer do “learn, learn and learn” as Lenin used to :)
Then when I go outside I will probably have to practice some more because biking outside will be totally different. But it should not be that bad if I have a basic feel for cadence and steady output from trainer.

Also, big gear biking irritates my ITB big time. I did some big gear work on Tuesday and ITB did not feel that hot afterwards and yesterday. So, I am not doing those for a while. Grrr.

So I am thinking that if I am able to run again, maybe I should have a critical look on my running form as well. But I so do not want to do that…

And, my arm biceps hurt like hell. I did pull ups and dips on Monday after few weeks hiatus and I still cannot stretch my arms without excruciating muscle pain in biceps. Which I guess means that I need to do them more often.

My mom sent me few pictures today. It is the lake where my parents have their cottage. She is probably trying to use it to make me come home. Not happening, although I am sure that IM training in Slovakia would be more efficient than training here.

I sound kind of grumpy recently, don't I? It must be because I have not had a chance to eat any Halloween candy:(

Wednesday, November 2, 2011

Slovak vs American athletes

I was browsing the web last week and found some tri and running blogs from guys in Slovakia. And geeez, there is such a huge difference between anal American tri types and cool laid-back Slovak athletes:) These guys in Slovakia do sub-9h IMs while sleeping in tents in camps before the races, eating rice and drinking orange juice for fuel and ones that have real tri bikes are heros:) (Ok, maybe little exaggerated because I do not know their precise nutrition plans but they sleep in tents or drive 5-6h to the race the night before and eat rice instead of gels and bars for breakfast). Compare that to the American attitude where nobody touches anything that does not have PowerBar or GU in the name and if your bike does not cost as much as your car you don’t think you are a real triathlete.

I think that the Americans are overanalyzing things, make huge strategic plans, analyse whether they are type-A personalities (I do not even know what exactly that means and who cares about what type of personality you are anyway), spend a lot of money on useless stuff. Basically they take themselves way too seriously. Those Slovak guys are dead serious about their races and training (otherwise they would not be racing 8:30 IMs, would they) but they seem to be having more fun, are not obsessive about every single detail. They are just laid-back. And what I like about them is that they do not make a big deal out of racing IMs. In the US people buy stickers to put on their car windows, jackets, t-shirts etc with “Ironman Finisher” stapled all over it and they even get tattoos (come one, it’s IM, you have not find a cure for cancer or solved the Gaza strip crisis…), you get feeling that Kona (or Boston marathon) is an ultimate sport achievement (and when someone says that getting to Kona is harder than getting to Olympics I want to smack the stupidity out of that person with a titanium wrench) and everyone thinks that finishing IM is one of the greatest accomplishment ever. Ok, maybe for someone who has lost a limp or overcome a nasty disease it is, but for healthy regular folks…everyone can do it.

People here just do not keep it simple. Or maybe I am just too simple and thus I do not understand all the “intangible feeling stuff” they talk about:) That club meeting I went to last week was supposed to be for first-timers doing IM. Everyone was talking how great they felt when they finished, how accomplished and proud they felt, how their whole families would come with them to cheer them on and throw them huge party afterwards, how they were pushing through mental barriers and such totally useless (for me at least) stuff. All I wanted to know was how aid-stations on bike course work because I just cannot imagine how hundreds of people on bikes do it. You stop? How do you navigate around other cyclists? For me those are important things, I do not really care about how I am going to feel mental-wise before or after. And I am somehow getting more and more annoyed being around those tri people when they talk about their IM experiences. But maybe it is because I am around people who are not serious enough athletes by my standards. I think that athletes who actually race races rather than just go there to finish have a different mindset and care about different things in racing, don't you think?

My point is, American triathletes, stop being so freaking narcissist about this!

Sure there are a lot of American triathletes who I like a lot because they are "my kind of people" :)

PS: Surprisingly, I have found only blogs written by men, nothing by women. I know that there are women athletes out there in Slovakia but still most women are home cooking dinners and not running around. Although from what I have heard more and more women are joining in for fun!

Tuesday, November 1, 2011

"Training" update

I have not been blogging as much as I used to in past few days because there is just not much to say.

I still hold to my resolution not to run until at least Dec 1. Although I wanted to start with elliptical this week, after some discussions and thinking on my side I have decided that strength training will probably do me better than ellipticating. Because honestly, elliptical will not improve my running fitness, it will just add to my overall fitness and endurance and with biking and swimming I got that covered.
So I think that I will try to hit the gym for some serious muscle conditioning (esp my core, back, hips, shoulders, well everything) 3 times a week and maybe I will add one session on an elliptical.

Swimming is going great. I saw some crazy <1:26 100s on schedule for me for Thursday and descending 1000s for Sunday so clearly Michelle has read my complaints about 1:30for 100s being tooooo easy :)

Biking continues to be a pain in the a$$, literally. Everything with the saddle was great until I had to move inside on trainer. I used Cobb V-Flow saddle for 3h on Saturday and was able to stay aero the whole 3h but it is not perfect. I received ISM Adamo yesterday and hooked it up on a bike and I do not feel any difference, it is still not as comfortable as I was hoping for. But I am starting to think that with Cobb and Adamo the problem is not the saddle, it is the position of the saddle. So what I need to do is ride it for some time and keep adjusting it until it feels good. The problem with this is that all my bike workouts require me to do some kind of specific work so I can’t keep hopping on and off every 5minutes. I think that I will just do a longer warm-up today and try to fix it because I need to solve this issue.

I am supposed to discuss my visa situation with immigration layer sometimes this week so the company can determine what to do with me. Whether they can hire me, if so how to do it and all that stuff or whether it would be just easier to send me home and find a different candidate. So we shall see where that goes. But I am already kind of pumped on law school and training-like-a-pro-until-school-starts idea. Now I just need to sell my road bike and pray that I get scholarship from my business school for this year as well and hopefully my parents will chip in for my flight ticket back home as my Xmas present… otherwise there goes my exciting plan.

Or maybe I will just move here.

And it is my birthday today! I am even lamer this year than I was last year. Although I did not get to do 26 on 26 (26miles aka marathon on my 26th birthday that is) last year, I think that I at least tried to eat 26 Halloween-themed muffins on sale or something like that. But I cannot do that this year. The only grocery store within reasonable walking distance does not have any Halloween candy or pastry on sale. Bummer. So I will just do my ride and swim today and eat 27 muffins some other time. Can you tell I am not a party person?:)