Monday, April 30, 2012

Double swim day

And my “do not do anything and then kill yourself in one weekend” training continued with two swims today! Which however, was an accident.

I wanted to take it easy today. A swim with a new swimming group in the evening, maybe an easy run. And a long walk in Herrenhauser Garten.

I was on my way to the Herrenhauser Garten but three metro stations from my place I changed my mind and I got off. So I decided to check out this park that I know a lot of people bike and run there. And as I was walking around I came across a 50m outdoor pool (that open yesterday for the season)! There were only three people there. Which is quite understandable because: it was 10am on Monday, overcast with a rain drop here and there, and this is no Cali or Hawaii with their warm weather and heated pools. We have had 4 sunny and warm days so far this year and who the hell will go swimming in a freezing water in an outdoor pool. 

But I was like what the heck, I better used this opportunity when I can actually get a decent swim in. So I went home (with a walk through Tiergarten), got my things, hoped onto a bike and I went swimming.
Since I have swam 2!!! this month it was quite….hm, uncoordinated. I did w/up 1000m, 3x300m faster, c/d 500m. I was little cold by the end but I loved it. 

The weather started to get nicer and nicer and there were actually more and more people coming and sometimes I had to pop my head out to see whether someone is not in my path and occasionally there was but I decided to be a b**** and I did not move one inch. I swam very close to that person, scared the hell out of them and they have not bothered me again:)
I stayed there for another 2hours just watching people, and reading. I was quite lucky because the pool got little crowded soon with a gorgeous weather and I swam before all the people came.

I think that I will go to this pool more often. They are open 6am-8pm. Although there is no way I am going there at 6am, because water will cool down overnight and it will be freezing, but maybe after work around 6pm not too many will be there and the water temperature will be reasonable.

Then I went home, ate and went to explore Tiergarten even more. I was really really tired. The swim and being at sun the whole day and if I did not tell the guy that I was coming to that swim workout tonight I probably would not go. But since I asked him whether I can check out his group swims and said I would come tonight I had to go.
The swim was good. I liked it. More than the other group. There were less people, which I like better. But it is in 25m pool, not 50m. Today was a drill day so we did a lot of those. For a total of 2k. Not too much but enough for me for today.
And I did 4x100m IM for the first time in my life and I did not drown! Woo-hoo.

Tomorrow is the last free day, so I better take advantage of it because then it is back to work. Blah.

Sunday, April 29, 2012

Weekend smashfest (two 4-hour bricks in 2 days)

We have a long weekend (Tue is a holiday and I was told to take vacation on Monday because noone will be at work anyway). So I figured that I will “organize” a little training camp for myself.

Which basically means that I did two 4hohur bricks in 2 days.

Saturday: Did 40min easy run followed by a 3h20min bike ride. I took a new route on a bike. Getting to know the region.
Weather was gorgeous! Sun and warm, just how I like it. I even got tan lines! Since I am neither a striper nor a swim suit model I do not care about how my skin and body looks like.
Ride was great. I was little thirsty by the end (I had one 1l bottle) and also quite hungry (I ate one sport bar), but other than that I felt great.
I walked quite a bit afterwards (went to check out running tracks in the neighborhoods) and  was not even sore.

Sunday: I did not want to overdo it and the plan was ~2h30min ride + 20min run. Since the ride was not supposed to be too long I did not take anything to eat (I did not have any bars left but I wanted to take apple) but thankfully I took a drink (tea with honey and lemon, yes…) because otherwise it would have been horrible.
I met one rider who asked me whether I want to ride with him. And I did and he showed me a new route (which, I do not really remember since I have no idea where we were going) and I got back home after 3h40min.
I was thinking about bagging the run because I was hungry and thirsty and I mean, there is really no need for me to do 4hour bricks, is there? But because it is me I drank some more tea with multivitamin juice, ate a slice of cheese and an apple (what a combination!) and off I went. I was not too bad. Sure I was tired but not as tired as I thought I would be.

I know that my training is totally without any structure. It reminds me of my running in France before I met PPC. I would run 20miles one week and 60 the next. I did whatever. But it is understandable. Most people train like this when they have no idea how they should train. And really, I have no idea. So I just do whatever, do not ride my bike for 2 weeks and then do two 4-hour bricks one weekend. 

Btw, this guy was really nice. He is an older guy, maybe 40 or so and he said that if I want he can show me some other biking routes. Either close to Hannover or he can take a car and we can go further. He took my email and told me he will send me an email. His kids does not bike and he usually trains alone but it is nice to have someone to ride with sometimes. 

Although it was quite embarrassing. You know my bike (rear wheel going right and left, squeaking chain, can’t shift properly, and my bottom bracket makes horrible noises and so on and so on). He told me that I either invest something into that bike or I will have to pay 150Eur for a taxi when one day I get stranded 30miles from home. I know, but I am not going to invest anything into that bike.
I do not know what I will do tomorrow, but I will probably not bike. Maybe run and surely a swim. And I want to finally visit Herrenhauser Garten.

Saturday, April 28, 2012

Kernspintomografie (aka MRI, or MRT)

This is unbelievable! You know that I have been trying to get MRI for my knee, right? I need a referral from an orthopedist first. Easy, right? Turns out not so much.

I started looking in mid-March and after countless inquires I managed to find an orthopedist who could take me sooner than May. 

I had the appointment yesterday and the doctor was quite nice. By nice I mean he did not start with the useless advice about PT strengthening, icing, stretching, ultra sound therapy. I told him I have tried all of those, I already saw an orthopedist, got a RTG, which did not show anything wrong with my bones and I am still having these problems. So he did not even try to really diagnose the problem, we went straight to ordering MRI and then we shall see what can be done.

BUT…the earliest appointment I was able to get is June 6th! (By when I probably won’t even be here.)

Can you believe that? 6 weeks to get an appointment with a doctor, 5 weeks to get MRI appointment, then 1 week to get another appointment with the doctor so he can look at it.

That’s right! 3+ months before you start feel a pain to being diagnosed. Geez! One could die before she gets medical treatment in this country.

Friday, April 27, 2012

Does it make me a bad person?

A person is usually considered bad if she is jealous.  And I am incredible jealous of most of you. Two years ago I was at the same level as many people I know. And now they are all way ahead of me. And I do not like it! 

Do not get me completely wrong, I am happy for those people, they deserve it because they have been working hard to get better and I do not wish anything bad to them. I just want to be right there with them! It is very demotivating seeing people who used to be similarly fast as me killing it and getting much faster than me.
Well, I am not really jealous of you people, it is more like that I am jealous that you can train properly and I cannot.

For example take Ana-Maria. She is quite awesome! He just run ca. 18min 5k. But she was not that fast 2 years ago. And now she is and I am not. She totally deserves it because she was working hard for it. But I also want to be able to work hard for it!

Or PPC. She is as fast 6 weeks post-partum as I was 2 years ago; and she is getting faster:) Grrr. I want to be getting faster.

SLG ran a 3:24 marathon a few months ago probably in the middle of some crazy 100+ miles week as a training run. Dang. Her PR used to me slower than mine. I want a new PR (and preferably faster than hers. Nothing better than a friendly competition, right?:))! 

There are countless people in blogosphere who used to be 3:30 marathon runners and now they are shooting for sub 3:20. I too want to shoot for sub 3:20!

People all around me are getting faster (than I am) and I do not like it! 

The worst thing about all this is that I cannot do anything about it! I want to become a faster runner and I know that I have it in me, but I cannot.
I cannot even imagine how “real” runners, professional folks making this for living, must feel when they get injured. It must be unbearable.

I told my mom today that I was going to see an orthopedist this afternoon but not because my knee hurts but more like a prevention. And she told me that my knee did not hurt because I do not run. And it hit me! I do around 2h of running each week now. Of course the knee does not hurt! It is so simple! And stupid me though that it did not hurt because it is healed. Now I think that as soon as I start running normally it will flare up again, and I feel bad because PPC is spending her scarce free time preparing a running plan for me right now. But I am not going to tell her to stop working on it, I am going to give it a try. Because evethough I am hugely pessimistic right now, I am of course going to give it a try.
So I am jealous of everyone and pissed at everything and for the past 2 months I have been starting every single run with only one thought on my mind – is this the day? Will my knee flare up again? Please, no, no, no.

Wednesday, April 25, 2012

Swimming pool

I drag myself out of the bed at 5:15 to go swimming and I was soon reminded why I HATE HATE HATE swimming in Europe and why I was so excited about finding a club to swim with. (I was less than enthusiastic to go to their practices lately and thus I did not, but after today’s reminder I will probably go soon).

I did not have a camera or phone with me so I created this little picture to show you how it looked like. And all pools in Europe are like this.

It is not a perfect reproduction of the situation since it was inside and not outside as it is in the picture and in reality there are only 4 lanes as opposed to 5 thus it was even more crowded. 

I swam around 15min a very very easy freestyle but then I could not bear the anxiety caused by worries that I will crash into one of the senior citizen and her bones will shutter. And my neck started to hurt from constant peeking above water. So I did breaststroke for a while and then finished with around 15min easy freestyle again because pool was soon closing so people were slowly leaving.
I am never again going back in the morning. Or afternoon. Or evening. Never. Waste of money and it makes me incredible anxious and frustrated.

You lucky Americans (with lane dividers, Master’s swims opportunities, people actually swimming in pools and not bathing) probably think that I am hugely exaggerating. But I swear, I am not. You cannot swim in pools in Europe!

I will take a picture next time I am close to a pool and then you will see what it is like.

Another appointment with the PT today. Everything felt good and it was not painful at all. Well, compared to the first time I went there. He told me that everything felt normal and since I did not feel much pain when he was working on me there is no need to do this every two weeks. He said that I should keep running and if everything feels off call him and we can make an appointment.
I think that even if nothing feels off I will still make an appointment with him in next 4 weeks or so, so he can loosen the leg up again. Like a prevention.
I asked him what he thinks causes the problem but he said that he honestly does not know because although my hips were little out of alignment ad everything was very tight he did not feel that anything was wrong.
That’s probably not good because then I cannot really address the problem:( Hopefully regular appointments every month or so will keep things I check.