Wednesday, May 30, 2012

Track workout in like forever

When I saw what was on my schedule my first thought was: PPC wants to kill me for sure. 
The plan was 15min w/up, 4x3min @ 5k pace w/ 2min easy, 5min easy, 4x2min @ 5k pace, 11min c/d.

Short recap for a running log sake: Last real track workouts were in late August, then ITB flared up, then I did 2 or 3 track workouts at the beginning of October, ITB flared up. And nada since then. So it has been a while.
 I did not necessarily need to go to the track because I was running by time and not distance but I thought that it would be better to do it on the track so I can how far I can get in a given time. Or maybe I should just have dig out Garmin and try to charge it and use it but I completely forgot that I own it.

Hm, 4x3min?!? That’s like 4x800 (roughly). And 4x2min?!? That’s like 4x600 (very roughly). I have no idea what PPC was thinking making me do that. And at 5k pace! Not that I did not think I could do it (I am one of those annoying people who think that they can do anything, seriously) it was more like, wow, that’s a legit workout after all the dillydalling I have been doing in last 2.5 months. And it did not sound conservative at all. But I guess that I cannot jog forever and I have been kind of running for 10 weeks now so it is time…
And how it went? I guess all right. I had no idea what to expect so I was not really thinking about it. I went little too fast for the first 3min, going through the first 400 in 92sec. Definitely not my current 5k pace:) For the other 3 I went through 400m in 95-97sec, through 600m in 1:22-1:25 and I always managed to little past 750m in 3min.
4x2min were little faster, 400m in around 92 sec.
It was not hard but I am sure that it is not really my 5k pace (my 5k pace being slower in case you have not figured that out). But even with this workout I have no idea what my 5k is. I would prefer someone just telling me what my 5k pace is and then I would do my best to keep that pace:)

I am (was) thinking about doing a 5k race at the end of June but when I was running today I started thinking “what a stupid idea! Do I really want to suffer like this for 5k?!? I do not think so”. Yeap, I am so not prepared to suffer for extended periods of time.

By the way. I had a dream about racing in Kona last night. I have been to Kona so I know how the area looks like but it was nothing like reality in my dream. We were swimming in some kind of bay surrounded by cliffs. And we were not even swimming. We swam for a bit and then had to run for quite a while through forests and fields on top of those cliffs and then we got again into water to finish the swim. And I was missing my goal of 1h3m but I blamed all the uphill running for that but once we got into water again I got more confident that I can meet my goal. And then I woke up so I do not know how I did at the end. I hope that I can sort my ITB issue and race there one day.

I must also tell you that I am super glad that my job does not require meeting with people and look representative. I only meet with my coworkers and there are occasional phone calls (which are super scary. I hate talking on a phone. Especially when it is in German. And 99% of the calls I receive are in German. Super scary I tell you.) If I had to meet with people that would be a disaster. I wake up at 5:15am, have to leave by 5:29am to catch the 5:33am bus to the pool and after the swim I put lotion on my face, comb my wet hair and eat an apple while running to catch the metro to work. Actually, today I was not able to eat that apple, I only managed “lottioning” and combing because I had to hold my glasses in the other hand. Thankfully at least my hair dries a little bit in metro before I arrive to work and I can put it into a ponytail. Yes, I definitely look very representative.

Monday, May 28, 2012

Weekend log

I left the work earlier on Thursday and went for an 1.5h ride + 60min with 10x45sec pick-ups. Those pick-ups felt much better than before. I was able to control what the legs were doing, so it seems that brain-to-muscles connections are forming. Good! It is also because I am trying not to be overcautious when it comes to “landing”, I think that my ITB can bear it now without overcompensating with my left leg.
 Then my parents and aunt and uncle came and the fun began. They brought me a lot of food:) My grandma sent me cake and homemade syrups, preserves and jelly. Yam! And they brought my beloved bike (and then took the crappy one home with them)!!!

The next 3 days were filled with sightseeing. We saw everything worth seeing in Hannover and in the region. I have not done any sightseeing because I was waiting for someone to visit me so I do not have to do it multiple times. Old Town, Maschsee, Rathaus, Marienburg, Steinhuger Meer, Herrenhauser Garten and Zoo. All good stuff.

I squeezed in a swim on Friday (and the coach proceeded to tell me twice that I am slow and need to swim faster. He was right of course.) and a run on Saturday.

They left today and I had the whole afternoon free. So I took the bike for a spin. It was awesome! It felt as if I were flying. I did 3h15m and I covered much more area than I usually could with the other bike.
I was going through one town and they had a bike race there. I wish I could join:) When I am settled down I am definitely buying a road bike as well. And mountain bike, of course.

I followed that by 1h run, which was a dead march. It was hot, I did not have water (of course) and there was no shade and I was tired from the bike. I took 2 short walking breaks:( 

I was soooo hungry afterwards. Thankfully the parents left me some pasta with lamb meat:)

I am little sad that they already left. It was nice to have family here for a few days.

Thursday, May 24, 2012

Random observations from this week so far

My arms hurt! I went swimming yesterday (and on Tue, and M, and Sun and Sat but that's not the point in this post) and wanted to do 100s but pool was crowded so no point in doing that. So I swam only 3x1000 tempoish. I wanted to do 3.5k total but when I looked up after the third 1000 I saw what I was swimming through. I have never seen so many people in the pool in the morning. Until I looked up I was pretty much an asshole not caring about my surroundings, just following the black lane and letting people to move out of my way if they did not want to be swum over by me. But when I saw how many people were there I knew that the only way I was able to swim without crashing to anyone was indeed only because everyone “jumped” to the side when I was approaching and once I passed the wall of bodies again closed behind me. Good thing that all those people swim easy breaststroke and can see me:) So I stopped and got out. I was little dreading going to pool today but fortunately there was one lane reserved for swimmers and separated by the divider. Nice surprise. I jumped in and soon realized that the lane was there because two guys swimming there were swimmers I suppose. They did their cool down at the same pace as I did my fast 100s….But they did not kick me out and let me stay. Thanks! 800m w/up, 2x50m strides, 6x4x100, 200c/d + 500m as junk volume to take advantage of this treat (aka separate lane). 4k total and my arms are trashed. I feel the lactic acid flowing as I am sitting at my desk typing.

I did 60min run with 3x100s strides on Monday and those strides felt much better than before. I am going to do 60min run with 10x45sec pick ups tonight and I expect that I will be able to have better control of my legs than I had last week.

How to survive for 5 days when you spend your last dollar on cookies and your fridge contains only half a lemon, jar of mayonnaise and little bit of mustard? It is not too bad actually, but I am sure, as PPC pointed out to me, that you cannot really do this and train long-term. But 4-5 days no problem. Basically, I drink two cups of chocolate from the automat at work as soon as I get there in the morning. That stuff is so sweet and nasty that it gives my stomach an illusion that it is full for next 3-4 hours. Then I stuff my face with potatoes and veggies at lunch. By stuffing my face, I mean really stuffing my face. Plus I take an extra “Brötchen” to eat later. Then of course I go to bed early so I do not start to feel too hungry because who knows, maybe I would have gone into that mayonnaise jar if things got ugly. And then repeat the process the next day.
But please don’t think anything bad about my parents who let their daughter starve for a week. They do not know. They know that I have zero cash but the last time I talked to my mom was right before I went shopping with my credit card so she thinks I got groceries. But of course I did not tell her that the store did not take my card. They are coming tonight and I sent them a text message yesterday to bring food if they want to eat dinner or breakfast:)

I read this today in a book: “(a girl) was thinking of her housewifely gifts, which had small chance of flowering out in her business life (as a typewriter in an office).” Cracked me up. The book is from late 19th/early 20th century of course. People had their best and second best hats and they also married based solely on looks or wealth prospects. Times have changed I guess.

Tuesday, May 22, 2012


You see that? I am using big words (abbreviations in this case but whatever) like a real swimmer. 

Until February 2011 I did not even know that something like short course yard pools existed. I knew that 25m pools existed because I might have gone to the pool back home once or twice (and that one was 25m) and then I started swimming more in Cali in Oct 2010 and there we had 25m pool and 50m pool. Actually I did not know that 50m pool existed until then. I knew that there were two different kinds of pools competitions were held at but I was never interested to find out what the difference was.

Anyway, when I went to Michigan I started to swim in a small indoor 25yard pool. I have spent almost one whole year in that pool and I loved it.
But now I spend most of my swimming time in 50m outdoor pool and that my friends is love. It is so different from what I got used to in MI. 

This 50m AND outdoor pool is heaven!!! We have had a nice weather in past 4 days and I was able to do all my swims in sunshine. There is nothing better than swimming under the shining sun. Seriously. I am really jealous of people who can swim outdoors in sunshine all year long. Honestly, I am going to move to Cali, Hawaii, Florida, Arizona or wherever you can swim outdoors all year long. (I am sure you can swim outdoors in southern Europe as well, but as you might know by know you cannot really swim in pool in Europe so no moving to southern Europe).
I swam in outdoor pool under the sun in LA but there I swam maybe 2-3k/week so I was not really able to appreciate the beauty of it. I can do it only now when I swim more and when I can compare tiny YMCA pool in Michigan to this heaven-like pool.

So, yes, I love that pool. 

I think that swimming in 50m pool is much better to prepare myself for triathlons than shorter pools. (And even more if the pool does not have lane dividers and therefore it can get quite choppy.)
CH told me that his 1500 swim is around 1min slower in 50m pool than it is in 25m pool. And I believe him because CH is an accomplished swimmer so he must know what he is talking about. That’s like 4s per 100, or 4s for 3 additional turns! Of course, because he is a swimmer he knows how to push hard off the walls and then for someone like me the “wall effect” might not be quite as high but I am sure that it is still there.
Plus 25yard pool is only 22.8m, and your pace difference btw 100yards vs 100m can easily be 10s.

Of course I realize the difference but still swimming in 25yard pool can give me a fake feeling that I am a decent swimmer when in fact I am not. (I am not saying that I ever thought that I was a decent swimmer, I have always known that I suck because my best 100yard in scy was around 1:14, which would be like what in lcm? 1:30ish, which is really nothing to brag about…)

There are no walls in triathlon so it is better than I have a wall only every 50m as opposed to 25y, right?
So all in all. I love the pool! Because it is outdoors and because it is 50m!
Now if only all German senior citizens slept until at least 8am and I did not have to deal with them during my morning workouts.