Thursday, February 28, 2013

FTP test

Just a quick post. It is 4am and it seems to be the only time of the day when I am free these days. Not that I get up at 4am to write blog posts but I had to call my bank in France and since I am up I am writing. Btw, you know that bank account that I was trying to close since July? I was in the bank, I called them, I sent them letters... They finally closed it at the end of January. It only took them 6 months! French....

So FTP test. 2x20min with 10min spin between.

240W, cad 78, HR 174
240W, cad 78, HR 178
weight ~140lb

Can we say a major improvement?
My very first FTP test in Oct 2011 was 236W for 1x20min at 150lb, HR 181, cad 85. I did one more test afterwards in Dec but that one was around 225W.
And the one I did this past Nov...I do not know what the hell it was but my average power was 206 and 195 so let's forget that one.

So basically now I am able to hold slightly higher power for TWO 20' segments than I was able for only one 20' before. And I am ~10 pounds lighter now. And my HR is lower now.
But cadence is lower two, maybe if I pedaled faster my power would have been slightly lower since I would have to be in easier gear I guess.

I went conservatively on the first one, meaning I did not try to kill myself in the last 5min because that would have definitely killed me before the second interval. (I was at 237W at 10')
Then I went pretty steady on the second one for the first half and started building it more aggressively in the last 5-7min with the all-out the last minute at my avg power ended up being the same as for the first interval (at 234W at 10').

I am not sure how exactly you are supposed to do this. Held back the first one so you do not die completely on the second one. Or go all out the first one and just hang on for the second one?
But I guess that I might have been little too conservative on the first one since it would make sense to produce lower power on the second one if first one is done hard too. Right? I do not know.

Ok, it is 4:30am so I guess I am going to try to sleep for an hour before I have to get up again to go to work.

Sunday, February 24, 2013

Ignorance (a gift and a curse)

My motivation to train is almost back. I do not have to kick myself out of the door before every single workout. I guess that I am tired thus also my motivation is down, right?

But that's not what I want to write about.
I love having a quantitative measure for all my hard workouts. I wear a stopwatch on track, look at power on a bike and pace clock is always on when I am in a pool.
Now I am in the running build phase and I do not feel like obsessing about my pace. I run all faster runs on trail now and I wore Garmin for some tempo runs and a longer intervals in the past but in the last month I just run tempos/intervals by feel mostly because I always forget to charge the Garmin, plus I hate it, plus I do not really want to know my pace.
You see, I know I am running slowly, I just know it! But I do not have a real proof other than how I feel so I am happy and I don't stress it.
Can I run faster? Yes. Do I want to run faster? I am not sure. And that's the problem. On one hand I want to run mile repeats in 6:20 because running them in 7:20 (I think it is a true story, I am 99% sure that I ran 4xmile at 7:20 pace two weeks ago) won't make me faster runner. But on the other hand it is February, my A-race is June 30 so it feels like too early to put all that you-must-run-fast pressure on myself. I feel I still have time for that. But I know that I am running too slowly when I am not wearing a watch to keep me accountable.
So I am trying to decide what to do. Keep this haphazardous but very freeing and fun running for another month or put my sh*t together and start real mindful running and try to hit my prescribed paces instead of pretending I am hitting them although I know I am not.

On a different note. That MAF running training I wanted to do went pretty much out the window after two weeks because I don't like wearing that stupid Garmin for my easy runs and thus I always "forget" to charge it. But it does not matter since I do my easy runs easy.

I did a 3h40m ride yesterday wearing my ski gloves, jacket and winter boots. I used to do that in Michigan all the time but I have become a real cyclist since then (aka brainwashed) and those do not do that so I was suffering either frostbite or back to back 3h trainer rides. But screw that. There is nothing wrong with biking in winter boots and wearing ski goggles instead of sunglasses.

Pool lifeguard gave me a swimsuit because it does not fit her. Nice!

I was thinking about racing a half-marathon before that half-ironman in June but I don't think I will do that. If my ITB can't handle 95min of road pounding I would rather find out during that HIM than in April and then don't be able to do that HIM. So my first real half-marathon race will be as part of half-ironman.

Thursday, February 14, 2013


This week has been and well, still is, such a pain in the a$$.
I guess it all started already last weekend because I was excessively bitchy about those two 3h trainer rides.
Then I couldn't go to my swim lesson on Tuesday morning because I had a meeting at work at 7:30am.
In the evening I quit my bike workout 4min into the first 5' interval because I just couldn't do it.
I was planning to try again on Wednesday but I did not get out of work until 9pm.
I woke up at around 2:30am and could not fall back to sleep. So I did a 2h trainer fun ride. At 3am...

My workout schedule is totally messed up, I didnt do some workouts, I did some extra ones. I am taking over work of two of my collegues who are leaving, on top of my work until they hire someone new, plus I dont know what I am doing half the time. Thus I spend 12h a day at work. I am writting this in my car because my attempt to take a powernap before I go swimming hasnt worked out. Guy I have crash on is getting married soon, so there go my hopes. What a f**** mess!

I am reseting starting tomorrow.

Sunday, February 10, 2013

Training update

Phew, this is so unlike me! I am still super busy at work and I do not expect it to calm down any time soon. Working life is not all sunshine:)

Some highlights from the past week:

Ok, this actually happened last Saturday already and I wanted to blog about it but I did not. I did another MAF run, this time I chose HR 160 and it seems that 160 is more reasonable than 155 because I ran 80min at 5:12 pace as opposed to 5:56 pace one weeks prior to that. And 5:12 is exactly in the middle of the range that PPC calculated for me. So 160 it is.

I went skiing on Sunday. Skiing in Midwest sucks. It was not as bad as skiing in Detroit area but I still would not call it skiing. I met one guy and we started skiing together after we met at the lift 4th time. I do not know what it is but I always seem to attract people who are twice my age. Seriously, ever since I was a kid I always ended up doing stuff with guys twice my age. And believe me I would rather be hit on by a 20 year old (or maybe 30 years old?) that being an adoptive daughter for a day. Those older guys do not try to hit on me or anything, they just "father" me. Oh well, I do not know what it is about me.

I did a 3h ride on a trainer yesterday. And I did another today. Let me tell you, the last 2h59min of today's ride sucked!:) Also Saturday was not very exciting but at least I had something to look forward to once I was done: it was 9pm, I had nothing else to do and I could go to sleep. Today I still had long run off the bike to tackle so nothing to look foward to really. Ok, I did 1h easy which was so-so, then some intervals/moderate pace for next hour and I liked those but when it was time for easy 1h at the end I was not happy. It was the plain stubborness what made me going. I was getting sick of staring at that little stem screw. Although the biggest part of it was that I was starting to get really uncomfortable because riding in aero on a trainer without using chamois cream starts sucking after several hours. Let's just say that it involved some blood and if I had a boyfriend he probably would not be the "luckiest" guy in the world.
Then I did 76min easy run and I felt surprisingly very good, legs were springy. I did not wear HRM or Garmin, I just went as I felt. I estimate 8:10-15 pace. I wanted to do 80min but at minute 76 I got a shooting pain going from my hip alongside my ITB to my knee so I stopped immediately and walked the remaining half a mile. It was not anything serious but I am not doing anything stupid that might cause me bang my head on a wall later.

My powermeter is either broken or hard gear intervals are magic because I am seeing some very good high numbers.

5x5min max intervals start again next week. Michelle asked me whether I was excited. NO!!!! I want to cry! Those intervals are one of the hardest workout I have ever done, of course I am not excited.

I made calzones today. They are yummy. But do not ask me what I put in them because I do not know. I and a coworker bought a produce basket and split it and I used some green vegetables from it to stuff those calzones. And I do not know what it was. I also used cabbage, mushroom and tuna. And I finally caved in and bought salt and pepper to put in them. They are sooooo good!

I am off to bed because I am super tired and my legs do not feel that springy anymore.

Saturday, February 2, 2013

11 months!!!

I have zero motivation to blog. I do not know why. Maybe because I am super busy at work and the last think I want to do in my spare time is to stare at my computer screen again, maybe because there is nothing exciting going on, just regular sbr.

Thus the bullet points.

I have had problems sleeping this past week. Well, not sleeping really but I woke up in the early morning and then could not fall back into sleep. Except Wednesday, Wednesday I slept until 7.
Being an early morning riser was not necessarily a bad thing this week though because I had to get up at 4am on Monday to fit a 2h ride before work and 5am yesterday to fit yet again a ride before work.

I had a pretty good tempo run yesterday. 25min at 4:17/km pace and it felt effortless. Ok, that pace should feel effortless but since this is early February and I am in a base phase and my other faster runs felt like crawling I think that it went rather well. Must have been those hard gear intervals I did at 5am that woke my legs up:)

I was able to run consistently for 11 months!!! Ever since my ITB started bothering me in Feb 2009 the longest I went without a major flare up was ~7 months (August 2010-February 2011), the rest was usually 2-3 months on, 1month off, "on" periods getting progressive shorter while "off" progressively longer culminating in 2 weeks on and 4 months off throughout 2011. So yeah, that's exciting and I have a feeling that I will be celebrating a one year running anniversary in a month because my ITB feels great.

I was thinking about going to watch XC nationals in St Louis today but I do not have motivation. Also don't have time if I want to fit in a swim and a run and a bike today, and weather is not good. I will rather go skiing tomorrow and don't want to drive to StL area twice. I know....skiing in mid-west....hopefully the hill is more than just a molehill. I will find out tomorrow.

Also my weight loss update. I was thinking about it but have not been doing anything about it. I still eat cheesecake for breakfast. But I weighted myself in mornings on Wed, Th and Fr (to have a bigger sample) and I consistently weighted 138-139 pounds. I was at 144-145 the last time I weighted myself which was in October I think. Some of those 6 pounds is probably because of loss of water (I weighted myself the first thing in the morning after sleeping for ~7 hours and not drinking anything) but some must be a fat loss, right? Since I have not changed my eating habbits (yet. More on that later) it was solely an increase in exercise that helped that. So now if I combine exercise with better eating I should be able to get to ~135 before June.