Saturday, April 19, 2014

Training in Paradise! (Arizona Training Camp)

I have spent 10 awesome days in Arizona. Loved every second of it. And I am going back next year!:)

Krista and Kelly (Thank you Krista and Kelly!!! You did a great job!!!) of BSC were organizing the first edition of Scottsdale Training Camp but I figured if I was going to go to Arizona I better spent more than five days there.
So I got hooked up with a lovely Christie who let me stay at her house in Tucson area for a few days (Thanks Christie!) before the official camp began.

I pretty much spent my days riding my bike on nice wide "shouldered" roads (ok, not all roads in Tucson are smooth, some are really crappy but most are nicer than here in IL), running through the deserts (sooooo beautiful! I love cacti!) and swimming in outdoor pools (outdoor pool! I have not swum in one since Hannover)!

I so loved doing nothing just training and relaxing the whole days. Dreamy. Since I cannot write about every single awesomeness here are some highlights:

I got sunburnt the very first day on my 4h ride....And then little bit more the second day.

Mt Lemmon - or rather the cookie. You know how they say that those cookies from the Cookie Cabin are huge and you cannot eat one all myself. Well, I did not believe that. Challenge??? Mt Lemmon was not really in my plan for pre-official camp because we were going to ride up as part of the camp too but you see, I was going to try to eat that damn cookie all by myself but I was slightly embarrassed to do it in front of all other campers so I had to go up alone. I shot a text to Michelle begging her to let me go up. And she did:) I took my sweet time going up because I did not know what to expect, just steady pedaling up up UP! and at around mile 20 I was ready to throw the bike off the nearest cliff and hitch the ride to the Cookie Cabin. But I eventually made it after 3h5min and got my cookie! Chocolate Chip with ice cream, caramel, nuts and whipped cream. It took me 30 minutes to eat that thing:)

Running through the desert is awesome. Sooo pretty. Dry, but pretty.

Christie has a grapefruit tree in her backyard and I love grapefruits! One of my favorite fruits. And fresh grapefuits are so yummy. I had a fresh grapefruit every day and even took some with me home. 

I spent five glorious days in Tucson and then moved to Scottsdale to continue with the fun!

It was super fun. I train alone all the time therefore I LOVED riding, running and swimming with other people.

Special surprise - Michelle came for the camp!!! I had no idea she was coming. She just showed up on one of our bike rides... Funny thing that I was not wearing my glasses so I did not really recognize her:) We would rip each other legs off on our bikes if we were training together! Sucking her bike wheel was one of the best times I had at the camp.

Mt Lemmon - the second time felt shorter/easier. I took me 10min less and I think that it was easier because I knew what was coming. The week before I only went to the Cookie Cabin but this time I decided to go all the way up to the Summit. It was all good until the Ski Valley but then the "fun" part began with the steeper hills. Descend is super fun. The week before I could not fully enjoy it because I was stopping like every 5min to take pictures and I got stuck behind this very slow car. But not this time, I stayed in aerobar 99% of the descend and it was great!

I rode with some awesome ladies. They were in 40+ age group and they could kick any 20-year old a$$. I want to be like them when I grow up!

Until next year!!!

Riding to the Mt Lemmon summit. There was snow. Brrrr!

Isn't this pretty? I can get used to riding here!

Running in the desert. Loved it! 

Swimming here makes early morning wake up calls easier... 

Grapefruits. Yum! 

Tuesday, March 11, 2014

1k under 4 minutes

I am not sure what it says about how things are going if I'm excited about running one 1k repeat in 3:56. It probably means I need to put my sh*t together and do something about my running fitness (stop running intervals by feel, start using your watch!!!). But I can't help it. I am pretty stocked about that <4 min:-="" nbsp="" p="">
Actually I ran 3 of them (after an easy 5mile warm up, for 8.5miles total run). They were 4:04, then I decided that the wind was too strong so I changed the start so I ran the tailwind stretch 3 times and headwind stretch only 2 times, 4:00, 3:56. And I jogged/walked 800-1000m in between so my rest was like 7-8min.
My legs hurt already after 800 m of the 1st interval. I could still feel my right hip flexor little bit as I opened my stride, but most of the pain was just not being used to faster running and the permanent tired state my legs are in. I guess that's what 70.3 training does to you.

I don't remember the last time I ran fast intervals. I think that it was couple months ago (I tried last Friday but that didn't work out very well so I'm obviously not counting that). Let me brainstorm: I trained for BSL all last spring with long intervals at HM pace, then my training went downhill when I was working 80-90h weeks all summer and all I could master were 1h easy runs at 4am before the daily hell started, then after Vegas I had enough and spent the fall eating peanut butter out of the jar using chocolate bars as a spoon. So really I have no idea when I did something fast but it was a long time ago.

So eventough it was slow by my standards and it hurt more than I would have liked, it still felt awesome because we all know how much I love track workouts. I wish I could do only those!
Oh yeah, and it was like 70 degrees and I was in shorts and sports bra! I'm solar powered. (Unless it is 100 degrees because my 6 feet and 140 pounds body doesn't deal that well with that.)

I just got a confirmation yesterday that I can race AG ITU Olympic distance World Championship in Edmonton at the end of August, so once I'm done with my Mallorca vacation I am hopefull that I will do more of these faster efforts:-)

Sunday, March 9, 2014

7 days later

and I am still sore from that spin bike ride I did as part of the indoor tri. Can you believe that?
I tried to open my stride during a 1k repeats workout on Friday but it hurt too much and I was worried that I might tear something in the psoas/grouch/hip flexors/inner thighs area.
Although I must say that today it feels much better than on Friday so hopefully my poor legs will be fully recovered by Tuesday.

On a different note. I finally bought my plane ticket to Mallorca (doing Mallorca 70.3 on May 10). My sister, mom, cousin and grandfather are coming too. We arrive Thursday, I race Saturday and then we stay exploring the island until Tuesday, and then I go to Slovakia to visit the rest of the fam until Sunday. So it is really not my "A" race, more like a vacation. And let me say that if Andreas Raelert doesn't race I would be really mad because he was the number one item on my "why do Mallorca race" list.

I checked the participant list and there is 113 women in my AG. Interesting. Could be worse, there is over 400 men in 30-34... Around 3000 athletes total. Yeah, everybody (meaning German and British speedsters) is going to be there. Highly popular race. With 1 slot to Mt Tremblant for each women's AG... Good thing I am not after any slots. But one day I will be back to win that race!!!:-)

Since I'm doing the race for fun (at least as much fun as one can have doing a HIM) I am not bringing my bike. Too much hassle. Mallorca is a very popular training spot so there are tons of bike shops offering bike rentals.  So I figured I can just rent a bike. But 5 hours and multiple emails later I found ONE tri bike for rent on the whole island....OK, I found 3 - but one is unavailable, the second one is too small, so that left me with one, which was labeled as testing bike. I reserved it but haven't received any confirmation so who knows what the deal is.
If worse come to worse I will race on a road bike. It is for fun anyway, right? ( just remind me about this when I'm super pissed about everyone kicking my butt on a bike portion after the race). And there is a 13mile climb in the middle of the bike so maybe I will be OK.

Sunday, March 2, 2014

Indoor triathlon RR

You would be surprised what a supposedly short and sweet triathlon could do to you...I can't lift my legs and am likely skipping all the workouts planned for today just to recover from this 45 min long triathlon. I spent a few minutes at 2am on a foam roller today trying to limit the damage. True story.

I figured that swimming 10 min in a pool, riding 20 min on stationary bike and running 15 min on an indoor track would be a nice change from sitting on my trainer for 3-4h every weekend.

Swim was great, we were in multiple waves so each participant had her own lane. I swam exactly 700yards in 10 min. That's is around 1:25 pace and it didn't even felt hard. (I probably shouldn't admit that I didn't go as hard as I should have but just trying to be honest)
I swam around 14:45 for 1000 yards a few weeks ago and it definite was harder than yesterday's effort. It either means that my swimming is coming along nicely or it proves my theory that the pool I swim in is slow. Seriously, I went to visit my sis for the past two Xmases and I swam in pool there and both times when I got back to my pool I was like whoa, do they pour oil into this thing????

Then you had 10 min to transition. I changed to my tri shorts, drank water, chatted with a few people....

Bike is what has caused my very achy legs. You see, they had those spinning bikes and the way they function is the faster you spin the further you go. Therefore that was a torture for someone like me who usually bikes at low 80s cadence....So I spinned and spinned and spinned my brain out and my hip flexors got tighter and tighter and tighter.
You can totally tell who spends their free time in spin classes. We were all smoked by this 45years old lady. Next year I doing some spin classes with her if I'm doing this race again.
So I got off the bike and holy shi*!!!, my hip flexors! And they got only worse from there, not I can't lift either of my legs without using my arms to pull my leg up (how is that for explanation?). And those muscles behing the knees aren't thrilled with me either. I seriously think that if I try to bike today I'm going to injure myself.

Then another 10min transition that I spent...correct, stretching my hip flexors.

Run was alright. I started well, then it got harder, I was able to hold the pace for a little while but then I slowed down. I ran 3 600 m, which is 4:10 pace I believe. Hm, thinking of that, not too bad.

And that was it. 45min of SBR, 20min transitions, pure fun.

Wednesday, January 22, 2014

I am ready

Thank you Continental!!!!

Well, partly ready. I still need to train.

Saturday, January 18, 2014

I am a fish (swim test #1)

(Is there supposed to be that 'a' in front of fish? I have no idea. I am very bad at this whole article thing in English. We do not have those in Slovak so it is too abstract and I am sure I don't use the articles correctly 40% of the time.) I did a swim test the other day and I swam the fastest I have ever swum! How exciting is that???????? My fastest swimming speed ever!
50: 35
200: 2:39
1000: 15:48

Both 50 and 200 were PRs, 1000 was, let's go with I didn't drown.

But that 50, I felt so fast:-)  I think I swam 1:10ish for 100 once with fins so that doesn't really count.
I can't understand how some people can knock off 100s in one minute like nothing.

Saturday, January 4, 2014


I am going to give this blog another shot. I really liked it but then life (or is it laziness?) got into way.

2014 is here!!!!
I made a promise to myself that my work is not going to ruin my "athletic career" (I am using that term looselly)! So if I start bitching about having to  work 80 h a week someone remind me about this promise ( if the writing on my bathroom mirror is not reminding enough)

I have nothing exciting to report training wise (let's keep our fingers crossed that it will change soon. See the paragraph above) so I will at least tell you what I want to do in 2014.
Half-ironman in Mallorca (May), ITU Chicago Olympic distance,(June) ITU Olympic distance age group world champs in Canada (August) and half-ironman in Brasil(December). How freaking awesome is 2014 going to be, right?!?

Half-iron worlds are not on the list because I don't think I can qualify and I don't have that much desire to qualify anyway. Hm, maybe I don't think I can qualify because I don't have enough desire to qualify? Or maybe I don't have the desire to qualify because I don't think I can? And it is one week after oly worlds and in the middle of one of the busiest week of the year at work...Anyway....maybe if I can start training soon and can see that I might be able to get into a necessary shape I will put it on my list.

So wish me luck and stay tuned.