Tuesday, May 10, 2011
I can't believe that I am 5 days away from my very first bike race. I am NOT a cyclist!
Well, not yet.
Am I ready for the race? Not really. Will I go ahead with it? HELL YES!
60 kilometers. 37 miles. That is 25 kilometers longer than my longest ride. Until two days ago, that is. That is when I decided to give it a test run (ride?). I checked out the route online (and quickly realized this must be the crappiest map in existence - here, see for yourself: scale it down to 50 % to get the whole route into the image and then imagine it viewed on the screen of a HTC smart phone. The route is marked with a blue line. www.upsalack.se/doc/Korta.pdf )
It doesn't help that I am directionally challenged...
I decked out in the gear I will use on Sunday, did a last minute adjustment on one of my shoes (I've got clipless) filled up my water bottle and off I went.
The race starts from the center of the city and I assume the roads will be closed off for traffic on race day so intersections and traffic jams won't be an issue. Two days ago this caused me some delays. On the upside I got to practice getting my foot in and out of the pedal; hopefully one day it will become second nature and I won't have to run down a mental list of things to do before every stop, just to avoid crashing.
With the sun beating down on me and with a comfortable 20 degrees celsius (68F) and a brisk tailwind, I set out north.
God, I love the feeling of speed. Of being one with the bike, to feel it respond to my slightest movement. This could easily become an addiction.
The route goes in a loop, which means that the tailwind I had going out, became crosswind and headwind on the way back. Not as much fun, I must admit. This was also compounded by the fact that the normally flat-as-a-pancake terrain in and around Uppsala, became rolling hills the further north I got. But, hey, I got a reason to switch gears! And a couple of times I even did standing hill climbs! Wohooo!
Note to self: keep figuring out different ways to breathe through your mouth when your nose is congested (allergies), because those bugs didn't taste so yummy.
After 1.5 hours I was kind of thinking that a shower and a lie-down on the couch sounded pretty good. I was also standing up on the bike every now and then, just for the heck of it, even with no hills in sight. Um, yes, sore. And it wasn't even my ass, per se, but my pelvic floor. Sore muscles I know how to treat, but sore BONES?
Another note to self: when you're going to sit back down on the saddle remember that your tights have padding that likes to get caught on the tip of the saddle, thus pulling your tights down a bit. Smooth. LIFT YOUR ASS before sliding onto the saddle!
After two hours I was totally, utterly and completely OVER this experience. The sign that said UPPSALA 8 KM, was a most welcome sight, believe me.
I got home, stumbled off the bike, got inside on trembling legs (my calves felt weak as day-old kittens) and crashed on the couch. And quickly reverted to lying down, because OUCH. And didn't move much for the rest of the evening.
2:23 is the time to beat, come Sunday. Well, I can HARDLY do worse, right? I didn't adjust the time for traffic delays or the three stops to consult the crappy map, so there is definitely room for improvement.
But I did it. And I can do it again. And again. And I WILL. Just watch me.
Thursday, April 21, 2011
I have just started week 6 of my third round of Insanity! I love the month two workouts and am really looking forward to digging deeper!
Did the Fit Test yesterday and I'm really pleased with the results. I repeated the warmup sequence a few times before getting started and it paid off, I think.
Switch kicks ~ 118/128/138 (+10)
Power jacks ~ 52/61/65 (+4)
Power knees ~ 100/106/110 (+4)
Power jumps ~ 45/51/55 (+4)
Globe jumps ~ 12/13/14 (+1)
Suicide jumps ~ 19/21/22 (+1)
Push-up jacks ~ 24/27/31 (+4)
Low plank obliques ~ 58/70/80 (+10)
Going to KILL IT tonight with the Max Interval Circuit!
Wednesday, April 20, 2011
I have been thinking a lot about what I want to achieve fitness-wise. I still want to run a marathon this year, just can't pick one, because the ones I want to do don't fit into my schedule. Darn life getting in the way... I will figure it out, though.
In the meantime I decided to make another dream a reality. Doing something called The Swedish Classic. It involves 4 races, all to be completed within a year after starting. Doesn't sound like much of a challenge, right?
Race 1 ~~ My starting race will be Lidingoloppet, a 30 k trail run in September, on a hilly course in Stockholm. Challenging, but doable. Experienced runners have called this race more difficult than running the Stockholm marathon, because of the trail run aspect and the hilliness. We'll see. I have registered for the race and barring any injuries I don't see a problem doing this.
Race 2 ~~ In March 2012 I will be required to do a 90 K (56 mi) cross country ski race - the famous Vasaloppet. I expect it will take me about 8-10 hours. I haven't done any xc skiing since I was about 13. Gah.
Race 3 ~~ In June 2012 I will have the immense pleasure of riding a bike 300 K (186.5 mi) around one of the bigger lakes in the country during a night time adventure. I estimate that it will take about 12 hours to complete the Vatternrundan. I'm sure my butt will just love this.
Race 4 ~~ This race will conclude my strive to achieve the coveted medal and diploma. It's a 3000 m (1.86 mi) swim in open waters, called Vansbrosimningen. Not a challenging distance, but...Last year the water temperature was all of 39 F. I'm thinking wet suit, people...
As most of you know I am mainly a runner. My idea of fun is doing a 10-14 mile run on Sunday. Throw in some Insanity and I am a happy camper.
Cycling? For me cycling has been a transportation method to and from the train station...
This obviously needs to change. And once I have made up my mind I rarely hesitate. I brought my Master Card with me and went to a cycle shop to be educated. And holy cr@p did I ever get an education. For three hours. Brands, frames, the importance of weight, comfort vs speed, gear systems, breaks, pedals, shoes, upkeep...
Oh, my God.
I exited the shop with this:
And I am in love... I love the lightness, the speed, the freedom.
And from now on a couple of hours on Saturdays are devoted to a long ride, just like my Sunday mornings are devoted to a long run. These hours are MINE, not to be messed with. After I finish this round of Insanity (in about 4 weeks) I will replace those workouts with additional bike rides and ST.
I am already a fairly strong swimmer. However, I always do breast stroke or back stroke.
This I completely suck at, which is painfully obvious in this photo:
So I have signed up for a swim class in late fall to learn proper crawl technique. The class also teaches turning technique in the pool, something I've always wanted to learn.
That leaves me with the xc skiing. Sigh... I'll let you know how that goes in November when the snow comes.
I have an ominous feeling it'll look something like this:
rather than this:
Oh my god, people - I am so EXCITED about all of this! I will let you know how this all develops!
**the last two photos were found online through a Google search. They're not my photos and no copyright infringement intended...
Tuesday, March 15, 2011
I realized today that I need to retire these jeans. I have been wearing them with a belt pulled tighter and tighter and now it just looks silly.
I found a photo from August 2010 where I wear the same jeans, so I put on the same top and tried to take a similar photo. Didn't quite get the angle or distance right, but this is the best I can do.
I had a setback in November/December, where I gained a few pounds, but those are now but a memory and I am back where I was in August, weight wise. I am more toned now, though, so I think there is a difference in the photos.
Putting this in a blog so that I have something to look at when I feel like I am making no progress at all, just because the scale is stubborn.
Soon I won't have to feel embarrassed and ashamed, explaining that I am still carrying pregnancy weight - as my little girl approaches her fourth birthday.
Heading out for a run now and am feeling full of energy and hope! I can do this!
Monday, March 14, 2011
I haven't been as diligent with my Insanity workouts as I could have wished, but I am sticking with it and that's the main thing! I am running 4 times a week and that is still my priority.
So, today was Fit Test #2 and I had some concerns about doing well, since my legs are tired from yesterday's 11-mile run. Shouldn't have worried! :)
I did the warm up sequence 3 times because I think the 2-minute warm up is inadequate. Good decision! I felt strong and energetic going into the first move and kept that attitude all the way to the globe jumps. Started getting tired at that point, but pushed through.
As Shaun T says: "I'm not trying to kill you, I am trying to make you better!" I have my moments of doubt regarding the truth in that, but, yeah, moving on...
Here are my numbers:
Switch kicks ~ 59/64 (two kicks count as 1 rep) (+5)
Power jacks ~ 52/61 (+9)
Power knees ~ 100/106 (+6)
Power jumps ~ 45/51 (+6)
Globe jumps ~ 12/13 (+1)
Suicide jumps ~ 19/21 (+2)
Push-up jacks ~ 24/27 (+3)
Low plank obliques ~ 58/70 (+12)
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