Two days of low performance

Yesterday's swimming was pretty bad. Today this streak continued while running. Winning.


Underdog of aging

The fact is that I'm not going to be faster than I used to be. I accept that.

Another fact is that I am a rebel. I do not take facts as they are. I eat them as breakfast. This relates to my identity as a researcher, as an academic scholar. I like to see the opposite sides of things, to dig deep in them and follow the embedded mechanism in order to realize the world. This also means that over and over again I find myself powerless in front of the enormous space of new knowledge, a space that expands continuously. 

But one fact that has pissed me off is the physiological aging which I just can't turn upside down. Being involved in different sports since 1984 I have lived my life through my body and mind. I have faced many ups and downs, just like anyone else. I have enjoyed the epic battle between the joy and disappointment. Thus, becoming more and more aware of that this engine will be slower and slower was devastating at first, but now I'm okay with it. It eases the life. 

When we lived in the USA, I relived my youth. I was part of a group of runners who - each at their own level and motivation - ran workouts and long runs together. I realized that that was what missed to most. It is not the results, but the feeling of being part of a wolf pack. Running early morning workouts in a company of your kind made me realize that it was where it all started in the late 1980s. By that time I jumped from the loneliness of speed skating into running group fulfilled by guys with egos of a teenager and taste for bad music. We ran together through the teenage, on a mountain, on a swamp, in the woods, every where. For me this was particularly huge, since I regenerated myself from a shy person into an annoying loudmouth who I am nowadays. 

Now, when I have an opportunity to join a huge group of local runners on Workout Tuesdays and Fridays, and Sunday's long runs, it is all about happiness. I feel so thankful for these chances even if I'm the old fart around young shiny diamonds. I no longer care that my current anaerobic threshold is soon at the same level with my aerobic threshold in 1997. Yes, this trend is something that I try to slow down, but there's only few things to do. The most important to me right now is to enjoy the journey and live to the fullest. And this is what I shall do. 

So. I just run.

.... and do some triathlons here and there.


Back at running

Ok. My experience with triathlon is done. I finished an Ironman in October and lost the motivation to do any sports for a month.

Last Sunday I flew back from my annual visit to the USA. During that trip, especially in Columbia MD, I got back the energy which I need to do any sports. Now I just want to run. It is so easy. Just tie up your shoes and go. I like swimming and biking but they are now mostly indoor sports. I want to live and be outside.

So I run. 1.5 weeks ago I raced at the Run Through the Grapevine XC race. It is tough as hell and now when I'm slightly out of shape, it was harder than before. But big fun! On Saturday I was able to join HCS crew in the legendary Bagel Run. Running with the running buddies from 2007-2009 is insanely motivating. Thank you!

Today I was able sneak in the Workout Tuesday and run 40 minutes steady state run with 55 other runners. Awesome!


Getting ready

Still working with the Summer of Triathlons 2014. Its final will be on next Sunday in Barcelona. Then I'll take some time off and return to running.


Workout Tuesday


I had this plan of Summer of triathlons 2014.

I got sick before the grande finale, IM Copenhagen. According to the original plan, I was supposed to get back to running after that. But now I have set another goal, IM Barcelona, which takes place in 5 weeks. This means more multi-sport exercises. 

But running is not excluded. Last Spring we piloted novel group workouts on Tuesdays. They were a huge success and they gathered together 50-80 runners from different clubs and sports. Those workouts are now part of a nationwide Run Movement which originates in Porvoo. 

Yesterday was the first Workout Tuesday (WOT). I ran 4x5min'2min + 5x1min'1min. Since the workout is planned so that everybody starts and finishes the interval at the same, it is total fun. On Saturday I have 2 hour run with accelerating pace followed by 2 hours bike. Dude! 


Workout Wednesday

WOWs were the usual deal back in the day but nowadays any 'typical' running workout has been a rarity. Simply because there is some much other things to take care of. But that's a different story.

Back to today's agenda. Due to the relatively harsh weather conditions we ran (A and I) the Ironman tempo run later in the evening. Temperature was lower but the humidity was 90% which sucked. Now it did not worry me since IM tempo run is not full steam workout, it is just long. It's mentally rewarding 85 minutes with a good company. 

We ran the legendary 20 km out and back route from Raisio to Naantali at controlled pace. The outcome was a successful WOW. Average HR was 150 and the pace was just below 4:15/km (6:50 per mile). Now I'm waiting that the sleepiness would arrive soon. Taxicab will pick me up in 4.5 hours...


Spending my time on bike and in water

My running blog has been silent for 1.5 months. The reason is simple: I have been focusing so much on training for triathlon. 

This spring, after recovering for an injury, I have done only one running race. In addition, the weekly amount has averaged only 30+ miles. During most weeks I have done one long(ish) run, a tempo run and then some longer intervals (2-3k repeats) and that's about it.

Today is my debut in 1/4 distance triathlon race. If everything goes okay, I'll have a chance to run a 10k race today with an interesting warm up. 


Still running

What a blast the last week was.

Last week I ran two races: one XC 5K on Tuesday and one road race (7.2K) on Sunday. Warm up and cool down for both of these races were done by bike which were new experiences. On Sunday I biked in total 72K in rain and wind, but I was still able to finish the race faster than I expected. I won that one by running at 5.41 pace. Think about that... (memo to me: always select a low key race). Well, even if the pace was close to pedestrian, I was and still am pretty happy.

Yesterday I punished my lungs by riding a 10K tempo. That was the first bike "race" in my entire athletic career. It was fulfilled with lactic acid and a painful feeling in the lungs. I haven't punished my aerobic engine this hard for years, and therefore, the feeling following the tempo ride was awesome. When I returned home after one hour cool down bike ride, I did a quick change and ran 3K in 12 minutes just get my legs used to this bike to run transformation. Then I focused on eating.


Let the racing begin

Today I have to start racing. I'm in the middle of getting back on the road (yes, this is 376th time) and gaining speed. Usually the best way to increase your running speed is to race.

And that's what is up today. Today I will lace my running shoes in order to run a race. Not a biggie, but the only thing is that this is a cross country event and I'm going to be punished so hard. But that is the only way out of this steady state of running.

Timewise my triathlon training has had a disturbing effect on time available for running. Furthermore, biking does tire your legs, too. But I don't worry that too much. Maybe this all is a blessing in disguise and the current set of physical activities will keep running related injuries away.


Last two weeks

First of all congrats for Mark and Jason for conquering the Boston marathon once again. Boston Strong! That was an insane race!

After struggling for almost 2 months with the hamstring/gluteus problems I think that I'm sort of back on the road again. Two weeks ago I ran the first decent workout (4x5 min'2 min rest) at the group workout which I'm helping to organize. On Tuesdays we have 40-80 runners from various age groups and sports (runners, triathletes, ultra runners, orienteerers(?)) gathering together and conducting some magic. The I have done easy runs, two longer runs, two tempo runs, but all of that has been moderated by the simple fact that I gotta run, not to spend any more time injured. 

Thereafter, the weather has become more and more pleasant which has enabled to start biking outside. That has been a good addition to the run and swim routines. This summer will be less about running and more about multi-sports.


Less pain in Spain

My hamstring is not fully functional but I have been running at pedestrian pace for couple of miles. It has been fun. In between I have been hammering many painful inclines on my (rental) bike. Despite the life threatening gusty winds we faced today, I am really happy with the current situation.


Mr. Cortisone

My old friend, Cortisone. Waddup, my man?

Today I got my latest share of cortisone in my hamstring. I've lost the count already sometime ago but I hope that this will enable me to get back at it.


NSAIDs in my pocket

On Sunday I ran 15 minutes. Every minute sucked ass. Hamstrings are still done.

Now I changed my diet from food to liquid (Pepsi Max) and NSAIDs. Healthy as hell.


And I'm out again

On Thursday I strained my upper hamstring/gluteus. During an easy run. Brilliant. Nooooot. 



I'm back. Legs are sore, but I'm able to run at certain level. No inflamation around at the moment. Unfortunately, I had to skip the treadmill test (for measuring the VO2max, aerobic and anaerobic thresholds). This was the fourth time I was facing a moment of postponing the test due to odd periods of illnesses. Instead of postponing it, I decided to skip it. I'll take the test later this year. I gotta be sure about my engine on one particular August morning when I'm standing in the sea in my wetsuit.

Snow is now gone. It's really odd. It's February and the weather is plus celcius degrees (over 32F). It's crazy, but as a runner you should never complain about open roads in winter.







Something's still wrong

After any exercise I feel like I'd be totally sick with fever and no energy left for anything. A week ago I fought the exhaustion during the last half of the long run. Today it was totally similar but I bonked pretty much totally. Thanks to guys, I found my way back to home.

First run after the last period of being sick was on Friday, yesterday I swam and did a 2 hr long brick workout in which I literally bonked the first time. HR was sky high and legs were like two bags of wet dirt. But today the pace was easy and I even ate before the run and still I almost didn't finish  it. My legitimacy as a runner is hurt.

Today, in 3 hrs I was supposed to start 3000m race at the Master's Indoor Nationals but this period of feverless flu hinders the original plans. I don't care.


And then I got sick again

This is BS. I just bounced back to business and then I falled into the bed again. But that's yesterday. Today I was back on the ice and faced the cold wind like nothing. I lost 8 days of exercise this month. I hate that.

But hey, tomorrow is February. Snow, ice and wind are waiting... are you ready?

And this was great news for Becky. Congrats!


Got sick, got healthy, getting slower

I don't why I keep highlight the fact that I'm slower all the time. Maybe I just want to believe that...

Well, running has been pretty okay expect during the three days off last week. During those days I just focused on eating a lot. This week is the first "back at it" week and today I will enjoy the steady state 14k no matter what. Right after saving this post I will register for Master's National where I have planned to race at 3000m. Hopefully they will keep the track open at least for 10 minutes. Hah.


2013 Stats

Number of miles conquered by running: 1730
Number of miles conquered by cycling: 2000
Number of miles conquered by swimming: 18
Number of marathons completed: 0
Number of marathons started: 0
Number of Medal in Nationals in any sports/AG: 1 (bronze, duathlon, 40-44)
Number of the best ever training plans started during 2013: 1
Number of the best ever training plans finished during 2013: 0
Number of running related disappointments: 7+

Number of running races completed: 8
Number of bike races completed: 0
Number of adventure races completed: 1
Number of running injuries: 1
Number of months spent off running: 3.5
Number of broken toes: 1
Number of kgs lost/gained: still don't care
Number of registrations for an Ironman race in 2014: 1