Monday, October 31, 2011

thursday - sunday

Thursday: stretching/strengthening class. Since it was only 3 of us and we were all regulars, the instructor had us do way complex poses that really scared me. One was the forearm stand, and I toppled somewhat ungracefully. That was scary!

Saturday: Gentle bike ride (12k) and a run (3k) - brick session - with harris.
Sunday: Bike ride with hills. 32k, 8 hills.

My mom asked me - are you training for something? and my answer was, "Yes, for my health!"

Wednesday, October 26, 2011

Sore Body

My whole body is sore! Especially the uppder body region.

Tuesday night: an awesome but intense stretching/strengthening session. We went at a slightly fast paced movements with extra long hold between poses. I was sweating buckets just at the 5 minute warmups. Wasn't really flexible on that day and the instructor suggested that maybe I was unkind to someone :( That scared the crap out of me.

Wednesday: Skipped my morning run (it has become quite easy for me to skip my runs.... oh no!) in favor of a swim instead. With my upper body completely trashed, I proceeded to torture them more by doing a 1k swim drills. Nothing major though. Swimming is one area where I didn't really worry about how fast I am going. Probably because it is always me in that pool.

Work is piling up. I look forward for exercise to keep me in check.

Thursday, October 20, 2011

Training Vs Riding

This morning he said to my gasping for air face, "Now you know the difference between simply riding and training." Most cyclists, have impressive mileage. We can ride 70km++ with hills and make it back, tired but accomplished. Most cyclists, are fast - on flats. But simply training will tire you out completely.

Today we did only 8km+. For one hour. And I was so tired.

I admit I wished I didn't give up at one point. On the third set he was pushing me harder, and I tried to sustain it until we reached the end, but I just did not have it it me so I stopped. And a few seconds later I regretted doing that. Was it because I am not training for a race? Because I didn't register for anything? Thus making me automatically lazy for pushing myself to break the edge? My riding buddy has never entered any event but he didn't use that excuse.

I think that's what differs a real athlete and normal weekend warriors. We want to enter events and 'train' but we don't want to take the fun out of it. Why should we, since it's not like we are sponsored anyway right? That would be the answer.

I go back and forth. I just wrote here a few days ago about wanting to just ride but alas there I was this morning learning tricks and trade of proper riding. At first I was wondering if I should tell him that I just want to ride, but then again I do not want to lose a riding friend - he didn't wake up early to just go for a ride with me chit chatting about work and crap - we can do that in a larger group ride. So I followed his crazy instructions.

And I will see if I really do improve. I used to think that I was somewhat fair cyclist; I climb hills with gutso and can do real long rides without any base mileage. But that was because I love hills and do regular cross training, come to think of it, most runners can survive riding and climbing. But how fast and how good you ride without bonking is a whole different matter.

And that doesn't simply rely on weekly rides with makan2 stop in between.

Wednesday, October 19, 2011

Wednesday Run

Yesterday my run nearly didn't happen.

There was no electricity, and as I was about to head out of the gate I realized I can't open the damn thing. Electric gate, duh.Harris didn't tell me where the key for the small access is, so I was stuck stewing inside feeling sorry for myself. Just as I was about to text him a totally sorry message, we got the electricity again.

The park nearby harris's house is small and runners friendly. Two laps equal 1k so I decided to run 10 to give me my usual weekly mileage. I happen to like running in a loop very much. In my high school and university running days, I prefer to lace up my shoes and let them take my feet and body wherever. I would run and run for hours enjoying the scenery. But now that I am working, I realized I like having a route that I know the distance of and could give me a basic workout when needed. I do not have the time, nor patience, to run anywhere and let the experience of running takes over. Running in a loop allows me to get the distance without any hassle of figuring out the traffic or route, etc.

My knees and ankle sometimes hurt during the run, and I've learned to not let them psycho me out to stopping. Instead I focus on adjusting my running form, or gait, trying to see which one makes the pain disappear. Most of the times they do disappear, and sometimes, like yesterday, they were stubborn. I have evolved to a point where pain is pain and I just went on. I wouldn't have done this if I didn't have a stretching and 'healing' class every Thursday. The stretches I had to do in that class really works my ankle and I was like, padan muka!

My next plan if I could is to try to take my bike out for a spin around the neighborhood. I have tried once before with my eddy and it was a hairy nightmare as we live near a school and cars were a plenty in the evening. My riding buddy advocate on riding the bike at least for 2km daily just to maintain muscle memory. 2km, I can do, so I would want to try to take out my trusty old steel bike so it wouldn't be so hard to stop since the pedals aren't for clipped shoes.

Speaking of bikes, I haven't been 'servicing' them for a loooong time. Apparently my big plan to convert my husband to a triathlon monster thus become my bike mechanic failed miserably. I guess I'm stuck to having a relationship with the boys from the bike shop.

Tuesday, October 18, 2011

Pushing Limits.

It rained last Monday. So I did not swim.

Tuesday was my strengthening and stretching class. I love this class. So different the the usual rougher version of exercising - no v02 max, max speed, etc - but all about body awareness and relaxation.

It was only me and the instructor, so we decided to try out several poses that normally wouldn't be taught because she think I could handle it. And she really pushed me. I was contorted, bent, twisted into every shape imaginable. This really surprised me. I never thought my body could take so much pressure and still be ok. I was trembling throughout the class, it was that exhaustive. I nearly drove into a tree on the way back because I felt so DRAINED.

Favorite pose: The turtle, and one of those super twisty hook your arms around your body under your knees thing. Of course, the super modified chaturangga simply made me whimper. As always, the class is HARDER than any other cardio.

Plus point: All the forward bends sorta gave my body a new pair of legs... or rather, hamstrings. They're not tight anymore, and perhaps stronger. I can't wait to see the improvements in a few more weeks.

And as always, the best thing about this class, the 'grounding' session at the end, where you take all your ego and pride about being able to do such amazing things, and remind yourself that if it weren't for a superior being/force we wouldn't be able to do it at all. Stay humble, and be thankful.

Sunday, October 16, 2011

sunday ride

i took back what I wrote earlier. I DO NOT WANT to get better in cycling. Maybe just enough to keep my cardiovascular system happy.

Yesterday we decided to tackle steep hills. And he was forever trying to 'improve' me when all I wanted was to enjoy spinning and spinning and spinning. He asked me if I wanted to suffer or cheat. I chose for the former. This time around because I was away for a week the hills felt steep. I was slower, and I almost bent forward at the waist from the effort. I stopped for a bottle of livita. Then halfway through the loops, Vico. As usual he did not drink anything. I asked him if he was thirsty and he said - "I did not even break a sweat!" !!! I have stopped feeling embarrassed for myself.

I think I have started to transition from someone 'training' for a race to someone 'exercising' for health. No longer was I pushing myself to the limits, no longer was I challenging myself to break my own record. When he pushed me to cycle faster I got angry at him for forcing me out of this comfort zone. Instead of doing speed drills I loped the neighborhood, feeling relaxed and happy. I stopped doing 50m drills now and just enjoy doing endless relaxing laps, losing out to breaststroke swimmers.

I don't know whether I am happy with this. I like the regular routine of exercising but I wonder if I should mix it up with a bit of some race anxiety just to shake up my routine. But I am just too lazy to register nowadays and I hate the thought of waking up just to line up and gather and then run when I can do that by myself.

I did not sign up for PBIM this year. That is a loss to me, but couldn't find the time and friend to accompany me. Wondering what tiny run I should register into...

Saturday: normal 6k. Went running angry and the run did not even help. First time this happened.

Today's planned workout: pool time.

Thursday, October 13, 2011


It's only the random things I remember.

The first time I went cycling, Kash laughed at my tshirt :). She took off afterwards, stronger and better. TSB stayed by my side until we reached the junction. He told me I should try to do the marathon.

The 10k runs we did at his place, a nice area. We stopped and bought milk for his wife, or other things she needed.

The tweets back and forth.

I don't really know him that well, but he was a friend and somewhat my running partner. The bento box on my bike was his.

Al-Fatihah, Kharis. I dedicated my training tonight for you.

Tuesday, October 11, 2011

Leg strength

At the end of my stretching/strengthening session last night, the instructor had us do the child's pose (a yoga pose) and close our eyes to relax. She then said, "Let us ground ourselves from thinking that we are the best just because we have successfully achieved the things that not many could do/achieve."

It was a humbling moment because minutes before I was so chuffed about my flexibility. And that's the great thing about my stretching instructor. Because after you've done triathlons, ran marathons, swam for hours, endured great distances, persevered through pain, sometimes you're more proud than you should be, especially comparing yourselves to other unfit peers. It is a dangerous trap which I think we all fall into.

Another great episode last week was my cycling 'training'. We went to a normal route that usually sees many cyclists. I never liked that route; too many false flats which messed up my pacing. But that seemed to be his favorite route. It has the distance and the hills that presents the path for a good training.

We went through the route light and easy, until we were on the way back. I thought I was off the hook. Then he asked me to pedal faster, and in rhythm, push push push until I go faster. That was how, he said, you gain speed without changing the gears, which many cyclists depend on. He proceeded to make me repeat this for the remaining 3 uphills that had me panting.

Then he saved the best for the last: off the saddle climbing. And we found out that my leg strength is pathetic and my hamstring is under developed. GULP.

And because my leg strength sucked, roused myself early last saturday for a 6k run. I started off realy zippy; too excited to be running again. And I got slower and slower until I reached the 3k mark when things perked up. Then it was kinda smooth sailing. I was glad it was over and also that I did it.