I did not plan today well. I am sitting right now way past the planned time for my blog writing, after 4,5 km swim and a 1:10 hrs interval running session on the track. I shoved down a huge chunk of buckwheat and more chicken than I should have. Of course, one of our cats had to be fighting with me throughout all my meal – but I managed. However, despite all the low-blows from this mrs. Friday, I am happy where I am now and I am really looking forward to my day-off, which is so close – just two days! Hellish two days to be honest, what awaits me is a 6 hr bike session and 3 hr run on Saturday and Sunday respectively and then I can rest, on Monday, going to work. You can call me Mr. Strange for today. But Monday is my day off, a day, where I will try not to think a single thing about triathlon, training, I will not do a single exercise! It has been 2.5 weeks, since my last such day-off.
So on to, the actual wrap:
Last week did not go well, out of planned 19 hours of training, I managed to do only 14. This happened due to getting ill out of nowhere (I have multiple ideas how did it happen, but this is to keep the tension and testosterone popping for my readers due to the drama and mystery) on Thursday morning. I woke up with a sore throat, assuming my usual activities with morning bike session and yoga, hoping it will go away.
It kept getting only worse and worse, at work, I was putting in myself warm tea and honey, as if I were a perfect student, listening and writing down everything what teacher says. Despite all my wholehearted willingness, illness was taking over and about at 3 pm, I figured that I needed to limit the losses and go home, as asap as possible – and I did just that. 2 hours later, I was rugged into everything, looking as big bad wolf in granny’s clothes, trying to get to sleep. Of course Dovilė was taking some highest quality level care of me. After some sleep I got a bit better, but it was quite clear that I am going down for at least few days – and that is like the 5% chance.
And I had grandeur plans for the weekend, me and Dovilė were hoping to participate in Olympic and Sprint triathlons during the weekend in Jonava and do some heavy sessions on bike and run. I was even hoping to hit my Personal Best (PB) in the triathlon – I was that confident, when planning this week. But now, the the wolf had to become granny and gamble with the 5%.
So I cancelled the triathlon, I cancelled the hill-climbing session on the bike with my friend Andrius, I worked from home and was drinking warm tea, as if my stomach was some muscle-car, thirsty for gasoline. Previously, my wife suggested that some easy exercise might help the body to recover, that is were the 5% might become 50%, my mind quickly jumped to conclusions. And I did 2 indoors bike sessions, very easy spins, just to get my heart rate up a bit and warm up. I slept, or napped at every gap I had. And I went to sleep properly at I believe 9 pm. On to Saturday morning – all that helped. I was not beating my PB or doing an interval session on the bike, but I was at 70% of my capabilities on Saturday morning. Considering the 5% on Friday, I felt worthy to be among poker-greats, in my mind. Would it pay-off to gamble more? The weather was amazing on Saturday and I was feeling 70%, that is almost 100%. And my Saturday structured into a indoors bike session with yoga, followed by a trail run.
During that trail run around – the illness still lingered around, trying to pull my shirt and stay with me. However, I had intuitively known what I have to do – I should not push myself, I should be cautious of the pace, temperature and how do I feel. I managed to clock a 54 minute run through some hills and small forests, knowing that I had just put those 70% on this run, on some number in the roulette and now I just had to wait for the spin to end.
5-6 hours into the roulette session, I feel 90% percent on paper and 98% in my mind. I must have won and I go to celebrate the win with another run of the day. Easy 16 km on the asphalt, I just can not resist those shoes whispering me from the shoe box. Asking to be taken for a spin. And I submit, I want to run, the weather is great and I do not want to fall back too much this weekend. I go out, luckily, sensible schizophrenic in me thinks this through and I clock only 12 km, easily. I am at home. Happy that I managed to fight the illness, happy that I ran twice today. Somewhat unhappy that I gambled. Even though it paid off – I would rather not do it next time.
Ilnesses and minuses
What a sensible person does, when he gets leaner and looks better? Starts looking into the mirror and becomes besties with the mirrors around the house! That is right. Good thing that my readers and I are thinking alike.
So to reflect on how did I get ill, I would break it down into few notes for my future self. As mentioned, I started to get more lean, meaning my fat percentage was decreasing and fat, as much as we dislike it – is a very good repellent for different illnesses and a guardsman for your body. To put more stuff on top, every morning after the bike and yoga, I get warmed up pretty well and I storm to the kitchen to prepare breakfast and lunch for us both. I really like to have windows open to get some air outside (be it winter even – Dovilė has to put up with me opening the windows even, when it is double digit minus degrees outside). So imagine this combination, a warmed up, slimmed down and not as fat as before (I estimate I was at low 11% body fat before, now I am high 9%), showing off at the bathroom mirror, every time I turn the omelette around, with some windows opened and not having the warmest summer mornings outside. That did not help.
In addition to that, the air conditioning in our car easily puts out crazy coldness and I kind of did not mind it, usually having 18 degrees breeze flowing in the car on warmer days. That did not help either.
Last, but not least, the time-trial bike session I have done on Tuesday, was not with the best weather and I went for it sock-less. My feet were freezing after 1 hr and I still had 25 minutes to go back home. I came home a bit frozen, due to the wind and cold weather. Oh, and previously, after last Saturday training, I tried to sleep with the window open, as my wife was out for a trip with her co-workers. I woke up in the middle of the night to close the window, because it was too cold. That did not help either.
So to sum it up, I need to stop being such a diva next to home mirrors (I need to start somewhere, so for now, I am limiting myself to home mirrors only), I have to take greater care of my feet – during this winter, I was getting cold multiple times due to cold feet, until I bought proper winter shoes) – and lastly I need to chill down with cold air-conditioning. Week after the illness, I still get some sore throat, however I ticked all the boxes next to the stuff I mentioned above and hopefully, it will gradually get better.
This is pretty much how my day looks like for the past 2 weeks. I have dropped 2 kilograms after I started eating healthy (no alcohol and no sugars/sweets). To some, it reads “that is amazing, I would eat whatever I want”. For me it became quite a problem
a) I have dropped down to 77 kg. At my 193 cm height and ultra-triathlons in mind, I would rather be at 78 kg, to prevent injuries and illnesses
b) I do not know how to properly and healthy re-fill those calories, which might eventually lead to even bigger weight loss.
c) While eating healthy, you are not that hungry and there is limited amount of time to chug additional food down your stomach.
So now I am in search of stabilization of my weight and discoveries what to eat. I have started drinking recovery drinks twice a day, bought a huge pack of oats and I am drinking them in between the meals and really upped my buckwheat, pasta and other carbohydrates intake. Hopefully it will work out and I will be healthy at the start line of Ironman Copenhagen, which is less than in a month. I think 24 days even.
Song of the week: Bonobo – Surface (feat. Nicole Miglis)
Reading: Andre Agassi “Open” (50% into it)
Game: Almost done with Nioh, almost. New Cat is still playing 24/7 with me
Average Weight: 77.4
Average Suunto Recovery: Averaging 30-40% recovery
This week and last week have been quite difficult on me. I was jokingly saying the other day to Dovilė, after being happy that Suunto gave me a result of 49% recovery one day, up from 29% day before – what an achievement to be 50% functional and be so happy about it.
But the spikes in the recovery during the sleep are somewhat promising, they help me understand how to adapt to my training better and whether I have schedule too much or not. This week is the last building block before Ironman and I will tone down a bit – for July I went 12-15-19-20 hours of weekly training – going for 15-13-10 into the main event. The most difficult are the morning runs, those are tedious. All those micro-muscles are hurting and so lazy to wake up, usually only 30 minutes into the morning run, you get epiphany – oh, great, finally woke up. But these are small details in the bigger puzzle. It was never meant to be easy.
Pain sometimes is inevitable, however suffering is optional. This is me on the last lap (38th kilometer) during Ironman run last year:
Thanks for staying this long.