Weekly Wraps. Week 39, 40.
With so much going on lately, it became difficult to follow my writing plan and I had to cut out one week from the blog management. To be honest, after having a consistent writing plan for almost 3 months, it was an unpleasant experience not to write a post and to have this lingering feeling around myself, that I had to write something, but I did not. With that being left in the past, I am back and have some things to share with my readers and to talk about what happened throughout the last two weeks.
So the past two weeks could be described as a car side-mirror, which always tells you that the cars in that mirror are closer than you perceive. Same with the time and planning which I have done – I had much more planned and much more happening, than I could have squeezed into the daily activities. Hence I had to miss out a week of delivering a post to my lovely readers. But I am back and I will do my best, that this does not happen in the future.
Within the last two I managed to stick to the appointed plan by my coach to full extent and have finished all the workouts as planned. There is a funny thing happening to my perception of training lately – previously I found swimming workouts dull and boring and running to be most fascinating ones. Now my mind decided to take a full 180 degrees turn and start perceiving running as the boring workouts, while be very excited for the swims. That is mostly due to the structure change of my swim workouts. As per my previous post, the swim workouts have a lot of elements within themselves now and it has a very positive vibe to it. Time passes in the swimming pool very fast – swoosh and I am done with the workout. On top of that, those workouts are challenging in a pleasant way and I am already feeling some of the results kicking it. For example, my normal swimming speed when preparing for IM Copenhagen was around 1:55-2:00 minutes for 100m, now I am down to a comfortable pace of 1:45/100m. So it feels very rewarding.
On the other hand, running is an activity, which gets heavily impacted by the weather and change in the seasons. As the autumn is kicking in more and more – it is getting windier day by day, colder and some dreary, damp weather changes sunshines and summer warmth. That on its own makes such training sessions less exciting and I have to put more and more clothes on myself to run outside. While I very much prefer a minimalistic feel to running, with as few clothes as possible, now – coming back after the run outside in shorts means that my knees will be have a stingy sensation in them.
To Copenhagen and beyond
During these weeks, I had to travel a lot – that included a work related business trip to Copenhagen and a long-time planned vacation to Thailand. I am very happy to be writing this post from completely other side of the world to my usual spot in Bangkok. And I plan to share some of the experiences and situations from Thailand for the next two weeks, while me and Dovile stay here. So far it is an we are very happy to be here and 15 hour travel flight into a different time zone gave us a pleasant and surprising experience. I have an ‘agile’ training plan created by my coach for these two weeks, which I will try to adhere to, but it is very adaptive and I will not stress out to complete it to full extent. Time will tell.
While being in Copenhagen though, I managed to commit and do all the necessary workouts, which we had planned. That means that I had to do few sessions on a turbo/trainer stationary bike in hotel’s basement designated sports area with a very limited airflow. At the end, I was surprised that I managed to complete even the heaviest bike training sessions and came out a winner out of the basement.
During my business trip, I had a lot of fun and a lot of interesting work experiences with my colleagues. Our main focus was to meet our future Mac platform users, meet our competitors and get inspired by their infrastructure and talk to our colleagues, whom we have not seen for a while. Trip itself turned out to be a success and all of us came back with a lot of fresh ideas for the project. Plus we had a lot of funny moments, the day before the travel home, I think I had biggest amount of laughs during one day period in 2017. It was like being in a constant stand-up comedy show.
Times like these
I had this idea to share with you with my fun moments of my triathlon life, which happened to me throughout 4 years in this sport. These moments during their occurrence seemed like everyday-normal situations, but now, when I think about them they are downright fun to remember. Most of them happened during my first few years in sports, however I sincerely hope that as experience builds up, moments like these will not disappear.
Here comes the first one. And it is from my first ever “triathlon”. It was an early spring and my first year in this sport, so I did not know a lot and there very few triathlon events in Lithuania happening at that time. It was a combination of an indoor swim then a break and bike, run later. I was excited and nervous to participate in that, especially because it was not so long ago, that I had learnt how to swim in general. Excited – because it was not so many people participating in it and triathlon was just building up and it was such a new thing to do for me. When it started, we had an indoor swim in a 50m length pool and I had 2 more people with me in my lane. It went good, despite the fact that I had lost count at least twice and had to do some complicated math to re-calculate what distance have I covered and how much is left. After the swim, we had around 2 hours until we had to show up to the place, where biking and running takes place. 2 hours is a lot, I thought at that time, I better eat! At that time, I was very newbie at nutrition questions and did not understand much, plus I had my habits of eating on top of it. So what do I do within those 2 hours before a bike and run? I go out and eat a big portion of sushi and drink a huge cup, around 750ml, of coffee, with a lot of sweeteners in it. Right before the time I have to start. I still remember seeing Dovile very surprised, when I chugged that much food in between the events. With that coffee being so sweet and quite some warm weather around – I drank all my water off the bike and started the second part of the event – with no water on me at all. So to sum it up, I had eaten and drank at least three times the portion of calories I had to and I drank all my water, which was supposed to be left for the race itself.
I think my third event had the second funniest moment and the thought process behind it is still funny to me. Basically I came into triathlon thinking about it as an endurance event. Which is true, but my understanding of endurance events was heavily exaggerated – I thought that for every such even, you had to get lots of calories in you before and during the event (you can see the evolution of my sushi and coffee before the race from previous one). And it did not matter if it was a short triathlon or a longer one, would it last about hour and a half or three – I had to be prepared to have all the calories around me, so I did not fade out and did not hit “the wall” of endurance events. So for each triathlon in my first year, I was placing 2-3 bananas next to my transition zone, to be safe and prepared. And during Trakai Olympic Triathlon in 2014, it was particularly warm day, I had placed my bananas next to all my stuff and of course I did not touch it during the race, because I did not really need it, nor I had time. But the banana was there for me! By the end of the race, almost three hours later Dovile had taken an infamous picture of my banana going from yellow to brown during the race. Now I usually do not eat anything during olympic distances, because it is a rather short event, but at that time, bananas and a lot of food seemed essential.
One more thing that happened and what I want to share with you is how I have met Ironman World Champion – Sebastien Kienle. To this time, it still is something surreal and I can not comprehend what happened. It was during 2016 season and we were going to Ironman 70.3 Kraichgau. During the trip, Andrius jokingly kept referring to Sebastien Kienle as “Seb” and Jan Frodeno as “Joncas”, as if they were our buddies. We were just talking about them and getting inspired by their achievements and because they were german and we were in Germany. So it seemed only right to talk about them. We of course did not check the starting participant list and barely had done any recon of the event, so we did not know who will be there from professional racers. But we kept talking that it would be great to meet one of those uber-germans. Fast forward into day two of our trip, we are walking out of the Ironman Exposition, thinking where and what we will eat. I was over the moon and excited because of the Expo and was just looking around and suddenly I see some athlete jogging around. My intuition computed this athlete’s look faster than my mind and before I know it, I am yelling “Sebastien!” out and he stops! Me and Dovile were far behind our group and went straight to him, after few seconds our friends Andrius, Asta, Tomas and Ruta noticed that we have met a celebrity. Tomas had a sore foot at that time – but when he saw Sebastien, he did not hesitate to run towards to him. We all took pictures, had a small talk with him and wished him best of luck. It was great experience, despite being a World Champion, Sebastien Kienle was a very pleasant person to talk to, delivered some funny jokes to us and did not hesitate to take pictures with all of us separately. Definitely a person to look up to and I am to this day very happy to have met him. From this meeting onwards I am always cheering for him during Ironman events.
These are my fun situations from my 4 year old career, there are more of them I guess, but these come to my mind as first ones, when I think about it. Do you have any like these? Feel free to share them with me in the comments!
Song of the week:
Reading: Haruki Murakami “Norwegian Wood”
Game: Deus Ex: Mankind Divided
Average Weight: 78,5kg and counting
It is good to be back writing, to be honest I was very hesitant to write something, considering all the races are behind me and these two weeks were just “do a lot of stuff” type of weeks. So I felt reluctant if I have to share something with you. But mind works in a peculiar ways and even if there is not much happening around me, it still comes up with stuff to talk and write about. Hopefully I will not miss out any more posts from now on and you had enjoyed this one! Thanks for reading and best wishes from Bangkok: