Let’s go back to November 2019. On a cold and rainy day I’ve ended up running my first Virtual marathon. The reason for that is that NYRR offered a guaranteed entry for the 2020 New York City Marathon for everyone who ran a marathon. because there wasn’t any marathons close by I decided to do a Virtual one.
I’ve wrote more about the whole application process here : New York – Round 2?
Back then I didn’t like virtual racing. I mean they are such a hard work. You have to find your own motivation to go out and do the training for them. There is no crowd, no support and most importantly no finisher swag at the end.
Who would have thought that a few months later everything will change?
Let’s start at the beginning. How did I sign up for this ? Or how did I hear about it?
When I got my new job at the end of last year, it meant that I had to change some of my upcoming holidays. Mainly because I can’t go on leave when I’m at the train driving school. In my previous railway job I was able to take leave anytime I wanted. So the triathlon camp I have planned for May in Bolton is probably won’t happen, because I’ll be learning all about train tractions.
But on the other hand I have ended up with 14 days leave at the end of February.
This will be a really personal post, and I really don’t plan to write anymore like this. People keep telling me that I’m a really open person because of my social media accounts, which is true, but also it isn’t. I chose to share the content of them, and I chose to share happy, positive posts, with the occasional sad, angry or even annoyed training posts.
But there is a side which is totally hidden from most people. Why? Because I made that choice.
License to use Creative Commons Zero – CC0
Boston. Where should I start? What should I say? One thing for sure that it will be long. So if you stick around it’s better to get a cup of tea.
Let’s start at the beginning.
31st of March – Luke and I were planning the final sightseeing plans for Boston. Everything was perfect.
1st of April – Luke died. Everything turned upside down.
We were supposed to fly out to Boston on the 12th. I had no idea what to do or what am I supposed to do. This trip was supposed to be a happy trip with a massive celebration. I mean finishing all 6 World Marathon Majors is a big deal. Before Boston there were only 6 Hungarians, so not many of us. I know I always moaned about the training load and how tired I am, but when you cross that finish line you forget the struggles, you don’t remember when you doubted your abilities. You there, happy, proud and you feel like being at the top of the World.
Wow I can’t believe that race day was already 2 weeks ago. I’m so behind with all of these posts. Sorry.
So after an exciting few days in Tokyo which was filled with sightseeing and great food ( will definitely write a post about these later on ), on the Thursday we went to the Expo to pick up my race number.
This year the expo was in a different location and it was under many tents. It really didn’t bother me, but read on Facebook that loads of people didn’t like it at all. We got there just after 11am and I was out of the bib pick up tent by 11.15am. So really didnt’ take long. Because I was a charity runner I had to go to a specific table. There they taken a photo of me and also got a wristband with a barcode. So with all these security measures they really did try to prevent cheaters. Because they have your photo if anyone would have run with someone’s number they can easily be identified.
In 3 weeks this time probably I already finished the Tokyo marathon.
Tokyo is 9 hours ahead of England. So when I’ll start the race on Sunday morning around 9.30am most of the UK will be still asleep or just going to sleep.
It’s now less than 2 weeks till we are flying out , but I’m just not excited. I just want this whole thing to be over.
Probably it doesn’t help that this week didn’t go as I planned.
One of our dog got ill on Monday and ended up at the vets. Bless his heart his penis is swollen and got some kind of infection. A week later he still poorly, and constantly drinking/weeing. So he may have some issues with his liver. We are going back to the vets tomorrow.
28. January – 3rd February 2019
Another week gone, I really can’t believe how fast these days going.
Week 7 of Ironman Bolton training.
Week 14 of Tokyo / Boston / London marathon training.
Monday’s are still rest days. I really can’t get myself into thinking to do any kind of workout. Eventually would be good to do some yoga or strength training, but after 6 days worth of training I really just feel that I need to sit down, take a breath and enjoy doing nothing.
Went to swimming straight after work. This time the pool was quieter, and people seemed to used the correct lanes. There were still some annoying ones, who decided just to chit-chat at the end, without swimming a single lap.
I still really don’t know how to break up my long swims. So ended up simply swimming 25x100m sets. I do feel good about my swim pace. I wanted to make sure all of them were around the 2:20 mark, so there was no point for me to shoot out and swim a few 2:10s when I know I won’t be able to do that 25 times. But compared my time to an earlier session back in December I clearly got faster 🙂
Tuesday evening means tri club run session. I had a feeling that it will get cancelled, because the weather wasn’t the nicest. But coach said as long as someone turns up he’s happy to do the session .The Facebook poll said 3 of us will be there, but at the end 5 of us turned up. Not too bad. Luckily it wasn’t too cold, just a bit wet.
The session was held at Crabtree, which only could mean one thing. Hill reps. Oooh dear God, how much do I hate those? A lot.
So the plan was to run half a lap, around half a mile till we get to the other end of the forest, and to the top of the hill. Then do some hill reps for 15-20mins.
I’ve ended up running the whole thing with G. He’s still injured, so he’s coaching us. He said my pace is perfect for him, it wouldn’t put too much strain on his knees. Well good to be slow then haha.
So back to those hill reps, it wasn’t just the little ones I’ve done a few weeks ago. Nope. Started it from further down, and run further up. Passed a bench, into the woods. It was probably twice as long as the ones I’ve done before. Did I already say I hate hills?
I think we ended up running about 6 times roughly. When we were doing the 5th, he said that’s the last one. But then got to the top and he said he changed his mind and off we go and do another one.
The last 2 sets were the hardest, I’ve been told not to stop, no matter how much it hurts, try to push it through, and for the last one I had to try do attempt a faster pace. I think I was probably racing with a snail. Because it definitely wasn’t a quick run. But got up to the top.
It’s so much harder when you are running with someone. I’m really bad at hills, or faster paced runs. So usually when I feel tired I just stop and walk a bit or a lot. But when your coach is running next to you , you do have to try your hardest to keep going, and I’ve done that. It did hurt, but at the end of the day this is how I get better. Need to push through, no matter how much I don’t like it.
After the hills we ran back to the cars, nice and easy jog. Haha easy for them. It was still faster than my usual pace. Then the guys decided to run home, and G. and I ran one more mile long lap, as a cool down. Running a mile doesn’t sound that bad, but after those hills, it wasn’t easy.
At the end we clocked in 6.3km in just over 49mins. But this included loads of down-hill walking. Ohh and to my surprise with my sloth pace I managed to grab a 1st place on a Strava Segment.
All time Women – 1st, All time – 10th, This year ( women ) – 1st, This year – 4th.
It’s either being a new segment, or people in January are not too active. I still can’t believe how did I manage to get the 1st place Women spot, with my pace?
One of my favourite day , I love doing my brick sessions. It does feel like I’m getting better with them. It was only a really short session, but my legs did work hard and they didn’t wobble.
Last day of January, I can’t believe how fast this month gone by.
I wasn’t really planning to have a long run session, but had to keep my legs moving, and get some mileage in. Even if it wasn’t a long session.
Bang on 8k, and much faster than my marathon pace. At the end I even managed to get a new VO2 max. Finally I’m up to 42. I was standing on 41 for ages.
Let’s see my January stats:
Swim : 15.81km 🏊🏼♀️
Bike : 290.36km🚴🏼♀️
Run : 142.94 km 🏃🏽♀️
Roll on February 🙂
“Winter miles 🔜 summer smiles “
I don’t think it’s too bad. First month I ever run longer than 130km+. Cycling is going up really well, and my slow swimming is getting better session by session.
Another day on the bike. We’ve snowed in so I really didnt’ want to risk going to the pool or do another run session. Wouldn’t be good ending up with a broken arm or leg before Tokyo. Here’s a photo from the morning, I took it whilst I was at work 🙂 Did I say I LOVE snow 🙂
45 mins cycling around Watopia, with a little elevation. Plan said keep it in Z2, so I wasn’t allowed to push it any harder or do more hills. At the end of the session I was in Z2 for 93%. Not too bad 🙂
No training today. Went up to London to attend the yearly Meet the Experts session organised by London Marathon. A great and informative event. I do believe it’s totally worth it if you are running London the first time 🙂
Long run session today. The roads were still ridiculously icy and snowy. There was literally no chance for me to run outdoors. I had to run 14 miles and this close to my marathon I really didn’t want to miss it. After thinking about it a lot, I decided to go to the gym, and run on a treadmill. I absolutely hate those machines, the only thing I hate more are prawns and hill reps. How the hell can I run 14 miles on the boring treadmill? They gym has 1 tv , and it showing the news constantly. So nothing exciting at all. I don’t have a foot pod, so can’t run virtually on Zwift. So 14 boring and long miles here I come.
At the end I decided to do intervals. 60secs runs and 30secs walk break. Sometimes shorter, sometimes longer. The people kept changing next to me, but I tried to stay motivated and keep going on and on and on.
At the end I did manage to run 14 miles, but it felt like this was my 14 longest miles in my life.
Have to say I was surprised with my time, in a positive way.
14 miles – 2:45:26 – with a pace of 7:20mins/km.
5secs/km faster than my target marathon pace, well if I decided to target a sub 5:15 finish time, or even if worst case I only can achieve a 7:50mins/km pace that would still take me into a sub 5:30 finish in Tokyo. These are still massive improvements from my 5:58 finish at Chicago in October (8:30mins/km pace).
Sunday evening I also went to do my tri club swim session. We had M. back as a coach, he was back from his holiday, so sessions went back to normal. At first it was only a few of us there and I had a whole lane for myself, but others did turn up a bit late so we were almost up to the normal amount of swimmers 🙂
2️⃣. Open water start drills and sprints
3️⃣. 4x 100m CSS-5
4️⃣. 100m easy swim
5️⃣. 3x 100m CSS-5
6️⃣. 100m cool down
This week wasn’t as busy as the last few. My running takes a lot out of me, and like this week I wasn’t able to get in my long bike session. But as soon as I’m down to taper with my marathons I can definitely can get my cycling hours up. It’s just so hard to run 10-15miles then squeeze in another 2-3hours long bike as well.
I have one more long run next week, up to 20 mileish, But then after I’ll be able to do all my long bike sessions as well.
So I’ve finished the week with :
- Duration: 7:23 hours
- Swim: 3600m
- Bike: 37.9km
- Run: 38km
21 – 27th January 2019.
Wow I can’t believe how fast these days are passing. Probably it helps that I’m way to excited about the Tokyo trip.
Week 6 of Ironman Bolton training
Week 13 of Tokyo/ Boston/ London marathon training.
As always it was a rest day. I’m starting to like these days.
Started my week with my long swim. Because I can’t make the early morning tri club swim I really need to make sure that I get my long distance swim in. I didn’t really have a plan , but at the end I’ve ended up doing 22x100m with 10secs rest. Slowly building up my distance. I think I finally feel really comfortable in the water. Since October my swim improved a lot, and I love the sessions. Of course there’s still a lot to improve and I don’t think I ever going to be as good as the others, but I do try my best.
Tuesday evening means, tri club run session. I did look forward to this session, because even though I’m not showing it, and I’m nowhere near the others when we run but these sessions making me faster. Without these sessions I don’t think my long distance speed would have improved. I remember last year when I was training to Chicago I just wanted to get the distances in , it didn’t really matter how long did it take. I never in my life done any kind of speed training before, so I do believe these help a lot.
So back to this session. Well it wasn’t my day at all. It was cold, but I shouldn’t really blame the cold. Back at home we have -15 or even -20 Celsius in the winter, so tonight’s -2 was really nothing. But it’s always easier to blame to something, and not to yourself.
The plan was to do laps, on the grass part of the track. Supposed to be in the same pace as the previous session. I not once hit that pace, 6:06mins/km. I was so annoyed with myself, I know I can run, I know I can do that pace if I really want to do it. But no matter how much I’ve tried I didn’t get anywhere close to it. I’ve finished the session with 6:35. Which is still much faster than my normal pace, 7:30, but I was still annoyed that I couldn’t even to a lap.
After a bit of thinking, I realised that my legs still haven’t recovered from Sunday’s 22 miler. I really can’t expect them to function like nothing happened 2 days ago. It did settle my mind a bit.
Brick session, one of my favourite session of the week . Can’t really explain it why, but I starting to love running straight after cycling. My legs always feel like jelly, but after that initial wobble I start to run and it’s a great feeling. Still only short sessions, but need to build it up slowly. So it was a 45mins cycle session, on the turbo then off I went for my 30mins run 🙂
I’m still really new to Zwift, so exploring all this new routes are exciting. It turns out they have a whole session in New York. I loved my time in New York, but how the hell I forgot how hilly Central Park is? I thought I’ll have a nice and easy spin session, but those bastard hills…. Never mind, got over them and my legs definitely worked hard. After the cycle I thought I’ll keep continue the New York feeling, so put on my marathon top and off I went for my 30mins run. Back to my nice and easy 7:30mins/km pace. I can’t even explain how much I love this. It’s easy, and comfortable. Hmmm… maybe that’s why I didn’t really improve a lot for Chicago ? I just kept doing my comfortable runs, not once I went faster or went out of my comfort zone. Hmmm…
It was supposed to be a swim session. Well it did start as a swim session, but ended after 7mins. I rarely get pissed off, or annoyed at others. I have my poker face on at work, and answer every question with my nice customer service voice and face.
But this time I really got pissed off. We have a temporary pool at Andover, 4x 25m length lanes. No issues with that. There are 2 different swim sessions , ‘ lane swimming’ and ‘ just swim’ . So as common sense dictates, lane swimming is to do laps up and down, and the ‘ just swim’ is where there are no lanes and just a fun session.
I’m really not a fast swimmer, but after a few laps I had to leave. Other’s really didn’t respect the pool rules. Stopping half way through and starting to swim back where they started, floating on the water, and even jumping in and out. Lifeguard was total useless as well. A lady and I went to ask him to sort this out, otherwise what’s the point of LANE swimming, but he just ignored us. So we left.
1hr cycling session, in Z7 and trying to achieve a 100+ cadence. I managed to tick off 2 out of that 3.
1 hour in Z2 , totally doable. But my average cadence was 72. Bruhhhh. Few times managed to get over the 100 mark, but it takes so much concentration , it’s incredible. I really need to figure out this cycling. Maybe its harder to achieve this on a turbo? I mean even when I’m in the lowest easiest gear I can pedal, there’s no issues with that. But it feels like I’ll fly off from the bike. I think I’ll need to go to the gym and see if I can manage 100+ on their stationer bike, or even better if they have a watt bike. Or should I just got to a spin class? Ahhhrrrrrrr..
I was so keen to wake up at 5am and do my long run. But after going to bed like 8.30pm on Friday when my alarm went off at 5am I just turned it off and turned on my other side at went back to sleep. At the end I managed to sleep just over 11hrs. By the time it’s the weekend I’m so so tired that I can’t even explain. Having 4.5-5hr sleeps during the week and waking up at 4am to go to work is so hard.
So I chose comfort instead of my long run.
But instead of that I did my long cycle session.
Longest time on the bike / turbo ever. I cycled for 2 whole hours. OMG. It was tiring and I really had to push myself to just keep going. Drank 2 full bottles of drink, had loads of seeds and nuts, and also kept eating my glucose tablets. Weirdest thing you can crave on a bike 😀 But the mixture of sweet and salted kept me going.
Another ride, another day on Zwift. The plan said stay in Z2. So I knew I can’t really pick a really hilly route otherwise my heart rate will be way over Z2. So stayed with Watopia, but by the time the 2hrs were over I’ve gained 255m (840 feet) of elevation. I knew I need to do hills, even virtually because Bolton will be hilly.
Well my long run was missed again. I did wake up, but then just sat on the sofa. So missed out on 14 miles. Never mind. Sometimes we need to have an easier week. Roll on next week.
But did go swimming in the evening. Tri club swim session was on. Not too sure why but we didn’t have the normal coach, I did miss last week’s session, so probably he said it then that he wont be this week. So we had to follow our run coach instructions. He’s a speedy swimmer as well, so he knew what he was talking about.
After a few laps (10) of warm up, we’ve done more sighting practice. It is really important in open water. You really don’t want to get lost or swim more than you supposed to.
Then we were broken up into different groups , roughly the same pace. The instruction was to swim behind each other, as close as we can, practice sighting and try to keep up the other persons pace. Well I ended up with this guy, I feel so embarrassed but I still have no idea what’s his name is. It turns out his pace usually is 1.50mins/100m, then I said to him that my pace is usually 2.20 if I really push myself. I did feel sorry for him, because he had to go much slower than his pace.
At first he was swimming in the front and I tried to keep up with him. He did say he’ll go slower than he usually do. Thanks 🙂 Then we kept swapping who’s the leader. So the 1st 100metre turned out to be 1:57, then the 2nd was 2.00, 3rd 1.59, 4th 2.01 and the last one was 2.05. Okey, I’m totally socked, surprised , wow. I really had no clue that I can swim this fast. I know I won’t be able to keep up this pace for a long time, but it did feel good to see that I do can swim faster. But it does show’s that you can do whatever you set your mind to, and just need to push yourself, even when you think you can’t.
Then we had a really fun exercise. Swim a lap with your eyes closed, because when you are swimming in open water you can’t see much. And he’s totally right. When I had my first open water session on the 1st of January ( will write a post about that after I had my second one in February) I was totally shocked that I couldn’t see nothing in the Thames. At home I swam in Lake Balaton and in the sea by Croatia as well. But those were nice and clean. When I first put my head into the water in the Temze I had no clue where am I going, and even though I was swimming it felt like I’m not moving. So I do agree with him that it’s really important to practice this.
Much shorter week than the previous, but I missed out on a 14miler run and also lost an hour swim. But all in I’m happy with it. I still managed to workout just over 7hrs, and that’s great. Roll on next week, I can’t wait to see what am I capable.
14 – 20 January 2019.
This was my week 5 of Ironman training and Week 12 of Tokyo / Boston marathon training.
I can’t believe how fast the weeks going by.
Rest day, favourite day of the week. Done nothing at all this day. Got my recommended 10 000 steps in by 10am at work , then spent the rest of the day with housework, and getting my week worth of workout clothes ready.
First workout of the week. Let’s go swimming. The plan was to swim about an hour, roughly 2k. Well it did not happen. 10 mins into my swim I developed a massive headache. No idea why. I drunk enough water all day, so literally have no clue. But other than that the session was okay.
Tuesday evening means tri run club. I still had a headache when we started this session, but it went away after a few laps. We spent our time on the track. I do like running on the track. It’s a great way to measure how much a person improves.
The session consisted of the below:
2 laps: warm up
2 laps: 300m slower pace run, 100m faster paced, repeat
2 laps: 200m slow, 200m fast, repeat
2 laps: 100m slow, 100m fast, repeat
After this we had to run another 2 laps in our faster pace, but only just as fast what we can keep up for our main set, 3k. I did try to run this in my faster pace, it was a 6:10mins/km. After speaking with G. I said to him there’s literally no way that I can run this fast for 3k. I mean the fastest I ever run was 6:57, but usually I’m closer to average a 7:30mins/km. By this time everyone was way into their 3k run, and I was still standing there trying to decide what pace to run. At the end we agreed that I run in a fast pace and see how long am I able to keep that up. If it’s not a full 3k no worries, it will be a good starting point. It turns out 3k is 7.5 laps on the track. I don’t think I ever circled as much in my life before.
After every lap I kept checking my watch and just to see if I can keep that pace up. Well it turned out am better than I thought. By the time I got to my 5th lap everyone else is finished. But I just kept going at tried to concentrate on myself.
When my watch buzzed at the 3k mark I was so happy that it was over.
These are the results:
1km – 6:20mins
2km – 6:16mins
3km – 5:54mins
OMFG. It looks like I really can push myself if I want it. You know you had a great run club session when you end up with not 1 but 3 PBs 🙌🏻
My last 5k PB was 34:34 so this new one is way better. Soon I can target a sub 30 time. I never once thought that I might be capable doing that.
Wednesday mean’s Brick session. After last night’s run club I had so much muscle ache that I really thought I won’t be able to cycle. It was only a short 30mins cycle followed by a 30mins run session. But by the time I finished my cycling my legs did warm up and had a great paced run session. The transition time between the 2 still took me over 5mins, but I think I’m getting better with the Quick change part.
I’ve spent Wednesday evening up in London.
I was lucky to attend a really informative and inspirational panel discussion. It was organised by @livcyclinguk & @giantbicycles.
4 inspirational ladies with 4 different IM journeys.
Ruth – @rastle50 – not just a simple AG winner she has won her AG in Kona and was the 3rd armature overall.
Mara – @mara.thefitlondoner – her first triathlon was an Ironman.
Alice – @aliceclarefitness – Liv ambassador and also IM finisher.
Eddie , or you can call her #irongran. She’s a multi IM finisher and she’s 75. Wow.
I’ve learnt so much from them and great to hear how others started their journeys.
Also good to hear that I’m not crazy because I’ve signed up for Bolton without doing the shorter distances first.
As long as I trust my plan and have set my mind to it I’ll be totally okay 🙂
Thank you ladies so much 🙌🏻
Swim got cancelled, due to going out for dinner. But managed to get a faster paced run in, straight after work. It felt so good to run around Basingstoke. When we lived there I loved running through Eastrop park and then through Lychpit and back to town, or just down to Popley to see my sister.
Finally decided to give Zwift a go. Turned out they do a 7 day free trial or upto 25km cycling. I was really lazy and only set it up on my phone. Just to see if I like it or not. It’s not bad at all. That 20mins literally just flew by. I loved the facts that I am virtually chasing others. Seen a few cyclist with the Hungarian flag and I always tried to keep up with them, even if it was for a short period of time.
Was supposed to do my Long run today, but swapped it around and done my Long cycle instead.
After last night’s good Swift session I decided that I do need this, so signed up for it. Also it turns out that it does work with my iMac. Better and bigger screen 🙂
The plan was to cycle at least an hour and half , then see how I manage that. It turns out I’m better than I thought. I did have the fan on but had to stop and open the windows as well because I really started to feel too hot. Drank 2.5 bottles of water, I think it’s a lot but really not too sure. Ate a handful of seeds and nuts and just kept pedalling. I’m not gonna lie the time went fast, but it was also hard. Have to be honest I can’t remember when was the last time I cycled this long, well I’ve done it outdoors a few times, but it was my longest ever session on the turbo.
Do you think that map looks like a rhino? I can’t stop thinking about that. Pleased with the distance I covered. It’s not the funniest and most exciting to cycle on the turbo but I do believe these boring winter sessions will be in great use in the spring/summer.
I had my first running race of the year. Covered over 22 miles, and you can read my full race report HERE.
Because of this long run I decided to skip tonight’s swim session. I don’t think I could have swim a single lap, my kicks would not work , and have a feeling I would have drowned.
Summary of the week:
By the end of the week I worked out just over 9hrs.
This included :
1 swim session (missed out on 2 :/ )
3 cycling session
4 running session
Next I’ll need to make sure I’ll get my missing 2 swim sessions in as well. I shouldn’t have any issues with that. I’m back only 14miles with my long run, so won’t be as tired and will be able to do the missing sessions, and also don’t have any dinner planned with family, so I should be all okey 🙂 I also getting better with the ammount of training I have to do. I’m sore most of the days, but a good bath with Epsom salt works really well, and after every session I keep rolling my legs, so they won’t get as sore.
Somedays I still struggle with motivation just to get out of the door. But as soon as I’m out I’m totally okey with the training session ahead.