Saturday, June 27, 2015

Things are clicking left and right. Clickety clack!

Hola! How are you?? Still here? Yay!!

Me too!! It's been again 2 weeks since I last blogged, but it seems to be my current cruising speed. In other words, I've been lazy. But that's ok, it's not that I've had any Earth shattering news to share with you. Same old same old... until this week. This week has been pretty great workouts wise. I decided to get back in the saddle regularly and put some work into the program that I started on Trainer Road 3 months ago. You know, the one that I was very motivated to follow, but I failed miserably after 2 weeks and just gave up, because. Too much stress, too little fitness, and mostly because I shifted my focus towards physio.

But two months later and a few good weekly outdoor rides, I decided to pick up right where I left off. And to my surprise, it was with great success. Most notably, it looks like my fitness has significantly improved since April and this time I didn't feel like passing out before the end of the workout. I finished it without difficulty, and with an average heart rate lower by 20bpm in the hard intervals. Now that was a huge surprise. See below, the failed workout in April, where my HR was in the high 180s, and now, where it did not go above 169.

Ericsson in April - gave up in the 3rd interval, could not follow the instructions. Too hard, despite having lowered my FTP by 10pts. 
Ericsson in June - followed all instructions, could hold all cadences, heart rate stayed in the 160s. I even did the single leg drills. Yay me!
(Ignore the heart rate anomalies in the second workout... the Scosche strap got too wet and I had to tighten it for it to return to reading the HR properly. After I adjusted it, it came back within the normal range.)

Needless to say, this workout gave me a huge moral boost. Finally, proof that everything I've done in the last few months was not for nothing and that my fitness is coming back. And to confirm that this was no fluke, I did one more workout 2 days later and finished it again without difficulty.

I even got off the saddle as per the instructions. This workout was focused on leg power and although I am not used to grinding my gears, I did just as it required, alternating intervals between 75rpm and 85rpm. I can't wait for the next workout now. Luckily the weather will be crap tomorrow, which means that I'll have to do my ride indoors. Back on Watopia (the new Zwift island) and Trainer Road!

Last time on Zwift I managed to get the polka dot jersey (fastest climb) and hold it for most of the ride. Must have been a slow day... here I was during one of the recovery intervals, spinning my legs at 75 watts, haha.
What else is new? Not only the bike clicked this week, but the swim did too! Despite going to the pool only once or twice a week, I tried to keep my focus on finishing my strokes properly and increasing my turnover. And it's been working! 

On Tuesday I went to the pool and I was glad to have another friend from the club with me as a challenge. I tried keeping up with her, doing 300m sets alternating between swimming with paddles and without. And by the 3rd interval I was flying!! Definitely my fastest swim this year and possibly... ever!!! Followed by 3 loops at Professor's Lake this morning, where I also challenged myself to keep a high turnover and it paid off. I can't believe how good all these workouts felt.

The run was a bit on the back burner this week after having a great few workouts last week. For the first time this year I ran twice 5k without pain, and even completed my first serious speed workout of the year (10x400s).

This week I returned to physio and I was told that focus needs to turn towards my abdominals as I hurt my back last time I went. The PT told me that I have a strong back, but the front, not so much. So we need to fix that before we move on with the leg and hip strength because I tend to arch my lower back too much and I am not able to engage my glutes properly. So there is that. I feel that I've already started to neglect my physio workouts, and I have to get back on the bandwagon asap. The good news is that my IT bands and hip strength are really improving and that showed in my running. But as usual... patience. 

I still don't have any races in my calendar longer than 10K this year and it will probably stay like that. I would love to do a 1/2 marathon later in the fall, but Zin thinks it's better to wait until next year so I'm willing to listen to him for now. I don't want to rush things and I still don't have the confidence that my legs are strong enough for that kind of distance. I am not defined by a distance, am I right? I just want to stay happy and healthy. Fingers crossed this won't be another roller-coaster ride. 

What else can I tell you guys? Maybe share a few photos to see what I've been up to? Why not! :-)
I've led quite a few rides for the FMCT club and they've been so much fun!
Bought a new pair of kicks: Hokas Stinson ATR and they are pretty awesome
Saw a big snapping turtle on my run.
Bought a wonderful scarf from Coeur Sports and I fell in love with it instantly
Sherpa duties at Rose City / Welland Half Iron triathlon where hubby kicked serious ass.
Alright, that's enough for today. The ZZzzzzZZZZzzzzzs are calling me. But first, Channing Tatum and Jimmy Fallon are saying dirty jokes on TV and excuse me...


  1. Great work, Ririnette! It's fantastic to see that kind of fitness improvement in such a relatively small amount of time. Keep it up :)

    -Trevor from TrainerRoad

    1. Hey Trevor, thanks for stopping by!! It's an honor. I would not be here without TR. Thanks for your support.

  2. Clickity click click click!! YEAH!!

    You look good in that polka dot jersey :D

  3. Great post!! Glad things are falling back into place, you've been very patient and I think hubby is right, to wait out the half marathon for now and enjoy the shorter distances. See you on Saturday!! Looking forward to being part of your team.