An injury-riddled three weeks for Harum

We are well into the second month of Ironman Putrajaya 70.3 training now and the Project Hero athletes are well into it. Unfortunately, this is also about the time injuries occur, as Harum found out the hard way. This is how Weeks 5 through 7 went for Harum.

Project Hero Training – Week 5

Project Hero, Day 29 of 84: Swim 1.9km

Week5_1We planned to swim in the morning. My alarm rang at 645am and normally I’d be awake before that. But this morning I was more tired than usual despite going to bed at 10pm last night (or was it laziness?). Knut asked if I wanted to swim in the morning or after work. I conveniently replied later.

I have gone through this so many times. The feeling after I complete my training in the morning is always the best. I feel fresh, energized, and accomplished. Furthermore, I get to do whatever I want in the evening. I’d tell myself let’s maintain this routine. And then tadaaaa! I keep breaking the routine over and over again. So annoying!

Anyway the swim wasn’t that bad even though I was extremely hungry. The song from Sochi Winter Olympics kept playing in my head for some reason. I have done three 1.9km swim so far and my time is getting better every time. Below is the latest comparison:

17 Feb – 47mins 12secs, 1335 strokes
29 Jan – 48mins 55secs, 1,311 strokes
27 Jan – 49mins 43 secs, 1,405 strokes

I was happy that I swam faster but I felt a little bit all over the place today. My total strokes today could be an indication of inefficiency. We were wondering if we were getting too focused on the time instead of working on our techniques. We agreed that we should forget about our time for now and prioritize on improving our swim.

Something else that has been bothering me is my hair. I don’t mind the length, but the chlorine from the pool obviously is damaging it and making it super dry. I wonder what other girls are doing to solve this problem?

Project Hero, Day 30 of 84: Run 40mins including 6x30secs hill sprints

Week5_2I managed to run this morning! Weeeee…. Knut’s leaving to Manila again so the only option was to run in the morning and I couldn’t let him train alone.

We left the house around 630am. It was still dark but there was so much traffic. With the amount of car fumes, not sure if running in the morning is any better than in the evening.

When we started, it was breezy and cooling. It didn’t take long for my body to warm up. Shortly after leaving our condo, we were greeted with a 600m uphill climb. Even with a slow jog, my HR would shot up to top of Zone 3. Running past the hill, some may be tempted to buy nasi lemak from this auntie. Not me. I don’t crave for this type of food anymore.

The first hill sprint began after 2km. I hate hill sprints. I really do because 1) it’s painful 2) people give you the wtf look when you desperately trying to gasp for air after each sprint. Anyway, all hill sprints went well with an 80% effort as my right hamstring and now Achilles are tight. Only 2 months left to the race day and the last thing I need now is getting injured.

So far all my training has been going quite well. Unlike my husband, I haven’t started thinking about nutrition at all. Gah. My least favorite subject.

Project Hero, Day 31 of 84: Swim 2km

Week5_32 days ago, I realized that I was getting a bit too concerned about my timing instead of working on my swimming techniques. I decided that for these few weeks, I should relax and be more aware of how I move in the water.

My training buddy is away for a few days. When I woke up, I felt incomplete. But life goes on, so does our training. I reminded myself that today’s objective is to swim properly and not stress about time. And that’s what I did.

I fell in love with swimming again. It was such an enjoyable and relaxing swim after a couple of months of trying to be fast every time. I really paid attention to my rotation and strokes.

I couldn’t help increasing my speed after 700m though haha… But still kept it slower than my usual pace. Everything was going well until I reached 1800m. I felt slightly down as this is when Knut would finish and start observing how I swim, like a creepy stalker 😀 Moments like this really make me think, how silly was I wanting to start this whole triathlon quest on my own?? We’ve been having so much fun doing this together!

Anyway, I finished my 2k in 52mins 33secs with 1,369 strokes. Still a lot to improve but hey, at least I know even with my somewhat slow swim, I still can finish it under 1 hour.

Project Hero, Day 32 of 84: Run 15km
(5km in Zone 2; 2x3km in Zone 3; 4km in Zone 2)

Week5_4I was dreading this run as it was going to be a long one. I planned to run in the morning. Woke up at 6am to get ready and waited for 630am. Man, it was kinda dark for me to run alone outside. Ended up doing the run in the evening instead.

It was cloudy and I was worried that it might rain and completely ruin my training schedule. I ran anyway and thank goodness the weather was kind to me.

Maintaining my heart rate in Zone 2 was very challenging as the course was hilly. My HR shot up to Zone 3 and even Zone 4 despite running with a slow pace on uphills.

During the last 4km where I was supposed to be in Zone 2, it was again impossible to bring my HR down. Even though my HR was all over the place, I somehow had an easy 15k run, which was quite surprising. Is this a sign of me getting fitter?

After the run, I spent around 30-45 mins teaching my friend how to swim. I didn’t realize how tired I was until I went home.

While waiting for Knut to come home, I uploaded my workout and Garmin Connect has made some changes to their interface. I quite like the new one. I’ll explore more of the other new features tomorrow.

Project Hero, Day 33 of 84: Rest Day!

Week5_5Time for some heavenly indulgence in Singapore with bunch of awesome friends!

We were excited to party but Knut and I got so tired around 10pm as that’s our usual bedtime nowadays. We stayed strong and managed to stay up until 2am I think! Yahoo!

I’m pretty sure we are going to feel the effects of having so much crap during next week’s training. Oooohhhh boyyyy…



Project Hero, Day 34 of 84: Injury Day

Week5_6I used to wear 3-4 inch heels to work until I started running. My chiropractor told me that the effects are even worse if I wear heels during the day then run in the evening as the muscles would be stretched out after being shortened the whole day.

I started having problems with my Achilles tendon. They would get so tight that I had to limp every morning. Even after stretching, the same thing would happen after I stand in heels for many hours. Finally I gave up. I rather wear flats/low heels than not being able to do sports.

Yesterday, since I was in a holiday mood and I wanted to look nice, I wore a pair of these.

After running 15k the day before, and not wearing heels for quite some time, I walked/stood in these shoes the whole day. Last night, I woke up in pain. It was excruciating. I couldn’t tell where the pain was coming from but it was somewhere around my groin/quad. I knew that I must have pulled something.

I tried to adjust my sleeping position but the pressure was too much. I woke Knut up to ask him for painkillers. He didn’t have any. I suffered the whole night and then I got angry. 7 weeks left to the race and I just had to do something different. And there I was – injured!

I was supposed to do a mini brick today 🙁

Project Hero, Day 35 of 84: Injury Day

Week5_7Luckily one of our friends trains a lot and he brought along this magical gel with him! Since I couldn’t locate where the pain was coming from, I applied it on my whole thigh.

Remarkably, I could walk normally after half an hour or so. The pain was still there but it became manageable. By the time we reached KL in the evening, I could get in and out of the taxi without any problem.

I’m not leaving my house without this gel ever again! Or should it be, I’m not leaving my house with a pair of heels ever? LOL!


Project Hero Training – Week 6

Project Hero, Day 36 of 84: Swim 2.2km

Week6_1Took it easy today as I could still feel the pulled muscle. The water was quite cold today and I was starving.

I was getting really tired when I reached 1.9km. As I was finishing my swim, I could feel my fingers getting numb. Not sure if I was feeling cold or hungry.

This is my dinner – toasts with butter, peanut butter and a fried egg 🙂 Dinner for 1 very lazy and uninspired person whose husband is not around.


Project Hero, Day 37 of 84: Run 16km

Week6_2The training today was supposed to be a short run with hill sprints. Since I have a company event on Thursday evening, I decided to switch the training plan.

I took 1 gel, some endurolytes and left the house. Ran with 2 other friends and their dog. Running with other people can be quite fun and I really enjoyed this session.

I didn’t follow the HR training for this run as 1) the hills would mess up my HR zones anyway 2) running with people with different pace also mess up my HR zones. As predicted, my HR was all over the place. When I felt like catching my breath, I was running at 179bpm!

Most of the time I felt good though despite the high HR. Last 1km was tough as I got extremely thirsty. I couldn’t stop thinking about my orange flavored recovery drink!! On the way home I saw a Peel Fresh box on the road which made it worse!!

Once I got home, I made 2 glasses of the recovery drink. I even got brain freeze for finishing the drinks too fast!

Today’s achievement is not about running 16km. It’s about being able to do 2 rounds of the Mont Kiara/Hartamas hilly route. And I did it on my first attempt.

Project Hero, 38 of 84: 3rd Wedding Anniversary

Week6_3Skipped my swim training because I had to shop for a surprise anniversary gift for Knut (could have swum in the morning but thought of doing it in the evening, then realized that I wouldn’t have enough time to browse for stuff. Again, excuses, excuses…).

Walked around the mall for few hours with different options in mind – expensive belt, expensive wallet, expensive something something… Neh, that’s not Knut. So I decided to get him a PS4! Happy husband, happier wife :p Gamers for life!

After walking for quite long, I felt slight pain again on my right groin/quad. Hmm… Am I still injured? Because of those stupid heels last Friday? Pfft.

Project Hero, Day 39 of 84: Run 40mins

My colleagues had a badminton session and I was very tempted to play as well. However, joining them could be a disaster. My injury could get worse and who knows how long I need to rest before I could resume my training.


Despite the groin pain, somehow I don’t feel it when I run. That’s how I could do my 16km run 2 days ago. I decided to take it easy and do a slow 40-minute run minus the hill sprints.

It’s tough to “take it easy” when I run around my area due to the hilly route. My heart and legs were working overtime climbing those hills. So much for a “slow run”.

No major issue after the training though.

Project Hero, Day 40-42 of 84: Injury Again!

Week6_5So much for staying positive and taking it easy. I finally succumbed to a full blown groin/quad pain. It was as painful as the one I had last week in Singapore. I felt sharp pain when I moved my right leg. Having active cats that constantly try to “trip” me didn’t help. Sudden movements became extremely challenging.

I was furious. Got really mad at myself for wearing those wedges knowing that I could potentially sprain something. 3 days of not training felt like forever.

Knut on the other hand, fell ill after coming back from Sydney, completely lost his voice and was unable to train at all. Both of us were out of action together!

Well, I guess we had no choice but to officiate PS4 instead 😀

Project Hero Training – Week 7

Project Hero, Day 43 of 84: Medical Help

Week7_1Although I’ve rested for 3 days, the pain was still there. Last night, the sharp pain woke me up. I had to take Ibuprofen so that I could go back to sleep.

I was also getting stressed about missing my training and that made me go to the clinic first thing in the morning. The doctor moved my leg around to see where the pain was and said “ooh, you sprained your adductor”. It’s exactly what I read online – groin sprain. Pfft.

I’ve never gotten this injury when I played basketball and futsal. Suddenly I have this because I walked/stood in wedges for like.. the whole day? Even the doctor laughed when I told him how I got it.

He said that I could continue training as swim, bike, run have low impact, unlike football or basketball where a lot of side-to-side movements are required. But try to take it easy. Err.. helloo.. what does that mean? It’s either you train or you don’t. Hehe…

Hope the muscle relaxant given would help my situation so that I could train tomorrow (please, please, please…)

Project Hero, Day 44 of 84: Swim 2.4km

Week7_2Back in the pool and man… I felt so alive! My leg was much better but I was being very careful not to aggravate anything.

Took it very slow and I thought I’d never finish the long swim. I spent 1 hour and 7 minutes doing front crawl non stop. I even had time to think about what to wear for this business dinner I have to attend on Thursday evening LOL!

I was very sleepy after dinner. Went to bed at 10pm hoping that things would finally get back to normal. Our new normal anyway 🙂



Day 45-47 of 84: Recovery

Week7_3My leg movement was quite limited. I thought, instead of trying to squeeze in some training with reduced effort, I would be better off having a good rest and aiming for a full recovery, and then only resume my training.

Injury really sucks but I guess I just have to be patient. There is really nothing much I can do to get better but rest.


Day 48 of 84: Brick 2 hours – Bike 1hr 40mins; Run 20mins

Week7_4Back in action baby! Finally I could go out and train without any pain in my leg. We started quite late and ended up running around noon. I was seeing stars and had to sit for a while when I was doing my run. Not sure if it was because of the haze.

I wasn’t too happy with the heat but I was excited that I could train!





Day 49 of 84: Swim 1.9km & Bike 47km

Week7_5The Tadonamo Triathlete awesome bunch organized another open water swim clinic in Putrajaya lake, enabling new triathletes like me to be more confident in the water.

I managed to swim 1.9km quite easily. I was slightly uncomfortable during the first 500m when I couldn’t see anything underwater. I was also elbowed and kicked several times, however I was able to stay calm and focused. Other than that, I felt really good during and after the swim. My sighting also improved significantly after watching some videos on YouTube.

I completed my swim in 47 minutes.

Knut and I continued to bike for 47km. I initially planned to do our own triathlon – Swim 1.9km, Bike 70km, Run 5km. Unfortunately we had to scrap the plan as Knut had to get ready for his weekly football game. Pfft!

Nevertheless, I was really happy with my progress and today’s training, especially after dealing with my injury for 2 weeks now.

Only three weeks to go now till the big day and we at LycraHeroes wish Harum a speedy recovery and a quick return to training. All the best!

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