Mikhail Gavryuchkov - IronMan Preparation and Fundraising

Week 29 - getting closer to Vineman
May 27, 2011 by Mikhail Gavryuchkov

Hi there!

I am still here. I didn't write for 14 weeks but I am still here and training for an IronMan distance triathlon Full Vineman which is going to take place on July 30, 2011.

It's been a long but exciting journey. Six time a week training for more than half year. Intensity and time of training increasing from week to week. Great team and wonderful teammates.

I am used to running or biking on a constantly fatigued and sore muscles. I learned to swim in open water and started actually enjoying it. I am already used to my friends looking at me as crazy.

I am still afraid of falling from bike at full speed. I saw it already, a teammate fell right in front of me - lots of blood but fortunately only skin cuts and bruises.

Funny thing - I am at the same weight as I started the training season - 210 lb. I burn thousands and thousands calories and couldn't say that I eat too much. But my stubborn body doesn't want to lose that glycemic storages (a.k.a. love handles) for the fear of getting out of fuel on a 80 miles ride.

April 30, 2011 - we (our team and I) did Wildflower long course triathlon. Basically it's a half IronMan distance but much tougher because of elevation. I post some pictures from this course here.

I want to thank my girlfriend Jenia for her constant support and patience (those practices take so much time).

I would like to thank everyone who already donated - your donations make it possible for me to be on this exciting journey. I also want to thank my company www.ebay.com for generous matching some of the donations.

I am at 78% of my fundraising goal - about $1200 to go. Please help me reach this goal and make another small step towards finding a cure for blood cancer. Here is the donation link: http://pages.teamintraining.org/sj/VineFIrn11/mgavryuchk

Mikhail (a.k.a. Misha)

IronMan preparation - week 15
Feb 16, 2011 by Mikhail Gavryuchkov

First of all I want to thank all folks who donated since my last update three weeks ago: Joseph Pigg, Timur Ileev, Kate Zhukovskaya, Julia Horvath, Artem Melnykov & Iryna Malakhivska, Lutsiya Ibragimova, Robin Podesta, Chris Kennedy, Denis Gavryuchkov (yessss, my brother from Moscow!!!), Mayya & Denis Lavrenko, Robert Van Tuyl (with Gemstone Global Services), Artsiom Dolia.

Thank you guys! You are awesome! You make it possible for me to do this crazy IronMan thing. And you fight leukemia!

I am here and still training... The training becomes longer every week - last Sunday we had a 3 hours of bike riding followed by an hour of running. Strangely, the week before I couldn't do anything after practices except lying in bed. Now I can function (almost) normally - go shopping, visit friends, etc. Body seems to get used to it.

Three weeks ago we had Louie Bunpua tribute triathlon. Louie Bunpua was a leukemia patient who trained in the IronTeam and completed his IronMan distance just half a year before he passed away. Here is more about the guy: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=sq-xBHdnHLE

It was my first Olympic distance triathlon: 0.9 mi swim, 26 mi ride, 6 mi run. Overall time was about 3.5 hours - I kinda don't know exactly but I got the medal (see on the picture). It was raining pretty heavily and it we were soaking during our ride (well, it doesn't matter if it's raining or not when you swim :) ). I want to thank Evgenia Tyuleneva, Iryna Malakhivska and Artem Melnykov for volunteering and helping the IronTeam in supporting the event.

A bit about my favorite way of falling off a bike. Stop, unclip the right foot from the pedal and then lose the balance and fall to the left. Because the left foot is still clipped to the pedal you can't do much and fall directly on your hand. God, it's painful! Last Sunday I thought I broke my wrist and still have some pain in it. Lesson learned: ALWAYS unclip both feet when you stop.

Another lesson. ALWAYS hold tightly your handlebars when you move downhill. I already wrote last time how I almost fell when I tried to signal the turn. Last Sunday - I move downhill and reach for the water bottle with one hand. I grab the bottle and only at this moment I start realizing that this is quite dangerous now - my speed increases and I have only one hand on the handlebar. I don't remember exactly how but I managed to slow down, put the bottle back and then grab the handle with both hands. Lesson learned: no drinking or eating downhill.

What's coming: IronMan bootcamp this weekend. 7 hours of continuos training each day both Saturday and Sunday. Heh, survival mode. :)

In the next update: 1) about inspiration; 2) I am constantly hungry. Stay tuned!

Week 12 of training
Jan 25, 2011 by Mikhail Gavryuchkov

We entered the 12th week of training. So far it's been a great run. Here are some results - goods and bads, some experience.

So far the hardest part remains running - although I've been running for so many years but gravity is definitely works against you in this discipline comparing to bycicle riding or swimming. Last Sunday we had a 10 miles run in Santa Cruz - it was quite good but not as good as I would expect - mostly because I gained 6 or 7 pounds during the holidays and got heavier. The heavier you are the harder to run - simple :)

Still - running is the easiest in terms of techniques - my body is quite accustomed to it.


I still struggle with some technique problems - I drag my legs, i.e. they are too low in the water. Partially it is because of my Ancylosing Spondilitis - my spine's curvature doesn't allow me to be as straight as I would like to be. On the other hand - I still need to practice to put my head lower in the water.

Last Sunday - my first open water swimming in a wetsuit. We went to Santa Cruz and had an hour swim exercise in the ocean. The water temperature was about 50 degrees Farenheit - about 10 degrees Celcius. I had two major surpises: 1) it was quite warm on the body inside of the wetsuit; 2) it was damn so cold on face, hands and feet. One of the best impressions - liying on the back in the water belly up, looking at the blue California sky and thinking - wow! it's so much fun to be in the ocean in January.


Biking is getting better and better. I did fitting for my bike yesterday - we ended up with simply raising the seat a little bit. I am learning more and more to use my hamstrings to pull the pedals. Last Saturday we had a 26 miles ride - with one relatively significant climbs. It helped tremendously to pull with one leg and then pull with another.

Very close to the finish like I almost fell very nastily. It was downhill and the speed was quite high. I started signaling with my arm that I turn to the right and all of a sudden I started loosing balance and swerved to the left. The only thing I remember is starting shouting "AAAAAAAAAAaaaaa!!!" and somehow (I don't even know how it happened) I regained my balance and was able to pedal further. It was quite scary. The whole day after that I was recalling this with my heart stopping.

Another great thing about this trainging - I went to CPR training and got a certificate that I know how to do CPR and AED (this is the electrical shock device to start up the heart).

Merry Christmas and Happy New Year!
Dec 30, 2010 by Mikhail Gavryuchkov

Merry Christmas and Happy New Year to everyone!

Thank you everyone who made donations! Mihai, Evgenia, Asel, Lesya - you guys are awesome! And also big thanks to eBay which matches 100% of donations for their employees.

Now about how the training goes.

On the photo - some of the IronTeam and I (in center) preparing for a 20 miles ride.

We are progressing through 8th week of training. It's kinda slow - there are no coach or captain trainings this week because of the holidays. Neverthelesss, we are strongly advised not to stop training and keep our practices 6 times a week. So far I was able to stick to it.

Shine or rain we always train. That's the motto of the Iron Team. And that's what I like it so much about it.

One of our coaches, Ron, said in the beginning that the most difficult thing about the whole training is getting up in the morning. This is so much very true. Getting up at 6:30 on Saturday and Sunday can be a real drag. But we all do it!

The progress: I started running faster, just a bit faster - now it's on average 10 minutes 50 seconds per mile, whereas before season started in was about 11:30. Swimming - I see a good progress too. I see how the muscles of the torso became stronger. And I know that doing 2600 yards is not a big deal anymore :)

Biking - yes, I do like it very much too. My bike is awesome! I can even keep up with more seasoned cyclists. I am still to get better used to the clips though. Today, after biking for several weeks I fell from the bike again :( - I stopped and unclipped only one shoe and then I fell on the opposite side. Stupid me, my hand hurts now. But it's okay.

My favorite Youtube clip about IronMan preparation: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=B03dFMG8nR4

And here is the event I am training for: http://www.vineman.com/triathlon.htm

Also please help me raise funds to be able to participate in the Iron Man event and donate some money.

Mikhail (aka Misha)

Second week of Training
Dec 30, 2010 by Mikhail Gavryuchkov

Thank you Chad, Angela and Internet Polyglot for your generous donations!

The second week of training is in the progress. My body seems to cope well to the new regimen of 6 days per week of training. Two major challenges so far:

Biking. I've never rode a road bike before in my life, only recreational bikes once in a while. So what did I do when I climbed the bike last Saturday and

clipped the shoes to the pedals? Right, I fell off the bike. Hurts! Second time - fell off again. It took me a long time to eventually starting getting used to it.

Two main challenges - first is to clip the second shoe uphill and second simply stop and unclip the shoe and put the foot on the ground.

Another one is my shoulder - I pulled it about 4 months ago playing volleyball and it still hurts once in a while. I feel it when I swim but not too hurtful.

Fortunately it seems that shoulder muscles started building up because of swimming and there is less load to the ligaments.

Tomorrow is a bike ride. It's going to rain :)

........... This was written last Friday :) Today is already Tuesday, next week. The bike ride was absolutely fantastic! The new bike is great - I feel as if it becomes one with me. I could even ALMOST keep up with seasoned cyclists.

Mikhail Gavryuchkov's Fundraising Page
Nov 23, 2010

Racing to Save Lives

Welcome to my Team In Training home page.

My name is Mikhail Gavryuchkov, I'm training to participate in Vineman Full Ironman Triathlon as a member of The Leukemia & Lymphoma Society's (LLS) Team In Training. All of us on Team In Training are raising funds to help stop leukemia, lymphoma, Hodgkin lymphoma and myeloma from taking more lives. I am completing this event in honor of all individuals who are battling blood cancers. These people are the real heroes on our team, and we need your support to cross the ultimate finish line - a cure!

Thank you everyone who helped me to run 2009 Nike Women Marathon! The whole training process and the event itself were a truly life-changing experience.

Please make a donation to support my participation in Team In Training and help advance LLS's mission.

I hope you will visit my web site often. Be sure to check back frequently to see my progress. Thanks for your support!


Supporter Comments

    "Hi Misha, Good for you doing this! I can't remember if you knew that I was diagnosed with cancer 18 months ago. But I'm fine now. Hope you and yours are all good too! My best to you all! Ri�"

    Rie Collett

    Fri Feb 18 12:54:04 EST 2011

    "from Ashat Asanaliev"

    Ashat Asanaliev

    Fri Jun 10 03:36:55 EDT 2011

    "Go Mikhail!"

    Michael Zensius

    Sat May 28 07:12:15 EDT 2011

    "Good Misha! "

    Gemstone Global Services

    Mon Feb 14 01:41:31 EST 2011

    "Mike, I'm still working up the nerve to train for a tri. You're my inspiration. Thank you for your continued committment to fundraise to support cancer research! Regards, ChrisK"

    Chris Kennedy

    Wed Feb 09 06:49:30 EST 2011

    "GO Mikhail GO! You are awesome, GO TEAM!"

    Robin Podesta

    Mon Jan 31 02:25:59 EST 2011

    "Good luck Misha! Your example is very inspiring!!!"

    Леся Украинка (Lesya the Ukrainian)

    Sun Dec 05 01:47:16 EST 2010

    "extremely proud of you for training for iron man... you're the coolest guy i know! =)"

    angela lau

    Thu Nov 18 08:52:32 EST 2010

    "Thanks Mikhail!"

    Chad Kempel

    Thu Nov 18 08:35:59 EST 2010

    "You are now over goal my friend. Looking forward to seeing you complete your Ironman journey in 4 weeks!!!"

    Sherri Shaner

    Tue Jul 05 08:02:46 EDT 2011

My Fundraising Total

Raised: $5,553.00 | Goal: $5,550.00
100 %

Make a Donation

We are sorry donations are no longer being accepted for this participant for this event.

My Thanks To

Gemstone Global Services $750.00
Ebay $500.00
Anna Verkhovskaya $500.00
Ebay $500.00
Mikhail Gavryuchkov $500.00
Ebay $400.00
Mihai Poplacenel $400.00
Internet Polyglot $300.00
Denis Gavryuchkov $200.00
Ebay $150.00
Guenter Wiesinger $150.00
Ashat Asanaliev $100.00
Penny Beeston $50.00
Artem Melnykov $50.00
lutsiya ibragimova $50.00
Elena Drenan $50.00
Samvel Mirijanyan $50.00
Evgenia Tyuleneva $50.00
Sagar Pidaparthi $50.00
Mayya Lavrenko $50.00
Chris Kennedy $50.00
Artem Melnykov $50.00
Joseph Pigg $50.00
Ebay $50.00
Evgenia Tyuleneva $50.00
asel aliyasova $50.00
angela lau $50.00
Лес&#11... $33.00
Sherri Shaner $25.00
Chris Miller $25.00
Bhaskar Korlipara $25.00
Artsiom Dolia $25.00
lutsiya ibragimova $25.00
Julia Horvath $25.00
Timur $25.00
Chad Kempel $10.00
Mikhail Gavryuchkov $5.00
Andrey Vetushko $5.00
Michael Zensius  
Rie Collett  
Robin Podesta