Friday, December 24, 2010

I made it!

I just ate a very good Xmas dinner with my mom and dad, not at the airport, cool.

I finally managed to board a plane direction Europe this morning. Well, last morning in the US. First flight was very unevenful, 11hours, 4 movies.

Then fun began in Amsterdam when they started boarding but then they announced that there is a technical difficulty with the airplane so everyone out. Seriously???
Fortunatelly we departed an hour or so later and arrived to Vienna.

I am starting to feel sleepy so I should probably hit the sack.

Merry Christmas to everyone!!!

Thursday, December 23, 2010

6 miles to knock me out

I do not think that 6 miles will really make me tired enough to doze out on a plane but better than nothing.

I did only 6 because everything is packed and shipped to Michigan and I had only my old, very old running shoes that are worn out already so I did not want to risk anything.

I have not received any scary email about canceled/delayed flights so everything seems to go well. I should be eating Xmas dinner in about 23 hours.

Wednesday, December 22, 2010

This week is strange

I mean really. Xmas is in not even two days and I do not feel like it at all. I am not a huge Xmas-spirit"ed" person but still, I am usually looking forward to it (it=food and some presents). But not this year (there will be hardly any presents since my sister won't be at home. She always buys me presents. But there will be good food. Which is not that great because I realized today that I am gaining weight. I have never cared about my weight that much but I maybe should start a little bit. Fat and running 30miles/week, what kind of a distance runner am I?:))))).
It is probably because I am still in the US and did not have chance to participate in any Xmas preparations (which however is a good thing. I do not like helping with baking and cooking. This year will be awesome, I arrive home to the finished meal and set table:))

Another thing is my training. This week has been a bad training week so far and it is very likely to continue. I only did 2 runs (7.5 yesterday, 2 miles today so see how ITB feels. It felt good. So I can run more) and one bike workout (that one was hard. Big gear intervals. I loved it). I am going to do another run tomorrow morning (I am hoping it will tire me and I will be able to sleep during my flights) and then few miles and strides on Saturday. (There is no way I am doing something on Friday after West Coast-Europe flight)
And I have 5k race in less than 4 days and I have not even start thinking about it! But I am doing it more for fun than for anything else.

I just want this week to be over and be in my usual routine, although I know that being home won't make it really possible.

Tuesday, December 21, 2010

ITB troubles

I have not been writing about my ITB lately. It is because it has not been bothering me that much lately.
That's probably because I did not run over 30 miles/week in past two months(?) or so.
Or I just try to pretend it does not exist. But can't do it anymore.

I do not need a watch or mile markers for easy runs, ITB is enough. Once I hit 7.5 miles, bum, it starts to act up.
I wanted to run 8 miles last week but had to stop somewhere after 7.5miles.
I had 10 miler planned today (it rained, so I was wearing the waterproof jacket and baseball cap for like 10min, then I threw it into garbage, I do not think it helped because my hair is all wrinkled now), but again had to stop after 7.5 miles. When I get to roughly 7.5 miles I start to feel something on the outer part of my right knee. I stop for a second, twinkling stops, I start running but after couple dozens meters it is back.
Maybe I could continue running and nothing bad will happen. But what if something bad happens?!? Maybe I am a wimp and should risk it and continue running. But I am just not ready for that. I would rather cut my runs short than having to take a month off as it was the case for past year and a half.

I know that 30miles/week does not really fit into my quest of becoming a distance runner and 70.3 triathlete and I wonder how far (read FAST) 30miles/week can get me.

Maybe I should try to do doubles for my long runs, if the problem is the high mileage (aka 7.5+ miles)all at once, doubles might work. Like 7 miles in the morning and 3+ in the evening. That way I might be able to get mileage in at least although "single" would be better.

Btw, do you know how hard it is to drag 70pound suitcase for over 1 mile to post office? It is hard. Sometimes I wish I was less independent and actually ask people for help (my roommate to drive me there).

Monday, December 20, 2010

X-country skiing race!!!! = Dream might come true

I am bored. It is raining (still and again) and all my things are packed and I do not want to read books because if I read them now what am I going to read in the plane (if I ever get to board one:))

I did something little stupid today. Since my flight got canceled I had time to go to the hairdresser to use the gift card I won. And I also got this special treatment for my hair and only afterwards the lady told me that I cannot wash/let get wet my hair for 3 days. Shoot! That means that I cannot go swimming:( And since it rains the whole and every day I can not go running outside! I hope it does not rain tomorrow otherwise I will have to use treadmill (I have never run on treadmill, except for once for like 40seconds so it was not a real run). Or I can wear my waterproof jacket and run outside? But what it my hair get wet and then the whole point of the treatment (and $$$) would go down the drain.

I got confirmation that they issued me a new ticket for Dec 23th through Amsterdam (I love Amsterdam after spending there 2 days on my way here in June..) with the arrival in Vienna on 24th. Let's just say that my parents were thrilled about it because 24th is THE Xmas in Slovakia, not the 25th.

Onto more cheerful note. There is this X-country ski race in Slovakia that I have wanted to do for past 8-9 years but never had a chance because I was either in the US or not trained enough or my parents did not share my enthusiasm. But it is on Jan 29.-30. next year and I will be home that time (I am planning on leaving on the 31st)!!! So I am definitely going to do it!!!
My parents will think that I am crazy but whatever. Now I only need to decide what I want to do. 45k freestyle, 25k freestyle or 25k classic style? Ok, 45k freestyle might be little too much for now. So let's just stick to 25k. Freestyle or classic? I do not know yet, free is on 29th and classic on 30th so I guess I will decide when I know for sure when (and IF) I am leaving for Michigan. And also when I see the conditions around our house in the middle-of-nowhere. There are no maintained trails, it is usually us (me and my father) creating the path for ourselves - so obviously it is classic style. But if I get to go to the ski resort not far from my grandparents' house, there are maintained trails and I can do freestyle. So I will see.
Or can I do both?


Well, isn't this nice?

Yeah, I am still here.
My flight got canceled (what a surprise!). At least it got canceled when I was still at home and not at the airport.

I spent almost 2 hours on a phone trying to get someone to change my flight, and while we were in process of confirming my flight on 12/23, I got disconnected. Now I am not sure whether I should try to call again or no. I might wait couple hours and see whether they send me updated itinerary.

When you watch the news and they show pictures of people stuck and sleeping at airports and fighting over open seats in the airplanes watch out for me, because I am sure I will be somewhere there. But let's see first how it goes, whether they got me a new flight or not.

Sunday, December 19, 2010

What to do, what to do?- Thoughts progression

It is raining the third day in the row and I am sitting at my desk contemplating what to do.
Bike to school, do a swim workout at the outdoor pool, defrost in hot shower, then ride back, defrost, change to dry cloths, ride bike to the trail, do a 10 miler, ride back, defrost in hot shower.

Or I can skip that and go directly into doing the "important" stuff = cleaning the bike, laundry, shopping, packing.

I will give it few more minutes and then I shall see.

Shoot, I just remembered that I still have cloths in my locker at school so I need to bike there anyway. Now I really can't find any excuses not to swim since I will be there.

Nobody/nothing can make me to go out again (unless it stops raining, then I might reconsider). I am freezing.
I biked to school to get my things from locker room and it magically stopped raining on my way there. I was thrilled. But I should have known that it was only a calm before storm. I started my swim workout and it in the middle of it it started pouring cats and dogs (or dogs and cats, do not know which one is correct). I finished the swim because, well, I was wet anyway and it was warmer in the water then outside anyway.
I took a warm shower (we don't get really hot showers there) and mentally prepared myself for ride back. It did not help, I was still coursing everything and everybody. I got splashed from all directions- rain from the top, rain splashing from under my wheels from bottom, and rain splashed on me from sides by cars (this only confirms what I already know- 70% of American drivers should not drive at all. When there is a huge puddle on a road and someone walking/riding a bike on a side of a road, you slow down so you do not splash the water all over the person, right? The Americans do not know this however.)
I was totally soaked and cold by the time I got home. But since I was already wet, I decided that I am going to strip the bike.
Imagine taking wheels/tires and all gadgets (lamp, computer, clips...) down in pouring rain. Not fun. I still did not manage to take off the rear tire because I was getting too impatient, nervous, too cold and wet and it just would not come off. (I am throwing bike out/donating it, but want to ship tires to Michigan) I need to calm down and try it later because if I continue trying it would end in a disaster.
I took a hot shower and put on all cloths I could find.

That being said, 10 miler is not gonna happened. I promised Skittles to my cousin, that's not gonna happen either because I am not going to store. I promised a perfume for Xmas to my mom and grandma. Not gonna happen. I wanted to buy Yaktraks not gonna happened. I am just going to stay in my room and enjoy being dry and warm.

(I know that eventually I need to go get that tire but I do not want to think about it)

This will be the first time I will consciously skip the run since I started working with my coach in May :(((

Apparently I would do anything just to postpone packing. I hate packing.
One would say that I am used to it by now, but no. I had to pack everything I had in Paris in May and move it to Slovakia, then the same day I arrived to Slovakia I packed the most essential things and moved to Michigan, in September again packed everything and moved it to Cali and now I need to pack everything again and move it somewhere. This packing-everything-thing is actually pretty easy because I do not have to think what I need, I just need to pack everything I have and make sure it does not exceeds checked baggage limit. And it is even easier now because I decided to ship my suitcase to Michigan instead of taking it with me to Slovakia so I do not care about weight. Sweet. However, if I get stuck in Slovakia or France, then I will have to pay for shipping the suitcase from Michigan...I am going to risk it anyway.

Btw, I got that tire off and I can try to fit in into the suitcase now. However I did not have energy to put the old tires on, I hope it does not rain tomorrow and I can do it in the morning. If it does rain, I might just leave that stupid bike and wheel frames and tires on a sidewalk with a note TAKE ME. Can I do it?

I also sucked it up and went to CVS to get some presents. I know, CVS is not an ideal place for buying Xmas presents, but whatever, I am not a huge holiday spirit person so deal with it. They did not have Skittles my cousin wanted but I got Eggnog for my parents. If that bottle breaks in my bag tomorrow, I will be super pissed.

Anyway, wish me luck and safe trip. Hopefully it will be better than my flight here when I got stuck in Amsterdam for two days. I have a very strong suspicion that the history might repeat itself considering the weather in Europe. Except that this time I will get stuck in Paris. I know that Orly airport canceled several flights today, so let's hope that CDG is better prepared for snow if there is any on Tuesday.
And since my dad does not work next week, he agreed to come pick me up in Vienna. Sweet. I do not have to take a bus. And then another bus. And then one more.

I am going to pack now. I am really sad that I am leaving. I liked it here a lot.

Saturday, December 18, 2010

Are you kidding me??? This is not Cali weather!

It has been raining two days in a row now! It is not fun! One more day of this and I might be ready to leave this place!

Today was another bike workout in the rain. I woke up and it was raining pretty hard so I decided to wait till it calms a bit. But by 1pm I was already crawling out of my skin so I decided to go out anyway.
I was soaked 10min into a ride. Not only that my bike weights like 30pounds, now also my pants and shoes weighted a ton.

Hill repeats were on plan today. Only 3 of them but I worked hard and it hurt. Especially the last one, I was panting and legs were burning. Good workout. Although I managed only 177 HR on the first one, 178 on the second and 181 on the last one. I would have thought that my HR would be higher but since biking is different from running it might be ok. Isn't biking awesome, you sit on your but and you exercise:)

Although the rain and fog made it pretty unenjoyable and I was worried that I might et hit by a car. There were more cars than I imagined there would be and because of the fog I don't think they could not see me that well eventhough I was wearing reflective vest and had a rear blinking light. But it might have been my last outdoor bike ride for this year so I am trying to persuade myself that 1h45min in a rain is better than it will be for the rest of the winter- home trainer.

I have learnt that I should get good bike shorts because now that I am trying to consciously increase my RPM, good shorts (or better good saddle) really makes a difference.

I hope it does not rain tomorrow because I have so many things to do outside- swim, run, strip down and donate my bike (I was sad when I had to sell my bike in France, but this time I am happy to get rid of this torture machine. I should really get something better next time), buy all the things I promise I would bring home and who knows what else.

Nike+ iPod Kit anyone?

I have won that thing you put into your Nike shoe and you get feedback through your iPod.

Since I do not use iPod when I run (sometimes I use mp3 player, but not iPod and I do not remember the last time I ran with music) I do not need it.

If anyone is interested let me know and I can send it to you.

Acid water can't stop me, almost

It has been raining the WHOLE day. I was hoping for nicer weather for my last 3 days here.
I hate rain. I don't like running in rain, biking in rain, swimming in rain, dancing in rain, I don't like anything that involves rain.

But little bit (ok, a lot) of water won't stop me, right? Eventhough it is acid water.

I did all I was supposed to do but it was not enjoyable as much as it would have been had it not rained.
2 hours on a bike in rain is not a lot of fun, but it is still fun, just not a lot of fun. And it is dangerous I suppose. I was supposed to keep my HR between 155 and 166 and there is no place to do aerobic ride like that other than PCH (Pacific Coast Highway). It is ok during weekends but there are quite a lot of cars on week days. And solo rider in a rain is a nice invisible moving target. I waited till 11ish hoping that the morning madness will be over. At the end, it was not that bad traffic-wise and I am alive.
Keeping the HR was hard at first, I had to ride over 20miles/hour to keep it over 155! I realized why when I turned around - wind. Tailwind made my ride out pretty easy, which unfortunately meant terrible headwind on my way back. Some parts I was hardly moving and I spent almost the whole ride back down in the drops.
By then I got a pretty good feeling of what effort translates to 155-166 range, so it was much better/enjoyable than at the beginning when I had to experiment and concentrate too much on my HRM.

I was soaked and frozen by the end though. So I took 20 min to change to dry cloths and defrost and off I went for my 7.5 miler. Which was pretty uneventful apart from the fact that I got soaked and cold again. I wanted to do 8 miles but the ITB started to act up a bit at the end so I called it a day at 7.5. (I have 10miler planned for Sunday, the longest I have run since the end of June, but if ITB does not feel good the whole time I might cut it short)

I took 30min hot shower to defrost and it felt good!

And now comes the whimpy part. I had to go to school to return some books to the library. And I took a bus. Horrible I know, I have never taken a bus to school. But I had already been soaked and frozen two times today and I was running out of dry cloths and shoes. I am a whimp, I know.
But I walked back. Now I have 3 pairs of wet sneakers and couple pants and shirts and jackets hanging around my room to dry.
I also have a new book. Borders in the neighborhood is closing down (I have heard that it was the 2nd one in the area in last year:() and they have 40-60% sale. I usually do not buy books because they are expensive and heavy and I can't take them with me when I move. But I figured that for my flight home I will probably buy a magazine and that will cost me almost the same as a book on sale so I went inside.

At first I was thinking about getting Run less, Run faster because everyone seems to be talking about it. But then I figured that I do not need it. To me it seems like a book for someone who is her own coach and need some info. For now I am 100% putting my running career into my coach's hands (no pressure there, of course:)) so I could not make myself justify spending money on it.

I did not find any books about mental strength for I got a book called The woman triathlete. Not that I am not putting myself 100% into my coach's hands (no pressure there, neither:)), but since I know nothing about triathlons, little bit of info for $10 won't hurt.

And I also got Running with the Buffaloes. I actually started reading it in the store and I loved it! So I bought it, although I know how it will finish:) (Adam Goucher wins XC titles, I guess everyone knows it because people keep talking about how he used to be a great collegiate athlete, but has never run to his potential afterwards and has been overshadowed by his wife and blahblahblah.) But there is a lot of good info in it.
When I was sophomore (or junior, I don't remember) our coach made us read Fast track by Suzy Favor Hamilton and I liked it a lot although it is more like info book, no story or anything. The freshmen were supposed to read Running with the Buffaloes. I wonder why the upperclassmen were not...Anyway, they seemed to like it so I wanted to get it and this was a perfect time.

You remember that race I won couple weeks ago and I was supposed to receive some great prizes? So I finally received sneakers in mail today. They are not the ones I was supposed to receive (these are cheaper) but fit perfectly and look very nice, but I am not sure whether they are real running sneakers. Nowadays running sneakers are way too fashionable and I cannot distinguish between what is good for running and what is just to make you look cool.
But truth to be told I was more excited about the hair cut. I can get sneakers for myself but I cannot get hair cut. I can get haircut of course, but not in "atelier" in Beverly Hills where George Clooney gets his haircuts:) So I sent email to race organizers and asked them whether there is a way to get other prizes to me by Sunday since I am leaving the US on Monday. And race director wrote me back that he can stop by tomorrow and bring me my prizes. I am really curious to see whether he indeed comes tomorrow. And even if he brought my prizes I might not be able to get that haircut since you need an appointment:( But I will try.
If I won't be able to do it, I just hope that my roommate will be able to use it instead of me because it would be such a waste.

And btw, I managed to get all paperwork for visa permission and sent it to the agency. Now I only need to wait whether they approve it and then whether I get visa. So another thing off my mind. I also need to get approval from my school and I have 2 days to get it (Mon and Tue) - unfortunately I will be traveling on those two days so I am little stressed about it. But I am hoping it will work out.

Thursday, December 16, 2010

Tahoe trip: skiing and stuff

Let me say that it was awesome! Full of exercise and good food!

I totally forgot how much I like skiing. Ok, I like it only when I am not cold and my hands are almost always cold so I rarely like it. But I was not cold at all so I had a blast.

The sleeping situation was not ideal, but I still managed to get to bed around 11pm each night.

It started on Sunday at 4:50am. I needed to get in a bike ride before I left. It was actually kinda cool, it was pitch dark out and no cars. NO cars, in LA! Sweet!
Then I spent the rest of the day on the bus. Yeah, we took a bus to Lake Tahoe. 9 hours. But it was ok, I used to take a bus from Paris to Bratislava, 19+ hours.

Monday was skiing day. But before hitting the slopes, I and one other girl (who is a triathlete by the way) went for a run. We met at 6am and ran to the recreation center. She dropped me off there because I wanted to swim. We had little problem finding the pool because it was dark and we did not see anything (interesting, it is already light at 6am in LA, but not in South Tahoe) so I did not manage to do the whole swim workout but I did as much as I could. Water was pretty warm, much warmer than outdoor pools as UCLA. I would never known that the water temperature can make such a difference. I felt so sluggish. And the pool was 25yards, and it felt so short:) Then I ran back to our lodge to quickly eat something and off to slopes. Total of 7 miles running and around 1000 yards swimming. And then the whole day skiing.
Everybody was required to take skiing class because school did not want to be liable if something happens to us. Since I am pretty good skier I was in an advanced class and the instructor let me do whatever I wanted, so I just skied. However, she gave me some feedback on my form, which was helpful. It will not help me to go faster, but I will definitely look better on a slope.
I was pretty tired by the evening, because run, swim, run, skiing. That's a lot:)

On Tuesday I got up again before 6 and met with that girl. But this time I ran only 2 miles to the gym for bike workout. I got a trial membership, so I did not have to pay:)
Bike workout was kinda hard, some hard and big gear intervals and my legs were pretty tired and I felt that they were starting to get sore by the end. But they loosened up when I was running back to the lodge. I was surprised how easy running felt. I thought that it will be pure torture, but no. Those long bricks I did over summer because of boredom are paying off:)
Tuesday was snowboarding day for me. I am a very good skier but very poor snowboarder. I usually ski when I am at home and take snowboard with me very rarely. I ski with my father and he is freaking fast so I cannot snowboard because then I would be too slow for him. The last time I used it was maybe 3 years ago. However, my sister sometimes snowboards because she thinks that it is cooler than skiing, which is not! But we both are self-learners so we are not very good at it. So I figured that I will take a snowboarding class and maybe learn something useful.
And I did. It is all about keeping your weight on your front leg! So easy. I thought that Tuesday would be a day of hundreds of falls but nope. I did not fall that much and at the end even managed to ride not the beginners slope but the slope for more advanced. Cool. Now I only need to keep practicing.
However, my legs are so freaking sore now. They were sore yesterday and they still are today. Not so much my right leg, but my left leg (which is my front snowboarding leg) is sore. I do not remember the last time I was really sore. I think that it was after the marathon last year in November.
But I think that after running for 2 miles, then pretty hard biking workout, 2 miles running back and then couple hours of snowboarding and all that back to back, I have a right to be little sore, don't I?

We did not ski/snowboard on Wednesday because he needed to get back to LA:(
Too bad because weather was gorgeous on Wednesday. We did not a great weather on Mon and Tue so that was a little bummer.

Btw, I like this time of a year. It is just the end of semester and I am done with school, so I feel free and careless. Awesome feeling. It is only 7pm and I have nothing to do!
(Ok, I should start packing since I need to ship my things to Michigan and I still need to figure out visa thing but at least school is off my shoulders.)

I did an easy 7.5 miles today and felt great to be running in t-shirt and shorts again. Tahoe was cold. But I better not get used to Cali weather because mountains in Slovakia will be little chillier:(

Saturday, December 11, 2010

10k RR: I totally lost it (before the race even started)

I am that kind of a runner who does well when I am confident that I can do well. I don't run well when I don't feel ready. I have not learnt to push past that mental barrier telling me that I cannot do it.

And I felt ready. I really did! I was confident I can run sub-40 and was ready to work hard to get there.
But then my confidence plummeted big time on Thursday* and I was not able to get it back.

So the result is 40:02. But I honestly think that the course was short, so add couple more seconds, maybe 15-20sec.
I have not even tried today. I just ran what felt like a jog the whole time and did not even push the last couple meters, because what's the point since I was persuaded that I could not do it (and I did not see the clock because of fog so I did not know I was that close to 40min, otherwise I might have sprinted last ten steps to get those 2 seconds).

(Good news is that I submitted my last final assignment yesterday so semester is over and it is officially winter break and tomorrow I am going to enjoy couple days of skiing.)

LITTLE UPDATE: Apparently it was not as easy as it felt because my legs are sore. Weird.

Thursday, December 9, 2010

One of those days

At first I am going to complain a little and then show you what a dumba$$ I was today.

You remember how I was saying how annoying not knowing which continent I will be at in one month is? That's nothing compared to what it is like NOW. Apparently nobody realizes how difficult and long it is to get permission to apply for internship visa. At least nobody in the company I am supposed to work for realizes it. It has been almost two weeks now that they keep telling me that somebody needs to approve my contract. I already told them couple times that if they want me to start working in February (they wanted me to start in January...keep dreaming) I need to submit the paperwork like a WEEK AGO!
Other thing is that during summer company was very nice, they paid for my apartment (although my salary was very low then) and they paid also for my visa permission application. This time, I was told that they can't do any of that:( And that visa thing costs 1118Euros! And I will be in Slovakia, so how am I going to find a place to live that is close enough that I can actually use a bike (in winter in Michigan) to get to work? Although I do not know yet what salary they can offer to me (because it still has not been approved!!!) I don't think that it will be high enough so I can afford to pay for visa permission and buy a car. I hope they plough snow there.
And also my school is giving me hard time because they are all like, yeah, we want you to get experience and work in the U.S. but before you can do that you need to give us this and this and this and we need to approve this and this and that and it all needs to be done by the end of this year otherwise you can't do an internship and you need to come back to school! And of course I cannot submit any of those documents since I do not even have a permission to apply for visa and nobody replies to my emails because they are, well, French. Unless you send them like 5 emails a day and call 10x a day, they won't bother.

So this is not annoying, it is stressful.
Maybe I should just do nothing for couple months and then go back to school to take some stupid class about Energy something management or Luxury goods because that's all they have offered to me.

And on the top of that some of my other dreams got crashed this morning:(((

So I figured it was time to cheer myself up and go use that $10 gift card I have to Sports Authority. I don't have any gloves and I need gloves for skiing because it seems I don't have any veins in my fingers and my hands are always like popsicles. But you know what? I forgot that gift card at home! What an idiot! But it was not that tragic because they did not have any gloved for under $20 anyway because $10 is max I can afford.

So I decided to go to a different store and they had gloves for $10:) Ok, I know I might regret that when I will be crying on a skiing slope because my hands will be frozen but hey, desperate times call for desperate measures. It sucks being a student.
But they also had pull buoys on sale and I desperately need one. So I got one. Whatever.

Then I went running. I biked to trail. I got there and went to lock my bike when I realized that I forgot my keys! Oh, no. How am I going to get to the apartment because my roommate was at work? And since I did not have a key I could not lock my bike. So I turned around and went home. I was half way home when it hit me. I biked to the trail, not walked as usual and I had tied my keys to my shoelaces. So I turned back to go to the trail.
It is confirmed, I am a mess today.

But my 4miler and strides was fun.

And I am making progress with my parents. You know how "supportive" my mom is about my running but I decided to teach her to get used to the idea that I am a runner/triathlete and that I need to train. So today I skyped to her and ask what the plan was before we leave for the mountains and when we are leaving. And she said that it also depended on me and my plans. So I told her that I should do a swim workout at least once before we head to the middle of nowhere. And you know what? She told me that she would find out when the pool is open! Unbelievable! Ok, I am not sure that she will actually do that but still, unbelievable.
But I am still sure that if I had told her that I need to do a running workout she would not have offered to check track open hours...She likes swimming but she is persuaded that running is very very BAD.

Wednesday, December 8, 2010

What a workout!

I had an ONE-interval workout today. Sweet!

Of course it was a 4k interval but it was sweet anyway.
This workout should give us an idea where I stand and what I can reasonably expect on Saturday, but still it was supposed to be in 15:46 - 16:15 range. So basically somewhere between 6:17ish and 6:29ish pace. Easy no?

To make it even easier, I mentally split in into 2x1mile + half a mile. I wanted to do 6:24, 6:20 and then 800 under 3:10. The strategy went out of a windown when I went through first 800 in 3:05. But I managed to slow down and settle in a nice right pace. I did 6:18, 6:21, 3:09 for a total of 15:48. If felt pretty easy. The last 600m started to feel little bit harder but still a nice controlled effort.
What a nice confidence booster! But me being me...I am not sure whether I can keep such a pace for 10k. But excitement and adrenaline should get me there. Plus I should feel like a wet noodle at the finish line, right?

Now I have two days to chill and get ready!

Tuesday, December 7, 2010

What works for you, might not work for me

Finding a magical pre-race routine is hard. It seems that you must do A LOT of races to figure out what works for you. A day off before a race? 5-min long shake-out run at 4am? Eat salted tortilla with peanut butter and banana the morning before a race?
It sucks. Why can't one thing work for everyone?

This way I will have to race at least twice a week to try every possible scenario and find which one works for me. At my current race rate, I might be done with this and have a perfect routine when I am toeing a start line with other master runners.

My two previous races I did the last workout 4 days before a race. This week I am trying do have only 2 days between the workout and a race. I wanted to do the workout today but then was told that Wednesday might be better so I decided to give it a shot. Who knows, maybe my legs have a short memory and therefore they will remember how to go fast on Saturday.
But I am going to devise my racing strategy based on the workout. And then I will have only 2 days to think about it and let in sink into my little big mind. Or maybe it is a good thing and I will not have enough time to negativise about it:)
Well, we will see how it goes.

I only did a small bike workout today. Spin ups. It was awesome (although during these I feel more than ever that that torture machine does not fit me at all, ouch, and I am expecting the bottom bracket to fall apart or get stuck and make me fly to the ground any moment) because I found a perfect place to do these. There is a huge parking lot right by the ocean and it is completely empty during a business week, not so much on weekends. And it is long enough to do my intervals. So I did not have to deal with cars and I was right by the ocean. So nice. In two weeks my Cali adventure is all over for me:( I will miss it.

Monday, December 6, 2010

I am dead serious about this

I am leaving for skiing trip at Lake Tahoe on Sunday morning and coming back on Wednesday. But that does not mean that I will not do my training! I emailed the trip coordinator and asked for the exact address of a place we are staying at. She responded back asking why I need that information. Because I am 26 years old and want to know where we are going, duh! No. I told here I was in the middle of the training and need to check out running routes, pool and a gym with a stationary bike. She eventually sent me the address saying that it was pretty cool (my training).

So I was able to check out running routes and some fitness centers. I found a pool where I can go in the early morning. I also found a fitness center where they have stationary bike and signed up for a free 7-day trial:)
And running routes: no dirt trails nearby:( I do not want to run on roads!!! I can't run on roads! Especially not after 10k when I will have to be extra careful. There is a bike path nearby, maybe I can run on grass by the path? I hope so.

I had swim workout and an easy run today.
Swim workout was not easy. I mean it was easy but I was not able to hit my paces:( I do not know how to pace myself. I think I am doing fast enough, but no. And once I try not to kick like crazy and use mostly my arms, I slow down. I also got to use paddles for warm up. That was interesting. My poor arms.
But I did couple 100s and if someone had told me only two weeks ago that I would be able to swim couple 100s, I would not have believed. But yeah. So I am proud of myself:)

I did an easy 6 miler afterwards. I was instructed to check my pace and wear a HRM so we can somehow figure out my max HR. My average was 170 and I was going 7:45 pace (4:49/km pace). I did my best to not get influenced by being hooked up to all sorts of gadgets:) I suppose that wearing a Garmin is a good thing, because I got to practice pushing a right button. And I did it:) Hopefully I can repeat this on Saturday.

Sunday, December 5, 2010

Workout? On Sunday? Really?

I am not going to lie. I knew I was going to do a workout today but when I saw 5 x mile w/ 1 min rest @ 6:20-30 this morning at first I thought that it was just a bad joke. I thought I was going to do easy fartlek or strides or something, well shorter:) Mile repeats? On Sunday? After almost 10 days of no decent quality runs?

But it all makes sense. I have race on Saturday and how am I supposed to devise a race strategy if I do not know where I stand and what reasonable goals are? And a confidence booster would not hurt neither:)

Last time I did this workout was on Nov 4, one month ago. I averaged 6:24 and it felt like a jog.

Today, I also averaged 6:24, although it did not feel that easy, but still pretty laid back.
6:28- I need to start easy. Felt like a jog.
6:26- Still feeling very good, not pushing.
6:26- I wanted to run negative splits but it did not work out. I still felt very good, although my poor arms started to protest. I wonder why...
6:21- It is so easy to run 5sec faster or slower in a mile since it is so long. Still feeling good but I decided to try to push the pace little bit. It was not like hard pushing, just a comfortable effort. And arms stopped protesting:)
6:20- I need to negative split! Yeap, got it! Again comfortable effort but I started to feel legs in last 100m but nothing major.

So on one hand, I am pretty satisfied with this. It was not hard at all, but harder than when I did it a month ago. Which, me being a hard-core realist (some people call it pessimism, but no no, it is realism), immediately triggered thoughts that I am not as fit as I was at the beginning of November:( Me and my negative thoughts...

But pessimist or realist, I should be able to run a very decent race on Saturday!!!! They say that it is very fast and flat course. Going for sub-40. Too ambitious? No idea. Not enough experience with 10k races. Well, I need to discus it with my coach and blog word:)

This race on Saturday is the biggest Xmas 5k/10k race in LA. Maybe it was not such a great idea to try to PR at the crowded race but my opportunities to race are very limited. And already 2 people told me that it is a very fun race!

And as a good future triathlete, I also did bike workout today after I rested for 4 hours. I was not sure whether I should do it or not because it was planned based on my original (pre-24h bug) running schedule. But I figured it is pretty easy so no biggie. Just some spin ups. It was interesting because I am "power cyclist" and use higher gears (although I am working on it during my commute to school). I once tried cadence of 90 RPM and almost flew off the stationary bike. So these spin ups would do me good.

How do you call those things you put on your running shoes so you don't slip on ice? You know, like tire chains for a car. I need to get those before heading home but I do not know how it is called so no idea what to ask for.

Saturday, December 4, 2010

I am a runner, I do not use my arms

Yes, it is true. My arms sometimes hurt when I run hard. They are not trained to work hard.

So today was a wake up call for them. I was asked to time myself in pool so the coach has something to work with.
I warmed up and everything and then the "fun" started. 100m and 400m hard.
I knew I can do 100m, although was not 100% sure about 400m. I mean, I can swim 400m but very slowly. I am a slow endurance swimmer.
I went to 50m pool again and had the whole line only for myself, cool.
50m pool has one advantage and disadvantage. I don't do flip turns (I keep trying but am not good enough yet). For every 100 I "hit" the wall only once then. Which is good because I don;t loose time turning. But at the same time it sucks, because I get to rest for that second or so only that one time. So them probably evens themselves out.

And the workout?
100: My legs hurt. Ups. Were my legs supposed to hurt? That's probably a very good indication that I am not a very efficient swimmer and all my power comes from kicking like it was my job. Yeah, runner in heart and in legs. 1:32. Looong way to go to swim 60s :)

400: Ok, I did not drown. So that's good. And my legs did not hurt, but my triceps did. So it means that maybe I am not such a lost case, I know how to use mostly my arms and still move. But not very fast:( 7:34. Ok, at least I got it under 8min.

My coach told me after I reported my times that I was a "blank slate in water". To me it seems like a nice way of saying that I suck:) Well, therefore I have a coach. I can only keep improving, right?
Overall, this swimming thing is fun. I love it!

I also run today, 6 easy miles. Felt very good and am pumped for next Saturday!

Btw, I still have not received my awards I won at the last race:( I wonder whether I will ever receive them.

And it seems that Michiganians are wimps. There are almost no races until May:(

My future is starting to be little bit clearer

You know how annoying it is not knowing which country (or let's make it even more annoying and say which continent) you are going to live in in a month?
(I know, most people will love to have my problems because it means that they get to travel. But no, it really is annoying.)

So I had this interview this morning and we basically agreed that I am going to come back to Michigan in February and do an internship until May. I HOPE THEY WILL NOT CHANGE THEIR MIND!!!
But I need to talk to HR now and get them to put a real offer on table.
I talked to them at the beginning of this week and they did not know exactly what they can do for me. The only thing they knew was that they cannot help me with housing like they did in summer. It sucks! Big time. My apartment last summer was amazing and they were paying for it. Now I will have to find something myself and I am sure I will not be able to afford anything even close to what I had in summer. So not only will I be the crazy European girl that does not have a car and ride a bike to work, but I will probably be the crazy European girl who lives under the bridge.
The other thing is whether I will get a permission from immigration office to do the internship and then will I get visa? Although theoretically there should not be a problem, you never know. Because this will be the third!!! time within one year that I will ask for visa, and all of them in a different country. Maybe the consulate will find it a little bit suspicious...

But overall I am pretty excited about it! Although I have already got used to the idea that I am going to spend over 3 months at home doing nothing but running, biking, swimming and writing my thesis. Which sounds pretty sweet, does not it? And now I have to work? Boooo.
But I prefer doing the internship because with the first scenario I would have to go back to school for 3 months after 3 months of doing nothing. And I do not like school. I was also very excited about the idea that I can run for my old club. I am still going to spend the whole January at home, therefore do the regional championship (3000m indoors) but will not be able to do nationals (If I would qualify). And I was really looking forward to a lot of running and biking and swimming training. Now I would have to combine it with work...Oh well, better get use to it, because once I graduate in June it will be only work work work.

I did not run today. I did not want to. I am still persuaded that the ITB will get screwed during that 10k on a road and I am not taking any chances to make it even weaker by running 5 days in a row. So I only biked for 80min (that's like nothing I know but I was instructed to do such a short ride bsince it was my first ride in over a month. I do not consider my commute to school a bike ride.)

Thursday, December 2, 2010


1, I signed up for 10k race next Saturday. So game is on. I am sure I can PR. Come on, I can do 2 20min efforts. CAN I???
And how hard will it be to PR since it will be my first 10k road race? :) Because I was told by someone that 10k and 10 000m are very different. And even if they were the same, I am sure I can PR.
I was not sure whether to wait to sign up or not, but then I saw on the website that you cannot pick up the packet the day before unless you sign up before Dec 2 (I just hope then meant on or before Dec 2, since today is the 2nd). And I do not want to deal with picking up the packet at 6am in the morning...Waiting in a line in very early morning and all that before a race. Just does not seem right to me, especially since this one is little bit further than other two races and I have to bike 6 miles this time. It sucks. I wish I had car for similar situations.

2, Races in the US are soooo expensive! But to be honest, I have no idea how much races anywhere else cost. I just know that the race I want to do in December at home is 5Euros. But considering the fact that I have earned almost 10x more doing the same job for the same company in the US than I have earned in Slovakia, there is no wonder it is so cheap.
But let's just say that I cannot race more than once a month and even that is a huge stretch on my wallet.

3, My classes will be over this time next week! YAY!!!! Can't wait. Now I only need to survive finals period.
Semester will be over and I will go home for Xmas but I am not that excited. I am kinda indifferent, I would not mind staying here and doing my thing. I talked to my mom today and she told me that she can't wait to see me, which means that she will probably want to hug me, a lot. And my sister who is more hugs-friendly will not be there (she is going to Brazil with her roommate, traitor) so I will be the only child in the house:(
We are going to spend the holidays in a vacation house my parents have. It is by the lake and in mountains so if it freezes and we get snow I can go skiing and skating with my dad, but if not, it is just boring. And it means no bike and swim for over a week, grrrrr! But the place is tons of fun in summer.
And my grandmom might come with us. Spending 24/7 with my mom AND my grandmom... Don't get me wrong, I love my family but enough is enough:)

4, I have a phone interview tomorrow (or something similar, I am not sure what it is supposed to be) for internship with the Michigan company I already worked for last summer. Keep your fingers crossed. Although going to Michigan for winter is not one of my dearest dreams, it is better than nothing. Plus I LOVE the company.

5, One other person had a similar bug I did last week and she told me she had the same problem with workouts. LSD was ok, but once she tried something that required more and prolonged effort, she was done. And I have the same problem. So it is only the bug.
I am not going to (or at least try to) freak out about missed workouts because there is really nothing I can do about it:(

6, Since easier aerobic activity is fine, I swam and ran today.
My first planned and thought-through triathlon swim workout! It was not anything spectacular, only some kick and stroke drills and easy 100s (or were they supposed to be harder?). And let me tell you, it will take me couple more lengths to get good enough so that the lifeguard does not want to jump after me any moment because he can't distinguish whether I am doing drills or simply drowning. But it was fun. My poor legs and arms. But that's what they need.
And I did it in a 50m pool. UCLA is awesome in this respect. I have never swum in 50m pool before. I usually go to only 25m/yards pool because those are right in the middle of the campus. This one is little bit further. I had time today so I went there. Well, I did not really have time since I have 1 paper due tomorrow, 2 home take finals due Monday, 1 presentation on Wednesday and a 30-page long paper due Dec 20th. But who cares? Good thing is that all my in-class exams are over and now is it only this "easy" paper/presentation/home-take stuff.

I also run 6 easy miles.
And I took the heart rate monitor with me just for the heck of it. I was doing my usual easy pace run and once in a while look at the watch and it was always in 80-85% range, which is kinda high, right? I am no expert though. But I have read that above 80% is considered moderately hard.
I do not know at what pace I was running but it seems that if I wanted to keep the HR below 70% I would have to walk, or rather sit on a coach and watch the most boring movie ever - silent black and white French movie with English subtitles. Does not make much sense, but believe me, such movie exists. I have once watched it and probably won't do it again.
In addition, my max HR is probably little bit higher than 194 since I have been exercising in past few (20+) years.
And I am not that great about hard/recovery/in-between paces in general. My marathon pace was the same as my easy recovery runs pace:) You see, I told you, I am not an expert.

Wednesday, December 1, 2010

Second attempt

Today was supposed to be a BIG day.

Because it is the first day I am officially doing also some tri training!!! Yeah, yeah, that's right.
Of course I do not know anything about tris and swimming and biking and nutrition so I have some outside help:)

But instead of officially becoming a quasi-triathlete today, I kinda became not being even a runner.

I re-tried yesterday's workout today and went through first 1k interval no problem, feeling good, in 3:45.
However, during the first 2k I started to feel tired and weaker but it was not too bad, I went through it in 8:01.
Then I started the second 2k and I had to stop after 800m because I was crawling. I went through that 800m in 3:15 instead of 3:12, that's not a big difference but I just could not move faster although I tried and I was progressively slowing down and loosing the concentration and "feel" for the run (not sure how to explain it).

I tried to regroup myself (although I am sure it is not psychological, it is physiological, but I still tried), I took couple minutes off and started again, but it just was not working. I did 200m and stopped.

It makes me sad and mad and clueless and I don't even know whether I want to do 10k race next week since I am not properly training for it!

Is that still that stupid 24h bud I had on Sunday? I actually weighted myself and am almost 4kg lighter than I was 5 days ago. Or maybe I am anaemic.

I do not think that I will do the third attempt tomorrow, that will be just a waste of energy. However, I do not know what I should do since I have a race that I wanted to nail in 10 days. Thoughts, suggestions?

Tuesday, November 30, 2010

I am not that smart

Most people would probably realize that puking all night Saturday, eating nothing on Sunday (and I mean NOTHING) and having one small blueberry bagel, bowl of cereals with orange juice and couple crackers on Monday will not be enough to get you through a long tough workout on Tuesday.

But, well, I am not that smart. And I am not a perfect eater in general and I am never sick so I had no idea how my body would respond to this, so although I suspected it would be a struggle I decided to try. I was supposed to do 1k @ 3:46, 2x2k @ 8:00, 1k@3:46 and I took me 1k and 1k of 2k interval to realize than the workout is not going to happen.
I felt good in the morning, I did not feel tired or anything, even biking to school was ok. Warm up went so-so and stretch and strides felt good although I was breathing harder than I should have been.

I have no idea how I managed to run 3:46 for the first k. I was literally crawling. It did not feel hard, because I felt I was jogging/crawling, it was just weird.
Then I started 2k interval and I went through 1st k in 4:03. But by that time I have probably consumed all the energy that was left in my body and it started to be a misery. It was not like I could push through because I just could not.
So I jogged another 1k or so to cool down and called it a day.

I wish I had eaten one of those pumpkin pies on sale I was dreaming about yesterday. Maybe that would have given me enough energy.

So I went to eat a huge portion of salad, veggies, tuna, chicken, cheese mix and will eat something normal (and maybe a very small piece of a pie) in the evening and will do the second workout attempt tomorrow.

Monday, November 29, 2010

I am pretty sure I am ok now

How do I know?

Because I am dreaming of all those Thanksgiving pecan and pumpkin pies that are on sale now...

But I am going to be a good athlete and don't eat that crap for breakfast, lunch and dinner. Being a good athlete is hard, very very hard:(

My mom sent me a message today that they have snow calamity, fallen trees and closed roads and they did not have electricity for the whole day. Man, I am glad I am in California:)

Sunday, November 28, 2010

Not fun

My sister was here for few days and because I did not want her to wait for me until I am done with workout so I switched my second workout of the week to today. Now I wish I have not because I have been puking the whole night so the workout apparently did not happen.
I think I got food poisoning from Fettuccine Alfredo last night. I managed to drive all the way from Vegas to LA but once I was home it started. I feel better now because I have spent the whole day in bed. I am hoping to be 100% tomorrow. But maybe it is not a poisoning, maybe I got a bug, which I hope not. We will see later.
My poor sister, I am sure she did not imagine her last night in LA listening to me throwing up and I even could not take her to the airport:(

Other than this, Vegas trip was fun. I lost $1 gambling:( And we went to see Chippendales show and one other show called Le Reve. They were both fun and I got 3 kisses from Chippendale guys.

Wednesday, November 24, 2010

Photo from Sunday race

I found 4 photos close to the finish. How I know? Because a cute chicked guy is not hanging on my shoulder and each of them look like it hurts a lot.
This one is the "nicest".
I am flying above the ground. And my arms cross in front of my core, not good.

Today, I went to bed at 2am because my sister's flight got delayed... Got up at 7am to get in 5 miles before she wakes up so we can hit the road.

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

My beginnings as a cyclist

My mom sent me this today. It is not of a very high quality, but what do you expect since it is a photo of a negative film.
Cracks me up.

Honestly I do not remember this but my mom's says that she is surprised that I don't because that was when my dad tried to teach me to bike without supportive wheels. I was around 5.

Apparently I was so scared to fall that I screamed and cried as if they were cutting me and people would look out of their windows to see what's going on and then ask my parents what the heck they were doing to me:)

You see that sweater I am wearing? It used to be my uncles' (he is 43 now), then I wore it, then my sister, then my cousin and then my other cousin. I would not be surprised if my grandma had it in her closet saving it for my kids:) Thinking of it, I am sure she does!
I still have few jackets from my uncle I wear when at home (yeah, I am completely fashion unconscious). And yeap, that's true, they have not fallen apart yet. Basically everything made in Soviet Union or in that area was made to outlast you and they did a very good job. Nowadays, you can threw things out after few years because they start to fall apart. My mom hates Chinese stuff.

Executory plan fail

It seems that winter is here. I had to bike to school in capris and not shorts today and yesterday. :( I do not like it.

I had a really weird workout today. I do not know what I was thinking when I put this onto my schedule.
5x800 where 1st 400 @ 5k pace and 2nd 400m at sub-3k pace, at least 5sec faster than the first one, then jog for 3.5-4min.

It was not hard, but I just was not able to do it right. I either went out too slowly or too fast.
It went like this
1:31, 1:27, total 2:58. Too slow.
1:31, 1:26, 2:57. Better but not perfect yet.
1:28, 1:26, 2:54. Went out too fast and hm, I cannot run 1:23...
1:32, 1:27, 2:59. It is 5sec but too slow overall.
1:30, 1:25, 2:55. Finaly the perfect one!!!! I got one right at least.

It is hard to change paces. I have always sucked at it and workouts like these will hopefully help me so I might do it again:)

Then I went to the gym and stretched and rolled A LOT! I must take care of the ITB.
When I was going to the pool afterwards, I realized, ups, I had forgotten to cool down after the workout. I do not know what I am thinking about. Oh, I know, probably that this and next and the week after are finals weeks for MBA program and I had to prepare like million presenations and write million papers and my sister is coming tonight and I have not planned her trip yet.

I went to the pool to loosen up. Normally on Tuesdays I can do a workout with a group (of two people), but since I raced on Sunday and did running workout today I decided to pass on that opportunity. I borrowed one of those floating things you hold between your thights and worked on my arms technique. I am think I am getting better. I will probably force my sister to come to pool with me for 10min and make a short video of me swimming so it can be analysed:)

Ok, I am off to do a consulting project proposal presentation for one of my classes. I do not like speaking in from of people.

Sunday, November 21, 2010

5k RR: Do you know what is worst than racing in a rain?

Biking to the race start in a rain!

It was raining when I woke up. Damn. I HATE rain! And when I imagined how I was going to bike to the race start, got totally soaked and not even have proper and warm place (car)to change and keep the rest of my cloths warm and dry made me want to cry a little.

Fortunately it stopped by the time I was ready to go so I did not have to bike to the start in rain, although by the time I got to the race I was completely frozen (I forgot my gloves:(() and soaked because of the water splashing from under my wheels.

But let me tell you the most important part and then I will write how it all went: I blew it in 19:11ish.
(But won Nike Lunar Glide 2 shoes, Nike+ Sport Kit, 1 month free membership to Equinox gym, and shampoo, conditioner and haircut by Oliver Ifergan. So at least one of those goals was fulfilled. Although they said they were going to mail it to who knows whether I will really get my awards).

You know how I had doubts going into the race, but I was READY READY READY to make myself hurt and run those 3:46s/km for 18:50. I really was.
I started to warm up and was not feeling that great- stuffy nose and cough caused by bathing with my camera in various rivers in Hawaii. I stretched and started to do strides. First went horrible but fortunately the second and the third started to feel good and legs started to work with me. By that time also my hands and feet were defrost.

It was not time-chipped race so I squeezed into the second line behind the fast guys. I must have looked fast (with my brand new arm warmers. I have always wanted arm warmers. Ok, for past 5 weeks.)because some guys asked me what I wanted to run and blahblahblah and they said they were sure I am going to be one of top females.

And then off we went. I started my watch and that stupid Garmin DID NOT START!!! Obviously I pressed something wrong and I got a screen with signal accuracy. Of course I realized this only maybe 200m into a race. I tried to push various buttons but nothing happened so gave up.
So it is hard to run according to splits if you do not know your splits and it is hard to make yourself hurt if you do not know for how long you have run and how far you still have to go. SO FRUSTRATING! I had to run based on feel. But I DO NOT KNOW HOW TO DO THAT OUTSIDE TRACK and in RACE!!!
I had no idea how fast we were running or how far. Of course there were mile markers but since I do not see that great I can see a marker only when it hits me into face or I trip over it.

I started very conservatively because I did not want to blew it and start very fast. It felt like nice controlled jogging, I though at least, when someone yelled 6:01 at what was supposed to be the first mile. Hm, I am not sure about that. No way that run felt like 6:01 effort.

That was the first and the last time I knew how fast or how far I have run. I tried to keep the effort but it was hard since I had no idea what was going on.
It felt easy but I knew that I was keeping a decent effort but since I had no idea how far I have left I did not wanted to start pushing and die at 2 miles. Let me tell you, I have no notion of distance, really. I can tell you the distance when I know my time, but since the watch was still showing the same signal page, I had no idea for how long we have been running. I have not run enough 5ks to have a feel for it.
Then I saw some yellow sign in the distance and though that it must be 3 mile mark. So I start pushing harder because ops, so close to the finish and I am still jogging!?! As I got closer it has turned put it is a box where that have newspaper. Shoot. Where is that 3 mile mark?
Then we got to the gas station and I actually knew where I was because I have ran there before. I knew that I have around 600-800m left (So I was way off thinking that I was already at 3miles). So then I started to push and we slightly turned a corner and I could see a finish line, so I started running faster. I wanted to sprint, but my legs just would not move as fast as I wanted them to move although I still have enough energy left!

I have run with one guy (he was actually REALLY cute) for almost the whole race. I caught up with him soon after we started and as I passed him he stayed with me (or maybe I stayed with him. It is so easy to settle into someone else's pace if you do not know how fast you are running). I was tempted to ask him how fast we were running but I know it would distract him so I did not. We were working together for the rest of the race. Although at one point he slowed down a bit but after couple hundred meters I heard someone getting closer so I was like cool, someone fast I can stay with. Turned out it was the same guy and once he got to me he slowed down and stayed with me (soon I realized why he had slowed down before. He was not wearing a shirt now (call that a nice distraction!:)). Of course, he got chicked at the end:) He took it nicely and congratulated me and told me he did not have it in him to stay with me for last couple hundred meters and thanked me for helping him out (stop talking and invite me for a thank-you drink! Too bad it did not happen.)

Coming to the finish line was pretty cool because it turned out I was the first female and people were cheering. Cool:)

After-race thoughts:
I am an idiot and should learn to pace myself without a watch. I am too dependent on my splits.
I was bummed at first because I did not run as fast as I wanted to and did not push hard enough to run faster.

But now I am ok with the result (or maybe I am just trying to make myself feel better) because it is really hard to try to run a specific time without watch and not knowing splits or distance. (Some people might be able to do that, I am not)
I see that I can run 19:10ish without much effort, because really I know I have not pushed myself. I started to push when it was too late. So if I pushed little more, I could have run sub-19 pretty easily.

There is nothing wrong with my Garmin, I just pushed a button oddly. So it was all my stupid mistake! Maybe I should have tried to re-start it again when I realized it is not working, but I did not want to play with it and loose time.

But let's move on! So now I PUMPED for the race on Dec 11th because I know I can run sub-19 no problem. I just need to push the right button!!!!!
Now I only need to decide whether it will be again 5k or try 10k. I am both little scared but kinda excited for 10k because I have never done 10k on a road. I did 10,000m on track once. And I was told that this race in Dec is very flat and fast and because it is Xmas race it is a lot of fun.

PPC: I DID focus on my race in the morning:) I just did a little bit of internet stalking in the morning while trying to mentally prepare myself to head out into the rain)

Friday, November 19, 2010

Pre-race thoughts

I did 7.5 easy miles + 5 strides today, my last run before the race on Sunday.
ITB feels good, not 100%, but very close. I roll it at least twice a day, stretch and ice 1-2 times a day.
(I am taking the foam roller with me home for Xmas, I cannot survive without it! I am sure that such a thing as a foam roller has not arrived to a small town in Slovakia with 1000+ population yet so need to pack it into my luggage. Although maybe in a city where my parents live...Hm, I do not think so. If you do not live in a capital, you cannot get these highly specialized gadgets. Or maybe I will be surprised.)

I went over my training log and I should not have done that!!! I started to feel confident but now I am deep in doubts again.
In past 3 weeks I was supposed to run 5x a week and my mileage was supposed to be in low 40s.
In reality I ran 3x one week and 4x other weeks and my mileage was in low 20s. It was not my laziness or anything similar, it was the ITB giving me troubles after 5k race in October. I know I had to be careful if I wanted to even run this race. I know if I continued running normally it would get worse and lead to time off. So it was a good call to run less. But I still feel guilty for not training properly. I have learnt my lesson in 2009, now I am being very disciplined.
But this time I have not done any biking and hardly any swimming.

Sometimes it is just better to be in an innocent unawareness :)

Oh well, should be fun times on Sunday!
I am actually excited about the race and am looking forward to it.
I want to see whether I can push myself to my goal time even if I might not be well prepared.

Just need to keep thinking about that $150+ haircut I can get! :)

Thursday, November 18, 2010

Strategy and goals for Sunday

So I finally registered for the 5k race on Sunday. I was waiting to make sure ITB won't give me any trouble. And since it seems ok, I signed up.

Now I need to start being more focused and motivated and think about the strategy.

This is the first time they organize this race so I do not have high organizational expectations. Plus since it is the first edition, maybe not that many people will show up and I might have a shot to win one of awesome prizes for 1st and 2nd place: Nike running shoes + some other Nike goodies, haircut in Oliver Ifergan atelier in Beverly Hills (I do not care about this one, but since I have not had a haircut in cough cough 2 years, maybe it is time to get one) and one month membership to fitness studio. So it would be great to finish 1st or 2nd. That should keep me motivated. And of course I will try to beat my current PR.
But somehow I do not feel ready. Past 2 weeks were chaotic, I was eating crap and I just was not "there". Plus I got my period today. Which according to some articles I have read should be a plus in fast running, but I am just not sure about it.
I have read that in the follicular phase (first half or so of your cycle) your tempo runs and interval training will feel easier because you'll be accessing quick energy through carbohydrates. During the luteal phase (last half or so) your long, slow runs will feel easier and require less recovery time because your body will take advantage of increased fat breakdown. Maybe that's why I felt sluggish during the intervals past 2 weeks and I will excel on Sunday:)

As for strategy, I am going to bike the course tomorrow but it looks it is slight uphill out and then slight downhill back.
The last race I ran for pretty hilly, downhills and uphills. So I could go fast on downhills but slowed down on uphills. Unfortunately I do not know whether I was able to run fast because of those downhills, or whether I was not able to run fast because of uphills. So I am not sure whether I can run faster or slower on flatter course...Any thoughts?

Goal A is to run low 18:50s. If course is like I think it is, I want to start at 3:46-47 and keep that until half point and then it should be downhill so I should be able to keep that pace even if I will be tired by then and then "sprint" last 400-500m. Which should give me time around 18:50-18:53.
But taking into consideration my workouts past 3 weeks where I was struggling to hold that pace in intervals eventhough I could rest between them, not sure whether this goal is realistic.

Goal B is just run sub-19, even 18:59.59 would do.

Goal C is to get that Oliver Ifergan haircut, hm, I mean those Nike Lunar Glide 2 shoes.

I borrowed a book about swimming by James Counsilman from the library yesterday. It is from 1977 but who cares, right? I am off to pool to examine my technique and compare it to what I should be doing.

Actually, I should have put my goals in opposite order:) I really need new running shoes!

I almost drown myself in a pool today. I tried to do everything I have read in a wise book at once and well, it did not work out quite well:) So one thing at a time. But I realized that my technique is pretty good. I do not bent the arms enough and bent the legs too much, otherwise everything looks ok. As long as I can say. I did not use the legs too much because I wanted to get a feel for arms' power and it was pretty awesome.

Tuesday, November 16, 2010


Last work-out before 5k race on Sunday, woo-hoo!
Schedule called for intervals totaling 5k @ 5k pace and since I have not done anything short(er) for couple weeks, I decided to do 10x500 w/ 1min jog rec.

I felt awful, really. Work-out was not that hard but I was generally tired and could not get legs moving properly.
I have read two articles by two different people who went to Hawaii and did the same hike from Waipio to Waimanu (of course they did not do it in one day. I am special:)) and they both had health issues when they got back. Apparently there is some nasty virus in one of those streams you have to cross. They both got some infection or something on their legs and had to go onto antibiotics (one of them was told that she could have lost her leg if she did not come early enough to the doctor). Maybe I have it and therefore I felt all crappy today.
I have also a little cold, I think. Spending half the day in wet cloths and swimming in different virus-infected rivers is not great, even in warm Hawaii.

But let's put jokes aside.
500s went well. It is just 500m so I can pull that off. Although I would not mind longer breaks, 1min of jogging is nothing. I just wasn't able to move faster. Not that I wanted to, but had I wanted to I would not be able to (what a sentence structure! My Cambridge English teacher would be proud of me.)
I did 1:52, 1:51, 1:51, 1:53, 1:51, 1:51, 1:51, 1:51, 1:51, 1:51. That's called consistency! And then looong cool-down, lots of foam rolling and off to take a final exam (which by the way went ok. Nothing spectacular. I used to be a good student until past June, now I just want to be done with school).

I really need to put my **** together. Last two weeks were awful, I completely lost my focus. Both on training and on eating. I have not done a bike ride in like one month, have been to pool twice in past two weeks and I do not even remember last time I did weights. I like my routine and life got completely chaotic recently.
Next week will be the same since my sister is coming but afterwards I need to do something with myself!!!

Monday, November 15, 2010

Long weekend in Hawaii

I know that going to Hawaii for 3 days does not make much sense but I had to take the advantage of the fact that I am in LA. You probably cannot get any closer to Hawaii that that. Because making such a trip from Europe would be at least 20hours and definitely not for $5.

It was definitely fun, with both pluses and minuses.

- I am sure that I would enjoy it more if I went alone. I went with the same guy whose food and water I had to carry in Yosemite. This time I sent him an email to get his own backpack. Apparently he did not read it because during our first hike on Friday he stopped and said he would like a drink. I was like: Well, have you brought something with you??? So not only he expected me to carry his water and food, he also expected me to pack it for him!
And I had to pack the tent myself every single day. He saw me doing it, he would came over and ask me whether I took his things out of small side pockets and when I said yes he would just leave and let me continue packing without helping.

- I did not swim in waterfall. I wanted to but then when I got there there was noone there and I was not sure whether that's the waterfall you can swim in. And I did not want to risk being sucked into some underground current where my corpse will never be found since noone knew where I was.
Technically I swam in the stream leaving from the waterfall but it was one mile down the stream and I was fully dressed and had my backpack on while swimming:) Which leads to the third minus:

- I drowned my camera :( Thankfully the memory card survived. It was a very low-quality camera so I do not really regret it especially since Black Friday sale is next week so I can get a new one pretty cheap.


Arriving to Kona

This is the coolest airport ever. It is not even a building!

Smoking Kilauea volcano!

Waipio Lookout
I did a hike from Waipio to Waimanu. I read everywhere not to attempt it in one day since it is 19 miles round trip but such an advice is for regular people:) Not only did I manage to do it in one day, I also managed to get in a short 30s accelerations workout in the morning and even do a short hike to a waterfall while in Waimanu valley. 22 miles total with waterfall hike and perfectly doable in one day. Of course my hiking pace is like some people's running pace:)

I ate way too many passion fruits on my way there:)

It was all worth it for these views

My camera's doom (no more pictures:(( )
There were two large streams to cross. One at the Waipio valley at the beginning and then this one at the end. First one was ok, water up to my hips. I expected the same for this one. I am walking and walking and suddenly no ground and I am swimming in a full gear. Fun times. Since I was totally soaked I did not care that I had to swim through it again on my way back.

Thursday, November 11, 2010

Ladder intervals

1200 m, 1000 m, 800 m, 800 m, 1000 m, 1200 m. @5k pace, 1200m @ 5k pace + 5 seconds per km. 2min rec.

I was asked to do specifically this workout. I usually can choose from a bunch of workouts but not today. I wonder whether it has something to do with the fact that I did not choose this workout in past training cycle:) I swear, I had it planned but then I decided to try 3x5x300m workout instead.

It was again one of the hard workouts. I better used to that. Although it will probably help me to progress faster, it is not good for my confidence.
Before(with underestimated 5k pace) I was always able to hit paces and even run faster, now I am struggling to hit paces.
It was super windy today. One part of the fence got knocked down and the portable seats/tribunes for players and coaches got turned over as well.

I did 4:36, 3:44, 2:57, 2:58, 3:36, 4:35.
Because there is no sub-tempo to tire the legs before, it was not super super hard but still I worked pretty hard. And I had to run to the bathroom after second 800 and consequently took around 3min break...
1200s were the easiest. The first one was like jogging, whereas the last one I stopped concentrating hard on and freaking abut not hitting the pace and it somehow worked. I felt controlled and not too bad.

I used the heart monitor to see what it gives. For example the highest heart rate I got during the intervals were 196, 198, 195, 193, 198, 191. I am sure how to interpret it, I need to read a book before. This was just a test.

I also wore the compression socks and I this the calves are better not although still sore. I also foam rolled them, so that might have helped as well.

I also read an article couple weeks ago that faster runs are better on ITB than slow runs. It is definitely true. I never feel the ITB during the intervals. It is always during an easy recovery run when I sometimes feel tingling. So I should do only fast running from now on:)

Ok, I am off to Hawaii in 40minutes! I hope it will be fun. Will be back on Monday.

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

Calves and heart rate monitor (unrelated)

Calves are killing me! After the workout on Monday they got all knotted and sore. Also at the beginning of this year they were sometimes like that and I do not know why. Therefore I bought the compression socks to see whether they can help. I think they did so maybe I will put them on for workout tomorrow. And then I will be a geek runnig track intervals in compression socks...Whatever. I would do anything to help it. I have never had that problem before.

And I got a heart rate monitor today. I have been eying it for some time now but it was just too expensive, $100. But today it was on sale because it is Veteran's Day tomorrow. For $40. So I got it. Originally I wanted my parents to buy one for me for Xmas, but this was an opportunity I could not pass. So I will tell my parents to get me these cool dioptric sunglasses from Adidas. They are sport sunglasses but you can put dioptric lenses in and choose different shades (yellow, clear, blue...) And since I bike without glasses and consequently don't see that great, it would be great to have something like this to actually see. Both for my safety and for enjoying the scenery.
They also had Timex Ironman watch on sale. I was very very tempted to get that as well. Because I have Timex Ironman watch now and LOVE it. I got that watch for my 15th birthday! I have had it for 11 years! Can you believe that? So maybe it is time to upgrade. But since that watch still works flawlessly I don't really need a new one.

Back to heart monitor. I have read few articles about training with HRM. Although I don't think it will be useful for running and I am definitely not going to wear it for running (except tomorrow to see how it works. So I will be a geek wearing compression socks AND heart rate monitor) I think it will be great for bike training. It seems that a lot of people use HRM for biking.
I will not do that much biking for the rest of the year but the HRM will not go everywhere, so I can use it next year.
Now I only need to borrow some books about heart rate cyclist training.
I am looking forward to that!!!

No run today, only 1k swim.

Respecting the distance

I really should do some serious school work and stop procrastinating but this is interesting. I read an article about NYC Marathon about famous people who ran it this past Sunday.
I do not care about movie starts and similar. Instead I was looking at the results of former or current professional non-runner athletes. And it is weird. I start to think that maybe not everyone can ran a marathon. Or at least a decent one. Before I though that everyone can do it. If I was able to do it, everyone can, it is not that hard.

But look at the results:
Keir Dillon, professional snowboarder, 5:08:59
Justin Gimelstob, former professional tennis player, 4:09:58
Brad Ludden, professional kayaker, 4:16:19
Amelie Mauresmo, former professional tennis player, 3:40:20
Yannick Noah, former professional tennis player, 4:01:38
Amani Toomer, former New York giants wide receiver, 4:13:45

I know only Amelie Mauresmo and do not know any of those other athletes so I cannot tell how old they are or when they finished their careers.
But I would expect any professional athlete, who is/was among the best in the world, to be able to run a marathon well below 4 hours. Well, even below 3:30 should not be a problem for them, since 3:30 is not that great, right? They were/are paid to train and they train/ed, hard. I think that if they decided to runt he race they were actually training for it at least a bit. And even if they did not do a special hard-core marathon training, they should be have enough strength and endurance? So why are not they able to run a solid marathon time.


Tuesday, November 9, 2010


I did one of the stupidiest things in this training cycle today.
I did my long run - 9 miles. One day after my hard workout yesterday. And I knew that 9 miles would be a close call for the ITB but it went ok. Although I felt tingling at the end, I do not feel anything now.
I had a 6 miler and a 9 miler planned for this week and since I will be in a new place on Fr, Sat and Sun and I do not know whether there are any trails (I am not running on a road!!!) and I do not want to end up doing 9miler on a 100m grass stretch. I can do 6 miles back and forth (maybe) but not 9.

So 9 miles today and 6 miles and 1 small work-out during the weekend.

And I really need to get back on eating-right track. I have been eating fancy food past week but most of that was just crap without any nutritional value (eating cashew nuts and Starbursts for dinner is no good, even I know that.) So back to eating right!

Monday, November 8, 2010

Everything is good

I did the workout in the morning and as far as I can tell no ITB problem.
I have not even fell any tingling today (yet. I know it is only noon...), which is great. So seems it was just a false alarm on Saturday morning.

Although ITB feels good, I feel blah.
Now I know why I liked 1k repeats so much (although I have suspected it for a long time)- it is because I have always done them slowly (that's also the reason why I always managed to hit my paces), not at my true 5k pace, so it was easy for me. According to my time from last Sunday, my 5k pace for 1k is around 3:47, and I have done my workouts at 3:53-55pace and then usually hit negative splits to run a bit faster.
Therefore, past two weeks when I did my workouts at 3:45 pace were HARD. Really. But that's what is going to help me progress, right?

Today I did
4k sub-tempo at 4:19ish pace (17:17) and then 5x1k w/ 2min rest (I cheated on the last one because it was just too hard).
I did 3:44, 3:44, 3:44, 3:43, 3:42. Before the last one, I did not jog for 2 min, I walked 200m to the start so it was 3min break.
First 2 repeats went ok, pretty easy but then it started to get harder and harder. Both my legs and arms got tired. (I should start to do some arms exercises. When I was younger we would do 1minute "arm drills". 1min circles with one arm, then change, then both arms, then movement you do while running and so on. Maybe it will help.)
And the 4th and 5th repeat- I was working hard on those.
Times are faster probably not because I ran faster but because it was very windy on straight sections of the track and after 3 repeats I decided to change my start so I run 3x with the wind and only 2x against the wind during those 2.5 laps. Or maybe I ran faster:) Because there was this guys that little started before me and I told myself to catch him and I did and then he stayed with me, so we pushed each other. Too bad it was the last repeat. We could have run together.

Conclusion: 1k repeats are not my favorite workout anymore. I will choose something easier as my favorite workout.

Short update: I am going to run tomorrow

I do not know what the deal was on Saturday. It really looks like it was shoes-induced. Stupid shoes! If only I could get a note from a doctor that I cannot wear anything but sneakers. That way I could wear sneakers all the time, even to work where business casual is required...

ITB feels alright, like usual, not too bad not too good so I am going to run tomorrow. I told my coach but have not received any response to that. She was either too horrified by the idea and now she thinks I am a lost case and does not want to have anything to do with me anymore or she thinks it is an obvious choice and it does not deserve a comment:) Or she just lets me choose since it is my leg. I suspect it is a combination of number 1 and 3.

I have not had any problem (and only very occasional tingling, like 1-2 a day) since that scary Saturday morning. I really got scared. Because I am trying hard to keep ITB happy and then suddenly that.

I do not think it will get worse if I run. So tomorrow early morning it is a workout time! I have 3 workouts next week (2 hard ones, 1 easy-peasy) and since I am working till Tuesday night and going to Hawaii on Thursday (I have probably mentioned this here on my blog like 10x, but I do not care. I am excited!), I need to do one workout on Monday so I can fit in with work and travels.

And I have not ridden my bike for 2 weeks now. Of course I ride it to school and to work but it is not the same as doing long weekend rides. And I am not going to ride it next weekend (Hawaii) or the weekend after (race) or the weekend after (Thanksgiving, my sis is here). I can ride the weekend after that and then next weekend is a race and then one more free weekend for bike (if I do not sell it by then). Wow, it seems I have only 2 weekends (maybe even only 1:((() for riding a bike before I leave on Dec 20th! Shoot! That's not good.

Saturday, November 6, 2010

ITB!!!!!!! Keep your fingers crossed

I woke up this morning to an easy 6miler before I head to work. And as I was walking around I realized that the ITB hurts with every single step. That just made me wanting to cry and really bummed.
I knew that the race on Sunday, which led to 9miles on a road, then the easy run on Monday and the workout on Tuesday might have been little too much for my poor ITB, although it did not hurt during running, not at all. I just felt tingling in the area throughout the day, not the whole day just for short moments. Therefore I have been extra careful, stretching and rolling every day. So WTF?!?

But this morning it really hurt. So I decided to skip the run of course. I was contemplating going for a short bike ride but no. I juts want to rest it.
I stretched, rolled and iced and now it is ok. No pain, nothing. Rolling really helps a lot, everytime I feel something in that area I try to use foam roller and it gives me an instant relieve.

It seems that I really cannot wear anything other than sneakers. I was wearing different shoes yesterday so that might be a problem. They are pretty good shoes so I do not get it. But I am almost sure it is the shoes.
So I will try sneakers today although I am not sure whether boss at work will allow it. Because I do not have one of those "fashion" sneakers, only running-style sneakers. I can wear jeans, that's no problem, it is pretty casual market but sneakers not sure...

Even if it feels ok during the day, I do not think I am going to run today. Too scared. I will run tomorrow if I think it will not cause any trouble. 1-2 days off will not kill me. (or so I hope at least)

Friday, November 5, 2010

Mile repeats- my new favorite?

I love 1k repeats. Now sure why. Probably because it is not too fast and I usually run them at 5k pace, so it is a comfortable pace.

Today I did my second session of 5xmile @ 6:20-30 w/ 1min rec. And loved it. Now I cannot decide between 1k and mile repeats:)
I was working the whole morning until 3:30pm and then had to run to class until 7pm so I did not get to track until around 7:20pm. Way too late but better than never. I was not sure how the workout will go because I was already tired from standing the whole day or at least that's what I thought.
So I decided to start closer to 6:30 pace and see how I feel. And I felt awesome. Easy, it felt like a jog, really, the whole time.
6:27, 6:26, 6:25, 6:20 ( I wanted to do 6:24 so I decided to give me a little cushion and it did not work out:)), 6:22.
Great workout. I am not sure, are these supposed to feel hard at the end? Because they did not, I could have continued at this pace for couple more repeats.

But I think that 1k repeats are still my favorite because miles are just too long and uneventful (ok, 1ks are not eventful neither but at least they are shorter).

This and next week are going to be crazy. I am working the whole day Friday, Sat and Sunday like 8am-8ish pm, then most of the day on Monday and Tuesday. Wednesday the film market is over, so it will be a normal day and on Thursday I am off to Hawaii!!! I cannot wait.

Work is fun and get to eat fancy food. Although those film people must know something I do not because I would not buy any of those films we are selling. Most of them are more like artfilms and I prefer "normal" movies- no thinking, just bad guys versus good guys and they lived happily ever after at the end. I definitely could not be a film seller for that company. You really must like that stuff. I was more on a technical side when I did my internship there so I did not have to be enthusiastic about movies. But some of them were/are cool and I liked them.
So far I have seen only one movie at the market because I do not have time to see more but I hope to go to see some over weekend.
Also when the company went to Cannes, everyone went only me, a poor intern, had to stay in the office in Paris and take care of emergencies:(

Tuesday, November 2, 2010

Desperate times call for desperate measures

American Film market start tomorrow and I start working there this afternoon (between classes and from early morning to late night) so I had to take an advantage of "last" free morning for workout.

4k sub-tempo + 5x800 at my newly found 5k pace w/90sec jog rec.
I warmed up, stretch and started the sub-tempo. Something however felt off...After 400m I realized that I forgot to do strides. What an idiot I am!?! Sub-tempo was hardish but I blamed it on missing strides. Did it in 17:21. 3min full rest and on to 800s.

Man, that was hard. First one went ok at 3:01. I was thinking, come on you just did 5k at that pace, you can do couple 800s. Wait, I JUST did 5k. I wasn't probably recoved enough but I had to get it done today.
Second and third went well, both @ 3:00.
Then it started to get interesting and HARD. I was working my ass off on those last two 800s. 2:59, 2:57
Then did a long and very slow cool down untl I felt legs started to loosen up.

And I was trashed at the end.

Then I was a slacker and did not do swim work-out. That would be way too much on me today. My usual swimming buddy had a meeting so could not come so I just swam easy 1.5k. And it felt great, I was surprised! However, every time I pushed of the wall I was like, OMG, my quands are sore!

I am off to class and then work:(

Monday, November 1, 2010

26 on 26 not happening, Happy B-day to ME and some cool pictures to show you

Yeah, I turned 26 today. So I am officially on the wrong side of 25:)

Obviously I am not running any marathon today, so no 26 on 26. I will just wait 16 more years and then do 42 on 42. And it will be Sunday so it should not be a problem to find a race to run.

You know what the best part of my birthday is? All Halloween candy went on sale today. I already got some.

And here are some cool photos I wanted to show you: (I do not have any photos when I was a little baby because I was born 2 months before due date (I weighted hardly 6 pounds and was 18.5 inches long) and apparently I looked horribly so my parents did not take any pictures of me. I think that most babies do not look that nice for first couple weeks but imagine a small crumpled not fully developed baby and then that baby gets pneumonia when 3 months old and looses even more weight to sub-5 pounds...But I still turned out pretty good:) And I know this is not funny, at least it was not back then but now I find it amusing. I think I was a dream baby of all parents because I would sleep the whole night from the day they were allowed to take me home. My parents have lived with my grandparents for first couple months and because I did not scream in night, my grandmother used to sit in front of my parents' bedroom and cry because she was sure I died in my sleep and my awful parents were having a good night sleep by my corpse. I told you. Not funny.)

Here are those pictures:

My own private pool:) Nowadays kids would not consider a bucket filled with water a private swimming pool but as you can see I had a blast. (I also used to ride a small kids bike that my grandfather found somewhere behind their garden. He brought it home, my dad repaired and painted it and off I went. My mom also used to give me a bone from chicken thigh with a bit of meat on it instead of lollipops. Bucket as a pool, a junk bike and bones? Don't think anything bad of my family though. This was completely normal (and candy is BAD) 26 years ago in a small village of less than 1000 people in Czechoslovakia. Or so I hope:)

Start of my running career. This picture cracks my sister up.

Me and my little sister. You see that sisters' love?

Me and sis playing in our parents' first car! (I am surprised my dad let us in:)

I do not have any more baby pictures on my computer to amuse you:(

Training related: I swam 1.2k during lunch break and am off for an easy 6 mile run.