Saturday, July 31, 2010

Bike, rain, run

I went to the nearby park where you can swim, hike bike etc, which I have wanted to visit since I came here but never had time/mood etc. Today I went but weather was not that great. It started to rain on my way back and I had to bike around 10miles in rain. By the time I got home, I was soaked and freezing and hungry (I am hungry all the time...).

After I warmed up a bit I did my easy 30min run. NO PAIN!!! Yay!
I went to the soccer field I did mile repeat couple weeks ago and it was little weird because there were three dears there. Two small ones and one big one and they just stood there and stared at me. So we shared the field. Creepy and scary. I do not know who was more scared, me of them or they of me. Because you never know what a mummy dear can do to you when she has two kids with her...

Friday, July 30, 2010

I have figured out the easiest way to log in more mileage

Not really, but...

You know how you can log in more miles on a bike? Riding two bikes simultaeously.
That's what I had to do this morning.
I had to return a bike to a colleague so I had to take mine and hers to work. But that's no biggie, I have already done that multiple times but never for almost 6 miles.
I rode her bike and pulled/dragged (call ti whatever you want) mine alongside.
The only problem was that I had to ride her bike because it would not be possible with road bike handle bars that are on mine. And only rear brake worked good so I had to have mine on a left side, so closer to cars and if something was going to happen I would have to drop mine directly under car wheels not into the grass on the side of a road. But nothing happened.
Riding a bike to work is strange here, riding two bikes even stranger. I am sure that some people have never seem anyone doing it. Some guys in work asked me whether it is a special bike training:)

On running note: no run today. I am going to add running minutes by increments of 10min until I reach 50min and am going to take 1 day off running between each running day. I'll see how it will go.
And also, my coach had a wonderful suggestion to drop LA 1/2marathon project and train for 5k and 10k. That's is probably better for my pure ITB.

I biked today. I went out straight from work and biked pretty hard for 3hours. I got home after 9pm and I was sooo hungry. All I could thought of last hour of a ride was a tuna sandwich I planed on eating after I get home.

Do you follow European athletics championship? Slovak 800m runner Lucia Klocova got in 4th just 9 hundreds of a second short of the 3rd place. Grrrr. On one hand it is awesome, but on the other it makes me mad. I used to run with Lucia while in high school. Well, not really with her since she was 800m runner and I ran 1500m, but we had practices on the same track at the same time usually. I have never saw her done anything longer than 600m. She did a lot of sprints and stuff and kept mileage low. Interesting. But I guess that how her mileage is much higher now because she had struggled to get under 2min for 4 or 5 years. She has basically been stucked at 2:00.something and people were saying that it might be that her mileage is not high enough and that she should start doing longer intervals. I do not whether that was the reason for the stagnation or not because I have no idea what she does now.

Thursday, July 29, 2010

I am back (to running and to the US). Toronto trip.

Wow, this was the most stressful vacation ever (yes, I decided to treat the visit to the US Consulate in Toronto as a vacation). Vacation for me means a subway sandwich and a smoothie every day. Yeah, I am probably the most boring and serious 25-year old you ever meet. My mom says that she is already sorry for my kids because I will be way too strict with them and they will have no fun with me. My sister agrees with her. We shall see.

But lets start from the beginning:

Sunday: Got up at 4:30am, a colleague gave me a ride to train station, took train to Detroit, spent 3 hours at the train station because it was raining, walked 3 miles to bus station, took a bus from Detroit to Toronto.
Toronto is a nice city. I hate huge cities but this one was ok, probably because I have not visited "bad" neighborhoods in Toronto.
Anyway, checked into my hostel (I was on the 13th floor and could see the whole Toronto right under me! Cool), went to find the shortest way to the Consulate and went for a run. I found a small park right by the hostel where I could run on grass. I wanted to try 4x10min with 2min walk but I only managed 3x10min and then ITB started to bother me a bit...

Monday: Consulate interview. They canceled my current visa but agreed to give me a new one for UCLA. However they told me that I should be able to enter the US back and continue the internship on this visa. I SHOULD?!? WTF! They were not sure?!? So first I was stressing out about my passport getting lost somewhere in mail and now this? But at least they told me that since I live int he US I can come pick up the passport on Wednesday.
I walked in town for the rest of the day and was burned out by the evening.
However something cliked right that evening. I ran 3x12 min w/ 1min rest PAINFREE and no pain afterwards. Way different than the day before. I was sooo happy.

Tuesday: Toronto Islands!!!! I knew that Toronto is about the same longitude as French Riviera but though that that's all they have in common. But I actually felt like at the French Riviera! Ontario lake is so huge that one feels like by the sea! It was awesome. I took ferry and then walked around the island occasionally stopping at the beach to swim and read. Such an awesome day! I ran 2x15min w/1 min walk on the island. Again pain-free. It was sooo cool. I wanted to swim afterwards and went to the nearby beach and soon realized that it was a 'clothing optional" beach so I did not swim just took a ferry back.

Wednesday: Was my day off running and I basically spend it reading. I went to book store and sit on floor and read for couple hours. I read the book "Ultimate runner" with runner's stories (did not like it that much though) and then chapters from couple other books about ITB and some training tips. At 3pm I went to pick up my passport just to learn that they had lost some of my paperwork. I waited for almost an hour till they found it. Another stressful moment. I know that there are much more horrible things happening but since I do not have anything else to worry about I worry about this. Then took a bus back to Detroit.
As we were approaching the border I got more and more stressed out. But everything went smoothly, they let me in without any problem. Such a relief!

So this visa trip costed me couple gray hairs and approximately $800. For 3 days! It means that I am eating bread and drinking water for next few weeks...Oh well, I am used to that being a student from eastern Europe living in Paris.

More running news:
I decided that I will try to get fitted for real running shoes and see whether that will help with ITB problem. I went to the specialty running store. However it was not what I expected, I have not learnt anything new really, except for not to wear. I am sure I have high arches and supinate and I was hoping to get shoes that will help me to pronate a bit. However, the guy told me that I have neutral feet and showed me some neutral shoes. I tried couple of them and took the least expensive one. They are Nike. I do not like Nike, but these fitted me pretty good. Asics he gave me were too heavy, Mizuno felt too hard, New Balance felt like racers and I wanted something with cushion. So I took those Nike for $90.90. But honestly I do not thing that shoes cause my problem but one never knows. I decided to take them for a spin immediately. I ran 20min straight. No problem at all! I will take a day off running tomorrow and run 25min on Saturday. Or maybe will try 30min.

Sunday, July 25, 2010

Power outage + 9 miles

No, I did not run 9 miles. I walked. Not voluntarily (ok,voluntarily, I admit it)

This is how it happened:
I needed a passport photo so I went to CVS that is little over 1 mile from my apartment to get it, 4 times.
Attempt number 1: I got there but lady told me that she could not take my picture because I was wearing a white t-shirt and they had white background. So I walked back home to change.
# 2: I changed and went back but on my way there power went down so they could not take my picture. I went back home.
# 3. Power was back on after 4 hours of power outage but I waited one more hour before heading to CVS but when I got there their power was on but their system still was not. Went back home.
# 4. One hour later I returned and finally everything was working!!!! So I have my passport photo that costed me 9 miles of walking back and forth. But I highly enjoyed it.

ITB was little itchy today so I decided not to run today. Walk should be enough. But I was on an elliptical for 30 minutes, at 11m...

I am off to Toronto tomorrow morning. Should be fun.

Friday, July 23, 2010

Day off

No run, no bike. I am taking a day off.
I did upper body weights though.

I am going to Toronto on Sunday and was hoping for a peaceful holiday (continue dreaming girl! I will be stressing out about my passport) but apparently my boss thinks that I have no better things to do so he decided that I would take a laptop and work with me. Well, I might not have internet connection:) But no worries, they also packed stuff for which I do not need an internet connection...

Thursday, July 22, 2010

Pushing my luck

So I did 5x 8min run with 2min walk. Holy crap, that's like running around 4,5 miles (well, normally it would be at least 5miles but my pace is not that fast now, I try to hit the ground softly...). That might be a little too much for me now. Stretching and foam rolling afterwards. I feel still good, or rather my knee feels still good but I better keep it easy tomorrow. I will bike tomorrow and probably not run.

I wanted to bike after work today but it was raining when I got out and decided not to do it. Biking 2+ hours in Although I am sure that Lance Armstrong would not chicken out (well, based on his performances this year, maybe he would. Oh man, Andy Schleck needs 8 second to be yellow again! So frustrating. And only 3 more days left.)

Wednesday, July 21, 2010

30min run, woo-hoo

Of course, not continuous, but 5 x 6min with 2min walk. But still exciting.
I did weights afterwards and stretched.

ITB feels good, I will keep this run/walk regime for one more week probably and then I should start my training for LA half-marathon (for which I have not signed up yet...I need to know whether I get visa first, I do not want to spend money on that and then will not be able to do it).

Tuesday, July 20, 2010

Bike, off running

As I promised: today no run

I biked instead. I went to one of the trails that are around here. They are pretty good. They are not paved and if, only a short portion and completely flat. Actually it seems that they are always gradual hill in one direction (you can definitely feel it on an 11miles run when you realize that you are flying your last 5,5 miles at 7:30 pace). There is always a lot of bikers, runners and walkers.
I decided to explore one that I have not visited before. I wanted to go straight from work. It thought that it was a very good idea but I was starving. I ate one sandwich (1 slices of bread, butter, cucumber, cheese) at breakfast and then 2 sandwiches and a banana at lunch at noon and I was starving at 3pm so I drank tea. But I figured, come on, person can last without food for 30ish days, right? So I can last for half a day. I got out of work at 5pm and headed for a trail.
Wow, it is hard to bike on a limestone surface. There was one short paved portion (cca 1 mile) and I felt like flying there!
I did approximately 27 miles (maybe 16 on a trail, rest on roads/sidewalks getting there). I was out for about 2,5 hours. Fun.

Then I swam for few minutes (maybe 15) to loosen up.

One last observation: $100 makes a difference. The first bike I gave back was much better than this one (and $100 more expensive). That one was definitely better fitting me (on this one my trapezium muscles are killing me) and saddle was much better. The only good thing is that this one was cheaper and tires are better fitting for these roads. The other bike tires were shitty plus they were width 25. These are 28 and are not hard core road bike tires, which is good in my case.
I guess I will have to cope until I settle down (and start earning money) finally and can get a normal bike. Right now I will just buy cheaper stuff that will do for now.

Monday, July 19, 2010

Runner's guilt

I hate it!
On one hand I know I need to take it easy but on the other hand I want to run. That's normal. But the problem is that I am scared to run because I am not sure whether ITB is ok now. And I feel guilty for not trying. Because what if ITB is heeled now and I could have been doing workouts and stuff for few days already? Grrr!
I feel like I should run for an hour and see how it goes but I don't want to because I do not want to make it worse again and therefore I feel guilty.
I know it is confusing, I am sure runners understand this.

On Saturday I did 1min run, couple min walk 5x. Yesterday I did 2min runs. Today I skipped 3 and moved directly to 4min runs. So 4mins run, 2 min walk, 5x.
I think my mind is playing tricks and I think I feel tinkling in the knee but I do not know whether it is real or not. Probably not because now I do not feel pain. So everything looks good.

I did also 30min on an elliptical and lots of stretching and foam rolling.

I ran (if you can call it running) three days in a row so tomorrow off running probably.

Sunday, July 18, 2010

Good day

Today was a good day: I biked, ran, swam, watched a movie, ate muffins...

I first brought the bike to the bike shop. Guy told me that everything looks fastened enough so it will be the bottom bracket problem. Screw it. Apparently the probability of buying two different bikes and both having this problem is very high. He said that if nothing is loose I can ride it and if I really want to have checked out I can bring it in on Tuesday because he did not have time today. Well, so my options are:
1, buy a new bottom bracket and change it myself (will save me $55/hours they charge for work) immediately
2, ride a bike until the bracket becomes completely unusable (I am not sure whether it is safe though but since everything looks fastened, it should be ok. Let's just hope that it does not fall apart which would lead to the whole crank arm falling which will probably mean that I will run over it and the chain will get stucked somewhere so I will fall and a car might run over my neck...)
3, bring it in on Tuesday and have it checked to make sure it is not something really minor and maybe something different from crank

I am going for 2 for now although that noise it sometimes annoying. But thankfully it does not do it all the time.

I did around 26-27 miles and survived. Good for now.

Then I did 10 minutes of running. 2min run, 3 min walk, 5 times. I do not know whether ITB is ok or now. It is all psychological and I might be imagining things.

I also did around 20 minutes in a pool.

Saturday, July 17, 2010

Raise your hand if

you think that putting your sneakers on for a 5-minute long run is worth it.

But hey, 5 min is better than nothing.
I did 1min run, couple min walk, 5x.
Knee felt good, I will do more tomorrow.

Plus I did 45min on an elliptical and couple minutes in a pool.

Bike gears and brakes are working ok but crank is making popping noises.
Crnak arms were loose when I bought it because I could unloosen them very very easily. But I cannot fasten it enough myself. Because nobody can if you do it in your living room by sitting on a bike, holding with one hand to a sofa, front wheel against a wall so it does not move forward, bended and holding a wrench with one hand and trying to jump on a pedal and wrench simultaneously. But I tried. It either did not work or there is something wrong with a crank. But come on, what is a probability that someone buys two completely different bikes and both of them have something wrong with a bottom bracket? Very small!
Ok, I am taking it to a bike shop so they do it.

I want my daddy!!!

I need my daddy to properly assemble and adjust my bike for me!!!
Yeah, that's right, my bike is finally in my bedroom (literally). It took so long because I wanted them to assemble it for me and adjust gears and stuff. Well, they did assembled it but again very poorly. Bad thing is that you always learn this after couple miles not after one loop at the parking lot.
I adjusted brakes and rear derailleur (and must say they work awesome) but had huge problems adjusting the front derailleur and it might be worse than before. I am even scared to try it.
It took me 2 hours.

Also crank set it making popping noises!!! Grrr. So I need to spend money on a socket wrench and hope it is only loose.

I am trying to save money and do this myself but it takes me 5x more time than it would take someone more experienced in this. And the final result..close enough.
Good thing I do not own a car. You should have seen me changing my car radio 3 years ago. Of course I gave up after 3 hours and brought it to a car shop and they did it in less than 30 minutes.

And the foam roller arrived today!

Back to running:
I did not run neither yesterday, nor today.
Yesterday because I was unexpectedly invited to a party in work. It was fun, all different managers from other locations in the Northern America and me:) I was the only one under 30. But surprising I had a really good time.
And today, all this bike crap...but I walked 5 miles.

Wednesday, July 14, 2010

Random news

60 min on the elliptical. Again. Feeling good. Will definitely try to run tomorrow.

Other news:
1, Andy Schleck is both yellow and white!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! I know, I know, still 10 more stages to go.

2, I might have been little too unjust to my bodybuilder friend. He actually did lower body workout today. But he still have many flows, like for example a ring on his left ring finger and a car whose value can be doubled by buying a new car radio.

3, My bike is still not assembled. Grrrr. Must call there tomorrow.

4, I might have a topic for my Master's thesis but must discuss it with company VP.

Tuesday, July 13, 2010

Chickening out

NO run today because....I am scared.
I do not want to start running too soon and jeopardize the healing process. What if ITB is not ready yet and I mess it up again?!?

ITB has not bothered me since last week but the right outer part of my right thigh is really tight. I do not know why and I am worried that maybe it might cause ITB problems if I run. It migt be because of a bike I am using now. It is kinda small for me. BUt I should have my bike tomorrow so great.
So I will just postpone my first run.

Today I did 30min on an elliptical and then swam. I like oxygen way too much and therefore I will never be a very good swimmer unless they allow me to swim with air bomb so I can breath when I want to, not when my strikes allow it.

Monday, July 12, 2010

Flip-flops, Master's thesis, The Tour

80 min on an elliptical. Knee great!
80min was not too bad because I was not alone in the gym as usual but a guy with a pretty good body structure was doing his weights routine and I could observe.
But these types are so weird. They always do only upper body and slack on legs and then their arms are as thick as their calves. You know those types. But it was still a pretty nice picture.

And this is pretty cool: I have not felt any pain since last Wednesday! 5 days!
I think I am going to try to run tomorrow, but only some walk/run alternation.

I was thinking and I found out this: I was wearing my sister's flip-flops on Sunday and Monday and that's when my knee started to bother me. I was wearing sneakers since then and knees is getting better.
I do not own any flip-flops because I think that they are very bad for legs and this only supports my idea. So no more flip-flops for me. Unless they are not completely flat and have some cushioning and support.

I need to submit my Master's thesis topic by Monday and I have not started thinking about it yet because I had no info. I hate European schools! Why have not they informed us earlier but 1 week before the actual deadline.

I figured I have not complained about different sport events lately, so here it goes:
Booo for Germany not making finals in the World Cup. Then woohoo for placing the 3rd.
Tour de France developments make me cry...But honestly I have never believed that Lance Armstrong could finish in top 3, not even in top 5 but still frustrating...thankfully Andy Schleck's victory yesterday rose my spirit. Those guys are incredible. Biking is such a hard sport.
I do not follow anything else because I am busy working:(

Sunday, July 11, 2010

I am back

but not to running.

I am only back to Michigan.
Last week in Arkansas with my sister and my cousin was fun. If would have been even funnier if I could write here about all those awesome runs on new road exploring new cities. But no. I did those 3 miles on Tuesday and that was it.

I ordered a foam roller and am going to get fitting for running shoes next week so let's hope it will help.
Plus while I was waiting 5 hours at the airport I bought an August issue of Runner's World (I do not usually buy these magazines but was bored) and there was an article about a guy having problem with his knees but it was due to damaged/missing cartilage. Make a long story short, the running technique is important. So I start thinking that maybe my technique is not very good and that causes my problems. I know that I have a wide pelvis and that I probably place my knees to close to each other as I run. Maybe if I try to make more effort to place my knee right above my foot (so that it is above my second toe, smart people say) it will help. I am not sure how I am going do that since I do not see myself and I might just run with knees way to wider which might cause problems as well. I will try.

MY BIKE IS HERE!!!!!!!! Well, I do not have it yet, but they are going to assemble it and I should have it in 2-4 days. I cannot wait!

Wednesday, July 7, 2010


OK, so my left ITB was messed up last week.
I took few days off running and everything felt good right ITB started to bother me on Saturday. I have not even run!!!! I ran yesterday and no pain or anything but later in the day it did not feel right and today...grrr. I knew I could not run so I decided to walk a bit but did only 30min and stopped because it just did not feel good.
So frustrating!

I am thinking about giving it one more chance and then...not sure.

So when this cures I am never running on roads again! Plus I might try to buy different brand of sneakers.

Tuesday, July 6, 2010

3 miles in Arkansas

Sat, Sun, Mon- off.
I arrived to Tulsa, OK on Saturday and have spent past 3 days walking around in Zoo, Aquarium etc.

Now I am in Fort Smith, AR with my sister.
I tried running this morning.
Original plan was taking it easy, so I walked 20min to warm it up and then wanted to do something like 1min run, 2min walk but managed only 5x that and then got bored and decided to try running. So I did 3 miles. Knee felt good, no pain. I then wanted to do another 3miles in the evening but felt tingling in the area in the afternoon so no running in the evening.

I will see how it feels tomorrow.

Friday, July 2, 2010


60 min on an elliptical, felt good, no pain.

I am off to Arkansas.

Thursday, July 1, 2010


After Tuesday's twitch in left ITB I decided to take it easy. I am sooo pissed!!!

So Wednesday: off

Today: 75 min on an elliptical. I do not think that it hurts my knee, because I have not felt it at all. I know from past experience that bike does not hurt it neither, so I am going to stick to those for next few days. But I am going to visit my sister in Arkansas, so I am not sure how I am going to do that...I am not sure whether I 'll be able to use their gym. I shall see.