Thursday, September 30, 2010

400s and I am an intramural volleyball team captain baby

Let's start from the beginning.
I somehow realized that I enjoy doing my workouts early in the morning and than have rest of the day free Blah. Ok, just kidding. For fun stuff. Ok, both.

I know that for some people being at the track at 7:20ish is late but for me it is early. (When I was at high school, I used to double couple times a week and had to get up at 5am before school so I could do the second workout after school. And it was ME who has prescribed that to myself. Nobody forced me to do that. Where are those times?).
3 x 4 x 400m at faster than 5k pace w/ 1min rec jog btw intervals and 400m jog btw sets. It went pretty smoothly, no WOW workout (like the one on Tuesday), just a regular so-so workout. I did all of them in 1:28-29 range. So right on pace, well maybe little fast.

Then rushed to class.
Weights after class. I was the ONLY GIRL in section with equipement for upper body. Isn't that just weird? All girls were at cardio machines and few of them doing legs stuff. But no single one doing upper body stuff (except crunches). And of course all guys were doing upper body stuff and only few of them doing lower body weights. Come on. What's up with wanting having huge chest and biceps and tiny skinny legs?
But of course, I should not be the one judging because at my current rate I might be the one with huge quads and skinny tiny arms:)

Then swim afterwards. It just feels so good. I realized that I love swimming. Before I was not that into it because I HATE water in my eyes. But since I bought new goggles that do not leak (why nobody told me that goggles start to leak eventually? Mine were like 7 years old...) it is awesome. Of course I did not swim hard or long, just to loosen up a bit.

Then I went to sign myself for "international students" volleybal intramural team. And I am not sure how all that happened but I am a team captain. Obviously, being the captain does not depend on your volleyball skills, but on leadership skills:) That's what I like to tell myself.
Unfortunatelly we do not have our matches schedule yet and therefore it might happen that I will not be able to play (and will have to give up my capitancy) because of conflicting classes. But let's hope it will not happen.

I have a class in one hour that runs from 4pm to 7pm and I think I might fall asleep. I hope the prof is either very passionate speaker ot extremely hot. I prefer a combination of both.

Wednesday, September 29, 2010

Group run

I wanted to swim at lunch between my two classes but decided to eat honey wheat pretzels instead.

Today was my first run with school running/tri club. Hm, it was not as great as I expected it to be because at the meeting everyone looked so hard core. And there were only 6 of us. And we were running in that gray zone when one half felt it was too slow and the other half found it too fast.
And we did only 4 miles but I persuaded 2 guys to do 2 more miles with me since I was supposed to do 6.

I will see how it goes next week and then will decide whether I want to run with them or not.

I am off to read some Goethe poetry....

Tuesday, September 28, 2010

Bad Monika, bad or How you feel before has nothing to do with how you do (or something like that)

(Aparently I was complaining about being bored too much, thinking about joining swimmimg club, doing 70milers on bike and other fun stuff, so my coach increased my mileage. Let's see whether it works the opposite way as well. I am sooo busy, I do not have time for anything fun, I do not have a social life.)

Anyway, track workout today. Yesterday was the hottest day in LA since 1877 or something like that. It was over 40 degrees out (Celsius) and it was still 30 in my room at 9pm....So yesterday was my day off:)

I hoped to feel fresh and rested for today. But as I warmed up and started to do my 4k sub-tempo I started to compose a blog in my head, which for the most part was about excuses why today's workout sucks. I really struggled first 1k, I did it in 4:27ish although I was going for 4:20 pace. Bummer. I eventually picked up the pace and did those 4k in 17:28, which is 4:22 pace. But it felt kinda hard.

I was like, oh man, this workout will suck and I will die because no way I can do 4x800m @ 5k pace (3:07-3:12) w/90sec jog rec today.

I started the first one and after 100m I was like, I am going to die indeed. No way I am going to finish this workout strong, this 5k pace is so hard! Such nice thoughts were going on in my head until I hit 400m mark and realized that I went through it in 84sec. Ops, only 10 sec faster than I was supposed to. (I was supposed to go through 400s in 94sec). Ok, you A$$whatever, slow down. You like slow, so go slow. Chill out. I slowed down (by 2sec for 400) and went through first 800 in exactly 3:00.
After that sub-tempo it was so hard to adjust to 5k speed. Because I thought that those 800 should be much faster but in reality they are only few sec per loop faster than sub-tempo, so I should not have gone out that fast.
Ok, second chance. Much better. Slow. I like slow. 3:07, right on track.
3rd one: 3:00. I am an idiot.
4th: Started ok. Went through 400 in 88ish sec, I am like ok, that's good. I am (probably) getting tired and will slow down the second loop. Hm, nope. 3:01.

Hm. It was actually a great workout. Not too hard (what a pleasant surprise) and I did not die. Maybe I am already peaking. But that's not possible, after 1 month of real running, is it? Or am I just that fast:))))
I still need to be more careful.

I took shower and rushed into my Goethe class while literally choking on an English muffin sandwich with brocolli cuts:)
People think I am little crazy.
I do not understand poetry in my native language, so there is no way I understand Goethe's poetry in German. So when the prof called on me (after I stopped chocking on that brocolli) to analyse a poem I was like: Hm.....Ich habe das gelesen aber ich habe keine Ahnung wovon er erzahlt. But since I am only auditing this class, no biggie.

Then other class, this time econ management class. So that's much better. Let me tell you, my professor is H-O-T. I have never really thought of these things before 1,either because I have never had a hot professor or, 2,I need a boyfriend. But this one... I think I will like the class.

By the way, I am not joining Masters Swim class. I met some other MBA running/tri people today and am going to do do few easy runs, bike rides and swim with their club. There is a former collegiate swimmer/water polo player who is going to help me with swimming form! And since I am here only for couple week, I do not even have to pay fees for joining. Sweet!

Sunday, September 26, 2010

I said I might not enjoy biking in LA area. Scratch that!

I went to the book store on Saturday and picked up a book with road biking paths in LA county. There were so many wonderful ideas! I did not buy the book, since I will be here for only about 10 weeks so I can find 10 routes (one for each Sunday) online but I needed an inspiration for today.

I chose a route to Pablo Verdas, south from LA. I drew myself a nice map last night and hit the road this morning at 8am. I was little worried about the traffic but was nicely surprised. There were bike paths and wide shoulders everywhere and tons of bikers. And the route was so cool. First 30miles were right by the ocean with awesome views and then the road took me more inside away from the ocean but since it was up a huge hills when I got on the top the view was gorgeous. I have never biked along the ocean coast so this was breathtaking (both the views and huge uphills).
I did a loop and it was exactly 70miles. I would say 2/3 were pretty flat and 1/3 was hills. Those hills were actually a nice treat after all the flatness in Michigan:)

I was pretty tired by the time I got home. Heat and hills just killed me. But I knew that ice bath would do me good so I ate and then dragged myself for a swim in the ocean:) Ocean is approximately 3 miles from my place so no that far. At first I wanted to walk because I love walking but it would take me around 1 hour there and 1 back and legs needed a rest. So I had to use torture machine again to get there, it takes like 15min max depending on traffic. And there is a bike path almost all the way from my place to the beach so it is not that bad. Water was awesome. Cold at first but once I got used to it it was awesome.

Got home, played on computer and then dragged (again) myself for an easy 6 miler. It felt actually pretty good but I miscalculated and 30min into my run it was completely dark. So I went really slowly because I expected to break my ankle or head-hit a traffic sign any minute. But no accidents happened.

Now I am finally home. Need to shower and read something for school for tomorrow...blah.
But I am tired. Maybe I should go to sleep and get up earlier tomorrow and read it then.

Saturday, September 25, 2010

Masters swim class

Firstly, let me tell you, I loved it!!! (I also got sunburnt and my shoulders are little sore, but loved it!)

Since I can run only 4-5 days a week and my mileage is low I am SOOOOO bored (I know I should rather find a job than going running, swimming and other fun stuff), plus I need to get more aerobic training.

I can bike of course, but I am not sure whether I will be able to enjoy it in LA area.
I actually biked yesterday, but only in the neighborhood trying to find some hilly routes in case I want to do hills on bike. I found some hills but they are pretty short but steep. Plus I am little worried that my poor bike is going to fall apart if I keep pushing it. You know, what can I expect from $150 Walmart bike? Yeah yeah, I do my 60+ mile bike rides on a Walmart bike in running shorts and sneakers. Whatever! And it needs to last me until the end of this semester so I can get to classes.

Anyway, so I decided to check out this Masters swim class this morning. We actually have it every day at different times so one has many options to choose from. You have to pay but I was told I can drop by to one session to see whether I like it. And I loved it.
Ok, I had no idea what I was doing because I have no idea about paces and stuff, so I just did whatever felt easy, hard, harder. I joined one of the slowest lanes since I was not even sure whether I will not drown in the middle of the session. But I did not and I was actually surprised by myself. Our coach is US Champion and Olympian so she probably knows what she is doing. The only problem is that since there are quite a lot of people (faster people) I cannot really get a proper feedback on my form. But I assume that if I did something really really awkward, she would tell me. She for example told me that when I breath I tend to push my arm down too soon and that I should try to glide on my shoulder. I tried, almost drowned but eventually got it.
Plus there was only one other girl in my lane and she did not do flip turns so I did not feel any pressure to try them. Maybe next time when I am more advanced:)

That being said, I think I will sign up for this and can do it for example twice a week. I am little hesitant because it is around $150 for this semester and that's pretty expensive for me (I just went to buy school books and course packets and realized that if I was to buy all of the required things I would need more than $1000! WTH! I would rather have Cs from all of my classes than paying $1000+ for books. I need to figure this out...) and I can do all that stuff by myself in pool. But then I am thinking that although there are other people I can get some advice on my form from coach and I can be with people. So I think I am going to join.

Now I am going to watch some videos and real articles about proper swimming form.

Thursday, September 23, 2010

Speed is killing me

So this is what I call California weather. I actually got sunburned during my workout.
As soon as I started w/up I knew that the legs did not feel fresh/springy (I do not know why) and that it will be hard.
Maybe it was humidity, hot weather or just I need more rest between workouts. I will see how it goes next week and then maybe adjust my running schedule to put workouts 2 days apart.
Anyway, I did 3 X 600 m/300 m. 600 m @ 3k pace (2:10-2:15), 60 sec FULL recovery, 300m @ 1500m pace (0:58-1:05). Jog 400 m recovery very easy btw sets.
I did 2:11/59, 2:07/58, 2:07/57.
Apparently, hitting 600m target was much easier. 300s seemed so fast.
After the first 600 I tried to jog for 60sec but then decided to take full recovery for next ones because 1min is like nothing!
First and second set were ok, it was hard but manageable. The last one was hard. I was winded and tired, especially the 300. 600 felt better.
This means I do not have any speed. Bummer. I have always had troubles with speed and always had to work really hard to get speedy.
Legs felt little sore afterwards, especially because I did weights also.

But by the evening I felt great again and could not resist and went out for a short bike ride to check out the oceanside and marina. Well, it was hard to check out something since of course I do not wear glasses when I bike so I could not even properly see where I was. I should get an eye surgery. Or get contacts. Many friends that have the same lenses as I do I have something like 2.25, I think) cannot even function without glasses. But I am kinda used to function without it. However, I am sure that I would be much better tennis and volleyball player if I actually saw a ball before it hits me and world around me would be much better place as well...)I was out for 1.5h. It was actually better than I thought it would be because some streets have bike lines and I tried to choose streets that looked less crowded. But it is nothing like French countryside or Michigan bike paths. If only one of good American schools were located in the middle of nowhere in France. That would be the paradise. For me at least.

BTW, I had my first class today. German literature, Goethe more specifically. That I am auditing. So nothing exciting. Not that I am interested in Goethe or literature, but once you get over a certain level in language, there are no classes to choose from. I have always had this problem with German. Already at college I always ended up doing some kind of literature class that I was not interested in at all, but at least I could listen to German and talk. In France I did French-German translation. Slovak girl who had learn French in the US translating it into German....That was fun:)

Wednesday, September 22, 2010

Blog T-shirt!

I have my official "blog t-shirt":

I got 2 shirts like this from a friend today in mail. Cool, isn't it? Thank you very much.
(Well, of course they are not made for my blog purposes, but I can pretend:))

And I got also something else in mail this evening. By bike. Finally. The box was somewhere around 60-65 pounds and that poor FedEx lady actually carried it all the way up to the second floor where I live. Poor girl. I am not complaining that I did not have to do it myself but I just wish she had called me and I would have helped her.

Bike is/was all messed up. No matter how you sent it -on plane or by post, it still gets messed up. I somehow fixed it but gears still do not shift right so I need to work on that tomorrow, I am too tired today.

I am little scared to ride that machine. Not because of those gears, but in general. Remember, it was me who disassembled it and me who assembled it back. And I do not fully trust myself. I will after one or two rides. Maybe I will not ride it to school tomorrow. I will probably give myself one more day to fasten all screws and completely fixed breaks and gears.
I just wish I had a boyfriend who would be able to do it for me:) That would make my life so much easier and less messy. Because the chain got all twisted (I do not understand how...) and I used my bare hands to untie it and that was a mess. I look like a worker from an auto shop.

I did not run today. It was my day off. I went swimming though. Not for too long however. Those pools are amazing! But I need to work on my technique because my left shoulder was little itchy.

Tuesday, September 21, 2010

Faster = better? : 20 x 200m + swimming

20x200 @ slightly faster than 5k pace with 1min jog between. I took 1min walk after 10 to drink some water.

This workout reminds me of my high school workouts. Not that I used to do 20 x 200, but it was very close time-wise.
(At high school, I used to do all-out interval workouts with full recovery between intervals, which sometimes meant 10minutes. Therefore workout plus w/up, stretches, drills, strides, c/d would take me usually way over 2 hours)
Actually this workout today took me only 33min 38sec, but I had to make sure I am well warmed up so I was on a track for like 1.5 hours.

But I did something very bad and I promised to myself that I AM GOING TO BE MUCH BETTER ABOUT IT. It was supposed to be @ 45-46sec. I did all of them @ 43sec. Because 45 felt sooo slow (hm, ok, you got me. If I did all at 43 sec how do I know 45 is slow. Well, 43 felt slow, so 45 would feel slower, right?)

First of all, 200s are so short and therefore it is very easy to run faster/slower splits because you do not have time to check splits and adjust pace. And secondly, I have craved somewhere in my stubborn mind that faster=better. I know it is not true for these kinds of workouts. (Although I think it is true for workouts I used to do long time ago because I worked). Plus it sometimes feels so easy. I just need to be better about this.
I promise, I will try to do better pacing on Thursday. That's my second 200s workout this week...

Afterwards, I did some strengthening. And let me tell you, those "fast" 200s and strengthening trashed my legs. When I was going home from the track I definitely felt the soreness. But it seem that all that walking took care of it because no soreness now.

Since there are couple outdoor pools here, I wanted to go swimming today. But weather is not that good. (It was warmer in Michigan than it is in California! WTF?!? Why did I come here?) I still took my swimsuit, just in case. After the workout the sky has not cleared but I still went to check out the pool. And there were people there. So I was like, ok, I might as well treat it as an ice bath. I got into water and it was a freaking heated pool!!! This school is the paradise. Well, at least until school starts on Thursday.
I swam loops. It felt so good.
I think that I swam further than I have even swam before. Freestyle I mean. I once swam couple miles with breaststroke. But I am such a poor freestyle swimmer.
Actually, when I was a kid (like 14-15) I was one of the fastest "non-trained" swimmers in my region (I do not remember my times, but it might have been in mid-30s for 50m). It is probably because I had a very good lungs capacity and endurance from running. But I am sure my self-taught technique was horrible. Plus I would love to watch a video of me doing my self-taught flip-turn. I am sure it must have been hilarious:)
But I could never swim freestyle for a prolonged time. 50m was probably my max and anything beyond I would have drowned.
So today I did couple loops. I did not count. I already had enough counting those 200s. But of course I stopped each 25m at the wall. I did not do flip turns. I have not tried those in few years so I do not want to embarrass myself or drown someone.
I liked it, I might go back tomorrow since it is my off running day and bike is still not here.

Monday, September 20, 2010

6 miles on a road divider

First of all, California climate is not dry! Maybe it is dried than the east coast but nothing like Europe. Believe me, I know. I have run in Slovakia, Germany, Austria, Monte Negro, Italy, Slovenia, France, Spain, England, Croatia. I am trying hard to think where else I have run but I cannot think of any other country. (I have visited other countries as well but I did not run there)

I did 6 miles this morning on San Vicente Boulevard. It is approximately 1 mile from my place, so not that bad. I can walk there until my bike arrives. It goes from where I start all the way to the ocean and it is around 2.5 miles from my starting spot. The best (or worst) thing is that there is a strip of grassy and treesy divider between lines. And a lot of people run there. It is so nice and soft. I have read somewhere that it was created on that purpose, so that people can run there. It might be true since I saw water fountain there as well.

Then I went to school to do some paperwork stuff and went to check out gym(s) and track. Looks good. The only problem is that not the whole track is open. Only 336m, rest is closed for lane striping. Should be open next week. This means that I can run only 300s or 200s this week. I do not have any 300s on my plan, so I will run 2 different 200s workouts this week...Hm.
That was the first time I was on the campus there and it is pretty big, everything is cramped together, a lot of different stuff and lot of people. I hate that, so different from Brown and HEC. And I realized that school starts on Thursday, not Tuesday. So one more day of vacation, I can take that:)

Sunday, September 19, 2010

Call that supportive family

Today morning after my run I skyped with my mom and grandmom and I made a rookie mistake.

I said something like this:
"I saw the area but I was not too far because I had only a very short run planned for today."

My mom's alarm controls immediately went off.
She: "What do you mean by planned? You have a training plan?"
Me: "Hmmmmmm, yes."
She: "You prepared it?"
Me: "Hmmmmmm, no. I have a coach."
She: "Coach?!? When and where did you get a coach?"
Me: "Hmmmmm."
She: "Why do you need a coach?"
Me: (What was I supposed to tell her? That I love running and want to see how fast I can run and I need a coach to help me with that because I do not have enough experience? She already knows that but she probably thinks that if she pretends not knowing that it will somehow change things.) "Because I am too lazy and do not want to think about what I should run."
She: "And what about your.....(insert every possible part of a human body, for example heart, knees, spine, brain, teeth). It is sooo very bad for you. I do not understand why you torture your (again insert few parts of human body) like that." And she would have gone on and on and I am sure she would have tried to make me promise that I will never ever run a marathon (too late, but she does not know) if my grandmom had not stopped her by asking whether I run on roads or grass. I told her I do not run on roads and then smoothly changed the subject to weather.

And that's why I do not talk with my family about running. (I only talk about running with my sister who is however completely indifferent to that. But she still thinks that it was awesome that I ran a marathon and she told all her volleyball buddies that I was able to run 26 consecutive miles at faster pace than they ran their 1 mile fitness test at the beginning of the season). Sometimes I wish I could talk to them about it though. So it is nice to have at least this blog.

Hello from California

I made it in one piece, hopefully bike makes it in one piece as well (ok, I know that right now bike is in like 20 pieces, but you know what I mean)

I went exploring the area yesterday and was little bumped. I went to the ocean and road I chose to take (Santa Monica Boulevard) was not that nice. Cars and dirt everywhere. And fog as you get closer to the ocean and it was pretty cold then. And water is so cold. So my first impression was not very positive.

But I went running this morning and apparently Santa Monica Blvd is not a right place for a walk because streets I went through today were gorgeous. Palm trees, nice houses. Ok, I admit that part of the reason why I liked it was that I did not wear glasses when I run or bike so I could not clearly see all dirt if there was any:)
And just to clarify, I did not run on streets, I walk app 1 mile to get to a country club where I heard they have dirt road people run on. I ran around 4 miles there. The loop is around 2 miles and I did 2 and it was perfect. It is actually a dirt road (it looks like an unfinished sidewalk without concrete/asphalt cover) around a golf course. It is not inside the country club complex, it is outside the fence but it was pretty nice. And a lot of other runners. And I saw bikers on streets. And I had to run through farmer's market...
And who the hell says there is no humidity in California?!? That's not true.
Plus I think that there was a road race because I saw couple people with bib numbers and water stations. I might go out and check it out (although it might be over since it was 3 hours ago), plus I want to see that farmers market- prices and stuff. So I guess unpacking will have to wait till later. I also want to go see UCLA campus.

I hope the bike arrives soon so I can go to Santa Monica Mountains, that will be cool.
My roommate is a biker, she has a very cool expensive road bike and also one mountain bike so maybe she will take me sometime with her although I am not sure I want my biker butt kicked.

Friday, September 17, 2010

Bye-bye Michigan runs

Today was my last 6 miler in Michigan. I will miss those nice trails here but I am sure I will find new running routes in Cali:)

Colleagues at work threw me a little party with ice-cream cake and one balloon and gave me some little presents. That was really sweet of them and completely unexpected!

It is 11pm and I still have not started packing because I came late from work, then had to run, go to store and now I am finally at my place and can start packing to be ready to leave at 6am tomorrow.

Thursday, September 16, 2010

Time intervals

20 min w/up. 1-1-2-3-3-2-1-1 min fast with 1/2 the recovery time. 10 min c/d.

I did these on artificial grass of a football field and it felt very good to be on such a soft surface. I did not know my pace but I was keeping a very good effort.
It was weird, it did not feel like a real workout without trying to hit pace and such.

So bike is shipped, now I just need to pack rest of my things tomorrow and I will be ready to go on Saturday. It is exciting, I have never been to California!
The only thing that makes me uneasy is that I have heard that it gets dark pretty early in the evenings.

UCLA has a triathlon club and I was thinking that maybe I will go to see their workouts. Because one can workout with them for one week without paying the fees. So I could go to their swim workouts for one week and maybe they will teach me a proper swimming technique. Then after one week I will go join swimming club etc :)
Or maybe I could join volleyball club.

And maybe not, I should get a job at school to earn some money. So probably I will not have enough time for all fun stuff I want to do because I need to study as well.

Wednesday, September 15, 2010

Packing has started

I hate this but it must be done.
Actually this move to LA is much easier than almost all movings before because before I always had to think what I am going to take with me and what not. This time it is different because I am taking everything with me.

Tomorrow I am shipping the bike, bike accessories and some cloths. At first I thought to bring bike on plane with me but it would cost more than the bike itself. They charge $200! Come on, what has happened to free sporting goods on planes??? 2 years ago I could take a bike and golf clubs on plane for free.
Then I thought that I will just get rid of a bike and buy a new one in LA. But since I have also new stuff I bought here (helmet, fitness ball, foam roller, 2 sneakers. Do you see the trend? Only exercise things.) that I cannot/don't want to take on plane because I will be over limit and therefore have to send them anyway, which will cost me money so I might throw he bike into box as well.
I got a quote online and it was "only" $69 which is not that bad. And since it does not make a difference whether I send 45 pounds or 70 pounds, I packed into bike box a lot of other things. Co-worker is picking me up tomorrow morning and drive me and the box to FedEx. I just hope they will take it because it is not very professionally packed. As soon as I got the bike I went to Walmart to ask them for an empty bike box, and thankfully they just finished assembling some bikes so I got 2 boxes but they cut them to open them so I had to combine two to pack the bike.
I also hope everything gets to LA in one piece and sooner than in 1 month.

Here is the process:

Bike still in one piece (almost, I decided to take pictures after I dismantled some parts) plus I am sorry for a pure quality. My camera is a very bad one and I had low battery so could not use flash.

Bike in a box

Ready to be shipped

Yes, I did this in the middle of a living room while watching TV.

Tuesday, September 14, 2010

Work-outs getting harder

Sub-tempo + interval workout: 20 min w/up. 5 Strides. 12 min run @ 4:22. 3 min full recovery. 4 X 800 m at 5 km pace with 2min easy jog btwn. 10min c/d
800s: 3:07, 3:06, 3:03, 3:05.

When I got to the track I realized I do not remember what my recovery should be so I just went with 2min jog. Now I know it should have been 400m jog, but since I jogged really slowly it was approximately 200m, so it is ok.
Already during the sub-tempo I could not breath properly, as if my rib cage was tied together. Hm weird. That added to the hardness of the workout. But that had nothing to do with the fact that my legs were getting more tired on the last 800.
Overall, the workout was not too too hard but harder than previous workouts- I had to push harder and was breathing harder as well. Yeah, running on tired legs is harder but it makes us stronger!

Weights afterwards.

I feel little sore now.

Monday, September 13, 2010


Today: 6 miles easy. No strides because I need to be 100% fresh for tomorrow:)

Today is the first day of my new 5k/10k training plan and I am freaking excited!
Until now it was kinda easy and getting-back-from-the-injury but it is over now. I will have two hard workouts a week, some of them are a complete novelty for me, some are regular intervals. Mileage will be kept pretty low because of the ITB troubles. Actually, my workouts are longer than my easy runs. Therefore I will continue biking to add some mileage.
Well, this week is still kinda easy but I have a "new" workout tomorrow and can't wait to see how it goes. Actually, maybe I can wait...

I have not been this excited for running for a long time. I mean, I love running and am looking forward to my runs but now it is different. I want to work hard again! And I am going to work hard (if injuries stay away from me).

Sunday, September 12, 2010

29 miles on bike + 4 miles on feet

I wanted to do my last long bike ride today (because moving to LA on Saturday) but 14 miles in I got a flat tire. Stupid Michigan roads!!! There is glass, nails, screws and other junk everywhere on roads! You do not see that on roads in Europe. I have had more flat tires these past 3 months than I have had in my whole life before coming here.
I hate it. Soon I will be able to apply for a cock pit job with F1, I am becoming an expert in tire changes. (I know that changing car tires is different from changing bike tires but...)

I fix it with a sticky patch but did not want to continue my ride because I had no desire to walk 35 miles to my place if something else happens to that tire (and I did not have an extra one with me).

I ran 4 miles afterwards. These bricks are getting really easy. It might be because I am getting used to them or because I have a bigger water bottle and am not completely dehydrated for a run.

Plus I did something very stupid today. I had to go to Walmart to get an extra tire and it was already dark when I was coming back and there is no sidewalk so I decided to use a different road with a sidewalk. But this road was closed for traffic. So I was all alone on that road for about 2 miles, walking in a dark surrounded by woods. I was little scared. I always to stupid stuff like this.

Saturday, September 11, 2010

Bus adventures continue

I had to go to Canada to change my alien status and of course I took a bus (ok, 3 buses).

My sister says that I am the only person in the whole world who has the Ivy League education and rides buses in the US. Come to think of it, she is probably right. But I do not care since there is nothing I can (want) to do about it until at least next year.

But today it was not that bad. It is approximately 40 miles from my place to Windsor in Canada. And it only took me 8 hours to get there and back. I left my place at 7am and came back at 6pm. I have spent around 3 hours in Windsor and in immigration office at the border and the rest was spent on a bus or waiting for a bus.
Good thing is that I did not have to walk 11 miles as I had to last time. Bad thing is that it started raining when I was in Detroit waiting for a bus to come back and it was cold. But I am defrost now and I did not get jumped, so everything is good.

By the way, Detroit is such a disgusting city. How could people live there? Does anybody live there actually?

I was pretty tired but dragged myself to the gym for 60min on a stationary bike. (I wish I had a home trainer, that way I can watch a movie or something and not just stare at the wall in front of me.)

Thursday, September 9, 2010

Trail workout

6 easy miles + 3 strides

20 minutes w/up. 3 X 6 minutes at 10k pace (6:33-38) w/ 2 min jog btw. 10 minutes c/d.

I just realized that I was supposed to do 3 min jog, I do not know why I assumed I have 2 min rest. Oh well, that does not make that much difference.

I was little worried because I have not run anything relatively fast over 4 min since June. And today I was supposed to run faster for 6 min and three times!
But then I figured, come on, they are at 10k pace, that should be easy. And it was not bad, not bad at all. Even with "only" 2 min rest:)
I used Garmin for this because I had had no idea how that pace should feel. I did 6:30 (downhill), 6:33(up), 6:29(down). On the last one it was dark already and I could not see digits so could not check the pace therefore it was little faster.

And I did not do weight because it was dark when I got home and I was hungry. I will do weights tomorrow or some other day.

I ran 4 days in a row because I will not be able to run tomorrow and Saturday.
We have picnic at work tomorrow so I will probably get home too late. I would not mind running in dark, but only on streets, not on trail. And since I am not going to run on road, I am not going to run tomorrow. I will ellipticate.
And on Saturday I have to go to Canada for couple minutes and then come back to have my alien status changed by immigration office. And since I am taking a public transportation to get there, it will probably take me the whole day to do that. The worst thing it to get to Detroit from here, then it is easy-peasy (I hope, I have not taken this bus yet). Maybe it will be faster to ride a bike to Detroit, then leave it somewhere at the bus stop and take a bus to Canada. I wish I could ride a bike to Canada:(

Tuesday, September 7, 2010

Easy-peasy TRACK workout

Today's weather was horrible. It was warm as if summer was back but the wind...on my bike ride from work I was struggling not to be blown off my bike while navigating around fallen road signs, flying newspaper and trash dumpsters blown to roads from people's driveways. But the track is nicely sheltered from the wind and it was only on small part of one curve where strong headwind hit me.

Other than wind issue, I LOVED today's (track) workout (yeah, track was open today):
20 minutes warm-up. 4 km worth of intervals at 5 km pace. I could decide how to break up the 4km BUT I had to decide ahead of time what the intervals will be and stick to the plan. The rest should be 1/2 of the time the interval took but no more than 2 minutes. 10 minute cool-down.

At first I wanted to do 5x800 but then realized that I have 800s next week and I really enjoyed 1k workouts couple months ago so I finally decided to do 4 x 1k @ 5k pace, which is somewhere around 3:55ish.

I must confess that I slacked a bit on warm-up. I did my 20 min and stretched but did only 3 drills and only 4 strides. I was afraid to be kicked out of the track because a guardian came and started to close some gates so I decided to start the workout asap. I know I need to stretch, do drills and strides to be warmed up properly.

Anyway, this is what I did:
3:53: 1st interval is always a struggle until I get into groom. I started fast but managed to slow down to get to required pace.
3:53: This was ok, not easy, not difficult
3:50: My legs usually wake up around this time (1.6-2k into the intervals) so here we go, faster than I was supposed to go
3:53: It was dark and I could not see the digits on the watch so could not check my 400m splits so I just went nice and easy and controlled.

I wish I could do workouts like this one every day because it makes me confident.

It felt easy but my logic is that it was supposed to feel easy because if that's my 5k pace I should be able to run at that pace for 5 continuous kilometers. And since today I ran only 4k and with almost 2 min rest between each, than it should feel easy. Because if it does not feel, that I should adjust my 5k pace. Correct me if my logic is wrong.

Weights for upper body afterwards.

Monday, September 6, 2010

Very uneventful Labor Day

Very simple:
easy 6 miles on a trail + 5 strides afterwards

I read today that biking is much better than "ellipticating/elliptication" because biking is a non-weight-bearing exercise therefore it is better for recovery. It kind of makes sense since you do not stand (most of the time) on your legs when biking. Plus I read something that ellipticals' motion range is too wide for a woman which strains hips and pelvis too much. Anyway, doing more biking than elliptication sounds good to me.

Sunday, September 5, 2010

This was my longest bike ride ever

Maybe not really since it was not continuous...
69 miles bike + 2 miles run + 2.5 miles bike (for 71.5 miles on bike total)

I woke up, ate cereals with banana-berries-chocolate milk and started internet stalking...Great job coach, although it was not what you hoped for! And great job SLG, who ran a marathon only 2 weeks after rocking her first 1/2 Ironman.

Stalking lasted until noon and then I was finally free to start my bike ride.
I felt pretty good, although my arms hurt (???), I was freezing and hungry- cereals in the morning only managed to keep me full until mile 50ish. I was not thirsty though (I bought a bigger 1 liter water bottle). I had to stop half way through for couple minutes and defrost myself at the sun like lizards do. It was not that cold but the wind was chilly and my toes were frozen (I think that I will try to start working in marketing department of one of the sport shoes makers so I can propose to them the idea of proper winter sport shoes. Shhh. Do not tell anyone. It is my idea!).

Then I did 2-mile run on grass. I felt splendidly. I was surprised because last week I did only 50miles before my run and I felt horribly. Today I did more plus I did pretty decent workout yesterday and despite all this I felt awesome on todays run. Ok, I know I increased my mileage by those 2 miles, because my coach's plan did not call for that, but ITB is ok, so I figured why not? And if I run for a bit after bike, it loosens my legs.
And yeah, the legs felt refreshed (relatively) for final 2.5 miles to my apartment.

I ate tuna sandwich, drank some tap water/mineral water/orange juice mix and went to the pool. I did not swim because weather has been pretty cold past few days, I just sat on stairs and read a book about the last Russian tsar and treated that like an ice bath.

Saturday, September 4, 2010

Higher powers tried to tell me something this morning but I did not listen to them

You know how I was supposed to do a track workout this week and tried on Tuesday (but track was closed), then on Thursday (track was closed) and I did not even bother on Friday and I was hoping for more luck today. But track was closed so I gave up and went to in on a boring never-ending gravel trail. It was windy and chilly (I was wearing a jacket on my bike ride there).

I warmed up for 2.5miles and when I was stretching...tornado sirens went off!!! SERIOUSLY?!? That was when I started to think that maybe some kind of higher power is trying desperately to prevent me from doing this workout.

(I have already run through tornado siren couple weeks ago (I was not sure what it was although I suspected it to be weather related when I saw a huge violet-orange cloud in a far distance).

But I kept stretching while thinking what to do. I was in a middle of nowhere on a trail surrounded by trees, 2.5 miles from my bike and bike was 4.6 miles from my apartment. While I was doing that a guy on a bike went by and screamed to keep moving (at least I think that's what he shouted at me).

OK, so I decided to run to my bike. But surprise, after couple minutes the sirens stopped! Awesome! And even sun came out. It was still windy, but thankfully from the side, not a head wind in any direction.
I even took off the jacket and t-shirt and left them in a bush.

You, higher power, are not going to get me!
I was pumped to get over with this workout! And I kicked butt I must say:)

Ladder Intervals. 20 minute warm-up. 1000 m, 800 m, 600 m, 400 m, 400 m, 600 m, 800 m, 1000 m. The 1000 m & 800 m should be at 10 km pace (4:08-4:15/km (6:36-6:48/mile)), the 600 m and 400 m slightly quicker than 5 km pace (4:00 per km(6:24)). Take 2.5 minutes rest after the 1 km, 2 minutes after the 800, 1:30 after the 600 m and 1:00 after the 400 m. 10 minute cool-down.

I used Garmin for those. I know that Garmins are not 100% accurate so my times are probably couple seconds plus or minus, plus it was on a gravel road. But I know I went faster than I was supposed to but I felt really good and honestly, I do not know how to pace myself outside a track.
1000 4:00 pace:4:00/6:24(slight downhill)
800 3:10 pace:3:57/6:20(slight uphill)
600 2:21 pace:3:55/6:16(slight downhill)
400 1:30 pace:3:45/6:00(slight uphill)
400 1:28 pace:3:40/5:52(slight uphill)
600 2:17 pace:3:48/6:05(slight downhill)
800 3:08 pace:3:55/6:16(slight uphill) I definitely started to feel that I was getting out of my comfort zone here. My legs and arms hurt and I had a weird feeling in stomach. But it is VERY important for me to get used to be out of comfort zone because I am weak mentally, very weak and I do not like suffering. And this helps my confidence and getting used to pain.
1000 3:50 pace:3:50/6:08(slight downhill) Still weird feeling in stomach but legs did not hurt, probably because it was downhill so I did not have to work that hard to keep the pace up.

I finished this by 10miles on bike: I had to get my clothes I left 2.5miles up the trail and back and ride home. I wanted to do weights afterwards but I felt tired.
Maybe later...


(I will be internet stalking tomorrow)

Friday, September 3, 2010

OK, so I am giving it one more chance

and if the track is closed tomorrow I am going to do the workout at trail. Which will suck and I am already dreading it.
How can people run intervals on a flat-never-ending-boring stretch?

I can do my easy runs there but intervals? But we will see tomorrow. Maybe I will like it.
I already did it but it was long time ago. Back at home in winter when track was unusable and park covered with snow I would do intervals on a road. But I never dd anything longer then 600m.

Today 6 miles easy with 5 strides at the end. I need to get into this strides habit so my legs get used to change of speed and but firstly they need to get used to speed of course. I have always had hard time becoming speedy but once I got there I could blast 30s on 200s during workouts.

Thursday, September 2, 2010

I am getting seriously crossed

(on the side note, I have never heard anyone use word "crossed". It is probably other Cambridge English expression that people do not use, like "learnt" (people here use learned))

I went to do my track workout but of course the track was closed again because of a game. How am I going to do this?
I tried to checked out the athletics schedule online but it does not make much sense. However, it seems that there is football game tomorrow and nothing over the weekend. But will the track be open over the weekend? It was during summer but now when the school has started...
So I do not know. Should I go to the trail tomorrow and do it there or give it one more try on Saturday. But if I wait until Saturday it is completely going to screw my biking schedule.

I need to think about it more. I am off to "ellipticate" since my run did not work out.

Wednesday, September 1, 2010

Exactly 70 days

without getting flat tire. Wow.

But today it was not my fault (it was never my fault! It is not my fault that I am short-sighted and see a huge pothole only when I ride into it...).
There was glass on a road and well...

I wanted to go for a ride after work but this tire problem plus month closing so I got out of work long after 6pm and by the time I put the patch on a tire it was almost 7pm. So no bike ride today.

60min on an elliptical.

I know those patches does not last longer than 20hours.I bought a glue couple weeks ago but the tube got hole in it and glue dried out. I had one spare tire at my place and changed it but as I was "air pumping" it, I tore it (again). So tomorrow morning I will put the old tire with a hole in it is back with a new patch that should last until tomorrow after work.
On days like this, I wish I had car.
Because tomorrow morning before work I have to go to Target or somewhere similar to get a tire or glue. I cannot do that after work since I have workout planned.

Isn't life just hard? :)