Sunday, October 31, 2010

Triple success!!!!!!!!!!!! (5k RR)

Goal A - check (Check out my previous post with goals)
Sub-19 - check SURPRISE! (Ok, I was secretly day dreaming about sub-19, but you know those dreams....)
Overcoming whimpiness - check


Chip time: 18:56.4 (6:07 per mile pace, 3:47 per km)
Gun time: 18:59.9 (fhuuu, so close)
Garmin time: not sure since I did not stop it when I crossed the finish line
Garmin 1k approximate splits:
I won my age group (25-29) and was 2nd woman overall (1st ran 18:46) and 26th person overall. Although I do not care about this, I cared about my time.

I slept pretty well, although I had hard time falling asleep, I went to bed at 10ish and did not fall asleep until midnight. I was not thinking about the race, but other important things that are going on and plus I cannot fall asleep unless I trash/tire myself throughout the day and since it was pre-race day I did not do anything.

Got up at 7am, ate tortilla/peanut butter/banana wrap (when an Olympic gold medalist says it is good, I believe him)and was off at 7:30 for 9am start.
I had little trouble with my bike lock. It got stuck but thankfully after I unlocked the bike.
Got to the start little before 8am.

(I actually picked up my packet last night, I did not know it was possible but I received an email that people can come and get their bib numbers, so I did that and I also rode the course so I knew what to expect.
And it is a good thing that I did because I would have been screwed because it was pretty hilly so I knew how to strategize to make up for time lost on uphills. It was a loop, so whatever distance we went down we also had to go up)

Warmed up for around 25min, stretched, did strides until I felt ready to go. Coach told me to warm up well and to do some longer strides at race pace. And it really worked. I felt loose and ready to go.

I have not realized this but there were a lot of people, definitely over 1000! But a lot of them were walkers. Because this was a fundraiser for pancreatic cancer.
I squeezed into 3-4 line from the start line with fast guys:)

Race was very well organized except for the start when we started over 10min past the official start time because there were people still registering last minute. So were were just standing there for over 10min...

Eventually off we went.
1st k: long, long, long appx 800m uphill. Not steep but long. At one point my average pace was 4min so I freaked out a bit because it was way slower than I wanted it to be. But last 200m of the first k were flat, so I tried to make up the lost time and eventually went through 1st k in 3:51. Right on plan.
2nd k: short maybe 150m uphill, then 150m flat and rest downhill. I let go on the downhill (because I knew that the last 1.5k close to finish is uphill so I had to make up time NOW). 3:42. Cool. I felt pretty good. Although some negative thoughts started to creep in at the beginning of this k. But I kept telling to myself, you pussy, you have not even done 2k and you are already starting to think you are tired? It is all in my mind. I managed to push through these thoughts. In my last 5k race this was the time I started to slow down. Of course I was not in a good shape back then but I persuaded myself that it is hard already and I slowed down although it was not hard. But no slowing down this time.
3rd k: Some short steep downhills and some short steep uphill, then little bit of flat, then uphill and then not so step downhill. Here I started to feel my arms getting tired. It was not my legs, those felt pretty good the whole time, but my arms, ouch. Again some negative thoughts at the end of 3rd k. I actually forgot about the whole "assessment thing" I wanted to do when I start to have doubts, I have never assessed how I felt, I just ran thinking about what a pussy I am if I quit. It really helped me to know what is head of me so I persuaded myself that it is only 2k to go, with one downhill, then looong uphill and then final sprint. I was this close to be like "whatever, just jog in", but no no no (I wanted to run the fast time, plus I am scared that my coach will dump me. She spends her free time preparing my workouts and therefore I would not be surprised if she tells to herself that I am just a waste of her time if I am not even trying hard). I did not feel too bad, it was a good effort though but not throwing up/passing out effort.
4th k: Little bit of downhill and then longish and pretty steep uphill - to get back to the same level we lost while going downhill before. It was hard. I felt I was just shuffling, but still managed 3:52 so I guess it was just my impression. Plus I knew I was close to the finish and that it will be a piece of cake once I get to the top and therefore this time I had no doubts I can finish strong.
5th k: I was told to run last 800ish as fast as I could. But 5k was still uphill at the beginning, then some flat, then short steep downhill, short steep uphill and last 300m flat to the finish. I knew this so I knew I could not run very fast this last k. I decided to just keep a good effort on those up/downhills until the final stretch and then run those 300m as fast as I can. And I did. I pushed hard, my legs were starting to itch a bit but 300m is not that far, I knew I can suffer for 1min.
I have not looked at my pace that much during the race, I just kept track of my 1k splits when Garmin beeped. So I was not sure where I stood time-wise before that final 300m stretch. But I overcame the temptation to look at my watch and I just run for it. And it felt awesome!

When I finished I did not know my time. I knew it was under 19:10, but was I fast enough to break 19min? I knew I was close but was not sure until I saw the results! I was so stoked!!!! And still am.

Retrospectively, I kept a very good effort, but it was not too bad. I can definitely "suffer" like this again or even little bit more.
I am very glad I did not chicken out. Once I pushed through those 2-3 negative thoughts I had (at 2-3k)everything was good and felt controlled.
5k is pretty short. I like it:)

In total I did around 9miles on a road today. I have not run on road for this long since mid-June. I am stretching, rolling and icing like crazy to keep the ITB band happy. It did not bother me, although I had a "feeling" at the end of the cool down, it is just prevention.

Saturday, October 30, 2010

Race strategy and goals

The only reason why I am writing this is because putting it in writing helps me to think the whole thing through. Plus it adds some extra accountability for the race. (Yes, even if only max 4 people read this I will still feel more accountable)

Goal A: (way too optimistic): sub-19:10
Goal B: sub-19:15
Goal C: sub-19:20
Goal D: sub-19:30
Anything above 19:30 should make me just forget about running and move to other things. But I know myself and it will not have this affect on me because I love running way too much.

I have never done this much preparation for a race strategy:) (Although I have not seen the course, only mapped it on mapmyrun and I have no idea how many people will come, last year there were more than 1000 people but a lot of them were walkers and I do not know how it will be organized so maybe there might be some weaving, but I promise I will do my best to start in front)

First 1k should be a very slight uphill. Then next 2.5k slight downhill. And last 1.5k slight uphill. (Well, the profile was in miles and feet so honestly, I have no idea whether uphills are indeed slight or not because my brain can't process it being not in metrics)
My plan is to run around 3:51/k for first 1k (6:09 pace) and then try to pick it up for downhill to 3:48-49 range for next 2.5k. And than just hang on and run HARD for the last 1.5k and do not run slower than 3:52 pace. That would give me sub-19:10 time.

But being as whimpy as I am (and having no idea how to pace myself outside track) that is too optimistic. More realistic would be start at around 3:51, then run 3:50 pace for downhill part and then just try to hang on and not slow down past 3:53 pace. That will give me sub 19:20 time.
According to my work-outs I should be able to run sub-19:20 no problem. And I am going for it!!!

That's the plan. I am going to write this down on a piece of paper so I can revise it before the race starts. Problem is that you do not have public access to grounds where the race is taking place so I cannot check out the course. But I am biking there tomorrow and hope to do the loop on bike so see how it is.
I am also wondering whether there are miles marked on ground or not. I doubt it, but it would be nice in case my Garmin dies half way through. But wait, if it dies I will not be able to see my splits anyway because I am not dorky enough to wear both Garmin and a watch. I cannot wear watch only, because I am a lousy pacer and checking splits only on mile marks will not help me.
I am going to prepare my pacing chart in both k paces and mile paces:)
I am thinking about this too much.
I do not remember the last time I was planning a race this much. It was probably back in high school. And even then I did not run by paces, I just ran as fast as I could.
I have not thought about the marathon this much. I just went there, ran and went home. But it will not work for 5k race, it is too short to correct the mistakes from the first half in the second half.

Friday, October 29, 2010

Hawai, Vegas, beach volleyball and...a run of course

Wow, what an eventful day!!!

I booked a flight to Hawaii for Veteran's Day weekend (Th-Sun)!!!! I am excited. So originally I wanted to go to either SF or Seattle to use my Delta miles because I do not think I will ever have chance to use them since for now it seems I am going back to Europe after I am done here:(
I do not have enough money to travel by car or bus so traveling by plane using miles is the cheapest way to travel for me. Sounds countra-intuitive but it is true.
Flights to SF, Seattle and Hawaii were the same price, $5 + miles. So for 5 bucks would not you go to Hawaii?

I am flying to Kona on Big Island airport and do not know yet what I will do there. I will either find a cheap hostel and chill out at beaches but I think that will not be fun. So I am thinking about doing Waipio to Waimanu valley backpacking trip. I can rent a backpack and tent and all that stuff very cheaply here at UCLA and just hike and camp, which will be cheaper than hostel and more fun.Or maybe rent a car and make a tour of the island from camp to camp and throw in easy hikes. This way I can both chill out at the beach and swim in a waterfall lakes. Awesome.
I have never thought that I will go to Hawaii and it suddenly happened. (Although I am sure I will regret this because I have 2 exams and 2 problem sets due the week after. Ah, WTH, who cares? With a bit of time management I can do it)

Then my sister is coming for Thanksgiving weekend and she wants to go to Las Vegas. So we will do that. Our parents have offered to pay this trip as our Xmas present. Cool but I still think that I am back to my bread and water diet that I did when I had to pay a rent for an apartment in Paris...

It is LA Film Market next week and I will be working there next week for a film sales company I used to do an internship with in Paris. It will be interesting and fun. Maybe I will meet a very important film producer or director and he will ask me to star in his next movie. Ok, that probably will not happen. Plus they will pay me:)

So this is how I spent my morning - planning all this.
And I did laundry as well. My grandmother would freak out if she knew that I put everything together. I just do not care about my cloths and plus why would I spend all that extra water and energy for multiple loads? So I always wash sneakers, underwear, t-shirts, black, blue, white, jeans. Everything together. And then when I go home and my mom sees my white t-shirts she is always like what have you done to those? Then I usually realize that they are not white anymore but more like grayish. So she washes them in a special whitening thing and they are like new again. And I can start my washing-everything-together thing over again.

In the afternoon I met some friends for beach volleyball. We had so much fun, played for about an hour.
I think that summer is back. I mean it was close to 25degrees!!! I can definitely get used to living in Cali, I love hot weather.

After I went to Barnes and Noble and read a book about running for a bit.

In the evening I did an easy 5 miler with 5 strides to get those fast muscle fibers aware that they are going to work hard on Sunday!
I have a day off tomorrow so will be little bored so I will probably write a post with my race goals.

I have found this very interesting article about progressive tempo runs. I hate tempo runs and suck at them but reading this make me want to do them. I know that everyone is different and no workout can be successfully applied to everyone but still, it might be worth to try it.

Thursday, October 28, 2010

I do not like days like this

I want to keep legs fresh so I could not run, bike, swim or anything. So I should have time for other fun stuff like watching DVD, TV, read a book..., right?
But I had an exam this afternoon so I could not do any fun stuff because then I felt guilty that I was not studying.

But studying is boring and not fun. This was managerial accounting exam and I was economics major at college so most things were not new to me and if I have not learnt that stuff at college then there is no chance for me to get it into my brain now. But I still felt guilty if I was not studying. So I tried but was not really studying. I was like 15 min reading through my notes and then moved to my computer for few minutes but then I my guilt would kick in so I moved to studying again, did it for 30min, then decided to eat (because eating is a necessity and when I ate I did not feel bad about it), then 55min of studying, got bored so moved to computer or started reading a book and so on.

So I have spent the whole day being bored and feeling guilty and was crawling out of my skin.
If only I could have gone running or for a walk. But I could have not, because I had to "study".

Horrible day. I am glad it is over and that I have 5miles planned for tomorrow.

Wednesday, October 27, 2010


We lost our volleyball game again today! Makes me mad because we were playing pretty good and if we had concentrated little bit more and communicated better we could have won!
But we have not trained for a week so not surprising. People had midterms or other lame excuses so nobody was interested in practice. Some people need to get their priorities straight or be better at time management!

I also ran 5minles today. But alone, not with my usual (very slow) group:(

Tomorrow is a day off. I think my body will go to a shock. Thursday is usually work-out, weights, swim but tomorrow=nothing!
At least I will have time to study for the exam I have in the afternoon.

Tuesday, October 26, 2010

Mind is playing tricks but I am not falling for them

So last pre-race workout that I treated like a real preparation.

I was supposed to any combination of intervals @ 5k pace totaling 5k with jog rec of 1/2 the time between.

I decided to do 800, 1200, 1000, 1200, 800. I wanted to do longer stuff, just to give me more confidence (if it was going to work out. If I was going to fail the workout then obviously it will not be that great for my confidence...)
And I decided to strictly pace myself to see how that goes, no faster or slower. And I actually chose the best case scenario pace.
So I did 3:04, 4:37, 3:50, 4:36, 3:05. That's called THE consistency because each 400 split was 1:32+/- couple tenths of a second!

I tried to honestly assess myself during each of the intervals when I started to have doubts.
When I started to feel little bad (but honestly the work-out was not that difficult so I was not feeling really bad), I asked myself: Are your legs hurting/tired? NO. Is your breathing controlled? YES. Are you truly suffering? NO. (ok, my shoulders/arms were little tired because of leg-less swim yesterday). So it was all in my weak mind.
I need to learn not to assume that I feel bad and cannot run faster, because that's what I usually do in races. Well, I do not race that much but still. That's what I did in my last race and all through college.
It's all in my mind!!!

Another thing I have learnt is that I probably won't be able to race at my best-case-scenario pace because it is, well, too fast.
I have started this training only few months ago, so I cannot have a very high expectations (OMG, it looks I am already making excuses for failing...BAD BAD BAD).

Overall, I am satisfied with the workout. Legs felt tired last 100m of the second 1200. But then they did not feel bad on last 800. If only I could take a short break in the middle of 5k:)

I also brought my Gramin to use it for this workout because I will probably use it in race. I have never used Garmin during track workout. I used it 2x for intervals on trails and only 1x on track for (my first and so far only) 10k race and 1x in a 5k road/trail race in June. I do not use it very often. I used to use it a lot for long runs in France to figure out distances I run but now I just do my long runs on minutes usually.
But that stupid thing died after 1000m interval although the battery was 90% full in the morning. (However, I was expecting problems so I brought my watch also).
And it was showing 1.19k when it was supposed to be at 1.2k. But that's no surprise, these gadgets are not 100% accurate, especially not on track or for short distances.
So now I am not so sure about using it in race because it will probably die half way through anyway. But then how am I going to know my pace? Because I care about time not about place I finish in.
I will think about it later.

Then I did swim workout. I figured, race is in 5 days so I will have enough time to recover.
We did w/up 200, 3x100 on 2min, 100 rec, 5x50 on 1min, 100 rec, 3x100 on 2min, 100 rec, 5x50 on 1min, c/d 100.
Arms were killing me but I was actually faster on 100s than last week. I did them in 1:35-1:40min. Cool, I am progressing:)

Ran to class afterwards and almost fell asleep. Good thing it is an interesting class.

I am tired now. And hungry. And I have lots of school-related things to do for tomorrow and Thursday.

Monday, October 25, 2010

Mini taper

Yeah, it is true, even if your highest mileage is less than 40miles a week you still can taper for a race:) Which basically means that I will run only 30miles this week.

Isn't that sweet (and little pathetic)? But I know, I know, I cannot run more for maybe next month or two and then I can try to run more and see whether ITB makes its appearance.

It is actually pretty good that I am in taper mode, because then I have more time for school and this week is loaded (1 paper, 1 presentation, 2 problem sets, 1 mid-term). Not that I am taking advantage of that extra hour and fifteen minutes I get with running 10miles less...But I am telling myself that I have extra 75minutes if I needed them and it makes me feel better and less stressed.

So I swam only 1k today since I am in taper and did not use my legs that much to keep them fresh.
I have my last workout tomorrow (I checked the track today. Full length was open, I hope it will be open tomorrow as well because I am not sure about doing 25x200 as a pre-race work-out...)

I am talking about this as if I was racing a marathon trials at least. But com'n, it is my first "competitive" race in a while, so I can get excited (and nervous and worried).

Sunday, October 24, 2010

Back to my usual

Sunday = brick
I have mentioned before that my roommate is a former cyclist. So she asked me to join her and her friends for a short ride today. Cool. At first I was little worried that they would leave me behind but she said that they were old and done with speed rides. So that re-assured me.
And ride was fun! Plus it is official, I suck at flats and am pretty good at climbs. My roommate wanted to do only around 35miles, so after they were done I continued to do 56 miles total (ok, I know, I am a pussy and should have done 80miler). She told me I should join some weekend riders because there is a lot of them in the area. Of course I expressed my concerns that I feel like an idiot on my poor little bike. But she said that it does not matter as long as I can keep up and it is not me who should feel bad but those people on Cervelos and Cannondales riding with me and me being able to stick with them on my Walmart bike:)
One funny anecdote: when we were leaving house she looked at my bike and was horrified and told me I should wash it (well, I know I should. You cannot see a color.)and she said she must give me a one-to-one maintenance workshop after she saw that the chain and cassette is covered with dirt and it is a miracle that I can still shift gears with that. Whatever...

I did 56miles, got home, changed to running gear, rode 1.5 mile to trail and did a 9 miler. Felt awesome! I do not know my pace because my stupid Garmin did not get charged overnight.
So total of 59miles bike+ 9miles run

And now 2 fun facts from yesterday at the Expo:
1, I was walking around and one girl came up to me and said: "Your legs are so toned! What do you do for that?" I was like, "hm, really?". And she said "yes, it looks great. What do you do?". Ok, isn't that what every girl wants to hear?:) I did not know what to say since it was kinda obvious being at the 1/2marathon expo...right? But then I figured she is here as well, so she runs as well. And if she does not think that her legs are getting toned enough by running, then she should do something different. I told her to bike.

2, Also I was at one of the booths and it is enough for me to say one word and everyone knows I am not an American because of my very cool accent. And this guy asked me where I was from and then asked me whether I was one of the invited elite runners. Cracked me up, but it is also what every runner would love to experience- being mistaken for an elite runner. I should have said yes, maybe he would have given me some free goodies:)

3, This is not funny, it is rather sad. Somebody gave chewable concentrated fruits and vegetables supplement tablets! OMG, is that where we are heading? No fruits and veggies but pills instead?? I can't believe that people eat that!

I had a little crisis today. Something got screwed up and it looked like I had only $100 to last me until end of December. Ok, I could probably pull that up, believe me, I can survive on $50/month (I think I did that for first 2 months when I was living in Paris until . But fortunately it got cleared up and I have little bit more.

Now that I am rich again (hahahahaha), I would like to make a trip somewhere. I have Delta miles and I do not think I will be ever able to use them, so I am thinking about going to SF/Sacramento or Seattle/Vancouver during Veteran's Day weekend for 4 days. I just cannot decide where.
Tickets cost the same, I have a special thing for renting a car where I pay only a car, I do not pay gas or insurance so I can rent a car in SF and drive to Sacramento (or rent in Seattle and make a trip to Canada) for only couple bucks. So I only need to pay for hotel really and I think I should take an advantage of that now because who knows where I will end starting in January.
I have not been to any of those cities, so any suggestions?

Saturday, October 23, 2010

A lot of interesting info, really

I will try to keep this post as short as possible without my usual blahblahblah.

Tomorrow is LA Rock 'n Roll 1/2marathon. The one I started training for in May and ended one month later because of ITB...

Nevertheless I decided to go to the expo for an hour or so to pick up some free stuff. I was mostly interested in running magazines. It was a pretty nice expo as far as I can say since I saw only 3 expos in my life.
But unfortunately they did not have any magazines there:( But those 33 miles I did to get there and back were worth it. (I biked there of course, buses are for pussies (what a nice rhyme) or for people who have some kind of responsibilities like kids and therefore cannot afford to get hit by car and die).

So 1 hour I said. Ok, I have spent almost 5 hours there!!!!
I pretty much ate enough bars, gels and whatever to keep me energized for a month or so. (I was hoping to try some Gu. I have an impression from blogs I read that everybody eats Gu during runs or races. Honestly, I had no idea what Gu was until like 4 months ago...But there was no Gu tasting at Expo:() and I have a backpack full of bars and other stuff that should last me for couple weeks. (Ok, I know myself and it will be probably finished by the end of next week)
Now back to focus because I promised to keep this short and do not deviate too much. I am sorry but I am such a poor writer and I have no idea how my applications essays got me into business school.

As I said, it was all worth it especially because they had some guests there speaking. They had Matt Fitzgerald (I think people know who he is, a sport scientist dude, he talked about an ideal racing Weight), Deena Kastor (everyone knows who she is, right?), Frank Shorter (won Olympic marathon gold medal in 1972) and Greg Meyer (last American to win the Boston Marathon in 1983).
There were discussions with them and it was sooooo interesting. I was a dork taking notes:)
So here is a couple of info I consider the most interesting:

62% participants in this year's LA 1/2 are women!!!! Isn't that just cool? Clearly we are behind times when people thought that anything longer than 800m will lead to uterus falling out...

Sport drinks are reproduction of human sweat. Sounds nasty but the scientists did research on human sweat and then tried to recreate it in a drink so that the drink provides all salts that people loose by sweating. FS said that those first drinks really tasted like sweat and not your own, but somebody else's:)
Different people have a different composition of sweat therefore some prefer Gatorate to Powerade and to other drinks. Everyone should try to find drink that suits her the best.

Barefood running: Everybody knows that Abebe Bikila won the marathon in 1960 running barefoot so people think that it is good. However, do people ever think about the fact that in 1964 he ran in shoes and run a faster time? He was a person who trained all his life barefoot and then when he put shoes on he was faster...

Carbsloading is not that important before a 1/2 because human body has enough glycogen in muscles and liver to last for a half (well, this was said by FS, so he might be little bias and be talking about people who run a 1/2 in 1:10...). However, for the marathon carbsloading is important.

Matt Fitzgerald (I thought he was an old dude, but he is pretty young actually) talked about an ideal racing weight. It was pretty interesting. he said that there is no formula or anything to calculate one's ideal racing weight, you can only estimate it but it is almost never exact. When you ask an elite runner or biker what his racing weight is, he knows the exact number. That's because he tried racing at different weights and then determined what his ideal weight is. You would know your ideal weight retrospectively.
He also talked about balancing energy sources. Older saying is that you should get your calories from carbs/fat/protein in this ratio: 40:30:30. However, each person is different and training methods are different. For example, an average American runner gets 40% of his calories from carbs, but an elite Kenyan runner get 78% of his calories from carbs!
Also nutrition timing is important. One should synchronize his caloric intake and expenditure. He talked about "front loading"- get enough energy before workout, do not eat a lot after. Because if you do not have enough energy for a workout body goes into saving mode and stores calories you eat afterwards as fat.

Deena Kastor talked a bit about 2008 Olympics when she broke her leg 3miles into the race. Because she is very prone to skin cancer she avoids sun so she did not get enough D vitamin and therefore did not absorb enough Calcium and developed osteoporosis that she did not know about, which lead to the fracture. And this is an elite marathoner working with the best coaches, nutritionists etc!!!!

And one last idea that I consider really interesting and that made me think (I was so absorbed thinking about this that I missed my turn on my way back home and prolonged my ride by 3 miles...). They talked about taking risks. GM was not an excellent runner in college (never NCAA champion or something similar) but he took a risk after college. He had refused a job offer (which freaked out his mother) and decided to only train for couple months and see where it can get him. And obviously it has paid off.
I have always wanted to do a triathlon. Since I was a kid. I do not know how old I was (sixth/seventh grade?), I read an interview with two guys from Czech Rep who did Kona. They talked about how hard it was, how they ended up getting blood transfusions at the end but they said that it was incredible. Then I told to myself that I want to try that when I am older (not necessarily Kona, but any Ironman). I am from a small town, plus back than nobody did triathlons in Slovakia, so of course I could not join a club or something similar so I just continue running. I love running, and have always been a runner. But maybe it is time to move forward and really go for triathlons. But I cannot decide. I still want to see whether I can run sub-18 5k (and I think I have found a person to help me get there). But I want to do an Ironman in the future. Should I take the risk of maybe never being able to run sub-18 5k and stop being a pure runner and move to triathlon training? In my mind you cannot combine those two things (fast running times and bike/swim/run training), because I do not think I am talented enough to be able not only run and still run fast times. Or aren't they mutually exclusive? I should probably ask someone who actually knows this stuff. Any triathletes out there? Or suggestions who to ask?
People say that when you are old you only regret things you did, there is only few things you did you regret.
But ok, I am "only" 26 (soon). I can still do a triathlon when I am 40, right? (But what if I am a triathlon prodigy and then it will be too late? Just kidding.)

I just do not know. But I think I will decide next year after I know what I am going to do after I am done with school in June.

Oh, and I almost forgot. I did an easy 6 miler today.

And tomorrow back to my usual nonsensy writing. I have so much Expo trivia to talk about but I cannot because I promised to keep it serious for today:(

Thursday, October 21, 2010

Change of plans

I had very interesting 800s work-out planned for today but when I go to the track part of it was closed for that lines stripping that they were supposed to do one month ago....
So only 320m of track was open.

My workouts are divided into different categories and I had to think really hard to remember which workouts belong to "today's" category. At the end, I was 80% sure that 8 X 200m at 1500 m pace or 1-2 seconds faster (38-40 sec) w/ 200m jog rec is there.
I have checked it now and it has turned out that I was right. Still, I should probably memorize those workouts so I can adjust easily in case something comes up.

Anyway. This was kinda hard. As usual with speedy stuff.
I felt like crap during warm up. I do not know why because I felt awesome on my bike ride to track. So I shuffled through 25min, did stretching, drills, strides etc.
I do not have problems hitting pace for longer stuff but for speed workoust I need to WORK to hit paces.
I did 38, 39, 37, 37, 37, 36, 37. First three were a real struggle but the rest were much better. I still had to push but the legs were awaken by then.

Then went to do weights. There was some event going on so I got free muscle milk- protein shake. I chose banana flavour. It was jummy. But there is NO milk in it. I do not know why they call it muscle milk then. Probably to deceive people.

Then I swam for a bit to loosen up. I tried to alternate left and right-side breathing and I am getting better at it.

Now I have class soon...blah.

I should really start doing some school work

I am definitely not working as much or as hard as I should be. Most students here spend their days studying (believe me, it is true. We had to come from our Yosemite trip early because some people had a lot of school work do to on Sunday and people even brought books with them and were studying on Friday evening! And I know people who went to Vegas and spent the weekend in their hotel rooms studying!).
And people go to networking events and workshops and look for jobs actively.

I, on the other hard, spend my days running, swimming, biking, playing volleyball and playing on computer. Not good. I am starting to feel guilty.
Foe example today, I left home at 8:30am, had class in the morning, then swam during lunch break, then another class, then run 6 miles with group, then volleyball match (which we won. Ok, the other team did not show up:)) and I got home at 8:30pm. And I have not done anything "purposeful or worthy" (as some people might put it)

I mean, I am not failing classes or anything, I still get my work done, but it could be better.
But I am not looking for job/internship although I should.
And have not started my master thesis yet.
And need to submit 30+ page internship report soon and have not even started. (Honestly, I have no idea what to write there. My internship was only 15 weeks and French students usually do 12 months internship so they can write 30 pages, but me...And school does not want to change it for me. )

But I prefer spending my days running, swimming, biking. Who would not, right?

But I am thinking, this is my last year as a student (unless I decide to go to law school), then it will be work work work work until I die. So I should enjoy it now, right?
And if I do not find internship starting in January, no biggie, I will just go back to school in France and finish my degree taking classes instead of getting work experience. (Although I would prefer working to studying.) So I am not that pressured to look for something. So I can have fun for now.
I only need to find someone who is going to do my homeworks now and offer me a job in June...

(I hope this is just a short phase and my conscience will shut up and left me do my fun stuff guilty-less.)

Tuesday, October 19, 2010

Mile repeats, and swim workout

Well 1600 m repeats really, because I did them on a track. So just add 2-3 sec to each interval and you should get a mile time.
5 X 1600 m with 1 minute walk rest.

I was instructed that it is really important to respect the pace which was 6:40-6:55 because of only one minute rest.
I was supposed to do similar workout couple weeks ago but that was a complete disaster so this type of a workout was new to me.

At first I was little worried, but when I start thinking about it and figured that 6:40 is pretty slow and I should be able to do it even with only 60sec rest, right?

I wanted to start at 6:40 and see how it goes. It turned out, the workout was very easy. I am obviously responding to this training plan very well.
I did not have to work hard, even the last one was pretty easy and I felt nicely controlled. Legs did not feel tired, only my shoulders were little sore (probably from carrying the backpack full of other people's water...)
I did 6:35, 6:34, 6:32, 6:27, 6:23

I am not sure whether it is ok that I go faster than I am supposed to but if pace feels too easy it makes sense to me to go little bit faster because how else will I progress.
I know that keeping the pace and increasing the number of intervals is better than keeping the intervals and increasing the speed but the schedule called for 4-5 x mile. So I could not increase the number of intervals.
Maybe I should have jogged the 1min recovery instead of walking.

This training period ends on Oct 31 and then I am sure the paces get adjusted.

Then I had swimming workout, which I loved almost as much as I loved mile repeats workout:)
I warmed up and then we did 2x100m on 2 minutes (you swim 100m as fast as you can and then rest until 2minutes are up), 100m easy, 5x50m on 1 min, 100m easy, 2x100m, 100m easy, 5x50m, c/d.
It was pretty hard, especially 50s because those were fast.
I did 100s in around 105-110sec, then 15-20sec rest till 2min are up and repeat.
50s were around 40-45sec.
I was pretty slow, but because of all that running I have endurance. So a guy I was swimming with would be way ahead for first 100s and first 50s but then on next 100s and 50s I was able to stick with him because he was getting tired. I felt like a real swimmer:)
He told me that during his collegiate swimming career they would sometimes swim 8-10miles a day! OMG, 8-10miles of swimming!!!!

I had 1-4pm class afterwards and wanted to do weights after class but I was too tired. If I do not do weights immediately after a workout I do not persuade myself to go to gym....I know, I am bad and should be more disciplined!!! Next time.

Sunday, October 17, 2010

Lots to say (300m workout, Yosemite etc)

A friend asked me on Wednesday whether I want to go to Yosemite park with them on Thursday. I had a lot of schoolwork to do but whatever, it can wait. (OK, it cannot, but the one and only advantage of doing problem sets in groups is free-riding. Well, that's what I did this weekend. Which means I did nothing.)

But weekend was awesome. But let's start with my Thursday workout.

I was told that I might enjoy this workout. Well, I did not.
3 x 5 x 300 with 100m jog between intervals and 500m jog between sets.

First set was horrible. Hard. I was struggling with pace and my running form was horrible because I was trying too hard. And break between these was only freaking 45-50seconds, that's like nothing. I did 61, 65, 63, 62, 62.
Second set was better. I stopped concentrating on trying to hit the pace but tried to concentrate on form. I told to myself, just keep a nice form and you will hit the pace. It worked: 61, 62, 61, 61, 61
Third set: I started my 11th interval and I could hear lactic acid to flood my legs after at 200m mark. But surprisingly this set felt the easiest and it went by very fast. This time I did not try too hard to hit the pace or to concentrate on form. I know that I can pull off a fast 200m but blasting a fast 300m is a different story. If you are not trained you "die" after 200m. My tactics was to just ran as fast as I could for 200m aerobically and then used the pure muscle power to get me through last 100m. And it went pretty smoothly. But I wanted to be done. I wanted to sprint the 100m rest to get it over with. But of course I did not:) I did: 60, 61, 60, 60, 60

I am pretty satisfied with the results, I was sore and ate two servings of protein powder.
Speed work sucks. Ok, it does not suck, it is me who sucks at it. I know I need to do it.
I will do this workout again in couple weeks to see whether I am improving.

We left for the Yosemite at around 7:30pm. Because I and one other person had class till 7 (I did not have time to go to store because I had to run and then classes so I let one of the guys to buy my food. He got us 10 cans of RedBull and 10 bottles of Vitamin water...I nicely explained to him that those are not real drinks.).
Yosemite is little over 300miles from LA so we were hoping to get there around 1am. No such luck. There was a road construction and it cost us way over 1hour. I usually go to sleep around 9:30-10pm so you can imagine me driving till 3am (and after that 300m workout)....But I managed and nobody died.

Slept until 7am...I am a light sleeper so when people around us started to move they woke me up. 4 hours of sleep!
We went for a short 7 mile hike (3.5 up, 3.5 down), I let the others in a dust after few minutes but always had to wait for them every couple minutes because one person did not have backpack and I was carrying his water...But finally we got to the destination- Upper Yosemite Fall. Very nice! It was 2pm. From there it was 2.9 miles to Eagle peak and 4.9miles to El Capitain. I calculated that I can still make it to Eagle peak and get back to camp before it gets dark at 6:30pm. So I left the others to their misery and took of. I had hill workout planed for Saturday but I figured I should take advantage of this hike. I did not do intervals as I was supposed to, but I just run uphill continuously (when it was not too technical or too steep) I got to Eagle peak in less than 30min so decided to continue running/walking to El Capitain. It was little scary because it was late already so I have not met anyone. It was only me and bears. That's also one reason why I did run. I made it to El Capitain, took pictures (might post some later) and run/walk back to Yosemite Fall and walked the technical downhill back to camp.
It was a very good workout. Legs were definitely trashed afterwards. But I was nicely surprised that I managed to run those uphills. I went to store and got some protein bars and strawberry milk, I think that it helped me a lot to recover.
I got to the camp at exactly 6:30pm and it was pitch dark 10min later. Perfect timing.
Everybody was tired so they did not have energy to stay out late and drink so I could go to bed at around 10:30pm. I got full 8 hours of sleep!

One reason why I do not like trips with people is that people do not think and most people are less trained than I am.
I and one guy wanted to do Half Dome hike. In a guide it says that it takes anywhere between 10-12 hours. And you cannot start at 10am if you want to do 10 hours long hike and it gets dark at 6:30pm, right? I managed to persuade him that we need to leave at 8am. He however wanted to get free coffee that was given out at 8am, but have promised me that we will leave between 8 and 9. I eventually managed to wake him up at 8:20 and we left at 9:30...I hate people.
Hike was very very nice (and much easier without running). I promised the guy I will stick with him and I did although it was not easy. The other problem (apart from the fact that I had to carry his food and drinks because he did not have a backpack so we had only mine and if I had given it to him to carry it he would have been even slower) was that he drank all his water in first 1/4 of the way and then of course I had to give him half of my water. Have I already mentioned that people are stupid?
Anyway, I was trying to be pleasant and not to loose my temper.

Apart from those few issue, I really enjoyed the weekend! I love hiking. I am very glad they asked me to come.

Unfortunately we had to go home on Saturday and not Sunday as we planned. We got home at around 1:30am and I went to bed at 2am. This weekend was a mess sleep-wise for me.

Since car was rented and paid for we decided to do a small trip to Long Beach. I had to get up at 7am (only 5 hours of sleep:() to do an easy 6 miler before we left.
I was drizzling so I was glad we did not stay in Yosemite because it would have been a waste.
Sky has cleared up a bit so Long Beach trip was ok.

I am really tired. I need to do some school work still but I think I will go to bed soon although it is only 7pm.

Thursday, October 14, 2010

Off to Yosemite Park tomorrow

Just wanted to share:)
I did not plan this but people asked me today whether I want to come and I said yes. They are taking huge volumes of alcohol but I hope we will get some hikes in as well....

It might be the only trip I do while here.

I do not know whether to take my bike or not. Need to think about it more.

I swam today and did 6 easy miles.
And we had our first volleyball game. We did not win, which is nothing new, but we had fun and we were not as bas as I though we will be:)

See you on Sunday:)

Tuesday, October 12, 2010

5k prediction work-out

I recently read a post about a prediction workout for 5k and I had (almost)the same workout planned for today. What a nice coincidence, isn't it? (Ok, it is not a complete coincidence since person that proposed the prediction workout created my training plan.)

Work-out goes as follows: Proper warm-up, followed by 4 km tempo (half marathon pace), 3 minutes easy jog. 5 X 1 km with 90-120 seconds easy jog between. The sum of the 1 km repeats should predict my 5 km race time.

My plan called for the same except that I did 4k at 4:19 pace (I do not know what my 1/2marathon pace would be, but probably slower...), then 3 min FULL rec (I had to go to bathroom, so I even sat for couple seconds:), but I made it in 3min) and I took 120sec jog between intervals.
Other thing is that my workout called for running 1k intervals at 5k pace so obviously it should predict my 5k race. But the question was, CAN I DO IT????
If I can then I might become confident enough to believe that I can hold 1:35 per 400m for 12.5 laps.

Onto the workout:
It did not start that great. I do not know what happened when I was leaving locker room but as I stoop up from sitting on a bench I felt a pain in a muscle around hip/hamstring/quad area (how is that for scientific explanation?).
But it was only for a short moment and then it was away.
I warmed up for 2miles, stretched, warmed-up the body (neck, arms, shoulders, core, legs, that's what we, Europeans, do)and started strides. During the second stride, the pain was back. And it was worse. So I walked for a bit, did not try to stretch it because it was even worse, just tried to loosen it up.
I told to myself, I am done with strides, let's see how it goes for tempo, which is slower than strides.

I usually struggle first 800-1200m ( I usually have to start at 4:25ish and then try to pick it up to move to 4:20ish) but this time, I felt great from the beginning. Hip/hamstring/quad muscle bothered me a bit for first few strides but then I have not heard from it since. Cool.
4k tempo 17:17, which is 4:19/k pace (6:54/mile if anyone is wondering). Cool. Started at sub 4:20 and then just effortlessly kept it there.

Quick 3min pit-stop and on to 1k repeats.

My plan was to try to do them @ 3:55 and see how that goes.
First one: 3:52. Close enough. Of course I started too fast but managed to slow myself down.
2nd: Oh, my legs are tired. Oh, wait that's because I am running 3:40 pace. But do not worry only for first 200m. 3:52 again. Ah, what the heck, forget about 3:55 and try to keep it at 3:52.
3rd: 3:50. No feelings worth mentioning during this one. Felt pretty good.
4th: Ok, my legs are getting tired for real now. But nothing unmanageable. I felt controlled. 3:48
5th: Still feeling controlled although last 150m were starting to be painful. My arms were hurting. Legs did not hurt, just felt tired. 3:46

I think I still had something left in tank to be able to do 1-2 repeats before crashing exhausted on the track.

I managed to do it! Am I more confident? Hm, I do not know...Probably yes. I am sure I can run faster than 21min, and I should be able to run faster than 20min. It will all be about my mental strength, but I am working on it. I am telling to myself that this time, I am going to do it! Run as hard as I can and be exhausted at the finish line. This time, I will not worry about burning before the finish. It will be better to burn at 4.5k mark than to have enough fuel to run another 5k at the same pace!

By the way, my reasoning behind dropping Goethe class did not work out that well today. I still was not able to do weights immediately after work-out. Because I forgot I had swimming immediately afterwards. (You ask me how I could have forgotten? Well, this was only 2nd session and it was on Wednesday last time, so my mind is not set up for that yet).
So I went there after my running workout. People there are no stars, we do not swim that fast, so it is not like I will injure myself or anything doing this back to back.
We warmed-up and then did 5x50m fast, 50m very slowly, 5x50m fast. I do not know what I was hitting for 50m and I did not really care. It was actually fun. I like swimming a lot. And there were 5 of us so I has some company, not my usual alone rides and runs. Then some cool down and run to class.

And guess what. I was EXHAUSTED in that class. I really like this class (and it has nothing to do with smokn' H professor, who is by the way German. I have a weakness for Germans, not sure why) so that's the only thing that kept me awake.

I am still exhausted.
I was thinking about doing weights after class, but I do not think so...

Some friends are meeting for volleyball so I might go check that out.

Rather no. I need to do some school work and I am starving.

5k race I want to do is on Oct 31. I still have not signed up. I do not know whether I should sign up. I mean, I want to race it, but I am worried that ITB will start acting up and than I will loose that money.
I do not have any ITB problems now, but it always come suddenly without any prior notice. But what if it is sold out by then? I do not know....

Ok, I just got a call that I have to come to volleyball because they do not have enough players. I am off.

PS: Can you tell I am little bored since I have time to write these long nonsenses about nothing here?


No run today. But I had to do something because I would go crazy.

I swam during lunch (little over 1.5k. Am I good or what?:))and then wanted to go for a bike ride but had to run some errands (like buying a ball for our volleyball practice, buying a rear light for my bike because I ride in dark a lot and I decided to quit risking my life (I know I still risk it but now I risk it with a light) and by the time I was done it was almost 5pm and I had to do some school work (which I did not do of course. It is a group work, maybe someone else in group will do it...) and then volleyball practice at 8pm.

It was a disaster....I will be surprised if people show up next week. Because we cannot reserve a court so there were a lot of people and ...just disaster.
And I had to play a coach. I did not make anyone vomit but I have a feeling that they would prefer that to what we were actually doing. Well, you cannot do much on 8mx8m space (because that's all we had), can you?
I need to think about solution to this because it would be a waste of time and I will be soon the only one coming.

It is way past my bed time, but I decided to drop my Goethe class so I do not have to get up at 6am to do the workout before class and I can sleep in until around 8.
Who in the US even cares whether I speak German or not? And I do not understand poetry so I am just sitting there and listening and it is not even interesting. I am sure I would understand Goethe better if I had run this race but since I did not, I do not understand. And I am sure that Goethe will not teach me business German. And I do not even get credit for it!
Plus a company I used to work for in France- film sales company- offered me to do a small thing for them during American Film Market in November and I would not be able to do it if I had this class because of a time conflict. (I am not sure whether I will do it but I am 85% positive)
So the opportunity cost of taking that class is way too high now. (It was pretty high even before, because it meant I could not do weights immediately after workout, which I am sure everyone agrees is a huge opportunity cost:) But now it is also about $$$!!!)

Saturday, October 9, 2010

I was flying today

probably because of all the food I ate yesterday. I ate 4 English muffing, couple apples (like 5), 2 cheese bagels, 2 Luna bars, 2 bowls of cereal with milk and uncountable number of Reese's peanut butter pieces so I was filled with carbs.
Plus I spent the whole day on my butt working on computer. (I wanted to do everything at the same time and ended up not finishing anything)

Anyway, I went for a bike ride just past 7:30am. Weather was perfect. I wanted to do the same route I did 2 weeks ago and take it very slowly and take pictures:

This is me and couple pictures I took :)

I actually took the road closest to the ocean so I can see nice houses so it was little bit longer than last time but I rode faster overall. Because of those carbs and frequent stop to take pictures I guess. I caught up to one guy at a stop light at around mile 40 and told to myself to stay with him. And I stayed for next 8 miles or so and we were moving fast.
It was a very enjoyable ride. Even with hills, it felt great. I am pretty fast at uphills, I pass people and then they pass me on flat :(

I was not as trashed as last time so I decided to run immediately afterwards. 9 miles. My longest run in a while!!!!! And it felt great. I wanted to keep a faster pace and started out little too fast because it was slight downhill but slowed down on my way back for average 7:18 pace. Great. I had a small crisis from 5.5-6.5 miles but other than that it felt pretty easy and good.

Then I watched Ironman Hawai live broadcast. I only saw the marathon but the race was awesome! Both men and women. Those people are unbelievable!

Thursday, October 7, 2010

Some people are just not nice and do not care about the others

Today's workout was pretty eventful...
I decided to do the same 600/300 workout I did 2 weeks ago but to add the forth set into it. I wanted to see whether it is easier now. Not really. 600s were relatively easier but 300s...58 is almost like all out for me. At least it felt like that. I did 2:10/58, 2:07/58, 2:07/58, 2:06/62. Which is better than last week except for the last 300 but I will get to that one in a second.

I did the workout during lunch so there were quite a lot of people on track.
Some random people doing their lunch break runs.
There was a guy doing fast 200s and his coach was screaming so loudly that everyone could hear him. Little annoying but ok.
Then there was a group of 3 people with their coach and apparently they were learning how to do hammer throw. But they were not very good at it and everything ended in a safety net.
Then there was a group of 20 or so people doing some kind of training: jumps, runs and stuff like that.

So I do not know what happened but during my second 600 those 3 coaches started to scream at each other. What my understanding is that one of those hammer throw guys threw the hammer over the net and it landed on a track. And other two coaches started to quarrel with the hammer throw coach about it. I mean come on, it could have killed someone. They kept shouting and shouting until someone actually called the security and athletics personnel. I do not know how they resolved that but hammer throwers stop their practice.

That was first even of the day.
Second is: there was this guy doing sprints in lane 2 starting at 110m mark and he has a transparent water bottle on a line between lane 1 and 2 as a marker. Since there were quite a lot of people on track and everyone runs kinda unorganized I had to go around people and go from lane 1 to lane 2 and stuff. And during my first 600 I had to move to lane 2 and suddenly there was a water bottle right in my way but I managed not to step on it. I was like WTH, who leaves a bottle in the middle of the track. So I moved it. I did my second 600 and water bottle is back!
Then I saw the sprint guy drinking from it so I asked him whether he could move because it is pretty dangerous. He told me that it was a normal practice to keep water bottle as a marker. I mean, yeah, I understand, but if you have a lot of unexperienced people running on a track at different paces and people have to keep switching between line constantly it is dangerous. So on my next loop I told him so and asked him to move it again. He told me not to touch his bottle and again that it was common practice. Then other sprint guy came and told me that first lines are for sprinters anyway so I should not be bothered by that. What a bullshit. For faster people ok, but not for sprinters doing sprints on straight part. So I asked him that if he wants me to run in lane 5 what we were going to that at 100m mark when we will inevitable crush into each other (since I will be cutting them off at every single lap). They did not respond just grinned at me. I told him I can not see that transparent bottle so he said that if I am blind I should not be on track anyway. They were not impolite, but they just had this grip on their faces that said we are awesome sprint bigshots doing our hard sprint workout and you are obviously not experienced enough since you do not know that having a bottle as a marker is a common practice and therefore you and your tralalala pace move.
Come on! It is soooo dangerous for all those other people who can step on it. And what difference does it make to them to run in lane 4 or 5 and have that bottle there where nobody else runs. Or at least if you want to run in lane 2, why don't you put that bottle on a line between lanes 2 and 3, why does need to be between line 1 and 2? I am not a sprinter and do not know, maybe it makes difference, but during a practice?
I got sooo pissed. But I constrained myself and did not send that bottle flying over the fence out of track. But it took a huge self-control, believe me.

Last confrontation occurred before my last 300, so I got distracted, accidentally took longer rest and then just had to think about it and did not concentrate on my pace.

Ok, I was the only one complaining but I was the only one running fast. It makes a difference to step on a bottle when you run 12min/mile pace and when you do a legitimate workout. Other people probably were not concerned but I was.

Wednesday, October 6, 2010

I am having so much fun

Of course I had 2 classes today but that's not important (and definitely not fun).
Important (and fun) is that I went to pool with a guy who used to be a collegiate swimmer and a water polo player and he gave me some advice.
There were supposed to be more of us but since it was raining, I was the only one who showed up. So it was like a private lesson. Pussies! Come on, you are wet anyway. (Talking about rain. It rained this morning so I put on my backpack, poncho and reflexive vest on the top. I looked like a hunchback of Notredame on a bike).
Sure he has not swum competitively for couple years now but probably knows what he is doing.
He told me my strike with arms is very good, but showed me how to kick because honestly, in retrospective I know my kicking was pathetic.
The only problem is that he used to be backstroke and breaststroke swimmer for short distances so he does not know everything about distance swimming. He suggested I do not roll my whole body only my head. I am not listening to that advice, because I have read that distance swimmers should roll the whole body otherwise after couple k their neck will get too tight. He said I should be very careful then because once I swim in open water I will probably get of track to one side.
But he told me he will teach me flip turns and we can do intervals once I learn that. Cool.

Then I went running with a group. It was much better that last week. More people and we ran faster. But we did 4mile loop and nobody wanted to add 2 more miles with me so I had to do those alone. But that's ok.

And volleyball starts next week!!!!! I am little pissed because I was supposed to be a team captain and they told me today that I will be a team manager. I know, team manager sounds better but as a manager I do not get to make those lazy asses throw up during practices. Hm, maybe that's the reason why I am not a captain anymore...Should have thought of that earlier.

Productive day

I left my apart @ 6:30am. Did workout. Went to class. Went swimming. Another class. Did weights. Group project meeting. Got home at 9:30pm.
What a miserable student life. And I took shower 3 times today.

Anyway, workout went great. Actually all my workouts go pretty great (knocking on wood). Which either means that they are easy:) or that I am on the right path.
4k sub-tempo followed by 3x1600 @ 5k pace + 5sec for 1k split. So somewhere around 6:28. I again struggled through first 1k of sub-tempo but then got into groom and it went just fine.
Mile repeats were actually pretty easy although I felt that legs were not fresh, which is good and that's what we want. I felt controlled and relaxed. I had 4min rec jog between and 4 min is A LOT! I did 6:26, 6:24, 6:20. I am a queen of negative splits actually. But seems that only at practice. Come race and I am all messed up. Actually the only race I remember I did negative split was my marathon. Pretty random, isn't it? I went through first half in exactly 1:45 (8min pace) and then after 32k I finally allowed myself to pick up the pace and did second half in 1:42.

I want to do weights on my workout days so I trash legs completely in one day so they can rest and recover during the rest days. But I do not have time to go to gym right after workout because I have to rush to class (chocking on English muffin with cream cheese, ketchup, mustard and mozzarella cheese and broccoli cuts as salad). By the way, I am of no use at this class after workout.

After class I have around 2hours which is enough time to either swim or go to gym (because I have to change, workout, take shower and all that stuff, so I would not have time to do both without sacrificing the quality). So I decided to go swimming because pool is open only during lunch hour. Second shower of the day.

Class. By now I was pretty trashed. Even the prof did not look as hot as last week.

Weights. Nothing hard because I really had to force myself to do them so I did few exercises to shut the conscience:) Just kidding, I love weights. Third shower of the day...
I was starving but it started raining so I was not in mood to walk anywhere to get food so I got honey wheat pretzels and ate those (which was approximately 1000 calories, but whatever).

Group project meeting- 2.5hours. I hate group work...

I am glad Tuesday is done. Tuesday and Thursdays are crazy. Other days I am bored. Why could not it be spread more smoothly?
I am off to bed now.

Monday, October 4, 2010

Wet and cold

Incredible, last Monday this time around it was over 30degrees in my room, now I am freezing (not literally, I am just exaggerating to make my point)

I woke up into rain. Oh, great. So either I take a bus to school or suck it up and ride a bike. I decided to be a suckuper. I put on the most bright t-shirt I have so cars can see me and off I went. I have not thought it through because I did not bring enough cloths to change for my way back, so after school I had to put soaked clothes on and it sucked. And my bike and backpack are filthy. But that's nothing new.
I was soaked by the time I got to school, good thing I have a locker there and could get a towel, shower and change to dry clothes.
And oh Americans and their stupid AC. I was freezing in classroom and the only place on campus where I could warm up afterwards was either shower or pool! Don't you just love heated pools? I surely do. I went there and it was kinda cool. Swimming in a rain. Then I took hot shower. But I had to do run some errand on campus so had to leave dry locker room to get rained on again.
I signed up for ski trip to lake Tahoe in December. That should be fun! I am looking forward to it. It is a 3-day trip organized for international students after exams. I do not look forward sleeping part because I know how it goes on these trips but days should be fun. But I do not have any skiing clothes with me. I am not sure yet what I will do. I will probably have to buy something.

I rode in rain (again) home and then my self discipline was almost put into test. If it rains, will I walk a mile to trail, run and then walk back or will I just run on road to trail, run there and run back? Luckily dilemma was solved when it stopped raining.
I ran 6.5 miles. Of course it started raining again at mile 4. What the heck, I just finished the run on trail and walked back.

Seriously I spend half my day soaked and cold.
I HATE rain. I want to move to place where it never rains.

Please do not rain tomorrow for my workout!!!

Sunday, October 3, 2010

7.5 miles in perspective

I did my longest continuous run since mid-June today. I ran 7.5 miles this afternoon.
Ok, my workouts are longer than that but workouts are not continuous.

7.5 miles. That's like nothing. I know. I used to run more than that every single day and now it is my long run. Pathetic? NOOOO.
I do not want to run more for now. My mileage this week was around 35-37 miles (somewhere there, I do not know precisely since I run by minutes except workouts of course). Which I feel is enough for me know. The ITB problem comes and goes in 3-month intervals and October is the third month. So I am keeping all my fingers crossed.
I am doing a lot of things differently now:
-have lower mileage,
-do not run on roads (I WALK over one mile to trail, do my run and walk back. I need to find a place where I can leave the bike so I can ride bike there instead of walking),
-do a lot of cross training (bike, swim),
-use foam roller (almost) every day and
-try icing after every easy run (I wish I could ice after workout but I am at school then so cannot do that),
-plus I wear ITB bandage during every run.
With all these small things I hope I can get over that stupid ITB problem.

I went to watch LA triathlon this morning. It was interesting. I have never seen a triathlon race.
But I only watched swim and bike, not run. I saw people running before.
Water swim was crazy. Waves were so huge, people were like in a whirlpool. Scary.
It was pretty amazing how all kind of people did it. Chubby, fit, old, young and although almost all of them had road bikes I saw couple tri bikes and couple mountain bikes and cruisers. Everybody can do it! :)
I watched them getting out of swim/bike transition and almost none of them put bike into right gear before leaving a bike in T1 and it was a slight uphill out of T1 and all of them were struggling so much first couple meters. I guess you learn from your experience (or preferably from other people's bad experience).
I actually rode over 20miles watching the race (ouch, my butt. I was not ready for it and I did not wear very comfortable shorts). People on bikes were so fast. It is either that I am a really slow biker or that 79 hilly miles day before took their toll or that my bike is a piece of crap.
I think it is a combination. I have still a long way to go since I am totally an endurance biker but can not get the pedals to move fast. My roommate asked me today why I do not get a real bike since I am going such long rides. Well, I would love to but I am not buying a real bike unless I know I am going to stay in one country (or at least in one state) for longer than 6 months. And she offered to lend me one of her clip pedals, but I would have to buy shoes. And that would be only a waste of money right now with that torture machine.

I did not watch PROs and elites because they started too early and come on, it is Sunday and I am not getting up at 6:30 to see some random dudes running into water.

Bike ride was from the ocean all the way to downtown LA and the whole boulevard was closed and cars could not cross the street. So if they wanted to get from one side of LA to another they had to go all the way around. And there were policemen at all intersections and drivers were so pissed and were quarreling with policemen. Funny.

Saturday, October 2, 2010


This was the awesomest ride I have ever done. It was also one of the hardest because of the hills.
I did around 79 miles total and it took me 5.5hours...

I usually do my long ride (that substitutes a long run) on Sunday but tomorrow is LA Triathlon and I do not know which roads will be closed and I would like to go and watch so I did it today.

I found a book called Bicycling Los Angeles County in store last week and really liked it. I did not buy it but instead went to see whether we have it in a library and we did, so I borrowed it yesterday. It has over 30 rides ranging from few miles to over 70. This ride I did today was #1 in the book and it said that it is also the toughest in the book. Ok, so lets see. Well it was pretty tough but it was awesome!!!

First 30 miles were at Pacific Coach Highway (it is not a real highway, it is only called that), which is basically what name says- PCH hugs the beach. My roommate has told me that their club goes there very often and that one can see dolphins ofter. I however did not see any. Maybe they were there but since I do not wear glasses...
I did around 10 miles alone and then these 3 guys passed me so I politely asked them whether I can draft off them and they let me. It felt so awesome. There was one pretty long climb and I almost died because I did not want to loose them:) They were chatting and stuff and I was dying...But then they went a different way (they went to do some kind of a bad-ass climb. Hm, no thanks, I almost died on that small one so cannot imagine climbing 5+ miles with you.) I did another 5 or so miles alone and than a group of 8 cyclist joined the road right in front of me (they basically cut me off). So I was like, one more biker, they won't even realize, so I just drafted behind them without asking for next 2 miles or so until they took another road. But I had only 5 or so miles left on PHC so no problem.
Next 40 miles were in Santa Monica mountains. It was incredible. I wish I brought my camera. But I will go there again so then I will take pictures. I hate stopping during my rides or runs. I do not think that it is "professional" and it somehow makes me feel that I am not serious enough. But I need to bring the camera because climbs and views were incredible.
I felt so bad-ass doing all that climbing. I felt very good and strong. But I was getting tired by the end. Now that I see the ride profile I understand why I felt like crap around mile 60 :))) It was up and down. And a lot of bikers and motorbikers. Almost no cars.
At mile 70 I joined PCH again and it was all flat until my apart from there.

I was hungry and tired. I ate and I wanted to eat more but I felt my quads getting sore so I knew I should take an ice bath. The problem with my ice baths is that it is around 3 miles away. So I had to force myself to climb the bike again and ride there and then back! But it was worth it because I felt much better after ocean ice bath. I could not go swimming though because waves were too high so I just stood waist-deep in the ocean.

I got home and ate some more. Well that's what I have been doing the whole afternoon since I came back...