No run today. It has been a completely crazy day, it is past 10pm and I am still not packed. Grrr. I need to get up very early tomorrow to get those 5miles.
Please let it be Sunday already. But before that I have 20+hours bus drive to Slovakia, then few hours at home and then flight to Detroit. I take a bus at 3pm from Paris to Slovakia. I will change 2 times!!! and arrive in Slovakia around 1pm Saturday. Then I need to go to my grandparents house to get some stuff. Which means I will get to my parents house at around 7pm. Then I need to pack (what should I bring?!?what should I bring?!?) and I need to leave the house at around 6am to get to Vienna to catch a plane to Detroit at 10am. In Detroit I need to rent a car and drive 50+ miles to my apartment. Man, I will be death Sunday evening. But thankfully it is Memorial day on Monday, so I can sleep the whole day:)
Now the funny part. In the company I will be working for they think I am crazy. Let me explain. There is a huge difference between American and European attitude to walking/biking/driving. Last summer, my internship in Slovakia was in a company that was around 17miles from my house. I used a bike to get there every day (awesome workout, 30+ miles done every day). Nobody thought I was crazy (well, they did, but it was not that profound). This summer my internship will be 5miles from my apartment. And there is a shower in the building. Sooo....of course I am not renting a car for $840/month to drive 5miles to get to work! I am going to get there on bike. This thought somehow slipped out and now the HR person knows what I want to do (and she told the attorney and VP assistant...). And I could sense from her tone that she thinks that I am completely crazy person. But you know what, get used to that. I am not American (although I LOVE peanut butter with banana) and I am not going to drive 100m to a grocery store to get one quart of milk! I am from Slovakia and I CAN bike or walk 5miles to work.
Ok, I will rent a car for first week because I need to be able to get around quickly. But it is a bike afterwards. I will let you know how it goes.
My next post with be from the American soil. If I do not post, it means that I do not have internet access, or that I am lost somewhere in Detroit metropolitan area looking for my apartment. Please alert my parents (although they will not be of much use.)
1. my volleyball career. Today was our last practice and I do not think that I will be playing volleyball seriously in the future. I have really enjoyed cute shirtless male volleyball players...oh, what am I saying, I mean I have really enjoyed practices and matches a lot. But sure, I will not decline do play any friendly matches with friends.
2. my first year as Masters student (ok, it all depends on whether I have or have not failed any of my exams, but I am pretty confident that I have not). Let me tell you, I have not enjoyed it a lot...I regret that I decided to go to business school in Europe and if I had not got the awesomEST scholarship I would have not stayed here and would have left after first semester. But now I am going to California for my next year, and it should be more enjoyable.
No run today. (It is that simple.) Will restart again tomorrow.
I have like a zillion things to do before I leave on Friday.
2 exams down...I feel confident that I will not fail the exams I took today. Hopefully no unpleasant surprises when I receive my grades. I managed to respond to all questions, also to those that I had no idea what the right answer was and also to those I did not understand. I hope to get some 1/4 point or so.
Another gorgeous weather today. 6 easy miles. But I felt like crap. I think that it is because all I ate until 6pm were 2 tomatoes, 2 cups of tea, 1 cup of milk and handful of sunflower seeds. Not because I was not hungry or am on some crazy diet, it's simply because I had nothing to eat. But no worries, I went to the grocery store and got something for tomorrow.
It's 9:30pm and it still light out. Man I love being so close to GMT+0 time and being on GMT+1 time. It must be awesome to live in western Spain.
And also it seems that my "status"(I do not know how to call it) is little confusing and people (like 3 of you reading this...) have been asking me what nationality I am, where I live and stuff. I am Slovak, went to college in the US (Providence, RI), my senior year went on an exchange program in France, then stayed in France to get Masters. Now I am finishing my 1st year of MSc and next year/semester am going for an exchange program back to the US (LA, California), plus I will do summer internship in Detroit region. Hope it makes more sense now:)
I think that summer is here (France), at least until Wednesday. We had around 30C (85ish F) and it was sooo awesome. Of course I have spent 1/3 of my day doing this: (yeah, my mother tongue is Slovak and I use English textbook to prepare myself for an exam in French. My life is this exciting.)
But honestly who can stay inside in this gorgeous weather? I really do not mind high temperatures. I love hot weather so 5miles in mid80's felt awesome! Of course 80s here are very different from 80s in New England. I remember feeling like I was melting when I ran in Rhode Island or Connecticut in summer. But I did not mind that, all I cared for was awesome warm weather. I think I will love California!
I did not do anything yesterday, I spend the whole day sitting on my butt and my shins...zero pain today. Also after those 5 miles, nothing. Awesome!
I feel 77% ready for tomorrow (Finance d'entreprise 62% and Droit des socites 92%). I will study some more tonight and might reach 69% for Finance.
and couple other things, but today it is mostly school. Not only this school, but school in general. And I was thinking about doing to law school and work as a business/corporate lawyer...forget that.
I do not know what has happened but my right shins was hurting a lot yesterday evening. I did not run yesterday, but I walked kinda lot. I did not think that it could cause such a problem. Apparently I was wrong. Therefore although the weather was gorgeous today today, I stayed closed in my room and tried not to walk too much. Good thing: shins seem respond well to this Bad thing: I am bored and only thing I can do (apart from surfing the internet, which I did 99% of my time today)is studying (which is probably a good thing as well) Shin splits (or whatever it is) is such a stupid injury if you do not have a bike or a pool. Because what else can you do that does not require putting pressure on your bone. Nothing! Tomorrow starts my REAL created-by-a-coach-that-is-not-me training plan. It takes into consideration my shins issues so that's good. I am excited!
I have final exams next week and it might be a disaster. I do not care about grades (since I have revised my goal of going to law school:)), all I care about is to pass those exams. But honestly, I am little worried. French professors are just weird, they make exams that focus on one or two topics and if you are unlucky enough those two topics are the ones you do not understand/do not interest you/or you just did not study enough. If they included everything we covered I would be fine, but with exams like this...not sure. And I hate studying, I am lazy and there is a lot of topics I am not interested in, and a lot of them that I do not seem to understand. And on top of everything else, they are in French. This is my 19th year in school (9 years of elementary school, 5 high school, 4 BA + this 1 year of MSc. And I went to day care and then kindergarden and then pre-school since I was less than 2 years old) and I have still one more year left. 19 years, give me a break please. I am fed up! Ok, I need to concentrate. I know I can do this, I just need to stop procrastinating and start studying! I have all night and all day tomorrow and then one more night. Wish me luck.
In one week from now, I will be in the US!!! Technically, in exactly 7 days from now I will be somewhere above Greenland or northeastern Canada, but you know what I mean.
Oh yeah, Inter Milano won the Champions League title:(
No, I have not run marathon recently but since I have nothing to write about and I am bored (I know, I have final exams next week and should be studying, but I am a lazy student and I hate school, so...), I decided to write a race report about my 1st and only marathon (so far). It is pretty funny story, little sad at the end and with semi-scientific approach.
I came to Paris in Sept 2008 and since I have been already running every day I decided to do Paris marathon in April. I was pretty good with training plan, did long runs, high mileage, but not so much intervals or tempos. I felt confident for 3:30. Unfortunately I got injured (ITB problem) 1 month before the marathon so did not run it (kind of...). Because I was supposed to go to school to Nice, already before Paris marathon I signed up for Nice-Cannes marathon in Nov. However, things got complicated: -after Paris I was not able to run for 5 months, I only biked for 3 months out of those 5, and start running again 2,5 months before Nice - and I did not go to school to Nice. So I was really pissed that I signed up for a race, paid entry fee, train and hotel. But since I was signed up, I decided to go. But was not excited at all. I did not use a real plan for this marathon, just run how I felt, but my mileage was still around 60miles during a peak week (could not do more because my ITB started to act up towards the end) and few times I even did some real intervals (6x1k). Although I was not very confident, I still believed I can finish the thing in a decent time. Since I am use to do all my runs (long, short) at around 8min pace (maybe 7:45, maybe 8:15, somewhere around that), I was secretly hoping for 3:30. You know, 3:30 seemed so fast a year ago (I ran few miles with a friend in Boston marathon in 2008, she ran 3:23 and I ran like 7miles with her and then just dropped out because I could not keep up with her). But after running higher mileage past year, 3:30 has not seems so fast anymore. But I still was not sure I could do that. I was really scared of hitting a wall. That was my nightmare! So my plan was to run 8min pace until 35th km (because 30-35k is a "wall range", right?) and then if I feel good, I would pick up the pace to finish at around 3:30. Worse scenario: hit the wall and drag myself to finish somehow under 5h because I had a train to catch to Paris (you know, having a train, plane or something to catch is a really highly motivating factor. I highly recommend it.)
Now the funny part (ok, not so funny): Race instructions said that no large baggages will be taken onto bus from start to finish, only things we need at the finish line. And I was going there alone, so nobody would take my things with him. This meant I had to pack everything I needed into one very small backpack. Race was Sunday, I was going there on Saturday. So basically I took with me this: 3 cotton t-shirts (I do not have any technical whatever-fabric t-shirts as most hard core runners do. One t-shirt I was wearing on Saturday while traveling, then one for running and one for changing afterwards. I also used the one for running as my pyjamas during the night:) I am such an idiot) 1 shorts (in backpack) 3 pairs of socks (1 wearing, 2 in backpack. I got special running socks for the occasion on Friday and I was going to wear them for the first time during a race. Please be gentle with me, I was not a real marathoner back then. Now I know that I should never try anything new on a race day) 3 pair of underwear (1 wearing, 2 in backpack) 2 sport bras (1 wearing, 1 in backpack) 1 spandex (wearing) 1 running jacket (wearing) 1 pair of sneakers (wearing) 2 Milka caramel chocolates (yummy) (in backpack. I bought them on Monday and it is still a miracle to me that I have not eaten them by Saturday because chocolate usually does not last too long around me) 6 slices of whole wheat-bread (in backpack. I baked it myself day before) 2 tiny orange-flavored sport gels (in backpack. I have never eaten any energy gels before, but I had read that marathoners do that, so I was a marathoner now and therefore I bought two together with my socks a day before!) 1 toothbrush (in backpack) 1 toothpaste (in backpack) 1 0.5l bottle of water (in backpack) ID card 10 Euros Credit card Cell phone No towel, no hair brush, no lotion (or vaseline or whatever marathoners use) because my tiny backpack was already full! I am a light traveler:) And I had Tax law notes with me because I was supposed to have an exam on Monday. I took a train to Nice Saturday morning. It is like 5-6 hours with TGV. Not too bad. I ate one chocolate on a train, I needed energy right? When I arrived to Nice and it was raining:( I hit the expo, got my bib and goodies and went to the hotel. Well, hotel...I got there and there was a huge sign on a door "Sorry, this establishment was closed by (something with ministry and authorities) and will be closed until (I do not remember the date). What the heck? I called the hotel that I was there and that there is this sign but the guy told me not to worry, that's ok and that he will be right down to get me. Ok...Have you seen the movie Psycho? I did and that movie was all I could think of going up the stairs with this creepy one-eyed!!! guy. But what did I expect for 35Euros a night, right? I was really considering not staying there but then I called my sister and told her where I was so they know where to look for my body if I did not show up. Then I felt reassured and decided to stay. (Did I mention that my parents have no idea about this marathon business? They are not very supportive, my mom would freak out if she knew I was about to run a marathon. So I just did not told them. They still do not know. Only my sister and couple friends from school knew I was running this.) In the evening I ate another chocolate and 3 sliced of bread (for energy, right?) and finish my water bottle. Water in the hotel was disgusting, I am not sure whether it was drinking water or not so I played it safe and drank only little. Anyway, I survived the night, not raped, killed or anything, finish my 3 slices of bread, drank little water from the tub and left the place asap.
Sunday morning was nice, no rain, but pretty cold. I was freezing and thirsty. Shoot, I should have drunk more of that disgusting water! I checked in my tiny backpack and went to start. I was not wearing my glasses so did not see where to go, so I just entered from the back and tried to get to 3:30 pacers. It did not workout out, I got stuck with 3:45 people but I could see (well, "see") 3:30 pacer not far ahead.
Then off we went. Race starts at Promenade des Anglais, which is very broad and flat, so very easy to get around people and run fast. I sprinted first 200m to get to 3:30 pacer:) Then I just kept my nice easy 8min pace. After few miles I got ahead of 3:30 group because they were running little bit slower than 8min pace. So I just told to myself, DO NOT let them get you! And that's what I did. I kept turning around the whole way to check whether they were gaining on me or not:) I run very relaxed race, feeling good. We ran on a coast so I was enjoying the scenery, nice houses and stuff. I felt very good, but did not want to pick it up, because I was so scared of THE wall. I debated with myself to pick it up after half, but no no no. Wait until 35k! There were some hills between half and 30k, but they did not seem to bad and I kept passing people. I felt relaxed. Then 30k came. Ok, this is it. "THE wall range". At the aid station I took 2 half bananas. My plan was to eat them slowly during next 5k. And I did. I ran with one banana in each hand, smiling and enjoying. At around 32k I also ate one of those energy gels I was carrying with me in my shorts pocket. It was ok taste, but I have not felt any energy boost or anything. There were few more uphills and downhills, still smiling and running with my bananas and taking a bite now and then. Unfortunately on downhills my ITB started to act up and my whole right thigh was started to feel "crampy". I tried to relax it somehow while running, it did not help too much but at around 35kn we got back to flat road and it was much better. 35k, "THE wall range" was over and time to pick up the pace! I bet those bananas helped me to get through it without hitting it. Or was it those Milka caramel chocolates? not sure:) I drank only water so far, but this time I took also coke (because everybody was doing it..daaaa. I am a marathoner now, so do what other marathoners do!) and I ate/drank my second gel and two more bananas at the aid station. But this time I did not want to carry them with me for too long, so I just ate them by 37k. I was feeling good physically, but mentally I was ready to be done with this. I keep picking up the pace, although I do not know by how much, since I was not a proud owner of a Garmin back then. But I was running negative splits. As we were approaching Cannes there were crowds cheering on us. It was cool, I liked it. Then I saw the red carpet and I knew we had only few more hundred meters to go. And then just like a movie star I crossed the finish line in 3:27,21.
I felt I could have run faster but it was my first marathon so I wanted to play it safe and finish. I went to get my backpack and this older guy turned to me and said "You look young. Was this your first marathon?". I said yes and he said that 3:27 is pretty good for a first timer. And he also said that I will be very sore tomorrow but not to worry because with every other marathon I run, I will be less and less sore:) Hm, I wonder whether it is true. I want to find out in the future:) But I guess he was right, because he was right about soreness the next day. I was very sore next few days. And my ITB got pretty bad during the train ride back to Paris and I had to take one month off to heal it.
I felt little lonely at the end. I think that I would have enjoyed it much more if somebody was there with me, cheering and meeting me at the finish line. Oh, well. Maybe in the future.
Other than that, it was fun:) Everything worked out fine. No problem with my socks, gels did not upset my stomach, I did not need more t-shirts or underwear or anything.
My shins are much better, I still feel occasional sharp pain for a second and then everything is ok, but today it happened maybe twice, which is awesome. But I still take it very easy and tape my shins, because I want to heal this completely before I start my training for LA half marathon in October. I run a low mileage, therefore I want to run little bit faster than my usual easy pace. Because it is "how many times I hit" the ground, not "how fast I hit" it that cause shins split. Or? That's at least my logic. So I did 4 miles. I took Garmin with me this time and set it to record my mile splits to see how I was doing. Average pace 7:38, but then I checked my splits after the run and well, I am not very consistent: 7:43, 7:44, 7:35, 7:30. Whatever, it was just an easy run to stay in shape, nothing too specific. 7 days from now, I will be in a bus direction Slovakia!!!
Wednesday: No run. 1.5h volleyball but since our coach did not show up, we did not have a key to turn on the lights. So it was very interesting. Normally I do not see very good without glasses during a day, but in dark....oh, I have not seen anything. But it was still fun:)
Thursday: Ran very easy 5miles on grass. Shins felt good, much better than one week ago, but still not 100%. I have received my training plan for next month, EXCITING!!! Nothing else exciting going on.
I think I nailed my oral exam this morning. Seems that the prof was satisfied, or maybe he is just a good actor and in really has not understood anything what I said in my super cute Slovak accent:) Does not matter, the most important thing is that it is over. Now 3 more written exams next week and then bye-bye.
I am taking it very easy these days in order to get rid of those shin problems. I did 3.1 mile up-tempo on grass. Since it was only 3.1miles I decided to run it a little bit faster than I would normally run my easy run. Shins felt ok.
Then I played beach volleyball for hour and a half. There is no better way to finish a day than playing a beach volley with 9 shirt-less male volleyball players. (Well, maybe there is and it includes a volleyball player but I am not getting into details)
edit: We lost to Germany, and are going home. It is ok ,it has been a tough season with a lot of pleasant surprises. See you in Slovakia in 2011! If I am in Europe, no way I am missing that!
Ok, so as of today, I am changing from kilometers to miles!
There are couple reasons for that: since I got the visa this morning, I am leaving for the US in 12 days so I better start getting used to miles. And I also got a brand new shiny coach (I am sorry for stealing this quote) and she is going to prepare my plan in miles. It is so freaking exciting, isn't it (I do not mean miles, I mean a new coach)? Little scary because now I will feel more responsible/accountable and under pressure but definitely better than running whatever popped into my mind before heading out. I can't wait to see how it will work out.
Did 6,3 easy miles tonight. I love being in France where sun sets down really late, which means that I can go running at 8pm and still see where I put my feet.
Less exciting news: We lost to Finland 5:2:( We still got chance to get to quarterfinals, we just need to beat Germany tomorrow. I am pretty confident we can do that but then I am sure we will get crashed in quarterfinals. That's ok, one cannot have everything, right?
I am not gonna lie, my quadriceps are sore today. But I could have expected that, right?
It was sunny and warm in the morning, what a chance compared to horrible cold and rainy weather we have had past weeks. But apparently nice weather will not last long:( Anyway, I have to study for the finals exams and I like studying and doing some sport activity at the same time. It seems that my brain absorbs info easily when I am moving. You know, osmosis does not work, I tried, so sleeping with my books under my pillow is not working. Bummer!
I decided to walk to La Miniere lakes because I liked it last time and then spend some time studying there and then run back. However by the time I got there, sun was gone and I was getting cold so I just ran back immediately without spending more time there. I did 7k very easy. It is 10k there but I did not want to run on road because of my shins, so I walked certain stretches. It was a very enjoyable walk/run. I am glad I did that.
Tomorrow I have a visa interview at the US embassy, so keep your fingers crossed for me. But there should not be a problem and I should get it, but one never knows.
More hockey complains: Boston lost to Philadelphia. I do not believe that! They were already winning 3:0 on matches, then Phil caught up to them to 3:3 and in final match...Boston was already winning 3:0 and they lost 3:4. Come on! That's not even possible! Jerks! One positive thing about this is that Miro Satan will come to Germany for the Worlds. I love the guy, he is just awesome. But I am not sure whether one person can help us in our misery. But we shall see tomorrow against Finland and Tuesday against Germany.
Anyone else counting down till Saturday for Champions league final? Go Bayer Munich! (Although it will never be the same for me without Oliver Kahn and Ottmar Hitzfeld. But I have learnt to live with that.)
As I mentioned couple posts before, there was MBA Tournament organized at our school these past three days and although it was for MBA students only, our MBAs asked few students from other programs ( I do Masters in management)who are pretty good at some sport to participate, so they asked me to run cross country for their team. Well, it was horrible. I have not done any hills since Feb 14 (because my ITB hurts a lot if I run downhill, and if I run uphill, I eventually run downhill, right?) and there were 3 huge uphills and I was fried. First hill- I ran. Second hill- I ran three halves. Third hills (stairs)- I did not even bother trying to run it. But I ran very well on flat and downhill parts:) Course was approximately 7k, which is long for xc. I came in 3rd and 1st girl for my school. Good thing that they asked me to run, right?:) This was the 20th year of this Tournament and HEC (my school) won the whole tournament for the first time in its history. Second school (London Business School) was only 4 points behind and if I have not run xc, we would not have won xc, LBS would have won xc and then they would have won the whole tournament, not us. So I feel important, hahaha. I looked pretty funny with my bandage for ITB and both shins taped. Some people were actually worried and asked me whether I was ok. Shins bother me a little now, but nothing too bad.
Then I got invitation for the closing party in a club in Paris at Champs Elysees. Otherwise it would have cost me 45Euros to get there and since I have not been to any party yet, I decided to go. It was ok. I sat close to a table with desserts and that definitely helped me to spend the enjoyable night. I met a guy from Cambridge MBA who is from Slovakia. What a small world! But then music started to play and it was too noisy and one could not hear anything the other person was saying so no more conversation and I started to get bored so I decided to leave. But it was fun.
Now off to bed, it is past midnight! And I need to study for my exam on Tuesday. It is Company law, oral exam, in French! Gosh, I might fail...
I did not do any sport today... I planned on running but then in the morning I have received an email that my paperwork for visa application is ready and I had to go to Paris and basically spent the whole days filling up application and putting together everything I need for visa interview that I have on Monday.
Slovak hockey team lost 0:6 to Denmark tonigh. OMG! The Danish scored all their 6 goals in first 14 minutes. I still can not believe it. I am so glad I did not watch it. We have crappy team- all our good players are either too old or still playing NHL play-offs and the rest is just **** idiots who prefer taking time off after NHL and KHL season to playing on Slovak team at the World championship. Shame on you! Really, maybe 3 names on our team are familiar to me, the rest, never heard of. I "can't wait" till Monday to see how the team from Finland kicks our ass.
Just a small one, but still. There is MBA tournament going on on our campus right now. I already saw some guys from Oxford, women soccer players from Cambridge and some ESADE students. They organize XCountry race on Saturday and originally I wanted to participate but after past week of "negativity phase" and my shins not feeling good, I decided not to. And I have not even trained properly past month, since my awesome(my standards) 3k race in mid-March. But today this MBA guy comes to me and asks me whether I am "that" girl on school track team and that they want me to join their women's team for XC race on Saturday. Wow, they want me! Ok, it is not a big deal, it is not like New York Road Runners asked me to join them, but still somebody knows that I am not that bad and wants me to run with them. My spirit has soared immediately. I have no idea who is on a team, expect for one girl from Colorado who is not bad, we met at one XC race in December and I will probably suck because it is 7-8k (not precise, is it?) running up and down hills but should be fun. This will probably be my last race for HEC, so I decided to do my best and try to push myself and run hard. We will see whether my brain will play some tricks on me and who will win at the end, it is brain vs body.
Btw, I did 6,5k easy today on soft surface around the campus lake. My shin so far so good.
Tuesday was an awesome day. We had beach volleyball tournament, 4 players, mixed teams. Nothing worked out as planned: It has been raining whole day- so we moved inside (10 teams signed up, only 8 showed up, they were probably scared we want to do it outside; my team consisted of 2 players because one got stucked at the airport in Lisbon and the other somewhere in Paris; but we were mixed- me a girl, and one male tennis player. So for first two matches we had one rotating random player from other teams (I know, 2+1 is 3, yes we played only 3 and still won, oh, we are too strong) and then 2 guys from a team that got eliminated joined us. We again won and moved to semi-finals and then to finals and then we WON. WOOHOO. I played really very well, I ma getting pretty good at volleyball. We won this awesome jackets (I will upload a photo later), the only problem is that I bought exactly the same jacket a day before for 20Euros:( But the guy said he will give me my money back. I hope he will keep his promise. This tournament was so much fun, I really loved it! Then I ran 5k very easily on a soft surface, my shins were ok, but not 100%.
Wednesday: No running, to give a rest to my shins but of course I went to volleyball practice. It's not really a practice anymore, since we the season is over, so we just play for fun and it indeed is fun. I know, I know, it is not very good for my shins but I am going crazy if I do not do anything.
Ok, so now I am pretty sure it is shin splits. I taped my both shin today for a 13k run and it was ok, but then after the run and ever since my shins have kept bothering me. I am not sure how to deal with this. I guess I will just keep taping and stay on soft surfaces and will see how it goes.
I am back from Auxerre where I visited my grandfather's sister and her husband and there was a lot of crying when I was leaving. Let me give you short family background: After the WW1 a lot of people from a part of Slovakia where I am from went to work to France and among them my great-great-grand parents. I am not sure for how long they had been there but they left their two older children in Slovakia with their grandparents and only the youngest boy was in France with them. One sunny summer day, my great-great-grandmother took two children to the train station, told them to go to France search for their parents and left. There my crying grandfather (who was 2 years old) and his sister (who was 4) were found by a neighbor who immediately sent a letter to France and their father came for them. (Maybe my great-great-grand mother would have come to pick then up later in the day, but we will never know now). The little girl said that she would never ever return to Slovakia and speak to her grandmother. Strong words for a 4-year old, no? They spent around 16 years in France. In summer 1938 the youngest son went to Slovakia to visit his grandparents, but then the Germans did a move and occupied Czechoslovakia and proclaimed that those who do not return back to Czechoslovakia their lands and all property will be confiscated. So my great-grandparents decided to go back to Slovakia. The day when they were supposed to take their train, my grand-father's sister then 18 or 19 said that they either leave her in France or she would jump under the train. Well, she stayed in France and everybody else went back. WW2 started and then the Communists got the power in Czechoslovakia and it was impossible to cross the borders. 18 years passed until she was able to see her family again. They communicated through letters but it is not the same! She and her husband and their son came to Slovakia in 1958. It seems that US immigration is nothing compared to what they had to go through. Different authorizations, journey planed hour by hour, check-up on them every two days while in Slovakia and no less than 5 solders aiming at them with machine guns at the border. Then they came back to Slovakia in 1962, and then in 70's also with their son's wife. Her colleagues asked her not to go there because they were sure she will starve to death. However, she was nicely surprised that we had a lot of food, although she still seems to have a trauma from border crossing (machine guns and stuff) and she was scared to death that they will not be allowed to go back to France. And also she soon understood why they had car trunk full of stuff (jeans, dolls etc)- there was nothing in stores in Czechoslovakia and people waited for hours before stores open to get necessities. My parents went to France when I was 3 in 1988. They had to leave me at home, otherwise they would not be allowed because of an immigration threat. They brought me a lot of colorful toys and clothes because everything we had at stores at home was gray or brown. My French family came again in 1989, my sister was 6 months old and they brought me a Barbie doll, a real one from Matell. That was cool, I was one of few girls in our town who had such a doll! Then me and my parents went to France in 1991 (I think) and that was the last time I saw my French family. I do not know why we never went there or why they never came, but every year my parents were saying we should go but we never went. Of course we called them sometimes but since my grandfather died it has been very sporadic. There is one part of a family that lives in Czech Rep and they visit France almost every year, at least something for my aunt and uncle (but this family does not speak French). Then last year I came to France and we met after 18 years. Also my sister came to visit, and I could really see how my aunt was thrilled to see her because my sister is 21 and the last time they saw her she was 6 months old. I also tried to get my Slovak cousins to came but they could not because of work. Only my aunt can speak Slovak, her husband and their son and his wife can't, therefore I am sure that my uncle and cousin (more like my father's cousin) were really glad to see me because I am the only one from their Czechoslovak family who they can talk to, since I am the only one who speaks French. My aunt just turned 90 and my uncle is 88 and since I am leaving for the US in 3 weeks and do not know whether I will ever come back, they (and I) know that it was probably last time we saw each other and they were both crying when I was leaving. It is just really sad. I will try to call them often.
Now history lesson is over and moving on to the running side. I did 15k this afternoon and now I am icing my shins like crazy. I taped the right one and it seemed to help because no pain. Only occasional sharp pain in my left shin. I will tape both of them tomorrow and will stay on soft surface. And my calves hurt, a lot. No idea what that is. Also, I am a real distance runner now. I lost a toe nail for the first time in my running life. I have had occasional black toes, but never lost a nail. And it is weird because this happened during the adventure race I did in February and the nail fell off only now. I hope it will be ok. It is scary. Now I know that for races when there is a lot of ups and down and moisture I need to wear sneakers half a size larger that my road running sneakers.
And I almost forgot. If you do not know (and you probably don't), the Ice Hockey Championship is taking place in Germany right now. Slovakia-Russia 3-1. Crap! Ok, I know the championship started only now and it was only the first match but I already have a feeling that a new Canadian coach of Slovak national team will not have a very long career with our team...
Please rise your hands those of you who would walk more than 18k just to get a jar of peanut butter. I would and I did.
I went for an easy run with a friend this morning. I wanted to run 8k with her and then keep going but my shins started to hurt and have not really stop since. Stress fracture? Shall see. So did only 8,5k this morning. Also my hamstrings are really tight, probably from 200s on Tuesday (stupid useless workout!!!).
I do not have classes (only final exams in 2 weeks), no bike and can't run, so I was bored and out of PB. Therefore I decided to get some. But a jar in a store nearby is like 11cents more expensive than in a mall couple k further. So it would not be me (too cheap and too active) if I have not decided to go get the cheaper one. So 18k it was because of 11 cents cheaper jar of PB. (I can't believe I value 11 cents for 18k and 3 hours of my life!) But I enjoyed the walk, I like going there. I have already done it multiple times and it is very calming and I can think about random things.
It was around 6pm when I got back and clouds were gone, sun was shining, perfect weather for roller skating. Ok, so I have not used my in-lines for past two years and I knew it would be embarrassing and I will most likely break something. They make different protectors for knees, elbows, wrists but nothing for a butt. Come one, I need a cushion/pillow for my butt in order to cushion my falls! I did not start on campus, I went little bit further in my sneakers and changed only afterwards because I am already known as the girl that is on both track and volleyball team, runs every day and has a home trainer and a bike in her dorm room, so I do not need to add "the one landing on her butt/or face on a pavement roller-skating". First 50m were very slow and careful. Then I got more confidence but I am sure I still looked very scared and too prudent. I did 10k on my usual running path along the high way. That path seems more flat when I am running. There are some hills there:) I was close to falling only once (and did not fall, yay!). I liked it a lot but I need to get more confidence and I get that only with practice. Then I will be fine and I will go for longer rides. But until then, I am going to stay away from campus where people who I know/or who know me can see me:)
I am off to visit my family in Auxerre, will be back on Sunday.
We had another track meet and I did 3k again. But I was not motivated at all but I was not able to find any excuses not to go there...So I went and ran a shitty race, finishing in something like 11:27. Why should I try hard if nobody cares? I don't like 3k races and I do not want to do them and I did it only because of our school and those jerks don't even care. I want to concentrate on a half-marathon in October where I want to run a fast race. Not even my pride was enough to force me to run faster race. Since everybody knew that I ran 11:00 three weeks ago runnig alone, everybody expected from me faster time when runnig with other girls. But no, well. I do not care, but maybe I will start caring before going to bed.
I need to overcome this "negativity" phase soon because it is not very good because I do not enjoy running practices right now. I enjoy volleyball though.
I do not know what's going on lately but I have been very VERY negative past few days. It is either PMS or everything/everyone is indeed stupid and I hate everything/everybody. Therefore if you do not like my negativity, do not continue reading please.
Ile de France "collegiate" T&F championship is next Thursday and I am going to do 3k again and we had our last pre-race practice today and it was horrible. 10x200m sprint. How the heck is such a workout 2 days before a race going to help me to run fast 3k?!? Everything fast makes me tired and my legs suffer, therefore such workout will not help me for Thursday but exact opposite. Our coach is just soooooo incompetent! Furthermore my quads are very tight today and sprint does not help with that. Coach told me that it is because I was wearing shorts. When he said that I wanted to kill him. Ok, he might be somehow right there because keeping my muscles warm might help me, but when it is 30degrees outside, I am not wearing long pants only because my quads or calves are tight from running the previous day! I did 6 200s and then called it quits. It would be stupid to continue. Grrr.
I am starting to be allergic to all sport coaches and everything sports related at this school. Why is French Universities T&F championship less important than a stupid local race between 3 local school rivals where 10 girls show up? Why is it such a big deal that volleyball team got third in a shitty competition among other French business schools? Why nobody cares about T&F championship and nobody is upset that I have missed qualifying mark by 0.8 second, but qualifies provisionally? (I mean honestly, my coach did not even know what the qualifying limit was and when I told him I missed it, he did not seem to be very impressioned/unimpressioned. He was just indifferent.) Winning a one's heat is not winning a race, so stop saying calling it a win! Why would anyone think that I can run 10:45 for 3k only because I ran 11:00 three weeks ago? That's 15sec and I can not do that, so be realistic please! Why would sport teams here have drinking party every Thursday? Grrrr. I am so glad that I do not have to deal with all this sport incompetent people anymore after this semester is over. (I am not saying that I am all sport competent, but sometimes I feel that I have more competence that sport office president, I mean, really.)
My days are one like another, nothing excited. Even the weather is horrible. I did very easy 8k on a loop that I have not done in like two months because there are two big downhills (and then two uphills of course) and my knee hurt when I run downhill. Everything was ok today.
Then I went to volleyball practice. But it is not really a practice anymore because both men's and women's team are done with matches. So we just played an hour and a half for fun. And it was indeed fun. Apart from a moment when men's captain said to our captain who complained about her legs and how they hurt and he said she should not do weights when her legs are too tired and then he said "il faut pas avoir les jambes comme Monika" (which basically means that if you do that you will have legs like Monika and you certainly do not want that"). Hm...what exactly did that mean? He said "hm,,, I did not meant anything,hm,,, I meant your knee, not your legs, hm,,,I think you have beautiful legs,hm,,,". Hilarious conversation:)
Who would have though that I will even win the third place in French Business Schools (or in fact any) volleyball championship? As I mentioned before our team is not very good but we somehow manage to mobilize ourselves and win the most important matches and this helped us to get through Ile de France pool, then northeastern region pool, all the way to the final tournament of top 6 teams. This tournament was taken more seriously than our other tournaments/matches but I still found it not enough serious but for most of our team members this was the highlight of their matches preparation- aka nobody got drunk the night before the match. We arrived to Nantes on Friday afternoon, went out for dinner (MacDonald's, grrrr. I did not eat that thought) and went to bed at midnight... Midnight is way too late in my opinion but compared to usual 3:30ish am it was too early. Saturday: Morning: 2 pools with 3 teams each were decided and preliminary matches played. We proceeded to semifinals from the second position in our pool. I played my usual position of middle hitter for couple points. In the afternoon the semifinals were played and although we tried, we did not managed to win. They were definitely better but we did not played very well though. In the evening, I managed to get in 15k run. Yeah, I am crazy. Funny story happened: When I came back to the hotel from my run, I was in elevator with two players from different school playing against us and they told me they saw me running and we talked about it a little. Then during the dinner my coach told me that he knew I was running because he was approached and questioned by a coach from the school the two girls were from and that coach thought that our coach made our team to run as a training (or punishment that we did not win semifinals:)). Of course my coach knew immediately that it was me running after the whole day of volleyball games (I am the only person as crazy as that) and he explained "my insanity" (as he put it) to that coach. Hm. But it was cool run and I got to see the city. Although I must have looked strange running with a map and stoping at every corner checking my pposition:) We went to bad again at midnight, nobody drunk but people had beer and wine. Sunday: 3rd place match for us. Our right side hitter started to have problems with a knee that she had a surgery on, so I played her position. Horrible. I had no idea where to go, what to do. Our coaches and players had to constantly tell me where to go and what to do because I was lost. After 1 set I got hang of it and it was better. I played a pretty decent match. We won 3:1! Awesomeness!!!!!! We got a nice cup that will end up in a dining room of an apartment of some of our players:) Then train ride back to Paris and back on campus, I did my nice easy 15k run:)
This is the first and probably the LAST time I win anything for a volleyball:) Weird thing is that I am not as excited as other players. Probably because they do not have any experience with "real" sport tournaments and competitions (well, I am not a professional, but still, I have some experience) and when they win something they are very happy. But for me, I know that the level of our play is not very good (apart from teams that got 1st and 2nd, they are really good also on overall French national level) so I do not think that it is a huge deal. Sorry my dear team, but it is true.
And one more thing makes me really but really mad. Now everybody from Sports Office is going to talk about how we got 3rd in business schools volleyball, but when I qualified for French cross country collegiate championship(you got the idea how the level in France is, since I qualified for XC...) not only stupid business schools championship but overall universities one, they told me I can not go there because there was some stupid XC race among our school and 2 huge rivals the same day. F***ing idiots! Now when I have a shot to place among top 5 in 10k and 3k in collegiate championship (not only stupid business schools) and nobody cares because all they care about are collective sports. Hate everything and everybody.