Monday, January 31, 2011

Hello Michigan

I made it very uneventfully. No extra nights in different cities, flights on time, and even my suitcase made it almost untouched.

Actually I arrived already last night, but I moved to my new apartment only today. You remember my apartment from last summer? 2 bedrooms, 2 bathrooms, furnished, 2 TVs. This apartment is just naked walls with few of the accessories I bought today.
I got spoiled last summer. Of course it was the company paying for it, but then my salary was lower. Now it is me paying for it and my salary is higher. This one is almost half the price, so I am not complaining, I can save than money.

I think I am pretty much all set here. Internet, water and electricity running, I got an airbed, a pillow and a comforter, a lamp, 8 hangers, I have two plates, a bowl, a glass, 2 knives, some utensils, 2 pots and food to last me at least 1 month (grocery store is over 5 miles from here, so I do not plan on going there often, just once a week to get some fresh food).
The only think I still need is a bike. They do not have a bike I want, all the others are too small for me. I found one that could be ok, but it is not a road bike and it is little too expensive. Problem is that I cannot even order that bike online because they are out of stock and if I order from a different store they won't assemble it and I prefer them assembling it because I have never assembled a bike brand new from the factory and some bike shop assembly will probably cost more that the actual bike. So I am not sure.

I also went to join YMCA. They have a promotion and I did not have to pay $150 sign-up fee, cool. So it is only $37/month, not bad. But it is around 4 miles from here and since I do no have either a car (starting tomorrow) nor a bike, and it is cold out, I am not too motivated to go there.

Since I have spent the whole day spending money on settling in, I did not have time to run or bike. It will have to wait till tomorrow.

Saturday, January 29, 2011

Smell you later Europe

I am leaving tomorrow for Michigan. My flight is early in the morning and we are leaving from home at 1:30am!
I hope my trip would be less adventurous than past two time I flew trans-Atlantic.

I did my last run here today, long run. I forgot how much I like doing easy runs on snow somewhere far from the city and busy roads.

Friday, January 28, 2011

Good good day

I woke up at 5am because there were some knocking voices throughout the whole building. At least I finished reading a book, now I finally know who was the murderer. But I fell asleep again and slept until 9ish. Nice.

I went to the pool in the morning. Surprisingly there were only few people there. However, both swimming lanes were taken so I started doing my pull/bands/paddles thing in a common space. One nice older guy in a swimming lane saw me and offered to switch with me. Well isn´t that sweet?
Swim was great although my coach might want to kill me because she told me to do intervals with paddles and bands and NO pull buoy. Oh my.
Funny thing was when one other older Czech guy (he spoke Czech, so I suppose he was Czech) asked me where I bought my paddles. He told me that he used to swim and now he does scuba diving and he never saw paddles in stores, but he made himself paddles at home couple years ago. I told him that I had to go to 15+ stores to find them but I explained to him where I had got them. He looked pretty excited about it.

In the afternoon I went for a run. It was great. I found a road that was not busy and somehow plought, there was still snow but not above my ankles:) It was just another run but I was very happy to be there.
When I was leaving my mom saw me putting on sneakers and she was like, you are going to wear sneakers in snow and cold? Hm. What was I supposed to wear? I asked whether I should wear boots and what she thinks I have been wearing for past 10 years when I was running. My mom looked at me and asked me to tell her one good reason why I go running. I said that because running was freaking awesome and off I went :)

Wednesday, January 26, 2011

Mixed feelings

This week sucks, it is my last week at home and everyone thinks that I should spend time with them and not doing such unimportant things as training. I will probably not finish half of my planned workouts.

Take for example today. I was trying to do all three trainings- bike, swim, run- today because I will not have enough time for the rest of the week.

I did bike in the morning, hard intervals. And they were hard!

Then I went to see the dentist. Then I ate lunch and wanted to go swimming and then I had rendez-vous with my former coach to go running.

However, my grandmom told me that someone must shovel their yard (it has been snowing the whole night and day). And what was I supposed to do? Let my 79 year old grandfather to do it? (Actually he did half of it because I did not know about it.) By the time I was done with the snow, I did not have time to go swimming before running. Grrr.
So I ran for 60minues, alone because the coach got sick and all other athletes were supposed to do downhill intervals but road was not ploughed so they stayed in the gym. Pussies. I remember when I was a kid we used to do intervals in any weather, snow or no snow. It sucked but we felt hard core.

I decided not to do that skiing race. I really want to but EVERYONE is saying not to do it, because it is on Saturday morning/afternoon and I am flying on Sunday early morning from Budapest, Hungary.
Plus it would be a pure torture. But I do not mind that. I have been dreaming about doing it for years!!!!!!!
Therefore I do not like living with my parents and grandparents. When I am alone I do stupid things and they do not know about it. When I am with them, I cannot do stupid things because then I have to listen to their speeches about how I am going to break a leg or two and then I will not be able to take the flight the next day. I am mean, it makes sense, but am I supposed to sit in an empty room so nothing happens to me?

I am looking forward to being in Michigan where I will be able to do whatever I want to without any commentaries. However, I am little worried as well.
I will have to start working on my Master thesis and I have no idea how.
And how the heck I am going to swim and run? How do working people do it in winter? There will be snow everywhere, I will get home after 6pm and it will be dark and how am I going to do intervals when there will be snow on track (and track is 4+miles from me anyway, and there is no light there) ? And how am I going to swim because I am sure that pool will be crowded in the evenings.
And how am I going to go grocery shopping and go somewhere (like work for example) in general? Is Michigan winter really that bad as they say?
And I have to spend 60bucks on the first night in a hotel, because I cannot move into my apartment because I arrive too late.
And I will not have TV. And will be sleeping on an airbed.

Sorry, I need to get a grip!

Monday, January 24, 2011

Building base

So far my training was pretty much done from one race to another with no real goals for the future in mind. Starting today I am going to build up my base for couple months and then I will choose races and do specific training that will help me to attain my goals!

Base bulding started with an easy 5.5 miler :)

I also did big gear intervals in the morning, of course, and those are hard, ouch my legs. I was supposed to do swim but pool is closed on Monday:(

No snow yet, we had -11degrees C so cold enough but sunny.

By the way, I found a place to live in MI. Nobody wanted to take me for only 4months so I must rent a whole apartment and get my own utilities and internet set up. I'm not sure yet whether I will get cable, probably not. And I might sleep on an airbed because how am I going to take matress there?!? Plus Im not buying a car. Work is only 3 miles from this place so I can use bike or walk. However, grocery store is over 4 miles so we shall see how that goes. It will be nothing like my stay in MI in summer:(

Sunday, January 23, 2011


Ok. I am going to say it out loud, I do not like racing (that much).

I love training but I am definitely not made to race every month. I love training hard for couple months and then race hard. Then I am excited and motivated to race, plus I am confident because I know I did everything I could and I trained hard.

I have trained hard and was focused since August for a race at the end of October. I was ready and was looking forward to the race. Afterwards it all went downhill and it peaked yesterday.
I raced 3000m indoors. I was dreading it. I did first 1.5k right as plannned, and it also felt very good, legs and lungs no problem. And then I started to fade and my arms started to hurt a lot, it was horrible.
Although arms were a huge limitation (you can't imagine how they hurt), I did not have enough fire and willingness in me to respond to other runners. I finished in 11:10. I was ready for hurt, but when it came to that point I gave up (but arms hurt anyway, but I mean different hurt).

Therefore I don't think I will race again until April. I will train hard and then try to have 1-2 good races in spring/summer. And then train again and do few races in fall. I think that would be ideal for me.

I had the same problem with arms before and I said I need to do some exercises I used to do when I was younger but then I completely forgot about that resolution. Now I MUST do them.

I also think that I should do longer intervals if I want to race longer distances. My body responds well to them and they give me confidence.

I am still not sure whether I will do that cross country ski race next week. I was in the resort where it should take place today and the conditions are not ideal. I went downhill skiing with my dad for about 4,5 hours and then I did few miles xc skiing. I was/am tired.
I don't like snow therefore I can't believe that I am saying this but I wish it snowed in next few days. I need at least 2/3 feet to have better xc ski conditions.

Thursday, January 20, 2011

Short update

I came to my grandparent's yesterday. But before I left I did bike workout. Yeah, it is a down week, only 5 runs, 2 swims, 2 bikes.

Today I swam- it was the best, only 3 people in the pool, I can't believe that! But I feel pretty slow, like pools here are slower than pools at UCLA, hm.

Then onto run. I met with my former coach and some of his athletes, but I ran alone.

Tomorrow is a complete rest before Saturday!!!

Tuesday, January 18, 2011

Let's talk about race goals

3000m indoor race is on Saturday so it is time to set some goals. Writing this post will help me to think it through and then hopefully it will penetrate somewhere into my brain and help me prepare mentally.

Based on my past training (or non-training. I do not know why but I have a feeling that I have been slacking past month and a half. Hell, I have a feeling that I have been slacking since my 5k race in October. But I have not!) and recent workout times I should be in 10:40-11:10 range. That's a pretty broad range.

I made myself this small table
400 1:24 1:23 1:26 1:27 1:25
3000 10:30 10:22 10:45 10:52 10:37
1000 3:30 3:27 3:35 3:37 3:32
1500 5:15 5:11 5:22 5:26 5:18
800 2:48 2:46 2:52 2:54 2:50

I was supposed to run 8x400m today @ 1500-3000 pace. I ran 83, 84, 84, 83, 84, 83, 83, 81. So that's definitely closer to 1500m pace than to 3000m pace. It felt hard at first but when I warmed up enough it was pretty easy, but there was 2min jog/walk rest between.
Last week I did 4x800 @ 2:57, 2:56, 2:53, 2:51 and it felt pretty easy, but there was 400m job between therefore I do not think that I can run 4x 2:51-2:53 800m continuously.

Therefore I think that I might run 10:50ish if I have a good day.
I might run sub 10:50 if I have a very good day.
10:55ish seems the most realistic in my current state of body and mind.

Therefore my plan will be first 1k @ 3:37 and than try to pick it up. 2k @ 3:35, 3k @ 3:38 max. That would give me 10:50. I will try to blast the last 400m so hopefully the last k will be faster.

I need to warm up a lot otherwise it will take me half a race to warm up enough to run decent time. Warm up is a key in these short distances. (I can't believe I just wrote that. 3000m is not short, but it is shorter than 5k or 10k, so let's call it short)

My dream 5+ years younger runner husband has different excuses not to race on Saturday (like sickness, school finals and a different race on Sunday, blahblah) but he said he might come to cheer on and he expects me to run sub-10:40. I do not know how he calculated that since he has not seen me running in past 5-6 years but I think that he thinks that if he as a sprinter (nobody is perfect I guess) can run 10:40 so can I. Oh my, such a pressure on myself!:)

I am feeling tired. I was pretty tired yesterday on a bike already. Today I did swim workout in the morning (only 2 people in a lane, woo-hoo) and I did not feel very energetic. I started to fall asleep by noon but I had to go running before dark. I felt pretty tired for the first 5-6 400s, then I somehow woke up and forgot about my tiredness. I promised my mom that I will go to theater with her so we are going there now. I hope it is good, otherwise I will fall asleep right there.
I need to eat better and maybe sleep more.

And my left calf is killing me. I need a massage or something to loosen it up. I tried to roll it but I still feel it when I run slowly. So it means that I should run only fast:)

Monday, January 17, 2011

They caught me at last

I got kicked out of the track today. I did not have 1Euro (fee for track usage) so I was asked to leave. Who said that running is cheap?
I am used to the idea of paying for using pool or gym but not for track. Seems we are hard capitalists here now. (Government even asks students over 26 to pay 46Eur/month for health insurance since 1/1! Where are Slovak students supposed to take 46Euros a month??? Where am I supposed to get 46Euros a month?)

Anyway, I did an easy aerobic bike ride and then an easy 5miler as a brick session. Run was little less quality run because I had to stop, run home to leave my backpack there and then continue in my run.

Tomorrow I will bring 1Euro. 400m track intervals are worth it. (I am paying to suffer?!?)

Saturday, January 15, 2011

This has nothing to do with running- it is about English and school system

I have just read some of my past blogs and I feel little ashamed of what might seem as my poor English.

For example yesterday I wrote "scalf" instead of "skull". I knew that something was wrong with the word "scalf" but I just could not remember the correct word and was too lazy to look it up.
Or sometimes I add an extra word, or omit a word. Or write when instead of then etc.

And I feel like an idiot because if someone reads it then that person will think that I cannot write/speak English properly. Ok, my English is not 100% (and you should hear me talk, especially my funny accent. I cannot pronounce word "water" properly and nobody understands me, it is always embarrassing when I eat out and it is my turn to order something to drink. I should start ordering coke instead.) but it is better than you might think when you read what I write.

I am too lazy to double-check what I have written, but fortunately sometimes my computer catches the spelling mistakes, maybe I should start with it.

This brings me to the second problem which is that since I went to the US for the first time my nice Cambridge English has deteriorated. My vocabulary has greatly expanded but I do not remember the last time I have used the third conditional or continuous past perfect tense or properly used must and have to or used a synonym to awesome. It is horrible.

My cousin has spent past summer with my sister in Arkansas- to learn English. She still cannot construct a sentence without confusing
tenses and forgetting to put "s" in the third person but she uses written and oral expressions like gonna, wanna, thanx, nite and it drives me crazy.

You know like they say that the best way to learn a language is to go abroad and learn it there? I slightly disagree. I think that a person
should learn grammar at home first and only then go abroad and learn to speak.
I have learnt English in Slovakia and French in the US. Two completely different approaches. In Slovakia we have learnt grammar and we did not know how to speak. In the US we learnt how to speak and never learnt the grammar. But it is always easier to learn how to speak when you know grammar than to work backwards and try to learn grammar and speak properly after you have learnt how to speak improperly, right?

Which leads to my conclusion that both systems suck separately but the system would be unbeatable if they were combined. Old Slovak (communist/socialist or whatever you want to call it) system is not great because there is a huge emphasis on facts and less attention given to anything else. But I have the impression that the American kids can talk about causes and consequences of French revolution and can analyze its impact on Karl Marx but they have no idea when French revolution happened and other basic facts. I can tell you that Louis XVI was beheaded on Jan 21 1793 (I bet $1000 bucks that this is true) but I have no idea what impact that had on Karl Marx. But it is important to know both! Otherwise someone may end up analyzing the impact of the French Revolution on the 30 Year war!

This post does not really lead anywhere, I wanted to write something to make me feel less ashamed of my mistakes and I ended up posting the greatest idea of all times.

Swim logistics question

Swim in the morning and 10 miles in the evening. Not too bad.

Can anyone tell me how people do their swim workouts in regular pool? There were 5 people in my lane at one point!!! Thankfully I did not do any hard intervals, only looooong swims. How do people do intervals in public pools? Is that even possible?
Any advice?

I did a lot of pulling so my arms were tired. But I do not have paddles:( I was too naive I thought I could get paddles here but I visited all sporting goods stores here and couple in our capital and nothing. Nobody knew what I was talking about. They have only goggles and swim caps. Horrible.

Good news is that 10miles went very well. I am little worried about that my ITB would say tomorrow because it was mostly on a road and in my trail shoes. I left my good running shoes at my grandparents because I was supposed to be there by now, but no, I am still stuck here. The only pros of being here is the track. If I were at my grandparents I would be running loops in a park.

My arms hurt from swimming and my legs hurt from running:( My coach was right, those big gear intervals and squats/lunges etc have killed me.

Friday, January 14, 2011

I need 3 more weeks

Not to get more fit (although that would not be too bad neither) but to get my confidence back.
You all know that I am one very negative mental wimp. I do not have racing confidence and my race is little over one week apart. I am dreading it.

Today before my workout I felt very nervous and had butterflies in the stomach:( Can you imagine how it will be before the race? I don't want to think about it.

Today's plan was 4x800 @ 2:50-2:58 w/ 400m jog/walk rest. I started conservatively at 2:57. Then 2:56. The third one was 2:53 and the last one 2:51 and it was not even that hard. I thought it would be much worse. So it is true that one does not loose all fitness in just one week of doing nothing but it still does not want to fully penetrate through my thick scull.

I feel good about the workout but I would need few more good workouts to become confident:(
I have one week to work on it.

Today is not ideal training-wise. I went to the embassy yesterday and got approved for the visa. Woo-hoo!!! But it is in different town so I had to get up very early and when I got home in the afternoon I passed out for 3 hours and then it was too late to run/bike/swim. So yesterday was my day off.
However I need to go the embassy today as well, but in the afternoon. So I had to get both run and bike workout in before I leave.

Therefore immediately after 800s I went to the gym for some big gear and high cadence intervals with bunch of lunges/squats/jumps thrown between intervals. Fun times. I managed to hold a wall sit for 60sec no problem at the end. Maybe I am not a lost case after all (or maybe I did not work hard enough on those big gear intervals):)
I know it was not ideal but I had no choice, had to do it back to back.

I need to wear my compression socks now because my calves are not happy and knee socks seem to help with it. I do not know why they get so tight. It is annoying and painful.

Wednesday, January 12, 2011

Ouch, my poor muscles

Especially calves and thighs.

I had 50min bike ride with some all-out intervals (only 12x20sec, but it was hard effort so legs were pretty trashed) followed by easy 6 miler, so it was a brick.

I can tell that my legs are not used to hard work anymore. They got wimpy in past month or so:) This should do them good.

Keep your fingers crossed, I am going to the US embassy for visa interview tomorrow.

Tuesday, January 11, 2011


I normally do my "main" running workout as the first workout of a day and only then I do other workout- swim or bike.
I had to revise it today since the pool is supposed to be emptier 9-11am and I cannot do running workout before that because it is cold, dark etc in the early morning.
So I did swim first and I had the lane (one of two lanes separated for swimmers, rest is for bathing, not for swimming) all for myself for most of the workout. Awesome. But this pool sucks. It does not have markings on the bottom so you do not know when you are getting close to the wall. It is dangerous. And no pacing clock. But I somehow managed. It was my longest swim ever, 2100m. Woo-hoo!!!
I do not have hand paddles:( But I have pull buoy and I used a piece of string tied around my ankles as swim bands. Very professional, I know.

Then four hours rest and on to run workout. On the track. 3 X 5 X 300 m @ around 64-68. Take 100 m very slow jog between intervals and 500 m between sets. I did this workout in October and my average was around 61s.
I went to this workout very very negative and was prepared to suck. So I totally under-committed.
But I was super happy about being on the track that was free of snow. And also temperature was not too cold. Not LA, but better than last week.
I started the first one and as I was running I was praying that it would be under 68s because it felt pretty easy. 62s. Hm, pretty good.
I continued nicely controlled and average was 63s. But it felt easier than in October. Maybe I should have run faster. And it went by unbelievably fast. Totally different from October workout.

Because I was prepared to run over 65s average, I am happy about the workout because I am in better shape than I thought I was. But I gave myself a lousy goal so it was not that great. So I do not know.

But my hamstrings started to be tight during the workout and then afterwards they felt trashed. Ouch. I have a bike/run brick tomorrow, should be fun:)

Monday, January 10, 2011

Bike ride

I did a long aerobic bike ride. Well, not too long but it feels very long on a stationary bike. 90min. Surprisingly my butt did not hurt, it is probably adjusting to the seat. But my legs felt little sore afterwards. Wow. I wonder why because it was not hard.

I might have been too fast judging my ITB on Saturday. I ran half of my long run on a road, and then did a diet fartlek on a road again yesterday. And I can feel ITB today. Just occasional tweaks but still.
NO road run tomorrow. I will be a good little runner and walk to the track and then run there.

It has been really warm here past three days and almost all snow is gone by now. Which is a good thing because I will be able to run in the first lane on the track and will see how fast (or slow) I am!
But it is supposed to get cold again next week so I should enjoy "warmth" now.

Saturday, January 8, 2011

I wish for more runs like this one

Because I managed to run painfree past 7.5 miles - I did around 10 miles!!! and more importantly I ran with a man of my dreams. Runner, interesting, good career prospects, younger than I am. This way we can run together pushing our 3 kids in a baby jogger and on top of that I would not be a widow for too long.

10miles were very good, no pain but legs felt heavy afterwards. We went pretty slowly because the route we chose was covered with ice so we had to be very careful. Route was not that great but at least the conversation was.

And I could not go to pool neither today!!! Grrrrr.

Friday, January 7, 2011

200m workout

I managed to trick my cousin to let me use his computer:)

I did 8x200m and it is either that I am VERY VERY slow, or that the loop I have chosen to run is long or that I am too wimpy to run fast on snow and ice. I was supposed to do 38-40 sec, which would be pretty easy couple week ago but I did not get any of those intervals under 40s. The fastest one was 41 something.
It´s probably combination of all those causes mentioned above but the major factor would be the distance. It could be anywhere between 180-220m.

We do not have proper track in this town so we can´t run there in winter because the surface would get destroyed. Tehrefore we used to go to nearby park and run small 250m (+-20m) loop to simulate indoor track for indoor season:)

It is nice to run at places I used to run when I was younger. I have not run in this park since 2005. And now I have no idea how we could run there, it is slippery in winter, sharp turns and not measured properly. I am too spoiled now:)

I wanted to do swim workout afterwards but I slightly hurt my back muscles somehow when I did those running intervals and it hurts a little when I try to turn so I will do it tomorrow if my back loosens up.

And by the way. I received the permission to do the internship from US Department of State (or whichever office) so I am going to visa interview next week and should be back in the US in February!!!!

Wednesday, January 5, 2011

Now it starts to look like a real training

I got in a bike workout in the morning- hill repeats, my poor legs (and butt) and a easy 6 miler in the evening.
My parents were already at home when I went running and when they saw me dressed in my running cloths I was told than I was not normal and off I went. 6 miles on 250m track. Fun.

I am going to my grandparents tomorrow (FINALLY!!!!) but only for 3 days. I should meet with a friend with whom we used to run together when we were kids so it should be fun. At least I hope he will meet me because he is in the middle of finals, it sucks.

It is supposed to get warmer tomorrow and during the weekend, so no cross country ski training:(

Tuesday, January 4, 2011

Parsley tea and RUN, FINALLY

Have you ever tried parsley tea? It is pretty disgusting. So now you know and you don't need to try it, I did it for you.
It was not intentional of course. I was completely frozen after my run so I made myself tea. I have no idea where things are in this apartment (that must mean something since my parents have been living here for past 4+ year and I still can't anything here, I have spend here max 10 days in past 4 years) but I found some jars with herbs that my mom collected and dried over summer and I dumped it into boiling water. Then I tried to drink it and yack. I smelled those herbs and realized that it is not nettle as I thought but it is parsley.
But I am going to drink it. I have a huge tea-pot of it and since I have already used water and energy and lemon and sugar, I don't want to waste it. I am sure I will not die so whatever, it is to warm me up not to taste good.

Now let's talk about running. Being the extremist as I am I decided to jump in with 800s workout. I loved it and felt great running although of course it did not go as planned. I went to the main track in this town because it was ploughed (plought, no idea)- first 2 lanes and last two lanes. But first two lanes were probably meant for speed ice-skating because that's how it looked like.
I was supposed to do 4x breakdown 800, first 400 @ 5k pace and the second at sub-300. Because I was running in the last lane I have no idea what my splits were supposed to be. But that's probably a good thing because if I had known how slow I was running I would have freaked out. Now I know that it was slow but thankfully I do not know how slow.
It was pretty horrible. I was freezing. Warm up was ok, but then my limbs started to freeze. I was so cold that I ran the first one in my warm jacket but I could not move properly in that so had to take it off for next intervals. It is strange because in the 3rd 800 I actually started to feel warmed up but at the same time I wanted to cry because my hands were sooo cold. Of course I had gloves but it did not help. Also toes were cold but it was not that bad.
The only good thing about this workout (except the fact that I was running) is that it started to snow during my cool down and not during the intervals and that a guard did not catch me and I did not have to pay 1Euro fee for using the track.
Once I manage to open the door to our apartment (and I seriously considered knocking on the door of our neighbor and ask him/her, I do not even know who lives there, to open the door for me because my hands were so frozen.) I spend half an hour sitting by the heater and defrosting myself.
It is not perfect yet but after I am done with my warm parsley tea I should be able to move my fingers and function properly and I can go to the pool for swim workout. I am not looking forward to that, not at all.

Maybe they will kick me out because I am sure whether they will allow me using paddles and pull-buoy there and I will be able to go home and spend the afternoon by the heater (and calling the police departments in Michigan and try to find my supposedly lost suitcase).

Monday, January 3, 2011

Moving troubles continue

It's official. I should stay home and sit on my but.
I did not want to take my suitcase with me from LA because I am still hoping to go to Michigan in February so I sent the suitcase there by USPS.
But it would not be me if something did not go wrong.

My roommate from LA sent me an email saying there was West LA police looking for me in her apartment. (I wish I could see her face when they introduced themselves and asked for me:)). They told her that my suitcase was found and is at the police station somewhere in Michigan and that their colleagues from MI called LA police to track me down and let me know that they have it.
What? My suitcase was lost? Where, when, how? My poor suitcase.

I called MI police today and they have no record about my suitcase and they are working on it:(((

I should call USPS and politely ask them whether they know where my suitcase is and see what they tell me. They probably don't even know it is lost.

I wanted to go running this evening but I did not because I called the police and they told me they will call me back in an hour or so with the information. It has been 2 hours and they still have not called and they are not picking up the phone. So no run today:((( AGAIN!!!!! And I spent the whole morning looking onto a detailed map of this city trying to find a running track. I found two and I even visited both of them this morning to see whether I can run there. I can, theoretically, but not practically:(

At least I got a bike workout in this morning. Some big gear intervals. It was hard. My poor legs. And my poor butt. That bike seat was sooooo uncomfortable! Warm up and the intervals were ok, but then I did 40min steady and that was pain in the ass, literally.

2010 and 2011

2010 was a good year. But honestly, all my years are good because what kind of problems can a student have, right? Except for moving from one country to another and then a little bit further, getting visa in three different US embassies in three different countries, filing income taxes in three different countries, being from the eastern Europe and paying rent in Paris and Los Angeles. But other than all this everything is sans problemes.

As I said 2010 was a good year. I did not fail my first year of Master's program and also the first semester of the second year, I did an internship in Michigan, got into exchange program at UCLA and had a blast there. I scored two coaches. I got back on "running track" and ran a huge 10k PR and one very good 5k race and few other solid races. I started triathlon training and am on a road to fulfill my triathlon dream. I have managed to run IT band relatively problems-free since August!
Yeah, a very good year.

I hope 2011 will be alike!
I have few huge plans!

- finish school in June, this is my last semester!!!
- become a mature adult and find a job (either US, Canada or Australia)
Ok, these two are not my real plans (dreams), those are necessities.

- get very close to 18min in 5k. I do not know what the realistic goal is, maybe 18:30 is more realistic, maybe 17:55. No, idea, I shall see.
- run sub 39min for 10k
- do at least 3 triathlons (preferably one sprint and 2 Olympic distance triathlons). No time goals there yet, those will come along the way. I need to buy a bike first and then try a triathlon and I need to become a better aka more efficient swimmer and cyclist. Let's see whether I can swim sub-1:20 for 100 and keep 1:30s for 400-500m.
- see whether I can run a half-marathon in fall, which means that I need to take care of my IT band

Unfortunately I can't plan any races because I do not know where I will be in two weeks so no idea where I will be in 6 months :(
If I am in Europe in summer I would love to do 10k road French collegiate championship at the beginning of June, then 5000m at Slovak T&F Championship in July and 10k Slovak Champs on road in August (or late July). And Olympic distance tri in Slovakia Cunovo in August.

Otherwise I will just do road races and random tris wherever I will end up working/living.

Sunday, January 2, 2011

Week at home- 24/7 with parents, 5k race and pathetic fail

There were some downs and ups these past 9 days.

Can you imagine spending 24/7 with your parents after being used to spend 80% of your time alone and doing whatever you want with no constraints and no compromises? :) I should probably go to spend few days with my grandparents now, it is not the same as being alone but they do not ask me zillion questions every day.

So I arrived on 24th night, ate Xmas dinner and went to bed. Got up at 3am:(
On 25th I did a short 4mile run with strides to shake out and I started to think that 5k was not such a great idea- it was cold, slippery and I was tired (9 hours time difference is a lot. 6 hours is easy to adapt to. I only sleep one night and I am adjusted the next day but to adjust to 9 hours is harder.). That 5k race sounded much better idea one month ago in sunny California:)

I woke up at 3am again on 26th but I had to get up at 6:30am anyway so I did not have to lay in bed and do nothing for too long. But 5k seemed more and more a stupid idea as we were driving because it started to snow and it was cold. I was dreaming about running in shorts and t-shirt only 4 days before:)
But I had a blast anyway! I was wearing only a regular watch with HRM (to get data but it did not work out very well, I should re-read the manual) and I did not care about the pace or time or anything because there was snow on roads (and kept falling from the sky) and it was slippery and impossible to run fast. I only wanted to have fun.
I ran comfortably the whole time and I felt very good. Even if I had wanted to (ok, I did not want to) push little bit more I could have not because we were slipping into all directions. (This is the weirdest grammar construction and my English teacher would not be too thrilled about it:()
There was one girl who was getting on my nerves because she was running less than 50cm behind me and there was one guy (her coach?) running behind her and screaming "hold on to her (me)" the whole time. It was driving me crazy. But she eventually fade away after about 3k and I could "breath".
I was the first female, 19:47ish and won 15Euro.
I am starting to like 5k. It is not very long but long enough so I don't have to "sprint". I like it!
I went to the race with my old coach and some of his new athletes and it was fun. I miss running with people and being part of a team.

Then my parents picked me up and we went to their weekend house by the lake.

Few hours later:

There I failed miserably, once again. I ran ONCE in past 7 days. 5miles on Monday.
I had to go downhill skiing on Tuesday, then hiking on Wednesday, hiking again on Thursday, x-country skiing on Friday and Saturday and ice skating on Sunday.
My father wanted me to do all these things with him and it was too late to go running by the time we got home:( Once again I did not manage to tell him I am not going anywhere because I need to go running.
It is true that I could run on Friday, Saturday and Sunday but I did not because of pure laziness and frustration from not running days before.
I did 16k on skies on Friday and 13k on Saturday. Not too shabby but it was freestyle, not classic style. I wanted to do classic style but I skied on a lake and I had some small technical difficulties (bad waxing and not enough snow to use poles) so had to go freestyle.
I should re-group. We are back to civilization and my parents are going back to work tomorrow so I can do whatever I want to:) And I am going to my grandparents in few days so I will get back on track. That's my plan! (Now I only need to find a place where I can run tomorrow)