Thursday, September 11, 2014

Throwback Thursday (We Run Prague 2014) & Exciting Step Ahead

Photos from the We Run Prague 2014 have flooded Czech social media today :) So here I am with my little bit. I only got two and wouldn't share the second one as I have very strange everything on that photo, I just find it very funny how the guys looks at me :D :D :D What do you think he was thinking? I love the expression and it's funny that the photographer caught that moment :)

Funny, right?

I am also glad that the organizing agency finally corrected the results. I was stated in the result as a man even though I really stated my gender correctly in the registration process :) Friends started to comment on that right after the results were online and it took them several days to correct it. Even though I mentioned in the email that there were about 10 men listed as women ahead of me (in Czech language you can really easily tell by the name), they did not correct it at once. I emailed them back again and finally now the results were corrected, so I placed 462nd overall and 22nd female. I love number 2 (even though I prefer to win), so I take 22nd as a lucky number for the rest of my season :)))

From my Instagram

Last but not least, way more exciting: I ran a 1 km test yesterday with The Coach. I do the 1 km intervals at the same spot, it has a full stop turnaround at 500 m, but as I do it on the same place, we can measure the progress. The goal was 3:50 as I am tapering for the half marathon on Sunday and am well rested. My previous best was 3:57 but in full training. And I smashed it with 3:47!!! I wanted sub 3:45, but apparently, I need to learn to suffer more :)

Any tips on how to be able to suffer more for better gains / results? :)

What do you think the guy was thinking?

Sunday, September 07, 2014

Sweet Memories ... August Overview

Sweet memories of Alpe di Siusi ... I have to start this post with how my great vacation / training camp ended. Last Friday of August I headed out for an early morning pre-breakfast run in the silent and sleepy Compatsch area of Alpe di Siusi. It seemed to be all covered in mist, but what the nature had in for me to say good bye was amazing. The scenery was changing every minute and I enjoyed and soaked in every moment as I knew I will keep these moments deep inside for a long time leading up to the Chicago marathon and some lead up races. I let you enjoy the beauty in following photos...

The mist slowly passing over the mountain saddles :)

My favorite shot ... good morning beautiful sunrise!

Last true Italian espresso on the way home :)

I am also writing this post to sum up my training in August... The first week or the July/August week and the first week of August were "big" weeks averaging about 2hrs of training a day, then the week preceeding my training camp was taken easy in order to be ready to hit it hard in the Alps :)

Here is the overview:

click on the picture for bigger detail

click on the picture for bigger detail

I really enjoyed having enough time to doing things right at the training camp. I wrote about all those "right" things in a post from training camp in Portugal this spring. Most of the morning I started with short yoga sessions, simply warming up and stretching my body through series of Sun salutations. Then there were usually 2 runs involved in the day and a strength training session. Some sauna action and also one sports massage and easy swim. Little more mileage was planned for the first week (more running on Saturday and Sunday), but my calves got all cramped up, so I was forced for some rest and easy running. But given the altitude, the additional walking etc., I am really happy with it. Also because of the hilly terrain, I spent more time on my legs, even if the mileage wasn't that high... There might be something about measuring your training effort in time rather than in mileage, huh? :D Still 313 miles = little over 500 km for August in running only, I will take that! :)

Here is the summary of my strength training - I save it in an Evernote note and call it the month challenge because I started doing this back in June when "Holky ve formě" (Girls in Shape) had their strength challenge :)

August Challenge

1. 8. REST Pre-race - 120 s plank - high carb
2. 8. REST - Race (Miřejovice) - "low" carb
3. 8. 57 push ups (25+12+20), 30 squats (2x 15 w 12 kg kettlebell), 150s plank - high carb
4. 8. 50 push ups (25+10+15), 30 squats (2x 15 w 12 kg kettlebell), 120s plank - low carb
5. 8. 55 push ups (25+12+18), 40 squats (2x 20 w 12 kg kettlebell), 150s plank - high carb - TREAT
6. 8. The Coach, REST 30 push ups, 30 squats - low carb
7. 8. REST - high carb - TREAT
8. 8. 55 push ups (25+12+18), 30 squats (2x 15 w 12 kg kettlebell), 150s plank - low carb
9. 8. REST - Zoo + run / inclined walk - low carb
10. 8. Long run - High carb
11. 8. REST - Speed intervals - low carb
12. 8. REST - golf - low carb & TREAT dinner
13. 8. The Coach - low carb
14. 8. Progression Run - 150s plank - low carb
15. 8. REST - high carb
16. 8. 45 push ups (20+10+10),
30 squats (2x 15 w 12 kg kettlebell), 130s plank - medium carb (not tracked)
17. 8. Morning yoga, 45 push ups (20+10+10), 30 squats (2x 15 w 12 kg kettlebell), 120s plank - medium carb (not tracked)
18. 8. Morning yoga, REST - lost on the run...
19. 8. Morning yoga, speed intervals (low altitude), 130s plank
20. 8. Morning yoga, triple run day, 150s+120s plank + 90s side plank for each side, 50 rows, 40 shoulder height rows (elastic band)
21. 8. Morning yoga, 55 push ups (25+12+18), 40 squats (2x 20 w 12 kg kettlebell), 180s+120s plank + 90s side plank for each side, 50 rows (elastic band)
24. 8. 60 push ups (25+15+20), 40 squats (2x 20 w 12 kg kettlebell), 180s+120s plank + 90s side plank for each side, 50 rows (elastic band)
25. 8. 60 push ups (25+15+20), 50 squats (2x 25 w 12 kg kettlebell), 180s+120s plank + 90s side plank for each side, 60 rows (elastic band)
26. 8. 65 push ups (30+15+20), 60 squats (2x 30 w 12 kg kettlebell), 180s+120s plank + 90s side plank for each side, 60 rows (elastic band), 12 suitcase deadlifts for each side
27. 8. Long run + REST
28. 8. 60 push ups (30+15+15), 50 squats (2x 25 w 12 kg kettlebell), 120s plank, 60 rows (elastic band)
29. 8. Pre-race REST & travel
30. 8. RACE: We Run Prague 2014 (43:06)
31. 8. 60 push ups (25+15+20), 50 squats (2x 25 w 12 kg kettlebell), 120s+120s plank, 60 rows (elastic band), 2x 15 kettlebell swings (12 kg)

Tell me, how is your training going??? 

Do you make up challenges for yourself? Comment bellow so we can exchange ideas!

What are your autumn races ahead?
5 000 and 1 500 m yesterday at track meat. Zlín half marathon next weekend and Chicago Marathon on October 12! San Francisco Nike Women's Half Marathon for pleasure and fun on October 19 :)

Monday, September 01, 2014

We Run Prague 2014

Being a Nike supported athlete, I was sure to compete in the We Run Prague 2014 as I have been running the Nike 10 km runs since the first edition in 2011. On the other hand, my autumn "A" race is the Chicago Marathon in October, so everything is going towards it as was the training camp I just came back from. I drove back already on Friday because of We Run Prague, but I did not really adjust my training program at the camp in order to be fresh and rested for the race :)

I even did little shakeout run in the morning to get the stiffness out of my legs after the long drive on Friday, did lot of stretching and as the race was starting at 7 pm (that was this year's new thing, it usually started in the mid-afternoon), I even managed to have a nap. I also took it as a routine rehersal. So set up my gear, pain my nails, get my fluids, nutrition and off I was to the start. 

On the way to Žluté lázně where the race started there were many many neon green tshirts. What a marketing to make the people wear tshirts as race numbers :) Every year the same, I am getting nice collection, already fourth. When I got to the start area, I bumped into several friends which is nice among the 10 thousand people running the race. In the Nike backstage I finally met with Fit Veronika in person and yes she looks as beautiful live as she does on the photos, so no Photoshopping there... :)

I did my warm up routine, drank my Generation UCAN, changed in my racing flats and it was time to get to the start. As I just came back down from the altitude with lot of volume in my legs, I did not know what to expect so it was great opportunity to run by feel and that is what I did. 

I am very prone to forming too much lactic acid when I start too fast and then suffer in the end, so I tried to ease into the run even though it is tough in the atmosphere and tons of people going out fast :) I checked my watch only occasionally, but mainly for heart rate. And my heart rate was climbing steadily as it should be, almost a book example :D I was quite happy about that, because it wouldn't go higher than 170ish at the altitude, so I was curious how I will do in the intense effort. I am reading a great book about Kenyan running and training called More Fire, so I was on for More Fire and more suffering in the second half of the race. It does not seem so from the mile split chart, but given the ups and downs and huge amount of cobble stones in the second half of the race, it certainly felt like higher effort.

As I knew that I was on the edge of my personal best and it did not seem for a big "breaktrough", I tried to concentrate on competiton = other female runners, that helps a lot :) I overtook Blanka at around 4th km and she tried to get back to me, so that gave me nice boost to stay ahead of her. We were also going up and down with the girl in the photo above. Unfortunately, I did not stay ahead, lucky her having the guy in red cap as pacer. Not making excuses for myself, but having faster runner to pace you surely helps :) The 5th mile was kind of no man zone and looking back at it, I am not sure why my pace dropped that much, I guess this was the one with the most cobble stones. After that, the last 2 km you suffer, but you know you have "only" 2 km left. I am glad I found a little faster kick for the finish, even though again on the cobble stones it was tough. The official time says 43:06, so I pushed my Garmin too late at the start or to early in the finish, but that does not matter.

Well, writing this race report now, I am little upset with myself that I stayed few seconds short of my PB, but I guess I can shoot for that after Chicago :) Marathon is my "A" distance anyway and my results 10 km vs. half marathon vs. marathon have always been very disproportional :D

Overall I am really happy with the race, the atmosphere was amazing as always! And I can't wait to see how I will "sell" my training next weekend in 5 km on the track and in the half marathon on September 14.

I don't like the color of the shoes, but I love the feeling running in those Flyknit Racers :)

Back home, back to evening dog walks :)

Sunday, August 31, 2014

Discovering Dolomites ... Thursday Superhike

With little delay because of travel and We Run Prague 10 km race, here comes a post full of photos from our crazy 6 hour hike on Thursday with my mom in Alpe di Siusi (Dolomites, Italy). We did not have exact plan and ended up doing a looooot of walking :) With the beautiful weather it was perfect!

We drove by bus to Saltria (actually drop in elevation - down to 1 690 m above sea level) from where we did not take the lift to Williams Hütte as most people do, but we walked up to the 2 100 m.

Many beautiful unknown flowers / herbs (for me unknown, I don't know flowers at all!).

Matcha porn ... with the local dominant the Schlern / Sciliar (the rock on the left) in the bacground

This is how my Nike FuelBand measured the whole hike :)

From the Williams Hütte we were off to more very steep hiking towards Plattkofelhütte (2 300 m).

Apparently, in Italy even horses take siesta!

Plattkofelhütte just in time for lunch :)

I have been hydrating with my nuun as champ in order to prevent cramps and refill on electrolytes :)

I had light lunch of beef broth and this salad with grilled goat cheese ... YUM!

Leaving Plattkofelhütte...

... I made new best friend :)

... I also wanted to do some push up challenge performance next to the relaxing cows ...

... but the horses would disturb the cows ... they were following us all the way to the end of their pasture as they are apparently used to being treated with some yummy food from walkers :)

Push up challenge succesful attempt :)


View to the other side of the mountain edge we walked back in the direction of Compatsch (where we were staying). Little did we know how long the walk was gonna be :)

This is next to the Tierser Alpl "Refuge" at 2 440 m altitude - our maximum of the day was 2 490 m!!!

View back on where we came from with my attempt to show you the different places discribed here.

At the top of the world with my mom :) Well at least almost at the top of Alpe di Siusi. What a day!!!

We came back to the hotel at 6 pm and although I knew I had plenty of endurance training for the day, I still wanted to work a little on my strength / speed. So before getting all tired and hungry, I ate half a banana and bit of almond butter to push off the hunger and set out to quick hill sprint session. Sometimes I dread going for such intervals and I was amazed about how much I liked it and had fun doing it. I did not wait for my HR to drop significantly in order to keep the session more intense. There was also strength training involved after coming back to the hotel.

I did not watch the splits on the watch, I just tried to push more and more and not drop speed ... so happy with this workout!

For some reason my heart rate would not go over 170ish at the altitude. Here is the Garmin file.

Wednesday, August 27, 2014

Going Long ... Breathtaking Nature

Everything great tends to come to an end to let a new great things begin. I am driving back home on Friday so today was my last really big day. I was very happy with how I did yesterday in the hill workout (AM) and progression/fartlek run (PM). Today was long run split in two, I had to do my morning run super early as I was picking up my mom in Bolzano at 8:30 am! So 6:25 I was already on the go or on the run. Oh my body took lot of time to wake up, I could definitely feel the harder effort from yesterday. Did 5.5 miles and off to pick up mom and we were just in time to have very late breakfast at 9:30 ... I was starving!!!

Worked on my computer and after noon I was off for 20+ km of running through the beautiful mountains of Alpe di Siusi. I chose the Paul Tergat track to be main part of my run, it is ranked as "hard". I now understand that means that I won't be able to run some parts which was exactly true due to very steep climbs or descents and narrow paths. But it was totally worth it as you can see the beautiful scenery I got to see all the time on my run:

Running down, to run up again on the opposite side :)

Crossing the small stream just few steps from ever present cows :)

Running through a horse pasture was super exciting for me as I love horses! Here is one youngster :)

Love the views :)

Turns out the youngster was hungry and going to suck on his mother's milk ... I have never seen that live for horses from such a small distance.

Map & altitude graph of my run today pictured in eVito app, here is the Garmin Connect link ... quite some climbing over the 21.5 km (13.4 miles) :D.

Not exactly cute ... more like done, exhausted yet happy :)

After refueling (rice, tomato & tuna followed by dessert of rice, apricots, apple and banana ... yep long run super hunger :D ) and taking bath ... I promised my mom to take her out for an Aperol Spritz in the afternoon sun. I took the athlete's version - Aperol with sparkling water, no wine, no prossecco :)

And some food action, photos of today's dinner, I ate about half of the risotto and had a salad not pictured here :) Food at Seiser Alm Plaza is really delicious!