Saturday, July 16, 2011

Time for changes

My friends say that I am hyperactive and I travel a lot and my life is full of changes. Now I would say that used to be true when I studied in France and had my internship in New York City and so on. I am very flexible in thinking, in making decisions, but to have stability in my life, I am kind of conservative in other areas of my life. In the past few weeks together with my ongoing marathon training, there have occurred few changes that I think are worth mentioning. Switching from the BC era being one of them (will finally explain in this post). I hope my example of becoming more open minded can help some of you as well. The changes are concerning mainly my running, but not only the running :)

As you might know I am a big Nike and Nike+ fan and addicted user, I would even say some kind of ambassador. When I was testing Garmin Forerunner 210 few months ago, while researching, I realized that Nike finally introduced the Nike+ GPS Sport Watch. I was so excited to be able to finally get a possibility to get GPS tracking and heart rate monitoring from Nike. About the same time I started to research more about training, running more and I decided to go for marathon training. 

During the research I came across the DC Rainmaker's blog and his great great product reviews. I realized that even though the Nike+ GPS Sport Watch is a great utility for big portion of runners, if I want to get more serious with the training, I can use some more advanced sport tester. After reading the Garmin Forerunner 610 review, I put it on my wish list. In the meantime I got Garmin Forerunner 110 for half the price of Nike just to have heart rate and speed monitoring. So my first big change - I finally went for a non-Nike monitoring device for my running. One great site though facilitated this change: - here you can convert your Garmin workout to Nike+ data, so I can still use the great features of Nike+ site and my profile without actually using Nike+ product to measure the workouts.

But I did not switch completely from Nike, as I wrote before, I got my new HOT PINK babies - Nike Free Run+ 2. Going for less and less cushioning with every new pair of shoes. So this is not true change in attitude, it is an ongoing trend. But the Nike Free can be considered by some as a shoe with insufficient cushioning, by others as minimalist shoe. I would say that the version 2 for women is not really minimalist shoe since it has 5.0 cushioning (Nike talk...). I wanted to try these out whether I won't have problems with calfs and achilles as mentioned in many articles about going towards minimalist shoes. So far, no problems, I am ordering second pair with 3.0 sole (= even less cushioning) in Nike ID design hopefully very soon :)

And before the big running related change, to clear the air, two more IT geeky changes. After a long long time of using Safari as my internet browser whenever I could (ever since using Mac), I made a change. I am now using Google Chrome, because I love the one command line access - type in web address, you'll get where you wanted, type in some words, you get Google search results (or I think actually you can choose from more). This might seem silly, but it was really big change for me. 

See, I am not always that flexible and adventure kind of girl! I still did not find for me friendly way of using RSS feeds of the sites I want to follow. I love the sites that have email subscriptions. I know that this is anti-simplicity and anti-minimalist thinking. But I actually subscribe only to the things that I really want to read. And I am happy that I can keep them in my mailbox until I read them and then I delete them. I am quite a tech and geeky person, but I just don't get the RSS thingy.

Last but not least, what do I refer as the BC era? The BC era finished on Thursday July 7, 2011, where I met with The Coach. I had a long talk with Radek from (I would call his site the small Czech version of Runner's World :) ). We had a long talk about running, different stages of training and phases in runner's life. And he revived a thought I had in mind for more than a year. What about getting a coach to improve my running? I played around with that thought for a while and emailed Radek for his recommendation on possible coaches. 

A week later, I was sitting in front The Coach, talking about my plans, my running history, my lifestyle ... The Coach was truly shocked by the fact that my race is already in November. But then, The Coach has been working with the elite athletes for some time. So I had to clear out that my plan is not to run my first marathon under 3 hours or anything even close to that time. In my mindset, I am looking for under 4 hours time, the deeper under, the better. We agreed on our cooperation, my first training cycle started last Sunday, July 10, 2011. I tried on Friday, but since the first workout was damn fast and I wasn't still perfectly recovered from the mystery attack on my immunity, I had to take one more day off and succeeded the first workout on Sunday.

From now on, I am training in so called "micro-cycles" that consist of 7 training units that I should complete in 7 up to 14 days (the fewer the better) and I have one training session with The Coach every week. The first session was all about proper warm up and pre-run stretching and also a lot about my running form. Turns out that I am landing too much on my heel (Nike Frees are still too cushioned to prevent me from doing this or I am just too used to it). After the first session I actually felt what I was expecting after the first runs in the Nike Frees. My calfs, oh my God, my calfs are so sore ... have been all the week, getting better now, but I keep on training, so I can still feel the last bits of soreness.

And I cannot remember the proper warm up, I remember the bulk of it, but the day after the first session with The Coach, I couldn't recall all the details. Sorry Coach, I guess this will take some time. And trying to do the new running form - I feel useless and lost, but this will apparently take some time as well. Stay tuned for news on how this goes. By chance, I had my first lab testing just yesterday (body composition, lactate threshold etc.), so when retested in few months, we will be able to see the development!

My runs so far this week, one more run scheduled for tomorrow (Sunday), the average pace includes warm ups and cool downs.

In the meantime, stay tuned, sign up for email updates or RSS feeds or leave a comment, tell me about your story or send me a link to your blog! And just keep running and listen to your body.
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