Wednesday, December 12, 2012

Wordless Wednesday

Last two years of my work revealed:

Thursday, October 25, 2012

The Little Black Box

Guess what's inside? ;)

Monday, October 22, 2012

The PR that didn't happen ... I am NOT Amsterdam

Long story short, you were all wrong (or most of you) and you don't know how sorry I am about it. Yesterday's Amsterdam Marathon was my toughest race ever. Simple as that. I will try to write a post reflecting what lesson I learnt, but want to share very brief story of what happened.

It was crazy windy, the worst thing for running. Baaaad wind. I started feeling confident, was well at my pace, slowed down in the invisible hills so my heart rate didn't go too up. At around 15th km were we ran out of the city along the river Amstel, I realized that my back hurts. I tried to breathe in it and didn't pay too much attention to it. I hit the half-marathon mark at 1:39:58, I knew by then it wasn't gonna be sub 3:10, but still nice PR if I manage to go for negative splits. This was also the last time I got some energy in my system. I managed to get back in the race, speeding up a little, but then boom. 

I fought it until about mile 18-19. There I admitted that I was gonna finish at slow pace. My back was hurting like hell and I had troubles breathing. Not in the life-endangering way, but I wasn't getting enough oxygen to support my running. I don't really remember what was the first time when I walked. It helped and I could start running again, but between miles 22 and 25 I went through hell. I walked a lot, there were times when I even couldn't walk, I had to bend over to give some rest to my back and catch my breath. I felt like my sports bra was suffocating me - even though it is one I used for many many long runs so I know it was a nonsense. I gave in, went to the sidewalk, turned towards the water pulled down the straps of my top and got rid of the bra and of course put the top back on. Yes, you are reading right, I showed a bit of my chest in the center of Amsterdam, but I didn't care, I was hurting so much ...

Getting rid of the bra helped, but I was getting really cold. I was dressed up for running, not for walking in sweaty clothes ... I managed to start running a little bit again. And then it started to get worse again. I was almost stopping, when my mom and her great friend were cheering me up from the bridge above me. I knew I couldn't stop in front of them, my mom would be crazy scared, so I passed the bridge and continued in very slow running until I was out of their sight. I felt like puking from time to time. I have consumed all my water and was taking it at the refreshment stations but the drinks were really cold and that didn't help either. We were back in the city center, just few kilometers to go. As I was walking, people had enough time to read my name and they were cheering me up. Thank you all for the support! They were so supportive and the picture in my head was, OK, they are cheering me up and I might just puke in front of them any second ... not a nice one. I thought about Paula Radcliffe and her Olympic marathon in Athens 2004 so much. She is my idol, but I didn't think I had to go through her pains :(

I don't know what changed, but I was able to somewhat run the last 2 km, I was happy by then I was gonna make it. I knew I was going to cry just after the finish line. I forbid myself crying before reaching the finish, so basically I had to finish ... And my eyes are tearing up while I am writing this. Official time for my marathon #3: 3:45:03, still almost 20 minutes faster than New York last year, but not the huge PR everyone expected. 

Boston 2013 watch out for me! I will come ready more than ever!

Photos from the marathon day:

... I knew you definitely needed to see at least 3 photos of my legs in the ice bath. This was first time I actually added ice and not used only the coldest water you can get from the tubes. Very strange room service order: tea, warm milk and lot of ice :D

Well deserved bubbly ... the tears were over and I was happy I finished, that is my victory of Amsterdam.

Told you the service at the hotel was just amazing, got the strawberries to congratulate me to my not that grate achievement.

... on the way home after way too much wine - the river was like a mirror, absolutely no wind! Shame on me ...

And what was up with me? It seems that the chest part of my spine is somehow blocked, it still hurts and I am seeing my physiotherapist tomorrow. We are already working on action plan on how to avoid this does not happen again. Honestly, I don't want to feel like that ever again! And I forgot to mention that I puked just after the finish ... Don't worry Zdenek, I went first to the medical tent to wash my mouth before I hugged you and started crying :)

Sunday, October 21, 2012

Amsterdam Marathon Live

Good morning!

You can watch the Amsterdam marathon live, as described on the event's website.

There is also an online app to follow the runners, more here.

My bib number is 1332

Ready to rock'n'roll!!!

Saturday, October 20, 2012

I AMsterdam!!!

My gear is ready laid out for tomorrow's race, painting my nails hot pink and nervously checking out everything ... I am glad I slept well the two nights before the race, I am kind of nervous again!

Since I should already be sleeping before my Amsterdam marathon tomorrow, I will take this short ... lot of photos, few text. 9:30 AM European time, please cross your fingers for me :)

Thursday, October 11, 2012

Three Things Grateful Thursday

1. I am grateful for my hairdresser for pampering me greatly and getting me new autumn look. I am legally blond again!

2. I am grateful for mastering my taper period really well so far, let's see when will I start to freak out - The race is exactly in 10 days. Amsterdam, here we come!

3. I am grateful for this package of running goodness that arrived from Tchibo. Those residing in the Czech Republic check out the current offer. The long sleeved top and the warm winter long tighs are just amazing! (Which is helping me with point 2 :) :) :) ).

Wednesday, October 03, 2012

Wordless Wednesday

My best friend's family just got a new puppy. Why is Ostrava so far? Otherwise I would come and cuddle with him every single day. I hope my dog doesn't read this, otherwise he might get jealous and not want to go running with me tomorrow morning :( Not that wordless finally, wooops.

Saturday, September 01, 2012

We Run Prague - Huge 10k PR, Huge Lesson

Photo by Nike

Since my last 10 km race I went all out was back in February the PR today was kind of expected. With my new personal best at 44:20 I improved by more than two and half minutes ... Honestly, I expected more. On the other hand I shouldn't have been. My "vacation" at the Olympics was great, but not so great for my training ... I was sleep deprived, I ate not in accordance with my usual mainly healthy self, I was tired and of course excited to be able to see all those great athletes, achievements and emotions. I was especially excited that I was able to meet in person with my biggest idol - Paula Radcliffe. I was not that excited about not training as much as I had planned and about my nutrition. I still believe that the motivational side of being part of the Olympics was more important than all those draw backs.

I was slowly forgetting about the draw backs, but the race today reminded me hardly about them. And that is good, I reached the level where every mistake and side step counts and it is important to be aware of that. The original pre-Olympics plan was shooting for sub 40 minutes. We (The Coach and I) knew that wasn't gonna happen when I came back from London, but still my form was going back up and the idea was somewhere between 42 and 44 minutes, sub 42 if I find myself in great great place. Which I didn't. I felt great yesterday on the pre-race tune up, started to believe in that sub 42, but felt nothing like that today morning.

Still, after starting the race, things went great, up to the small "hill" or better incline that took my heart rate above 180 BPM and I ignored that, the lactate came in and soon after, there came the suffering. I wanted to give up between the 5th and 9th km many times, I hated seeing myself slipping of the low 7 minut/mile pace or sub 7 pace. On the other hand, I am proud of myself for finishing and for being able to speed up after that 5th mile at 7:27. The lesson learnt? Be more careful with my heart rate in the first half of a 10 km race (did it even worse in my first 10k this year), I need to work really heard and I need to get rid of some body fat! And don't argue with me about this, it is not about beauty, I love my body the way it is. This is about performance that I want to be doing in foreseeable future.

On the other hand, I finished 600th overall and 29th woman, quite some improvement from the last year's race :)

Very very late, congratulations Janae and Billy for their little baby girl Brooke who was born on August 15!

Last but not least, you know you are a runner, when you run all out a 10k, spend afternoon at the after party and decide to jog the 3 km to the bus, because it is kind of cold and you don't want to wait for a tram :) :) :) Great recovery jog!

Tuesday, July 31, 2012

Reporting from Weymouth

I have drafted several other posts here from the Olympics, but wanted to keep you updated. Just arrived to Weymouth today to report on sailing. After two days of only walking around London like a crazy I had a chance to go out and squeeze in a short run. Hopefully more quality training will start as of tomorrow. Stay tuned for more news and photos! :o)

Some very cool running paths waiting for me here ... down the bay it is the official Olympic Sailing Village.

Well deserved dinner :o) We wanted to have just the salad and some cheese, but then we realized there were burgers in the fridge that will expire in two days ... Didn't want to waste them!

Check out my first official report for the Yacht magazine here (sorry, it is in Czech only.)

Saturday, July 28, 2012

London Calling!!! (Day 0)

I'm writing this on the Heathrow express towards London that actually has free wifi connection - WOW!!! People have been super nice so far thanks to my accreditation. There are tons of volunteers everywhere to help you with the directions and so on. Truly well oganized!!! London 2012 Olympics here I come ... Stay tuned for the updates... I will be heading south for the sailing and of cours will be back in London on Sunday August 5th to cover the women's marathon race = I will see Paula running an Olympic marathon, I am way beyond excited for this!!!

So I didn't post the written post on Thursday, when I was actually arriving. Had to get out of the train... And then things got really busy, but hope to post more often now :) Yay, it's holiday time and Olympics time!

Give me champagne and Sex and the City and I am all yours!!!

Tuesday, July 17, 2012

Summer Christmas @ Nike Prague

Winning the Nike+ Runner Of The Week has a very very cool benefit. Getting some cool stuff from Nike! I was so excited. The meeting was set for today, because the autumn collection just arrived to the stores. I went to the Nike Prague that happens to be the biggest Nike store in the country. We met there with Nike's PR manager and she brought a photographer... uaaaaaa, help me! It was lot of fun, you can check out some photos of my excitement and shooting in this post. I will come back as soon as I get to do some serious running = testing of the gear I got. I ran in a running skirt and new t-shirt today and felt unstoppable!

I hope Ondra will like the shorts, since he has been telling me that the running skirts are slowing me down and that I really should get a pair of racing shorts. Well, these are pretty cool, I am excited about the color. They didn't have them in hot pink, but this is damn classy too. And yes, I couldn't decide about which crazy exited face I should choose from the photos, so I posted more (it is "only" about a half of the total I have :o)).

... I can get really (over)excited ...

... let's get a little serious about this ...

... a running pose ...

... we had a blast ...

... hopefully we got a "serious" photo :) 

In Love ... with COLOURS!!!

... of Ostrava!!! It is a damn cool music festival and since my dad does quite some business here I got to come with him and stay with my best friend (yep, sad, sad story, she lives 400 km far from me :( ). And we had a blast!!! The festival itself took place in an old mining area, so we got to get a tour of some old parts of it - that was simply awesome. And the mother nature created some of the greatest shades of sunlight for the last night when the main stars were the French ZAZ and Alanis Morissette.

Colours of OSTRAVA!!!

18-holes at the golf course and afternoon & night at the festival
= almost 35 thousand steps taken (2 800 more were taken after midnight on July 15 :) ).
One more love for colors ...
You can understand that these seem to be made exactly for me :D
At least little bit of running related information: I managed to squeeze in two phases of quite speedy training in these cute pinky babies on Friday before heading to the festival... Was tough to find the motivation, especially for the second phase, but was totally worth it! Happy running everyone!

How was your weekend?!?!?

Thursday, July 12, 2012

Nike+ Runner of the Week

It is pretty much self-explanatory. I was selected as the Nike+ Runner of the Week (for the Nike Czech Republic of course, not worldwide :o) ). I am so excited!!! Those who know my running history know that I am huge Nike fan and Nike+ user. Even though, I do not run in Nike shoes only (but that is pretty recent, only since this spring), I really like their products and the way they encourage everyone to get more active and start running. The bright side is that I will get some products for testing from the new collection. Stay tuned, I will post about the cool news as soon as I have it :o) And thank you all for the sweet comments!

Click on the photo to get better resolution, so you can read the text
(sorry, it is in Czech only)
It is a Facebook event, so you can check it out directly at my Facebook page.