Sunday, May 27, 2012

Listen To My Body - Work & Rest

I know I have been crappy blogger since the Prague International Marathon two weeks ago. I am sorry about that, work is crazy busy and my body was screaming for some rest. I have three serious training sessions since than and hope to jump in again tomorrow. First true training session was Wednesday morning, followed by Thursday. But my body made me realize how tired I was on Friday evening, I wasn't able to do anything. I carb loaded like before running an ultra marathon and then "died" on the couch at 8 pm watching Usain Bolt at Golden Spike in Ostrava. Did my 4 mile tempo run yesterday, but The Coach made me take day off today again. I need to listen to my body and recover completely.

In the meanwhile before I finish the Prague Marathon report, I want to share some pleasure rest activities I did. There was the trip to Lysá mountain in Northen Moravia with my sis aka best friend...

... followed by some golfing:

... chocolate fondue eating with Katka (b-day girl) and Andrejka:

... and today's picnic at Chateau Mcely where I used to work and love to come back as a guest. You should totally check them out!

Monday, May 21, 2012

Best Friends Are The Best

Non running post, the Prague International Marathon race report will follow. But the first thing I have to share with you is what a great day I had on Saturday with my best friend. Unfortunately she lives really far from me. We speak on phone almost every single day (usually several times), but spending time together is even better. This Saturday was my first time to climb up the Lysa mountain. It fitted well, since my right calf / shin muscles are still a little sore, so I wasn't up for any serious running anyway. Great way to cross train :)

How was your weekend?

Patting point at the top of 1324 m - the highest point of the mountain

My BF has a cool tradition of bringing heart shaped stone
to the top of the mountain, finally we found three of them

Sunday, May 13, 2012

A+++ Dream Goal Achieved!!!

As some have already commented on my previous post, the PR is home and what a PR!

My real time for Prague International Marathon 2012 is:


927th overall (among around 9 thousand runners), 51st woman (including the pros). Yay, I am super excited. Thank you all for believing in me, for your kind words and encouragements and congrats I have been receiving all day!!!

Huge thanks to Radek who ran the first half with me and huge thanks to THE COACH!!! I couldn't have achieved this without him. And of course thanx to my friends and family.

I am off for refueling and party. Full race recap will follow :)

Saturday, May 12, 2012

My Goal for the Prague International Marathon

The Prague International Marathon starts in 11 hours. When writing a blog, it is cool and great to share how your workout went, that you PRed in race and so on. But since I want to be accountable to you, my dearest readers, I think I should share my hopes and goals with you even though things might go great but also might not. Then it is not easy to admit what your goals were and that it didn't go as planned. I need to go to bed to do lot of rolling over from one side to another, since the probability of having good night rest and sound sleep is low for me in the last night before the race ... Let's get to the business.

What are my goals? I didn't go in the training cycle after the NYC marathon with a number in my head, rather we wanted to improve as much as I can handle while staying healthy and injury free. We first had 3:45 goal in mind, but it shifted since then.

My A goal for tomorrow is breaking 3:30, I also have a B goal of 3:35 which is the Boston qualifying time for females in my age group. The A+++ from the land of dreams goal is getting closer to 3:25. Let's see how that goes.

My number is: F 345.

Few photos on my days prior the race - I was very responsible with the carb loading thing :)

Sorbet with just a little prosecco (that was Friday)

These are not shots of alcohol, but shots of honey :) :) :)

There was a dog walk as a part of the marathon weekend
... great idea!

And finally pasta party for one :)

Tuesday, May 08, 2012

Easy Morning Run

I a off to conference now, but wanted to share few photos I have taken during my easy run this morning. Once again around the lake here in Copenhagen, Denmark :)

View on the lake from my hotel room:

I hope you can see it from the photo, but the clouds are like nothing I have ever seen.
And look who I stumbled upon ... The rabbit mom is pushing the little one to go away from me - to protect him/her. So cute!
Trail-like bit of the run. It is totally blurred because I didn't want to stop yet a trillionth time :)
Have a great day running everyone!


Monday, May 07, 2012

White Swan of Denmark

Well, I don't know how I do it, but there have been some patterns in my preparation that resemble to the Running Shadow's pre-race troubles. Eg. do you have a big race ahead? Let's go for a conference the week before! I completed my last longish run of 13.8 miles (22 km) on Saturday, I am tapering and my spring A race is on Sunday, May 13 - the Prague International Marathon. As I have written in my post with tapering tips before the Prague Half this spring, one of the key things is to get enough sleep. How should I do that when my flight is at 7:15 am, therefore my alarm went off at 4:30 am ... ugly, I know. Hopefully, the two weekend nights of 10 hour sleep will help :)

Here I am in a hotel room in Copenhagen, attending eHealth week 2012 conference, getting ready to sleep instead of socializing. Networking gala event is tomorrow, today was a "me" evening ... running, eating and resting :) What is it with the swan??? 12Honza wrote a beautiful (as he always does) post about the Black Swan back in March (the article is in Czech only). The Black Swan theory in a glance: the black swan stands for any very improbable situation / development of things, something that most of people think shouldn't be even happening. Well, when people actually see the black swan, they come up with many rational explanation of why the black swan has appeared and that it was totally to be expected that the swan would appear :) Well, since as crazy runners we seek for our little miracles to happen, so we are able to spot black or at least grey swan.

MireQ posted yesterday about seeing a white swan, at least the white one! I had one of the last hard(ish) workouts ahead of me today. And to be honest, I wasn't confident at all when starting it. I felt kind of tired all the weekend and my heart rate was little higher than I would like towards the end of my long run on Saturday. Today's workout: 2x 5 km (3.11 miles), first at 8:34 min/mile (5:20 min/km), second at 7:38 min/mile (4:45 min/km). Fortunately, Copenhagen is very biker and runner friendly as far as I could have seen and there is a lake with 8 km loop just behind my hotel - yay! 

The first round was bit tricky, because I didn't know where I was going and it was completely different surroundings than I am used to. But already in the first round, I saw a swan taking off the lake for a short stretch of flight. Since I didn't find the "right" trail on the opposite side of the lake, I just continued to run on the pavement when doing the second = the fast loop. But before that when I was cooling down between the two parts of the workout, I saw the swan again really close, so I went to talk to her and I am grateful I spotted her. I am sure she helped me a little to knock out the second half of my run. It went way better than expected, maintaining the pace for 5 km felt natural, I actually ran more like 7:30 min/mile pace (4:40 min/km). I can still feel the right knee after the hard workouts a little bit, but I am doing my exercise and it recovers very quickly and I am confident that with the rest and easy days ahead and one more yoga session with The Coach and one more session with my physiotherapist, I will be ready to rock on Sunday!

Here are few motivational videos I wanted to share with those who are in tapering madness as I am. And don't forget to check out my tips on taper time.

Deena Kastor & Ryan Hall about training for the US Olympic trials 2012

NYC marathon inspirational video
...have seen it like trillion times, that song never leaves my running playlist

And finally bird's eye view on the Sunday's marathon course in Prague ... enjoy :)

And finally little cheesy clip by Nike - I would run to you ... I really like it :o

Well I almost forgot to include the "nutritious" breakfast I had this morning ... We have a family tradition, if you fly out (or back in) on a plane you have to have a drink "to the motors", so they work well. The Czech airlines adjusted their loyalty program to actually punish you for your loyalty, so I have no longer access to the lounge. Paying the crazy expensive prices in the airport restaurant, I decided food was unnecessary luxury, but the drink was a must. Don't worry, I had some breakfast on the plane just few minutes later :)

Friday, May 04, 2012

Golfer On The Run Vol. 2

Well, there was the first edition of the Golfer On The Run last year in May. For the race itself, it was a third year, but I only participated the last year. Came in fourth, so I was back to see if I can do better this time. I am running the Prague International Marathon in exactly 10 days, so The Coach wasn't really excited about me participating in this race ... but he knows me well enough and he didn't try to convince me not to race, he only gave me instructions to race smart and have enough rest before and after. The aim was not going all out if it was enough. And yay, it was!

I'll try to make it short, because I need to go to bed. My biggest task is getting enough sleep, rest and fuel for my marathon, so I was better sleeping already ... ooops. The race started almost one hour late because of a thunderstorm. Nobody wants runner hit by a lightening ... It was one round around the 9 holes of the golf course for the ladies and two round for the gentlemen. One round was approximately 2.8 km, my Garmin (back to the old good 110) showed 1.61 miles. I was starting from the second line, after the start the hole number one was slightly downhill, so we went out pretty fast for the girls, relatively conservative for the men. But anyway, there were three girls that went out wow fast. I decided to stay in sight but without overdoing it, yet still my Garmin showed crazy 5 something min/miles. Holy crap!!! I calmed down when it dropped backed in high 6 min/miles. And slowly one by one the girls ahead started dropping. My heart rate was at comfortable 166 BPM or so, but we were going on the flat or downhill part. Before reaching the 180° turn at hole number five, I passed the last girl in sight and I was pretty confident that there was no other ahead of me. From there, I kept the pace that felt comfortable - it was little bit uphill now. I checked the situation behind time to time and pushed myself not to go all out, with regards to my marathon. Finish time: 11:01:20 according to my Garmin, which makes for 11 minutes 02 seconds in the official time :)

Now I am one happy and excited runner, the data from my Garmin look promising (avg HR 173, avg pace 6:52 min/mile = 4:16 min/km), I am ready to take some more rest and continue with my marathon taper :)

Good night and good luck!

I actually switched to the Brooks Pure Connect after
... because of the rain and possible dirt for my new A race shoes.

As a bonus, there is my innovated recipe for after run recovery chocolate milk: take a glass of milk and to make it chocolate, add in super delicious chocolate - praline - macadamia ice cream. Really tasty, especially after the runs in hot weather which we have been experiencing the past week.