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 :)


  1. Sice jsem čekala, že to bude trochu o něčem jiném, ale moc pěkně napsáno! Na videa kouknu až zítra. Dobrou noc a odpočiň si! A na neděli se už moc těším :).

    1. :) Jo a mimochodem z pasivního sledování usuzuju, že mladí Dánové jsou pořád stejně "divní", jako když jse tu byly na gymplu na výměně :)