Chile, running | bieganie, sport & fitness, travels | podróże

RUNNING IN CHILE

This post is a continuation of Running Routes Series (#RRS)
The first part you can read here -> RUNNING IN MILAN
The second part you can read here -> RUNNING IN LONDON

I am writing this post while I am seating on the plane, on my way back to Europe. My time in Chile has finished. I have spent there almost 6 weeks which is long enough to run around and get to know the city quite well 😎

Hence that, today I am sharing with you my running routes in Santiago de Chile (with extra bonus). I hope you will find it helpful when you ever get a chance to visit this city 😊 (I am lucky to writing about this now, since I take it as a good sign that I am slowly back on track with my running and I have really healed my injured leg!)

  • Sanhattan

It sounds really funny, but Santiago indeed has its own Manhattan! And there is nothing to be ashamed of! It is nice and safe area to run around and explore some skyscrapers while running (in the morning you can notice real traffic going on there!) and…. Alpacas 😊

  • River Walkaway/Cycleway

I was lucky to stay in Santiago very close to the River (although it is hard for me to name it ‘river’ as this stream was basically luck of water. I think it changes during Fall/Winter time there). Along it there is a great cycle path and running path. Really good for these both sports! I used It a lot! As a runner – going all the way north and as a cyclist – going south in order to reach city center and other suburbs in Santiago 😊.

! Disclaimer
The path looks relatively straight but it is actually hilly! You can feel it while cycling/running north! But then you are soooo smooth when it comes to head south! 😎

  • Park Bicenario

This is a great park located next to the River Path. About 2 kilometers up north from the Sanhattan. Very nice place for a morning shake off and pleasant jog around the park… WITH FLAMINGOS INCLUDED! 😊

  • Park Parquemet

Probably the best spot to go for a real (sweaty) workout! For everyone who loves hills and to get tired in such a way, this is definitely a place to go! You do not need to go all the way up (6kms!), however when you reach the top you will be pleased with the lovely view over Santiago from San Cristobal. What else do you need in the morning 😊 ?
There are many cyclist training over there, be aware of that as when they are going down…
THEY ARE F-A-S-T!

  • Discover (almost all) city and sign up for Santiago Marathon/Half Marathon 10 km race !

This is probably the most rewarding run that you can do in Santiago!
To do that, you must sign up for the race that happens, as far as I know, in the first weeks of April!

I participated in 10k race which was a “test” for myself after injury and I passed it 😊 My time 42m:45s was beyond my expectations, since I only started my trainings after injury in March.

The 10k race course run through the city center – Plaza de Armas, Andres Bello Promenade, Santa Lucia hill.

For more brave and trained people – you can choose also Half Marathon or make it big during Marathon! It is a really big event! During this edition there were over 30.000 participants ! :O

  • Make it wild and go to Atacama!

In the end of March, I decided to explore Atacama end spent few days around San Pedro, exploring beauty of the nature.

Between my day trips I was jogging around this little village that seemed to be lost in time… Small, wooden houses, settled down in the middle of desert, pure hippie lifestyle, ! with many dogs (they seemed to be friendly ad behaved but… I am always scared of dogs while running :/). However, I must say that running at the altitude of over 2000m beyond sea level…. Definitely, makes a difference in running! (:

At this point I want to make a note that I made vlogs from my trip to Atacama!
Watch Episode 4 – that shows the most important spots including: Lagoonas Altiplanicas, El Tatio Geysers, Valley of the Moon and much more!
Watch Episode 5 – that shows my thrilling cycle trip around San Pedro landmarks. Actually that was a real adventure, including lots of bike, climbing and hike!
Check out my youtube channel and give me a shout! 😊

As usual, in case of any questions, please do not be afraid to ask some questions. I will be happy to help you 😊

HAPPY Monday! <3

 

Chile, travels | podróże

CHILEAN GUIDE

After spending over 10 days in Chile already, I am able to write a little bit about my first experience here in Santiago de Chile.

TRAVEL

It took me over 26 hours door-to-door from my home town (Lodz) to get here to Santiago. My trip included: train from Lodz do Warsaw, fight Warsaw-Paris and second leg Paris-Santiago, which was over 14 hours long! It was the longest flight in my life. Surprisingly the flight went faster than I expected, and those 14 hours did not feel that long!

If you are curious about this travel, I encourage you to watch -> this episode on my youtube channel 😊

PEOPLE

People are very, very nice! Open-minded and friendly. Also, the fact that Chile is a Spanish-speaking country, makes me to love people even more here. 😎

CITY

Santiago de Chile…

…is SUPER BUSY Since it is one of the largest cities in South America with over 7 millions population! It is visible especially during rush-hours. Whoever complains about traffic in Europe, probably has not experienced the REAL traffic here!

…is a VERY MIXED city. Modern, laid-back, gray, green, poor and rich… Santiago has it all! There are many neighborhoods (barrios) that differ a lot between each other. BELLAVISTA – is very easy going, pleasant area with lots of art, murals, beautiful houses, small bars and stores.

SANHATTAN – (yes, Santiago has its own MANHATTAN 😉 ) is a very modern district, with sky scrapers, high buildings and lots of white-collars people walking around.

PLAZA DE ARMAS – one of the main plazas in the city, Surrounding the square are some historic buildings, including the Metropolitan Cathedral of Santiago, Central Post Office Building. It is full of tourists, locals, restaurants, shops as well.

…has wonderful urban park – called PARQUEMET. It is placed in the north part of the city. Within Parquemet area is located the second highest hill of Santiago called Cerro San Cristóbal (San Cristobal Hill), Japanese Garden, numerous routes for runners/hikers/cyclists. You can discover the parc from the higher perspective – taking a cable car that links the base of the hill with the top.

…has the craziest street market! MERCADO DE LA VEGA is a huge market located in the heart of Santiago. You can find everything there, food, fruits, vegetables for much lower prices than in average supermarkets, as well as, textiles, bars, restaurants. Its vibe is totally uncomparable, you must watch my vlog from my visit there last week

…has amazing WEATHER. I am lucky to be there now at the end of the Summer and beginning of Autumn. The weather is fantastic. Fresh, chilly mornings (with average 12-14 Celsius) and 26-28 degrees during the day, without humidity and wind, this simply makes a perfect time of the year to visit Santiago!

PRICES

To my surprise, it is not that cheap as I expected. The prices are rather high and like in some European cities such as Milan/Berlin/Barcelona

Local currency is Chilean pesos. 1 American Dollar = +/- 660 Chilean Pesos

To have a better understanding, here is a list of some basic grocery and bar prices:

1.5l of water – 800 pesos
1kg of bread – 1,500 pesos
1kg of cheese – 6,000 pesos
Lunch at restaurant 5,000-9,000 pesos
Espresso at bar – 1,200 pesos

BARS & RESTAURANTS

Santiago has a lot of cute outdoors bars which are perfect for study/work

By walking around the city, I discovered few coffee bars / local restaurants that I would definitely recommend to anyone who visits Santiago: café Beppo – located close to the Shopping Mall in quiet street of nearby residential area. Has a lovely patio and smart menu with reasonable prices.

La Maison Nice – I discovered it by accident, on my way to casting, it is a colorful bar/restaurant with mosaic tables and shadowy area, perfect for drink/lunch/weekend brunch.

Espeacio Diana – this is really a jaw-dropping place! One of the most atmospherical restaurants I have seen in my life. This place is a must if you want to experience a magical evening! It is located on the backyards of the old church. Its interior and design amazes, “the mess” and “disorganization” makes such a charm here, there is everything mirrors, old staircase, rustic beds in the dining areas…. And vine… yes do not forget about Chilean vine! It is simply the best 😊

 

BE CAREFUL!!!

  • If you are sensitive to change of water and different bacterial flora, you may suffer due to Traveler’s Diarrhea. Unfortunately, ☹ I was unlucky to get poisoned from the ice cubes from the fresh juice I ordered during 2nd day of my arrival here…. Afterwards I spent 40 hours in bad, poisoned, with fever as well… I did not expect it may happen to me here but it did. (Similarly like in Turkey/ Israel) Be prepared and take some medicines with you, electrolytes in powder to dissolve in water. In local pharmacies look for DIAREN (this drug helped me to recover!)
  • Drivers are crazy 😉The like too (over)use their car horns. With or without any reason, simply be careful when you are crossing the street, especially in the city center!

I hope that this guide will help you to get to know Santiago a little bit. More posts are coming soon but in case of any questions, please do not hesitate to contact me, I will be happy to help you. 🙂

running | bieganie, sport & fitness, travels | podróże

RUNNING IN LONDON

This post is a continuation of Running Routes Series (#RRS)
The first part you can read here -> RUNNING IN MILAN
*If you encounter any problems with displaying the endomondo logs and maps – please follow me there, my nickname is olinkaz93

Today I will share with you my experience as a runner from London.
We all know that London is a really BIG city! Its population is estimated of over 8000000 (8 milions!) people. Yes, that is a lot. Obviously, the city is huge and there are many areas for running. 🙂 Including the bank along The River Thames, well-known Hyde Park, modern Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park and much, much more.

I have spent whole October this year in London so I had a bit time to get familiar with the city, check the list prepared for you below and choose the destination upon your next visit in London 🙂

  • Hyde Park
    I believe this is the place number one on the runner’s list in London. Hyde Park is popular and well-known among all tourist heading to UK. I am sure that once you think ‘London’, you picture in your mind The Buckingham Palace and The Queen, Big Ben and… Hyde Park. And it totally understandable, as Hyde Park has all what you need! Ponds, beautiful gardens, cute bridges, lovely alleys and great routes for cyclists and runners!

    Yes, I have cycled in Hyde Park as well 😉

    I have run a few times in Hyde Park and there are so many paths you can choose from that it is almost impossible to cover them all 🙂
    This is a really great place to run around and explore. It is great for easy long runs as well as interval trainings since there are many flat and straight lanes. What makes Hyde Park awesome is the fact it is really calm  and thanks to its size (it covers an area of 350 acres) once you are there you can really dive into it and forget about the surrounding crazy city 😉

    Just one loop around Hyde Park is 6 kilometers long!

    Here is the log from one of my long runs I had in London (as you can Hyde Park was just a part of that training)

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    I attach below link to the map of Hyde Park from its official website.
    https://www.royalparks.org.uk/parks/hyde-park/map-of-hyde-park 

  • The River Thames and bridges
    This is one of the most fun route in London that you can run through. Being a tourist and runner at the same time, who does not like it?:)
    The River Thames, its banks and multiple bridges crossing over make it right! You really cannot get bored around there. In one single run you can see many landmarks, including: Big Ben, London Eye, Shakespeare’s Globe Theatre, Borough Market and Tower of London across the side! And guess what? It is not over! Make it even more fun and not only pass but also cross all the bridges linking both sides of The Thames at any combination you want!
    Let me list some of them, starting from the west side you can tick: Westminster Bridge (linking Westminster on the west side and Lambeth on the east side), Golden Jubilee Bridges (which are pedestrian footbridges) which flank Hungerford Bridge (linking Charring Cross from the north end and Waterloo Station at the south end),  Waterloo Bridge (which views from are widely held to be one the finest in London at ground level – you can spot London Eye, Westminster, Canary Wharf and much much more!), the next is Blackfriars Bridge (located just a step away from Tate Modern gallery art), Millenium Bridge (which is a steel suspension bridge for pedestrians, beautifully lighted by night and also its northern end has great view for City of London School below St Paul’s Cathedral), Southwark Bridge (always busy with buses, cars, pedestrians, cyclist….), London Bridge, often mistaken with the following one – the last but not the least Tower Bridge (it is a suspension bridge that crosses the River Thames close to the Tower of London and has become an iconic symbol of London)…

    The map above is a little snap from my jog along The Thames – excuse the endomondo GPS map issues 🙂

    Whoops that is a lot like only for ONE run! Isn’t it ;)?
    I really enjoyed this run but make sure to go for it either in the early morning or on the weekends, otherwise you will get stucked with all the traffic 😛

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  • Regent’s Park
    Regent’s Park is one of the Royal Parks of London (as Hyde Park). It lies within north-west London. It surrounds Regent’s University London and the London Zoo. I was lucky to live quite close to that park so it became my ‘second’ home and partner (in crime) for many workouts.
    The park is very well maintained and apart from numerous alleys has two distinguishing rings – the Outer Circle (4.45 km) and an inner ring road called the Inner Circle (1 km).
    But the runners are may watch out all the bikes around there! The Outer Circle is used by road cyclists. Many of  amateur cycling clubs meet there regularly to complete laps of the Outer Circle. So be careful when you are there 😉
    Apart from the asphalt circle roads inside the park, you can jog around pond, beautiful alleys and finish the workout with fresh coffee at one of the cute cafeterias or visit Zoo? 🙂

    Regent’s Park is definitely a great place for any kind of training – longrun, interval, tempo, fartlek it is just up to you what you feel like doing.
    As you can see, this park has a big potential 🙂

    The link below is a great map of running routes in Regent’s Park taken from the official website.
    https://www.royalparks.org.uk/__data/assets/pdf_file/0003/41673/regents-park-running-routes.pdf
  • Primrose Hill
    This small park lays very close to the Regent’s Park, on its north side. As it name suggests, it is HILLY ;). Oh boy… I remember the day when I did hill workout there, it was… tough! The good part of this is the fact that you won’t be alone. There are many other dare-devils going up against those hills. But, in the end, if you are lucky with the whether, on the summit of you can find a solace in a panorama view of central London.
  • Regent’s Canal to Little Venice
    Are you looking for some scenic path along canal? Then you should try and go to Regent’s Canal. It is probably the only traffic-free way to move from east to the west (or from west to the east 😉 ) side of London. Regent’s Canal connects Lime House and Little Venice. It is possible to walk/cyclle/run along this route almost non-stop for 15 km! Totally free of traffic and in the heart of city! Sounds crazy? Maybe 😉 But you should go and check it. I have experienced a great run starting off at Regent’s Park, where I hop into the Canal (but you can start anywhere else) and run towards Little Venice (which is another lovely neighbourhood in London with narrowboats and scenic villas)
    I would not recommend this route by night, it can be slippery and really dark. I have tried once to go there in the evening and I must have given up and returned after 1 km…

    C stands for the route along Regent’s Canal, R stands for the Regent’s Park
  • Clapham Common Park
    This is a large triangular urban park in Clapham, south London. It is a busy park with a big range of  sporting facilities, including a running track, bowling green, cricket, football, rugby, a skateboard venue and much more. I have run there only once but it is definitely a good spot for training if you stay in South London.

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  • Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park
    The last, but not the least spot in London I need to include here is Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park. I have not visited it this time but I have been there 2 years ago during my very first race debut at 10k. I need to mention about it as I have good memories from this place. (I remember I was very stressed on that race day and had no clue how to perfom it. Eventually I ended up being 3rd among women and that was a day when I felt so many emotiones during the run. From the complete hesitation, fear, thrill of anticipation at a start line and an overdose of endorphines and happiness :))) (yes, yes, maybe I am crazy but that is exactly how I felt that day 🙂
    Meanwhile, back at the ranch, this Park is really impressive and has many sport facilites including the Aquatics Centre, Velopark.
    It is worth to go there, explore and feel just a little bit as a champion and Olympian during your training 🙂

    My 10k race debut – 41m53s – May 2016

    I hope you will find this guide as a handy one.
    And remember that running means freedom so do not limit yourself and try your own routes to dicover the city. As seen below 🙂

    Sometimes I am surprised with the shapes of my running maps 😛

    HAPPY RUNNING!

running | bieganie, sport & fitness, travels | podróże

RACING IN MILAN

This post is a continuation of previous one RUNNING IN MILAN

I cannot forget about my races that will always stay as the best memories!

  • POLIMIRUN 10km

This was the most spontaneous and fast decision to participate in any of my races ever. Even more than before my NYC Half-Marathon ;). I got the BIP number 10 hours prior the start time. As I signed at FB page of the event and another runner contacted me if I want to participate as he could not make it that day… I did not know if I would be able to race as quick as I wanted but decided to take a risk and give a try and go!

Following day 20.05.1018 at 9 AM POLIMIRUN kicked off. I raced under the name of Frederico 😉 and finished my 10km race in 39m:26s ! That felt amazing! Did not want to believe I have finally made sub 40mins 10k! (Un officially I was also 4th placed woman that day but unfortunately I could not get any prize because I was racing it illegally 😉 – you should never swap your BIP without organizer’s notice 😉)

  • MEZZA DI MONZA – Half Marathon in Monza

After beautiful weekend I had in Calabria, surrounded with mountains and villages I got motivated and inspired to participate in half marathon. In the beginning of September, I started to look for half-marathon races and I found exciting one in Monza that was supposed to take place at legendary F1 track (Autodromo Nazionale Monza) and park around it! For me that was perfect combination, seemed to be flat and fast, good place to try to beat my PB on this distance.

Weekend before the race I made a trip to Monza and little run for research around the park and area to get acknowledged with the area. It is definitely worth the effort and travel to spend some time there!

One week before the race I was taking care of myself to be in shape for the race day. (Lots of rolling and stretching included!). Personally, I had so many complications, trying to communicate with the organizer and set up everything, providing health form, picking BIP number, without my determination I think some people will simply give up. (Italian organization…. 😀 )

Eventually, the day of 16th September finally came,  I was ready for the race! However, I got very stressed and panic before…. It was very important race for myself, due to personal reasons… I wanted to dedicate it to my mom and family… Before the start I was also annoyed with the weather which was not perfect (a bit too hot and humid) but I had no impact on this. All I could do is simply give a try and run!

Surprisingly I went fast at the beginning that I did not plan, I really did not want to follow the wave but that is how it was… I covered first 10km in less than 40m30s.. that felt good till 13 km… Where I started to hate myself and the distance… Thought that I was crazy that I wanted to still race but my head and pride did not want to stop me, although my legs really wanted 😉

Eventually I succeeded, I finished the race with 1h28m05 official time… So I got 7 secs better than my prior PB race from Paris in March 😀 ( I aimed to get better result, but my beginning was way too fast and furthermore the level of acid in my legs did not allow me to cruise the last crucial kilometers of the race).

But that was a good lesson, I got the experience, I accomplished the race, finished it with tiny PB and got new medal to my collection without any injury. On top of this I was placed and 4th woman overall, and 2nd in non-competitive division! <3

I am happy about both races.  That was definitely great experience and stamped Milan with my race shoes 😉. So yes… I definitely like it here and won’t complain about the city anymore. I am also glad I managed to train here during Summer and did not give up, as to be honest humidity and heat in Summer time was hectic… I won’t forget my early morning runs before 5 am, prior my 6ish morning train to other cities for jobs 😊

But you know… If you really want something, you can proceed and make it any situation and circumstances 😉
===
Btw, the more is about to come…
I have decided to participate in PZU Maraton Warszawski that starts… tomorrow!
Fingers crossed for me tomorrow, we start at 9 am! The weather forecast cannot be better… This is gonna be BIG DAY for me >< Debut at Marathon distance, I can feel the adrenaline already :O ! 😀

running | bieganie, sport & fitness, travels | podróże

RUNNING IN MILAN

Every time I start to write some posts to sum up things I cannot believe how fast time goes… and now happens the same.

September is finishing, Summer officially ended, and we are already in Fall. Yes, today is the first day of Fall! For me it is hard to realize that it has been almost 5 months I have spent in Milan, in Italy.

I remember my very first day when I arrived here in May, my travel to apartment, my visit at agency. Everything seemed to be new and fresh I was excited and thrilled what the city will bring me following weeks (months!). I asked myself who am I going to meet, how is it going to be with jobs.

Even though I had been in Milan earlier, 4 years ago, the city has changed a lot. It seemed to be a difference place for me – buzzing and with lots of noticeable changes. I was shocked with its recent progress!

In terms of running, I needed to take easy and first week of May was not training as I suffered for peroneal tendonitis (tendinitis) [inflammation of the peroneal tendons located on the outside of ankle] so I needed to slow down with workouts. Not only my injury but also the memory from past of running in Milan put me off a bit, I was skeptic if I would manage to have good days for running. I had the picture of crowded city, with not many parks and areas to run…

But, luckily soon I got recovered and second week I was able to start first training in Milan. Pain and injury was gone, so I decided to begin new chapter and find my own way to like it here. Now I can say,
I succeeded, you can run and enjoy it in Milan, definitely!

I found new places, new routes also participated in 2 races here! One for 10 km and another half-marathon (in Monza – located 30km Northeast of Milan)

Below you can see some of the places and areas I discovered that I can recommend for running:

  • Porta Genova and Parco Sempione 
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Porta Genova has changed a lot since I was here last time 4 years ago! Now it is important landmark on the map of Milan, new and modern, looks great during the day, but for me even better during the night or early mornings when it is still dark, but it is lighten up with lights 😉

Parco Sempione is obviously a must to visit not only for runners but also for everyone who visits Milan. I think It is the most famous spot in the city for outdoors activities, many runner, cyclists love this place. (Just be careful with bloody mosquitoes which can ruin pleasure during summer nights 😉

  • Porta Genova – Duomo – Parco Sempione 
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I discovered this route myself and I think it is one of the best way to sightsee the city, cruising through the city center, almost without any traffic (especially in the mornings!). Simply, run to Porta Genova, take an overpass to Porto Nuova and continue underneath little bridge, you will be able to run through beautiful street San Marco that brings you to legendary Brera district, La Scala and Duomo. From there you should pass by PIAZZA MERCATO and head towards Castello Sempione (and make another loop around the Park)!

Simply great route to begin your day, with lots of history included! 😊

Are you looking for another long run destination? I needed to find some ‘BIG, GREEN, SPOT’ on the map – that was my thought when I was searching on map new area for long weekend runs. And I got it!

Parco Nord – as name suggests is located in North Milan. There is lots of space to discover and get lost between numerous paths. There are also little hills, and streams, so you should not get bored. On top of this I spotted quite enough water fountains in park, so you do not need to worry about carrying extra bottles of water.

I found it accidentally looking at Google Maps and I would really recommend it for speed trainings. This is the area I made most of my interval workouts. This is a pedestrian path running for almost 24 miles along the Naviglio Maresana (river), connecting Milan with the Adda river. One can certainly do any portion of the 24 miles, especially since the path starts in central Milan. It Is also very popular among the runners training for Marathons in Milan. Note that the Naviglio Martesana runs parallel to the M2 line, which makes it easy to run one way and hop the train back.

On top of this I managed to run not only in Milan but also in other cities, thanks to my job and travels.

  • ROMA – Always pretty and stunning (city 😉 )  
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  • CARPI – little town in mid Italy
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    (typo with bike/run 😉 )
  • MARCHE – beautiful landscapes and valleys
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  • UMBRIA – hills and tiny streets make it lovely and hard! 😉 
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  • TOSKANY – not the longest run but at least I marked it with my running shoe! 
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  • VENICE – morning jog around canals, and watching sunrise over the bridge will stay in my memory 😉
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  • CALABRIA – one of the best experience for me, I think it was time I really needed this calm, Italian villages surrounded with hills and nothing else, literally NOTHING endomondowp type=’workout’ workout_id=’1190564705′ ]

Whoops! Seems like I can write and write about running all the time…
In the next post you will get know about my races I participated while I was here – 10km and half-marathon… Both successful with PB’s! 😉

#happy weekend

travels | podróże

TRAVEL VLOG – RESEGONE

Hope you are enjoying beautiful weekend!

Today I am happy to share with you my latest VLOG from my trip to Resegone – mountain of the Bergamasque Prealps in Lombardy.
I have been there with my friend month ago while I was in Milan.
It takes only one hour by train to get from Milan to Lecco and enjoy mountains! So you should definitely go and hike yourself to Mount Resegone.

I hope that you will enjoy this VLOG!

Below you can also see little gallery from this trip 😉

P.S.
Stay tuned as other vlogs are coming soon! 😎

 

gym | siłownia, running | bieganie, sport & fitness, travels | podróże

LACROSSE BALL

As a continuation of my traveler guide #part 1 today I will talk about one of my must-have item that I always carry with me – LACROSSE BALL

Living nowadays is very fast and stressful for most of us. We have some many things to do during the day that we almost forget about ourselves and our bodies. It is challenging to fit everything in our daily schedule. Especially when we have our work, duties, travels, studies it is difficult to find time for family and friends. Exercising and training regularly are also time-consuming. But we all know that day has only 24 hours(!) and we need to prioritize our stuff and cut off some things.

For example, how many times have you skipped stretching in your training? To make your answer simpler – I will tell you, that me I SKIP IT often ! (:O) Yes, I am honest with you, sometimes, unfortunately, there is no time to do it…

And how many times have you tried to spend a bit more time at gym and do self-massage?

Never? Once per 2 weeks? It is not good. Believe me, I understand you, as me also I usually have very tight chart during the week, and that’s why I try to keep up with and make up for my missed self-message sessions with LACROSSE BALL.

No matter if you are an athlete or not, I want to recommend it to EVERYONE, as this simple tool is just a real wonder for our muscles and tendons. For these who sit all day at the office and for those who train a lot!

WHY

In my post about foam roller – you could see that it is great for improving range of motion and reducing muscle soreness. But you can also use a small, hard ball, like a lacrosse ball, to practice self-myofascial release and work out muscle kinks and soreness. On top of this, it is a simple tool, small and strong, so it can get into areas a foam roller can’t. It also happens to be super inexpensive! (I bought mine for around 7$ 🙂

So are you ready?!

HOW

To use a lacrosse ball correctly, place it under a part of your body (like your shoulders, hamstrings, or butt), and let your body weight push down on the ball. Roll around while you sit or lay on it until you find a spot that feels a little uncomfortable. Stop there and breathe in for four seconds. Then clench the muscle where the ball is and hold for four seconds. Finally, relax the muscle and exhale for eight seconds. Repeat this breathing technique until the area has softened up and then move on to the next spot.

REMEMBER

  1. Set Aside 10 Minutes

While it might not seem like much, setting aside 10 minutes while you are on train/plane to massage your feet. Or try to massage before bed and roll out your legs, shoulder, back. That’s long enough to make a difference but not so long that you overdo it. Plus, soft tissue work can help you fall asleep faster and sleep more deeply ;).

  1. Remember To Breathe

When you’re working on easing tension—targeting tough spots and pushing through the soreness—maintaining a steady breath may take a backseat. It shouldn’t. In fact, your breath should play a big role in the process and help to relax your mind and body at the same time.

  1. Target One Area At A Time

Don’t think of lacrosse-ball release as a full-body workout. This is one case where less is more. Instead of going from head to toe, spend one night working on your legs and the next on your upper back. Each time, move your focus to a different muscle group with the goal of hitting all major body parts by end of week.

The one thing to remember: Make sure to hit both sides. If you do your right leg, do your left leg the same night!

Need some inspiration for where to target? Put the ball under a spot you feel stiff.
If you have pain somewhere, think about targeting the surrounding areas. For instance, if your knee kurts, lie down and put the ball under the quads over the knee.

  1. Stop If It Hurts

Discomfort, especially at first, is nothing to worry about, but if you feel sharp pain, stop! If it hurts bad enough that you can’t take a full, deep breath, you need to back off the pressure by supporting your weight with your hands.

Everyone can use lacrosse ball to ease stiffness, reduce pain, and ultimately help body positioning and performance. After all, teasing out muscle kinks and working connective tissue, ligaments, and fascia takes effort. But it’s time well spent. For me this is real life-saver and easy to use when I travel and my body, especially legs need extra release and care. It makes my life better as a runner, model and traveler to keep me ready to go!

Inconspicuous friend for sore legs 😉
travels | podróże

Traveler Guide #1

It’s been already 2 months while I am in Milan (time flies!)

I have been working and traveling a lot here in Italy, not only in Milan but also in bunch of another cities. Sometimes traveling only for 1 day, sometimes for a bit longer so I slept in hotels and was able to see a bit more than only hotel room and photo studio (magic of running [!] 😉 more info below).

Early call times and many hours of work are part of my job. I spend also a lot of time waiting, having my make-up done, traveling, so there is ‘empty’ time I can use for myself! I am not saying it is easy, because sometimes it is just not as I am tired, but if you organize and motivate yourself you can do what you really want and use this time efficiently.

Today I will tell and share with you what I carry in my travel bag to make my life easier when I travel and work.

RUNNING GEAR (shoes, Garmin watch, earphones and running clothes) – this is definitely FIRST thing I pack to my backpack. Once I know I will spend and sleep at least one night in hotel in another city I put them immediately. Also, when I fly somewhere further, I always put my running gear in carry-on luggage, NEVER in checked-in one, as if there is possibility of losing my luggage at least I would be always running-ready 😉

You may think I am crazy, but to be honest I cannot imagine travelling without my running gear. I know myself and I have learnt that setting up my alarm clock 1 hour earlier in the morning so I can go for run works THE BEST for me and wakes me up way better than any extra 30, 40 minutes of sleep early in the morning. For instance, if I know my call time is at 8 am, I setup my alarm clock at 6 am (Of course I try to go to sleep earlier the night before, I realized that 6 hours of sleep now in Summer time for me is the minimum, but preferably I try to get this 7h30m of sleep). When I wake up, there is time for quick bathroom, pre-workout snack and putting my running clothes on. Then, I leave hotel room at 6.15. (I always try to run at least 10kms in the new city where I am so I can add this place to my ‘running list’ 😉).

Always ready for run 😉 -> ROME – POLAND – MILAN

It takes me about 45 minutes, sometimes 1 hour if I decide and feel I want to run more. Then by 7.15 am the latest I am back to hotel room REBORN, FRESH (ok, sweaty 😊 ) and READY for new day and work. Later I do quick 5-10 minutes stretching session (I do more while I am at gym during my cross-training sessions). After this, I have another 15-20 minutes for shower and get ready. And around 7.40-7.45 I am at restaurant having my breakfast. 15 minutes for coffee, brekkie is just perfect and that way I am ready to go at 8am sharp 😉!

-SNACKS & FOOD – Yes! I love food, this you should realize already! But I like GOOD, HEALTHY, REAL food as this is the fuel for my bod to have energy all day. Sometimes it is not easy to have access to it on trains/plans, during shootings I need to depend on client and studio (or location!) where I work. I know also that if I get hungry I am immediately angry (HANGRY state of mind…) and that is dangerous for another people😉 So I always have in my bag little food that can kill my first hunger and keep me quite for a bit. Such as nuts/almonds, cherry tomatoes (I love them!), bananas, dark chocolate, crispy veggies, cooked eggs (lol, it is truth. But trust me this is the best lunch-alternative I have not found any better substitution so far :D) etc. //My next post will be about food to go that I eat when I travel.//

Homemade lunchbox for unexpected hunger! 😉

-WATER – remember, hydration first! I drink lot of water. I think that now during summer and hot days, when I work out, it is about 3l of water daily. I always have one bottle with me, preferably high in minerals and sparkling 😊

Hydration first 😉

-MOBILE PHONE & POWER BANK (+chargers)– these days this is a must. Unfortunately, mobile phone loses battery very fast and I need it almost 24/7. It is my tool for work and I always must have it charged and stand-by. Not only for phone calls, messages, emails from my agency but also to be in touch with my family and friends. Also, I need its build in camera to be able to photograph moments during my day to share it later with others.

Keep charged!

-LAPTOP – I use it for work, study and leisure. My laptop is light and easy to carry but still is another piece in my bag. I always have it with me, as for example now while I am sitting on the train I am blogging and writing this post so you can read it later 😉. Also it is also necessary for my school and study and leisure, extra stuff – such as video editing and vlogging (check my You Tube channel!).

-FAVORITE MAGAZINE – I always have one of them in my bag. Since they are good for quick read and work perfectly to kill time while I waiting on castings or having my hair done during preparation for shoot. I am crazy about National Geographic Traveler and Runner’s World.

Good lecture 🙂

-CALENDAR – short moment on train/plane is the best to fill my calendar with all notes such as jobs, castings, workout summery, travels. I forget to make it daily, usually I try to update it at least once per week on the go.

-MINI COSMETIC BAG – I am not fan of hotel’s cosmetics. I always have my own that I trust and like. Such as natural and organic shampoo and hair conditioner (this is a must! My hair after shoot need extra treatment!), comb (I am weird, yes… I use all my life comb instead of brush for my hair…), tooth paste and tooth brush (do not need to explain you why I guess), good and moisturizing face cream (to hydrate and moisten my skin), aun deodorant (there is nothing better than this deodorant! 100% natural, lasts for long and does have no smell!), razors, hygienic pads and last but not the least… sponge! (Yes, you can laugh but I cannot live without it. Having shower without using a sponge does not make sense for me, I just need it in the morning to feel clean! )

-LACROSEE  BALL – this is my life saver. I run a lot, walk a lot, spend many hours with high-heels and my feet needs extra care. Not only mine but yours also, trust me!

Lacrosse ball is a miracle!

This ball is great, when I am on plane or train this is the best time to make some self-massage and relax stressed feet. You probably do not know how tight can be your feet. I did not know it either for long time. But once I started to use it, I felt such a relief and difference. I would highly recommend it to any of you. It is just great when we travel, spend many hours at computer. (I will cover more about lacrosse ball in separate post soon)

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I always wonder why my bag is bigger than other models, but when I pack all these things, you gotta understand it! Right now, I know what I need to pack by heart. Whenever I try to limit or I simply miss any of them, there is a moment during the day when I need exactly this what I am luck of so I usually pack all of these above.

In the part 2 I will tell you what I eat during when I travel. Sive you example of snacks and food which are perfect for me and kill unexpected hunger.

Italy, travels | podróże

Florence City Guide

Usually city tours are planned for stay in the city 24/48 hours. In my case it is gonna be different. My city guide is about how to use efficiently 3 HOURS  (exactly 180 minutes) in Florence. Are you ready? 😉

Just to make it clear, why my stay in capital of Tuscany was that short? It is not that I did not want to be there longer, as believe me, I really wanted! The reason is that this trip was very unexpected. Last week I was working on Sunday and Monday in little town – Barberino di Mugello – out of Florence. I expected to be there full 2 days but fortunately, we (I mean me and other models who were working for @RIFFLEjeans) finished our job on Monday earlier – just before the lunchtime.

But! It would be naive thinking ‘oh, that’s cool, I can have more time for myself!’. The truth was… not really, we needed to wait over 2 hours for the bus to take us back to Florence and take the train back to Milan.

I thought I was so close to this city and I would regret not seeing it even for a bit! Especially that for last two days, during job, photographer & assistant talked a lot about Florence and how nice is it, giving some tips what to see, where to go there. I really wanted to see it myself! One other friend (who I just met at job) tempted by those hints, thought the same, we decided that we would go back to Milan a bit later that evening so we could have at least few hours in Florence.
And that is what we did!

When the bus finally picked us up to Florence, in the meanwhile we marked some places on the map that would be nice to see. We split with the rest of the group who was chasing the train at 5PM, having on our mind that now we had 3 hours to see as much as possible.

(Below you can see map marked with our walk – now, looking at this in perspective of time, seems like that we made quite solid distance 😉 )

We started from Firenze Train Station (S. M. Novella) which is located just next to Basilica Si Santa Maria Novella.

Then we headed towards Pallazo Medici Riccardi and little Basilica di San Lorenzo . Which unfortunately was already closed, we missed 10 minutes(!).

Later, we turned right and walked down the street where on our left appeared one of the most beautiful Cathedral I have ever seen in my life – Cathedral of Santa Maria del Fiore.

Astonishing facade, jaw-dropping with its colorful marble. This 1200s cathedral known for its red-tiled dome. We had walk around it, trying to find the way to walk inside, but this idea quickly blurred after seeing the queue to the entrance… (Hopefully next time!)

Walking down Via dei Calzaiuoli we walked towards Piazza della Republicca and found Fontana del Porcellino. I did not know by then, but apparently rubbing the snout of this iconic bronze fountain of a boar will ensure your return to Florence 😊.

From there we walked to Piazza deggli Uffii where is located Gallery which is a prominent art museum. One of the most important Italian museums, and the most visited, it is also one of the largest and best known in the world, and holds a collection of priceless works, particularly from the period of the Italian Renaissance.

This is placed just few steps from the bank of Arno River where we enjoyed picturesque view of the city over the water.

At this point we walked a bit more to the east side of the city to see Basilica di Santa Croce di Firenze.

That was  a turning point of our trip and started to walk towards train station. We came back to the riverside and crossed it through Ponte alle Grazie (from there I spotted hill with Piazza Michelangelo on top but we had no time to climb over there – later I googled this place and this is apparently the best place to see panorama of the city – according to Wikipedia that it is 19th-century piazza with a bronze replica of Michelangelo’s David & panoramic views over the city]”).

Southern part of Arno River was definitely more chilled and peaceful than its northern part which was full of traffic. I really enjoyed it, we walked towards Ponte Vecchio. Picturesque medieval arched river bridge with Roman origins, lined with jewelry & souvenir shops.

This is probably one of the nicest and romantic part of the city. (And I am saying this – the one who is not romantic at all 😀 ).

From Ponte Vecchio we walked a bit more further up the river.. We had 1 hour before the departure of our train. So we decided to look for some nice bar to rest and eat after our [quite] intense tour.

Primarly we wanted to try Lampredotto. This is one of those historical, common folk dishes from Florence’s medieval period. It is a sandwich made with thinly sliced tripe (intestines) that’s been boiled in broth, seasoned, and served either on a plate or in a sandwich. You can order it with spicy red sauce or herbal green sauce, or even bagnato (with wet bread, and little bit of gravy) from outdoor markets or street vendors around the city)… but the bar was already closed so we walked across the river once again, googling local restaurants so we would be closer to the train station and have more time to relax.

We ended up at Trattoria da Giorgio (Via Palazzuolo 100r). Where we expected to have good, home-made food – judging from reviews on Internet.

We ordered our food at 7.30 and it was served in few minutes. But we had almost no time to enjoy it… We were eating literally as it was a competition. Paying for it with mouth still full of food. Eventually, we left the restaurant at 7.48 and run towards train station to catch the train at 8 pm…

I do not need to tell how mad I was when I saw when I saw on the screen that our train had 30mins delay… ‘We could have at least some coffee at the restaurant and eat as a human!’ – thought to myself…. I felt so sorry for my friend who I was rushing up with eating. On the other hand, we had extra time to get some gelato on the station!

Our delay eventually turned into 45 minutes and then we got out train to Milan, where we arrived at 11 PM.

I was very tired when we got off at Milano Centrale as that were two intense days, also Sunday and Monday I needed to wake up at 5 am, but I was also happy about having seen Florence at least for a bit!

I walked (or rather crawled) very slowly – like a zombie to my apartment. All I needed was having a shower and going to bed.
While I was falling asleep I had real brainstorm on my mind and flashbacks from this what I has seen that day, as everything was happening so fast and still I could not believe I was there…

And, you know what?! The legend about rubbing Porcellino is actually truth! As I go back to Florence for job next week! 😉

foodie guide | przewodnik smakosza, New York | Nowy York, travels | podróże

TRAVEL VLOG – DOWNTOWN MANHATTAN

Hello Guys!🖐
New vlog has arrived!💥💥💥
Today I am bringing back memories from NYC and taking you for trip around #downtown #Manhattan!
We gonna explore together
🔹️NoHo and lovely @dosaroyale
🔹️NoLiTa and cool @chachamatcha
🔹️Chinatown
🔹️Little Italy
🔹️Canal Street
Yes  all of these in ONE vlog! As NYC amazes with its diversity and multicultural mix!
Watch the full video on my youtube channel:


Enjoy! 💜💛💚💙