running | bieganie, sport & fitness

Running in Lisbon

Welcome to my 3rd part of #RRS (Running Route Series)!

This time I am sharing with you my favorite routs in Lisbon for running.

I spent whole July in the capital of Portugal, the city which I really love! I love the climate here, people, culture, the weather… but it is not the easiest place for running, definitely not!

Why?

Because this is very hilly city, and most of the pedestrian walks are covered with brick stones. These are very tricky, slippery and not running friendly.
However I really enjoy Lisbon and running here, there is something in the air that makes it very encouraging and motivating to sneak through streets of the city.
Also if you are staying close to the riverside you can have an easy access to the lovely path along the riverside, nice and smooth without any hill 😊

Anyway, let me tell about my favorite routs around the city:

1) Park Monsanto

I stayed in North-West part of the city, located close to the Monsanto Park. This is the biggest park in Lisbon. This is an amazing option for trail/weekend long run when you can get lost between paths in the forest or jump into more solid rode, and hit the asphalt to the Monsanto Look Out.

I have been running there quite a lot , especially during the week when I wanted to run a bit off the city and enjoy quiet park with only few people around. Although, my very first run there happened in Sunday and I realized that this must be a popular spot for trail races as I passed many men and woman running up with me that sunny morning.

2) ‘Classic 10’

This is a custom-made name of the route 😉. I made it up to call the route I run starting off from my house heading around Park Eduardo and running all the way down along Avenida de Liberdade, the main alley in Lisbon. Over there brickstones on the street did not bother me, as they are spreading out in such an elegant way all the way along the Avenida, which may make you feel like a Queen/Kind of the city 😉
Once you run down the alley, you turn in … … street and hit exactly at Plaza (main yellow plaza of Lisbon) with the view over Tagus. Amazing beginning of the day! Than head toward Cais Sodre (the train station that connects Lisbon with Cascais) and.. head up! Yes… This is the moment when you really need to shorten your stride, higher up your cadence, and regulate the breathe. Over 3 kilometers of uphill street won’t get any flatter! This is a good opportunity to really work on you running strength (be careful with the traffic, the streets are very narrow! I usually was running just on the road (against cars), or hopping off to the pedestrian walk once it was too tight – when you cross a big bus… )


I would recommend to run this route either early morning on weekdays when the traffic is mild or during the weekend when there is almost no one, only lazy locals / tourists watching you through the coffee bars and thinking “omg, this girl is crazy… “

3) Make it longer

As and addition of route 2 – you can lengthen your run and pass Cais de Sodre and head towards Ponte 25 Abril (Bridge of 25th April) – which is a landmark place in Lisbon.

Once you get there and make a selfie for memory you can either continue your run towards Belem which is in total 7km long (Lisbon – Belem) and end of for coffee and pastel de nata in one of the most famous pasterias there. Or head back / up toward Lisbon and run via Rua Maria Pieta to my neighbourood.

4) Park Eduardo – this park is definitely a must to visit and see while you are in Lisbon. It spreads in the north part of Lisbon where is an awesome look out over the city. You can enjoy the view over the city and have a good workout running down and up the park which has many paths to cruise around.

So… are you ready for a little run? 😉

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

 

running | bieganie, sport & fitness

3… 2… 1… FALSE START!

Hello guys today I am writing about the unpleasant topic.
The topic that I thought I would never write… maybe I said it wrong, the topic that I would never like to talk about, I’m talking about INJURIES.
(I also can say that this will be a long post, so get yourself a good cup of tea or coffee 😊 )

Yes unfortunately, I’ve got injury 6 weeks ago.

And I totally didn’t expect it. I think this is the most annoying part of injuries that you can never expect them. But, unfortunately they do happen and one of them happened to me.

In my previous post about my running achievements in 2018 you can read that it was very prolific year! I really wanted to start this new year 2019 full of energy.

On December 31st, I participated in my very last race of 2018. It was pretty awesome cross-race (10km). I finished it with my personal best. My final time was 41 minutes and 15 seconds, improving the result from 2017. I felt really great after the race, without any pain.

After 10km cross-race with @Dominika Stelmach !

However, probably it must have been the beginning of my injury. Since the same night during the New Year’s Eve party with my friends I felt a tiny and itchy pain in my groin. It was a bit awkward but nothing major. I ignored it and I didn’t care about it that much.

The following day I woke up only with sore muscles after the race. I stretched them and everything was ok.
The following days I run 1-2 times that felt really good.

I arrived to Milan and had fartlek run on January 4th and long run on January 6th. That Sunday was my last run, my last long weekend run.

While I was running, I accidentally felt ache in my groin as someone was pointing it with needles inside muscle. That was very difficult to explain.
I felt that my (left – injured) leg did not want to move as smooth as I wanted. I got back home and as soon as I stopped running, I walked… but I could not walk!
I felt really sharp pain that didn’t allow me to move my leg and I think I’ve been lying on sofa for about 15 minutes before I took of my shoes, clothes and went to take shower. That was really bad sensation which I had never experienced before. I realised that IT WAS NOT GOOD. But I didn’t want to panic. However, I remember that day and any simple activities: having a shower or grabbing something from the floor, standing on a single leg (my left injured side) was hurting me like a h**l.

That day I couldn’t even walk with my friend and get to the car and get off the car! We planned to go ice skating that day… But I ended up looking at my friends from the podium and freezing next to the ice rink instead of skating with them.

My very first night Sunday/Monday was a real nightmare. I couldn’t lie straight or toss around in my bed. I could not find any comfortabe position for myself in the bed.

The following days (the first day, straight after injury, as well!) I’ve been putting lots of arnica gel and ice on my leg. On top of this I was taking some anti inflammatory drugs. However, after two, three days there was no significant improvement. I started to understand I really need to see a doctor so I could get diagnosed and receive proper treatment. But… that is when my mystery only begun.

You can believe, or not, but I have visited 5 different doctors since I got injured and… I still do not know what I am/was suffering for.

First doctor (without even touching me 😀 (!) told me I got strained adductor and advised me to take an antiflammatory drugs and rest for few more days.

However, I felt that this pain is not reason of my pain, so I went to another doctor. He advised me to stay at home for 2 weeks, using crutches and not walking/moving at all.
For me that was still not a clear diagnose. I needed to find the reason and source of my pain not only to lay down and wait for marvelous cure.

At the same time I was still doing my castings and working… I was incapable of putting trousers while standing on one leg. I really had a problem!

Day by day, my pain was slowly fading but still I was limping and walking like a zombie 🙂 bended towards my left side and pulling my leg behind me, stopping every 200 meters since I got the cramps.

But! Let me say something, I have found a solution. I was moving around the city and doing my castings with bike! That was a relief and NO PAIN at all during cycling. Only the walking (And running…) was causing me a pain. Taking it a bit futher I slowly started incorporating streching and strengthening exercises and going to the gym. Pain was decresing… BUT WAS STILL THERE!

I started to google and search on YouTube, I have managed to ‘self-diagnosed’ probably 10 different kinds of injuries, including hamstring syndrome, pubaglia, hip pain, tendenosis, hip dyslocation, lipsosas muscle strain. Literally almost every kind of injury you could imagine.

I managed to go to physiotherapist but he couldn’t help me. He adviced me to see another doctor. I visited him the day after. But doctor couldn’t do much, he prescribed me only a prescription for X-Ray and RMI.

It was the moment that I got scared!

Before having had my X-ray and RMI done I went to another recommended doctor to make examination with ultrasonography. During the visit he told me that all my muscles were completely fine, he found ONLY a tiny stretch around outer hamstring. He asked me also “Have you ever broken your hip/ leg? Have you got any crush? In past?” I was shocked, answered “No, I have never had”, which was a true.

He told me that there is some visible stretch around outer hamstring tendon and I suffer for hamstring syndrome. He recommended me to stretch my hamstring, strengthen glutes and core muscles.

You will hate me and say that I am crazy, but I was confused. I did not want to believe it is hamstring as this dull, itchy pain was still in my groin. My mind started to overthink and I had no choice and no more doubts I really needed to make the X-ray and RMI.

The following day I had my X-ray done (during the examination I asked the lady to take quick picture from the screen so I could share it with the doctor who advised me it).
Straight after leaving the laboratory, I sent it to him and he texted me “Aleksandra, you need to rest. There is probably a stress fracture in you hip”.

My XRAY

I was shocked :O. “Fracture?!” “In my hip?!” “How can I have a broken bone?!”.
Doctor was not 100% sure and he told me to not stress until I had my RMI done.
I made an appointment for the soonest possible date, in three days.

The following day, I received the official report from X-ray laboratory done by radiologist. The report said basically that I am completely HEALTHY, THERE ARE NO STRESS FRUCTURES. BONES, JOINTS were completely fine.

Having this reported, I was getting crazy and asking myself “Doctor says it might be a stress fracture”, “Radiologist says my hip and bones are 100% healthy”

The only hope to solve the problem was in RMI.

Finally I had it done. I was eagerly waiting for the examination. (It was my first RMI in my life. Actually I had expected it to be worse. In total it was quite easy and relaxing :D… Ok, a bit boring… Laying down for 15 minutes in small room with huge machine over my lowerbody… But it was quite realxing actually, I almost felt asleep! :D). Anyway, in two days I expected to have the report and results.

I picked it up on that day… and… The results of RMI said that my muscles, bones, tendons, hip, leg… WERE COMPELETELY HELATHY

WOW! I sent it to the doctor, he said that in that case if X-ray and RMI were negative (meant they did not diagnosed anything) that means I only need to fest few more weeks and stretch/strengthen exercise, and come back to run in couple of weeks…

So I visited 5 doctors, made my X-RAY, RMI, USG and there was still no clear answer why was I suffering.

I sent the reports to the doctor who made my ultrasonography examination and he asked me to visit him the following week. Few days later I again went to him and showed my x-ray and RMI. Eventually, he said there is no stress fracture. I pointed him one spot on the x-ray (marked earlier by my best friend. The spot was close to the pubic bone).
Doctor was not 100% what is it but after analyzing my talks and history of injury he gave me a diagnose: “Avulsion fracture”

Having that said, I started to google it and most of the symptoms look like mine, so I am 90% sure that this my real injury.

Taking into consideration all different opinions and diagnosis I am a bit sceptic. Luckily, I am got home on Friday for two days and I managed to visit sport-physiotherapist so to be 100% sure and finally calm what is/was wrong with my hip.

Now I feel almost no pain and I have green light to start little jogging. With plenty of stretching, strenghtening, rolling every day!

Having those 6 weeks out of running had the drawbacks and positive sides at the same time.

Being not able to run for this period was heart-killer as the weather in Milan since I arrived had been amazing! Very sunny, dry, chilly weather perfect for running!

But I’ve been going to gym, I’ve been cycling around the city (what is very surprising is the fact that cycling didn’t hurt me at all during this time period!), I’ve been going to the swimming pool every second day and I improved my swimming skills for breaststroke and crawl.

I learned also that since it’s been really difficult to understand what is going on, I will advise to myself and all of you that if you ever got any kind of pain or ache don’t ignore it! You should always check it and pay attention. As one more training can exclude you from the sport for a long time. It is better to slow down, take few days of break, week, make a treatment and check it. If body gives a signal you should really stop. Never ignore any different ‘ache’ and ‘pain’. I am not talking about sore muscles but If you have a sensation of something ‘completely new’ that it NOT OK.

I am with good thought that the injury is slowly going away and I am working to make a good solid plan not only for now to heal but also for future. To involve and change some of my gym routine exerices and add more runner-specific exercises, more stretches and smarter running training.

I hope that I am on a good track and I will make make the best out of 2019.

Have a safe running! Take care of yourself and your health!
Will keep you posted about my running.

running | bieganie, sport & fitness, Uncategorized

2018 Year Summary

Here we are again…
Hard to believe but New Year’s Eve is around the corner! 2018 is over!
We are all getting one more year older, that’s for sure.
Stronger? Smarter? Better? I hope that this as well…

Before listing down and diving into New Year’s resolutions it is good to sit down, preferably alone and focused, take a piece of paper and write down our achivements of last year.
What have we done? What haven’t we? What can we learn from our failures? Remember, life consists of good and bad experiences, successes and failures, we learn everyday and we should uninterruptedly evolve and improve ourselves.

To the point,
I have made my list of running accomplishments in 2018:

  1. 5k sub 20 minutes
    In May I have raced in my hometown and broke 20minutes at distance of 5k!
    It was my debut at such a short distance.
  2. 10k sub 40 minutes
    In 2018 I have raced twice at 10k, in Milan – final time 39m:22s (in May) and in Barcelona – final time 39m18s (in December)
    After 2 years of consecutive running I have broken ‘magical’ line of 40minutes at this distance.

    2nd place in Barcelona

    Sub 40 minutes happiness
  3. Half Marathon sub 90 minutes
    Another border has been broken.
    I have raced in 3 half-marathons this year. In Paris (in March) – final time 1h28m12s, two weeks later in New York – final time 1h30m36s and in Monza (close to Milan) – final time 1h28m08s (in September).

    On the run – FitBit Semi de Paris 😉
  4. Debut at MARATHON
    That was probably the biggest accomplishment in terms of racing in 2108. I had finally courage to face with this MIRACLE distance. 42,195k beaten in 3 hours 16 minutes 55 seconds -> UNFORGETABLE RACE

    PZU Marathon in Warsaw (at around 23 km)
    POST MARATHON VICTORY!

    Overall, I participated in 7 different races, in 5 countries. I set personal best at every distance.
    Now, looking at my BIPs and medal I can really see that my morning trainings and hard work really paid off.

    Tomorrow, I am racing my very last race of this year. 10k cross-trail race in the nearby forest Lagiewniki-Park.
    It will be very muddy and fun race :)). After it, it is time to celebrate and set up plan for 2019. To be better and stronger person (and athlete) then ever before 🙂

    New Year’s Eve 10k Race year ago
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

September 30th

Tomorrow, it is going to be exactly 4 weeks since September 30th. The day that I will remember forever.

I am writing about this only now as I needed time, I still need time to digest and understand what happened in my life recently.

That was the day I had been waiting for… I was anxious, nervous. The day which I would never have expected to come… My Marathon Debut!

I always thought that this distance is magical, requires a lot of courage, patience and strength. One, two, three years ago I called it ‘crazy’ and incapable to have run 42,195 km. People who run them I referred as ‘super humans’, ‘aliens’. Because you know, everyone says “OMG, Marathon! This is impossible”, “Over 42kms of running?!”, “You are crazy!”, “This is not healthy for your heart, for your joint!”

Ok… Yes, I agree with that (a little bit), I won’t never say that Marathon is for everyone and you can do it easily. You cannot say “I want do Marathon” just out of a sudden and decide to run it in few weeks. I am taking into consideration the fact that most people commute to work, sit at work, rarely further than from/to the desk and car/public transport. That is sad, but this is how it is nowadays.

In my opinion to run Marathon you should be active, having some solid fitness level, developed endurance. Why? Simply, to not just SURVIVE the race ending up with lingo down and completely tuckered. But to enjoy it, experience it from the beginning to the end to the fullest.

But this is not the topic of this post. I am not writing about this racing preparations and training today.

I only decided to race it and signed for Marathon 10 days before it. Having my half-marathon raced on September 16th, I felt my mind my body and mind especially(!) are ready for real challenge.

For me this Marathon was important, for personal issues… It was not just another ‘fun’ race for me, trying to get new PB and make the best out of it. I wanted to run it not only for myself, I wanted to prove that impossible is nothing, to run it, help and heal that way… my sick Mom.

This is my real reason and story behind Marathon debut.

Without diving into many details. My life has changed on May 29th. I remember when I arrived (on Monday, May 28th) to Rome for job, texted my mom as usual on Whatsapp. The next day, on Tuesday I went to work, had lunch with whole team (photographer, stylist, makeup artist), beautiful day. Shoot was very nice. In the evening we went also to swimming pool. Perfect afternoon. After swim we were supposed to have dinner together in nice restaurant in local seafood restaurant.

I was leaving the swimming pool when I saw message on my phone from my Dad “Ola call me urgently”. I had no clue what is going on. My first thought was that maybe he needs some IT help, or having my email checked… But unfortunately no… I called him back and the message I got was:

“Mom is at hospital. She has cancer. You need to come back home”

I cried. With broken voice said to him I will be home ASAP. I flew home with the earliest possible flight following morning.

Hard to explain how I felt that moment. It is impossible to describe… One phone call that changes your life completely. I was speechless… I am still speechless writing about that…

I won’t dive in details what was happening in our family since that day for the next 4 months. But I must say it was very hard time for me, my dad, my brother, my mom especially. For every one of us it was the biggest battle we have ever had to face with.

We had so many ups and downs, good and bad moments, time with lots of love, hope, trust included. Any little positive change made us growing and on the other hand any other bad one made us scared.

That was difficult time for everyone, for my mom who suffered, and for me it was the most painful part of this. I could not help her. Of course, we all from family tried and did our bests, we helped her the most what we could, but I still felt , I had this awful feeling that I have no heal power to get her 100% better, all I could do was to believe, hope, pray that everything would be ok!

That is why I decided to run Marathon, I wanted to make it not only for myself to prove that I can really do it but also somewhere deep in my soul, heart I believed that it can help, it will cure, heal, make my mom feeling better. Maybe this sounds weird to you but this is what I felt and needed to do.

The day before the race (Saturday, September 29th) I was talking to my mom, taking care of her as usual. Made her favorite beetroot soup for lunch and I was ready to go. ‘Bye Mom, see you tomorrow. Will call you after the race”.

Last words I told her. Remember these words very well.

Then I left, went to Warsaw. Arrive safely and picked up my BIP at Expo. I had a nice dinner with my friend. I could not believe what is going on. Could not believe that in less than 12 hours I will be racing my very first Marathon.

But, yes I really wanted to do it, I really wanted to make it for MY MOM!

I woke up the following day. Sunday, lovely morning, little chilly but with forecasted sun. It was going to be perfect weather for upcoming 42.195kms I was about to run.

I arrived at the start area. At the beginning I felt lost “What the hell am I doing here?!”. But the more and more runners were coming, less and less time was left till start, the more I wanted to give do it!

Just before the first whistle me, and other 8000 runners listened to the song “Sen o Warszawie” by Czesław Niemen (played from loudspeakers). Truly touching moment.

9:00 AM my Marathon was about to start.

Once I started to run I was so happy and sure that this the place I should be right now. The atmosphere was amazing, supporters, weather everything was on just perfect.
My strategy for the race according to the talk I had with my friends Roberto prior that was pacing myself carefully till 30 – 32km. And that is what I did. It was a bit awkward and challenging for me to keep myself calm and slower than usual, but I understood that this race is different, and I must be careful as I was not even aware how it is to run for that long. (The longest long run I did this summer was only spontaneous 27km long – as I mentioned earlier, I did not have a proper marathon training this season.)

For the first 2-3 kilometers I was pushing and running between runners, once my pace got finally steady. Around 4:35-4:40. I had homemade bracelet made prior the race with the pace and distance marked for every 5km split, so I had some plan and guideline.

After first 10km I started to snack bananas and sip water at every 5km food and drink station. I did not use any gels or isotonic. I never use them, also I knew that bananas and water is the kind of nutrition I always do for my runs, so I believed that this would work for me, and actually it did.

Believe me or not but after crossing half-marathon marker I still had energy and did not feel tired. Opposite, I felt good and ready for another over 21 kilometers. Till that moment I was following the pacemaker with 3:20 flag, after that I decided to run slightly faster and passed him.

25km, I still felt good. I catched up some guy, his name was Hubert. We got good pace together and we run together for few kilometers. Around 27-28km I saw first ‘stereotypical marathon runners seen on Internet – limping, stopping, walking. I thought “Oops, so this is it the famous WALL”. But I did not feel bad, I felt ok. But subconsciously my mind started to make up some stories and trying to find some issues, pain in ankle, lazy legs. However, that was more imaginary than real.

Once I crossed 30km marker, I felt automatically even better and speeded up. Saw my friends cheering up on the street and screaming ‘GO OLA!’. That felt great.

I went faster. I started to enjoy Marathon. This is the moment I have been waiting for. My friends and fellas from NY were right saying me few days before “keep is peaceful and consistent will 32 km, then you will enjoy the last 10km”. This was exactly what was happening. I got only 10km more to go and started to believe to enjoy it that it is true. I was cruising to the finish line!

The 35km was the most difficult for me. Mind was getting tired, anxious, impatient, thinking that there are still ONLY but SO MUCH 7km ahead. I kept my quicker pace, but my head started to think ‘7 kilometers more, 6, 5, 4, 3…’

Finally, I made it, I passed 40 kilometer marker. Only 2 kilometers to go! Run through the bridge over Vistula River. I was about to get it, to finish it. 41 km ‘Only over 1 km!’ A bit more than 1000m straight to the finish line. Last try of acceleration. My legs were tired but tried to run a bit faster. I looked at my watch. Was happy, was proud, ‘This is going to happen! I will do it! I can do it! Everything is going to be ok (MOM!)’.

I remember I crossed the finish line, saw the first unofficial time – slight more than 1h16m. I was super happy, I was touched, my emotions were all the kinds. With tears in my eyes I got the medal…

Official time 3h16m27s! Wow!

I must have called my parents.
Shortly after I phoned my father ‘I made it! 3h16m!’… poor connection disconnected us. In few minutes I got call back from my dad ‘Mom passed away tonight at 2.50am…’

S I L E N C E

Could not believe it… Was speechless… I am still speechless…

I headed back home directly straight after.

It was beautiful race, beautiful Marathon.

I would never understand why and how quickly it all happened. When I was leaving home the day before I would not think it would be the last moment I see my Mom.

She passed away the night when I out of home. She was at her home that she cared a lot and loved so much. In company of her beloved husband and my beloved dad. She sneaked out so quiet, she knew I wanted to run this Marathon. She always wanted to keep me safe and not aware of her problems…

I cannot explain my emotions and feeling. This is still very fresh and comes back and will be back to me very often.

This day, this Marathon, all circumstances… It will always stay in my mind and heart, forever.
I made it for Her. I dedicate it to the best Mom ever. To My Mom.

<3 <3 <3
I love You and always will. You know it. You always wanted me to be happy and I promise you I will.

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

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 😉
running | bieganie, sport & fitness

Speed Trigger

In my previous update about my races you could read about my winter races.

In this post I am gonna tell you a bit the following ones.

United Airlines NYC Half 2018, New York, March 18, 2018

This was very unexpected race for me a I was not able to sign for this race prior it and couple days before it when I arrived to NYC there were no more spots I was very regretting that I had not signed up for it as it is one of the most popular Half Marathons in NYC!

Few days before the race my last hope was destroyed since special invitation from one of the NYRR coaches was not valid impossible to transfer on me name.
I put this race aside wishing I could do it next year…

But then miracle happened, on Friday evening, at 7 pm (12 hours before the start!) my coach Roberto called me saying that there is one free spot and asked whether I wanted to jump into the race. My answer was ‘YES!’

Straight after phone call I needed to prepare all my racing clothes, breakfast for next day and… go to sleep :D.

The next day I woke up before 5 am, as at 6 am the latest we needed to leave our things in deposit and we were supposed to meet altogether with NYRR crew, apart from me I was racing with Barbara, Jessica, Ali, Roberto, Ann and other runners.
Intentionally I did not want to race this race for real as I still had my PB race from 2 weeks earlier in my legs and my mind did not want to switch on #speedmode this time :D.

My aim was to enjoy this race and have fun among other 22k runners! :O
Especially it was very first time of this half marathon with completely new route that in past years.

Start line was at Brooklyn (Prospect Park) – Manhattan Bridge (they closed one side of the road FOR US! CRAZY RUNNERS! :D) – Chinatown – FDR DRIVE up to 42 street – Times Square – 7 Avenue – Central Park (Finish line)

I took this race quite easy till we got to FDR x 42 street then my mind switched and wanted to cruise this race! The feeling of running through Times Square lighted with countless billboards and neons was incredible. From there I was heading up to Central Park where just before ‘famous’ Cat Hill our amazing NYRR Group Training team was cheering us up. From there there was only 3 miles to go and finish this race.

In total I finished this race in 1h30m36s – improving my last year’s half marathon time from Shape Women’s Half Marathon 2017.

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My goal for 2018 "Gotta collect them all" 😃😂 Another medal to my collection 😎 So lucky to have jumped into and run #UnitedNYCHalf today ! 1h30m36s 🏃💪🏆 little slower than 2 weeks ago in Paris but still better than last year during 13.1miler.💪🔫👊 it is ok! You do not need to race every race, that was my kinda 'long weekend run'. But most important ⚠⚠⚠ enjoy the journey and have fun! Thank you @nyrr for your support and cheerleading! Congratulations to everybody and especially to my folks @mann.barbara @jessnachman @annaerobicann @robertomandje @moazzambrohi #zoomzoom #nyrr #runforlife #runforrestrun #motivation #inspiration #weekend #halfmarathon #training #goal #endorphin #spring #newyork #sunday #friends #biegamzRW @runnersworldpolska

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DOZ 5km, Łódź, April 14, 2018

In the beginning of April I came back to Poland for Easter break and my final exams at school.
Checking local newspaper I have encountered the advert about upcoming 5km race within Marathon that would take place on the second weekend of April in my hometown.
I was in! Not in the Marathon 😉 but in the 5km !
I have never raced any short distance and I wanted to check myself if I am able to break 20 minutes… that was my goal!

I picked up my BIP the day before and on Saturday morning I was ready to go.

The race was supposed to start at midday so I had plenty of time to arrive earlier, leave my bag and warm-up.
Luckily my brother came to support me (and what was the most fun was the fact that he even manage to follow me during over 80% of the race along me cycling while I was racing!)

Focused and a bit nervous I started the race in first row of corral. All I knew was only that I should keep my legs on hold and do not let myself fly too early with others… What a surprise I had when I saw on my watch after 1st km pace 3:50.
I did not expect that my 1st km would go that fast already… but I felt good and wanted to keep this pace as long as possible to not get crazy.

After passing 3km in less than 12 minutes I had only 2 km to go, deep in my head I knew that the final result below 20 minutes is possible now everything was only in my legs and mind to keep it strong to the finish line.

After 4km my brother shouted to me ‘Go Ola, Go! No pain! No tireness! Go Go!’ what was actually kinda funny as deep in my head I wanted to kill him at the same time 😀 But I really appreciated my brother’s support ;).

Last 800m after right turn I run to area of Atlas Arena, after 300m SHARP turn-around was awaiting on me and then all the way down to the end, running to Atlas Arena Stadium inside.

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The feeling when I saw 19 minutes on watch was awesome. Now everything depended on me how quick would I cross the finish line.
Eventually I accomplished this race with result 19m30s ! YES YES YES! 5 km and sub 20 minutes felt greatttttt 😎

#POLIMIRUN 10km, Milan, May 20, 2018

This is the most random history in racing ever.
I am in Milano now, since the begining of May. When I got my flight ticket to Milano in April, I started to look for by curiosity, any races in Milano.
When I found #POLIMIRUN I was positively oriented as it was supposed to 10km race and I wanted to check myself on this distance because I have not done any of them since May 2016 – my very first 10 km race in London!

I tried to reach the organizer through email and facebook to get BIP for the race but it was fully booked since last month and 2 weeks before the event seemed to be too late :(.
I really regretted as I wanted to make it not only for training purposes but also to get another city to my list of cities I have raced in ;).
But I had nothing to do and needed to accept that, shortly after I forgot about this.

Then, believe me or not, on Saturday evening 9.30 pm when my and my roommates were so lazy to do anything and we decided to spend the evening on sofa and ice-creams, I checked my inbox on facebook and I saw the message from some man texting me that he can give me his BIP as he would not be able to race it.

It was so, so random! I had only 12 hours to go for the race and I was not prepared for this at all :O
I as not sure whether to do it or not, as that day I did some interval training and I did not know if I would be sharp on Sunday morning to race, but I decided to go for if as nothing ventured, nothing gained 😉

I was also lucky as the start of the race was not far from the place there I stay now in Milano, on top of that its course was passing by my place.

The start was planned at 9.30 AM, I met before that with friend of my facebook’s runner friend (:D) to get my number. I got some advise and tips about the course as I completely did not know what to expect and its profile, hills etc.

Before 9.30 I went to corral to get into my position as there were over 12 000 runners that day! :O
I managed to jump to the 3rd wave as the 1st was reserved for who had signed as competitive runners, 2nd wave for only for #addidasrunners and then finally I could line up myself in the 3rd wave that was the 1st corral of non-competitive runners at the same time.

We needed to wait for the first two waves to start running before as so eventually around 9.40 AM I have started to run! It started to get very hot on top of this, it was high time to crush these 10 kms.
It was very crowded and tight in the beginning of course, needed to jump through many people. My watch showed me pace around 4:10 at 1st kilometer, I thought it would not be able to make 10kms under 40 minutes as I wanted to make that day. But I decided to not be focused on my watch especially it was not working properly for last couple of days.

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Following only my feelings and strength of my legs on that day I wanted to make the best out of it.
Suddenly after 2-3 kilometers my watch showed me pace below 4:00 km/min… I was curious ‘what the hell is going on’.. ‘maybe my pace is actually below 4:00’…

I really felt that the watch must be wrong and its records cannot be taken seriously so I just kept my pace, trying to keep it strong and slowly passing by other runners (who made it too quickly at the beginning of race). * This is actually one of the best feeling during races, when you are chasing all other people who fired up too much*

At point of 8th kilometer I was thinking deep in my head ‘what am I doing here? It is not easy… Damn.. still 2 more kilometers’.
Luckily, at this moment some very fast guy passed me and I started to chase him “If he is still going, I can do it too!” so I kept my pace in hope of gradual acceleration.

After 9km I really wanted to have this finish line but I did not know when and where is gonna happen, I was running just as fast as possible to get it finally.
Turn after turn, we run into Campus of Polytechnic University of Leonardo da Vinci the finish line was still not seen…!
I was so surprised when after my 3rd right turn the finish line was in less then 100meters away from me.
‘Here you are! I am coming.!!’ That was my thought.

I passed the finish line, looked at my watch and it showed me time below 39m:30s ! :O
I was amazed, wow! Still did not trust it especially my watch worked funky recently. However deep in my head I got a feeling that could be possible.

Shortly after I saw the official time 39m26s I was astonished and proud as never before :D!

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Yesterday night at 9.30. PM I got message on FB that I can jump into @polimisport #polimirun10k Exactly 12 hours before the start 😄 My decision was fast – YES But still not sure how would I perform today… And now after racing through not known course, with 22°C and sun, I have made it… New Personal Best – 10km 39m:26s 💪🏃 That means sub 40 that I wanted to break since last year!! I am sooo happy… ✌ It was my first 10km race since May 2016 in London where I started racing for real… MILANO got to my list of cities I have raced in 😎 So happy and satissfied… Walking /crawling/cycling home now to get well deserved rest, strech, foam roll and… more foccacia & paninis I have been eating since Friday 😂 #run #milano #race #personalbest #personalrecord #10km #motivation #inspiration #fun #race #speed #fast #sub40

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All I can say that bananas I ate after my race tasted like never before 😀

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Overall I am so, so happy about my recent races and results.
I hope that my fitness level will stay on that level for long time.

I think during summer time I would not be participating in any races as hot temperatures are not not my favorite and I am keep on learning to not struggle with them. But… who knows… never say never… Maybe I will get a chance for some crazy race last minute and then I will jump into it ;D

For sure, I will do my best to keep on working on my technique of running and enjoying it and being grateful for every kilometer that I run <3 just to keep it simple and happy as long as possible.

Happy weekend! <3