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 😉
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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 ! 😀

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 😉