Thursday, October 20, 2011

Asphalt fever!

Last two weekends I took part in 3 street races. I love this kind of competition and it's really nice that I found some time for it this autumn.

Uniejów, 10km
It was my second 10km street race (first one: more than a year ago in Gdańsk, running with fever, just after a training break, finishing with the time of 35:43). I had two goals to pursue: beat the time of 35mins and beat Pasza.
As soon as I reached the competition centre, I heard that there would be some pacemakers on the course - the fastest one to run 10km in 35:00. It was just wonderful news for me, because I felt almost sure that I would have no problems reaching my first aim then.
During the first 6 kilometres I felt like if it was just jogging (3:36, 3:32, 3:26, 3:24, 3:37, 3:30). Then, Pasza decided to leave the pacemaker, so did I. We ran together the next 3 kilometres (3:27, 3:28, 3:20). I had known I might have had problems winning the race with him on the last metres, so I decided to start my finish right now - I succeeded in keeping great pace on the last km (under 3:00) and finished with the time of 34:20 (some 9 seconds ahead of Pasza).
After the race I realised that I could have run the first 9 kilometres much faster, because my heart rate was pretty low - 174/186 and I pushed really hard only on the last kilometre. All in all, I was extremely satisfied with that performance!;)

Poznań, 10km
The course consisted of 2 loops of about 5,4km. That's why the distance was not exactly 10km - it was 10,85km. Firstly, my goal was to finish the race as fast as possible, but my goal changed during the course, but first things first...
I managed to start calmly and thought that the pace of the two girls (leading the women competition at that moment) would be OK for me. The first 3km in 3:28, 3:30, 3:28 was a good start, but then I felt it was too slow for me. I jumped to the next group of about 5-7 men, but it turned out to be too slow as well! Unfortunately, I had to run the next whole 7 kilometres alone...
After km no. 9 (3:24, 3:23, 3:25, 3:23, 3:22, 3:24) my goal changed - I wanted to beat 34mins for 10km. I managed to run the last kilometre in 3:11 and my time was 33:58. Mission accomplished;)
During the last 850 metres of the race I just jogged in the pace of 3:33/km (it may sound strange, but it really felt like jogging after sprinting for the last metres of 'my own 10km race').
This race was much harder for me than the one in Uniejów due to two reasons:
- a more difficult course (steep uphills on the 1st and 6th km);
- the fact that I had no pacemaker (not even a single runner to run with) for the last 7 kilometres.
My maximum HR was pretty surprising for me - 183. Interesting...
To sum it up, great day and new personal best!

Poznań, (half)marathon
On Sunday my dad ran the 12. Poznań Marathon. The course included 2 loops, so I decided to help him on the last one. Before the start I advised him to run with the pacemakers for 3:45 (his previous PB was 3:54). The weather was just perfect and I was sure he could do it.
I waited for him on the 20th km. I was really happy when I saw his funny POLSKA cap just behind the pacemakers. It was a really good sign. There were so many people there that I had difficulty in joining him! After each 5km there was a refreshment point and I grabbed a lot of cups with water and Powerade for him. It made the run much easier for him. Just after crossing the '38km' sign he wanted me to push the tempo. So now it was me who was his own pacemaker. Thanks to this long finish we managed to gain almost 2mins over his previous pacemakers and he reached the finish line with the time of 3:43:16 (3:41:58 netto)!
Personally, I ran more than 22km in 1:55 (5:13/km) and I must admit that it surely was my 'fastest' run for 22km in my life. By 'fastest' I mean that the time passed so quickly during the race that it was just amazing! There were 9 music bands on the course, a lot of spectators shouting and whistling, clapping their hands, a lot of people running with us - the atmosphere that I will never forget:)
Congratulations, Daddy!

In three days the last race of the season is going to take place - Polish Championships in superlong. I have never felt so well before this competition. The last preparations went just wonderful. I feel that I am ready, fresh and hungry. The only thing that interests me is to reach the gold medal. It's my last championship race as a junior, so I will do my best to end my junior career in the best possible way. Hope the competition's going to be tight! ;-)

Friday, October 7, 2011

Passion - that's what you need.

A lot happened since the last post. Only one thing is common for the past weeks: the fact that my shape sucks.

However, I even managed to become the Polish Champion in night orienteering for the second time in a row. My race was far from perfect - more than 10 minutes lost to 'superman'.
I did even reach another medal - bronze in the long distance race. I lacked the appropriate motivation and my only goal was to finish the race. It's no fun getting medals in a way like this. Fortunately, I am coming to the elite class in less than 3 months and I can't wait to get a real thrashing;) To be honest, Dominik's silver medal was much more important for me than my own one! You REALLY deserved it:)

A week before that I got the honour to run the last leg of the winning club relay during Polish Club Champs. The whole job was done on the first 6 legs and I just had to collect all the controls. Done.

Last week I got the opportunity to join my first camp with the Polish National (elite) Team in Switzerland. The trainings were really nice and I had a lot of fun with the map in my hand. As far as the Saturday's World Cup middle distance race is concerned, I got to know where the leaders are and that I am extremely far from that point. Great and useful experience!

As you see from the beginning of my post, I succeeded in getting some good results lately - even if my shape was awful. But...
- Is the whole fun only in the results you achieve?
- Isn't it actually the passion that make you happy?
- Do you prefer having tremendous numbers of medals or enjoying your everyday training and lifestyle?

The answers seem to be quite obvious. For me.