100k WC 2011

100k WC 2011

Gagarin Half Finish

Gagarin Half Finish
Gagarin Half Finish

Awards Gagarin Half

Awards Gagarin Half
Awards Gagarin Half

Cosmonauts give out the awards:)

Cosmonauts give out the awards:)
Cosmonauts give out the awards



Friday, December 27, 2013

December...Getting My Legs Back

Mile-1 Dec-
Just as suspected the bug I had in November doomed my performance in the opener in the indoor mile series. Sure it was under 6 but that is such weak sauce for me. Worst mile time since 2010....when I had a nasty ear infection that worked its sweet way into my throat just in time for the Riga Marathon late May and was doomed for the rest of June. I started out sane as usual- not fast only when I tried to go and make a break for it after 800m I couldn't open a big enough gap to drop anyone. My legs were still flat :-( The ladies dropped off a little but it wasn't enough and I ended up finishing 2nd. After that craptastic performance I decided to skip the Zelenograd Marathon 6 days later since I had obviously not returned to 100% after the crap in November. 
 trying  to break away

On the 7th, I ran the 2 mile instead on fresh not so fast snow as a workout. I won that one but my time was not so great. Sitting out the marathon was probably best. I looked at the times and I likely would have been 2nd , but did not want to dig myself into a hole I'd take longer to recover from later. 

2mile :)

After the 2 mile, the indoor track was shut for painting for  a week. This forced me to do workouts on, yup, the snow in the park. ALASKA STYLE!!! So, I figured why the hell not just go run the 20k Carnival Run on Sunday for a tempo workout  on the 15th? I have skipped this one since 2009-won it 3 times been top 3 the other 3 times I have done it. 
The course was on packed snice since we had had some freeze-thaw to make things nice and slick. Temps were about -12ish C but none of this was a problem for me or my icebugs. Not knowing how my body would react, I just went out with the other 2 top ladies. I knew they'd be good and we all went out sane. Vera is 50 but still a damn good marathoner. Her halves are about 1:30 and her marathons 3:14-15 ish in good conditions. Luba is also a fast masters runner soon to be 48 and I predict she will break 3 hrs in 2014 in the marathon. After 7k or so Luba and I pulled ahead but after about 12 she pulled a faster 2nd half. My 2nd half was also better than my first and I dropped almost 4  min from my previous best snow time on this course but still not good enough for the win- the cat finished 2nd..That 2nd half I was cutting 4.15 /km on average which for snow and snice is hauling ass. I had some 4.10s in there too. My typical handicap on snow-good snow is 30 sec/mile. If you figure that out, that would put my half about 1:27 ish which is fine considering I'm just starting to get my legs back again Yes,I decided to have fun and join the many running in costume and went as a leopard  because theya re supposed to be fast!! 

meowing it

Indoor Mile Take 2!!

After the 20 in Korolev, legs felt good and my midweek speed session looked more like it should speed wise. I'm still not doing big workouts since the goal now is just to maintain fitness so it was an EZ peasy 12x400 Wednesday workout.

 By all means, this mile should have looked more like my miles did last winter did once I got the guts to just break away after a lap or so. Well, yes, I hate to be the one to lead from the get go. I'm not always sure how far back the next lady is or if I've opened up a big enough gap when I do that. Plus, after the crappy mile on Dec. 1st, I wasn't particularly in a hurry to break away early. Actually, I was downright lazy in the first 700! First lap, I just tucked right in behind Nadya who went to the front. Ok...one lap....then I'll move....no maybe one more....after 3 laps I saw this was clearly NOT my pace and if I did not move my ass, I was going to step on Nadya and the other girl next to me. So I went. Nadya can kick in the last 200 so I had to go now and try to open a nice gap. After a lap, Coach told me at the 1000m mark, I had 50 m on the next 2 girls. Jeez, I should have gone after 2-300m like I did so many times before but still wasn't sure I'd hold up. I ran the rest of the race alone for the win this time.Time wasn't my best, but that's because I ran tactical and held back the first half and lost quite a bit of time, before I went on my own. I'll call it the laziest win in recent memory! On a more fun note- I DID get my new pink hearts kit just in time for this race :-)

             lucky 13 strikes again!!
      Just coasting early on
 Finally decided to move my ass!
 ...and was soon all alone
 Bell lap (about to lap the lady in white)
 Nadya ended up 3rd by  a lean! I was surprised. She has a monster kick! We didn't know who was 2nd or 3rd wil they called us up.

Top3 from all divisions

Saturday, November 30, 2013

Racing in the USA-October-November

I've fallen a tad wee bit behind in posting in here.
I'd like to thank Vitargo/Gener8speed  and Fein for their support in the US races and Running Skirts for the skirts :-) You guys rock!!!
Before I left, I ran the last of the summer xc series in the 2 mile on the 5th. I ended up 2nd in the overall standings because I skipped the August race because I needed to be fresh for the half the next day. Ah well :-( I otherwise would have won easily. I likely won't bother with the winter series. I am going to miss the first race on Nov 2 because I'm running the Chicago 50k. I am tentatively planning to run the Zelenograd Marathon Dec.7th so that puts me out of the 2nd race in that series.  March? I'll probably miss and do the snowshoe and April is up in the air. You need at least 4 of 6 to be in the standings, but to be honest, if I am going to get beat, I'd rather it be by an athlete of better ability than I am as opposed to someone who can rack up more points in my absence.  The same thing happened to me in 2010-11 indoor season in the mile. I missed the first race because, golly gee, I was running WC 100k in Gibraltar that day!!! After that, I didn't have a hope in hell of finishing top 3 at the end of the season so motivation for those races went right into the honey bucket. I ended up finishing behind slower runners in the standings because I missed ONE race. That was a total drag. So, I think I'll just opt out til the spring and do an occasional Park Run 5k in the winter for speed tuning.

 Hell, it's now November and November is my REST MONTH. Some of that resting otfen carries over into December too. I had a very long and intense season and REST is badly needed. Needless to say, I did four races while in the US October-November. The first of which was the prairie State Half on October 12th in Libertyville, Il. I decided to skip the Chicago Marathon fpr a couple of reasons. First off, shitty Delta Scarelines came up with EPIC fail on the inbound from Moscow. The a$$wipes cancelled the connecting flight JFK- Chicago and I ended up spending the night on the floor at JFK. Delta, once again your customer service sucks beyond suck. Your company sucks for not at the very least putting us up in a hotel.  After that mess and only being able to fly out the next morning, I finally got to Chicago a dat later and nearly 48 hours after I had left. As I suspected, yeah that would take the next week to sleep off. Secondly, I figured it would be best and smartest to keep my legs fresh til the 50k. The Half was on a beautiful course in the park-entirely trail be it dirt or gravel. No, it was not a fast course but pretty with the fall color. This was less than 4 days after I finally arrived, and I was still feeling not all there when I was running. I was just sleepy-yeh I need 4-5 days in normal non delayed-on -the-airport-floor- conditions to race at 100% but this time the process was dragged out thanks to sh!ttya$$ Delta screwing up. I finished 2nd, but was just planning this race as a tempo run to help prep for the 50. It was well organized and the medals were super cool. I got a goft cert to Sports Authority to boot :)

 warm up

       MOUNTAIN of bananas at the finish

                              3rd lady                                              
             Top three

The next race was for MOM! The Care 4 Breast Cancer 5k in Woodstock, Il . I wanted to see if I could win this one again for Mom. Just before the start the press asked me wat this race means to me and why I'm running it. I showed the guy with the camera the sign on my back and that pretty much summed it up. I am in the US this time of year each year and try to not miss this race. I do it for Mom. I miss my mom more than anyone and get really angry with people who treat their moms badly. Mindy and Brad were out there too. Brad was on stroller duty with Dylan and Parker (my cute little nephews), and Mindy ran.

 It was foggy and colder this year.There was a hard frost on the grass in the morning. I ended up all alone after the 2nd mile because the guys I was running with dropped off. The last km was pretty lonely. I won again this year-a little slower than last year but I think that had to do with being alone. Last year I had people to push me and the 2nd lady stuck to me until about the 2 mile marker.

Immediately after finishing, I ran back to the car to get the camera to get pix of Mindy at the finish. She was also very pinked out :-)

                                                              Mindy in PINK!!!

                Leonid and Mindy at the finish

Dylan with his donut

Awards ( I get gear from the Running Depot:))
Leonid winning age group(4th overall)

MEMORY LANE -Oct 26th Shannon McNamara 5k in Rolling Meadows, Il.  This one was a really nice race and well organized. It started on the pavement then moved onto the xc course at the high school and finished on the track. This was a total walk down Memory Lane for me. I lived in RM from 79-87 and wento to school there until late 7th grade when we moved. The race was at the high school which was just up the street from my old elementary school: Central Road Elementary. I got to the race in time to warm up and check out the course. It was right at freezing in the morning but sunny and not windy so it felt warm. The race is in memory of Shannon McNamara who was murdered in 2001. I remember when it happened and was in the news. Veyr very sad http://www.shannonmcnamara.com/story.html  The race entry fee goes to a scholarship in her name which is really nice. 
The course was mostly on the xc course on the grass. I won this one too and got to run with the boys xc team for company as we helped each other out. Leonid didn't run as he was sttill feeling a bit under the weather. That's ok though, one of my prizes was a gift cert to Running Unlimited, the other was to the Diner in Arlington Heights where we went for lunch :) 

 I was late for trick or treating this yr because ummm errr I won the 5k and had to wait for the awards:) Valid excuse! Parker and I are clowning around :)

Lakefront 50/50 2-Nov

I'm not going to bother posting a big report on this one. I'll just be to the point- epic fail and I am not proud of my pitiful performance at all. I started feeling tired a couple days before and something just didn't seem right. I felt tired during the race and especially shitty between 28-35k for some reason. My time- not fit to print. Sure it was sub 4 but so what? I've done a helluva lot better and it's nothing to write home about. I finished 2nd- also not particularly proud of that to be perfectly honest. 

It was only after I got back to Moscow 2 days later I realized what had been going on. Yeah- I was in the process of getting REALLY FCUKING SICK :-( The flight I'm sure was the last straw. I was having hot/cold flashes on the drive home WTF?  I ended up with the Damn Throat Bug From Hell for the next 2 weeks and a voice that made me sound like a middle school boy hitting puberty. I actually had to postpone a couple lessons because I felt like hell- had a temperature one day which for me is very rare to have. The next, I felt ok but then after that, that was the end. Thankfully I felt the shittiest over a 3 day weekend. I never had a stuffy nose just this crap in my throat and dry cough I drugged the hell out of so I could go to work without sharing the love. I did feel very fatigued though. All I wanted to do was sleep sleep sleep sleep.  So November is typically a rest and do not much of anything month and that's pretty much what I ended up doing.  Yes, a super shitty way to end a season if you ask me. Honestly, my season was over when I sat out Daugavpils in August. It was really hard to sit out an A race then try and find much motivation after since there was not much else to train for this yr. I have never ever skipped an A race. The fact that I was in shape leading up to it to take a crack at a PR and possibly sub 3:40 just added insult to injury. 

 After having a crap race in Valmiera, I should have done the wise thing and just held off on long races til 2014. My speed was still decent for the stuff up to the half.  Plus, I had no real idea which fall races I'd be doing until less than  a month before I left for the US because 100k WC kept getting repeatedly cancelled. Chicago 50k is likely not going to be on the menu for next year because I have 2 races I'm going to try and do decently- 50k in Daugavpils in June(will run unless the forecast if for hell hot) and WC100k in Daugavpils 30, Aug. That means I'm going to be out of commission a good chunk of September and I may be better off doing a series of shorter races in the US  6-8 weeks later. After my down month in May this yr, I actually got my speed up and did decently in shorter races up to the half this summer. Any marathon I would do after the 100 would not be fast so, there really isn't a point in going there. My window for a fast marathon in 2014 would be March April before I run the 50 and 100 and although there are some good options like Barcelona or Rotterdam, both are not in my budget. 

I'm racing the mile this weekend in the first of our indoor series this winter and I am willing to bet money that I'm in such pathetic shape after all this, I might not even make it under 6 :-(  I started doing light workouts just to maintain fitness on the indoor track this week after they ust finished overhauling it. It's all nice and spiffy now :-)I was planning to do the Zelenograd winter marathon on the 7th of Dec, but that's in question now too. 
                                                 getting ready

                                                          top 3