Xiamen island

Originally written 17th May.

Don't play with water
I doubt anyone would

Ni hao! Another day, another adventure, another peace of Earth to discover. We’ve managed to finish our duties a bit earlier yesterday, so we had some free time in the afternoon. Lucky enough we’re near the coast we’ve decided to spend the afternoon at Xiamen island.

We’re staying in Xiamen city on the continent and getting on the island is fairly easy, an hour and a half of car ride, crossing a looooong, long bridge and there we were. First impression, a more “touristic” place, every part here was in order, cleaned, nice green parks and a lot of water. We walked around a park looking at people fishing, running and watching skyscrapers growing near the sea.

I admit, after seeing all the industrial parts of the town this felt like a real relief, you could smell fresh air from the trees and even standing near water made you feel better. Unfortunately, even here pollution is more then present. We’ve felt it right after crossing the first canal and catching the sign “Don’t play with water” (direct translations and yes, there’s a lot of them). You can see for yourself in the gallery below.

We’ve walked all the way to the coast which opened a nice view to the continent, the bridge we crossed arriving to the island and with lots of ships sailing in between the two coasts. Luckily we found a place where we could enjoy in the sunset eating dinner. Tiredness kicked in pretty much fast on the way back to the hotel and we all crashed napping 🙂

Times flies faster on the east

Originally written 16th of May

We go round and round
We go round and round

Hello there and hello from the eastern parts of the world. Currently we’re in Xiamen City and we’re about to move onward with our journey. Yes, we’re 6 hours ahead of you, so at the time I’m writing this post it should be 2 AM and you’re probably sleeping tight in your warm and cozy beds.

Ah, we’re at half of our journey and so far it’s been quite interesting but most of all busy and fruitful. It was only until yesterday we had some time off, for the rest it’s been visits to partners here and there, lots of traveling in between and lots of meetings to conduct.

Did you know we had quite an adventurous journey to China? The beginning from Ljubljana to Frankfurt airport was OK, but right before boarding the plane to Frankfurt we got notification that the flight from Frankfurt to Shanghai was delayed by 9 hours, yes 9 hours! Instead at 22:05 our flight would be taking off at 7:00. This means sleeping in some hotel, waking up really early to check-in and then a really, really long flight.

Well luckily Simon is with us and he knows how to move around – he’s been in China for quite some times, so he immediately started checking for alternatives. And there was a flight to Hong Kong leaving at around 8 PM. We went to the information desk and found out that there were some serious issues with the plane and it got delayed due to maintenance, khm (!!!) … So we went onward to the office and rescheduled our flight to Hong Kong. You can arrange for everything, luggage to be transported on the right plane etc.. So finally we were taking off for China and all was well. We encountered some traffic before landing at Hong Kong, so we had to fly for additional 45 minutes making 4 circles above the sea, funny feeling I must say, especially when watching lines at the travel monitor.

Ah, if you’re then moving inland into China through Hong Kong and you like to travel by ferry try checking in your luggage straight at the check-in. Hong Kong has internal ferry terminals, but only for transfers. As we didn’t know this we had to claim our luggage, take a taxi to Hong Kong city (approx. 1 hour drive), buy tickets for the ferry, check-in, go through customs and then board it, so quite some procedures …

Needless to say that we almost remained without our luggage as it didn’t came with the first batch from the plane. We were waiting for more than 1 hour to get it, but it was not coming and then the sign lit – “All bags arrived” – hah, what now?! To the baggage reclaim office, explaining what happened to stuff that speaks some form of English, filling in papers and in HK airport not getting any first aid kit! Yep, they don’t refund or help you, you have to buy for yourself toothbrush etc. and then claim refund at Lufthansa. Luckily, we were just about to leave when they notified us that they found some luggage that matches our description and yes, there our bags were!

From then on it went smooth, you can go inland by train of ferry, but by ferry it takes less time and it is pretty comfortable. We met some Slovenian guys there that were actually traveling same route as we were from Ljubljana, quite some laughs there … And finally we were in China, doing again all of the procedure through customs.
A driver came to pick us up and drove us straight to the hotel, to finally take some sleep.

Few words of advice if you’re traveling to China:

Forget Google services, yep there’s no Gmail, no Facebook, Twitter, Instagram etc. they don’t work here. I somehow managed to check-in with Swarm but that’s all … Even our company emails don’t work so well here, which can be a problem sometimes.

Always have your travel document with you, first of all you’ll need it to book every transport ticket and if you somehow loose it – good luck traveling to Beijing to the nearest embassy.

For the rest the hospitality here is in short unbelievable … But come prepared, as not everyone here speaks English and we’re lucky to have with us Tony and these days also Yanan to help us move around.

OK, that’s it for now. I leave you with some images and until the next time – Ni hao!

Back we are

Hello there, or better – Ni hao!

Yes, we’re back from, back from the trip around China, a total of 12 days, countless miles, three rides on fast trains, one ferry ride and a total of 4 flights …

You might wonder why I haven’t posted anything, right? Well fact is I tried, but network connections were pretty bad, social media and Google services are blocked, well even our company e-mail had troubles working over there. None the less, I’ve managed to write posts and in following days I’ll be posting them here – think of it as delayed blogging, as strange as it may sound 🙂

Overall China was a blast, yes business-wise we’ve done a lot and have been pretty successful, an eye opener and one of those trips where you see how nice it is and lucky we are to live where we do … We’ve seen from clean nature to what heavy industry is doing to our environment and at moments it was pretty sad.

But, we’ve also seen some really nice cities and gardens, tasted some pretty “interesting” food and this will be the topic of next posts, so buckle up and enjoy the ride that’s coming with next posts.

Until the next time cheers!

Ni hao from Shanghai
Ni hao from Shanghai

Off we go!

baggage
And off we go

Baggage is ready and time has come to take off! Some 14 hours of trip ahead and we’ll arrive to Guangzhou. Yep, you probably guessed, China baby. Never been there, doesn’t know what to expect, but I’m sure there’s gonna be plenty to share. What I know for sure now is that 3 flights are ahead of us, starting from Brnik, touch down at Frankfurt, following the longest flight to Shanghai and then internal one to Guangzhou … Phew, almost lost the count, rest assure I will not count the hours 🙂

No I’m it’s not vacation, this will only happen in second half of June. Needles to say I’m really lucky and thankful to Studio Moderna to allowing me this opportunity. We’re getting on a 12 day business trip with Deja and Simon and we are on the visit to our manufacturers and partners checking all sorts of novelties, interesting things, new features, development and cooperation possibilities, basically I’m excited and cannot wait for the journey to start. Needles to say the anticipation is high.

With 12 days ahead of us we’ll see a lot of things, and travel naturally. In fact we’ll have an “off” day probably only next Sunday. However I expect a Ton of emails to be attended but we like it this way, don’t we? 🙂

Hopefully I’ll have some time for updates here, but really only if there will be some time … So for now I’d say God Speed and may this adventure start!

Agility, Alphabet all about A’s

Hello there!

Long time no hear, but don’t worry this just means I’ve been keeping me really busy! We are proceeding with trainings and ‘en route’ to my first Marathon run.

I’m really happy and grateful to Studio Moderna as I’ll be traveling to the States end of October to attend DMA conference, but this means my plans had to change a bit. I’ll have to skip Ljubljana Marathon and run Maratona delle città del vino this October 5th. Initially I was choosing in between this one and Verona’s Marathon as they are happening at the same day, but as no one could join me there I had to pick the alternative. Hopefully this was not a stupid decision, as this run is happening around Collio region with lots of elevation gains.

So, what’s been going on meanwhile? Miran and I have been working a lot on my running alphabet and technique as this is a long term investment that will allow me to gain results. Summer was great and we did really a lot there. We introduced agility trainings on the agility ladder and I tell you, it was love at first sight, I mean try 🙂 It immediately made an impact on my technique and in future I’ll be definitely using it more. You can check this source for workout possibilities.

Here’s an example of what we’re up to. Basically it is a set of exercises above it, focus on positioning in best starting position as possible and then sprinting onward, even with 2 – 3 starts like this.

Besides this what I need to focus is lifting my heels behind as much as possible and doing short transfers of leg to the front. This helps you save energy as legs make shorter circle and your body is positioned more to the front automatically pushing you forward and saving energies.

The progress in my technique is really visible, you can notice it as videos progress and I’m glad I set up on this path with Miran – thank you man!

As for my competitions and where I’ve been up lately:

  • beautiful Nočna 10ka – July 12th, running 10 km around one of the nicest lakes in Slovenia – lake Bled by night, a total of 1,5 circles around the lake. My time 00:50:13 – not bad and see you next year!
  • Half-Marathon Bled – August 30th, a total of 3,5 circles around lake Bled. My time 2:01:38 – not that great, but take into account 582 m of elevation gain …

And last week we went running with the guys around Ljubljana. There’s a trail named PST which goes around where fence was positioned under Italian occupation. We did a total of 32 km and it took me 3:39:24. So yes, I’m a bit worried if I’ll be able to make it, but I don’t worry that much. The important thing is exercising and not giving up, there’s always a second chance right? 🙂

And we will see tomorrow what the progress is as I’m running the Half-Marathon at Maribor. Anyone joining?

Bonus treat: before leaving you be here’s an extra agility training. Touch the point in front and back for 2 times, Miran is giving me signal when to start – a pretty intense drill I suggest you try 😉

Untill the next time cheers!

Exercising inside

Hello there!

Balance & core training exercise u just have to try
Balance & core training exercise u just have to try

Still live and kicking aren’t we? 🙂 No, don’t worry I’m still pursuing my marathon quest and I’m still sweating like crazy and you know that I like it that way …

Miran has been putting me up thorough some really nice challenges, we are working a lot on my running technique and it is improving really nicely – expect some videos shortly. When weather allows we meet at Mostec, there’s a nice running plot with a small incline at end – ideal to squeeze some more out of me when sprinting, but when rain calls we meet at Oz.

This was one of the occasions and there we were working on my core muscles with some really nice balance tricks. Challenge one consists of holding a fitness ball, hands almost extended in lunge position and Miran hitting the ball from left or right side. Balance? Yes if you held position and your core strong, try it you’ll see.

Challenge no. 2 is probably one of the toughest of the day. So if at home you have a Bosu ball, a deck and an aerobic bar (or if you see these tools at the gym) I suggest you try this one and tell me if you made it more than 30 seconds. Hop on the deck and ball in lunge position, shake the bar and stay in the position as much as you can. Looks easy but it’s not as because by standing on the ball with one leg your balance is wonky and you have to shake the bar simultaneously putting you even more out of balance. A great exercise indeed.

Have you ever tried exercising on suspension training bands? I’m becoming fond of this practical gadget as you can do a total body exercise without any additional gear. This time I had to do Squat Jumps, focusing on bringing my lower body front, bringing my body at an approx 75° angle, going with heels down when squatting and jumping up as intense as possible, awesome.

And then for some agility sets, this one you can do easily from home, just put 4 markers on the floor with same distance in between. What you need to do then is some agility running around them. Repeat the course for 3 times in one direction and then repeat drill starting on opposite position of where you started (if at round 1 you were standing on the left side of marker 1, now you start standing on the right side of marker 1). This is not just for agility but it will train your core muscles too.

After this exercise keep only 2 markers, distance in between should be longer and do this. Perform side side skips as fast as you can, when you have reached a marker do a squat jump and repeat drill in other direction. Try it, you’ll love it.

And to finis the training big stile some step ups and you’ll barely wait to step under the shower 🙂

So girls hope you’ll find some ideas for spicing up your training, until the next time cheers!

Activate

Hello girls ‘n boys!

Stretching outside Studio Oz
Stretching outside Studio Oz

My – oh – my what a work-out we had yesterday! Miran you warned me and yes I do have muscle fever today. So what we did yesterday was trying to activate my quadriceps and hamstrings. Studio Oz is located in a perfect place to go running. You are close to the city but also on the countryside and there’s a nice track to go running. So we immediately jumped out, jogged to warm-up and then started training.

At first couple of short sprints to see how I’m doing, then pose skips – important for coordination and muscle activation. Think they are easy? Well, try pushing yourself up same time as the other foot touches ground, you’ll see. See below video to get a feel what I’m talking about. Still think it’s easy?

Afterwards we switched to skipping, starting from low then moving on to medium and at end high skipping. I was minding my posture, usage of hands and weight balance all the time. Miran was reminding me about this and even filming my tries, so here’s the skipping insert.

I started to feel my legs here but it wasn’t yet over. We moved then onto sprint training, where I had to start running slowly and increasing speed towards the end. The track was short but it elevated towards the end, which is good for gaining running speed. Here’s how it went.


Afterwards we did a couple of tries on even terrain to see difference in feel and boy I was flying …

Time literally flew by, living us time enough to stretch and I was done for the day. Stretching is important to relax muscles, probably if I didn’t do it I wouldn’t be able to walk today … I tell you I was feeling my legs the whole day yesterday and still am today and I think we did an awesome job today as managed to activate the right muscles. Today I’m on rest mode and cannot wait for the exercise tomorrow morning.

And what about you, ready for a run today? Weather is perfect so chop, chop, chop … Go long, go strong guys!

Merry Xmas and a happy New Year!

It’s that time of the year, when we will be sharing special, magical, kitschy moments with our dearest and closest ones. Shortly we will be looking at 2013 and I hope you’ll see it was as amazing as it should have been.

As I’ve never been great at greetings I’ll keep it short … I wish you an amazing holiday and all the best in 2014!

Cheers my friends!

Weekend relaxation

Ah yes, Friday eve is here so what should one do? Well obviously relax …

For me the best way of relaxation includes a glass of wine – this time it is Belica‘s Pinot Gris, 2012 – and some educational reading … I guess besides spending time with my beloved ones, weekend will be about finally having time to see what’s up in the wine world reading September’s (did I just say September’s?) editions of Decanter and Wine Spectator and then look for some cooking inspiration in one of my favorite cooking magazines – La Cucina Italiana.

In between I’ll try to finally get rid of this nasty, nasty cold that’s been bothering basically all of us for 2 weeks now … I’m thankful at least that my nose is working so I can enjoy in a little glass of wine here and there. The attack strategy is simple, hitting it with all the possible C vitamin a lemon can get you, enforcing it with all beneficial powers of freshly grated ginger and topping it all with a nice tablespoon of acacia honey. Sounds like a perfect plan, eh?

Cooking? Tomorrow is for bread making and then well, let’s see. Maybe my beloved wife will make something nice, I sure do hope so (wink, wink Teja).

Most of all, wish you all a relaxing, fun and inspiring weekend …

Tonight's reading inspiration