Just run …

With Karmen @hirkani before the start
With Karmen @hirkani (zibelka.si) before the start

… ah yes, R-U-N ๐Ÿ™‚ I’ve been quite busy in between gym and outdoors these days and I must say I’m slowly getting to the pace where I left last year.

However, let’s jump a bit back in time. It was 25th of April, a sunny Sunday and a totally new race for me – 4th Lidl’s run at Komenda. It was a relatively small event, where we were 71 in total running 21km. I really enjoyed the experience, as such small events give you this feeling of connection, everyone is friendly, nice and of course there’s no crowd to pass along, leaving you with your own tempo and mind …

The race included more runs, from short runs for children to the simultaneous start to 5, 10 and 21 kilometers. We started with a circle around Komenda’s hippodrome to then run outside town into the fields and villages. The first half was a constant ascent and I was trying to keep it slow and not push too much. Around half the way it turned into a fast and constant descent, only to be followed by 2 steep ascents around km 14. Challenging to say the least, but a good training and a nice, demanding challenge. Did I manage it was my 2nd half-marathon run this year? The end result – 2:03:43 which makes it a “not that bad” on my marks. You can also check the statistics in bellow gallery.

I must say I was really impressed with the scenery, it was so picturesque and felt so free running in between the fields, mountains on one side with skydivers flowing above you and villages with people cheering for you. I’ll be getting back there for sure and it’s definitely a race I’d advise to all.

And what about you, any runs lately or races you’d suggest for me? ๐Ÿ™‚ Thanks and until the next time: “Lahke noge (Light legs)!”.

7. Formaraton, we ran for their dreams

No. 75
No. 75

Well, hello there!

Here we go again, running season is in full spring, events are blossoming all over Slovenia and you know I can’t miss them ๐Ÿ˜‰ First official run of the season and this time it was for a cause, a good one indeed.

You’ve all probably heard about Jure Koลกir, an ex professional skier and Olympic medalist. He’s the force and organizer of Formaraton runs and this year it was already the 7th edition. Formaraton is a beneficiary run, where everyone can join, what counts are kilometers and this is also its motto – “Every kilometer counts”. Everyone can join and the event lasts from 9:00 until 17:00. You don’t have a fixed distance, but you can run, or hike, as many laps as you want. One lap’s length is 2 kilometers.

Formaraton is a beneficiary event, where part of the funds collected via entry fees are dedicated for a good cause. This and last two years it was for helping children battling cancer. Some of you know, but some don’t I used to have a younger brother, who died of cancer at the age of 10 – I was 11 at the time. So for me this event has also a personal note, as I run also in his memory, remembering all the struggles, the strength and pain he’s been put through, actually the whole family …

This year the weather was not really at our side, it was raining cats & dogs and it was around 4oC. But this did not stop nor Jure & the organizing team, nor the runners. The track is happening in Tivoli park and it is quite of a challenge. It’s a constant up & down with one really challenging elevation, trust me, when you’re doing it for the 5th time you start feeling it ๐Ÿ™‚

I admit I did not exercise much this year, yes I’m only starting with runs. However I managed to do 13 laps, I started to get cramps in my calves at lap 9 but they passed and at lap 11 and 12 my quadriceps started to protest, but I squeezed for 1 lap more and that was it.

We joined this event as a team, a total of 26 co-workers from Studio Moderna came to run and we were running for children’s dreams (note, on the back of our shirts it says: “We’re running for their dreams”) as Studio Moderna was also sponsoring the event. In total we did 176 laps and approximately 352 kilometers. Alenka ran most laps of us all – 20 followed by Bojan 16 and me with 13, so quite a nice statistic.

For sure we will be seeing us at Formaraton in 2016 and you, will you join us?

So, what’s next? Well yesterday I ran Komenda’s half marathon (expect a post in following days), next week we’ll be running at Wings for Life and then we will see. Hope to see you next Sunday and until then Godspeed!

Here’s also a little gallery from the event:

Bye-bye 2014, hello 2015!

I ran the Marathon
I ran the Marathon!

Hello there!

Finally I found some time to jump behind the computer and as the occasion calls it’s time to look back at 2014. To summarize I’d say it was a roller coaster ride and as end of the year was approaching the wilder it was getting, but hey it was well worth, every single day, moment, sweat and tears it all made 2014 one of the greatest so far.

As you know one of my goals for 2014 was to run a Marathon and YES I DID IT! I still remember every single step, kilometer, every turn, up & down the hill and the heat. It took me a total of 4:30:36, it’s not really a time to brag about, but hey I did run a full marathon! I’m happy I made it without major problems as the track is a constant up & down, it was windy and hot and towards the end I was pretty much fed up as it was a constant turn, uphill, downhill, turn, uphill, downhill, turn … Don’t get me wrong the scenery was fantastic, but at the end it was simply too much of turns ๐Ÿ™‚ You can check a video presentation of the track below.

The best part however was at the end, I spared some strength to finish strong and at the finish line my son Ian, my wife Teja and her sister Manca were cheering for me. Ian was so happy seeing me he came running towards me, I lifted him and finished running carrying him in my arms, I can tell you that it was the best feeling ever. As a parent you cannot wish for something more.

In terms of totals my Runtastic account says this (mind, I didn’t always measure my activities):

  • 76 runs
  • 827,13 km total distance
  • 244:11:30 total workout duration
  • 78969 kcal burned

But 2014 was not only a year dedicated to running, it was probably one of the most challenging years so far and I’m glad I had the chance of meeting, working and listening to a lot of great people, colleagues, family and friends. You’ve all helped me grow and be better, more determined and focused – thank you!

Looking into 2015 I hope it will be as fruitful as last year and that all our personal and professional goals will be accomplished. I wish 2015 will be spiced up by challenges, love and kindness as this is what makes us all a better person!

Stay true to yourself and keep on doing it! All the best in 2015 my dear friends!

1:52:05 – did it!

Hello there!

My diplomaI finally did it! If you remember I was mentioning in one of my previous posts what my first goal for this year was – run Half marathon under 2 hours. Well I can cross this off my bucket list now. It happened 2 weeks ago at 5th Eco marathon Maribor.

Eco marathon packs a set of races happening during week end. Saturday is dedicated to cycling with 70 and 114 km races, while Sunday Maribor turns into a running metropolis with racers running 10 and 21 km. This year cycling events got canceled though, as some roads were flooded due to heavy rains. Anyhow, Sunday weather was kind and approximately 2.000 runners gathered on one of the bridges above Drava river. We both, runners to 10 and 21 km, started together but shortly afterwards split on our own ways. The course leads all the time around Maribor city, passing Drava river 4 times, leading even above one dig and a pretty amazing view of the rivers delta. It pack couple of elevation gains but they are manageable. For me the race went pretty well, I started perhaps a bit too strong so I had to hold myself back saving energies and after the last fueling station (around 20 km) I had a bit of a crisis, however it passed quickly and I was able to finish the race really strong. And boy, what a rush of emotions came after finding out I managed to run it under 2 hours. Feelings of completion, happiness, satisfaction … I’ve been training almost the whole year for this, after all. For sure we will see again next year, thank you Maribor!

See the course below

Oglejte si Eko Maraton Maribor – 21km na veฤjem zemljevidu.

And what have I been up to afterwards? Well for starters I focused on training with elevations in the past 2 weeks. As you know this Sunday I’m running my first marathon and it will include couple of them … If you’re wandering – Yes I’m scared a bit but I’m confident I’ll arrive at the finishing line ๐Ÿ˜‰

Here’s an example from one of the trainings with Miran. Basically we did following focus on keeping speed same throughout the elevation and building up speed afterwards. Or the other way going as fast as possible up.

I should mention also past Sunday’s running festival at Arboretum Volฤji potok. BMW organized a proper running festival with races to 6 and 12 km and a family run of 600 m. It was a proper and really well organized event, bravo BMW! I went on running 12 km and managed to finish it right under 1 hour. I was surprised as I almost stopped at its halfway point. I didn’t manage to eat anything that day and I learned my lesion – EAT breakfast, especially on race day!

I’ll be taking this week easy, yesterday I made my last long run of 19 km. This week I’ll do some easy intervals and one elevation training with a lot of resting and carbs loading. And finally Sunday I will run!

Btw. yesterday a new world record was set on Berlin’s marathon – 2:02:57 – Are you kiddin’ me? This is crazy! Well, Klemen was in Berlin too, he ran his first marathon and finished it in 4:15:56 – B.R.A.V.O. and congratulations man!

Until the next post ciaos!

Cycling around Cres

Hello there!

An #activefootie relaxing on top of Cres
An #activefootie relaxing on top of Cres

It’s been a while since my last post. Well trainings are proceeding and shortly I’ll be publishing some training impressions. Currently I’m on vacation – yes finally ๐Ÿ˜‰ and yesterday I think I found my new passion. I went cycling around the island of Cres and boy I had a terrific time.

They say you have to break your routine here and there, especially when training for a certain goal, so this is what I did …

So story goes like this, you come with your bike, find a newly opened cycling store in town, buy cycling map of the island and you take off; simple right? Would be if I hadn’t picked the course with most elevation … I decided to go on one of the highest peaks of Cres, to the village of Lubenice. I took it as a challenge with myself, as honestly I never cycled more than 17 km and specially not so much off road.

Cres is full of such roads and the imagery you see is wow! Obviously this is an island you have to discover cycling or hiking around and if you have a boat the better, as I could see some really, really, really lovely beaches around.

The course I took yesterday is pretty nice, the track is kept well, extreme at some places and for approx 100 meters (right below Lubenice) you cannot really cycle as the road is too rocky but for the rest shouldn’t be a biggy for avid cyclers out there. The first third of the course were impressive, a lovely view to the see and town of Valun and some nice up and downhills. I even stumbled across a closed door. Well don’t worry this doesn’t mean end of the track, it’s just made for protection of sheep – as there is a lot of them here.

I will try checking also other tracks as this was a really great experience and hopefully I can make some more impressions around. If you’re coming here taking you bikes and going for a ride is definitely a must!

 

Road Runner

It’s like the show. It’s been almost a run-as-fast-as-you-can training this morning and If I was thinking Tuesday was tuff … heh. So basically we were running again today. Upgrading the training from muscle activation into checking how my feeling for tempo is and then distance sprinting.

First in line were hamstrings, I had to do butt kicks. I had my hands behind my butt and I had to touch them with my heels, naturally increasing the speed and leaning forward minding my posture. You should try this exercise, see how great it is and what it does with your hamstrings. Here’s also nice video presentation on how to do them.

Then it was skipping time, like the other day starting with low skips and changing into medium skips. And next in line were the nasty little Pose skips. I focused on going up as much as possible, but I still lack coordination, guess I’ll have to practice a bit more, right? Ah, we tried doing them also with one leg first, with the right one it went OK, but when I switched to left – ups … It’s a trial and error thing, and I’m confident I’ll make it in couple of tries!

Shortly afterwards it was time to look at my feeling for speed. We started running at one place, ran for 1 minute, turned back and ran back. In 1 minute I had to arrive at starting point – well this went actually pretty well. I was told to run at 70 % of my speed, but guess I ran somewhere at 80 %. We than shortened distance and I had to run as fast as I could for a couple of times. Even though I was literally destroyed after the training I felt great, especially after stretching and jumping under a very much needed shower …

One thing we are always mentioning with Miran is Road Runner, remember the cartoon of the hyper fast bird chased by a coyote? Actually when sprinting I taught I felt like him. Today we even met one dog that looked like a coyote – thank God he didn’t decide to chase me ๐Ÿ˜‰ See in below video Road Runner’s posture and legs, yep this is what we’re trying to achieve – Miiiik miiiik ๐Ÿ˜‰

So, what’s next on my training schedule? Tomorrow I’ll probably go on a short, low intensity run, whereas Saturday or Sunday I’ll be doing a long run of at least 14 km doing the last one at an increased speed. Remember, 13 km was when crisis started in Radenci hence trying speeding up the last one. Until the next post may the force be within your legs guys!

Radenci conquered!

Helo there!

Me and Klemen before the start
Me and Klemen before the start

How are you doing boys ‘n girls? Well, I’m feeling really great after yesterday’s half-marathon! My time 2:00:47 – yes right I came only 47 seconds behind my first goal! Sad? Not at all as I really felt the progress of last 2 weeks training with Miran!

This year the race started at 9 AM – 1 hour earlier than usually, as I hear previous times there were a lot of complaints of high temperatures. I guess this time we were lucky as it was raining and temperatures were moving around 9 – 12o Celsius. I woke up at 5 AM, double-checked my gear was ready and at 6:10 we were on the road with Klemen. We arrived just in time to pick-up numbers, get dressed and run to the starting point. A quick warm-up before hearing the starting shot – Bang – here we go!

Starting point, look at us on the far left side of the image – Klemen checking his Garmin and me pretty determined. Image embedded with courtesy from www.siol.net.

For the first 13 km I was feeling great, I felt light as a feather and even my heart rate was lower than usual. I said to myself: “Well then, let’s run and see how much I can endure with such a tempo!”. I had 3 points to focus on:

  • utilizing my hands,
  • leaning forward and
  • landing on the front part of the feet.

My pace for the first part was amazing – an average of 5:20, this despite sensing some pain in my right leg. At km 5 I sipped some water, grabbed a quarter of orange and kept on running. I took one carbs gel at km 7. Then kept on running without problems. Somewhere in between km 10 and 12,5 mr. Borut Pahor, our president, passed me (he’s an avid runner and usually present at such events) and I managed to keep the pace behind him for some time, later I even managed to pass him by.

After the water stands around km 12,5 there were signs with motivational messages and some of them were really funny, like:

  • “4 months ago when you registered it didn’t sound like a bad idea” or,
  • “Smile and run and remember you even paid for this” etc.

a really nice gesture from organizers and audience.

And then at km 13 crisis started. Suddenly I felt heavy, like my legs weren’t strong enough to carry me onward, my heart rate increased and my hands started itching. I was expecting this so I knew I just had to keep going, I had some strength left to focus a couple of times for short time on my hands and posture and this made me run faster but tiredness was kicking back in. At km 14 I took another carbs gel – maybe it was a bit late and I should have taken it before, who knows …

It was quite a battle with my mind and body up until km 18. After this I felt lighter again and I just kept on telling me “Couple of kilometers more and you’ve made it!” and this kept me going through the last 2 elevations in track and last couple of roundabouts. We were back in Radenci and also people cheering around made you feel better and stronger. The time here just flew by and all of a sudden I crossed the finishing line.

Feelings at first were mixed I was happy I made it, excited because of the progress, but also a bit sad and angry as I missed my first personal goal for such a short time. However now I can say I’m really happy I made it and the timing is actually my personal best. This gives me motivation and energy to keep on going and training more and more.

Here, on Runtastic, you can find some statistics of my run, and here’s the track embedded from the Radenci marathon website:

And these are my current stats:

  • Weight: 88 kg
  • Height 187 cm
  • Best half-marathon time this year: 2:00:47

Follow your dreams & challenge yourself

Hello there!

In my previous post I was writing about our Why, about what is driving us and about our emotions. Well one of my drivers is definitely running.

Blast from the past
Blast from the past

Funny though, as I used to be a professional dancer for 11 years and running at that time was probably one of my least favorite things. Unfortunately I stopped doing sports for almost 8 years until 2009 when meeting with coupe of guys from koornk (at that time popular Twitter-like service in Slovenia) made me run. I admit I needed some motivation at beginning and Miha was one of the guys who inspired me a lot. The guy went from a total knee reconstruction into running a marathon so imagine – respect dude ๐Ÿ™‚ My running affair lasted for 2 years and I had to pause it due to my career pursuit and becoming a proud father of my little boy Ian Rok, suddenly I ended up having no time to exercise at all.

The team - Tek trojk
The team – Tek trojk

This year however I said “Enough man! Time to exercise and run Forest run!” and like this I went out running on January 1st – luckily weather was warm this year. In a short period I managed to run 21 km (legs have an amazing memory) which gave me motivation to run at Mali Kraลกki Marathon in March, Formaraton in April and Tek trojk past week-end. Suddenly one of the biggest items on my bucket list seems achievable, so I’m taking on probably the biggest challenge of my life – Run Ljubljana Marathon!

The challenge is huge and I’m aware it will be a tuff one, especially due to a lot of risks involved – injuries included. Having this in mind I asked for some professional help. Guys at Studio Oz were more than happy to assist and I had already couple of sessions with my trainer Miran Irenej. I’m super hyped and optimistic I’ll make it, and Miran is a great motivator and teacher.

The outcome of first sessions is:

  • need to build up my running alphabet (improve running technique)
  • need to strengthen my core muscles
  • need to strengthen my lower body muscles
  • develop a bit more left part of my body (difference in muscle development between left and right side is noticeable – hey I’m right-handed you know ๐Ÿ˜‰ )
  • lose couple of kilos

An these are my current stats:

  • Weight: 89,5 kg
  • Height 187 cm
  • Best half-marathon time this year: 2:07:57

So my first goal is pretty straight forward, run half marathon under 2 hours! First chance will come this week-en as I’ll be running in Radenci – though I’m not confident I’ll beat the goal this time, but let’s see …

Some of you might ask, why am I even sharing this things with you. Well first because of myself, I want to save the memories and see how I moved on. On the other hand I hope I motivate others by showing that doing sports is easy and you just need to start somewhere. So let’s see where the journey takes us ๐Ÿ™‚

Ah, below there are some images of exercises I’ve been doing with Miran. He’s taking images so that I see correct execution of work-outs.