Week 4: 7/31/06 - 8/6/06

Weekly Summary
This was my first week in Switzerland, and it's great to be here. I was having a good week until my left glute started hurting on Friday. I then had to take Saturday off and go easy on Sunday. Despite that, I still got in 78 miles this week, which is quite a step up from the 50 that I ran last week (perhaps that's why my glute is hurting me right now). St. Moritz is a great place to train. There are lots of other athletes out here who come to train in the high altitude. I'm enjoying it so far, but I wish I had more friends out here -- it gets a bit lonely at times. I made friends with one guy named Rafal, but he's going back to Poland on Tuesday morning. I was sleeping well at the begining of the week, but I haven't been sleeping well at all for the past few nights. I don't know if it's the altitude, jetlag, or just the bed that I'm sleeping in. Anyway, I feel like I'm finally starting to get back into shape, and as long as this glute gets better soon, I think I'm off to a good start.
Resting HR: 48
Total Weekly Mileage: 78 miles

Sunday 8/6
AM - St. Moritz valley. HR: 146bpm (140-160). I got up this morning, had breakfast, and checked out of my hotel room to change my accomodations once again. My left glute is still hurting, but I decided to run anyway. I felt okay on the run, and averaged 6:40 pace, which felt quite easy until the last mile, when I started slowing down b/c I was tired. I hope my glute gets better soon. I don't want to have to take more time off while I'm here!
Sleep - 7 hours. Still having trouble falling asleep at night.
Food - Breakfast: Cereal and yogurt. Lunch: Pasta carbonara. Dinner: Dinner buffet.
12 miles

Saturday 8/5
AM - Decided not to run today because my left glute is still hurting me. It was hurting as I was trying to fall asleep last night, and it's not quite as bad today, but I want to make sure I let it heal. I got a massage and iced it in the evening, so hopefully it will get better soon.
Sleep - 7 hours. I didn't sleep well again last night. I don't know if it's the high altitude or what...
Food - Breakfast: Breakfast buffet. Lunch: Lunch buffet. Dinner: Dinner buffet.
10 miles

Friday 8/4
AM - St. Moritz Lakes. HR: 150bpm (141-165). This morning, I got out of bed around 10am and finally got out the door to go on a run a little after 11am. It was a beautiful day, a bit cool, but once I started running, I felt great. I pushed the pace a bit more than I have on any of my other runs so far, and I felt pretty good. I finished the run in 62 minutes, so about 6:10/mile pace. I stopped at 2 miles and 6 miles to stretch a bit because my left butt was tight. But after stretching it out, I felt pretty good. I'm already at 66 miles this week and I still have two more days left. I need to be careful not to increase my mileage too quickly, but if I end up somewhere in the 80's this week, I think I'll be okay. It was nice to finally feel like I was running at a decent pace today. I still have a lot of work ahead of me, but I'm making progress.
PM - This afternoon, I went over to visit some family friends. They told me of many places in Switzerland that I should try to visit if I have time (including Interlaken, Lucerne, and Bern). They also took me on a drive south to see many of the mountains and valleys. I have only been able to see a small glimpse of the landscape around here on my runs, so it was really nice to drive around and see more.
Sleep - 5 hours. I made the mistake of taking a 4 hour nap yesterday, so I wasn't able to fall asleep until about 4am.
Food - Breakfast: Balance bar before going on run. Lunch: Lunch buffet. Dinner: Dinner buffet.
10 miles

Thursday 8/3
AM - St. Moritz Lake. This morning it was cold and raining outside, so I almost skipped running. But my legs were feeling tight from yesterday's run, and I decided it would be best to at least put in a few very easy miles to loosen up. So I jogged around the St. Moritz lake in the cold rain and the stretched out for a while afterwards. Then I had lunch and took a long nap.
PM - St. Moritz Lakes. HR: 141bpm (130-150). This afternoon, I went on an 8 mile run along the lakes at a pretty easy pace. I was going to go 10, but I was feeling kind of tired, and my mileage for the week is already high enough.
Sleep - 8 hours plus a 4 hour nap in the afternoon.
Food - Breakfast: Balance bar. Lunch: Lunch buffet. Dinner: Dinner buffet.
3 + 8 = 11 miles

Wednesday 8/2
AM - Vsch. da Samedan (see elevation!). HR: 141bpm (130-160). Today I decided to explore the mountainous terrain around St. Moritz a bit more. First I had to check out of Hotel Stille and move over to my new hotel, Laudinella, which is much nicer, and only an extra $10 per night with the "athlete discount" (this is where I was already going for the all-you-can-eat buffets, and it is literally right next to the track). So a little before noon, I finally got out on my run. I had a general idea of where I was going to go based on the trail maps I had bought, but I decided not to bring the maps with me and just try to do the run from memory. I did wear the GPS watch today, which as you can probably tell from the pictures above, worked like a charm. So I was only going to go 14-16 miles today, since my longest run in the past few months was the 16 that I did 3 days ago, but the run was so nice that I couldn't get myself to turn back that early. I wish I had run with my camera because there were so many spectacular sites along the way. I was running on mountain biking trails and grass hiking trails for most of the run (except the middle 4 miles, which I will get to later). And most of the run, as you might be able to tell from the picture, was in a valley with mountains on either side and a glacier stream along the path. The route was pretty much uphill the entire way, so that by 10 miles in, I had gone from 5800 feet to 6800 feet. I passed through one village and went by one hotel during the run, but other than that it was all nature. So back to the middle four miles: 8-12. The terrain became quite rocky and it because hard to tell if there was any kind of path. I noticed there were some red markings on rocks that seemed to indicate some sort of path, so I just kept following those. There were also a lot of cows all around me. I started to see snow on the mountains on either side of me and in front of me, and if I had been able to go maybe one more mile, I might have reached the snow, but by the time I was at 10 miles, I knew I should probably turn around: not only had this turned into my longest run since I've come back, but it was starting to get a bit chilly and I was only wearing a running singlet. So I told my GPS watch to take me back to where I started, and I just followed the exact same route 10 miles back to St. Moritz. I stopped at a hotel on the way back to buy some water with my 5 Frank (~4 dollar) coin, but all I could afford was a tiny bottle of water for 4 Franks. By the last 3-4 miles of the run, I was definitely hurting. I don't know how much of it was the distance of my run vs. the high altitude that I am still not used to vs. the fact that I felt dehydrated. I was just sore and tired and thirsty. For the first 10 miles (uphill), my pace was between 7:00 and 8:00 and on the way back, my pace was between 6:30 and 7:30. When I got back to the hotel, I got a massage, and then went shopping for a sim card for my phone before getting dinner. If anyone needs to reach me while I'm here, my new Swiss mobile number is 076-404-2955 (Switzerland country code is 41, so I think from the U.S. it would be 011-41-76-404-2955, but I'm not sure).
Sleep - 9 hours.
Food - Breakfast: Balance bar. Lunch: I got back from my run after lunch, so I just had some snacks in my room (balance bar, dried fruit, cereal, etc.). Dinner: Dinner buffet at Stuva (pasta, potatoes, fish, meat, nan, rice, fruit, and much more).
20 miles

Tuesday 8/1
AM - Trails behind hotel (I didn't wear my GPS watch on this run). This morning I got up around 9am and got in a short run in order to get back before breakfast stopped at 10am. A few steps out of the hotel, and I was already on amazing trails in the woods. I noticed the ~6000 foot elevation immediately -- even one minute into the run, I was breathing pretty hard. But the weird thing was that after about 5 minutes, I didn't feel quite as bad, even though I was still breathing pretty hard. The weather was perfect this morning as well. Cool and dry. I wanted to go farther, but I only went for 35 minutes so that I'd be back in time for breakfast, which ended up being a bit of a disappointment. After breakfast, I went into town and stopped by the tourist center to pick up some trail maps. They didn't have many, but the nearby grocery store had a nice selection. I ate lunch at Stuva, and met a couple of other runners, including Bahrain middle-distance runner Maryam Yusuf Jamal and olympic gold medalist Mizuki Noguchi, whose marathon PR of 2:19 is two minutes faster than mine!
PM - Two larger lakes. HR: 139 (135-155). This afternoon, as I was getting ready to go on a run from the hotel, Rafael was about to go on a run as well, so we decided to go together. He was only going 5 miles after having done a track workout this morning, so I did 5 miles with him (a couple of laps around the smaller lake) and then added on another 5 miles, where I ran to the larger lake and back. Once I got back, Rafal, and his coach and I all went to Stuva for the dinner buffet. The coach was telling me how he once coached a 2:11 marathon runner, who unforunately died in a car accident.
Sleep - 9 hours.
Food - Breakfast: Cereal with yogurt, bread and ham, OJ. Lunch: Lunch buffet at Stuva (pasta, gnocci, salad, meat, fruit, and more stuff that I can't remember). Dinner: Dinner buffet at Stuva (nan with curry, pasta, meat, fruit, custard, and other stuff I can't remember).
5 + 10 = 15 miles

Monday 7/31
AM - Zurich Lake (note: If you would like to view any of these routes in Google Earth, just change the .jpg to a .kml in any of these links such as here and open that file with Google Earth). HR: 149bpm (137-157). This morning I got up around 10am and went on a 10-mile run along the other side of the lake. I turned around at this house. Once again, I started to feel pretty weak towards the end of it, and my stomach really started bothering me towards the end. I was keeping the pace slow (as I have on almost all of my runs so far), and finished the 10 miles in a little under 69 minutes. I had booked a 1pm tour today, so I was pretty rushed when I got back to my hotel to stretch, shower, eat, and pack my bags, and it didn't help that my stomach was hurting me the whole time. The 4-hour tour was nice. Our guide showed us around Zurich, and then we took a cable car up to the top of a mountain, and then took a boat across the lake.
PM - After the tour of the city, I took the train to St. Moritz. It took about 3 hours or so to get there, and it was already dark by the time I arrived. From the train station, it was only a 4-minute (and $15) cab ride to Hotel Stille. I was lucky that the guy was still there when I arrived because he said reception normally closes at 8pm and he did not have my reservation on file. He put me in a room next to a Polish runner named Rafal (7:58 3K) and his coach, who is also out here coaching Wioletta Janowska, who currently has the fastest time in the women's 3K steeple chase this year (9:17).
Sleep - 9 hours. Could have slept even longer!
Food - Breakfast: Corn flakes, yogurt, fruit, OJ, croissant with ham and cheese, cherries. Lunch: Ham and cheese sandwich and balance bar. Dinner: Barley soup, gnocci with tomato sauce.
10 miles



At 3:03 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Glad to see you are running well in Switzerland, but send more nice pics of mountains! Later,


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