Category Archives: Swimming

I Don’t Know How To Run 5K

Ab work this morning at the gym, followed by a 2250 meters (2460 yards) swim. Taking it kind of easy for a 5K race tomorrow morning. I’ve never raced one, and I can’t remember the last time I ran just 5K, but it’s been at least 2 years. Usually my training runs are at least 8K.


I’m really excited about tomorrow, although at the same time if I have to use just one word to describe how I feel about this race, it would be confused. I will think of this race as a training tempo run, where I do the last 5K at a faster pace, and try to copy that tomorrow. After a warm up run, 5K tempo will be the race.
The possibility of going out too fast when it’s a shorter race seem even more probable than usual, at the same time going too conservatively and then having the race be over too fast, without never making the hardest possible effort, would suck a little.
In the end, it will be a good experience, if only learning wise.


This will be a small race and there will be a few people I know, so I am looking forward to hanging out and talking to friends. I wish I could run a great time, but I’m not feeling it too much. I haven’t tapered, except for taking it slightly easier after my 5 day running streak late last week, and my nutrition and sleep have been lacking due to same late nights.

I need to work on my playlist, I will need only a few songs, and then I’m going to bed to watch some TV. I may lose your respect, but I’ve been watching Devious Maids and it’s so entertaining. I’m so tired when I go to bed that I can only watch light stuff, and this show is doing it for me. The maids and the families they work for have some interesting stuff going on.


What is your favorite low quality entertainment?

For me it’s reality TV.

Any 5K race tips?



Long Run, with Phone and Stops: Unheard Of!

I knew there was a triathlon going on this morning starting at the Tel Aviv Port, part of my running route, so I decided to do my long run with my phone and take some pictures.
I never run with my phone because I prefer to run as light as possible, but actually hardly felt it. My favorite running tights, I have 4 of the same type, slightly different models, have mesh side pockets which hold the phone in place perfectly.


I started running at around 06:00 AM to beat the heat, it was already light out, and the weather was perfect. I put my sunglasses on my head because I knew I’ll be needing them soon, and put sunscreen on my arms and shoulders. Glad I did because my shoulders felt crazy hot by the time I finished running.


I stopped to take a few pictures along the way, I always feel like stopping in the middle of my run is like giving myself an unfair advantage (against myself?), but figured taking a few pictures of the triathlon was worth it. It was just a few seconds here and there, nothing major.


There was an incredible energy at the port with everyone getting ready for the swim when I ran by. People were waiting to go in the water, getting their things ready at the transition stations, warming up, etc. Of course my thoughts were “I need to do one of these”. I’m an OK swimmer and I have a relative who will lend me a bike for a while, so I can try things out and see how it feels. Not too sure about the actual “competing” part, but I could do it for fun.

My run today was 20K pretty easy, changed my route a little because I didn’t want to run on the course where the bike/run portions of the triathlon would be.
Total time of the run (not counting stops, I stopped my Garmin each time), was 01:37:20, average pace for the first 16K was 04:58 Min/KM (08:00 Min/Mile), average pace for the last 4K was 04:30 Min/KM (07:14 Min/Mile).
I wasn’t planning on finishing faster, but it happens to me often that I get a lot of energy at the end of the run. It’s a great feeling, and I enjoy running faster, but it bothers me that I can’t stick to the plan. I had scheduled a 12K run for next Wednesday with 4K at tempo pace, and a fartlek run for Thursday, now I’ll switch one of those runs with an easy run. I don’t want my fast speed runs to be more than 15% of my total running, each week. For the last few months I’ve been doing speed work around 20%-25% of my total weekly running time, and I think that was too much. It somehow worked, because I know I improved my speed, but I also dealt with tired legs on a regular basis. Sometimes they were just a little tired, sometimes they were very tired, but I’m thinking my legs shouldn’t be tired 90% of the time for months and months.

I was back home early, around 8:15. Another advantage of starting my runs at dawn, so I can be home early during the weekend and make the most of our family time. We stayed home all morning, and had a late breakfast on the balcony. That’s my big salad with cauliflower on top, my husband loves fried cauliflower (so do I), and I asked him to leave me some on the side, not fried, so I could add it to my salad. There are a lot of veggies under there too, so healthy.


Went out in the afternoon for a longish walk with the hubs and kids in Tel Aviv, had coffee and hot chocolate, and then we had pizza in the evening to make up for all that healthy food from earlier. Best pizza place in Israel. I had the four cheese pizza, and another one with eggplant and Bulgarian cheese, so delicious. I’m not a huge fan of pizza, but when it’s really good, then I love it.



How much speed work do you do? Any tips on how to do it without overdoing it?
Do you have a favorite pizza place or is any pizza delicious to you?


A Post About Actual Workouts, and Some Songs

I want to taper right for next Saturday’s race, and get there with 100% rested legs. I don’t know when was the last time I felt that, completely rested legs. It’s been a while. As nice as that sounds, it’s easier said than done.


I reduced the distance of my Friday’s long run a little, and kept them both (Friday and Saturday) lighter in terms of pace:

Friday: Long Run – 18K/11.2M – Average pace 04:58 Min/KM (07:59 Min/Mile). And no, I will not round up to 08:00 Min/Mile.
The last 5K were faster than I had planned, but that’s a relatively short distance anyway, so it wasn’t too bad, pace for the 5K 04:42 Min/KM (07:35 Min/Mile)


Saturday: Easy Run – 10K/6.2M – Average pace 04:57 Min/KM (07:57 Min/Mile).
I started running really early on Saturday, around 5:30, because I wanted to make it to the gym for some strength work afterwards, and also be home early to do something with the kids.
Even though the boardwalk was almost deserted at that time, it was perfect to run by the sea so early, perfect wind, cool air, no sun in my eyes.
I just realized now, writing this post, average pace for this run was the same as Friday’s much longer run. Not good. I like my splits though.


After those 2 weekend runs, and considering I need to taper, I am keeping it lighter this week. Shorter runs, easier pace, less crosstraining.

Sunday: Boring Recovery run, 8.2K/5.1M, average pace 05:03 Min/KM (08:07 Min/Mile). Did this one this morning. And geez, looks like I’m stuck pace wise.

Monday: The gym opens later than usual tomorrow, so I will attempt to do a HIIT run outside, only 4 intervals and not at my fastest speed, just kind of a light HIIT during taper. So it shouldn’t be too bad/hard to do this outside. I have set my Garmin for automatic lap pace every half KM (usually I have it for auto lap each 1 KM), so after a warm up of 2KMs and a gradual speed increase over the next 2KM, I will do 4 intervals of half KM fast, half KM slow.

Tuesday: 3KM/3280yards swim. Yeah looking forward to this one (NOT).

Wednesday: Another HIIT run but only 5K/3.1M total, with the fast intervals being only 30 seconds long. And with this I’ll be done with running until race day/.

Thursday: Rest (this is a first, I usually crosstrain 2 days before a race)

Friday: Rest.


My April’s race playlist only had 3 songs I haven’t posted in my previous race playlists so I am adding them to this post.


Only three, but awesome songs, check them out:





How do you taper? Do you have a favorite taper workout?

We Love a Challenge, a.k.a. Fartlek Run

I can’t tell you exactly how to define a Fartlek run. Something about a Sweedish word, speed play, unstructured.
Whatever the exact definition is, for me a Fartlek run is one where I change the speed and the interval lengths unevenly, not as a HIIT where each interval is the same length/speed.

This morning I had a Fartlek run scheduled that scared me a little.


I wasn’t sure I’d be able to do the last 2 minutes, because I’m not used to that speed, and not for a whole 2 minutes, and not after 41 minutes of running. So finishing the run, tired but strong, made me happy.

It doesn’t matter what your ‘fast’ speed is, or what distance is ‘long’ for you.
Whether you are trying to run a whole mile without stopping, going for a sub 1:20 half marathon, or if you just run with no goals, pushing yourself to those places you are not sure you can go is 90% of the fun.
Because as long as we are going outside our comfort zone, then it becomes a challenge. And don’t we all love a challenge.

I did some ab work after the run, and 20 minutes of light swimming.
I spent the rest of the morning at home, just tiding up and doing house stuff, had a salad for lunch with some homemade granola bars I made for the kids (corn flakes, oatmeal, peanut butter, honey, dried cranberries, and chocolate chips), and took a 2 hour nap in the afternoon.

Later we went to the port with the kids and took their bikes. The weather was perfect, and although it was crowded it was nice.
We had fresh juice, a cheese plate, wraps, coffee, and ice cream. We can’t go out without food being involved.



Do you plan some of your runs to be challenging?

Is eating and drinking part of the fun when you go out?


More Crosstraining Than I Bargained For

I went for my usual once a week 3KM/3280yard swim this morning, a tough workout that I partly enjoy and partly hate. Except this week I did it twice because I missed it last week and just had to make up for it.
I had a HIIT running session yesterday afternoon, and will do a Fartlek run tomorrow morning, so running was out of the question today.

We are on Passover holidays and I’m staying home for a few days since the kids don’t have school.
My husband was able to take off work as well, and we went for a good bike ride on some trails about an hour from our house.
The kids are too small to ride their own bike for longer than 10 minutes, but we were able to carry them on a buggy. We don’t own bikes at the moment, so we rented all the equipment.


We rode about 11KM/7M, taking it really easy, stopping to take pictures, to eat fruit, to enjoy nature since we were pretty much alone the whole ride.
It took us about 3 hours to get back to the town where we rented the bikes, the only reason we hurried up a bit at the end was because it was around noon and it was getting too hot to be in the sun, especially riding. The kids were covered and had their water bottle so at least we didn’t have to worry about them, but we hadn’t taken water with us, and we were doing all the work.


Surprisingly enough, at least for me, I was able to carry the buggy about 40% of the time, taking the load off my husband. Last time we did something similar, which was about a year ago, I couldn’t carry it for more than a few minutes.

After we returned the bikes we went to lunch at a really cute and good restaurant in a city called Binyamina. We sat on the front porch, and they had an area for kids to play in, with a small slide and other things like that, perfect for them to entertain themselves after the 5 minutes it took them to eat. The food was very tasty, we were starving too so probably anything would have seemed good, but I can tell this was good for real. A few appetizers, main dish, yummy dessert, and strong coffee, and we were ready for the car ride back home.


It was a really nice, relaxed, and enjoyable day. I admit this is not a given while home on vacation with little kids. So double perfect day.


How do you spend your time off, with and/or without kids?