Bicycle marathon 2015

Sports

Hello!

This is kinda a Throwback type of a post. A few weeks ago, I’ve participated in my 3rd ever bicycle marathon – Kaunas bicycle marathon 2015 (official page). I wanted to tell you all about it the same day that it happened, but just couldn’t find the time to do it. So, since I should be revising for my tomorrow’s literature and creative writing exam, let’s talk about cycling.

To begin with, I am not a professional cyclist, so I chose the distance for the amateurs  – 15 km. In 2013, I won the 2nd place in the women’s group of the same distance and in 2014, I was 4th. This year, the organizers decided to divided the women category into 3 parts: girls (ages 10-14), teenage girls (14-17) and women (18 and up). This really worked out in my favor, because I’m 17 (turning 18 in August), so I was the oldest one in my group. And it turns out – the fastest too – I won the 1st place between teenagers! I was 4th again in the overall lineup if you count adults in.

I was really proud of my accomplishment! Also, one of my best friends, who does modern pentathlon, was the overall winner in the women’s group (she is already 18).

After receiving our medals, we watched professional cyclist doing their thing – they could choose either of 2 distance – 47 km or 101 km.

During the longest race, it started to rain, so the ground got really slippery and a lot of cyclist went down pretty badly. It was really scary to watch. I was happy that my race took place during the morning and that the weather was perfect for it – sunny, warm but not to hot and the wind was not too harsh.

Anyway, in other bicycle news, I was a part of my city’s team for the European Cycling Challenge of 2015 (official page. I think Kaunas city finished in 17th place ,which is really good for a small city. Gdansk won, with Wroclaw taking the 2nd place and Warszawa – the 3rd. If you don’t know, what this cycling challenge is, it is basically a friendly competition between European cities. The citizens of various cities competed during the whole month of May and were trying to become a city, who cycled the biggest amount of kilometers. I added about 150 km to Kaunas total number.

I hope you have a great week, I have 2 huge exams next week – (Writing on Monday and Math on Friday), and then I will have only one exam – History – left. That one will take place on the 8th of June and then I’m officially done with school forever. We will receive our high school diploma’s on July 5th. I will do a big Graduation post after that and will tell you everything about my senior year and all the special celebrations we had throughout the year. If you want to know a bit more about Lithuania’s education system, I spoke a bit about in a post last year – read it here.

Bye!

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Productive weekend

Sports

Hello!

I used to think that nothing really happens in my native city of Kaunas but this weekend proved me wrong…very very wrong. Not only were there a wide variety of cultural events (Loreen concert on Friday, Jazz festival throughout the whole weekend), but also a plethora of sport’s competitions and movements! And I participated in almost all of them! The weather was also amazing! Spring has finally come after 6 months of rain and snow! It was like 20 degrees Celsius (68 F) the whole time!

On Saturday morning, I attended the marathon “Azuolyno begimas” (“Oak Grove Run”). This was the first time that this event was organized and almost 1000 athletes participated in it. Some of them chose the half marathon distance, others 10 km or 5 km like me. Organizers also provided the spectators and children with fun games and live music.

We were running in the 2nd largest park of Lithuania. You can find more info about that location here: wiki

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On Saturday afternoon, I went to the 10th annual bicycle parade of Kaunas by accident. I knew that this event would take place during the weekend but I thought that I would have no energy to cycle 20 km after running. But surprise-surprise, I had the needed energy and joined a group of 500 cyclist in a trip around Kaunas. We started our journey in a city center, cycled out of the city and then finished our route in the Old Town of Kaunas, near the Kaunas Castle.

This was my first time riding a bike this year! I also just only registered to be a part of my city’s team in the European Cycling Challenge and I will also cycle in my 3rd bicycle marathon during the month of May.

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The next day, on Sunday, I had another running competition to participate in. It was the 3rd annual Kaunas Half-Marathon. I participated in all of them to date. 1600 athletes were in attendance. A few hundred of them ran 21 km, around 300 – 10 km distance and at least 800 – the 5 km distance which I have chosen as well. Those who are just starting to get into running could participate in 2.5 km Fun Run event – this one also attracted at least a couple hundred people.

Once again we ran in Oak Grove park, however, the track was a bit different. My time on Sunday was better than on Saturday which I was really happy about!

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Bellow you will find a photo of all my commemorative medals and runner’s numbers which I’ve received this weekend!! Have a great week! I’m going to the Avengers premiere on Thursday, so my review should be up on Friday. For now, refresh your memory by reading my latest Marvel movie review here. Bye!

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Loreen concert

Music

Hello!

Welcome to another blog post covering the topic of live music! I will link all the similar post down bellow but now, let’s get on with my latest musical experience!

On Friday night (24th of April), I went to Swedish singer’s Loreen concert in my native city of Kaunas. Loreen isn’t a huge global start, I believe that European audiences are more well antiquated with her than the rest of the world. The reason for this is the fact that Loreen won the Eurovision Song Contest 3 years ago – in 2012 and since Eurovision isn’t really popular anywhere outside of Europe (well, maybe except Australia), consequently, Loreen isn’t poplar internationally too.

I’ve never really listened to her music much. I knew only her Eurovison winning song Euphoria by heart because I and my girlfriends used to sing it on road trips but that was pretty much it. She had a hit in my country called We Got the Power but I, personally, didn’t listen to it much. However, since the tickets to her concert were quite cheap (definitely the cheapest ones out of every concert I’ve ever attended), I decided to give her music another chance.

Before going to the live show, I’ve listened to her album Heal from 2013 a couple of times and really enjoyed a few songs. These would be Crying Out Your Name, Every time and Breaking Robot. She also released a single Paper-light in 2014 and the revisited version of it in 2015 – I enjoyed that one quite a lot too!

Anyway, enough of me rambling about stuff that nobody cares about. How was the concert? IT WAS AMAZING. Her voice is magical! I have never heard any singer sound so good while singing live. Her voice is so strong and the things she could do with it: go high, drop low and then go back to high again. Her stage presence is also unbelievable: she dances, jumps, goes crazy and completely frees herself and still manages to communicate with the crowd and find connection with the every single member of the audience. Her energy is contagious!!

I was standing in a front row, so I had a perfect view of the stage! Only around 3000 people were attending the concert, though, when she came out on stage for the 3rd time to sing Euphoria one more time, the first few rows, consisting mainly of young adults, were screaming  and singing so loudly that it sounded like at least 5000 people were in attendance.

I am really happy that I chose to attend her concert ! I had a wonderful time and would definitely be present at her concert again. Videos from the show: my favorite song – Crying Out Your Name and Eurovision winner – Euphoria (2nd performance of it).

Oh, one last note: the opening act of the show was Lithuanian singer Vaidas Baumila. I am not a fan of his because I don’t listen to practically any Lithuanian singers but his warm-up act was quote nice. Moreover, Baumila will represent Lithuania in this year’s Eurovision so it was only appropriate that he would open for Loreen.

Bellow you will find a few photos from the event taken by me!

Bye!

My concert coverage: Kylie Minogue | OneRepublic | Enrique Iglesias | Ed Sheeran | Eurovision 2014 

              

Lithuania’s Independence Day Run 2015

Sports

Hello my dear readers!

Today, I officially opened my running season of 2015 with a first running competition. The marathon was held in order to celebrate my country’s Restoration of Independence Day. We have 2 independence days in Lithuania: in 1918, on the 16th of February we announced our Independence but during the 2nd World War my country was occupied by the Soviet Union and we only restored our independent state 25 years ago: in 1990, in 11th of March.

The running marathon is held every year in Jonava and it is also dedicated to one of the pioneers of the Reformation movement in Lithuania – Abraomas Kulvietis. There are a few statues of him in Jonava (you can see one of them in the 3rd photo).

Around 550 athletes participated in the run. They could choose from 2 distances: 3.4 km and 15 km and were divided into age groups accordingly. I chose the shorter distance because,lately, I hadn’t been training much.

It took me a decent amount of time to finish the distance: my result isn’t great if you look at the results of others but it is okay for me, especially at the start of the season.

Bellow you will find a couple of photos from the event: the first one shows the start line, the second – a finish line. The third one is statue of A. Kulvietis , which I have already mentioned, and the fourth one is my number and the commemorative medal.

My next marathon will probably be Kaunas Half-Marathon at the end of April. Last year’s post about that run – click here.

Have a nice day/evening/morning!

Movie review: Unbroken

Movie reviews

Hi!
On Monday, I went to the cinema to watch Angelina Jolie’s Unbroken. I have seen several films depicting World War II events from different angles (Schindler’s list, Fury, Inglorious Basterds, Pearl Harbor, Forest of Gods and The Imitation Game) and now Unbroken joins this list.

In short I would describe the film as a mixture of Life of Pi and Fury with a pinch of Forest of Gods and topped of with Edge of Tomorrow.

Unbroken isn’t Angelina’s directorial debut – it’s her 2nd time being behind the camera. The film tells a story of Louis Zamperini – an Olympic athlete who spent the 2nd World War in a prisoner of war camp in Japan after surviving 47 days of a raft in the middle of the ocean. It’s based on a book by Laura Hillenbrand as well as real life events. Sadly, the real Louis Zamperini died in spring of 2014 and didn’t get to see his life on the big screen.

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Acting

Louis Zamperini is portrayed by Jack O’Connell – a British actor who is best known for his work on the TV show Skins. I liked his performance, it was so-so at the beginning of the movie but in the end, when Jack really got into the character, it was just amazing. The emotional dual between him and the Bird truly showed his talent and made me enjoy the scene which was actually horrible and heartbreaking but inspiring at the same time. I would love to see more of his work.

Speaking about the Bird – a Japanese general who tortured Louis both mentally and physically – he was played by a Japanese singer Miyavi. The character seemed a bit cartoon-y to me – almost like a stupid school bully. Nonetheless, I hated the character almost as much as Christoph Waltz’s Hans Landa in the Inglorious Basterds, so Miyavi did a great job as a villain.

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Other cast members included : Domhnall Gleeson, Garrett Hedlund, Finn Wittrock, Jai Courtney, Luke Treadaway, Jordan Patrick Smith and many others. As you can already tell, this is an all male cast type of movie. I don’t have any problems with that because there were no women at war. However, I do have a problem with the fact that I can’t remember anything about the characters that these actors played with the exceptions of Jack O’Connel and Miyavi. They didn’t develop them well enough and didn’t make me care about them or even remember them at all.

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Visuals and Directing

The movie is beautifully shot and I really liked Angelina’s work as a director. The scenes in the water were cool but sometimes cheesy while prisoner of war camp was portrayed realistically.

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Sport

Louis Zamperini was an Olympic runner and for me as an athlete, the part which told us about his athletic career was the most interesting. I also loved the fact that they didn’t diminish the importance of sport in Louis Zamperini’s life. If he hadn’t been an athlete and hadn’t trained as hard as he did, he probably wouldn’t have survived the war. I loved the clip of the real Louis running with the Olympic torch in 1998 Winter Olympics in Japan.

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Religion

Louis Zamperini also was a religious person, who found God when he needed him the most. Religion’s theme was mentioned in the film but didn’t explored deeply enough. The end of the film was really touching and made me tear up. It showed the importance of forgiveness – sometimes it’s better to turn the other cheek than to raise a fist.

Criticisms

Unbroken received mixed reviews from the critics and was shut down from the award’s season. Overall, I liked the film, though, a few scenes were really unbelievable and took me out of the movie. For example, their fight with a shark – you can’t catch a shark with your bare hands. The pacing had a few problems, but I would still recommend to watch this movie if you are a sport’s fan and interested in history.

Rate 4/5

Trailer: Unbroken trailer

Photos: Screenshots form the trailer.

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Sport: Running for Kaunas

Sports

Hello!

There hasn’t been a post in my blog about sport and active life for a while, but today, I’ve participated in 3rd annual “Bek uz Kauna” marathon (Marathon “Run For Kaunas”). It was my second time running this specific marathon. Around 1500 professional athletes and amateur runners chose 10 km or 5 km distance and were running in the city center.

Web page of the run: Run for Kaunas. Place of the run: Laisves aleja (Liberty avenue). The main sponsor: Fazer company

The weather was perfect for running, the sun was shining and there was no wind at all. I was a bit unprepared for this run, lately, I have been running only 2-3 times a week and, more importantly, I have been getting cramps in my right foot. By the time I had finished my 5 km distance, my foot had already started to cramp, so I was happy that I didn’t choose a longer distance.

All the participants received a commemorative medal and a gift from the sponsor company (various kinds of breads).

I am planning to participate in the PINK run for breast cancer awareness at the end of October. I hope my cramping foot will let me do that. Have a nice week!

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Swimming marathon: Šveicarija (Switzerland) 2014

Sports

Hello everybody!!

As I have previously mentioned, I am a swimmer. And summer for swimmers means only one thing – open-water swims/championships/competitions. Yesterday (June 22nd) was first of them this year.

To begin with, I would like to clear some things out. In the the title of the post you can see that this swimming marathon is called Switzerland 2014. Switzerland is a name of the country in Europe, but it is also the name of a little village in my country – Lithuania. Near this village there are other villages called London and Paris. This is the map of my country and the red dot is that village with a name of a famous country.

Some facts about the marathon:
Distance: 1.5 km
Water temperature: 17C or 62.6F
Outside temperature: 13C or 55.4F
This was a 5th annual marathon (I have swam in all of them).

So, as you can see the water was warmer than the air. The conditions for swimming were terrible, I have got super cold after first 500 meters, my muscles became tense and it even seemed like my heart stopped beating or slowed down. However, after I finished the distance I felt amazingly, like I have accomplished something great. I live for the feelings like that. This marathon was not as cold as the one 5 years ago. In 2010 the temperature of the water was 14C or 57.2F.

The next marathon will be held on July 6th in my city – Kaunas.

Bellow you will find the photo of the lake we were swimming in and a picture of the medal I won. (I was second in my age group).

Kaunas running marathon + Sunday reunion

Sports

Good day everybody!

Yesterday (on Sunday) I participated in one of the last running marathons this summer – 2nd annual Kaunas Marathon. Like last year, I’ve chose 10 km distance and did my best time yet -1 hour 5 minutes. The total number of runners was 3000, but 10 km distance was the most popular between them – about 800 people ran it. The weather for running was perfect – not too hot, not to cold, no sunshine as well as no rain, just a bit of wind, which really helped to cool down in some parts of the distance. The only flaw for the whole marathon would be the route that had been chosen for us to run. It was to narrow for that big amount of people, so I have been running at least 6 km in a huge crowd, bumping shoulders with other runners. When, I finished the distance I got a commemorative medal, which you can see down bellow. My number was also really nice – 2424. I will run my next marathon, probably, just at the end of September. My summers are usually dedicated to swimming marathons ,so I am going to do blog posts about them. (The first one is this Sunday – June 22nd). Fun fact – as I am running for my local bakery team, after the marathon they surprised us with a delicious gift: cake and a lot of mini doughnuts and cupcakes. So, my running team had an impromptu picnic on asphalt in the middle of the huge crowd of people.

After this sports event, I went to my previous swimming couches house where we had a little reunion. Me and a bunch of my childhood friends from my previous swim team met there, cooked dinner and ate together as a family, then had some friendly competition in a round of Twister and other board games. Also, we baked super easy cookies using cornflakes and condensed milk, watched FIFA World Cup, went through old photos and laughed our assets off. When we got tired of laughing and being gymnasts on Twister, we cuddled our swimming couches cats and just had a nice conversation about good old times. I still see a lot of my old swimming team everyday, because we still swim together, but couple of them have already said goodbye to this sport so it was nice to see them.

After this relaxed evening , me and one of my friends went back to my house and had a nice girly sleepover. We watched a movie (LOL with Miley Cyrus and Douglas Booth – such a great story) and then talked till 3 am in the morning. And I had to get up at 7 am to go to morning training. Yeah, summer…

I hope you enjoyed this post about running marathon which kinda turned in to a day in life post. Bye.!

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http://www.kaunasmarathon.lt/EN

Bicycle marathon

Sports

Hello my dear readers!

Sorry for not writing for so log. I was quite busy with school and preparations for prom/senior formal.

Today I am going to tell you about a bicycle marathon which I participated in last weekend. It was my second time competing in this type of competition. I chose the distance of 15.8 km. Other options there 47 km or 103 km.I was definitely not prepared for that much of cycling. In the end, I was very pleased with my result because I haven’t trained much. I’ve got 4th place and did my best time (last year I’ve got 2nd). My friend also participated with me and she got a 3rd place. (I will beat her next year 🙂

The weather was perfect for outdoor competition – chilly but not too cold. However, the wind was really strong and you had to cycle up the mountain against the blowing wind – so that was pretty hard .

Bellow you will find some photos from the event. Next sport post will be either about my swimming competition in Berlin at the begging of June or running marathon on June 15th.

Have a nice weekend and bye:)

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Sunday: Marathon

Sports

Hello!
Today, I am going to tell you about a very special event I participated in – Kauna’s Half-marathon. This marathon was organised for a 2nd time. Last year, I also attended the event and ran 5 km distance,but this year a great bunch of my friend s joined me and we all ran together and had some friendly competition. There were 3 distance to choose from – 5 km, 10 km or 21 km – half marathon distance.
I was quit happy with my result, it is not my best one but still pretty good. All of runners got a commemorative medal, which we can add to our ever growing collections. One of my friends also won a 3rd place, so we were all really happy for her. Bellow you will find couple of photos from the event that I made myself and some links to more professional photos and articles.
I hope all you had great weekend, had plenty of rest and are ready to start a new, productive week Bye 🙂

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