Running longer and faster… a few thoughts…

Archive for October, 2012

Still fighting…

Have been wondering all day whether would go for a light run or not. After last meeting of the day, closed the laptop, rest a bit and put on my gear. Really nice to hit the pavement again. Still fighting due to the left tendon quite sensitive, although it is painful only when I stop running… Would have been able to run longer this evening, but common sense insisted on closing up the run at 8K.

Stopped by Max to get a Low-Carb burger-no cheese-no sauce… Well sauce it was anyway. Good to get something in the stomach after 5km run. The last 3km felt lighter…even with fartlek during km7 🙂 Good feeling.

Protein day all along – booooooring really! I miss my carbs and cannot wait until tomorrow to get some! As usual feeling quite tired and throat is a bit aching after lunch walk in the wind…

Now time to really rest as tomorrow is packing day!


Stress, protein and candle lights

Late in bed – early up:  Feeling a bit stressed now before the big day (have to say it to recognize it)… Multiple reasons for that: a superstorm decided to make her way to Broadway this week, chilly or rainy weather for last weeks of training, not prepared for visiting New York after the race (I do HAVE the travel guide… just have not had the time to plan anything) but most of all this stupid achilles tendon which makes itself reminded constantly. Cannot impact much on the storm, nor on the weather, too late to read the whole guide. What can be done though is taking a look at the main parts in the travel guide and for this tendon… just to relax, do eccentric toe exercises and hope for the best.

Protein day today – not directly. As for previous marathons, carbo-loading has been taking place during the three days before the race, prior to which I am doing a “carb depletion day”. Simply said: normal breakfast, then protein rich food all day (no carb…almost) + morning after. During this day, planning to run easy (especially now!) so to get the body to use the carb reservs, easy run tomorrow as well and from lunch tomorrow – carbo-loading it is (one of the best part of the marathon 🙂 ) – So for today, expecting my personal little chef G to prepare the great cod he bought yesterday (the only drawback here is not to enjoy it with potatoes, rice or pasta like).

Candle lights as a start for the day… means going up a bit too early as it is still dark outside. Cozy still to light home this way 🙂


Running and high heels…

Was so looking forward today’s interval workout (200m series). But due to the pain still in the Achilles tendon, decided to skip the run. Did some walking – mainly later during the day with easy Reebook. Bought Vitargo gels as usual before the race, although was looking for Dextrosol liquid gel without any success… Has this disappeared from Sweden?

High heels at work might not be a good combination with pain in the tendon though. What is the solution?!? ASICS Gel DS-Skyspeed with black skirt suit 🙂

Stormy weather still over New York and the region. Lots of flights cancelled for the past days. Awaiting a bit anxious to see whether it will be better on Friday. In the meantime, lots of rest is needed!


Lights of the city

After an easy day, nothing better than an evening run under the lights of the city. This time leaves everywhere made an orange map on the ground, shining under the lights (should have had a camera in my pocket) and slippery under the feet! The shine came from the rain that has been falling most of the day, the  wind as well not wanting to be left alone! A real autumn evening – cosy, chilly & rainy…

Easy pace following E, who was quite a fighter (crazy strong head wind during 1km, with rain falling down from everywhere). Stopped after km3 – stretching, toe exercises and turned back home. This time the tailwind  was mostly welcome! A short stop 400m before the end and dash run to the km6. Nice to run with company.

Achilles tendon still a bit sensitive, calves light cramp still coming back as soon as starting running… Don’t know really what to do. Apart from that, mind is clear and body feels fine.

Added hover exercises after the run as well as little core – never too much of the good thing 🙂


Changing time and frozen bum…

This morning run being the last “short long run” before NY marathon was not to be missed… The time change during the night was blessed as it gave me one more hour sleep and the clock ringing at 6:30am found me well rested (yes, not just a beauty sleep!). 30minutes later, music in the ears, I hit the pavement.

-5C, sun starting to go up, frost everywhere, leaves on the ground… perfect! Except for a frozen bum from km2 until the end of the run. Planned 18K with 12k alternative pace in the middle every second km. Did work fine, although the fast pace was slightly slower than planned/expected and the “slow” pace slightly faster. But all-in-all a good run (with cramps in the calves throughout the run but nothing really to stop the running – and a frozen bum ain’t something to stop the running either!)

Now it corresponds to the Last long run before marathon – meaning soon will see the results of the efforts and workouts done so far. Hopefully the storm currently acting on the American coast will be disappearing by then. Hopefully help will have reached the needy who suffered so far of the hurricane Sandy.

Back to the marathon: NOTHING can be changed or added – just tapering until Sunday. Planning 4 easy runs during the week, a bit “careful” diet (yes, sure!) and happily finishing with a carbo-loading (Yippie!)…Just have to ensure drinking enough to avoid cramps and stretch during the week (well, nothing new – just keep on doing it… Might include though toe exercises to stretch the heels…)

For now, chilling at home and feeling good 🙂


One week to go…

OK, not too catchy for a first blog post, but so it is. I am now standing in front of the famous “final week before the marathon” as I have done already 5 times this year and cannot really come up with a more appropriate alternative!

So back to the post title: “one week to go” could have been the title of my blog, but it should not be limited to this final-and-so-important-week, as running a race does include a long series of weeks of preparation and therefore “just running around” became the title of my blog. Just as I did this morning 🙂

NY marathon badge One week to go before New York marathon: the week before each marathon (so far run), is a bit special: focus and concentration, diet, workout… even though not part of the elite runners scale (I wish!) I do enjoy this final part as it is showing clearly that the end is coming (well, the reach of the objective is sounding a bit better maybe!). Anyway, blogging might be bringing a bit of support to reach greater achievement and as a result improvement at the finish line.

A bit more later on today!

And by the way…thanks for following me!

Hello world! (again!)

Welcome to my blog, since I decided to start (again) thought-sharing a bit here, catching feedback and just enjoying publishing what I am experiencing through my running (race and training). Started running after a knee wrench December 2009 – while testing Jujitsu… and got hooked up after first half marathon (2010) and especially first marathon last year (2011). Now it has been five marathons, four half marathons and a hand-full 10Ks and it does not seem closed to be
finished 🙂

So far so good, enjoying the run and hopefully you’ll do too!

Race Report – Berlin Marathon 2012/09/30


Planned: 3:20/3:22, not too fast first half – giving all possible last 10KM

Actual: official 3:22.26 (corrected from Garmin:3:22:29)- new PR by 4min 6sec from Dubai 8-months ago (Jan-2012)! Very satisfied of the result as the 3:25 mark has been bothering me since London-bad ending… But enough of this one. No world record this year on the marathon.

Race Results:
place (M/W) 236
place (ag) 48
age/grade: 68.29% (Dubai:66.6/ London:66.47/SF:65.66)
time total (netto) 03:22:26
time total (brutto) 03:23:52


Planned to run first half @1:40 (4.44/km): Started in Group D(3:00-3:15) – lots of people, a bit crowded at the start but despite this, first km ended @4.47 (planned it just under 5!) and soon after 1km, it became less crowded (well in the turns it is always a bit tricky but did not suffer of the crowd experience as other felt previous years).
Good feeling thereafter and noticed that I was a lot in advance compare to Virtual partner on Garmin (set to 4:45) so after 5K I stop looking at it! Avg pace was then @ 4:36 and feeling good. So decided to go on even though “strategy” was to have it easy first half.(km1 @4.28 was a bit of a surprise afterwards!)
> Followed a guy from km15 up to half-mara: Great as he was same length, same pace, same footstep – if he was slightly faster, I could catch up and same for him: great pull-help! Unfortunately I left him at half-mara when doing my acceleration 😦
Image>km17+: almost stopped at water station for vitargo gel + water therefore slower pace. Took a couple of km to get back the previous pace.
> seeing the half-mara arriving, just felt feather on my back and accelerate as feeling good (still smiling as well!)
> Checked from time to time my pulse and saw it was above 170 from km4 or so and skipped looking at it afterwards (though it would take longer to reach this level!)
> second half was different: Until km30 no problem, similar pace, just enjoying and felt like running at “talking tempo” (even though did not have really someone to talk to!)
>km29 slower due to stop/walking while taking vitargo gel + water : REALLY crowded water station 😦 but catch up went fine
> THEN arrive km35. Had trained on the route km34 to the end and it is really flat and easy. But something just did that could not concentrate/focus and just wished to let go. HOPEFULLY I catch up a guy and asked him to “not leave me until the end”… Believe it or not, he didn’t! He stayed by my side ALL the way to km 41.5. When I stopped and walked, he slowed down and turned back to stay with me. Happened to be French 🙂
>km38 was a real pain as the marathon km-signs where until half-mara between 50 & 200 meters (more of those ones!) ahead of my Garmin. But for km38, the Garmin showed already 38.8!!! when reaching the sign… So was really feeling I had been used there (Yaa.. the mind ain’t working much after a while). Anyway, the king French caught me on this one and even slow me down at a moment so I would have enough strength until the end.
> km41.5 after pulling the guy 2 times after km40.5, I did want an acceleration and polish a nice finish, but he could not follow so I went solo from this mark. THEN almost @km42 both thighs started cramping and short after the hamstring/calves… well no good. Needed a strong mindset to convince myself to continue pushing until the end, smiling and finish strong (i.e by that not limping during the end of the marathon: I was to cross the Brandenburg Torn! so no crippling!).
>> went fastest speed I though as the Garmin registered the last 800m in 3:49 (pace 4:46 which was my expected pace for the last 5K…)

Well-deserved medal came after almost fainting in the arms of an official – but it was the legs not holding any longer!
Massage afterwards + they help with little painful wrists.
During the race: slight pain in the knees (side as usual) after 2km or so, although I would put that on the chilly weather/no possibility really to warm up correctly before the race or to keep warm (forgot my long trousers!) / little stomach pain(or cramp after half-way, but disappeared as quick as it came. From km35, cannot recall any real “pain” anywhere, apart from the mind not really wishing to continue running (or rightly said: “wishing to stop and walk as would probably feel better”…)

Weather: chilly in the morning – although skipped the t-shirt under singlet right before the start. Soon after, got sunny and even warm from time to time. Windy (slightly) at some places though

> carbo-loading on natural food – no Vitargo carbo-load at all (as for 4 previous marathons) Morning before race eating cereals/milk/chocolate @5pm
> during the race: 1 vitargo @km 17.5, @27.5 and 34. Dextrosol tablets: 1 @ km36 & km39
> just after race: all that was given in the bag! (bananas 3!, small brioche (dry!), water, 2 tea)
> later on: 3 hours after arrival: pizza napolitana + Coca cola / tea and short after warm chocolate @Starbucks 🙂

Gear: ASICS Vesta shorts/UNICEF singlet – flying-lightSkyspeed perfect shoes for this race!

Difficult to set the difficulty of the race. The last 5km were definitely of an average 19/20 (last time experienced this was in august 2011 in Greece – run my ever first 30K under Greek sun…) But before that I would have set actually a 14+/15 because it was really feeling good and flowing very well.
=> So deciding for a 16+ because of those last 5km (much different from the 17 in London and Dubai!

GREAT RACE! Definitely worth trying (even though no planning a PB). Felt like enjoying the race until km34/35 before all broke down!
Enjoyed as well company of jogg-friend both day before race and after race-pizza!

NOTE: Mara on the watch shows 42.8km (!!!)
NOTE2: Rest for a week as NY is soon to come…
NOTE3: Day after marathon: slight pain in lower back – same as in Dubai & GV2010 – also much less! Legs are fine but calves are tired 🙂 A bit of walking during the day will do good