Running longer and faster… a few thoughts…

Archive for February, 2013

Who else eats intervals for breakfast?

You may recognize the “stolen” title from an earlier post 🙂

So it was. Gear ready from yesterday, quietly waiting for their morning outing. Double layer once more (when will this cold weather EVER finish?), on with “October 2012” and so it went. Easy warmup of 3km, waiting until HR came down to <120 and having the correct music in the ears. Fours intervals – 2km – pace planned @4:10-4:05 with 2min rest. As usual the first interval felt dreadful. Ended with pace 4.21/km and the mind full of “what-am-I-doing-here-anyway-with-this-feeling-that-I-will-never-finish-3-more-like-that”! 2minutes rest later and off I run, sorry, I flew! Felt so light and motivated. Gone was the first interval, here was the interval to be 🙂 With a pace of 4:14/km, I felt really satisfied and not even tired! Walked a bit during the 2min rest and started the 3rd interval. This time it felt good but not as good as the 2nd one. Flying was definitively not on the list! But strangely it ended slightly faster @4:13/km. Took 2.30min rest after that as I had to set my bonnet a bit better and my music in my ear was not what I wanted for the final 2K. This one was great. Ended @4:07/km. Mindset was on the top (you know where the roof of the house is? well, my mindset was above this!). Crazy enough to listen my inner thought saying “if you think you may fix a half-marathon at a pace of 4:17/km, you can well run at a faster pace than that this last miserably short 2K, right?”… So powerful it is to have those motivations in the head (or it is just that I am loosing it and not noticing it yet!). Finished the interval a bit tired, but once again felt I could give a bit more. Three days before SdP? No thanks, I won’t push it! Ended the run with an easy 2km (@4:47…).

Any how, the result of today’s workout: 3km warmup, 4*2K intervals (pace: 4:21, 4:14, 4:13, 4.07) and 2km cool down. Quick stretching, hover 2minutes (w/ frog legs during first minutes and 10*each leg pull up during the second minute). Nice with a hot shower and protein drink+banana after that! Then off to work and arriving among the first at the office! Good start for the day 🙂

Now it is evening. Today’s lunch was a large sallad with extra quinoa and bulgur, lots of veggies and tunafish, shrimps and crayfish tails + japanes tea. Banana as morning and afternoon snack + extra apple in late afternoon. Well back home, was STARVING so three oven-baked toast with ham and non-lactose cheese + a glass of oat-milk + chocolate. So now only left is to put everything in my suitcase and go to bed. Early start to fly at 10am… Yippie! Sunday is soon there!

SdP…3 days to go!!!

This is the way it should look like!

Light core this morning after clearing a bit of clothing so the place does not look like thieves have been looking for something!

2*S’s program (incl. Vs, excl hover)

No real time/mood for doing more. One apple in the stomach and direction work…. LOOOOOOONG day and back home. What a rest day, I was thinking. Looking around and noticing my program for tomorrow was… nope! actually the 4*2K was for today!. Quick quick preparing my gear aaaaaaand no running out as I took off my contact lenses and no way i run intervals with my glasses in a cold and dark evening. So all is prepared for tomorrow.

Lunch was fast and easy – Yummy? would not directly say so, but definitely worth to try 🙂

Pasta sallad with shrimps... sounds like yesterday!

Pasta sallad with shrimps… sounds like yesterday!

Smoothie with all good fruits in it!

Smoothie with all good fruits in it!

Took time for preparing my bag and all papers for Paris. See below the weather forecast: The gods of the weathers are favorable! Let’s hope it will remain this way.


Semi de Paris: 4 days to go!
And NO, Boston, I am not forgetting you: 46 days to go…




Will the mystery of the painful foot be ever solved?

Early wake up, dark circles under the eyes and rinkles which would have scared the bravest! No worries, I have my throat cover and my bonnet when I ran so not much could be seen (on the top of running when it is still dark!).

Early up? Cold outside!

Early up? Cold outside!

Surprisingly fit, I jumped into my well-prepared gear (actually while preparing them late yesterday evening I thought for a second that it would be an idea to have them on and sleep with them so I could have an extra sleep of 10 minutes this morning!!!!) and ready to run… I noticed my watch had no battery left. 10 minutes of charging (perfect for folding the clothes left from the evening before) and THEN ready to run. While getting dressed I put on my Moremiles socks which I really like, but felt a pressure on the left foot. OK, I thought the foot ain’t that good this morning. But #light bulb# I took off my socks and put on the ones I bought in Decathlon last year (quite thin but works fine even with cold weather)… Believe it or not, the pressure disappeared! Shoes on and tied up not too tight (especially the left one). Let’s go!

Not too chilly outside, it was dark though. “Killing the snow” in the ears and off I went. What a nice feeling from the beginning. Juuuuuust enjoying. First km passed a bit slow but who cares, the guy from L&S said to jog this week to preserve the foot. Run run run, passing the baking factory (unfortunately they had not started the baking of bread…which always make me soooo hungry!), 5km already, Wow, good shape. Turning into the small tunnel and right back home, passing by the lady with two “blinking” dogs (looked quite spooky as I saw her as well as the dogslead but could not see any dog in the shadow where they were, only two pairs of eyes and a blinking “thing” hanging in the air (their collar was blinking red 🙂 ) and continue on the little upwards slope – this one is sooooo little but when you are tired you can feel it goes up! Passing the km7, Ooops, almost hitting a bus, nothing that a smile cannot solve though (Oooops again, forgot that no one see my smiles as I have this cover on my mouth… At least my eyes are smiling (even though this morning they would have scared a zombie!). Aaaaaand Stop at the red light (stupid scooter driving sooooo slow in the curve and of course not stopping when I arrived, OK he had green light, but could have act as a gentleman for someone actually freezing her butt out there and trying to get back home not too late!). Up and running in the last straight line, following a bike (or probably scaring the lady on the bike as I noticed she accelerated quite distinctly after a short while having me in her back…). Aaaaaand 10K to finish. Great. good breathing, good feeling, no pain (well, still feeling something in the bum/thigh muscle which I chose to ignore now and a little on the left foot top). Fast hot shower, some quick energy (Gainomax and banana) and off I went (yes still running, but this time with my high heels boots and skirt costume!)

Arrived 10 minutes early for my massage (who is crazy enough to run at 5:00am is crazy enough to get a massage at 7:30am, right?). So nice to just enjoy (more likely “sleep”!). a bit tensed in the middle of the back and on both sides of the bum muscles. Nothing that cannot be fixed. Ready after an hour, in with working gear again 😉 fixing my hair and running to the bus to finally reach the office when most arrive anyway!

Lunch with mix sallad (quinoa, bulgur, sallad, everything possible you can put on a sallad, tunafish, shrimps and crayfish tails) => one word: YUMMIE! with a nice warm bread bun. Really checking out that no dairy product is going through my mouth. Banana for snack in the morning and loads of tea during the day. Well back home this evening was kind of starving so in with 2 oven-toasted bread with ham and lactose-free chees as well as oven toaste bread slice with nutella and banana 🙂 Still hungry after that so a bowl of cereals with oatmilk and chocolate. After that, really satisfied (but strangely not feeling too full). Lots of work to do and now time to rest. Core exercises will wait for tomorrow morning. Beauty sleep will never have been used as well as for my case!

Youhou! Semi de Paris. 5 days to go – expected weather: sunny and up to 9ºC. Already planning to have my shorts on, what do you think?

On the way back home... wish i could swim there and then!

On the way back home… wish i could swim there and then!


Reason, reason on the wall, who’s the smartest of them all?

Ha ha! Day of rest turned out to become… a day of rest! Yes it did. Up very early after an early bedtime, lots of snoozing to get to 5:30am, but not for training. Was a bit late on home chores so all was fixed this morning. Even hit time to work a little before the monsters woke up! Light breakfast with cereals, I suspect the stomach cramps from last week are related to dairy product absorption. In the doubt, I cut on those ones before next Sunday’s race.

Nice day at work, sun shining, freezing cold outside: good day for resting (from training!). Now a bit of beauty sleep and tomorrow hopefully the cold won’t bite! Especially as my foot feels good…

Night, night!

Semi de Paris: 6 days to go! Yippie 😛

Like a Phoenix raising from the ashes…

OK, this might be a bit overkill but this is how it feels today. Last night was really feeling depressing (kind-of… it would take much more than cramps in the stomach and a foot that plays around pain-no pain-pain-no pain to bring me down and feel depressed!). Let’s turn it into: yesterday was not a “all time high” in any way. Good night’s sleep and believe it or not, the clock rang at 5:45am (ON A SUNDAY…) and I felt good and relax, ready to rock’n roll (ok, not directly rock’n roll, but run , definitively!).

One glass of orange juice, two layers of gear on (G finally found my winter long underwear, which I had missed during a whole week… Not that I froze my bum that much, but it always take a few km to get warm especially with those crazy temperatures we have had lately!) and off I went. Well not THAT long, as I noticed the HR pulse was jumping like crazy and wanted to double-check whether my heart was ACTUALLY beating this way (anf it kind-of did…). Anyhow, rested a few minutes and started again. No check on pulse today, only running aiming for a 15km or so, easy run to feel that my left foot was fine today.


Gloomy start

It was a slow starter, but such a bless to have “Killing the Snow”-mix  from DJ Eclipse in my ears – just so perfect for any run and this morning it gave me wings! Turned first 6K at a decent 29:15 and then just went along. Did not think really of pace or pulse (good as this latter one looks sick on the Garmin Connect pic!). Just running. Eyes closing was part of it as well, once again. No real effort on the run. At the end of the run though, reaching km12, had to stop for letting the cars pass and when started again I felt a slight pain in the front of the right shinbone so had to listen to the voice of reason (once again!) and stop the run. In a race or would there has been no race in a week from now, I would have continued the last 2km. But here, no way. Ended in 12.35km in 59:32 (avg pace: 4:49/km). Stretched extensively and carefully. Then jumped on the tram for two stops (yapp! TWO stops, i.e. 1.5km, i.e. 7 minutes or so at this pace… a bit disturbing isn’t it to be able to calculate distance and time so fast nowadays… THEN you know you are a Runner! 🙂 ). But reason is reason. Like yesterday when I was told not to run but to jogg by the guy from the shoe store… I did KNOW it was the best thing to do, but I would certainly not have done it if 1) not have heard it from someone else (!) and 2) would have been running on my own and not with T on bike… Yapp! Reason is reason (and you do not always listen to it, or is it just me?!!!)


Nice with the sun rising up during early runs 🙂

Energy in the body right after the run (Gainomax + banana), long hot shower to get the blood moving again and skipping frozen toes and really white feet! Then a large blueberry yoghurt with cereals to complete the energy load after run. Chilling out for the rest of the morning before aiming to G’s athletics competition. Listening to Pink Floyd while cooking right now and will definitely take this one to the next long run after Paris. Not fast pace, but great feeling (… will probably fall asleep while running!!! 😉 )

Semi de Paris: 7 days to go (in a week from now I will have run 36minutes already!!!) Hopefully this week will go fast…

No way it’s Saturday…

Early evening on Friday (yes, this happens when you are very tired, and running intervals is not helping to keep your eyes opened!) made an early wake up (5:00am!). No way I would go up so did a bit of reading and sleepy until 7:50 when it started to get late for today’s activities… Breakfast of oat-porridge, fresh blueberries and banana, perfect start. Got G&E on their starting blocks for the day and chilled a bit at home.
Decided for an easy run with T in bike, but after 50m it so, little pain came back on my left foot. So stopped by the shoe store close to gone for advice. As expected, he recommended to loosen the shoelace and see, be carefully jogging and not running, as after all there is no more preparation that can be done for Paris… Voice if the reason has to be listened to sometimes, so did a very easy run before back home and resting. Temperatures are dreadful soon cold despite the sun shining this morning… Warmer had been promised for next week, if only it happens!

Not much for the rest of the day. Cramp in the stomach when we went to the restaurant (disappeared after being back home and taken some meda from France). Will keep my tummy warm this week to avoid this pain.

So for today not much more on training. Tomorrow’s another day…

The best shot to close up the week (almost)

Morning intervals did not really take place. Up as planned for common training but having had a tough night w/T made me stay in bed a bit longer so chilling in the morning before long day at work. Freezing day, btw!

Well back home, the feeling was not really there to get my butt and the rest of me out in the cooooold again. But leaving E to his rehearsal was a great excuse to start my warmup from the city center before intervals. It went like on a feather. Strangely, the legs felt a bit heavy but the feet were fine. Just flying through the 3km warmup @4:44 (with a decent pulse of 158) and started a serie of 10*400m – planned between 90 and 85sec. They actually ended in this range (the reps @1:31 below are @1:30:x with x>5). All in all I saw the three reps in the middle as real fasters! 1:21, SERIOUSLY?!?!?!

Repetition Distance Time Pace
Warmup 3,01 km 14:15 4:44 min/km
Repetition 1 400 m 01:30 3:45 min/km
Repetition 2 400 m 01:31 3:48 min/km
Repetition 3 400 m 01:30 3:45 min/km
Repetition 4 400 m 01:21 3:22 min/km
Repetition 5 400 m 01:25 3:32 min/km
Repetition 6 400 m 01:25 3:32 min/km
Repetition 7 400 m 01:31 3:48 min/km
Repetition 8 400 m 01:31 3:48 min/km
Repetition 9 400 m 01:28 3:40 min/km
Repetition 10 400 m 01:30 3:45 min/km
Cool Down
1,03 km 05:27 5:17 min/km

So right after, warm shower to get some colour on my frozen toes and a gainomax before working a bit: By return of E, we just chilled out in front of tv… eating pizza and drinking Fanta exotic. Because I’m worth it! 🙂 GREAT workout although felt I could have pushed more in the beginning. The last two intervals were to the max though… Any running friend in the neighbourhood to pull me during such intervals?

A bit concerning though is the stomach cramping. Ate sushi with friend at lunch and it was good as usual. By 2:30pm cramps in stomach, stopped after eating a banana. Then fine, but by the time went back home at 5:00pm, cramps were back. Ate a bt, went running. During the run it was fine (unsure whether I could even feel pain in my stomach during such workout!!!). Cramps after the run. Now it is fine, but as said earlier… concerning. Unsure whether it is a follow up from bad evening on Tuesday, but hopefully will be disappearing before the half marathon next weekend.

Now a bit of rest and depending on the weather tomorrow an easy outing w/T maybe. Please let the sun shine!

Semi de Paris, 8 days to go (Yippie!..???)

How to pass time when you cannot run…

5:00am – also was ready to get up, when I saw the temperature of -6ºC (RealFeel -14ºC), the whole body just said “NO”! One more hour of sleep and then up for some light indoor morning training, aka core. Back to basics with single set of S’s program (but so good at the Vs!) and two sets of the second program. The painful point being the 3-4 last rep of the ball pikes… EVERY TIME IT IS THE SAME! No worry, I will get through it (until I enjoy the full set!)

1*[S’s program incl “full V” 10*10sec – excl. hover
+ Ball bridge 10]

2* [single leg push press *10 each side
+ “walk on the mat” *10 each side
+ regular hover w/ bottom lift *10 each side
+ side hover w/ arm+leg raise *10 each side
+ Triceps press sitting *15 rep
+ back extension*15
+ “table abs – 2 legs” 15
+ bench dips on low table *15]
+ “walk with ball” *20
+ Swiss ball superman *12
+ Ball pike *12]

Light breakfast as stomach not really willing to get food (turned into a glass of blood orange and a banana… I know, not much, but seriously better than nothing!). The small ones however got something in their plate to talk about at school (see below 🙂 )



On the way to work, lifted the eyes to the skies and noticed some had been fed up with running probably!


Flying shoes…

Intense day at work for the mind, with nice lunch (Indian tandoori chicken, difficult to resist, really!) and then nice chat with fellow runner S, who was down-town for receiving his award after his more-than-nice time in Berlin marathon this autumn 🙂 Quick food cooking (boiled potatoes and boneless porkchops with nice oat-milk sauce with thyme and rosmarin) before rushing to T’s training. I took this opportunity to put on my gear (2 layers, as it was after all -4ºC, but could not find my extra tights…), changed slightly my shoelace on the left foot to release any pressure and ran back home (easy 3.5km @5.04/km). At least I could see/feel that my foot was fine (almost 100%) and should not be a problem for tomorrow morning’s training with colleagues.

OK, have to recognize as well that I left this post in draft after starting it and then… I ran more this evening. Back to pick up T, so theoretically same distance as earlier, right… NOPE! it became a 3.64km @4:44/km. WHAT a FEELING! So nice to run (despite actually starting this latter run with a hill and finishing with a hill – as the previous one started and finished with a down-hill…). so now, promised to myself that this was the last run for the day! Feet are feeling fine. Noticed as well that my right shoe of GT-2160 Purple was not tied up as the other one was (i.e. before I changed it this evening…). Will see how it goes tomorrow. Hopefully the foot will be fine and the training can continue. Looking forward to the intervals workout planned for the morning (especially as should run it indoor!)


New way to tie up my shoe not using the last top hole

And seriously, I did not plan to run today after this morning core training…It just happened.


What a little bit of love can do…

After a good day of rest on Monday, what’s better than an early morning low-pulse run in the city on a Tuesday? Early enough for meeting the street cleaners, meeting the taxis changing shifts and the early bird going to work (probably trying to avoid the newly instated tax on car driving in the city center between 6:00am and 6:00pm… 😉 ) Anyway, I put this morning a single layer of clothes and despite a little chilly feeling at first, it shortly disappear after warming up and running.

Took 20/30m after start for stopping and feeling again the pain on the top of my foot like at the end of Sunday’s long run. I untied my left shoe and made it loose a bit. Still felt a pain, but better…so kept on running then (who said “what does not kill you makes you stronger”?…). Low pulse in focus, I really did my best for keeping a good pace (i.e. not the lame and slow over 6min/km which is really killing my joy of running – no offence if you run at this pace. it is just not MY cup of tea, or rightly said, I have not find a way to ENJOY this pace EVER!…). Garmin HR Alerts set on 154 and I have to recognize that despite hearing it throughout the run, it was not really much (as for my previous try on low pulse running). So enjoyable it was. Up and down the Avenue, back and forth the long streets and finally back home after a nice run of 12.1km @5:20/km for a pulse 153. Unsure still of the sensor providing valid data, but now I am noting carefully the combination sensor + pulse band to see if any combination is good or bad…

A few toe exercises as for the past week ([15* eccentric and 15*regular] => 3 times) and prone hover with first minute “frog legs” to complete the set. Nice welcome after hot shower with pancakes on the table (mine was a “Tuesday special” with fresh blueberries and half-banana 🙂 Yummy!). All set I was for a full day at work!

Back from work was time to prepare food and it was quite fine. I had forgotten the cramps which followed the lunch time, so absorbed by the content of my work. But after dinner we went for a short walk and the cramps started again to finally force (sorry to say) but not keeping the food in the tummy. 😦 Bad evening, stomach trouble and foot pain (also the mystery might be solved if this is extensor tendonitis as suggested – thanks for the tips, S! 🙂 Got advice to massage and do some movements. The best was (according to the suggestion) to “have some massage from someone who likes me and it would disappear – a little bit of love solves everything” 🙂 Will see what I can do (or who I can find for this job!!!)

So time for bed after own massage of the foot and water drinking. Hopefully tomorrow will be better (from a training perspective!). Resting is the first alternative though… What a little bit of love can do? – I’ll keep you updated!

Would you do it eyes wide shut?

Today started early – 7:00am without alarm, so up for breakfast (the “usual”: oat-porridge + fresh blueberries, gojji and oat milk => if any suggestion for a power-breakfast like this one for needling the morning start, feel free to drop a comment!). Instead of going back to bed, sat in front of the tv and watch a very-low-brain-activity movie 😉 then went back to bed. Opened the eyes at 10:15am and up for preparing my gear. once again needed to charge my mp3 as it had died on me! Only one layer of clothe today as well (also had a t-shirt on my long sleeves, which could have been avoided…). Took as well some Dextrosol for keeping up the sugar during the long run.

Nice in the air (+1ºC!), a bit heavy legs (Yaaaaaa, despite having enjoyed both Friday’s intervals and Saturday’s hills, it DOES feel being a bit overkill to do them right before  Sunday’s long run… You can always learn, right?), but feeling fine. The first 10km were set as easy pace (5:12/km – unsure for the pulse with average 159…) but the aim was to have an EASY run. Because… right after… started 10km of intervals doing every second km fast (planned: @ 4:05-4:15) every second km slow (planned: @4:40-4:50). No need to say that THIS IS A KILLER WORKOUT! the last two km were not at all enjoyable, having to run uphill, in the forest, downhill, on ice… you name it! Anyway, did stay within the range which I am very satisfied of! Then started the tough part (!!!), 1km easy before what I mistakenly planned as 4km alternate fast slow every km instead of 2km alternate fast slow every minute… You may not know or see the difference but it is HUGE! I think the body could have fix this, but the mind just shut down, putting the legs on autopilot back home! So instead of this, I headed towards the city with an easy pace to complete my 25km long run. The whole thing was done in 2:02:56, which is very satisfactory for me 🙂 Following slavishly a program ain’t good for nobody! Follow what your body and mind are saying (OK, I do not do that all the time, but aim for it!!!).

Undeniably tired, I took the tram home for the last 2km, not wishing to blow up my training for the upcoming Semi de Paris in two weeks from now (well, actually, in two weeks I will be done!). Stiff shoulders ain’t recommended for running and definitely not to take with you for a long run! So 30 minutes after being back home and getting food and shower, I went directly for a thai massage… OH MY GOSH! This was dreadfully painful for the shoulder and the right calf (which was having a cramp feeling since this morning). WHY do people impose such things to themselves (and even thank afterwards!)… Anyway, this is what the body needed and after that real chilling out afternoon because 1) I owe myself a reward after such long runs 🙂 , 2) having tidied the entire home yesterday there was nothing left for today (poor me!), 3) planned for a surprise coffee break but seeing the snow and then the rain falling down the skies it just cut my willingness to put my nose outside the door for the rest of the day (Yes, this would not have stopped me from going out and run, but as the run was already done… I can do that!). Tried to charge a bit on carbs after the run so it ended with macaronis and chicken/garlic in white sauce (with pepper and grated cheese on the top – Yummy!).

Now back to the title: Would you do it eyes wide shut?… What are you thinking about? All what you are doing or can do the eyes closed, like sneezing, kissing, blinking, sleeping, enjoying a hit shower, praying, thinking… but have you EVER RUN with your eyes closed? This was in a discussion once with my colleagues about the ultra-runners who were able to run/sleep… Probably I am not at this level, but I have several times felt my eyes closing and my legs continuing to run. Independently of the route taken, new one or usual old ones. This morning it turned 0ut that my fastest km was done with several eyes closed parts… Does it helps? for concentration? Was I tired? Bored? Thinking? On “runner’s high”?… I let you on this note and think about it for next time you feel that you have a kind-of black-out part in your run and cannot recall how you got from A to B that fast…

And btw, just noticed before today’s run that my Gel Sky Speed 2 have a little hole in the net on the left side… Really time to find a replacement! Cheerio!