Running longer and faster… a few thoughts…

Archive for April, 2013

Boston M Day-1…

Cold night in a dorm room with 4 other girls. Ventilation turned all night long blowing what I would call cold air… Got an extra top, bonnet and scarf for sleeping! Welcome to Boston!!!


Lower bed, closest to the floor if you fall!

Up a few times during the night due to the noise in the street. Not to fun! Then 6:45am, got ready for morning run and check with S. Aimed for Charles river. Nice place to run and nice weather too. Lots of runners running there.




MIT on the other side of the river

Back to the hotel, took some times to get a restroom available for showing. It will be interesting tomorrow to see when all runners wish to shower at once! Breakfast in the common room: oat porridge, gojji berries and cranberries, banana and oat milk. 3 small wakes with syrup and honey and a tea. A bit more than regular breakfast (!), but a marathon is to be run tomorrow!


Breakfast, yummy!

Chat with my roommates, coming from Wisconsin.  Andrea is running and qualified at an Halloween marathon 🙂  She is in Wave 2, corral 2. A fast gal too! Diana her sister will be cheering around Heartbreak Hill, so I took the opportunity to ask her to cheer for me as well!

Aiming to City Support, got a short shorts from Adidas, Boston marathon branded as well as a jacket from the marathon. Tram to Boston college to check out the famous Heartbreak hill.


Full tram to Boston college


Welcome to Newton!


Nice house


Les than 5 miles to go!


Finally on the top of the downhill



Last hill up to mile 21

Enough of walking. Back to downtown for late lunch at Indian restaurant.


Last minute shopping of fruits and juice. Now finishing preparation of clothes for tomorrow.

Time to switch off the connection to the outside world. Hopefully more info later on tomorrow…

Boston, less than 16 hours from the start…

Boston M Day-2… AWESOME!

So it was now time to leave hot and humid North Carolina for… cold & gloomy (?) Boston! Travel morning ahead of me and relax afternoon hopefully B-)

Up at 6 am this morning after a good night’s sleep. Aimed to the pool and got a nice and cool 30 minutes easy “workout” (not much of a workout really, free style back & forth). After a quick shower and throwing in the suitcase all the stuff that remained spread around the room, I aimed for breakfast… OMG! SO many people there… Long queue for getting eggs, but ultimately I got my 2 eggs, 2 pancakes with hot syrup (double Yummy!) as well as fruit plate, orange juice and my soy milk with chocolate (which I drank directly from the bottle… Shhhhhh! Don’t tell!). Quick back to the room and missed the shuttle to the airport by 2 minutes (Yeah!), long queue at check out, starting to stress me out, but ultimately got to the airport.
Lovely ladies checked me in and then waited for my flight.

AWESOME day really! As my running friend E would write in his race report from Boston 2012, the word “AWESOME” was on everyone’s lips. Did not have any at my arrival in North Carolina, had one day without on Tuesday and… it started then to RAIN awesomes during the rest of the week. Did not count how many times it was said to me on Friday, but the words “Boston marathon” seem to appeal for them! Sun is shining, feeling liked smiling to everyone (& everyone I smile to might think I am high in something…), tummy is happy, body feels great.



My destination is... BOSTON! (and this is apple juice, nothing else!)


That high I feel right now!

Finally New York… Last time I was there, they canceled the race… So this time, just flying by 😉
One apple in the go and reaching my gate. Soooon Boston! Have spotted already a few runners for the marathon. How? Pretty simple: running shoes, runner’s passport of the Boston marathon in the hands, bag from other marathon on their back, reader of RW, wearing tshirt with “More than Sport”, drinking an insane volume of water.. or all that together! AWESOME to be there! Almost feeling like belonging to a secret tribe…which come in all shapes and flavours!


30 minutes to go!

Yes, here comes one runner with Brooks Green Silence. SAVE BGS!!!


Brooks Green Silence! Please do not disappear!


NOW we are talking!


What a welcome!

Eager to get to the hotel already! Took the Silver line, then the Red line, and the Orange line. Starting at Hostelling International Boston. Sharing room with 5 other females, maybe some will be runners…
Meet S as planned and direction to the expo. Lots of people.


Entry to the expo

Pickup of the number and then tshirt (had to change size as CA was way to tight).



Marathon route



Saw Kathrine Switzer, first woman to have completed the Boston marathon, and who was running there illegally (yes, women were not allowed then to run marathon…). Cool!

Tried some clothes from Adidas, but size not fitting, so no purchase! Went round the expo, stored st Brooks, but no Green Silence… Watch a film in the Boston marathon route and then crossed the finish line 🙂


Finish line! Yippie, what a sight!

Aimed with my guide S to a Vietnamese restaurant and took chicken with vegetables and rice.



Then direction hotel. Discussion about planning for tomorrow Sunday and back to my dorm room. Meet Andrea from Florida who has been here this week in a tea class. Cool! Now in my bed, two girls just took the middle beds. Have prepared my running stuff for tomorrow AND now time to sleep.

Boston, less than 36 hours to the start!

Tapering & carbo load!

No post yesterday. Long day at work, wonderful (super hot!) weather outside, and ended late at the hotel. Still wanted to go for a run, aiming for 10K easy. Did not work that well. 5K @5:07/km, to be qualified “the most boring evening run EVER”! Ran in the dark for some part of the route, then around the hotel on the parking and up and down and up again and so on. No feeling, boring, boring, boring! Bedtime really late on the top of that AND that it was th first day of carb depletion. As usual really boring day where to eat little or no carb. I might try to skip it before the next marathon and see if any effect…

Today woke up in the middle of the night and then slept again. Up @5:30am (well awaken!) and by 5:58am was in the lobby to run with C. To my surprise, it had been raining ALL night apparently. Lots of water pool, humidity to the roof, but temperature already high (22/24ºC!). We ran side by side, slightly different route than the day before, but with company it made the run more fun. Ended with a few strides (ca.70/100m) and then a little cool down. 6.30km @ 4:40/km. Yes, faster than planned but really good feeling. Breakfast with three eggs and bacon + soy milk.

Day at work went smoothly, the mind is really starting to wander around and getting itself to the soon-to-be-run race. Carbo loading started from lunch with a large plate of linguini with chicken and marinara sauce + orange juice. Bananas and apple during the day as well. Three pancakes with honey as morning snack 🙂 Right knee is feeling a bit aching. Maybe due to the high heels treatment of the week! So as soon as arrived at the hotel, off with them and changed to swimming suit. Unfortunately found the pool full with people so skipped it this evening and did the 7min core variations program. Now I am really tired, have to pack my bag so tomorrow I can go to the pool, have a light breakfast and then aim to the airport.

Sleepy sleepy!

Boston, Here I come!

NOTE: thigh/bum muscle better today. Still patching with Salonpas. Did some light stretching especially after this morning run. But still aching a bit…

Tapering for Boston: 5 days to go…

OMG! Is it really 5 days to go only?!?!? Seems like yesterday I was writing that it was 30 days to go…

Today full rest. Annoying ache in the thigh/bum muscle, requiring patch all day long to be able to reduce a bit the pain. Started the day with jumping directly to the pool. Small one (15m?), decided to take the safety first and do no turn around to avoid possible hitting of the side and risk for hurting the ankle (This has probably happened once or twice in the past, not hurting the ankle but hitting the foot on the side of the pool as it is to the level of the water…). 30 minutes turning myself into a dolphin and off I went back to change for breakfast. This morning was a special treat: omelett with spinach, mushroom, tomatoes and slices of crispy bacon, a plate of watermelon, 2 pancakes with hot sirup (YUMMIE!!!), tea and orange juice. Once again, unsure when we would be eating lunch as holding a course all day. Experienced what Espen talked about while he came last year to the Boston marathon, that everybody was finding everything awesome: the ladies of the morning service have said at least 4 times the word AWESOME to me this morning (and I stayed not THAT long at breakfast!)

Morning work, arrive lunch time. A colleague drove us kindly to a thai restaurant which was GREAT (sorry, Espen: AWESOME!). Lunch turned out to be a thai soup (delicious) and mixed vegetables+rice+chicken. Great place! More work in the afternoon and another colleague brought me to try some very American food for this area: we stopped by a BBQ place and ordered Chopped BBQ pork with pintos and coleslow as well as hushpuppies (yummie as well). And YES, I did accept the offer to have a dessert. We shared two fruit pies (one strawberries and one peach). Not really pie, but more like tatin, with dough or cramble pie with dough instead of the dough. Cannot recall what it is called though. But delicious to have with vailla ice-cream. Yes this was an explosion of food, sounds like, for today. Did resist to eating the sweets that another colleague had bought for the course (ok, I took 2 “fun size” twix and a “fun size” M&M’s bag). Lots of water and tea during the day. Tomorrow start the first day of carb depletion, i.e. reducing the carb intake to the maximum and get instead increased intake of protein and fat. Will see how it goes!

Time for bed – eyes are closing themselves now 🙂

Boston, coming soon – in 5 days all will be completed!

Morning dreadmill and high temperatures

Bad night really with pasta dinner not staying in the tummy. Did I say they were a bit too oily? Great sleep (when I slept) but a bit not enough. Up around 3am, turned in the bed and around 5am decided to go for an easy run. But surprise, temperatures may have been 15ºC outside, the skies were dark as in an oven. No way I would run outdoor then in an area I do not know! So treadmill it was. Took note of the different paces I know and convert into km/h, min/mile and mile/hr, not knowing what the machine would show me!

Started with easy mile @8:00/mile, then increase the pace to 6:58/mi for two miles, then 30sec stretching and little water, up again for one mile @6:49, then one at the insane pace of 6:33/mi and then 2times 0.5mile @6:30 and finally 0.22mi cool down. Unsure whether the machine shows correct, but it ended with 10km in 43:11… MP do you think? 😉 Went then for breakfast and took really so it would fill the reserves for the day as we had a late lunch planned.

All day at work, nice outing for lunch with a SUN out of this world! got a tips to convert the temperature: 82ºF is corresponding to 28ºC. So now I will say “either more or less than 82ºF” 😉 Finished the day with a visit to the grocery store and got some food enough for the evening.

Now really tired, so aiming for the pillow. Swimming will be for tomorrow morning 🙂

Boston: (YEEEEAAAARN!) 6 days to go…

NOTE: Still ache in the backside of the left thigh. Except when I stand!

Tapering for Boston: 7 days to go…

Time to travel to the US – one week of work in North Carolina and then Boston it is…

4:20am, 2.5 hours of sleep, quick shower to wake up the body, no chance for doing the same with the mind, it is off and wish to be for a while! Put my Saucony in my suitcase, last check before locking the door and in the taxi. Airport drive is short, drop off luggage, change a few notes and time for “breakfast”: 2 eggs, 1 banana and 2 glasses of water… This is enough for my tummy for now. Sitting in the first plane of the day, destination Amsterdam (Netherlands). Sleep directly before even the take off and then time for 2nd breakfast : a tea and a glass of water. Sandwich served not looking appealing and no alternative found which would please my tummy. Mind still off and I keep it this way for a while more..

 Second flight to Atlanta, smooth change. Although the plane being ready to take off had to go back to the starting place as some paper work was missing… Chatted with my seat neighbour, then attempted to read the latest of Runner’s World but ended with more sleep… Slept now & then, tried to watch a movie but problem with the system so the whole system had to be rebooted, 30minutes without entertainment… + the movie to fast forward… More sleep, a bit of food with Thai chicken, lots of drinking during the flight (water, tea, tomato juice, orange juice, apple juice), i.e.. lots of visits to the loo (it is a 9hrs flight to Atlanta!). Final meal is a three cheeses-calzone pizza and an ice cream. My meal is the ice cream then! With water and apple juice!

Thai chicken - first "brunch"

Thai chicken – first “brunch”

Second brunch...

Landing in Atlanta, real smooth transfer to the passport control. Purpose of the trip asked by the officer: will run on Monday in Boston. But you wrote “Business” on your card. Yes, because will work a whole week before aiming to Boston 🙂 good luck then!

Took then over an hour to get my luggage, skipped the luggage check for the food (the officer was smiling big time when he heard I had porridge (=oatmeal ) in my bag. “But this is what babies eat, yes but although marathon runners (well at least in Sweden I add!)”. Rush to the passport control no2 after dropping my luggage to the final destination. Yes, you may notice a bit of stress even in my writing! Was so scared to miss the connection and gas to wait 3,5hrs for the later flight. But it went fine. No time though to get food, which make my energy level pretty low in this last flight!

 Finally in the last plane. 45minutes only. Sun is shining outside but s bit windy. Sitting and freezing with my winter jacket on the plane while my seat neighbour is in tshirt short sleeves… Something wrong with me? Time for afternoon snack or whatever meal time I have now reached! 3:19pm EST, mini pretzels & water. Closer to luxury cannot be reached! Read briefly through the RW Coach magazine but all is about trail running. Not my cup of tea directly!

What would be an airtrip without Spretzels?

What would be an airtrip without Spretzels?

After a short wait for the luggage, the hotel shuttle got me to my final destination. Lovely weather, +25ºC, sunny and WARM in the air! Settled down in my room and went to look for the pool and the fitness room. My aim is to run outdoor as much as possible with this weather! Nothing around the hotel unfortunately (unless I want to put my life in danger and cross the motorway by foot…), so decided to go for pasta, pesto, chicken at the hotel restaurant. Looked good and tested good. A bit too much oil for my taste, but it could be served this way.

Real meal of the day!

Real meal of the day!

A review of the tempo table for Boston, worked a bit to get along with the emails arrived during the trip. And now it is really time to go to bed. 9:18pm, eyes are SOOOO ready to close themselves.

Boston: 7 days to go (yes… in a week from now my friends, we will be (hopefully?) celebrating our accomplishment, i.e. having completed the Boston Marathon 2013!

Tapering for Boston: 8 days to go…

YES! the number of days left is one-figure now (actually since yesterday, but forgot to write in in my comments…).

Today was planned either relax-rest-day or easy run. Reading that my “pace maker” had found the opportunity to run in a quite dull and boring environment, I could seriously not just stand there and wait! So up from the bed, on with long tights and double top layers, bonner, windbreaker and wind-gloves and off I went… with my Kinvara3. The first 3km felt soooo heavy in teh legs, not the feet. A quick check at the watch told me that the pace was more than acceptable for an easy run (4:49/min), but decided for a stretch stop at km3 (once again, mind-game of “if the pace of km3 is slower than 4:50:00 then stretch it is, else continue”… 4:50:3 it was!). But what a difference after the stretch, the next km disappeared in 4:27min, then turned back home and thought I had slowed down to 4:30/35 but apparently had in reality accelerated to 4:26… Great feeling it was and effortless. Until km7, when I decided to push the body and mind to see how much I could get out of them. Pretty stupid call probably a week from the marathon, but so it is sometimes! Ended the last km in 4:05minutes and pretty happy. 10K @4:31/km: “PASSED”!

The weather was colder than yesterday, but sunny. Could have definitely skipped the long tights, and maybe one long sleeves, but so it went. Music just carried my legs and seriously if the Kinvara3 deliver so easily such a pace, they will definitely be the first choice for next race. In the meantime, they will follow to Boston as backup shoes, in case my ASICS Gel DS Skyspeed 2 would have a problem.

Late lunch in town with large (!) club sandwich, with French fries (I skipped them as they felt a bit too oily). Dig deep in E & Gs plates when it comes to the ribs, fries (other type), pancakes and dessert 🙂 Yes, the last treat before the marathon, better be a good one!


Mumms, club sandwich!

Then final shopping in town to have everything in my packing. Now most of what I need is either on the sofa, on the kitchen table or still in the wardrobe. Bored to death, I decided to change my mind with some Plank variations:

– Side 2 side planks
– Planks with hip drops (each side)
– Around the world plank
– Bridge plank
– Straight plank (on fist)
– Mountain climbers
– Straight plank with a hip drop
– Spiderman planks (= frog legs)
– Side planks with reach (each side)

Each move 30 sec

Once again, fun to do, slightly tougher than last time, but seriously easy still. So now, it is time to pack for real. Start pretty early to travel tomorrow. Will see how it goes!

Boston: 8 (yes, EIGHT!) days to go!!! Let the sun shine down on us then!!! (if I say: “please”?)

NOTE: backside of the left thigh still making itself reminded. Unsure what is wrong (if anything wrong!) with it. Now headache on the top of it, so definitely not helping!

Final test run under the sun

No post yesterday, decided for an extra rest day. Was not feeling I could get out what I wanted if running intervals and was a bit unsure whether should have an easy run as would probably push it to more than 15km… So easy day it became, off from work and having some fresh air and sun. Late evening in front of nice cartoon and bedtime quite late. Mind focused but wandering from time to time.

Back to today’s run. Up at 8am, glass of water and a kiwi and jumped into my flying Gel DS-Skyspeed 2, Vesta shorts and off I went. Plan was a 10K @45 & a 5K @22, with 5 minutes rest in-between. Started with an easy warmup of 3K. Easy only got the feeling! Noticed I ran at 4:45 after the first km… Short stop for stretching and off I started. The first km were way too fat with a pace of 4:19-22… But settled correct pace by km5 or so. Sun in the face, it was a real bless to run in shorts. Although my bum felt frozen all the way to the turning point (and no, it is not funny!). Great feeling in the run, legs feeling great, feet enjoying… Turned at 8 km of the long interval and try to accelerate the pace a bit. Which was great! The bum was also appreciating this turn as it had until the way home the sun warming it 😉 Nice first interval: 10K in 44:25.

5 minutes rest with 2 minutes walk and 3 jogging a bit. Had taken Dextrosol*2 at km 8 and them at mid-rest period. Unsure whether needed, but was nice to have.

Then I started with the 5K… The terrible 5K I could not handle the way I knew I could during last week intervals… Started way fast, my Garmin pipping wildly that I was to slow down. Until km 2, pace was about 4:19/km. Then  passed into a little tunnel which ended with a slope which was followed by another slope: pace down to 4:23, still a bit faster than planned. Decided to keep this pace and speed up the last 1.5 km. Ended in 5K in 21:30…
Ended the run with a 3+ km cool down, light stretch and some protein drink and a banana…

So the whole workout ended into 21.16 km in 1:36 🙂 Good time for a training on a half marathon distance and for being a week from the race. The run felt effortless, not too simple, just slightly under the effort a regular training would require. Great as well to read upon my return that my friend had run great on his half marathon at the same time! So a bit of rest for the day, checking what should be last minute check before packing.
Nice late lunch with home-made tacos and early dinner with sushi. 🙂



Now easy evening and will stay packing tomorrow morning. So will have rest of the day to find out if something is missing!

Boston: 9 days to go… Can you believe it???

Killer core and evening run

Started the day really early with ache in the back of both my thighs. Was having a deep massage yesterday evening especially side of the bum and the back of the thighs. Definitely result of the intervals of Tuesday. Anyway, the massage was nothing to enjoy, I can tell you. But once again, if pain is necessary to get the ache disappear, then so be it! But seriously, 4:00am and being awaken by this pain ain’t something I would recommend. Wait 1.5hour before deciding to take an anti-inflammatory tablet. Unsure how fast it worked, but by 6:30am I was able to do a killer core workout session:

– Side 2 side planks
– Planks with hip drops (each side)
– Around the world plank
– Bridge plank
– Straight plank (on fist)
– Mountain climbers
– Straight plank with a hip drop
– Spiderman planks (= frog legs)
– Side planks with reach (each side)

Each move 30 sec

Looks much, but seriously not that killer workout really. Took 7min 40 to complete and it was a bit of fun. Good recommendation. I think I will have it once per week and maybe increase slightly the time to have it a bit tougher (= doing a little more effort I mean). Then it was time to get ready for work.

End of the day, really sunny and lovely in the air. The ache in the back of the thighs still there so new tablet in mid-afternoon. By 5:00pm the legs did not want to stay indoor any longer, so get into my gear and my new BGS green/blue and off I went. Originally planning an easy run of 10km to test the form and to take it easy on the thighs, it turned out to be a 16km in 1:21, including flat, hilly up and down, gravel but mostly asphalt, a few short stops for photos pic and a few minutes stop to buy some gels for Boston. Enjoyable to the fullest and qualified as quite easy run. Really no effort done, slowing down in the uphill and not too fast in the downhill, low pulse throughout the workout… What else to say?

Still keeping track (more or less – probably less than more!) of the food intake. Explosion of fruits this morning with a “kick-ass-smoothie” done from banana, apple, clementine and soy milk. Lots of green jasmine tea with honey at work. Lunch with large green sallads and cucumber with prawns and pasta with chicken and soy sauce. Afternoon snack with rest of the smoothie. And after run food with protein drink and banana. Lots of water throughout the day especially due to the weather being so warm!

Now time for some rest. Might postpone the long intervals to Saturday and have an easy distance run tomorrow instead. Depending on how the thighs feels.

Note: will write a bit later about my new shoes, as both deserve their own post! So for now, photos only 🙂

Boston: 12 days to go!!!

Aren't they pretty?

Aren’t they pretty?

Start of the run, too many runners around...

Start of the run, too many runners around…

View from the top...

View from the top…

...finally going down

…finally going down

Half-way mark!

Half-way mark!



Tempting bridge at the end of the run... but no! it is to be an easy run today!

Tempting bridge at the end of the run… but no! it is to be an easy run today!

And one lunch on the fly, one!

Back to “normal” after a long Easter weekend. Work until 11:30am – prepared GETs lunchbox to take with us and jumped… into my gear. According to G, the weather was nice enough for having me running the intervals in my Vesta shorts. So I put them on, with my 3/4 shorts on the top. On with the bikes and started to run easy pace towards the arena with outdoor tracks. By km1.5 I was so warm that I took off my 3/4 shorts and continued in Vesta. Could have taken off some tops, but wished to keep myself a bit warm until the intervals. Got GET set and ready to it while I was running, off with the windbreaker and the gloves and off I started 🙂 The plan was to run 12 intervals of 400m @85-88sec. Yes, sure, I thought! If going under 90 OR having an average of 90, would already be good, I thought… Anyway, I noticed that I registered my workout incorrectly on my Garmin so it turned into a 10*400m. Still the time remained… First interval went like flying, although it felt a bit strange under the feet with the new Saucony Kinvara 3. You can almost feel the track like you would have only your socks on! 81seconds… Oops! Must be luck of the first try. So 1 minute rest and off I left for the second interval. This time my watch was pipping early on, meaning I had to slow down. By 200m it was within the range expected and by the 400m mark it showed 82seconds… Third one ended in 83 seconds… and the 5 following in 85seconds. Took an extra minute rest after the 5th interval and a few gloups of water. 9th interval required a stop at mid-distance due to a cramp-ache-like and then started again. 87sec but really should not count. Last interval was run with no t-shirt (yes, that warm it felt!)  and ended in 85seconds. The intervals distance was measured by the Garmin and ended with +/-2m from the 400m mark. So it is well fine. All-in-all the workout turned to be 10,35km @45:22 (including 3km warm-up and 3.25km cool down).

Grrrrreat workout, indeed! Back home, quick shower and lunch (large portion of pasta with bolognaise sauce + 2 toast with nutella and mint tea 🙂 Yummy!) in front of the computer and work it was for the rest of the afternoon. Best lunch on the fly ever!

Boston, 14 days left. Let the sun shine down on us and be part of the race 🙂

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