Running longer and faster… a few thoughts…

Archive for May, 2013

Stockholm M day-1

Slowly but surely it is coming…

Very late in bed, had to check once more my bag, running gear, backup plan if weather turns out like last year… But eventually, eyes were closed. Opened briefly at 6 am to switch of the clock… Yes, toy read directly, I switched if the clock, not snoozed it…which I noticed 30 minutes later….so a bit if rush for morning preparations. Still time for breakfast (mini croissant, pain au chocolat & pain aux raisins + soymilk) and time to run to first early meeting. Now lots to do on the way to Stockholm. And why do I have such a huge bag? Should not be to heavy nor full…for a 3:12 (?) race…


Heavy bag

Had to plan for 2 outfit and 2 pairs of shoes. The rest, I am unsure what I packed! Anyway, I am on my way 🙂

Wonderful weather here in Stockholm when I land. 20°C and sunshine, no wind… Should be running today! Weather forecast has changed and they expect rain and sun and more rain for tomorrow…but decent temperature either way. So be it!


Weather forecast

Get to my friends through the subway, not to careful anymore about people sneezing or coughing all around. One again, am I not sick yet, well, should not be tomorrow either… A bit more work and met another friend to get to the Stadium. So much traffic in town for this Friday afternoon… The BIB pickup ain’t taking long. Short number, yellow background, swatch flag…Yippie! Feels good already!!! Quick tour at the expo and getting a bottle of water at the pasta party. Then we aim to a place to eat. More talking. Ate grilled chicken and double portion of jasmin rice +raw juice of carrots, tomatoes, apple, orange and surely something else. Fruity and nice! Headache since I arrive and despite having taken painkiller. No fun! 😦 I might have been drinking on the “least to drink”- side today maybe. Time to head home. Final check and talk about the route and possible tactics for tomorrow.
After short chat with my friends, I quickly change to a last evening run. Maybe not to smart, but honestly 1) the legs need it, 2) the head needs it and 3) I need some air… Running along the water, easy pace, took a part of the route of the race and reached the terrible and feared bridge. Will see how it looks tomorrow, but this evening under the sunset, it looks magnificent… 5.5km, no pressure. Just the road, the sun, the wind and my thoughts.



Start soon to come


Magical landscape


Marathon route


THE bridge...


Lost but nice things to see around..


Subway to the rescue!

Got a bit tricky too get back home and NOT running back home, but could be managed. Later chat with my friends before sleeping, getting my gear ready, final check at the route and time for bed really. Tomorrow is another day…

Stockholm… Less than a day to the start!

Stockholm M day-2

Time to pack, time to check, time to rest, time to think… so much stuff on the list and so little time!

Got a good (no, GREAT!) idea to prepare all my gear yesterday evening for checking that all was there. It is now waiting on the living room table to be thrown into a bag for tomorrow’s trip. Today was good. Slept not too long, but deep and nice. Spent time before closing my eyes yesterday looking at the marathon route and read about the description I got from another runner. Good to have those small tips in advance (as the description on the race site is a bit “flat” for my taste…): Disappointed a bit as I could not find a film with the route as there are some on You tube for Berlin,SF, NY or Boston. One can be found, but too fast for getting a good idea of what to expect… Whatever. Will be lots of fun to BE there tomorrow.

Spent the day almost eating all the time. Not true, but feels like it! Breakfast of freshly pressed orange juice, 2 small croissants, cereals, chocolate and soy milk, then well at work it went down a few tea mugs, 1 bottle of water, 1 sport drink, 2 bananas, 1 apple, 1 gigantic Twix and cashewnuts. Lunch was not that fun, but good with chicken breast and potatoe puree and red wine sauce. Yummy? Ok, I guess. Then evening meal was fresh pasta with bacon/pork filet and soy sauce. Promised a cozy evening so dinner was under the sun outdoor and sweet for dessert (yes… either you carbo-load… or you don’t!). Soooo nice to eat normal again. Carbo-load is just same-as-usual with an extra banana and this time I added a sport drink to drink over the day… Quite boring actually as it is sweet all day long in the mouth 😦

Now time for finalizing the whole thing…bag, time band, food whatever is needed. The most important remaining my gear. The rest can be left aside!

Summary: today felt great. Sun shining, tummy happy with its carb(y! – for the rhyme…), head full with peace & quietness, body feels fine… yes. time for running soon before the thunder goes down! No matter what the weather is, I cannot control it anyway.

Stockholm…2 days to go ( and less than 40 hours to start…)

Stockholm M day -3

Birds Birds Birds, what have I done to you? Not too late in bed, but awaken with the light song of the birds outside. Tried to focus on NOT hearing them and of course it does not work this way! 3am it was then. Would have gladly gone and run but once again, there’s a marathon in a few days and have to refrein myself a bit. But seriously…3am !?!?!?

Opened all windows for fresh air, but more birdies songs went in. So by 4:30am got enough and prepared myself for final light run/jog to empty the rest of glycogen reservs. Does carb-depletion really work? It alwasy feel so depressive during those two days. I coudl probably go on with protein and fat and sallad in a normal day, without any problem, but those TWO days are getting the worse out of me (OK, not really…this was a bit exaggerated here! 🙂 ). Anyway, ASICS short shorts and jogg tshirt. Not windbreaker this time, no chance. Accuweather showed alread 14/15ºC so no way!. Got out and dropped my mp3 back in my mailbox as for this moment I kind of wanted to enjoy the birds songs… Started on quite tired legs and slight ache in the back side of left thigh. Should not be there… I had a massage yesterday! Whatever. Went along and planned a short turn at thethird bridge. Bur right in front of the Botanic Garden, I changed my mind. These gardens are cool: they open and close with the sun set and dawn 🙂 So below are some nice views of the gardens. Although what is missing is the whole feeling, the smell of lightly wet grass, the sound of the wind in the trees and the song of the birds, the sound of the helicopter leaving the hospital, the water running on the stones and between the trees… Delicious feeling. And the clock was not showing 5:30am yet! So worth it then to have those crazy birds waking me up for this! It was almost a shock to leave the forest and return to the asfalt (which I love really!). Felt like having been in a fantasy book and then closing it and back to reality. 6km easy pace – enough to justify the nice breakfast afterwards 🙂 1/4 cup of soygurt with a touch of honey, 2 eggs with chicken sliced and a niiiiiice glass of soymilk with chocolate.  Soooo feeling good breakfast!

Now work for the day – with this delicious time of carboloading 🙂 Got an sport drink for the day to drink slowly and enjoy, got my bananas and apples and my bottle of water. Will be so nice with a carb-lunch. Yes, it sounds like I am addicted, but no. Just felt like something was missing during two days (and indeed it was!). Feeling is fine, body a bit tired but have run three days in a row (even though not really fast runs, the body needs some rest from time to time!). Now will see to relax for the next days to come and enjoy my carbo-load…

Have a great day!

Stockholm… 3 days to go (really? where did the time go?!?!?)


Wild horses in the park!


Sunset behind the church…just look and enjoy!


This is what attracted my attention from my regular run path…


Magical sight almost!


just continued…

Carb depletion or how to make your day miserable…

And here they come, the two days of carb deletion before a marathon.
Started with little less carbs yesterday already, just to see if it would ease the boredom of not having any during 1.5day…but no. Still boring. Started the day with an early run, 10K with easy pace and final 4 @expected MP. Took the last 600m with a sprint, although far from max effort. Nice in the air, drizzling then raining in the second half of the run…Great! Have to plan several outfit for Saturday, depending on how the weather will be. Running under the rain in shorts and singlet ain’t a problem for 1-2 hours, but over 3?… We’ll see.
A few pix from morning run…

Stockholm…4 days to go!








Missing anything?

Ok, what was missing today? After a good night’s sleep (I think?), up with the birds (again?), on with the gear and gone with the wind 🙂

Actually no wind this morning which was quite unexpected. Started with an easy pace 10K (48:49). Heavy-like legs at first but turned out well after a couple of km. then a minute of rest and then a serie of 5 intervals of 200m. Turned out that the wind was then present (of course!), and got the serie to 43/43/42/42/39. Pretty satisfied, although not done to the max. Back home to get ready to work, biked to the office and back. Then long day of work.
Light on the carbs today, it feels awful really. Missing something, could have gone running 20K this evening if not for the marathon in Saturday… Abstinence? Already? Don’t think so. But shortening the running definitely make me a nerve ball. Or does it? No, think that it is more the wait to the race… Probably early night, so won’t have to think about it!
Got a patch in my left heel in order to get it better. Does feel better actually but not sure if thanks to the patch. Will keep it anyway until the race. After the race will be much to check!

Stockholm…5 days to go!!!!

Why the wait when you are so ready?

The final 6 days have arrived. The countdown started a while ago, but now it is for real (sure! before it was just a fantasy-like countdown!)

Day of rest – once again, ants in the legs, difficult not to jump into the gear for a shooooort short run under the sun. So spent a while listening to music at the attraction parc and afternoon teas close to the sea: result for today: red chicks and fronthead 😦 ANd not even while running! Now it is evening and the rain has reached the city (again!).

Form is fine, mind in its bubble. Let those 5 days separating us to the race disappear fast. And let the weather Gods decide once for all to have some sun and nice/decent temperatures!

Stockholm: 6 days to go…

Time for a check-up

Difficult to go up this morning? No wonder! The clock showed only 6am, it is Saturday btw!

Relaxed a bit until I set my gear on. The skies looked good enough for wearing shorts and tshirt (the latter one could have been replaced by a singlet from the beginning…). Easy warmup of 3 km, then short break for stretching. Then started a 10K expected @44. Started to fast, but settled their pace after a coupler of km. Strong headwind (of course?), but sunny (behind the clouds…). Quite humid i’m the air, got pretty sweaty, but instead of taking off my tshirt (which would have felt sooooo much better), I kept it on to ensure I can run actually this way. Next week race won’t slower me to taker of my singlet, so better be used to ths warmth! This first interval ended in 43:06, 10K. Which is my best time for this distance while in training mode…and better than my PB from last July! 5 minutes of rest and stretch and he we go again. This time a bit slower to start, but hot a good group on it by half way. Completed my 5K in 21:23, which is I think the fastest 5K in training as well. So nice and entertaining morning run really. The whole thing (inclusive warmup and cool down) ended in a half marathon distance in 1:34:27. Nice 🙂

Rest of the afternoon easy. Walking a lot (ca.7 km) under the sun, as recovery from the morning. Enjoyed a pizza on the docks and then a ferry tour. Now body and mind are exhausted… Will fully enjoy my day of tomorrow!

Stockholm marathon: 7 days left…

Wind, sun and water….

Awaken by the birds(this time it was ok!), still a bit tricky to get out of bed…

Went up eventually, jumped into my gears and out in the actually nice-in-the-air morning. Had rained during the night so took my windbreaker, just in case. First 3 km were a real pain. The brain had not awaken yet, the legs felt fine after the massage from yesterday so they took the lead! The few km following were a fight against a strong headwind. Seriously, it is early in the morning…does the wind never sleep???? And as usual, got some faster pace during those km. Apparently I press harder with headwind fighting with me. Then I reached halfway (7km) and got a nice view of the sun through the clouds. Beautiful… And short, as I passed km8 and got the worse rain ever falling in me. I felt like I ran so slow, but quick check on the clock indicated I was soon reaching my marathon pace… Anyway, rain pouring down in me (definitely enjoying it!) it turned into drizzling during the last 4km. Ended the run of 14km in 1:07:39, with a nice and steady acceleration in pace as noted by S. Looking fun indeed, although not on purpose! The good news with this run were that the body felt really good (& totally different from the “after massage” of yesterday! the thigh/bum felt ok although might be this gluteus medium (aka my bum-left side) which is now making itself noticed. Good stretching and ok to go!

Long day at work and trying to puzzle my trip to Stockholm next week. All will be good. Only to think about the race 🙂

And as usual it is pretty late and I definitely need some beauty sleep!

Rainy day = Happy birthday?

And so arrive the most important day of the year (still not understanding why it is not a bank holiday!).

Up with the ‘#?!##?%& birds @4am (yes, you read correctly!), the first thoughts were to jump into my gear for a run. Cool in the air due to the night rain, still 13ºC it felt perfect. The only thing was that in my birthday plans I had a lunchrun booked with colleagues and 2 runs with so short time in-between would not feel great in the last two weeks of tapering for Stockholm marathon. So I skept the run and did some reading. Breakfast in close café with a friend then getting ready for lunch run. This wa actually the only way to “force” myself to an easy tempo for today (one of my colleagues had said he had problem with one knee). Difficult to choose the gear as running alone I would have gone with shorts and singlet, despite the risk of rain. It felt so warm and heavy in the air. Chose instead the tshirt from SdP 2013 and short shorts. Took my windbreaker just in case (and mostly to have place for mobile, key, mp3, tram card!). By the time I reached the ferry, I was so warm that I took off the windbreaker and regret to have no singlet on instead of the tshirt. Anyway, easy run at talk tempo it became. Medium to half-strong headwind all the time almost (even though we run in a circle!). Really nice company – ended back home in 8.55km – 4:56min/km. OK, a little faster than planned, but was anyway talk tempo. Would have probably stopped and walked around km6 but having company around push a bit for not stopping, right?. After that, back home, shower and direction massage. Which I thought would be nice (although the front of both thighs was aching a bit since saturday’s race). Well, no. Far from enjoyable as it can be! M could find more painful spots than I could imagine really:

– side of the chest (both side)
– shoulder (mild)
– middle of the back
– back of the thigh
– gluteus medius (?) – new one for me!
– back of the calves (most painful)
– side of the thighs
– front of the thighs (which actually were not the most painful place!)

Listing all here not for fun, only to remember that when running it is not just the legs which are working! And this should NOT be forgotten (well, the body will be kind enough to remind itself to you!)
Easy rest of the afternoon with “try-for-shopping-something-which -is-not-running-related” (failed dramatically!) and then slept in front of the tv when  GT came back home. Ended the day with Greek restaurant (delicious as usual, although the stomach felt it was a bit too late fro eating).

Now the eyes are pretty ready to close themselves. So yes, once again: night night!

Stockholm marathon: 10 days left…

Recovery day 3


Happy to finish! - photo from the arrival on Saturday. Don't I look happy?

Full day of rest. Indeed this is the first one since Saturday’s race, and considering the volume of work to be achieved, it is suiting well.
No time really for breakfast, no decent lunch but a sandwich in front of the computer between two meetings and a bunch of fruits eaten throughout the day. Accumulation of fatigue made itself noticed pretty early in the day, but so it can be sometimes.
The Rain Gods have played unfair today, letting the sun out all day long and juuuuuust when I was in my way back home, it felt like heavens felt on us! Wet dog-like it was not without a smile I recall this weekend race and its heavy sun!
Late in bed to complete all ongoing and be ready for my annual day off:)

Night night!