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…

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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 🙂

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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!

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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.
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Wow!


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Start soon to come


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Magical landscape


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Marathon route


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THE bridge...


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Lost but nice things to see around..


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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?!?!?)

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Wild horses in the park!

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Sunset behind the church…just look and enjoy!

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

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Magical sight almost!

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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!

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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

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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!


Recovery day 1 & 2…

Surprisingly alert already @5:45am on Sunday morning (went to bed around 00:30am to watch the Eurovision Song Contest…), was wondering whether would go for a run before GET wake up.

Shortly after this though came to mind, all woke up and decided to give a quick breakfast to E and hop! we went for a recovery run in this nice morning (7am and already warm!). Nice to talk throughout the run. Two stops for stretching light and photos. Ended in 10,3km in 57:28. A bit stiff in the front of both thighs, but all the rest fine. Continued to drink well throughout the day. Noticed that I lost probably over 2kg during the race yesterday (despite the drinking during the race and after the race). But not feeling any effect of this today. Afternoon occupied in Lilla Göteborgsvarvet (organized for the children). Much nicer weather for them! By 5pm, I was ready to fall asleep but went to bed around 10:15pm…

Monday started pretty early as had a conference/meeting outside town and had a 2hours train trip ahead of me. No sleeping in the train, good exchange during the day and then it was time to go back home. Slept probably 1hour this time on the way back home. Pretty tired again when reaching home, I ate cereals and watched a bit tv. Already set in my running gear though! 45 minutes after arriving I had already tied up my shoes and ready to go. As I am feeling a bit of aching in the left achilles heel (I think it is that), I am a bit worried, but if this is due to my new shoes (BGS & Saucony Kinvara 3), a bit unsure. Anyway, chose to run in my “heavy” ASICS GT-2160 purple (the net on pink ones just broke! when I put them on…). Started easy and planned to run a 10K towards the sun going down. Not looking really where I was going, turned into somes woods at a moment and really enjoyed running there for w ahile and then arrived in a residence area, no clue where I was but realised the sun was still on my right or back so still ok. And then just continued to run and run and run. Turned right at a football field to climb up to the forest and run run run. All the hills taken were run on the top of the feet, really cool feeling – light as a feather almost! Got to meet one of my colleagues biking back from the office (good to know as this is a path I am taking often …just in case I would need water!), then turned to try another training track in the wood that a friend is using. Pretty tough 1.2km in the wood – I think he is taking it a few times… Unsure how this would work! As for me I arrived there with 15.6km in the legs, so one run along the track (up & down in the forest) was WAY ENOUGH! and then back home in a way. Completed 22,54km in 1:55 – the t-shirt went off after only 2km, felt like in Spain (with much less sweat though 🙂 ) Really good to run this way. lacking a bit of water I believe.

Time for bed now – tomorrow will be realllllllly tough day at work (therefore I turn it into a rest day from training… well, this is the decision taken today. Tomorrow’s another day…)


Race Report – Göteborgsvarvet Half-Marathon 2013/05/18

Planned: 1:30 if all good 1:28.

Actual: official finish time 1:37:05 (on my Garmin: 1:37:10 – a bit of time to click on “lap” after the finish line…) – 24 seconds slower than last year race, long from PB in Paris in March BUT the weather conditions were way different as well as the race conditions. So the result of today’s race is very satisfactory and happy to have completed it! Note as well that as in Paris there was no clear “fatigue” after the finish line, lots of energy left…

Splits (official)

Split Time of day Time Diff Min/km Km/h Place
5K 13:21:17 00:21:16 21:16 04:16 14.11 73
10K 13:44:17 00:44:17 23:01 04:37 13.04 96
15K 14:08:22 01:08:21 24:04 04:49 12.46 111
20K 14:32:22 01:32:22 24:01 04:49 12.50 102
Finish 14:37:06 01:37:05 04:43 04:19 13.95 99

Totals

Place 99
Place (ag) 12
Time total 01:37:05
Average pace 04.37 min/km

Swedish Championship – Half marathon : place – 18!!!

 

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Awaken by the birds at 4:44am, tried to sleep more without a lot of success. 5:45am took glass of orange juice with the necessary vitamins and allergy tablet for the day. Bad to bed and once again reviewed the race route for the day’s race. Decided around 8am to go up for breakfast (porridge + blueberries and banana, oatmilk) and large glass of water. Checked again the gear for the race, as prepared and reviewed probably 5-6 times with GET in the evening before!… Then started a really boring morning as nothing to do really but keeping myself hydrated correctly: every 30min 2-2.5dl of water alternate with Powerade blue between 8:30am and 11:00am. Got myself ready, braided my hair, using Swedish colours 🙂 and then gear on. Cool outfit with my club white singlet, Supernova Boston shorts and my superfast Saucony Kinvara 3. All good to go! So much drinking gave lots of visit to the loo, which meant “pass” for the hydration pre-race 😉

11:30am – Slightly hungry, took an extra banana before leaving home for a final photo-shoot. Left GET and aimed to the start at light jogging tempo. Directly to the IK Jogg meeting point to say hi 🙂 Always good to have some reciprocal cheering before a race! Then direction to my company tent and there was quite empty. Wanted to meet a few of my colleagues which I knew are running. Got a few of them before the start and that made my pre-race day 🙂

12:02pm – Ooops! Talking with Kenth and noticing that my start is in less than an hour. Pressure is on! Meeting S in company tent and once again more reciprocal cheering. A few pic before the race and then time to go to the start corral.

Ready to rock'n'roll?

Ready to rock’n’roll?

12:30pm – Wow, looking at the big screen, at the flag indicating the Elite start and the yellow line on the ground for the start. Doing a few easy running laps for warm-up. So cool to have actually some place to warm-up (even though this specific warm-up was pretty crap! Have to check next time how ACTUALLY a correct warm-up should be done. This is sooo different from a marathon where you have time to warm-up during the first kms 🙂 Got to meet Isabella Andersson, and my own personal idols from jogg-forum (Espen, Benet, Patrik, and of course plenty of others :).

12:45pm – Aiming back to the “yellow line”. Got a nice spot on first row 😉 But taller male runners and smaller female runners (both looking pretty fast already even though they were just standing!) were placing themselves on this front row. So got a nice place in the second row.

12:59pm – ready? Unsure now… Try to focus, feeling the pushing from other runners behind me already… 1 minute to go, final check to the watch.

1:00pm – PANG! It says, without realizing it I have a human wave pushing me already at an inhuman pace (for me!). First 500m are disappearing at a pace of 3:47/km when stupidly checking my Garmin. Too fast, got the recommendation to end the Slottskogen’s part with avg pace at the fastest 4:00/05, but better to aim for a 4:10/20 for the first kms. Getting the first 3km på 12:26 (i.e. 4:08/km) – yaaaa, ca. Intervalspace. Should listen better to advices and actually FOLLOW them… But seriously apart from the feeling that it was going too fast, the body felt fine and happy to run. Even Sälsdammsbacken disappeared without even noticing it. Pretty much carried by the human flow then! Noticed that the heart rate was ok-like, so continued. Pretty boring to have seen all the Elites disappearing in a dust cloud and having so many people passing by me (mostly men so still ok!). Got to meet two jogg-are before km2 and cool it was to be recognized in a race 🙂 Got to hear my name before km4 by Magnus from MIK – Cool once again. Just so much energy with just hearing my name! OK, reaching the first water-station and decide to skip it. Still fine body & mind (a bit fast, but ok). First real slope to reach Älvsborgsbro. Actually going fine, but mainly because it seemed that the brain had stop thinking for a while… Running as fast as possible to get a nice 5K-time (21:16, pretty decent, I think).

But THEN the mind started to tell the body to stop!!! Well, NO, actually there is still a little bit left! Ran all the way up the bridge, lots of wind, tried to get the back of someone but seriously could not find anyone running a correct pace then, nor actually feeling that it would be possible to…. AND then reached the top of the bridge so skipped finding someone’s back! A ncie guy asked me what pace I had, looking quickly at his number I told him I was too slow right now and that it would not really correspond to his pace as his group started 4 minutes (?) after mine. Still he ran a few 100s beside me, which was nice with company as my heart started to get ups&downs, got a hole on the side and could hardly breath correctly. Decided to ignore it during the downhill from the bridge (I KNOW this downhill!) and ran it as fast as the body allowed – Once again pretty stupid move. Got a free shower by a very kind person having a waterhose and before reaching the 6km water station I just STOPPED! Too difficult to walk with this hole on the side. Got some cheering from Per M to start again – took water and started easy. Nice to have more company, getting a nice back to follow 🙂 although according to the rules of the Swedish Championship it is not allowed (only for Göteborgsvarvet?) for a male runner to help an elite woman neither with pacing nor for protecting from the wind aso (yes, I did all the reading of the rules, including the possibility of having to do a random doping test…). Still this helped REALLY much and got me started again. Once again, unsure I saw km8 anywhere. Reaching a water-station (ANOTHER ONE? Felt like I left the previous one 2 seconds ago…), decided to take water on the body first and then drinking. Taking my gel as well as planned. The left thigh had started to “hurt” a bit (top of it, close to the hip), tried to push with the fingers on the aching spot. Helped a bit (for like….5,5 seconds?!?!?). Continuing the part of the race which is ACTUALLY the fastest and easiest of the whole route at a less than decent pace. The “DNF” thoughts have disappeared thanks to Per, but now the new aim is to get myself around. Finish will be my new objective. It is always an objective in all my races, but here seriously, it was the first time I had it as the ONLY objective left! Got some more company by S around this time (before “ghost-km8”) A bit surprised that he did not pass me earlier, but he looks to take it fine and as in Boston, I feel like dying when he made it look easy (and this independently of what he was saying it felt for real!). Then along the harbour I see him disappear 😦 Tried to get some speed there – as I generally do this during my training on this area. But once again the legs are just NOT responding to the brain (or is it the brain playing around and sending other messages????). Getting to the 10K in 44:17. Do not care. I decide to walk.

Little after the time-taking of km10, another elite woman get me to start again. She seems to have similar issues as me: could run with this weather a marathon, slightly slower pace but double the distance, but here it is just too fast (well, it is NOT in real, but it feels like that!). Really great with her support which drive me forward for a few 100s and then I see here stopping at the water station (again?!?!?).

THEN I hear my name – for the second time in the race. Anders my colleague is here with a large smile and this is a great help (because despite the smile on my face, it IS hurting in a way!). Running around Ericsson, trying to get some speed, but the little wind there does not let me doing it. And ONCE AGAIN, Anders is there with his cheering. Soooo great really. Because after that the most boring part of the race starts. Lack of public and not much music unfortunately. Reaching soon km11 when Kenth S is helping with his more than encouraging words. Stopping at the water station and once again “splashing” me with all the water I can get. OMG, this is difficult. Have not looked at my watch since a while, just hearing the beep of the km-alerts. And it is a while to go still. Arriving to the foot of the second bridge (Götaälvbro) and … walked! Not even understanding how my legs are just stopping the running… I KNOW this bridge, I have run it many times, under many different weathers, never walked up the bridge (apart from the 1st edition of Göteborgsvarvet… but LOTS have happened since!). Getting sight of a bottle from people on the side and cheering. Asked them (close to desperate) if it is water and if I can take it and I just take the bottle and drink… Sooooo nice, can definitely said that despite being half-warm it was a pretty nice taste in my mouth! And finally : top of the bridge. The mind and the body agree to slow downhill. Unsure where it came from, but a blink of Boston downhill after Heartbreak hill just pass as an image and all of a sudden the body react and accelerate downhill. Passing lots of people this way. Pretty cool, especially as I really feel that it is going too fast (but not in reality!).

Km15 – not having enough strength to speed-up towards the “time-measure bands” – not caring for the time since a while, right?!? Reaching the next water station, very thankful to the guy throwing me water on me and taking a couple of water mugs. Walking of course. And started again. Expecting to get some energy tablets on the way to Avenyn… but not this year 😦 Getting one of the elite women passing me slightly, decided to keep her back cloooosely (as she was passing me during the 16km-spring competition earlier this year and it was NOT a nice feeling 🙂 So get a bit of new strength and pass her and start the long Avenyn (which is SERIOUSLY NOT that difficult, even at this time). Seeing a colleague of mine lying on the side of the road and get pretty worried for him (he had 1:23 last year and aimed for sub-1:20…), reaching the top of Avenyn and more water and sponges. Once again the downhill of the Avenyn is getting faster (and on purpose) passing lots of people slowing down in this part. Then turning to Vasagatan, nice with the shadows from the trees. Don’t like this part, neither in training nor in race. But this year again I have requested kindly my fan-club to be at the corner of the street towards Över Husargatan – with this year a very important task: to give me some energy drink for the final kms… SOOOOOO NICE to see them and their large smile (I could just ride on this for hours!). Got my bottle, my “you’re the best, mummy – go for it…” and more drinking get some extra strength. Throwing the bottle and then start the best part of race – can feel the body&mind working together to catch up, passing lots of people looking pretty bad. Got more cheering from Maj on the top of this same street and then reaching the little tunnel and the slight slope to the little blue bridge… which I take RUNNING ON THE TOP OF THE FEET – so light like a feather. Seriously, cannot be that I have strength left, when I recall quickly the “DNF”-thoughts of km6… Turning left to km20 (1:32:22), just smiling, feeling so good, continuing a very strong finish, passing lots of people and finally entering Slottskogsvallen’s arena, less than 200m left (I KNOW, because I train there on those tracks…) seeing a female runner slightly before me and grabbing the last piece of strength to pass her (she was a tough cookie though!) and finally FINISH LINE (and stopping my watch). 1:37:XX. Feeling great!

After the finish line, being stopped by reporters for getting a pic to be in the newspaper (hope I’ll look good 😉 then splashing myself with the other “animals” just finishing the race (unsure really that there was any piece of human behaviour there, seeing guys throwing their head in rubbish bins full with water….). Got a sweaty hug from Patrik B. Did not get the time to check on him before the race, so cool to see him arriving right after me. Looking for S by the medic tent, without success, so walking to the exit. Off with the timing-chip, getting my banana and chocolate cookie. Meeting Henrik D, more congratulations, meeting Kenth and more greetings and time to aim to the tent for a massage… not even walking towards it but lightly run/jogging. Seriously, talk about a bad use of the strength during the race! Reaching the tent, getting “after-race-with-medal-picture” and talking to Magnus (former neighbour and colleague). He confirmed that this was a tough weather conditions for the race. A bit more chat with Jay and other colleagues. Change to dry clothes (I arrived soaking wet to the finish line – and not much was sweat!). Waiting for the massage. My fan club arrived finally (as well as a freshly showered S 🙂 I get my after-race-cool-coke as promised. Tasting wonderful. Massage with some nasty pressure on the thigh/bum, but I can really live with that!

MOre than well-deeserved medal (!) - awaiting for massage

More than well-deserved medal (!) – awaiting for massage

Inofficial time on Garmin

Inofficial time on Garmin

Well-deserved medal :)

Well-deserved medal 🙂

Weather: 26ºC, Feels like 26ºC, 24 km/h ENE wind, Humidity 51% – it was pretty interesting this with the weather as the first half of the starting groups got pretty hot and warm when the groups afterwards got from light drizzle to rain… Unsure the humidity was much higher than this when we ran (comparing this with the week in Spain)

Food: orange juice+porridge,blueberries, banana, oatmilk @8am/banana @11-ish/
water/gatorade: 2dl every 30min (alternate)
During: vitargo km8, 200ml Gatorade blue @ km18.5After: banana, kex chocolate, 1 full glass of ISOstar, little pack orange juice – little later on: hot-dogs + orange juice.

Gear: ADIDAS Boston Supernova shorts, MIK white singlet – super flying Saucony Kinvara 3. Wow-shoes really, well-tied and they made themselves forgotten (until after the half race and all the “splashing” of water which made them a liiiiiitle heavier and wet. Great delivery for this first race

 

NOTE: Looking at the difficulty of the race route (even though I KNOW it), the special weather conditions this year (which I KNOW as well, having run this route during training under all weather conditions), very satisfied with the official results: 99th fastest woman all groups, 13th place in age group AND 18th place in Swedish Championship – half marathon. No PB this time? Not too bad race after all!

***************************

After that, aiming for home, slowly but surely. Loosing T at the playground (and fortunately finding her back…). Shower at home and enjoyed half a pizza + fanta for celebrating while watching a cartoon on tv. Laying down 30minutes with legs up – feeling great afterwards!

 

Soon time for bed now – what a day! No PB, but lots of learning definitely. Great rehearsal as I see it for Stockholm marathon in two weeks from now (especially if the weather is similar!!!)


Göteborgsvarvet HM Day: 1:37:05…

1:37:05 – What to say? quite a lot actually: warm, close to hot, too fast start, hole, drinking (of water!) to improve…

Pizza + fanta for celebrating anyway. More to be added here tomorrow morning. Time for resting now!

Thanks for ALL the cheering throughout the race from Jogg-runners. You made my race much more enjoyable! And thanks for the cheering from my personal fan-club in different places of the route. You gave extra strength when it became hard to continue. And of course thanks for all you who gave good advices throughout my training and races. Highly appreciated ALL THE TIME!


Göteborgsvarvet HM-Day-1

17 hours to go before start when writing this post. The day started pretty early, necessary for a pancakes-breakfast on a weekday! Long day at work, with loooots to do, loooooots of running between meetings and not enough time to even realize that the day was already finished.

Received my club outfit in size “S”: white singlet. Even tougher on my nice tanned skin 🙂 Hope it will keep this way for tomorrow. As soon as arrived home, strip all the business clothes and on with running gear (well, this is the minimum clothing anyway due to the weatehr outside: +27ºC when I started to run!). Easy pace, dropped football shorts to E, chat a bit on footballs plan and then went on with my run. Good with sunglasses and the couple of glass of water just before the run. Nice wind in the face (yes! it can be nice with headwind from time to time!) when running along the docks. Then after 5K, done 5*100m accelerations with 50m easy jogg in-between. Asch! not fancy run, but nnice to get out and feel the body. Pretty heavy and tired afetr a full day at work with high heels, but mind feels fine.

Ate dinner (pasta with poached eggs and cereals with chocolate&oatmilk). A bit heavy, but was hungry! Now time for rest (I guess).

GV.. less than 17 hours to go!


Göteborgsvarvet HM-Day-2

Rest day today, so time for thoughts…

A bit of history here… Had always found ridiculous (!) the numerous people running this race and every year coming back to suffer 21.1km once again. Every year the sun is ready to shine (more or less) and this is for the past 13 years (at least) the guaranteed sunny day of the month of May (and I know it well as my birthday is in May and most of the years it has been a rainy birthday in Sweden…). Anyway, decided (!) to try this race once. Missed the race 5 years ago as my registration did not go through the process and became without place. The year after the registration went fine BUT I sprained my right knee while testing Ju-jutsu in December and it definitely did not give the possibility to do any training. But the recommendation received from the orthopedist was to run so to build up muscle to stabilize the knee… what better than training for a half-marathon then?!?!? Had 4 weeks (instead of my well-planned program of 12 weeks training!) to get in shape for the race… Took the last four weeks of the program and completed the hottest race so far (due to the heavy sun and very high temperatures this year!) in 2:04:26. After that ran a 10K in august same year but registered still for next year half-marathon. This time better prepared and completed in 1:49:56. 1,5month later I started to train for my first marathon (Budapest) and of course had registered for the next year edition of the race. In November same year I notice a half-marathon in Paris and with its flat profile, I took the chance for another half-marathon (1,5month after Dubai marathon…). And then it was time for the 3rd edition of Göteborgsvarvet (one month after London marathon 2012…) and ended in 1:36:41. Which was a great achievement in my eyes 🙂 Time which was crushed in Paris this year in 1:30:04…

This year is as well a little special as I am participating to the Swedish Championship (SC) for half-marathon (in Gothenburg) and will also do this for marathon (in Stockholm). Feels extra cool and fun and exciting to have this in mind. Representing the nice club “Majornas IK” (or MIK), I received my club outfit this week. Extra fun to run with it! This means as well starting in the Elite group, which makes it a bit tickling in the stomach to share the starting blocks with such fast people all around (well, I did the qualification times for the SC and probably is the slowest of the group, but will be pretty cool to be there 🙂 Especially as the weather – which was so far REALLY DULL! – is planned to be sunny, warm and perfect for running… Read the rules of the Swedish Championship and what amused GET the most was that there are random doping test (which for them sounded pretty cool to do!), no possibility for pacing a women elite in the SC (otherwise will be disqualified) and have to run in the club outfit.

Picked up my BIB this evening with GET. Got finally a 3-digits number 🙂 The guy giving me my envelop just noticed with a smile “Wow, this number sounds like a fast one!”. Went through the Adidas store, not finding anything (was hoping for a similar Supernova short as Bostons). Then got my goodiebag and then spent a while in the exhibition. Got new tshirts to run in, bought some gels for probably the rest of the year (!) and had the time to chat with our club director. My outfit is actually liiiiittle too big, so asked for smaller. Had to order it specially and should receive it tomorrow. This one is white. Hope will have time to have a short run in it tomorrow evening (I know- I should not run in new outfit. but have really no choice for this one!).

Pretty tired now, has been a long and really sunny day.

GV: 2 days to go…

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Box for fast numbers 🙂


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Pick up area


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Welcome banner


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Exhibition


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Arrival in the arena


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The blue line is here!!


Göteborsvarvet HM-Day-3

And the countdown has started. THREE DAYS to the half marathon in Gothenburg. 4th edition for little me 🙂

Went for an easy lunch run with colleagues and it ended into an 8km in 39:33… meaning much less easy than planned. This included running an easy 2.6km before reaching a very stiff slope (ca.60m?) which we ran (stupidly?) twice up&down, then easy a few 100m before running up the hill (elevation +60m in 500m) lots of stairs to climb and still running to do! Reaching the top and admiring the view made it SOOOOO worth it! Then it meant downhill, little drizzling rain (short though), tough headwind for a while and then when I though we would make it back to the office in 2km easy pace (for REAL this time!), THEY TURNED TOWARDS A HILL AGAIN! This time I did not run it up, saving my energy and walked up at a steady/tired pace. Well on the top, ran downhill and finally back to the office. Great run indeed, able to talk all the way (apart from the stiff hill) and definitely nice company. I would have probably run some part way faster alone and other way slower (or skipped them even!). SO good to have sparring partner there.

This evening after a nice dinner, we prepared ourself to go and pickup the BIBs of the whole family. It is only after 5-6 stops in the tram that I noticed that the first day of the fair was…TOMORROW! So off the tram, cross the road and back home again. Now time for a little more work, a little more stretching, a hot bath to relax the muscles and hopefully a good night’s sleep!

GV: 3 days to go…


Interval-shorties under cloudy skies

Back to reality, Monday was a tough day. Not feeling focused enough on the race, much to catch up at work and all the rest to handle. So finally it was Tuesday!

Started not too good with no power for getting out of bed at 5am for a short run, snoozing until 6:40am and finally getting up for breakfast. Skipped high heels today 🙂 and had little-less-high-heels and my ankles and heels said thank you throughout the day! Body felt fine (including the thigh/bum) but the mind ain’t at rest nor peaceful. TOO much going on in this smart little head 🙂 Back home for final online meetings, decided to give a try to the intervals planned for today. Worst case scenario: I would do a easy run to get the legs what they wanted. Easy 3km warmup to reach the tracks. Light stretch and then let’s go. 2 series of 5*200m. Went really fine, faster than last time I did such serie (yes I know, workout cannot be compared! especially when one is done on track with 10ºC and the other one on a pavement with 1ºC and windy…). All under 43sec, avg probably 41sec. So pretty satisfied of the workout. Then back home w/T still on bike. Competed the running with Plank variation with G by my side…

It was pretty nice to see the “Blue line” on the road – which has always been there since last year but really faded away – so seeing a clear blue line on the pavement was great. It feels “real” now. Lots of discussions taking place around the weather for the race. It has been quite unstable and unreliable lately (well, it always is!). But as H says, weather cannot be controlled. Training has been done under sunshine, heavy rain, stormy weather, headwind, on hills, flat roads, trail… Race is on Saturday, no way to skip it, nothing can be changed in the training, just relax-focus-and-enjoy!

Time for beauty and running sleep now!


Back home and to reality…

After a 3hours night, early morning departure to the airport, early flight and 3hours or so later landign home again… to a sunshining city!
So nice not to skip having rain, clouds and boring weather when coming back home. Smooth arrival, directly starting with the laundry and unpacking. Booking a massage for later in the afternoon and having a snack as not feeling directly hungry. Massage with Nonne was really good. Even felt that my thigh/bum muscle was normal again. All evening was no aching, no feeling – brilliant. A strange package waited for me in my postbox: my BGS which I sent back to the seller before leaving to Alicante had been delivered…to my home. Great Post we have here in Sweden: second time it is happening that I am sending a package abroad and they send it to me instead (they probably do not see the difference between the “FROM” and “TO” addresses… Anyway, will see if can sell them to an interested jogger instead. In bed by 7:45pm, eyes closed by 8pm…

Up around 4:30am after a long and resting nigth. Although my eyes had been crying (?) or running all night and they were really sticky this morning. Not fun at all! Got some reading before finally getting up from bed. Planned for today was a tempo 10km run. Decided to not wait until lunch-time (which would have been optimal for 1)the body fully awaken and 2)sun shining was expected). Started with easy pace 3K and stretched afterwards. All good. Even the left thigh/bum muscle which I did not even feel. Did a few accelerations as well. And off I went for my 10K @42/42:30 with Juni 2.0 in the ears. First 2km went fine, nice tempo and I know I am a slow starter anyway so that was fine. But by km3 started headwind to trouble me again (it was annoying during the warmup, but honestly did not bother as it was…yes, a WARM-UP!). Not good feeling at all in the legs, tired, bored and annoy by the wind I completed the first 5K in 21:56, which was really boring me. Took off my left shoe to take away a little stone. 2min or resting and stretching and off I went, not bothering about the time as anyway I would have strong headwind for the next 3km. Turned back at the harbour and then km4 was really enjoyable. Was even singing (@4:06/km!) – ok might not have been reeeally singing, difficult to keep up with the high notes and the long ones 😉 But still, I was singing! and completing the final km in 4:04/km. Which made this second 5K in 21:04. All-in-all, pretty boring 10km (@43:01). Ran back home, easy jogg-pace until km2 where I got a great music part and enjoyed raising the pace 😉 => morning run of total 18km. OK for the volume, NOK for the tempo. Followed the run with a 2min plank and toe exercises as well.

Back home, hot shower, lots of cream on the drrrrryyyyy face I am having and still running/sticky eyes. Skin tasting salty and this is not happening often for such a short run. Anyway, lessons learned: either run a tempo run later on during the day OR ensure I have water and energy before the run for doing it and get me satisfied. Hope just that my “running-mojo” has not stayed somewhere on Alicante’s beach, still enjoying the sun!

Now all the washing and cleaning are done at home. Sun is shining outside. What else could be done than jumping into running shoes for a long run?…. right? (but not today as this is supposed to be a tapering week before the half-marathon of next Saturday… #*?!#¤&! (yes this is how I show I am not happy!). Back to work tomorrow…

Göteborgsvarvet…less than a week to go!


Last day in paradise

And then it became Friday. Final day in the idyllic Alicante.

Started with a troubled night, awaken lots of times, deciding at 5 am I should maybe go for my run, but maybe not. Same thought around 6:30am, and then 7:10am. Then it was 8:57am, time to go up… Time flies right? Prepared my gear and took breakfast of cereals and soy milk with dry berries. Unfortunately my fresh strawberries did not look to fresh this morning… Generally I would have gone running without breakfast fire a 15K, but now it was already half morning, had not eaten much much after the intervals yesterday (just enough) and was expecting to have the sun already out…
And it was, in all its glory! Nothing compared to first run day, with clouds aso. Here it was already pretty warm when I aimed to the castle. I ran the way along and then down, planning for the beach of San Juan (yes, I knew it was looking quite a but away in the map…). Started similar route as Monday then and took the beach path this time all along. So much for being called a gazelle…I soon wished I was a mountain goat instead! The shoes were not optimal for running/jumping on the rocks and the sand, but did the job. After arriving at the same distance as  Mondays run, I just continued along the beach. Aaaaaand along the beach…aaaaaand along the beach. Lots of climbing started then so definitely not checking my pace! The views are impossible to describe and the photos I took are far from showing how it is in reality… Only few people in the beaches, fishermen, a couple of walkers… And them I climbed to the top of a hill and just…it room my breath away! Quiet and peaceful, hearing hardly the sound of the sea in the rocks, the light wind in the bushes…just me, the sun, the wind and the sea… Great!
Then it was time to get down as I was really feeling the lack of water starting to bother me. Climbed to the nearest group of houses and then started to run back to Alicante, planning to stop at a supermarket for water. Of course all shops were always on the OTHER side of the road I ran, so continued and continued. Passed the beach and took water on my warm shoulders (did I mention I did not cream myself before the run?…and that the tshirt went of after 3 km…). Stopped by a little house whet two old French men were talking and asked for water. Which I got, after they cleared the water tube!!! Does not matter, half warm water was the greatest drink ever in my mouth at this moment! It got cold as well eventually 🙂  So much for the water! I felt revived… And off I went, my two old French promising cold champagne for my next passage! Not much to sassy about the way back. Wanted it off the way. Stopped at km 16.5 for getting some Gatorade (which disappeared quicker than it takes to say the name!). Stopped the clock at km 17. Stretch and walk back home the last 500m. Dead tired, left knee starting to shoot, probably highly dehydrated, but satisfied of this unexpected outcome of the run.

A few pix below. Rest of the day at the beach, but seriously bored (even though I got lots of my book finally read…). Cloudy and windy, I cut it short around 5 pm, aimed home and yes, you guessed right: shower again! A bit of food (read: 1/4 of chocolate table, 1 apple and a glad of soymilk). Starving, I left for a walk for my last evening in Alicante. Got some pix of my intervals route and a few souvenirs as well. Enjoyed the sun close to the Volvo Ocean Race Museum, and that was it. Back home, having enjoyed a nice pizza Ballerina, it is now time for packing (read: throw all in the suitcase and hope it can be closed…)

Tjingeling! Got news it may be warm and sunny next weekend for the race…

Planning to get to the little piece of earth over there...

Planning to get to the little piece of earth over there…

Sand path...

Sand path…

My BGS and the water...new friends?

My BGS and the water…new friends?

On the way to get there...

Little path to continue to "there"
Little path to continue to “there”
from almost the top of a hill on the way

from almost the top of a hill on the way

Still not there yet...

Still not there yet…

Trail running has definitively started...

Trail running has definitively started…

What did I say about trail?

What did I say about trail?

Hill above my head

Hill above my head

Boat over there (the other "there")

Boat over there (the other “there”)

A bit dry on the way back home

A bit dry on the way back home

Hill finally back to Alicante

Hill finally back to Alicante

Volvo Ocean Race - Stop @ Alicante

Volvo Ocean Race – Stop @ Alicante

Path used for the intervals yesterday

Path used for the intervals yesterday


Why 8 when you can do 7 under 3:50?

Time for intervals (again!). Thus time long ones.

Decided to do them in the evening, despite the temperatures still being high. Spent the longest day at the beach, careful with my nice red back…and drinking enough as well. By 7pm, I was ready and started with 4 km warmup, more to find the adequate place for the intervals. Started with the dock along the harbour, but still to many people. My Garmin beeped crazily and I thought I was to slow so turned up the pace a bit. To see that I was running under the range planned (4:10-3:55)…rested a bit and continued the same way. Heavy sun made me sweaty, really much!. Still under the range… And then arrived the followers being ALL under 3:50… Could not really understand this. 1000m series was planned in my little head to have the FOUR last under 4 min/km, not ALL of them… Stopped however after the 7th as started to feel slight ache in side of left thigh and seriously I could have continued after the 90sec rest, but then I felt like fainting and then stopped it all. Average pace of 3:47 for this wonderful 1000m-intervals series. Yes, I can!
Then 2.6km easy run back home, added to a well-deserved large glass of water kindly offered by the restaurant which kept my tshirt and keys while running AND a crepe con chocolate 🙂

Body felt great during the run, sweaty, tired, really difficult to sink in that this pace was reached. But more it will be easy training until Göteborgsvarvet next Saturday.

Late in bed, I unplugged the TV, which is ringing every night @3am and which I cannot unprogram… And no photo of the workout, went to fast!


90+10 = 100?

Started the day early and ended late – therefore this post entered the day after…

Up and ready for my bike tour, I left quite happy (after lots of suncream all over the body, just in case). Despite lots of indications when I rented the bike, I followed and followed and followed the bike signs towards the University of Alicante without finding it. After short 4km (?) my saddle fell (!). Yes, the  bike was too small and I raised the saddle, to the maximum…well a bit too much to the max. I had a choice to make: shall I turn back to the rental and change the bike to a taller one or should I continue with this one. As the rental was opening at 10am, I did not want to turn back and face a closed door and even worse to have to come back to here as it was a pain to find indication for the road! After 11km I was still in town and ready to aim towards the other side of the catsle (i.e. the completely other direction!). Stopped a guy on a bike and asked for direction to reach Agost. “muy lejos, muy lejos, chica…Yo trabajo allí…” enough of my Spanigh told me it was 1) very far from where I was (I knew it, the rental guy checked and it was ca.28km one way) and 2) this is were Manuel was working and he would returned there shortly. “no importa, Agost con la bicicletta” – yes my Spanish IS very rusty!. But I got the instructions and started to ride again. And ride, and ride and ride. Got into an industrial area and seriously planned to turn back, really mad at this rental guy and his instructions (and no I did not have a detailed map!). Found a Decathlon and asked for directions – only one nice guy could talk inglés, the only tricky part was he was from North of Spain and did not know the area… Anyway, got myself on a bike route and get along… until I really thought I had it all wrong and planned to turn when TADAAAAAAM! Here was the sign of Agost. No km indicated, but who cared really!

Sign indicating Agost... FINALLY

Sign indicating Agost… FINALLY

So when I finally reach the roundabout reading Agost but forbidden to bike… I say “no way” (read with quiet voice: “so I took the path anyway”) and reach the “CV” road and it was after a couple of km that I breath again as I saw ONE bike on the other side (“Holá”!).

OK, new trial... where should I go?

OK, new trial… where should I go?

Very beautiful landscape all around me, few cars (but driving VERY fast), enjoying the sun and off with the singlet in cotton which was way not adapted for the bike ride. And after 2km after this sign, I stopped for a pic and who do I meet… MANUEL! he was very surprised to meet me there again and was on his way (still on bike) to his work! Said goodbye and continued my discovery tour.

On the way to Agost...

On the way to Agost…

Still on the way to Agost

Still on the way to Agost

And finally: reaching Agost (Took a pic for being sure I’ve been there for real!)

 

 

Yes, I made it!

Yes, I made it!

Took a bit of visit in Agost, and finally settled in the natural parc of the village for my lunch break (45minutes after having biked for 29km). Enjoyed home-made sallad with couscous, tomatoes, cucumber, aspargus and tuna fish, followed by nectarines and apple. AND water! After  a few pic and lots of suncream (again), started to ride my bike.

The mountain (hill) which was so close at a moment is now behind me...

The mountain (hill) which was so close at a moment is now behind me…

Lunch pause in the middle of a natural parc @ Agost

Lunch pause in the middle of a natural parc @ Agost

Choice: back home or slightly more to Novelda...

Choice: back home or slightly more to Novelda…

Bye bye Agost!

Bye bye Agost!

Had now to choose: BAck home via San Vicente Del Raspeig (which was the orignal plan) OR make a detour via Novelda (which was suggested by the reantal guy)…What are 12km really when you have already biked 30?!?!? Continued then my bike tour to Novelda, then to Aspe and Elx (which was the second choice to do: Back to Agost, with ALL the uphills I had as downhill to Novelda OR turning to Aspe without knowing how long it was or if it was difficult road – but surely there was a way to get back to Alicante this way, right?)

New choice: back home or little longer...

New choice: back home or little longer…

Nice to turn back and see where I was coming from...

Nice to turn back and see where I was coming from…

Little bike problem on the slope up to the National road...

Little bike problem on the slope up to the National road…

A bit sad not to be able to take the motorway though as it was REALLY nice (and fast). Then the whole trip was sunny and hot and definitely with lack of water or any other type of food after eating my banana on a fast downhill. Yes I do think that most of the roads I took where OK for bikes (I did say that earlier). Good anyway to see on the other side of the road people (only very few) biking as well! By km74 the brain was in DEEP need for energy or whatever really. I had planned to make a stop @km60 for resting and food, but there was nothing then, and after that I just wanted to get home. So stopped at a gazoline station, got a super Twix, Gatorade blue and 1.5l of water. The Twix disappeared faster than you need to say it, the Gatorade effect came pretty quick and HOP LA! Fit for fight again… Well no, the bike was too small, my bum was hurting, the position needed on the back was making my lower back a bit aching, so the fastest home the better. Never been happier than when I saw the castle of Alicante and the sign of “entering into Alicante”. Back home, directly shower and LOOOOOOTS of cream on my poor back which had been getting the sun ALL day long. And despite of the sun cream was aiming towards a tomato-red-on-nice-brown-skin-colour-like!

Rested a bit, and then went out for a short run… The sun was STILL on my back (don’t know what I did to him!!!) and then it was not anymore… probably because I lost my way and was really far from where I was supposed to. SO all in all after a few turns (more or less lycky!) I saw the castle again and then it was just going back home, and more showering and more creaming!

Summary of the day: 90km on bike and 10km easy run. Not bad for a rest day, don’t you think?

and still the countryside

and still the countryside


Why 3 when you can do 10?

Nice little street on the way to...the top

Nice little street on the way to…the top

A bit troubled night, woke up due to sms-pling again (I really have to switch off this sound), and then impossible to fall asleep correctly again. So on and off it was until I went up and got ready for interval-workout.
The plan was easy: warmup at easy pace and if any ache or pain, then continue to 12km as similar pace and skip the intervals. Warmup (3.4km) went fine. Headed at a moment towards the Olympic stadium, but doubted they would let me in for my intervals…so I continued and found a portion of pavement estimated at 600m. Nice running with the traffic jam of the morning traffic at less than 1m from me… Brrrrrreathe the fresh air 😦

Anyway, started the first interval and unfortunately was short of 200m at the next traffic light so had to turn sharply and up to the next street. Light jogg and time for the next one. By interval 3, I was thinking of calling it the day but continued a fourth one. Then tried to find another place to run to have more straight line. Got interval 4 on a pavement probably 50cm large, interval 5 on a bike road and then car street. Interval 6 was great, including a turn. Interval 7 felt a bit thirsty but I had reach the harbour line. Interval 8 was just great (almost as 6). Then 9 and 10 were just…there. I stopped after no 10 as it started to feel a light ache in the back side of the left thigh. Nothing worrying, just decided not to push more. Planned was 10-12*600 @2:10/2:05. Not even close to the range planned. Got then between 2:14-2:22. Which I am fully satisfied with. And then ended with an easy run back home. Turned into a good workout of 11.5km.

I thought afterwards about the article in RW (US edition-pre-Boston) where they are talking about the ultimate and appropriate time of the day for which workout. IU have done most of my workouts in the morning, but several were squizzed at lunch or in the evening. Morning intervals have been either good or really good so far. In today’s case, I could have waited until this evening for the run. Although due to the temperatures, it would have meant a quite late training. On the top of that, not good sleep, maybe not enough eating before/day before and lack of water during the run… Add all this and you will get my interval workout of today!

Rest of the day resting on the beach. By 6pm, aimed to the castle and started…to climb. Really great views – best I have ever seen I believe. By 8pm I was down to the bike shop and now I have a nice white bike sleeping in my room which I will take for a ride tomorrow!

Food is ready for tomorrow, clothes are waiting nicely/quietly close to the TV, just time to rest now!

Starting point to the top

Starting point to the top

Castle from the start

Castle from the start

Yes, 20%!

Yes, 20%!

Told you: 20%...

Told you: 20%…

Aaaaand still 20%

Aaaaand still 20%

La Muralla (way down if not using the "20%-way")

La Muralla (way down if not using the “20%-way”)

Made it to the top!!!

Made it to the top!!!

La muralla (which I took on the way down!)

La muralla (which I took on the way down!)

Final view of the castle

Final view of the castle

  

Half-way to the top...

Half-way to the top…


Why do one when you can do two?

Up @3-ish hearing a fire alarm, but hearing no one in the guest house moving around, I decided to fall asleep again… Open the eyes 3.5hours later and a bit tired but already awaken, so started to get ready for a morning run.

7:22am started the run, in a city already waking up (it is Monday today!). The aim was to get some volume in the legs  but more to check possible route for doing intervals. Yesterday I noted that the beach walking path can be slippery when wet, but the one along the harbour is better. I decided to take the beach road and run along it until I get bored or wished to turn back. Got a nice hill to run up after hardly 2.5km, a bit of zig-zag to decide which side of the road to take and then sticked to the right side (i.e. the one with a pavement for walkers!). Up the hill I noticed a nice road DOWN the hill along the beach and decided to figure out how to get to this one for the way back. Not much to tell about the run, apart that it was cloudy, nice in the air (14ºC?), and good to breathe fresh air from the sea (well, blended with the exhaust gaz from the cars driving along!). By km6 I decided to turn around as I did not find anyway a satisfactory place for intervals + did not want to do a looooong run back home. At km9 I change my course and headed… towards the castel (well, the street under the castle which the bus took yesterday). Not that tough actually, nice hill up. Noted that it was 2+km to the large supermarket so planned to walk back and shop later in the morning. The city is so different in the Monday morning and during the Sunday! Not the same types of people out there neither!

Calm harbour

Calm harbour

Quiet sight of the market (which was black of people yesterday evening!)

Quiet sight of the market (which was black of people yesterday evening!)

And MORE quiet...

And MORE quiet…

Me there!

Me there!

Early grandpas under a tree...

Early grandpas under a tree…

Training apparel on the beach

Training apparel on the beach

Spooky tunnel on the way uphill (I did not take it!)

Spooky tunnel on the way uphill (I did not take it!)

Coming from there

Coming from there

Cliff to be climbed? I don't think so!

Cliff to be climbed? I don’t think so!

All ok! No speed checking for runners :)

All ok! No speed checking for runners 🙂

Way back home...

Way back home…

Me and my BGS :)

Me and my BGS 🙂

Turning point (yes, I am coming from the little dot in the horizon!)

Turning point (yes, I am coming from the little dot in the horizon!)

Lower road on the way back

Lower road on the way back

Up to the castel road

Up to the castel road

SUNNY!

SUNNY!

Back home, shower, breakfast and walk back to the supermarket via same road uphill. Spent lots of time in the air-conditioned large supermarket and then time to aim back home. Less fun when carrying all the food and stuff I bought (yes, I know what is a bus, and what it is for. But seriously 2km!!! this can be WALKED!). Took a different road (still close to the catsle, but this time lost a bit my way so definitely more than 2K!). Unpacked, prepared the lunch (2 ham sandwich with mixed sallad) and took lots of fruits with me to… the beach (Yippie!). Stopped for water refuelling (should keep myself hydrated, right?) and beach it was…ALL AFTERNOON. Turning on a regular basis for not burning one side (feels like a pancake in such case!) and even did “THREE” outings in the sea. But today the water was pretty dirty. I think I even saw small cute (?) jellyfishes. Walked on something that moved (and really do not want to know what it was!). Then by 5-ish happened something really strange… A big cloud of smoke came out from the sea,… knowing “the Pirate of the Caribeean”-movie when the ghost ship is appearing? Well, EXACTLY this way. Really spooky. I remained on the beach for a while still as the sun could be felt through the clouds, but it was grey EVERYWHERE. So headed home instead of awaiting the arrival of the ghost pirates…(did I say that there was a boat on the sea when it was sunny and I could not see it any longer when the fog arrived…). On the way back home, stop for a crêpe con nutella 🙂

Spooky fog - Beware of the pirates ship!

Spooky fog – Beware of the pirates ship!

First shower to get rid of all the sand, cream on all the red parts of the body (Yes, I do burn sometime, will be extra careful tomorrow and next days!) and ate a banana before jumping into new training clothes and heading towards the close park which is supposed to be SOOOOO good for all sports activities. Started with my street being filled with cops… Unsure why, and definitely not stopping to know the answer! Turned right, already people must think I am crazy to run by this weather. The fog was at the beach, here it is HOT and SUNNY (25ºC according to the pharmacy of the corner). The Gardens are supposedly close to my home. Unfortunately I noticed after 300m that the stairs in front of me are the ones heading to the gardens. So let’s do this then – no pressure, just running up the stairs and then down the road and then up the other road and the stairs and… I am on the top of the hill. Beautiful landscape at my feet… but no “wonderful gardens”. Taking time for lots of pic and then find the other side of the hill with “El Parque Monte Tossal”. Running down in zigzag (Ooops, a dog that want to eat me), reaching the bottom of the hill I strip my top because it is really warm and I am sweating like when I was in the US before Boston – Humidity must be on the top! and run uphill again (Ooops no2, another dog that REALLY want to eat me) and continue until Ooops no 3 where I decide to lift the hand above my head, in with the stomach (don’t ask why!) and freeze – this latter dog was NOT to play with!… And up the hill again. Disappointed a bit for not finding a flat place for my intervals (it looked really good on the map this parc…only the map is NOT showing the hills!). And downhill again, and uphill and downhill and back home. When running uphill, I try to run only on the top of my feet and it feels so light and easy! and silent! Back home and time for second shower to get rid of all the sweat, cream on all parts (they are still red!) and a bit of food for after-run. Update of training diary, email checking, laundry and preparing food for tomorrow.

Run that stairs!

Run that stairs!

Up the stairs, the sight is so much nicer

Up the stairs, the sight is so much nicer

Panorama from the top

Panorama from the OTHER side of the top

Panorama from the OTHER side of the top

Park/Garden I ran in zigzags...

Park/Garden I ran in zigzags…

Now all is set for tomorrow’s morning run. Hopefully it will be nice in the air. Don’t want to run too early (will be tired!) and cannot take the intervals in the evening as it is warm and heavy in the air quite late – so intervals at 9-10pm ain’t my cup of tea…

Time for bed to get this beauty sleep that everyone talks about!


Aiming for the sun…

So enjoyable to wake up at 5am after only 3hours of sleep…only when you know that you are going to travel south and get some sun… it is ALL worth it. Missed my tram to the airport (well, IT did not come as planned). Finally checked-in, got a warm soy chocolate for waking up a bit the brain and then it was time to take-off… Don’t ask how it went, I was already sleeping! Woke up after 2hours of flight and tested the flight wifi: terrific! Could even email, check discussion on running forums, sending pic from the skies… and we were landing already! Luggage, bus and guest house. Quite not what was expected from the outside, nor the inside, but satisfied with the little room I get with a little tiny room to eat in (would it have had a place to cook or warm (on the top of having a micro wave) it would have been perfect!). But all-in-all, the first hours were spent in unpacking, checking a bit where I was and off with the Swedish clothes, and on with suncream and outfit suited for Spanish weather. Headed to the beach, buying a freshly backed half-baguette and filled it with ham and got a coke as well (let’s be crazy, shall we?! 😉 ) At the beach, it was pretty loaded of people already – Sunday it is! Got a nice spot anyway and just started to mimic the lezards. Annoying enough to have wind at home, this afternoon was also full with light wind (enough to be annoying but not enough to get one cold). After a few hours sunbathing, headed towards the large supermarket I noticed when sitting in the airport bus. Unfortunately not all countries are like Sweden with shops opened on Sundays… So checking the opening hours for tomorrow, I headed back to the hotel, using the road the airport bus took (and which I found “Wow, THAT is HILLY!”, but actually not that difficult. So planning to have it at least twice as run during the week. Back at the hotel, shower to get rid of the sand, after-sun cream (especially on the nose which tend to make me look like a clown…) and back to the beach where I got my dinner (crêpe con jamòn y qeso y gaufre con nutella) – Yummy it was! Hopefully the cheese won’t be a problem for my tummy though. Really enjoying to be down here, where one can be out at 8pm and still having 20+ºC outside… On the way back home, found a really nice shop selling ALL kind of ice cream (see pic below)… definitely a stop or two before the end of the week!

Now it is VERY late and I am sooo tired. Time to switch off the Spanish lights! GOOD FULL DAY OF REAL REST…

Enough shoes for the week...

Enough shoes for the week…

Spontenous (?) dance under the sun and the flowers

Spontenous (?) dance under the sun and the flowers

Told you it was windy!

Told you it was windy!

Hmmmm, the sun!

Hmmmm, the sun!

Alicante Castle (will try to climb the stairs on the side later during the week...)

Alicante Castle (will try to climb the stairs on the side later during the week…)

Sand-castle/figures

Sand-castle/figures

El Mercado

El Mercado

Busy street along the harbour

Busy street along the harbour

Enjoying my dinner watching the boats passing by...

Enjoying my dinner watching the boats passing by…

Has my fan club hit Alicante already?!?!?

Has my fan club hit Alicante already?!?!?

Come closer...

Come closer…

Yummy no1

Yummy no1

Yummy no2 (there is even NUTELLA ice cream!)

Yummy no2 (there is even NUTELLA ice cream!)


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