Running longer and faster… a few thoughts…

Archive for July, 2013

And on the eleventh day she said: “I shall run…”

No laziness from my side fir not writing for the days. Only tired like a lot in the evenings… So a little short recap

Was planned as a rest day (from biking) so had some serious core workout instead, as well as the daily dose of eccentric heel raises. All good and set, afternoon at the sea was planned and I even waited a short while for my transport to bring me there. But changed my mind and jump in the bike which would bring me whenever and wherever I wanted. So 27.35 km ride later (and a nice rest time at the sea), it was time fir a very cruel (but necessary) massage. Shoulders, thighs and hamstrings were really painful, but so welcoming this pain which would make the rest of the week much better!

Not sure yet of my heel being healed (ha ha ha, fun on words!)  So took inspiration in a suggested outing and after a breakfast and ding twice the VSA legs routine, I went along for a ride. Plan: 5km easy pace, 15km fast pace (to be checked with HR) and 5km easy pace. And this twice (so I get back home as well!). Took a flat bike road and hope for the best.
Started good and easy and maybe slightly to fast, but ok. Changed pace after 5K and had a very nice pace already from km6…which was killed @km7 when the chain of my bike “jumped”. Upside down for the bike, put the chain back and off I started again… Until it happened again one little km later… This time I was ready to cry after having spent 6 minutes trying to figure out how to put the chain back as it was so extremely tight. Was very surprised to have a few cyclists passing by without even stopping it asking how it was… Have had one stooping in France for much less than that (ok, I might have looked like completely dehydrated then, but still!). Until one finally stopped and trickily put back the chain and advised to go to the car reparation shop a few 100s meters back and have it fixed. Which I did. A bit nervous to stay my ride again with fast pace in it, I continued. Had a very tough time trying to get both pace and pulse up, but got a decent 15km anyway. Took a short banana break after the easy 5km  then back home taking a slightly different road for the easy 5K. And decided to bike on the main car road on the way back until I reached a straight bike path. A happy me got to the planned 50km. A but of rain reached us right after I arrived and parked my bike. Food food food and little rest. Wanted to by a few stuff for biking so waited fir the tram…until deciding that with this beautiful sunshine I would better bike to my shopping trip. Ended with a, pair of bike gloves, two pains au chocolat and some Powerade. Then wanted to have a little longer ride so took another way home but got very dark skies above me making my easy peasy pace ruse into a bit faster than planned! 21km were completed and almost skipped the rain… Got the daily dose (once again) of heel raises and VSA legs*2. Pretty tired in the evening…

Started the day after a very long 11hours sleep. Planned a new city to discover, had a brief stop at a bike ship and found nothing-nada-rien… Really boring with the sales in July is that you never find anything until they refurnish the shop! After 20km I felt extremely bored, have had strong headwind and seriously wished to quit this ride. But what to do with the bike then? Da!! Stop for water and three sun shined so nice in me that it felt better…for a, km, because it started to rain and I totally refused to stop for putting on a tshirt. Short but heavy rain, took some km to get dry from it. Stop at km 30 for more water and decided to take a detour to get extra 12km so I would end with 50km. Nice cove as I got more sunshine then. Home, parked the bike after 50km, run for food and shower and had some light exercises for the legs. The afternoon disappeared fast and the choice I then faced was to go our not for a test run. Went eating sushi and then had a 6 km easy walk to test the heel. Felt fine, so when the clock showedmy lunch had passed since more than 2 hours, I ride to the nearest track and…started running. Felt so nice..not! The right foot felt strange and warm and my head was definitely to much focusing in it than in running. Anyway hit 16 laps with the first 14 @1:55/1:57 pace and the two last in 1:27. Should not have pushed the two lasts, but felt ok and definitely not like pressing! Ended the workout with serious stretching, core workout in the gras and time to ride back home. 6.5 km run and 6 km ride to end this 11th day since my heel stopped working. Felt fine after that. The warm feeling in the heel is definitely coming from the warmup cream with chilli extract. Will skip it next time and see how it goes. Quite tired (but good tired). Celebrated with two croque-monsieur, movie and popcorn in from of the TV (yes, I almost feel asleep there already!)

So was it. Now will rest the feet for a day and do a new test run on Friday. Hope will be fine.

Why running for a week when you can ride it in a day…

Bad bad night. 2 hours up to midnight and then 3 hours up to 9am… Considered several time to go out and try a run…
Easy breakfast (as I had a good dinner yesterday in preparation for today’s outing…) and of course, rain falling. Waited 45 minutes, reading biking forums about hints on biking under the rain, prepared a bag with bananas, Powerade, water and change of clothes. Made up my mind to go for it…and the rain stopped 🙂 Rain jacket on anyway just in case. Nice in the air, even warm despite the recent rain. Off with rain jacket after 5 km, too warm and sweaty (and no rain…). Had a new path to try, which I have run during my long runs, but never dared prolonging to the next city. Which I did this week already once and now with another path. No effort, just riding. Listened to music at first and changed to a podcast on running. Stopped at km27 for banana and half a Powerade. Had reached Kungsbacka, which was the first step. Then aimed to Onsala (Check!) and continued to Gottskär. Stop for halfway (ca.42.5km). By thus time the nice sky with sun and white clouds had been changed to grey and ready to rain. Took a 10 minutes stop, ate a banana and rest of Powerade. Good stretching as well.


Lunch break

Them time to aim back home. Exactly when the sky decide to throw buckets of water on earth… Quick putting my rain jacket back and riding for a few km, before it stopped. Off with the jacket and…drizzle started. No way I put my jacket back on! Continue my easy ride. Nice landscapes all around.


Took a quick stop after this pix for another banana and water. Had reached 63km or so. Then more biking, more wind and fun. Reached Särö and then just straight line back home. Quick pause at km83 for water and close after shop-stop for banana and Powerade and it was only 12km left home. So fun to see my watch tucking “Lap 103”!!!! No long run on feet, but a decent 103.5 km in 4hrs 30 min. No world record, but personal longest bike ride ever!
Well back home, had to get some energy: Gainomax, water, Colting’s pancake and a large glad of chocolate milk.


Mums on a plate...

Unsure if the recipe was for several pancakes, but I did a large one, added honey and blueberries on the top 🙂 Had a super cold bath for the legs (10 minutes in freezing cold water…you must love your legs!) And then rest with legs up like after a long run. Slept for an hour like this and then time for a serie of eccentric heel raises and the VSA legs program. 2 handful of M&Ms peanut and now it is evening time in front of “Gone in 60 seconds”.

Heel feels better, not 100% though. Hoping will continue to get better…

Today’s workout was really worth it. Cannot yet get a higher pace (and not making any effort either!). A little lighter bike might help, but for now, this one will do! Rest tomorrow and let see what the well brings…

When water pouring from the skies ain’t enough…

3:00 am – time to wake up at the lovely noise of…water falling in buckets from the skies! No problem it was still early and after all my rest day was planned at the sea and not starting until later…
7:45am – must be kidding me… Still raining and more buckets! Time for a plan B… Did I have a plan B? Preparing swimming gear and started a complete core workout. VSA legs, S’s program *2 and eccentric heel raises. A bit of sweating while the rain calm down a bit.
Well at the swimming pool, got to hear the 25m pool is closed for reparation and only the 50m is opened. Not much there, have my own line during an hour 🙂  Done a pyramid: 200-300-400-500-400-300-200. All freestyle, apart from the 400s done with plaquettes and pull-buoy. Good workout  Have not swim that much since a while! Got a walk home to see how the foot felt. Quite ok.
Finished the day with more eccentric heel raises. And time for bed. Hoping for sunshine tomorrow a planning a longer bike outing.

Btw no half marathon in Malmö as the heel does not allow me to run…

You are my sunshine, my only sunshine…

…you make me HAAAAPPY… So wonderful to have the sun back. A bit later start today, I had a plan. A new city I have had in my thoughts for a long run (getting a bus there and run home). But who needs a bus when you have a bike 😉
Cool start with crossing a moving bridge after 5km. It opened fir a nice sailing boat. Wave to them and got a wave back. Happy start as I said!


No trespassing


Nice sailors in nice sailing boat

When the barrier of the bridge opened, game was on. Bike bike bike…following a guy in front of me until he turned left and I continue straight forward. No problem as there was a gal with a big backpack in bike just passing me. So here was my help! Until she turned to IKEA and I was left alone with my bike on a straight and nice path. Good pace, singing to the wind and… almost driven-on by a car not looking (at least I know my breaks work!). Had a tricky tunnel crossing where water pole was in the other side (i.e. the exit!) and there was no other option (I do not count crossing the motorway above the tunnel” an option….).


Tunnel and water...what to do?

First break at km20 for some energy gel and water. Then aimed to the castle.


Castle on the hill

Very nice city indeed. Until I noticed that the large bridge to cross the river was “motorway only”, their would have issue with taking my bike on it… Bike for a little while on the side of the river but decided to turn back in case I would never find a bridge before I reach the sea… Turn right after the castle and started a nice but tough and lonely ride in the countryside. Beautiful sights really and still sun shining.


New stop at km40 for another gel and new pics and a bit of rest. Now I knew where I was 🙂 Just had to ride back home. Early morning bike tour – 54.4km? Check!
Quick outfit change home (including shower and more suncream), bike to falafel place and got my lunch with me to.the.sea… 🙂 Nice rest under the sun, not much reading as I was ready to sleep instead! Left the sea and got my way back home. 21km for this little afternoon outing, bringing the biking today to 75.4km…not bad, right?

Oh yes, forgot to mention my new running shoes arrived today. Good as they are going to provide a great support to my little sensitive feet… Tomorrow, rest from biking


My new GT-2000 enjoyed the sea sight as well

Would you do it FOUR days in a row?…

Tired yesterday but awaken before the birdies thus morning and pretty well-rested…@3:36am! No need to say I did not go up! More rest and from 6am did some reading and finally went up for easy breakfast. Got myself ready with little energy and water and time for more bike. Fourth day in a row…Is there something wrong with me, Doc? 😉 Humidity in the air, mostly cloudy but when the sun showed itself, it was nice. Got a planned city name I wanted to reach, but did not find it on the bike paths marks. Do aimed for another city. Took only 12km… So had to continue well! (but well-noted for a long run of 24km 🙂 ). From this moment it was a bit chillier, reached a forest area where it had rained recently. Got the hills there as well! Beautiful sights on a lake. Took a pause after 25km, for energy gel and water. Done toe exercises as well for my heel. Grey skies and windy. Not really nice to be in singlet. Saw a deer crossing the road. Poor little thing as it looked wounded and scared 😦 Took another path home, which was nice. New stop at km 40 for additional energy gel and off home. Heard a strange noise and noticed my rear tyre protection was loose. Could not fix it and it was making a great deal of noise! Back home after 48km bike.

Quick shower and directly to the doc to check my heel. Unfortunately the drop-in was finished so aimed to town for new shoes and came back. Got anti-inflamatory pills for the pain and to continue toe exercises. My half marathon in 16 days is more than compromised. Cannot run, not even jogg. It is painful to walk just! So cannot even cheat on this one even if I would have wanted… But at least an additional week he said. Should be fine for Berlin though… Time for lunch (ribs and pasta) and then aiming to the sea close to home for resting under the last sunrays of the day. Niiiice and relaxing. Gave an additional 11km bike for the day.Not bad, not bad at all.

On the top of this, got 2 series of toe exercises during the day as well as ab roller session and less workout. Yapp, you will find the fun in odd places sometimes…

Now time for real relaxing evening in front of the Matrix…and time for bed soon.






Dear in the middle


Wing path apparently!


Nice mansion in the side of the road


Beautiful view on the lake




Km40...soon home 🙂


Sea view for ending the afternoon

Aaaaaand more biking for the weary…

Late in bed, trouble sleeping…Something I saw? Too much sun in the head while biking? At least when my eyes eventually closed, I slept well! Pain in the heel this morning was not a great way to wake up though… Shower cold and hot on the ankle and then massage with Thai cream. Light breakfast and got ready for little shopping. Unfortunately did not find any summer stuff. We are mid-July and the fall collections are in all stores…Crazy! Found anyhow a summer dress in a sport shop. Back home got myself ready for little bike. The plan was easy pace ride of 30km. Started easy, stopped for buying new b-suit top and off I continued. Took the shortest way to where I wanted to go…through a 7% slope… Fun to do. Bike bike bike, lots of beautiful landscapes all around. Could have taken 100 pics today! Stopped after 24km for little food shopping (a donuts and Powerade blue) . I had bananas, nectarines and water already. Got little drizzling rain for five minutes and then started again.
Difficult to find the way to the sea until remembering the GPS on my mobile…got little help and off I continued. Pretty warm, although not hot. Lots of wind as well. Finally reached the seaside. My bike was behaving strangely when changing gear to 4-5-6, so I biked on gear 7 during 10km… Pretty tough on the thighs! speed by a bike store at km 47, and it appeared that a little stuff had to be tightened a little more. Almost embarrassing! Good I did not start looking for a new bike already!!! Today’s ride ended in 50km, a bit longer than planned…
Well back home, did some toe exercises for rehab the heel. Hope this will help eventually. Rewarded myself with M&M’s peanuts and some core exercises… To complete the day, watched “Pulp Fiction” eating a nice pizza 🙂

Hoping for better shape for the heel tomorrow…


No rest for the weary…

THIRD day without running….but no rest for the wicked, right? The sun got me up (as well as the trucks emptying the rubbish…). The right heel felt much better, but still sensitive. Took a light breakfast (cereals, chocolate and soymilk) and got ready with lots of suncream before picking up my bike. Had planned to do alternative training so did a little core before leaving and jumped on my bike. Easy road on the seaside until I reached a harbour (and the end of the road). Stopped a short while (see my feet below 🙂 ) and then aimed for extra 3km to get a turn at km26 for having a 50km bike tour.

Got really boring/annoying headwind on both sides of the bike tour, which was JUST like running 😦 A great bike tour however, tried to get some accelerations despite the wind. Took some extra energy gels @km20 and 40  and drank lots of water. Well back home had a large portion of spaghettis with chicken liver, rested a bit and then on the bike again to find a nice place to put my towel and rest under the sun. Took 12km to find the spot (I think it is a bit shorter when I run, but I kind of could not find the paths I generally take…) – 1hour enjoying the sun and warmth on the skin and time to aim back home.Total: 25km… Good evening with friends visiting and now time for sleeping (as I am very tired! – no wonder after 75km biking…).

Right heel starting to make itself reminded 😦 Will continue the massage and hope for the best…

Malmö half-marathon: 17 days to go (!!!!!!!)






Heat, pain and alternate solutions

Still painful heel on Sunday morning so no other alternative than resting. Difficult to walk on the right foot except than on the top of the toes. Of course thus us not practical so I choose to spend part of the last day laying under the sun (after ensuring that all our stuff was packed to go home). Great lunch under the trees before aiming to the airport and seeing that our direct flight was canceled. Fortunately we got an alternative option via Frankfurt and an arrival home around midnight (instead of before 8 pm…). Well arrived, a bit of unpacking and pillow-time.

Up this morning with singing seagulls…and a bright sun already high despite the early time. More unpacking and then got ready for breakfast/lunch at sushi place near-by. After this, we left for a nice/sunny/long/fun bike tour of 25km. One stop for snacks after 10km and one for ice cream after 16km. Pretty fun and tough to bike under the sun. Aimed then to the naprapath for shock wave therapy. This time for the left hamstring as it feels much better, but was added to it both heels. This later part was really painful especially the outside part. But if it is helping to get better, why not. Biked back home, getting my tour up to 29km. Good workout for the day, as I cannot run for now.

More resting to do and definitely early sleep today. Hoping for nice weather tomorrow for a nice bike tour again…


Not every run can be a home run or “How today turned into a bad workout day”…

Up at dawn (well, actually…before dawn as it was still pretty dark when I woke up), drank a little orange juice and headed out int he dark (well, actually… under the street lights). All was set for long intervals to be run and be back home before 6:30am…

Yesterday being a rest day, we spent it in the city, visiting museum, walking in the streets, eating long lunch and enjoying the in/out of shops to benefit of their air-conditioning system… all to occupy ourselves under 30ºC hot sunshine (yes, I know… one day you complain  because it ain’t there and the day after you complain (or did I?) because it is back in full power…). Anyhow, during a walk down a hill in gardens, we went dow stairs and my right foot landed strangely, which made it feel pretty painful and aching for a short while. Thereafter no problem. Rest of the day walking went fine. In the evening, I did massage both heels and headed for my pillow.

Why on earth am I writing about this? Well, actually… this morning warm-up went pretty slow and not fully fun. Difficult to get a decent pace and I completed the 3km finely but not fully satisfactory. Ran in a street close to the woods, which was pretty spooky and dark, then passed a field on the right which was “just-dark” and when looking on the other side, noticing the field on the other side of the street having this little spooky-ghost-feeling-fog above the ground (and still could not have an acceleration on this part neither!). Stretch in the dark on the side of the road and choice of the correct music. Off I went… well, actually… not THAT fast. Took a while to get on the correct pace and by half-way it was 10/15sec/km slower than planned and expected. So pushed a bit and got the first 3km interval in 12:30, which was fine. Rest of 3minutes and choice of new music. Started pretty fast but took approx.a few 100m to start feeling a pain in the right heel (the one that hurted yesterday). As I was having a nice pace, I decided to change my running steps into more front-feet-landing-type (not that I am an expert and far from it actually!) but it felt better. The only thing is that I could only sustain the first km this way and as soon as I started to run like normal (!) the pain came back. Continue to push for a while, but decided to cut short the interval after 2km for not having a too much pain feeling in the heel. Rested a bit and the pain disappeared. But as soon as I turned back home, I thought I could jog back… well, actually…no! Too painful, so I started with powerwalk which went fine… well, actually… for a little km because it was difficult to keep up this pace as well while walking. Once again I could reflect on the fact that this was the first morning for the past 2 weeks that there was so few cars passing by (typipcal! the day I could ask for a lift…). Walked back 2.5km and enjoyed a beautiful red sunrise before showering and heading for breakfast. B-day to prepare and then heading to the city zoo for some more…walk!!!  After a couple of hours the right foot was still painful (had it under a bandage, unsure if was good or bad, but at least it helped the head!). Then time for restaurant (Chinese buffé, Yummy!) and then back home. Got my foot under cold and then warm. Then ordered new running shoes which will hopefully arrive next week (well, actually… had planned for these shoes for the past two months and now I am in deep need for new shoes, which are not there yet…). Rest for the day will hopefully help, but unsure so far. The long run tomorrow is for the moment under question. Will see how it feels tomorrow morning.

BUT as one may say, today may have turned into a bad workout day (OK, let’s face it: it TURNED into a bad workout day!), it is still for sure that not every run can be a home run. Got a good 3K and even a good 2K despite the pain. 21 days left to the next race and 10 weeks before Berlin. All training done so far has been between good and great, so no need really to focus on today’s bad workout. Rest for the foot could be the key (I am suspecting once again that the shoes are the reason for this pain and extra-sensitivity of the heel…).

Tomorrow will definitely be another day 🙂

NOTE: game of the day: How many time did you read “well, actually…” in this post? 😉

Where did the sunshine go(ooooo)…

Early-bird day.

Eyes opened @5:00am, took a few minutes to wake up and tired like “a lot” went downstairs to get ready. All almost in the dark not to wake up anyone. One foot out and the rain started to fall. Got someone’s running jacket but seeing how it started to poor down from the skies, I asked for a rain jacket instead, add not having mine. And off I left. Three lights were starting to show up shyly in the skies. Drizzling rain at most during the first km, took off the rain jacket for the next few km. Really heavy legs, not to good feeling but continued to get a few km in the legs anyway. Got cut from music at km7 as my mp3 player died in me 😦 Got a well-rounded 10K at recovery-slow-pace…
Breakfast when arriving home as well as stretch. But it continued to rain cats & dogs, so we decided to skip todays outing. Not too much fun to climb in stones and being in an outdoor museum by raining weather… Movie time them and not much done during the day. Even though it stopped training where we live, it was really wet in Lyon, so no chance for outing there today. After lunch (quiche lorraine & tarte à l’oignon, both home made 🙂 ), took some rest and then we headed to the boules place. Played boules, trained on the machines they had there and foins a mobile phone a grand-ma had forgotten when she went home with her grand children. I called the last number on the sms list (!), got her son and by luck saw her grand-son at the end of the street. So left the phone with him and we continue to play a bit before going bank home. And here she came the granny on bike. I asked if she got her phone back and actually she was coming back to thank us and giving us a box with cookies to thank us… Nice people in France, always!
Headed home and it took give minutes before it started to pour rain down in earth again. Pancakes were awaiting for us, luckily. Easy evening in perspective. Hoping that the weather will be without rain tomorrow. The heat is still here but the rain as well…

Listen to this comforting one then: