Running longer and faster… a few thoughts…

Archive for October, 2013

Time to celebrate! 3000 + 365 = ?!?!?

Wow, already Wednesday! And not ANY Wednesday… A Wednesday to celebrate BIG TIME 🙂

It is actually 365 days ago I started this blog…resulting in 319 posts (including this one), of which 15 race reports… So yes, worth celebrating I think. Have shared thoughts and training here and got kind and constructive feedback and comments. Thanks for following me and feel free to continue! Your input is making it fun as well!

One year of blogging!

One year of blogging!

To the next item to celebrate this special day: 3,000km! This is the volume run since January 1st, 2013. Well, actually the 3,000km have been passed since a while, but when I register some of my workouts in my training diary, it cuts some of the distance (e.g. for intervals, I generally record the intervals length/time but not the recovery time (even though jogging it). But so what?! Let’s make this day a special day.

Today‘s run was time intervals, completed by 10min of speed/slow. The intervals went way better than planned and expected for an evening run (and a day started at 3:00am worried for special reason and impossible to sleep back until an hour later, long meetings, late lunch, necessary 30min nap in the afternoon, a red bull @4:30pm -I know it is not good to drink red Bull, but seriously it felt I had no choice to ensure my eyes to stay opened-, a great time at friends’ place with E&T and then a plan to run around 7:00pm…). So yes, not all was in place for ensuring even a good session. Wondered a short while before starting my watch whether should not go for an easy 10K instead (glad I changed my mind!). Finishing the run, I stretched thoroughly but noticed I was 2km away from the magic 3,000-mark… Sooooo….for the first time since I started running, I actually turned back and run longer solely to get some extra km… Lame, I know… BUT the (little) punishment for this was to run up&down 40 steps – 3 times (and still enjoying it)… Completed this celebratory workout with a 3+minute plank well-back home (and apparently I do NOT sing nice when I do the plank after a tough workout…says E&T… but what do THEY know?!?!? 😉

Relax after the run: hot and long shower, full scrub, bubble bath and protein drink 🙂 Perfect to complete this celebration day! A couple of hours left before this day is ended. Not feeling tired at all, on the contrary. But better rest to catch all that tomorrow will bring!

First sunny days in April 2013 - track workout

First sunny days in April 2013 – track workout

Final thought regarding intervals: I usually run them early in the morning. No, that’s incorrect. I run them when I have time and it happens to be early in the morning. Strangely the body and mind feel often ready to kick-start the day and good results have been recorded for such intervals despite the early time of the day. Lots of discussion on this btw. Therefore it is of interest to see intervals training at different time of the day. A great session I had was while in Alicante, if recalling right it was 9pm, high humidity, high temperature and sun still shining hard. Latest great session was last week with a similar “time intervals” workout but done @5am… SO what do we learn about this? Actually nothing if you ask me! The form of one day is not the same as the day before or the day after. What works an early Monday morning might turn really boring an early Wednesday morning but great a Friday evening (and for this latter one, it should not be JUST because you went to an after-work with your colleagues before you hit the pavement for a run!!!!).

So keep on running! and enjoy 🙂

After the storm…the rain?

Yesterday, Monday, was a rest day from running…Started with strength without for the legs (VSA legs*3), the 3rd reps being way tougher than expected (and boring!). Won’t do this serie more than twice and have to add some difficulty instead. Plankan variations 50 sec was a tough cookie, but as usual it feels so good afterwards! Stormy weather outside so skipped the run-I-should-not-do-anyway-because-it-is-a-rest-day. More work done and bedtime came later than planned…

Therefore the surprise when I heard the clock this morning…Must be something wrong…just jumped into my bed a second ago… Anyway took 10 minutes to recover, go up, put in the morning running gear and off in the cold… Actually not that cold, pretty nice in the air. Still shorts and once again had to take of my rain jacket after 5km as I was to warm. Nice 10K before back home, shower breakfast and work.
This evening was so inviting for another run that the gear got themselves out of their drawers on their own… Pitch black, only city lights on. Had planned a 15km with progressive pace. First 5km went according to plan. But when you start a faster part with a stiff slope, it ain’t gonna work! Still got a good grip up to the top and then it was just to fire off downhill. Those second 5km were faster than the planned 3rd. Therefore changer of strategy, the last 5km would be slower. Got a bit of fun with a nice sprint during final 500m 🙂

Now my eyes are so tired they are closing themselves, no longer responding to the impulses from the brain… More later…

Easy-fast(y)-rainy-windy-hilly week :)

And so it was Monday. Had decided for a REAL rest day from training. Went of course very well… with waking up early and setting the body in place for a nice core & legs workout. Nothing fancy, (but still training!). A long day at work, lots to think of… therefore it was so nice to come back home and hurry to a nice massage. Skill-full hands know were it hurts! Most of the massage spent on the back side of the legs. Incredibly nice (and painful) and nice (and painful). Cannot get how it worked, but could work a bit later after that and hop! bedtime… So was it for my first rest day of the week…

Tuesday started REALLY early (I write “really” to not write anything else, but incredibly early it was!). 4:30am (ya, I did set the clock!) a few snoozes, a bit of discussion with myself to see whether would REALLY go out and run… and yes the mind won once more. Took less than 8 minutes from going up, taking c-vitamin and getting dressed for running (that is WHY the gear should be ready on the soffa before bedtime…). 5:22am – off I went for a nice warmup. Rainjacket on the top of SF long sleeves was a bit too much: OK it was drizzling, but still! Then a bit of stretch and intervals here I come! Felt really nice, but as usual had to slow down on the enthusiasm for ensuring I would have energy until the end! and I did… Fast and short… A bit unsure it should have been that fast though. Easy cool down back home.Took a nice hover for …FOUR minutes… right after the final stretch. The thing is that I chose a song that was… 1minute 8 sec longer than I expected. Still fine though. Quick but hot shower, protein drink and banana right after and off to work. Nothing particular then, but a nice easy recovery run in the evening… Really nice in the air – typical “just running” workout. Quite tired early, so early bedtime.

Then arrived Wednesday and its lunch run with colleagues. We had a plan (!) to do a “double-bridge” run. But being short on people (everybody is so busy on Wednesday, seems like…) decided to go for an easy 8km back and forth on one bridge… turned into a 10+km with talking all the time and a pace of 4:32/km. At least I “won” the final 60m (ok…I started without telling maybe…). But this was a very enjoyable run, way tougher than the race on Saturday, even if was slower… Have to get used to do more talking at 4:32 pace maybe!

Early Thursday started even earlier than early Tuesday. This time was done a very easy 12K before getting some fast (?) short hill intervals. It was warm this morning, therefore the t-shirt went off after a few km. Dropped in the mailbox before aiming towards the hill. Did not feel extremely tired after the hill workout so took a bit more around the block. Super fast shower and breakfast for “running” to the office (the hover right after the run went fine, but felt tougher than the day before). Still, better done than not! Got a bit bored in the evening when coming back from long workday so changed gear and went out for a hilly-very-windy run. Nothing is better to change what you have in your mind! Felt like close to “storm-warning-wind” on the bridge (because of course, I had decided to take the bridge.. back & forth…). But nice it was. Have to remember to attach my hair next time, that’s all!

Aaaaaand little Saturday arrived (aka. Friday). Second rest day of the week. Nice and easy day at work, despite the intensity. Ended really nicely and then…. Aaaaaaaaaah! this was a rest day! So no change of gear when arriving home, no sweat to clear from the front-head, no hot shower for warming a cold body after the run… OK. Not THAT bad! Was a bit tired anyway after a long week, so as good to take it easy and chillout 🙂 Loaded with carbs in front of the tv – yes, I occasionally watch tv – with thai food. yummy!

Saturday (the real one) arrived finally. With its rain, its wind and all together… No chance I go out @7am for a long run in this stormy weather… same thought into my mind @8am… OK, by 8:45am I felt like it could take a while to have the Weather Gods working for me so I capitulated and changed gear, ensuring to have my rainjacket on. After 2km uphill, I already regretted to have taken the rain jacket! But after an intense brain-fight (shall I go back home and drop the jacket for then running up all this again…???), I won once again and continued with the rain jacket on. Good I had my shorts though! Warm it became and sweaty!. Anyway, the main element out this morning was Mister Wind. And he (it must be a “he”) did not seem happy. Always headwind for most of my run. Had planned to have it easy pace, but still. With strong headwind it is a real pain to evaluate the pace you are in. Thankfully I reached another place with “less” wind when I started my fast part of the long run. Apart from one km, where Mr Wind find me back (and on a slope…), it was a real nice run. Got a few minutes stop around km22 for getting an energy drink and off back home (once again, incorrectly calculated the distance and got a 7km extra (!) to reach home). But believe it or not, it was nice with this extra part. Could have run forever (felt like!). Real chilling out rest of the day (read: steadying, cleaning, clothes folding, food shopping… Yapp! Rest afternoon!). By the end of the evening, had to fight not to go out again. But went to bed, read a bit and there was no difficulty to close my eyes…

Sunday started nicely as the time changed during the night. No need for a clock: My eyes opened @6:34am (which would have been 7:34am without the change). Almost a sleep-in! Light breakfast and gear on. Short short and tshirt. Took arm warmers as well and that was the perfect outfit for this recovery morning run. Of course I had not counted with the 3km of heavy rain between km7 & 10… But nice and easy it was (and hilly). Got up to 14km although once again the legs would have liked some more. Stretch and rest before food shopping for the week. Easy and nice afternoon which disappeared too fast… By the time the lights disappeared from the sky, the rain had started to fall and it was more than nice to jump into shorts, tshirt, rain jacket and shoes for an easy recovery run for the evening. “Just running around”-run, on the bridge and then back home. Great. Had the fastest shower ever and have to run to the massage for having one before they closed. Nice they remember me 🙂 So for today and this week it is way enough…

Week over 100km? check! Wind, rain and sweat? check! Double workout early and late? check! Smile and sunshine in the head? check! This was a good week 🙂


There is just rain for the wicked…

Awaken by the rain pouring down the skies thus morning… Not really appealing for a Sunday long run, have to agree in this! Waited a bit and then up for breakfast (warm gruel (?)) and time to hut the pavement…

As today is a post-race day, decided to take it a bit easy. Drizzling from start to moderate rain, thus was what I had to face this morning. Took the harbours road for enjoying the landscape. But felt a bit sad to see that so many boats have been already parked for the winter… Pretty easy pace, no pressure. Reached km22 and had two options:1) run back home and add 7-8 km to the run or 2) take the tram home. Second option was chosen, solely because this is a  post-race day. On regular long run days, there would have been only one option 🙂
Stretched in the first tram and stupidly sat down in the second tram. Got frozen to the bones by the time I reached my station. Hurried home for the hottest shower in the world! Then chilling out rest of the day.

Now it is pretty late and should be sleeping since a while… Race list almost done. Strength training postponed until tomorrow

Race Report – Sävedalsloppet 2013/10/19

Planned: run for fun, under 43 (as unsure of the current strength… 43 has been done during training, therefore the thought to be slightly under…)

Actual: 40:48 => new PB by 21 seconds!
place: 2nd 🙂

Good flow throughout the race. Not really “feeling” like running, just “being” there and letting the feet doing all the ncie work.


Easy morning, stayed longer than planned in bed, no rush. 8:00am – time for shower and getting ready. T was kind enough to prepare breakfast for all. I prepared my oat-porridge breakfast with banana, blueberries, gojjiberries and cranberries with soymilk. Tricky to know what to eat this morning, as this is not prior to a long run, nor a long distance race. 10K-training are generally done without any special food before (and most likely early in the morning right after getting up). All ready, aimed to the bus. Took shorter than planned. Meeting in the bus some other runners, small like older ones. Well-arrived, walked a little bit to the start. Prepared our registration (10K for me and 1K for E). Got our BIB and it was still 10:20am… Nothing done really until E’s race @11:15am. Then changed to have my long-sleeves from San Francisco under my purple SOC singlet (would regret this later on…). Meeting Lennart from MIK, and then off with the trousers for an easy warm-up. Settling with GET where they would see me and approximately when. The plan was to check the form and see what can be done 3 weeks after Berlin. Wish to be under 43minutes though as this is a reference done during training. Warmup was not as I planned. Easy jog more likely, with some accelerations between street ligths. 11:45am – going to the starting line when people where gathering, still warming up. Could join some crazy-fast runners on the start line 🙂


3minutes to the start and I already regret having put my long sleeves under my singlet. Tried to take it off, but it is too tight, so skipping it. A loooong runner put himself right before me 😦 and then it was just counting down with 5seconds to go…

The start went smoothly. Did not feel any push, which was surprising with all the testosterone around… Saw the first female runner passing me before leaving the arena and then the second one right after. So the plan (!) was to keep them in sight and not letting other female runners passing me. Piece of cake, right? The first km went pretty fast in 3:52, downhill first and then slight slope. Meeting S from jogg and his aim is 40minutes, so the plan (another one!) is to try keeping up with him 🙂 The route is not flat at all, having slopes a little everywhere. But who says uphill, says…downhill 🙂 Entering in the forest around km2, having the Solvinking female runner right in front of us. Not many passing by then. Tricky to run on the leaves which had covered the path. Reaching a little bridge where we met the first runners coming back from the lap in the forest (yapp, THAT fast they are! Almost a km ahead, after my 2.5km when we have start at the same time… Anyhow, the lap in the forest is easy (although tricky to see that km4 is @4:28, when I actually thought I was doing fine!). Then a little slope and reaching km5, took 2Dextrosol and a gulps of water at the water station. Thinking gladly that now, there was less than half to go. And then it was just to keep up with the Solviking girl. By km6 we were running side-by-side and it felt great. Still comparing quickly in my mind the distance left with a similar “training distance”. Thinking as well about my workout from early Wednesday morning when I did finish the last 4km in fast pace. Just have to run those 4 last km way faster, I thought! (and I did…) The second plan of following S was not gonna happen as he disappeared far away while still in the forest. So back to plan A and the possibility to make the podium 🙂 Km7 passing by the Solviking girl and heading alone. No more runner really passing by, but I am passing one or two. Missing km7 mark – btw and this is really annoying as I thought I had 2km left when actually I had 3… The marks were differing barely for first 2km and then my Garmin beeped ca.100m after the km-mark. Therefore was expecting a much longer “last km” as for Åsaloppet… km8 is having a slope up and I took it on the top of the toes, which surprised the two runners I passed. Got encouragements though 🙂 Met a “Lonely Runner” during the last km and more encouragements as he apparently had passed me twice already. Quick look behind when seeing km8-mark. No one directly behind me, so tried to accelerate. Still not checking my watch (only check @1st km and then km4 or so, then around km7). Light uphill to the final km (click “lap” on the watch to have a “correct” last km. Then this is the next-final turn towards 500m. Getting encouragement by the guy with flag showing the way to take and he tells me to keep up this way as I am in second place for the women. Doing my best to pass two more runners. On the final 300m a runner ahead of me is accelerating and I definitely try (!) to do the same…Right at the turn into the stadium, I check my watch and it show 40:03… Yes! It is less than 200m and I can make it under 41minutes I think! Digging deep into the strengths I think I have and lifted my the cheerings around I cross the finish line… Stopping my watch (I thought…) and noticing after a short while that it is still counting. So 41:43 on my watch (I actually pressed “Lap” not “Stop”…).

Got the official time then: 40:48 – NEW PB by 21 seconds, on a route more ups&downs than last “PB-route” in July… Insolently fit after the finish line. Could have gone for a few km really as feeling (finally) warmed up. Sub40 not for this time, although getting closer 🙂

Price distribution to the first 3 female runners 🙂


Happy runner after the finish line (and a few minutes searching for the cheering squad…)


And yes, I was freezing a bit by this time!


Weather: 7ºC, Feels like 4ºC, 13 km/h SSW wind, Humidity 81% – unfortunately it was really cloudy at the start and therefore feeling a bit chilly. Sun showing itself shyly after the finish line…

Food: before banana (45min before) // right after: 1 banana+1 water mug + 2 sirop+1 energy drink // during: 2 Dextrosol @5km – 2hrs after: Butcher’s hamburger w/French fries + Pepsi to celebrate

Gear: ADIDAS Supernova Boston, SF lg sleeves, SOC purple singlet – shoes felt great. Like steps most of the time. Unfortunately felt the blister on left foot after a couple of km…noticed when taking of the socks after the race that the plaster…

The long sleeves could have really been skipped. Might have run faster then (if being slightly colder :))

14/ A good 14 for the whole race. Probably reaching a strong 14 around km3 but mostly due to the mind saying that there was no need to push as this was the first race since Berlin and Berlin was great. Compared to Åsaloppet in July, this one was a real piece of cake 🙂 Enjoyable from start to end, having the mind not bothering too much apart from checking to keep track of the female runner in front of me and getting some comparisons with other similar training distances. Cannot set more than this when I see how it felt afterwards really.

NOTE: Once again, real fun to meet jogg- and club-buddies 🙂
NOTE: Cheering squad on place and I was really expecting some shouting on the finish line (as I had at the start…)… After waiting a few minutes, went back to the finish line and there was my cheering squad, enjoying warm chocolate milk and waiting for me to pass by…


Quick chat with other runners, clothes changing, bus-trip back home and celebrating in a hamburger-bar 🙂 Hot shower finally at home and hot tea. A bit of headache now, but after this week, it is not really surprising… Chilling out now for the rest of the day. Will have to set a few 10K on the race list for next year.


Yummy for any tummy!

Friday’s check

Once again for this week, a too-early wake-up signal. Got to prepare all and then rush to the office for meetings and meetings and more meetings. Heard by a colleague that I was “glowing” today… Wow! with my dark circles under the eyes and the red replacing the white (in the eyes still)… Thanks I said. Always take a compliment when it comes. Took enough carbs at lunch to ensure I would be fit the rest of the afternoon and then 1 hour later than planned, I dropped the work and came back home.

Jumped directly into my gear. G said it would be fine to run in shorts and tshirt. Aimed for a long sleeves and shorts. Up with the hair in ponytail-way (G said I looked like the Greek goddess painted on the Greek potteries with the hair this way 🙂  As for this morning, always take a compliment when it comes! Planned an easy 6 or 8km, to check the form a before Åsaloppet in July. Just wanted to know whether the body and mind were in good shape for handling a race tomorrow. Easy pace, music in the ears… nothing to notice really. Turned back home after 3.5km and took the Fishermen’s way to get the two extra km before I reached home. 8km in more-than-nice tempo… Feeling good for tomorrow! Finished the workout with a 4+ plank on “The Show Must Go On”… Yes, it sounds cocky, but doing the plank on diverse music is extremely fun actually (at least I think that). Stretch and then hot shower to get the body in a cool-down more.

Pizza evening, then movie and a bit more work before bedtime. Tomorrow will definitely be a race day!

There’s no rest for the wicked :(

Rest day today… Yes, sure! Sleep in until 6:30am, waffle to prepare, get all ready to leave home and of course, rain rain rain outside (although no man in sight! 😉 ). Meeting, meeting, meeting. Short stop for a wrap at early 10:30 to keep on working, working, working. Got dizzy few times (you know the feeling that your screen is moving or the ceiling is falling a bit on the left side… -type!). So back home and finished work from there. Good food at dinner, then no more work for the day as the home wifi just died… Anyhow, time to start my rest day maybe…

I cried a river over you…

Nice (short) sleep – could not really realize it was 4:50am when the light of the phone went on. Snooze for 5minutes and up. Got dressed as soon as someone that just got up @5:00am. Mobile showing 1ºC, no way I will get in shorts (!). So long tights it was… would regret it after 1 km or so! Started a bit later than planned so tried to get back the wasted time on the warmup part. 8km easy pace (kind-of) followed by 4fast km. Was a bit disappointed when completing my run as I thought I ran 5sec/km slower than the higher range. But it was actually 5sec/km faster than the higher range and the last km at the lowest range. So very much pass! Not too sure it reflects what the body can really now, three weeks after Berlin, but for a 5am-workout, it will do! 12km, stretch and croissants for breakfast.

Workshop all day long. Had to stand quite a lot today, having this ache in the back of the left thigh again 😦 then time to go home. Dinner preparation (as G’s got Monday & Tuesday, was only fair that I prepared today 🙂 Porkfilet in white soy sauce, French fries and veggies. Yummy for any tummy! OK, once again could have skipped eating before running, but lunch was far away… Gears on @6pm, ran w/E to the tram stop and then went along for an easy 8km. Took the slopes-way to the bridge, took it once this time (but the long way) and then back home. Noticed when uploading my run that it went way faster than a “recovery” or “easy” run. But feeling was great, did not feel like pushing nor making any effort really. The effort would have been to concentrate on running slower… This time, shorts on as well as SF long sleeves. Skipped the bonnet and should have left the gloves at home as well…Completed the run with plank (3min) on “The Story” and thorough stretch.

Good work for today, summarizing a 20km over two nice workouts. Tomorrow – full rest day (not even planning for core or strength…). Real busy day arriving to its end…finally…

Just enjoy the silence eyes wide shut

No morning run today: Decided for a sleep-in instead…until 6:15am 🙂 Miserable waffles became pancakes before early start for a long workshop day. Had some problem with left thigh during the day as sitting most of the time. Ache as usual so had to stand from time to time. The high heels were not the ideal shoes especially as this was the second day in a row that I wear them. Back home much later than usual and starving, decided to go for eating the specially prepared spaghetti bolognaise from G. Delicious (but a bit too much even one hour before running). Gear on, reflexes and lights ready and off I went. Planned for an easy round run and it became so. A few hills, taken with a nice pace and no stop. Pulse-band still crazy so will have to change the battery before definitively throwing them to the rubbish bin! 15km with one fast km at the end. Great feeling, body fine, mind pretty occupied. Better running and having the pain in the body, this keeps the mind busy… Nice long plank after that on “Enjoy the silence” and thorough stretch. Chamomile tea before going to bed. Tomorrow is another day… Need lots of strength!

Eyes wide shut? well, with the darkness falling so early on the city nowadays, I noticed that I am running  more and more with eyes closed. not for long but often. Therefore I am putting some variations in the routes, so the mind remains alert… Apparently it doesn’t bother; as long as the legs are running, the eyes may be closed!

Still made a mistake in the clothing today. Seeing that Tove is having her winter clothes on, I thought twice before leaving and have Vesta shorts, long sleeves and tshirt on the top as well as bonnet/windgloves and compression socks… Could have easily run in shorts and tshirt! Of course I may look like crazy to run in such outfit in mid-October and by night. But seriously, noted a 9-10ºC outside… What would YOU wear then?

A day I am too busy to run…is a day I am too busy!

This is my weekly quote set this morning. Could not fit the day better!

Up early enough but still a bit late for work. Lots to do at the office (but still time for lunch with friend) and then rush back home. When I say “I have to run back home”, people tend now to take me literally… that I will actually RUN back home. Well, it may happen, but with high heels and costume, never did and never will!

Back home was planned to take an easy run w/T on bike… until some unwanted inhabitants were discovered in her hair… No way I’ll have that at home. Gone, the run and in with the shampoo treatment… FOR ALL! Then comes the rinsing, the brushing, more shampoo, more brushing aso until finally it looks ok. One done, three to go! Got during this time a nice dinner was getting prepared in the kitchen. When my task was (almost) completed, a wonderful marinated chicken filets with pommes sautées were standing on the table ready to be eaten. Perfect interlude before the end of the evening tasks! When finally all was done… well, not all was done as there had been no run. The clock showing 9:30pm, I was hesitating a bit. But having a few heavy days ahead, why not… Gear on (traded my Vesta shorts for my 3/4 and really… I will not do it again! OK it may look strange to have someone running in shorts in the dark, but when it shows 10ºC, what do you expect!?! Took a 10K route with a twist, as I took it the other way around… So different it looks like. The first km were freshly asphalted and it was a real pleasure to run there. Had no music in the ears, but had the mobile on the arm and music from there was floating in the air. Reached the 5km mark and turn to the other side of the road. The smell of freshly baked bread was in the air and seriously I am thinking about knocking one day at the door and asking for some freshly baked bread! Anyway, took a couple of more easy km, then 2 slightly tougher (the feeling was that I had to make some effort in the run, when the km before I felt like I was more “flying” above the pavement, seeing the road passing by under my feet…). Final 2km were a really fun and bless. 10km before bed. (usual plank after the run). Probably a good night’s sleep ahead (I hope!),

btw, plans for 2014 are starting to take shape…if any suggestion, feel free to drop a note!

And yes, today I have been busy, but never busy enough not to be able to fit a little run 🙂