Running longer and faster… a few thoughts…

Archive for November, 2013

Recovery, stress, legs vs head and a bit of sunshine :)

(week 181113 – 241113)
Promised to take a real whole week of recovery (well, I agree to run slow, low effort-level and short runs…nothing else!)

Monday will always start the week, so better get used to it! Easy day (training-side only), got into my running gear only for easy transport jog from concert hall back home. Slippery on the pavements, night already… better be careful. Extremely tired, was not difficult to fall on the bed and sleep…

Tuesday got a late start (well, early for working as did not feel like running. Cancelled meeting got me a little time-slot for an easy 8km (and yes, it was done carefully slow). A bit amazed actually as my mp3 had died and I was to run SLOW and WITHOUT music. Which generally is not a good combination. Would rather run fast without music to get it done… But went fine. Got along with the working day and completed the whole day with a second easy 8km (this time in shorts…) over the bridge and back . Yes it was a bit cold, especially on the bridge with little wind, but felt ok otherwise. Tricky to get some sleep after that though… I also discovered that I passed just quite rightly the 10km/day this day 🙂 To keep up this daily average, still have to run from this day until 31 December (included) approx. 418.3km… Will see how it goes 😉

Wednesday started with a bit of hesitation, and really staying in bed longer was more appealing than going out when the temperature is expected to be -2/3ºC… Instead of the 8km planned, dragged myself through an easy 7km, buying croissants for the first meeting of the day (Oh…have to mention that the bakery is about 1km from home… so yes, I took a little detour…). Long day at work, so needed some fresh air and oxygen to keep the brain up & running (ha ha ha!). Ended with a nice easy pace 10km, where actually the head said several times to stop but the legs would not listen… A bit of coordination to work on apparently 🙂 So no this type of easy pace run is NOT helping at all after a long day at work for cleansing the head…. Tough workout would have done great (but once again… I did promise to take it easy…).

Thursday was once again a very long day of work so an evening run was quite nice to have. As I did not take any “short run” in the morning, I decided to have little longer one in the darkness of the city. Went a bit faster than planned, but seriously the feeling was easy, and the effort pretty low. So I would give it a “Pass” anyway.

Friday once again served as rest day. Better off training with the workload this day. Got to finish the day with a very nice concert where E was singing, a good dinner in restaurant and a vampire movie to complete the evening. Got pretty late in bed after that… so much for a rest day!

Saturday got to see me awaken quite early, but still wondered how to set the running during the day. One run, two runs, one short+one medium… until I was called for duties to cheer at the Athletics competition… 5 hours later, the legs felt like running. Had in mind an easy 10/12, by km 3-4 changed my mind to a 15km and when I saw the bridge I could not resist to get on it back & forth before aiming back home for an evening of laundry. Evening half-marathon. Quite fun 🙂

Sunday would have been the last of the easy recovery week… and it was. Got up at a decent time, so took breakfast and waited an hour before jumping into my gear. Planned once again not to check what the watch was recording, just hearing the km-beeps. 10-12km easy pace ? or double ? or whatever?. Got today again some warm-up chili cream on the legs and they respond well (the tricky is after the run and under the shower where it is really burning then!). This turned into a very nice long run, easy feeling and no pressure. Sunshine in the face most of the time, ran along the harbours (meaning slippery on the pavement where there was water pools…). but all-in-all it turned into a very nice and easy 25km with everything but a slow pace… The effort itself was low nevertheless… Got to have my recovery drink after that and it was just a bit of wait until my massage. Surprisingly, the hamstring was not the most painful, far from it. The shoulders however were loaded with tension (which is translated into “stress is in the house!”). So will have to check this out. The legs felt fine and I was really grateful for the foot massage as they were a bit tired actually. Now the evening is already there and the darkness has fallen on the city. Evening activities are simple: tidying, working and pretty soon sleeping!

Summary of the week: S.L.O.W. this is how the week could be summarized.  It can be fine to take some time off, but the slow running would have to count as such. Now there are two more weeks of stress as well as running to do. Will see how the whole thing is working out… Strength training has been on the “absent”-side this week, only got the visit of Hovers on a regular basis…There is ALWAYS time for a straight hover (or two or three…).

Sunshine through the trees

Sunshine through the trees

Curious swans

Curious swans

A bit of forest in an ocean of asphalt...

A bit of forest in an ocean of asphalt…


Easy, cosy, sweaty…SUB-90…& a victory…enough said!

(week 111113 – 171113)
From a rest day after sub40 and long run to a race day with sub90 and victory… this week seems to have gone pretty fast!

Monday started the week (as usual) and this was a well-deserved rest day. from everything (well, at least from training). Mountain of work and lots to do at home…the day was well-used!

Tuesday started heavily and not really with the motivation to get out of bed for running (yes, that happens some times!). Got to start the day with pancakes anyway and after a long day at work, it was time to change gear, put on my little LED-lights and aimed home. The ferries had stopped their strike in the morning, but still I took the long way home getting a long bridge and enjoying the lights of the city.

Wednesday got to see me up very early and on with the gear. Way too much this time. If the day before I was having 3/4 tights, this morning saw me going out with long tights, long sleeves top, wind-jacket, throat cover and wind-gloves…on the top of winter long underwear and winter sweater… Took 1.5km to realize this stupid choice and my mind wondered a bit if I should stop and take off one of the tights and one of the sweater… Considering that it was pretty early 5am+ and still pitch black, this idea appeared clearly out of this world (stripping in a park when it is dark?… sure!). So continue my workout already feeling I was in a sweat suit! Got to do 3*10min with diverse combination. A bit difficult for my head (still asleep?) to understand the point, but when it came to the last part and the run of the 5 last minutes faster for every minute…NOW you are talking! The legs woke up pretty fast!. Then the usual: home, shower, breakfast, work. The evening offered a little special treat with an invitation from T for a run… Took my easy pants, running shoes and windjacket. Shared my LED-ligts (I got the white and T got the red) and…off she went! light as a feather just started to run and actually I was so surprised that I had difficulty to follow. Estimating the pace to 5:45/6:00 for the first km, without stop (apart from one traffic light) and then we continued uphill…racing! (not MY idea!). Easy walk, then more run. And on the way back…still not MY choice, we ran up (yes, RAN) up the hill and then down again… Really cosy run, which should be done more often (but next time I will be wearing proper running gear!).

Thursday offered a very nice lunch run. Once again the waking-up did not work really well. But working early from home, got a lot done so when my lunch meeting was cancelled, it was pretty fast I jumped into my gear to get my daily workout. Easy 10K ending with short and fast hill work. REALLY FUN TO DO! Could have done more reps, but had a meeting waiting… Had done a 3*1:30min plank between two meetings earlier and the body felt really well after the whole training. Became a long day btw!

Friday was a rest day as I was planning for a race on Sunday. Got to check food intake (not that I do something special before a half-marathon, but never be too careful 🙂 Got cramp in the stomach all afternoon and this was not feeling really well for the next day…

Saturday was easy-peasy-day. Pancakes breakfast from T, rehearsal in town for soon-to-come-concert for E and then a bit of shopping in town before aiming back home. Packing all the stuff for the trip and race of Sunday. Got to check the directions for getting there, printout the PM of the race, double-check all the gear (as I was taking a few changes, just in case there would be some changes in the weather forecast… According to G, I had more running gear changes than when we went to Dubai last year.. (NOT!)

Sunday started early and ended late. Got to record a new PB with sub90 and a victory on an international course (ya, sounds really cool when a jogg-buddy said that :). Race report is already saved here. The race went fast, and finished too soon. Got way more energy too give (but yes, probably could not have run much faster, but definitely longer! 🙂 ). Long drive back home, late evening and the week was ending…

Summary of the week:Fast, fast, fast! Second objectives set for next year achieved… Have to do MORE thinking now! Next week will be under the sign of recovery and easy-peasy feeling (I do not right “pace” because it can be fast but feel easy…). Taking back what I wrote last Sunday: Shorts are STILL on! a bit chilly but winter-kit are not getting out unless my legs turn blue… (OK, maybe I’ll get the winter gear on, before that!).

Almost half-way of the race

Almost half-way of the race

400m left to the finish line :)

400m left to the finish line 🙂

Race Report – Helsingør Half-marathon 2013/11/17

Arrival Pitstop Helsingør Halfmarathon

Arrival Pitstop Helsingør Halfmarathon

Planned: sub90 & if good weather, form, route…sub1:29

Actual: official finish time 1:27:55 (on my Garmin: 1:27:56…) – new PR by 2min 9sec from Semi de Paris (March-2013).
Place: 1 – women 🙂

Really pleased with the result especially 1) it was a little race meaning not much pulling from other runners, 2) second “attempt” for sub90 as could not run in Malmö this summer due to pain in right Achilles heel and 3) got to do a negative split (and actually meant for it!). Great feeling afterwards and quite some strengths left…

Splits (from Garmin as the km-marks felt quite aligned with the Garmin beeps, especially the half-way):

First half: 44:15
Second half: 43:40
Average pace: 14.63km/h – 4.10min/km



Eyes wide opened @2:27am. No reason why. All the preparations had been done the evening before and was sleeping well. Stay in bed though and next check on the clock was 3:25am. Still too early. By 4:00am got up and started to prepare the porridge (+banana & blueberries) we would take on the way. Shower and then hair-fixing. Could not find any yellow elastics so dark and light blue it became! Got half of my gear on and easy clothes on the top as there was a long drive first. Double checked the gear (had a few change possibilities as unsure how the weather was down there). And yes the comment I got form G was: “you prepare like you are moving there…it is even more change than for Dubai marathon..:” (no comment on this!). When all was set (gear: check!, food: check!, exrta-stuff-which-we-probably-won’t-need?: check) I did wake up G and directly to the car.

5:00am – leaving town and aiming to a long 290km drive… Pitch-black with full moon is great for driving! The GPS indicated a possible arrival time which would make us missing the ferry of 7:30am, but there were two after that which would also work (before I stress myself out!). The drive went pretty smoothly. As we had a good time ahead by 6:30am, we stopped and took our breakfast at a motorway stop. The half-warm porridge was quite nice actually (probably thanks to the berries!). Had lots to drink since I woke up (lots and lots… reasonable as for race preparation, let’s say!). By 7:00am, reaching the ferry-terminal of Helsingborg but this was the car terminal and we had to drive to the city center to get to the passenger-only terminal. Tickets bought. Made the ferry of 7:30am 🙂

8:00am – Out of the terminal and before we start walking around, asked to a Danish customs lady-officer where the “Nordhavnen” was located (and as soon as I asked in Swedish I regretted it as the answer would probably be in Danish… But to my surprise the explanations were quite understandable (and pretty straight-forward!). After walking a bit, and a bit, following the red arrows… we felt it was incorrect so turned back and finally found the start area… empty of runners and with only few race-helpers. Got my Bib and then started the wait… Hesitated pretty long on what gear to have (shorts? Definitely! But singlet? Felt a bit overkill. Windjacket? A risk if after a while it becomes to warm…cannot get it off as the bib is on it… so after advising with G, settled for Supernova Boston shorts and San Francisco long sleeves. Worse case scenario: I would lift up the sleeves and the lower part of the sweater.

Morning sunrise from Helsingør harbour

Morning sunrise from Helsingør harbour

Morning sunrise from Helsingør harbour (2)

Morning sunrise from Helsingør harbour (2)

Got the Bib...when is the race?

Got the Bib…when is the race?

10:05am – Off with the long pants, kept my warm winter jacket and off I went for a terrible warmup. 1.5km easy pace and nothing more. Unsure it helps, but probably would have some effect as the legs felt a bit stiff and heavy with the 2hours-drive. Sunshining, light wind: definitely the correct gear were on!

Before start: Freezing? just a bit!

Before start: Freezing? just a bit!

10:23am – aiming towards the START. Chat with two Swedes saying that all times are by “shot-gun” as there is no matt to measure when you pass the start line. Therefore better be on the front line directly!


10:30am – Final check on my mp3 (not expecting to have pull-help, I decided to run with music on). Hear barely the countdown and the febrile shake of the clock and OFF WE GO! As usual, I am passed by male runners with fast intention to make it through the race at this indecent fast pace. Got to follow but at my own pace. Intention is to take the first half as it come, hopefully slightly under 4:16min/km pace and then push way more in the second half. By km4 I feel I have settled in a good pace. Having a fellow runner right in front of me and I am well-determined not to let him go away. A bit tricky when he slows down and then accelerates, but I adapt. By km5, no more runners are passing us. A group is 3-400m ahead and the one after us probably as well. Taking water at the water-station but got two mugs instead of one and it is not ending well. Only two glups of water and the rest on the pavement… By km6 we get closer to 2 runners from the group ahead of us and got 2 runners running behind us. Feel safe and secure 🙂 Still good pace. A bit slower than what I would have like, but feeling is fine. Km7 my running-buddy is no longer pulling me. I drop him for the next guy in front of me. Preparing my gel for taking it @km8+ where the next water-station is. Good timing for the gel, but once again the water intake is not working. Planned to take two mugs but drop one and the one I still hold is half empty. Not good for mixing my gel! Turning right after, into Hornbæk Plantage (aka a forest on the seaside). All the running so far has been on the bike path or on pavement (I had some parts run on the road as it felt “nicer” (?) to run on, than on the pavement). The road is beautiful along the sea, and would it not be for participating in a race, I would have taken it way easier to admire the view. Few spectators on the road side are cheering and it feels nice (even though I do not understand a word of what they are saying, just seeing they are up for us on a Sunday morning is just…nice 🙂 ). The forest part is a bit tricky. A little up&downs, running close to the two first guys and keeping same pace as the third guy beside me (I think I even cheered for him from time to time when I saw he did not keep up with the same pace… he WAS helping!). A bit more running in the forest and I started to wonder where the turn-back would be: Supposed to be @10.5km so we should have seen the first runners meeting us by now. So I feared 1) my GPS was not working correctly, 2) the km-marks were incorrect, 3) both of the previous or 4) we would be turning way after half-way.

Almost half way!

Almost half way!

Half-way was finally reached and it means we are turning left slightly up to reach back to the main road and THANK YOU! PAVEMENT IS BACK!!! (Here is the explanation of the first-runners-not-meeting-us… they took another way than the path in the forest… Did not see THAT coming!). Passing half-way around 44minutes, which is a bit slower than I planned. But still fine under the 1:30. As soon as the feet touch the pavement there is a tremendous change. On the way “up”, we did have slight wind and I hoped to have tailwind on the way back. But as we were not taking the same path, I thought just to drop this hope!. Anyway, the feet got a life on their own and decided their specific pace. Nothing to make me unhappy! Got to feel the acceleration, passed two of the guys from the forest. Felt they kept behind though for a while. Good music in the ear (Maj-2012), perfect pace, just clapping in the end and seeing the average pace dropping from 4:13 to 4:12 to 4:11. Felt really nice! This was ALL in the plan! Took 2 Dextrosol around km12 and then around km16 (where the water station was – still trouble to get the mug and half on the ground…). On the way back, decided to run on the road rather than on the pavement. Felt much nicer. Got a really good pacing here and just went along. Even took some time to admire the view this time towards the see. Real nice, indeed! (And no I did not take any picture while I ran!!!). Got to pass a couple of guys again and then it was really the countdown. For once, the km-marks were more or less in sync with my Garmin-beep so I felt I could trust the arrival was soon coming!. By km11 I had started to mentally figure the distance left with familiar distance. And this is so much fun…when you start mixing your mark from the familiar distance… It took me probably a km to discuss with myself (!) about which km-mark was representative for 7 & 6km to reach home… Just to pass time 🙂 The run just get nicer and nicer, and felt really easy. Got a thought for Mats saying to take to higher effort level, but unsure it was needed. But still did it. Decided to (try to) reach a 17/18. But this was not due to the effort. When arriving at the last 3km, something happened and it felt the pace was suddenly dropping (even though it was not). Had to get all I had in mind-craft 🙂 to continue running. Would have been sooo nice to just stop for a second or two… Getting to km20 was a bless, clock showing 20.1km so I prepare myself for an extra 1-200m on the distance. One of the final turn, noticing that it has passed already 1:26 and that 1:27 will be tight, and another turn and another one (1:27:xxx…) and then I see my personal cheering squad shouting for me… No way to let my mind winning this “please-just-rest-a-second-and-run-fast-after-that”, so try (ya… a lot of tries here!) to increase the pace, got to the last turn, hear the speaker saying my name and nice enough the arrival is only 50m (?) ahead. Hearing I am the first woman arriving, I just smile 🙂 stopping the clock. Unsure what is my time, I get my medal and a very kind and happy race organizer giving me a box with sweet stuff and getting photos. My legs feel fine, my head is ok… Is it really finish?

Happy after the finish line

Happy after the finish line

Weather: 8ºC, Feels like 5ºC, 18 km/h WNW wind, Humidity 87% – Real nice in the air, light wind on the coast line, definitely not feeling 5ºC!. Humidity? Unsure as it did not felt “sweaty” (well, not more than a normal 21.1km would…)

Food: porridge+banana+blueberry @6:30am / banana @9:15am / warm chocolate+cacao cake+banana right after the run. 40Min later: coca cola + rice porridge+forest fruits – 2hours after: low-carb hamburger+French fries+orange juice
During: vitargo km8, Dextrosol 2tablets @ km12, 16 & 18 (?)

Gear: ADIDAS Supernova Boston shorts, SF long sleeves, E throat cover – flying ASICS Gel Skyspeed 2: This is just a pity they are soon dying. They are so great and have covered really well the race needs so far! Great and light. Their followers will have a big shoe to fill (ha ha ha!)

??16??/ effort level is the trickiest part in this race. The first half felt needing more effort than the second half, for which the last 3km felt with more effort but probably in the mind than for the body. SO to make the whole thing easy… NOT: first half would be a good 16, reasonable effort and definitely would have benefit from a little better warm-up. Second half up to km 18/19 probably a good 14. Nice and easy-going feeling, no effort, even singing and cheering, clapping in the hands. Just running really. And the last 3km probably back to a 15 for the body, but the mind was working a lot for convincing to continue at this pace 8so probably a 17/18 for effort in mindset). Comparing (!) with other half-marathons (GV and SdP) I would set this half marathon closer to SdP actually.- Either a strong 15 or a weak 16. REALLY would like to set a 15.5 – more effort than Berlin-kind of, but not quite sure actually. Let’s go for the 16.


Got my hugs from my cheering squad as well as well-deserved photo sessions again 🙂 a bit of chat with a Swedish triathlete (the one I met on the start line) and with some other runners (soooo difficult to understand the Danish, sorry guys… but congratulations and smiles are universal language, right?). Changed gear on the spot at the arrival line and then we aimed for the ferry. Got the first one right away, a bit of face-clean-up (sooo salty!) and then we were back in Sweden again. Long drive home (a bit slower this time). Food-stop for hungry tummies and then finally home (and well-deserved shower!). Looked in my “sweet-stuff” box and got lots of chocolates (with alcohol…) and a beer 🙂 Cool 🙂 More running to do after that!

Probably forgetting lots this time. I reached home without knowing my official time and saw it on the website of the course (as well as the photos of the male & female winners 🙂 ). Great course, highly recommended. Little size and good organization. Nice weather this year (cannot be guaranteed but still, apart from a snow fall I would have run today and in shorts!). Easy route and beautiful landscape worth the run!

Exact on the clock!

Exact on the clock!

my medal :)

my medal 🙂

Sweet stuff...

Sweet stuff…

Hills, cold, rest… SUB-40…enough said! :)

(week 111104 – 171110)
Already Sunday and pitch black outside. Got time enough during today’s massage to reflect on the week that has gone.

Monday was a rest day. Actually NOT planned. But an unfortunate strike of the ferries made my work day longer than planned, missed T’s dance rehearsal 😦 and finally arrived home (after sitting in a bus and then tram) and it was barely 45 minutes left before the massage time I booked. No way I change for neither a run or core workout. Would need a shower and then have to stress to the massage. So no training. Just a massage which makes one thinking about “how comes it hurts in places I did not even know I had muscles”… Anyhow, got a deeper massage than expected, but a good way to end the day!

Tuesday started THEREFORE by a “punishment” workout. No real core session since Berlin so I took the stability workout and triple it (instead of double as usual). Yapp! lots of fun. All the series done three times were quite fine but at the end, the arms felt like marshmallows…above a fire 😉 Quick change and run in the dark. Easy 10K, smell of freshly baked bread and new change (after shower!) for work. And yes, was on site for 8:20am… Looooong working day and unfortunately now the darkness is upon us much earlier. I did decide to skip the hill workout in the morning so I could do it during day-LIGHT. Not.a.chance! Taking the bus is driving me crazy. It was overfull of people and at the centralstation, this lady pushed all of us to get a place (despite the driver saying there was an empty bus RIGHT.BEHIND…) and less than 400m after we started to roll, she talks on the phone, coughing and saying that “yes, she is not feeling good, had a rough night and has to go to work anyway…”. No need to say that I spent the rest of the trip looking to the driver (i.e. showing my back to the lady) and getting as much fresh air as possible from the little window he had opened… JUST.NOT.BEING.SICK.NOW!!! The evening trip went smoother. I had in mind to possibly run back home and do the intervals on the bridge, but once again, no good lights. Home, change and warm up to the funny hill of Göteborgsvarvet that all runners fear… 🙂 Took 200m of it, 10times. Had a pull from another runner who was running it up&down a few times as well. And after that completed the workout with a nice (?!) hilly 8km back home (yapp, I took a nice detour!). Great to have this done. Never though hillworks could be this fun! Of course have to learn not to slow down at the end even if the whole body says it. THEREFORE it is good to have a “hill-workout-running-buddy-who-runs-a-bit-faster”, because he/she would be pulling and you (well…”I”) would stop controlling the running at the end… Anyhow, the plan for next year Göteborgsvarvet might be to start with all other runners and when reaching this part of the race,…to run up&down 10 times and then continue the race 🙂 Would probably make one or two runners thinking I am nuts? … The small waves on the graph below are the up&downs and then at the end, the nice (?) hill I incorrectly run up and then run a bit on the top and instead of running down on the other side…did run down the same way I came up!

Hill works!

Hill works!

Wednesday was once again a long day at work (started early…). So when finally reached home (still ferry strike…), it was a bless to change right into running gear (and yes, they were ready since this morning so I would not loose time searching for it!). Drizzling rain, just running around was the name for this workout. 15,5km in the darkness, focus being “not run of the leaves for not falling on my bum”! Good run despite the lack of inspiration.

Thursday was simple: full rest day. Having planned a race on Saturday, I like to have this rest day before (and yes, still loaded at work). btw, would not have been able to train much anyway as it was still hurting from Tuesday’s workout (chest, back and arms… did not even know I had trained those parts!!!)

Friday had an early start and fortunately all was worked from home (well, this means more time in front of the computer!). Took a “form-check” run in the late afternoon and got a nice 8km slightly faster than 3 weeks ago before the latest 10K race. Felt nice and fine. Spent the evening however stressing out for nothing (had lots done at home, between cleaning, bed fixing, cooking, vacuum-cleaning… even though was not necessary!). Once in bed, tricky to fall asleep. A bit unsure why because if one race was definitely not to be bothering me was this one. The “plan” was easy: take it as a fast tempo run. No pressure, just running and having fun.

Saturday went as it went: sub-40! and under the rain. When meeting R, another jogg-buddy, was agreed that with this weather it would go the way it would go! Difficult to set an time objective really (yaaa, sure… he ended with a PB of 35:xx…). Anyway. Race report can be found here. After the race (yes, I REALLY missed the train twice this day…), the afternoon went pretty easy. Food-shopping, bit of cleaning, food cooking and nice company dinner and evening. Not that late though, it was enough time left to watch rubbish on tv. Bedtime was pretty late, but seriously was not tired at all until after midnight. There is something about race really! Cannot sleep before, nor after!

Sunday was planned to be easy long run day. Clock set to ring at 10:00am (yes, I do plan some sleep-in sometimes!), but the light rain woke me up around 6:30am and then it was breakfast and getting ready for running. 25km mix was planned (i.e. easy-slow parts and fast parts in-between). Still running in shorts, but for today it felt something had changed. The easy pace was not enough to keep up the warmth really and the fast bouts felt pretty tough to do. Of course they should! There was a race yesterday!!! Reaching the last “slow part” decided to skip the last fast part, but well-arrived to the “beep” from the clock, I changed my mind and decided to give it all for 500m instead of 1km. Reaching this distance, it was well less than half left ….so went along just 🙂 and yes, was pretty happy to get the fastest km ever (I think?) in 3:39! Youhou! Of course the legs were freezing cold so planned to skip the last 2km of cold down, but reaching a street where the sun was shining and there was no wind…Hmmm, so nice feeling this warmth on the frozen legs….so took a extra detour around a few blocks and ended in 23.5km which was more than satisfied (especially as I needed to shower under boiling hot water just to start feeling something on my legs…). The fun part (yes, there is always a fun part in a run!) is that I have a nice tan on my legs with the marks of the shorts and the socks!!! and no it was not “dirt” as I though at first, it is a nice sun-tan… Easy rest of the afternoon with a thai massage (almost no ache, which is good, right?) and then chilling out with little shopping in town for next week’s food supplies 🙂 yes, now I am a bit tired!

Summary of the week: too fast ending! Got one of the objectives I set for next year already cleared out. Have to think a bit more now… Easy week next week as there is a race coming. Probably no shorts this time… long tights and probably the whole winter-kit as well! And yes, planning to take it as a fat workout this time!

More thought as well: got this place for Berlin and after thorough thinking, will not take it. Will probably regret this when the race is on next year, but awaiting for other races to open and cannot commit to this one if not able to run it properly. A bit tricky…still have until tomorrow to change my mind…

Race Report – Kungsbacka Vintermilen 2013/11/09

Planned: under 42 (done during training last weekend), under 40:48 would be nice as well

Actual: 39:44 for 10km
place: 3rd female 🙂 (21 all runners)


Felt like long night, but open the eyes 1 hour before planned. No problem to snooze the clock and remain in bed though. Felt like on a little cloud, in a very quiet home. Up @7:30am, double-checking the trip to the race as well as my gear, while porridge was cooking itself. A bit tired/bored, ate breakfast in front of TV, listening to the news. Body check: fine. Mind check: fine (I guess?). Weather forecast: not fine…rain is expected…for the whole day. Checking the weather for the race location: already raining… Yaaaaay! 😦 No worries so, training had been done during all weather, so if it ain’t snowing today, the outfit should work. NY singlet, Boston shorts, socks/arm,warmer, Skyspeed shoes. Alternative clothes taken just in case (SdP tshirt, SF long sleeves, bonnet and wind-gloves). Wearing my wind-jacket on the way there so can have it as well. Took the tram to the central station, missed the earlier rain by the second so waited 30 minutes in an over-warmed train. Drizzle started outside add well… Nice! Arrived at the place to get my BIB, and I probably was the first one…#13, nice number, right? As it was 10:20am, a little grey and still drizzling, decided to take a tea (of all drinks) in a café on the square looking at the arrival. Tea? Ya, would have liked a hot chocolate but so close to the race and unsure how it would be to run with chocolate milk in the tummy, decided to take tea instead. Decided to have my chip on my laces in order to avoid the burn marks I generally get with the wristband provided. Got a banana around 11am and still had seen only a few people popping up and picking their numbers. It was then pouring down the skies (and I was really thinking through what clothes I should have. Singlet+arm-warmer, on 10K? All ok, but the rain+possible wind would make it pretty cold. Change to long sleeves? Opted for having singlet under my wind-jacket. By 11:30am a group of runners was already present under the little tent close to the arrival so decided to have a last visit to the ladies-room (should not have drunk tea…) and then aimed towards the tent. Got ready by taking off my jog-pants and noticed that not that many were in shorts (and they looked freezing on place…). But no choice for this. Got to meet R and then aimed for a warm up. Planning a 2-3km easy and accelerations like I did before Sävedalsloppet. This time it was a bit tricky as it was raining and water pools were a bit everywhere (and I did not want to start the race with cold feet (ha ha ha!). Run the start of the race until the swimming pool and then turn back. Got a few accelerations between street-lights, not much of a warm up, but would do as it was less than 10minutes to start. Met quickly A on her way to the start. Got even time for a hug before the start! Once again, placed myself on the first line and was well-surrounded by tall guys, fast-looking guys, determined guys…and yes ONE fast-looking lady (Have checked her as she was the only female runner having a smaller number than me. This was an Ironwoman and it was quite impressive to even be by her side. (Explanation: the male runners may stand on the same line as me, they are out-of-my-league (and anyway I do not race male runners! (a cool t-shirt says: “I don’t race men, I pass them 🙂 ) But female runners it is cool to check them I think. Just to know if it will be possible to hang along. Anyhow, got a tall-fast-looking male runner to let me his place on front line (thanks again!).


2minutes to the start, all are placed and eager to run. Music is on and soon the countdown start. BTW the rain had stopped a few minutes before, which is nice! Loving the countdown and hop! We left. Feeling a bit like “dream-like”, I know I am running but the only thing I see and feel is this pulling from the runners ahead of me. After a short 5/60m first turn (and yes already doing my best to avoid the water-pools!). Got passed by the Ironwoman and decide to keep her in sight. They said there will be a bike in front of first male and one in front of first female. So if I could follow her at a short distance, I could benefit from the bike “pull” as well 🙂 Got passed by a trio of male runners and the Ironwoman is in front of them 😦 But the bike stays beside me 🙂 Cool. The pace is a bit faster than planned but the thought was to keep under 4 slightly during the first 3km as they were expected to be flat. By km1, got to hear my name… Yes, MY name! This is S, who was so extremely kind to stand under her umbrella under the rain to cheer. Soooo nice indeed. Got me a smile for the km onwards! Before km2 the rain start again and definitely a cap on the head would have helped. But I left my bonnet before start as it was too warm. Having the gloves help a bit for a long while. Take 2 dextrosol (which I forgot to take before the race…). Nice road to run on, turning here and turning there. Despite the rain falling it is (quite) ok to race (I say “race” because the weather is never and issue to “run” (apart from when it is icy on the ground…). Awaiting with a bit of wonder the “hilly part” (on the map it said up 27m over 1km… had no reference to this in my training rounds, either smaller and stiffer or …no just smaller & stiffer!). Anyway, arriving close to the water station and seeing where the runners a bit ahead of me are running uphill… OK, it must be there. Missing to take water as one of my “trio-men” took right in front of me. But that is ok. Pound pound pound say my feet on the pavement and then it is time to pass the second “trio-man”. Feeling good, I even take the hill… on the top of the toes. It is probably slower way of running, but great feeling. Trying to encourage the men I am passing on the way up, but got only two cheering (thanks for this, guys!)…and then a little turn and then…it is downhill already! Really? Was this the hill I was fearing?…no time to analyse, getting down down down and meeting the other runners on their way up. Feeling to nice that I am cheering to almost all those I meet on my way down. OMG, this felt really great. Got some cheering back (cool!). Had pressed lap @km5-mark to have it synced with my watch, but this is making km6….SOOOOOOO long! Have time to take a water glass (on the left side…sorry guys coming up. It was difficult with a runner right in front of me to take on the right side). And km 6-sign arrive. Good, 4km left. Once again, comes the picture of a training-distance I usually take which is 4km. So good to be able to compare (and make it easier to finish!). Hearing the lines from M saying I should try to get a higher effort level for my race. Would qualify so far of a good 16/16+. Despite the smiles and ease, I DO make an effort! Passing a couple of male runners and turning left on a muddy street for a while and there I note that there is a female runner not too far behind. Still 2nd place so far, still feeling good. To reach km7, it is a straight line with view over the runners on the other side of the river which are 1km ahead… By the time I reach the bridge to cross, the female runner has passed me. Still within reaching distance, both of them. The km8 is pretty boring as I have NOBODY around me. At least 20/30m before are the two first ladies and then behind are a few guys who unfortunately for me cannot decide to pass me (which would help a lot!). Here comes the lines of M again: pushing the effort level a bit more and not trying to control my run. Yes it starts to hurt in the back of the thighs (right under the bums), but if I can hold a liiiiitle more. Smiling at the passing of km8 as it is approx. 4minutes faster than yesterday’s easy run (on a flat ground). Turning, being passed by a guy (THAAAAANKS!) and then looking eagerly for the 9km-sign. Got a race-help information that I am 3rd and not that far from the 2 first and from the finish line. Still looking for the 9km-sign. Arriving on the square where the finish line is and wondering whether we have to take a new round before…. nope, the ironwoman is turning left and me too. Checking quickly my watch 39:20….NO WAY I SPEND 40SECONDS TO REACH THE FINISH LINE. Final sprint, new turn aaaaaand: 39:45 on the clock.

Got my official time during the distribution of the prices: 39:44 – NEW PB by 64 seconds!!! under the rain, when R said that with this weather it is better not to plan anything (good advice!). Sub40 FINALLY! Great way to complete the year really.

Finally arrived :)

Finally arrived 🙂

Weather: 5ºC, Feels like 1ºC, 19 km/h E wind, Humidity 93% – ok, I can agree on the 5-6ºC, but not for the real feel. Did NOT feel like 1ºC at all!. Wind? Unsure was any. Rain? Definitely. Up to km3.5/4 was irritating as it fell in the eyes and made it difficult to keep them opened!

Food: before tea + banana (1hr before) // right after (within 30/40min): 1 bottle water + 1 banana +1 spicy hot dog +1 twix // during: 2 Dextrosol @2 & 8km – after 5hrs (a bit late after the race maybe): dinner

Gear: ADIDAS Supernova Boston, NY Singlet, SOC purple wind-jacket, wind gloves – shoes felt great. Light and not feeling them. So annoying there is a hole on the net starting. Have to find replacement for them 😦

NOTE: had a plaster on the left foot to avoid possible blister 🙂

NOTE: the wind-jacket was good to have, although with all the rain it was pretty sticky on the arms. Without having the BIB on it, I would have taken it out after half way! Maybe long sleeves would have suit better?

16/ Hesitating between a 16+ or a 17. Definitely pushing more than during the last 10K race. Feeling of ease from Berlin was NOT there. There was a feeling of ease, but effort was there all the time. Probably km8 to the end was the effort on the mind-side a good 17-18 (i.e. for not running “controlled”). But the overall is a good 16. More to give at the end? Definitely! Could have run faster? Don’t know. But the lack of runners around makes the pacing a bit tricky to keep.

NOTE: Great to meet jogg-buddies A, U, R and S as well as other runners met in other races (Maria who won the race had passed me the same way during Åsaloppet in July…)


Hugs with the two other placed female runners, clothes changing under the tent, receiving my price (8 bottles of energy water, a massage, chocolate and then toffee “strawberries/cream”). Got to the train station, missed the train by the second (the doors clsed right in front of me… what is the point of running a 10K sub40, if I cannot make it for my train TWICE the same day?!?!?). Well at home, directly hot-bubbles bath to get the cramp-feeling of the backside of the thighs to disappear. Chilling out after that (read: food-shopping, cooking and having a nice evening).

Definitely to have on the list for next year as despite not being my preferred distance, 10K are fun to run!

When tired legs meet heavy feet, with a thought for NY…

Sounds like a fairytale, right? That you could tell to children… Once upon a time, Tired Legs met Heavy feet…add a pinch of drizzling rain, nice temperature in the air, grey skies and no wind… You get my morning long run!
After yesterday’s run, was a bit surprised to have such tired and heavy legs & feet. I pulled myself almost during the first 3km, far from enjoying really… By km5, felt better and the body was reacting nicely. Still, maintaining a steady low pace is far from being my cup of tea! But went along and even drop the rain jacket after 15km, to continue in tshirt and shorts tights. Nice indeed. Should have fine that a while ago. Final 10K were a bit boring, running in an industrial area. Pushed the last km just to check how much strength was left in the legs…was a bit! 26km, in 2:15:36… Just a (stupid?) comparison: Paula Radcliffe set the world record in 2:15:25 in 2003 … Yap, a bit of work to do!
Back home, felt exhausted and starving. Blueberry soup and little portion of lasagne went down as well as extra water.
Chilling out then for the rest of the day. Playing Risk (despite winning two continents, G won the world domination…), lunch, reading, bowling, pizza…

Today was as well a memory day: last year I was stuck in New York city, unable to run the marathon (it had been canceled on the Friday when we arrived into Manhattan…). So yes, it is with a pinch of envy that I followed C’s steps for his first marathon, and this in NY… Eva was although the one I checked out throughout the race. Now they have landed and I cannot wait to hear how it went!

Time to get to bed soon. Lots to think about (got a place for Berlin 2014, but Chicago would get my preference…if only I would not have to wait for the registration to this later one…), low HB-value to get higher and much work to do. Running in-between will be the result of a maximum of creativity!

No race, no glory?

Following a celebration day, what else than a nice 10K run ended with speedwork under a drizzling rain?… The month of October was completed pretty well with nice volume (despite the low weeks after Berlin marathon) and some tough weeks at work.
Therefore November started with a full rest day and out of office 🙂  Continuing the eccentric heel raises as they feel a little sensitive from time to time. So far the week has been quite weak in strength training. Have to set more focus on this (well, this means basically “doing it” instead of something else…

Today, Saturday, was potentially a race day. 10K in gravel, grass, a bit of terrain and little asphalt. As we went to bed around midnight, the early morning and lack of sleep were a bad combination so skipped the race. Fully enjoyed G&E running theirs however. After sausage & hamburgers grilling with others from the club, aimed back home. Took a short while before I jumped into my gear though. Had them prepared yesterday for hopefully either the race or early morning  run… Not a chance! Took an easy warmup of 3K in the city, a bit heavy legs so was glad I did not raced at lunch time… By km 1 I was already regretting my bonnet and by the end of the warmup, I thought of taking off my scarf and wind jacket too… Did not. Started my 10km a bit faster, sun in the eyes. Second km was although a “race-like” pace. So had to convince myself to slow down. This increased strangely the effort of the run to add 5-10 sec/km… But this was the plan, and I want to bee able to give it all next weekend.  Ended the 10K in 42+ and was very happy about it! If course afterwards, can always analyse (!) where I could have won a few sec… Chill down back home, including stretch. Close to 16 nice km. good to start the weekend!

Now really tired and shall up early for breakfast tomorrow… And if course there can be glory without a race…