Running longer and faster… a few thoughts…

Archive for February, 2014

Paris 2014 HM-Day-2

Late in bed and early up… Ringing a bell? Had way too much stuff left to do yesterday evening, which ended with checking 12 times my bag, even though the only important in it are my shoes. Sure the gear are as well, but would rather race in new outfit than in new shoes!!! 4:34am – was already awaken and really resist to go up and take a run… Well-disciplined (?), waited until 6:10am to go up and do my rehab. And I know, one should not change anything before a race…. But I did 🙂 I did my rehab exercises starting by the end… He he he! A little craziness on a Friday morning…. Final check(s) for my bag (3 or 4 times? Lost count…), prepared breakfast to the still sleepy monsters and was ready to leave. Got to the door and the last question before kissing goodbye was “when should I wake up on Sunday to check you are finished?”… Answered by another voice (not mine) :”11:27am should do” 🙂 Cool to see some have confidence in me!

Missed my tram (should I write “of course”?). So had fun taking another tram line, bus, new tram (with a very welcoming and smiling driver – thanks for making my day!) and finally got to wait for the airport bus.20140228-080254.jpg
Much lighter package this year and way “nicer” weather for travelling (read: no cold & snow/freeze like last year…. Only rain). Hope Paris will offer a similar (or better?) one on Sunday… Airport procedures as usual, got a RW, toasted turkey sandwich and a bottle of water. First flight was short and my guess is that I slept… because I did not noticed at all we even left the gate after hearing the safety procedures and then it was time to land… A bit of wait in Copenhagen, forgot my sandwich at home, so 2eggs were my snack while waiting. Plane to Paris will take longer and once again, opportunity to sleep 😉

Indeed once again, did not notice the plan lifting… Awaken briefly when they switched off the seatbelt sign and slept more. Pretty smooth arrival, long walk to the exit, but really easy to have only hand luggage. Took an Air France bus to Gare de Lyon. Ate a Mars (had no time enough to grab food before the bus leave). My main thought during the bus trip was that the weather is just RIGHT! 10-11°C, sunny behind the thick cloud cover… Make it stay!!!! (& of course this is not my only thought, but made me pretty happy). Got the bus to drop me at St Mande and then walked the 3+km to the Parc Floral. Great sunny weather, runners in shorts… Definitely how it should be…on Sunday!

Pickup of bib number went smoothly, nice number 🙂 and then going around the exhibition a bit. Won a bottle of Powerade after doing 15 squats….
Then left under light rain and walked walked walked to my room. Actually not too far from my hotel in 2012. Great to be settling down and getting out to eat a bit (have missed lunch…). Very kind hostess too.
Left for a walk & few purchases. Food for breakfast, bananas, pains au chocolat, honey, tea and stuff that cannot be found at home (like honey & avocado shampoo, argan shower oil…). Completed my walk at a Japanese restaurant. Soup and salad to start with. Then dumplings and mix of skewers with rice. Yummy! What the body needed.





Back home, shower, check of running gear for Sunday (seriously thinking a similar outfit to Berlin marathon, even if raining…). Got my Garmin detecting satellites after a while. So ready for bed.

SdP… 2 days to go…

What a difference a day makes…

VERY MUCH!!!! Would we be tomorrow, it would only be 2 days left… Time has been going waaaaaay too slow today (almost all the day…)

Started BEFORE the birds, quick change, goodbye to those going skiing today and out in the cold. Well, actually, the temperature announced on my phone was 3ºC, but it felt way nicer. Had long winter underwear and MoreMiles shorts on the top. Not the time to be a fashion victim! Wanted to check if could still handle the cold with no double layer or no long tights. Real easy run, meeting almost no soul, until km5, where a car seemed a bit upset that I was taking the car road (which is NOT for pedestrians, but so much quicker and nicer than going through the tunnel). On the other side of the road, took off the winter underwear and kept shorts only. SO NICE! (and definitely not 3ºC!). Already had a neck warmer, but attached my winter long tight around the neck as it was not in the very thoughtful plan to carry it by hand to home. The legs did appreciate very much to get in the air and the second half went way faster than the first one, the effort level remaining constant (read: low). Ended the 10K with a fast last km and stopped to buy some croissants. A nice guy must have thought “poor her, she must be mad AND freezing” and let me go first to buy my croissants 🙂 Then decided to sprint the last 600m home and this WAS fun (ok, not easy with a bag full of stuff in the hand, but fun definitely). Back home was time enough to do my rehab exercises and then breakfast (YES, I DID EAT TWO CROISSANTS! and not even feeling guilty 🙂 ).

Took a break for sushi-lunch in very nice company, which made the afternoon passing by very fast, but then arrived the time to start packing… NOT FUN. The weather in Paris is very changing and today was shower all day long apparently. Below is what accuweather is predicting for Sunday… Will see how the body feels on Sunday with 3ºC, 92% humidity and 40% chance rain…(oh yeah, and there was some wind planned as well…).

SnapShot_023420 SnapShot_024420SnapShot_025620

OK, double-checked the Semi de Paris website, and it is still 3 days to go…

Gear-wise it is a mess. Had planned shorts and tshirts (not THAT bold to have singlet…working on it….), but now with the rain, am a bit unsure… Have a little suitcase almost full…of running gear! Good it is in France I am going so if anything is missing I know where to find it. Long day of travelling yesterday. So time for bed soon.

SdP…3 days to go 🙂

Final rehearsal…

After a couple of snooze on the alarm… did GO out of bed for morning run (and the workout still started 5:35am…). Had a look at the temperature: Nice! +3ºC (compared to last year when my morning run was done at -6ºC…). Still chickening out and got on my long tights (regretted it after 3km warmup…) but the long sleeves and wind jacket were correct clothing 🙂 Easy warmup, nice in the legs, a bit frozen (as  when leaving a warm bed into a cold outdoor within short time…). Light stretch and change of music. Short time interval to test the shape. First one was great exactly the way I wanted. A bit annoyed though to have it already good because it often means the other won’t be as good. Second interval got a fast start and by half way felt the legs slowing down (not that I wish it, THEY did that). The rest was good to catch back the breathing. Always interesting (I think) to see that it takes only a short short time to get back to regular breathing despite the end of the interval being like you seem close to spit flames. Anyway the third intervals did not go well, had it all controlled at first and too much control is NOT good. Had to fight to get the highest range for the interval, but feeling was not there. Decided to take 30sec longer for rest and give it all in the last one. Well, start was fast and nice but by half way the legs started to slow down and the head did not mind much… THANKS to a scooter-guy passing by and cheering for me (Yapp, there are this type of cheering even at 6am !), strength came back and finish was really strong (and yes, it does work as well to think “you run to your max and beyond for the last 15sec and this is what will make you go under xx:xx (xx:xx being your time objective)… It does work, try it. Visualize that you have the clock ticking and you see it just turned 16sec from your goal and all what it takes for you to reach your goal is to give all what you’ve got…for 15sec…). Final interval within the range? Check! Easy run back discovering on my mp3 a trance-mix from 2011 and it was nice to end with it. Got my DS Sky Speed on and they felt nice, but surprisingly felt a bit tired… Just they can hold until Sunday and it would have been a great life for them!

Directly stretching after the run, taking protein drink mix with green stuff and a banana and off of to the rehab… Tricky to do that after interval workout, but it always feels so good to have it DONE!. Then the day went on, work, work and more work. No sunshine today, but drizzle all afternoon. Good choice to have run this morning, huh? After last meeting, did go to have a final thai massage. Not as tough as last week, but she did work a lot on the shoulders (when I would have like to have more on the hips and thighs-sides). But after it, gosh, it was necessary to get this work on the shoulders. Ended a little more work and now will start selecting my running gear for Sunday.

Now to the point: should or should not do a carb loading? Not thinking at all before a marathon, this is on the “TO DO” list. But for half-marathon? nnnnnjajanejnasdajsnd. Undecided. SO to make everyone happy (head and body, I mean), let’s keep it as it is before a regular long run. Nothing to be changed. Just a bit more carb on Saturday early evening and that will do the trick, right?

Time to close the laptop now and be a bit asocial as usual (read: “as usual before a race…”). Still enough night to get rested enough before Sunday 🙂

Paris… 4 days to go (REALLY?!?!?!?)


Walking on sunshine?

Days are just passing by and do not look alike (or they do? do they?)

Long and rested night did not improve the level of tiredness when it became time to roll out of bed (it really feels that the “go up” has been replaced by “roll out” in the morning…just have to be careful not to roll down to the floor, just ;)) Got straight to the rehab (so at least, I could say something good was done today). Quite ok. Little feeling in the backside of the left thigh…but who does NOT have a feeling in the backside of the left thigh? (trying to convince myself all is fine with me here..). Then banana/kiwi/oat milk green mix before starting work (and yes, the clock was just turning 8am then…). Late breakfast of grahamsporridge around 10-ish to be sure I could hold for a late lunch as planned.

By lunchtime the sun had just decided to get out and play. Which was great. Long lunch in nice company, which is the best that could happen today to get some extra energy (you know when you need some to convince yourself you can run and yes, you do have your medals, photos whatever else to remind you of your ability, but something just feel sluggish and tells you that the sofa could be an alternative as well – rather than getting out and… OOOOOOOOOooooo! Stop right here! Am not THAT down :)). Great lunch with sun in the eyes was followed by a quick check at the close-by running store to see whether they would have Adidas adios 2 and/or Adidas Adizero Adios Boost. AND THEY DID (well, only the second model as apparently the first one is no longer…produced?!?!? since over a year?!?! Should be doing my homework a bit better next time.) Anyway, they looked great, felt nice, but no trial done as the outfit for lunch was not the one appropriate for a shoe-test. Time to get back home, update a few emails, jump into my running gear and off to pick up J for a short sightseeing of the city. A bit too short time to get there, which turned the “easy-slow-warmup” into a “fast-and-heavy-warmup”. Up on the bridge, nice view over the harbour with the sun in the face and then headwind run for a while (especially the last 200m straight line) and then ferry over the water to get back to the running store and try the Adios Boost. Got to meet J who surprisingly congratulated me for my time in Dubai (did not know I was sooo famous, so I asked how she knew it, ready to tell she was mistaking with one of the fast Swedish gals that also ran in Dubai). New club member she is, will be cool to have company for a run once in a while! Back to the shoes: looking good apparently (and this is not ME saying it as I could not see how I ran). Felt very stable, at least for the little time spent on the treadmill. So will have a few additional trials before deciding, but they do have potential. More stable than Kinvara and little lighter than Sky Speed… WOuld we have a winner?!?!?! Then back in the cold as the sun had disappeared and we had stayed a bit in the warmth of the store. Drop off at the hotel and coold down at a way-faster-than-planned-pace-which-felt-like-slow-anyway. Light snacks afterwards, more work and time for bed soon. Great afternoon run really (like this even though they walk…), making me almost regretting to have had long tights when the sun was out so nicely for our run. Same weather in Paris will definitely be short-weather!

All to get in shape for tomorrow’s final quality workout. Fully booked day, so will be either early or late (easy choice, right?).

Paris…5 days to go 🙂

WARNING! This marathon time is unrealistic for your fitness level!

Monday-rest day, yeah yeah yeah…

Started the day with easy warm-up, first half of core & stability and then straight to work. This is actually making the core& stability very short and pretty easy to run. Made a full working day and then ended with the second half of core& stability session (the though one). Pretty tough was to keep the eyes opened and doing ball pikes of full Vs with closed eyes is a challenge I dare anyone to try… (and yes…not just ONE ball pikes, but 12…and note just ONE V but 10 and for 10seconds each…).

Now to the funny part of the day. I have received the update from Runnersconnect and today’s post was about “predicting when you will hit the wall” in a marathon. Great, right? At least you do not have anything to fear. You enter your weight, your latest 5K and let the calculator tell you when you will hit the wall. So in my case, I entered the data required (best 5K done first week of January (have no other reference for 5K raced.. Would not be much better anyway, I would guess) and Dubai marathon time) aaaaaaaand got a nice warning: “Warning! This marathon time is unrealistic for your fitness level!“.. Uuuuuh?!?!??! WHAT????? I better off stopping right now the whole running thing, considering that what I ran in Dubai is actually IMPOSSIBLE and UNREALISTIC… (Oooooor I do have secret powers which I am not aware of….. Oooooor I am a very-lazy-worm-which-cannot-run-fast-on-short-distances…. Oooooor I am part of the family “Incredibles” (I wan to be the mum who run super-fast…so fast she can run into the future as well 😉 Ooooooor …what else can it be???? Oooh, ya, there is something wrong in the calculator… (can this be, really?)) SO I guess I should review the whole “objectives for the year thing”, right?…(1:20 faster on a 5K….piece of cake, right?)

More to happen this week, but for today that would be enough. Must go to bed… it.... :)

Really…do it…. 🙂

When does “run” rhyme with “well-done”?

TGISu…F.I.N.A.L.L.Y… Thought this week would never end…

Long rest and actually nice night sleep, started Sunday on the right foot/feet 🙂 Light breakfast before leaving for this morning intervals. The plan was to get some pulling power from a biker and I had one ready to help at home. After approx.1.2km, the headwind was already bothering me/us and it was just the warmup… Thought a bit whether we should aim for another route and skip this wind, but it felt ok, especially if my personal biker would serve as wind-shield AND pull-power during the run. Stop after warmup for light stretch and reviewing the planned intervals. Took a few km before the wind felt impossible to fight, the wind-shield strategy was not helping as I was more likely pushing then being pulled. Ended the first 5K really annoyed and not even heavy breathing (not that it is necessary, but at least I see I have been working…). Three stops during this first interval are three too many. A bit of rest, water and then turn back hoping for tailwind… and of course not. Side wind it was and for this my personal wind-shield acted perfectly. But the pace was way slower than expected and this got me even more annoyed. Completed the second 5K, too a bit of rest and then aimed for home along the harbours. Sure at the end it became a half-marathon at a training pace. But on the “annoyance”-level scale, it just raised the top. Took a black magic mix after the run (plenty of nice healthy stuff) and then it was time to prepare lunch. Spareribs and ovenbaked potatoes…Almost covered for the annoying run…

Afternoon spent chilling out and walking to/back from town. A bit of shopping and then finishing the day with rehab. Something does not feel ok and I cannot set the finger on it. Today I put the blame on the shoes (had my Kinvara and they definitely not were giving me the feeling I wanted), on the wind (of course!), on the wind-shield not working, on the pulling not working, on the …. what was it I had to blame as well?… Yes, today was definitely not a “well-done” run. So change of strategy for Paris: definitely to be a training long run rather than something else. Cannot see really how to get fast and fit in a week from now, when today felt like rubbish.

So, countdown continues, but not clearly high expectations though.

Time for evening chillout!

The search continues…

Easy-cozy Saturday… that was the plan…and got well-executed 🙂

Long night with bugs dreams … still woke up well rested, thank myself for having prepared my gear yesterday evening (I know, I usually do it, but sometimes I don’t and yesterday it was done at the last minute before bed) and off under drizzling rain (Yes, sounds like a déjà-vu or “copy/paste” from yesterday…just 2 hours later though). The first km felt just like light and flying. Real nice and the music chosen suited perfectly. Got back&forth in my thoughts about taking the bridge or not and finally run up to it and turn to get the first kms of Göteborgsvarvet. Still nice under the light rain and nice temperature. But the thing I appreciated the most was the light. OK it was a bit late in the morning, but the light of the skies was divine. Just went along and enjoyed running up the slopes on the top of the toes and it did feel fine 🙂 Happy me! Completed the run with a large smile, J Jackson in the ears and the rain beginning to fall 🙂 Rainy runs are really underestimated…

And the easy-cozy Saturday just continued, little shopping was planned. The chase for new racing shoes is on. Found a pres while googling explaining that the ASICS Gel DS-Sky Speed was actually a model developed for the Swedish market (?) and now the #3 is available only in selected store. This could just be a little inconvenience, but the #3 is not at all the same as #2. Have tried it all over again and nope. Not for me. So have been checking around and got suggested to look at Adidas Adios 2 and Adidas Adizero Adios Boost. Yaaa if you note that there is a mistake in the name of the models, that is highly probable. Apparently “Boost” is a technology used for the cushioning. SO plenty of models have this “boost” in the model name… Daaaa!  Intersport had Adidas Superglide Boost but they felt heavy and indeed they seem to be as heavy (if not more) than my GT-2150 that I had today. So sure they could be an alternative for training, but today it was racing shoes that were on the search menu. Got suggested stores to be checked (of course, none of them in the city center…).

The plan is to check the Aidas Adios 2 and Adidas Adizero Adios Boost. If I can find a shop having them in stocl in the correct size, this will be tested during the week. Otherwise, Paris should be able to help me on this one… Any tips on those models?

Dinner at a Burrito/Quesadilla restaurant, chausson aux pommes freshly taken out of the baker oven and time for an evening movie.. The only catch being the movie had no sound after 20minutes… ;(  Time to load for tomorrow’s fun-fast-pace run. Hopefully I can get some support on the way.

Paris…not much left, really…

There is something special about today…

Woke up well rested, hearing the drizzling rain in the roof tops…and still could not get what was so special about today…and not just because TGIF….

Jour J-9...

Jour J-9…

Got enough strength to get my gear in and get the whole “me” out under drizzling rain… Sure there are other ways of waking up and certainly better ones, but have to admit that an early morning run in the dark with this powdering rain falling had its charms… Seriously, try it. Took approximately 7km before the body got up to speed (read: “warm enough to understand what it was up to”), the plan being to keep a very slow pace, if possible between 5:45 & 6:00…. Yrs, this is killing me, but if it does help recovery, do be it. (and no, the run did not finish at the expected pace, but faster…). Special part? Drizzling rain and 6°C makes it a real spring run!

Breakfast time and then early start for work. Could not understand what the body and mind were up to. Hardly could keep my eyes opened, hesitating to head for my bed again… But warriors are tougher than that, right? So decided to drink indecent amount of tea and small snacks throughout the mouthing…and nope…did not help really. 😦 Special part? Fighting against the “falling asleep” feeling.

Short lunch break for a long thai massage. Far from nice and relaxing, indicated the pain points (hips, bum, shoulders…) and she found them all! Tried to put a cross on the muscular system pic below on the points which are hurting…. Note that “no cross” does not mean “no pain”, but “potential area where it can be painful, so please no not push here”… Spent probably 10-15 minutes just on the sides of the hips and thighs… And yes, it WAS painful… Special part? The “pain”-part woke me up pretty much for the rest of the day!

Muscular system where it hurts...

Muscular system where it hurts…

More work to complete the afternoon and then it was just to end the day with cozy evening (quick lorraine with puff pastry (not recommended, because 1) it will taste “croissant”, 2) it “grows” really much in the oven making it tricky to put the filling on the top and 3) it will taste “croissant”… and movie evening with Nausicaa of the Wind Valley (highly recommended, except if you really not like bugs… I don’t and it took a while for sleeping after that…). Special part? Cozy factor = maximum 🙂

Told you this was a special day…. OOooh, sure. This is as well the first “one-figure day” in the countdown to the next race… Generally I do notice this for my marathon races. But this time, it feels a bit special. Will see why in…probably…9 days?…

Paris…9 days to go! (the REAL countdown has started!)

NOTE from  the end of the day… thanks to the massage (?), no pain felt in the HH during the rest of the day. Shoulders were a bit tired by the treatment, but the thighs, hips and bum were happy (OK, not fully, but better little than none). Missed the rehab in the morning and skipped it in the evening for 1) not interfering with what apparently the massage is doing and 2)…. no other reason 🙂

Pancakes + meetings + tempo = good day?

Third of a “good day”-serie… that’s always nice to have.

When the clock rang after only little sleep, there was only one obvious choice… to go back to sleep. Took forever to fall asleep as I was freezing. So 3 extra covers and a couple of hours later, I was able to start resting. And of course, after the clock rings and you decide to continue to sleep, the brain happily keeps you awaken… just to annoy you a bit.

So by 6:30am decided to get ready for pancakes (the thin ones). Started not perfectly and the rule is simple: “missed pancake is an eaten pancake” (i.e. if the pancake is not correctly done, then it should not be put on the plate to present for breakfast and should be eaten right away…). TWO missed pancakes later 🙂 and it was better. Got ready for a long network meeting. Drank too much tea, ate not enough during the morning (read: no snacks at all), compensate at lunch with the American buffet (took 2 hamburgers with fries and onion rings and little coleslaw… loading-I thought- for the evening run). More tea before leaving to the office and there…started with tea again. By 3am, the head was already turning, ready to faint (not sure why but could bet on a sugar-level drop) and got a banana and water. Helped for a while. Before leaving the office, took another banana and an apple. Thought this would be fine for the run.

BUT by the time I reached home, I felt pretty tired so changed right away and headed to the pavement. 4km boring warmup, really regretting I had my blue army long tights as for the past couple of runs, they feel a bit “tight” (ha ha ha! so funny…) in the sense the legs cannot really get the correct moves in them. Did not turn back home, stopped for easy stretch and get along for a tempo run not too fast. First km was WAY too fast and then the pace settled. By km3 regretted not to have G with me on the bike so to have a personal pacer and cheerleader, because it WAS that tough. Had to dig deep to remember that I was running far faster and for way longer in Dubai. This generally works, but today the mind was sluggish. No real good flow, felt my steps were too long, like someone double my heigh would do… Had two short stops during the run: no need to crush the body now, so close to the race. Better stop and rest than stupidly and stubbornly continue like I generally do… Ended with a very fast km and crawl back home afterwards… Nope, not the best tempo-run and far from it.

Noted that my left knee is not too happy lately and I put that on the change in the rehab exercises, as I added squats and this can be a reason for killing my knee. THEREFORE no more squat until further notice 🙂

Food was definitely needed: 3-fish soup with broccoli and cauliflower did the trick…I think. Got as well my flight booked for Paris and awaiting for confirmation of my room… But now it is time for bed before my front-head hit the keyboard and I wake up tomorrow morning with ERTYUI written on the chick…

Paris (Yaaaaawn)…10 (yaaaawn) days to (yaaaawn) go….(Zzzzzzzz Zzzzzzz Zzzzzzz).

Is Yoda really the coolest?…

And it was rest day again… Feeling like I am writing this way too often lately…

Even Yoda has insight about running...

Even Yoda has insight about running…

Got a quite long night, but still felt tired when the clock showed 6:45am…and it took a bit before getting up as well. Quick breakfast and work was the plan. Easy at work (meaning “no meeting back 2 back”, not that I had nothing to do….) and after an Indian lunch and very good discussion with a colleague (nice when great mind share their thoughts 🙂 ), aimed back home to take the afternoon work. A bit of silence is often helping for concentration.

But now to the point: Paris is in 11 days. A running colleague told me he did his best half marathon time on this course @1:15:XX….which made me check how it went in this same course for me, as I have run it twice already.

  • 2012: 1:40:25 – 2 nights of high fever the week of the race and no expectation at all for the race itself. PB 🙂
  • 2013: 1:30:04 – good vibes for the race, friend joining the race as well…the only annoying part was the time. Not that it was not good (new PB), but it was incorrect (net=brutto)
  • 2014:… SO if the trend continues this year, I should get sub80, right? 🙂

Have therefore checked with GET how cool that would be to do this…and the answer I got was “‘would be cooler if you were Yoda…”. Unsure I heard correctly I double checked and yes, apparently I am far from being the coolest…Yoda is…

So is life and I have now to revise ALL my objectives both for running and in life… 1:20 is not on the list and apparently does not matter much if I ever get there…Should get the “Star Wars” DVD next week and do a “Star Wars marathon”… (ha ha ha…if not the coolest, at least I am trying to be funny).

Finished the day with Rehab 2.0. Changed slightly the exercises, having hamstring bridge, planks (up to 60sec each of them… 7 of of them…), Swiss ball curl (2 legs and 1 leg), squats and of course Ulf’s kicks (done since last Tuesday as recommended). The squats are done with the Pilates ball in the back against the wall, so it is like sitting really. 30sec of each is making you feeeeeeel the fire in the thighs. It did kill my left knee a bit so when I laid down for the Swiss ball curls, the left knee felt a bit painful. But now a few hours later, it is gone.

NOW the working day is really finished after a full hour with a US colleague (they do go up early for our meetings we kindly set before lunch time CET, so it is nice to give back sometimes and take meetings late for us… 🙂 ) All set for tomorrow (I think). Unsure whether it will be a morning run alone in the dark or an evening run with a pulling bike on the side… Maybe I take a sleep-in until 6:00am tomorrow. A bit of luxury in the middle of the week cannot hurt, right? Tuesday was a good day. Wednesday was a  good day. Let’s keep this pattern up and running..

Paris…11 days to go… (really?…)