Running longer and faster… a few thoughts…

Archive for March, 2014

Race Report – Copenhagen Half-marathon (World Championships) 2014/03/29

Planned: go for under 1:27 and closest to 1:26, the better 🙂

Actual: 1:24:58 – new PB by 2min41 sec since Semi de Paris two weeks ago (March 2nd, 2014), on a fast and flat route…and while experiencing a World Championship as participant! 🙂

Place: 126 – all women 🙂 / 9 – category “women 35-39” / 1215 all runners 🙂
SO.EXTREMELY.HAPPY of this result in the Danish capital. Definitely far under what I was expected and thought even possible, beating my 2014 half-marathon objective by far at the same time… Fun and sun all the way, lots of effort but surely no pain, this is so far the greatest ever run half-marathon I have done! Perfect weather conditions, great final two weeks preparations, body and mind in sync and ready for a nice “one-of-a-lifetime” race… Truly got more than expected! Even could see the elite women receiving their price right after I crossed the finish line…the same line they crossed for the World Championships!!!
Still great feeling afterwards, not fully tired and ready to enjoy both sun and a good meal!
Ambiance of London or Berlin marathon… running a bit away of the elites, but meeting them at start and when our paths met during the race… Perfect outside-of-the-country outing for a Saturday 😉

Splits

Splits

Splits

* adjusted lap on Garmin
(from Garmin: km-marks not exactly at the Garmin beeps, but should do):

First half: 42:14
Second half: 42:45
Average pace: 14.96km/h – 4.01min/km

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BEFORE THE RACE

3:xx am – Woke up during the night, not too well and really sweaty… Not sure it would be fine a few hours later for running 😦

7:25am – Awaken without alarm, but kind workers outside building/repairing I-don’t-know-what (but seriously… a Saturday morning???). Sunshine already 🙂

8:00am – Breakfast with apple juice,red juice and green mix and banana and little bread. Had eaten enough the day before and did not feel needing more in the tummy.
Drink almost every half hour, but took the safe side (i.e. Not too much to avoid pit stops during the race…). Laying in the bed reading about everything and nothing after breakfast. Not always I can have a lazy morning 😛
(And surely, most of the reading was about running…like when to take optimally an energy gel during a half marathon…could be handy today, I thought…or what splits to have for diverse finish times…).

10:30am – Last drink and banana before shower and getting ready. This is a World Championship… If I can’t run fast, at least I will look pretty!

Not much time left before start...

Not much time left before start…

11:25am – Now turning around a bit in my room, sending final thoughts so they are not bothering my head during the race and jumping into my shorts, singlet and fast running shoes. The weather forecast is pretty nice: 12°c at start, 13°C for the two following hours. Unsure the arm sleeves will follow (even though it would look real cool!).

11:47am – Leaving the apartment (without arm sleeves), having painted Swedish and French flags on the front of the thighs, both calves and on my arms as well. So at least some of those country cheerers will cheer for me (maybe). Have written my splits on my hand. Sun glasses on. A bit late, took a street I did not recognised, felt really lost and a bit stressed. Followed the few “yellow bags” on the street, hoping they took the correct direction….

My dream splits...

My dream splits…

Yippie! Sun is shining!

Yippie! Sun is shining!

11:58am – arriving a few 100m from the starting line and hear the opening ceremony. Real cool feeling! A WORLD CHAMPIONSHIP…. and I won’t be a spectator… Stop to photo the elites warming up… Really cool again to be sooo close. They ARE running the world championship..

Before race - with the start in the back

Before race – with the start in the back

French elite men team

French elite men team

Elite men warming-up

Elite men warming-up

Find my way to the starting corrals and then took the looooong way to the baggage trucks (way too far, if I may give my views). Because had to go aaaaaaall the way back after (i.e. From the last start group to the first one… remember? 30,000 runners? Yaaa, you get the picture!). Similar feeling as in Paris, going against a human wave and then sloooowly back. Quick and last visit to the loo before the race. A bit early but do not want to wait the last minute… and there was almost no queue neither where I stopped. Great (!) to queue for the loo with all the male runners having the standing pee-stuff close-by. Cannot think of any other events where you would consider this as… yes, normal…!

Wow, so many people on this side as well!

Wow, so many people on this side as well!

Far away...close to the baggage trucks

Far away…close to the baggage trucks

not far from the baggage trucks

not far from the baggage trucks

12:20am – Not a chance to warm-up as I wanted so took a front place to see the elite women starting. And this, my friends, is just beautiful to see. One moment they are here and PANG! They are just gone!!!! (Will meet them again while reaching km2… They are by then at km11….)

12:32am – Going back to the start group “under 1:30”. Had seen the pace setters for 1:25 with their green balloons and thought either I place myself back and close to them so they hold the pace for me ooooor I set myself further front and run like h*ll hoping they won’t pass me during the race… Took the second option (without the “like h*ll”-part).

12:42am– So now I am in my start group, surrounded by giants (ok, I am not that tall, but not real small neither… But still those guys were just like…like their heads could touch the clouds! And from where I stood, looking up, their heads DID touch the clouds…). Red everywhere, either Denmark or Norway…or other countries I could not remember… Felt a bit odd in white at first. But so many around were also in white (because white might be the new red, or?…). New check to my shoes, deciding not to tie them differently, even though felt liiitle tight on the right shoe and liiitle loose on the left shoe… Or was it all in my head?….

12:4xam – Elite men going to the start. Wow! Impressive! Cannot see much but enough to spot a Swede among them. Heja Sverige! Countdown starts way too soon… No warmup apart from running on place and jumping 5 times… I know, have to work on this warm up-part for such races…

12:53am – Smiling right, smiling left, feeling the wave moving slowly forward aaaaaand…

THE RACE

12:55am – START IS GIVEN!… But liiitle happens really. Still slowly reaching the start line and pressing “Start” on my watch. Estimating it took 30-40seconds to reach this line, just have to keep this time difference 😉

The first km was slow… well, appeared to be slow. Because by the first left turn, my watch indicate 3:2x for pace!!!! Not much pushing as such, but so not much place to run. Had spotted a few women around me before start and planned to keep up with one of them, when we start to have a stable pace. To reach km1, I choose to take the blue line path, completely on the left. Quite good because most if the people are in the middle. Passing the first km in 4:05. As planned. BUT knowing there is always a distance difference “real vs Garmin”, so I had in my head to aim for having 2sec faster than planned on the Garmin. This should compensate for the distance difference, I think. Having run this part yesterday, I turn the gear up and reach km2 @3:50… Ok, maybe I had a gear too fast here. Distance difference with Garmin being approx.20m. Seeing the elite women passing by on the other side of the route… and yes, you slow down to watch! The following stretch to km4 goes well. Taking a glass water, more to clear the mouth because 1) the glass is half full and 2) it does not work drinking at this pace! Passing a couple of gals, feeling the pace might be too fast to hold for the whole race, but guys! This FELT good to run at this pace, so if this would mean having a dreadful second half, I was actually ready to pay the price if having this feeling at the start!

Km5 is reached faster than expected, won’t complain though. Almost in sync with the Garmin. But turning towards km6 seems really long and some head wind starts to play around. Or side wind. Unsure. Reaching km6 and noting there is a greater distance difference, so “lapping” it on my watch and checking the avg pace. 3:58 (!!!). But while passing km5 the total time corresponded to 4:02-pace. So my plan is to keep 3:58 as avg-pace throughout the race, which will mean ending at 4:02 official pace… Yes, sounds complicated and really that I should be focusing on the running instead… But this is the running! Trying during this length towards km7 to take the back of tall guys as wind-shield (I knew those tall guys from the start would be handy to have somewhere in the race…). Unsure it did much, but from time to time I could feel their pace dragging me forward. Then km7-8 felt really warm & hot, not much shadow. Seeing the other runners on the other side of the street and realising I have done more than 1/3 of the race. Youhou! Still pounding the pavement at avg-pace 3:58 on the watch. All good!
Had an eye on a Swedish gal from IF Linnea ahead of me since a short while. Just have to keep up with her pace I thought. But got closer and closer, quick “looking good” and a smile back (thanks!) and off I went. Took my gel a little before the water station at km9.1 and two half-full mugs of water. Once again, questionable choice to have plastic mugs instead of water bottles. When I pass this station, and not that many have passed it before me, it is already full with mugs on the street and slippery already… Still 28.900+ runners to pass by this water station… You get the picture!

New turn to reach km10… Seeing the clock indicating 40:xx – no chance for PB on this distance (for today), but decent time indeed. Soon reaching half the race and still having my Garmin on 3:58. Got a bit worried for short second, maybe my watch was ACTUALLY stuck on a dummy avg-pace and my stupid mind was stuck on it… Got to turn towards km11 and THIS.FELT.GOOD! Estimated having passed the first 10K in 40:20?30? and this meant still keeping a good pace.

Halfway done, halfway to go! The long stretch to km11 was nice; I knew what was after km11! A bit disappointed not having cheering Swedes at this spot as expected. But lifting/waving up the arms is turning the crowd into cheerleaders! Noted as well to my surprise that this stretch was actually upwards… by seeing the other runners from km2 running downwards… Did not noticed the downhill when I was there…
Turn right after Oslo plads and time to shine! Quick calculation: could I get the final 10K in 41 minutes, that would give me under 1:26… Ok. My calculations at this point of any race can be questionable,… but entertaining! Real hot part here. No shadow, passing the museum of art and turning left (yesterday I skipped this part and continued straight forward). Feeling nice flow for the body but the legs despite being string do show little signs of… fatigue? boredom? too warm?… Well, do not stop to ask their view and get along with the race. Had passed another guy from IF Linnea. Feeling good to start now with the giants runners being less. At least I can see the road 😉 To km13 and end of the street, take protection behind guys again. Decide to do a “complete body check” when reaching km14.
Forget doing it as I recognise the street from yesterday… until we turn right again so check point is set at km15. This time checkpoint felt good..no, great! My time splits on my hand indicate I am just a few seconds above the time for a 1:25 finish. Decide to take Dextrosol at km16-mark.
Passing the elite water-station and shout at the Swede standing under the Swedish flag to cheer (& he did – THANKS A LOT). Extra boost if energy. Taking 2 Dextrosol when my Garmin beep for km16, but no sign of this km16… Even looking back to check if I missed it… Nothing ahead neither. D*mn, I hoped I really have a well-functioning watch so I am not reaching the next sign seeing km15-16 was actually 1.9km instead of 1….
And here came Fredriksberg allé…km18… Had read yesterday evening there would be flags and really the atmosphere of a World Championship and man! This WAS true. Imagine a long street with Danish flags on both sides, public cheering and seriously… YOU ARE part of this eminent event! Could not help waving and calling for more cheering. My countdown had started km17… Only 4km to go!!! (Ok, my countdown always starts at the starting line… But emphasis was today at km11 (only 10 to go), km13 (only …21-11-2.. Ya, need help in calculation when the sun is on the head and the sugar rush effect from gel-km9 has disappeared…8km to go), km17 was the latest one. But now! THREE little km to go. N.O.T.H.I.N.G!!!! New boost in the legs and feeling so good I even start cheering for the guys I am passing. Passing a short “street-stones” bit (thanks for this info “Tricky”. Even if it was short this “stone-part”, was good to know!). Passed by a short fast lady there. She looks tough so decide to skip this chase. Enough men can be passed until the finish line 😉 Waiting for seeing the Hard Rock café from yesterday as it indicate almost km20…but nowhere to be found…until I am just passing it. From this moment it is just all in. Passing km20 mark with a large smile and this last km I know it. The three giants of Running NGO (?) are no gentleman and pass me on the right and the left and stand as four really tight. Not a chance to pass them. Don’t care. Almost last turn right. This one IS tough. Mentally. The legs can but the head is a bit reluctant to continue. HELLO THERE!?!?! Somebody home???  The non-existent bridge does feel under my tired feet. Quick check on the clock. 500m left. Enough strength for a sprint could be found in Dubai after double the distance, and in Paris after a hilly km – so this one will be done as well. Km21 stands right at the turn to the right again and there.is.the.finish.line. 1:24:58..59…1:25:…doesn’t matter. Might not make it under 1:25 but sub1:26 is out-of-reach… Pushing close to max and hop! Finished!

Passing the finish line and stopping my watch. Unsure if having a smile in the finish photos, but my watch indicate… What? 1:24:59!!!! Quickly hoping there won’t be a similar time problem as Paris last year. But who cares? My watch shows under 1:25!

AFTER THE FINISH LINE

Checking again my watch…still this 1:24:59 staring at me! Shouting a bit (and heard some echoes from other runners 🙂 We understand each other! Walking a bit and stopping in front of the medal ceremony of the 2014 World Half-marathon Championships!!! The three ladies there are just glowing and look so beautiful, it brings me tears up to the eyes 🙂 Meeting with Lona from IF Linnea and chat a bit, smiling. Meeting two other of her fellow-club mates, including Mikael K with the largest smile ever on his face 🙂 Real fun to meet runners you have met in other races…
Then starts the long long long walk to get back to the baggage trucks. Receiving (finally!) my wonderful medal. A bit after take 2 bottles of water. Drink drink drink. Legs, feet, mind: quick body check saying that all is functioning perfectly. Receiving a couple of energy bars (I really find those disgusting, but after a race, I just eat them and swallow with water. Today was mixed with a delicious apple!). Was missing bananas and energy drink actually. Picking up my bag, getting a few after-race pics and then…. no it was not finished yet… long walk to get to the finisher t-shirt trucks. No sign whatsoever indicating where it was. Looked like a no-man’s-land, when earlier this morning over 30,000 people had conquered those streets… Getting my t-shirt (XS-size are already all gone!!! so have to be satisfied with a S).

After race photo - still smiling :)

After race photo – still smiling 🙂

One of the nicest medals I have won

One of the nicest medals I have won

Summary? Fast and furious! This was the greatest run so far for this distance. Body fine, mentally strong, weather ideal and great ambiance! Unsure if this was an “all-in” from start to end, but definitely focusing on the race and keeping the mind focus IS an art! The inside forces saying from time to time to take a rest fight against stronger ones keeping the legs moving, which is fantastic! Could not even dream of such a race experience for today!

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Weather: 12ºC, Feels like 12ºC, 5 km/h ESE wind, Humidity 54% – definitely perfect conditions for running. Slightly chilly during the wait in the corral (as it was in the shadow), although having all those tall guys around is cutting from any possible wind and do not underestimate the human warmth when all are so close to each other! Sun shining during all the race, felt a bit hot (!) in some part and there was wind as well in some parts. But seriously, I would take those weather conditions ANYTIME for ANY RACE or ANY TRAINING!

Food: 8:00am green mix + red juice and apple juice + banana / 10:30am red juice 2.5dl + apple juice 1dl + banana // right after the race: 1 “before race” energy bar, 1 apple, 1 water bottle // 40min later: 2dl apple juice // 2.5later after: late lunch (entrecote, potatoes, veggies, coke, champagne, banana-split xtra chocolate sauce on the top)
During: km9.1 Vitargo lemon + water // km16 (?) 2 dextrosol // water at almost every water-station (zipping more than drinking)

Gear: ADIDAS Supernova blue line, MIK white singlet – shoes: ADIDAS AdiZero Adios Boost purple: 1st race and what a race! Those are fast shoes and really glad I have them onboard!

16/ effort level was not really constant to 17, first 2-3km were at a nice 14/15, enjoying the run 🙂 around km4 felt a bit overwhelmed and thought the pace was too fast for 1) being real and 2) being maintained throughout the course. So mostly mentally difficult 🙂 Thereafter a good 16/17, effort level constant like the pace 🙂 and this 16 felt easier effort-wise, than the 16 of SdP 🙂

 

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AFTER THE RACE

Walking easy towards home. Chatting with another room-mate who is impressed I can still talk and walk and smile after a run… Shower, a bit more drinking of apple juice, finishing my packing and saying goodbye. Walking towards the restaurant found by Tricky, I see runners still aiming towards the finish line. Incorrect GPS helped only to make me get lost and then finally found the restaurant. Largest smile ever waiting for me as well as two glasses of champagne! First time ever I am celebrating this way a race…and what a race! Having so much talking to do, both of us, I am still amazed we got food eaten! Entrecôte with potatoes and vegetables and a coke (I know, some may have chosen wine, but seriously, I am fine with coke after a race! Even though Tricky tries to convinced me that wine as champagne are good carbs to re load!). Dessert is pretty obvious on the menu: banana split with extra chocolate, let’s be crazy! It really feels that this should be the meal after a marathon… not counting calories here, just saying! BUT this is a race to celebrate! We had both worked hard to get there, had planned to celebrate whatever the outcome of the race and we were both happy to complete how we did (Tricky ended in 1:31, after a week with knee-injury, forgetting his favo-water bottle but had a good warm-up before! Congrats again to you!).
After that, final hug when the train arrives and I am aiming back home…in a fully loaded train…No place to stretch the legs during the first 2 hours, then changed place and had my feet (in socks) on the opposite seat during 10minutes until someone came and sat in front of me for a short while… Tram homes, emptying the bags, quick shower aaaaaand… not bed. Was not tired AT ALL! A bit hungry so had cereals in front of the tv and then, when the clock indicated past midnight, I decided it was time to hit the pillow…
WHAT.A.DAY!!!

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A few “after-race thoughts”

NOTE: same as in Paris: do not underestimate the time for bag drop off. It killed again my planning before race, cutting on the warm-up (OK, making the warm-up non existent…)

NOTE: same as in Paris: plan better the warm-up for this type of race. Not too late in the corral, but due to the long walk back and forth to the baggage drop, no time at all nor place for warming up. Have to check how others are doing!

NOTE: gel in the hand? Worked perfectly. A bit sweaty at the start of the race, but due to the sun-cream…

NOTE: sun-cream blue factor 10? not to be taken. Feeling fine until started to run. After 300m, felt like scratching the skin on the legs…

NOTE: Had read about energy intake for half-marathon. I think I could have waited a couple of km before the gel, but then would not have had any water. So good to have dextrosol to get a kick (?) at the end (maybe)

NOTE: shoe question is solved!

The watch never lies...

The watch never lies…

Champagne and coke :)

Champagne and coke 🙂

Yummy for the tummy...

Yummy for the tummy…

Of course this is too much!!! so what?...

Of course this is too much!!! so what?…


Copenhagen HM-Day: 1:24:58…during the World Championships…

1:24:58…
OMG!
This is not only a new PB, but under the objective set for this year and done with the whole World Championships experience!!!

How cool is this?! Nice and sunny, a bit windy some times, definitely fast and with correct effort in it… and on the right side of the 1:24:xx!

More to come when I have gone down from my little sunny cloud and travelled back home…


Copenhagen HM-Day-1

Now it starts to feel real…for real…

Late in bed, early up…not to well for the sleep dose for this week… Got ready, skipped the rehab, took my healthy green mix smoothie with banana, pear and apple juice. Decided to add a little bun with Nutella and drink chocolate oat milk as well…Felt good at the moment, but regretted it shortly after as felt pretty heavy… A bit late for taking the tram to the train station…or was it the tram being late… Got my seat and waited for my travel-mate “Tricky” who hopefully will be a able to run tomorrow.

Long train travel with lots of running chat and then Copenhagen, finally. A bit of orientation and found how to get to my apartment.

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Finally getting there and yes it was a great choice! Large room under the roof, jacuzzi in the bathroom and large kitchen area. The hostess was real kind.
Aimed directly to the restaurant (had eaten a banana in the train around 10 and then a twix at the train station), both of us were starving. Lasagnes on the menu as there was not many choices and I wanted to keep the safe side…

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Nice food stop completed, it was already 1:30pm when we took the way to pick up our bib. Look what was seen on the street ….

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Just have to follow the blue lines 😉 Arrived at the expo, got our bib, a yellow bag with a World championship neck warmer and then through the expo without stopping really. Needing nothing…

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And then after those 4.5km to the expo, time to rest the legs….after getting back to the apartment !!! Pretty tired, spent a bit of time resting my legs up on the bed. We had decided with Tricky to get our runs done separately and then meet up for dinner. Change to running outfit and got to the start area. Met some French elite men also taking photos 🙂

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Took the first 2km of the race, with a nice pause under the sun for a little chat.

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Then took the 11km forward and run a bit around following the blue stripes on the road. Short stop at Hard Rock Café (have to remember NOT to drink too much tomorrow before the race…).

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Sign on the ladies restrooms…

And then back to the arrival. Nice in the legs, lots of photo stops. Good weather although little chilly. Just time enough to get ready for dinner. Another Italian restaurant, similar limited menu, so same choice as for lunch: lasagne, with salad and apple juice.

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Sooooo, back home, change for bedtime and checked my outfit for tomorrow. Tricky said I should have my club outfit if I run with my club name… Ok then!

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Light massage of the legs before sleeping, double checking the times for the race tomorrow. Yes, it really starts to feel real. Plans for tomorrow are simple: get to the start, enjoy the view of elites ahead of me and run as fast as I can 🙂 The fun will be included by default! Especially with the current weather forecast: 12°C at start!!! And sunny!!! And no wind!!!! Perfect conditions 😉

Copenhagen World Championship…. Less than 15 hours to go!!!!
Exciting, right?!?!


Copenhagen HM-Day-2

 

We can be heroes...

We can be heroes…


 
OMG! WE CAN BE HEROES!!!

Why is the day starting so early sometime? 3:27am, no clock ringing and still the mind and body tell each other it is time to go up… Sure! Turned in bed trying to fall asleep again but not a chance…therefore still tired, decided to go up 3 hours later. Healthy breakfast with healthy smoothie: today we shall load carbs a bit!
 

Breakfast healthy smoothie

Breakfast healthy smoothie

Directly starting to work to get most of it done, then meetings meetings meetings. Went out for lunch to get some air and aimed for healthy sushi…double portion today!

Lunch healthy sushi

Lunch healthy sushi

Added chausson aux pommes for dessert (would do anything for a good carb loading 🙂 ). Then more work and nice chat with colleagues before switching off my laptop for the weekend. After eating pasta plate, changed to take a healthy drink with French friends and then back home.

Evening healthy "going-out-for-a-drink-with-friends"

Evening healthy “going-out-for-a-drink-with-friends”

The evening went way too slow and idling was only the first name of it … Did a lot actually, but should have not waited 10:xxpm for rehab for example or 11:37pm for starting the iOS updater of my phone… Yaaaa…stress is in the air… Rest day completed? Checked!

Time to sleep now already tomorrow…

Copenhagen world championship…Less than 48 hours!


And then it was less than three days left…

Time-intervals, sunshine, water and light legs… what more to ask?…
(maybe skipping the word “time” before intervals ?… :))

OMG! THIRD DAY IN A ROW with sleep-in (until 6:45am this time!). Started with rehab. Full day spent sitting once again, brain listening (ok, this is the ears listening and the brain processing the information), standing up for coffee break (had to get 2 bananas from a booth for not fainting… no sandwich without dairy product for me 😦 ), lunch standing (salmon and coucous stuff. too salty salmon so had only half and seriously should have left it aside and ask for double portion of couscous!). The smart part for today was to have my water bottle with me. Yesterday it felt a bit dry during the day and definitely not good for preparing for Saturday. A bit annoying not to have anything for the afternoon coffee break (no, I still do not like or stand cinnamon buns!) so tea tea and more tea throughout the day. Got home and had red juice and grapes while preparing myself. Cool talk with colleague before heading to the pavement and final quality run before Copenhagen.

Sun sun sun… well, ok for the sun, but temperature were not sky-high. Enough for shorts and tshirts though. Arm sleeves followed and sunglasses as well. Not too much for the sun, but wanted to ensure the sun glasses are sitting correctly on my little nose when running 🙂 Easy warmup, stretch and off for minutes-intervals. The dreadful “time-intervals”. I have to find a smart way to make time passing quicker 😉 The first two went way above expectations 🙂 Great I was not dropped off at the other start point I had planned. Because it would have meant head wind or side wind throughout the run! Here I got side wind and head wind enough for having the annoying-level going up but only for the last two intervals and little during the cool down. All within the expected range (well, the last two at least… because the first two went faster 😉 ) Told you, those shoes are so fast I must make burning marks on the pavement while running (like cars…). Easy cool down home and then hot shower and protein drink and banana. A bit of resting in front of tv.

The backside of the right thigh is a bit aching, similar to the lunchrun with colleagues two weeks ago. Hope this is gone for Saturday. Tomorrow is full rest day (only rehab, will push back the core&stability to Friday… or maybe it is smarter to have it on Thursday then the day before the race… will see). Still have to prepare my stuff for this weekend race. Shoe-choice is a no-brainer. Just hope the weather will be good!

Tjingeling!


From fast to faster and from lazy to lazier…

Final week…not much can be done but counteracting the training done so far, right?…

Monday saw me getting up actually quite late. Lazy- me took a sleep-in until 6:50am and even skipped the rehab… Got ready for work and spent a good morning (read: meeting, meeting, meeting :)) and was sooooo looking forward for lunch break…because it was running time. Had suggested to a couple of colleagues which are regularly running at lunch break to go for an interval workout. Having one for sure who was faster than me, and one that could refrain me from running too fast during the warm-up. Spent my morning eating bananas-feel like and drank red juice a bit before the run. What a surprise to see that 5 colleagues were joining 🙂 Sun shining, which meant shorts, tshirt, arm sleeves and flying adios boost purple (and of course sunglasses… not too much for the sun, but for the head wind I was expecting us to meet during the first serie of interval. and I really did not want to have running eyes while running). Easy warm-up, started with my right achilles heel feeling quite sensitive…Nooooo, I thought. Not after 300m! and me that have suggested an interval run to my fellow runners…I cannot let them down…. 🙂 Good that this ache disappeared after a km. Took a good warm-up, talking pace, over the bridge and then to the starting point. A little more than 5km, perfect planning 🙂 Then completed by a few accelerations. We discussed a bit the outlay of the intervals and then just started. This is pretty cool to run in a group having people before and after. First interval ended with all still smiling. The more intervals, the more sweat, but still smiling! Wow! Some colleagues had early meeting after lunch so they turned back after a few intervals and the others and I continued. Took a well-deserved “between-serie-pause” with stretch and turn back. For the first serie we had a light head wind and hopefully we could have tail wind the other way around. I don’t think it mattered much to my three male colleagues still running with me as they were really fast for both series! For the last one it went slower, BUT I got my faster 200m in 36seconds!!! not once, not twice, but THREE times!!!! So yes, I do think I will trick my colleagues again to run intervals with me again 🙂 Still smiling (!) we aimed to the office, but I took an extra cool down around the blocks and then stretch stretch and stretch. No rush. I did tell my colleagues to avoid an early meeting after lunch. We will see to be faster to change next time… So confirmation: my ADIDAS AdiZero Adios Boost purple ARE fast. They will definitely follow to Copenhagen. Having a sensitive heel made me add eccentric heel raises to the day. Then afternoon passed and it was time to go home. Enjoyed a nice thai massage after early dinner and then it was already late and time for bed…

If Monday felt lazy start and end (i.e. skipping rehab AND strength training), Tuesday started with rehab training right after rolling out of bed 🙂 Feeling so great to have it done before going to work. Day spent in a seminar, meaning seating most of the time. Which my bum did not like to much and I had to stand a couple of time to ensure I would not have my hamstring complaining. Pretty tired when reaching home, I could have gone to bed directly… but nope! Spaghetti+tomato pesto+eggs and early dinner in front of tv (and I know it is not good to eat in front of tv…). Then still had to get things done, so cleaning, clothes folding, swapping the floor…and yes, preparing the legs for next race 🙂 Always nice afterwards! Then, what was left?…Ohhh yes, the strength training. OK then. And once again, the brain confers with itself about why on earth it waited until late for doing this training as it is simple and go pretty fast. And it feels so nice when it is done! Now I had to start looking at flight and accommodation for Rotterdam. I know I know it is pretty late, but all focus is for now on Saturday’s race and have serious thinking to do outside the focus necessary to prepare this race.  Now all is done for today and pretty ready to hit the pillow. Nice for a rest day!

Until next time, have a nice run!

Copenhagen…really?…so few days left?….


More rehab, fast intervals, sub40 in training and new shoes…

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New fast-flying (?) shoes... Say hi to Orange boost and Purple boost :)

New fast-flying (?) shoes… Say hi to Orange boost and Purple boost 🙂

Wednesday started early with rehab training. This new program is to be done 2 times a week, so better get cracking as early as possible! Definitely doing some of the exercises outside home as to be sure to have a pole that can hold the elastic band for the workout. Right after, gear on and easy morning run. All good, run done with regular ASICS GT-2000 to avoid the temptation to speed up with the new ones… Did not help really as it went a bit fast anyway. Shorts on, it was very nice to be able to run not only with this outfit, but also with lights from the skies (6:01am for start and already light on!). Then the usual (i.e. work work work) and feeling good at the end of the afternoon, decided to give a fast test to the purple Adios. Easy warm-up to the bus-stop, then bus transport to final/start destination. Hoped for having no or tail wind…sure! Leaving the bus stop I had to find against the elements (especially the WIND) to get to the start, which was approx. 1.5km away. Not much fun in perspective! Got a little stretch and headed towards long intervals with short less-fast km in-between. This was without counting with the wind. But whatever, got the first 2K locked on and the follow km went faster than the expected rest-pace, then one more 2K with headwind (what did I do the elements, really?!?!?), but cheering on the side of the road does help for not quitting or stopping. Had problems with my HR-pulseband which is sliding down as soon as running fast. A bit unsure why, but so annoying it is! Got my final 2K at fastest pace of the three and then aimed back home. Really satisfied for this fast workout with my new shoes 🙂 Did my sit-ups and push-ups a bit late this day and it really felt… Lesson of the day: Adizero Adios Boost Purple rules! (and yes, do not wait before bedtime for push-ups!)

Thursday turned out into a very-very-very-true rest day. Nothing was done (training-wise… because I am still working during day light!). Felt actually nice to take a full day without nothing (OK, I write this today and we are Sunday…can assure that on Thursday I was almost climbing the curtains for not allowing myself a run with my new pair of shoes…)

Friday: FINALLY! Time for new test of Adizero Adios Boost, the orange ones this time. A bit tricky to find the motivation to leave the bed for a run, especially when waking up with the rain falling during the night (and being still tired), but seriously, once awaken, and after a quick glance at the new shoes, the motivation got way higher. It is often tricky to run after a rest day. And on this particular morning, the expected heavy legs were definitely there. Despite the new shoes 😦 They felt slightly different than the purple ones, or was it because of the time of the day I ran? After 2-3km, did forget I even had new shoes…and completed my morning easy run with stopping for buying croissants for breakfast. The run went faster than expected, although the effort in it was definitely not high. Felt really light from halfway and even noted a change in the running style, more forward, more top of the feet (not much but still) and little larger steps. Felt great (but decided to slow down after this as it was not supposed to be a fast run). This was the first test run and the Adios Orange were definitely great! Rest of the day was focusing on work, work, lunch in nice company and talking work, then more work. Well back home, felt pretty back and tired. Lunch did not stay in my stomach for long and I even took a 2hours nap without any effort to fall asleep. Felt a little better, but was tired all evening long… Not really promising for having a fast tempo run the day after…

Up with the light, Saturday still started with a sleep-in until 7am 🙂 Felt a bit rested, so decided to get along with the fast tempo run. Shoes on (yipiie!) and off with a warm-up to the bus-stop like on Thursday. Although this time it was a little chillier and had to wait 11minutes for the bus. Quick stretch and headed to the next bus-stop 2km away 🙂 There, I had to wait only 6minutes. 12minutes later, I arrived at my dropp-off place and aimed to a little further up than Thursday’s run. Quick pitstop and stretch. Choice of perfect music. Letting the bikes passing by and commenting that I must be pretty cold in shorts. And ooooooff I started. Wow, really. The wind was not there as much as Thursday, which was highly appreciated. Had some side wind anyway, but all-in-all, I completed my morning 10K under 40minutes, which was a first on training! I also got my fastest 10K ever in 39:47 🙂 (yes, I do have my PB at 39:44, but the route was little shorter than 10K). After this wonderful start for the day, hot shower and cold cream massage on the legs. Then time for shopping and headed to our club yearly meeting. Which was pretty nice to attend and hear a bit more about the club. The fun part arrived at the end…when I received not one but TWO Running-cups. One for my results during the year (will have a goblet which is passed along the club members being chosen every year for their results and representations) and the second one was for getting the 3rd place of our club “Grand Prix” (i.e. we have a list of races and each participation + placing is taken into account (age-graded) and at the end of the year, all points are summarized). SO that was a cool way of finishing the day. Evening spent chilling out (and for once, not falling asleep in front of Arthur and the minimoys for once… Done my rehab in front of the movie, so I could (almost) follow the story this time!

Nice trofés for 2013-running year :)

Nice cups for 2013-running year 🙂

And it was Sunday (again!). Sleep-in until 7am (again!) and it was time for waffles 🙂 Sun was shining outside, so while GE went to play soccer, I started my second core&stability session of the week. Yes, I know, it took a while for having it started and done. Stopped at half-way to prepare lunch and then completed the workout afterwards. Not even the Swiss ball exercises felt difficult 🙂 Did follow in the meantime Rome marathon where a fellow runner was participating. Yes, it makes one wanting to be there… But it is not yet time! Lunch was served so as good to it: tenderloin with oven baked home-made potatoes wedges and green/red salad. Unfortunately it did not stay long in the stomach. Unsure whether this was due to the butter used for the meat. But afterwards it felt better. Took my GT2000, my new shorts (double layer, feeling a bit strange, but nice to have a half-thigh shorts), arm sleeves and went off for a recovery run. 6km with headwind (why not?!?!?) but with light from the sun in the face and then time to get back home. Low pulse definitely during this run. The right heel felt a bit sensitive at first, but went fine shortly after it warmed up. And then it was back home and chilling out. Had a very nice “tea-party” with T and then more rest. Trying to plan next week…

>> This week was a bit odd and off, with new shoes on, tapering for Copenhagen, two cups received for well-runned year and a rehab which seem to work quite well. It would be so nice to have a stable weather now and for a while. Several runs in shorts, but so much wind to stop the nice temperatures which are all around. Hopefully the sun will come and from next week when we change to summer-time, that it will be here to stay. Training went well, despite the bum-ache after the hilly runs last weekend. So I had to re-arrange my program and skip some of the short intervals that were planned. But this is the price to pay…for having now a hamstring which feels much better 🙂 Hoping it remains and seriously, if it is thanks to the hilly long run that the high hamstring feels better, I would have done it way earlier!

Copenhagen…less than a week to go…woooooow!


Today’s 3 Rs: Rehab, Rest, Run …

Could not decide for a morning run really because 1) the rain was pouring down outside (which would normally not stop me, but I did not want my new shores to have their second run to be under the rain…) and 2) thought about taking a rest say felt like wise to ensure the left bum would get better quicker. Therefore started with half session core & stability which went very well. After that, shower & breakfast preparation and time for work.

All good throughout the day, keeping myself busy, but the eyes were wandering from time to time towards the lower table were the second pair of Adizero Adios Boost were staying since yesterday. Registered very much for not jumping into them and go out for a try… End if the day arrived and rest was the main driver training-wise…although the body was feeling better… Upon suggestion from G, I changed and headed out for a second trial run… Even crazier than yesterday..The feet were not listening at all. I had to cut short after 3 km to stretch and hoped the feet would be more reasonable… Sure!!! It is so much work to make them slow down.. Got to wait after the run…in the cold outside. And then it was evening and dinner time; nothing for the diet-oriented people: Large fish fingers in the oven with large boiled potatoes 😛

Completed the day with rehab exercises, the program done since Dubai, but slightly altered. Added the alphabet (lay on the side, lift one leg and start writing the lettrers of the alphabet in the air…) and the “clam”. Felt all good. And now it is time to sleep…

Body feels good, mind is occupied and should start focusing on the race soon…


Aaaaaand it felt like Christmas ALL OVER AGAIN…

Ever felt that Xmas is coming again? that you are surprised and think this is the best (almost) that happened for the day? Welcome to my Monday then!

Awaken @5am, did not feel like running would be really on the menu today, so snoozed until 6am and then started to do my new rehab program. Quite nice and good way to start the day softly. Had do some of the exercises in the corridor outside my home as i was fearing that attaching the elastic band to the table foot would rip the foot and leave me with a “3-feet-table”… Rest of the day was work work work…. Hold on! LUNCH arrived and with it a little note that I had a package to pick up… Did quick grocery shopping and headed to the shop to get my surprise package (Yeah, I knew what it was, but still it felt like a surprise package!). Loaded with a backpack with food and a large bag in my hand, I prayed for the lady not to pick up the large yellow package I could see….and of course it was THE ONE! But light, so light I thought it was (almost) nothing in it. Sooo tricky to resist and not opening the package right away (had to put the grocery at their correct place first….)

THEN and only then, I opened the large yellow package 🙂 Even better than on the photo! Not one but TWO pairs of Adidas Adizero Adios boost, which are expected to replace my flying Asics Gel DS Sky Speed 2 (and yes, I have almost tears in my eyes when writing this…). A pic will be uploaded in future post, but what I can tell is that I wore them during ALL afternoon at home 🙂 When the last telco was finished, I just HAD to go for a run. Quick drop off to the dance class and run back home. Then planned for going for an easy 12km run and finish it with picking up E at soccer practice. Those shoes are just brilliant! Really light (208g!) I put on the purple pairs and off I went. Of course the wind wanted to play today as well so decided to play along (for a little while). Then stopped for drills (with headwind…i.e. doubling the effort, right?!?) and off I went again. Passing km5 the feet (not the legs) got an extra boost (therefore the name of the shoes probably…) and I just could not stop smiling and seeing seriously the pavement disappearing under my feet. Had to force myself to stop (really!) because today was rest day and if not, at least easy run day. The pause of 15/20seconds was enough to make the feet relax a bit and off I started again… until the feet started their little show 3km later again! this time I did not stop but change direction for having a strong headwind instead. Then easy to soccer practice, stretch and freeze during 20minutes and then easy run back home.

So SURELY those shoes feel fine and fast! Yes, I know it is the first run, but I started the day (and still continuing it) with a reminder from Saturday’s run in terms of really tired bum-muscle and I could not understand how I was even able to run, and definitely not at this pace… More test during the week. I think I already have my outfit settled for the next race 🙂

Today is as well 1.5week since I stopped taking the additional iron tablets. Felt a bit tired from time to time, but will see if this impacts the absorption of iron (which seems to be a problem). Food ain’t a problem really, but should actually check for NOT eating too much of iron-rich food for now and until tested again (like end of April). Not that it is making a huge change in the daily food intake though!

OK, time for bed (not just for beauty sleep – this is what everyone needs – but as well because I really hope to wake up with a rested body and no follow-up from Saturday’s run…

Copenhagen: Less than 2 weeks to go… just received this morning my BIB-number by email 🙂


Would you hug me if I was sweaty? (or summary of a week…)

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Hilly, foggy, sunny, shorty, stressy, funny, lengthy, bridgy… this would be a better summary for this week 😉

Starting with Monday, had a lunch run planned with colleagues. 10K over lunch including bridge and good company, what else would you ask for? Well, if asking me, I would say some sun maybe? Left home early to the office and the sun was there. Fine. A bit chilly, but hey, it is still March… By 10am, it was already difficult to see through the window at work…and the fog just got thicker and thicker. By lunch time, it was impossible to see across the river and from the office, no possibility to see the ferries either… OK, no sunshine then. Remained 10K, bridge and good company 🙂 Which was a good start for the running week… kind of… Had informed the pace should be max 5min/km and after a slow start, I had to accelerate to keep up with two colleagues. So incredible how some people can make a pace feel so easy and casual and when you look at your watch you note that despite the ability to talk while running, the pace is WAY faster than planned… Up the bridge we had a “San Francisco Bay”-feeling, with the top of the bridge hidden in the thick fog. Of course, I had shorts (!). Explanation needed: after the weekend runs, I felt a bit of training aches on the front of both thighs and therefore decided for running in shorts (so to be cold and have the ache disappearing…). Well, was not cold directly, but warm was not on the menu! After the bridge, short stop for stretching and have another colleague catching up. This was then I started to feel a pain in the backside of my right thigh. Continuing to run, while talking to a colleague…4:33…Heeeelllllooooooo?!?!? where is the 5min/km I ordered? The pain in the thigh continued to grow so I let my two colleagues running ahead and thought (!) I was slowing down a bit…of course the rain started to fall… and finished with a sprint to catch the ferry back to the office (which we missed…). Spent the afternoon with a real pain in the thigh. Not too fun, can tell you. In the evening it was time for massage with tiger balm and….freezing when going to bed (try it: massage with tiger balm is making this coooooold feeling in the muscles… better off using it before training than after…).

Woke up early on Tuesday, so time for core&stability workout (half session). Then work work and late afternoon, I took a very slow recovery run. 1) the thigh was still hurting but way less than Monday (massage did do good!), 2) a bit tired after long working day and needed some fresh air and 3) let’s be honest: does anyone need an excuse for going out running? Had in my head to take the flattest route I would find… which ended in 15km with hilly parts (which I did not take fast!). Included some drills as well (which made me thought it might be a bit stupid to do some of the drills as it started to burn a bit in the thighs…But fun to do!). Quite tired when reaching home… good run for closing up this day!

Wednesday started with early as well and core&stability – the sequel – went on before changing gear for an easy recovery run. Took the same route as Tuesday afternoon but the other way around (Tuesday run – the sequel.. kind of!). WHAT A CHANGE! Starting with three hills and then it felt like going upwards all the time… until a flat part and then a hilly part. BUT the feeling while running was way better than the day before. No pain really, took the final hill on the top of the toes and was gratified with the best view EVER on the sun rise above the woods nearby. The plan was “no stopping” so I enjoyed only briefly this beautiful landscape and then downhill and off back home. 15km on the clock this time as well. All good and a nice way to start the day!

Thursday was a bit special. Had important meetings (and yes, all meetings are important otherwise why having a meeting…). Had now had two days of distance, skipped the intervals planned on Tuesday (I CAN show flexibility 😉 ) and for Thursday was hill workout on the program… But seriously I had been looking forward to running both those sessions but with the backside of the thigh being better and the right hamstring making itself reminded… not a chance I would do the hill workout. SO decided for a run over the “lower” bridge. Generally take it twice and then back home. This time it felt special: started the first run onto the bridge when the skies were still dark, but little light started to appear far far away… 19 bikes had passed the “count-control” on the other side of the bridge 🙂 Ran up the little bridge and then back to main bridge. Not even questioning, the legs went straight under the bridge and on it for the second turn. This time the light had taken more of the darkness… Not stopping on the bridge top (still: I took a large glance at the lights going up…)… 33 bikes had passed the “count-control” and little bridge and back to the main one. This time the legs felt a little tired, but racing against bikes on their way up is giving a nice kick 🙂 especially when you run faster than they bike 🙂 🙂 🙂 By the time I reached the other side, my brain was discussing with itself the pros and cons about doing a third run on the bridge… Not fast enough to decide probably, as the legs had already started the climbing of the bridge for the third time… This time the sun was out and its sun rays were illuminating the hills a bit away…What a sight! (yes, I did regret not to have my mobile for a pic…) and 46bike had passed the “count-control” and for little-me was just to continue what I did good already twice this morning: little bridge and back on the main bridge for the last time (for today!). And back home easy pace. 15km this time as well 🙂 Light breakfast after that and work work work…Lunch visit to the physiotherapist for checking this hamstring and the possible strain on the right thigh. All felt quite fine for her and I got a new set of rehab-training to complete the one I have… WHEN I will find time to do this rehab is the tricky part… 3 times a week, 1hour… Wouldn’t it be so much easier if one could only participate to races? no training necessary, no rehab/prehab required, just would be missing the long runs….and the intervals….and the hills….and the sunshine moments like this morning…and the sun going down on the sea….and and and… ok. Training it is then! But seriously, the day was not finished yet: The sun had been shining ALL day long and I was there working inside… Afternoon run to see how the legs were feeling now: time to do those Tuesday’s intervals. Took a long 5km warmup (with hills…what-am-I-thinking…?!?!). Little stretch and off it started. Wow! sunshine in the face AND headwind: not a problem for NOT having a fast interval! But it went really well. Had a whole serie with wind, up&downs and even thought once to quit (2.5sec and it disappeared). Could have cut the reps short to 12, but when you have fun you want more, right? so did the set of 15 and was happily uploading my training and comparing with similar workout done before Dubai in January… 1+sec faster for each interval 🙂 he he he! What the sun is doing to one’s body should not be underrated. So this ended with a nice interval session and no real pain in the thigh – yipppie!

TGIF is as well not to be underrated: took a full rest day with only light rehab. Not much to say about the day, apart from TGIF!

Up with the birdies, Saturday meant possible race day. Light breakfast @8:30am and off to the race place. Took my BIB and went for a short warmup. Good to do because I could notice the headwind on the start of the route (yeaaaah?!?!?). Changed gear to shorts, arm sleeves and tshirt (sunglasses – of course!) and off I went to the start. Little chat with club-buddy and other runners I met in other races. Set myself on the front line (read: which became the 4th line after all the fastfastfast runners took their place) and off it went. Will write a little later about the race. Hilly it was and got a nice 32:21 for 7,777km (don’t ask about the length of the race route…). Back to the club cabin, noted would not meet with a busy friend, so I decided to trade tshirt and arm sleeves for long sleeves, neck warmer and bonnet. And off for the long run of the week. Had some HMP parts, but seriously, the route around the lake was so hilly that I decided to skip even trying to reach this pace and instead to have the HMP-parts faster than the others 🙂 All in all Saturday ended with 3 runs and 33,8km 🙂 Once again, regretted not to have taken my cam with me as the run along the lakes offered a really fabulous view and the sun… (and of course the headwind…). After the run I took a sauna and then.. a bit bad planning however regarding the food. Bought a proteindrink on the way to take the tram and then went directly to a thai restaurant for a real food this time 🙂 Rest of the afternoon was spent chilling out (with some time laying with the legs up). A bit worried for my second toe – right foot as it had been hurting since the beginning of the long run. Should have taken another pair of shoes maybe to change after the race… The toe was really red and sensitive…not sock-friendly I can tell! Anyhow… after such a day one may expect that it would have been bedtime pretty early…but no. Stayed awaken pretty late (or early!) and then hit the pillow. Took probably 2.5milliseconds for reaching the palace of the dreams…

…which was left @7am on Sunday morning. Bright outside, serenade from the birds… and not tired at all. So what one would do in such case? Gear on and off for a very easy recovery run. Backside of right thigh was definitely fine. But the right hamstring/butt… Oh my..! although running made the pain disappear, it came back when I stopped. Real easy day with sunshine. Busy cleaning the windows, buying some elastic bands for my rehab program and chilling out under the sun until it disappeared. Completed the day with a thai massage… painful is an understatement… Yes, Sunday was a nice day too…

This week felt a bit dull if looking at the workouts done. But while doing them, it was really nice and fun. Of course, quality workouts may sounds more fun than distance, but seriously the bridges*3, the sunshine on Wednesday, the long run on Saturday and the intervals on the top of it: Great running week!

2 weeks to go to next race… time to start focusing (again!).

What about the post title? Well, there are numerous discussions about why runners do or don’t say hi to each other when meeting on the road. Which I find really intriguing.  Sure, when I have my “thief-running-outfit” during the winter, nobody see I am smiling behind my neck warmer, but if I raise a hand, it might mean “hello”… and when running with my glasses…yes, I do see you coming on the other side and yes it is nice to get a smile back… Could write way more… but the point is that: before a race, runners talk to each other, even though they do not know each other. After a race, you even might hug people and yes, they are sweaty and yes, you don’t know them and yes, you probably will never ever see them again… but you hug them… way more than a “hi” or a smile while training… What makes people changing their way of behaving when race time has arrived…