Running longer and faster… a few thoughts…

Archive for June, 2014

Sweat, Sun, Sleep, Sluggish and more – in one week

Morning run along the beach...

Morning run along the beach…

After a late evening, went up on Monday morning, planning an easy run. Well, not too early as started around 6:30am… and the sun was already out above the mountains and warm… Not too easy to run then, huge change with home… Despite being along the sea, there was no wind nor air to breathe really. Did a 10km but the body felt really sluggish (yes, “sluggish” is definitely a description suiting well for the last weeks…). The rest of the day went pretty easy with beach, morning gym at the beach club, lunch, swimming-pool (sunbathing part), dinner, evening walk to the sea and sleep… One day done!

So when the clock rang at 5:00am on Tuesday morning, the whole me said pretty easily “nope”. Decide for a rest day. Woke up G&E as they had planned to play tennis at 8am… More sleep for me 😉 Up for 9-ish breakfast and headed to the beach with the hotel bus. Morning gym at the beach club, rest under the sun, sea gym with T and older ladies (pretty fun and not that easy with all the waves!), more rest then back to the hotel and swimming pool, reading and dinner time before short walk before bedtime. Got a back massage from G as it felt pretty stiff after so many days without really training correctly. Second day and pretty tired as we headed towards the pillow before 9pm…

Therefore started Wednesday pretty well at 5am without any problem. Pretty windy outside, sounded great when I saw the sun was not above the hills yet 🙂 The knee feeling ok, time for some running. 26°C at start, easy 4km and decided to get the pace up and went for 6*1km at tempo pace with 1min rest. Felt quite nice (and once again, I fully understand those running marathon @3:4x pace… It is really nice and enjoyable 😉 Completed the run with a few short hills (the temperature had risen to 30°C then) and then back to the hotel, change of gear and direction to the tennis court… 7:10am – already hitting some balls with E. Of course, it was early, but by 8am the temperature had changed from 31°C to 36°C and more than half the court was under the sun already… Breakfast after well-deserved shower and then, beach. No activity as the entertainment team had a full day off… Decided for a “no fried food day” as it had been a bit too much French fries and other dessert or food well fried… Lots of resting under the sun and by the evening, had a very nice tan turning to dark red on the chest and the thighs… Nice with the chocolate colour I got already!… Evening early in bed after dinner. Long day at the beach = tired in the evening!!!

Evening view during dinner

Evening view during dinner

Which allowed to go up early on Thursday, well-rested and ready to run. Achilles heels feeling pretty tired in the morning…probably due the lack of activities during the day… After easy warmup, got a serie of 400m intervals done. Ok, only the first two were real 400s as the others were cut at half. Mostly due to the head not really willing to push and scared for hurting the knee (knee which, btw, did not make itself heard 🙂 Aaaaand rest of the day (read: from after breakfast taken @9:00am) spent relaxing at the beach (read: mostly sunbathing, turning on a regular basis, putting suncream for not burning, drinking, eating and resting more…). Actually this type of day feels mostly exhausting… Late evening watching the “black & white show” in the hotel auditorium. Pretty fun and nice 🙂

Therefore Friday was decided as day-off…from running. Up late, breakfast late, at the beach late but just on time for the morning gym. No need to say that the body felt extremely stiff and far from flexible. Doing the gym under 36ºC hot sun making the whole thing not much easier…and as a follow-up I joined for an hour beach volley-boll…still under hot sun. It was after all rest day! Lots of drinking, still not understanding how the body can sweat that much when laying down under the sun doing nothing and then to the pool. As usual, knee rehab and torture massage on bottle. Although it does not feel like torture any longer. Mostly boring to spend 10minutes doing this!

Saturday was the last day planned for training. Motivation was not very high, have to recognize, but wanted to skip running on the last day abroad. Easy warm-up before a serie of 3-minutes fast run. Had to stop after the 4th rep as it felt liiiiittle bit in the knee, but the final four went fine. And easy run up the slope with sun in the face towards the hotel… finally…finished…time to relax a bit! Easy stretch before going back to bed…and waking up with the worse pain in the left calf. Like exhaustion ache 😦 massaged with tiger balm and off for breakfast and easy day at the pool. Yap! ALL-DAY-LONG! Still took time for the morning gym (ouch! for the left calf during the stretch) and the aquagym in the pool (ouch! for the calf when kicking in the water) and played table tennis w/G under crazy hot sun (but not running much, so it was ok 😛 ). Wanted to test Zumba but after 10minutes and seeing all the other women jumping, I decided to stop because the calf wanted me to… and back to the pool and rest…again. Finished the day with dinner, walk along the beach as every evening and then last show at the hotel (yeaaaah… election of the hotel miss….). Time for bed!

Final slope...ALWAYS with the sun in the eyes

Final slope…ALWAYS with the sun in the eyes

Took a longer sleep-in on Sunday because everybody deserves such rest form time to time! Rest day, staying close to the pool, did not even take out my book as it has not been possible to read anyway (I felt asleep for every try this week!). Quite some swimming today and table tennis game as well as shuffle and dart. Perfect final day of vacation under hot sun of 36ºC… Early dinner with a bunch of Dutch people ready to watch the game. Game, crazy finish, getting ready for travelling back home with long bus trip to the airport, check-in, a bit of wait at the airport…and it was Monday, 3:00am and time to travel back home…

 

Summary of the week: HOT, HOT and HOT. Unsure I have ever been somewhere with  a temperature of 43ºC! Lots of resting, lots of sweating, not much running (and most of it being rubbish – I could blame the heat, but seriously I won’t…), too much eating… Good change for body and mind. If only the knee was 100% back…

No one swimming here...

No one swimming here…

...nor here either (until I jumped :) )

…nor here either (until I jumped 🙂 )


Almost there…

Pain in the knee from Tuesday turned the following days into rest days. Not a chance I run on this knee.

Wednesday could have started with bike tour, but this would have meant pretty early start as I was to leave for work @7:30am… Got the rehab and torture massage done instead before breakfast. Which was good because the “back home” hour got pretty late, after long day at work and evening with colleagues. A bit more work and then it was already 12:20am and just  time for a torture massage before going to bed. No need to tell how tired I was by then… No pain, probably because I must have been half sleeping already!

Not enough sleeping hours later and Thursday started fast as well. Early at work, long day stretch to ensure continuing the rehab and then back home. Did the torture massage pretty soon after and the rehab. The side of the thighs felt pretty aching by this day, due to the regular torture massage. Hope this won’t continue… But the knee was feeling good so decided to plan for a run on Friday.

TGIF! and not any Friday… Day off so to have Sweden celebrating Midsommar. The knee still feeling fine, got my running gear on and off on the pavement. After minimal warm-up, little stretch, started a serie of 3minutes fast. Got to cut it into pieces by 1min or 1.5min, but got all of them done (and half with headwind and the sun in the eyes). The knee never felt really. Little ache maybe during the 2nd and 3rd intervals, but nothing to stop for. and then easy back home. Right after, got the torture massage done and went along with this sunny day. Stretch, rest under the sun, fixing at home… All good before starting the rehab program in front of France-Switzerland on TV. Definitely not the best for focusing on the rehab, but would have not missed this game…and indeed it was entertaining (probably will be without voice tomorrow, but who cares!). And if you have not seen it, watch the replay 🙂 5-2… French football at its best 😉 – Time for bed soon, and hopefully the knee will be kind enough tomorrow for following for a run…

Keep on running…


What was it I say?….

Slept like a stone and woke up ready to run 🙂 Always good to wake up this way. Jumped into running gear. The thighs felt a bit after “before-bed-torture-massage-of-the ITB”, but ok. The plan was a 10K which I hoped would go like yesterday (or better). Took 1km before I had to stop for stretching the left knee. No cooperation, but well, it was early…so continued a bit and stopped again…new stretch…started to run again a bit faster…and stopped again…what.is.going.on?!?! Stretch not working I gave me to km2 to solve this. The last 350m to reach km2 were painful, like the knee did not want to bend almost. So I stopped the run. I promised I would stop if it was painful. Not a chance I am testing to reach a 5/5 level of pain. But this was easily a 2.5-3/5. Of course only for short, but still. Aaaaand the little stubborn in me did not want to go back home walking (and the tram was not an alternative as I had no tram card with me…) so decided to complete my 10K…fast-walking… WHAT.A.PAIN… I mean it was not painful AT-ALL. But this pace just killed me. Had my arms balancing like crazy, trying to follow the pace of the music in my ears… But seriously: I run probably 2 to 3 min/km faster on this music in normal runs… So no, it was not fun, not enjoyable, not something that should be lengthy…. But once again, the little stubborn in me did not want to go back home just. Too early to go to work, to late for getting back to bed, so as good to really do this +#%%%&”*! 10km finished! Turned back after 7.5km and then started to run from km8 to 10. NOT.AT.ALL.ENJOYABLE. The pain was just gone while walking fast, vanished, “Puff”, disappeared… But as soon as I started running it came back (well, first the legs felt like two heavy pieces of wood…and then the pain started when I thought I would be able to run normally…). Still stubborn, I kept on running, pretty sure that I was not bending my left knee at all  (which I did, I know, but the feeling of “not bending the knee” was there).

Back home, went directly on the mat for Coca Cola bottle massage-torture and completed the whole thing with stretch on the mat. Nothing fun. Changed for work and opted for having my Saucony, to ensure good shoes on the feet. Not fun at work neither… the knee started to make itself reminded about 1.5hr after completed the run and the ache/diffuse feeling of pain was there ALL-DAY-LONG… 😦 So I tactically sat in the back of the room so I could stand up and stretch during the day. No fun, really. But the stretch did help.

And it was late already and time to head back home. The knee was not better but not worse by then. A bit of food and checked the latest news of the World Cup and then headed to the mat…again… but for core&stability workout…followed by knee rehab program…followed by Coca-Cola bottle-massage-torture (the sequel). This time the “massage” was increased from 3minutes each leg to 4minutes each leg. And pretty slow. And stopping on pain point… Yapp, you really learn how to handle the pain as a runner 😦 But seriously now, the second massage of ITB this evening went way better than this evening. Even scored it as a 12/20 in pain level… Now it is way enough for today.

Time for resting a bit (neither Brazil not Mexico were scoring, so not really lost to have done my workouts half watching the game…)


Do what it takes, it is worth it…eventually (?)

Already Monday, after very work-busy week and run-poor one… Just have to get along with it, right?…

A bit undecided when the clock rang. But seeing that it was 10minutes before 6am and not 10minutes before 5am, I chose to skip the running and went up directly to the coca-cola bottle rolling. Well, must have been still half-asleep because I rolled pretty slow and did no screaming nor crying… But for sure it was painful (read: this is an understatement…). Stretch added to this wake-up call and then time for rushing : breakfast, shower, clothes on and headed for work. You do not make Japan wait on a Monday morning, right? 🙂 Got to eat a banana between two morning meeting, then nice girl-lunch at sushi-place close-by and then back to workshop all afternoon. Felt pretty hungry all afternoon, so got in a piece of brownie, nice italian bread and a banana 🙂 as well as tea and water 🙂 aaaaaand it was already time for home. And nope, it was not early. Had 1,5hour before late meeting, so change to running gear right after arriving home and that felt so nice to hear my feet pounding on the pavement. The knee was ok, meaning there is something there annoying the whole me, but not enough to call it pain or ache. Noticed that the first km was already way faster than expected, by I let the legs run as they wished. Turned after 3km to skip the little slope (nothing fancy really,  but with this annoying knee, I rather skip even a little bump on the road). Those first km were under something like heavy sun and no air really. Was nice (!) with side&headwind on the way back. A bit of stretch after 5km and decided to try running on the front of the feet…which made the next 2km sooooo light and fast 🙂 and yes, will probably have calve ache tomorrow, but that would be worth it…eventually! Back home, just had time for shower, a bit of brownie and tea and ready for final phone meeting of the day 🙂 And of course, had to complete this beautiful day with rehab exercises.

Now it is not yet time for the first soccer game of the evening and my eyes are already closing themselves… Probably time to hit the pillow. Time for extra rolling on coca cola bottle before bed. And yes, would do what it takes for making this stupid knee better… it is worth it eventually… (but really? rolling on a coca cola bottle?!?!?!…twice today??!!?? 🙂 )

And for those that do not follow football World Cup, France won 3-0 yesterday 🙂 So worth going to bed very late 😉

And yes, I am very happy to have run today 🙂


Pain, pills, scream and tears – a regular week under the sunshine…

(Week summary 20140609-20140615) – Sunshine was probably the only positive part of this week’s training…

Following the thought that the knee could have an inflammation, I did start an anti-inflammatory pill “treatment” on Sunday. Monday I took one tablet pretty early in the morning (as it makes me sooooo exhaustedly-tired, better take it early and avoid falling asleep at the office…). Decide for doing easy core before work, just to remind the body that there would be some running at lunch. Early work – and then it was finally lunch-time. Picked up my running colleagues and settled for an easy back&forth to the bridge. Felt pretty naked without my Garmin on my arm (had forgotten it at home in the morning), and decided to follow the slowest of my colleagues… Which was not THAT slow. Let them run up to the bridge while I ran back&forth on flat road until they came back. Did some stretch while waiting as well. And hang along when they were back. THEN the knee started to feel. Pretty diffuse ache-feeling. Probably would have hurt/ache more if it was not for the anti-inflammatory tablet (which also probably started to stop having an action on the inflammation by this time…). Stretch afterwards. Not really fun afternoon with “ache-feeling in the knee”. Pretty tired in the evening, anti-inflammatory pill before bed and lots to think about…

But when I woke up it was Tuesday 🙂 Decided for reason this time and did light core and stretch and went for a rest day. Much at work so it would have actually been nice to run afterwards… Restaurant outing to skip the cooking for dinner. Greek 🙂 Yummy! Easy evening with little walk and then bedtime. Anti-inflammatory tablet morning and evening.

Although when there is an early bedtime, this often means early wake up. Wednesday 3:30am birds singing and sun already shining. Changed to bike outfit and went for an early bike tour. Nothing fancy, 23km on the hour. Then light core and stretch. Nothing much happening. Anti-inflammatory tablet in the morning only. Reason being that I would go to the physiotherapist the day after and I did not want to arrive with no pain/ache in the knee… Got to bed by 7:45pm and did not see the clock turning to 8pm…

Thursday – Way too early up (!)… what do you do then…if you cannot run, want to skip the bike, and definitely not feel for doing core training… Anyhow, the knee felt a little or not at all. But the body was pretty stiff of not doing anything really. Got to meet the physiotherapist at lunch break. Took not long for having his view on my knee: “Runner’s knee – Swedish style” (aka “löparknä”). I write “Swedish style”, because “löparknä” seems not to be exactly “runner’s knee”. And indeed when I read about it, it does not fit fully. Whatever it may be called, I got 3 exercises to do (leg pull with elastic, side plank with leg&arm lift and one leg bend with little book under the heel). On the top of that, was added stretch exercises…and not 10-15sec like I usually do after running… THREE (3) TIMES 60-90SEC!!! each knee. 2 positions… We are talking 12minutes stretch (without counting the time to change the knee position, the change of knee and the re-adjustment of the pillow under the knee otherwise it would kill it…). Yapp, what you wouldn’t do to get better… Fortunately (for me) the first time I did this rehab serie was today – Thursday – first day of the World Cup, which made the stretching way less boring that it is actually (and yes, it was boring to stretch!). A bit disappointed match as well, so in bed after the first half… Back to the rehab plan: to do everyday once of twice a day. Stretch can be done extensively apparently throughout the day (like I have nothing else to do, right?…). Run can be done but only short and if it does not get worse afterwards (or under). Check in two weeks. In the meantime, no plan for races in June/July/August – apart from small short races that would be nice to have in training mode… BUT to get better, as I say, one should do what is necessary to be done! The main races are in September/October – so not a chance I am NOT rehabing until then!

TGIF! Went out for an early morning run and seriously… changing for 5km ain’t really fun. and the pace was pretty dull as well…and the body felt sluggish and heavy…and and and… Yapp! Lots to complain about, if it was not for the beautiful sunshine and lack of STRONG wind during this run. Started to feel the ache in the knee after a few 100s but it seemed to release after 5km (therefore I pushed the run to 6km… and yes it was pretty tempting to go for extra 500m…or why not a couple more km to get to 10km…which I did not do…). Pretty early at the office for meeting with Sweden and then Japan (when I closed my day pretty late the day before to work with the US…). Much to do, lunch that went too fast and did not help to get all the thoughts out of the head as a good run would do, and back to work. Done the knee rehab and the stretch AND I added a torture moment in the rehab (which I adequately call “torture with coca cola bottle”). Having no foamroller at home, got suggested to use a 2L coca cola bottle…for massaging the ITB (side of the thigh aaaaaaall the way to close to the knee). Was planning for 5min easypeasy and seriously started to scream after 10seconds… Could get through TWO (2) long minutes with loads of screaming (and a bit of swearing probably). NOT A CHANCE I AM HOLDING 3 MORE MINUTES!!! then I changed to the right leg and it took a full minute before it started to get a bit painful. But definitely feel the difference between left and right! Quick shower and got myself on the soffa for the match…and fell asleep before 15minutes had passed. Awaken during the second half and then to bed. No problem at all to fall asleep deeply again there… Heavy week and no training = pretty tired!

As a result, Saturday got me up early (!) and I took the chance for getting out in my running gear. The knee had been “feeling” since Thursday (i.e. from the day I started the rehab) and did not disappeared at all since then. Always a bit diffuse feeling/ache in the knee. I did stretch several time at the office on Friday (standing in front of my desk… not looking strange at all with me pulling me knee to my butt and getting it this way for 45sec a couple of times throughout the day…). Did some stretch during this morning run (laying on wet grass, asch!) – quite ok, but once again, we are talking about 6.5km… ;( Breakfast after that and some biking to release the legs and knees. In the afternoon, I got to my rehab program once more. Nothing strange about the exercises, but seriously feeling tired in the legs to do them… Is that because it is 2 weeks after Stockholm marathon and I did not really run since then? nor done any activity? The torture with coca cola bottle went sliiiiightly better, with less screaming, but then replaced by tears (and cursing…) for THREE (3) long minutes! (Yoooohooo! 1 more minute than the day before!). Pizza for dinner and movie to relax and fall asleep.

Sunday always arrives so freakishly quick in the week! Early up (I think this was the theme of this week “early up”…) and as I am not allowed to do long runs (nor medium runs btw), I jumped on my bike for a long workout-type. Not really motivated, did not take time for even having breakfast before leaving. Just biking around and hoping for getting 44km (doubling Wednesday workout distance). It turns out that I am pretty good at estimating the distance but on foot and limited to 36km… Because despite taking a long detour, it turned into being short on km when I was heading home. So had to take a little extra round to get to 41km…noticing that this was pretty much the pace that marathon world-record and fast guys are running on…on their own feet…and me on my bike… I tried not to cry 🙂 Hesitated with starting right away with the rehab, but was unsure if the legs would like it. So took a bit of time to prepare smoothie with nectarine and banana and croissants 🙂 before getting rolling on my coca cola bottle. 3min ea leg. Almost no screaming, a few tears and a crazy fan encouraging throughout this painful rehab (indeed I did not want to kill the enthusiasm when I thought “Saying “Come on – 2min 45sec left – you can do it” is NOT really encouraging…!). After the torture, came the rehab and it went “ok”. The balance exercise on one leg feels better, but the side plank with arm&leg lift is NOT fun nor easy to do… Spent the rest of the day chilling out and then massage-time (have noted that the top of the bum-muscle was pretty aching since a few days, which corresponds to the start of the rehab. So better to have someone else pushing there to release the pain as it is real impossible to do it yourself). And once again massage does not mean relaxing, nice, or whatever you may think. This is purely painful! Discovered knots in the middle of the back, in the neck…and this was the “nice” part. The thighs, calves and hips were not to play with. But once again, if pain is necessary to get rid of the pain, then so be it! Biked back home, knee still fine. Early dinner and then just in time to get ready and see France starting soon to play in Brazil.

All-in-all, a very sunny and warm week – all done for running…which unfortunately was not on the program this week. Hoping the torture massage, the stretch to the extreme, the lengthy rehab exercises and the way-too-short-allowed-runs will soon turn into regular weeks of training. But once again, better have this now and getting ready when summer arrive, than having it continuing and standing on a starting line this autumn with a malfunctioning knee…

Keep on running!

 

 

 


Recovery, recovery…Aaaaaand more recovery…

Week of rest and recovery ain’t often very exciting to talk about. Just like last week. Travel for work was suiting perfect with a week of after-marathon recovery.

Tuesday started early and finished late. The body felt all ok and the knee even allow for wearing high heels. No swimming as planned as 1) the swimming pool at the hotel was close to the breakfast room and tables (I mean REALLY close) and 2) the pool was only opened in afternoon and late evening when I would rather have gone up early for a swim.

Wednesday was a bit better for start, did a light core exercises and little rehab. Nothing much really, but it felt nice to actually do something. Day spent at work went fine, rainy weather and changed my high heels to running shoes in the evening before going out. Went all fine…until we left the restaurant and had to walk downhill to the hotel. The pain in the left knee was excruciating when walking this way. I tried walking uphill and it worked without problem. When reaching flat surface then it was better. Meaning? the left knee is NOT happy. Tricky night with ache in the knee coming back&forth.

Thursday felt a bit better in the knee, but still this day was filled with little aches now and then. OK, the high heels could/should have been skipped, but they were not. Evening was nice to change to jeans and running snickers! Good night sleep aaaaand…

…it was Friday already. Up early to get my first flight home. 25 minutes for changing in Paris and then home…without my suitcase. More rest during the day (read: doing nothing…). A bit of bicycling in the evening and it was it.

Saturday had arrived and got some bike done again, but no real workout. The knee was still aching a little now and then, so decided to skip doing more training. Spent the afternoon under the sun with the monsters and then a very nice evening at friends. Delicious Indian food had been prepared and served 🙂 Not too late home, it became late though when getting to bed.

Sunday got the sun up way too early. Decided to test the knee and went for an easy run. 3km warmup on asphalt to reach a running track. There I decided to go for 25 laps (or 10,000m). 4K clockwise, water – stretch, 4K against the clock, water – stretch, 2K clockwise, water-stretch and then 3km back home. The knee did not like at all this outing. And it was well-noted. No swollen knee when reaching home and it felt all ok to walk afterwards. However the kicks done in the afternoon felt pretty hurting 😦 Decided then to go for anti-inflammatory tablet in the evening and see whether it helped. Got tired pretty quick from it… but the knee felt as “normal”.

So was the end of the after-Stockholm marathon recovery week. Nothing really fancy nor fun nor exciting from a training perspective. Only a boring reminder that the knee was not fine. Have to check this and get it solved. More later…


Let’s continue to recover, shall we?…

Recovery is an art in itself, I think. After training intensively and racing eventually, the after race is often felt as an emptiness to be filled.

Enough time travelling during the past days, so the race report for Stockholm marathon is here. Monday started pretty early for lot of working and quick pause for additional massage (how can my shoulders be so stiff when I had a massage the day before…) and the evening was spent travelling.
Arriving late, impossible to sleep before early morning (1:xx am surely…), the alarm ringing at 6:35am was NOT popular… Long work day. Lots of eating. Lots of thinking. Glad to reach my bed now and hopefully will get a good night’s sleep.

Recovery ongoing? Check!


Stockholm 2014 – the day after…

Everything has an “after”: taste, party, so why not even a marathon?…

SO, how to handle the “after-race”? Still searching 🙂
After a late evening, got to bed and thought would just fell into Morpheus’ arms before counting to 3. But nope. The knee was a but sensitive so any way I was laying, it felt a bit 😦 Got my eyes closed and sleepy eventually.
Up before 6am (new city and the sun still wakes me up…), got my bag packed and time for breakfast. Was surprisingly hungry (cereals, Sou milk, one egg, tea, orange juice, great breakfast to fill in the probably empty energy storage after yesterday’s race). Then we headed to the train station. Quickly in the train, a nice place where I could lay my legs up and 6 hours later (lots of delay…) I was home. Sunshine, unpacking, washing machine and headed to well-deserved Thai massage, followed by restaurant 🙂 niiice!

THEN back to reality and preparing work ahead for Monday. No excuse for being late! Not even training today…

So, this was my first recovery day 🙂